What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1551 Blogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
1. Interview with Shelley Swanson Sateren


So honored to have Shelley Swanson Sateren on the blog today! She has written many books for children, both fiction and non-fiction. Her latest project, just released by Capstone, are four chapter books in the Adventures at Hound Hotel series, and illustrated by me, Deb Melmon. Mudball Molly, Homesick Herbie, Growling Gracie and Fearless Freddie are funny and endearing stories about the Wolfe family and the antics that ensue when different breeds of dogs are boarded at their family-run kennel. Since I was lucky enough to illustrate these books, I thought it would be fun to do an in-depth interview with Shelley. After you read this you can head over to my personal blog and see more about the process of illustrating the covers!




How did you come up with the idea for Adventures at Hound Hotel?

The idea for a chapter book series set at a rural dog-boarding kennel was generated in-house at Capstone Press. I’d previously written numerous children’s books for their company (fiction and non-fiction) and an editor approached me with the Hound Hotel concept. I love dogs and immediately accepted the assignment. I had a contract in my email inbox three and a half hours after the editor’s initial email!

The editor gave me this three-sentence pitch to work with: Eight-year-old twins Owen and Emma and their mom own an established boarding kennel out in the country. They live, work and play with dogs every day. Each story will feature a new dog and his/her adventure at the kennel, introducing a variety of breeds of dogs and typical dog antics.

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE <![endif]--> Besides reading level, word count and front/back matter expectations, this brief, simple pitch was the only guideline I received. After much research and many deep dives into my imagination, I created the Hound Hotel world around it, though I changed the children’s names to reflect the humorous tone of the stories. I love writing to assignment like this. It’s an invigoratingly creative process for me.



The main characters of the book, the Wolfe family, are so cleverly written. Can you fill us in on the dynamics of the family and the twins, Alfie and Alfreeda?

My first draft of the first book, Homesick Herbie, was a realistic account of two siblings helping a little Yorkshire terrier adjust to his first over-night stay at a boarding kennel. I had bits of humor in that draft and the editor asked for more; she encouraged me to push beyond the boundaries of reality and bring more over-the-top humor to the script. So I re-wrote the whole story to match the new comedic tone and turned the main character, eight-year-old Alfie, into an underdog who’s always in competition with his “top dog” twin sister. I based their ever-competitive spirit on the dynamics of wolves in packs—dominant versus submissive (information gleaned in part from the excellent book, The Dog Listener, by Jan Fennell, which links dog behavior to wolf behavior).




No matter how hard Alfie tries to become an alpha (top) dog in his pack (family), his sister usually triumphs. Of course this dynamic lent itself to much more humor. (As Garrison Keillor says, “Humor belongs to the losers.”) After I turned Alfie into an underdog, the stories became much easier and more fun to write. I named the twins Alfie (as in Alpha) Wolfe and Alfreeda Wolfe for an added sprinkling of comedy. And I gave their father the job of wolf researcher. He’s often gone on long trips to study wolves in the wild, which Alfie bemoans; Alfie really misses his father, which parallels the little terrier, Herbie, missing his owner. Also, I named the twins’ mother Winifred Wolfe. I considered the word “win” within “Winifred.” As much as the twins vie for top-dog status, of course their mother is truly the one in charge at Hound Hotel.


How did you select the breeds of dogs that come to visit the Hound Hotel?

I spent many weeks researching dog breeds and dog-boarding websites/facilities. Choosing four breeds (one per book) wasn’t easy because there are so many great ones! These were my criteria: a breed that young kids could safely play with; a loveable breed; a bit of a troublemaker. Trouble = entertainment.



Do you have your own dog?

Not right now. I grew up with various canine breeds as pets and, as an adult, adopted a West Highland terrier named Max. Max now lives in the happy dog park in the sky and I miss him! He was full of crazy high energy and I thought of him often as I wrote these books, especially Mudball Molly.

I visited dog kennels as part of my research for this series and had a difficult time not adopting one of the adorable dogs on the spot! But owning a dog is a huge responsibility and my husband and I agree that we’re too busy to give a very social pet, such as a dog, the attention it needs. Last summer, soon after wrapping the final book in the series, I dogsat a tiny teacup Yorkshire terrier named Chloe. She helped ease my desire to adopt my own dog—just a little!



Do you write every day? Tell us a little bit about your process.

