The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum – I’m sure you’re all somewhat familiar with this story. But, if you’re basing all your thoughts on it on the Judy Garland movie (like I was), then you’re pretty off base. Dorothy doesn’t even have Ruby slippers in the book! Crazy. But I would highly recommend it. It’s a really quick read. I listened to in as an audio book while I was unpacking and finished it in a few hours. Also, it’s in the public domain so you can get the audio for free if you Google it.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children’s novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of both the popular 1902 Broadway musical and the well-known 1939 film adaptation. The story chronicles the adventures of a young girl named Dorothy Gale in the Land of Oz, after being swept away from her Kansas farm home in a cyclone. The novel is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been widely translated. Its initial success, and the success of the 1902 Broadway musical which Baum adapted from his original story, led to Baum’s writing thirteen more Oz books.
Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson – This book was crazy. It was so kinda creepy, but I couldn’t stop reading it! I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the Bluebeard fairy tale, but this is a retelling that takes place before the Civil War. Very well written, too. It’s one that I’ll be thinking about for awhile. Totally go read it.
When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.
Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.
Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale.