Conference Corner – ALA Midwinter Meeting – John Green

I’m attempting to post my notes from the many conferences I’ve gone to this year. I think I’m going to work backwards and forwards both. Last time, I posted notes from the last session I attended. Now I’m going to post notes from where I left off — John Green’s talk at ALA Midwinter Meeting

I spotted his van the next day when walking back to my hotel:

I walked in late to the talk, since I had been at a committee meeting. But here are my notes. It turns out that this works as a Librarians Help post as well. John Green is definitely a supporter of libraries and librarians.

While he was writing, he was still tweeting and using youtube and tumblr. He uses those because he likes them. After all, he likes talking about stuff that matters with people he finds interesting.

“There’s no such thing any more as a non-social-media internet.”

Social media has a lot of similarities with real life connections.

There’s so much location-based social media, that’s fantastic for librarians. “People are building real life connections in real life places.”

Librarians have been good at raising the quality of discourse for hundreds of years.

It’s difficult to build space for thoughtfulness.

Librarians should infiltrate digital communities and raise the quality of discourse.

“Reading builds strong and deep connections between people.”

They are building productive communities online. Some examples are kiva.org for Nerdfighters and dftba.com and wells in Haiti through water.org

Ultimately these are not opposite ideas: Reach out into the world and organize information to help people.

“The ultimate thing that librarians do is help people toward the answer to the overwhelming ultimate question of how to organize our lives.”

Then talking about teens: “Teens are having a lot of interesting things happen to them for the first time.”

His recommendations for reaching teens? Use Tumblr. Look for communities in your community that are active. Search the name of your community. Join the nerdfighters group in your area.

“Education exists for the benefit of the society, not the individual.”

Lead people to interesting places online.

Conference Corner – 2012 Printz Program and Reception

2012 ALA Annual Conference is done, and I have lots of notes to share! Since I’m way behind on writing up my notes from Midwinter and from PLA, I decided to work backwards. When I finally get to notes I’ve already shared I’ll be done. The goal will be to post at least one Conference Corner post each week, but maybe I can do better. I’d like to catch up before KidLitCon in the Fall or maybe the Horn Book at Simmons symposium or maybe VLA Conference. (Now that my son will be in college, there are so many possibilities!)

The final event for me at ALA Annual Conference this year was the Printz Awards Reception. I always love the Printz speeches. I love it that everyone gives a speech, honor winners and the big honcho award winner. They always make sure to say nice things about libraries and librarians, so their words are treasured.

The night began, not surprisingly seeing who got the Honor award, with comedy. Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman gave a speech together thanking us for the Honor for Why We Broke Up.

Then Daniel Handler played the accordion and sang “Without Libraries We’d be Dum,” with special effects by Maira Kalman. This is worth experiencing!

I got a picture with Daniel Handler at the reception. He seemed pleased that he got it to come out looking like someone had pasted him in. (Maybe I did?)

Next Honor winner was Christine Hinwood for The Returning. She told a great story of finding out she’d won an Honor. She had been without internet access and found out on a train. She said she broke all the rules of British train riding and danced down the aisle.

She said, “Teenagers are people, too.” She writes for people.

She also spoke up for the power of fantasy novels. “The fantasy books she read as a child are not childish.” “Fantasy allows exploring issues. . . without baggage.”

The Returning explores issues about war. How do combatants go back to family and a day job once the war is over? So many are affected by war for so long after the war is over.

Craig Silvey was the next speaker, honored for his book Jasper Jones.

I got a picture with him. He has an adorable Australian accent. He said that YALSA has been “absurdly kind to Australians” in their award choices. Many of us firmly believe it’s to get to hear their accents at the Printz Program.

(Oh look! I think that’s Christine Hinwood right behind me.)

Craig Silvey was quite ill when the Printz call came. He “let it ring out” twice, but finally answered this persistent caller. In his brain-addled state, his first thought was, “Oh my goodness. I’ve been honored by Prince.?” Fortunately, the committee gave him more information before he could follow up on this thought.

