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Archive for June, 2010

Instant solvation! #plotfinder #finelines #jezebel

That…was fast! It’s On That Dark Night by Carol Beach York. THANK YOU Erin your presence here is both inspiration and honor.

June 30th, 2010 at 4:42 pm

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Plotfinder deux, enjoy your 4th! #plotfinder #finelines #jezebel

Ashley sent this today, which in my laziness has moved it to top of queue. I was already 400 in 90s and am definitely too old to know. Thoughts??? This one is also kind of epic in the crazed associative disorder order of these things — RODDY and CANDLESHOP and literally THREE BLIND MICE:

Hello.
I have been searching for a book that I loved as a young adult and have not been able to locate it. The book is about two teen girls who take a day trip to a small artsy town (I think its Greenwich) for some shopping. One of the girls, (I think her name is Julie) begins to experience some deja vus. It turns out that she lived there in a past life and was accidently killed as a small child by falling into a ravine in a cemetary. Included in the story are a boy named Roddy who was a bully and lost some fingers in a machinery accident, a candleshop, and a music box that plays part of “Three Blind Mice”. As I’m sure you know, it is very frustrating to be unable to find a book you loved as a child. If you are unable to help, can you please help me find someone who can? I read this book in the late 80s – mid-90s

June 30th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

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Think we have a win on one?: #finelines #plotfinder #shelfdiscovery #jezebel

Okay, Bridgit B. says:

Ooh, I know the second one! (I think.) I’m pretty sure it’s “A Matter of Pride” by Dorothy Simpson, if it’s the one where the main character(Janey?) orders some shoes from a mail-order catalog and everyone tells her they’re inappropriate.

Will email original asker and see if this is in fact so. Now the first one is weirdly torturing me? The drag racer/Yale theme rings distant bell.

The book was set in Maryland. The heroine was a cheerleader/all around good girl who gets auctioned off, in a charity auction, to the school bad boy (drag racer) who gets her to skip school and help clean his car. They start to go out and her horizons get broadened by seeing that he is smart, etc. A secondary plot line is her trying to get into Mt. Holyoke and getting wait listed. She also has a brother at Yale who is becoming a hippie and questioning the family’s values and lifestyle.

The book ends with a pregnancy scare and the girl deciding to go to a small school in VA. She and the boy break up and she moves on with her life, but not the one that she took for granted she would have.

My guess is that it was published in the early 70?s. The cover of the book showed a Peter Max bedspread and a princess phone. How I can remember these arcane details and not the character’s names is a mystery to me.

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The books are about a girl who lives on an island off the coast of Maine. In one book, she goes to school barefoot and is shamed by her teacher, whom she later learns to appreciate and who learns to appreciate her. In another book, she goes to the mainland for high school and decides against accounting in favor of the college course. Perhaps also In that book, she saves her money to buy “the book of knowledge” that she sees advertised in a magazine and desperately wants.

June 29th, 2010 at 9:29 am

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The Triumphant Return of Plotfinder! #finelines #shelfdiscovery #jezebel

One of the great sadnesses about leaving Jezebel’s “Fine Lines” series behind is that I also had to retire the Plotfinder series, in which you all sent me your mysterious queries — “Girl on a bus who eats bean sprouts and peanut butter sandwich?” “The Divorce Express!” — and we all solved them.

Plotfinder was one of those weird items that sprang up organically almost from the first column, and I’ve often wondered if it’s because strange details and covers are so much more likely to endure — “Blue dress, orange dress, girl who says Avenue of the Americas instead of Sixth Avenue?” from “The Trouble With Thirteen” are especially persistent with me — than actual titles at that age. Someone could probably do a neurological study on it, and I am not that person! I am just the person in possession of about 100 unsolved queries who was always like “I’ll add it to the queue” and then let it languish for an unacceptable period.

Yesterday I found yet another trove of used YA — this one in Seaburn Books, in Astoria — and was like WAIT — why am I not posting a cover and a Plotfinder with some regularity so we can all enjoy the mystery and wonder thereof? In any case, I am now going to do so. Since I literally have 96 I should probably do one once a day but we’ll space them out. I’ll also see if I can get my publisher to donate some “Shelf Discovery” copies for the winners. For now it is all for the honor and the glory.

Feel free to answer HERE, or to friend Shelf Discovery on FB and answer there. You can also send me an email at jezziefinelines@gmail.com.

These first two come from Betsy P. and Ashley T.:

The book was set in Maryland. The heroine was a cheerleader/all around good girl who gets auctioned off, in a charity auction, to the school bad boy (drag racer) who gets her to skip school and help clean his car. They start to go out and her horizons get broadened by seeing that he is smart, etc. A secondary plot line is her trying to get into Mt. Holyoke and getting wait listed. She also has a brother at Yale who is becoming a hippie and questioning the family’s values and lifestyle.