It’s a rare day when I don’t write. Mornings are my most productive time. I try to get household tasks done in the evenings so that my weekends are free to write, too. It’s a very time-consuming process, writing books that kids will enjoy, so I devote many hours to it every week. For me, writing is a vital part of my day, as important and necessary for my wellbeing as brushing my teeth and eating healthy meals.

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE <![endif]--> I write longhand for the first several drafts and type only when the story is close to sharing it with my first readers. Because the deadlines were so tight, just one person read the Hound Hotel scripts before I sent them to my editor: my son, Anders. He was a senior in high school at the time. He’s a very good editor, in my opinion. He understands the sensitive, playful mind and heart of an eight-year-old boy very well.





I see you come from a very creative family. Can you tell us a bit about your parents?

It would be impossible to encapsulate fully, in this small space, how very creative these two people are. Nothing about Steve and Judy Swanson’s life is cookie cutter, except maybe their “Minnesota Niceness.” Their house is filled with their creations—paintings, ceramics, sculptures, etc.

My mother is a graphic designer. She’s designed countless logos, brochures, book covers, banners, posters, production sets, convention spaces, etc. My father, besides being an English professor and Lutheran pastor, is a book writer and a metal sculptor. He welds animals out of old car parts and other cast-off metal. I grew up watching him type his many sermons, articles and book manuscripts. He’d pound away at his noisy typewriter and I knew from a young age that I’d be happiest sitting in front of a typewriter doing the same thing.


When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Consciously, fifth grade. My teacher in Seguin, Texas, where we lived at the time, read A Wrinkle in Time to our class. I went straight home and told my mother, “You know what that book makes me want to do? Write.” Immediately, I began to draft a chapter book called “Mystery in the Library.” I loved reading mysteries in elementary school. In seventh grade, I turned “Mystery in the Library” into a play. I wrote, directed and starred in it. Some of my classmates and I performed the play at my middle school in Camrose, Alberta, Canada, where my family lived at the time.

I was always a big letter writer, to my grandparents mainly, since we always lived far away from them. I often kept a diary, too. One of the greatest regrets of my life is that I, as a teenager, threw away my childhood diaries. (I think I saw them as “baby writing.”) My mother must not have been aware that I tossed them in the trash; for sure she would’ve stopped me.



What books influenced you when you were young?

The ones with the most endearing and enduring characters influenced me the most: Curious George; Max in Wild Things; Pippi Longstocking; Harriet the Spy; Madeline; Peter Rabbit, etc. Strong-minded characters with a mischievous streak always took permanent residence in my childhood heart.


What other books have you written?

My complete bibliography is posted on my website: www.shelleysateren.com. Because I love research and because I once worked as a children’s non-fiction book editor, I’ve written many non-fiction books for kids. My Humane Societies: A Voice for the Animals was a Children’s Choice book. I wrote twelve early chapter books in the Max and Zoe series (fiction) plus a humorous, contemporary middle grade novel called Cat on a Hottie’s Tin Roof (Delacorte/Random House) which Publishers Weekly called “hilarious, punny and fun.” I’m currently at work on two more middle grade novel scripts.




Do you have plans for more Hound Hotel adventures?

I did loads of research on different breeds and dog-behavior issues for the first four books and have a three-ring binder filled with extraneous material. If the good folks at Capstone Press decide they want more books in this series, I’m ready!


Where do you find your creative inspiration when you are not actually writing?

From many places: long walks in my pretty neighborhood or around the lake near my house; trips to the family cabin or museums; soul-enriching movies; gorgeous music; farm and zoo animals; my funny friends or family members; great books, etc. However, because I write primarily for children my greatest inspiration comes from kids. Of course, memories of my own childhood are paramount, especially emotion-laden ones, times when I felt really afraid, excited, joy-filled, etc.

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE <![endif]--> Also, I usually have a part-time job to support my writing income and many have involved working with kids. I’m inspired to write board books or pre-K picture books if I’m working with babies and toddlers; I’m inspired to write chapter books if I’m working with older kids. I’m always scribbling down something that kids in my life say or do, funny things, sad things. I’ve got boxes filled with these scribblings, including my priceless journal notes from the years my two sons, Erik and Anders, were young. I hope I live beyond age one hundred so I can turn many of these golden nuggets into publishable stories for kids’ enjoyment!



