Llew's Reviews

Archive for May, 2002

Recent Read The Children of Green Knowe Book …

Thursday, May 30th, 2002 by Miss Laura

Recent Read

The Children of Green Knowe

Book 1 in The Green Knowe Chronicles

by L.M Boston

with fantastic new cover art by Brett Helquist

Yesterday evening, I came home from work, put on the Beethoven record which I’ve been obsessing over, and snuggled under the covers with the first book in the Green Knowe Chronicles: The Children of Green Knowe which was rereleased by Harcourt after being out of print for some years. (I believe they were originally released in the 1950s). The new editions have great cover art done by Sir Brett Helquist (the illustrator of the wickedly clever Lemony Snicket series of Unfortunate Events). While there are quaint pencil illustrations in the book they are the original artwork done by the author’s son who grew up in the house rather than Helquist’s handywork. Personally, I would have preferred it to all be done by Helquist but I also would personally perfer he would come to live with me where he would spend the rest of his days happily sketching for me. I am used to disappointment.

Ms Boston was in her early sixties when she began writing the series (which she did just for her own amusement) and it was inspired by a large manor house (the Green Knowe in the story)in England which she spent two years restoring. While I have only read the first of at least five in the series (I do not know if they’re finished releasing them or not but there looks as if there is one left “The Chimneys of Green Knowe” that I can find in the out of print listings but not available with the new coverwork so perhaps it’s to be put out soon. I hope this is the case.), I was ABSOLUTELY ENCHANTED with the first book. The basic story line is that a little boy comes to live with his great great grandmother at Green Knowe. However, he has plenty of playmates – they’ve just all been dead for a few centuries. Yet, it’s whimsical rather than creepy. It’s just one of those completely magical old fashioned childrens fantasy tales which makes you wish you could somehow change lives with the characters. I hope the rest of the series is as good. I am just happy to be *really* excited about a book again. Woo!




And people think there are no health risks in work…

Saturday, May 25th, 2002 by Miss Laura

And people think there are no health risks in working in a bookstore:



Notice the subtitle to this book is, “An interactive journey for reaching your genetic potential.” Do you really trust a man who looks like the missing link to help you reach YOUR genetic potential?



Surprisingly enough this is NOT a new book out on the marriage of Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise.



I’ve had trouble sleeping ever since I saw this on the back cover of The Cottage.




A little boy just came into the store and called m…

Saturday, May 18th, 2002 by Miss Laura

A little boy just came into the store and called me his, “little wooden pet.” This rivals calling someone, “my obtuse little friend.”




How Content And Yet How Flammable

Wednesday, May 8th, 2002 by Miss Laura

A boy who grunted rather than talked just came in asking for Kelly’s Blue Book for Used Cars (or at least that’s what I deciphered it as). I dutifully walked to the reference section and plucked it off the shelf for him.

BWGRTT: Do you have a newer edition than this?

Me: This is the latest edition

BWGRTT: But it doesn’t have cars just made

Me: It’s for used cars so…

Can tourette’s syndrome be induced by others? I think I might one day answer this question.

I finished the Unauthorized Autobiography of Lemony Snicket and it’s ace. It’s even complete with an index and an introduction by Daniel Handler who stops in the middle to go fetch some Brandy and says things such as, “I am often asked difficult questions, even when I am in a hurry. recently, the most common questions have been the following: 1. Will you please get out of my way?”




Weather Is Here – Wish You Were Beautiful

Sunday, May 5th, 2002 by Miss Laura

I wish I had a camera with me – not for photographing of celebrities naturally but just so I could take snapshots of all the moments. Instead it looks as if y’all will receive my ink polaroids instead.

#1 There is a new book out with the 3-D googly eyes for all of the characters so the author of these books was doing caricatures where he was putting in googly eyes for each of them. After we passed this booth, we passed the sad sad man who has the

lot in life of dressing up as a purple dinosaur. He was sitting at a table without the head part of his costume on looking down at a cariacture he had done when he was all dressed up. It was great how the real head was missing but with the contrast of

him looking at a hand drawn one… with googly eyes of course.

#2 Laurel and I were trying to skank a couple of free copies of books that the author was signing without getting them autographed so we had cut in line to do it. She asked me if I wanted copies and – half joking – I replied, “Yes, but you’ll have to be DODGY about it.” That’s when a guy from the booth gave me a flat stare, reached over grabbed two copies, and just handed them to us. Classic look.

#3 Laurel laying on the floor with her feet propped up on a table surrounded by boxes as we had just finished unpacking everything in the booksellers mailing room.

#4 Brett Helquist. Brett Helquist. Brett Helquist. For no other reason than to have something to wallpaper my room with.


Other authors we met were Neil Gaiman who has a new “creepy childrens” book entitled Coraline which is coming out. We also grazed passed Joyce Carol Oates. Last year, she was hainting it in this ATROCIOUS pink pants outfit and this year she opted for lavender. Laurel noted that she looked like she had gotten sopping wet and then been hung out to dry. It is a very appropriate

description. She is scary and I’m writing her publisher angry letters if I end up with nightmares. We also saw LL COOL J which Laurel was less than impressed with. Evidently, he’s done some dopey looking childrens book I didn’t feel like waiting in line to get signed or a free copy of. He actually looks REALLY GOOD in glasses but then again the LL is for Ladies Love. I think that would work for my name if the last part could be an afterthought, as in a – oh wait, nevermind. Lads Love… EW!

