Category Archives: Book Expo

Book Expo 2018 Wrapup

Earlier this month, I attended Book Expo 2018 in New York City. As always, the two-day conference was jam-packed with author signings, book giveaways, industry panels and lots and lots of walking. Here are my impressions of the show and some highlights of the books I picked up while I was there.

First, the show seems to shrink every year – smaller booths and fewer people. The lines were long, but they didn’t seem as insane as in previous years. This is probably due to the evolving publishing industry and smaller marketing budgets. Second,there weren’t any standout celebrity author signings. I saw the Michelle Obama book cover but no Michelle Obama. Overall the wattage seemed a little dimmer than in previous years.

Also, there were lots of memoirs and fiction dealing with difficult, of-the-moment issues like race, poverty, loss and addiction. These themes are getting a lot of attention and seem to be hitting a chord. I saw fewer light, women’s fiction-y books, and fewer lifestyle titles.

OK, onto the books. The first session I went to was the Editor’s Buzz Books 2018, which is where editors submit the book they are most excited about, and out of many submissions, a panel chooses the 6 they want to highlight. This event happened the day before BookExpo, and it was packed. Here are the 6 Buzz Books selected:

  • Maid by Stephanie Land (Hachette Books; December 26, 2018) – nonfiction about a single mother working as a maid to make ends meet while living under the poverty line
  • Ohio by Stephen Markley (Simon & Schuster; August 21, 2018) – novel set in post-industrial, post-9/11 Rust Belt about four former classmates returning to their hometown
  • She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore (Graywolf Press; September 11, 2018) – a novel telling Liberia’s history through three different characters
  • Small Animals by Kim Brooks (Flatiron Books; August 21, 2018) – non-fiction exploration of “fearful parenting”
  • The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman (Ecco; September 11, 2018) – the real-life kidnapping story on which Vladimir Nabokov based his famous novel
  • There Will Be No Miracles Here by Casey Gerald (Riverhead Books; October 2, 2018) – a coming of age story dealing with race and class and the new American dream

I also attended the annual Book Blogger Speed Dating session, where publicists rotate to tables and pitch their books to bloggers and book clubs. That’s where almost a third of my books came from.

Here are photos of my book haul. There are a lot! Under each pic, I’ll note the ones I am most excited to read.

That Kind Of Mother by Rumaan Alam is our next book club pick. Vox by Christina Dalcher looks dystopian and disturbing, a la The Handmaid’s Tale. A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza is picking up steam too (see Ron Charles’ review from today here).

Sold On A Monday by Kristina McMorris is historical fiction set during the Depression. The Martin Chronicles by John Fried is a coming-of-age story told from a boy’s perspective in 80s Manhattan.

Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood is a novel retelling the same kidnapping story that Lolita is based on. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton is a murder mystery with an element of Groundhog Day thrown in.

Left by Mary Hogan is a novel about a woman slowly losing her husband to dementia. A Cloud In The Shape Of A Girl by Jean Thompson is a multi-generational family saga about three women living in a small college town.

I’m very excited to read The Dreamers, written by Karen Thompson Walker, who wrote The Age Of Miracles (reviewed here). Gone So Long is the latest novel from Andre Dubus III, and his first book in a decade. (He won the award for friendliest and chattiest author at BookExpo.)

I have it on good authority that Gary Shtegyngart is extremely entertaining, so I am hoping to get to Lake Success soon. The Other Woman by Sandie Jones also looks really good – there’s a menacing Other Woman in the picture, but this time it’s a mother-in-law.

Unsheltered is a new Barbara Kingsolver (I haven’t read her for decades). Ordinary People by Diana Evans follows two London couples facing stress in their marriage.

There There by Tommy Orange got a glowing review from Ron Charles in The Washington Post the day before I got to BookExpo. Cherry by Nico Walker is a tough novel set in the opioid crisis.

In The Real Michael Swann by Bryan Reardon, a suburban family contends with a missing father after a terrorist attack in New York City.

Now here are the memoirs I picked up. Notably, ones from Steve Jobs’ daughter; Megan Mulally and Nick Offerman; the mother of an opioid addict; and a grieving daughter.

Here’s the non-fiction pile:

A few YA titles I picked up for my daughters:

And a few extras: a graphic novel and a teaser for a Nutcracker popup book.

I didn’t include the board books/middle grade fiction that I got for my son and his elementary school library, but there are some pretty cute books in that pile.

Whew! Long post, lots of books. Let me know if there are any you want more information about!

 

My BEA Haul

Amazingly, my 2 huge, heavy boxes from BEA showed up on Monday, just one business day after I packed them up in NY. I couldn’t believe it. I finally unpacked them today and took photos of the haul. I tried to be judicious this year, but as you can see, I didn’t succeed.