Like so many Printz Honorees, he talked about growing up in the library. I liked this line about reading fiction: “The truth, I found, was hidden in the lies.”

He talked about accidentally checking out A Clockwork Orange when he was ten years old. “I learned a very valuable lesson: Stories were powerful.”

Next up was Maggie Stiefvater, honored for the book I loved so much, The Scorpio Races.

Maggie Stiefvater also talked about the power of Fantasy. She began with a reading from Diana Wynne-Jones. 10-year-old Maggie thought the food described was wonderful. And yet it didn’t exist. It was imaginary.

For a truly great book, Maggie Stiefvater wants a book with another world inside it.

What makes us believe in a place? Diana Wynne-Jones showed the symptoms of a culture. It was the little things.

“Thisby is a big place made of tiny little sensations.”

Last of all was the acceptance speech from Printz Award Winner John Corey Whaley, still incredibly cute and still incredibly young.

He, also, had some great things to say about books, reading, teens, and libraries.

“You connect teens to worlds beyond their imaginations.”

John Corey Whaley found the story he was supposed to tell. “Listen closely when you open the book and you may hear the faintest sound of banjos.”

His book asks the question: “Is it possible to grow up in an impossible world?”

Talking about writing, he said, “Don’t we all want to make some dent in the side of the world?”

“Teens want the truth about everything, and they know exactly when they aren’t getting it.”

And he closed off with a rallying cry for libraries:

“Close our libraries, and you close our lives.”

“Tweet this: #SaveALibrary”

ALA Annual Conference 2012 Summary

ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim has finished up! I’m now sitting at my sister’s house, with vacation time for the rest of the week (Yay!), so I’m not sure how much I’ll post before I go home. Eventually, I’d like to give detailed notes for each event in my Conference Corner posts. But here, I’ll sum up the things I did.

It all began Friday. I made it to the Opening Session with Rebecca MacKinnon, a fascinating look at how we need to take a careful look at Internet Security and how it applies to human freedom and privacy, or lack thereof, around the world. I got a copy of her book, Consent of the Networked, and got it signed.

Then: The Exhibits. By waiting in line to get my book signed, I had missed the wild “Running of the Librarians” and some of the crazy book-grabbing frenzy that invades our minds at this time. As such, I was able to restrain myself to one suitcase full of books. (Yes, folks, I have a medical excuse. Get over it!)

Here’s a picture of my loot at the end of the conference, combined with my sister’s loot from a one-day exhibit pass. Hers is only one pile. I believe my total at the end was 68 books. (This is huge progress. I think at my first ALA, I came home with twice that many.)

On Saturday, I gave my sister (with whom I was staying) an exhibits day pass and a ticket to meet me at the Margaret A. Edwards Luncheon, but I went on ahead to visit the exhibits (more loot) and then hear a session on Putting Laughter in Literacy with Alan Sitomer and Raina Telgemeier. Alas! Sara Pennypacker, who was also to speak, was held up by a cancelled flight. Then came the Margaret Edwards Luncheon. I stood in line with Garth Nix! (squee!) And then, already having chosen seats at a table, Susan Patron sat down next to me, so we got to talk during the lunch! (squee! squee!) Pictures will definitely follow.

Saturday afternoon included very valuable sessions on Implementing Every Child Ready to Read 2 and then “Traveling the Spectrum: From Interstellar Adventures to Epic Fantasy, the influence of Science Fiction and Fantasy on the world today. This featured the stellar speakers Blake Charlton, Lois Bujold, and George R. R. Martin, so was excellent! Alas, had I but known, those who got a goodie bag of books by the authors had to stand in line for an hour ahead of time.

Afterward, I had the good luck to run into my co-worker from Fairfax County, so we had dinner together. I had an invitation to a publisher dessert at 9 pm, but I was way too tired by then, and went back to my sister’s house.

