Tag Archive | Diana Wynne Jones

Book Ishness April 2020!

Um, excuse me, HOW are we so far into April already? I blame Camp NaNo. *nervous laughter*

Anyway, I have a list of just a few upcoming book releases, and a recap of my March reads, to share with y’all today! ^_^

April Book Releases

I’m SO excited about this month’s releases! Look how pretty! ❀

(Titles link to Goodreads and I will also be unlazy and leave pre-order links too. XD)

Winter Spell – Claire M. Banschbach(April 24) Faeries. Glorious winter vibes. Story of unlikely friendships and some of my fave characters! (Seriously, Dorian and August and Tonya and Princess Diane are absolutely delightful.) So much awesome! (Pre-order/pre-order goodies info.) Disclaimer: I was an editor for this but I adore it!
War Bound – Tara Grayce(April 21) Sequel to Fierce Heart. (So, like, go read that if you haven’t. XD) Elves. A dash of steampunk with trains and steamboats and things. A marriage of alliance — which is ADORBZ. And Farrendel, who is the Most Epic Elf Warrior. ❀ Plus, Essie’s brothers! I just really enjoyed this one. πŸ˜€ (Pre-order link.) Disclaimer: Yes, I edited this, but it’s just really good!
The Last Atlantean – Emily Hayse — (April 28) Lighthouse and storms and Atlantis and all of the things? Yes please! It just sounds amazing and I can’t wait to read it! πŸ˜€ (Pre-order/pre-order goodies signup.)

Books I Read in March 2020

(Featuring blue flowers with my new Instagram theme for spring which is making me really happy! ^_^)

I had a stunningly good reading month in March — for which I mostly blame March Magics. πŸ˜‰

Here are the things I read last month, by category!

(If you want to read more about any of these, you can find them on Goodreads here.)

PICTURE BOOKS

  • Marigold and the Snoring King – J. D. Rempel — I won an ebook of this in a giveaway and aww! ^_^ Such a charming, adorable, fun, and funny picture book! πŸ™‚ The pictures were great and the story was so much fun. It made me smile! I loved it. ❀
  • The Four Donkeys – Lloyd Alexander — I’ve been wanting to read this for YEARS but never prioritized it since it’s just a picture book. But I finally got it for my birthday last month and it. was. delicious. Lloyd Alexander’s wry humor and gentle wisdom and alive characters are simply the best! It’s like a comical fable and the pictures are delightful. AND it had an adorable otter in it, which I didn’t know until I read it, so it was just PERFECT for my birthday! I loved it so, so much. ^_^
  • Saint George and the Dragon – Geraldine McCaughrean — I also got this for my birthday and enjoyed it — particularly some of the stunning art. I felt like the end was sad, and it was more historical-based than the delicious picture book of the same title with Trina Schart Hyman’s amazing illustrations — so I prefer that one, but I’m glad I got to read this one. I adore McCaughrean’s writing!

RE READS

  • Scoundrels (Star Wars) – Timothy Zahn — I re-read this aloud and had an absolute BLAST! If you only read one Star Wars book, ever, make it this one. πŸ˜€ I don’t care what you think about the canon or non-canon books, or about the new or old movies, or anything — just know that this book is a blast. XD It’s a DELIGHTFUL heist story set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, featuring Han, Chewie, and Lando! It’s a favorite and I had way too much fun re-reading it! (And doing the voices. XD) I need to read more Zahn. I loved this and his Heir to the Empire trilogy!
  • Fire and Hemlock – Diana Wynne Jones — I re-read this for March Magics and it. was. incredible. I got so much more out of it on the second read, but it still had that magic the first time did. I just love it so, so much. ❀ (Thomas Lynn is the best!)

MARCH MAGICS (NEW READS)

I recapped these in my March Magics wrapup post, so I won’t be detailed here.

