Over at Shiny New Books: Charmed Life

I’ve got back-to-back reviews up at Shiny New Books, with my review of the new Folio Society edition of Charmed Life posted this week.

Neil Gaiman and I have at least one thing in common: we both started reading Diana Wynne Jones when we picked up one of her books at age 16 in the children’s department of a local bookshop. And we even started with the same book: Charmed Life, originally published in 1977.

I learned this fun fact by reading Gaiman’s foreword to the new, gloriously bound and illustrated Folio edition, in which he also says “when I finished reading Charmed Life I had a new favourite author.” Same here.

I’m so happy to see one of my favorite authors getting the treatment she deserves, and am hoping that Folio will consider publishing more Chrestomanci books. (What is Chrestomanci? Check out the review, or better yet, just pick up Charmed Life and start reading. You, too, might acquire a new favorite author.)

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9 thoughts on “Over at Shiny New Books: Charmed Life

    1. It’s a good place to start – Howl’s Moving Castle is also often recommended as a starter. (If you’ve seen the film, you’ll find similar characters and general premise but a much, much better and more coherent plot). However, except for a few books I could recommend almost any DWJ that appeals to you to start with, and be confident you’ll be back for more.

      1. Howl is the one I’m most familiar with because of Ghibli though I haven’t seen the film yet. But glad to hear one can start just about anywhere 🙂

  1. One of my early favourite DWJ titles – though unlike you I came to her quite late on. I’ll head over to SNB and read your review now!

  2. This does look lovely but I hate buying books I already own!

    I think I was a teenager when I found The Ogre Downstairs at the library and brought it home. When I heard my mother laughing as she read it that evening, I knew I had found a winner and went back to the library for more soon after.

    1. That’s another favorite of mine. And I confess DWJ is one of the authors whose books I often have in multiple editions. I now have three copies of Charmed Life, including the tattered paperback that started it all.

  3. How wonderful! I started with this one, too, and still have my childhood copy. When JK Rowling came on the scene I used to go on and on about DWJ being SO MUCH BETTER.

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