Thursday, August 11, 2011

Saving books...

Rainswept town stood still.

My phone buzzed pulling me out of mid arvo trance - J. telling me there was a book sitting on a street corner about a hundred metres from our place. I asked what was the book's title (who was I kidding - it didn't matter, really. I would do it for any book. Well, maybe not for the Fifty Shades of Grey...). J. told me it was Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’.

I thought I'd let it be, but then slowly drove myself mad with torment of guilt over the next thirty minutes. I imagined the book getting soaked wet and damaged (The Unthinkable!), dying and haunting me later. I thought of it as if it had feelings, was a friend of mine or maybe a homeless puppy.

Finally, I decided tobrave the elements and save the book. Fortunately, nobody I know saw me skipping across the road and back in my Alice Cooper T-shirt, tights and UGGs - an image to behold.

There it was… Sitting on the corner, just like J. described - moist wind leafing through its yellowish pages and eternal Melbournian rain soaking its cover through.



I thought it was one of those BookCrossing books that you are supposed to read and ‘give back to the universe’ (you leave it on the bus or park bench). But there was no indication of such affiliation on this book. The plan was to read it and to donate it to a local library. Now, months later I can confirm that I have indeed read it but didn't yet bring myself to donate - the book horder that I am. 

Also, on books…
Last year I had this strange impulse to go to a book-signing of an American YA author Richelle Mead (even though back then I haven’t read a single book of Richelle). I don't know if it was Richelle's flaming red hair on the invite or my adventurous spirit demanding new things, but I went anyway. And it turned out to be one of the best experiences I've ever had! There were readers of all ages - I made friends with a lady twice my age and had an amazing discussion about Catcher in the Rye with two supersmart Year 10 girls who took a bus all the way from Werribee to hear Richelle speak (for those who don't live in Oz - Werribee is far from the Melbourne CBD, very very far...). 

Kalinda will be reviewing Richelle's books shortly, but overall I can say I'm a big fan now. It probably has something to do with strong female protagonists and writing constructed in such a way that younger readers don't see an author talking down to them. 

Anyway, here is a picture of me with Richelle.


And I got my book signed.
Finally, earlier this year I had a chance to meet another author, Marianne de Pierres, who writes science fiction and has recently started Burn Bright YA series. To my shame, although I have heard about the Burn Bright, I didn't know how Marianne actually looked like. So when I came by her stall at Aussie Comi-Con I thought she was one of the Dymocks’ sales people. To further my shame, I even asked her if she had any Richelle Mead’s books…
After embarrassing myself in such a way, I just had to buy her book and get it signed to make up for my behaviour as a mumbling idiot.



I'd like to think of Burn Bright as Pinocchio's Pleasure Island meets [spoiler alert] blood-sucking aliens. The book felt fresh, dark and intense.

That is all.

Keep on reading!

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