Here they are!

Fiction (mostly):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-fiction/cookbooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YA:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids’ books:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there they are. I am most excited about some of the fiction titles, including:

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perotta

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen by Hendrik Groen

The Windfall by Diksha Basu

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

The Wife Between Us by Sarah Pekkanen and Greer Hendricks

But I am sure there will be a lot of surprises and hidden gems as well.

BEA 2016 Wrapup

Life has gotten busy the last few weeks, but I was able to spend 36 hours in Chicago last week for BEA 2016. The annual publishing industry conference has been in New York for the last several years, but they decided to move it to Chicago this year to make it easier for booksellers located outside of NY to attend. As a result, there were fewer people, fewer parties, and fewer books at the show, but it was still a good time.

I missed the first half-day, but landed early on Thursday and made it to the conference center before the floor opened. I spent most of Thursday and Friday running around picking up galleys, getting autographs, attending sessions, and generally obsessing over books. Nicole of Readerly and I made a spreadsheet beforehand of the books we wanted and the times they were coming out, so we were pretty organized and got almost all of the books on our list, thanks to some teamwork and coordination.

We also went to a Sourcebooks party at the top of the John Hancock building on Thursday night. The views were unbelievable.

IMG_7660

IMG_7657

IMG_7650

 

Here’s my haul.

Adult books:

IMG_7731
IMG_7732

IMG_7734

Middle grade books:

IMG_7733

I also got new books for my almost 4-year old son from his favorite authors – Carson Ellis, David Shannon and Rosemary Wells. He was very happy when I brought them home for him.

I am most excited about Carolyn Parkhurst’s Harmony, Brit Bennett’s The Mothers, Noah Hawley’s Before The Fall, Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko and Uaa Gyasi’s Homegoing. (But they all look pretty good.)

All in all, I thought that the quality of the books coming out this fall was very high. Lots of highly anticipated titles from big names as well as debut authors. There wasn’t as much wattage at the show in terms of celebrities, but the books look great. And that’s what we were there for!

So that’s where I’ve been. Over the next few days I have a middle grade book to review, a Curtis Sittenfeld Q&A to post, and hopefully a book (The Heart) to finish.

BEA 2015

I went to BEA last week, which is always an opportunity for me to re-connect with the book blogging world and get all excited about books again. Reading has fallen way down my priority list the last few months, pushed down by family stuff, Nats baseball, bad reality TV, and work (not necessarily in that order). But once again I’ve returned from NY recommitted to reading and to my blog.

I also have tons of books coming en route from NY. I picked up a bunch of ARCs, some signed books that I am excited about, and lots of stuff for my kids. I’ll post some pictures once the books arrive. I also went to some interesting panels, like Hot Fall Fiction, Editor’s Picks: Literary Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction Buzz Books, and more. There is a lot of exciting fiction coming out this year.

One great event I went to was a publicist speed dating session. I sat a table with a number of other bloggers/book people and every ten minutes, a new publicist would appear and tell us about 6 or so new titles. Pretty cool. Got a lot of promising books out of that one too.

I also went to the annual audiobook narrator/blogger meetup, which is one of my favorite parts of BEA. I LOVE talking to narrators about audiobooks and the process that goes into making them. Such a cool group of people.

As far as reading goes, I finally finished the second Jane Smiley installment in her new trilogy – Early Warning. I will review it this week. I’ve started the new Judy Blume novel In The Unlikely Event on audio, and picked up a new BEA book last night. So, I’m back!

Here are some pics of the middle grade and kids’ authors I met at BEA, which I took for my kids.

Wendy Mass and her husband Michael Brawer:

FullSizeRender (22)

Stuart Gibbs:

FullSizeRender (31)

Louis Sachar:

FullSizeRender (30)

Rebecca Stead:

FullSizeRender (26)

Sandra Boynton:

FullSizeRender (28)

Rosemary Wells:

FullSizeRender (23)

 

 

 

BEA 2014 Wrap-Up

I spent three glorious days in NY last week for Book Expo America 2014 (BEA).

This year, I focused on learning about new books (mostly fiction) at a number of panels held over the course of Thursday and Friday, as well as on obtaining copies of a select few galleys. I discovered some unknown authors by wandering the floor and checking out galley stacks and author signings. I also attended some fun off-campus events, such as the HarperCollins 2014 Fall Preview and Blogger Party, the Bloggers Recommend happy hour, and the annual audiobook narrator-blogger lunch (which I LOVE going to – more on that later this week).

Here are some of my impressions of BEA 2014, as well as some photos:

1. There are a LOT of exciting books coming out in the next few months. I picked up galleys from a lot of big-name authors that I have enjoyed in the past – Sue Miller, Jane Smiley, Ann Hood – and also heard some very passionate editors rave about upcoming books from new authors. These new authors are edgy and have written about difficult topics, which I found encouraging. It shows that fiction is alive and innovating. 

