Archive for September, 2009
Click for Thursday’s event! That doesn’t quite scan to Partridge in a Pear Tree, but close enough. In any case! My world tour — i.e., Tri-state, mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and midday tour — now concludes where it all began: Word Books in Brooklyn, just two blocks from the breakfast spot where Jezebel EIC Anna Holmes and I decided to do Fine Lines, and where we wandered over in search of some vintage titles to start with. (There actually weren’t any. But still!)
I will soon put up a gallery of all of my travels, without doing any one, two, three, etc. this and that, because I am too tired. (Three emergency warm-weather purchases from Michigan Avenue Gap plus some Benneton boots, you hardy, lying, Chicagoans! Okay, done.) But thank you, thank you all who came and listened to me, asked me questions and, most important, bought the book. You don’t even have to read it, honest.
Frankly, my favorite bookseller at Newark’s Penn Station told me, unprompted, that I was looking very very tired and that I needed to eat something. (“Really?” “Yes — you are not looking fresh!”) I will be wearing some extra under-eye concealer. But I will be funny! I think. Hard to tell — they don’t really laugh in the Midwest.
AND next to my friend Amy’s book at Portland’s Powells!
My interview w/Nancy Pearl online here. Much McMurtry.
I am a little more excited than is strictly meet to announce I AM A SEPTEMBER PICK OF NANCY PEARL!
Here’s the whole review:
Lizzie Skurnick has a much-read blog called Old Hag, but Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading is actually based on her column Fine Lines from Jezebel.com. And reading Shelf Discovery is akin to spending time with an old friend talking about best beloved books from the past. Skurnick, with occasional contributions by Meg Cabot, Laura Lippman, Cecily con Ziegesar, Jennifer Weiner, Margo Rabb, Tayari Jones, and Anna Holmes, briefly describes and discusses many of the books that were hugely popular with girl readers from the 1960s through the 80s. It’s like a trip down memory lane. Here are Skurnick’s reactions to Are You There, God?, It’s Me, Margaret, Judy Blume’s classic tale of adolescence; John D. Fitzgerald’s hilarious The Great Brain, the story of a Catholic family growing up in Mormon Utah in the early 20th century; Jacob Have I Loved, Katherine Paterson’s 1980 weepy that can still bring me to tears when I try to talk about it; Homecoming, surely the best book Cynthia Voigt wrote in a career of writing outstanding teen novels; Joan Aiken’s The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (the essay written about it by Laura Lippman is not to be missed); Summer of Fear by Lois Duncan–which is still intensely scary after all these years. I could go on for pages (or just copy the index) listing all the books it was such a delight to find included. (A few more are Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Paul Zindel’s My Darling, My Hamburger, a thoughtful discussion by Tayari Jones of Judy Blume’s Forever, and more and more and more. The fun of a book like this is not only rediscovering old favorites (I hadn’t thought of the Zindel title in decades), but also recalling all the books that you wish had been included. For me, being probably a decade older than Skurnick, it was some of the older titles from the 1950s–the books by Rosamund du Jardin, Betty Cavanna, Lenora Mattingly Weber, and Mary Stolz, for example. But Lizzie (I feel by the time I get to page 345 of her book that we’re old and dear friends and I can therefore call her by her first name in this review) can still surprise me with her choices: She happens to include MY VERY FAVORITE Louisa May Alcott novel–An Old-Fashioned Girl, surely one of the best books you may not have read because you were too busy crying over Jo marrying Mr. Baer instead of Laurie in Little Women. Reading Shelf Discovery is like opening a space capsule: these were the books that made us what we are, and aren’t we lucky we read them?
I’m also appearing on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd with Nancy (we’re on a first-name basis, apparently) on BlogTalk Radio. To call in, you have to register. This newfangled internet! I shouldn’t be ironic, because I actually DON’T know how to work it. But I have faith in you.
…must tell you I had an incredible time being interviewed by reproductive health advocate Amanda Marcotte, especially once we mutually confirmed that, yes, once the girls of popular culture were allowed to have sex and it wasn’t a big deal. Witness Robby Benson and Lynn Holly Johnson, who ALREADY had an affair with an older sportscaster, go off to do it, unmolested. This will not happen in the Taylor Firth remake.
You think Ice Castles has nothing to do with reproductive health. Ice Castles has something to do with everything.
I have been very slow and slothlike in updating the blog, and for this I blame a trip to Cape Cod, way too much country daintzing at my friend’s wedding and lots and lots expensive jar tuna with cornichons. HOWEVER. First of all, you can see that my events page has been updated with stuff coming up in ENGLEWOOD, NJ, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, and MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN. It will soon be updated with events in CHICAGO, ILLINOIS and NEW ORLEANS, ON THE BAYOU.
I also want to draw your attention to this recent Babble.com interview with the lovely Aimee Pohl. She used ALL MY BEST QUOTES:
You have written a number of books in the Sweet Valley High series. Would you recommend that series for young girls?
Well, I certainly had fun reading it as a girl. I think sometimes series like that are useful to let you know your culture’s preoccupations, as long as you don’t completely absorb them and feel like you have to walk around being a size six and wearing a gold Laveliere necklace. They’re like Cliffs Notes for the subconscious of your particular society and I think kids pick up on how true and untrue they are way more than you would think. I think a lot of this terror over Twilight is just a reflection of how stupid we think girls are, like, “Girls are very stupid. God knows what will happen if they read something stupid!” It’s like they’re all dangling on the precipice of idiocy, or something. But they get it. They have fun with trash, just like we do.
I really want to know why that photo says “5-minute timeout.” I’m sure I deserved one.
Date: Saturday, September 19
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Rockywold-Deephaven Camps
Location: 18 Bacon Road, Holderness, NH