Friday, June 13, 2014

BEA Recap Part 1: The Books

Book Expo America is a book lover's dream, and this year I was lucky enough to be able to attend my 5th BEA since 2009. And this year, I was not only there as press, I was also there as an author signing copies of THE MEMORY OF AFTER in the signing area (dream come true, for reals!).

Like most attendees, I had a list of "must get" books, but what I love most about BEA is the serendipity of discovering new titles. There were so many great finds this year that I ended up bringing back 37 titles with me (not including books I bought at the many bookstores I visited in the city) that I'm excited to read and cover on the blog in the months to come.  Today I'm going to spotlight some of my favorites. (NOTE: I was approved for some of the big BEA titles - such as Jandy Nelson's I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN and Scott Westerfeld's AFTERWORLDS - on Netgally and Edelweiss and so I skipped getting physical copies to save space)

Top 10 "must get" books that I snagged:

GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE by AS King (Oct 14, 2014, Little Brown) - Luckily I was invited to Little Brown's Brunch Preview where I unapologetically grabbed a copy of this before BEA even started. It's no secret I'm an AS King fangirl, so I'm super excited about GLORY.

SINNER by Maggie Stiefvater (July 1, 2014, Scholastic) - My very favorite thing about LINGER and FOREVER? Cole St. Clair. I've been saying for years that Cole needs his own novel, so when I heard about SINNER, I was struck with major book lust. I braved the galley drop at the Scholastic booth to get my hands on this pretty. I also got to chat with Maggie briefly at the Scholastic breakfast before BookCon (delicious smoothies!)

ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins (August 2014, Penguin) - this wasn't really at BEA, but it was part of a raffle of all three Stephanie Perkins books at the #YAparty. Amazingly, I won the raffle and instantly became the most hated/envied person in the room. Naturally, I couldn't wait long to read this. My teasers for you? a) It's HOT. Isla and Josh's chemistry is through the roof. b) It's my favorite of the trilogy. c) I can't wait to discuss the ending with you -- squee!

STITCHING SNOW by RC Lewis (Oct 14, 2014, Disney-Hyperion) - A sci-fi fairytale retelling? Sign me up! This debut has been on my radar for some time, and when I heard (thanks Debby!) there were stacks of it sitting in a secret room in the bowels of the Javits (in reality, left over from Book Blogger Con), I dashed over to stash this in my tote.

THE BONE CLOCKS by David Mitchell (Sept 2, 2014, Random House) - Okay, so David Mitchell was signing his newest novel at 2 pm Friday after my own 1 pm signing, so I knew I'd never make it to his line and I was pretty devastated about it. But David also had a panel as part of Book Con on Saturday, and so I went about an hour early to line up for it (making me about #50 in line). A RH publicist gave everyone at the front of the line tickets to pick up galleys at the RH booth after the panel and we trembled with excitement. (Seriously, so much trembling in that line).

The panel between David and his editor was glorious. I loved his advice to "shoplift" from the best writers and his anecdotes about his writing process. And then. After the panel, I made my way to the podium to say hi. I told David it was my birthday (it was) and he gave me a birthday handshake. Here's hoping a tiny bit of his genius rubbed off on me.

ROOMS by Lauren Oliver (Sept 23, 2014, Ecco) - I acquired Lauren's adult debut thanks to our shared agent on a visit to the agency the week before BEA and thus was able to avoid one of her monster lines (I did stand in line for PANIC, however, which turned out to be quite a fun line thanks to Marlon).

MY REAL CHILDREN by Jo Walton (available now, Tor) - I stood in a line to get the hardcover of this signed. It's an adult speculative fiction title about (possible) parallel lives, which is one of my favorite topics right now.

SAM AND DAVE DIG A HOLE by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen (Oct 14, 2014, Candlewick) - I had the pleasure of meeting Mac at the Irma Black ceremony and lunch at Bankstreet College the week before BEA (more about that in a later post), and then I stood in line to meet Jon and get an F&G of their newest collaboration. First of all, Jon is super adorable and took the time to show me a video of his cat lounging while signing my book. (!!!) And the book is adorable too. Both Daniel and I love it and the vaguely sci-fi ending.

