Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Book Expo 2018 - Day 3 (Friday)

Kathy and I figured we could sleep in on Friday -- we had nothing pressing, but if you know either one of us, then you know that we don't sleep in! We were up bright and early, so we decided to go to breakfast at Junior's Cheesecake on 45th Street. We had already visited for some cheesecake before the show on Wednesday, but I wanted a hearty breakfast in the hopes that we could skip lunch!

Once again, we hit the showroom floor running and gathered some great Fall 2018 books. I was especially excited to get a copy of the novel DEAR EVAN HANSEN (although I got knocked into a woman in a wheelchair while grabbing a copy), BEARSKIN (which came with some yummy gummy bears), I KNOW YOU KNOW, and the thriller THE SILENT PATIENT! My son was excited that I brought home THE STORM RUNNER and THE GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAMS OF ALL TIME. We also circled back through the autograph area and pick snagged some goodies.

Around mid-day, Kathy and I decided to get some fresh air. We headed back to our favorite beer joint, AS IS, and had another beer and some olives for lunch. We really didn't have much time because we needed to get back for one of the best Book Expo events ever.. Book Group Speed Dating hosted by Last year we missed this event because I had to get home for my daughter's high school graduation, so the long wait made it even more special!

The Speed Dating event is huge. There are about eight book lovers (bloggers, librarians, book sellers, etc) seated at each round table, and publishers take turns coming around and sharing (for ten minutes) their favorite book club books for the fall and winter! Since there are far too many tables for each publisher to visit, you only get a sampling of the books. However, there is an amazing handout with all of the books listed.

Did I mention that the publishers bring copies of their books to each table? Yes -- you read that right! Truthfully, not every book is on the table but lots of them are. It's amazing to hear the publishing folks share their favorites, and it's hard not to take every single one of them home! And then after the event (as if you don't have enough books in your tote bag), they encourage you to visit other tables and take whatever books you want from the leftovers. It's like a dream come true for people like me who love new books!

Kathy and I are always seated at different tables, but we've come to realize the benefits of this! We hear about different books, collect different books, and sometimes we even grab a few to share. I have to say that we talk about this event all year long, and we've decided that it's the one thing we would miss the most from Book Expo!

I could easily list about 50 books that from Speed Dating that look terrific, but I'll feature a few of my favorites:


Summary: It’s the summer of 1922, and nineteen-year-old Paulien Mertens finds herself in Paris—broke, disowned, and completely alone. Everyone in Belgium, including her own family, believes she stole millions in a sophisticated con game perpetrated by her then-fiancĂ©, George Everard. To protect herself from the law and the wrath of those who lost everything, she creates a new identity, a Frenchwoman named Vivienne Gregsby, and sets out to recover her father’s art collection, prove her innocence—and exact revenge on George.

When the eccentric and wealthy American art collector Edwin Bradley offers Vivienne the perfect job, she is soon caught up in the Parisian world of post-Impressionists and expatriates—including Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse, with whom Vivienne becomes romantically entwined. As she travels between Paris and Philadelphia, where Bradley is building an art museum, her life becomes even more complicated: George returns with unclear motives . . . and then Vivienne is arrested for Bradley’s murder.

B. A. Shapiro has made the historical art thriller her own. In The Collector’s Apprentice, she gives us an unforgettable tale about the lengths to which people will go for their obsession, whether it be art, money, love, or vengeance.

THE CAPTIVES by Debra Jo Immergut

Summary: The riveting story of a woman convicted of a brutal crime, the prison psychologist who recognizes her as his high-school crush—and the charged reunion that sets off an astonishing chain of events with dangerous consequences for both
As an inmate psychologist at a state prison, Frank Lundquist has had his fair share of surprises. But nothing could possibly prepare him for the day in which his high school object of desire, Miranda Greene, walks into his office for an appointment. Still reeling from the scandal that cost him his Manhattan private practice and landed him in his unglamorous job at Milford Basin Correctional Facility in the first place, Frank knows he has an ethical duty to reassign Miranda’s case. But Miranda is just as beguiling as ever, and he’s insatiably curious: how did a beautiful high school sprinter and the promising daughter of a congressman end up incarcerated for a shocking crime? Even more compelling: though Frank remembers every word Miranda ever spoke to him, she gives no indication of having any idea who he is.

Inside the prison walls, Miranda is desperate and despairing, haunted by memories of a childhood tragedy, grappling with a family legacy of dodgy moral and political choices, and still trying to unwind the disastrous love that led to her downfall. And yet she is also grittily determined to retain some control over her fate. Frank quickly becomes a potent hope for her absolution—and maybe even her escape. Propulsive and psychologically astute, The Captives is an intimate and gripping meditation on freedom and risk, male and female power, and the urges toward both corruption and redemption that dwell in us all.

Random House
THE ADULTS by Caroline Hulse

Summary: Meet The Adults.

Claire and Matt are no longer together but decide that it would be best for their daughter, Scarlett, to have a “normal” family Christmas. They can’t agree on whose idea it was to go to the Happy Forest holiday park, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did—and it’s too late to pull the plug. Claire brings her new boyfriend, Patrick (never Pat), a seemingly sensible, eligible from a distance Ironman in Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life, Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, who is seven, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He’s a giant rabbit. Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Forced Fun Activities, drink a little too much after Scarlett’s bedtime, overshare classified secrets about their pasts . . . and before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends where this novel begins—with a tearful, frightened call to the police.

