Friday, November 23, 2007

Swelled Head Never Won Fair Maiden

So it's a good thing I have no interest in winning a fair maiden. Because my head just keeps getting bigger and bigger...

For starters, the dead & the gone has received its first internet (or anywhere for that matter) review. Jen Robinson was kind enough to review it. Here's a brief selection, and a link to the entire review:

the dead & the gone gripped my attention completely, brought tears to my eyes, and made me think about the many things for which I am thankful. The characters, especially Alex and Julie, are three-dimensional, with strengths and flaws, and occasional unreasonable behaviors. In summary, LAWKI fans, this one is worth waiting for.

While I'm on the subject of the dead & the gone, here are a couple of comments comparing it to Life As We Knew It. The first comes from the YALSA discussion board, the second from an e-mail to me:

Well, I have just finished reading The Dead and the Gone and it is just as good, if not better than Life as We Knew It. Susan Pfeffer knows how to pull the reader right into the story.

I just finished a galley copy of The Dead and the Gone last night. I got it on Tuesday afternoon and just could not put it down...I must say I thought this book was even better than Life as We Knew It.

Lest you think Life As We Knew It isn't getting enough love, darling Google was sweet enough to let me read the following:

Today, Pittsburgh's loomed with overcast skies and coated us in drizzle. I had some tofurkey with friends earlier, and now I'm back home on the couch, taking stock of my life. You see, I recently read Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It. If you haven't read it, I strongly suggest it. It's an evocative--if not emotionally excruciating--account of what happens to a family after an asteroid hits the moon, knocking it out of orbit and toward the Earth. Natural disasters, extreme temperatures, and flu outbreaks ravage civilization, killing countless people across the globe. Meanwhile, the main character Miranda documents it all: the mad rush for food, the volcanic ash blocking out the sun, and the knowledge that anyone, no matter how much you love them, is at risk for death.

It's a lot to think about. And it got me thinking that disaster preparedness isn't just having the food, fuel, and tools you'll need to survive. It's about making sure that the people you appreciate are reminded that you appreciate them, because--well--you can't predict the future.
That's why I wanted to write this post.

Remember the guy to the right? He and his wife sent me the most wonderful present. They put together a "soundtrack" for LAWKI, using bits of Emily Bauer's audiobook narration and songs that fit the various scenes. My mother always said the handmade gifts were the best, and I always figured she was lying, but she wasn't! The gift of the soundtrack is one of the nicest I've ever received. I love it, and I am so grateful for the thought and the effort that went into it.

While I'm being personal, let me wish Marci a very happy birthday. She's one of the dedicatees of LAWKI, and she puts up with me in person on a regular basis, which pretty much qualifies her for sainthood. Besides, she's the one who taught me how to cut and paste, a skill I've been displaying with carefree abandon this entire blogpost.

I've removed the Bolivian Hat from my swollen head and put e-mail addresses back in it. Somehow when I left NCTE/ALAN, a half dozen ARCs of the dead & the gone followed me home. Once I finish this entry, I'll pull six names out of the hat, and e-mail them to ask if they're still interested in having a copy. I am cautiously optimistic that Harcourt will be sending me more ARCs, and if they do, I'll re-open the hat for those who haven't yet asked. Pathological optimist that I am, I bought two packages of mailing envelopes at Staples this afternoon.

Okay. I'm finished boasting for the day. Let's hope my natural modesty will return posthaste (I've always liked that word), before I have to make a return trip to Bolivia to purchase a bigger hat.

PS- I tried to post a link to a wonderful new review of the dead & the gone in the comments section, but it didn't work, so I'll try it here instead.

Please note, this review is somewhat spoilerish, so don't read it if you don't want to take that chance:

PPS-And thanks to the much loved anonymous, here's another link to make my head even more swollen:


Anonymous said...

Aw man, have you already emailed? Have I really lost for the THIRD time?

This is so depressing.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Anonymous because I keep losing too. =( *cries* But I suppose God thinks I've won my fair share of things (even though it was one contest) this year because I got to see my favourite singer perform at an exclusive event so yeah... God won't want me to win for a while it looks like =P

I read that internet review and it was totally awesome! Jen Robinson did well with making me want to read it more than ever.

Heeey, you should absolutely write a whole series of these books =P haha. It will keep us all happy!

Susan, could you maybe post what songs were used for the soundtrack? Then I can download them. ^__^ Haha.

by the way, you must have read my mind because after your last entry I thought, "How come she didn't bring all those books home with her?" it looks like you did anyway =P haha.

Keep on doing well!

Anonymous said...

