01 October 2008

Sorry sorry sorry...

Two months without a post - shameful.

My excuse is that I've been away and busy, but it's not a great excuse, I realise...

(Susan has a much better excuse - since last posting she's had a baby - Emily - who arrived at the start of August! One more child to road-test books for the UBG, pleased to say...)

For me, August was spent in China, which included a few days at the International Translators' Federation congress in Shanghai - among other sessions I heard a few on children's books, including the Norwegian translator of Harry Potter, an academic from Turkey on Turkish versions of E. Nesbit (not something I ever in my life expected to know about), and a brilliant presentation by B.J.Epstein from the Univ of Swansea on translation of allusions in children's literature (with examples from Lemony Snicket). You can find out more about her and her work at her blog here.

Didn't read any Chinese children's books while in China, but there and since getting home have had a few great pleasures reading, among other things, Perrault's fairy tales (when did I last read those?) which are incredible - often very funny, and quite appalling sometimes and exciting and odd. What fun.

Also greatly enjoyed in the past weeks Ann Kelley's The Bower Bird, John van de Ruit's Spud, and currently onto Keith Gray's excellent Ostrich Boys. I like all Keith's books, but this is especially sensitive, funny, thoughtful - definitely worth a read. Next will be the latest books by Tim Bowler, Sophie McKenzie and Cathy MacPhail, for an event I have coming up (about which more below).

These three are all going into our new teen book guide, which we deliver to the publishers in a few months. Building on our 2006 UTBG, this has over a hundred new entries, and new contributors including Frances Hardinge, Joanne Harris, Grace Dent, Anthony McGowan, Tanya Landman, Patrick Ness, Jenny Downham, Chris Riddell, Jonathan Stroud, Jenny Valentine and many more. As ever, a great pleasure and privilege to be working with so many people whose own books we admire so much!

Some event dates for the diary, while I remember - Leonie and I have a morning at Worthing Library on November 28th, and an evening at the Lewes CBG on January 28th. But before that comes Cheltenham, of course (if it's October it must be...); I have two lovely events to chair:

--12th October, 2:30pm - Big Picture event: David Lucas, Polly Dunbar and Emily Gravett. Of these I've only met Emily a couple of times briefly (most recently at a great party at the Kensington Roof Gardens to launch Puffin Post), but looking forward to meeting them all properly there. If you read this blog regularly you'll have heard my enthusing about Emily's books in particular but they're all illustrators & writers I think are marvellous.

--12th October, 5:45pm - event for teenagers, with Tim Bowler, Catherine MacPhail and Sophie McKenzie (all, I'm pleased to say, UBG contributors!) talking about writing thrilling fiction for teens...

And then...

--13th October, 10:15am - Ultimate Book Guides event, with me and Leonie and Anne Fine, which will be loads of fun. Anne is one of the most stalwart of UBG supporters, and has just done a new introduction for the new edition of the 8-12 which is just about to go to press (hooray!).

That's it for now - won't leave it so long before the next post...



Library Mice said...

Shame I won't be able to attend any of the events at Cheltenham; I can only go at week-ends unfortunately. We'll be going to see Polly Dunbar there actually; I met her for the first time last week at an event at the Bath Festival and she was very nice.
Your comment on Perrault made me smile; some of the tales are extremely dark (Barbe Bleue springs to mind!)

Daniel said...

Hello library mice -

If you're there on the Sunday do come and say hello!