I am a big fan of Diana Wynne Jones. I was thrilled when I learned that Miyazaki, the director of the animated blockbusters Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, had chosen Howl's Moving Castle for his next project. That movie was released in Japan a couple of months ago - I can't wait to see it.
I picked up a copy of Howl's Moving Castle a few days ago (magic words: store closing sale, everything in store 50% off) and pounded it down. It's as good as I remember. A sweet, charming fantasy book. What I love about Diana Wynne Jones is that her characters have real flaws - and are still lovable. Sophie (the 18-year old heroine who, cursed by a witch, spends the whole book looking like a crone) has to learn not to be a doormat. Howl (the love interest/wizard) is a selfish spoiled brat. Loads of jolly adventures and fun.