Monday, September 14, 2009

The Brooklyn Book Festival

This weekend, Grace and I attended the wedding of our former roommate, Jon. Grace, Jon, and I lived together for three years in Somerville, MA--in fact, this was where I was living ten years ago when I got my start in Publishing. Jon and his now-wife Loretta had their wedding ceremony on a train. A moving train, in fact! They made their grand entrance on the front of the train:
And then there was a lunch reception on a lovely, scenic (if at times a bit shaky), old-timey train ride:
Long-time readers of my personal blog may remember the creative way Jon and Loretta got engaged last year, which I posted about here. So adorable. They are the bestest couple.

And then yesterday Grace and I booked it (pun intended) down from Boston to New York for the Brooklyn Book Festival. I was moderating a panel titled "Love and Longing." The official description: How far will you go for love and how far will love go for you? Ned Vizzini (Be More Chill), Aimee Friedman (Sea Change) and Anna Godbersen (The Luxe) reveal very different approaches to succeeding in love as they read and discuss their books.
I thought it was a pretty fun panel, and loved the insights and perspectives of the three authors, who answered questions such as, "How do you think the dynamics of teen relationships have changed since your teen years, if at all?" (Ned: they haven't changed; Aimee and Anna: except for social networking!) and "Who are your favorite literary couples?" Ned: Edward and Bella!; Aimee: Romeo and Juliet; Anna: Elizabeth and Darcy). They discussed how their first loves and past relationships creep into their writing, and talked about the theme of forbidden love and why it's so popular with teens. And of course they all said so much more which I'm too exhausted to record here.

The panel ended on a bit of an odd note, with the last question from the audience asking them to define love. "What is love?" I wanted to break out in song but resisted. What is love? Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more...

They signed books after the talk:

At 3:30 Grace was at the Target Children's area reading both The Ugly Vegetables, and then an excerpt from Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.
Despite all of the distractions going on during the fair, the kids were actually very attentive to both, and even asked extremely smart questions that showed that they had actually been listening! Impressive.

All in all, it was a beautiful day, lovely weather, and I saw a lot of familiar and friendly faces and made new friends. It was my first time there, and I think I'll have to make it an annual event. Hope to see you all there next year!


Anna Alter said...

The train wedding looks amazing! Yay Jon and Loretta!

Meghan McCarthy said...

I'm sorry I missed you guys. I wish I didn't have to work!