So I go to Barnes & Noble today while I'm waiting for a tire to be put on my car (my wife ran over a nail yesterday and the tire couldn't be salvaged) and I can't find Life As We Knew It. I ask the information person there for it and they look it up on their quasi-computer and tell me it is out of stock. Well, I tell them that it should always be in stock and prominently displayed. They ask if I want to order it (they are not enjoying me at this particular moment), and I tell them that I already have it. Two other clerks have joined the first person by this point and they ask me what do I want. I tell them that this is a really good book and it should not be out of stock, that they should keep it on their shelves for all to enjoy. They tell me they will (they want me to leave asap), and I go along my merry way.

Okay, maybe I am a bit of a lunatic, but is it so bad to recommend books at bookstores? (I also told a grandmother searching for a book for her grandson to buy the latest book in the Alex Rider series which she did.) These clerks don't seem to know much about books other than whether it is in stock or not.



Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi depressed anonymous and caroline and anonymous glen. Happy Thanksgiving Saturday.

Let me start by saying I'm hoping to get more ARCs, and when I do, I'll be sending them out to as many of my slowly gained readership as possible. Last time, with the UK bound proofs, I didn't even give one to my mother. She looked at me with her sad blue eyes and asked, "Have I read that one?"

I gave her one of the Harcourt ARCs, and I think she's forgiven me.

Now onto Caroline's question. I e-mailed the very nice people who made the "soundtrack," to get their approval, and what we all finally decided is anyone who wants the complete songlist should simply send me an e-mail (through that cute little link on the top left of the blog) and I'll e-mail it back. And I envy you getting to see your favorite singer perform at an exclusive event. Now that's something truly wonderful to win.

I've stopped looking for copies of LAWKI at B&N and Borders, because I just wasn't finding it there. The local Borders had 3 copies, sold them reasonably fast, and as best I can tell never reordered. I know Harcourt is pleased with how well it's sold through B&N, and I'm chosing not to worry about it, although if the chains don't carry the paperback I'll be hysterical and it won't be a pretty sight. But thank you Glen for trying.

Now onto my ever increasingly swelled head. Another Bolivian hat person has reviwed the dead & the gone, and here's a quote:

Sometimes gross, often heart-breaking, but always enthralling. This would be a great book for a reluctant reader. (Just make sure s/he doesn’t have too many anxiety issues!)

It occurs to me that if I leave this comment to get the link to the blog with the review, I may lose the comment forever, so I'll go back and put the link in a brand new comment (yes, my cut and paste skills haven't quite been perfected yet). Be forewarned, the review may be a little spoilerish, so only read the whole review if you're willing to take the risk.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Okay- I dumped the comment with the link because the link didn't work. It's now a PS on the blog entry itself, for those who are interested.

For those of you who have blogs that don't get a lot of comments, clearly the trick is to write three comments yourself, even if you erase one of them!

Marci said...

Thanks for the birthday greetings (my first online!) and for the gift of a long time friendship (not to mention CHOCOLATE!)

Glen, I had the same experience at our local B&N, which is not a very good B&N, and told them the same thing. And they asked me if I wanted to order LAWKI, but they wouldn't be getting anymore in. I have no idea how they decide these things, but I guess the C stores only get certain things. Next time I am in NYC I will check out a couple of B&Ns and will see if the book is in stock.

I used to go into Borders and put the book face forward, but they let it go out of stock too. And don't dare ask one of their employees a book related question. They have NO CLUE! But my guess is that if they get a large number of people requesting the book, the dimbulbs might actually come to the conclusion that it should be in stock.

Kudos on the good reviews on td&tg! There will be many more.

Jen Robinson said...

I just wanted to thank Caroline for saying this: "Jen Robinson did well with making me want to read it more than ever." That's my goal as a reviewer - to make you want to read the book, without giving anything away that will spoil anyone's enjoyment of the book.

Glad that you liked the review, Susan. Thanks for linking to it! I'm honored to have been the first.

And I really hope to see lots of copies of the paperback edition in the bookstores. I'll complain about it in my local bookstore, too, if I don't find it. I think that if more people read LAWKI it when the paperback comes out, that the dead & the gone will fly off the shelves.

Anonymous said...

And now Emily Mitchell is rubbing it in.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Thank you Jen Robinson and the ever popular anonymous.

I kind of like the idea of sending swarms of LAWKI fans out to demand the chain stores carry the paperback. The independent bookstores really pushed LAWKI, and I'm very grateful to them.

And I love that non-Haiku, which I have now posted the link to on the blog proper. Anonymous found it for me before Google did, and I immediately sent it to my editor. That poor woman will rue the day the internet was invented.

Anonymous said...

I'm loved and popular! OMG--you've made my anonymous day!

Anonymous said...

Wait just a minute...

I'm anonymous!

Anonymous said...

You might be anonymous, too, but I am depressed anonymous and Emily-Mitchell-linking anonymous.

I like your name.