The weeks for Carl’s un-Challenge are slipping past. We’re almost a third of the way into the event now, and of course it’s mostly about the books, but there are quests for Short Stories and for the Screen as well.

Screen: Okay, I admit it. Whenever a book appears in a TV show or film, I sit up a little straighter; I love the fact that an actual storybook is at the heart of the action in “Once Upon a Time” .

I was unsure about beginning this series because I’d heard opposing opinions about it, but I found the first three episodes quite entertaining, and I’m looking forward to watching more.

Maybe in another viewing mood, I’d’ve found some aspects of it annoying, but the other option is to giggle. (Surely I’m not the only moody viewer?)

You know, when the similarity between the faraway castle with its fireworks (that Ella, er, Ashley is admiring from a distance) bears an overwhelming resemblance to the Disney-scape that graced our family TV every Sunday evening when I was a girl. But I don’t watch enough shows that make me smile.

For me, this is one of those ensemble-cast shows in which the character who appears to be in the middle of it (Emma Swan) is the character that I find least compelling; so far, the character who most intrigues me is Rumplestilskin (known as Mr. Gold in Storybrook).

Is it just me, or is the most delightful part of the show about the discovery of the connections between the characters as they were and as they are now? Or maybe that’s just because I’ve only watched three episodes.

Shorts: My friend, Jackie, gave me a copy of Joanna Cole’s Best-Loved Folktales of the World about ten years ago, and I’ve taken my sweet time sitting down with it, haven’t I?!

Originally I was thinking that I’d just start at the beginning, but the back has a lovely Index of Categories of Tales, so I’m beginning, instead, with the Talking Animals category:

“Anansi and His Visitor, Turtle” 
A tale from the African Ashanti Tribe, in which Anansi tries to outsmart his dinner guest, Mr. Turtle, only to find himself struggling with his own table manners when he takes his turn as the guest.

“The Hare and the Tortoise”
A tale from Ancient Greece, in which the tortoise foregoes a nap and plods onward, ultimately capturing the pennant and looking smug for the moral snapshot.

“Why There Are Cracks in Tortoise’s Shell”
A tale from the African Baila tribe, in which the tortoise gets all clever with his travel arrangements and finds himself with a completely unexpected method of transport.

Other OUaT Notes: Since I’ve caught up on most of the participants’ reviews, I’ve added scads of titles to my TBR list; I’m not sure I’ll find copies of those for this year’s event, but I’ll be working on it. You’re all reading such great stuff!

Two new possibilities that I’m especially keen on right now?

Charles de Lint’s Dreams Underfoot because Carl’s discussion of a later work in the series got me all worked up about my good — though neglected — intentions of moving to Newford. Am I starting in the right place?

And Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. I wasn’t sure if I would ever get a copy of this (there were 600 holds for it at the library when I finally decided that I wanted to take a look after all), but I lucked into a short-term loan yesterday, and it looks quite magick-y: would you say that it fits with the spirit of this event?

What have you been reading for Once Upon a Time lately?