Famous by association

So today in my Child and the Book class we had Stuart Hill come in and talk to us. Of course, I had no idea who Stuart Hill was, but it turns out that he wrote a fantasy-type novel called The Cry of the Icemark, and it has done alright for itself here in the UK. I guess it's doing okay in the US as well, because he says he gets quite a few letters from American teenagers, but not so many from British teenagers: "Because I think maybe American teenagers are just a bit more forthright, whereas British teenagers are probably just picking their noses or something." So now they're publishing a 2nd installment and he's writing the 3rd now. Because trilogies are good things, unless you're talking about things like Austen Powers. The idea that anyone thought two more Austen Powers movies belonged in the world just proves that any day now the earth is going to burst into flames. Feel free to argue with me--I have no problem with you being wrong.

So Stuart Hill is a pretty cool-seeming guy. He said he wrote stuff for 31 years before anything got published, and told us great stories about different jobs he had during that time, like the just-out-of-high-school job in a car manufacturing plant that didn't have bathrooms or running water, so employees had to pee out the windows. That made him decide to go to college. Then he became an archaeologist, so he had lots of cool stories to tell us about anthrax pits and contaminated wells with horse skeletons and chamber pots in them (which, you know, could have been the problem).

Also he said that he spent years and years "reading the market," which is what all the How to Get Published books said to do. So when crime fiction was in, he wrote crime fiction, etc. But it wasn't until he just chucked it all and wrote a book that he wanted to read that things happened. Which I thought was good advice, really.

Stuart Hill said his favorite comfort read is King Solomon's Mines, which I, um, had never heard of before. It reminds him of his favorite teacher, who used to read the classics to them. He asked us what our comfort reads are, and my mind went blank. Because when I hear "comfort reads" I think "comfort food," which makes me immediately think of beef stroganoff, and then all I want to do is eat vat after creamy fattening vat of the stuff.

But then once I thought about it I would have to say mine are A Little Princess or any the first five books of the Anne of Green Gables series (Books 6-8 are about Anne's obnoxious kids, and I so don't care about them and their smarmy "mummy dearwums" rubbish). Also the Little House on the Prairie series, because I read them over and over again in elementary school and used to daydream about what it would be like to live on the frontier and battle the elements and get all excited about getting 1 whole piece of candy for Christmas. Only then I moved to Alaska and found out that battling the elements is crap, and that when you're battling the elements you'd better have truckloads of candy and beef stroganoff, because otherwise you have to eat your sled dogs.

I still like the books, though.


daltongirl said... [reply]

We had beef stroganoff last night. I thought of you. And then, miracle of miracles, after gagging on it for twelve years, Lola decided she loves it too! So now we have two generations of Stroganoff for Comfort Food people.

Maybe one day she'll read the Little House books. I'm not going to hold my breath. My comfort books are exactly the same as yours, but I have to replace ALP with The Secret Garden (same author so it's almost the same thing) and include P&P and David Copperfield.

Stupidramblings said... [reply]

That you watched ANY of the Austen Powers movies is the surprising part.

And King Solomon's Mines was made into a comedy-adventure a la Indiana Jones. I remember it (the movie) being good but I saw it when I was 10. It was old then, and a good movie for a 10 yr. old is quite possibly crubbish for adults...

Miss Hass said... [reply]

Wait. Is it my fault that you watched Austin Powers? I feel like I made all of you watch it once when I was studying for a biology test. If so, I would like to apologize. My tolerance for toilet humor has gone to pot (pun totally intended) as I have matured.

PS--I also love beef stroganoff. yum...

Th. said... [reply]


Top o' your game, Miss N.

Is KS'sMs an Allen Quartermain book?

I've only seen maybe a combined 10 mintes of that International Man of Mystery, but let me still be the first to point out that, in fact, it is you our dear Miss Nemesis who is wrong. It's Austin Powers.

And I certainly agree with you about the stroganoff. I wish I had a stronger opinion on sled dogs....

Stupidramblings said... [reply]

Oopsie--I totally thought you said BEER stroganoff in your post. I must've misread. Although my recipe-senses of how to make beer stroganoff were telling me the flavor would really suck.

CoolMom said... [reply]

So, if someone's comfort read was like "Gone With the Wind", that would perhaps not be something they would want to own up to on the internet, huh? Fortunately, that person grew out of it as she saw more of the real world and less of the freakin' south.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Mmm . . . beef stroganoff. I gotta make me some of that stuff. Also, daltongirl, I probably should have added Bridget Jones to my list, but that's not the same kind of comfort read, you know?

SR, tell me about it. I think I saw enough bits and pieces of the first one to have the general idea.

Miss Hass, sweetie, no worries. I don't think it was you.

Curses, Th., for finding out my spelling errors. I guess that just goes to show how much I care about that movie--I can't even be bothered to spell it correctly.

Hey, Mom? You mean you and not me, right?

Cicada said... [reply]

I'd really love to have me some beaf stroganoff right now. I'm hungry and there's no food in the house. Unless... unless The Boy has food...

CBH said... [reply]

I made me some beef stroganoff a couple weeks ago. It was a bit ghettoed out because I didn't have any actual steak (I used ground beef instead.) The sauce was only okay, because I pretty much made sausage gravy, but with ground beef, onions, and some mustard. It was really good though.

Comfort reads: Horatio Hornblower (he's such a stud) + Harry Potter.

Kelly said... [reply]

I sometimes wonder if Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote books 6 and 7 with an ironic tone that her readers didn't pick up on because her life was SO NOT like Anne's perfect little life. I have to say I actually like Rilla of Ingleside, I just can't think of it as an "Anne." It's more of a WWI homefront book. The first tiem I read it, I sobbed when Walter died.

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