2. Celebrity memoirs are as big as ever. There were huge lines for author signings by such stars as Neil Patrick Harris (who wasn’t even signing a book!), Angelica Huston, and Billy Idol, not to mention the ticketed author events that also featured celebrities. (I didn’t wait in these lines.) I also attended a panel discussion with Jonathan Tropper, who adapted his novel This Is Where I Leave You for the big screen, along with the movie’s director Shawn Levy and stars Tina Fey and Jason Bateman. It was a huge event, with hundreds of people turning out. Tropper spent a lot of time talking about the fascinating process of adapting a novel into a screenplay.

3. But the really long lines were for YA authors. The longest line I saw during BEA was for a signing by Lois Lowry. RJ Palacio also had a huge line for a signed tote bag. There were many other lines for authors I’ve never heard of, and I presume that most of them were YA.

4. E-readers might be big, but galleys moved quickly. I saw stacks of books one minute that were gone 15 minutes later.

5. Big news for audiobooks: a new format that features MP3 files and that allows a whole book to be saved onto a single disc. This will make audiobook production cheaper and faster, which should benefit the publishing industry and listeners alike.

6. Readers – whether they are bloggers, librarians, educators, or industry insiders – are as passionate as ever. Everyone seemed very excited to be at BEA, and were enthusiastic about the authors they interacted with and the books they collected.

And now the pics!

Signed copies:

photo 1Unsigned fiction(mostly):

photo 2

 

Books from the HarperCollins 2014 Fall preview and blogger party:

photo 3Books I picked up for friends and other odds and ends:

photo 4And books for my kids:

photo 5

Here are some authors who signed my books:

Jane Smiley:

photo 1 (5)

 

Ann Hood:

photo 2 copy

Sue Miller:

photo 5 copy

BJ Novak:

photo 3 (1)

Jeff Kinney:

photo 1 copy

RJ Palacio:

photo 4 copy

I am already excited for next year!

BEA 2013 Report

bea-logoI am en route home from a whirlwind two days at BEA, which was the overwhelming, amazing experience that it always is. I had a great time walking the floor, going to some publisher parties, and reconnecting with the book blogger community. We have a lot of longevity among us  – this summer, EDIWTB turns 7! I can’t believe it. Most of all, it is just fun to be around so many other people who simply love books.

Some highlights:

  • Breakfast with a bunch of very cool audiobook narrators. I had a chance to ask all of my burning questions about narration, and met some very nice people at the same time. June is Audiobook Month, so look for some audiobook-related content on the blog.
  • Meeting some of my favorite authors, including Lauren Grodstein, Curtis Sittenfeld, Christina Baker Kline, and Meg Wolitzer. Some of them said, “Oh, I know your site!” upon meeting me, which was definitely a thrill. I was too shy to say hi to Tayari Jones, and didn’t want to wait in line for Scott Turow to sign his book (though I did get a copy), but I talked to Rob Sheffield about the Rolling Stones and got a hug from Caroline Leavitt and met Wally Lamb, so that’s good.
  • Hanging out with my host, Nicole of Linus’s Blanket, in her apartment in the beautiful West Village, and talking books late into the night.
  • Getting my daughter’s favorite author, Wendy Mass, to sign her fall book.
  • A lovely breakfast today at the home of Adriana Trigiani, a book blogger favorite who is new to me. She generously welcomed a bunch of us into her beautiful home in the Village this morning for breakfast and conversation.
  • Parties at Penguin, HarperCollins, Workman, and Simon & Schuster – fun!
  • 2 great sessions at BEA – one on Goodreads and a panel on how digital book sales is reviving the backlist market. Laura Lippman and Lizzie Skurnick were on the panel, and they were both entertaining and full of good thoughts on the publishing business.

And, of course, the books.

I have a lot of books making their way to me via media mail. I will do a post with pictures when they arrive. The one I am most excited about is Curtis Sittenfeld’s Sisterland, which is due out later this month.

So that’s the quick wrap-up, with more to follow! Oh, and I finished a book, so I will have a review up soon too.

BEA-Bound!

I am very excited because tomorrow I head to NY for BEA! I missed last year’s conference because I was a few days away from having my baby son, and I am very lucky to be able to attend this year. I am looking forward to reconnecting with my book blogger friends, going to some publisher receptions, and meeting some authors at BEA. It’s such a fun experience for a book dork like me. One thing I am really looking forward to: an audiobook breakfast on Thursday with some narrators and other book bloggers who cover audiobooks.

I promise to return home with a lot of news, updates, and review copies. 🙂