  • The Islands of Chaldea – Diana Wynne Jones — Delightful! Islandssss!
  • Thief of Time – Terry Pratchett — A blast, and I love all the time stuff. XD
  • A Hat Full of Sky – Terry Pratchett — The Feegles! XD

OTHER BOOKS

  • Emberhawk – Jamie Foley(ARC) This was definitely a new favorite and I had so much fun reading it! Awk! Full review here.
  • Adorning the Dark – Andrew Peterson(Non-fiction) I’ve been reading at least one nonfiction about writing each month this year. I loved Adorning the Dark and totally recommend it to all creatives. I’m turning into a serious Andrew Peterson fan. XD I’ve still only read the first Wingfeather Saga book (but hope to read the second one soon), but I heard so many good things about this that I had to read it. It was inspiring and I adored it. I’m starting to listen to his music, particularly this Easter, and I’ve been really enjoying that too.
  • If Wishes Were Curses – Janeen Ippolito(Audiobook) I finally finished this! (It takes me an embarrassingly long time to finish audiobooks sometimes. XD) I don’t read much urban fantasy so I didn’t know what to expect, but I quite enjoyed this, and the narrator was sooo much fun! I loved the otter shifter character, and somehow I keep ending up reading about vampires but for some reason I didn’t mind. XD It’s a smidge more NA so there’s a bit of language and stuff if you mind that but it’s cleanish (I hear a lot of urban fantasy is NOT. XD) and I didn’t really notice since I was listening to the audiobook. XD Anyway, it’s really fun and I had a blast! I’m starting to listen to the second one. πŸ™‚ So yeah, this is imaginative and fun and totally worth checking out if you love urban fantasy!

MISC

  • And of course I’ve been reading a few serials, and things for copyediting work or beta-reading. πŸ™‚
  • So much reading! I’m very happy. ^_^

This month I’m focusing a lot on editing work and Camp NaNo, but if I have time to catch up on review books as well, I would love to do that . . . since I’m low-key planning to take a sort of semi-vacation in May, stepping back from social media and just hoping to recharge some. We’ll see if I catch up this month and earn it! πŸ˜‰

If you need me, I’ll be trying to keep up with Camp NaNo! XD

Any familiar books or books you’re excited about in this post? And are you reading anything good these days? Let me know in a comment! Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

March Magics 2020: Wrapup!

As the month comes to a close, so does another March Magics, and I had a lovely time celebrating Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett. ^_^ Thanks, as always, to We Be Reading for hosting!

Here’s a recap of my March Magics!

Books I Read

  • The Islands of Chaldea (Diana Wynne Jones + Ursula Jones) — This was one of the last of DWJ’s books that I’d been saving up to read . . . I only have a few left, which is sad, but I was happy that I finally read this! It was published posthumously, finished by her sister Ursula (I’m so curious where she picked up and where Diana left off!), and felt like a sort of tribute to the British Isles — in an alternate fantasy world, of course. πŸ˜‰ It was delightful and I loved all the islands and characters and creatures and magical shenanigans and the hot air balloon! So much fun. ^_^
  • Thief of Time (Terry Pratchett) — I had an absolute blast with this! I finally finished this arc of Discworld. I accidentally saw a HUGE spoiler in a review on Goodreads when I was about half done, so… I’m curious how I would have reacted to that if I hadn’t been spoiled, but… regardless, I just really enjoyed nearly everything about this besides the Auditors, but who likes them. XD Death wasn’t in it much, but still. Susan and Lobsang are my fave! And all the time stuff!
  • A Hat Full of Sky (Terry Pratchett) — The Nac Mac Feegles! XD They’re my absolute favorite thing in this. So many good moments! I wish they’d been in it more, and I still love The Wee Free Men more, but ’twas quite enjoyable. I wasn’t sure at first, but things turned out better than I thought, and despite the stress it was nice to see Tiffany Aching growing some, and like I said, it wrapped up well. Also, Rob Anybody attacking Death’s face. XD And when Rob refuses a drink and Jeannie thinks he’s dead. “He’s deid and still talkin’!” XD The Feegles! They’re just so hilarious!
  • Fire and Hemlock (Diana Wynne Jones) — This was my re-read for the month, and it was GLORIOUS! I’ve been meaning to re-read it ever since 2016 as soon as I finished it the first time, so I’m really happy I was able to, finally! I picked up on so many more things now that I knew most of what was going on, and rediscovered some things I’d forgotten too. I love all of it. Polly growing up, and TOM LYNN IS MY FAVE, and all the books and how they tie into things (genius), and Polly and Tom writing stories, and being heroes, and Tam Lin things, and all the subtle magic and mysteries and secrets creeping under the surface. Absolutely fascinating. I got the ending a bit better this time too. And Tom! Just fabulous. Definitely one of my favorite of DWJ’s! (You can still read my original review if you like — one of the first reviews I posted on this blog!)

