Monday, June 30, 2008

Mom, Missouri, TARN, and Kushner

Got a new review for Out of the Wild today:

"Even better than the first book!" -- my mom

(When I told her I was going to quote her on my blog, she added, "Tolstoy had better watch out! Or maybe say that I said Tolkien...")

My mom was here visiting this past week (which is why I've been absent from the online world), and as you may have guessed from the above, while she was here, she read Out of the Wild. Rather nerve-wracking when you
know that someone you love is reading something you wrote. I had to force myself not to perch on the edge of the couch and watch her facial expressions.

But she liked it. (Phew!) And I knew she liked it fairly early on because as she was reading, she skipped to the end. You see, my mom has this habit of reading the endings of books before she's read the middle. But she only does it with books that she likes. Kind of like Harry in "When Harry Met Sally" but her reason is slightly different from his: she says that if she likes a book, she has to read the ending early so that she'll be able to put the book down. Otherwise, she'll read straight through without stopping to eat, drink, or be merry. (Okay, she didn't actually say "be merry." I'm paraphrasing here.) So wh
en I saw her flip through the pages to read the end of Out of the Wild, I took that as the highest compliment.

I've been teasing her about her read-the-end-first habit for years, but now that I know why she does it, I think I have to stop teasing her about it. I really shouldn't throw stones at other people's reading habits anyway. I'm a major skim-reader. I often skim so fast that I completely miss major parts of the action and then have to backtrack a couple pages to figure out who died. But it has the upside that if I reread a book, it's practically new to me because I'm seeing all sorts of sentences that I missed the first time around. :)

Anyway, I am a bit behind on my trip reports...

Trip Report: Springfield Green County Library

This was the first author visit I've done where I didn't have to leave my desk. Last Thursday, I talked on the phone with a group at the Springfield Greene County Library in Missouri. The kids all had great questions, and it was so much fun. Definitely up there in my list of Favorite Phone Call

I don't have any photos of the event to show you, for obvious reasons. But if you want, you could click here for a website with photos of bizarre phone booths.

Trip Report: Teen Author Reading Night

On Wednesday, I participated in Teen Author Reading Night (TARN) at the Jefferson Market Branch of the New York Public Library. The other authors reading were John Coy, Susane Colasanti, E. Lockhart, Daphne Grab, a
nd Rachel Vail, and our host was David Levithan. Everyone was awesome, as was the enormous red curtain behind us.

John, Susane, E., David, Me, Daphne, Rachel, and the red curtain

I really love group readings. It's kind of like going to an ice cream store and sampling lots of flavors. And I really liked all the flavors at TARN.

Recent Reads: Kushner

And lastly, I have to tell you about the book I read on the train to and from Teen Author Reading Night: Ellen Kushner's The Privilege of the Sword. It's about a girl whose uncle insists she become a swordswoman instead of debuting to Society and marrying the most eligible man she can find. It's kind of Jane Austen meets Tamora Pierce, and it was totally absorbing. Definitely the sort of book where my mom would have read the ending first.

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At 7:38 AM, Blogger Madison said...

I read ahead. I don't really know why. With some books, it's because I get bored. Not with the book, per se, but with reading in general, and it's just more fun to skim through the whole book and find out how it ends. And then I'll read the book and marvel at all the stuff I missed.

There are probably only like six books that I've read without skipping ahead.

And The Privilege of the Sword sounds pretty good. Jane Austen and Tamora Pierce are two of the most awesome authors ever. ;)

At 4:59 PM, Blogger GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

Thanks for the shout out about our author chat via phone. The teens and I all had a blast!:) I had another teen post a review of Into the Wild on our Summer Reading Site and they gave it five stars!

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Anne Leigh said...

Oh my goodness!!! I just finished Into the Wild-Oh man!! I couldn't put it down, it was amazing!!! *runs off to find Out of the Wild*

At 11:13 PM, Blogger Melissa Walker said...

That is a great shot from TARN! Glad I got to see you read, and I can't wait to get my copy of Out of the Wild. SOON!

At 9:48 PM, Blogger AnnaDee said...

i do that sometimes too!
i really loved Out Of The Wild, and was disapointed when i could not buy a copy of Into the Wild for my cousin. i want to get my whole family hooked on it!
the ending, i have to say, was absolutly wonderful. i was laughing with joy for about 10 minutes upon finnishing, and i only to that when i really love a book. in fack, its only happend about 3 times . i can't wait for more stories from you Sarah! go far and rise high!

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Anilee: There are a couple books that I've read slowly because I want to savor them, but like you said, there are probably only a small handful that fit that category. With most, I'm anxious to find out what happens next so I read faster and faster...

GreenBeanTeenQueen: I had a blast too! It was great talking with all of you. And thanks for letting me know about the new review. Very cool!

Savyleartist: Yay! So happy you liked it! Hope you enjoy Out of the Wild too.

Melissa: Great to see you! I'm looking forward to reading your Violet books.

Annadee: Thanks so much! I'm so glad you liked it!!

At 1:12 AM, Blogger Anne Leigh said...

Yes-it was amazing! Even up to the last pages of the book I was hooked

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Q said...

I'm so excited for you, and I can't wait to read it!

At 11:54 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Savyleartist: Yay! Great to hear! Thanks so much!

Q: Thanks! Hope you like it!

At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read the first chapter of Into the Wild. My goodness, that was very involving and intriguing. A vine, under the bed -- I'd like to think of myself as imaginative, but that never would have ocurred to me. I am going to buy both books ASAP!
I almost always skip to the end of a great book. Can't wait to do that with yours.

At 4:19 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Kate: Hope you like them! And hope you enjoy the endings, regardless of whether you read them first, last, or somewhere in the middle!


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