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Monthly Archives: February 2014
I’ve been teaching online classes for a few years now. They have been awesome and one of the coolest things has been the number of talented writers I’ve had the privilege to work with. However, I’m scheduling a break from teaching during the latter half of 2014, and it’s for a few reasons.
The first and most important is that I can feel a little burnout creeping up around the edges. I’ll be talking in a class and think to myself, “I know I’ve said this before,” and it will be because I have said it before, repeatedly even — but not to that class. I can tell that if I don’t take a break, that feeling is going to drown me.
I love the dictionary. I have, in fact, been known to dip into it for pleasure, to swoon with delight at a new word like lacustrine or neritic. When I was in grad school, we played a version of Balderdash that far predated the boxed set, using an American Heritage dictionary that still sits on my shelf.
I found these books as part of the reading list in the back of Jacqueline Jackson’s Turn Not Pale, Beloved Snail. They are why I’ve always wanted to go to Finland.
The Narnia books changed the way generations of young readers would look at wardrobes. Their importance in the field of children’s fantasy literature cannot be overstated. I came to them early and had a boxed set which was, by my teen years, grubby and well-worn.
I blogged last week about some of my favorite YA of 2013 and I wanted to add some more books to that list. These are all books that I wold’t have run across if I hadn’t been reading for the Norton jury, and I’m very pleased to have found them. With each I’ve identified both the genre (fantasy vs. science fiction) and the gender of the lead character, since I know that may affect some buying decisions.
The Drive-In by Joe R. Lansdale has two sequels, The Drive-In 2: Not Just One of Them Sequels and The Drive-In 3: The Bus Tour. Underland Press did a collected edition a few years back that is terrific, but it looks as though it’s out of print now. The story begins when a few friends go to the All Night Horror Show at a drive-in theater and find themselves transported to an alternate dimension, forcing the theatergoers to live on popcorn, fountain drinks, and eventually each other. Then it gets weird.