Watched

  • Howl’s Moving Castle — I did re-watch the Studio Ghibli film and had a blast! It had been awhile since I’d seen it, and I’d sort of forgotten about a few parts, so that was extra fun. I still love the book best, but I find I can still enjoy the movie as a separate entity! I still find it hilarious how nice the characters are in the film, unlike in the book. XD Normally it’s the opposite. πŸ˜› But it’s still gorgeous and whimsical and strange and beautiful, and despite their book counterparts being my favorite, I do still have a soft spot for movie Howl, Sophie, Calcifer and Michael/Markle. And you have to love Howl being voiced by Batman. πŸ˜‰ It’s so strange how movie-Howl is SO NICE but I love him in his way. And the green slime scene is a bit more like his bookish self. XD Anyway, I had so much fun revisiting this movie. ^_^

Instagram

(Just a glimpse at some of my #MarchMagics posts on Instagram!)

I posted about my entire current DWJ collection throughout the month, and a couple of Pratchetts too, and I had a BLAST.

If you’d like to check out my photos and thoughts about any of the books, you can do that here.

I posted every day in March on Instagram! A few pics weren’t for March Magics, buuut most of them were. πŸ˜‰

Giveaway Winner

Congrats to Sarah Pennington, the winner of my giveaway for Mixed Magics by Diana Wynne Jones! The winner has been contacted. Thanks to those who entered! ^_^

Posts

  • March Magics 2020 plans — Featuring my plans for the month. I did not get to one or two other posts I had in mind, or to re-reading Deep Secret, but everything else went off superbly, and I’m so happy with what managed to do!
  • My Diana Wynne Jones Journey (Part 2) — I finally posted a list of all the DWJ books I’ve read since my first DWJ Journey post four years ago! So happy that I got that one up. ^_^ It was a delight getting to look back at them and reminisce.

And that’s it! I had a smashing March Magics and I hope you guys enjoyed this little wrapup. ^_^

Did anyone else participate? Any DWJ or Pratchetts you particularly enjoyed — either this month, or just in general?

Thanks for reading!

My Diana Wynne Jones Journey (Part 2)

My Diana Wynne Jones collection so far! (Not counting a few extra copies. ;))

Way back in 2016, I posted “My Diana Wynne Jones Journey (So Far)” during a previous March Magics, and I had a ton of fun listing each book by DWJ which I’d read and some thoughts about them. (It also amuses me how some of my thoughts/favorites have changed since then. XD)

I’d say a Part 2 of such a post is long overdue (I have sixteen books to talk about!), so here we are!

Here are the DWJ books I’ve read since that post. Those first few years definitely had most of my favorites, but I’ve read some more gems since. ^_^

(Also, last time, I mentioned rereads as well, but I’ve done a fair amount of rereading DWJ these last couple of years and I’m mostly only listing the ones that are new reads this time.)

All titles link to Goodreads, in case you want to read more about them.

2016 (continued)

The Merlin Conspiracy

May 16, 2016

My original review consisted of this: “YES TO THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!! ❀ I need an elephant. AN ELEPHANT. Also Romanov. Yesssss. ACK DIANA WYNNE JONES BOOKS ARE LIFE I TELL YOU. (I may coherent a review someday.) ROMANOV.” So I must have liked it quite a lot, even if it’s a bit hazy in my memory due to how long it’s been since I read it. XD Definitely due for a reread! But it’s about Nick, who’s in Deep Secret, so that was fun. (Did you know he was slightly based on a teenaged Neil Gaiman? πŸ˜€ His not-coherent-until-breakfast-and-coffee parts, at least. XD) Also, I was reading it when I had a flu, which was appropriate, since one of the characters did too. XD

The Ogre Downstairs

August 6, 2016

This one was different but interesting, and a little more like a normal modern fantasy than I was used to reading by her. Many shenanigans and unreliable narration. XD But my favorite part was when two of the characters accidentally switched appearances and stuff ensued. XD A shorter read and kind of strange but fun!

