We all know what a Sunday brunch is -- a weekend mid-morning meal that serves up a little of this and a little of that. My mother thought she knew all about brunches too, until she attended one that came with a little surprise at the end.
About twenty years ago, she and several other women were invited to attend a brunch being held by a co-worker. They arrived at the appointed hour, sat talking in the living room for a few minutes, and then the hostess led them into the dining room, where a beautiful buffet was arranged on a long table. My mother picked up her plate and silverware- wrapped-in-a-napkin and then moved across the buffet table selecting a spoonful of mixed fruit...some tuna salad...relishes...a hot biscuit from a basket...a deviled egg and a cookie. Then she came to the last item on the buffet: a basket with a little sign in front saying, “Leave your $5 here, please.”
She was shocked. “I was just glad I happened to have five dollars in my purse!” she later told me. “No one EVER said we were expected to pay for it!”
I almost told her “Well, you know what they say: there’s no such thing as a free brunch.”
But actually I do offer a free Sunday brunch here at Collecting Children’s Books: a random collection of thoughts, facts, and opinions on what kids read.
BOO-BOO FOR BIBLIOGRAPHERS
When writing about Robin McKinley’s THE HERO AND THE CROWN yesterday, I noticed once again that the book has the wrong date on the copyright page. It should say 1984 (the year the book was published) but instead says 1985. I wonder if this has caused much trouble for book collectors, book dealers, and book buyers in the past.
It’s rare you see a typo in an ad, but I found one in this promotion for a forthcoming young-adult book. (If you click on the picture a larger image will appear so you can read the text.)
Odd that so many eyes would see this ad before it was printed, yet sobody caught the mistake.
Incidentally, the ad for GHOST GIRL ran on the edge of several pages in a row. Here is the final ad. The book sounds intriguing, if a bit concept-y (that is: a book that was possibly sold based on a one-line description before it was even written.)
I wonder what “sidewalk sniping” means in relation to this book. It could get ugly....
SOMETIMES GREAT BOOKS CAN BE WRITTEN BASED ON A TWO-LINE DESCRIPTION
Jean Craighead George once approached editor Ursula Nordstrom and said, “I want to write a book about an Eskimo girl who is lost on the Arctic tundra. She survives by communicating with a pack of wolves in their own language.”
The esteemed editor had only one question for the author: “Will it be accurate?”
When Ms. George assured her it would be, Nordstrom said, “I’ll write you up your contract and advance now.”
The eventual book was, of course, the Newbery-winning JULIE OF THE WOLVES.
GETTING BACK TO MISSPELLED WORDS
Recently-deceased author Julia Cunningham left us a wonderful legacy of quirky, richly-written stories -- perhaps none better than her memorable 1965 novel DORP DEAD. I wonder how many people over the years have thought that was a typo?
There are 110 entries on Google today for “Julia Cunningham, Drop Dead.”
SOMETIMES THE BOOK IS RIGHT AND THE READER IS WRONG
Back in 1976, E.L. Konigsburg published a stunning little novel called:
The title is QUITE clear on the cover, isn’t it? Yet there I was, going on and on about FATHER ARCANE’S DAUGHTER, and wondering what the book was about and who Father Arcane was. Did I feel dumb when someone pointed out my error. I’d like to blame this mistake on my youth, but I was almost eighteen at the time!
AT LEAST I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE
There are currently 158 entries for “Father Arcane’s Daughter” on Google. Suddenly I don’t feel so alone.
TWO MORE FUN FACTS ABOUT “FATHER ARCANE”
Reportedly, E.L. Konigsburg’s manuscript for this book was so perfect -- with not a word to be changed or comma to be shifted -- that it didn’t require a single bit of editing.
FATHER’S ARCANE DAUGHTER was made into an Emmy-winning television movie called “CAROLINE?” It’s excellent and well-worth catching on TV or renting from the video store.
LORNA, WHERE ARE YOU WHEN I NEED YOU?
I’ve been looking around for a literary agent for myself, but so far the only one I’ve found is:
This 1950s era book concerns Lorna Saunders, who is hired on at a literary agency as a typist and switchboard operator, but soon finds herself part of a “glamorous profession” in which she “discovers and develops the talents of authors” and learns to criticize manuscripts, study contracts, handle foreign rights, and also discovers “there isn’t always a happy ending to an office romance.”
This book is part of a Messner series called “Romances for Young Moderns” and each is set in a new and exciting career. There’s A CAP FOR CORRINE (registered nurse), THE GIRL IN THE WHITE COAT (medical technologist), ROXANNE, INDUSTRIAL NURSE, and ROSEMARY WINS HER CAP (student nurse) but of course no volume about a girl becoming a doctor....
However, a girl of the fifties COULD find professional inspiration in the joys and sorrows of LEE DEVINS, COPYWRITER...MARCIA, PRIVATE SECRETARY...”MISS LIBRARY LADY”....HOUSE OF HOLLY (which introduces the wonderful world of mail order businesses)...GAY ENTERPRISES (Guess what this one is about. You’re wrong.)...and A FLAIR FOR PEOPLE, which concerns personnel work.
Of the nearly fifty “Romances for Young Moderns” books listed on the back panel of AUTHORS’ AGENT, I feel most sorry for the heroine of MAGIC IN HER VOICE, who finds fulfillment in the glamorous field of phone solicitation.
Who knew that a couple decades later the “National Do Not Call Registry” would put her on the unemployment line?