You know what? Candlewick Press!

Hi, everyone! I am back from my hiatus and have missed you awfully. For the first few weeks I was like, Yeah! Freedom! No blog posts to write!, but then pretty soon I felt forlorn at not hearing from you, and I have this new Nook where you can highlight passages, which means I don’t have to constantly be at war with myself about whether this one passage is entirely awesome enough to be worth dogearing a poor little book what never did me any harm. I can just press highlight. Er, but anyway, so, I have missed you, and now I am back. I can’t promise I will be the world’s best blogger, but I’m going to do my best to schedule posts in advance and then be at leisure to answer comments and read your wondrous posts all during the week. We’ll see how it goes.

Upon the occasion of my return, I would just like to say: Candlewick Press. Is pretty much the greatest. It would be impossible for there to be one publishing house that published all the books to cater to all my reading needs, but Candlewick Press reliably hits a few very sweet spots for me, which are:

  1. Young adult books that do not mind being Dark. (Hi, Patrick Ness!) (It’s cool to be an author and have a last name that rhymes with “Press” cause then if Patrick Ness wants to he can say “I’m Patrick Ness of Candlewick Press,” thus making the world sound more like a Dr. Seuss book.)
  2. Excellent characters I care about.
  3. Putting excellent characters I care about in dark situations that are dark, and then sticking all the emotional landings. This is tricky! Not everybody can do it. But Candlewick authors seem singularly gifted in this area.

If you are taking this rave about Candlewick to mean that I still love Patrick Ness and have used the summer months to read through Melina Marchetta’s backlist, and am drawing generalizations based on those two examples because I like having rules to guide my reading, especially in YA fiction where I like plots dark and emotional landings stuck, you are correct. That is exactly what is going on here. But I think I’m right! I have a plan to read a whole bunch of Candlewick’s fall catalog of middle grade and young adult books, and then report back to you on how right I was about Candlewick being awesome in general. Not just because of two authors I think are good, but all the time.

So that’s that. Now, a programming note.

I am tired of my blog having this boring name, and I am thinking of changing it. I called it a boring thingΒ only because I did not really realize how amazing the blogging community was going to be, and that actual people in the world were going to be reading my blog. I thought it was just going to be a site on the internet nobody but me knew about where I would keep a record of what I was reading. But that turned out to be wrong, and then I was too lazy to change the name, but I kind of want to change it now. Any suggestions? Something slightly weird would be best, because I am slightly weird. And something that suggests “Books may be read about herein.” Or maybe something to do with being from Louisiana? Or living in New York? Or reading the end before I read the middle? Any suggestions are welcome!

And, hi! I missed you!

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81 thoughts on “You know what? Candlewick Press!

  1. First of all: YAY, YOU’RE BACK!!11@ This is most excellent news πŸ˜€ Candlewick Press really do seem awesome. I really need to read more of Melina Marchetta’s back catalogue – Jill has been telling me to all summer, and between that and your endorsement I’m powerless to resist. I’m terrible at naming things, but I’m sure you’ll get awesome suggestions and be able to find the perfect new name. Lastly, WELCOME BACK AGAIN πŸ˜€ We all missed you so much.

    • Thanks! You’re too kind! You definitely absolutely SHOULD for sure read Melina Marchetta’s back catalogue, because I think you would like her a lot. I don’t Patrick Ness love her (I haven’t bought her books in hard copy, for example), but I have very very much enjoyed all the books of hers I’ve read.

      I’m terrible at naming things too! I’ve recently discovered that composers are rock stars at naming things (maybe because there’s no pressure because they can always just call it Sonata No. 7 if they can’t think of a name), so I should find a composer and ask them! :p

    • Obviously you guys are talking about Other Jill because I’m ashamed to say I have no clue who Marchetta is.

      Backwards Reader? Not that I’m implying that you’re backwards because you’re from Louisiana…just that you read the book backwards. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I do it, too.

