When I listen in on one of our Booklist webinars, it's hard for me to concentrate on what's being said--not because there isn't always something interesting to hear but because, as a Booklister, I'm mainly just hoping that nothing goes wrong (sound problems, panelists dropping the baton as they pass controls to one another, etc.). What I'm really worried about, though, is bad Karma. I was one of those junior-high kids who liked to make fun of "A-V nerds," especially when the film broke in mid-screening. Whenever we do a webinar, I fear that my callous treatment of those hard-working A-V types (who are probably Microsoft millionaires today) will come back to haunt both me and Booklist.
So far that hasn't happened, and in fact, when I listened to our recent webinar on "Crime Fiction: Past and Present," I almost forgot to worry about karmic disturbances, so involved was I in the presentation. The "present" part of the program--in which three publishers, Macmillan, Severn House, and Poisoned Pen, presented upcoming titles--was plenty interesting for a mystery buff like me (can't wait to get my hands on Louise Penny's new Armand Gamache novel), but what really had me salivating was the section on "Crime Fiction Past," presented by the inimitable David Wright, readers' advisor par excellence, from Seattle Public Library.
David and I seem to have remarkably similar taste in many things (crime fiction and beer being only two), so when he set out to take me and my fellow "webinarians" on a virtual tour of the hidden treasures lurking on the …