From LA

I only brought 2 books with me for the flight because it seemed foolish to overpack when en route to what is basically the biggest free-book-extravaganza of the year.  2 books was definitely not enough–should have been at least 3.  I have really been enjoying the view out my window, though.  As I type I am flying over mountains in Colorado.  They have snow on top.  This is a weird-looking country from the air.

55. Larry and the Meaning of Life by Janet Tashjian (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, September 2008).  YA fiction.  This is the third book in a series (the first two are The Gospel According to Larry and Vote for Larry) about Josh Swensen, a 18-year-old boy who, by this third book, has already led an online revolution, faked his own death, and run for president.  When we meet him in this book, he’s become a couch potato, exhausted and jaded from all of his work.  He finds himself being pulled into orbit around a supposed guru who his ex-girlfriend is devoted to, and his summer goes from dull to over-exciting.  I liked this book a lot, even though the ending was pretty hard to swallow.  I like the use of footnotes 95% of the time, and Tashjian does a great job of fitting in references to Gandhi, Thoreau, and anti-materialism without coming off as preachy (it helps that she’s established Josh as narcissistic (though endearing). And I haven’t read the first two books, so this is a book that could appeal to readers who haven’t read a Larry book before—and will probably make them want to read the first two.

56. Goldengrove by Francine Prose (Harper, September 2008).  Fiction.  Picked this up because I really liked A Changed Man (which, curiously, I picked up the last time I went to BEA a few years ago).  I didn’t find many similarities between the two books, but I still liked this one.  [had to close my laptop before it died, here]

I wish I could think of more to say about Goldengrove, especially because there’s a bookstore in it (named Goldengrove) but I am now finishing this entry after an insanely-long ride to the hotel, which was just the capstone to a very long day.  I am out of words.  So I am going to go to bed, because I have a secret meeting to go to tomorrow, which is exciting, except for how it starts at 730am.  Yeah, it is definitely bedtime.

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