So I decided to go a bit more professional. I’m over at morganbaden.com now, and am trying to figure out how to redirect this over there (or if I even need to; maybe this post will suffice for now!). Though if anyone is a WordPress pro and knows how to set this up to redirect there, let me know!
Part of my job is writing daily news stories about the publishing industry, which means that this time of year I’m writing about many, many “best of the year” lists — from School Library Journal‘s picks to Publishers Weekly‘s picks to the LA Times‘ picks.
And you know what? I want picks of my own. So here they are.
Best of the year:
- Book event: the release of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. (Seeing strangers wearing mockingjay pins on the streets of SoHo was surreal.)
- Reminder that I like magical realism: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. I just re-read it, and it blew me away again.
- Re-opening of my heart to politics after it broke during the 2008 primaries: Big Girls Don’t Cry by Rebecca Traister, for which I still owe this blog my reactions.
- Blast from the past: hanging with Ann M. Martin (with the return of Sweet Valley in second place). It’s like my tweendom has come ’round full circle.
- YA titles I didn’t expect to love: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I mean, I like witches, and I like Paris, but I didn’t think I wanted to read about them this much.
- Novel I knew I would love but didn’t realize how much: The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. My favorite adult author, but this book captivated me from beginning to end.
- Trend that’s not new but I’m just getting into it: zombies (The Walking Dead; The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan). Whatever, I’m a late bloomer.
What are your best of the year lists?
I love December. I love winter in general, and the buttoning up and wrapping around the season entails. On my morning walk to work I like to remember how, mere months ago, I was struggling to keep from passing out from the humidity, and now I’m pulling on a puffy coat and cinching the hood; how, where there used to be a gutter drip from the Starbucks on Houston, there are now long icicles that glint in the 8am sunlight.
Time passes, and so do we, but they’re still serving mochas and I’m still passing them up for cheap cups of decaf at my office. The more things change, etc.
Last week I went to San Francisco, and it was so lovely to be there when it’s all holiday-ified. Last Saturday was their Santa-con, and on a cable car ride (my mom insisted, and I obliged, and found it to be a highlight of the trip) we passed a woman dressed as a black-and-white version of Santa. Gray skin, matted just so; an entire gray and white Santa suit. It was brilliant, the contrast between her and all the fire engine red Santas around her. We unwittingly followed her around the city (or perhaps she followed us?), from the Ferry building to Market Street to North Beach. We never got her on camera, like she was a ghost.
Speaking of ghosts, we stayed in an adorable hotel called the Queen Anne (that’s the lobby, where we sipped wine and brandy in front of roaring fireplaces and tried to imagine what kinds of lessons the girls of the early 20th century attended in that space. It was an old girls’ lodging house.). It’s supposedly haunted, but we, alas, can neither confirm nor deny.
And then yesterday, back in New York, I got caught in a Santacon of our own. I rounded the corner of 37th Street on my way to the Girls Write Now journalism workshop when I ran smack into a parade of Santas. I think the holdup was that they were trying to get into Stitch, a bar where I actually held my 28th (?) birthday drinks.
It was 10:30 am, and a mob of Santas were in line to get into a bar in Hell’s Kitchen.