Sunday I did get there earlier, and caught the speaker Dan Ariely talking about interesting things he learned in researching his book: The Honest Truth About Dishonesty. Afterward, I got the book signed and hit the exhibits. For the 10:30 session, I got to hear my co-members of ALSC’s Children and Technology Committee speak on using apps in public and school libraries, and then got to have lunch with two of them afterward. After lunch, I attended an information-packed session on getting information out of the 1940 US Census. That information is going to be highly valuable to me when I sub in the Virginia Room. Then it was back to my sister’s to change for the Newbery Banquet.

The Newbery Banquet was, of course, a highlight of the whole conference experience. Chris Raschka spoke about art and memory. Jack Gantos had us roaring with laughter. And we were in a crowd of people who love children’s books.

The final day, for me at least, was Monday. This time I managed to get up early enough for the first session: The Digital Lives of Tweens and Teens. Interesting facts about the current group of 10- to 14-year-olds and how these facts impact the way we should serve them.

Then I was going to go to the session on crossover adult/YA books, but it was way too crowded, so I went to the ALSC awards, where the Siebert, the Batchelder, and the Geisel Awards were given, followed by an ALSC member meeting.

Finally, I hit the closing of the exhibits. It was probably a good thing that they had already wound down almost completely, though I was still able to get a copy of Siebert Honor book Witches signed by the author. Then the plan was to go back to my sister’s, but I had locked my keys in the trunk! (Urgh!)

However, after I called the rental car company and they told me it would cost $57, I went to get something to eat and saw my Triple A card. I was able to get it put on my AAA card instead of the rental car company. And, even better, the tow truck driver was so nice, he made me happy to have locked my key in the trunk because it gave me the opportunity to have my day brightened.

Back at my sister’s, I had enough time for a nap before the Printz Awards. All the Printz Award and Honor speakers were stellar, but Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman started it off with a rousing chorus of his song on the accordion, “Without Libraries We’d Be Dumb.” I was a little hurt today to discover he had not actually composed it as a Printz Honor speech, but I do have to share where I found the full text of his “speech” on YouTube. You must note, however, that the crowd at the Printz Award Reception was far, far more enthusiastic.

More details and notes will follow!

Conference Corner – ALA Midwinter Meeting – Susan Cain on Introverts

I’m continuing a weekly blog series, “Conference Corner,” where I share my notes from conferences. I’ve now finished the first big day of Midwinter Meeting, when I got to attend the Morris Seminar. Next up was the main conference. Midwinter Meeting is more about committee meetings than educational sessions, but there were still quite a few noteworthy sessions for which I will share my notes. First up was Susan Cain, author of the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

They also gave us a copy of the book afterward, and we got to have her sign it. Since I read nonfiction very slowly – theoretically so I can absorb it better, but practically speaking because I’m reading lots of nonfiction books at a time and rotating them – I have not yet finished the book. When I do finish, I will definitely review it here.

I have a feeling at a library conference there was perhaps an unusual proportion of introverts in the crowd. Susan Cain began her talk by discussing the main differences between extroverts and introverts. The primary difference is this: Where do you get your stimulation?

Introverts are more stimulated by lower levels of sound, light, or other outside sources. Social stimulation is the highest level of stimulation.

There are some profound advantages to being more easily stimulated.

She talked about some big contributions to society that have been made by introverts. But recently there’s a strong bias against introverts.

“When we view introversion as somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology, it’s a colossal waste.”

Many times, introverts try to pass as extroverts. This is a loss for us all at a social level.

Even in the animal kingdom, there are introverts and extroverts.

When introverted children are sitting quietly, they are paying more attention. They take in subtleties that others miss. Introverted kids know more than extroverts, even with same intelligence.

Introverts also take less risks. “Extroverts seize the day. Introverts make sure there’s a day left to seize.”

Most creative people tend to be introverts, because solitude is an important catalyst for creativity, and introverts are comfortable being alone.

