book expo america BEA 2014 david mitchell

BEA Wrap-Up Part 2 – Book Expo

book expo america BEA 2014 david mitchell I’m much more rested than I was while writing my first wrap-up post, but I can’t promise that I’ll be any more coherent. Like I mentioned last time, the days were a total whirlwind, but I’ll do my best to remember what I can!

Leah, Marisa, Rory and I made it to the Javits early enough Thursday morning that we had to wait in line to enter the show floor. We had spent some time planning the booths and books we were most interested in, so navigating was actually fairly easy once they let us in. I’ve heard some people say that this year’s BEA seemed more subdued than earlier years (at least up until BookCon), but I was pleasantly surprised by how little pushing and crowding there was.

BEA Book Expo America 2014 booths jason segelBoth Thursday and Friday, my plan was to stick to the booths and avoid the autographing area as much as possible, which likely helped give that feeling of ease. Many of the publishers had scheduled times when specific galleys would be available, which made it fairly simple to keep up with as long as you knew which books you were looking for.

Friday was fairly similar to Thursday, except for my big plan to tackle the autographing area in hopes of meeting Meg Wolitzer. We ended up getting there before a line had even formed, so we were right in front once it did. I’m not exactly sure what kind of word vomit I spewed, but it was something about how much I loved The Wife and she was just as sweet as can be. I had a serious fan moment.

meg wolitzer john lennon central park beaWe had a pretty tough decision to make after that. David Mitchell was signing ARCs of The Bone Clocks at the same time Reading Group Guides Speed Dating event was scheduled. Leah and I waited around for David Mitchell early to see if we could get lucky like we did with Meg Wolitzer, but Random House had four or five big name signings all scheduled within an hour of one another so their booth was bananas. By the time the signing line formed and zig-zagged around several other booths, we figured we would be better off going with the speed dating.

Even though I’m really bummed about missing David Mitchell and The Bone Clocks, it ended up being a pretty great choice. We were all seated at numbered tables loaded with books and every few minutes a publicist from a different imprint would come around to tell us about a handful of upcoming Fall titles. Some of them were new books and some were titles I’d read that are about to come out in paperback, but it was so great to hear quickfire pitches for tons of books at once…and then be able to take your pick from all the tables. I’ll have a whole post on Thursday that will feature the books I discovered through this and the Harper Fall Preview, so keep an eye out.

But what about some of the books I went in looking for that you might want to add to your lists?

There’s been a bit of drama in other parts of the book blogosphere over the sharing of BEA book haul pictures, but even before that I was reluctant to do so – I didn’t want anything to come across the wrong way. In smaller conversations with several of you, though, you mentioned that you like to see what people come home with. So, if you’re interested in seeing a list of titles, you can zoom in on the stacks here.

And that’s a wrap on BEA 2014!

  • My back and arms ache just looking at that stack of books, but that’s a great haul! Can’t wait to read your reviews

    • Thankfully, our hotel was close enough that we went back for lunch each day, otherwise I don’t think I would have made it.

  • Thank you for sharing your haul. Now all you have to do is tell us about all of them. Maybe you can do a little speed dating with them for us? That idea sounds like so much fun, because let’s face it, most of us know pretty quickly whether or not we’re interested in a book.

    • That would be fun! Let’s see, the one’s listed in this post you’re going to have a hard time NOT hearing about over the next couple months…they’re going to be everywhere. I’m doing a bit of a “speed dating” post on Thursday with the books I discovered and there’s a Top Ten Tuesday for summer reading coming up, so you’ll get a bit of a feature on a few more :)

  • Kerry M

    I totally missed the drama over the book hauls… really?

    Also, your stack(s) look amazing. I left with only 10 books (!) and very few of mine overlapped yours, so I’m excited to see what you think of all of those. Personally, I’m pysched for the new Sarah Waters, and extremely bummed I didn’t manage to nab a copy of the new Marilynne Robinson. I wish I had made it to the speed-dating event, but will instead live vicariously through your upcoming post on the books featured.

    AND I know I already said this, but it was so great to finally meet you!

    • I kept telling myself I was done with books every 30 minutes, but then I would see another that was on my list…and it was just so hard to pass up. I’m so sad that I completely missed the Tin House booth, which you made it to. And I’m glad that you were able to get Men We Reaped, it’s such a wonderful book.
      We’ll definitely have to find a way to meet up again before next year because we’re so close!

