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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Remarkably Useful Stuff

Yesterday was a lot of fun. The trains of Manhattan decided to move at a snail’s pace while the trains in Brooklyn came to the conclusion that not moving at all was a far better option. Cap it all off with flooding and a tornado warning in Brooklyn (no comment) and you have yourself one heckuva fun Wednesday. I am under the impression that the gods are dead set against me getting back into a healthy exercise regimine post-vacation and are doing whatever they can to squash my good intentions. With that in mind I shall now sit here and eat some Ben and Jerry’s Dublin Mudslide to combat my sorrows. Who wants to go head to head with fate anyway?  Bearing my newly plumpified status in mind, here’s today’s news (such as it is).

  • The new school year is looming.  Soon all those paperback works of fiction that disappeared from your shelves due to the glorious existence of Summer Reading Lists, will reappear tenfold.  What should you do in the meantime?  Create a portion of your library solely dedicated to Back to School picture books.  Believe me, your parental patrons will be desperate for them in a day or so anyway.  A remarkably useful list of these is now available thanks to Horn Book.  Credit where credit is due, I learned of this list via Read Roger.

  • I receive perpetual unending joy from the bookshelves of doom series chronicling the exploits of Nancy Drew.  Now Leila Roy has received a donation of several horrible Nancy Drew Files books and their accompanying unfortunate covers.  Watch as Leila makes good use of her scanner to bring you the full power and glory of early 1990s awfulness.  The phrase of the day?  "Wrinkly crochal area".  When I start my own band, that is what we are naming ourselves.  Who wants to play bass?

  • Meanwhile, on Big A little a we see an idea whose time has come.  The thought originated with A Wrung Spong and blossomed from there.  I, as you may have suspected, end up with multiple interesting ARCs a month.  Some of these I give to my co-workers in a desperate effort to have them recognized on NYPL’s 100 Books for Reading and Sharing list.  The rest lie ah-mouldering in my desk drawer.  Why not offer them to the public every month then?  I think Kelly has the right idea in not limiting this to mere bloggers.  Therefore, on the first of the month I will offer a drawing of two of the books I’ve read in the previous month that I think are worth sharing.  Your job?  Remind me on the first of the month that I promised to do this.  I’ve a faulty memory at best.

  • And finally?  Oz and Ends cites the SCBWI Joelle Anthony piece that discusses a "countdown of things that show up repeatedly in YA fiction."  I’m not a YA person myself, but I think it’s fair to say that these things show up just as often in kidlit as well.  Particularly, "#14 – Using coffee, cappuccino, and cafe latte to describe black people’s skin" and "Characters who chew on their lip or tonuge in times of stress – usually until they taste blood. ".  Authors take note.  None of you are allowed to do this anymore.  You have been warned.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Monica Edinger says:

    Your day did start in the subway’s sodden depths, but there was a much nicer (I hope!) Manhattan moment as well — some time in a roof garden enjoying a Chipolte burrito, white wine, book talk, the sunset over the Hudson, and ending with a 360 degree view of Manhattan under the stars:)

  2. Very true. The beginning was gory but the end simply spectacular. You understand that I wrote this post during my lunch period prior to its happy end. Discussing children’s books over the Hudson is a pleasure I recommend heartily to every boy and girl I meet.

  3. KELLY HEROLD says:

    NYC sounded like a complete and total mess yesterday, Besty.

    I’m glad you’re doing a giveaway, too. With Sept, I’m going to switch over to Sept 1 too, so I’ll try to remember to remind you!