Susan Cain’s Three Main Points:
1) Call for a world with more peace and quiet for everybody.
2) Call for a world in which we enjoy and celebrate introverted children.
3) We need to understand how much introverts and extroverts need each other.

We need to come together and truly delight in each other.

“Introverts are not antisocial, but differently social.”

Conference Corner – 2012 Morris Seminar – Panel Discussion and More

I’m awfully behind on posting notes from conferences. And there’s definitely added value if I share what I’ve learned. So – I’ve decided to attempt a weekly feature – Conference Corner – to share what I’ve learned at conferences. It will be awhile before I catch up, especially since I’m going to ALA Annual Conference next month, and I still haven’t finished talking about the Morris Seminar, ALA Midwinter Meeting, and PLA Biennial Conference.

One of the highlights of the Morris Seminar, a one-day seminar offered by ALSC to train people to be on book evaluation committees, was when we got into groups and practiced what we’d learned with books we’d read ahead of time. Here’s a picture of part of the group I was with. You can at least tell we were all having fun!

After lunch, we listened to a Panel Discussion featuring past committee chairs from some different ALSC Award committees: Martha Walker, from the Pura Belpre committee; Julie Roach, from the Geisel committee; Mary Burkey, from the Odyssey committee; Rita Auerbach, from the Caldecott committee; and Cyndi Richey, from the Newbery committee.

I took down some rather haphazard notes about the different committees. Below are some of the things they said.

Geisel: You’re evaluating text and pictures together. The illustrations need to work for someone just learning to read. One committee member adopted a classroom to try out the books.

Notable Committees: These are open committee meetings. Everyone’s equal when you walk through the door. You can learn about book evaluation by listening to these committees.

Audiobook evaluation: Assume the book is good. Now look at the narrator and the story. You’re evaluating production quality.

Here are some things to consider about the narrator of an audiobook:

Was the narrator authentic and genuine to time, character, etc?
Does meaning come through?
Is voice consistent?
Are accents correct?
“He said” “she said” should be dropped.
Don’t want a “fake voice.” You shouldn’t perceive that someone’s reading into a microphone.
Also think about the production quality. Don’t let a story you love blind you to the way it’s carried out.
Recommended book: Listening to Learn: Audiobooks Supporting Literacy, by Sharon Grover.

I took lots of notes about the Caldecott committee:

Rita Auerbach said she had less influence when she was the chair than when she was a regular committee member.

The function of the chair is to keep things going smoothly.

To be a good Caldecott committee member:

Participate in the discussion.
Read and respond on time.
Respect other members and couch concerns as questions.
Be willing to be cut off.
Don’t make up your mind in advance.
You can have an opinion, but at least be open to making your opinion change.

Picture books are difficult to discuss. Cultivate the vocabulary for talking about art.

Believe that artists, like authors, make decisions.

Think about the impact.

When discussing, don’t go through the book page by page. Use post-its to mark what you want to talk about.

Remember: There is room for interpretation.

“Most distinguished American picture book” does not necessarily have the most distinguished art.

How to prepare:
Read the books suggested in the manual, such as Picture This: How Pictures Work, by Molly Bang, and Show and Tell: Exploring the Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration, by Dilys Evans

Your basic premise is that the illustrator has done everything deliberately. How does it impact the book?

What do you see? How does it make you feel?

You can consider text, design, and everything else that goes into the book.

Notes about the Newbery Committee:

Being on the committee builds mutual respect and trust between the members.

Look at the role models in your life and seek out opinions.

You will not remember what you read. Definitely take notes!

Best advice: Keep an open mind.

You’ll look at Suggestions and Nominations.

“Read while you eat. That’s called ‘reating.’”

This will be your most professionally satisfying experience because everyone’s read the same books.

To get prepared, attend a Notable Books discussion.

You can’t even have an appearance of a breach of confidentiality or conflict of interest.

Be on the lookout for other critical discussions. (This is why I’ve joined Capitol Choices.)

This is a literary award for literature for a child audience.

