Tag Archives: Peter Dickinson

Bookwitch bites #132

My timing is impeccable. Not only did it seem that my favourite book of the year was – belatedly – discovered in the press just as I got my own 2015 list ready, but that same day there were lists everywhere! Must have been something in the water to make us publish simultaneously.

The Irish Times splashed out on a top thirty books for all ages (children). Some of the suggestions I have read, and even agree with.

The Scotsman went the other way, and only picked five books, but that’s fine too.

And The Guardian asked lots of people; both authors and ‘ordinary’ readers for their favourites. It’s always interesting to see what people whose books you like, choose for their own enjoyment. Although with my usual careless reading, I was surprised to find that our children’s laureate, Chris Riddell, suggested ‘anything that isn’t by Chris Priestley’ which struck me as both unkind and unlikely. On looking again I saw that he actually recommends Chris Priestley’s book Anything That Isn’t This.

Barrington Stoke went political (their own words) this week over losing one of their members of staff. Publishing assistant Megan has been forced to leave her job and this country because she doesn’t earn enough money to be allowed to stay. There is something wrong about this.

Finally, it’s goodbye to a great children’s author, Peter Dickinson, who died on Wednesday, on his 88th birthday. As Lucy Coats says in her tribute to Peter on the ABBA blog, not everyone will know who he was. But he was a hero to those ‘in the business.’ There have been many lovely obituaries this week:

Publishers Weekly, Independent, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The New York Times.  I have a lot of catching up to do.

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Bookwitch bites #120

Bah, rubbish! And I mean google and unresponsive websites. I went looking for the link to Peter Dickinson’s essay A Defence of Rubbish and found nothing. I understand the origin is a talk from 1970, but I read about it not long ago. Unfortunately, as this rubbish stands, I can offer no link.* Sorry.

I was reminded of this when I came across another – not quite so old – piece on reading rubbish, by Clémentine Beauvais on ABBA. I don’t know how I missed it, seeing as it stirred lots of feathers, and quite rightly so. Clémentine is against, but a lot of people believe in rubbish.

So do I, although there is good rubbish and bad rubbish. I’m probably most in favour of the better stuff.

John Connolly Edgar award by David Brown

Not rubbish at all is what I can say about John Connolly’s recent Edgar Award for Best Short Story for The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository. (I’ve not read it, but I very much doubt he’d win anything if it was bad. Or that John would write bad stuff.) The photo of John and Edgar is pretty appalling, however. Could almost have been taken by me, but wasn’t.

More Irish excellence with the news that Eoin Colfer is the new Laureate na nOg, which I believe means he’s their Malorie Blackman. Congratulations to Eoin, and here’s to the great work he’s bound to do, for books and reading!

Someone who definitely gets young people reading is Liz Kessler, who recently reported that there is now a fantastic screenplay of her Emily Windsnap, written by a Hollywood-based producer and an amazing scriptwriter. As Liz points out, that’s still a long way from it becoming a film, but it’s a start. We’ll be waiting!

You don’t have to wait quite as long, and there’s more certainty, for the Borders Book Festival. The programme is out now, and the festival itself will happen in five weeks’ time. Who knows, I might even make it there this year. Bring on the famous Scottish sunshine!

*Below are two screen caps of parts of what Peter said:

Peter Dickinson, A Defence of Rubbish

Peter Dickinson, A Defence of Rubbish