Anyone who thinks you can’t tell autumn in California just isn’t sensitive enough. This weekend was beautiful: blazing permission leaves flinging themselves and baring their fruit to the squirrels, National election euphoria tinged with local election catastrophes, "Christmas Trees Coming Soon" banners unfurling over fading "Condos Coming Soon" signs on empty lots…and the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books issue.
Book-award-anticipation has become my adult substitute for Christmas-anticipation…and happily, the surprises are always better. National Book Award Nominees only have to wait until next week, November the 19th, for theirs. The Cybils nominations have closed, but reviews will continue to be posted until their decision. And the Newbery committee…
Well, when you’re on the Newbery committee, you don’t really get to enjoy autumn. You are re-reading the books that are your favorites and have started to expose their flaws. Re-reading the book you thought you despised, which someone else nominated…with a pretty convincing justification. Reading and re-reading until your world exists solely of this year’s books, and they are as familiar to you as the stitching on your blanket after weeks sick in bed.
(If the title of this post doesn’t do anything for you, you haven’t read this lately.)