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.
Both 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.
We 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?
- Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
- Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles M. Blow
- Hold the Dark by William Giraldi
- Neverhome by Laird Hunt
- 10:04 by Ben Lerner
- Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre
- We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas
- Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas
- The Jaguar’s Children by John Vaillant
- The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
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!