Eight Days of Luke

December 28, 2016

Who likes Norse Myths? This fun little book by Diana Wynne Jones features some of that in some most unexpected ways! She was writing about Loki (and Thor etc.) in modern times back in 1975, before the Marvel movies were making this cool more recently. XD It’s been awhile since I read this one and I need to read it again, but I remember it being unique and really enjoying it. πŸ˜€ I liked David, and Loki is very much of a trickster! The mythology elements and characters are woven in so well, in surprising ways (DWJ is excellent at this), and there is much fire. XD Luke was just so much fun. XD

2017

Wild Robert

March 1, 2017

I wrote a review for this one awhile back but it was so much fun! It reminded me partially of The Boggart, and a little bit of Howl for some reason, and it was surprisingly short and I didn’t want it to end — it just stopped and I wanted more! Ack! But it was very cool and had so many shenanigans I loved the twists so much!

Aunt Maria

March 1, 2017

I reviewed this too, and it was really different. It built up and had some cool twists, and some of it was creepy, but it also had fun parts. And so many magical happenings and interesting characters! It’s told in first-person by Mig and it was sooo intriguing to read it as a journal of sorts. It also has one of my favorite quotes about happy endings. I love it so much and I had to make a quote graphic for it awhile back, which I’ve shared before but I have an excuse to share again. πŸ˜€

Hexwood

April 6, 2017

Another top-favorite one! And definitely requires more than one read-through. XD I re-read it for March Magics last year and it was even better the second time. It’s just a mind-blowing book, with soooo many different genres and complex twists all thrown together. I love it so much! And Mordion is my absolute favorite! Some of it’s a bit darker, and it’s terribly confusing at times until you piece together what’s happening (I kept a diagram of who was who while I read it!) but it’s just so unique and delightful. πŸ˜€ It also has out of order timey-wimey stuff, modern/sci-fi/fantasy, Arthurian elements, robots, dragons… ALL THE THINGS. Check out my review if you like. ^_^

Another of my favorite quotes. ❀

Puss in Boots

May 14, 2017

This is a rather short kid’s-book about Puss in Boots, which was fairly straightforward but a fun read. πŸ™‚ I now consider it the ultimate version of this fairy tale. XD DWJ did a good job of making it make more sense and of course her cat character was fabulous. It was fun and had a few illustrations too. Not 100% necessary to read this one but I did really enjoy it. πŸ™‚

Dogsbody

June 3, 2017

This one was sooo unique and I loved it being from the POV of a dog! And in Ireland. The mystery was really interesting. Also, the Wild Hunt! And sentient planets. *grinning* Yep, it has all sorts of things. XD Again, a bittersweet ending meant it wasn’t my faaaavorite, but there was a lot to love. But seriously, dog point of view! XD So much fun!

2018

The Game

March 6, 2018

The whole idea and the mythosphere and all the story bits were brilliant. I wish it had been longer than a novella because it was so fascinating. LOVED this one. I want to re-read it. I particularly love all the myth bits and the characters and all of it.

Yes Dear

March 18, 2018

This was a picture book! Which… again, I don’t remember that well, but I do remember reading it, on a special library trip to a library I hadn’t been to before, specifically because I knew this book was there and it was my birthday month and I wanted to read it. XD I know it was fun (people, pay attention if a child tells you something magical is happening. :P) and I was glad I read it!

The Homeward Bounders

March 12, 2018

EXTREMELY vivid and I loved parts of it, particularly the worldhopping stuff and a certain cool character! Actually, more than one… Just… bittersweet ending, and creepy parts, and I’m stark terrified of anchors now. O_O But a great narrator and WORLD HOPPINGGGG! Kinda mixed on it but there were definitely great things about it. Fascinating and intense and really interesting!

A Sudden Wild Magic

March 31, 2018

I enjoyed this one but I consider it one of her darker, stranger books. XD This one was written for adults so there was more content in this and just more disturbing, so… I figure you can give this one a miss unless you’re being thorough like I am and trying to read all her books. XD Feels a bit more scifi than some. I did enjoy parts of it though! I mostly remember the part with the guy who loved his car. XD And I think there were centaurs!

