Posted in book tags/memes

Fairy Tales Fridays 22

Fairy Tale of the Week:

“The Three Feathers” by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm

What is it with fairy tales and the number 3? Is it just me, or does that particular number seem to pop up a lot?

Once upon a time, there was a King who had three sons. Two were (supposedly) pretty smart, but the third was called the Simpleton. When the King became old and frail, he was trying to decide which of his sons would inherit everything after his death, and he decided to send them out on a quest, of sorts. The son to bring him the most beautiful carpet would become the next King, and, to start them off on their journey, he threw three feathers into the air and instructed each of them to go in the direction a feather flew. One went east, another west, but the third went straight up before falling back to the ground.

The two brothers went off after their feathers, after mocking Simpleton because he had to stay behind. He sat down, feeling pretty low, but noticed a trap door next to the feather. He lifted it, found some steps, and of course he went down them. At the bottom, he found a door, knocked, and someone called from inside before the door opened and revealed a family of toads. The largest (the mother, I suppose) asked him what he wanted and he said he wanted the finest carpet. She had one of the young toads fetch a box, then she opened it and pulled out a beautiful rug and gave it to him.(She’s a charitable character, isn’t she?) He thanked her, and went to present it to the King. At the same time, his brothers had returned–after not putting much effort into locating nice carpets–and Simpleton was declared the successor to the throne.

The brothers were not happy about that, saying Simpleton shouldn’t be King because, well, he was simple. Eventually, the king agreed to another task and sent them out to find a beautiful ring. Once more, the feathers were released and flew in the same way as before. Simpleton went through the trapdoor again, repeated the exchange with the toad, and received a ring so fine no mortal goldsmith could have made it. And, again, the King said Simpleton should inherit the kingdom. The brothers grumbled again until the King agreed to a third task.

This time, the brothers were to bring home the most beautiful woman. (Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though, so this really isn’t fair from the beginning.) The feather situation was repeated, Simpleton went back to the toad, and she told him the most beautiful woman wasn’t there at the moment, but he would still have her. She gave him a hollowed out turnip with some mice harnessed to it, and he asked what he was to do with it. She instructed him to place one of her toads inside, and he did. She promptly turned into a gorgeous maiden, the turnip became a couch, and the mice horses. He kissed her, they drove away, and he won the kingdom once more. (The other two grabbed the first peasant women they met. Charming.)

Still, the brothers couldn’t stand the idea of Simpleton ruling after the King died, and demanded a final challenge. This one was for the women. Whichever could leap through a ring hung from the ceiling would win her husband the kingdom. They assumed the peasant women could do it, no problem, because they were strong, while the maiden would be too frail to accomplish it. The peasant women tried and broke their arms and legs (wow, how high was this ring?), but the toad…I mean pretty maiden…did it without any issues. Finally, the matter was settled. When he ruled, he ruled for a long time, and did so wisely. The end.

Meh. I don’t really have any strong thoughts about this one, and I don’t really know what to say about it. I don’t think I’ve read it before, or seen/read any adaptations or retellings, and I think it was pretty forgettable.

I’m going to say 2.5 out of 5 stars, rounded down to 2.

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Posted in book tags/memes

T5W: Fave Booktubers, Bookstagrammers, and Book Bloggers

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

April 17th: Favorite SFF Booktubers -Booktube SFF Awards Crossover Topic-
— Discuss your favorite booktubers who discuss science fiction and fantasy books! (This is for the Booktube SFF Awards, but you could also include bloggers and IGers as well!)

This was so painful oh my gosh. SFF is what I read the most of, and I follow so many great people. I decided to not include bloggers I follow here on WordPress, just to help narrow things down, because I definitely follow the most people (who talk about SFF a lot) here. I don’t think any of these people read and post exclusively SFF books, but I think that’s the majority of what’s usually in the stuff they post.

In the order I came across them while scrolling through IG and YouTube while making my list (but otherwise, in no particular order)…

Choosing only 5 was so hard *cries*

I feel like I could do a top 15 or more for WordPress blogs, top 10 or more for IG, at least top 5 for other blogs, but YouTube…

I just don’t watch many booktubers anymore (or YT in general). There are only like 3-4 booktubers I watch religiously (or at least regularly), but one of those is Sam. I didn’t include her channel on this list because I feel like it’s (kind of?) obvious that I watch and love her videos.

