Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Books, books and more books!!

It's that time again, boys and girls, where the last dregs of my student loan are being splashed on more books than I'm ever likely to read!!!!
I ordered a bunch from and Amazon over the last couple of days, and I also splurged about £20 in Books etc yesterday morning.

I bought the complete collection of Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales. I'm really happy I managed to find this book because I LOVE how the tales have been written. None of this sugar-coated Disney crap. Princesses get beaten, good and bad die, there's violence, sexual references...all sorts.
If you've never read these tales then I'd strongly suggest you give them a go. You get to see some of the origins of tales you know and love - although don't be surprised if events don't go the way you remember - and get a stronger idea of how to write or twist your own short stories either using the tale as the template or just picking out intertextual references. In many cases these tales have been placed after the Bible as literature of great importance (if you're a writer who hasn't read the Bible then you need your head checked). If you like these then I'd suggest you give Perrault's Fairy Tales a try as well. He wrote Red Riding hood, Sleeping Beauty, Bluebeard...There are more, but I can't remember them off the top of my head. They were written as moral tales for children. Red Riding Hood, for example, was about how women should not go off with strange men.
I must get really annoying with this genre, but I LOVE Fairy Tales and all their sinister undertones. Plus the evolution of morals in them. I've got a book of Fairy Tales collected by Angela Carter, a book of tales by Margaret Atwood, photocopies of Perrault's aaaaaannnnddd...

I'm now the proud owner of ALL of Angela Carter's short stories. Most were based on fairy tales but were all given a sensual and rather feminist friendly twist. It's got Nights at the Circus, Love, The Bloody Chamber, Wise Children and Expletives Deleted. I already own a copy of bloody chamber ,back from when I studied it during my A Levels, but it's gotten so worn, faded, battered and annotated that having another copy within this book is more of a blessing than anything. I've got her novel, The Passion of New Eve, to read over the holiday too as part of the whole "read ten novels" homework for the Developing The Novel module at uni in September. I still can't quite get my head around that Weekend Novelist book which really sucks since I'm supposed to be doing the exercises from it. Oh dear!
As for the books I've ordered, well, I'm eagerly awaiting the following:
The Beginning Theory one is a boring text book for the Fiction and Innovative Form module, and I've read The Great Gatsby before but gave my copy to my aunt who loves it so much she won't give it back, so I've had to buy it again.
I'm REALLY looking forward to reading Ali Smith. I have no idea why because I've not read anything by them before, but short stories are short stories and I enjoy them. As for Stop in the name of Pants, well, I'm a big kid at heart. I've been reading the Georgia Nicoloson diary series since I was 14 and I *think* this is either the 8th or 9th book out for it now. They're hilarious beyond all belief, even if they are marked as teenage reading. To be fair, I did start out as a teenage reader of them so I've just as much right to find out what happens in the end.
Anyway, I've nagged on enough now. It's time to go off and get the kettle boiling in time for my parents to get back. It's their birthdays so I'm being the lovey daughter and doing the housework, cooking, and making the tea for the next couple of days. Wahoo and all that jib-jab!
Toodles x
P.S Have some links
Grimm's Fairy Tales online:
Trailer for the Georgia Nicoloson film:
Synopsis for all stories in "Burning your boats:

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