Walking into the Javits Center Tuesday morning was like walking into a wild garden packed full of exotic blooms. I didn’t know where to start or how best to navigate it in order to take everything in. I quickly discovered that I wouldn’t see it all. What I did see, however, was pretty amazing. In the end, now that my box of books was delivered, I found a jewel from just about every booth I visited. Here is a little tour of my BEA by publisher.
Bloomsbury ~ Leonardo and the Last Supper by Ross King (August 2012)
This was the only non-fiction title I picked up. I’m not a student of art, so I was unaware that Leonardo da Vinci had a poor reputation for finishing his commissions when he began Last Supper. I am curious to discover more about him and this painting.
Unbridled Books ~ These Things Happen by Richard Kramer (November 2012)
Richard Kramer, a writer behind Thirtysomething and My So-called Life, has written a novel about a teenage boy who, after leaving his mother’s home to live with his father and his partner for a school term, finds himself at the center of violence. I loved both television shows Kramer wrote for and the brief description was enough to sell me on this title.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ~ Panorama City by Antoine Wilson (September 2012)
This title was one of the BEA Editor Buzz Books and I cannot wait to read it. It tells the story of Oppen Porter, a 28-year-old who thinks he’s dying. From what he thinks is his deathbed, he records a “tale of self-determination” onto a cassette tape for his unborn son. I see so much potential in this book!
Greywolf Press ~ The Book of Mischief by Steve Stern (September 2012)
I don’t read many short story collections, but there was just something about this book that caught my attention. I enjoyed talking about it at their booth and look forward to delving in to Stern’s characters. I’m deathly afraid of bungee jumping, so I have no idea why the short story about Mendy Dreyfus, whose jump goes awry, excites me so much.
Pamela Dorman Books/Viking ~ Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (December 2012)
A friend on Twitter recently suggested that I listen to the audiobook for Me Before You. When I looked into it, I discovered that it wasn’t yet published in the US. When I saw a copy available, I snatched it up. It sounds like a charmingly quirky love story. Sometimes that’s exactly what this reader needs.
Simon & Schuster ~ The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman (July 2012)
This is one of the books I listed in my “Must Get a Copy” list before heading to BEA. I was so thrilled when I actually did find a copy. This novel takes place in a light house in Australia. Tom and his young wife suffer miscarriages and stillbirths before a boat washes up containing a dead old man and a live baby. I have got to read this novel!
Grand Central Publishing ~ Mistress of My Fate by Hallie Rubenhold (January 2013)
I was lucky enough to have a good friend who saw this book in the Javits Center and offer it to me. I love historical fiction and in this title, the main character is “thrown headlong into the decadence and debauchery of eighteenth-century London.” Sold!
Harper ~ Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver (November 2012)
After attending the Author Breakfast and then the unveiling of the 2012 PEN/Bellweather prize on Tuesday morning, I’ve come to believe that Barbara Kingsolver is one of my literary heroes. She is classy and controversial. Her latest novel is about global warming and how it impacts those who least understand or believe in it.
The Overlook Press ~ Wicked Pleasures by Penny Vincenzi (October 2012)
I love “sexy, glamorous, and fun” family sagas, so when I came across The Outlook Press’ booth and talked to them about their titles, I was sure to pick up Wicked Pleasures. It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a novel like this. You have three siblings who discover they each have different fathers? Sounds just about perfect for a day at the beach.
Algonquin Books ~ The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison (August 2012)
Jonathan Evison is an author I’ve dreamed of meeting ever since I first saw a copy of West of Here. I wasn’t disappointed when I got to Algonquin’s booth early enough to be first in line for his signing. His latest novel is about a man who, after losing everything, takes a class on becoming a caregiver. I have a feeling this is going to be great – and not because I think I’m a little in love with the author either. LOL!
Random House ~ The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (July 2012)
I am going to be on tour for this book early next month and it was a delight to meet Rachel Joyce in person and have her sign a copy. She is very nice and I loved the buttons that were also there at her signing. I’m looking forward to getting lost in this adventure.
Macmillan Audio/St. Martin’s Press ~ Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks (August 2012)
This was another BEA Buzz Book that caught my eye. It’s a story told from the perspective of an imaginary friend who will only be “alive” so long as his young friend continues to believe in him. Not only was I happy to run across this title, to find it in audio was even better. I’m curious to see how narrator Matthew Brown tackles this story.
Thus concludes my tour of BEA books by publisher. Just looking at that stack of books makes me feel blessed to be a reader. Whether or not you attended BEA, what books are you most looking forward to reading during the second half of the year?