Who are some of your favorite SFF bookish people?

Posted in book tags/memes

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Saving for Rainy Days

This is a weekly meme that was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Every week, there’s a theme and you choose ten books that fit it. Check out upcoming topics here.

This week’s topic is supposed to just be “rainy day reads,” but…there’s a Top 5 Wednesday topic with the same name coming up, so I decided to switch this one (because I was struggling to come up with 5 I’ve already read 😛 ).

These are books I’m kinda-sorta saving for the right background atmosphere, which (potentially, at least) includes rain. Something about these just give me the feeling that rain (and/or a storm) would make a great soundtrack to reading them.

In no particular order, as usual…

Mrs. Poe

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen– I keep eyeing this book, which has been on my shelf a shamefully long time, so I think I might finally get to it soon. Maybe. I feel like this one would be a nice read for a drizzling rain kind of day.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind– This is another one I keep itching to pick up ASAP, because it’s been on my TBR for so long I can’t even remember when I first heard about it. It feels like it would pair nicely with a rainy day.

Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys– Maybe it’s because it’s a novella, maybe it’s because it’s because it’s kind of a Jane Eyre prequel. I don’t know why I feel like this would be a good book to curl up with on a rainy day, but that’s the vibe I get from it.

Vengeful (Villains, #2)

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab– This one, I really want to read during a storm. I probably won’t actually save it for the perfect weather, but I feel like rain, thunder, and lightning would just go so well with the Villains books.

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett– This will be a re-read for me (finally!), but I think it would be a great choice for a cozy read on a day when it’s lightly raining.

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood– This book. Ugh. It’s been on my shelf for so damn long, and I’m about 75,% sure I’m going to like it, but I just keep putting it off. Something about the description makes me think it would also make a nice rainy day, snuggled in a blanket with a hot drink kind of read.

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies, #2)

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, & Brodi Ashton– I just realized I have two Jane Eyre related books on here :/ I really associate that book with rain, I guess? Anyway… I’m so excited to get to this ASAP because I’ve been dying to read it since before it came out.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid– I’ve heard this is a fantastic and engrossing read, which sounds like the perfect choice for a lazy, rainy day.

Daughters of the Lake

Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb– This one is apparently a kind of Gothic mystery, which (for me) screams, “Read this when the weather is dreary and/or spooky!”

New World Fairy Tales

New World Fairy Tales by Cassandra Parkin– Hello, creepy porcelain doll on the cover. Please give me the heebie jeebies while it’s dark and rainy outside. Seriously though, I feel like this collection of Grimm’s fairy tales retellings would be perfect to read when it’s dark and stormy.

Posted in read a thon

Mid-month/Readathons Check In

We’re halfway through the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon, as well as Spring Into Horror, and Tome Topple began on Saturday. My original TBR for the O.W.L.s is here, and for the other two, it’s here, if anyone is curious.

Honestly, I did not expect to even come close to finishing any of my TBRs, because trying to juggle books to make things work for three different Readathons was a big challenge. Then Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon happened (my wrap up post is here), and that helped a lot. I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible, because it’s been a shockingly good reading month so far.

I’ve read:


Redamancy by Kat Savage– This one was read for Dewey’s, and I used it for Defense Against the Dark Arts for the O.W.L.s Readathon.

Emily the Strange Volume 3: The 13th Hour (Emily the Strange (Quality))

Emily the Strange Vol. 3: The 13th Hour by Rob Reger & Buzz Parker– Another Dewey’s book, which I also used for Care of Magical Creatures for the O.W.L.s (there are cats on the cover).

Saga, Vol. 2

Saga vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples– Yep, another for Dewey’s. I counted this one for Arithmancy for the O.W.L.s Readathon.

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik– I finished this one during Dewey’s, but I’d started it for the O.W.L.s before that as my Transfiguration book.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire– I barely squeezed this in before Dewey’s ended, and used it for Potions.

Little Darlings

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding– I read this eARC (review coming in a few days!) for Spring Into Horror, and used it for Herbology.

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior (Twisted Tales, #1)

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan– I picked this one up for Ancient Runes.

A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals, #1)

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole– I finally got this (audiobook) from the library and counted it for Muggle Studies.

