The Corner

Derb’s L.a. Report

OK, back home after weekend trip to Book Expo America in L.A. I hadn’t realized what a huge event this was, & how many famous writers show up to promote their books. There were even more big names than usual milling around in the downtown area. At dinner Friday night in a very nice restaturant, Ollie North was at the next table. I thought he might come over to get my autograph, but I guess he didn’t want to impose. Then almost the first person I saw at the Convention Center Saturday was Dr. Ruth… and so on. Anyway, I signed a ton of books, got lotsa freebies (trade shows are the place to go for freebies). Had another great dinner Saturday night with NRO’s own Jack Dunphy, Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald (who has a book out) and Ben Boychuk of the excellent Claremont Review of Books. Great bull session, we set the world to rights, then Jack drove us to our respective homes, this drive featuring (a) a fisrt-hand experience of L.A.’s appalling traffic problem, and (b) crime profiles from Jack (a working police officer) of all the neighborhoods we passed through. Fascinating, instructive, and fun. I must get out more. The downside is the e-mail that builds up: 133 on my private a/c this morning, 746 on Hotmail. Some large proportion of that is junk, of course, but it has to be weeded through. Oh, Lord. Is e-mail out of control, or what?

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