Ask Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday Troubles by Taisia Kitaiskaia

Ask Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday Troubles

With a strange, otherworldly style, poetic clarity, and striking honesty, Ask Baba Yaga contains beautifully skewed wisdom to be consulted in times of need. Dear Baba Yaga, I think I must crave male attention too much. I fear that, without it, I would feel invisible.   BABA YAGA: When you seek others this way, you are invisible nonetheless. Yr shawl is covered in mirrors...

Title:Ask Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday Troubles
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Ask Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday Troubles Reviews

  • Kirsty

    Oh, how I love this book. There's enough to love in the typewritten notecards, intentional typos and poetic language – but underneath that there's genuine wisdom. I learned a lot from Baba Yaga, and her advice continues to resonate in my daily life.

    This is one of my favourite books of the year (and my all-time favourite book of self-help advice from a fairytale witch).

  • Dani

    This was a book with great potential but poor development.

    I was expecting something quite different from this. It was an effort to finish it, I clawed my way through this book and I'm quite sure Baba Yaga's advice won't stay in my mind long after I finish this review. The format is like a compilation of posts from advice columnists. The only difference is that these questions are answered by a mythological being from the Russian folklore. Her answers are always analogies or cryptic messages, whi

    This was a book with great potential but poor development.

    I was expecting something quite different from this. It was an effort to finish it, I clawed my way through this book and I'm quite sure Baba Yaga's advice won't stay in my mind long after I finish this review. The format is like a compilation of posts from advice columnists. The only difference is that these questions are answered by a mythological being from the Russian folklore. Her answers are always analogies or cryptic messages, which we needed to ponder and read between lines to understand, this I found more strange and exasperating than charming. Overall, the illustrations were beautiful and were definitely what I enjoyed most from this book, however, they will not make me rise my rating.

  • Kirsty

    The idea of

    is far better than its execution, I feel. It is a strange sort of self-help book; questions are posed, which range from 'How do I stop hating everyone?', to 'Should I be reckless?'. These questions are then "answered" by Baba Yaga, the scary and mysterious creature from Russian folklore. Her answers are often quite cryptic, and it is necessary to read between the lines to glean any kind of sense from them. Whilst it is quirky, and rather interesting, it did not live up

    The idea of

    is far better than its execution, I feel. It is a strange sort of self-help book; questions are posed, which range from 'How do I stop hating everyone?', to 'Should I be reckless?'. These questions are then "answered" by Baba Yaga, the scary and mysterious creature from Russian folklore. Her answers are often quite cryptic, and it is necessary to read between the lines to glean any kind of sense from them. Whilst it is quirky, and rather interesting, it did not live up to my expectations, and was really rather strange. The illustrations were by far the most appealing part of the book for me.

  • Patrick Shaw

    I've been a fan of Ask Baba Yaga since its blog days - Baba Yaga is the witchy grandmother I always wanted, and the idea that someone would respond to our day-to-day complaints with poetry and mischievous mysticism tickles me endlessly. These little nuggets make me feel like I'm getting a manicure with the witches in MacBeth. But then I'd find these mysterious slips of language would also disarm me: How many times did I get advice that I didn't understand at the time? Do I understand what's real

    I've been a fan of Ask Baba Yaga since its blog days - Baba Yaga is the witchy grandmother I always wanted, and the idea that someone would respond to our day-to-day complaints with poetry and mischievous mysticism tickles me endlessly. These little nuggets make me feel like I'm getting a manicure with the witches in MacBeth. But then I'd find these mysterious slips of language would also disarm me: How many times did I get advice that I didn't understand at the time? Do I understand what's really happening around me? I found this to be an exciting, unique, genre-defying read.

    If you're looking for a real advice column, you might find Ask Baba Yaga a little disorienting. If you're looking for legit poetry that has sense of humor and old-world mischief, I couldn't recommend this more.

