Once Upon a Time

I can’t believe it’s that time of year again. This year is flying by, just like all the rest. Carl is once again hosting his Once Upon a Time Challenge. Spring has officially sprung according to the calendar in the Northern hemisphere, even though it doesn’t feel like it in London. There are signs though and that makes me hopeful that soon we’ll experience warm spring days with cool evenings.


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This will be my third time participating in Carl’s Once Upon a Time challenge but it’s his seventh year hosting the event. For those who are not familiar with this challenge it involves reading or watching works that fall into the genres of fantasy, folklore, mythology, and fairy tales. There are several levels to the challenge. In the past I’ve always attempted Quest the First, which involves reading five books. I think I’ll aim for that again. I have some travel this spring so it may be a tough goal. But hey, why not try. I have until June 19th. Right now that seems like a long time. However, we all know time sneaks up on us.

once7mainbanner200I haven’t selected all of my books yet. I plan on reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Also Carl is hosting a group read of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. Last year I finally read my first Gaiman novel, Neverwhere, and I’m hooked on his writing. I popped into the library to pick up a copy but unfortunately I wasn’t able to locate it. This morning I made a request online for the book in hopes that the pros can find the copy. Keep your fingers crossed.

As for the other three books I haven’t decided. Since I am trying to read more authors who aren’t American or British does anyone have suggestions for me for books in these genres. And if you haven’t signed up for the challenge here’s the site to do so. It’s a fun experience and Carl is one of the nicest bloggers I’ve met.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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66 Responses to Once Upon a Time

  1. Guilezilla says:

    For mythology, try reading The Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi. The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas, and the Oath of the Vayuputras.

  2. StillWalks says:

    Lovely flowers – I am currently working on a StillWalk of my parents garden in France (production was last Summer) and it is so beautiful 🙂
    Re the books, I would recommend any and all Neil Gaiman’s books and we are listening to Neverwhere all this week on BBC Radio 4 Extra – it is very faithful to the book. I was bought Cloud Atlas a few years ago but have not read it yet for one reason or another – perhaps now is the time!

    • TBM says:

      I loved Neverwhere. I’m really hoping the library can find the Stardust novel. I found Cloud Atlas years ago when someone tossed out a lot of books before moving, but I didn’t know much about it. Then I started seeing previews for the movie and I realized I had a copy of the book. Yes, now is the time to read it. You should join the challenge! Can’t wait to see your French post.

  3. I know she’s an American author, but you just HAVE TO read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness!!! She is an amazing author :).

  4. aFrankAngle says:

    I’m not a mythology person, but heck … we’ve got a very cold spell, so it will be interesting to see the effect on the spring blooms.

  5. bocafrau says:

    Good luck with the challenge. Thanks for stopping by and commenting over on my blog again – glad you were able to get on. My site is still more down than up and I will reply as soon as I can access it.

  6. Moo says:

    I really enjoyed Cloud Atlas and hope you will to. As for non-American or British authors may I suggest Italo Calvino (Italian):Invisible Cities or If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler; Jose Saramago (Portuguese) Blindness or All the Names; Franz Kafka (German): The Trial; Vladimir Nabokov: Pale Fire; Mikhail Bulgakov (Russian): Master and Margarita; Michal Ajvaz (Czech); Other City; Haruki Murakami(Japanese):Kafka on the Shore. These are not fantasy like Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones but not exactly tied to reality, which still is fantasy in my book.

  7. your flowers are beautiful! they are predicting snow here tonight, which is quite unusual here this late.

    i subscribed to the stainless steel droppings blog a while back and was excited when i saw this challenge. i 2nd the suggestion above of italo calvino’s if on a winter’s night a traveler. also weaveworld or the abarat books by clive barker (better known for horror but these are fantasy), little big by john crowley, the thomas covenant series by stephen r donaldson, zelazny’s chronicles of amber books, terry pratchett’s discworld series… for some books that would be in the literary fiction section instead of the sff section: gabriel garcia marquez’ one hundred years of solitude, the wind-up bird chronicles by murakami, the antelope wife by louise erdrich, the crying of lot 49 by pynchon… i get carried away lol.

    • TBM says:

      Not carried away, passionate. I love people with passion and thanks for all of the suggestions! Funny that you mention Gabriel Garcia marquez since I almost picked up some of his books at the library yesterday. I might when I go back. I appreciate all of your suggestions!!!! Have you selected your books or movies for the challenge?

      • not yet. i’m tempted to do all the challenges. i read so many fairy tales and so much mythology long ago, i’m not sure what else there is. do re-reads count?

      • TBM says:

        I can’t remember if rereads count or not. Carl is pretty laid back (he won’t even argue about what counts as fantasy or what not) and i know the group reads we’ve done in the past were rereads for him. All he cares about is people having fun. Some hosts can be picky. Carl is not.

    • i’m in :). i’ve written a post that’ll appear in a few days lining out my plan, and i’m excited! i’ll try not to do re-reads, but i won’t fret over it. thx.

  8. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I really wish this was a genre I enjoyed or even tried because my wrtiting tutor wants me to write a short story in the magicla realism genre and I haven’t a clue!
    Love your photos, especially the clematis armandii, hope the sun was warm enough for the scent to come through.

  9. Fergiemoto says:

    Your photos sure feel like spring even though we woke up to a few more inches of snow today. It is cold for being officially spring. Hopefully you get some warm weather soon!

  10. Have fun with the “challenge”! Juliet Marillier has written some lovely fantasy (I especially like Wildwood Dancing) and she’s from New Zealand.

  11. Novroz says:

    Ow…it’s time for Once Upon a time already? time goes so fast!!

    I have to try Neil Gaiman soon!
    Talking about Stardust, Neil wanted Noel Fielding to be in the movie but Noel was sick during the production and failed to join in 😦

  12. Caroline says:

    I have to second Julliet Marillier. Love her books.
    And of course I love fantasy but I have no time this year. I might read some fantasy as I feel it works very well in spring but signing up doesn’t feel right. I know I can’t commit.

  13. TracyK says:

    I came here to check out your Once Upon a Time post and got lost looking at the rest of your blog. I love your dog Milo.

    I have no suggestions for non-American or British fantasy, I am not that experienced. But it looks like others have made some good suggestions.

  14. nrlymrtl says:

    Hooray! I also plan to join the challenge – it will be my second year. i need to pull a post together. I look forward to your thoughts on Cloud Atlas.

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