Edward Carey’s Heap House reading: Birth Objects and a Trash-Strewn Cake

Excellent event with a great new local author! Looking forward to much more from Carey.


At the end of Edward Carey’s slide show introducing the weird, wise, and wonderful characters from his new middle-grade series, The Iremonger Trilogy, the audience leaped to their feet, delivered a well-deserved round of applause, and dove for their cameras. Not to photograph Carey, though he is quite photogenic, but to photograph the confection baked and constructed to celebrate the publication of the first Iremonger book, Heap House.

The cake was a rather magnificent recreation of Carey’s visionary residence of the Iremongers: a house in an island of rubbish. The Heap House.

Pictures don’t really do the cake justice. Made by Pascal Simon of Bake Austin, the Heap House cake came equipped with handcrafted bits of trash made of fondant, including a few rats and an old hubcap. The Heap House itself was a tower of Rice Krispies Treats coated in white chocolate.The cake was a secret, special…

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From the YouTube Archives: Favorite Japanese Writers Book Reviews

Another vlog I filmed for BookPeople. Authors whose works I read to prepare for my first trip to Japan. Enjoy!

Titles featured:

Silence by Shusaku Endo
Something Like an Autobiography by Akira Kurosawa

Also mentioned:
Kiku’s Prayer and A Life of Jesus by Shusaku Endo
Shop local!

Texas Teen Book Fest Success!

I don’t know if I almost passed out from the heat or from how much fun I was having.



~post by Julie W.
(photos courtesy of Julie’s phone & Texas Teen Book Festival)

We had a long, crazy, wonderful day at the Texas Teen Book Festival on Saturday, October 18th. This was a big year for us. The festival evolved from the Austin Teen Book Festival into the Texas Teen Book Festival as the Texas Book Festival became an official partner. It’s also the first year the festival was held on the campus of St. Edward’s University. We’ve been working with the Festival Director, St. Edward’s University and the Texas Book Festival for months to book authors, coordinate programming and promote the festival. We’re proud and grateful to be a part of this incredible day that brings together young readers and today’s top Young Adult authors.

Here’s a glimpse of the view from the book tent.

The day before the festival, we loaded up the U-Haul with many, many, many boxes of books and headed…

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The Goddess of Small Victories by Yannick Grannec: A Story of Boundless Love and Suffering

My review for my favorite fiction title of 2014.


The Goddess of Small Victories by Yannick Grannec, translated by Willard Wood
Reviewed by Jan

The Goddess of Small Victories, a debut novel by French novelist Yannick Grannec, fictionalizes the career of brilliant real-life mathematician, logician, and philosopher, Kurt Gödel. Gödel made an immense impact in philosophical and mathematical thinking of the 20th century, through his two incompleteness theorems and the clarifications of the connections between classical logic, intuitional logic, and modal logic. But rather than focus on the dense task of explaining his life’s work, Grannec shifts the spotlight of Gödel’s life to that of his wife, Adele, a woman we know very little about.

The narrative of this book follows Adele and another woman: Anna Roth, assistant archivist at Princeton University, trying to collect Gödel’s papers from Adele years after Gödel’s death. To say that Adele, housed in a nursing home, is reluctant to give up the…

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Friday Night’s GOOSEBUMPS Live Tweet

Friday night…

2014-10-17_stine7_01 2014-10-17_stine7_02 2014-10-17_stine7_03 2014-10-17_stine7_04 2014-10-17_stine7_05 2014-10-17_stine7_06

I may have to publish a list of Goosebumps tropes, but I think they’re pretty easy to spot.2014-10-17_stine7_07 2014-10-17_stine7_08 2014-10-17_stine7_09

Leave X-Force alone, Stine!2014-10-17_stine7_10 2014-10-17_stine7_11 2014-10-17_stine7_12 2014-10-17_stine7_13 2014-10-17_stine7_14 2014-10-17_stine7_15 2014-10-17_stine7_16 2014-10-17_stine7_17 2014-10-17_stine7_18 2014-10-17_stine7_19 2014-10-17_stine7_20 2014-10-17_stine7_21 2014-10-17_stine7_22 2014-10-17_stine7_23 2014-10-17_stine7_24

I can’t decide if The Exorcist-style projectile vomiting or the child-vs-dummy fistfight was more ridiculous/entertaining.2014-10-17_stine7_25 2014-10-17_stine7_26

All the while screaming, “Someone you love must die, slaves!” At this point, I’m all side-eye.2014-10-17_stine7_27 2014-10-17_stine7_28

He’s basically that one, entitled kid who screams at everyone, and doesn’t play nice at all. Except that you know that kid is going to grow out of it, and this dummy is basically an insult to that kid because it’s like that all the time. Not so much evil, as really. Fucking. Annoying.2014-10-17_stine7_29 2014-10-17_stine7_30 2014-10-17_stine7_31

Lindy is The Worst. I thought I was going to be on her side for hot minute at the beginning when Kris was annoying her when she was trying to read because, hey, I’ve been there. But no, she may actually be psychotic. If making Lindy out to be this bad was supposed to make Kris more likeable, then well-played. 2014-10-17_stine7_32 2014-10-17_stine7_33

This thing caused so much chaos in about 2 minutes, then it just yelled a lot without effect. Letdown.2014-10-17_stine7_34 2014-10-17_stine7_35 2014-10-17_stine7_36

They were obviously an important cultural part of our art, but they hadn’t made their way into massive popular culture force that they are today, yet.

I do think that Night of the Living Dummy is worth a read because it is one of the more well-known Goosebumps titles. It threw in a couple references to horror stalwarts The Shining and The Exorcist which, if you followed my Stay Out of the Basement! tweets, you’ll know that I always appreciate. It wasn’t the best (that’s still Stay out of the Basement!), but it was actually one of the better ones. I didn’t hate every character like I did for Say Cheese and Die! (another well-known title), and it actually had a plot, unlike Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (which was a long series of “gotcha” scares and a kidnapping).

My Goosebumps #7: Night of the Living Dummy tweets on Storify.

Last Night’s GOOSEBUMPS Live Tweet

Friday night…


Seriously, Lefty is The Best.2014-09-16_stine6_042014-09-16_stine6_05

I mean, it had Cable. Cable! 2014-09-16_stine6_062014-09-16_stine6_072014-09-16_stine6_082014-09-16_stine6_092014-09-16_stine6_102014-09-16_stine6_112014-09-16_stine6_122014-09-16_stine6_132014-09-16_stine6_142014-09-16_stine6_152014-09-16_stine6_162014-09-16_stine6_17

I stand by this. Invisible Dog (and preferably Lefty) shennanigans would be welcome. Someone tell R.L. Stine to write Goosebumps #8247: My Dog Gets Invisible.2014-09-16_stine6_182014-09-16_stine6_19

Look, I know IMDB didn’t exist in 1993, but it couldn’t be that hard to find out the real title for The Invisible Man sequel.2014-09-16_stine6_202014-09-16_stine6_212014-09-16_stine6_222014-10-10_stine6_232014-10-10_stine6_242014-10-10_stine6_252014-10-10_stine6_262014-10-10_stine6_272014-10-10_stine6_28

Let’s Get Invisible! was probably my second favorite read so far. The characters were more likable than any in Say Cheese and Die! and the threat was actually present (unlike Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb). But it’s no Stay Out of the Basement!

My Goosebumps #6: Let’s Get Invisible! tweets on Storify.

Did I mention R.L. Stine is coming to BookPeople on November  15R.L. Stine is coming to BookPeople on November 15!