I had the pleasure of spending last week in NYC, seeing friends and family, and attending Book Expo America. After a fun weekend in Brooklyn, I started off the week at the Book Blogger Conference. Over breakfast, authors hopped tables, briefly visiting with attendees. My ideal tables were taken by the time I got there, but after the first rotation I decided to make it happen and I found a table with some friendly looking people who were kind enough to let me squeeze a chair in just in time to hear from Justin Cronin about his upcoming book, The Twelve, which is easily my most anticipated release of 2012 (yes, I have guilt feelings as a YA blogger). Jenny Han stopped by next and then Anthony Swofford. I scored a pretty sweet table. It was interesting hearing from the various authors and my tablemates were friendly and asked some great questions. I stayed for Jennifer Weiner‘s keynote as well, which was fun, but didn’t really speak to me as a blogger. At least she made me laugh.
And then I left the BBC for a lunch date with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and Barbara & Lily Kingsolver. As anyone who has read Barbara Kingsolver novels would likely guess, she is friendly and down-to-earth and extremely welcoming (Lily as well!). After a nice lunch with these ladies, I headed back to the Javits in time to catch most of the final BBC session, which unfortunately didn’t offer me anything new (I attended a similar panel last year) so I decided to head out afterward. On my way out, I ran into Kimberly Sabatini, a Hudson Valley based author who I had met before at Oblong Books & Music. She introduced me to Hillary Weisman Graham (author of Reunited) who lives near where I grew up and spoke at my high school recently (go Sabers!), and to Lisa of The Young Adult Connection who I ended up running into many times throughout the week. Very nice ladies.
Tuesday and Wednesday were all sorts of fun! This was my first year at BEA and I had a great time. One of my favorite things was just talking with people; whether waiting in line, or at the publisher’s booths, it was nice getting to know who was there and what books or trends they were most excited about. Tuesday I met Rebecca of Crunchings & Munchings for the first time (we also met Captain Underpants) and the following day she introduced me to Judith and Ellen from I Love YA Fiction. Over the two days, I had fun running into fellow bloggers as well as folks from back home – authors, librarians, and booksellers! I attended a few panels (Young Adult Editor’s Buzz, The Ongoing Evolution of YA Fiction, and Graphic Novelists of 2012), stood in line for some autographs (the only significantly long line that I waited in was for Justin Cronin – otherwise, I chose my battles), and picked up some galleys for the blog, for my library, and for my radio co-hosts.
Books I’m Most Excited To Have In My Grubby Little Hands:
I also finally put in my request on Netgalley for Skylark by Meagan Spooner based on the editor’s plug at the Young Adult Editor’s Buzz panel, so while I didn’t pick up a physical copy, I’m excited to read that one as well!
And of course it was fun just to gaze at the books and displays – a personal favorite was HarperCollins’ Charlotte’s Web web (and not just because I love mini-clothespins). Quirk Books, Chronicle Books, and Abrams were especially fun booths to browse and I loved when publishers had a lot of display copies out to peruse (Little, Brown and Scholastic getting a special head nod here).
It was a great week but I am glad to be home, especially since now I can get back to reading! (weekend read: This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers!!) Hope everyone who attended had a fun time! Thanks to everyone in the book world for being so fabulous!