Books!, Calendar Girls, Recommendations, Signal Boost

Calendar Girls: February 2021

Hey all, Dani here.

I have not been very productive when it comes to the blog so far this year. I had grand plans for getting back in the groove this year, but I have pretty much failed on all of it. I’ve only read like three books this year, and have done practically no blogging. But I have done all right when it comes to creative writing overall. Yes, it has mostly been in-character journal entries and background stories, but it is still a bigger word count than I’ve had in quite a long time. So, maybe I’ll get to share some of that with you all in future. For now I’m just happy to be writing, and hopefully I can get back into the groove of reading again.

Anyway, it is the first Monday of the Month and that means it is once again time for a Calendar Girls post.

Calendar Girls is a monthly blog event that was started by Flavia and Melanie, and then it was being hosted by Katie and Adrienne. They are all wonderful ladies, and you should check out their lovely blogs. Okay, so pretty much everyone is on a hiatus due to COVID-19 and all the stresses that brings, so I’m hosting Calendar Girls on my own for a little bit.

So if you link back to me, I can keep track of all the book picks and posts each month. Thanks, everyone!

First, more about the Calendar Girls. It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers, and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl.

Just like the song, each month has a different theme. Each blogger picks their favorite book from the theme, and on the first Monday of the month reveals their pick in a Calendar Girls post. Make sure to post back to the hostess’s post, and the hostess will make a master list for the month. The master lists allow everyone to see the other Calendar Girls’ picks and to pop on over to their blogs. Thus, we all get to chat about books and even make some new friends!

Oh, and you don’t have to identify as female to join the Calendar Girls. We welcome readers of all types. So if this sounds like fun for you, join us in all of the fun bookish conversations.

So, without further ado, the February theme is…

Tell a Fairy Tail Day

Favorite Fairy Tale Reimagining

Oh man, there are so many retellings and reimaginings of fairy tales out there nowadays. I don’t know how easily I’ll be able to narrow down my options here. Okay, so I’m just going to take a few minutes to browse my bookshelves and see what I can come up with.

Wow, looking at my different options here…it’s quite clear that I really like Beauty and the Beast retellings and Arthurian legend reimaginings. But you know what, there’s nothing wrong with liking the things you like.

Now taking in all my options I for a moment thought about selecting Jim C Hines’s Princess series, because I devoured the books and dearly enjoyed how wonderfully complex they were, and how they tackled issues without minimizing their gravity or over-trivializing them. Basically we see Snow White, Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, the Little Mermaid, etc and we see them dealing with issues of trauma and some of the darker issues inherent in their original stories…after the supposed “Happy Ever After.” If you haven’t checked out these books, I do recommend them.

But then I thought about selecting Legendborn by Tracy Deonn because it is seriously one of my top-favorite books of all time now…and I consider Arthurian legend tales to be equivalent to fairy tales. However, not everyone does. And I could legitimately gush about the amazingness of this book for quite some time, and if you haven’t read this one, wow, just go out and do yourself a favor and get it now. This is one of those books where the hype is so deserved.

Likewise, I questioned if I should include The Princess Will Save You on this list because it is basically a story inspired by The Princess Bride, but you know what, I think that is a modern classic fairy tale, so I’m counting it.

I could talk about the cuteness that is the Once Upon a Con series by Ashley Poston, because these contemporary retellings of Cinderella, the Prince and the Pauper, and Beauty and the Beast, are all reads that I dearly enjoy, especially as someone who is a big geek to begin with.

Overall though, I found that one book kept popping back up as an interesting fairy tale retelling, and so I couldn’t help but choose it as my pick for this month.

So, this collection of stories introducing readers to Geralt of Rivia is not exactly advertised as a dark action-filled fairy tale retelling, but trust me, it is. We get to see these stories retold in a way that fits the world of the Witcher and the lore of the world, and honestly, it was the idea that these stories were retellings that got me to finish this book. I do not always have an easy time reading translated books, but I realize that that is an issue with me as a reader and no real fault of the books in question. So I tried to read this book a couple times and only made it 50 or so pages in before getting distracted by other books.

But then I saw some reviews talking about the different fairy tales that had been adapted in this collection, and then I watched the first couple episodes of the show, and with those two elements combined I dove back into the book and flew through it. I love seeing fairy tales set against the lore and backdrop of a fantasy world that is not our standard world. It just heightens things for me a bit. They’re fascinating to read.

Honestly though I could have chosen any of the contenders on this list. They’re all great reads, if you like fairy tale retellings anyway.

Other Calendar Girls Posts:

Ashley at Inside My Minds: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer and Brandon Dorman (Illustrator)

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