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Thursday, September 25, 2008

typing clunky

I'm in Washington DC, and it's chilly and rainy. The weather forecast for Saturday is not quite as chilly but still rainy, which may affect the Book Festival. We'll see...

Before I flew out I had a wonderful lunch at It's Greek To Me with the winners (two from Mexico, two from the UK) of a Beowulf movie competition, which had flown them to Minneapolis. The English couple told me that enough time had passed since they entered the competition that they had assumed the email from an unfamiliar address that came in telling them they had won a trip to America was Spam. And then the visiting Miss Cat told us how she had entered a competition to win Johnny Cash's guitar, and won it... and then deleted every email that came in letting her know. There's a moral in there somewhere, probably.

Here's the Birdchick's account (and films) of yesterday's bee-harvest with added National Public Radio.

It's Banned Books Week. The 2007 Most challenged books list is up -- Toni Morrison is off the list, Philip Pullman is on (The Golden Compass, challenged for its "religious viewpoint")

The most frequently challenged authors of 2007,

1) Robert Cormier
2) Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
3) Mark Twain
4) Toni Morrison
5) Philip Pullman
6) Kevin Henkes
7) Lois Lowry
8) Chris Crutcher
9) Lauren Myracle
10) Joann Sfar


And once again, I suspect that I'm not trying hard enough. I'm probably not even in the top thousand.

I'm glad the ALA keeps track. I'm glad they still fight to stop books being banned. And I'm deeply, happily proud of Mark Twain, who is still raising hackles and tweaking noses 99 years after his death.

(Here's the ALA Poster of me, a photo Maddy disliked so much when she saw it on the wall of her school recently that she photocopied a head from another photo of me, took it to school and carefully taped it over the head of this one, much to the puzzlement of her teacher.)

I'm typing as I did when I was a teenager -- practically two fingered, with just my forefinger on my right hand and random fingers on my left. It seems to work, although it's slightly slower than normal. (The alternative is typing more or less properly, but as soon as the middle finger on the right hand gets involved, either it hurts or, more usually, because it's in its little metal case, I hit more keys than I intended to.)

I've loved Chris Riddell's artwork since I randomly picked up a copy of the Edge Chronicles in Japan, so I was wondering if his version of the Graveyard Book cover will only be available in the U.K. or will I have to pay expensive international shipping if I want to obtain a copy?

For now, the only edition with Chris's artwork in is the Bloomsbury one, which is going to be available in the UK, and, along with the US version, is already creeping onto the shelves in an export edition in places like Singapore and the Philippines (which means I've been getting some surprised and delighted queries from people in those places).

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