"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."


Saturday, May 31, 2008

In Memorium - Paula Gunn Allen

I just returned from a long day at BookExpo America and was deeply saddened to find this message of Paula Gunn Allen's passing in my email from Denise Chavez:

Dear BBF Friends,
We received this news from Feroza Jusawalla, now teaching at UNM, about the passing of Paula Gunn Allen. I have loved Paula and her vital and impassioned work for many years and read with her several years ago. Please keep her in light and lift her to the ancestors.
Denise Chavez
-----Forwarded message-----
Paula Gunn Allen, b.1939, Laguna Pueblo/Sioux/Scots/Lebanese New Mexico native, passed away peacefully on the night of May 29, 2008 at her home in Fort Bragg, California, after a long and courageous battle with lung cancer. Family and friends were at her side.
This poet, philosopher, scholar, and teacher grew up in Cubero, New Mexico. She received her doctorate in American Studies from UNM in 1976; that dissertation evolved into The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions(1986), a pioneering work in Native American , feminist, and GLB studies. She also edited the benchmark book for the MLA about teaching Native Studies: Studies in American Indian Literature: Curriculum and Course Designs. She was also a prolific writer of poems, fiction, essays; her last scholarly book, on Pocahontas, was a nominee for the National Book Award. She retired from UCLA in 1999, but always checked back into New Mexico, never stopped being a teacher and mentor, never stopped cracking and appreciating outrageous jokes and bad puns. (The last one she and I shared, about 3 weeks ago, was "Well, you know what they say: What happens in the Zuni Mountains stays in the Zuni mountains,,,"---oh, my, her laugh. )

Her posthumous volume of poems, America The Beautiful, will be published by West End Press within the year.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

How Cool is This? Get Your Buffy Fix Now.

I so want the Tarot deck!!

Press release from Dark Horse Comics:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Mystical Parlor Games

MILWAUKIE, OR—Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising and Dark Horse Comics are proud to present two magical products that are sure to provide hours of sleepless slumber parties this fall. Joss Whedon's mythology comes alive with the official Buffy the Vampire Slayer Tarot Deck and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Conversations with Dead People” Board!

Named for an award-winning episode from Season Seven of the BVS television series—and written by Buffy Season Eight: Wolves at the Gate author Drew Goddard—the Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Conversations with Dead People” Board is a great game for fans, in this world and the next, to communicate with each other about life, death, and other mysteries. In the tradition of the Sunnydale Hellmouth, through which countless entities gained entry, fearless souls can let voices from the other side guide the planchette along the board to spell out the answers to their queries. Folks can channel their inner Willow and hone their witchy skills, providing hours of fun for the whole séance! Accompanying the game board and planchette, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Conversations with Dead People” Board includes an exclusive, comic-style instruction book featuring sequential art by Buffy SeasonEight guest illustrator Paul Lee!

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer Tarot Deck was written and conceived by renowned tarot writer Rachel Pollack, author of twelve books on the tarot, including the renowned 78 Degrees of Wisdom. She teams with long-time Buffy artist Paul Lee to create this fully painted 78-card deck, drawing on characters, themes, and legends from all eight seasons of Whedon's masterpiece. This special deck was created by Pollack not merely as a collector's item, but as an actual, working tarot deck: the cards come with a book explaining their divinatory meanings and use. The traditional symbols of the tarot are reinterpreted through the vision of Whedon's Buffy universe.
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Conversations with Dead People” Board and Buffy the Vampire Slayer Tarot Deck will both be available in September 2008 and retail at $14.99-$29.99

About Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising
A recognized industry leader, Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising licenses and markets properties worldwide on behalf of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Twentieth Television and Fox Broadcasting Company, as well as third-party lines. The division is aligned with Twentieth Century Fox Television, one of the top suppliers of prime-time entertainment programming to the broadcast networks.

About Dark Horse Comics

Since 1986, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. In addition to publishing comics from top talent like Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, and comics legend Will Eisner, their highly successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Aliens, Conan, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Emily the Strange, Tim Burton, Trigun, and The Incredibles. Today Dark Horse Comics is the third-largest comic-book publisher in the U.S. and is recognized as the world's leading publisher of licensed comics material.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fundraising for China Earthquake Victims

I read this in my email this morning from the childlit list_serv. I've copied the message and hope it helps.

