Monday, February 06, 2006

Talk about brain dead, but I have been having a great time printing out driving directions so I can get around Greenville - to important places such as the Michael's store for my craft stuff. I was so excited when I realized it was right by the hotel I am staying in. Now if I can figure out how to convince myself that driving on the right hand side of the road feels normal again I will be fine. Been looking at apartments online too, but there is no flashing red light to let me know which ones the students are living in. Those are the ones I don't want! I have my itinerary all laid out of the meetings and errands I want to run as well as just wandering around the area by car on Saturday.

I already have my books packed for the booktalking session. Took up most of a small suitcase. I believe in having a book in your hand so the audience will focus on you and not a darn book cover shot up on a big screen. Power point slides - the new glorified version of overheads!

Was reading through the January 2006 copy of Kliatt that I picked up at Midwinter and saw that Lara Zeises has a short article on YA author blogging. I love to read Lara's blog - she has such a cool sense of humor. :-) I shame facedly admit I have not subscribed in Kliatt in some time. I am very partial to VOYA, not only because I review for it, but because of the wonderful articles and columns. I have enjoyed reading through the reviews for books, computer software and audiobooks in Kliatt, especially the audiobooks as reviews for these are as important as the book reviews. I have hated listening to wonderful books because of the narrator. When I read "The three narrators perfectly match the persons they portray" in the review for A Long Way Down by Nicky Hornby - an adult title with YA appeal, I was pleased. Perhaps I should be looking a bit closer at Kliatt and start subscribing again.

Speaking of adult books - I read a quite funny one that probably won't have YA appeal, but librarians will love it. Elizabeth Peters, author of my favorite Amelia Peabody mysteries set in Egypt, wrote Die for Love so I couldn't resist it, especially when I realized it was about an academic librarian attending a Romance Writer's Conference in NYC so she could write off her vacation! I laughed out loud at her observations of what women are like in many of the romances. I was reading excerpts aloud to my roommate at Midwinter. The obnoxious reporter trying to find out the truth behind who one of the romance writers really is and is poisoned and Jacqueline Kirby, amateur detective too, is on the case. Oh what fun!

On a recommendation from one of my YA Literature students at UHCL, I dug out my copy of Ellen Schreiber's Vampire Kisses. Apparently her teenage female students can't get enough of this book and want a sequel. I have to admit, I read it in one gulp. Goth girl Raven, daughter of former hippies who have bought into the corporate world, dresses in black and wishes she could be a vampire. That was, after all, her career goal in Kindergarten. At 16 she hasn't changed her mind and when the mysterious family who only go out at night move into the mansion on the hill, Raven just has to know if they really are vampires. She goes so far as to break into their home and that is when she meets Alexander Sterling, the home schooled teenage son who also dresses in Goth garb. They quickly become a couple and Raven brings him to the Prom, where Travis, her tormenter since they were children, goes after both of them. When Alexander finds out that Raven was initially interested in him only because he might be a vampire, he refuses to speak to her. It takes Raven's true friends to throw a dress in black party on the Sterling front lawn to get Raven and Alexander back together, but the house is empty the next day with no sign of Alexander, the boxes of dirt, or his parents. So was Alexander a vampire or not? A delightful quick read about a girl who far from conventional, but totally likeable anyway. Love her little brother Nerd Boy too. :-)

Now to go do some clothes packing as I will be at Montessori all day tomorrow and leave on Weds.