Sunday, April 30, 2006

Saving the Best for First

It’s been said by many a fan that The House with a Clock in its Walls was John's best novel because it was also his first.

Our introduction to Lewis and the book’s cozy familiarity have made fans out of readers for years. And while the later tales of Anthony and Johnny – and even Lewis – still send shivers through our fingers as we turn the page, there’s something about coming to New Zebedee that first time.

Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl says on NPR that writers pour their heart and soul into their first books. “Not that they don’t do it for subsequent books, but I think in some cases maybe the best has come out there.”

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Time Capsule: 1870

April, 1870 – Marshall is celebrating the official opening of Eagle Hall, or the Eagle Opera House. The first performance was an operetta called the Naid Queen. For history buffs, the original entrance to the structure was at 101 South Eagle Street; the entrance was later moved to State Street until January 1890 with another entry area back on Eagle Street [Marshall, 186]. You can read about the New Zebedee Opera House – and the Day of the Dead – in the Bellairs/Strickland collaboration, The Doom of the Haunted Opera.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Allusions Held In The Exchange

(editor’s note: occasional contributor/wiseacre Ron Sharp wrote seeking our help recently as he would soon be taking part in a book discussion club where the featured title would be The Face in the Frost. As such he came to us for talking points:
I had happened to brag that my friend knows all things Bellairsian. Basically these discussions are just interesting and thoughtful tidbits and insights you would like to bring up about the author, or the book, or something that struck you about the book.  Anything you think other intelligent people would find titillating?  Kind of like that article I wrote on the Ace of Nitwits - just observations.
We piled on some of our favorite trivial tidbits about Face and sent him packing. What follows is his review of the proceedings that fateful evening. Proceed with caution.)