First of all: The winners of the giveaway!
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.