  • Kendra

    If the sly & slippery-tongued mythological ancient Russian witch Baba Yaga reached out through space and time --

    And had an email address --

    And a

    --

    That would be this book.

    is a weird and wonderful poetry project wrapped lovingly in the conceit of an advice column. Illuminated by brilliant flashes of insight, warmth, darkness and humor, this collection is starkly charming and witchy as fuck. Like you're reading

    and eating a maybe-old stew seasoned with

    If the sly & slippery-tongued mythological ancient Russian witch Baba Yaga reached out through space and time --

    And had an email address --

    And a

    --

    That would be this book.

    is a weird and wonderful poetry project wrapped lovingly in the conceit of an advice column. Illuminated by brilliant flashes of insight, warmth, darkness and humor, this collection is starkly charming and witchy as fuck. Like you're reading

    and eating a maybe-old stew seasoned with lots of fennel & rosemary at the edge of a swamp and darkness is falling and you're laughing in a clever way at a dream you half-remember. It's kind of like that. It's half like that. It's entirely a delight.

    5/5; the perfect gift for all your witch-friends & wayward souls.

  • Kimberly Wiggins

    It's brilliant. The author's creative and yet grounded questions and answers transport me to make connections to words and answers I would not have thought to do. To see a new truth, you need a new language - and Baba Yaga delivers!

  • Corey

    Baba Yaga is a Slavic Tarot card come to life. Her advice is one part Ouija board, one part poetry, and one part legit great advice. Definitely recommend this book for anyone who loves modern interpretations of folklore.

  • Katy Horan

    This strangely wonderful book defies genre and category. It's art: a charmingly illustrated book of highly original poetry. Anyone coming to it in search of easily digested, real world advice is going to miss the point completely. Taisia Kitaiskaia ndoesn't simply conjure Baba Yaga, she infuses the storied witch with layers of personality that are, at times, wise, grumpy and vaguely sinister. Trust me, this Baba doesn't care one bit if you find her advice useful or if it makes sense to you, and

    This strangely wonderful book defies genre and category. It's art: a charmingly illustrated book of highly original poetry. Anyone coming to it in search of easily digested, real world advice is going to miss the point completely. Taisia Kitaiskaia ndoesn't simply conjure Baba Yaga, she infuses the storied witch with layers of personality that are, at times, wise, grumpy and vaguely sinister. Trust me, this Baba doesn't care one bit if you find her advice useful or if it makes sense to you, and she will use "yr" instead of "your" whenever she damn well pleases because she's an ancient witch of Russian Folklore...please don't grammar shame her. Kitaiskaia's bizarre treatment of language gives Baba her voice and encourages thoughtful reading (since when is that a bad thing?). This Baba doesn't want to make it easy for you. Where's the fun in that? So approach this book as you would Baba's chicken legged house: with respect and deference...she knows more than you ever will, so give in to this dark, odd and totally special book and maybe then you will actually learn something.

  • Anya

    If Cinderella's fairy godmother were a tough as nails witch who gave no nonsense answers to all your woes to help you out rather than coddling you, she would have been Baba Yaga.

    Russian folklores were one of the most memorable part of my childhood and I still fondly remember that old crone who rode a mortar just for the lulz and lived in the belly of the forest in a hut with chicken legs so I practically squeaked when I saw a review of this book on the language learning side of tumblr.

    I absolu

    If Cinderella's fairy godmother were a tough as nails witch who gave no nonsense answers to all your woes to help you out rather than coddling you, she would have been Baba Yaga.

    Russian folklores were one of the most memorable part of my childhood and I still fondly remember that old crone who rode a mortar just for the lulz and lived in the belly of the forest in a hut with chicken legs so I practically squeaked when I saw a review of this book on the language learning side of tumblr.

    I absolutely love the concept of the book. Can you imagine (one of the three) Baba Yaga(s) chilling in her hut by the stove while she read through all the agony aunt-esque letters addressed to her?

    She's acerbic and imaginative and would have no compunction about calling you a wench when you're being stupid. I absolutely adore her.

    So why the three stars you ask?

    While the concept was brilliant, it didn't translate well on paper. I feel like although the author was able to capture the essence of Baba Yaga Kostianaya Noga, there's only so many times that even she can reply to the same type of problem people suffer from today.

  • Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads

    1. Not a graphic novel. Whoever shelved it as such: you suck.

    2. There's a reason advice columnists only answer a question or two per post, and that reason is any more than that is BORING.

    The wacky combination of modern slang used by the advice seekers and the archaic language Baba Yaga uses in her replies didn't change that truth:

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