Sunday, October 19, 2008

Frankfurt Book Fair 2008

Another Frankfurt Book Fair has come to a close. Like last year, I went every day. Here’s a short (ok, it is rather long) retrospective inlcuding a list of the books I brought home each day (and I was VERY picky about what I took with me because books are heavy and I had to carry them around).

Wednesday October 15
I always head straight for Hall 8 (English language books) on day 1. I walked around and picked up catalogs and the couple of first day galleys (this year only MacMillan and Hachette had them out for the taking). Most of the sales reps were very busy on Wednesday, but I did get the chance to talk to two at Algonquin and Bill at Llewellyn (Flux) who promised me review copies if I came back on Saturday morning. I did have some interesting conversations with reps in general about blog reviewers and they were all really excited about the development and said they pass around the links we send them to our reviews. A couple even said they’d heard of my blog! How cool is that?

Books brought home:
Bliss by O.Z. Livaneli (Sept 2007)
The Coroner by M.R. Hall (Aug 2009)

Thursday October 16
Daniel had some portfolio reviews in the morning and I took the cat to the vet to get her stitches out. Before I went to meet him in Hall 3.0 in the afternoon, I stopped by Hall 6 to see Mikhail Gorbachev for 5 minutes (his bodyguards were massive!). Daniel and I walked around some and looked at German picture books and saw Bruce Darnell talking about his new book (he was the catwalk trainer on the first two seasons of Germany’s Next Top Model). Then we met Alice who works at Dtv and went together to an author reading: Anya Ulinich read from her novel Petropolis (Feb 2007). Sounds like a great book! In the evening, we met our friends Wes and Craig from PowerHouse books for dinner and I had the hugest schnitzel I have ever seen (they stayed the week at our apartment too).

Books brought home:
None, but I did get a free issue of Der Spiegel for Daniel

Friday October 17
Our first stop was Hall 4.2 to see our friend Hans Martin Trautner’s new book: Children’s understanding and production of pictures, drawing and art.

We walked around 4.1 and looked at design and art books for a while as well as the Type Directors Club exhibition of the best type projects of the year. Then, we went to the comics center to see Lewis Trondheim talk about his creative process. Right afterwards, there was a signing, and this is where things went wrong. The comics center staff told me they hand out numbers to people in the interview audience so they can get their books signed first. Daniel was right out in front, so I thought no problem. Well, instead of a peaceful handing out of numbers, a bunch of people stormed the stage, elbowing Daniel out of the way and knocking over drinks and destroying equipment. Daniel ended up with a number that put him 20th in line behind all these barbarians, meaning we had to wait for one and half hours. I was not pleased. Finally, it was Daniel's turn and I got this picture (sans flash because Lewis threatened to bash in anyone's head who used flash):

Books brought home:
Die Welle (graphic novel) by Stephani Kampmann (signed)
Savoy by Celia Rees (German translation)
Ausser Dienst by Lewis Trondheim (signed)

Saturday October 18
I headed straight to Flux to pick up my cherished copy of A.S. King’s Dust of 100 Dogs (see my post about it here). YAY! On Saturday, most of the reps are less occupied so they finally have time to talk. So I went around and introduced myself as a book reviewer and talked to some really nice reps, including one from Faber who gave me 7 books he thought I might like.
I met my friend Tracy at the entrance in the afternoon and we went to Libba Bray’s appearance. She read a scene from each of the books in her Gemma Doyle trilogy and then Julia Nachtman read a scene in German. Libba is hilarious. Apparently her dream job is Queen of England, and since she’s too old to marry the princes, she says she has to gain the throne by more nefarious means. She’s looking for people to help her plot. Any takers? I got her to sign a whole gaggle of books (do I sense a contest coming up?!) and got this picture with her.

Books brought home:
Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King (Feb 2009)
Fairy Lust by Cyn Balog (June 2009)
Pure by Terra Elan McVoy (April 2009)
Savvy by Ingrid Law (May 2008)
Black Rabbit Summer by Kevin Brooks (July 2008)
The Music Teacher by Barbara Hall (Feb 2009)
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry (June 2008)
The Collector of Worlds by Iliya Troyanov (March 2009)

Far North by Marcel Theroux (March 2009 UK)
Suffer the Children by Adam Creed (May 2009 UK)
The Hidden by Tobias Hill (Jan 2009 UK)
The Black Monastery by Stav Sherez (April 2009 UK)
The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews (Feb 2009 UK)

Sunday October 19
Not much actual business goes on here on Sunday, so Germans bring their biggest wheelie suitcases and go on a book rampage. Some stands sell books at a discount (hard to come by in Germany) and some outright give them away, especially as the closing bell nears. Tracy and I met at 9 am and went to Hall 8.0 to look for picture book dummies (these are free for the taking). I must have gotten about 20. Then I also got a ton more galleys and even bought a few at HarperCollins for 1/3 the regular price.

Books brought home:
A Secret Alchemy: A Novel by Emma Darwin (June 2009)
The World in Half by Cristina Henriquez (April 2009)
No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay (August 2008)
Daemon by Daniel Suarez (Jan 2009)
The Dracula Dossier by James Reese (Oct 2008)
Do Cats Hear with their Feet? by Jake Page (Dec 2008)
Bogus to Bubbly by Scott Westerfeld (Oct 2008)
Tell Me Who by Jessica Wollman (Jan 2009)
You are so Undead to Me by Stacey Jay (March 2009)
Skinned by Robin Wasserman (Sept 2008)
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (July 2008)
Evernight by Claudia Gray (May 2008)
Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott (May 2008)


Steph said...



Anonymous said...

