Telling Tales a Challenge

Another reading challenge I have entered this year is the Telling Tales Challenge over on an an arm chair by the sea and who wouldn’t want to read in an armchair with a sea view to glance up at occasionally – I booked my seat and thought long and hard about my choices.  The range to choose from being wide and deeply satisfying. You can see the choice of genre here.

Over the past year I have been considering stepping into the realm of full length fantasy/fairy tale/myth writing myself – I indulge a little in my short stories.  So I thought this challenge would be ideal to re-acquaint myself with all the many forms of storytelling that has held mankind in rapt attention since before we have written records.

I shall of course be reading collections of stories for many of these come in the short form. Among them I have:

Two volumes of collected Myths and Legends of the British Isles, I must start with my own land:)

Then I am going to refresh my memory of the terrible grimness of the Brothers Grimm – I was brought up on these over 6 decades ago, nothing like the fairy tales of today that children read – if memory serves me right.

If I am going to re-read Grimm I feel I should re-read Hans Christian Anderson also.  The problem always with these vast works is that only the few are remembered and just looking down the index of both these I know I shall be startled to discover how many I don’t know or can’ remember.  So let the fun commence with these. The Grimm collection has over  200 and the Anderson 290 stories.  I am hoping to find a few new favourites to take into my old age.

I’m going to visit antiquity ancient  Sumer and Greece with a few classics  such as Inanna and Gilgamesh and The  Odyssey – this last will overlap with a Classics Challenge I am doing.  The first two will directly aid my intended myth attempt.

As this intention to write a myth of my own is going to based on creation myths I will be reading 2 different collections of creation myths from around the world.

Bringing myself up to date I am going to explore Angela Carter of whom I have heard much but not  read to my shame, so nestling on my shelves I have her Bloody Chamber and also Angela Carters Book of Fairy Tales collected from around the world.

Also on modern-day writing Black Thorn, White Rose,  Snow White and Blood Red and A Trolls Eye View all edited by E .Datlow and T.Windling, modern day twists on the traditional!

And as Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends are an international force I shall read a translation from the Japanese of The Book of Hero’s by Miyuki Miyabe.

All in all I think I am in for many treats this year.


2 thoughts on “Telling Tales a Challenge

  1. Eden says:

    What a wonderful reading challenge, Alberta. You’ve got a wonderful list there. Even hit on many I’ve been thinking of touching on myself for my 50/50/Me challenge. I think I shall be adding my name along with yours to this nifty challenge. (And with a five year old to read to, I can start right away! What a wonderful way to explore the world of books together.)


  2. What a great challenge. I love retellings of fairy tales. Will have to check some of those out.


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