"East of the Sun, West of the Moon"

Does the weather/season ever put you in a certain mood or frame of mind? Today, I woke up to a winter wonderland and hurried outside to play in my own personal snowglobe. I love being outside as the snow is falling. Granted, I don't love snow nearly as much when I'm shoveling it or stepping through slush. When it's still new, however, we share a mutual love for one another.

Today's snowfall makes me want to curl up beneath the covers with a winter fairytale, in this case, the Norwegian classic East of the Sun, West of the Moon. You can read the original tale for free on Project Gutenberg, which offers several downloading options, so you can view the title on your computer or your e-reader. Within the last decade, three YA authors have put their own spin on the story: East by Edith Pattou, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George, and Ice by Sarah Beth Durst (which I reviewed last year).

I enjoy all three renditions of the tale, though I have to say that Ice is my favorite of the lot. I like that Durst put her own twist on the story and added an extra layer to it. Plus, her description is so good, you physically feel cold while reading the book because you're right there with Cassie.

Another beautiful version of the fairytale is the children's book illustrated by P.J. Lynch with the original English translation of East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Sir George Webbe Dasent:

The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. I love P.J. Lynch. Apparently, so do Sarah Beth Durst and Jessica Day George. Both authors referred to this version of the fairytale as the one that inspired them to write their own retellings when they interviewed one another in 2009 (Durst's interview of George and George's interview of Durst).

If you aren't convinced that this is a beautiful fairytale full of romance, sneak a peek at some of Lynch's illustrations:

Gorgeous, right? You can preview larger versions of these images as well as scans from his other illustrated books on his website. He also posts his work on his blog, but I'll warn you that he does post nude art there as well. Sadly, this picture book is out of print, but you might be lucky enough to find a used copy at a local store or through an online shop such as AbeBooks...or even Amazon.

Finally, what day is complete without a little music? If you want to continue the cold weather theme, why not turn on some Snow Patrol?

This is one of my favorite groups to listen to. LOVE THEM. Even if you've never heard of the group, you probably HAVE and just don't know it. They've had a lot of their music used in commercials, on TV shows, etc. "Chasing Cars" is perhaps the most-often used song. According to Wikipedia, here are a few places you may have heard their tunes:

The album's third track, "Chasing Cars", was featured on the second season finale of the ABC prime time hit drama Grey's Anatomy on 15 May 2006. A Grey's Anatomy-themed video of the song can be seen at the ABC website. The seventh track, "Make This Go on Forever", was later used in the third season of Grey's Anatomy, at the end of the episode entitled "Walk on Water". The album's tenth track, entitled "Open Your Eyes," was used in the season 4 finale of CBS's Cold Case and in the season 12 finale of ER, also appeared in an episode of The Black Donnellys and also in the second episode of the third season of Grey's Anatomy. The sixth track, "You Could Be Happy", was used at the beginning the episode "Promise" of Smallville's sixth season, as well as in advertisements for Australian soap Neighbours. The single was also used in Doctor Who: Top 5 Christmas Moments and the Season 1 finale of BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey. The first track, "You're All I Have" appears on the soundtrack of the teen film "The Invisible". "Open Your Eyes" was used as The Best Bits song for Celebrity Big Brother 2007 during the final watched by over 7m viewers, the year of the Race Row.

Nothing beats curling up in a warm, cozy bed with a mug of hot cocoa and immersing yourself in a good page-turner, right? (Haha, do you see what I did there? That's totally the tagline that I use for this blog... And yes, I know I'm a geek. ^.~) So what's stopping you? Bring on the Snow Patrol and Norwegian fairytales!


  1. I once wanted to write a retelling of this tale, and got about three chapters into it before I came across "East" and read it and realized I couldn't do any better . ^^

    Hadn't heard of "Ice," I'll have check it out!

  2. I have heard so many great things about this novel. I didn't realize how many covers there were.

    1. No, no, it's three different novels, not three covers! So now that you know, you must read all three, of course! ^.~


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