Thursday, November 28, 2013

Storytimevictoriansuperheroeblablabla - PICTURE

So, remember that last post? About the Victorian Superhero story? Little Brother just took the perfect illustration for it, and it's so great and creepy I HAD TO SHOW YOU.

(Also, I don't know how Little Brother got Other Brother to hold fire in his bare hand, but there was clearly magic involved. Or cookies.)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Storytime! - Victorian Superheroes

I have a large and frightening test at school today and have absolutely no time to blog, but I wrote a short story about tricks and cheats, vast sewer systems and 19th century kids with powers, and you can read it here. I hope you like it! :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Recent Reads - #1

I've recently been reading alll the books, and these are some of the ones I've loved, and so of course I want EVERYONE to love them, and if they look like your cup of earl gray you should get them, because they're great:

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

This isn't a kid's book. I feel like I should say that. There was one part toward the end where I was just like, "Ewww?" *covers eyes and skips two pages because so much blood and guts* But not all books can be kids books, and this is just a sad fact of life that one must be understanding about, and so that being said this one is super well-written, and based on an actual 19th century murder-case, and reads almost like a mystery thriller. Actually it kind of reminded me of a Agatha Christie book, only 1000x darker. And set in Iceland. Great characters, stark, haunting atmosphere. . .

Also, I gave it to my sister right afterward and she loved it, too, which is important because she reads Aristotle and Sun Tzu for fun and thinks most of the books I give her are lame.

The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand

I've loved everything Legrand writes. Her first book The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls was one of my favorites from last year, and this one was so good, too. It's about a girl who is enlisted by a group of ghosts in her dad's old music hall to help remember the things that are keeping them from moving on. The back-stories of each of the ghosts are the highlight of the book, I thought. They become more and more heart-wrenching, right up until the hopeful, glowing finale, at which point you're just like "Yaaaaaay!"

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K.Rowling

Okay, this one is maybe a little bit obscure and you might be hard-pressed to find it anywhere, but it's so worth going on a million-mile quest over mountains and dales to read. I just finished the first book for the first time, and while it's a lot of "Harry Potter inherits a vault full of gold, and Harry Potter gets the BEST FLYING BROOM EVER", it's written in such fun, charming, engaging way that you totally don't get sick of it and you start wishing you got flying brooms, which I think is the appeal. Basically, it's famous for a reason: because it's fun and happy-making and great. If you haven't read it yet, I think you should. :)

Also, I have four gifts cards for bookstores sitting on my desk, so if you've read anything recently that you thought was amazing I would probably buy it if you told me to.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

THE WHATNOT - Review Round-up!

The Whatnot got its first reviewwwws! From Kirkus! And Publishers Weekly! And School Library Journal! And they liked it! And PW gave it a star. Starred reviews were always weird to me when I was a kid because one star means you don't like a book, duh, and I didn't get why the publisher would want to print that on the jacket, but in fact a starred review means the reviewing magazine wants to highlight the book because they liked it extra much, and so I'm super happy PW decided to give Whatnot one. Thanks so much, PW. :)

Here are the pull-quotes from Harper's site. The full reviews are linked up, too, but they have spoilers, so be warned if you haven't read The Peculiar.

Publishers Weekly

"Exhilarating . . . Bachmann writes with a skill that belies his youth . . . and he has a genius for envisioning fairy magic and architecture . . . Readers will want to start with The Peculiar, and immediately dive into this fine tale.
- Publishers Weekly (starred review)


"Bachmann unleashes his boundless imagination in his descriptions of the Old Country, whose rules and landscape are capricious and ever-changing. Hettie’s terror is well-justified. Detail upon baroque detail piles up as Bartholomew and Pikey race to find Hettie, the war between humans and faeries inevitably catching them up in it—as does friendship.
A bleak and breathless read, one that will have readers hoping for a peaceful outcome as fervently as its characters do."

- Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

"Enthralling . . . The breathtaking beauty of [Bachmann's] prose is coupled with a plot that also leaves his audience breathless." 

- School Library Journal
AREN'T THOSE THE NICEST EVER? I feel all flattered now. Thank you, reviewers!

Update: Common Sense Media also reviewed it, and they give points based on educational value, message and content, along with the usual star rating, so this will maybe interesting to parents and teachers. The Whatnot's review is here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Little Tiny Tour Re-cap

I got back from tour over a month ago, and I haven't blogged yet because:

Whoa, that came out slightly more vehemently than intended. But you guysssss, why is there school and who invented it? I kind of want to blog about it, because there are lots of interesting tidbits that I find super funny, but I would probably be expelled. So nope.

Tour re-cap. I had the best tour ever. I met tons of nice people, a rude taxi-driver, some very nice taxi-drivers, some old friends and new friends, and my fellow Cabinet Curators! I went to interesting cities I had not been to before, and I spoke to bajillions of school children and signed lots of books and it was great. I took no pictures, though. At all.

So I scoured the internet and found some that my agent took, and then I randomly wrote to Emma Trevayne asking for a picture of her shoes and luckily I don't think Emma cares if she gets unhinged emails from me, so here's what we've got:

Reading and Signing at Boulder Bookstore, in Colorado

Awesome shop. Super awesome people. Polka-dot soooooocks.

Cabinet Curators in Portland:

Claire, Emma, and I were in Portland for panels and signings and such, and we got no group pictures! Which is a travesty really. But Emma's shoes! Aren't they grand? They are.

Also, Wordstock did this cool thing where alllllll the authors sat in a red plastic wing-chair, and Andie Petkus took their pictures. Here's mine:

I like that red-plastic wing-chair. I want it.

Curator Katherine was unable to come to Portland, which was sad, but she was there in SPIRIT in the form of a snazzy houseplant:

It's hard to see, but Katherine is wearing sunglasses and a scarf, as cool houseplants should, and rocking a wild haircut.

I have no pictures of the skyscraper hotel in Austin, or of San Francisco, or Golden Gate Bridge even though I drove right across it, or when we met Laini Taylor and she came to Claire's and my reading (O_O), or of the visit we did at a haunted dessert restaurant in Portland where April Tucholke and Kendare Blake and I talked about STABBING.

But it was fun and I'm super grateful I got to go, and now I need to do homework or write or something, because Dead Man's Palace needs to be handed in in like three weeks.

Bye! :)