So the post-holiday post has been delayed until now because, as I mentioned on Twitter, my grandmother passed away last week.

She was 95 years old and until recently was still going up & down her stairs in South Boston. It was not terribly unexpected but that does not make it any less sad and I will think of her when I have cups of tea, which is frequently.

I looked through my computer for photographs and while I don’t have any recent ones, I did find this, which I love (I never knew my grandfather but apparently he had fabulous hats):

Thank you to everyone who sent kind words and condolences via Twitter, they are much appreciated.


So, probably obvious but I lost most of my post-holiday, pre-Book Expo week to catch up on things. I will likely not catch up on emails or Twitter replies or things like that any time soon, my apologies. I have to do things like pack. And unpack, I’m not even properly unpacked yet.

Regarding Book Expo America next week: yes, I will be there. Last I checked I wasn’t on the list of authors on the website but I really do have a signing on Wednesday at 11:30am in the Random House booth. Haven’t signed things in a while, maybe more letters will be legible in my signature. Probably not, though.


If you hadn’t figured it out from the periodic palm trees popping up on Twitter, I spent the last few weeks in Florida. Mostly around Fort Lauderdale with a few excursions to Miami for art deco architecture research. I will try to post more photos at some point soon(ish).

I read and I wrote and I flounced around on beaches and I actually got to relax for a change which was splendid. Proper book-centric post forthcoming but the book I enjoyed the most was Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer. It’s fascinating and also has a very pretty cover.

Speaking of books, while I was away the circus was chosen for the Huffington Post Book Club. I am delighted, of course, though I feel slightly bad as it was the only one of the nominated books not yet out in paperback but I hope all the book club readers enjoy it. Also in UK book club news, the circus was chosen for the Richard & Judy Summer Book Club which is also delightful and flattering and I hope everyone reading it in the summer finds it an autumnal sort of escape.

I will likely not manage a proper Florida recap, but I did have one of the loveliest meals I’ve ever at Market 17 (the dessert involved this, it was magic!) and I would totally go back to dine in the dark. Also I saw more butterflies than I’ve ever seen before in my life and I narrowly escaped an attack by a small pink lizard and I watched ducklings learn to swim. Not all at the same time.

And I watched the sunrise from the seashore while wearing a matching dress. I miss the sound of the waves already.

Categories: miscellany


Marcheline · May 30, 2012 at 12:05 am

I lost my Grammy this past November… I know how you feel. How wonderful to have that photo, and others, to remember her by! Photography/cinematography is the best thing ever invented. It’s the only way to absolutely capture a moment and be able to see what no longer is, to revisit a day, a time, a second. True magic.

Violyn N Scythe · May 30, 2012 at 2:09 am

Sorry about you’r grandmother, she’s very pretty by the way it’s nice to know she lived such a long life. I don’t hear much about people past their 80s. I just lost an aunt recently so I understand some.

Love, Violyn N <3

Aly · June 1, 2012 at 9:55 am

I am glad you have a lovely vacation, and I am sorry about your grandmother. It’s a very sad thing to lose someone, but each sadness for each person is so radically different… I hope the pain is eased by tea and love and memory.

The photo of you in the surf at the sunrise is utterly gorgeous! And thank you as always for the Flax Golden Tales. I adore them so much. <3

susanna · June 6, 2012 at 10:36 pm

First, I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother’s passing.She’s beautiful in this photograph.

Second, goshdarnit, you were signing books in NYC this morning? If only I read this post yesterday.

Third, Ahh, Miami…I went there for work twice, years ago, and touched my first palm tree. One night I sat on a beach and thought that the cruise ships floating by looked like giant birthday cakes lit up with hundreds of candles. Then four white swans flew by. Really, they did.

Jenn Baker (@jbakernyc) · June 11, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Condolences on the loss of your gram. They are treasures, really. With so much history and love to provide to the family. I’m glad you’ll have memories of her while drinking tea. She looks lovely.

Excited to have gotten a signed copy of The Night Circus at BEA and to meet you. You are also so lovely and so nice! And I loved your beige dress. I cannot wait to nominate this for my book group in the next month. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did.

Cheers to you and yours.

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