Back from ALA (and vacation) and it’s already becoming a blur. In Anaheim, I spent the weekend at the booth five-questioning twelve award winners and honor book recipients, each interview fine but in toto too many; we videotaped them this year thanks to the mad skills of Guy Gonzalez and Mike Berse and will be uploading them in the coming weeks for your viewing pleasure. I had just two social events: a dinner hosted by FSG for Jack Gantos in honor of his Scott O’Dell Award, and the Newbery-Caldecott banquet as Little, Brown’s guest. I got really nervous at the beginning of Jack’s Newbery speech, remembering the printed version awaiting Horn Book readers and thinking, this is NOT what we discussed. But in fact it was, Jack’s expert delivery making the speech seem new and unrehearsed. (Elissa has posted a neat directory of all our ALA coverage.)
On Monday, Richard picked me up for the drive to West Hollywood and a visit with our lovely Ethan and Rebecca in their Melrose Place-like apartment complex . . .
then up the coast to see Andy Davis . . .
then up again (via the PCH, so beautiful) to see old Pitzer friends and our lovely Dorian and Julie and Miles and Chloe, the adorable newest member of the Mill Valley branch of the family.
I did not get a lot of reading done–Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places, Simon Winchester’s Outposts, and (telling myself I needed to test-drive an illustrated book on my new Kindle but really just curious to re-visit my eight-year-old’s taste), the first volume in The Happy Hollisters series. My new Kindle (touch-screen) is way ahead of the first iteration but I still don’t like the lack of enough contrast on the e-ink screen. The Hollisters reminded me of Sally and Bobby Draper bouncing around in the back of drunk Betty’s station wagon, regularly facing near-drownings, fires, and “rough-looking” men with can-do spirit and an almost complete lack of parental supervision. I don’t think those books could be published today (unless the Hollisters were each five years older and living in an apocalyptic Shoreham beset by fallen angels).