Dalemark Quartet Re-Read

Okay, I said I wasn’t going to post about re-reads in here, but it’s worth noting my epic re-read of the entire Dalemark Quartet in the second half of 2018. I loved it so much, and there were even plot threads I’d forgotten, so some of it was like discovering it the first time! DWJ is the only author who can do that to me. XD (We won’t discuss how many times I forgot and rediscovered the villain of Conrad’s Fate. XD)

2019

A Tale of Time City

January 6, 2019

Who loves timey-wimey stories? Meeee! A few of Diana Wynne Jones’s books have time stuff in them, most notably this one. The idea of Time City, a city outside time, was really cool. I read this one early last year and had a blast! A bit of sci-fi and WWII era for those who like that. (Even if I don’t usually; but I didn’t mind. XD) If you like Doctor Who you might enjoy this! Elio is the best and I NEED A BUTTER PIE!!!

Earwig and the Witch

January 20, 2019

The illustrations were actually really distracting for me on this one and I feel like I would have liked it better if it hadn’t been illustrated? That’s… weird and probably just me. XD It mostly wasn’t a super favorite but I did enjoy some of it, of course. There’s always something fun about DWJ books! Also, the cat was great. XD

That’s all I got to last year of new ones. I did a lot of re-reading DWJ throughout the rest of 2019, though, and it was so fun!

2020 (so far)

Unexpected Magic

January 8, 2020

An anthology of sci-fi and fantasy short stories. I especially loved No One (genius robot plots. XD), Little Dot (wonderful story from a cat’s point of view), and Everard’s Ride (unique novella set in historical times with some interesting twists and not quite like anything I’d read! One of the author’s earlier works). Some stories were creepy or a bit too weird — short stories are always hit or miss for me, regardless of their author, but it was a quite interesting collection! So glad I finally read this one.

The Islands of Chaldea

March 12, 2020

The latest one, which I just read this month for the first time! It was so much fun! I loved Aileen and the sprawling cast of varied characters. I loved the different islands and getting to travel across them (rather like the British Isles but still with their own twists). I loved the creatures! What fun. And I love how it all wrapped up rather well —Β  I’m quite curious where Diana’s sister Ursula picked up the story’s threads, but they worked quite well! And the little romance threads were adorable, and the twists were delightful! (Also, how about that hot air balloon?? <3) So much fun! What a delightful final work from an incredible author.


And there’s my DWJ Journey, part 2! I’ve so loved getting to discover more of her works in the last few years.

I still have a small handful left to read. (The Time of the Ghost, Witch’s Business/Wilkin’s Tooth, Stopping for a Spell… I think that’s it? Not really counting Changover since it was before her main works and so hard to find. There might be a stray short story or few.) But I’ve read most of her books — 39? I think? — and a couple other short stories.

It’s been a beautiful journey (8 years so far, as March 14 this month, which marked the 8 year anniversary of the first time I read Howl’s Moving Castle!), and the best thing about it is that I get to wander back down this road and stop to enjoy the stories and places along the way all over again.

Hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading. ^_^

Book Ishness! (March 2020)

Just a very quick post today, featuring some GORGEOUS books that released this month, and an update on what I’m reading.

(I usually post these early in the month but life intervened. πŸ˜› And if you want to know what I’m reading, check out my March Magics post!)

MARCH RELEASES

*squeaking* LOOK HOW PRETTY! ❀ I can’t get over these stunning covers. They make me happy! (Titles link to Goodreads.)

