Good morning, it's Sunday, March 18. It's a glorious weekend in Florida -- a veiled excuse of why I'm belatedly weighing in on one of my favorite fund-raisers, the 25th annual Library Foundation Book & Author Luncheon.
This event is not that different from most fund-raising luncheons in Manatee County. They're typically held either at the Bradenton Convention Center or the Polo Grill in Lakewood Ranch (this one was the latter), with 8- or 10-top tables filling the room with a guest speaker at the helm.
But I love this luncheon for one huge reason: It's for the love of writing, the love of books. All kinds of books.
This year's keynote was Erik Larson, profiled last week in this feature by Wade Tatangelo.
Larson talked Friday about the DNA of a story, of how the germ of that story comes from a "dark country of no ideas" -- a writer's worst enemy, that blank page. And how his books sink readers into the past, allowing them to emerge with a true sense of traveling into that history.
I came away with his autographed latest, "In the Garden of Beasts," vowing to find the time. The time to read. What a wonderful problem to have.
And, unlike my Missouri Tigers on Friday, I won a raffle for a basket of books, Thrillers and Chillers, at the luncheon! The half-dozen gems include Jeffery Deaver's "007 Carte Blanche" -- lucky for me that meant martini glasses, a silver cocktail shaker and a few other basket toppers.
I plan to start devouring these novels, then donate the slightly used copies to the downtown Bradenton library. I'll have to think about those martini glasses -- shaken or stirred?