Early afternoon lull here, and I’ve got so many shreds of discussion fluttering around inside my head that I thought I’d try to catch hold of a few of them and see if they can be stitched into a patchwork post.
Author Gail Gauthier and I have been having an interesting conversation about “negative” and “positive” book reviews. It started in the comments of one of Liz B.’s excellent posts at A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy, and has continued on Gail’s blog. I love what Gail says about abandoning those terms—negative review, positive review—in favor of “analytical response” and “recommendation.” It can be a terribly uncomfortable thing for a writer to voice her frank criticism of another writers’ work; I generally find myself choosing to say nothing at all (on the blog, at least) rather than post anything negative—but I think Gail is completely correct in saying, “I don’t believe a thoughtful discussion of a book’s pros and cons is ‘negative.'” Blogging makes for complicated boundaries, sometimes.
Very exciting Betsy-Tacy news. You know how I’ve lamented their going out of print. This fall the four high-school Betsy books, plus Betsy in the Great World and Betsy’s Wedding, will be reissued in the Harper Perennial Modern Classics line. These will be double-volume books, three in all. I will be laying in a set for each of my daughters. Jennifer Hart of HarperCollins tells me there will be new forewords by Laura Lippman and Meg Cabot, and Anna Quindlan’s excellent foreword will be reprinted in the Great World/Betsy’s Wedding volume. You can get a sneak peek of the wonderful vintage-style covers at Deep Valley Sun—and while you’re there, read up on the Betsy-Tacy convention that will take place in Mankato, Minnesota, this July. I’d love to be there, but it’s the weekend before Comic-con. I must pace myself.
Here’s a post I wrote about my love for the Betsy-Tacy books, especially the (related, but not part of the main B-T series) moving and thoughtful Emily of Deep Valley.
You may already have seen this in my sidebar, but don’t miss Terrible Yellow Eyes, a collection of quite amazing paintings inspired by Where the Wild Things Are. We used to have a set of framed Wild Things prints in our girls’ room; I rescued them from an oversized calendar Harper issued one year. I’d love some of these tribute paintings on the wall!
Suddenly homeschooling? Don’t try to make it like school.
Things I did this week when I wasn’t obsessively scrolling the news
From the Archives: Life on the Trail
Tuesday Morning Booknotes