Thursday, January 06, 2005

It's another government holiday - lots of them down here - so Steve has the next two days off. He has the Simon and Garfunkle Reunion Tour DVD playing in the living room, with both of us singing along while we work on our computers- him singing in tune, not me! That's why I am singing softly. :-) Isn't it interesting that no matter how old you are you seem to know the words to their songs?

I've been taking Christmas decorations down a little at a time. I love to put them up, but hate taking them down. All that cool stuff put away for most of the year. But, I have several needlecraft Christmas projects to work on during the year. That will keep me in the Holiday frame of mind all year. :-)

Been working on the MS edition of Tantalizing Tidbits for Teens and have Terry Pratchett's A Hat Full of Sky in front of me, along with the The Wee Free Men. I have read a few of Pratchett's books, but I am not a big Discworld fan. I did however, love The Wee Free Men. How can you not love six inch high blue guys who love nothing more than to drink and fight? One of my favorite Nac Mac Feegles is Daft Wullie. He had me chuckling through both books. Interesting comrades for a little girl who is initially looking for her brother in fairyland. In the second book, A Hat Full of Sky, Tiffany's natural talent as a witch has attracted a Hiver, a disembodied entity that takes over the minds of very powerful people. Her natural curiosity about her power causes her to draw the Hiver to her. It takes another powerful witch and the Wee Free Men to help save her.

My favorite of Pratchett's books is Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. I've always been a bit fascinated with the Pied Piper of Hamlin story. Loved Napoli's Breath, but I consider it upper level YA due to the orgies - not a big part of the novel, but still disconcerting. Absolutely fascinating concept of how the beer is what is making the people crazy. Only one not affected is the boy who doesn't drink it because of his breathing issues.

I just made Maurice required reading for my YA Literature classes. Many of my students say they don't care for fantasy, but after they read a few good ones, I usually have them hooked. I am a big fantasy fan, have been since I was a kid. Never have been much of a science fiction fan, but some of the best books I have read in the last year have been science fiction, such as Nancy Werlin's Double Helix. The research Werlin did for this book is very evident in how smoothly it flows and how plausible the scenario seems. Also loved Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeve. Haven't gotten the second book in the series yet, but I have heard it is good too. Sadly, my reading is pretty much limited to what the publishers send me as I don't have access to a decent public library down here.

All for now - back to writing the booktalk for A Hat Full of Sky.