23 January 2007

What he said

Right here.

The Cybils: 2006 finalists

Back in November I mentioned the Children's and YA Bloggers' Literary Awards (Cybils). As promised, the short lists for last year have been determined, and the judging committees are now working on deciding on the winners. No definite date yet for when said winners will be announced.

The finalists (five in each category) are:

Fiction Picture Books:
Emily’s Balloon, by Komako Sakai
Learning to Fly, by Sebastian Meschenmoser
Scaredy Squirrel, by Melanie Watt
Waiting for Gregory, by Kimberly Willis Holt; illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska
Wolves, by Emily Gravett

Non-Fiction Picture Books:
3-D ABC: A Sculptural Alphabet, by Bob Raczka
Aliens Are Coming!: The True Account Of The 1938 War Of The Worlds Radio Broadcast, by Meghan McCarthy
An Egg Is Quiet, by Dianna Aston; illustrated by Sylvia Long
An Island Grows, by Lola M. Schaefer; illustrated by Cathie Felstead
Little Lost Bat, by Sandra Markle; illustrated by Alan Marks

Middle Grade Fiction:
A Drowned Maiden's Hair, by Laura Amy Schlitz
Framed, Frank Cottrell Boyce
Heat, by Mike Lupica
Kiki Strike, by Kirsten Miller
Weedflower, by Cynthia Kadohata

Young Adult Fiction:
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life, by Dana Reinhardt
Hattie Big Sky, by Kirby Larson
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
The Rules of Survival, by Nancy Werlin

Fantasy and Science Fiction:
Ptolemy's Gate, by Jonathan Stroud
Silver City, by Cliff McNish
Beka Cooper: Terrier, by Tamora Pierce
The Last Dragon, by Silvana de Mari
Pucker, by Melanie Gideon

Graphic Novels (12 and under):
Amelia Rules, vol 3: Superheroes, by Jimmy Gownley
Babymouse: Beach Babe, by Jennifer Holm and Matt Holm
The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy's Great Idea, by Ann Martin and Rina Telgemeier
Kat and Mouse, by Alex De Campi; pictures by Federica Manfredi
To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel, by Siena Siegel and Mark Siegl

Graphic Novels (13 and up):
American Born Chinese, by Gene Yang
Castle Waiting, by Linda Medley
Dramacon, vol 2, by Svetlana Chmakova
Flight, vol 3, by Kazu Kibuishi, et al
La Perdida, by Jessica Abel

Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow, by Joyce Sidman; illustrated by Beth Krommes
Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, by Adam Rex
Handsprings, by Douglas Florian
Jazz, by Walter Dean Myers; illustrated by Christopher Myers
Tour America: A Journey Through Poems and Art, by Diane Siebert; illustrated by Stephen T. Johnson

Non-Fiction (Middle Grade and YA):
Escape!, by Sid Fleischman
Freedom Walkers, by Russell Freedman
Immersed in Verse, by Alan Wolf
Isaac Newton, by Kathleen Krull; illustrated by Boris Kulikov
Team Moon, by Catherine Thimmesh

There are several books on these lists I'm going to be looking for....

RIP: Denny Doherty

From a New York Times article:
Denny Doherty, a founding member of the 1960s folk-pop band the Mamas and the Papas, died yesterday [19 Jan] at his home in Mississauga, Ontario. He was 66.

The cause was not immediately known, his daughter Emberly said. But she said her father had recently suffered kidney failure after surgery for a stomach aneurysm.

With chiming guitars and rich, meticulous harmonies that could be tinged with darkness, the Mamas and the Papas became one of the most popular and influential American bands of the era between the Beatles’ arrival and Woodstock. Their enduring hits, like “California Dreamin’,” “Monday, Monday” and “Dedicated to the One I Love,” mixed the gentle jangle of folk with a rock backbeat and sweet, layered pop vocals.

