Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Book Expo 2019 - Day 3 (Friday)

Kathy (aka Bermudaonion) and I were up bright and early again. We had big plans for our last full day at Book Expo, and we had a relatively early morning meeting with Kaitlyn from Sourcebooks. I actually should say that Kathy had a meeting scheduled and I kind of tagged along. Remember that bagel place that I loved on Thursday? Well, we stopped there again for breakfast since it was so convenient... and so good!

If I'm being entirely honest, I haven't read a whole lot of books published by Sourcebooks over the past couple of years. And I am the first to admit that I haven't done a very good job of keeping up with their new releases. SHAME ON ME! Kaitlyn went through their new releases and they have some awesome books coming out this fall! Of course, I was drawn to the thrillers and mysteries, but they also have some awesome historical and women's fiction that caught my eye. Here are a few of my favorites:


Summary: our Women. Four Confessions. One Murder.

Something has gone terribly wrong at the Banks wedding. A man is dead. Four different women rush to offer confessions, each insisting that they committed the crime — alone.

Ginger is holding her family together by a thread, and this wedding weekend is not the fabulous getaway she anticipated.

Kate has enough money to buy her way out of anything. Well, almost anything.

Emily can’t shake her reputation or her memories, and she’s planning to drown this whole vacation in a bottle.

Lulu’s got ex-husbands to spare, and another on the way — as soon as she figures out what the devil the current husband is up to behind her back.

Why would they confess to the same murder? Only they know — and they’re not telling. This page-turning novel explores the depths of friendship and the truths we love to ignore.

LADY CLEMENTINE by Marie Benedict

Summary: New from Marie Benedict, the New York Times bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room! An incredible novel that focuses on one of the people who had the most influence during World War I and World War II: Clementine Churchill.


Summary: ***With an exclusive behind-the-scenes conversation between Billy Jensen and retired detective Paul Holes on the Golden State Killer, their favorite cold cases, and more***

Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect?

Journalist Billy Jensen spent fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common—they didn’t have an ending. The killer was still out there.

But after the sudden death of a friend, crime writer and author of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara, Billy became fed up. Following a dark night, he came up with a plan. A plan to investigate past the point when the cops had given up. A plan to solve the murders himself.

You’ll ride shotgun as Billy identifies the Halloween Mask Murderer, finds a missing girl in the California Redwoods, and investigates the only other murder in New York City on 9/11. You’ll hear intimate details of the hunts for two of the most terrifying serial killers in history: his friend Michelle McNamara’s pursuit of the Golden State Killer and his own quest to find the murderer of the Allenstown Four. And Billy gives you the tools—and the rules—to help solve murders yourself.

Gripping, complex, unforgettable, Chase Darkness with Me is an examination of the evil forces that walk among us, illustrating a novel way to catch those killers, and a true-crime narrative unlike any you’ve read before.

Immediately after our meeting, Kathy and I walked to visit our favorite author Adriana Trigiani! We knew we needed to walk quickly, but that wasn't an issue for us. However, I had a slight issue on the way. I stepped in gray paint and ruined my brand-new Begonia Rothy's!!!
So not only did I ruin my brand new pale pink shoes that were a Mother's Day gift from my husband and kids, I now had to knock on Adriana's door holding my shoe! Talk about embarrassing! The always gracious (and certified stain treater!) Adriana whisked me away to her laundry room and we tried Resolve to no avail. I was kind of sick to my stomach, but I tried not to let it ruin my day!

This is a bit of an aside (and certainly not book-related) but I couldn't get the paint out when I got home either. I didn't want to throw away the shoes so I painted them! Crisis (kind of) averted but I still want pink shoes!
Once I stopped hyperventilating over my shoe, we sat down with Adriana for some quality conversation about books, movies, makeup and gossip. It's always a treat for me to visit with Adriana and Kathy, and this year was no exception. We even got lipstick lessons -- make sure you check out Adriana's Kiss Carlo lipsticks that benefit her charity The Origin Project. I definitely count this as one of my favorite things about visiting Book Expo and New York.
And then it was back to the Javits for our exciting afternoon book fun! I was walking around with one wet shoes, but what are you going to do? Seriously though, Friday afternoon at Book Expo is when my very favorite Book Expo event occurs -- Book Group Speed Dating. This amazing event, hosted by Carol Fitzgerald from Reading Group Guides, just keeps getting bigger and better!

Basically, there are hundreds of us in a big room with lots of round tables. And did I mention that these tables are stacked high with books? Publicists from a variety of publishers take turns going to the different tables and doing "elevator" type pitches to us about their faves. Believe me when I tell you that it's very, very hard not to leave with too many books. Of course, each table only hears from a few publishers because of the time constraints; however, at the end, you can go around the room and get books that are still remaining on the tables. Needless to say, it's so much fun!

If you are interested in seeing what books were presented, you can check out the entire slide show here. I'm warning you that it's a bit overwhelming! I showed great restraint (but I was downloading from Netgalley and Edelweis like a crazy person. Some of the books I'm most excited about are:

SUCH A FUN AGE by Kiley Reid

Summary: A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” the complicated reality of being a grown up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason. -- Putnam

OLIVE AGAIN by Elizabeth Strout

Summary: Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic, Olive Kitteridge is “a compelling life force” (San Francisco Chronicle). The New Yorker has said that Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” and she has never done so more clearly than in these pages, where the iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire moments of transcendent grace. -- Random House


Summary: Charles and Lily, James and Nan. They meet in Greenwich Village in 1963 when Charles and James are jointly hired to steward the historic Third Presbyterian Church through turbulent times. Their personal differences however, threaten to tear them apart.

