If I had to choose just one reading challenge a year (sheesh, I hope it never comes to that!), I would undoubtedly choose Carl's Once Upon a Time Challenge. This challenge holds a special place in my heart for so many reasons...
I'd never really even read fantasy before I ran across Carl's first Once Upon a Time Challenge. And I joined it as a way of sharing my daughter's love of fantasy. And yes, Annie joined, too, of course. Well, I fell in love. And it was really the beginning of my ever-expanding reading horizons. What a gift...to be given the keys to open whole new worlds.
But apart from the reading itself, Once Upon a Time is directly responsible for introducing me to some of the people I now cherish as some of my very best friends. Any idea how huge that is to someone who tends to be a bit of a recluse? Trust me, it's HUGE.
And Carl, well, I don't need to tell any of you who know him what an incredible guy he is. But aside from being a wonderful, wonderful friend and seriously one of the nicest people on the planet (no hyperbole there, I promise you), he is the King of Challenge Hosts! He builds a community of sharing and learning and just plain fun.
So, yes, after checking his blog multiple times a day for the past week, as I'm willing to bet many of us have been doing, this morning I was rewarded with the official announcement that will have me happy dancing through the weekend. I've decided to try Quest the Second this year. This will be my first try at this one, and frankly, I'm quite excited about it. My only concern is that I may screw up in putting books into the appropriate categories. But Carl will forgive me, I'm sure. And feel free to tell me if you think a book would better fit in somewhere else.
Okay, so here's a potential pool of each of the categories:
*A Taste of Earth and Other Legends of Vietnam by Thich Nhat Hanh
*Native American Myths by Diana Ferguson
*Warriors Gods & Spirits from Central & South American Mythology by Douglas Gifford
*The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
*The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursa
*The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
*The Book of Ballads by Charles Vess and others
*Outfoxing Fear: Folktales from Around the World edited by Kathleen Ragan
*Best-Loved Folktales of the World selected by Joanna Cole (though I won't read all of this during the challenge)
*Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
*The Illustrated Treasury of Fairy Tales designed by Rita Marshall
*Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales (though I won't read all of this during the challenge)
*The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales (though I won't read all of this during the challenge)
*The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett
*Pay the Piper: A Rock 'N' Roll Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple
*The Sisters Grimm: The Unusual Suspects by Michael Buckley
*Fables: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham
*Fables: Storybook Love by Bill Willingham
*Fables: March of the Wooden Soldiers by Bill Willingham
*Fables: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham
*The Princess Bride by William Goldman
*The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar
*Green Angel by Alice Hoffman
*The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint
*Solstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip
*What-the-Dickens: The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy by Gregory Maguire
*The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
*The Book Without Words by Avi
*Strange Roads by Peter S. Beagle
*River Secrets by Shannon Hale
*Attica by Garry Kilworth
*Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest by Matt Haig
And possible books to mine stories for Short Story Weekends:
*The Golden Apples of the Sun by Ray Bradbury
*M Is for Magic by Neil Gaiman
*Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
*Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint
*The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
*Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy edited by Ekaterina Sedia
No, it does not escape my notice that these are ridiculously long lists. I've already weeded them down a great deal, but then I got stuck. Besides, a gal needs options.
Annie, of course, will be joining the fun again. Like I could stop her if I wanted to. :) And I'm really, really excited because I think I have Rich convinced to do The Journey again...and to read American Gods! This alone leaves me giddy to the core!
The only concern: the exponential growth of the old wish list!
(Title of post is a bit misleading, or maybe just wishful thinking...we woke up to more snow this morning. Once Upon a Time more than makes up for it though.)