Monday, June 01, 2015

New York, New York - Reprise, Day 2

Thursday morning started very early. I left the hotel at 6 a.m. to walk to Penguin/Random House. They host a BEA author breakfast for librarians, and then bussed us over to the Javits Convention Center at 9, just in time for the exhibits to open. There were five authors, introduced by their editors. And, each one of those authors were grateful to librarians, saying librarians played a role in their life.

Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife, talked about her new book, Circling the Sun, about Beryl
Markham. She also told us she spent fourteen years in foster care in California. She said she tired of making new friends, and decided librarians would be her only friends. She read voraciously, saying she read as if her life depended on it. She said it really did. She wasn't escaping into books. She was reaching. McLain was a fantastic speaker.

Garth Risk Hallberg is the author of City on Fire, the nine hundred page novel that was one of the hot books of BEA. He was also an excellent speaker.

Anthony Marra is the author of The Tsar of Love and Techno. His talk was funny.

Pamela Dorman introduced J. Ryan Stradal, author of one of the books I really wanted to pick up during BEA. His novel, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, has been the talk of fellow librarians on GalleyChat. And, Dorman said it's been selected as the company's "Tidal Wave Book", meaning everyone at Random House/Penguin will push the book. Once people hear Stradal speak, though, I don't think the book will need much pushing. He charmed all of us with his talk of living in a small Minnesota town where the only readers were his parents and the librarians.

Jason Gay read from his collection of stories, Little Victories, to end the breakfast program. Terrific start to a long day.

I had just a short time at the Javits Center to pick up my badge, and check out the layout before going  to the BEA Authors Librarian Luncheon. The Association of American Publishers, AAP, and LibraryReads sponsored six authors. Nora Rawlinson from EarlyWord was the MC. She introduced actress and author Mary-Louise Parker (Dear Mr. You) first. The other authors were Annie Barrows (The Truth According to Us); Stephanie Clifford (Everybody Rise); Vu Tran (Dragonfish); Tama Janowitz (Scream), and Barry Moser (We Were Brothers). Moser, usually known as an award-winning artist and illustrator wrote a book about his relationship with his brother, trying to figure out how they turned out so differently. He brought many of us to tears. I have the feeling the book will do the same.

The afternoon was spent going through the exhibits while stopping back at Mystery Writers of America's booth to try to catch friends. I ran into Donna Andrews, Margery Flax, and Suzanne Epstein there. I finally circled back often enough to see Erin Mitchell, and caught John Valeri from the Hartford Book Examiner there as well.
Erin Mitchell, John Valeri and myself

And, before the afternoon was over, I caught Hilary Davidson at the MWA booth. It was only for a moment, but it's always great to see her.

It's always fun to see the books that are highlighted throughout the show. Here's a billboard, and two large posters for books by two of my favorite authors that were showcased. I just love seeing signs advertising books.

My Thursday night play was On the Town. It's another Tony nominated play, and the lead was very good, as was the dancing. But, it just didn't do much for me. There wasn't enough of a plot. Maybe I should have gone to a drama instead of a revival. Oh, well. More Broadway this week!


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I get up early but 6:00! That's early to get out and going. Sounds like you had a great time and were home before the rain finally hit us last night.

ON THE TOWN is fun (but very dated), is no LES MIS.

Jeff M.

Kay said...

I am really looking forward to Circling the Sun. Can't wait!

Kaye Barley said...

Smiling from ear to ear reading this

Bonnie K. said...

Enjoyed reading about your visit and meeting the authors.

Lesa said...

Jeff, I'm actually back in New York with my Mom and sisters? We didn't let yesterday's rain stop us.