  • Ti Reed

    I’ve never attended BEA since I am on the West coast and the travel time and cost would be too much to justify me frolicking with the book herd, but I am still a little envious when I see others attend. It’s all a little overwhelming to me too. I am not a big city gal, I guess.

    I just added that Broken Monsters book to my list. I didn’t love her last book The Shining Girls but the premise of Broken Monsters is just too weird to ignore.

    • I’ve been wanting to try out one of the ALA conferences, since I’ve heard they’re a little more laid back, and I know they are on the West Coast pretty frequently (I think the one coming up is in Las Vegas).
      I felt the same about The Shining Girls, but I do like her twisted mind and I’m from Detroit (where this one is set), so I’m pretty excited about it.

  • Emily@As the Crowe Flies

    Thanks for stopping by As the Crowe Flies. Your blog has really changed since the last time I poked in here. Because I was largely offline during May, I’m only finding out after the fact how many bloggers I know were at BEA. That David Mitchell line was CRAZY. I don’t know why RH thought it would be a good idea to have so many signings in a row right in their booth.

    • I did the switcheroo to WordPress last weekend!
      I’m so surprised a few of those RH signings weren’t in the autograph area – it seemed like that could have eased some of the confusion.

  • Meg Wolitzer! Squeeee! :D I think it’s so cool that you got to meet her. I’m always glad to see the stack that a true book lover brings home!

  • That speed dating sounds amazing! There was nothing like that when I went. It also meant you got to meet publicists- see anyone you know? Or hand out cards?

    • I did see a few that I knew (thought it was mostly on the floor instead of in speed dating) and there were plenty of cards being handed out :)

  • Chelsey @ Chels and a Book

    I am ridiculously jealous over this whole experience! This sounds so fantastic – crazy – but fantastic. So glad you got to meet Meg Wolitzer too! Reading your thoughts on The Interestings got me interested in her and I just finished Belzhar and really enjoyed it. I’m more of a fiction reader so I can’t wait to get into the adult ones you’ve mentioned on here. Hope you enjoy all the books you’ve picked up :).

    • Meeting Meg Wolitzer was such a great experience and I was so excited about Belzhar, I couldn’t help but read it on the train home. Most of these don’t come out until September, but Fourth of July Creek and We Are Called to Rise were just published and I’ve heard great things about both!

  • Words for Worms

    I zoomed in on your stacks and loved every minute of it. Read in good health, darling!

  • Jennine G.

    This sounds awesome! The speed dating thing would be so much fun. And books everywhere to take if you are interested? Heaven does exist on earth!

  • Agghhh BEA was so great! And you look adorable in your pic with Meg Wolitzer. (I also babbled crazily at her, and she couldn’t have been nicer.)

  • Sam_TinyLibrary

    Sounds like you had fun! And this is a bit random, but I love your glasses :)
    Sometimes I feel like the book blogging community can make drama over the tiniest little things, and that people take it all too seriously.

  • What fun! Great pictures and thank you for posting them! The speed dating and all of BEA sounds fantastic! I’m a big Meg Wolitzer fan, too, but haven’t tried her YA yet.

    • I read Belzhar on the train home and she does it well. I was a little worried at first, just because I read so little YA, but her voice is totally there and the story ended up being a complete pageturner.

  • AnnabelSmith

    I had never heard of BEA until about 2 weeks ago – I don’t think we have anything like this in Australia, so can I just get this straight? You can just grab any book that takes your fancy, for free? That sounds too good to be true! Love the look of the Ben Lerner, and the Sarah water – I adored Fingersmith but haven’t read any of hers since.

    • Not all books were up for grabs, but there were tons out in stacks (like the picture of the books in a circle) that you could just take. Just seeing so many books in one place was a pretty amazing experience!

      • AnnabelSmith

        I think that would fry a circuit in my brain!

  • Don’t feel bad about sharing your amazing haul! You’re allowed to feel happy & excited about these amazing books, pay no attention to people who are jealous.

    BEA this year looked just as amazing as always!


    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

  • Beth

    Wow looks like you had a great time at BEA last year. How did you make the decision to go?

    • It was definitely a great time! After seeing tweets and blog posts from everyone the previous year, I tried to line everything up so I was able to take time off and head up there. Hoping to be able to do it again this year!

      • Beth

        The people that you met up with–did you know them well? I’d be scared of not really knowing anyone!

        • We had commented and talked through blogging for a while, but there are really tons of bloggers there. You’ll start to hear quite a bit of talk about BEA over the next few months and people will start to ask who’s going/making plans. It’s a really great experience!

          • Beth

            I think I’d like to go but I can be pretty shy :P