Giveaway winners; and links rounded up, part 2

First of all: The winners of the giveaway!

Karenlibrarian of Books and Chocolate! and!
Proper Jenny of Shelf Love!

Congratulations! I’ve sent you both an email, so let me know if you don’t receive it. And now, on to the links.

Just Book Reading expected Witch Week to be sort of like Harry Potter though in fact it turned out to be quite different.

Thomas of shepline thinks about his favorites of Diana Wynne Jones’s books. Spoiler: He likes Fire and Hemlock best because it is best. :) Here he writes about how Fire and Hemlock influenced his own writing; and here he picks his top seven Diana Wynne Jones books (tricky!).

Kristen of We Be Reading sticks up for A Tale of Time City, causing me to rethink my stance on it. She thinks it would make a fantastic movie, which although ToTC is not my favorite DWJ book, I totally agree with. She did not expect to like Dogsbody as she feared the narration by a dog would be annoying, but she was pleased to find it was wonderful. She loved Charmed Life on a reread and wants to carry on reading DWJ books forever. Quite rightly.

Bellaonbooks’s Blog regrets that The Homeward Bounders is frequently overlooked, in spite of how brilliant it is. I second! It has one of my most favorite DWJ characters of all, and she writes damn good characters across the board.

Karenlibrarian of Books and Chocolate read four of the Chrestomanci books; her post covers The Lives of Christopher Chant and The Magicians of Caprona. She liked The Lives of Christopher Chant best. (yay)

Jeanne of Necromancy Never Pays liked Fire and Hemlock but was not sure Polly’s dreadful parents were realistic, and she disliked the end. It is quite fair to dislike the end.

Anastasia of Birdrain(ed) Book Blog remembers how her second-best friend in middle school, who liked Redwall and Homer, put her on to Diana Wynne Jones.

Jane of Teabag Central, who is my hero for transliterating the Greek from The Ogre Downstairs from me, loves the fairy tale tropes turned on their heads in Howl’s Moving Castle, which she calls “the classiest pantomime you could ever imagine”. P.S. I never saw a panto when I lived in Britain and I really, really regret it. She too sticks up for A Tale of Time City, the world of which she fell completely in love with. Then she reviewed Archer’s Goon, thank God, I was afraid nobody would and I truly love it, and blew my mind by saying there was a BBC TV adaptation of it which I now want more than I want to snuddle my puppy. She seems to have read the same trashy fantasy in her teenage years as I did and thus loved The Tough Guide to Fantasyland.

Bookwyrme of Bookwyrme’s Lair reread Enchanted Glass, and makes the point that Andrew’s academic life carries on being important to him even after he discovers magic. This is a nice thing about Diana Wynne Jones: her characters are interesting because they have interests. Year of the Griffin was a less-successful reread, as Bookwyrme felt it was a generic story; and The Game proved disappointingly easily resolved. But Eight Days of Luke, a longtime favorite, remained so on the reread; and Deep Secret was also a success except for the sci-fi convention.

Charlotte of Charlotte’s Library enjoyed Diana Wynne Jones’s short retelling of Puss in Boots, which, since she brings it up, I am not sure I have ever read. She also reread The Game and liked and understood it better this time.

Ana of things mean a lot is, as I mentioned, giving away a copy of Fire and Hemlock in her post about “What the Cat Told Me”, an excellent Diana Wynne Jones short story.

Shanra of Libri Touches had mixed feelings about The Merlin Conspiracy, as she does not care for first-person narrators and moreover did not buy it that the adults of Blest were being so clueless.

Erin of Aelia Reads loves the world of Charmed Life and wishes it could make friends with the world of Deep Secret and The Merlin Conspiracy. Her favorite character from The Lives of Christopher Chant is Throgmorten, which I think undersells the Goddess. Though she did not care for every story from Mixed Magics, she made it sound awesome and I hate myself for not buying it when I had the chance. And last but decidedly not least, she reviewed Howl’s Moving Castle, her most favorite DWJ book of all.

Jennifer of Jean Little Library enjoyed the Romeo & Juliet echoes in The Magicians of Caprona; and appreciated the lovely variety of stories in Unexpected Magic, except for the long one at the end. I remember quite liking that one myself but it’s been ages since I read it. And she likes that Conrad’s Fate works in spite of having a plot not entirely clear and a fairly passive protagonist.

Jenclair from A Garden Carried in the Pocket read The Magicians of Caprona and Witch Week and noted (told you so) that reading the Chrestomanci books out of order really doesn’t matter at all. (Though maybe don’t read Conrad’s Fate first.)

Kim of Sophisticated Dorkiness found the first two Dalemark Quartet books to be disappointingly unresolved; she hopes good things of the later two.

Jeane of Dog Ear Diary has never liked any Diana Wynne Jones books nearly as well as Dogsbody; and this record was, sadly, not broken by Castle in the Air.

trapunto of Villa Negativa contemplates sexiness and mystique in Diana Wynne Jones’s books. Basically, who would you marry? Y’all know I’d marry the man who sends books to the object of his affections.

Heather of letters and sodas loved Fire and Hemlock (yay!) (yay!) (yay!), particularly the way that it integrated real regular life and what Polly and Tom call “hero business.”

Y’all are smashing. This has been awesome. Regularly scheduled posting will resume…at some point. I may be a bit absent from the blogosphere this week, as it’s my last week of the internship and I will be going home soon. I was going to write up some of my backlog of reviews yesterday, but instead of doing that, I watched the first season of Shameless and contemplated how much I love Paul Abbott. The stress of change takes me this way. I also ate up half a pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

43 thoughts on “Giveaway winners; and links rounded up, part 2

  1. Yay, more links to visit! I’m not even done with the first one! Thank you again for coming up with the DWJ Week. It’s the first time I somehow completed/participated in a book blogging activity this year (as far as I can remember).

