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Life after book fair

Something feels off today. I'm not speeding down 95 to make sure I get a free parking spot and get a seat in the Chapman Conference Center. I'm not gazing adoringly at the Arepa Queen. I'm not racing from the Auditorium to a small foreign room I've never been to before in hopes of seeing an author I've never seen before. My back doesn't hurt from lugging 50 pounds of books around in an ancient, rotting tote bag.

Book fair must be over.

My back will be relieved, but in a weird way I kind of miss it. Or maybe just the free chocolate chip cookies I boosted in the author lounge. Not sure. All I know is, I really feel like reading.


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just saying

so what was the best thing about the fair this year? favorite moments besides the heckler getting dissed?


i didnt go due to working on saturday and non-book-fan guests in town on sunday. the visitors from the cold north have started early this year...sigh. i'd rather be reading.


For me the highlight was probably Gen Wesley Clark, despite my bias toward fiction. He appeared with Rajic Chandrasekaran (who was also good) and talked like he should be running for president (maybe vice president?)
The main gist was his comparisons of how the Clinton administration dealt with the crisis in the Balkans as compared to the situation in Iraq, about the need for diplomacy as a piece of the strategy, etc. He was extremely charismatic, and I couldn't help thinking: How did John Kerry get the nomination over this guy?


As usual, I left regretting all the people I didn't get to see (this has been a theme since I was a kid and forced my mom to take me to the fair to see Baby-sitters Club author Ann M. Martin, only to arrive too late). The Jacobs/Auslander/Kaplan panel rocked, though I wished I could have been in three places at once about that time. Enjoyed Michael Ondaatje and Linda Spalding and was fascinated by Hanna Rosin talking about God's Harvard, her book about an evangelical college. Is it bad that I'm already looking forward to finding out who'll be there next year?

just saying

michael o...is he the man responsible for giving us the english patient? god, i hate that movie. maybe the book was better

Phoebe Flowers

Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. I'm really going to have to hope that "just saying" is some evil friend of Constance Susan Ogle's who is taunting her, much in the manner I would, re: "The English Patient," because otherwise ... otherwise she is going to have a massive rage-induced stroke and never be able to post again. And I may join her.

P.S. Hannah is my co-pilot.


No, no. I'm remaining calm about The English Patient post. (Yes, Michael Ondaatje is the guy who wrote that, and yes, it's a great book.) I'm so used to people telling me they hate it - many of whom are related to me - that I no longer start looking for weapons. I just sigh and feel bad that they can't appreciate the best movie ever made, from a book or otherwise, on the PLANET, EVER.


It's the same way I have to deal when people (alleged fans of literature) tell me how they "couldn't get through" White Teeth or On Beauty by the brilliant Zadie Smith. Deep breaths.

Connie Ogle

Oh, we will definitely have the Zadie Smith blog item soon. I can feel it coming.

just saying

now, i love both those zadie smith books. and zadie herself. ... michael o and the english patient...not so much


I didn't get to go to Book Fair this year (I'm out of town), so only saw the non-fiction coverage on CSPAN2.

Of the Chapman broadcasts, my favorite was Jeff Toobin. I enjoyed him so much the last time he was at Book Fair that I bought his book on the election (which I of course never read). But this time I might get the Supreme Court book and actually read it.

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