Saturday, October 17, 2015

A to Z Challenge Early Theme Special: Do you know any good folktale collections?

This is a Story Saturday post, in which I reveal my 2016 A to Z Challenge theme early,
AND ask for your input.

I have been getting increasingly frustrated about folktale collections.
It's not them, it's me.

I spend a lot of time reading book blogs, following book tweets, and procrastinating on Goodreads. It didn't take long to figure it out that my reading activities fall into a very narrow niche: I love to read traditional stories. I get incredibly excited about upcoming folktale collections, and I go to great lengths to track down the ones that are hard to find. I have quite a few favorites, but I am always on the lookout for more - especially from cultures that I am not very familiar with.

And herein lies the problem:
Folktale collections get very little publicity, and almost no excitement.

Yeah yeah, I know, there are many storytellers and story-lovers out there who share my feelings. But let's face it: Compared to the hype around YA fiction and supernatural romance (for instance), "folktale collections" is not exactly a hopping topic.

But they should be!

In order to promote reading folktales, exploring other cultures, and dusting off some little known volumes full of magic, my 2016 theme for April A to Z will be:


Here is the plan:

1. I want to read a folktale collection for every letter of the alphabet.
2. I want all the books I read to be new for me too (otherwise, where is the fun?)
3. I want the collections to represent as many different cultures and traditions as possible.
4. I want as many as possible to be new or recent editions, raising awareness of the genre and its latest developments.

5. I want to write all my A to Z posts as if I was pitching these books to a wider audience. I want to write posts that highlight all that is exciting, unique, and magical about them. I want to make people want to read them, discover new tales, new worlds to get lost in, and broaden their horizons way beyond the "classics." (If I see one more Cinderella/Snow White/Riding Hood adaptation, I'll scream).

And here is where I need your help.

If you know of any good folktale collections recently published (in the past 1-2 years) or coming out soon (before April 2016), let me know here in the comments, on Twitter, or through my website. I can't promise to fit all suggestions into the final list, but I would nevertheless like to hear about as many as possible! (Yes, it is okay to suggest your own work!)
(I am also happy to read in Spanish)
*Note* If it's your own work, you don't actually have to send me copies. I am happy if you do, but I am also happy to support publishing by buying the books that make the final list.
*Second note* I am probably going to post a full list of the suggested books, regardless of whether they are on the A to Z list.

Let the reading commence!


  1. Sign me up for your AtoZ Challenge ^_^

  2. My friend Bruce Allen just co-translated and Tuttle just published in Aug 2015 Japanese Tales from Times Past:
    Stories of Fantasy and Folklore from the Konjaku Monogatari Shu

  3. Great idea, Csenge! I hope you can find 26 books you haven't read and that are new collections. I look forward to hearing about your progress. I'll keep an eye out for books, too!

  4. Wow, this sounds ambitious and totally amazing. Hopefully you can pull it off! I will definitely keep an eye out for books for you.