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that… would be cool, too. But then you might get a bunch of Seinfeld fans.

      Anyhoosie. Welcome back.

  2. Welcome back! I’m the worse when it comes to being clever on the spot ESPECIALLY this early in the morning. So…I’ll send you positive thoughts and creativity for your new blog name.

  3. Yay for the end of your hiatus! I like your idea of naming the blog after reading the end first. I mean, you could go simple and call it something like Reading the End First.
    Unless you, you know, want to think of something you’re against and name it after that πŸ™‚

  4. So glad you’re back! I have you as one of my “excellent bookish blogs” listed on my own very new bookish blog, and I was just looking at your icon and wondering if you were coming back to writing yourself, or if the hiatus was so peaceful it might become permanent…

    I see nothing wrong with “Jenny’s Books” – it’s NOT boring at all! – but if you decide in favour of rebranding πŸ™‚ then I too would suggest something incorporating “reading the end before the middle” – it’s memorable & personal & already associated in our minds with Jenny’s Books.

    Or maybe something else really creative will click?!

    Welcome back. Looking forward to reading about what you’ve been reading.

    • Well, you are so kind! I’m looking forward to reading your new bookish blog. I hope that I won’t end up being disappointing now that I’m back writing posts. πŸ˜›

  5. Yeah! Glad you are back. I was totally with you on your hiatus and spent the summer letting go of stress around my blog. It feels great.

    Candlewick is a wonderful press. I love many of their picture books. As for a new named I agree with Jeanne and leavesandpages, “the end before the middle” would be perfect.

    • Doesn’t it? I should maybe build in a break month every year from now on. That would be so sensible of me, and then I would not have to worry about ever getting burned out.

      I haven’t read any of the picture books Candlewick writes. If I had a tiny person near me, I’d definitely think of Candlewick as a go-to publisher for when I didn’t know what books to get them. Because their YA stuff is so good.

  6. So glad you are back! I also love Candlewick Press and think that you did a great thing by highlighting them. I am going to have to think of a fun name for the blog. I know that I can come up with something, but I have to have time to let it percolate. I am so glad to see you again though!

    • Okay! I will look forward to hearing whatever you come up with! (And of course if you can’t think of anything I will not be sad, because you are the best.)

  7. Candlewick Press! Candlewick Press, Candlewick Press. Yes. (Candlewick Press.)

    Re:new name: I agree with leavesandpages up there– something about reading the end before the middle is very “Jenny” or whatever so that’d be a cool way to go. But not in a post-apocalyptic THE END TIMES kind of way, so idk. Maybe something with “denouement” in it? THE FINAL ACT okay this is starting to remind me of a murder mystery now, and I’m not sure if that’s the direction you want to go.

    END OF THE LINE Reader, wait. Uh. Something with “payoff?” (Totally reading synonyms for denouement, can you tell?) Windup’s a good word, but kinda baseball-y. Hm.

    (Welcome back, btw! I missed reading your posts.)

    • I love that there’s a consensus around the “reading the end” idea. That’s at least a framework. Thanks for the suggestions! I think I’m going to make a list of everything, get a bit drunk, and stare at them for twenty minutes with loud music playing. SHOULD WORK AWESOME.

    • I know, I love her too! Thanks for pushing her so often on your blog — definitely wouldn’t have picked up The Piper’s Son without your recommendation, and I wouldn’t have given Finnikin of the Rock a second try either.

  8. Hurray! So very happy to see you here! I’m in the camp that thinks Jenny’s Books is just fine cos it says it all. I tried to do something jolly and clever with Candlewick but abandoned that in the end. Really, it is not a name that lends itself to playfulness, although I am glad you love the books. But yay! I missed you! And you’re back!

  9. Missed you, too, Dear. So good to see comments hither and yon from you – I did feel like you weren’t gone for good.

    I think “reading the end before I read the middle” would work as a blog title somehow. Or… “Jenny’s Amazing and Not Boring Thoughts about Books and Other Cool Stuff You Need to Know About” would work nicely, too.

