Friday, April 23, 2010

Authors on the move

I've mentioned Canadian YA author Eric Walters before, but just found out he's doing something even more remarkable (and with Eric it's always a long list of remarkable). He is part of a group that is walking across the desert in Tunisia. He's joining the founder of impossible2possible (i2P) and several young people in this adventure. Their goal is to raise awareness of water issues in Africa and funds for Ryan's Well. You can learn more about the adventure here.

Travels can prompt stories and I expect Eric will come back with plenty. Books like My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the Worldby Margriet Ruurs are fascinating glimpses into aspects of these travels, and sometimes plain silliness comes out of them too. An artist friend has a visual journal of her travels in the number of art pieces that have been prompted by her travels overseas. Do you enjoy books that give a definite sense of place? What about art? Is one easier to convey than the other?

In my travels today, I was in one of the bookstores in the San Francisco airport this morning and was browsing, as usual, checking out what was selling, what people were looking at, and what was on sale. There was a large group of children's titles for sale that made me vaguely sad (love a sale; hate to see children's books undervalued) and some titles that surprised me with the instant assumptions I formed about the book.

There were also some titles that I had some pretty strong reactions to that probably had nothing to do with the story. I've been known to buy a book for the cover, and I walked right past some today, even skirted around them, again because of the cover. I didn't have time to test all the titles (Did the back copy match my assumptions? Was the writing as evocative as the cover?...) before I had to run catch my own flight.

Gotta fly ...

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