Last night, a close friend who I hadn’t talked to in well over a year called me on my cell phone. As I didn’t want to interrupt my roommate’s sleep, I ended up standing on the balcony talking on the phone while in my pajamas with the incredibly pleasant night air (opposed to the non-air conditioned room) looking up at the skyline. It was one of the most enjoyable single experiences I’ve had in a really long time, especially as I really loved talking to my friend again. Of course, it was probably one sided as I was just woke up and completely incoherent. In fact, at some point I believe I started singing the old song, “Jump down turn around pick a bale of cotton. Jump down turn around pick a bale a day.”




Laurel & Laura Storm The JJC

Saturday, May 4th, 2002 by Miss Laura

I hope the world doesn’t ever count on me to create peace or solve hunger problems if I ever come across a lamp on which to make three wishes. Though I suppose I shall feel mild regret as I sit with perfect skin and health until I am distracted my very own chocolate covered boy. I also hope that Laurel doesn’t count on me to stay with her if I happen to lay eyes on Daniel Handler while at the show for I shall have latched myself to his leg quicker than you can yell, “Count Olaf!”.

I was jumping around and dancing on Friday morning because Senor Handler was to sign his new Snicket book at the show in the afternoon. Oh love! We waited in line for an hour (near the front) to only have a large man fearing rioting from the masses

to meekly speak that there was no book nor an author. I stood there stunned for a second before saying, “Someone kidnapped him before we did!” However, we were able to meet Brett Helquist (who does the illustrations for the Series of Unfortunate

Events) and I had an actual conversation with him as we went to the same college (though he graduated two years before I started there). He’s my new literary crush though he’s very married. He has black hair, glasses, and crooked teeth. Very darling boy to crush and I am in love with his illustrations.

My exciting grabs of the show (other than Brett Helquist) are a galley copy of a book out by the author of Freaks & Geeks which I plan to read tonight (so I shall report back faithfully) and a great tote “Welcome Book” back which is gray with an orange elephant.

This afternoon I got on the hotel library to find three teenagers (14-15) staring blankly. I pushed the button for my floor and they gasped, “oh!” They hadn’t realized you had to press the buttons and was wondering why it didn’t work. So, I explained to them what they needed to do (since they were kind of confused and had to switch elevators). It never occured to me that someone wouldn’t know how to work an elevator. It was really cute.




Llew Takes Manhattan

Friday, May 3rd, 2002 by Miss Laura

Today I felt like I was in a video on MTV. I was on the corner of 45th and 10th and a “lady” comes walking across the street in a string bikini and stilleto heels. There was a boy standing a block behind (always behind for obvious reasons) ogling and making gestures. I couldn’t hear what he was saying but I imagine it was something like, “baby *mumble mumble bleep* please, baby.” It was classic.

Do you know how sometimes it doesn’t matter what it is but ever single thing seems to irritate you beyond control? That happens to me a lot but here it’s the exact opposite. No matter what happens I’m completely happy about it. (I’m not doing it on purpose – promise.) Plus, the things I was most worried about turned out to be great. I have to drive into the city which I’m apprehensive about but I get a few minutes into it and realize that I find it FUN. It’s like a video game with all the dodging of cabs and then EXTRA POINTS for missing the swinging cranes randomly in the middle of the street. My roommate (who I’ve never met before) is now my

BOOKSTORE GODDESS. She’s this incredibly feisty independent older lady who amuses me to no end. Of course, this might be because I haven’t talked to her but a few minutes last night. I was hoping I would go the entire weekend and not actually speak to her because we kept missing each other. I thought it would be cool to say I roomed with a stranger in NYC once who I actually never talked to the entire time I was there.

Op, time is up on this computer and I haven’t posted anything about the national booksellers convention which is the entire reason I am in NYC. It’s great and Laurel rules my world (even if she works on the “other side.” I can’t think of anyone else I’d want to be at the show with – she is wonderful! Plus, all you have to do is throw a little holy water on her and she stops channeling those DK demons.




*insert something clever here* (ok, that goes for the entire entry)

Wednesday, May 1st, 2002 by Miss Laura

BILWWNLM: James Joyce said that what he really wanted were readers willing to devote their entire lives to the reading of his works.

Me: I’d really like readers who are willing to give me the money earned from devoting their entire lives to working.

Seriously though, at first I thought that all writers would want readers who could do nothing more than fawn over their works but then

I began to think of what life would be like if you spent your entire life just reading a Nicholas Sparks novel. If the Devil ever needs

any ideas for hell, I’m here for him.

So JR Tolkien might be dead but his dark eyed dwarven creatures from the underground still brave the light of day to venture into my

bookshop to torture me. On Monday, one of the little trolls with cavernous eyes shuffled up to me and said (after procuring a GED study guide), “I’m looking for an Oprah bookclub book. I don’t know the name or author but it has to do with a main character who is abused.” Rather than banging my head repeatedly against the service desk, I went over to the section, went through each title with her and gave a short description of each of the plots only for her to end up buying THE PILOT’S WIFE. That’s when I banged my head repeatedly.





Bad Behavior has blocked 174 access attempts in the last 7 days.