So, last night we got to hang out with the smartest group of folks I’ve hung out with in an age (and I hang with much smartness, let me tell you). At the Teen section of Elizabeth Library, New Jersey, we read a little bit, we told anecdotes, got asked very smart and very funny questions, I got to talk Spanish, and afterwards we got to eat great pasta and drink good wine and enjoy more ace conversation.

I read from my great Australian cricket mangosteen Elvis fairy novel, which I feared would tank with the seventeen-year-olds, but they laughed harder than the Brooklyn audience. Yay! I finally wrote something that cracks people up. And some of them knew about cricket. One guy plays it with his Pakistani neighbours. How cool is that? And many loved basketball and knew about the WNBA, not just the NBA! Heaven.

Scott read from Pretties which kind of tanked, and then from Peeps, which went over huge guns. He read about toxoplasma and there was much speculation about who has the parasite and who doesn’t. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Then you’ll have to read the book, won’t you?) So many of them had read at least one of Scott’s books. One had read all of them and was full of smart questions. I made Scott do his Donald Duck voice and it slayed them best of all (he can harmonise with himself—next time you see him, just ask—he loves to perform on command). There was a queue of people wanting to have their photo taken with Scott. How fab is that?

And at the end, the library gave everyone a copy of one of my books (they had a choice of Magic or Madness or Magic Lessons—yup, Penguin genorously gave them a whole stack of galleys) and one of Scott’s many books. Though some tried sneakily to take two of Scott’s books. The competition over copies of Peeps was intense. We signed for all of them and thus got to talk one on one to everyone. Great idea, no? It was fabulous fun and I want to do it again.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love libraries? And librarians? And people who love libraries and librarians? No? Well, I really, really, really do.


  1. janet on #

    toxoplasma….don’t you get that from cleaning out the cat’s litter box?

  2. Iwasthere on #

    you guys rocked!!!

  3. jonathan on #

    love libraries? crazed woman. what’s the point of a place where you have to give the books back? that’s no good.

  4. Justine on #

    Janet: yes, you do.

    Iwasthere: thank you.

    Jonathan: thus speaks a man who’s never done any serious research. Plus, me, I got way too many books. The little buggers breed! A pox on ’em all!

  5. janet on #

    Justine, I sympathize. We are in the process of trying to drastically reduce our home library, culling more and more ruthlessly in order to free up space and perhaps get rid of a bookcase or two (maybe diverting a couple of rivers would help). And yet, we keep buying more books. Why??? It’s an addiction.

  6. Justine on #

    Janet: In my defence many of the books I get these days are free . . . but, even so, we still buy more. Yup, we’re addicted.

  7. Liza on #

    Have I ever mentioned how much I love libraries? And librarians?

    Thank you! 🙂 We love you too.

  8. Justine on #

    Thank Elvis it’s a mutual love—unrequited love is so very, very, very lame.

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