Though John Phillips was the group’s principal songwriter, Mr. Doherty sang most of the male leads, in a clear, friendly tenor that he occasionally punctuated with rock ’n’ roll growls.

The other members of the group, of course, were Phillips (30 Aug 1935-18 Mar 2001), his wife, Michelle (4 Jun 1944-TBD), and Cass Elliot (19 Sep 1941-29 Jul 1974).

RIP: Julie Winnifred Bertrand

According to an article from the Santa Fe New Mexican:
Julie Winnifred Bertrand, believed to be the world's oldest woman at 115, died in her sleep at the Montreal nursing home where she had lived for the last 35 years, an official at the home said Friday.

Bertrand, born Sept. 16, 1891, in the Quebec town of Coaticook, passed away early Thursday morning, according to Nicole Ouellet. Her nephew Andre Bertrand told The Gazette in Montreal that she died peacefully in her sleep.

"She just stopped breathing," said Bertrand, 73. "That's a nice way to go."

Bertrand became the world's oldest woman last month, after the death of Elizabeth Bolden, a Tennessee woman born on Aug. 15, 1890, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

And the new Oldest Woman in the World? From an article in the Hartford Courant:
With the death Thursday of a 115-year-old Canadian woman, Emma Faust Tillman, 114, is now recognized as the oldest woman in the world.

She moved up on a list of validated "supercentarians" maintained by the Gerontology Research Group in Los Angeles and other organizations.

Tillman is now recognized as the second oldest person in the world and the oldest woman, according to the research group and the Guinness Book of World Records.


The daughter of former slaves and one of 23 children, Tillman lives at the Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center in East Hartford. She was born Nov. 22, 1892.

The oldest man in the world is currently 115-year-old Emiliano Mercado del Toro, born 21 Aug 1891 in Puerto Rico.

A supercentenarian, incidentally, is a person who is 110 years old or older. According to the Gerontology Research Group, there are currently 86 of them: 79 women and 7 men. (31 of them, including three of the men, live in the US.) The official record is held by Jeanne Louise Calment (21 Feb 1875-4 Aug 1997), of France, who was 122 years and 164 days old when she died.

17 January 2007

Greetings from the public library

Yeah, my computer's still down. I'm making do with occasional visits to the library, or to my mother-in-law's, but that doesn't give me time to do much more than read some of my e-mail, glance at a Yahoo group or two, and maybe have a quick look at somebody's blog. I'm hoping this won't last too much longer....

07 January 2007

Victoria Cross: J. S. S. P. Vereker


Captain (Brevet Major, Acting Lieutenant Colonel), 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards

Born: 10 July 1886, East Cowes Castle, Isle of Wight

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery, skilful leading and devotion to duty during the attack of the Guards Division on 27th September, 1918, across the Canal du Nord, near Flesquieres, when in command of the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, the leading battalion of the 3rd Guards Brigade.
Under heavy artillery and machine-gun fire he led his battalion with great skill and determination to the "forming-up" ground, where very severe fire from artillery and machine guns was again encountered.
Although wounded, he quickly grasped the situation, directed a platoon to proceed down a sunken road to make a flanking attack, and, under terrific fire, went across open ground to obtain the assistance of a Tank, which he personally led and directed to the best possible advantage. While thus fearlessly exposing himself, he was again severely wounded by a shell. Notwithstanding considerable loss of blood, after lying on a stretcher for awhile, he insisted on getting up and personally directing the further attack. By his magnificent example of devotion to duty and utter disregard of personal safety all ranks were inspired to exert themselves to the utmost, and the attack resulted in the capture of over 200 prisoners, two batteries of field guns and numerous machine guns. Lt.-Col. Viscount Gort then proceeded to organise the defence of the captured position until he collapsed; even then he refused to leave the field until he had seen the "success signal" go up on the final objective.
The successful advance of the battalion was mainly due to the valour, devotion and leadership of this very gallant officer.

(London Gazette Issue 31034 dated 27 Nov 1918, published 26 Nov 1918.)