    Cheers!

    • Hahahaha, I seriously love that title. I love long titles. And it would be good too because “Jenny’s Books” could be an abbreviation of it and people wouldn’t have to update their feeds for me.

  10. Hurrah for being back from the hibiscus! I’ve missed you too; although it’s been nice hearing from you in comments it’s just not quite the same as full-on Jenny glory.

    I can only say that I love ‘Jenny’s Books’ and also every single one of the suggstions so far. Sorry to be unhelpful on your first day back.

    • Hahahaha, I completely forgot about “hibiscus” and I am charmed by it all over again. It’s lovely to be back from my hibiscus, and you are not unhelpful in the least.

  11. Wellllllllcooooooome baaaaaaaaaaaaaack! I was so stoked to see you in my google reader! As for new names, hmmm, I am obviously quite awful at coming up with clever names. I don’t know. Endgame? Cul-de-sacs? Sha? Choot em? Apparently I am only coming up with one-two word answers. Who knows, maybe it’ll spark something??

  12. Welcome back! I agree with those who like the name Jenny’s Books. You have a catchy subtitle, after all. And besides I am lazy and don’t want to change the feed to your blog. πŸ˜›

  13. I am SO glad you are back! (But I just want to say, I managed not to say one word abut it. Pretty good, huh?)

    Given your devotion to football, maybe you could utilize the phrase “end run”? or bookends, or, I know, you could be a Libritine! JK! I have no clever ideas for you, because naming things is not my forte. Being enchanted to have your blog back is my forte.

    • I wondered if you had noticed! I was concerned that you felt my post was inadequate. I almost said, I have a better post later this week!, but I felt like that would be needy.

      Hahahaha, I quite like Libritine — someone should use that — but I don’t feel like it reflects me very well. As I am not terribly libertiney.

  14. I don’t have any clever name suggestions… but I would say that I really enjoyed STORK by Wendy Delsol. Really and truly loved it. It’s Candlewick. The second two are good but not nearly as good.

  15. Yay! You’re back! I’d been crossing my fingers all weekend that we’d see you back here today. Now I can uncross them–a good thing since I was getting finger cramp πŸ™‚

  16. Welcome back! I recently took a hiatus for almost an entire month and it was very refreshing. I’m glad to hear you’re so happy to be blogging again. πŸ™‚ And I totally agree about Candlewick Press! I just read A Monster Calls and OMG gut-wrenching. Jeez! Patrick Ness has broken my heart one too many times, seriously.

    I have no idea about the blog name. I like Jenny’s Books, though. πŸ™‚

  17. YAY! I love that I saw you in person and now i see you in VIRTUAL SPACE. I also like Candlewick Press. In fact, it is an imprint that I am even a fan of on FB.

    As for a new blog name, I think you should focus on the end before the middle portion as it is so great.

  18. Welcome back! Oh how I have missed seeing your blog pop up on my reader.

    1) I have no clever blog titles for you – at least nothing that beats Care’s suggestion. Although, c’mon, my blog is Alita Reads, so clearly I am AWESOME at blog titles πŸ˜‰

    2) Melina Marchetta. Melina Marchetta! Just thinking about Jellicoe Road makes me well up with emotion – very similar to my reaction to the Chaos Walking books. I need to read all the rest of her books.

    • Aw, thank you! Blog titles are hard and I do not judge anyone at all who just goes for the basics (as I did). I might still stick with it. Undecided.

      I wasn’t sure I was going to love the rest of Melina Marchetta’s books, and I don’t think I liked any of them as much as I liked Jellicoe Road, but Looking for Francesca was very good and The Piper’s Son the same. Finnikin of the Rock was harder for me to get into, but that one as well I ended up greatly enjoying.