The book ends with a pregnancy scare and the girl deciding to go to a small school in VA. She and the boy break up and she moves on with her life, but not the one that she took for granted she would have.

My guess is that it was published in the early 70’s. The cover of the book showed a Peter Max bedspread and a princess phone. How I can remember these arcane details and not the character’s names is a mystery to me.

The books are about a girl who lives on an island off the coast of Maine. In one book, she goes to school barefoot and is shamed by her teacher, whom she later learns to appreciate and who learns to appreciate her. In another book, she goes to the mainland for high school and decides against accounting in favor of the college course. Perhaps also In that book, she saves her money to buy “the book of knowledge” that she sees advertised in a magazine and desperately wants.

June 28th, 2010 at 9:50 am

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Will Work for “Like”

If you missed either of my pieces this week, I reviewed Justin Cronin’s delightful The Passage, and also recommended three books to NPR you can use to feel better about failing immediately out of the gate after graduation. I even responded to a piece in which I was quoted because I disagreed with the conclusion! Now I am off to write yet another piece for the fledging, underpaying web culture monster, the landed gentry of which I was hanging out with on a well-stocked roof in Soho last night, wondering how this all had HAPPENED. Is anyone else weirded out how quickly every publication installed that Facebook social app? Is anyone under the impression the site can’t pull all your info when you’re logged in, for the most part? I did just want to put that out there as a warning before I badgered you yet again to click all the recommending options nonetheless.

June 26th, 2010 at 10:54 am

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Before it begins! #crossposted #willsolvethisproblemsoon

I know, I know, I just drafted a massive complaint of those bitches of the MSM yanking my pony. I didn’t say I didn’t enjoy the drama, though! Here’s some recent work:

At the behest of Salon, I Kindle’d Stephenie Meyer’s latest and concluded that, by the third novel-to-movie, the bubble’s off the champagne:

Mega-popular writers today have a hard row to hoe. Fame that, in the old days, would have crested with a spot on morning television has morphed into a sort of media free-for-all. Hollywood and TV attack fresh young authors like tasty kill. Fans treat their works and the authors themselves like some massive World of Storycraft, spinning off reams of their own fan fiction and commentary and pestering the author for updates. It’s not surprising that even the most gracious scribe might do the narrative equivalent of heading off to a cabin in the woods...

It drives me nuts that people don’t get that SATC is kitsch. I’m also interested in how, though we have a zillion shows about marriage, no men are allowed to be in them. This is being interpreted by commenters as some reactionary critique of womankind, which it is not — but vale! Here’s my piece for Politics Daily, my favorite place to commentararize:

Yes, you critics mildly confused by the dramatic headgear, vast apartments and frequent jettings-about of the ladies of the “Sex and the City” franchise can put down your poison pens. It’s an hommage to “The Women” — not an embrace of the fruits of Wall Street. Still, what passed for a witty take on marriage in 1939 makes slightly less sense nowadays. While the gay community is scrambling to get the state benefits that are supposed to accompany a lifelong commitment, heedless beneficiaries of them are fleeing the institution in droves. If that two-year run of sex scandals didn’t make the point, Al and Tipper’s breakup, and now their eldest daughter Karenna’s, too, should have prepared us at last to revisit the idea of till death do us part. The problem is, the husband still doesn’t seem to be part of the equation

Also, this month I am in O! I love O. I can’t tell you how much I love O; I am a subscriber and everything; I gain vast knowledge from that advice column; I skip Suzy because I’m scared to think about my money. I love O!

And the one thing I do not love about O is that they do not make an effort to be online any more than my Grandma Sally. Actually, if I had a Grandma Sally, even she would be way more online, O. Click here for my contribution. This is illegal but you can subscribe and should, too.

Also, when you subscribe, you’ll see on the facing page an interview with Mary Murphy, who’s collected a passel of reactions to “To Kill a Mockingbird” entitled “Scout, Atticus and Boo: A Celebration of 50 Years of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” I am in this book! It will be a documentary! It’s so weird. Dan Rather is in it too, and many others. By which I mean: OPRAH IS IN THIS BOOK.

June 13th, 2010 at 10:34 am

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You Might Be Able to Go Home Again. Maybe.

I am tired of no one paying me. I am tired of blogs being boring. I am opening up Old Hag again. Here’s my essay about why.

June 12th, 2010 at 1:51 pm

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“To Kill a Mockingbird” turns 50

One of the nicest/weirdest parts of BEA 2010 was realizing I was in a book I totally did not know I was in — one with a huge big wall and anniversary edition thinger, yet! The director Mary McDonagh Murphy filmed a wondrous documentary about the fiftieth anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird at BEA last year — and now it’s coming out accompanied by the book Scout, Atticus & Boo: A Celebration of 50 Years of “To Kill a Mockingbird“, which collects all the interviews from the film. So weird to be in a book with DAN RATHER. Updates as they come.

June 1st, 2010 at 8:22 am

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