When I got home from BEA Mister BS couldn’t pick me up because my flight was late and he was taking my sister to the member’s preview of the Frida Kahlo exhibit, so a driver met me at the gate. It was a totally weird ending to a weird week.
I spent two days at BEA (one at the blogger deal, one at the exhibition). It was an experience. It was my first time attending, and although I read several posts about what to expect, I can’t say it was what I thought it was going to be.
I plan to do some individual posts on some parts of my trip so this isn’t super long, just a general recap.
First bummer of the trip was my Kindle freezing just as I boarded my flight. It had never happened to me before, and was terrible timing, as I was right in the middle of a book and getting on a long flight. Luckily I had an audiobook on my iPod and the book I was reading—The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler—was already out in bookstores and there was a Barnes and Noble a couple blocks from my hotel, so I just bought it.
The blogger event was disappointing, and I ended up wishing that I was at the School Library Journal Day of Dialog because I didn’t take much away from any of any of the panels and I wasn’t good at networking, either (which is totally my own fault and a personal issue, but impacted my enjoyment of the events). I am socially awkward and not good at seeking people out even if I’m friendly with them online and am not good at making new connections.
Due to some flight delays/general tiredness/the rain, I decided to forego the Simon Teen party I had planned for Tuesday. Wednesday I went to see What Maisie Knew, which was awesome, and possibly not coming to Lawrence or Kansas City on the big screen, so I took the chance to see it in New York and was not sad about the decompression the time in the theater provided.
My most exciting portion of my NYC trip was visiting New York Public Library’s Federico García Lorca exhibit! But I also had a great time at the Tumblr does YA party.
The exhibit floor was crowded and overwhelming. I didn’t get the chance to introduce myself or chat about the books with many of the reps in booths because it was such a madhouse. There was little chance to “discover” new titles. People were rude and pushy. I tried to mostly stay out of the way.
The mad rush for ARCs was disappointing. I’m not grabby by nature, especially when I can have books mailed directly to me or receive a digital copy through Netgalley or Edelweiss, and I got pushed around a lot. I didn’t even venture back toward the autographing tables.
But I did come home with a few books. A small suitcase and a backpack’s worth.
I was sad I didn’t have a chance to discover more under the radar books or ask more publicists about books with queer or non-white characters. The few times I had a chance to ask, I was met with shoulder shrugs when I asked for diverse titles. Very disappointing. Here’s what I did get.
children’s, middle grade, and YA ARCs
Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman | Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta | All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry | Sorrow’s Knot by Bow |Cherry Money Baby by John Cusick | The Extra by Kathryn Lasky | Into That Forest by Louis Nowra | My Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula Freedman | The Lord of the Opium by Nancy Farmer | The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater | The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb | Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle | Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan | Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts
The Art of Falling by Kathryn Craft | Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk
Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks | Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta | Plague in the Mirror by Jen Noye | Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
signed romance novels (for a friend)
Seducing Mr. Knightly by Maya Rodale| Ash You Wish by Eloisa James | The Way to a Duke’s Heart | A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacClean
Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith | The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler | Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
I’ll post write-ups of the blogger convention, my favorite BEA panels, Tumblr does YA party at Housing Works, a movie/book review of What Maisie Knew and my trip to the Federico García Lorca exhibit, and since I have so much I want to talk about, I might schedule more than one post a day, but I’ll be back to regular programming and reviews soon.
If you went to BEA, what was your favorite part? What books did you pick up?
11 thoughts on “Some initial thoughts on BEA (and the books I got).”
I’m so sad you were in NYC and we didn’t get to meet. Thanks for this overview though. I didn’t go to BEA but I can just speculate it wouldn’t have been that amazing to stand in lines and be that aggressive either. Not in my nature. haha. I do like the collection of books you got through, and I’m so glad to see you bought Wild Awake and Book of Broken Hearts. I’ve heard from a few that publishers weren’t as friendly/forth-coming at the expo either which is so upsetting. I mean, mostly people communicate through email so to have some human interaction is the key, right?
Do you think you’ll come back for another? I keep asking people that. Happy reading!
I’m a bit shy, too, so I think it would have been with you on the networking. If we’re ever at the same library event, we can be awkward together. :) A lot of those books I’m really excited about! (Wild Awake, Cherry Money Baby, Book of Broken Hearts) – do let me know how they are! :)
Also? I need to read My Basmati Bat Mitzvah! I’m Jewish and my husband is Indian. IT’S PERFECT!
Sounds perfect for you! It looks very TEEN but was one of the few titles I saw with diverse characters so I wanted to check it out.
