I recently wrote a post about Laura Miller’s delightful book, The Magician’s Book: A Skeptic’s Adventures in Narnia. My only quibble was the lack of a bibliography, end notes or other such sourcing information. Well, I was thrilled to hear from the author herself on this score; Laura wrote:
There is a full bibliography at my web site, www.lauramiller.org (currently identical to www.magiciansbook.com). Although the text isn’t footnoted, I did try to work in references to the source whenever possible. I’m pretty sure that I always identify specific books when I quote from them, or identify statements as coming from letters to X or Y. This isn’t, of course, as clear as a page citation, but short of foot/endnotes (which were never going to happen), it provides some guidance. During the course of my own research, I was often frustrated to find quoted passages in books that gave no indication at all of their source. At the very least, I like to think that anyone trying to track down a specific quote will be able to tell which book I got it from.
I took a look at the website and it is excellent. In addition to the excellent bibliography there are some fascinating bits that didn’t make it into the book (Laura calls them “outtakes“), an excerpt that is from the published book, a gallery with photos Laura took during a research trip for the book, a journal (basically a blog), and a terrific collection of kid book recommendation. This last made me feel that Laura and I must have been separated at birth as so many of my old favorites are there. I have long enjoyed Laura’s pieces about children’s literature (e.g.”Far From Narnia: Philip Pullman’s Secular Fantasy for Children” in the New Yorker and “When Harry Potter Met Jane Austen” for example) and hope she does more books like this one.