For more information about Shelley, you can visit her website here and to see my blog post on how I created the covers for these books, you can visit here. And you can also visit my newly revamped website at deborahmelmon.com

0 Comments on Interview with Shelley Swanson Sateren as of 3/2/2015 6:34:00 PM
Add a Comment
2. Hachette to Distribute Paula Deen Cookbooks

Southern cooking show icon Paula Deen has joined forces with The Hachette Book Group (HBG).

The Emmy award winner and author of 14 cookbooks revealed that HBG will distribute all Paula Deen Ventures (PDV) titles worldwide in print and digital formats. This includes a new book coming out in September called Paula Deen Cuts the Fat.

“We are very excited to be partnering with industry-leading publisher Hachette Book Group. This is a perfect fit for many reasons, including Hachette’s philosophy regarding clients: treating each one as if it’s part of the Hachette family, while providing an incredible level of dedicated sales and operational resources,” stated P.J. Tierney, Vice President of Publishing at PDV.

Add a Comment
3. Back to Art....


Of course the year that winter has taken its sweet time arriving...



I had little traveling to do, except for a week long trip over to the Front Range, loving the dusting of snow around the La Sals in Utah...



So being mostly home,  I have fallen into a bit of a routine, writing and book things in the morning and art in the afternoon and weekends. I have done it enough to find that I definitely need the stitching to stay sane. I decided to tackle a fabric collage idea I have had for a long time, more for my own walls or a gallery show than for a illustration portfolio piece,..


Saturday Morning is somewhat of a family self portrait, thought the faces have been changed and my hair has never been as full and long as I stitched it,  but it's for the most part our bedroom and our dogs and definitely what Saturday mornings looked like when my kiddos were little and we were desperately trying to get a few more minutes sleep before they and the dogs, well, had other ideas. 


Started laying things down and stitched most of the background before tackling the bed, limiting how many layers you have to stitch through is always a challenge, as is working with such small bits of fabric that with over working start to disintegrate....


Hands and faces are always a challenge, and sometimes the best thing is to just start over...


Late February, the snow decided to start falling...




and Saturday Morning is progressing...




So, if I let sleeping dogs lie where they are, the rest of the winter...


sorry, it was so cute of a picture. If I keep at my schedule the rest of the winter, into the big melt, Saturday Morning, should be done soon, except for the question of home much needlework I do on it.

0 Comments on Back to Art.... as of 3/2/2015 8:06:00 PM
Add a Comment
4. The (New) Russian Edition!



0 Comments on The (New) Russian Edition! as of 3/2/2015 8:40:00 PM
Add a Comment
5. Redeployment

Because we continue to go to war, we continue to need war stories, to share some tiny percentage of the experience of the soldier with the people back home they were protecting. This book continues in the tradition of The Things They Carried by bringing readers into the chaos of the lives of soldiers at [...]

0 Comments on Redeployment as of 3/2/2015 3:40:00 PM
Add a Comment
6. Alternate Aurealis Worlds

Congratulations to those shortlisted for this year’s Aurealis awards. As a judge of the YA novels and short stories, I feel bereft for those whose fascinating works couldn’t be included. Hopefully some of these will appear on other shortlists. Our best short story selections veer towards the upper end of the YA age group with […]

Add a Comment
7. The Carrot Patch comes to us

Today’s mail brought a box of (foam) carrots*,

box of carrots

buttons, stickers, bookmarks,

wolfie swag

and a very nice note from Wolfie the Bunny author Ame Dyckman. Thanks, Ame! In our March/April Magazine, Wolfie receives a starred review and Ame tells us a bit about Wolfie’s eating habits; look for the issue in your mailbox very soon.

*I have to confess we had hoped they were chocolate carrots — there are some Wolfie-sized appetites for sweets in our office!

Share

The post The Carrot Patch comes to us appeared first on The Horn Book.

0 Comments on The Carrot Patch comes to us as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
8. The Little Black Dress Project #HumanTrafficking

Get Excited Y'all!!  I'm being an activist!  For the month of March, I'm joining with The Average Advocate (@averageadvocate) to raise awareness on the issue of human trafficking. This is a huge problem in our state, country, and around the world. Bigger than I ever realized. Elisa, who reviews here occasionally, is a huge advocate for this cause and came up with the amazing idea to wear a

0 Comments on The Little Black Dress Project #HumanTrafficking as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
9. Snailwatch

Add a Comment
10. Storified tweets about gendered books

 

View "undefined" on Storify

Add a Comment
11. Aaand we're back!

