Fuse #8

Thursday, January 25, 2007

And In Other News...

I've spent all of today answering my e-mail, it seems. Still, these tidbits did manage to catch my eye when I wasn't expecting them to...

The results of the Lisa Yee contest are in. You know. The one were you had to change a single letter in a children's book title to come up with an entirely different title. My personal favorite was, "Fear Mr. Henshaw", but maybe that was just because I could see the entire movie play out in my mind. Moving on...

Fight fight, inner light! Kill, Quakers, kill!
Yes, my alma mater instincts are in full throttle with the appearance of my most recent alumni magazine. Earlham College holds a strong influence over every human being that happens to traverse its green green heart. As such, it was with more than a little delight that I saw that one of my fellow alumns is a YA author by the name of Margo Rabb. And not just any YA author, mind you, but one who has managed to get Michael Chabon to do the blurb on her latest book, Cures For Heartbreak. The book doesn't come out until February and already it's garnered itself starred reviews from SLJ and Booklist. I don't review YA myself, but for a fellow Earlhamite I might make an exception. In any case, I urge my YA reviewing fellows to take this book into consideration. It seems a pity that it was dumped on the marketplace so far away from the award season, but maybe it'll retain its drive till 2008.

Oh, and funny story. I'm apparently serving on a Grand Jury starting next Monday. The good news? Lots of reading can get done. The bad? No trolling for fun news during the day. We may have to go back to the old one-review-a-day model at this rate.


At 3:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuse: I often read your blog for the great links. Today, however, I don't know which spectacle I find more appalling: Your shower of self-congratulation or your sneering link to a savage parody of a book you just judged, supposedly, as a professional in our field.

The quality of Tulane (or lack of it)is beside the point. The ugly sight of you, entrusted with an important decision, unable to treat those you judge with respect, doesn't really speak well of your ability to assess the book's qualities, negative or positive, in any case.

MotherReader can write her parodies. She was not just on the Newbery Committee, making decisions about these very books.

All of us who work in libraries and the world of children's literature are here, at least partially, because some part of us has not grown up. That doesn't mean, however, that our most trusted and respected representatives should hop around jeering after kicking the damn kid in the fancy bunny suit into the mud.

-- Sean

At 5:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean, I am so glad to see your response to this. I have been heartsick at the unkindness in this post and others, and the utter lack of professionalism they indicate. Of course people have books they dislike, and of course they can say so. But why with vitriol? Why with vengeful glee? I can't understand it; it's not like it's an evil book, for heaven's sakes. Betsy, I'd bet you'd interfere with children who behaved this way toward one of their number in your library; why do you participate and condone it professionally?

At 5:59 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

This reinforces my theory that the most interesting comments are always left when you've not checked your blog in a couple hours. A watched blog never boils over with contempt.

Let's tackle a couple points here. First and foremost, my self-congradulation. Can't really disagree with that one. I'm a self-centered self-indulgent lady. No contest. It's the problem that comes with reading this blog. I'm afraid that while the links may be decent, you're going to have to wade through my shout-outs, pictures, and treacle. That's the downside. For modest charming links that don't indulge in this manner, I refer you to Big A little a and bookshelves of doom (amongst many many others). It is the price one pays for reading me, I fear. On the plus side, I won't be serving on a major award for at least 5 years, so I think you're in the clear.

As for my link to MotherReader, far be it from me to edit myself but a point was made that caught my eye. After all, I just served on a very important committee. If I couldn't make Tulane comments before on this blog (I couldn't, for the record) I certainly shouldn't do so now. *sigh* So while I do not agree with your love of the bunny, I cannot in all justice invoke the name of Dustin Diamond. Self-censorship is an ugly thing, but I actually think you had a point, albeit one that could have been made without the term "sneering".

Points will be given for writing controversial postings that were NOT anonymous.

At 8:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Betsy,

What I find concerning is not your opinion or criticism. Of course, you are entitled and should express it. However, as a member of the writing/illustrator community and a person who enjoys reading your blog, I hope that when you choose to review my work and that of others that you approach the task with serious consideration and hopefully respect.

Katherine Tillotson

At 8:53 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Hi Katherine,


I'm concerned. What book have I reviewed that did not seem to contain "serious consideration"? I respect all authors and illustrators. Is there something specific that causes you to say this? Even Tulane's review brought up the points of the book that I liked.

At 9:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


It was the link you posted today (since removed) I found concerning. There appeared to be an unspoken approval of the strident opinion expressed (or perhaps it was spoken, I can't remember).


At 9:37 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Ah. Well it is gone now. Let's move on. Howzabout them Colts, eh?


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