Monday, January 28, 2008

The Pressure Boys Reunion

FYI, The Cat's Cradle is in Carrboro.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dumb Like a Stump

Friendly Coworker: What's wrong?

Me: I broke my toe.

FC: No, you didn't!

Me: Yeah, I did.

FC: What did you kick?

Me: A snowman.

FC: No, you didn't!

Me: Yeah, I did.

(updated to add the snowman)

That's him. That's the guy.

Friday, January 18, 2008

It's Back, It's Beautiful, and It's In My Bloglines

It's The Readerville Journal 2.0!

Congratulations to Karen Templer for bringing the Journal back. This just makes me insanely happy. All over the internets there is happy book dancing. I'm enough of a geek to be thrilled when I can get fabulous writing about a subject I'm interested in, delivered right into my Bloglines reader.

Plus, I really love Speedy.

What is the atheist version of "godspeed"? Leave a suggestion, if you've got one.

D'Arc Humor

I'd have posted my review sooner if an entire household of sickness hadn't slowed me down. But here it is, finally:

Ren D’Arc suffers an Edward Gorey sort of tragedy when her mother is killed by a stack of Harry Potter books. I’m still cackling over that. Then her grieving father uproots her from NYC, fleeing to the suburbs. Adventures ensue. I love Lauren Baratz-Logsted’s writing for the same reason that I love John Hughes’ brat pack films: fully-realized, quirky, and intriguing secondary characters. Thankfully, Lauren’s suburbs aren’t so uniformly bland and white as Hughes’, so Ren manages to surround herself with a diverse group of people. How Ren finds her way into a new school, new friends, new challenges, and a new adult support system makes for engaging reading on its own. The fillip of a mystery to solve a la Nancy Drew adds a whiff of danger, and provides momentum to the story. Secrets of my Suburban Life is a delightful read.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Congratulations Lauren!


Lauren Baratz-Logsted has a new book released today, and I want everyone to give her some love. Give her lots of love. Give her balloons and champagne. She's fun, she'll enjoy a party.

I've had Secrets of My Suburban Life on order for six months. Ren's mother is crushed by a stack of Harry Potter tomes. Take that, Nancy Drew's (unnamed) mom. In her new, motherless, suburban life, Ren gets involved in a mystery. That's all I know so far. Two days after the book arrives I'll be able to post more.

Lauren became a good friend through Readerville, naturally, where I've discovered and enthused about her books repeatedly. She's done me the great honor of permitting me to be an early reader of several of her manuscripts, both her work for adults and for kids. The single greatest shared reading experience of last year (and probably my life) was reading aloud from the manuscript of the first book in her new series for kids, collectively entitled The Sisters Eight. I had been reporting back to Lauren each night with what the girls loved, and what they wanted more of, and what they thought was coming, and that feedback showed up in later chapters. When the girls discovered that their ideas and suggestions had been incorporated into the books, when they heard me reading out thoughts they had had, filtered and given form by a witty writer, their delight was unspeakable. We howled with laughter. We punched the pillows, we kicked the mattress. We laughed until it hurt.

The frosting in Annie's Adventures: that was the WolfOwl's idea.

(We're currently reading the fourth manuscript in the series. It's also fabulous)

So, I consider Lauren to be the literary godmother of the Offspring, and I fully expect her to get top billing in the acknowledgements of the Possum's first published work. And I'm okay with that.

I love Lauren more than anyone I've never met, and I wish her all the success in the world. Big smooches, dear.

*Joella's post-exam litter seems like an apt image. We all need more "booze-soaked old school feminism".

(Update 1/10/2008) Book has arrived. Now, if I can only put everything else on hold, I can read it.