Aaand we're back! by analogshift
10986364_910095442358576_436390026_n.jpg

Add a Comment
12. Children’s Books Authors Protest Against Assigning Genders to Books

I'm just saying. @gayleforman @libbabray @HousingWorksBks pic.twitter.com/Har5rG2w4i

— E. Lockhart (@elockhart) February 28, 2015

Gayle Forman, E. Lockhart, and Libba Bray appeared together at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe last week. The trio of young adult authors were celebrating the release of Forman’s new book, I Was Here. When they first presented themselves to the audience, the three women were wearing fake mustaches.

Forman explained that they were protesting against the act of driving young boys away from titles that are considered to be “girl books.” The group strongly agrees with the sentiments that fellow novelist Shannon Hale expresses in a recent blog post. Hale felt compelled to discuss this because of her recent experience during a school visit where only female students were given permission to meet her. Below, we’ve collected several of the writers’ tweets with their opinions on this subject in a Storify post.

Here’s an excerpt from Hale’s blog post: “Let’s be clear: I do not talk about ‘girl’ stuff. I do not talk about body parts. I do not do a ‘Your Menstrual Cycle and You!’ presentation. I talk about books and writing, reading, rejections and moving through them, how to come up with story ideas. But because I’m a woman, because some of my books have pictures of girls on the cover, because some of my books have ‘princess’ in the title, I’m stamped as ‘for girls only.’ However, the male writers who have boys on their covers speak to the entire school.”

Add a Comment
13. This Is Sadie Book Teaser

We're getting very excited about the new book...not too long now.
My brilliant son Euan has put together this little teaser trailer to celebrate.




May 12, 2015
Available to pre-order at:
Barnes & Noble Indie Bound Amazon.com McNally Robinson Indigo Powell’s Hive


0 Comments on This Is Sadie Book Teaser as of 3/2/2015 8:10:00 PM
Add a Comment
14. Watch for It: The Game of Love and Death

The Game of Love and Death

readergirlz! This is our own Diva Martha Brockenbrough's next EPIC work. The stars are zooming in from the critics for this masterpiece. Rights are selling around the world. We are cheering and can't wait for you to read THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH!

Here's the overview for you:

Not since THE BOOK THIEF has the character of Death played such an original and affecting part in a book for young people.

Flora and Henry were born a few blocks from each other, innocent of the forces that might keep a white boy and an African American girl apart; years later they meet again and their mutual love of music sparks an even more powerful connection. But what Flora and Henry don't know is that they are pawns in a game played by the eternal adversaries Love and Death, here brilliantly reimagined as two extremely sympathetic and fascinating characters. Can their hearts and their wills overcome not only their earthly circumstances, but forces that have battled throughout history? In the rainy Seattle of the 1920's, romance blooms among the jazz clubs, the mansions of the wealthy, and the shanty towns of the poor. But what is more powerful: love? Or death?
Do you see what I mean? Squeeeeee! Shout out to Martha! 
The Game of Love and Death
by Martha Brockenbrough
Arthur A. Levine Books, April 28, 2015 

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz

Add a Comment
15. Fun Book Clothes!

Fun Book Clothes!

This week while I was online, I found quite a few fun things to wear- book nerd style! Here are a few of my favorites that I thought were super creative- enjoy! 

The "I like big books and I cannot lie" sweatshirt. Perfect for winter and letting everyone know that the bigger the book the better: 




This ridiculously cool "book skirt." I don't know whose idea this was, but I approve: 




A print scarf. Um, yes please: 



This awesome Divergent shirt. Perfection down to the last faction: 



And, finally, this amazing Harry Potter tank that reminds us all where the series started:



I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did! I want to see some of these things on shelves, and certainly in my wardrobe.

Best and happy reading! 

0 Comments on Fun Book Clothes! as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
16. Farewell to the East End

Farewell to the East End. (Call of the Midwife #3) Jennifer Worth. 2009/2013. HarperCollins. 336 pages. [Source: Library]

I still haven't read the first book in the Call The Midwife series by Jennifer Worth, but, I have watched and enjoyed the first two series of the show, an adaptation of the books. I loved the second book, Shadows of the Workhouse. I'm not sure I "loved" the third book, Farewell to the East End. I suppose you could say I found it equally fascinating and disturbing. The stories are definitely darker and heavier--dismal and bleak. Mixed in with stories are a handful of research chapters about various topics.

