Come Friday, I'll be heading out to Washington, D.C. for the ALA Annual Conference. And I. Can't. Wait! Last time when ALA was in DC, it was my first time, and I have great memories of the city as host to thousands and thousands of librarians. I got to meet my idol Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, had my picture taken with Markus Zusak (hadn't read The Book Thief at that point), and snagged more ARCs than my back could handle. I'm so ready to do it all over again.
Here's what I'm most looking forward to:
1. BFYA meetings! No, really, I am super excited to talk about the books I've spent the last several months reading, and meeting my fellow committee members. I'm also pretty curious about the teen pizza party with David Levithan and John Green.
2. Michael L. Printz reception. I'll admit that unlike in past years, I have not been able to read the honor books that I hadn't already read (due to reading tons of 2010 fiction), but I'm still looking forward to seeing all the honor and winner authors. I've had the pleasure of hearing Libba Bray speak before, and she is a natural. So funny and effervescent.
3. ARC madness! On my wish list: Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson, Matched by Ally Condie, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, and if it's there (it may not be, I have no clue) Annexed by Sharon Dogar. And of course, whatever else looks good. Also, you will probably find me grabbing whatever else looks good. At least this year, I know I'll read them! Come to think of it, I'll probably end up getting through all my ARCs in a month or so. Sheesh!
4. Seeing Toni Morrison speak. With the busy schedule of meetings, I won't have the same freedom I did in years past to stalk author signings and go to the keynote addresses, but I will be able to see Toni Morrison.
5. Schmoozing! What I love best about ALA is the way you happen upon things you never expected. Like how I got to meet Sherman Alexie last year and have him sign a chapbook. Totally not on my agenda for the day, but a completely mind-blowing experience as he's one of my favorite authors ever. Also, last time at the Newbery-Caldecott dinner, Kirby Larson sat at my table. Yeah, that would be the Newbery Honor-winning author of Hattie Big Sky. Completely random, completely awesome. So, I'm open to all kinds of schmoozy surprises, and ready to share them here when I return.
Until then, happy reading!