Saturday, December 20, 2008

New Job & Books

Hello All!

I started my new position at the Valencia Branch of the Pima County Public Library on December 1, which I hope will explain my lack of posts.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my primary responsibility is Young Adult or Teen Services. I'm excited to be learning a new area of librarianship (I have previously served children and adults), and to be getting to know the teens that use the Valencia Library.

My workday includes a 2 hour commute at this time, so my reading time is next to nothing right now. Since starting work, I have read two YA novels, Edenville Owls by Robert B. Parker and Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein, both of which I enjoyed, and look forward to booktalking to teens. At home (I read the YA novels at lunch at work), I reread Charlotte Macleod's The Plain Old Man and just finished State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy. I recommend State of the Onion for those readers who like cozies with an edge. This week, for the holidays, I'm rereading Rest You Merry by Charlotte Macleod,which I read almost every year.

You may be wondering why I'm not listening to audiobooks on my long commute. I've never been a big audiobook listener, and those I've enjoyed in the past have been nonfiction, such as Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes and several by Bill Bryson, whose sarcastic humor I adore. I thought I'd start listening to YA books while commuting, so I started Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and while it wasn't bad, I didn't find that listening to it was my first choice when I got into the car. I'll try something else soon, or go back to Bill Bryson :) -- in the meantime, I have a Garrison Keillor Christmas CD for this week.

You may also be wondering when we are moving to Tucson, and the answer to that question is around the end of January. We have found a terrific apartment in Marana, which borders the north side of Tucson.

Next weekend, in between the holidays when my husband will be on a camping trip, I will spend a good deal of that time reading--two set aside for then are Death's Half Acre by Margaret Maron and It Happened One Knife by Jeffrey Cohen. On or after December 31, I will be posting my Favorites of 2008!

So, a new job and a new place--it's quite a way to end one year and start another! Life is very good!
Season's Readings to All!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Poisoned Pen Appearances: Robin Burcell, Tim Maleeny & Nils Lofgren (?!)

Hello All!

I had the honor of providing transportation to author Robin Burcell on Saturday, December 6, when she appeared at Poisoned Pen with Tim Maleeny. I offered to drive when I found her flight to Phoenix got in a little to close to her appearance time.

Robin and another author, Tim Maleeny, were appearing at Poison Pen in Scottsdale, AZ to promote new titles that were also being printed by Poisoned Pen Press. Robin's new book is Face of Killer, the first in a new thiller series featuring a female FBI forensic artist, and Tim's new title is Greasing the Pinata, 3rd in his PI series featuring Cape Weathers, and his partner, Sally. I look forward to reading Robin's new series, and, being me, starting Tim's series with its first title, Stealing the Dragon. FYI, Stealing the Dragon is out of print, but I purchased his second title, Beating the Babushka, and my husband Ken purchased Greasing the Pinata, so we own 2 out of 3. Robin very kindly gave me a copy of her book for driving her around, but I purchased a copy also for a gift. And, well, now that I'm employed...I bought 2 other books I'm looking forward to reading, Jeff Cohen's Some Like It Hot-Buttered, and Julie Hyzy's Hail to the Chef.

Getting back to the program for the day, there was a small group gathered at 2:00 PM at Poisoned Pen for the authors to talk about their books, and other tangents that talking books takes--the publishing industry, mysteries, etc. These sorts of events always make me feel like I want to spend about 3 days reading mysteries :).

There was a break on this day between author talks. Robin and I planned on going to get something to eat, and just hang out. As we were getting ready to leave, I noticed a shopper who looked familiar, and it took me a minute to figure out who it might be, and then I totally doubted myself. I said to Robin, "I think that might be Nils Lofgren, who plays in the E Street Band with Bruce Springsteen." Then Robin and I overheard him talking about music, and Robin said, "I think you're right." So I just went for it and asked him if he was Nils Lofgren, and he said yes! I turned into a total speechless geek and also got tears in my eyes. I have been a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band fan for at least 25 years, though I'm not the fan some of my friends are. But this was a huge moment for me. I did tell Nils we were on stage together in 1985, and he asked if I had been pulled up on stage (for "Dancin' in the Dark" just like Courtney Cox in the video) and I said yes, at the Pontiac (MI) Silverdome in September of 1985. During our conversation, I found out that Nils is a big mystery fan, frequents Poisoned Pen, and has lived in the Phoenix area for about 13 years. Robin sold him a copy of her book :), and he very kindly gave us copies of his new album, _Nils Sings Neil_ (Young). Oh, and Robin had to remind me that I had my camera with me (!), so we all had our photos taken. What an added bonus to an already terrific day.

Robin and I went to Frank and Lupe's, one of my favorite Scottsdale restaurants, and just talked for awhile, then had dinner.

We went back over to Poisoned Pen for Robin and Tim's second appearance of the day, which was also a potluck. My husband Ken joined the audience for this portion of the day, and both Robin and Tim gave another good talk. I drove Robin to her hotel while listening to Nils Lofgren :).

Happy Reading!