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The Quill Awards

The Quill Awards are new. They celebrate the written word, etc. etc. like other literary awards, but the winners are chosen by readers. Which means you can go to this site and vote! Or you can do it at your local Borders bookstore.

There are 5 nominees each, in a ton of different categories, the best and best-selling books of the year, as chosen by booksellers and librarians. Then the public votes between now and September 15 to determine the winners.

The results will be announced October 11 in a fancy ceremony that will also be on television, which is unusual (to say the least) for book events.

Below, the nominees in the young adult category -- so read them and vote!

(Also, if you don't know what to vote for in the picture book category, my strong recommendation is Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems. (No, I don't know him. Just his books!)



Walter Mosley

Abarat: Days of Magic Nights of War
Clive Barker

Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood
Ann Brashares

How I Live Now
Meg Rosoff

G. P. Taylor

Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers, by Louise Rennison

Georgia Nicolson is in German class:

"Herr Kamyer was as usual rambling on about the Koch family going on one of their endless camping trips. Keeping in mind that Koch is pronounced "cock" and keeping in mind that they are the family that star in our German textbooks, you have to ask yourself this: What sadist decided to feature a family called Koch in our textbooks?? They know that they are going to be read out by the naff and the sad (German teachers) to a load of giggling and hysterical girls obsessed with boys and rudey-dudeyness. The family could have been called anything, couldn't they? Schwartz or Schmidt, for instance, but oh no, it had to be the Kochs and their spangleferkels. How many sausages can one family eat? In the Kochs' case, the answer is a lot."

If this makes you laugh out loud, as it does me, buy this book.
Louise Rennison is just so vair vair vair funny.
I could have picked any number of bits to excerpt.
But you won't understand a word of it unless you read all the ones before, as there's no introduction-orientation anything, and Georgia is so FULL of slangosity this go-round that I could barely figure out what she was saying for the first third.

I love Dave the Laugh.

Julie Kenner's Scary Boyfriend List

CarpedemonmediumJulie Kenner is on the GCC with me and she's written Carpe Demon, which is all about this suburban soccer mom who hunts demons ala Buffy. (Plus, she writes that "it's been vetted by the moms of a 12 and a 14 y.o., LOL" -- so it's appropriate reading for anyone.)

She's also the author of The Givenchy Code, which is like a fashiony chick lit thriller. The tag line reads: "Cryptography is the new black." Which cracks me up.

Julie wrote us a super-funny and also SCARY boyfriend list, below.
I mean, Count Olaf!??! Bleh blech!
Darth Vader! Quadruple blech!

Though James Bond is hot,
and Lord Voldemort used to be.
And Rick Blaine? (He's the guy Bogart plays in Casablanca). I would take him in a second!
And actually, though I know this is sick, I always liked Anthony Perkins in that movie....

All right. I am obviously a deranged individual with highly questionable taste. But Julie's not.

Oh yeah, here is Julie's blog!


Julie Kenner's Top Nine "I'd Rather Fight Demons Than Have These Film And/Or Literary Dudes as A (Serious) Boyfriend" List
(because everyone always does a top ten ...)

Psycho661) Norman Bates. I just don't date men I wouldn't feel comfortable showering with.

2) Count Olaf. A girl's gotta think about the whole family thing, right? And I just don't think he's that good with kids ...

3) Darth Vader. OK, yes, so maybe therapy could help the guy out, but a) mostly-evil just doesn't do it for me, and b) can you imagine the hassle factor of getting that outfit drycleaned? And you know *he's* not going to do it himself!

4) Count Dracula. Sure, there's some dark sexual attraction working there, but I can't even wear turtlenecks, I so hate things right around my neck ...

Humphreybogartpicture5) Rick Blaine. Okay, this was a hard one, b/c, hey, it's Humphrey Bogart. But in the end, he chose duty and honor over Ingrid Bergman. Fabulous in film, not so fabulous if you're the girl, ya know?

6) Lord Voldermort. I mean, come on? How could I date a guy whose name I'm not even allowed to say?

7) Ashley Wilkes. I just NEVER got Scarlett's fascination with that man ...

8) Charles Foster Kane. Money, but serious issues. And a severe lack of comfortable furniture in the home.

9) James Bond. Good to look at. Not the marrying type. On Her Majesty's Secret Service notwithstanding. (But for a fling ... well, that I just might have to consider)

Ready or Not, by Meg Cabot

Ready_or_not I say, GO MEG CABOT! Ready or Not, the sequel to All American Girl, goes out on a most excellent political limb. It may not be Cabot's funniest, or best-plotted (because at her very best she's so dang hilarious I nearly fall out of my chair, and that's not quite going on here), but I think she's written a long-overdue book that presents sex and sexual responsibility in an excellent light.

Though I know not everyone agrees with me, since a bookseller told me she thought that this title was too adult for Cabot's readers and shouldn't have been published under Cabot's name unless it had giant letters on it saying "INVOLVES MASTURBATION!" so that people would be scared off.

The thing that nothing I've read seems to mention is that this is obviously a companion piece to the last Princess Diaries book. Sam and Mia have the same basic problem (they worry their long-term boyfriends want to Do It, and they're not sure they're ready) -- and they have the same hysterical response to it. But they take very different and equally understandable and relatable approaches to solving the problem. And the ending to Ready or Not makes me look at those fireworks on the cover in a new way...)

The Chat Scoop

The chat was LOVELY. It was rated PG, thanks to my description of Fly on the Wall sparking a long series of naughty jokes. I hope they don't ban me from the premises!

Really. I hope they don't. Because the YA Authors Cafe is awesome. Lots of interesting people showed up, and made jokes, and asked questions. Libba Bray was so funny I laughed out loud. I asked her how to go about writing a sequel, and she recommended scones and caffeine.

There will be a transcript here, at some point.

Thanks to all the people at the Cafe for having me, and to everyone who came!


The Live Chat is tonight!

Hi all,
My live chat with Libba Bray
(who wrote A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels)
is TONIGHT (Tuesday, August 16)
YA Authors Cafe
at 8:30 Eastern time, 5:30 Pacific

I've told you about it before, but now it's happening. You can ask questions! We will answer them! Or you can talk amongst yourselves.
It's very informal. Me, Libba, and anyone else who wants to come, chatting through the miracle of technology.

I'm re-posting the information, just in case:
You go to and click the cafe chatroom icon (which is a brownish and slightly obscure box, located on the lower right hand side -- it says Cafe Chatroom, but not "enter chatroom" so you have you just have faith and click on the thing), and join the chat by logging in with a screen name, kind of like AIM.

Come on by and ask me anything you want! It's open to all. You don't have to be an author to go.

A Live Chat, August 16

If you have even a semi-fast internet connection, you should make technology your friend and go to
YA Authors Cafe
on August 16
(that's a Tuesday night)
at 8:30 Eastern time, 5:30 Pacific
You can ask questions, and stuff. Whatever.

9031184If that's not exciting enough for you, I have this to say:
it's not just me.
It's me and
the wonderfully talented Libba Bray
who wrote A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels.
She is super interesting and funny and her books are great, if you haven't read them yet.
So come talk to us, already.

Here's what you do. You go to and click the cafe chatroom icon (which is a brownish and slightly obscure box, located on the lower right hand side -- it says Cafe Chatroom, but not "enter chatroom" so you have you just have faith and click on the thing), and join the chat by logging in with a screen name, kind of like AIM.

I hope you'll all come -- readers, writers, librarians, booksellers, publishing folk. You don't have to be an author to go. It's open to ALL.