Highlights (not highlights because of 'hope') include several chapters focused on twins Megan and Mave, several chapters focusing on the Masterson family, several chapters focusing on the Harding family, and several chapters focusing on Chummy.

One of the most haunting stories, in my opinion, is "The Captain's Daughter." Chummy is called aboard a merchant ship to tend a woman with stomach cramps. The woman believes she's just had too many apples. But it soon becomes apparent to Chummy that all is not right. The woman is in fact pregnant and in labor, and, the father could be any of the crew including her own father, the Captain. Chummy learns that she's been on board and servicing the men--keeping them all happy--since the age of fourteen, soon after her mother's death. Chummy is a bit shocked--who wouldn't be--but very practical and down to earth. The birth is challenging and quite memorable.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Farewell to the East End as of 3/2/2015 6:34:00 PM
Add a Comment
17. Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2015 - Updated

Falling For YA
If you wish to participate, you can sign up HERE.

Orginally I was going to work only my 2013 & 2014 lists. But then I re-read the rules and realized i can include my 2015 books, too. So I'm adding them to the bottom.

I'm having a slow start on the level I chose [Gold Level  (50 books)] but I'm going to continue to plug away at the lists.

TBR 2013
A Shimmer of Angels - Lisa M. Basso
Broken Forest - Eliza Tilton
Compliance - Maureen McGowan
Defy
Dragonwitch - Ann Elisabeth Stengl
Dream Girl
Echo Prophecy
Elfin
Endless
Escaping Reality
External Forces
Forbidden to Love - D.A. Wills
Hereafter
Hero's Lot, The - Patrick W. Carr
King Hall
Mage Fire - C. Aubrey Hall
Mistress of the Solstice
Night Creatures
Rebels Divided
Rival
Runes (book one) - Ednah Walters
Safe in His Arms
Scrap - Emory Sharplin
Sekret
Shadow Allegiance
She Is Not Invisible
Spirit - Brigid Kemmerer
Stargazing from Nowhere
The Bane - Keary Taylor
The Dominant - Tara Sue Me
The Naturals
The Professional
The Silver Chain
The Trials of the Core
The Waking Dreamer
Tin Star
Turned
Unspoken
Will in Scarlet - Matthew Cody
Winds of Purgatory

TBR 2014
Alex + Ada volume 1
A Secret Colton Baby
Black Rook
Blind Faith
Blood Assassin
Blood Orange Soda
Catch Me When I Fall
Clipped Wings
Cursed by Fire
Dark Hope
Darkness
Dark Wolf Returning
Danny Dirks
Desired
Divided
Don't Judge a Lizard by His Scales
Dragon Defender
Fire Heart
Forbidden
Freed
Jhanmar World Travellers
Lingering Echoes
Longing
Love's Paradox
One is Enough
On Her Watch
Outshine
Raytara - Judgement of the Stars
Seed
Shadow Heart
Since You've Been Gone
Star Trek: Khan
Stitching Snow
Street Fighter Origins: Akuma
Tales from OZ
The Amulet of Sleep
The Boy a Thousand Years Wide
The Circle
The Fifth Vertex
The Mark of the Dragonfly
The One
The Professional
The Thirteenth Tower
Waking up Pregnant
We are the Goldens
Worth the Fall
Wrecked


TBR 2015 (so far)
Emissary
In Search of Lost Dragons
Monster Squad: The Iron Golem
Rocco's Wings
Seeker Arwen (Elys Dayton)
The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob
Witches Be Burned

0 Comments on Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2015 - Updated as of 3/2/2015 7:28:00 PM
Add a Comment
18. Trigger Warning

A delicious cornucopia of Gaiman's short fiction. Dip in and enjoy. There's a bit of everything here, from Doctor Who to an unpublished American Gods story. Once again, Gaiman waves his magician's wand and we are swept away to slightly disturbing and eerie lands. Books mentioned in this post Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and... Neil [...]

0 Comments on Trigger Warning as of 3/2/2015 3:40:00 PM
Add a Comment
19. thoughts on my Spectaculars and a week spent receiving art

I call my students The Spectaculars, and they are. As kind as they are bright. As funny as they are compassionate. They are particular, unrepeatable people. And yet—oh my. Our whole.

Teaching them, I am teaching me. Racing out ahead with books and dreams. 

There is never enough time.

