Archive for Roald Dahl

Reading for January ’08

Posted in Books, Comics, Fantasy, Manga, Non-fiction, Science fiction with tags , , , , , on February 1, 2008 by Cara Marie


Day, R W – A Strong and Sudden Thaw
Kirino, Natsuo – Grotesque
Lee, Tanith – Eva Fairdeath
Mull, Brandon – Fablehaven
Nin, Anais – Artists and Models
Pierce, Tamora – Melting Stones
Tiptree Jr, James – Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
Valente, Catherynne – The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden

In the Night Garden was the best book I read this month. I knew it was necessary for me after coffeeandink posted about its sequel. It is amazing, filled with stories within gorgeous stories, with invented mythology, and characters who choose to be monsters. Now I am waiting for In the Cities of Coin and Spice.


Gould, Joan – Spinning Straw into Gold
Heinrich, Bernd – Mind of the Raven
Jones, David E – Combat, Ritual and Performance: Anthropology of the Martial Arts
Paul, Jonathan – When Kids Kill
Sei Shonagon – The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon
Tatar, Maria – Classic Fairy Tales

The best non-fiction book was The Norton Classic Fairy Tales, mostly because it gave you several different versions of various tales all next to each other, and it was really interesting to compare them. Maria Tatar writes an introduction for each type of story, then you get versions of the story from different cultures, including a modern-day retelling for most. At the end of it, you have a bunch of essays by various fairy tale scholars – some of which I enjoyed, others that irked me. I’m not very big on Freudian interpretations, see.

It amused me to see the way in which the stories changed – particularly Little Red Riding Hood. When you know the version where the woodchopper rescues them (The Grimms’ version), people say, ah, but originally there was no rescue (Charles Perrault). But here we have ‘The Story of Grandmother’ – which is a folk version on which Perrault’s was presumably based – in which the girl tricks the wolf, and rescues herself. Score!

And next to these, two modern retellings, in which Red Riding Hood is not conned by the wolf – ‘she whips a pistol from her knickers’, as Roald Dahl says (and you really should read that poem, and then this one).

A most worthwhile book!


CLAMP – xxxHolic, vol 7
Hino Matsuri – Vampire Knight, vol 2
Kazuo Umezo – Scary Book, vol 1
Kouno Fumiyo – Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms
Kubo Tite – Bleach, vol 10
Soryo Fuyumi – Eternal Sabbath, vol 1
Yazawa Ai – Nana, vol 8
Yuki Kaori – Angel Sanctuary, vol 1

Aside from the joy of more Nana, the most exciting manga for me was Eternal Sabbath. I liked the simplicity of the art, and the female scientest protagonist Mine, and how she related to Ryousuke, who is a genetically engineered being who can pretty much infiltrate himself into anything. Mine knows what he can do, and he knows she knows, but neither can do anything about it. I’m looking forward to reading more – and also pleased it’s only eight volumes. I’m very bitter about all these series that run into the twenties.


B, David – Epileptic, vol 1
Kibuishi, Kazu – Amulet, vol 1
Murase, Sho – Me2, vol 1
Pierce, Tamora – White Tiger
Powell, Nate – Please Release
Schreiber, Ellen – Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives, vol 1
Shaughnessy, Ian & Holmes, Mike – Shenanigans
Simmonds, Posy – Gemma Bovery
Various – Yuri Monogatari, vol 2
Watson, Andi – Glister, vols 1 & 2