Wednesday, January 31, 2007

This can't miss!

Whenever I get a break from shelving, I like to try to come up with books to pitch to publishers. And today I think I've stumbled upon an idea guaranteed to be a hot seller:

Stuff on My Bad, Painted Cat.

It'll be a book of photos of my cranky cat, painted up to look like—I don't know—a mime or something, covered in stuff I have around my house.

Admit it. It's brilliant.

My New Favorite President

Can you identify the former POTUS who said this:

"Perhaps that study of literature is fullest which we steal from daily duties."

Hmm? Accolades to the person who can.

Monday, January 29, 2007

February Newsletter Literary Couples Quiz: The Answers

A. Mister Darcy (Lizzie Bennett)
B. Nick Charles (Nora Charles)
C. Lady (The Tramp)
D. Dashiell Hammet (Lillian Hellman)
E. Romeo (Juliet)
F. Catherine (Heathcliff)
G. Gertrude Stein (Alice B. Toklas)
H. W.H. Auden (Chester Kallman)
I. Eloise (Abelard)
J. Dante (Beatrice)
K. Tom Sawyer (Becky Thatcher)
L. Scarlett O’Hara (Charles Hamilton, Frank Kennedy and Rhett Butler)
M. Anais Nin (Henry Miller)
N. F. Scott Fitzgerald (Zelda)
O. Sylvia Plath (Ted Hughes)
P. Donald Hall (Jane Kenyon)
Q. Jonathan Safran Foer (Nicole Krauss)
R. Virginia Woolf (Leonard Woolf)
S. Byron Katie (Stephen Mitchell)
T. Harold Pinter (Antonia Fraser)
U. Michael Frayne (Claire Tomkins)
V. Susan Sontag (Annie Leibovitz)\
W. Michael Chabon (Ayelett Waldman)
X. Vendela Vida (Dave Eggers)
Y. Ayun Halladay (Greg Kotis)
Z. Jane Eyre (Mister Rochester)

Ed's Roundup

Some really amazing stuff in today's roundup from Ed Champion. Of particular interest: the link to this fascinating blog by a fiction writer dealing with a stroke, and this Tetris-themed bit of vandalism in Denver.

(Oh, and Wonder Woman is not the most boring of all comic book characters. Cut off his hand. Have him grow a beard. It doesn't matter: Aquaman is the dullest superhero around.)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Staff favorites

Originally uploaded by ubs_blogger.

I'd rather be reading...

Originally uploaded by ubs_blogger.
If today I was just sitting around reading, I think I'd be reading one of these two titles.

It would either be the new book of poems by Dean Young, Embryoyo. Here's a sample line from "Sean Penn Anti-Ode":

"Must Sean Penn always look like he's squeezing/the last drops out of a sponge and the sponge/is his face? Even the back of his head grimaces."

Dean Young is awesome. Even though he's not this Dean Young.

Or it would be Move Under Ground by Nick Mamatas. In Move Under Ground, Jack Kerouac and a ragtag band of beats must save the world from the Elder Gods of H.P. Lovecraft bizarre Cthulhu stories. I also eagerly await Under My Roof, the next Mamatas book, due any day now.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

ALA announces literary award winners

The children's department is all abuzz regarding the American Library Association's announcement on Monday of the outstanding books of 2006. It's especially exciting because two of the authors honored are local! Laura McGee Kvanosky snagged the Theodor Seuss Geisel Beginning Reader Award for Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways, and Kirby Larson received a Newbery Honor for Hattie Big Sky. Congratulations, ladies!

Meanwhile, we're knee deep in deliberations for awards of our own. The Ubies, highlighting our favorite picture book and children's novel of 2006, will be announced very soon!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Best of 2006 Booklist!

Seriously! Someone has compiled—get this—a list of good books from 2006.

It's a nice one, too. The fiction list is filled with titles I regret not having picked up yet.

I'd rather be reading...

Originally uploaded by ubs_blogger.
Some days, that post title is truer than others. Stressed out with all the shelving, today I'd much rather be reading.

Something funny would do the trick. Probably Mortified: Real Words. Real People. Real Pathetic. by David Nadelberg would work like a charm.

It's a collection of true-life documents—notes, journal entries—introduced by their older, wiser authors. Here, for example, is a bit of 11-year-old wisdom from Stacey Grenrock Woods:

"Like most eleven-year-olds, I thought I was very deep. I thought I had a sparkling wit and a keen eye for observation—like a tween Garrison Keillor."

Stacey on...Time
"Tuesday is an okay day. Not great though. It's sort of like Monday. Only...a day later."

Stacey on...Science
"Noise is like the air being filled with sounds...that you hear."

Stacey on...Celebrity Endorsements
"Florence Henderson makes me sick with her 'Wessonality'."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

We're back!

After some time away—and some time blocked by the ever-vigilant, anti-SPAM forces here at Blogger—this blog is back in business.

And we think we even have a name, now! Watch for the announcement by the end of the month.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Happy Birthday, Edgar

It's Edgar Allan Poe's birthday today. That means it is as good a day as any to read Angela Carter's wonderfully bleak story, "The Cabinet of Edgar Allan Poe" (available in her book Burning Your Boats: Collected Stories). Here's the first paragraph:

"Imagine Poe in the Republic! when he possesses none of its virtues; no Spartan, he. Each time he tilts the jug to greet the austere morning, his sober friends reluctantly concur: 'No man is safe who drinks before breakfast.' Where is the black star of melancholy? Elsewhere; not here. Here it is always morning; stern, democratic light scrubs apparitions off the streets down which his dangerous feet must go."

Here's a tradition of which I was completely unaware.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

ellen raskin news

Big news regarding Ellen Raskin, from Publisher's Weekly:
Stephanie Owens Lurie and Mark McVeigh at Dutton have acquired five books by Newbery Award–winner and The Westing Game author Ellen Raskin in a major six-figure deal negotiated by Alex Glass and John Silbersack at Trident on behalf of the Raskin estate. The books include two new puzzle mystery novels: The Westing Quest, a sequel to The Westing Game, and A Murder for Macaroni and Cheese, a never-before-seen manuscript nearly completed at the author's death in 1984. The deal also includes the reissue of three backlist novels, Figgs & Phantoms, The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel) and The Tattooed Potato.

While, as a rule, I dislike posthumously published half-finished manuscripts, people writing books taking place in another author's "world," and the like, I find myself getting really excited about the prospect of one, possibly two, *new* Ellen Raskin books.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

happy birthday to us!

We turn 107 today! Happy birthday University Book Store! And the sky celebrated by throwing confetti around our building!

Monday, January 08, 2007

a new word in the children's dept

While reading Anita Silvey's new book, 500 Great Books for Teens, the other day, I learned a new word:


Yes! Finally, a succinct way to describe that sex/ drugs/ rock-n-roll (and usually, ultimately, moral/cautionary/thought-provoking) genre of young adult literature I not-so-secretly adore reading. A very short list of grit-lit favorites (because we really could go on and on):

Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block (and here's a cool fan site that has FLB-inspired recipes!)

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (whose new book, Twisted, comes out in March)

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Trigger by Susan Vaught (Whoa. Grit-lit may even be too light of a term...)

tell all your friends!