I’m ten years late to this party.

Unbelievably lucky to have Children's Literature expert Betsy Bird present what can only be described as a rollicking evening covering her recommendations for the Best of Kid Lit 2018! It ran the gamut from laughs -- Betsy's props for the sheer amount of spit in one illustration-- to actual gasps -- are you afraid of scarecrows? Run!

Procrastination is a part of the writing life. All writers have their favorite dodges for the blank page. I have not one, but two, preferred methods of goldbricking. First, organizing! There’s always a closet or drawer that needs arranging – or re-arranging. If not, I allow myself to be sucked into the black hole of the Instagram account of The Home Edit. Try it, you’ll like it.

Recent discovery: When you’re writing a book, you have less time to read. Nevertheless, it’s summer! Prime time for book reading. So here are some options for the beach, your commute, or when you really need your mind taken off things because your flight is delayed -- again. Please note: all of these pair well with peaches and it's that time, too…

Children's book expert extraordinaire, Betsy Bird, formerly of the New York Public Library and now head of special collections right here in Evanston, lugged a big bag of books to my home last week to tell all of us on hand about the Best Children's and YA Books of 2016. There are so many terrific books here! if you haven't sewn up your holiday lists, you're in luck.

Preparation -- that's the theme for the New York Times annual Symposium on College Admission. We'll be covering grades, testing, essays, "fit", affordability, how to research colleges, and exactly how relevant all those scarey headlines about hyper-selectivity are.

Please join me in conversation with Amy Carr of the Chicago Tribune and author Helene Tragos Stelian this Saturday at the Printers Row Lit Fest. We'll be talking getting into college -- from grades and testing and visits to what not to pack as you head off to the next four fabulous years of your life. No ticket necessary!

Betsy Bird has landed at the Evanston Public Library. Who, you might ask, is Betsy Bird? Well, if you're more into fantasy football than a dream librarian lineup, this is akin to Walter Payton being available for your roster.