TLA: AKA ‘come over to the dark side’

This week marked the commencement of the most auspicious Texas Library Association Conference for 2018, and you ask, were you there? Well yes, I’m so glad you asked, I was.

Let’s face it, we love our free books. But not just any, we love our advanced reader copies (those golden books that are not yet out for publication). Why? Because books are our business people! We love the smell of them, the feel of them, the collecting of them (seriously I have collected enough this week to build a whole other additional bookshelf).

But why so many books? I hear you ask. Well, a couple of reasons really. Firstly, we are librarians and so from time to time we have these people called readers come up to us to ask us for a good book or two and it helps to keep abreast of the latest and greatest. Secondly, as a blogger, I do actually READ these books, and some of them I actually do like, and some of them I review, and then I tweet about them and then they are shared, and we are all happy readers together. See? We librarians like to unite people with…come on you got this…BOOKS! (that’s right – good job!)

But also, we love our authors and we love our information sessions and panels, and TLA 2018 had all of these things and more. What a way to network and share, what a way to say ‘hi’ to our friends and remind each other that we are still here! We had bloggers, and teachers, and librarians (of all kinds) and writers, and illustrations, publicists and editors, publishers and directors, all together in the one place to share our respective love of the book-loving craft.

The themes were all too familiar: representation of diverse characters in diverse books; finding in books and also in each other, that which unites us for the greater good; fighting against negative politics and defunding of libraries; promoting a life-long love of reading and of literature.

I’m exhausted.

From fabulous authors such as Brandon Mull and Ame Dyckman (to name two of a slew) all the way to the fellow librarians (myself included) who sat with Kena Sosa in a panel designed to encourage us librarian-turned-aspiring-authors to write, write, write, we were all there to encourage and be encouraged.

So without further ado I will post these images below which are screen shots of my Twitter page and pictures of TLA. I have a treasure chest of books to review in the upcoming months with outstanding new works in young adult, middle school, children’s picture books and adult fiction and non-fiction. You will start to see these reviews shortly.

I will close this very brief posting by saying that for me the authors that did attend this year’s conference were incredibly inspiring for would-be authors. They all spoke with passion for what they do, they talked about their craft as a way to make tangible the imaginings of their minds. They spoke openly about their personal experiences, their writing process and their love of the stories they write. In doing so, they opened up about very personal experiences and emotions which inspire them every day. For us as advocates of their work, this was an amazing sharing experience.

Here are some visuals:


Sayantani DasGupta speaking about her new book The Serpent’s Secret and its diverse characters.


Jennifer Calonita about her writing process


Adam Gidwitz on writing mythical creatures for young readers.


Brandon Mull on encouraging people to read.


Christopher Paul Curtis reading an excerpt of his latest novel The Journey of Little Charlie.


Jennifer Nielson speaking about writing for young readers and the message that she gives in her work.


Sayantani DasGupta on empowerment through writing.


Sayantani DasGupta speaking


Angela Cervantes on why writing is important.


Angela Cervantes speaking


Kirby Larson speaking about her writing process.


And just like that I’d made friends with an author and through circumstance got her new book given to me in a matter of hours.


The ultimate illustrator sketch off with Denise Fleming, Raul Colon and A.G Ford amongst others!!!


Book talking with my friend HipMamaJenn.


And here we are again, looking conference exhausted!

All in all, we had a great week, but now I am tired. I have a few big projects coming up before summer reading hits my library and then everything is just plain chaotic. It’s always great to go to TLA though, for the books, the authors, the colleagues and friends met there, and for the overall atmosphere, which encourages a life-long reading addiction and the pursuit of knowledge.

Stay tuned for the scope on the books I got.

Until next time…..


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