Wow - it looks like it was a lot of fun. I wish there was something like that close to me. What a haul you brought home!

Lenore Appelhans said...

Oh Steph, which one might that be?

bermudaonion - it was a lot of fun, but a bad place for a book addict!!

Anonymous said...


ur stalker I EMMM
ur lover I BECUMMMM
stalker, U now has ONE!!!


Beth Kephart said...


I sit with my jaw dropped upon my, well, wait: It hasn't actually collided with a hard surface yet, but it will soon.

I read your entry just after going through my own books looking for something to reread (again).

You made me yearn for something new.

Alea said...

AWESOME!!!!!!!!! I love your in depth coverage of the event! Thank you thank you for sharing :D

Lenore Appelhans said...

anon stalker - thanks for stopping by!

beth - I certainly don't lack for something new, that's true!

alea - glad you liked it, it seriously took me two hours to prepare this post!!

Kelsey said...

WOW! And I used to live close to Frankfurt....too bad I was too young. I used to live about 30 minutes from it in Darmstadt, my dad was in the military and I lived there for almost 4 years. I wish I could've lived there now when I'm older so I could've gone! Your so lucky!

Lenore Appelhans said...

Kelsey - How cool that you lived here. My father was military too.

Khy said...

Goodness, that's a lot. xD You must tell me if Fairy Lust, Dust of 100 Dogs, and You Are So Undead to Me are any good.

And I am unbelievably jealous that you saw Libba Bray.

Sandra said...

I enjoyed reading your reports, it was almost like being there. And what a haul you got. I really want to read The Secret Scripture and The Flying Troutmans. I lived in Germany as a child, my father was military, and I loved it there.
Happy reading.

Anonymous said...

I have to say it's kinda surreal knowing something I wrote was in Germany, when I've never been there myself ;)

I'm glad out of all the choices you picked up mine!! Hope you like it.

Thanks for a great report!!


Anonymous said...

Nice haul of books, and thanks for the report.

Lenore Appelhans said...

Khy - Of course!

Sandra - I am also really excited about those two.

Cyn - You should also be glad to hear that yours was one of the two I practically begged for (the other being Dust of course).

icedtea - You're welcome. I certainly can't wait to start reading.

A.S. King said...

Woo hoo! Sounds like great fun, Lenore. I hope to see you at BEA & hope you enjoy Dust!


Melissa said...

Sounds like you had a great time and got some wonderful books too!

Anonymous said...

Neat! Love-love-love those photos!

Linda said...

Wow - that sounds like so much fun. Maybe some year (???) I can come to Germany when it's time for the book fair!

Sorry Daniel got elbowed, trampled on and shoved out of the way. Sounds like shopping the day after Thanksgiving!

A.S. King said...

(ps - khyrinthia - I hear that Dust book is okay but the author's a complete nutjob who used to chop the heads off chickens and then eat them in sandwiches.)(The chickens, not the heads.) Could be a nasty rumor, though.)

Lenore Appelhans said...

Amy - That would be sooo cool. Let's see!!

Melissa - yes, very good books. I made sure I was pretty interested before I put them in my bag to carry them around all day!

j.kaye - thanks :)

Linda - of course we'd LOVE to have you anytime. And I'm sure I'll be passing more than a few of these on to you.

Amy (again) - did the author at least cook the chicken first? Cuz raw would be INSANE!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

whoah, that's so insane! I bet it was a ton of fun though. I'd love to do something like that. Yay for lots of books! :)


Traci said...

My husband's looking at getting a job in Antwerp, and your post had me google mapping directions to see just how far we'd be from Frankfurt if he got that job...400km not too bad!!

Thanks for cheering Brandon and me on in the read-a-thon.

Luanne said...

Ohh!! Lucky you! Book Fairs are so much fun! I've gone to one Canadian one and it just feels like Christmas with so many new books! Thanks for the post - I enjoyed it.

A.S. King said...

Affirmative on the cooking.

the story siren said...

wow! looks like quite the book lovers forte!! i have to admit i am sooo very jealous! but yet so very happy you were able to experience such a cool thing!

Katherine said...

This reminds me of when I went to BEA in 2007 here in New York. I picked up as many books as I could physically carry!

Serena said...

what a big haul you have there. It looks like it was a good time though.

Keri Mikulski said...

Wow, sounds like you had a blast. Book Fairs are the best. :)

Andi said...

What a stunning haul! I'm especially excited that you got to see Libba Bray. I read her Livejournal often, and she's hilarious.

Lenore Appelhans said...

Lauren - It is fun, though overwhelming to see all those books. By now, I know exactly where to go, so it is less daunting than it used to be.

Traci - LOL! It would totally be worth it though.

Luanne - Yes, I'd love to go to more. But then, I am a book addict.

Amy - I'm so relieved!

Kristi - Yes, a haven for book lovers :) Though it's also sad when you see books you really want and you are told you can't have them.

Katherine - That's so cool that you got to go to BEA. I hear that's where the real galley action is.

Serena - My back is just starting to recover from the strain of carrying all those books :)

Keri - I LOVE Book Fairs!!

Andi - Isn't she though? It was such a thrill to meet Libba (and it makes me that much more excited to finally read her books)

Darlene said...

Wow, that sounds like a lot of fun and what a huge haul of books.

Ali said...

Thanks for letting us come to the Frankfurt Book Fair, at least virtually!

Lenore Appelhans said...

Dar - Fun and a lot of walking!

Ali - You're welcome :)

Anonymous said...

Oh! It sounds like a great time! What a haul, even with being "picky" :)

The pictures came out clear, despite the lack of flash.