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I'm on vacation today; spending time with Seth and Bailey, my two teenage grandchildren from Wisconsin. Today's guest column is penned by author Megan Abbott. Megan would love to hear from you. She answers all of her mail and she has books to give away. You can reach her at: email@example.com Thank you Megan for filling in for me. I really appreciate it.--Suzanne Beecher
Today's Guest Column by Megan Abbott
It's a big thrill for me to (or try to!) fill in for Suzanne. I was raised in a household of booklovers and I remember even as a small child being envious of my mother's book clubs--I remember eavesdropping on their conversations and then sneaking copies of the books they read (hence, the reason I ended up reading books like Irwin Shaw's Rich Man, Poor Man at a truly inappropriate age). I've been thinking a lot lately about the books I found at an impressionable age. To me, books were a way of peeking through the key hole into worlds bigger, more glamorous than my own. And, as a kid growing up in a placid suburb of Detroit, every book seemed to promise more excitement than my daily routines of school, homework, sleep.
Recently, I spoke with a group of librarians and recalled how many of my book memories began in the Grosse Pointe Public Library-Woods Branch. My parents made real rituals of gathering my brother and me and spending an hour a few days a week at the big, high-ceiling place. (Returning years later, of course, it was neither big nor high-ceilinged). I still recall the smooth feeling of the tables, grooves of chairs under fingertips, excitement at getting to check out "Adult Books" first time (I think East of Eden was an early pick). The four of us would leave with high stacks in our arms and then go through the pile at home, choosing which one would be first.
Other than the library, it seems like the rest of my elementary-school years were spent in the home of my best friend, Meg. She had two older sisters and a teen brother and I remember as far back as age nine or ten trawling their cluttered, shag-carpeted bedrooms. The whole upstairs of Meg's house made of pale blue wood panels, all kinds of alcoves and niches and built-ins into which secret treasures might be hidden. Her family were not the book lovers mine were, but we still found men's magazines hidden in the eaves in her brother's room and, always, fat, glittery paperbacks of V.C. Andrews (with the key hole covers) wedged under her sisters' pillows. These were not books my parents would likely have chosen for me--dark, strange stuff--but I remember being enthralled. I'm not sure how old I was when I first read Lois Duncan, but I do know I first found one of her books--Summer of Fear, I think--on one of my prowls through Meg's house, arrested by the painted covers of glossy haired girls with fear in their eyes. Reading breathlessly the plot description on the back, I was enticed by tales of ghosts, witchcraft, secrets in the attic. I always wanted to climb into the books and close the cover behind me. I guess I still do.
But I do miss that sense of wonder, which maybe you don't ever get quite back. Books still transport me, and I couldn't live without them. But I miss, a little, the big-eyed wonder of me at age nine or ten. Once in a while, I get a whiff of it again. Trawling a used bookstore or a lovingly curated new one, the energy of imminent discovery comes throttling back. And, in an instant, I'm back, waiting to be captured. Eager for it.
Say hello to Megan, and enter her giveaway (five copies of The End of Everything.) Megan answers all of her mail.
ABOUT Megan Abbott
Megan Abbott is the Edgar award-winning author of the crime novels: Queenpin, The Song Is You, Die a Little and Bury Me Deep. Her latest novel, The End of Everything, tells the story of a 13-year-old girl in the 1980s suburbs whose best friend disappears. She lives in Queens, New York. Her website is: www.meganabbott.com
AUTHORBUZZ: WIN one of five teenage survival kits (including a box of gourmet chocolate truffles, and a $15 Starbucks gift card), signed books or a box of amazing artisan chocolates. You have to enter to have a chance to win. Click on the link below.
THE PROBLEM WAS ME by Thomas Gagliano
IN LEAH'S WAKE by Terri Giuliano Long
MEGAN'S WAY by Melissa Foster
HEALER by Carol Cassella
BEST KEPT SECRET by Amy Hatvany
* When you browse this week's authors featured at AuthorBuzz, send me an email and as a thank-you for taking a look-see, I'll enter you in my own giveaway--a $20 Target gift card. Have fun! Send your email to: Suzanne@Emailbookclub.com
Carol Cassella, today's featured author, writes...
Claire Boehning is a doctor who watches her privileged life turn inside out when her husband's biotech venture collapses in a storm of accusations and lies.
To read more about HEALER goto: http://authorbuzz.com/dearreader