[DWJ] Book recommendations

Elizabeth G. Holtrop elizabeth at bouma-holtrop.com
Wed Nov 8 18:19:50 EST 2006

Gili Bar-Hillel <gbhillel at netvision.net.il> wrote:
  > (we've got tickets to "Wicked", which as an Oz fan I
  > feel obligated to see)
  I hope you have a good time!  I would love to see that show.   The story is very different from Baum's original, but the music is fun  and I've heard the show is fantastic live.  Will Idina Menzel be  performing as Elphaba?  I heard she'll be playing in London for a  while, but I didn't bother to memorize the dates since, like you with  IBBY, I know there's no way I'll be in London for any of her shows.
  Can someone explain to a curious newbie to the list what IBBY is?
  By the way, a propos of the flurry of book recommendations flying  around, I now know who to blame if I spend the rest of the semester  reading fantasy and ignoring my schoolbooks....
    Actually my trip was a completely spontaneous surprise planned for me by my
husband. I can't believe it's falling on the same weekend as the IBBY
conference. I've just checked the website (
http://www.ncrcl.ac.uk/IBBY/ibby_flyer2006.htm ) and they seem to be fully
booked, what a crying shame! So many people I'd like to hear: Charlie, and
Farah, and Celia Rees whose book "Witch Child" was one of my picks as editor
for Keter, and Phillipa Pearce, and... and... I didn't even think to check
the date, so certain I was that I would not be anywhere in the area. Hmm,
wonder if I can pull some strings... I know Laura Atkins remembers me from
the summer school I attended at Roehampton...

The trip is supposed to be only rest and recreation, but I've already lined
up several work related stops, I hope I don't bore my husband to death. The
big huge secret project I was obsessing about back when I wrote my insomnia
post, if anyone remembers that, is now no longer a secret: I'm writing  an
annotated edition of "Peter Pan", just as a popular book, nothing too
academic. So I've set myself an appointment to visit the archive at the
Great Ormond Street Hospital, and written down lists of sites and addresses
I want to photograph in the vicinity of Kensington Gardens, etc... and the
whole trip is only two and a half days long, during which we also hope to
fit in some theatre (we've got tickets to "Wicked", which as an Oz fan I
feel obligated to see), shopping, and a good restaraunt meal or two (no
decent dim sum in Israel!).  Maybe I should just forget about business and
concentrate on pleasure alone! (Not that I don't find my work a pleasure,
too, but it's less fun for my husband).

"Star of Kazan" was decent, but I had such high expectations that it was
bound to be dissapointing. I liked "Journey to the River Sea" so much
better, and "Star of Kazan" seemed like a bit of a rehash of the same
formula set in a different location, it was a bit too obvious to my taste.
Funny that I tend to like Ibbotson's fantasy books less than I like her
non-fantasy books, the fantasy books are just a bit too lightweight to my
taste. I did buy the rights to publish "Journey to the River Sea" in Hebrew,
it should be coming out in a couple of months. I think my favorite of all
Eva Ibbotson's books is "A Company of Swans", even though it's even more
similar to JttRS!

I did buy "Dragon Flight" on my previous visit to London, but have so far
not been able to get into it. I have a couple more of Funke's books at home,
"Inkspell" and "The Thief Lord" (the latter in Hebrew translation), and none
of them have really gripped me. But then, I had the same experience with
"The Golden Compass" when I first started reading it, and now I'm a huge
Pullman fan. So there's still hope.

And thanks, Hallie -  I've loved the Casson family books so far, so I'll
definitely look for the other books you've recommended as well.


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