Hello, I am Samantha. Nice to meet you. I’ve just started working at General Books and this is my first blog entry. Enjoy!
“Definition: 1 : a delusion that one has become a wolf
2 : the assumption of the form and characteristics of a wolf held to be possible by witchcraft or magic”
3 : my new favorite word
4 : the thread which connects my latest pleasure reading
Origin: “New Latin lycanthropia, from Greek lykanthrōpia, from lykanthrōpos werewolf, from lykos wolf + anthrōpos human being. First Known Use: 1594”
It seems fitting that werewolves factor into my reading at this wonderful time of year when Halloween is not far a way and the current magical transformation of the season known as Autumn (or Fall), it’s also my favorite time of year. I was recently assigned the reading of “Bisclavret”, a lai (which is a fancy Old French term for a lyrical poem that tells a story of adventure and romance) by Marie de France. In “Bisclavret” a chevalier (a lovely French word for knight) is betrayed by his wife after she discovers the dark secret as to why he disappears for three nights of every week. Bisclavret then seeks justice while trapped in the form of a wolf and running for his life. I would suggest reading this captivating poem in a room lit by candle or lantern light.
Just after reading this poem I picked up “Shiver” by Maggie Stiefvater, who is coming to visit the UConn Co-op in her Raven Boys Tour on September 20th at 1:30pm (Don’t miss it!). I picked up “Shiver” after reading some of Stiefvater’s stories in “The Curiousities: A Collection of stories by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff”. I am already enamored of Stiefvater’s delightful way of spinning folklore, magic and mystery. So far I’m quite enjoying “Shiver”, a story about a young girl named Grace and her mysterious connection to Sam, a young man by summer but a wolf by winter. It’s difficult sometimes to find a writer that can pull you fully into a story; you literally shiver because you can feel the snow and hear the haunting howls of the wolves.
If you are now hunting for the spooky allure of a lycanthropic tale to sink your teeth into look for these books at your beloved UConn Co-op:
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Lais of Marie de France translated by Glyn S. Burgess (Look for Bisclavret)
Best Fairy Stories of the World with introduction by Marcus Clapham (Take another look at Little Red Riding Hood)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Odds are Good by Bruce Coville*
The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice*
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause*
* Books that feature wolves and werewolves by great authors that I have yet to read