Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Hello from Clear Lake, Texas - home of NASA and the University of Houston-Clear Lake. This may be Texas but I am freezing my bippy off! I am in the UHCL library with my leather jacket on and my wool scarf across my legs to help keep me warm. What is it about places that keep their air conditioning temp. so low that you form icicles on your nose? When I get home tomorrow night I am not going to complain about our lack of air conditioning - at least for a few days. :-)

I teach the first sessions of my 2 YA Literature courses tonight and then I head home tomorrow. Can't wait. I love being able to teach the online sessions in my shorts and t-shirt with a diet Coke next to me. It is too dang cold here to drink diet Coke - I am having withdrawal symptoms!

ALA Midwinter in Boston was wonderful. Got to sit in on the BBYA straw vote Friday night. What a well run committee with great members. I loved being on that committee (several years ago) - but talk about reading! The only place I didn't have a book was in the shower and I was contemplating how I could do that!

I was so pleased to see that how I live now (in lower case) by Meg Rosoff won the Printz award (best YA lit. of the previous year). I predicted that when I read the ARC almost a year ago and listed it as my prediction in a blog entry before I left for Midwinter. A unique book with a unique voice. And having terrorists invading England certainly has a contemporary "ring" to it.

I shame facedly admit I have not read the honor books. An order will go in to B&N for the ones I don't have as soon as I get home. I keep my copies of the Printz award books as I use them so much in booktalking sessions and at other workshops I do on YA lit.

Did pick up a bunch of ARCs (galleys) at Midwinter, but not as many as I would have liked to. My luggage is so heavy now I can barely get it into the trunk of the rental car. But, I have begun reading. I had to start Julia Hearn's The Minister's Daughter since I met Julia at Midwinter and she was such a delight to talk to. Our discussion of the book and the research she did to write it had me just waiting for a few hours to read in peace and quiet. I was actually disappointed we were landing in Dallas as I wanted to finish it on the plane. It isn't out until June 2005, but if you can get a copy, do so. What a well researched and well written story of a manipulative minister's daughter whose deception puts a naive young herbalist healer in great danger. Wonderful bits of piksy (may be spelled wrong - I don't have the book with me) and fairy magic as well as herb/nature based remedies and charms.

I'll write more about Midwinter and books when I get home. I have got to go find a cup of hot tea and then I am going sit in the car with the heat running for a bit. My nose is running it is so darn cold in here! BRRRRR!!!