Charles is destined to succeed his father as an esteemed professor of history at Harvard, until an unorthodox lecture about faith leads him to ministry. How then, can he fall in love with Lily—fiercely intellectual, elegantly stern—after she tells him with certainty that she will never believe in God? And yet, how can he not?

James, the youngest son in a hardscrabble Chicago family, spent much of his youth angry at his alcoholic father and avoiding his anxious mother. Nan grew up in Mississippi, the devout and beloved daughter of a minister and a debutante. James's escape from his desperate circumstances leads him to Nan and, despite his skepticism of hope in all its forms, her gentle, constant faith changes the course of his life.

In The Dearly Beloved, we follow these two couples through decades of love and friendship, jealousy and understanding, forgiveness and commitment. Against the backdrop of turbulent changes facing the city and the church’s congregation, these four forge improbable paths through their evolving relationships, each struggling with uncertainty, heartbreak, and joy. A poignant meditation on faith and reason, marriage and children, and the ways we find meaning in our lives, Cara Wall’s The Dearly Beloved is a gorgeous, wise, and provocative novel that is destined to become a classic. -- Simon & Schuster

NEVER HAVE I EVER by Joshilyn Jackson

Summary: In this game, even winning can be deadly...

Amy Whey is proud of her ordinary life and the simple pleasures that come with it—teaching diving lessons, baking cookies for new neighbors, helping her best friend, Charlotte, run their local book club. Her greatest joy is her family: her devoted professor husband, her spirited fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, her adorable infant son. And, of course, the steadfast and supportive Charlotte. But Amy’s sweet, uncomplicated life begins to unravel when the mysterious and alluring Angelica Roux arrives on her doorstep one book club night.

Sultry and magnetic, Roux beguiles the group with her feral charm. She keeps the wine flowing and lures them into a game of spilling secrets. Everyone thinks it’s naughty, harmless fun. Only Amy knows better. Something wicked has come her way—a she-devil in a pricey red sports car who seems to know the terrible truth about who she is and what she once did.

When they’re alone, Roux tells her that if she doesn’t give her what she asks for, what she deserves, she’s going to make Amy pay for her sins. One way or another.

To protect herself and her family and save the life she’s built, Amy must beat the devil at her own clever game, matching wits with Roux in an escalating war of hidden pasts and unearthed secrets. Amy knows the consequences if she can’t beat Roux. What terrifies her is everything she could lose if she wins.

A diabolically entertaining tale of betrayal, deception, temptation, and love filled with dark twists leavened by Joshilyn Jackson’s trademark humor, Never Have I Ever explores what happens when the transgressions of our past come back with a vengeance. -- William Morrow

MY DARK VANESSA by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Summary:  Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself. -- William Morrow

It was so hard to come up with just these few books because there are literally about 20 more books that I wanted to feature!

After Speed Dating, Kathy and I rushed to mail her box of books -- it wasn't open much past the end of this event which caused quite the commotion. Notice I said "her" box of books! I decided to go the e-book route this year and only bring home one bag of books on the train. That one bag was one big and heavy bag, but it was one bag (with a few in my suitcase!) The only problem was I had to carry that big old tote from Javits back to our hotel by way of the TKTS booth. To make things even more interesting, the strap of the tote broke only a block away from Javits. It was one long walk carrying the books in my arms and then standing in line for tickets, but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do!

Kathy and I stood in line awhile (not horrible long but still about a half hour) and kept changing our minds about what we wanted to see. This year was one of the best for musicals and it was a difficult decision because we would have been happy seeing any of about seven shows. I kind of wanted to see Come From Away something awful, but Kathy wasn't sure she wanted to see a show about 9/11. We went back and forth between Oklahoma! (so many people recommended this one!) to Tootsie, to The Prom, to Mean Girls... well you can our dilemma. Finally, after quite a few recommendations when we were in line, we decided on Come From Away!

We dropped off my books and decided to have dinner and drinks before the show. We headed out for a quick dinner at Casa Barilla. We had eaten there a few years ago and we liked how we could kind of create our own pasta meal. We were basically starving since we hadn't eaten since breakfast, and somehow I ended up with Beyond Meat meatballs. (Can you tell it was just one of those days for me?) I can't say that I loved them, but I had been wanting to try one of these plant-based meats for awhile. Next, we had a drink at our hotel bar. We wanted to sit outside on the lovely rooftop bar; however, we couldn't manage to get served so we headed back inside to sit at the bar. (Now that I'm thinking about it, I was kind of jinxed that day!)

Holy moly was Come From Away something special! It's based on a true story of what happened in a small town in Newfoundland after all planes were grounded immediately following 9/11. About 7,000 passengers found themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere, and this amazing town welcomed them. I know a musical based on 9/11 sounds like a major downer, but this play was so uplifting. It showed how amazingly kind humans can be to each other, and it was exactly what I needed to see. I loved the music, the characters, and the message; and I couldn't stop thinking about it for days!

Kathy and I had another amazing time at Book Expo and went our separate ways on Saturday morning. While I hated saying goodbye and having our mini-vacation come to an end, I was looking forward to going home and seeing my family again!


bermudaonion said...

I hated that your brand new shoes were messed up and I'm so glad you were able to save them when you got home.

I love Adriana and Speed Dating, too - they're both fantastic in different ways.

Come From Away was outstanding - I'm so glad we saw it.

I can't wait 'til next year!

Dorothy N said...

I have so enjoyed reading of your adventures with Kathy at Book Expo. Always sounds like you two are such fun friends. So grateful for the book coming attractions too.

Karlie said...

Your shoes 😩😢

Stacie said...

I' glad you were able to "save" your shoes by painting them. Olive Kitteridge is coming back???? I had no idea! Need to go preorder that right now! I'm so jealous that you so Come From Away. I loved the book and have been wanting to see the musical!