  19. Yay! Yay! You’re back! This makes my week.

    I haven’t read a whole lot from Candlewick Press, but I love them because they published STEAMPUNK! and STEAMPUNK! is just about the most gorgeous YA hardcover I’ve ever seen. I’m liable to blather on about high production values whenever anyone mentions it. It’s so very, very pretty, with its embossed cover and its creamy pages and the specialized graphics that accompany each story. (There must be a word for those graphics. I mean the little ones that appear in the margin of each story. I wish I knew technical terms so I could be more precise whenever I want to rave about them.)

    Alas, I can’t help you with blog names because I’m terrible at naming things. I’ve been trying to rename my own blog for ages now, with no success. (I love the name Stella Matutina, but I’m sick of people calling me Stella. I’m sure most of them aren’t saying, “You have a weird name, so I’m just going to ignore the multiple places where you state that your name is Memory and call you something that fits into my worldview,” but that’s what I always think when people call me Stella.) I wish you the best of luck, though! I’m sure the new name will be lovely.

    • MARGIN GRAPHICS WHAT. Is this a true story? I want to go to there! I had a book when I was a kid called The Ghost of Opalina, and it was a collection of stories about different people who had lived in this one house (I’m making ti sound lame but in reality it was the BEST DAMN THING), and in each chapter they had pictures in the margin, like little cameo pictures, of the different characters. That book was miraculous and made me feel that ALL MARGIN PICTURES ARE NECESSARY.

      (See how I got all capslocky about it?)

      I put an e-hold on Steampunk! just now.

      I am sure that when people call you Stella it is just that they are lazy and haven’t happened across any of the places where you said your proper name. And/or they cannot resist going “STELLLLLAAAAAAAAA” in Marlon Brando Voice. Which is true of me too every time I encounter my baby cousin Stella.

    • You! You, you, you! Hi! *enormous hug* I missed you! All of everyone else has a blog and I could encounter them in that way, but you were totally absent from my life all summer! Lovely you! I think you are really, really, really swell, and I am not just saying that because I’m answering comments with a few glasses of wine in me. I’m saying it because I truly think you are wonderful.

      I’m afraid I don’t mean to talk about Finnikin of the Rock. I missed my window. I read it a while ago and now I’m not sure what I would say about it. It got a little rapey, did you think?

  20. OMG! I’m really glad you’re back, and it’s weird because I JUST mentioned you in a post I’m drafting and in parentheses wrote (Jenny! Come back!) and then clicked over here to link to you and found that you WERE ALREADY BACK. Anyway, no suggestions for new names or anything. Just glad to see an update here.

    • Yeah, I’m leaning towards either keeping it like this or if I do change it, making it a very long name that abbreviates to Jenny’s Books so nobody has to change their feed.

  21. Welcome back πŸ˜€ You were much missed!!! And fear not my dear, you will always be a wonderful blogger to us all πŸ™‚ I’m so with you on Candlewick Press!!!! I love them so much! Patrick Ness! AND they publish Kate DiCamillo who I’ve absolutely loved everything that she’s written. And one more thing, personally, I like “Jenny’s Books” πŸ™‚

    • Thanks!! I forgot about Kate DiCamillo but in fact she’s gone on my list of books to get for my Nook. I tend to get way overzealous with the Nook and check out ALL THE EBOOKS (which is a lot, because I have access to my old home library system plus two New York ones), and then I end up with more books on my Nook than I can reasonably handle. πŸ˜€

      • Welcome back!

        I like your blog name. Why should things be complicated????

        viz a nice Candlewick book for the young–I’m rather partial to The Night Fairy, by Laura Amy Schiltz

  22. This is the first time I have read your blog, and I find a posting about Candlewick (no connection, there for me either)! I teach fourth grade, and I just love their books for kids. The quality of their catalog is consistently high. Terrific books! I look forward to reading future posts.

    • I don’t think I’ve read any of their stuff for younger readers. Which of those books are good? I have many many little cousins for whom I might wish to buy gifts.

