It is Wednesday again that means it’s time for a top 5! op 5 Wednesday was created by Ginger Reads Lainey and the group can be found on Goodreads.
This weeks theme is fairy tale retellings or the like. This was a really fun one for me to explore and I dragged a good number off of my shelves and had a real struggle narrowing it down to 5, so I may have cheated slightly (a lot).
I love retellings so let’s get on with the show!
Cannongate Myths Series
I said I was cheating a bit I’ve put the Cannongate Myths in to one category. I’ve read a couple of these and I adore them and I have a few more that I wish to read soon. There are so many good books in this series but the two above are the two I loved most! Girl Meets Boy remains one of my favourite books of all time so yes. This series of retellings is fantastic and I suggest you give them a go!
Wicked Series – Gregory Maguire
Again, a wee bit of a cheat in that this is a series of books. I loved this series. There were flaws in it but as a four book series it was one of the most incredible I’ve read and one I really want to reread. Wicked is the book that the musical of the same name was based off of and it’s a retelling, or rather a prequel, to the Oz series by L. Frank Baum. The Wizard of Oz is one of my favourite books so, naturally when I went in to this initially I was dubious but it was incredible. It is a lot more adult than the series by Baum and it did take me a huge amount of time to actually get through but I loved this on the whole. Oddly I checked goodreads and I gave the fourth book a 2* rating so I really do want to go back and reread this and see if a few years on my head will change that opinion!
Gregory Maguire has written a number of great retellings that I want to explore, recently he released After Alice so I will have to check that one out!
Dorothy Must Die Series – Danielle Paige
Another Oz retelling! Surprise surprise. There are a number of short stories associated with this series that I really need to read and the third book is due out next year. Basically this follows the story of a fractured Oz with Dorothy at the helm. We get this frankly cliche character, Amy, who lands herself in Oz and gets trained by some witches to take down Dorothy. It’s a YA book which, honestly, isn’t my bag but I did enjoy this as a retelling. It’s just a bit of fun!
The Hours – Michael Cunningham
This is a retelling of Mrs Dalloway. I love that book but, if I’m entirely honest, I actually enjoy The Hours more. There’s not really an awful lot I can say about this book, I loved it. It follows three women in various time periods – Virgina Woolf herself, a woman in the 50’s who is reading Mrs Dalloway and finally a woman in the 90s who’s nickname is Mrs Dalloway.
This book explores so many things in such a small space and gah I just adore this book. I don’t think I would have my love of Virginia Woolf without this book. I read this before I read Mrs Dalloway and I think this is a great gateway in to Virginia Woolf’s work, which is somewhat odd to say as it wasn’t written by Woolf and doesn’t really have much bearing on her work aside from borrowing her character in a very discrete way.
This book is one I find myself really wanting to reread right now. One of my best friends claims this is her favourite book and I can completely understand why – her love brushed off on me! Also, I wouldn’t have even discovered this book if it wasn’t for a book swap so thank you to another friend for sending it to me!
Finally, just a note on this, the movie is amazing and remains very true to the book, at least from my memory of it! So check that out too!
A Portable Shelter – Kirsty Logan
I read this in September (I think) and I loved it. It’s a collection of short stories based around Scottish myth and folklore mainly. I adore this. It’s the best short story collection I’ve read this year and is just absolutely incredibly constructed and it was beautiful.
I’m not sure that this is available any more, it was a limited run in hardback but hopefully will be available soon. Well worth picking up if you can find it.
Failing that, The Gracekeepers and her other short story collection, The Rental Heart, are equally as fabulous and have the hint of folklore, myth and fairy tale so do check them out!
So there you have it, my 5(ish) retellings. I’d love to hear about some retellings you’ve read or think I ought to have in my life! There were so many that nearly made this list…!