I heard just yesterday that Diana Wynne Jones, one of my favorite YA/fantasy novelists, died in late March. I welled up with tears when I read the news online.
She was a GREAT writer: inventive, clever, funny without being sarcastic, altogether just a treasure. Let me tell you, while JK Rowling hit the jackpot with the HP books, she's not half the writer that DWJ was. Rowling had that one great idea that she ran with, while DWJ wrote everything, a wide variety of books: ghost stories, adventure stories, faery tales set on their ears, romps with djinni, fire demons, and castles that couldn't stay still.
If you are interested in trying her out, I recommend any of the Chrestomanci books (start with Charmed Life), Deep Magic, or my personal favorite, Howl's Moving Castle.I understand she has one more book that will be published posthumously, Earwig and the Witch.
I was at the library the other day, looking in the SF/fantasy section, and right now, things are dire. Seems like half the books out are really paranormal romances about vampires or werewolves, and the other half are zombie books. Please, when will the zombie/werewolf/vampire craze be over? Make it stop! The only things I found that seemed like possibilities were in YA, and even there, you have to plow through volumes of z/w/v books to find the occasional interesting read. I also have a couple of books by Robin Hobb to try out thanks to my friend Samantha. I was interested to hear that RH is actually my old friend Megan Lindholm, writing under a different pen name!
I also have to go on record noting that after my big weather whine of yesterday, today dawned rainy and cold and was sunny and 70 by 3pm.