I watched "Whiplash" last week and wondered how any teacher could be so cruel—and if cruelty hones. I watched "Birdman" and considered the rewards of high narrative risk. I read Atticus Lish's Preparation for the Next Lifeand then sat with a student, just the two of us, and talked about the value of spending summers pumping gas and seeing life, the literary value of the un-rareified existence. I (and my students, along with the students of Lorene Cary and Max Apple) sat with the editor and writer Daniel Menaker and talked about how memoirs get made, how truth is shaped, the chronologies that must be broken (Lorene's blog post on that afternoon can be found here.).

But all of this wasn't enough, it's never enough, and so I began to read Ander Monson's Letter to a Future Lover: Marginalia, Errata, Secrets, Inscriptions, and Other Ephemera Found in Libraries—a book that delights in breaking rules, a book that, in the midst of all its subtitle promises, its wild accords, its politics and prose, releases thoughts like these:

The space between biology and biography is vast. Both are tests. They seek to understand a life. We might believe we write our own, that who we think we are gives us the right to tell ourselves as we believe we are. The telling of a self is fiction too, salesmanship, however unintentional, how in narrating I we change the I—we make it harder, stellar, starlike, more like shell than skin, how we hide all evidence to the contrary, believe ourselves impermeable.

We read the world, we watch the art, we ask the questions, we do our own small parts. We can't make art without receiving art. Last week, most of this long winter long, I ceded, I cede, to receiving.



0 Comments on thoughts on my Spectaculars and a week spent receiving art as of 3/2/2015 9:16:00 PM
Add a Comment
20. Some Legend of Korra for your afternoon.



Some Legend of Korra for your afternoon.



Add a Comment
21. A Clockwork Orange

If I had not read A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess along with Danielle, I doubt I would have managed to finish it. It’s a book that is generally ranked among the classics and I have been wanting to read it for ages. It wasn’t the Nadsat slang that put me off, I admire Burgess for doing that, a very bold move on his part. I mean, there must have been, and are, so many people put off by a book that reads like this throughout:

Then, brothers, it came. Oh bliss, bliss and heaven. I lay all nagoy to the ceiling, my gulliver on my rookers on the pillow, glazzies closed, rot open in bliss, slooshying the sluice of lovely sounds. Oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh.

Burgess created the slang himself using the Russian language as a base. Sometimes the language in the book can be rather poetic. At other times I was a bit baffled and just had to go with it. To Burgess’s credit, I was never lost and unable to figure out what was going on in the story because of the language.

In case you don’t know what the book is about, a quick synopsis. Alex is a teenager and lives in a not too distant future England. Alex is the leader of a gang and he and his “droogs” go out at night to drink and get high and do some “ultra-violence” (burglary, armed robbery, assault, rape and eventually murder). When Alex murders a woman in her home, his gang abandons him. Alex goes to prison and after a couple years he is offered a choice. He can serve out his fourteen-year sentence, or he can undergo a behavior modification treatment called the Ludovico Technique and be released from prison. Alex, not quite understanding what he is agreeing to, opts for the treatment. The results of the process make Alex become sick at even the thought of violence. Unfortunately, the treatment also leaves him unable to enjoy the classical music he so loves.

Once out of prison, Alex finds his parents have rented out his room and he has nowhere to go. His first day out is a harrowing one as he is assaulted by people he had beat up previously and one of his former droogs and a gang rival are police officers now who take Alex outside of town and pretty much beat the crap out of him. Eventually Alex tries to commit suicide. He fails to kill himself but the head injury he gets from it cures him of his “cure.”

There is a controversial final chapter that appears in the British version but not in the US version. In the UK version, the book has a “happy” ending: Alex “grows up” and decides he wants to get married and have a family. The US version ends with Alex being cured from his conditioning and thinking of all the violent fun he’ll be able to have again.

That synopsis did not go as quickly as I had hoped.

The book is broken up into three sections. The first section is unrelentingly violent. This is why I almost put the book down. It really made me feel sick as though I was the one who had gone through the Ludovico Treatment. The next section is Alex in prison and the aversion therapy. The final section is Alex after being released from prison.

I had a few problems with the book besides the violence. Alex is such an unsympathetic character with no remorse for his actions that I had a hard time feeling sorry for him going through the aversion therapy. Burgess clearly wants us to know the therapy is wrong; it takes away a person’s free will. It is also, of course, a slippery slope. First the state puts violent criminals through the therapy and next thing you know, anyone who doesn’t agree with the government is getting the treatment too. If Alex had been a more sympathetic character I would have felt the wrongness of the treatment more than just intellectually. As it was, I found myself pleased about Alex getting a taste of his own medicine, as it were.

