So after a Blogger’s Conference that wasn’t terrible (here is my original post) but left me feeling a little uncertain about this whole BEA thing, I went in with the mentality of:For I knew that there may be unruly behavior of shoving, pushing, grabbing at galleys, etc. For all the “I LOVE BEA” posts I had read on the internet, I read equal accounts that highlighted poor behavior. So I kept this lovely little reminder from Things We Forget handy on my phone. Going with Rory, Shannon and Leah the first day made the experience much easier.
Let me just say that it was fantastic! Yes, there were insane lines for autographs. Yes, there were people who took EVERY galley they could get their hands on. Yes, there were people with rolling luggage who made sure to fill every last inch of space. But, I didn’t care. They had to lug it all home and I really had a list in mind of what I was hoping to go home with. Some from authors who I absolutely adore and some from reviewing titles on Edelweiss that piqued my interest. If I could suggest one thing is to have some type of schedule. I thought the BEA mobile app was excellent and really helped me map out my day. First stop was a Meet BEA Adult Buzz Authors panel:
A couple more panels were attended, more galleys were picked up, got a few shots of some of those famous people that seemed to pop up all over place (crazy and cool) and it was time to call it a day. Rainbow Rowell (gah!), B.J. Novak and Garth Stein (I LOVED The Art of Racing in the Rain!)
I went home with one particular book that was on the top of my list. Happiness abound! Oh, And I want a Penguin Bookmobile of my own!
I knew that Friday might be a little more crazy. Many people I talked to in the line upon arrival only bought the Friday pass and were geared up for all the Children’s and YA signings and galleys. But I had such a great day on Thursday, that I was unfazed by the increasing number of people.
I didn’t have as much planned for Friday day except to talk more with publishers, visit more indie, YA and Children’s booths and get those few books that I really wanted to leave with. Jojo Moyes’ One Plus One was in the bag…so I was thrilled when I was able to get the others by simply talking to some of the publishers. A shout out to Andy from Penguin who I spoke with for a long time, both gushing over our love for Meg Wolitzer.
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier is the companion to Smile and my girls simply love all of her books. They even think it’s cool that the advance uncorrected copy is in black and white instead of color. O-kaaay. I have a profound love for Rainbow Rowell who can write both Adult Contemporary and YA Fiction equally well. Now Meg Wolitzer, another author I simply admire, has come out with her first YA book. Is there anything these women can’t do?!
More author sightings. These were for my girls who are fans of Carl Hiaasen and Marie Lu.
I also had a separate list of books that interested me after spending time on Edelweiss scouring through catalogs. All of the publisher booths were fantastic and spending time at various ones that were less crowded made for some excellent one-on-one conversations. One that I enjoyed beyond words was Algonquin Books. The ladies I spoke to there were so much fun and they were very generous, really wanting me to take any galley I would accept and let them know what I thought. It was funny because the two women I spoke the most with at the booth ended up at my speed-dating table pitching the same books! They do have a strong fall/winter collection. Non-Fiction such as The Birds of Pandemonium and Flirting With French; great epic stories like The High Divide and Descent; a romantic thriller called The Remedy For Love and a much buzzed about YA, Jackaby, to name a few.
The last BEA event that I attended was Book Group Speed Dating. Registration was in advance and each table was comprised of all different BEA attendees: bloggers, bookstore owners, librarians, teachers, reviewer, etc. and each publisher had about nine minutes to pitch their hottest and best books for the fall/winter. Let me just say that September is going to be a very excellent reading month and this was my favorite event at BEA. In addition to all the titles mentioned above, here are some that really grabbed me and I look forward to reading. It was presented by Reading Group Guides, which has a great site for reading groups looking for their next book club pick.
I had to narrow it down to eight and all are really unique – first time translations, debut authors, thrillers, historical fiction, literary fiction. Just click on each cover for more information.
Since this post is already long enough I will wrap it up it by saying that I ended my experience at BEA by going to the BookCon Kickoff event for This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. I read it back in 2009 and really enjoy his writing style combining wit and heartfelt moments. I wasn’t going to pass up a chance seeing his novel receive the accolades it deserves. He mentioned that it was motioned several times for a film, but big studios don’t want to invest in these smaller scripts that don’t have vampires or things that blow up. It’s just a story about everyday people and a dysfunctional family. He read passages from his book and then the audience got sneak peeks of the adapted scene for the big screen. One comment that Tropper made (who is a movie buff as well as book lover) is that people should try and not compare movies to the original books as hard as it is. They are never the same and much of the written word has to be changed to adapt to a screenplay. Just go in experiencing them as separate entities instead of scrutinizing what is different. I never thought of it that way and I just might enjoy books-to-movies films more!
Oh, and Tina Fey and Jason Bateman were there to chime in and they are the most witty, intelligent and charismatic actor people. I could have watched them play off each other for hours. (Sorry my photos were terrible being so far back)
This ends this longer than typical post. Maybe I should have broken it into three, one for each day. But if you should ever get the chance to go, I highly encourage it. Meet up with some friends, take in the sights and also leave some time to spend alone walking through the Expo, stopping to really talk to people. I hope you add some of these fall/winter releases to your lists as well.