Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Very Long Day with Talented People

Sunrise was at 7:35 and sunset will be at 6:14.

Doesn't it seem like it gets darker faster in the fall than it gets light in the spring? It was dark at 6:30 yesterday. It makes me sad, although the air smells like pears and pine needles. That makes me happy. It's foggy and cool, the fog beginning to tear like batt as the sun rises- I can finally see the buildings downtown, pinking up in the sunrise.

Last Wednesday at this time I was on my way to load the Jeep with books and school visit supplies. On my way to Einstein Middle School for an event with the Pen Fatale Author Tour: 4 authors, two publicists, and a boatload of books. Gabrielle Zevin, Mary E. Pearson, Alyson Noel, and Jessica Brody on a three week tour together talking about their books and their lives as writers.

I'll bet they were really happy to get home.

We didn't make many sales at the school, there is something about middle and high schools that doesn't inspire book buying at the school. Could it be teacher time constraints? No dedicated discussion of the books and authors? No librarian or English teacher who can add something into their curriculum that is such a tiny piece of the overall teaching plan? Who knows? The following morning's visit to Madison Middle School was better sales-wise and the librarian said she and the students just had a blast. No telling what happens between one and the other.

The events themselves were fun and laughter filled- the authors had great stories about their reading habits and their travel habits, the students had good questions, except for that one boy who hurt Gabrielle's feelings but then apologized (man, middle school boys...sometimes they should be seriously restrained), and I think the students will definitely check the books out of the library.

The event at the store was good. We had about 30 people and a group of young women and an adult driver made the two hour trip from Elma, a little town near Shelton, which is a little town near Bremerton, which is on the south-western side of Puget Sound. How cool is that? They had good questions and stood in line with books to be signed.

I so enjoyed Gabrielle's new book, All These Things I've Done. Sorry, ladies, but I've been a big fan of Gabrielle's for a long time and read this one back in the summer while sitting on the front porch steps at the in-laws so the memories of her book are infused with heat and cats, listening to family cooking and talking, and trying to finish it so I could give it to Mary to read.

It's a story set in the future, chocolate and coffee are illegal, and our heroine is the heir to a mafia-esque group that controls the chocolate trade. In 2083, water is rationed, paper is rare, the library and the art museums are now dance clubs, and Anya is the care-taker of her dying grandmother (the last person to actually know what OMG means), her very smart little sister and her brain-damaged older brother. She is also trying to get through school and negotiate a couple of boys, her current boyfriend and a new boy she shouldn't find attractive as his dad is trying to find ways to put Anya and her family out of business. When people start dying after eating her chocolate, Anya is accused of the deaths, and now has to figure out who is really behind it all.

Funny, really well-written, All These Things I've Done is the first of a series and I have to say, I am thrilled! I love these characters and I love the new New York she's invented. The backstory of the libraries and museums turning into clubs came from a thought Gabrielle had: What if everyone stopped reading books (paper books)? What would happen to the buildings when the populace stopped attending them? It's a fascinating thought and I think she did a great job showing us what she thinks. Ages 13 and up. (Macmillan Publishing. $16.99. Available now.)

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