Saturday, December 27, 2008

Morris Shortlist

The Morris Award is a Brand! New! Award from ALA. It honors the first book published by an unpublished author.

Part of the process includes releasing a shortlist; the winner will be announced at the Youth Media Awards on January 26.

Those finalists are:

A Curse Dark as Goldby Elizabeth C. Bunce, published by Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic;

Graceling by Kristin Cashore, published by Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt;

Absolute Brightness by James Lecesne, published by HarperTeen/Laura Geringer Books;

Madapple by Christina Meldrum, published by Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books;

Me, the Missing, and the Dead by Jenny Valentine, published by HarperTeen.

Melissa at Librarian by Day* is reading the books and discussing them. She's not doing the liked it/didn't like type of post; rather, she's considering each book in terms of why it was selected as a finalist and how it meets the criteria of the Morris Award. Since some of the Newbery controversy revolves around what is (and isn't) the criteria of the Award, it's nice to see someone review with the actual procedures and standards of the Award in mind.

This is one of the good things about the shortlist; it's not just the buzz for these five books, but it's the opportunity to read these titles with a different perspective and to discuss these books and the award.

Other Morris Discussion:

Why, look at that! Carlie has a strong opinion about it. Who'd have thunk?

Jackie at Interactive Reader

Read Roger ponders the value of releasing the shortlist

*And a contributor to this blog

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Difference Between A Diary And An Essay

Over at Jezebel, Sadie says "A good personal essay should illuminate a larger truth through a specific story. A poor one is just a narcissist assuming her experience applies to the whole world."

Or, as I like to say, the second is no different than a Dear Diary entry, and like hearing about someone's dreams or family history, can be kind of boring.

The first kind makes you sit up and go "yes."

Edited: because I am a bad self-editor when in a rush. Sigh. Sorry.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

See Carlie Rant!

Carlie has a righteous rant going on over at Librarilly Blonde.

What about?

A piece in the Washington Post that contains this: "There comes a time in every reader's life when he or she graduates from kids books and young-adult titles to nonfiction with no holds barred and fiction that draws on the full resources of the language in portraying complex human relationships."

Oh, yeah. The writer goes there.

The he asks, "what book made you an adult reader?"

Oh, let me answer! Let me answer!

Harry Potter.

Because that was when I realized: a good book is a good book is a good book. I didn't have to hide reading kids books or YA books. These books weren't "less" than adult books; there is no "graduation", rather, there are simply books.

Books you like, books you don't; books that touch your heart; books that bore you; books that push your thinking, books that reinforce your thinking. And sometimes they are in the adult section, sometimes the teens, sometimes the children's.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Pop Goes the Library Book On Sale!

The book I co-wrote, Pop Goes the Library, is available from the publisher, Information Today, at a special sale rate!

As you can see on the advertisement to the left, the book usually costs $39.50.

The special sale rate is ...

drumroll, please!


That is a 40 percent savings. See Information Today to find out more titles that are part of this "Holiday Blowout Sale."

Follow the Pop The Book tag on this blog to see some of the reviews that have come in about this must-own item!

Lexicon Update

Via Lisnews, I find out the Lexicon is all set to go and be published this January!

Why, pray tell?

"On Thursday, RDR Books officially withdrew its appeal of U.S. District Judge Robert P. Patterson's decision, and Rowling's public relations agency issued a statement favorable to the release of the rewritten lexicon." The news source is none other than Roger Rapaport of RDR publishing and Lexicon editor/author Steve Vander Ark, in Rapaport's local paper, the Muskegon Chronicle.

What does this mean? Have I reconsidered what I said earlier about the appeal not being about the book?

It means the parties to a litigation still have a say in what goes forward in their name, even when lawyers and law centers get involved. I really wish I'd been a fly on the wall for the discussions between Stanford Law Center and RDR about the appeal. I also wonder if SVA had anything to do with this. No, he's not a party. But he's taken a huge beating in fandom over the lawsuit, and the combo of withdrawing the lawsuit and rewriting the Lexicon will, I believe, help his standing in HP fandom.

Note to self: set Google alert for the Stanford Law Center to see what copyright issue and case they get involved with next. For them, it's not about the book; it's about the principles of copyright. So yes, we will be seeing them again!

Second note: Weirdly, the newspaper reporting this buried the money quote, above, deep in the article itself. Like they didn't realize it was the most important part of the story!

Edited to add: the Leaky Cauldron's news release on this from yesterday.

Edited to add again: Will I buy the new book? I'm not sure; I'm on a pretty tight budget at the moment. But I do want to read it!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What Would An Archaeologist Say?

You ever have that moment of "fail" when you read a book?

As a former lawyer, I have that moment when books use the law, both criminal and civil. Carlie experienced it recently with soda. I mean pop.

Charlotte's Library just had that moment with archaeology; and henceforth, makes this offer: So I am offering, FREE OF CHARGE, my services. As a professional archaeologist, I will read any bits of your book that deal with archaeology, and critique them as to their portrayal of the discipline. This will ensure that, when I have the finished book in my hands, I am not thrown out of your fictional world in a fit of annoyance. Sadly, I can't actually be helpful regarding descriptions of past people, places, and civilizations (real archaeologists specialize--I'm pretty good with 17th-century northeastern America, and a few other times and places, but know almost nothing about, say, the Incas).

What is your "area of expertise" that results in a "fail" moment when you read?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Kane Miller

Confession: The reason I "discovered" Kane Miller books is because they were one of the first publishers to contact this blog and offer review copies.

The reason I love them: as it says on the home page, they offer "children's books from around the world." Which means, actually, just that -- children's books originally published in another country, translated, and then published here. The books are great on their own; but are also great because they reflect the cultures were they where originally published.

Fuse #8/SLJ shares what to expect from the Kane Miller Spring 09 books.