Wednesday, March 31, 2010

She Likes Us, She Really Likes Us!

Sue Grafton is the woman! While in Portland, Maryellen and I made sure to purchase tickets to a dinner sponsored by audiobook sellers featuring Sue Grafton and Kinsey Milhone's alter-ego, Judy Kaye. I've never listened to any of Ms. Grafton's alphabet mysteries but intend to now after hearing about the long relationship between Ms. Kaye and Ms. Grafton.

You may have read about our disappointment when we spoke with Elizabeth Berg a few weeks ago and realized that she hadn't a clue as to who we were or where the Southwest Florida Reading Festival was. But Sue Grafton remembered when we approached her after her hilarious talk that would have put any stand up comic to shame. Not only did she remember, but she reminded us of her relationship with Kelly Lange, and how they had decided ahead of time to ask Elizabeth to dinner if they liked her enough. They did.

Sue Grafton is just as warm and gracious as can be but also bitingly funny. She reminded me of Joan Rivers. Rather than talking about her books, she talked about her life. I can't help but be amazed at the optimism a writer would have to exhibit to plan a book series that involved committing to 26 titles, one for each letter of the alphabet. With U is for Undertow just out, and Ms. Grafton not getting any younger, the pressure must be on to complete the series with five more books. Unless, that is, she had them all in her mind right from the jump.

Speaking of optimism, we must be out of our minds to have walked away with so many ARCs. WHEN will we get to read them? Maryellen kept telling me not to worry, this wasn't going to be like Book Expo and there wouldn't be too many giveaways. Not! I actually had to say no to some authors who were offering autographed copies (Ted Dekker in particular actually looked sad when I turned down his book) because my arms were full and my back twitching with the strain of carrying two bags full. 

What did I absolutely have to have?

  The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
Elegy for April by Benjamin Black (aka John Banville)
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst
The Red Thread by Ann Hood
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky (audio) by Heidi Durrow
My Father, Maker of the Trees (audio) by Eric Irivuzumugabe

I'm currently reading four books simultaneously and will be writing about them all very soon. That is, as soon as I come down to earth from the library conference and the great feeling that comes from being around so many authors, publishers, editors and like minded readers; a reminder of why we became librarians.

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