This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a back to school freebie! Given so many great ideas from Broke and the Bookish already, I struggled to choose the right list for today’s topic. Too many books to choose from! When I went to high school, we had to read a new book (usually a classic) every month, and by the time I got around to my own reading, I wanted something a little lighter, a little more fun. So, in the spirit of distraction, I bring you my Top Ten picks for modern day fairy tale fans:
The Turnip Princess by Franz Xaver von Schonwerth
Even children are well versed with the works of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson, have you seen Disney lately? How about something new, a little darker, and a touch mysterious. Similar to his peers, Schonwerth traveled across Bravaria in search of the dark and violent roots buried beneath the prettied layers of the most beloved fairy tales, bringing a new life to a treasured genre. In this volume, you’ll find a rougher, more resourceful breed of women, giving new meaning to classic tales such as Cinderella and Rumpelstiltskin.
The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is the champion of modern day fairy tales, with well known works such as Stardust and Neverwhere, the man is completely brilliant! But, have you read The Sleeper and the Spindle? Interweaving elements from Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, Gaiman, along with illustrator Chis Riddell, will leave you absolutely spellbound as a young queen sets out on a journey of her own, risking it all to save a sleeping princess and deciding, once and for all, her own path in life.
A Wild Swan and Other Tales by Michael Cunningham
From a gingerbread house in the woods to a man with one human arm and a magical swan wing, to a nefarious wizard who would go to any length to procure a child… Cunningham pushes the boundaries of the beloved classics to bring you a devilish, modern spin to well-known villains and lesser known side characters who’ve earned their time in the sun. Along with Yuko Shimizu’s beautiful illustrations, A Wild Swan is not one to miss!
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Chava, a golem made by a disgraced rabbi, and Ahmad, a jinni trapped in an ancient copper flask by a Bedouin wizard, are magically brought together in the streets of New York, forging an unlikely friendship. Though different by nature, their bond will be tested by a powerful threat, “challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.” In making this list, I couldn’t help but add The Golem and the Jinni to my TBR – an obvious choice for fairy tale fans, I can’t believe I missed this gem!
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
An allegorical tale for the ceaseless wars between Saxons and Britons, Ishiguro weaves an enchanting veil as you enter an Arthurian England in which a magical mist has overtaken the realm, wiping away memories and muddying good intentions. From heroic knights to terrifying ogres, The Buried Giant will leave you perfectly mesmerized and heart broken.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
A modern, fantastical take on Cinderella, Cinder is sparky, funny, and charmingly romantic – the modern retelling we’ve all been waiting for. Cinder is one of the most talented mechanics in New Beijing, but she’s also a cyborg. But when her step-sister becomes terminally ill, her life will take a surprising new turn as she befriends the Prince and suddenly finds herself at the middle of an intergalactic war. I can’t wait to read the next installment, Scarlet!
Never Ever by Sara Saedi
A modern, YA-fantasy retelling of Peter Pan, Saedi will take you by surprise as Wylie and her two brothers are whisked away to a magical island off the coast of New York, where they can be seventeen forever. Life is always a party, or so it seems. As tensions rise and islanders go missing, it’s clear her magical hero hasn’t been completely honest – but what dark secrets could he be hiding?
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
Twelve year old David is lost and mourning the death of his mother, finding refuge in the only company he has, his books. As his family falls apart, David’s reality will meld into a fantastical journey into the unknown where heroes and monsters come alive, and childhood innocence remains.
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
If you’re a lover of fairy tales but looking for something darker with a serious dose of female empowerment, look no further. In this volume, Carter retells beloved classics such as Beauty and the Beast and Little Red Riding Hood in a Gothic spin, adding a new sense of sensuality and rebellion, and taking the genre from beloved classics to horrific wonders.
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Set to release September 20th, Vassa in the Night gives the Russian fairy tale, Vassilissa the Beautiful, new life. Retold in modern day Brooklyn, Vassa has one last gift from her late mother: the magical, tough-talking doll, Erg. Together, they’ll need sharp wits and a cunning ferocity to break the witch’s curse and save the neighborhood.
What are your favorite retellings?