  • Emberhawk – Jamie Foley — I ADORED this new fantasy adventure from one of my favorite authors! You can read my review here but it’s just delightful and features elemental magic and a snarky fox. πŸ˜€
  • On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness & North! Or Be Eaten – Andrew Peterson — These are the new editions, with new illustrations, in hardcover! I’m so excited! I loved On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness when I read it a year or two back, and I’ve been meaning to read North! Or Be Eaten (I love that title) ever since, so maybe this will push me to do that finally. πŸ˜‰ Also, I just read this author’s nonfiction Adorning the Dark and loved it.
  • The New Emperor’s Concerto – Hazel B. West — *incoherent squawking* I’m SO thrilled this book is releasing on Tuesday! It’s a delightfully British book full of snark and action and unlikely buddies and one of the most epic butlers ever. I adore it!
  • Dragons and Ravens – E. E. Rawls — I’m so excited about this novella featuring characters from Strayborn! It sounds so intriguing!
  • Ronnie Akkard and the Brotherhood of Blades – A. C. Williams — This sounds like a super fun superhero story! And I can tell the hero is snarky just from the blurb so I bet it’s a blast. XD

MY READING NEWS

February Reads

I shared about these on my other blog but I’ll repost here. πŸ˜›

Compared to January’s fifteen reads, I did not, seemingly, read as much. But some of these were a bit longer, and mostly delicious, so we’ll call it a win.

  • Cry of the Raven (Morgan L. Busse) // A new favorite! (My review.)
  • Lifelong Writing Habit (Chris Fox) // Some interesting tips.
  • Fairest Son (H.S.J. Williams) // Delightful novella! (My review.)
  • Green Dolphin Country (Elizabeth Goudge) // Absolutely fascinating!
  • This Year You Write Your Novel (Walter Mosley) // Eh. It was okay.
  • In the Region of the Summer Stars (Stephen R. Lawhead) // Aaahh! This was magnificent! Another favorite. I need the sequel ASAP. (My review.)

March So Far

So far this month, I enjoyed a couple of picture books (The Four Donkeys by Lloyd Alexander + Saint George and the Dragon by Geraldine McCaughrean), as well as a nonfiction (Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson) and an ARC (Emberhawk by Jamie Foley). I’ve gotten one Pratchett (Thief of Time) and one Diana Wynne Jones (The Islands of Chaldea) read so far for March Magics. I loved them! I’ve loved all the books I’ve read so far this month. ^_^ Maybe I’ll have some further thoughts later, but that’s what I’ve been reading. πŸ™‚

Currently Reading

  • I’m currently reading A Hat Full of Sky (Pratchett) and enjoying it. The Feegles! XD
  • I’m behind on my bookclub read (Lady of Kingdoms by Suzannah Rowntree) but it’s rich and intriguing so far — historical fantasy during the Crusades!
  • My exercise routines have suffered from all the rain lately so I haven’t listened to If Wishes Were Curses in awhile but one of these days I’m going to finish this fun urban fantasy! (Audiobooks take me way longer than they should and I feel kind of bad about that. XD)
  • And I kind of got sidetracked from Scoundrels but need to get back to that because it’s a delightful Han Solo heist book I’m rereading and having a blast.

RECENT POSTS

Recent Reviews

That’s it on today’s little update. Hope you enjoyed it and that you are all hanging in there and reading good books. Tell me about a book you’re enjoying! Thanks for reading! ❀

March Magics 2020!

It’s March! And that’s means (aside from it being my birthday month) that it’s March Magics / Diana Wynne Jones March!

This online celebration is hosted by Kristin @ We Be Reading and I always have a blast celebrating the works of Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett! πŸ˜€ (Though my posts always lean more DWJ. XD)

Read on for my (slightly ambitious, as usual; we’ll see how much happens. XD) plans for the month, including a giveaway!

(And drop by this post at We Be Reading for the official kickoff. The theme is Make Your Own Magic!)

PAGE

Here’s what’s on my TBR for the month!

New Reads

  • The Islands of Chaldea – Diana Wynne Jones — I haven’t read this one yet! I’M SO EXCITED. The more DWJ I read, the more precious are the last few I’ve yet to experience. So I’m very curious and looking forward to this one which was published posthumously, completed by her sister Ursula Jones.
  • Thief of Time – Terry Pratchett — Also a new read! I FINALLY got my hands on this one and I can’t wait to at long last finish Death’s arc of the Discworld series, which is the only arc I’ve gotten more than one book into, yet. XD I’m looking forward to diving in! And I’m always up for a timey-wimey plot.
  • A Hat Full of Sky – Terry Pratchett — I had a blast last year reading The Wee Free Men (it made it to my Top 15 Reads of 2019), so I can’t wait to try this next one in the Tiffany Aching series, because those Nac Mac Feegles are hilarious. XD

