Saturday Afternoon Roundup

  • Alvina has a wonderful post on her editorial process over on Blue Rose Girls. If you want to know the kind of work a good editor puts in on a novel, check it out.
  • The Children's Book Bloggers' Drinks Night on Thursday was a smashing success, with thirty-something people happily talking work, writing, books, and the business. (I was also delightfully surprised by a visit from my college Quiz Bowl coach, Eric Hillemann, who was in town for archives research.) Look for another Drinks Night (or should we call it "the Happy Bunnies Hour"?) in a month or two.
  • Speaking of Eric, I'm now reading Brainiac by Ken Jennings, the guy who won 74 games in a row on Jeopardy! a few years ago. The book is terrific -- a Word Freak for trivia hounds, well-written, substantive, and funny -- and it has a whole chapter on Eric and the Carleton Quiz Bowl team (winners of the 1999 NAQT undergraduate championship, thank you very much).
  • I bought five books at stoop sales this morning: Longitude by Dava Sobel, which I've heard much praised; Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, a Resolution Book for this year; V. by Thomas Pynchon, because I was thinking of having Pynchon on my Resolution list for next year; The Big Love by Sarah Dunn, which is hands-down the funniest and truest chick-lit novel I've ever read, and which I already own but I bought again because I lent my copy to someone and I can't remember who and even if I get it back, it's good to have an extra copy to lend out; and Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian, which ditto (except replacing "hands-down the funniest and truest chick-lit novel" with "the first book in a series I love madly").
  • Phrase Origin of the Day: The term "hands-down" comes from horse racing, where "A hands-down victory is one that is so assured that a jockey can drop his hands and relax his grip on the reins as he approaches the line." (Courtesy of this.)
  • Open House New York has its annual tour weekend next week. In years past I've climbed to the top of the Grand Army Plaza arch in Brooklyn and the Jefferson Market Library water tower in Greenwich Village; both of those options are available again this year, alongside mansions, museums, and multiple other fascinating architectural sites.
  • Finally, an instruction from the Oklahoma Library Association (courtesy Bullfrog): "Read, Y'All!"