Recommended: Books by Lee Gutkind on creative nonfiction, From Cover to Cover, by K. T. Horning

It’s so important to listen! And listen without frowning.

Being in a committee will help you to use and hone your skills. You’ll use them for a lifetime.

Gearing Up for the Morris Seminar and ALA Midwinter Meeting

I’m so excited! Four years ago, the Association for Library Service to Children announced it would be starting the William Morris Seminar: A biennial invitational training in book evaluation skills, run by people who have selected past Newbery, Caldecott, Odyssey, Geisel, and other award winners.

I applied that time, but didn’t get accepted. I applied two years ago, but didn’t get accepted. I applied this time and did! So will I let a little thing like iffy health after a stroke stop me from attending? No, I will not!

But now it’s getting down to the wire. The seminar is this coming Friday, in Dallas, and as soon as it is over, ALA Midwinter Meeting begins. I have today off, but I will be working tomorrow and Wednesday. Wednesday night, I have to go to a “Senior Night” for parents at my son’s school. I believe they are mainly collecting money! But also some information will be given out, and I need to fill out some forms and drop off a toddler picture of my son. Then I leave on Thursday.

In the meantime, I also really need to get the FAFSA and CSS Profile paperwork done for my son’s financial aid applications. Because if I wait until after the seminar, the time will be too short. Better do it today, but I do find myself definitely procrastinating.

On a more fun note, I should go over again the books on our discussion list. I’ve read them all, but I should look at them afresh in terms of discussing their distinguished qualities. I think I will interrupt my reading plans to reread Okay for Now after I finish Death Comes to Pemberley and take notes for discussion.

Then there’s the matter of packing. I am sure I will have plenty of chances to pick up books to read once the conference starts on Friday. But what to read on the plane? What to read Thursday night? I may well have finished rereading Okay for Now by then. The next item on my 2012 Reading Plan is an Award Winner. I was going to read Please Ignore Vera Dietz, but I don’t like to bring hardcover library books on trips. So instead, I think I’ll go further down the list and read Everybody Sees the Ants, also by A. S. King, which is a 2011 Cybils Finalist, and which I have as a paperback ARC. After that, my plan says I read a prepublication ARC, so I think I will tuck in Drowned Cities, by Paolo Bacigalupi. Since I’m also bringing Okay for Now for the Morris Seminar, and since I will have plenty of opportunities to pick up new books, that will surely be plenty to bring. The big question is, can I really stop with those three? We shall see….

Of course another huge highlight of ALA Midwinter is the Youth Media Awards announcements on Monday morning. In the past, I’ve followed those on the internet, so it will be a thrill to be there in person, especially having discussed possibilities in detail at the Morris Seminar.

Another thing that makes me happy about ALA Midwinter is that I’ve already connected with some friends who will be there. I’ve only officially been a Librarian for four years, so I am very happy to already have some good friends in the library world. I’ve made them via Twitter, blogs, KidLitCon, our local DC KidLit book club, and other ALA events, and these are people who are also interested in great books for children. It feels very good to feel part of this world and have actual friends I’m excited to see and some to meet in person for the first time. Oh, and on top of that, my writing buddy is going to come for the weekend and share my hotel room. We met in Paris and she is a wonderful vivacious and encouraging person, and I’m so excited to get some time with her.

Of course, on top of all that, I’d really like to get my 2011 Stand-outs page posted! And all the reviews written for the books I chose. We shall see. This day off is already getting out of hand. And did I mention that on top of all of it, I’ve caught a cold? Oh, and I finally have an appointment with my neurologist — the day after I come back — to find out if I had another stroke some time in December. At least that way he won’t have the chance to tell me not to go!

Speaking of my neurologist, I was proactive and got a note from him to allow me to bring a rolling cart onto the exhibit floor. Since every single e-mail about the conference ends with the admonition: “No rolling carts are permitted on the exhibit floor!” I hope that this note will give me an exception. At ALA last summer, I knew my shoulder and neck seemed to be hurting extra from carrying a heavy bag of books, but I didn’t realize I’d had a vertebral artery dissection and was probably making it worse. Now I’m going to stick to my guns and insist on that cart.