  23. It’s great to see that you’re back! I’ve been popping in over here once in a while and was surprised and happy to see new posts! πŸ™‚

    I love Patrick Ness’s books, and wouldn’t have known who Melina Marchetta was, but saw a review of one of her books over at Rhapsody in Books this morning.

    • Thank you! It’s nice to be back! πŸ™‚

      Patrick Ness — I just discovered by popping by HIS website — has a new book coming out next year! Eeeeee. I wonder what it will be like. I read his first adult novel, The Crash of Hennington, and was underwhelmed, and I want his next one not to disappoint me in this manner.

  24. I missed you so, so much … for reals! Because with no Jenny there is no Jenny’s Law and that would be a tragedy because we need to get people to re-read DWJ. p.s. Did I tell you that I finally got me a copy of The Ogre Downstairs and I am finally going to get to read it soon? I’m super excited! And then I’ll have to read it again. Thus saith Jenny. Perhaps that is what your blog should be called. πŸ™‚

    • Oh wonderful! I hope you will love it! It’s not my favorite of hers, but it’s absolutely sweet and absolutely her.

      Thus Saith Jenny is…by far my favorite thing that has been proposed. Because I find jokey pomposity hilarious. But then everyone would have to update their blogroll. Hm.

  25. I am going to come back in a little while when I can think of something suitable to express how happy I am that you are back. But for now, this will have to suffice:

    Ahem.

    YAY WOOHPEE YIPEE YAY and WELCOME BACK!!!!!!!

  26. Jenny, I am done whooping now and back to soberly congratulate you. Hope your hiatus was fun and that now you’re back for good. πŸ™‚
    As to blog titles… I am not really good at those, either. I can totally sympathize with you. When I started my blog, I took about a minute to think of a name, and then when I realized all the super cool and clever names that are out there, I kind of wished I’d put a little more thought into it.

    So glad you’re back!!

  27. Hooray! You’re back! I have been so adrift without the internet at home that I totally missed this post. I liked your idea up in the comments to schedule a break month once a year to prevent burnout. I LOVE that idea so much. I think I’d make mine in August. I always feel adrift and antsy in August and want to abandon all responsibilities to suck the last marrow out of summer.

    I’m afraid I can’t offer name suggestions, but I like the idea of reading the end first. The one good blog name I have ever come up with is my own, but that magic has never been repeated.

    • On the other hand, August is very, very, very hot, and thus a good month for being inside during the whole of. And maybe blogging. I think September is a good month actually! Right at the start of fall! Getting back into football season and the weather is getting pretty again!

      (I am not leaving in September, and neither should you. Just, like, in other years that are not this year.)

  28. You’re back! You’re back, you’re back, you’re back! I was excited when I saw this post I nearly hugged my computer. (No worries, I didn’t.) So glad you’re here πŸ™‚

  29. Yay, you’re back! Every time you commented on my blog I was so happy to see you there ❀ And now you can be found on your own blog again. And of course I am super slow at letting you know I'm still reading, but that's becuse I am so behind on my google reader :/ I didn't dare open it for the past 2 weeks.

    I think I need to go check out Candlewick Press. And read more of their books.

  30. Hey, great to have you back. I don’t know much about Candlewick Press or even YA these days, so I have nothing to comment about that.

    But, I am so with you on the blog title. I quite like Jenny’s Books though, but I am tired, tired with my blog title, and now I feel like I am in a rut, and I would love to change it to something short and snappy, but I cannot think of anything.

    Obviously I am rambling here, so to cut to the chase…it’s great having you back…same blog name or otherwise

  31. Yeay! Glad you decided to stick around. As for Candlewick: I don’t read YA but I do love their children’s books! They have great books in general! And as for your blog name: hmmmmm I am so uncreative so I have no ideas. I love your subtitle because it just says so much: I read the end before the middle. Genius. That’s me too.

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