A summer full of stories – reading project

I haven’t really been able to concentrate on longer stories (novels) since lockdown began, but I have been hacking away at short stories and tales quite steadily. I thought I would challenge myself to read (at least) 30 short stories and 30 folk tales in June. Let’s see how this works out! I think the best way to go about it is to update every weekend.

1st June

Short stories

A vine on a house by Ambrose Bierce 5/10 from Evil Roots

I think it’s the second story I have read by Bierce. It is very short so there wasn’t enough time for me to get into the mood. I also sort of saw the twist coming.

The Giant Wistaria by Charlotte Perkins Gilman 6/10 from Evil Roots

I really like the Yellow Wallpaper (That short story was one of the rare good things that came out of our “Introduction to American Literature” course. (I was so not captivated by our lecture’s style that I spent my time counting how many times she said “tremendous” in a class and I gauged it on a “tremendousmeter.” Yeah, I can be mean) and I would like to read more from CPG. I liked the mood of this story, I think it is always a feat to combine bright summer days and ghost stories. I usually prefer short short stories, but with this too I felt it was a bit too short. I wasn’t really surprised by anything. A thing I enjoyed was the way the two temporal plains melted into each other: I love when time is unstable.

Folk tales

Not today

2nd June

Short stories

Not today

Folk tales

I listened to two story telling videos by Laura Packer. I started listening to her storytelling sessions during the lockdown and they did me very good, so I will try to catch up with all her videos. I also became her Patreon because it’s nice to help creators. (Also, more stories!)

Video day 33

The tale of the two suns – Taiwan

(Really liked it, it’s about perseverance and the fact that sometimes we have to do good and fight for something even if we know that it might not bear any fruits in our lives, maybe not even in the lives of our children, but later. This thought has been with me a lot these days.)

The Mouse Bride (not sure about the title) also from Taiwan

Video day 31

The Wizard’s Daughter – Denmark

The Pleiades – Denmark

They are from Danish Fairy Tales by Svendt Gruntvig (I really appreciate that Laura always shows us the books the stories come from.) I’ve found the book on Scribd so I’m going to read it.

I couldn’t sleep so I actually started reading the Danish folk tales I read The Pleiades and

Peter Ox – It was funny sort of but I don’t like when well-meaning people are duped even if it ended well.

Two short tall tales from American folk tales an songs compiled by Richard Chase

The Norther and the Frogs

The Split Dog

June 3

Short stories

The Flowering of the Strange Orchid by H.G. Wells in Evil Roots.

The first Wells story I actually liked. He was in the Mars and the Time travelling collection, but didn’t leave a big impression on me

Folk tales

The Green Knight – Danish folk tale, I really liked it, it has a very detailed plot, would be fun to tell. Favourite moment is the girl asks her father to pass on the message to “the green knight” but she means „green churchyard with green mounds” aka she says she wanted to die, but luckily a real green knight comes and all turns out okay after some complications.

June 4

Short stories

The ship that died  by John Gilbert – From the depth

Interesting story about a ghost ship. Nothing is really explained, so the eerie atmosphere is maintained all along. It feels a bit unfinished though and I noticed some

Folk tales

I continued to listen to Laura – we had a ton of dirty dishes (and I do mean a ton, we barely had anything that wasn’t dirty…) but I washed everything because I just wanted to keep listening to her stories

So I listened to her Wednesday stories

The Seal hunter – Scottish

A very nice tale about a squirrel and how doing even little things can help a lot.

A story about how to become a chief even if you have short legs like me!

I found the book it comes from The girl who married a lion on Biblio for a good price so hop it jumped into my cart. More tales for me!

Laura’s stories from 15th April

Boy vs troll – Sweden I really liked this story and again I found the book it comes from on Biblio for a good price so I will have a ton of books!

Nasrudin, his wife and a pot Actually I didn’t like this story that much first, but thinking back of it I like it better

The King’s Capital – Denmark Again I had troubles falling asleep, so I read one more Danish short story

June 5

Short stories

Professor Jonkin’s cannibal plant by Howard R. Garis from Evil Roots.

Very good, fun light-hearted story I really liked it.

Folk tale

The Hickory toothpick – a tall tale from American folk tales.

I wasn’t a huuuge fan, but I think it can be a fun tale to tell to kids, especially showing them a tooth pick.

June 6th

Short stories

Not today

Folk tales

 Jack and the Witches from American Folk tales

Liked it quite a bit except for the end (all the witches get burnt – what a surprise) I would fancy telling it with a different end

June 7th

Short stories

Rapaccini’s daughter by Nathaniel Hawthorne from Evil Roots. (Or as I called the story in my head: Frapuccino’s daughter.) Well I hated The Scarlet Letter (long story short, I listened to it in audiobook format and the older male narrator saying Hesther’s bosoms every five minutes rubbed me the wrong way) I really really like this story. It gave me yet another idea for a MG/YA story but I have to stop myself from starting new stories… 😀

Folk tales

The gray mare from Norway also her this and the other one from Laura. Really her stories keep me such good company

Figs from Turnip princess and other newly discovered fairy tales I liked this story quite a bit ( I think the ending was so satisfying because Laura has changed it for the better but I will see when I read the book) I wishlisted this book as well but since I already bought 2 folk tale collections and got another few as a present I have to be reasonable.

Laura’s video from some time in March I think it might have been the first session

There is always room for some more – I think it would be fun to tell to children especially that there are animals whose voice they can imitate

The sound of what happens – lovely

Bodies and souls – a really really nice story about the importance of laughter and dance and stories, really love it

A girl with a magic mule Laura’s own fairy tale

Statistics for the week:

Short stories: 6

Folk tales: 22 – wow, I am clearly on a diet of folk tales these days.

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