Much as I hate that she’s gone, I have been loving reading all the tributes to Diana Wynne Jones. (The one from Neil Gaiman is particularly nice, since he can talk about her as a friend as well as a writer.) The sweetest thing about reading them is that sense of “You, too? I thought I was the only one!” Of course she was a famous and well-loved writer (though sadly I didn’t meet her work until I was in my late 20s or early 30s), and of course I knew that she was a writers’ writer – one of the ones whom other people working on the craft of words respect highly for being so good at what she did. But I don’t think I realized how much her books meant to so many people, at that deep level of the books you build your world on. Me too.

One thing that pleases me now is that for me she isn’t dead yet, because I actually haven’t read all of her books, so there is still new stuff for me to read – Dogsbody, Eight Days of Luke, The Ogre Downstairs, The Homeward Bounders. I haven’t read all of the Dalemark books, either, though that’s mostly because I wasn’t crazy about the first one. Still, it took me a couple readings to fall in love with Chrestomanci, so I should really give them another shot.

That’s actually true for all of us – the part about having more new Jones to read – because I see that Earwig and the Witch isn’t due to be released until June 9. For some reason it’s only listed at Amazon UK, not Amazon US. It isn[‘t at Powell’s or B&N, either.

Also, when I was viciously paring my library before moving abroad, I brought only a few of hers – all I have here are the first four Chrestomanci books, and the ones I’ve bought since being abroad (The Pinhoe Egg, Mixed Magics, Unexplained Magics, The Game, House of Many Ways). Two of hers, Howl’s Moving Castle and Conrad’s Fate, are about the only books I’ve bought in duplicate, because I’d left them behind but decided I couldn’t be without them at hand. The rest are back in the US. That means I get to have a Dianic reading orgy when we visit our house in a few weeks.