Reading: Some Kind Of Fairy Tale

Some Kind of Fairy Tale: Magical Fiction Reading Lists for Adults and Plus Size Lounge Wear

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” Stephen King, On Writing a Memoir of the Craft

I spend a lot of my free time reading.

For me, curling up on the sofa with a good book is the ultimate in self care.  It ranks above beauty and pampering, exercising and writing.   Reading even ranks above dog walks, although only marginally.

What I read tends to reflect my mood.  There are times when I want something serious and thought provoking; a book to stir the political or social imagination and thrust me into action.  Look back, these moments are when I am at my happiest and most content.   When my brain is in a place where it can take intellectual stimulation and push that into action.

Now is not that time.   With the house move, uncertainty, long hours working, and constant travelling, my brain requires a different form of stimulation.  It requires escape.  Another world to disappear into and forget my own stresses.    I’ve been this way since a child; sick with a neurological, I spent more time in bed than out in the real world.   My escape then was into history; into the world of the Romans and Gauls, the Mongols or the Tudors.  Phillippa Gregory and Conn Iggulden were my friends and bedside companions.

With these companions, it is no surprise that I went on to study English Literature for my undergraduate degree and then specialising in Medieval Literature for my post-graduate.

Some Kind of Fairy Tale: Magical Fiction Reading Lists for Adults and Plus Size Lounge Wear

Currently, my escapism has fallen into the realms of folk tales and mythology.  I’ve always been drawn to the fantastical elements of folklore and myth where the unexplained is given meaning through the imaginings of the human brain.

Even if science has since challenged the lore of imagination, the tales still hold a certain magic and disappearing into this worlds has become somewhat of an obsession these past few months.

Some Kind of Fairy Tale: Magical Fiction Reading Lists for Adults and Plus Size Lounge Wear

What I’ve been Reading

Katherine Arden, The Winter Night Trilogy is a fantastical blend of folktale with Russian history and adorned with a female protagonist that will leave you with glowing with adventurous rebellion.    Two of the three books have been published and I’ve not been able to put either down; The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower.

Graham Joyce, Some Kind of Fairy Tale is an enchanting tale with elements of Spenser’s The Faerie Queene transformed into a modern story of family relations, loss and a grief.   It is a beautiful and soulful read that is both tragic and heartwarming.

I love short stories and sleep with an anthology of them by bedside table.  They’re so easy to pick up and get lost within for just a half hour and can be easily fitted amongst longer reads.  Currently, Elementals by A. S. Byatt sits in the honoured position.   I’ve long been a fan of Byatt and have read this collection of tales multiple times, yet I never get tired of the intricacies of elemental legends being retold in Byatt’s unique voice.

Sarah Perry’s, The Essex Serpent embodies the mythic coast of South-Eastern England in search of ancient legends during a period of change.  It reveals human emotion and a journey of self awareness following loss.

In Caraval, Stephen Garber blends the lore of the circus with that of the otherworld of the Elves.   Seeped in classical tropes and reminiscent of the Fairy ball itself, this tale is sensationalist and will sweep you away in a world not your own.

And finally my current read; Stephen Fry’s wry retelling of the Greek myths, Mythos is seeped with dry sarcasm as he weaves the tales of the Gods and traces their influence on our modern world.   It is not truly fiction, but reads as many a good tale.  Fry will certainly leave you smirking with amusement.


Have you read any of these? And do you have any fairy tale recommendations?    I’m always on the look out of new reads.





  1. February 14, 2018 / 5:22 pm

    I used to love reading fairy tales when I was younger and never really realised that there were Adult versions too! I need to check out some of your recomendations!

  2. February 14, 2018 / 9:11 pm

    It sounds like you have been reading some interesting books of late. I have to admit there is something about lore and mythology that can really draw me in I am definitely going to have to check out the Stephen Fry book!

  3. February 15, 2018 / 9:28 am

    I like it when fairy tales are reimagined into more of a mythological tale so some of these sound really good. I love the escapism of reading too but just don’t find much time to do it x

  4. February 15, 2018 / 9:50 am

    The winter night trilogy sounds like the perfect kind of tale for me. I love anything adventurous!

  5. February 15, 2018 / 10:27 am

    Ooh! I’m really drawn to mythology too (especially faery lore) and although I’m not an avid reader, these books sound really interesting! I remember reading the ancient Greek myths when I was a kid – but I’m sure Stephen Fry’s retelling is much more interesting and palatable! I’ll definitely be checking it out! xx

  6. Kerry-Ann
    February 15, 2018 / 12:26 pm

    I love reading, I wouldn’t read any of the above books you’ve mention I’m more a romance and swoon kinda gal although I love checking out what others read! 🙂

    Hope you enjoy the books, reading is a great escape that can take you completely away from the world and for that I will always be grateful for books!

    Kerry-Ann 😉 /

  7. February 15, 2018 / 2:50 pm

    I’ve never read anything by Stephen Fry, but I’ve listen to him doing short stories on the Calm app – if his writing is anything like his speech is those, I think I’d really enjoy it 🙂 Reading is one of my favourite past times too, but it’s finding the time that’s difficult 🙁 x

  8. February 15, 2018 / 5:53 pm

    I have just started The Essex Serpent – I’m not that great with fantasy (if that’s the correct genre) but It comes so highly recommended.

  9. Sam Jeffery
    February 15, 2018 / 6:29 pm

    It is really important to take time out to read when you can – I need to actually snuggle down with a book soon!

  10. Helen
    February 15, 2018 / 7:30 pm

    These all sound really interesting reads, especially Steven Frys book. Reading is my way of escaping too, I love losing myself in a book and forgetting about any worries for a while.

  11. February 15, 2018 / 8:52 pm

    You should give Ye God’s a try by Tom Holt a very interesting take on the world of mythology

    Let me know if you do x

  12. February 16, 2018 / 11:27 am

    These sound like great reads, I could do with expanding my collection, I tend to stick to the chic lits x

  13. February 16, 2018 / 2:33 pm

    I know exactly what you mean about reading, I’m exactly the same. Such a valuable thing to do. I’m currently really enjoying Philip Pullman’s first book in The Book of Dust trilogy, and getting a little worried that I’m nearing the end and the second chapter isn’t yet available. So I will need some new reading material soon, and getting recommendations is always a good thing. I hadn’t heard about Mythos as yet, but simply love Stephen Fry and his way of writing. I may just have to go get myself a copy.

  14. February 16, 2018 / 3:25 pm

    Reading is just an escape for me. The Winter Night Trilogy sounds interesting. Good timing, I’m just looking for a good book to read.

  15. February 18, 2018 / 1:35 pm

    I remember hearing about this book when he went on the Graham Norton show, it looked really interesting! x

  16. February 20, 2018 / 9:32 pm

    Reading is pretty much all I do in my free time,its the perfect escape from day to life. The winter s night trilogy is on my wishlist as ive seen a few people reccomend it.

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