Re-Reads

  • Fire and Hemlock – Diana Wynne Jones — I’ve been meaning to reread this one ever since I read it the first time, so hopefully this will be the year it finally happens! I’m excited and also lowkey nervous since it’s been a long time and I don’t know how similar it is to my WIP The Other Half of Everything which I’m writing. XD
  • Deep Secret – Diana Wynne Jones — If I manage to read all of the above, I’ve also been looking forward to trying this one again, which I read for my very first March Magics back in 2016! I liked it the first time and want to revisit it since I don’t remember it very well. XD

SCREEN

I’m hoping to re-watch Howl’s Moving Castle since it’s been awhile since I saw it! It’s one of those rare movies that I love even though it’s different than the book.

I still love the book best (I’ve read it six times so far!) but the Studio Ghibli movie is totally different and adorable and fun and I love it despite the differences!

BOOKSTAGRAM

Sneaky sneak-peek!

I have Splendid Plans for this month on Bookstagram! I’m going to be sharing all my Diana Wynne Jones collection throughout the month, and hopefully a few Pratchetts too, so if you are interested in that, feel free to drop by my account: @deborahocarroll

Giveaway

Speaking of Instagram, I was thinking of having a giveaway over there sometime during the month, for a copy of Mixed Magics (the short story collection in the DWJ Chrestomanci series!).

But I don’t want to leave out those who are blog readers or don’t have Instagram . . .

So! To enter to win a lightly-used paperback copy of Mixed Magics by Diana Wynne Jones: leave a comment below mentioning 1) that you’d like to enter the giveaway, and 2) telling me your favorite Diana Wynne Jones book or if you’re new to her works! πŸ™‚

Note: It’s prooobably not the best place to start if you’ve never read a Chrestomanci story or any of DWJ’s work, since it will be more appreciated if you are already familiar with the world/characters, but I’ll leave that to your discretion. πŸ™‚

I will also post about this giveaway sometime during the month over on Instagram for extra entries or for those who don’t see this post here, so some of you may have a chance to enter twice. If you are on Instagram, follow me so you don’t miss it!

Giveaway runs until 11:59 pm Central Time, Sunday, March 29, 2020. US only, please! (Sorry, INT peeps. I love you too, but shipping costs…)

I’ll announce a winner at the end of the month in my wrapup post, hopefully on March 31. πŸ™‚

BLOG

I have a few posts of a DWJ-ish nature which I would like to post during the month, here and perhaps on my other blog, so we’ll see how many of those I actually get written/posted! XD

This month will mark 8 years since I read my very first DWJ book, which is exciting!

I have an idea for a post about writing lessons to learn from Howl’s Moving Castle . . . if I can get that together.

Also, wayyy-back-when, I did a My Diana Wynne Jones Journey post and I’d like to do a Part 2 post about the DWJ books I’ve read since then, so we’ll see if I can get to that!

In the meantime, some of my old DWJ posts and a list of the books by her that I’ve read, as well as quote graphics I’ve made and things, can be found here!


Whew! I’m super excited for whichever of these things I manage to get done this month. I’m so excited to celebrate all things Diana Wynne Jones! (And Terry Pratchett too, of course. ;))

How About You?

Are you planning anything for March Magics? It’s all very relaxed and DIY this year!

If you’re a fan, now is a great time to reread your favorite book by either of these authors, or pick up that new one of their books you want to try.

And if you haven’t discovered Diana Wynne Jones yet, it’s the perfect time to try out one of her books! (I recommend Howl’s Moving Castle, of course. ;))

Join in with the #MarchMagics and/or #DWJMarch hashtags around social media, and be sure to share any blog posts or exciting things you’re up to for this, so everyone can read your post, in the comments of the post over at We Be Reading. Thanks again to Kristen for hosting. ^_^

Let me know what you think! Thanks for reading, and happy March Magics / DWJ March!

The Fairy Tale Tag #FantasyMonth

Today I’m excited to join in on the Fairy Tale Tag created by The Fairy Tale Central! They’re having a month-long celebration of fairy tales this February, and Jenelle Schmidt is hosting February is Fantasy Month, so I’m all here for all the fairy tale and fantasy goodness. *grins* Be sure to check both of them out!

