Reading Is Fundamental’s Where the Wild Things Are Gala

Reading Is Fundamental's Where the Wild Things Are Gala

If I had $500 lying around…

“let the wild rumpus start!” says Max in WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, the iconic and award winning children’s book by the late Maurice Sendak. Well, as it happens, at RIF we are about to do just that – and we would like you to join us!

On Thursday, May 9 from 6:30 – 10:00p.m., RIF will present an extraordinary event celebrating Maurice Sendak’s beloved and sometimes deliciously feared (!) story about Max and his journey to where the wild things live. Transforming the Four Seasons Washington, DC into an island of creatures, monsters, and otherwise scary beasts, RIF along with our corporate partners and donors will celebrate all of the wild things as they “roar their terrible roars and gnash their terrible teeth and roll their terrible eyes and show their terrible claws.” And, of course, raise funds to prepare and motivate children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most.

Please join RIF and Max for a adventurous evening of cocktails, dinner, special guests, elaborate silent and live auction items and packages, a Monster Chocolate Bash dessert reception, and a special mix of interesting book lovers and readers from across the country. And of course, a bed time story …

Black Tie optional


Mystery book treasure…

I’m really enjoying this mysterious news from my local library:

“A recent contribution of material for the Friends of the Library book sale contained something of significant value that the donor mistakenly included and would no doubt want back. Sorry but for reasons of verification, we can’t provide more clues. If you think you might be or know our mystery donor, please call … And while everyone loves to solve a good puzzle, no wild guesses please.”


I really hope they reveal what it is once they find the mystery donor. And if they don’t find him or her, I wonder what the librarians will do with the “something of significant value…”

“…a printed book is like a cathedral…”

“I read both paper and e-books, but please don’t tell my publisher this. E-books are great for instant gratification — you see a review somewhere of a book that interests you, and you can start reading it five minutes later. At least I still know it is wrong. But when all is said and done, holding a printed book in my hands can be a sacred experience — the weight of the paper, the windy sound of pages turning, like a breeze. To me, a printed book is like a cathedral or a library or a beach — holy space.”

Anne Lamott

National Cathedral (Washington DC)

Book festivals galore in September

This year’s NBF delightful poster designed by Rafael López.

Who’s got two thumbs and is pumped for the weekend? THIS GIRL.

After celebrating the first day of Autumn by picking some apples, on Sunday I’m going to stop by the National Book Festival: two days of author talks and signings, books for sale, and other literary shenanigans. I think I’m most looking forward to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of A Wrinkle In Time, featuring Leonard Marcus (whose fascinating history of children’s book publishing in America, Minders of Make Believe, I’ve just finished). But there are a terrific number of authors speaking, to suit every interest, including Geraldine Brooks, Michael Dirda, Junot Díaz, Lois Lowry, Jerry Spinelli, Nikky Finney, and Jeffrey Eugenides. Oh my.

You can check out the full National Book Festival schedule here. And while you’re at the Library of Congress website, take a look-see at their list of Books That Shaped America. An interesting collection.

Free Books Make Monday Mornings Better

As I emerged from the darkness of the Metro yesterday on my way to work, I was greeted by both sunshine and some lovely people handing out free books. Apparently Solas Nua, an Irish arts group, was celebrating Irish Book Day with the help of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. (They chose September 17 because it’s marks the halfway point in the year from last St. Patrick’s Day to the next.) Volunteers were handing out books at three Metro stations yesterday. Anyway, I’d like to extend my thanks to the friendly blonde lady who gave me a copy of Fiona: Stolen Child. I’ll see how it is!

Six Degrees of Scarlett O’Hara

Well this is rather interesting. Check out this infographic by designer Jared Fanning based on research by James Chapman:

I’m not sure where Mr. Chapman got his data, but no matter how accurate it is it’s still fun to think about all the people in the world with whom we have a book in common. It’s like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. But with books instead of movie stars.

Gone to the Night Kitchen

Mr. Sendak at age 57.

Somewhere, the Wild Things are weeping. The brilliant, complicated and crotchety Maurice Sendak died yesterday at the age of 83.

Some of my favorite pieces on Mr. Sendak, for your enjoyment:

A letter by Mr. Sendak’s editor to a school librarian who burned copies of In the Night Kitchen. “Should not those of us who stand between the creative artist and the child be very careful not to sift our reactions to such books through our own adult prejudices and neuroses?”

-Mr. Sendak at his most cranky and hilarious on The Colbert Report in Jaunary: Part 1 and Part 2.

His obituary in The New York Times today.

-And finally, an incredible, moving interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air from this past December. I listened to the podcast on the Metro, and had to make a real effort not to be the crazy crying person on the train. “There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.”

Let the hype begin…New details on J.K. Rowling’s new book released today

September 27, 2012, J.K. Rowling’s new book (and first book for adults), The Casual Vacancy, will be released worldwide. Check out her publisher’s website for fresh details.

J.K. Rowling’s big news…

A big announcement today for all of you Potter-philes out there…!

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