Today I had the great pleasure of lunch with Anne, who blogs at Book Buds and who co-founded the Cybils awards. It's lucky for me that I live right near her hometown, so we can meet and chat about books, literature, and the state of the world on occasion. I also got to say hi to her adorable family.
A big end-of-the-year toast goes to Anne and to Big A little a's Kelly; they dreamed up the Cybils prizes for children's literature back in October, and the idea really took off. The two bloggers herded up some eighty fellow citizens of the kidlitosphere to cull nominations and eventually judge what is turning out to be more than 700 books! Whoa.
Having worked with the poetry and the nonfiction picture book committees, I know which 5 books made those shortlists, but mum's the word until January 1st. I can't wait to hear the news in all the other categories. Meanwhile, I'll be reading Marisha Pessl's novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, which so far is reminding me of Pnin, The Secret History, and A Separate Peace all swirled together. I'm only halfway through, so I don't know if that impression will last.
Maybe it's the influence of reading so many kids' books lately, but I see YA crossover potential, too. Edited to note: I'd have to add some Dave Eggers into the mix, too, and a few other influences, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone. After finishing the book, I think it's too relentlessly smarty-pants to be a YA crossover novel.