Thursday, September 18, 2003

"Isabel makes love upon national monuments..."

My hotel is weird. It's so cool and stylish that they have a pretty much nonexistent room service menu, and when you order the hamburger from it, while they do the expensive hotel thing of charging you $20 for it, they also bring it up in a plastic bag of the kind that makes you suspect they picked it up from the burger place next door and charged you (well, AOL Time Warner) $15 to bring it up to your room. Said room is decorated with giant photos of barbie dolls in pyjamas, and is decorated in a style I like to think of as Early Pimp. The imitation wolfskin throw rug on the bed is a particularly interesting touch....

I have a son currently watching the Jay Leno show, because Eddie Izzard's going to be on. "You know," I said, "I don't think I've watched Jay Leno in ages." "Like how long?" he asked. "Er. I think Hugh Grant was on that night to apologise for getting a blowjob from a hooker," I said. He looked at me as if I'd told him that it was back when Jay was still making topical jokes about the Albigensian Crusades, and said that that was a very long time ago, and I agreed that it was.

His college is cancelled tomorrow, due to hurricanes. The train I was going to take out of here has also been cancelled due to hurricanes. Life is certainly interesting.

Hi Neil,
Just curious, when you say the NY Times "tracks" books so if they aren't tracked they won't be listed. Does that mean that there can be books that are huge sellers, best-sellers, that are not on the list? Could, would, the paper purposely not track something? It seems rather scetchy and unethical. Kind of like the electoral college...

Here's a four-year-old article from that explains it fairly accurately: It's a really interesting article.

There are other bestseller lists. The weird thing is simply how important the Times list is perceived as being.

No, I don't believe they'd intentionally not track something. But it's easy for books to fly under the radar.

The Northern Californian Booksellers Association bestseller list is always similar to the Times list in braod strokes but just, well, sharper.

Dear Neil,

Please take pity on a confused librarian and answer the following question: Is the Wolves in the Walls a picture book or a graphic novel?

Allow me to explain: today, my library's copies of the Wolves in the Walls arrived, to much jubliation, after sitting in cataloging purgatory for some time. Upon recieving the book, I noticed that our cracker-jack catalogers had classified the book as a Picture Book. I immediately said "That's wrong! This is a graphic novel -- look at the word balloons! Look at the sequetntial art! It's a graphic novel, it should be in the Juvenile Graphic novel collection!"

I took my complaint to a co-worker, who said "But it looks like a picture book" Me: "But it's a graphic novel" Her: "But it looks like a picture book" Me: "But it's a graphic novel" And so on and so forth for the better part of the afternoon.

Finally we agreed to ask you, and let you be the final word on the subject. Should The Wolves in the Walls be shelved with the Picture Books, with things like Madeline and Curious George (among others) -OR- Should it be shelved in the Juvinile Graphic Novel collection with things like Scary Godmother and the Batman Adventures (among others)?

Thank You

...can't you just get two copies, and put one in each place? To be honest, I think it's probably an amphibian, or even a giddy harumphrodite, and will be equally at home in either location.