I will totally be awkward with you at library events! I actually felt way more comfortable when I went to YALSA Lit Symposium last year. I’ll have reviews up soon for Wild Awake and Book of Broken Hearts (both were excellent) and Cherry Money Baby is near the top of my list.
Oh Molly, I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet you!! I really would have liked to, but I totally understand the whole timidity thing, I think that I was much more outgoing this year in large part because it was my second year there and I knew better what to expect. I’m sorry you seem largely disappointed and that you weren’t able to spend much time talking to pubs. I personally found that talking to the smaller pubs could be really rewarding, but that the larger ones really don’t care about you individually/have so much going on they can’t chat. I had really low expectations for Blogger Con so I wasn’t overly disappointed, but I don’t feel like I learned anything either. I AM extremely happy with the books I took away at least, I think there was only one I’m bummed I missed out on, but I’ll just pick it up on release so no big deal. I hope that you enjoy the books at least! I for one plan to sit down with The Dream Thieves this evening. =)
Oh, and also like Flan said, hopefully you can just do a restart on the Kindle to unfreeze. I had it happen once, and it was really hard to restart, but it worked just fine when I did.
Dude, I am so terrible at recognizing people from their online pictures — I might have seen you and not even realized it! Everyone seemed to keep huddling in groups and I would be embarrassed if I was like, “are you…” and then I was wrong. Plus horrible wifi/cell signal made it hard to communicate.
I’m so excited for The Dream Thieves! It was the only one I really wanted in paper copy because one of my teen book club members is so in love with Maggie Stiefvater and dying to read it. She flipped when I told her I had it.
My (older) Kindle always freezes up if I have a lot of stuff on it so after calling them that initial time, I now know how to hard restart it. Have you tried that? I felt the same way at ALA MW, though I know that is on a much smaller scale. I don’t like aggressive people and like you, I know I could ask for the books I would love to read or just read digital galleys. And I also suck at networking:) But I know I force people I talk to online to coming places with me and then I wear them down into relaxation so get ready for that if you ever come anywhere near Seattle.
You got some of the books I am SO excited for (Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow, The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer, & Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell) and a few that I am interested in trying out. I totally look forward to any other posts you might make about BEA. I’m sad the blogger con was a waste of time. The only time I’ve been to a panel with other bloggers, all of the panelists were not strict book bloggers. Two were food bloggers and one was an online magazine, albeit with author interviews and some book content, but it also has a paper magazine element so really none of the advice they had to give was worth much to me. For food bloggers, a lot of it is about photography and recipes and Pinterest and I was just like *shoulder shrug*. I usually just throw some of my books on a chair and take a crap picture of them to post:)
I did what I thought was the “hard restart” — holding the button forever (like over a minute) and that didn’t work, but my husband said he thought plugging it in to the charger would help. Luckily I do have a back up Kindle in case this one is toast :)
I’ll totally go to a bookish event if I ever make it to Seattle! I’m much more comfortable in smaller groups or one-on-one.
Oh, Fangirl is AMAZING. Meeting Rainbow Rowell was awesome, we totally talked about fanfic. Sorrow’s Knot sounds amazing, and I have a colleague who loved The House of the Scorpion so I snagged The Lord of the Opium for her.
Sorry I didn’t get to meet you! This was my first year at the School Library Journal Day of Dialog and it was such a nice way to start the week – will definitely attend again next year. I also took part in the ABC/CBC Author/Illustrator Tea this year (even though I’m not an ABC/CBC member) and enjoyed a nice conversation with Gene Luen Yang and Rita Williams Garcia. Since I didn’t attend the convention on Saturday, this Friday afternoon event was also a nice low-key way to end the busy BEA experience. I loved meeting people throughout the convention hall and running into people I knew throughout the day (even just for a quick hello). I picked up a lot of finished copies of books for my library (and am hoping the box makes it home safely – fingers crossed!) and some ARCs for myself and my teen radio co-hosts. The ARC that I was most excited to come across was Reality Boy by A.S. King. It was also nice to get print copies of Battling Boy by Paul Pope and Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang. I have egalleys of those three, but it’s so nice to read graphic novels “in the flesh”. Looks like you got some nice books! I LOVE Adventures of Superhero Girl! Hope you had a fun time!
Sounds like you had a great experience! If I ever go again I’ll definitely attend the SLJ Day of Dialog — I’ve only heard good things about that.
I did get to see a fantastic panel with Gene Luen Yang, Paul Pope, and Faith Erin Hicks on graphic novels, and it was the highlight of the convention for me (I’ll have a post at The Hub about it tomorrow).