Showing posts from March, 2009

On My Way (plus, a cover!)

I have officially lost my mind. But that's okay, because very soon I'll be in an airplane, communing with the gods. (Who are in the sky, you know. Airplanes bring you closer to the gods. And the gods give you back your mind if you've lost it [and if you happen to fly by].) Like I said, mind lost, TRUST ME, it's lost; this has been the WEEK OF CRAZY; but: I am on my way. I leave for Bologna today. I'm certain that whatever item it's most important I NOT forget is the item I have forgotten. I will probably not be blogging while I'm away, so this may be my last post for a couple of weeks. However, I'll leave you with one more cover -- the Fire cover in the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand (Gollancz, Fall 2009). As always, I'd love to hear what you think, good or bad! I made sure to post the corresponding Graceling cover above for comparison purposes. I probably won't be responding to comments right away, but I will read them, if not w

A Few Books (And a Few Questions)

I don't know where to start with Melissa Marr's Ink Exchange , and I don't know how to express how much I loved it without giving away spoilers, so I'm not going to say much. I know there are a lot of mixed reactions to the book out there, and I understand that. But my experience of reading it was very emotional, and my take is that it's an important, delicate, beautiful book about survival -- about choosing to live after trauma, even though that means choosing to feel the pain you'd rather numb yourself to. I believe in this book. I found it to be full of heart, feeling, and disturbing truth. Did you read it? What did you think? Next up, I just finished Donna Jo Napoli's The Smile , which takes place in Florence at the turn of the sixteenth century. I don't think it's much of a spoiler for me to tell you that the smile referred to is the Mona Lisa's smile; the novel is Mona Lisa's story, as Napoli imagined it. (Napoli explains in a

Moses Supposes His Toeses Are Roses (But Moses Supposes Erroneously)

So, my sister (secret code name: Cordelia) and I have a lot of deep and meaningful discussions. Often, we find ourselves on the same side of the argument. For example, we've decided that given the choice of living with a whiner, a wino, or a rhino, we would both choose the rhino. And, the other night, while driving out of the parking lot of the dinner theater, we debated whether it would be worse for us to accidentally run over a patron or a matron . We agreed that while both would be dreadful, the matron would somehow be more dreadful. Of course, we don't always agree. I asked Cordelia once which she would rather have, a car that doesn't stop or a car that doesn't go. She chose the car that doesn't stop, on the grounds that at least that car has one more good go left in it. *. . . .* More recently, we disagreed on who's better, the ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov or the Irish step dancer Michael Flatley . I chose Baryshnikov (even though I adore

What must be?: A poll on the topic of our old friend, Ludwig Van

So, I must confess that there are string quartets out there that bore me to tears. However, as I type this, I'm listening to Beethoven's string quartet No. 16 in F, Opus 135, and it does not bore me to tears. It's too much fun. And now, stand back, because I'm going to tell you why. :o) At the top of the score of the last movement of this quartet, Beethoven wrote the words "The Difficult Decision" (except he wrote them in German). Then, he wrote the words, "Muß es sein?" ("Must it be?"). The cello and viola open the movement with three notes that seem to be asking that question: "Must it be?" As the movement continues, you can hear the violins and the cello/viola repeating the question, sometimes passing it back and forth to each other. All the instruments sound very worried about it, very full of angst. Then, a bit later on, right where the piece jumps back into happy, cheerful F major, Beethoven seems to have made his

Fabulous News and a Pretty Picture

Hi all! The news: Graceling is a finalist for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy (the SFWA's award for YA given concurrently with the Nebulas ). Its fellow finalists are Lamplighter , by D.M. Cornish; Savvy , by Ingrid Law; The Adoration of Jenna Fox , by Mary E. Pearson; and, with the best title ever (in my opinion), Flora’s Dare: How a Girl of Spirit Gambles All to Expand Her Vocabulary, Confront a Bouncing Boy Terror, and Try to Save Califa from a Shaky Doom (Despite Being Confined to Her Room) , by Ysabeau S. Wilce. In other words, I'm in fine company -- and why isn't my title 33 words long? :o) Also, Graceling is a nominee for the 2009-2010 Georgia Peach Book Award . Check out the other nominees here , and forgive me for not listing them -- there are 20. The cool thing about this award is that teens in the state of Georgia vote for the winner. The other cool thing is that I'm in the company of Melissa Marr's Wic

On Originality; On Freaking Out; and On the Universe

I guest-posted at Magical Musings on the topic of originality a few days ago. For my post today, I'm referring you to what I wrote over there . In case that bores you, this weekend's This American Life explained the banking crisis in a simple and understandable way that was funny, kind, and only slightly COMPLETELY FRAKKING TERRIFYING. It's here if you're interested. I'm pretty sure their link to listen to the whole episode free online will be up by the time this posts, but if not, check back with them. They always put it up soon after the weekend ends. And in case that frightens you, remember that there's no point freaking out about things we can't control, recall that the sun will explode in five billion years anyway , and comfort yourself with last Friday's gorgeous Astronomy Picture of the Day . Earthshine is one of my favorite sights -- but I never knew what to call it until I saw this photo! Happy Monday, everyone :o)