Jul 11 2005

Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier

(Sorry--this is less a Book of the Week Review than it is book-related musings.) So... have you all been following the completely bizarre courtship of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes? (And if not, you totally should be! May we suggest www.pinkisthenewblog.com as a particularly fine source for TomKat news?) Anyway, in a(nother) vaguely disturbing interview...

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Jul 11 2005

Jean Craighead George

Jean Craighead George has written many interesting, lofty-minded, award-winning novels. Of these, my favorite is My Side of the Mountain, a beautiful story about a young boy who runs away from ho...

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Jul 11 2005

Stephanie Barron

Stephanie Barron is the author of a series of novels featuring Jane Austen as an amateur detective. Ms. Barron's books are structured as Austen's long-lost diaries, recently discovered in an atti...

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Jun 24 2005

George MacDonald

Scottish novelist, poet, and clergyman George MacDonald is the author of a pair of pleasantly Victorian children's classics: The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie. While these g...

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Jun 24 2005

Margery Sharp

If the children's books of George MacDonald have "fallen out of fashion", then the books of Margery Sharp are the literary equivalent of the bustle... and I really have no idea why. What happened...

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Jun 24 2005

Karen Hawkins

Much like fellow Wordcandy authors Julia Quinn and Suzanne Enoch, Karen Hawkins is less spectacular than she is consistently entertaining. She has yet to write a novel that knocks my socks off, b...

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Jun 24 2005

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is the world's most famous mystery writer. She's right up there with the Bible and Shakespeare in terms of sales, you can find her books in 45 different languages, and her most fa...

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Jun 24 2005

Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie

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Warning: Damning Confession (for a bibliophile) Straight Ahead: I... I have always felt that Agatha Christie's stories make better TV shows than they do books. I know! I'm sorry! Just typing t...

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Jun 24 2005

Dorothy L. Sayers

English mystery novelist and playwright Dorothy L. Sayers understood that what this world really needed was a crime-solving hero that was equal parts Sherlock Holmes and Bertie Wooster. She set o...

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Apr 28 2005

Greensleeves, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

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My copy of Eloise Jarvis McGraw's Greensleeves is battered, ugly, and features a gigantic stamp on the dust jacket reading "THIS IS NO LONGER THE PROPERTY OF THE SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY"...

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Apr 24 2005

Shel Silverstein

It was a tremendous blow to readers everywhere when Shel Silverstein died of a heart attack in 1999. Still, like Douglas Adams, Silverstein got an awful lot done during the limited time he spent ...

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Apr 24 2005

Jacqueline Gilbert

Although I can't seem to find out anything on this woman's personal life (I know! Google has failed me!), from the mid-seventies to the early nineties, Jacqueline Gilbert was one of the best auth...

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Apr 24 2005

Eloise Jarvis McGraw

(Information complied with the assistance of Colleen, an University of Oregon reference librarian, and Eric Gjovaag, webmaster of the The Wizard of Oz Info website. Many thanks to both of them!) ...

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Apr 24 2005

John D. Fitzgerald

John D. Fitzgerald's Great Brain stories about Tom, his brilliant and conniving older brother, are a series of charmingly offbeat tall tales. According to Fitzgerald, Tom was the youngest con man...

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Apr 24 2005

Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker was a mediocre Irish playwright and theatrical manager who produced exactly one memorable book: 1897's Dracula. It has been suggested that Stoker's horror story was inspired by a comb...

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Mar 29 2005

Mary Norton

English author Mary Norton was the author of two children's literature classics: the Borrowers series and Bed Knob and Broomstick, which inspired the (...sigh) Disney film of the same name. Norto...

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Mar 29 2005

Laura Zigman

Laura Zigman was one of those authors whose first book, 1998's Animal Husbandry, came out hot on the heels of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary, and because it was also a story about a romanc...

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Mar 29 2005

Jerome K. Jerome

British humorist Jerome K. Jerome's stories are like slightly sub-par P.G. Wodehouse novels. (Ordinarily that would be a criticism, but most of Wodehouse's stories are works of such staggering ge...

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Mar 29 2005

Beverly Cleary

I love Beverly Cleary's books. Mostly because they're awesome, of course, but also because Ramona, Beezus, Ellen, Henry Huggins, and all their friends live in the same neighborhood that my late, ...

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Mar 29 2005

Edward Gorey

Contrary to popular myth, Edward Gorey was not British. In fact, he only traveled outside of the United States once, on a trip to the Scottish Isles. Gorey was born in Chicago in 1925, he studie...

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Mar 20 2005

Frank & Ernestine Gilbreth

Frank Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey are the co-authors of Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes, two classic memoirs that no one from a large family should miss. Frank Jr. an...

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Mar 20 2005

Alfred Bester

Although he had worked as a writer for comic books and radio and his novel The Demolished Man won the first Hugo Award in 1953, Alfred Bester was never really what you'd call a household name. Be...

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Mar 20 2005

Bill Watterson

Bill Watterson is the creator of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin and Hobbes, in Watterson's own words, was about "private realities, the magic of imagination, and the specialness of cer...

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Mar 20 2005

David Macaulay

David Macaulay is the author of a series of semi-fictional books about how things are built. His stories about the construction of cathedrals, castles, mosques, and pyramids, all of which are ill...

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Mar 15 2005

Eloisa James

Eloisa James is the pen name of Mary Bly, a professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance studies at Fordham University. Ms. James is one of the few absolutely reliable writers of historical romances....

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Mar 15 2005

Much Ado About You, by Eloisa James

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To paraphrase Jane Austen, there are few romance novelists whom I really love, and fewer still of whom I think well. Eloisa James is one of the few writers whom I both love (well, more or less) and think well of—at least well enough to shell out the full cover price for, an honor that I reserve for a mere handful of authors. Her eight romance novels are fresh, well written twists on old favorites...

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Mar 2 2005

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, by Eleanor Cameron

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I enjoy books about home restoration. I once wrote a term paper passionately defending Martha Stewart's status as an American icon. I have a serious crush on Alton Brown and an even more serious one on Red Green. And while I am rarely tempted to actually attempt any of the projects that I read about or see on television, I always find the sight of other people creating stuff to be tremendously satisfying...

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Feb 28 2005

Gertrude Chandler Warner

A teacher for 32 years, Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote and re-wrote her first book, The Boxcar Children, testing it out on her students until she had honed it into a story that was both easy to re...

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Feb 28 2005

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Pilot, poet, and novelist Antoine de Saint-Exupéry had one of those adventurous, emotionally messy lives that produce remarkable art but always seem to end badly. (And early.) Sure, he wrote and...

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Feb 28 2005

Maud Hart Lovelace

For a state that I associate mostly with soy bean farming and Biodiesel, Minnesota is peculiarly rich in Wordcandy goodness. A surprising number of famous American authors (Garrison Keillor, Laur...

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