THE QUESTIONS

– What’s an obscure fairy tale you love?

Can I get away with calling The Twelve Dancing Princesses obscure? No? *cough* Maybe the Six Swans. πŸ™‚ Or East of the Sun, West of the Moon? Or Tam Lin?

– If you got to choose Disney’s next animated princess movie, what fairy tale would you choose to be adapted?

Twelve Dancing Princesses because it needs to be a movie and it would be super fun! Although it would have to be more like Tangled than like most of Disney’s princess movies. πŸ˜‰

– What is the first fairy tale you remember hearing when you were a child?

Wow, what an excellent question. I don’t really know?? I do remember a neat Cinderella picture book we had . . . so maybe that? Or Beauty and the Beast? Or Snow White and Rose Red? Or The Twelve Dancing Princesses . . . I just kind of don’t remember a time BEFORE I knew fairy tales. XD

– If you were to embark on a fairy tale quest, what necessities would you pack in your bag?

*rubs hands together* Okay. I would definitely bring some kind of magically re-filling water jug (especially if I ended up in a desert). And one of those table-cloths that provides you with food when you put it out. Next up, certainly a journal and several pens, so I could make sure to record everything that happens. A hairbrush or comb (though I would make sure I didn’t get it from Snow White’s stepmother). A pair of seven-league boots (because obviously). A map (of course!). A pouch of gold and silver coins (probably hidden so that bandits won’t find them). A knife or two. And a small dragon who can ride in my bag and stick his head out and keep me company. There. I think those are the necessities…

– What’s your favorite fairy tale trope?

Not sure if it’s necessarily fairy tale specific, but I do love me a good missing-heir or return-of-the-rightful-king trope.

– If you could be any fairy tale character archetypeΒ (the princess, the soldier, fairy godmother, talking animal, mischievous imp, wise old woman, evil stepmother/sister, etc.), who would you want to be and why?

Again, not sure if this is fairy tale specific, or more fantasy-in-general, but I would love to be the librarian or bard (or both!) — or maybe scribe — so that I can hang out in the libraries or tell stories or record things.

– What animal/mythical creature would be your sidekick for fairy tale adventures?

A gryphon! Because they are underappreciated (even though dragons are cool) and have feathers, and are AWESOME, and I could ride it. I named my cat after a gryphon (from Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones), so yes.

– What is your favorite historical era, and what fairy tale would you love to see in that setting?

1700s because of the pistols and costumes and things. I was going to fall back on my usual answer of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, but it seems that many of the retellings I’ve read DO have some sort of pistols-era as the setting . . . So I’m not sure.

Oh! Cinderella.

I am totally planning to do one with Cinderella either in a steampunk or fictional 18th-century-esque setting, where there’s a sort of revolution, and pistols and things, and Cinderella is a spy sent to gather intel on the prince. *grins*

– If you could change a fairy tale’s villain into a hero, who would you choose and why?

I’m usually content to leave the heroes and villains in their proper place . . . Does the Huntsman from Snow White count? I know he’s more of a minion/anti-hero, and people often turn him into a good character, but he has a lot of potential for that. πŸ˜›

– Do you prefer fairy tales with happy endings or sad/tragic endings? why or why not?

HAPPY ALL THE WAY. I associate happy endings with fairy tales and while not all of them are, I think it’s an important part of them. See also J. R. R. Tolkien’s essay On Fairy Stories, which includes important thoughts on Eucatastrophe and myth and so forth. But I think that we need happy endings, to remind us that good wins in the end and that we can keep going, instead of despairing because there’s no hope left. Life is sad enough without having to have tragedy in our fiction too, which should show us the potential of heroism and happy endings and all good things we can strive toward, and lift a burden from our shoulders as we read, instead of heaping another one on. That’s why I loathe sad/tragic endings, and why, while everyone is obviously entitled to their own opinions, I don’t intend to change my stance on them. Happy endings forever! πŸ™‚


There you are! I hope you enjoyed this, and feel free to join in on the tag and share your link in the linkup (open through February) at this post!