[DWJ] Guardian Books Blog on DWJ

Kyla Mackay-Smith kyla at keyfitz.org
Sat May 9 08:08:59 EDT 2009

On Fri, 8 May 2009, Jenny Schwartzberg wrote:

> I tried out the quiz and am puzzled to find that I'm Mig from Black/Aunt 
> Maria.

Huh, me too. Maybe I should have said I had more magic, or used it more, 
but I felt slightly dishonest.

On Fri, 8 May 2009, Irina Rempt wrote:

> I'm Vierran/Ann from Hexwood. <puts it on virtual reread pile>

Ooh, I'm envious. I think Vierran is my favorite DWJ character, in terms 
of being most me-like, or the one I'd be most likely to be friends with.

And then, going back to the actual subject line, I did like the article, 
but I think the whole problem (and the reason the author was assailed in 
the pub) comes down to the first two sentences: "When the children's 
laureates went public recently with their favourite children's books of 
all time, I racked my brains and soul-searched for my own top seven. There 
was no question that Diana Wynne Jones would be in there somewhere, and 
after careful consideration, I lit upon Howl's Moving Castle as her 
greatest hit." The laureates chose their *favorites*; the author uses the 
phrase "greatest hit." Which can either mean "most popular," or "best." 
I'm always interested to read people's favorite DWJ books, usually when 
we're doing the introductions (which I forgot to do this time, sorry), 
because they vary so greatly, both on which specific books get chosen and 
the combinations.

For example, my top three DWJ are Hexwood, Deep Secret, and...and...::goes 
to look at bookshelves:: Year of the Griffin, maybe. And I have a fondness 
for The Ogre Downstairs. But I know lots of people who don't really like 
YotG, and plenty who think Dogsbody is awesome, and I've probably read 
that one the fewest number of times (except for The Pinhoe Egg and The 
Game, but that doesn't count because they still came out comparatively 
recently and I haven't gotten around to it). I'll never argue if someone 
calls a book a favorite, but I might if they suggest it's the best, 
particularly from somone as prolific as DWJ. (I won't argue if someone 
calls The Perilous Gard Elizabeth Marie Pope's best book, because as far 
as I know she only wrote two, and Perilous Gard is brilliant and amazing, 
and The Sherwood Ring is a nice book.)

Ooh, hey, I wrote a lot. :^) It's probably time to reread some more DWJ (I 
reread Magicians of Caprona a month or so ago when I was having a 
stressful time, and it completely did its job), but I've got the new 
Tamora Pierce (Bloodhound) to read, so that takes precedence. :^)

I have no right, by anything I do or say, to demean a
human being in his own eyes. What matters is not what
I think of him; it is what he thinks of himself. To
undermine a man's self-respect is a sin.
        --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

More information about the Dwj mailing list