Hello everyone,

Below is an email from a University of Illinois student. Please feel
free to share this email with your students and colleagues - it is in
regards to the earthquake in China. The email has some facts as well
as ways to help. I'm sure there are many similar emails circulating
around too. Thanks!

Dear friends,
As you may know, an earthquake struck the Sichuan province on Monday,
causing massive amounts of damage to property, infrastucture, and over
ten thousand deaths, lives which will never be recovered; students
whose studies came to a terrible, unexpected end, fathers who will
never return home, and children who, most tragically of all, will
never get a chance at life. If you didn't know the details, please
take a few moments to look over the cold, hard facts presented below,
and to think of the human lives who are still in desperate need of

- The Sichuan province was hit by a earthquake rated 7.9 on the
Richter scale on Monday
- There are nearly 900 trapped students in Juyuan Middle School this
moment, only ONE survivor has been found so far.
- In some areas, 80% of the buildings were reported to have been destroyed
- Over 12,000 reported dead or injured
- Dozens of aftershocks felt as far away as Beijing (960 miles away)
and the Thai capitol Bangkok (1,200 miles away)
- 3.5 million homes were damaged or destroyed
- 25,000 may be trapped
- Sichuan, not historically known for earthquakes, was unprepared for
an earthquake of any magnitude
- This is the largest earthquake on record in China for over 30 years
China is still reeling from the massive and catastrophic snowstorms
earlier this year. In the face of another disaster only three months
later, an earthquake whose death toll will eclipse that of the
snowstorm, the people of China need all the help they can get.

These are some donations methods. There are on-campus donations
available through OCEF and CSSA.

(1) Red Cross in China or in US
Go to www.redcross.org.cn, Click the " " and follow the instruction
there. Visa Credit Card is accepted and
international transction fee is around $1.94 for $100 transaction.
Simply www.redcross.org and under FIND IT FAST, click Response to

(2) Hong Kong Red Cross
Click the "Donations" Button at the left upper corner.

(3) American Red Cross Central Illinois Chapter
Mail check to:
404 Ginger Bend Dr., Champaign, IL 61822
Please make the check payable to American Red Cross, and please
CLEARLY MEMO it : for disaster relief of earthquake in China.

(4) Tsinghua Alumni Association in Greater Chicago Area (registered
501(c)(3) non-profit organization)
Please make your check payable to
Tsinghua Alumni Association in Greater Chicago Area.
Also indicate "China Earthquake Relief" in the memo
area of the check.
All transactions of donations will be published online
with the last name listed, also the company match will
go with the donation to earthquake and will be listed
Receipts will be provided by request.
For more Information or stories:
If you have any personal questions or concern, feel free to contact me.
Thank you and please help spread awareness of this catastrophe!
Yankun Guo
Yankun Guo
University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
Asian American Association | Outreach Chair
Minority Student Business Association | Publicity Chair
Actuarial Science Club | Newsletter Chair
Cell: 224.622.7124
Email: y.guo.521@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Countdown to Book Expo America Begins!

Book Expo America is in Los Angeles this year and I'm thrilled because L.A is my home town. I'll miss New York this spring but I'm happy to be close to home. AmoXcalli will be covering the event each evening. There will be photos, tales from the busy floor, hopefully interviews with authors if I can get them and party coverage. Most of all BEA is about the books and I'll be doing a lot of reporting on the books.

Is anyone going? Would you like to meet up? I'd love to hang out over coffee or a drink. First time in L.A.? Need suggestions of things to do after the show? I'm an Angeleno born and raised and LA is my town. I know where the best out of the way (non-fancy) places to eat are in downtown. Send me an email or a comment and I'll do my best to answer your L.A. questions.

Authors and illustrators, publishers and booksellers, I want to meet as many of you as I can and find out what's new, what's hot, what you're doing.

If you're a Latino children's or YA author, illustrator or publisher, I'd love to do interviews for Cuentecitos, my other blog that focuses on Latino Children's and YA literature. I'll also be covering the Latino panels, the graphic novel panels and all the editor buzz sessions. I'm going to be a busy, busy girl. Good thing I'll have help from my lovely photographer/daughter-in-law Marissa and a few other friends who are attending to get news, photographs and maybe even some video for AmoXcalli and Cuentecitos.

It's going to be fun! Welcome to L.A. Book Expo!

Monday, May 05, 2008

What Do Children Read?

Interesting article in the Washington Post about the reading habits of children. It may surprise you. There's also a PDF'd 56-page report on the study. Very interesting reading, indeed.

The article in the Post is here.