tagged with: "books"
This year’s American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference took place in sunny Seattle. It was my first time there, so as a tourist and an exhibitor, it was a thrilling weekend. See my recap in pictures after the break because they really say it best.
Whenever a new year starts I look back on the books I’ve read and try and think about what I liked the most, and what I’m most looking forward to in the upcoming year. Working in publishing is great for many reasons, but being able to talk with coworkers just as passionate and knowledgeable about the world of literature is perhaps the best part. I decided to poll some of these coworkers to see what they read in 2012 and find out what they liked best, and what they’re looking forward to tackling in 2013. See what we read after the break!
The month of October is always exciting here at ABRAMS, from the epic festivities of Comic-Con to the colorful crowd—both two and four legged—at The Sheep and Wool Festival, it seemed like every weekend was filled with excellent events, sights and sounds that spanned the genres of all our books.
And in that final October weekend, ABRAMS had the distinct pleasure of being a part of the first annual Designers & Books Fair. The show, held at New York’s own F.I.T., was produced by Designers & Books founder Steve Kroeter, and featured a grand assortment of publishers and panels from all over the world.
It’s Banned Books Week! Huzzah! And now please pretend I am handing you a celebratory cupcake, because . . . well . . . it’s Banned Books Week! Huzzah! And Banned Books Week deserves to be celebrated, because talking about ideas is GOOD. Having a conversation is GOOD. Even if you and I don’t agree about whatever it is we’re discussing, that’s okay, because engaging our minds (and our hearts) as we grapple with our differences helps us grow. And, Lord, do I want to grow. Always.
In 2007, a series I wrote called The Internet Girls appeared on the American Library Association’s top ten list of the most frequently challenged books, at spot number seven. I was horrified. Worse, I was ashamed. What would my mom think? My kids? My friends? Were my books (my babies!) truly so terribly dangerous/offensive/bad that people wanted them gone?
Me Earl and the Dying Girl is the funniest book I have read this year. And when I say book I don’t just mean young adult, I mean adult books as well. Just to be clear. This is why I knew I needed to find someone who had the whit and edginess that Jesse Andrews put into the story to design the cover. That lucky man turned out to be Ben Wiseman. Ben up until recently had only designed book covers for adult books. An impressive list of adult titles I might add. Such as…
In January I heard that the US was making its first attempt to participate in World Book Night – an organized night that exists to promote reading around the world. The idea was simple: take 30 of the most popular novels out in publication today, and what I imagine to be thousands of volunteers who absolutely love reading, and then stalk, accost, chat up, and just plain engage people on the street who seem like they need a push in the direction of literature.
Powell’s City of Books. It’s a nice idea, first of all, but when you’re there, it’s a nice reality. You can wander and sniff out and have coffee and hunker down and pet a cat or a dog – if only the food trucks delivered…. Anyway, I was recently in Portland, OR (City of Roses), so headed to Powell’s, picked up my map, and contemplated the neighborhoods.
Young-adult fiction changed my life. No wait! Keep reading. I think I know where you think I’m going with this. Young-adult-fiction-changed-my-life is a sentiment that one reads now and again, and it’s usually about someone who read this or that book as a teenager, and it gave them hope; inspiration; some new species of joy. But that wasn’t me. I was a triumphantly, relentlessly obnoxious teenager, and I had no patience for young-adult fiction. Reading-wise, I was mostly interested in trying to read The Hardest Possible Thing. Joyce. Dos Passos. Dostoevsky in the original Russian, which of course I do not speak. Mostly I was reading these in conspicuously public places, with what I thought at the time was a Frown Of Extreme Thoughtfulness but which I am now pretty sure was more of a Frown Of Maybe For Some Reason I Am Trying Really Hard To Poop My Pants Here At This Municipal Bus Stop.
The week before I officially began working at ABRAMS, I was invited to travel down to the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. as a member of the ABRAMS team. I had not a book to my name nor a business card to share. I had only inklings… inklings that the sort of books I would be creating would be nothing like those I was seeing on the exhibition floor. The marriage of ABRAMS (The Art of Books) and 0-5 publishing (the art of developmental mindfulness) has yielded something of an anomaly in the baby/toddler/preschool market. Our friend Bob Shea said it best: “You’re creating coffee table board books!” Indeed, our list fits just as comfortably in the mouths of babes as it does on display in your bookshelf.
For my last “human interest” post of the year, it was decided (I was late to the meeting, okay?) that I should poll some fellow Abram-ites regarding their proudest accomplishments for 2011.