I’ve already had two different dreams about ALA Midwinter! In one, I met Brian Selznick and was discussing why I think his book is fabulous as a whole, but I don’t think the text or illustrations on their own are distinguished enough to win (though I would be happy enough if I’m wrong). In the next, I was at an SCBWI Conference, happily picking up free books. I must be excited!

ALTAFF President’s Program Featuring Marilynn Johnson – ALA Annual Conference 2011 Day Four

Monday, the last day (for me, anyway) of ALA Annual Conference, was where I made my first miscalculation in planning. Before I saw the conference schedule, I spent $10 to sign up for a Walking Tour of the French Quarter. I figured as long as I was in New Orleans, I should do some sight-seeing. They told us to meet in front of the cathedral at 8:00 am, and the Walking Tour was to be from 9:00 to 12:00. They mentioned having beignets at Cafe du Monde, so I optimistically thought that the extra hour before 9:00 was to give us time to eat breakfast.

Well, I walked from my hotel to the meeting place. It was HOT. At Jackson Square, in front of the cathedral, there was a group gathered together, with no sign of any tour guide. They were standing in full sun, simply getting hotter.

I knew I needed food and caffeine, so since there was no sign of the tour starting, I walked over to Cafe du Monde and had beignets and coffee. By the time I got there, I actually had sweat dripping from my chin. As I sat and ate my yummy beignet, it occurred to me that being outside for the next three and a half hours would only make me hate New Orleans. I had noticed some sessions that really sounded good in the conference program. They were air conditioned.

That decided it! I will go back to New Orleans some day — in the winter — and do some sight-seeing.

I went back to my hotel, changed out of my thoroughly wet clothes, stood over the air conditioner for about ten minutes, and put on a nice sleeveless dress to wear to the day’s events. I took the air conditioned shuttle bus to the air conditioned convention center. I had missed the 8:00 sessions, but I was actually early for Marilyn Johnson’s program.

Marilyn Johnson made me her complete fan when she first wrote a fantastic book about librarians, and then gave me copies to send to each member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in protest of their cuts to the library budget. So I was excited about hearing her speak.

Her program was the ALTAFF President’s Program, and right away they announced that ALTAFF — Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations — has had its name change to the much much better and more memorable “Citizens for Libraries.”

Here are my notes from her talk:

Marilyn is spearheading an initiative of Authors for Libraries. They are our natural advocates.

She said that Librarians and Writers have a lot in common:
— We both hate to be lumped together.
— We don’t want to be presumed about.
— We want to be free to be creative in our work.
— We believe in the power of the word.
— We share the same workspace.

Librarians provide many things for authors:
— A place to work
— A place to speak
— We buy their books.
— We defend them against censorship.
— We create a congenial space for literacy.

Without librarians, there are no authors. Without authors, there are no librarians.

The relationship between writers and librarians is very personal.

She gave some tips about hosting authors, from her own experiences:
— Staff should be present at author programs.
— Take writers to the back room beforehand and feed them and meet librarians. Make them part of a team.

She took part in an outstanding fundraiser at a library. There were lots of authors, and lots of local restaurants offering samples, and there was a librarian for each author. That personal touch is important!

She talked about the website for Authors for Libraries and the Searchable Data Base of Library Quotes

Remember: Writers, like Librarians, are an endangered species.

Ask authors, “What do you want from us?”

When you connect with an author, get what you can — a quote, a list of what they’re reading now. Writers are perfectly happy to do publicity for us.

Writers don’t bite!

And I enjoyed one last quotation that showed that she understands librarians better than most: “I didn’t appreciate how many kinds of stupid there are until I sat at a reference desk.”

Coming up on my blog tomorrow: More books and authors signing them.