Note: Lord Gort was the father-in-law of William Philip Sidney, 1st Viscount De L'Isle, VC KG GCMG GCVO PC.

Medal of Honor: D. A. Munro


Signalman First Class, US Coast Guard

Born: 11 October 1919, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Died: 27 September 1942, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands

Citation: For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty as Petty Officer in Charge of a group of 24 Higgins boats, engaged in the evacuation of a battalion of marines trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz Guadalcanal, on 27 September 1942. After making preliminary plans for the evacuation of nearly 500 beleaguered marines, Munro, under constant strafing by enemy machineguns on the island, and at great risk of his life, daringly led 5 of his small craft toward the shore. As he closed the beach, he signaled the others to land, and then in order to draw the enemy's fire and protect the heavily loaded boats, he valiantly placed his craft with its 2 small guns as a shield between the beachhead and the Japanese. When the perilous task of evacuation was nearly completed, Munro was instantly killed by enemy fire, but his crew, 2 of whom were wounded, carried on until the last boat had loaded and cleared the beach. By his outstanding leadership, expert planning, and dauntless devotion to duty, he and his courageous comrades undoubtedly saved the lives of many who otherwise would have perished. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Notes: This is the only Medal of Honor yet awarded to a member of the US Coast Guard.

USCGC Munro (WHEC 724) and USS Douglas A Munro (DE 422) were named in his honour.

Book list - 2006

This is a recap of the 67 books - plus two novellas - I read in Apr-Dec 2006. (I didn't keep records for the first three months of that year.) I'm actually writing this on 17 Apr 2010, but I'm dating it 7 Jan 2007 so it will be in its proper place in the blog archives.

Asterisks indicate the 28 rereads. Numbers refer to the order in which the books were read.

"Adult" Fiction (26 books)
2. To Your Scattered Bodies Go - SF, by Philip Jose Farmer
8. The Union Club Mysteries - mystery (short stories), by Isaac Asimov *
9. Time Scout - time travel, by Bob Asprin and Linda Evans *
10. ARC Riders - time travel, by David Drake and Janet Morris *
11. Napoleon Disentimed - AH/time travel, by Hayford Peirce *
13. First Cycle - SF, by H Beam Piper and Michael Kurland *
14. Ralestone Luck - mystery, by Andre Norton *
16. The Ship That Sailed the Time Stream - time travel, by G C Edmondson *
21. Colors Aloft! - historical fiction, by Alexander Kent
24. Dragon's Fire - SF, by Anne & Todd McCaffrey
26. Sledgehammer - thriller, by Walter Wager *
33. A Meeting at Corvallis - AH, by S M Stirling
48. The Lost World - SF/adventure, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle *
49. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder - mystery, by Joanne Fluke
53. The Sky People - AH, by S M Stirling
58. Barrayar - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Shards of Honor - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
61. The Warrior's Apprentice - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
62. "The Mountains of Mourning" - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
63. The Vor Game - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
64. Cetaganda - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
65. Ethan of Athos - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
66. "Labyrinth" - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
67. The Eyre Affair - AH/mystery, by Jasper Fforde
68. "Borders of Infinity" - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
69. Brothers in Arms - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold

Children's/YA Fiction (32)
5. The Borrowers Afield - children's, by Mary Norton *
12. Sinbad and Me - YA mystery, by Kin Platt *
15. Gone-Away Lake - children's, by Elizabeth Enright *
18. Swallows and Amazons - children's, by Arthur Ransome *
19. Swallowdale - children's, by Arthur Ransome *
20. Peter Duck - children's, by Arthur Ransome *
22. Winter Holiday - children's, by Arthur Ransome *
23. Coot Club - children's, by Arthur Ransome *
25. Pigeon Post - children's, by Arthur Ransome *
27. We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea - children's, by Arthur Ransome *
28. The Secret of the Crazy Quilt - children's mystery, by Florence Hightower
29. The Big Six - children's, by Arthur Ransome
30. The Dark Stairs - children's mystery, by Betsy Byars
32. Missee Lee - children's, by Arthur Ransome
34. The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet - children's SF, by Eleanor Cameron *
35. The Picts and the Martyrs - children's, by Arthur Ransome *
38. Great Northern? - children's, by Arthur Ransome *
39. Looking for Alaska - YA, by John Green
40. Fur Magic - children's fantasy, by Andre Norton *
41. Octagon Magic - children's fantasy, by Andre Norton *
42. Return to Gone-Away - children's, by Elizabeth Enright *
43. Sabriel - YA fantasy, by Garth Nix
44. Lirael - YA fantasy, by Garth Nix
46. Abhorsen - YA fantasy, by Garth Nix
47. The Saturdays - children's, by Elizabeth Enright *
50. Here Lies the Librarian - YA, by Richard Peck
52. Lavender-Green Magic - children's fantasy, by Andre Norton *
54. Mister Monday - YA fantasy, by Garth Nix
55. Grim Tuesday - YA fantasy, by Garth Nix
56. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles - children's fantasy, by Julie Andrews Edwards
57. Drowned Wednesday - YA fantasy, by Garth Nix
59. The Report Card - children's by Andrew Clements

Non-Fiction (11)
1. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong - US history, by James W Loewen
3. The Steam Locomotive: A Century of North American Classics - railroad history, by Jim Boyd
4. Mother Was a Gunner's Mate - WWII memoirs, by Josette Dermody Wingo
6. Pegasus Bridge - WW II, by Stephen Ambrose
7. D-Day - WW II, by Stephen Ambrose
17. After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America - palaeoecology, by E C Pielou *
31. Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors - WW II, by James D Hornfischer
36. The Medieval Castle - history, by Philip Warner
37. The Man from Waukegan - memoirs, by J P Zabolski
45. Rum: A Social and Sociable History - history, by Ian Williams
51. On Hitler's Mountain - memoirs, by Irmgard A Hunt

The biggest categories were SF (15), fantasy (10) and history (19).

I'd say Sabriel, by Garth Nix, and The Warrior's Apprentice, by Lois McMaster Bujold, were the best books I read that year. The following were also very good:
Napoleon Disentimed, by Hayford Peirce
Sinbad and Me, by Kin Platt
First Cycle, by H Beam Piper and Michael Kurland
Gone-Away Lake, by Elizabeth Enright
Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome
Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, by James D Hornfischer
The Man from Waukegan, by J P Zabolski
Rum: A Social and Sociable History, by Ian Williams
The Sky People, by S M Stirling
Mister Monday, by Garth Nix
Grim Tuesday, by Garth Nix
Drowned Wednesday, by Garth Nix
Barrayar, by Lois McMaster Bujold
Shards of Honor, by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Vor Game, by Lois McMaster Bujold
Cetaganda, by Lois McMaster Bujold

01 January 2007


My computer is down, for gods only know how long. This post and the last two were written using my mother-in-law's computer.

Hoping to be able to get back on-line soon....

Book list - Dec 06

Drowned Wednesday - fantasy, by Garth Nix
Barrayar - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Report Card - children's by Andrew Clements
Shards of Honor - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Warrior's Apprentice - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
"The Mountains of Mourning" - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Vor Game - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
Cetaganda - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
Ethan of Athos - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
"Labyrinth" - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Eyre Affair - AH/mystery, by Jasper Fforde
"Borders of Infinity" - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold
Brothers in Arms - SF, by Lois McMaster Bujold

Not a single reread this month!

And yes, I've finally discovered Miles Vorkosigan. The books have been recommended to me several times, but I'd never gotten around to reading any of them. Then, whilst going through a box of books a few weeks ago, I discovered that I had somehow acquired a copy of Barrayar, the second book in the series, so I started reading it. About a third of the way through it, I went out and bought the first, third and fourth books. I'm currently reading Mirror Dance, and Memory is waiting its turn....