Fairy Tale Glass Bookshelf
I had seen the lovely cover of Naomi Novik's Spinning Silver on bookish Instagram and having enjoyed Uprooted I put it to the top of my TBR pile. When was I going to get my hands on a paper copy though? Luckily I had plans to attend a fantasy quiz at Harry Hartog Bookshop for Lisa Cassidy's book launch, which proved not only to be a hilarious night out but an opportune time for some book shopping. The quiz was so much fun and our team had a ball... and won the game plus a pile of books each.
Reading Spinning Silver was a joy. I loved the prickliness of the beginning which upsets our readerly expectations right from the start. Novik references plenty of folk lore and fairy tale elements while weaving her own tale of determination and resourcefulness. I particularly liked the contrast of class and agency between the characters.
September was 'Fae month' for book club and I re-read 2 Tamlin favourites: Tam Lin by Pamela Dean & Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner.
Another book I was dying to read was Leife Shallcross' debut novel The Beast's Heart.
A Beauty & the Beast retelling, imagining the tale from the Beast's point of view. I read it in one sitting (I may have got up briefly for a cup of tea).
Circe by Madeline Miller was on the reading list for the 'Myth and Mythic Adaptation' online course that I participated in through July/August. We discussed Circe live (starting at 4.am in my timezone) which was fun. I found the character of Circe to be sympathetic and her world came alive for me. The imagery was particularly lush and the end of the tale was satisfying.
I recently listened to the The Guardian Books podcast "Feminist fairytales with Jessie Burton and Kiran Millwood Hargrave" and now I have 2 more books for my to be read pile.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik (a re-read for bookclub)
The Restless Girls by Jessie Burton
The Way Past Winter by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
Twice Upon a Time: Women Writers and the History of the Fairy Tale by Elizabeth Wanning Harries
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Circe by Madeline Miller
The Beast's Heart by Leife Shallcross
Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner