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A belated sadness

andrea-cheng

Super Shuttle buddies!

I just learned that children’s author Andrea Cheng passed away in December 2015. She was probably best known for her Anna Wang books-a series about a Chinese American girl and her family. I loved her books and her writing style. Something about the way she wrote strikes a sweet, simple chord in my heart whenever I re-read her books. She had a lifelong fan the minute I started reading The Year of the Book.

I was lucky enough to meet Andrea on the Super Shuttle en route to my TLA hotel. Besides the driver, we were the only passengers on the van that day so it’s not improbable that she struck up a conversation. As soon as I learned her name I am not ashamed to say that I fangirled left and right over her. It is so hard to believe that, during that van ride, I learned so much about her and her family. She was so kind and personable, that I was not surprised she was able to create such genuinely authentic characters. I have had the privilege of meeting several authors over the years, but I  must say that, for all my fangirling, I didn’t feel nervous or awkward around her. She was just so easy to be with. It is definitely my most favorite Super Shuttle ride ever!

During the conference, I was sure to make time to visit Andrea during her booth signing. I was so humbled when she told me that, since this was her first Texas Library Conference (it may have been her first Library conference ever), she wasn’t sure how it was going to go.

andrea-cheng-booth

Book signing!

She went on to say that she was having a great time and part of it she attributes to our meeting on the Super Shuttle. She said something along the lines of it being a wonderful conference and that she believed that it got off to a great start because of our visit on that van.

I regret that I never kept in better touch with Andrea. I have, even within the last few months, thought about sending her a quick hello, but I never followed through. I regret that I never sent her the pictures that we took together, or a picture of my kiddos with the book that she signed for them. I regret that I never told her how much I loved The Year of the Baby. Right now I’m feeling beyond blessed that I, not only had the chance to meet this wonderful woman, but that I was able to tell her how very much her work meant to me. Thank you for all your work, Andrea Cheng. Every time I read your books, my world shines a little bit brighter. I’m honored and glad that I met you.

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On my reading shelf

No matter how busy I claim to be, I always have a bunch of books on my reading “shelf.” (I use the term shelf very loosely because, as Scott will confirm, I leave books laying around EVERYWHERE, especially on non-shelves.) I just picked up a bunch of books when I came in to work today so, instead of dwindling during this busy holiday season, my shelf is growing. On there now:

The monster of Florence by Douglas Child

The monster of Florence by Douglas Child

The monster of Florence by Douglas Child

I think I heard about this book from a newsletter I subscribe to. It’s a true story about serials murders in Florence. We’ll see how long I can last. For some reason true crime novels always fascinate me but I don’t think I’ve ever actually finished one.

The lucky one by Nicholas Sparks

I DO NOT normally read Nicholas Sparks. Okay, so I did read The notebook and A walk to remember but mostly for readers’ advisory reasons. I put this one hold because the premise looked so intriguing: A photograph of a smiling woman becomes a man’s lucky charm. “The chain of events that leads to him possessing the photograph and finding the woman pictured in it is the stuff of love stories only a master such as Sparks can write.” Since I’m a sucker of a love story, how could I resist?

The rest of the books are:

When the Duke returns by Eloisa James

When the Duke returns by Eloisa James

Fairy tail v. 1 by Hiro Mashima

Fairy tail v. 1 by Hiro Mashima

Fairy tail v. 2 by Hiro Mashima

Fairy tail v. 2 by Hiro Mashima

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