28 December 2015


Grisu: Watchdog

This year, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the little patron saints of Shredded Cheddar, with the debut of a whole new blog series! I've picked a cartoon because little innocents can't see a cartoon without knowing it is for them--and since children should have good cartoons, I have selected what is arguably one of the greatest cartoons of all time.

When I first wrote about Grisu, I mentioned that the main motivation of his character is to be a pompiere or Feuerwehrmann. It's a simple enough dream, and if the supporting characters didn't keep trying to get him to do other things, the story could have been told in a streamlined two-hour animated feature instead of over twenty-eight ten-minute episodes. As it stands, we can think of Grisu as Dirty Jobs with a little dragon standing in for Mike Rowe (or Peter Schmeichel =P).

As I've already mentioned, this is an Italian cartoon with a fantastic German dub, so I'll be watching it in both languages. I like to think that Grisu is pretty much universal, though the changes from Italian to German can also be quite revealing of the differences between the two cultures.

27 December 2015


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 136

Merry Christmas! I wish I could say that all sorts of traditional Christmas things are the reasons I haven't been able to update my blog as often as I'd like . . . but let's not waste any more time! Today we meet our latest folk hero, Bella Fronte or Fair Brow, who, with a nickname like that, surprised me by turning out to be male rather than female.

20 December 2015


Catching Up with the Children

As you may have noticed, I love books that fall into the Middle Grade and Young Adult categories--either because I'm wonderfully young at heart or just incapable of growing up. (Take your pick!) Most of the books on my (very) long TBR shelf are MG and YA titles, and most of those are old. That is, they are books that came out before I was too young to read, achieved enough classic status to stick around when I got literate, and still had to wait a few more years to get read after I bought them because I felt bad about not having read them earlier. (Sometimes I want to kick myself.) While childhood is the logical "right time" to fall in love with books that were written for children, there is no reason why an adult couldn't have a similar magical experience. (Right?) It was with this optimistic thought that I plunged into the following three novels . . .

3 Children's Books
It Was Fun to Read as an Adult

17 December 2015


Theme Thursday 19

After today, there are only two more Thursdays left in 2015, but this old meme is something I'm happy to take my time CLEARING. It would be nice, though, to get through 2011 next year. We move one step closer to that goal today, with the theme from 28 April 2011.

This Week's Theme:

14 December 2015


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 135

Giovannin senza paura, the story which opens Italo Calvino's wonderful collection of Italian folktales, was chosen for that honour because pretty much every child in Italy has grown up with it. What did differ from region to region was what "Dauntless Little John" would have had to face in the haunted palace where he spent the night. (Above is the cover of a retelling by another author who grew up with ghosts.) If you think about it, any dark creature would do without altering the main story much--but when Calvino chose, he sided with whimsy rather than horror. E mi piace tanto.

13 December 2015


Rose Spotting

In case Leigh Greenwood's Rose wasn't rose enough for Theresian purists, I present another that recently came my way . . .

That's the box in which my brother put his birthday present for me. He chose it knowing nothing about my novena and having completely forgotten that St. Therese of the Child Jesus and I have anything to do with each other. I'm totally counting this as another heavenly reply.

And now you may be wondering what was inside the box . . .

09 December 2015


Wishing Once More

See what other books people are wishing for this Wednesday
@ Pen to Paper

If you remember the big photo from my 2015 TBR Challenge, you'll understand why I haven't been wishing for books lately. The last thing I need is more stuff TO CLEAR!

But if you remember the last time I linked up to Wishlist Wednesday, nearly a year and a half ago, then you also know the original reason: I only wish for books that I've tried and failed to get on my own, and even then, I don't get them!

Yet you don't have to remember all the way back to when this meme was called "On My Wishlist" and hosted on another blog, which was when I wished for the first two books in Leigh Greenwood's Seven Brides series. That was five years ago . . . but I reminded you of it just last week when I finally got both books in one go.

Now that it seems my luck has changed, it is time to wish again--and this time, I am going to town!

08 December 2015


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 134

C'erano due gobbi, fratelli . . .

In case you were wondering about the "random" way I've been choosing the Fiabe Italiane selections . . . I start by looking over the list of all 200 and picking a title that suggests it will be different from the story we've just read. Then I check to see if Italo Calvino's retelling is available online. If it isn't, I choose another story; if it is, I move on to the next step. That next step is finding an English translation of the Calvino. If there isn't one, then it's back to square one; if there is one, then I get ready to announce the title in both Italian and English. And that is how we ended up with I due gobbi or The Two Hunchbacks this week.

05 December 2015


Locus Focus: Take One Hundred Thirty!

Since today's setting is the one that got the Conspiratorial Corners challenge started, I wanted to save it until the end. My timing never works out these days, does it? Yet it's still good that I had a setting in reserve, or else I might have had to skip this week, too. Now I have another fortnight before I feel really desperate again. But perhaps by then I'll have read a certain relevant 2015 TBR Challenge book (Can you guess which one?) and be all caught up.

04 December 2015


Owl Grub Post

Do you remember the Owl Post meme at Eleusinian Mysteries? Heck, do you remember Eleusinian Mysteries? =P Although I get books by post now and then, it has been so long since I've wanted to share my mail with others that the blog which runs my "haul" meme of choice has retired!

Owls may no longer be bringing me books, but grubs definitely are. And the first set that my personal grub dropped off for my library are books that I've wanted for a long, long while.

02 December 2015


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 133

- Che bel granchio, che bel granchio! -

If you've been reading the Italian texts, did you notice that they use dashes instead of quotation marks? =)

I'm sorry for being a bit behind schedule. It feels good to get this post up at last. This week's Italo Calvino retelling is Il principe granchio. In English: The Crab Prince.