Saturday, August 22, 2015

Another Author Event - Vanessa Diffenbaugh Comes to Oakland

Thursday night, we went to Montclair in Oakland (where I went to jr. high school - now known as middle school) to see Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of The Language of Flowers. In case you have not been reading my blog for the last couple of years (you slackers know who you are!), I reviewed Language back in March of 2013.  And it was so good, I came up with a new rating - 4.5 (out of 4).  That book, along with 11 others, form my top 12 all-time. So, naturally, I was super excited when I found out that she would be making 2 appearances in the Bay Area - Thursday night in Oakland, thanks to A Great Good Place for Books, and Friday night in Corte Madera, at Book Passage.  And I was even more excited to learn that she moved from Cambridge, MA to Monterey!  But more about that in a later post.

Vanessa spent time telling us about the inspiration for Language.  She wanted to show the state of the foster care program and what happens when foster care children "age out" at 18.  In fact, Vanessa and her husband, P.K., took on a foster care child, Trayvon, in a very roundabout way when he was beginning high school.  Trayvon just graduated from NYU and is a very big part of the Diffenbaugh's life.  And then there is Donovan, 25, who they actually just adopted!  Vanessa certainly knows about foster care.

Vanessa also, of course, talked about her new book, We Never Asked For Wings.  This one is about "undocumented immigration," among other things.  I am looking forward to reading it.  The bar is set incredibly high because of how much I liked Language.  But I'm still anticipating a good read.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is not only an outstanding novelist, she's also a foster care activist. Check out the Camellia Network, which she co-founded.  This is a non-profit designed to help foster care children learn how to navigate adulthood when they turn 18 and are no longer eligible for foster care.  I'm sure you would all agree that this is a very worthwhile, and necessary, cause.


  1. Replies
    1. I agree. And we get a bunch. How about your area?

  2. Yes, I am a total slacker and I still have the book you sent me. I promise to get it done this year. I have a reading plan but somehow I never have enough time to make it work. I am interesting in the foster care system so look forward to a great read :)

    1. READ IT!!! I mean, you might want to get it near the top of your TBR pile. You will thank me. I guarantee it.
      I've got 35 pages left in Vanessa's 2nd book, We Never Asked for Wings. I like it a lot. It's not Language, but very few books (only 11 others) are.