16 October 2011

Eclectic Tastes

I just read one of those books I picked up at the book sale, the pink one on the top of the stack in the picture. It's called "The Frog Princess", by E. D. Baker, and turns out to have been the inspiration behind Disney's "Princess and the Frog" movie. Inspiration only - there's not a whole lot of resemblance between the two stories, apart from the basic idea of a girl kissing a froggified prince and turning into a frog herself, and then having to find a way to un-froggify herself and the prince. In fact, they're both really nice stories based on that idea, each enjoyable in their own way. (Oh, cute: I didn't realize that it was Oprah Winfrey who did the voice for the princess' mother in the movie! The things you can find out online...)

Anyway, I picked up that book at the sale because it looked like it might be a fun read. And it was, too, so much so that I've now got the next two books in the series on hold at the library. They have something to do with breaking the curse on the princess' aunt's long-lost boyfriend, who, at the end of the first story, is left as a turquoise-coloured otter (yup - the book's called "Dragon's Breath"), and with breaking the curse on the princess' family's women, who are doomed to turn into hideous hags if sometime after their sixteenth birthday they touch any flower at all ("Once Upon a Curse"). I always like it when I find a good new series to read; this one is promising. Reminds me of the time when we found Patricia Wrede's "Dealing with Dragons" and its sequels, about a princess who doesn't want to learn such princessy skills as how to faint or how to be rescued, and runs away to become a dragon's housekeeper instead. I highly recommend it to strong-minded girls of any age, or ones who could use being a little more strong-minded, or any girl or boy who just likes a good story with dragons and knights and princesses and cooking and such-like.

Speaking of strong-minded, my other read today (other than "Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life"), was "The Renaissance Soul" by Margaret Lobenstine. In case you're wondering, Renaissance Souls are people who have so many interests, they have a hard time choosing between them. They go to library book sales and pick up cookbooks, fantasy novels, gardening books, art books, travel guides, literature classics, and Snoopy books, with reckless abandon. (Stop snickering, people, I wasn't referring to myself. At all. Nope.) That's also known as having Eclectic Tastes, which is a handy thing to have, because it assures you never run out of things to do. It can also be a bit inconvenient, because it assures you never run out of things to do. Or read, for that matter. So much to read, so little lifetime!

Incidentally, Steve likes that "Frog Princess" book, too. Here is Benjamin reading it to him and Yorick. (Steve can read, of course, but it's a bit hard for him; I think he might be dyslexic.)

Life, the Universe, and Eclectic Tastes. What does your stuffed bear like to read?


  1. Thanks for those titles. Going to see if the libary has "The Renaissance Soul". I was just thinking to myself yesterday (after canning the last thing I'm canning this year but before heading to the garden to do more compost and see about planting the rest of the cover crops) that I was grateful to be done all the "summery" things because now I could sit and knit and use up some of that yarn stash. Then the thought popped into my mind that I didn't have to do Everything. So, I compromised with my mind and decided I would give up sock knitting altogether and that I would mostly just knit to felt. Perhaps that book will help me focus? I hope it won't encourage me further. ;-)

  2. Yes, of course the library has "The Renaissance Soul" - where do you think I got it? :)Yes, I think that book might well help you focus. It talks about finding four "focal points" to work with at one time, and not worry about the rest. The thing about not "having" to do "everything", that's exactly been my learning curve - it's very freeing.

  3. Eclectic tastes are great. Variety is the spice of life, right? ps: good to see Steve is in a good mood today.:)

  4. Yes, I think he got over his snit from last week. And, definitely, I like variety in my spices, too! :)