Greetings bloglings. We made it! We are in the second post. Folklore Thursday posts are officially a thing. Pat on the back for me. And for you for reading them.
Today, I’m going to share some of the folklore and fairy tale inspired books that I would really like to read. At least one of these is sat on the desk behind me so I will be reading it very soon. Hoorah! Anyway, without further ado, a list:
1. The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood
Look at the cover. Just look at it. It is beautiful and wonderful and I wanted to read it for that. Then I read about it. Now I own it. It is only a matter of time. It’s described as a Victorian murder mystery, delving into folktale and superstition. The title is drawn from the Icelandic Huldufólk, from what I gather they are elves of some description. Having never looked into Icelandic folklore, I am intrigued.
I am unsure what to expect from it, not knowing anything much about Icelandic culture, or even whether it takes place in Iceland, maybe it doesn’t. I will be going into this one blind and that’s fine by me. Come at me, Victorian murder mystery. I am ready!
2. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
It’s a new book by Neil Gaiman. Of course I want to read it. I already know that Gaiman is an exceptional author and that he knows how to handle his mythology so I am expecting great things from this book. I’ve never been disappointed by his work so I am almost completely certain that I am going to love it and I want it to fall from the sky into my waiting hands. Right about now. Any minute now.
No? Ah well, it was worth a try.
I’ve seen a couple of early reviews and from what I gather, it’s been well-received by those lucky few who have read it already. I am jealous. Incredibly jealous.
3. The Bread We Eat in Dreams by Catherynne M. Valente
Yes. It is possible that every single Folklore Thursday post might mention Valente several times. I am not even nearly sorry.
Unfortunately, I am almost certain that I will never get to read this book. It is notoriously hard to track down and when you track it down, it is often incredibly expensive. Cue long sigh. I can dream. And what a wonderful dream it would be.
There is always some hint of folklore in a Valente work. I could probably list every book of hers I’ve not read here and they would all be valid (spoiler alert: there is another Valente book on this list).
4. The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker
I am behind the times with this one. It came out a while ago and it has been on my wishlist since then. I just haven’t got round to buying it, and it’s not yet been bought for me by those in possession of my list (for birthday and Christmas purposes, I don’t force my loved ones to by me books – but if I could…). At least, I don’t think it has. I am doubting myself now.
I was mostly drawn to this book because it’s not about humans. It’s about very established mythological beings and I’ve never read a book from the perspective of a golem nor a djinni – heck, I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book about a golem or a djinni. I really need to get a wiggle on with it.
5. Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Russian folklore again gimme! (See my last Folklore Thursday post for context.) Vassa in the Night is set in modern day Brooklyn but promises all of the magic and wonder of the folklore it is based on. I want it and I want it now.
I’ve seen it described as quirky, nonsensical and whimsical – three words which just make me more excited. I love a bit of whimsy and a bit of nonsense and the quirkier the read the better. I think this book and I will get on a treat.
I’m intrigued to see how the folklore fits in with modern day Brooklyn, I’d’ve never thought to mesh the two together. I hope it lives up to the magical impression of it that I have so far.
6. Myths of Origin by Catherynne M. Valente
I love a good origin myth, I love it even more when they are well-written, well thought out and completely believable. I know Valente is capable of delivering this so there is no doubt in my mind that these are going to be incredible. Again, it’s an old book but who said these lists had to be new?
Honestly, if I could live in Valente’s books, I would. She’s a poem in human form and I am pretty sure she’s in possession of magic. There is no other explanation. She has to be otherworldly.
Whether she is or she isn’t, she’s definitely talented and for that I am ever thankful.
So those are six books I want to read, which all have at least something to do with folklore, mythology and fairy tales.
Have you read any of these? Did you like them? Will I like them? Will I love them? Will I be swallowed whole by a sudden gap in space and time? Who knows. Not me.