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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mailbaggery

The sore throat turned into something chesty and evil. Then all the hot water in the house dried up and went away. Still, my mood is better. And stuff is starting to get done. And I managed somehow get hot water to come out of the taps again. The wind is howling around the house...

Over at The New York Times, this article about SF that US politicians should admit to reading made me smile, althought I thought a few of the descriptions were pushing it.

Dear Mr. Gaiman,In Search of a Book to Read to My Nephew--
Part I
After countless hours of googling bizarre combinations of your name, "children", "books", "favorite", and various other words, I came across a book and its sequel titled GRIMBLE and GRIMBLE AT CHRISTMAS written by Clement Freud (grandson of Sigmund--as I'm sure you know). After discovering these titles, I proceeded to famous internet retailer Amazon.com to discover they, both of them, were out of stock and were "Used & New" with the lowest price being about $45. I then found my way over to eBay, and located a copy of GRIMBLE for... drumroll... $130! In light of these unfriendly prices (I'm cheap, you see) I was hoping you could utilize your "well-known author" powers to possibly influence a publishing company to bring GRIMBLE back in to print, or simply direct me to a website selling them for a reasonable, middle-class friendly price.
Oh, yeah--I almost forgot--can you recommend any other books to read to my five-year-old nephew (I've already read to him CORALINE, and he, as well as I, loved it)?
With much thanks and a fan always,Ben [last name removed by NSA... just kidding]

Actually, and in part because of my lobbying, Grimble was reprinted in the McSweeney's children's anthology with the astonishingly long title. I'd suggest you get the book directly from McSweeney's who tend to have it up very cheaply on their website -- recently they even offered it for nothing (plus postage) although I was too late to put that up here. All profits go to Good Causes too.

(And they have lots of cool stuff that would make nice presents up at http://store.mcsweeneys.net/index.cfm).

Beyond that, it's kind of hard to suggest books for a five-year-old, in the same way that it's hard to suggest books for a 38-year-old. People are different. (I know that at 5 Maddy loved Roald Dahl, for example, and all the Daniel Pinkwater picture books and early chapter books.) B

I really do need to put up some lists of books and authors -- and links to books that recommend other books.

Incidentally, I just noticed that over at the Pinkwater website there are Pinkwater Podcasts which include readings from Fish Whistle, the book that kept Terry Pratchett and me sane during the 1990 Good Omens tour.

Hello! I have a question for you about the signed limited edition of Coraline. According to amazon.com, the release date was November 30th. I pre-ordered mine over two months ago, so I assumed I'd have no problem getting one. But I just got a notice from Amazon saying that my order has been delayed until at least January. This either means that Amazon is sold out, or that the book has been delayed. I'm obvously hoping for the latter, so there's a chance I can still get a copy. Do you have any information on the situation? Thanks!-Brandon

The book was delayed, and it was mostly my fault -- there was a point in there where the box of sheets for me to sign was following me around the world (literally) and it didn't get signed until I got home from the Beowulf touring.

Having said that, I see from http://www.subterraneanpress.com/index.php/2007/12/16/neil-gaiman-update-coraline-shipping-soon/ that the books are going out in the next few days.

(I also understand that the first shipment of Hill House Press Anansi Boys has just arrived in New York from Poland. More information as I get it.)

...

I spoke to Jason Webley, and told him I'd love to put one of his songs up here, and he agreed. So for right now you can download or listen to the complete version of Almost Time To Go from his new CD The Cost of Living at http://www.jasonwebley.com/audio/AlmostTime.mp3.

Guess you never really stuck around
All that long anywhere.
I guess I should have known that you'd skip town.
You always did catch me unawares.
Looking now at your debris,
These trails of paper strewn across the floor,
Towards an open door.
Look at all you've gathered, all you own,

Hold it in your hand, does it weigh more than a single feather?
If the things you feel outsmart the things you know,
It's almost time, it's almost time to go.

Happy-sad in a load of good ways. (Especially if you're writing a book set in a graveyard.) Go and listen to it, or download it....

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