More Book Frenzy – ALA Annual Conference 2011, Day Two

Saturday morning, I woke up after having gotten far too little sleep. I’d discovered the night before that any restraint I thought I’d have completely vanished when faced with free books. It also happened that Saturday morning would have some of the author signings I was most looking forward to. What’s more, although there were some programs that sounded interesting, HarperCollins was hosting a Fall Preview of its new books from 10:00 to 11:00 — which was NOT when the authors I wanted to see were schedule. So you see, I was doomed to visit the exhibits.

I did see Laini Taylor and get her new book signed, but thought since I’d accosted her the night before, I wouldn’t make her pose for a photo again. Yes, for those of you keeping score at home, I had already shipped Daughter of Smoke and Bone unsigned the night before. Does anyone local want the unsigned copy before I bring it to my library co-workers? They told me if I started reading it that night, I wouldn’t be able to stop until I finished. I believed them, so am waiting for a night when I can start reading early!

I also met Marilyn Johnson, who so kindly sent books to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in support of libraries. I got a signed copy of her book for myself this time. She said they’ve added an Epilogue that talks about the budget fights to keep libraries open. She’s so nice in person, too!

And when I spotted some Library shirts at Stop Falling‘s booth, I couldn’t resist! Especially the sleep shirt that said, “Oops! I bought another Pile of Books!” It seemed so frightfully appropriate! After all, that’s exactly how it happens, right?

I’m planning to wear this one to work tomorrow:

And this one might be too warm for summer, but I like it very much:

I also spotted Tom Angleberger, author of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, and was given an origami puppet of Darth Paper, to celebrate the upcoming publication of Darth Paper Strikes Back.

Then I went to the HarperCollins Book Buzz, about adult books coming out in the Fall. It was fully as bad for me as I feared — now I want to read almost ALL the books. And I was able to pick up Advance Reader Copies of several to add to my bag.

Let’s see. Some I’m going to look for that I didn’t snag yet:

They’re republishing Agatha Christie’s books, including a republishing of her wonderful Autobiography that includes a CD of Agatha Christie herself reading some of her books. They are publishing a new biography by an Agatha Christie scholar, John Curran.

Defensive Wounds, by Lisa Black, sounded very intriguing. The author is a forensic scientist, and the editor said that one of the strengths of this book is the relationship between the detective and her daughter.

A Bitter Truth, by Charles Todd, won me over when the editor said that this mystery is not gruesome, and has more tea than dead bodies. She said that this book features a “kind” detective, who gets herself on the suspect list. I want to read it!

Historic Conversations is a set of CDs of seven interviews Jacqueline Kennedy did in 1964, with an accompanying book, Jacqueline Kennedy, by Michael Beschloss. It sounds completely amazing.

My Life, Deleted, was described as a love story, and also a true story of a man who hit his head and was afflicted with profound retrograde amnesia, the worst case on record. He has to get to know his wife all over again. A positive marriage story.

First You Try Everything, by Jane McCafferty, is NOT a positive marriage story. When the protagonist’s husband tells her he wants a divorce, first she tries everything, in a crazy way. This sounded frightfully familiar to me. They said the book is funny, and I’m intrigued to know if I will like it or be appalled if they show she’s healed because she gets married again. Anyway, I have to read it.

The Flight of Gemma Hardy, by Margot Livesey, is a rewriting of Jane Eyre.

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, by Caroline Preston, was described as a good YA Crossover. The historical story sounds fun, and it’s all done in scrapbooking.

So, after the Book Buzz, I went back to the exhibits, grabbed as many galleys as I could, and purchased a copy of Chime to be signed by Franny Billingsley.

By that time, I was heavily weighed down, so I decided to again ship the books. Then I walked to the Margaret Edwards Luncheon, which was in the hotel next to the Convention Center. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that “next to the Convention Center” still meant very far away indeed. So I was late, but did get to eat and listen to the excellent speeches. I will post about Saturday afternoon tomorrow.

Here’s a picture of the books that I shipped on Saturday: