Friday, November 18, 2011

Aquisitions: Amazon Order

I had a few dollars left on my Amazing card, so purchased some books I've been drooling over. Here is what I bought:

The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry

The Falling Machine by Andrew P. Mayer (The Society of Steam Book One)

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Entwined by Heather Dixon

Mainspring by Jay Lake

The German Shepherd Today: New and Revised by Winifred Strickland

You can see that I'm still on my fairtale kick, although I've added two steampunk novels. Also, we got a new dog.

Review: Snow White, Blood Red ed. by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Synopsis: This is a collection of retold fairy tales by some of the best authors in the field. Datlow and Windling, while both authors, truly have a gift from gathering stories concerning fairy tales.
This collection includes:
Like a Red, Red Rose by Susan Wade
The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep by Charles de Lint
The Frog Prince by Gahan Wilson
Stalking Beans by Nancy Kress
Snow-Drop by Tanith Lee
Little Red by Wendy Wheeler
I Shall Do Thee Mischief in the Woods by Kathe Koje
The Root of the Matter by Gregory Frost
The Princess in the Tower by Elizabeth A. Lynn
Persimmon by Harvy Jacobs
Little Poucet by Steve Rasnic Tem
The Changelings by Melanie Tem
The Springfield Swans by Caroline Stevermer and Ryan Edmonds
Troll Bridge by Neil Gaiman
A Sound, Like Angels Singing by Leonard Rysdyk
Puss by Esther M. Friesner
The Glass Casket by Jack Dann
Knives by Jane Yolen
The Snow Queen by Patricia A. McKillip
Breadcrumbs and Stones by Lisa Goldstein

Review: The idea to restore fairy tales to their original adult nature is a good one, but I am often disappointed with that means simply adding sex to the story. Stalking Beans and Little Poucet come to mind - tossing in extreme sexuality does not make the story adult. Troll Bridge had very little sex, but it was an adult tale, as was A Sound, Like Angels Singing. Having said that, if you are a fairy tale affectionado, this is an excellent anthology. It is the first of six that Datlow and Windling collaborated on. All are worth buying and reading if you can find them. But I give this book 7 bookmarks, not 8 for the overuse of sex to make a story adult.

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

Date Finished: 11-14-11
Pages: 407

Review: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories

Synopsis: I reviewed the Title Story here - which I read via an app on my cell phone while waiting at a doctor's appointment. The other stories are what I am reviewing here. They are: The Body-Snatchers; Markheim; The Bottle Imp.

Review: Over all, these stories are creepy, dark, piercing - full of tortured, deminated, greedy and murderous characters. Stevenson is none for his children's work, but it is these adult (and they surely are adult) are my favorites.
In The Body Snatchers, a young doctor-in-training doesn't ask where the bodies from disection come from. But when he recognizes the face of the dead, he and another doctor-in-training get in with the wrong man - a man who may or may not be more then human.
Markheim is about a young man who goes to a shop to seek a gift for the girl he wishes to marry - but the shopkeeper stands in his way - and murder is the only answer.
The Bottle Imp is about man who buys a bottle that makes him wildly successful - but there is always a price.
These are deliciously twisted tales and I highly recommended - but these are best read on a stormy night with candles and tea and wind lashing your window.

Bookmarks: 8 of 10

Awards: None

Date Finished: 11-9-11
Pages: 187

Review: George MacDonald - The Best From All His Works ed. by Charles Erlandson

Synopsis: This is a collection of both sermons and stories by George MacDonald, the pastor and storyteller C. S. Lewis credited with mentoring him through his writings.

Review: I must divide this review into two sections. First, his fiction: beautifully written fairytales using clear , light prose. I enjoyed his stories, for the most part. The Shadows was my favorite - it was a dark, glorious tale. I also enjoyed the Light Princess - the princes was an interesting character and reading about her growth was interesting. The other two stories were okay, but didn't hold my attention well.
As for the second part, I think his sermons and teaching have depth and value, and are excellent for instruction and learning. However, they did not appeal to me - I found them dull and hard to grasp. I do not think this is a reflection of MacDonald. It is that for a mind like mine, which requires excessive clarity to grasp anything - it was too much.

Bookmarks: 6 of 10

Date Finished: 11-5-11
Pages: 284

Friday, November 4, 2011

Aquistions: Amazon Gift Card

For my birthday (which isn't until January, but my husband's family celebrates all the birthdays on the same day), I received an Amazon Gift Card. I spent a bit and here is what I purchased:

Black Heart, Ivory Bones ed. by Ellen Datlow and Teri Windling

Snow White, Blood Red ed. by Ellen Datlow and Teri Windling

Silver Birch, Blood Moon ed. by Ellen Datlow and Teri Windling

Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears ed. by Ellen Datlow and Teri Windling

Black Swan, White Raven ed. by Ellen Datlow and Teri Windling

The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood ed. by Jack Zipes

Red as Blood or Tales from the Sisters Grimmer by Tanith Lee, et. Al.

The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After: Being the Private Correspondence Between Two Prominent Families Regarding a Scandal Touching the Highest Level by Caroline Stevermer & Patricia C. Wrede

I'm sure you can tell I am on a fairy tale kick at the moment.