Friday, January 18, 2013


It's snowed in NC! About one inch of ice/snow that will melt in a few hours, but it's seven in the morning and my kids are outside ready to revel in something you mountain people might sneer at.

But it's put me in the mood for winter weather so I'm going to share three books about my favorite fairytale, East of the Sun and West of the Moon. I'm not sure why I love this tale so much, but I think a large part of it is the landscape and atmosphere. Antarctica. Polar Bears. Hidden caves that are palaces inside. Battles in the snow. Troll queens.

My three favorite retellings, in order:

East  by Edith Pattou
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Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
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Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
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Don't the covers make you want to go on a long trek to the North Pole? In a furry coat? On the back of a polar bear?

And I'm briefly going to tell you about one of my favorite adult series (though you've probably heard about them):

The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.

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This is the opposite of ice and snow. It is dust and heat in Botswana. It is the most wonderful female detective of all literature (okay, I haven't read a lot of mysteries with female detectives so this statement is tenuous at best). The mysteries aren't the most wonderful mysteries—this is not Agatha Christie—but Mme Ramotswe's anecdotes on life are always worth the reading. And the people she associates with are simply wonderful. I just read the last one, The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party and thoroughly enjoyed it, but if you haven't tried the series, I would start with book one.

(Okay, after further research, this appears to be a series on HBO now, so you've probably ALL heard of it, but you may not have read it—I'm trying to make myself feel useful here—so read it before you watch the show. Or after.)

Happy Weekend! Happy Reading!

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