Thursday, January 01, 2009

Don Westlake

In the  1970s and the early 1980s I used to buy imported American novels in London, things you couldn't buy in the UK. I'd get the train up to London, and wander from shop to shop.... Mostly SF and Fantasy, but also books by Donald Westlake. The Dortmunder books. Anything, really. If it had his name on it, I'd buy it. He was funny, he was smart, and he built novels like fine watches, never wasting a word. 

He wrote as Donald Westlake: often funny, warm novels. He wrote colder novels as Richard Stark -- same author, but writing on the other side of the street, the one where the street lights are broken and there's no comfort in the shadows.

I never met him.  But I was a fan. Still am.


Thank you to all who made The Graveyard Book a finalist for a Cybil Award. I think that's the first thing that The Graveyard Book has been nominated for, and I'm thrilled that it's an award that comes from the blogging community.

In addition to the Coraline-the-Movie website at there's also a Focus Films website at 

Really strange, not un-positive review of Blueberry Girl over at
which is a book for mothers-of-daughters-to-be. I"m puzzling over the "New Age" tag as well as the rest of the description. Very odd. But an enthusiastic review of Hank and Chris and Steve's Prince of Stories book there, at

A nice little piece on The Man Who Was Thursday in the Wall Street Journal.


My Wii Fit age is now less than my actual age, after four days of Wiiing. Hurrah.