ALA Midwinter highlights

It can be officially declared that I don't think I'll ever have time to blog at a conference, and I probably won't have time to tweet either. It's just too crazy. So I hope to make this a feature instead: highlights from the conference. I won't cover everything that happened, of course, but I'll share with you the best bits for me. As a reminder, I did this for NCTE as well.

So here are the particularly special things that happened at Midwinter:
  • Meeting so many special authors. Linda Urban wandered into our booth and, being a huge fan of Crooked Kind of Perfect, I was able to gush and slobber all over her. I'm sure it wasn't as good for her as it was for me, but I loved seeing her. Loree Griffin Burns, author of Tracking Trash, was with Linda and they were both incredibly sweet and gracious, given that they were dealing with a crazy fangirl. I also met Stuart Murphy rather spontaneously and, as a librarian, I always found his books invaluable because they filled such a particular niche. Holly Cupala also stopped by the booth, as Harper is publishing her upcoming book Tell Me a Secret. She is a sweetheart with a smile that'll stop traffic (who also turned me on to Sock Dreams).
  • Eating at Hamersley's Bistro. They had a crispy duck confit that stopped me dead. Perfect in every way. Kayleigh had the roast chicken and believe me when I assure you that it was in no way ordinary or plain. In fact, I never knew chicken could melt in your mouth. And I mean that in the best way possible.
  • Eating (always food, right?) at Taberna de Haro. The food was pretty good, but the dessert...well, I had an intimate experience with the dessert. The server put the plate on the table with three small truffles and some small pieces of grilled bread. He sprinkled a generous amount of sea salt on the truffles, followed by a good shake of cocoa powder, and then poured olive oil over all of it. The olive oil and chocolate became this decadently goopy syrup and we used the bread to mop it up. The truffles were super dark and, combined with the salt, were small pieces of ecstasy. It was a once-in-a-lifetime dessert.
  • The ALA Youth Media Awards. Even though it's a bit different now that I'm working for a publisher (I have a team to root for now!), I still experienced the same thrill and excitement as before. And I loved the Printz announcement - the room was in an uproar as there was one surprise after another. They shook it up big time, and thank goodness for that. It was a hoot.
  • The ALA Tweet-Up. It was insane, just insane, but it was also a great chance for me to hook up with old friends (Liz, Heather, and Jen) and meet some new ones (Laura and Melissa Rabey).
  • The Seaport Hotel. Need a place to stay in Boston that, frankly, is not terribly near convenient stuff? Stay here. The decor in the room wasn't anything spectacular, but the staff was super nice and there were all kinds of cute amenities: terrycloth robes, a "pillow library", an umbrella in the closet, and a black washcloth labeled "makeup" on the toiletries shelf. And the quality of the room service food was very good. And the "tip is already included" policy was awfully nice as well.
  • I got a kick out of this: Saturday's top tweets as chosen by Library Journal. And here are Sunday's as well.

I have no complaints about this conference at all, though I do have to ask what the heck is up with Bostonian cabbies - they're infinitely more shady than the NYC variety. Wow.

Eat, drink, and finally get some sleep.


Laura said...

Nice to meet you, too! And I'm going to have to finally try Hamersley's Bistro - you've got my mouth watering.

Rebecca said...

That dessert is absurd, absurd I tell you! It may just be worth the ticket to Boston. At first when I read it I thought olive oil and chocolate? But on second reading to was more like "olive oil and chocolate" *nods head knowingly.

It just makes sense.

Linda Urban said...

I loved meeting you Laura! Next time, we'll have to go out for lunch -- you seem to know the best spots for dessert!

Anonymous said...

It was nice to meet you too, Laura; I hope we'll cross paths again soon.

(I still get all fangirl with Linda too, and she doesn't seem to mind!)

Loree Burns