Tuesday, June 8, 2010

BEA 2010: Books (Part 1 – The 50+ Pounds I Brought Home)

As most of you know, I spent four full days in New York City recently for BEA and Book Blogger Con (May 25 to 28): I was there to pick up books, meet fellow bloggers (as well as authors and publicists) and of course enjoy some good food. (I didn’t really do any sightseeing at all!) I’m therefore going to break up my BEA/BBC reports into several posts focusing on these themes.

First off, books, because obviously BEA is all about the books! I certainly did well in that department: I brought an empty suitcase with me on the way to New York, and it was full to the brim with 50+ pounds of books and assorted swag on my way back:

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Here are the books I lugged home, most of which I picked up at BEA (the ones on the bottom right are books I bought, except for Designated Fat Girl: A Memoir by Jennifer Joyner, which was also a BEA snag):

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It’s hard to narrow done the list to the top few I’m most excited about because frankly I’m pretty excited about all the books I picked up. However, there were a baker’s dozen that stood out:

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  1. By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham (pub date 10/10) – This is the book I’m most excited about: Cunningham is one of my favourite authors and I didn’t even realize he had another book on the way until I heard about this one at BEA.

  2. Special Exits: A Graphic Memoir by Joyce Farmer (pub date 9/10) – Graphic memoirs are one of my favourite genres these days: this was the first book I snagged at BEA from a friendly rep at Fantagraphics.

  3. I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman (pub date 9/10) – I loved What the Dead Know, which I read last year (but unfortunately didn’t review), so I’m keen to read more of Lippman’s mysteries.

  4. Room by Emma Donoghue (pub date 9/10) – I haven’t read anything by this Canadian author yet, but this novel told from the point of view of a five-year-old boy who has spent his whole life locked in a room with his mother sounds both creepy and fascinating.

  5. Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship by Gail Caldwell (pub date 8/10) – I had read Wendy’s review of this book, which is about Caldwell’s friendship with writer Caroline Knapp, and I’m interested in the relationships between women writers, so I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of this memoir.

  6. The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher (pub date 1/11) – This YA dystopia about a world where water is more precious than oil or gold sounds all too plausible. I have high hopes for this one!

  7. Ape House by Sara Gruen (pub date 9/10) – I heard Gruen speak at the Author Lunch at BEA and her amazing stories about the bonobos at the Great Ape Trust in Iowa (which inspired this novel) brought tears to my eyes.

  8. Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart (pub date 8/10) – I’ve heard so many good things about Kephart’s books (thanks mainly to Amy), plus this YA novel is a story about sisters, which sounds good to me.

  9. The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction by Rebecca D. Costa (pub date 10/10) – After reading Getting a Grip 2: Clarity, Creativity and Courage for the World We Really Want by Frances Moore LappĂ© recently, this book sounds like a good follow-up.

  10. Up from the Blue by Susan Henderson (pub date 10/10) – I had never heard of this debut author or this novel before I found a copy in my swag bag after the Celebration of Book Bloggers hosted by Harper Collins, but I started reading it on the subway back to my hotel and it sounds really good.

  11. Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon (already pubbed) – I was afraid this tale of suspense might be too creepy for me, but I devoured this book last week and really enjoyed it. (It’s creepy, but not too creepy!)

  12. Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father and Son by Michael Chabon (already pubbed) – Two of my favourite bloggers, Rebecca and Jenners, raved about this one, so my expectations are high!

  13. Sima’s Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger-Ross (already pubbed) – I’ve read good things about this one on the blogs, and it’s blurbed by Michelle Richmond, one of my new favourite authors, so I’m hoping I’ll enjoy it too.
Are any of these books on your wish list? If you were at BEA, what fabulous books did you pick up that I missed?


  1. I really wanted that Laura Lippman book, but didn't manage to get it.

    I got By Nightfall and Water Wars too! Excited!

