Book Sale Business

I've started to branch out from the biannual Friends Book Sales at Arlington Central Library--this morning I went all the way to Falls Church (a distance of two and a half miles) to check out the American Association of University Women book sale and came home with a small stack of children's books and a couple of hardcovers for my husband and son, too.

I followed my usual book sale protocol, which is to head straight for the middle grade paperbacks. In this case, there wasn't a lot of pre-sorting--all the children's books were mixed up in boxes, fiction, nonfiction, YA, picture books, everything. The pricing scheme wasn't what I was used to, either: all paperbacks (children's and adult) were $2, hardcovers $3. Fortunately, "thin paperbacks" were only a dollar, which is still twice what one pays at the Friends sales. Also fortunately, the cashier agreed with me on the thinness of my paperbacks. One of my hardcovers  (Folk Toys Around the World and How to Make Them by Joan Joseph, 1972) was thin enough to qualify for a discount, too.

One thing I noticed about my new (old) books is the presence and quality of the interior art: black and white line drawings, mostly, by Erik Blegvad (who died earlier this year), N.M. Bodecker, Alan Cober, Margery Gill. Gill's illustrations are among my favorites, and I'm particularly pleased to have picked up a copy of Dawn of Fear by Susan Cooper because of them (here Gill was informed by her own childhood memories of WWII). But I'm reading A Candle in Her Room by Ruth M. Arthur (also illustrated by Gill) first.

National Book Festival

Who's going to the National Book Festival this weekend? We've gone almost every year since we moved back to the Washington, DC area in 2002. This year is extra-special, though: my friend Madelyn Rosenberg's middle grade novel Canary in the Coal Mine (Holiday House, 2013) was chosen to represent the state of West Virginia as one the Library of Congress's 52 Great Reads. I think that could be Bitty (the canary in question) at the upper right of Suzy Lee's gorgeous festival poster, actually! Madelyn (not Bitty) will be at the Pavilion of the States on Saturday and would love it if you stopped by to say hello. Oh, there will be lots of other authors (and illustrators) at the Festival, too. We're hoping to hear Kevin Henkes on Saturday, or else Grace Lin on Sunday. Maybe both!

Library party at our house next month--save the date!

The March issue of Family Fun hasn't been in our house for 24 hours and we've already picked a date and time (a Wednesday afternoon in March) for our library-themed party, complete with book-pocket invitations and in-house library cards for all the guests.  The party was designed to celebrate Read Across America Day on March 2, but I hope to be celebrating the Arlington Public Library's brand-new catalog and account system myself.  The library is transitioning to the new system this week, which means the catalog is offline and my holds (all those shiny new books waiting to be reviewed!) are temporarily...on hold.  While the staff is working hard, I need a suitably old-school distraction.  Ssh, it's party time!

End of the World Club meeting at Politics and Prose

I wanted to share the press release for J&P Voelkel's official launch of The Jaguar Stones, Book Two: The End of the World Club (Egmont, 2010) at Washington, DC bookstore Politics and Prose, because it sounds like so much fun.  I haven't read The End of the World Club yet (the title refers to the Mayan prophecy about the year 2012), but I did enjoy the first book in the series, Middleworld (a Cybils nominee in MG SFF last year).  I especially appreciated the Mayan theme; while The Jaguar Stones books are fantasy, they are rooted in Mayan beliefs and traditions (the authors include a glossary and information about the Mayan cosmos and calendar in the back matter.  Also a recipe for chicken tamales!).  I think I'll like the second book even better, given that it's set in Spain and involves lots of poking around castles and monasteries.  Check out Charlotte's review of The End of the World Club at Charlotte's Library.  And the press release:

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