Good morning, book people! It’s sunny & kinda-sorta warm in Cambridge this morning – I actually ran outside! And now I’m home, with my boys, coffee, warm beignets, and a pretty fun day ahead, showing my cousin around town. What more could a girl ask for? Oh, wait…Easter eggs! Fortunately, the Mir-Cat has a few to offer around…
Yesterday, ex-Agent (wow, that makes him sound like a Bond villain) Nathan Bransford posted about virtual witch hunts and respect within the writing community. A must-read.
Agent Kristin Nelson has a short video (1:58 minutes) with a couple of useful query tips. She also has The Book Lantern, an in-depth look at the supporting characters in a story. It’s broken down into “Parents,” “Mean Girl,” and “The Friends,” and is very, very useful. Works as a great checklist for avoiding stereotypes.
SLJ’s A Chair, A Fireplace, & A Tea Cozy has a very well done review of Melina Marchetta’s The Piper’s Son. Marchetta is an Australian author; her first book, Looking for Alibrandi, is on a lot of reading lists back home. SLJ’s review is very positive–which I mostly agree with–though I don’t think Marchetta’s “teen/twenties guy” voice is as strong as her “teen/twenties girl.”
Check out The Big Kahuna Round of SLJ’s Battle of the Kids Books. So far, I’ve only read A Conspiracy of Kings–which I loved–but all these books look good.
And finally, another must read–Library Journal’s Annoyed Librarian on the Devolution of Public Libraries, and privatization. It’s a little old in internet time, but an essential post.
And that’s it, folks. I’ll try and take some more pics of Borders while I’m in town, so we can see how the remaining stores are holding up. Have a great day!Read More
Good morning, book people! I’m wrapping up a big writing project today & Mir & I are properly recovered now (thanks to a series of naps), so I’ll be back to some semblance of normality on the interwebs this week.
Sad news this morning–children’s novelist Diana Wynne Jones died early Saturday morning (UK time). If you haven’t read one of her novels, you need to get out your kindle/nook, or head down to the bookstore today. My favorites (so far)–How’s Moving Castle (different, and better than, the movie), and the Chrestomanci series, particularly The Charmed Lives of Christopher Chant.) There aren’t really words to describe this post about Diana (and if you have ever read her, you know that she is Diana, because reading her is like reading an old friend) by Neil Gaiman, except to say it made me cry.
Emma Bull over at Tor.com also remembers Diana, a woman who,
“told stories the way some people eat ice cream: eagerly, with delight and no self-consciousness. She told them about her family in a way that made them familiar characters in my imaginary world, and she talked about her characters as if they were family.” (via Neil Gaiman)
Here’s a full obituary about Diana from The Guardian, with all the concrete details that entails. It’s a marvelous and detailed essay by Christopher Priest, though, so go here rather than Wikipedia if you’ve never read Diana/want to know more.
Sometime soon–perhaps this week, perhaps next–I’ll post about Diana’s books, and why I love them. She has a new book coming out, Earwig and the Witch, in the UK and Japan, later this year.
The Rejectionist has a short post (as in 100 words sort of short) on qualities that do not a strong female character make. It’s a blitzingly short read, but an essential one.
“Amanda has created such a fresh, unique, fabulous world, and I am absolutely dead set on bringing it to the screen without compromising any of that,” Ms. Tatchell said by telephone from Vancouver, Canada.
The three novels — “Switched,” “Torn” and “Ascend” — follow an emotionally damaged high school girl, Wendy Everly, who realizes that she may not be human. With the help of a boy, Finn Holmes, she discovers the mysterious world of Trylle, which is populated by beautiful trolls.
I’ve heard a bit of griping about Amanda Hocking’s success, so here are a couple of things to remember about her–yes, she’s sold a million copies over nine novels. And yes, she’s made around two million dollars. But she has put in a lot of work, and has hired freelance editors for her books. So while she may’ve been on-trend with her novels, there’s definitely more to her success than that.
And finally, an interview with Diana, and a study project. I love the opening to this first one–the way she says, “Do come in,” makes me feel like I’m cracking a new novel.
On the Miyazaki adaptation of Howl’s Moving Castle (spoilers)
Diana Wynne Jones author study, by Raarbecca, part of a school project. See if you catch the snippet of Howl’s Moving Castle soundtrack a couple of minutes in.
ETA 9:58am: US details for Earwig & the WitchRead More
Book lists are popular–readers love to share what they’re reading and what’s on their TBR list. Traditionally (insofar as there are traditions on the tubes) people have posted written lists on blogs or sites like Goodreads. Lately, though, I’ve noticed another trend: video booklists.
A video booklist is exactly what it sounds like–a list. But instead of including a lot of text, they tend to be book montages, often with a soundtrack that catches the vibe of the overall genre. The one posted below actually goes a little further–because it covers a lot of YA books not out yet, the poster, xxxdancegirlxxx, has included release dates. (She also has video lists for books she’s read.)
Making a list this way seems like a lot of work, but it’s definitely an appealing format. And it’s somewhat limiting–there are time constraints on videos, like connection speed and hosting, and making sure it’s short enough to be interesting but long enough to cover everything.
Would you make a video booklist? What would you include?Read More
Mystery aficionados Barbara Peters and Robert Rosenwald, owners of Poisoned Pen Books and Poisoned Pen Press in Scottsdale, AZ on the state of publishing and how the “medium [influences] the message.”
Great watch if you’re interested in e-books, digital ink, and wireless reading devices.
Roaring Brook Press’ Everything I Need To Know I Learned From A Children’s Book: Life Lessons from Notable People from All Walks of Life brings together more than 100 leaders from the arts, sciences, politics, business and other fields, recalling a children’s book they loved. In this video, editor Anita Silvey discusses the book.
Anita Silvey is a distinguished former publisher of children’s books and was editor of The Horn Book, one of the most prestigious magazines devoted to young people’s literature.
I’ll be back later with video of Bill Cosby from last week’s Eliot-Pearson Awards at Tufts.Read More
The first time I heard Belle & Sebastian’s Storytelling, I stopped dead in the middle of a run. From the very first line of the very first verse, I was sucked in; the lyrics are so, so spot on it was like the duo were actually talking to me. The song is part of a soundtrack for Todd Solondz’ film of the same name where “college and high school serve as the backdrop for two stories about dysfunction and personal turmoil.” I still haven’t seen the movie, but it’s on my (extensive) TBW list.
Picture a scene in your mind
Look at all the people and take note of the setting behind
Listen, watch, and wait
A plot begins to take shape
There’s a story
And then characters will come to you
Relating events as they choose to
But all their words and actions come entirely from you…
Pay particular attention to the last verse. It’s a perfect end note.
Have you seen Storytelling? What did you think? Does this song reflect how you write?
I’ll be back later with a post on Goodreads and the new Scholastic social network, You Are What You Read .Read More