    • Your reviews were interesting. I loved reading all of them, particularly as a bunch of people reviewed books I’d forgotten about, or books I hardly ever see reviewed.

  2. I’m happy for Karen & Jenny, even though jealous too! lol

    Thanks for rounding up all the links: Sunday reading for me already put together. :D

    • I’m a bit jealous myself. I had to keep reminding myself I couldn’t enter my own giveaway.

      I hope you like Howl’s Moving Castle, by the way. It’s a rather sweet book.

  3. I’ve said it more than once already this week but thank you, Jenny, for coming up with this fantastic idea! It was a brilliant idea and the timing (at least for me) was wonderful. I hope we do it again!

  4. Thanks for running such a great event! So bummed that I could not make it work for me but really enjoyed all the posts, and, you might be happy to know, amended my order sheets for middle school classroom sets to include two Diana Wynne Jones titles based upon participant reviews. Happy reading!

  5. After I read your last link roundup, I started thinking I needed to read me some more DWJ… but I was involved in a (perhaps misguided) attempt to, like, not borrow any more library books.

    But I visited one of my favourite libraries late last week, and they had a Kage Baker novella I wanted, and then I saw a book by Maureen Johnson, and one by Alexander McCall Smith, and since I was already borrowing so many other books, I figured I might as well get a couple of DWJ titles, too (HOWL’S MOVIING CASTLE and CASTLE IN THE AIR). I’m now off the wagon. Sigh.

    • Pfft, not going to the library is a silly wagon to be on in the first place. The books are free, and there are many of them! I totally approve of your library visiting.

  6. Thanks to the introduction to DWJ. There is little better in life than being able to visit fantasy worlds, and Jones has created so many!

    Congrats to Karen and Proper Jenny!

  7. I’m not a blogger, but I absolutely love Diana Wynne Jones. I’ve read your reviews and they’re all fabulous. It’s good to see that there’s so many DWJ fans out there. One thing I noticed though is that unless I missed it nobody did a review for The Ogre Downstairs. I just read that one for the first time (like many of her books it was hard to find) and thought it was hilarious! Especially the part where Gwinny thinks she’s poisoned the Ogre. Gwinny’s guilty concern makes for the perfect little girl reaction. Anyway, I just wanted to make sure this wity book didn’t get forgotten.

    • I love the name Maida. It makes me think of the book Maida’s Little Shop.

      Yes, I haven’t read all the reviews yet, but I was wondering what got missed. Ogre Downstairs and Aunt Maria/Black Maria. Maybe some of the short stories? Any else?

      • Oh, and I’m doing one more. Just tardy. I was going to try to finish it Saturday, but I realized I would rather read! That weird, simultaneous August busy-ness and malaise has fallen over me, so I’m not sure when I’ll have it up…

      • The Maida books are where my mother got the name. I’m surprised you’ve heard of them, because I’ve never met anyone who has.

      • I believe Power of Three was also missed out, which is a shame. It’s my favorite of the three (I guess it is only three–that’s amazing!) that didn’t get reviewed. Though I am quite fond of The Ogre Downstairs. I like it when Malcolm and Caspar switch bodies. :)

        I will now go forth and read Maida’s Little Shop. It sounds adorable.

  8. Hi Jenny,

    I am LOVING your DWJ week, though as I’m still internet-less I could only drop in during my lunch break…

    I read The House of Many Ways, Stealer of Souls, and Witch Week, and I’ve also recently read The Pinhoe Egg and Charmed Life.

    I second Maida’s championing of The Ogre Downstairs; it’s definitely worth re-re-reading and I love the Greek at the end (amongst other things).

    There are still quite a lot of DWJ’s books I haven’t read but I’m trying to not just buy them all, because I don’t want to run out. I’m helped (and frustrated) by the fact that a lot of her books are rarely to be found in libraries, and they only occasionally pop up in charity shops.

    I’ve ordered Archer’s Goon and an un-bowdlerised version of Deep Secret. And… I now have all my books out of storage! Yay!

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying it–sounds like you had quite the DWJ reading orgy! :) I’m planning to reread The Ogre Downstairs (among other things) when I get home to all my DWJ books.

      Poor you for not having internet but a huge hooray for getting your books out of storage! It must be like being reunited with old friends!

      Have you not read Archer’s Goon and Deep Secret yet? Because you’re in for two absolutely wonderful treats if not. :)

      • Deep Secret is an old friend, though I had the edited version before, but Archer’s Goon is new.

        Yes, it is wonderful – I have books I’d forgotten about completely, that I find in the bottom of a box and sit down and read right away. I have to *not* unpack book boxes when I have other tasks lined up…

  9. Oh shoots, I missed the whole thing! It sounds like it was fun, too.

    My only excuse is that I was in a minor sort of car accident, and spent the last week in a neckbrace and Vicodin stupor.

    Maybe next time!

  10. I thought I had said thanks already, but it must have passed in a dream, like the summer seems to have…also, I didn’t realize you and “proper Jenny” were different people!

    • We are! Proper Jenny is from Shelf Love–which took me ages to realize she was that Jenny, because she usually doesn’t comment with her URL. And then when I realized I felt silly.

  11. Pingback: Mixed Magics « Care's Online Book Club

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