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Archives for February 2007

>Can a duck swim?

>Well, in a word, yes, but a book that (misguidedly) showed up for review this week is showing me that it’s a more complicated question for some. Ian Stuart-Hamilton’s An Asperger Dictionary of Everyday Expressions (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) explains that the question is “a sarcastic reply to a question to which the answer is obvious; […]


>The Irish News has been ordered to pay 25,000 pounds restitution to a restaurant it “defamed” in a negative review. Could it happen here??? (I never did hear back from the publisher who threatened us with a suit, by the way.)

>Reviews in a word

>I’ve been submerged with Guide proofreading, a semi-annual communal exercise in eyestrain and Twizzlers and chocolate-fueled mania; yesterday I couldn’t stop calling everyone “enthusiasts” after reading the word one too many times. The eternally unsolved question about typos also came up: should a review mention their presence in a book even when they are few […]

>Three agree

>The three publishers I interviewed at the Foundation for Children’s Books event at Boston College last Tuesday were more alike than they were different, we concluded–at least when compared to the New York behemoths Random House, HarperCollins and Simon and Schuster. I had always thought Houghton, represented at B.C. by children’s editorial director Margaret Raymo, […]

>Jilted quilts

>Martha P. just sent me a link to an NYT op-ed piece by Fergus Bordewich about the history and, more pointedly, the myths of the Underground Railroad. Pretty juicy stuff. His expose, of course, does not make the true stories of slave escapes any less dramatic–I really like the new picture book by Ellen Levine […]