cauldron carriers


Here you’ll find a treasure of books that have been in my library for years.

I’ve put The Tower Princess into the spotlight because the memoir expresses my first experience of writing “wonderlit” and living into a fairy tale. Kirkus has called it “an uplifting, unconventional and deeply imaginative remembrance.”

The Tower Princess Book
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The Tower Princess

A wise, humorous, poignant memoir that shows how fairy tales can be healing. The author changes her narrative of chronic pain by delving into the story of Rapunzel. Reader beware: this is no Disney-escape fairy-fluff. Michelle Tocher blazes a trail into the interior world of the fairy tale to meet her pain and lighten her burdened heart. Through her fertile imagination and a coterie of fairy godmothers, she brilliantly lays bare the inner treasure we can all claim, especially in hard times.

With exquisite illustrations by Richard Row. Available for purchase here on Amazon.

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The Tower Princess REVIEWS

What Readers Say about The Tower Princess...

“Michelle Tocher takes us into the deep inner life of fairy tales, showing us how a true princess is not a passive girl in a prom dress, but a woman of courage whose love can restore the heart of the world.”

– Ellen Jaffe, Skinny-Dipping with the Muse

“Reader beware. This is no Disney-escape fairy fluff. Michelle Tocher’s marriage of personal and mythic storylines is tinder that sparks deep truths about our most basic human needs and fears. Through Tocher’s fertile imagination and her coterie of fairy godmothers, she brilliantly lays bare the inner treasure we can all claim, especially in hard times.”

– Jeannette Hanna, ikonica

“I feel such great wisdom in you, but coming from the inside, from experience, not from erudite studies. Reading this book, I felt as if you (and I) were getting to know your soul, and, by extension, the soul of the world.”

– Annie Jacobsen, novelist and Jungian psychotherapist

“The Tower Princess was a gift to me on many levels. I am certain that hordes of women will identify with the princess as I do. I found myself marking pages and putting little tiny post-its on the sides of the page, leaving bread crumbs to guide me back to a part of the story that touched me. At the same time I couldn’t wait to move forward to see what would happen next…. It’s so wonderful to know someone who is in touch with other worlds.”

– Susan Schroeer

“Thank you for sharing The Tower Princess with me. I find myself devouring it every stolen moment of quiet time. Your voice is honest, clear and courageous. Thank you for reminding me of the truth found in our imaginations.”

– Sareena Hopkins, Canadian Career Development Foundation

From My Library

The following books have been wise companions to me in all my excursions into myths and fairy tales. They’ve inspired me to keep on going when the challenges of life seemed insurmountable. They’ve led me to stunning insights into the power of myth, and they have helped to remind me of what is universally timeless and true.

Bierlein. Living Myths: How Myth Gives Meaning to Human Experience. New York: The Ballantine Publishing Group, 1999.

Barasch, Marc Ian. The Healing Path. New York: The Penguin Group, 1994.

Bettelheim, Bruno. The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. New York: Vintage Books, 1989.

Benjamin, Walter. “The Storyteller” in Illuminations: Essays and Reflections. New York: Schocken Books, 1968.

Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. New York: Bollingen Foundation Inc., 1949.

Campbell, Joseph. Transformations of Myth Through Time. New York: Harper and Row Publisher, 1990.

Campbell, Joseph and Bill Moyers. The Power of Myth. Video series. Mystic Fire Video, 1988.

Eliot, Alexander. The Timeless Myths: How Ancient Legends Influence the World Around Us. New York: The Continuum Publishing Company, 1996.

Frank, Arthur W. The Wounded Storyteller. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Frankl, Victor. Man’s Search for Meaning. New York: Touchstone, 1959.

Gould, Joan. Spinning Straw Into Gold: What Fairy Tales Reveal About the Transformations in a Woman’s Life. New York: Random House, 2005.

Jung, C. G. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. New York: Vintage Books, 1965.

Jung, C. G. The Earth Has a Soul: C.G. Jung on Nature, Technology & Modern Life. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2002.

Kane, Sean. Wisdom of the Mythtellers. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 1994.

Lane, Marica. Picturing the Rose: A Way of Looking at Fairy Tales. H.W. Wilson Co., 1994.

Larsen, Stephen. The Mythic Imagination: The Quest for Meaning through Personal Mythology.  Rochester: Inner Traditions International, 1996.

Luthi, Max. Once Upon a Time: On the Nature of Fairy Tales. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976.

May, Rollo. Man’s Search for Himself. New York: Delta Publishing, 1953.

May, Rollo. The Cry for Myth. New York: Delta, 1991.

Propp, V. Morphology of the Folktale. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968.

Sawyer, Ruth. The Way of the Storyteller. New York: Penguin, 1942.

Tatar, Maria. The Hard Facts of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987.

Tocher, Michelle. Brave Work: A Guide to the Hero’s Journey at Work. Ottawa: Canadian Career Development Foundation, 1998.

Tocher, Michelle. How to Ride a Dragon: Women with Breast Cancer Tell Their Stories. Toronto: Key Porter, 2001.

Tolkien, J.R.R. Tree and Leaf. London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1964.

Travers, P.L. What the Bee Knows: Reflections on Myth, Symbol and Story. London: Penguin Books, 1993.

Von Franz, Marie-Louise. The Interpretation of Fairy Tales. Boston: Shambhala, 1996.

Zipes, Jack. Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk & Fairy Tales. Lexington: The University of Kentucky Press, 1979.

Zipes, Jack. Why Fairy Tales Stick: The Evolution and Relevance of a Genre. New York: Taylor & Francis Group, 2006.

Fairy Tale Collections

Cole, Joanna (ed). Best Loved Folktales of the World. New York: Random House, 1983.

Graves, Robert. The Greek Myths, vols. 1 and 2. Middlesex: Penguin Books Ltd., 1960.

Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales. New York: Pantheon Books Inc., 1994.

Hamilton, Edith. Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes. New York: Penguin Books Inc., 1940.

Kane, Alice. The Dreamer Awakes. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 1995.

Lang, Andrew. The Coloured Fairy Books. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1965.

Leeming, David Adams. Mythology: The Voyage of the Hero. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Opie, Iona and Peter (eds). The Classic Fairy Tales. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.

Pinkola Estes, Clarissa. Women Who Run with the Wolves. New York: Ballantine Books, 1992

Tatar, Maria, ed. The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2002.

Yolen, Jane (ed). Favorite Folktales from Around the World. New York: Pantheon Books, 1986.

Recommended Symbol Dictionaries and Reference Material

Chevalier, Jean and Gheerbrant, Alain. The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols. London: The Penguin Group, 1996.

Cirlot, J.E. A Dictionary of Symbols. 2nd ed. Translated by Jack Sage. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962.

Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend. San Francsico: HarperSanFrancisco, 1972.

Walker, Barbara. The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993.