  2. I love the inside of your suitcase! I don't know if you flew, but I can just imagine the eyeball rolling of baggage inspectors, seeing all that! :--)

  3. This is how bad I've got it - as many books as I brought home, I notice a couple in your stacks that I'm sorry I missed!

  4. I'm looking forward to your review of Dismantled, Avis. Great haul!

  5. Avis, it's almost like you and I attended different BEA's. I am noticing that more and more as I read everyone's updates. Only a few of your books match the ones I took home! How crazy is that?

    And how awesome that you had lunch with Sarah Gruen. Wow!!!

  6. The BEA books posts are the most fascinating posts to me because it looks like we were all at a different BEA. I saw a few of these, but I missed so much. *cries*

  7. I love that you filled a whole suitcase full of books to bring home! You have such a great bunch, I'm not sure where I would start! Glad to hear you had a great time at the BEA.

  8. A suitcase full of books!! I MUST get to BEA next year. And I'm so excited that you got "Manhood for Amateurs." God I loved that book!

  9. How did I miss Lippman's book!?!??!

    I am so glad you snagged Caldwell's memoir- I loved that books as you know...and I hope you will too.

    I love the photo of the suitcase packed to the brim *laughs* I think I ended up with at least 50# of books too!

  10. I've heard good things about By Nightfall. I hope you enjoy all of your goodies!

  11. Wow, you got quite a haul there! Enjoy your books!

  12. Wow I want your suitcases!
    Im intrested in The Lare Lipmman book, i have a few of hers on my wish list

  13. What a nice mixed pile. Will wait to see what you are thinking of the lot.

  14. That is a great suitcase! I definitely want to read Designated Fat Girl - I look forward to your review!

  15. Lenore, we must have been in line for Water Wars together, although I didn't see you. It was great to meet you, even though it was too brief!

    Jill, nope, I took the train, which made it easier because I didn't have to worry about my suitcase being too heavy and costing me extra. (And thank goodness Cindy rounded up someone to take all our suitcases onto the train!)

    Kathy, I know what you mean! (I felt the same way when I looked at your stacks!)

    Donna, that review should be coming up soon!

    Lori, it seems like we all attended different BEAs! Even the bloggers I travelled with came home with completely different books for the most part. Oh and I didn't exactly have lunch with Sara Gruen... I attended the lunch but didn't actually eat (I had a cheapie seat at the back of the room, although I was in the first row of the cheapie seats!) and she was part of a panel, so I'm not sure she actually ate any lunch either (at least not in my presence)!

    Thanks, Amanda! I'm so glad we got to meet!

    Nicole, I know! I keep seeing books I would have liked on other blogs too that I never even saw at BEA!

    Kathleen, it was pretty exciting to come home with so many books (although my back is still sore)!

    Jenners, yes you must! I really hope we both make it to BEA next year because I'd love to meet you! It was your review that got me excited about the Chabon book.

    Wendy, it was so great to meet you! And I'm sure I'm going to love Caldwell's memoir too. That suitcase doesn't have a single item of clothing in it -- it's all books and catalogues and tote bags... I'm not sure what to do with them all!

    Jen, have you? I haven't heard anything about it yet. Are you a Cunningham fan too?

    Thanks, Teddy Rose! I'm looking forward to reading them!

    Jenny, I'd recommend Lippman based on the one book I read!

    Mystica, it's going to take me a while to get through this pile, considering I only read about 60 books a year!

    Booksync, I actually confused Designated Fat Girl with The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend), which was also available at BEA, although I think I'm more interested in reading this one, which is a memoir, rather than the other, which is a YA book.

  16. I'm certainly glad I didn't have to lug that suitcase around! Enjoy all your new books.


  17. Anna, I'm bummed that I didn't get to meet you in NYC! Next time, we'll have to plan a meeting to make sure it happens. Luckily, I only had to lug that suitcase briefly from the hotel to the train station. Other than that, I mostly got other folks to do the lugging for me!