What happened? They said they’d all be adults about this. . . .

Simon & Schuster

Summary: A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl is a poignant novel about three generations of the Wise family—Evelyn, Laura, and Grace—as they hunt for contentment amid chaos of their own making.

Evelyn set aside her career to marry, late, and motherhood never became her. Her daughter Laura felt this acutely and wants desperately to marry, but she soon discovers her husband Gabe to be a man who expects too much of everyone in his life, especially his musician son. Grace has moved out from Laura and Gabe’s house, but can’t seem to live up to her potential—whatever that might be.

In A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl we see these women and their trials, small and large: social slights and heartbreaks; marital disappointments and infidelities; familial dysfunction; mortality. Spanning from World War II to the present, Thompson reveals a matrilineal love story that is so perfectly grounded in our time—a story of three women regressing, stalling, and yes, evolving, over decades. One of the burning questions she asks is: by serving her family, is a woman destined to repeat the mistakes of previous generations, or can she transcend the expectations of a place, and a time? Can she truly be free?

Evelyn, Laura, and Grace are the glue that binds their family together. Tethered to their small Midwestern town—by choice or chance—Jean Thompson seamlessly weaves together the stories of the Wise women with humanity and elegance, through their heartbreaks, setbacks, triumphs, and tragedies.


Summary: Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let’s begin...
Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others...

The most inventive debut of the year twists together a mystery of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.

St. Martins Press


Summary: The compelling, hidden story of Cathy Williams, a former slave and the only woman to ever serve with the legendary Buffalo Soldiers.

“Here's the first thing you need to know about Miss Cathy Williams: I am the daughter of a daughter of a queen and my Mama never let me forget it."

Missouri, 1864

Powerful, epic, and compelling, Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen shines light on a nearly forgotten figure in history. Cathy Williams was born and lived a slave – until the Union army comes and destroys the only world she’s known. Separated from her family, she makes the impossible decision – to fight in the army disguised as a man with the Buffalo Soldiers. With courage and wit, Cathy must not only fight for her survival and freedom in the ultimate man’s world, but never give up on her mission to find her family, and the man she loves. Beautiful, strong, and impactful, Cathy’s story is one that illustrates the force of hidden history come to light, the strength of women, and the power of love.


A SPARK OF LIGHT by Jodi Picoult

Summary: The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center—a women’s reproductive health services clinic—its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage.

After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.

But Wren is not alone. She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: A nurse who calms her own panic in order to save the life of a wounded woman. A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before. A pro-life protester, disguised as a patient, who now stands in the cross hairs of the same rage she herself has felt. A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy. And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard.

Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of the standoff, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day.

Jodi Picoult—one of the most fearless writers of our time—tackles a complicated issue in this gripping and nuanced novel. How do we balance the rights of pregnant women with the rights of the unborn they carry? What does it mean to be a good parent? A Spark of Light will inspire debate, conversation . . . and, hopefully, understanding.

After this event, we lugged an embarrassing amount of books to the shipping area. We packed up our large boxes, often times having to make tough decisions about what to send (or not send) home. We waited in line for quite awhile sharing book recommendations with others, and then we had major sticker shock when we learned what it would cost to ship home our "free" books.

Just because we didn't want to miss anything (even if it was during the last hour of the last day of Book Expo), we hurried up to the Hachette booth to see Elin Hilderbrand. She was signing copies of her new novel THE PERFECT COUPLE and handing out Coronas. Unfortunately, we were a little late to the signing and they ran out of books... but we did get a beer!

Since we had shipped every possible book home, we didn't have much to carry back to our hotel. (It's a good thing because this year there weren't shuttles from the Javits Center to the hotels!) We grabbed a quick dinner at a little Italian restaurant that my husband and I visited back in December called Patzeria Family & Friends. We really didn't have much time because we need to get down to Soho for a party hosted by Big Honcho.

Believe it or not, it was Friday night and Kathy and I had not been on the subway yet. We walked everywhere for three days! However, because of time constraints, we decided to take the subway to the party. Through the years, Kathy and I have had some interesting subway rides, but I'm happy to say that the ride to Canal Street was uneventful. We even found the party right away!

I have had the pleasure of working with Big Honcho over the past few years. They've had some great giveaways... and a really great one that I'm currently running! The deal primarily with YA bloggers (or so it appeared when Kathy and I got to the party), but what a cute party it was. The theme was ice cream and they had yummy treats from Milk & Cereal Bar. Basically, Milk & Cereal Bar's "thing" is soft serve ice cream flavored with cereal. I had a bowl with vanilla ice cream mixed with Cookie Crisp. You could then pick from a ton of toppings including sprinkles, cookie dough, brownie bites, and more!
We stayed for awhile but we were both pretty exhausted - we really didn't stop the entire trip! We took the subway back to our hotel (which was fortunately another uneventful trip!), and called it a night. The next morning we got up early and had a quick breakfast.  Kathy was kind enough to walk me to the train station for a 9:00 train before she headed back to South Carolina. I think it's safe to say that we had an amazing time at the 2018 Book Expo!


bermudaonion said...

We highlighted different books from Speed Dating which really shows the benefit at sitting at different tables. I missed The Captives and really want to read it now.

I still laugh thinking about those kids asking us for help on the subway!

The trip was so much fun - I'm glad I got to share it with you!

The Book Sage said...

I AM SO JEALOUS!...I mean sounds like fun.