Well, I've only gotten two questions from you all so far, but I will go ahead and post them along with my answers.
Question asked in many comments on my Tuesday Thingers post this week:
Why do you have so much cereal?
Well, I really like cereal. I eat it every morning for breakfast. Most of the cereal brands that I prefer, Quaker Oat Squares, Chex, Post Great Grains among others, are not available in Germany. So I buy a ton of boxes while I am in the states and bring it back in my suitcases (along with all the books). And then I have to put it somewhere. That’s where my custom cereal shelves come in. I also beg visitors to bring me cereal when they come. Thanks again to Linda Gerber, Wes, Dad, Sommer, Tracy, Kelly and Steve, Rachelle, Marc, Rob Schneider, JR and many others for keeping me in cereal over the years. P.S. I also really like Almond M&Ms (thanks Jay!)
Question from Beth Kephart:
I'd like to know if there is any review of a book that you would retract if you could—a book that got much better or much worse with distance.
Whenever I read a review of a book that I’ve also reviewed by a reviewer I respect and they have a vastly different opinion, I do second guess myself for a second. I think that’s natural. But I stick by my reviews. At least the ones I’ve published on my blog.
There was a review I wrote on amazon way back in 2001 of Martyn Bedford’s The Houdini Girl which in hindsight may have been a little harsh. I gave it 2 stars. Here it is:
Boy meets girl. Girl moves in with boy the next day. Boy and girl live together until one year later, girl leaves boy. The twist here is that the boy (Red) is a magician and the girl (Rosa) turns up dead before he even knows she's left him. What happened here? And who was Rosa really?
The first part of the book is engaging and we see snippets of Red and Rosa's life together in flashbacks, as well as Red's gradual discoveries that Rosa was not what she seemed. Red makes a sympathetic character, UNTIL we come to the second part of the book, where Red steps out of character and starts acting like a master detective (only for the sake of bringing the plot forward it seems). Red's actions are so unbelievable that the book turns nearly into a farce. Still, I read eagerly on, waiting for the payoff: what happened to Rosa?
Some reviewers have noted that this book isn't easily forgettable, and I'd have to agree. Although I won't be keeping this one on my bookshelf, I did have an enjoyable time reading it.
Well, a couple of months ago, I was e-mailing with Julia Hoban, author of the upcoming YA novel Willow, and she told me how much she had loved the novel and it made me stop and think back. 8 years later, and I still remember the novel pretty well. If I were rating it now, through the lens of nostalgia, I might be more forgiving and bump it up to say 3 ½ stars. In fact, I actually wish I hadn’t given it away now, because I’d like to read it again.
Any other questions out there? Don't be shy! I'd love to do a part 3. Oh, and I'll answer the easy ones right in the comments.