I'M MY OWN DOG by David Ezra Stein (August 5, 2014, Candlewick) - David Ezra Stein's INTERRUPTING CHICKEN is one of my top 10 picture book favorites of all time, so I was bummed that his signing was directly after mine and I'd never make his line. But, as luck would have it, we ran into each other in the author green room after my signing, and his lovely editor gave me a front of the line pass for his signing. #authorperks! I'M MY OWN DOG is super cute and funny, too.

THE BOOK WITH NO PICTURES by BJ Novak (Sept 30, 2014, Penguin) - Yep, I was more than an hour early and the third person in line for this (behind the YA book twins), the only celebrity signing line that I attempted. Since it was at the Penguin booth, we weren't really allowed to line up early, so we just sort of hovered. I haven't actually read this yet (because only words, no pictures, ha!), but I'll report back when I do.

Top 5 serendipitous finds:

WE ALL LOOKED UP by Tommy Wallach (March 31, 2015, S&S) - Tommy and I share an editor at S&S and that editor gifted me an early copy of Tommy's debut. Then, at the #YAparty, Tommy was playing piano (he's a singer/songwriter too - check out his forthcoming album "I Meant it to be Sweet"), and we got to chat. That weekend, I went up to Bushwick where he took me to a block party. Fun! The novel looks incredibly intriguing, and I can't wait to dig in.

THE ART OF SECRETS by James Klise (available now, Algonquin) - I stopped by the Algonquin booth on Saturday and since it was so quiet, I got to chat with Editor Elise Howard for quite some time. I told her I only had room for one more book, so she pitched me several and I was won over by her pitch for this. Really all she had to say was "twists" and I was sold.

BAILEY BOAT CAT by Louise Kennedy (Sept 2, 2014, Bloomsbury) - This might have been my favorite random find at BEA. There was a small giveaway stack at the Bloomsbury booth and I was instantly smitten by this cat on a boat. Full color photos throughout of Bailey cuteness.

ONE DEATH, NINE STORIES, short story anthology (August 2014, Candlewick) - This was a booth giveaway and I was instantly attracted by the list of contributors, including AS King, Ellen Hopkins and Rita Williams-Garcia. All 9 stories are linked by the death of one 19 year old named Kevin.

EVEN IN PARADISE by Chelsey Philpot (October 14, 2014, HarperTeen) - Chelsey and I share an agent and since he has such great taste, I must read this! I got to meet her in the author green room after our signings (we were signing at the same time -- rivals!!).

If you want to see my entire book haul, check out my instagram.


The Cover Contessa said...

I missed out on the AS King and Oliver books, both of which I wanted to get! I'm sorry I missed you. I know you were signing but I think my author had an in booth signing at the time, so I had to be there! Glad you enjoyed your time!

Lenore Appelhans said...

Hi Brooke!

There's just so much going on so I missed out on a lot too. But we're so lucky to get to go and see everyone. Next time ((hugs))

bermudaonion said...

I didn't get any of those and, even sadder, I didn't get to see you. :(

Bonnie @ A Backwards Story said...

It was so great to officially meet you at BEA and chat a little, Lenore! We'll have to run into each other again next year for a longer period of time ;) I didn't go into your signing line since I'd snagged an ARC in my TAC Swag Bag when I went to your panel, so whoot!

I was excited to discover the secretive STITCHING SNOW as well...and a Darkest Minds tote was there, *squee!* I was at the massive line for the ROOMS galley drop, which was at the same time as Macmillan's LANDLINE, but since that dropped in a secret spot, I got super crazy lucky! You picked up a lot of stuff I haven't heard of. I'll have to look into some of these, Eep, and congrats on ISLA!!!

Carina Olsen said...

Oh, so jealous that you got to go to BEA. <3 And so happy for you :D YAY for gorgeous books. <3 I hope you love them all sweetie :)