Originally, I had actually thought that this would be the most difficult colour for me to gather, but I had a surprising number of yellow books tucked onto various shelves and piles around our flat.
See the Red book pile here.
See the Orange book pile here.
Let’s continue with the book rainbow!
I did perhaps cheat a little bit as I also included gold and yellowish shades.
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
I bet you think you know this story.
You don’t. The real one’s much more gory.
From Cinderella and Goldilocks to Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs, wicked beasts, brazen crooks and a ghastly giant star in these hilarious nursery rhymes with BITE!
Love these poems so much and have loved them since I first came across them in primary school. The irreverence of twisting familiar fairy tales into something new and original sparked a lifelong interest in fairy tale retellings and ‘fractured’ fairy tales. My old copy was falling apart so I treated myself to a new copy, this one complete with colour illustrations. This is a book I read with my class every year when we’re studying traditional tales and it never fails to get great reactions!
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Introducing an instant classic—master storyteller Neil Gaiman presents a dazzling version of the great Norse myths.
Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly reincarnating Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, the son of giants, a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. From Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerges the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
Wanted to read this as soon as I saw it – have always loved mythology, with Norse mythology one of my favourites. I have recently read a few stories inspired by Norse Mythology (e.g. The Monstrous Child). Neil Gaiman’s retellings were irreverent and humorous, sure to be enjoyed by new readers as well as converted fans.
Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World by Nicholas Ostler
An unusual and authoritative ‘natural history of languages’ that narrates the ways in which one language has superseded or outlasted another at different times in history. The story of the world in the last five thousand years is above all the story of its languages. Some shared language is what binds any community together, and makes possible both the living of a common history and the telling of it. Yet, the history of the world’s great languages has rarely been examined. Empires of the Word is the first to bring together the tales in all their glorious variety: the amazing innovations – in education, culture and diplomacy – devised by speakers in the Middle East; the uncanny resilience of Chinese throughout twenty centuries of invasions; the progress of Sanskrit from north India to Java and Japan; the struggle that gave birth to the languages of modern Europe; and the global spread of English.
This is a fascinating book, which I have dipped into numerous times over the years. Am thinking that I am actually due a reread…
It lend itself well to reading a chapter at a time, rather than in one go, and makes lots of interesting links between languages. While some of it is speculative because of a lack of an archaeological record for language, I did enjoy thinking about the possibilities.
China: A History by John Keay
This narrative history of China takes in everything from the earliest times to the present day. The book is informed by a wide knowledge of the Asian context and an approach devoid of Euro-centric bias. The book also examines the many non-Chinese elements in China’s history, such as the impact of Buddhism, foreign trade, etc.
Haven’t read this cover to cover, just the chapters that interested me at the time. I have read a number of books by John Keay and have found them all very accessible and enjoyable to read. This book gives a great overview of Chinese history, although it relies heavily on literary sources and there have been some more recent archaeological discoveries that could provide another view. I read bits of this while doing the online courses about Chinese history offered by Harvard University.
Have you read any of these books?
Do you have any yellow books on your shelves that you would recommend?
See my book review for a yellow book which I gained after I took this picture, Sunflowers in February.