Hurrah! Carl has revived the Once Upon a Time Challenge for a second go. I love a good annual challenge; it lends such a sense of stability to my reading life. This is why I am thinking of reviving the Unread Authors Challenge for a second go round later in the summer. At any rate, last year I had a rare challenge success with the Once Upon a Time Challenge, combining the fun with the virtuous to read Grendel, The Golden Ass, Something Rotten, Morphology of the Folktale, and A Wizard of Earthsea. All were delightful and rich with new knowledge, and I am now eager to plunge back in to my mountain of fantasy-tinged unread books.
To see the rules, or join the challenge, go to Carl's site. Here they are in brief:
There are three quests you can follow in your journey through the four relevant genres of fantasy, folklore, fairy tales, and mythology.
- Quest 1: Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time II criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.
- Quest 2: Read at least one book from each of the four categories. In this quest you will be reading 4 books total: one fantasy, one folklore, one fairy tale, and one mythology.
- Quest 3: Fulfill the requirements for Quest the First or Quest the Second AND top it off with a June reading of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
This year I am again going for Quest 1. Here is a short list of five, with a few alternates thrown in:
- Ovid Metamorphoses
- Octavia Butler Parable of the Talents
- Ursula K. Le Guin The Left Hand of Darkness
- Joseph Campbell The Hero with a Thousand Faces
- Susanna Clarke The Ladies of Grace Adieu
- Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
- A Sudden, Wild Magic by Diana Wynn Jones
- Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
- The Complete Greek Tragedies: Sophocles II (Ajax, The Women of Trachis, Electra & Philoctetes)