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1)

Feed by Mira Grant– This was my first read (well, listen, because my library only had the audiobooks of the Newsflesh series) for Tome Topple (which I’m counting as an Adult Book for the challenges), and it worked for Divination for the O.W.L.s, as well as Spring Into Horror.

Deadline (Newsflesh Trilogy, #2)

Deadline by Mira Grant– I just finished this one as my second book for Tome Topple (I’m using this for part of a series, for the challenges), and it also counts for Spring Into Horror. I swapped out my original choice for Charms so I could also squeeze this into the O.W.L.s also.

To break that down, here’s where I stand:

  • I’ve read 10 total books so far this month (4 were under 200 pages, with 2 being comics and 1 each of poetry and a novella, and 3 books I read were audiobooks).
  • That puts me at 10 of 12 books for the O.W.L.s Readathon (I still need Astronomy and History of Magic).
  • I’ve read 3 books for Spring Into Horror.
  • I read 4 whole books (and completed a 5th I was almost finished with already) during Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon.
  • I’ve read 2 books for Tome Topple.
  • I’ve DNF’d 1 book for Tome Topple and the O.W.L.s Readathon (it was my Astronomy pick on my original TBR lists).

I have to say that I’m very grateful for audiobooks haha. But, after Blackout (the 3rd book in the Newflesh series, which I’m starting today), I think I’m out of audio options that I can use for more than one Readathon.

I did deviate from my original TBRs a bit, but I’m not unhappy about it. The plan was to focus more on books I own for Tome Topple, but oh well 😛 I’m really liking the Newflesh books, and they’ve been on my mental and goodreads TBR for ages.

(I really need to make a featured image for Readathon posts :/ )

If you’re participating in any Readathons this month, how’s it going for you?

Posted in book tags/memes

Fairy Tales Fridays 21

Fairy Tale of the Week:

“Snow-White and Rose-Red” by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm

Not to be confused with the Snow White we probably all know. I’ve read this tale before, but I think it’s been since I was a kid. I remember that I had a really tall, lavishly illustrated book of this story, or some variation, but I can’t remember who it was by. I know I had at least 2 or 3 similar books (one was Briar Rose, for sure), and I wish I hadn’t agreed to let go of them because I’d love to still have them for my kid. Oh well.

Once upon a time, two young girls lived with their mother in a cottage near a forest. Outside the cottage were two rose bushes, one white, one red, and her daughters were like the roses. Snow-white was quieter and liked to help her mother inside, while Rose-red liked running outside.

One winter night, they were inside the cottage when a knock sounded at the door. Rose-red opened it, expecting a weary traveler, but found instead a large, black bear. Of course, she freaked out. But, the bear spoke and told them he was cold, would not harm them, and wanted only to warm himself. The mother took pity on him and invited him inside to rest by the fire. Soon, the girls became quite fond of the bear, and played with him until bedtime. The bear passed the night there, then left the next morning for the forest. He returned every night throughout the winter.

When warm weather returned, he told them he had to leave in order to protect his treasure from a wicked dwarf. During the summer, the girls encounter the dwarf several times. The first time, his beard is caught in a log and they cut off a bit of it to free him, but he is far from grateful (he’s really quite hateful, actually). Each time they meet him, they save him, and he never so much as thanks them.

The last time they encounter and save the dwarf, the bear returns. The dwarf is frightened of the bear, and begs him to kill and eat the girls instead of him, but the bear swats him with one great paw and kills him. The girls begin to flee, but the bear calls to them by name and they recognize his voice, so they pause and wait for him to catch up. But then, his bearskin falls away and he’s revealed to be a handsome man in fine clothing. Turns out, he’s a prince, and that dwarf had bewitched him and stolen his treasure. He could only return to his human form once the dwarf was dead.

Snow-white married the not-really-a-bear prince, Rose-red married his brother, and the treasure is divided between them. Their mother lived with her children for many years after that, and took her roses with her. She planted them in front of her window, and every year they produced beautiful roses, one with white blooms, the other with red. The end.

I don’t think I’ve actually read or seen any adaptations of this story, but… Maybe it’s a stretch, but I feel like the close, sister-like friendship between Snow White/Mary Margaret and Red (as in riding hood)/Ruby on Once Upon a Time is meant to allude to this story. Maybe? That could be a stretch, but I can see it.

I do really like this story, even if it isn’t quite a favorite. (I think I like this better than Snow White, but I’m not certain.)

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