The other problem I had is with the “happy” ending. Alex gathers together a new gang and continues in his old ways until suddenly one day, after meeting one of his old droogs who is now happily married, he decides he’d like to get married and have a family. But as he is thinking all this, he is also thinking that his son will probably be violent and his son, and so on and so on and there is nothing that can be done about it. This, to me seems like a boys-will-be-boys kind of thing as well as suggesting that violence is something they just have outgrow. I almost hurt myself grinding my teeth together.

Clockwork Orange is an interesting book and I am glad to have read it, but I can’t say I liked the book or the reading experience.


Filed under: Books, Reviews Tagged: Anthony Burgess, dystopian fiction

Add a Comment
22. Editor Submission List

Agents work carefully to create a list of where they will send your book.

http://literaticat.blogspot.com/2011/02/crafting-editor-submission-list.html

0 Comments on Editor Submission List as of 3/2/2015 5:42:00 PM
Add a Comment
23. Netgalley/Review Tour: Cursed by Fire by Jacquelyn Frank



Disclaimer: I received no compensation from the author, Netgalley or the publisher for this honest review.


About the Book

For centuries, Dethan has been trapped in a fiery inferno for defying the gods and snatching the power of immortality. Condemned to have his battle-hardened body licked by flames only to regenerate and be consumed all over again, Dethan has lost all hope—until the Goddess of Conflict appears. She will release him from torment—if he’ll use his power and strength as a warrior to raise an army and defeat a fierce enemy faction of gods.

Free to live as a man once again, Dethan meets Selinda—heir to the throne of Hexis—and his thoughts quickly turn from the conquest of cities to the conquest of this headstrong beauty. Betrothed to a cruel, calculating powermonger, Selinda needs a champion, and so Dethan enters into another bargain: If she will share her bed—and her body—with him, Dethan will save her city from destructive forces within and without. As the lovers ignite a searing passion, Dethan will risk all—even the wrath of the Goddess of Conflict—for a chance to make Selinda his forever.

Buy the Book


Here's what I'm giving it:

Rating: 4.5 stars

Here's why:

I am in love with this couple. Dethan and Selinda make up one of the best pairings I've read in a while.

Scarred, yet beautiful and with a innate fierceness and love for her people made Selinda one of the most believable characters I've read about in a while. Dethan was no slouch either in that department.

Intelligence, flaws, redemption, treachery, I read this book in one day and can't wait to read the next one in the series.

Well done, Ms. Frank, well done.

Would I recommend this? That's a resounding YES!

0 Comments on Netgalley/Review Tour: Cursed by Fire by Jacquelyn Frank as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
24. Well, This Is A Time Mess Up

Last Friday in my weekly goals and objectives post, I wrote about planning to submit a manuscript to a journal that is only open for submissions for part of each month. It opens on the 1st and closes when it reaches 200 submissions. That's the number of submissions the staff feels it can deal with in a month.

As it turned out, yesterday was the 1st. So I planned to submit yesterday or today. I was on the road most of yesterday, worked on completing the revision of a chapter today, and when I went to submit the manuscript in question, maybe ten minutes ago, the journal was already closed to submissions. It reached it's 200 mark in less than 48 hours.

Clearly I should have rearranged my time and tried submitting this morning. Or last night after getting back from a day trip. Or yesterday morning before I got on the road at 8:30.

I did not schedule my time correctly. And, you know, I did have a feeling I wouldn't have more than a couple of days to do this.

0 Comments on Well, This Is A Time Mess Up as of 3/2/2015 5:44:00 PM
Add a Comment
25. Jamie McGuire Explains Return to Self-Publishing

NYT bestselling author Jamie McGuire started her career as a self-published author.

Her fourth book Beautiful Disaster was picked up by Simon & Schuster’s Atria imprint and became an international bestseller. Yet after her contract ran out, she’s decided to go back to self-publishing. In an interview on Smashwords, she explains why. Check it out:

The deciding factor though was realizing that I had signed foreign book deals for five to seven years on average, and my domestic deals were indefinite.  That made sense before ebooks, but because the overhead for digital books is negligible, publishers can make them available indefinitely. Before, authors might have once been able to see rights returned to find new ways to revive their backlists, but now, signing is permanent. Going forward, I knew I could potentially make more money holding on to my digital rights because ebooks are forever.

Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts