It was a busy day in the Exhibit Hall at BookExpo America, with publishers and book distributors promoting their new books as well as backlist and thousands of attendees — a mix of booksellers, librarians, authors, agents, press and book bloggers — each trying to find the next big thing, meet their favourite authors, and learn about what’s available in the book world.
Top 5 ARCs*
This year, I tried to focus on quality over quantity, so I was more choosy about which books I grabbed or waited in line for an autographed copy. Of the books I did bring back today, these five are the ones I’m most excited about, and will be moving to the top of my “To Be Read” pile.
The Passage by Justin Cronin
Everyone in the book world is buzzing about this book. It’s been called a “relentless suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger.”
Android Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and Ben H. Winters
The latest literary mash-up from the publishers that brought us Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Sadly, Tolstoy himself wasn’t able to be at the book signing but Ben was charming nevertheless. I admit that I haven’t read the original Anna Karenina, but will do so before tackling this new version in which “Tolstoy’s timeless saga of love and betrayal is transported to an awesomer version of 19th-century Russia.”
For the Win by Cory Doctorow
In third-world electronic sweatshops, workers play video games to earn virtual wealth that is then sold to first-world gamers who would rather buy their way into the higher levels of gameplay. My husband has already stolen this book from me and is loving it.
Zombies vs Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
Grabbed this collection of short stories solely based on the title. Despite my little zombie rant below, I am looking forward to reading this one, and deciding if I’m Team Zombie or Team Unicorn.
Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds and Dreamers by Nancy Pearl
The next in the series of Book Lust guides by the librarian with rock-star status. Also check out Nancy’s blog at http://nancypearlbooks.wordpress.com/
Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York, was scheduled to speak at the BookExpo Children’s Book & Author Breakfast and then sign copies of her new book before the latest royal scandal broke in the news. Her appearance drew additional media attention to today’s proceedings — although all publicity is good publicity, the hoopla overshadowed the books for a few hours this morning.
The Curse of the Zombies
First it was vampires. And then it was werewolves. Now, this season, it feels like every third book is about zombies. (And we can’t even blame Stephenie Meyer for this one.)
Horror novels about zombie plagues. Comedies about teen zombies just trying to fit in. Multiple instruction manuals on dealing with zombie infestations and a few on being a zombie yourself. Even a zombie romance. Enough already!
I’m not anti-zombie: I enjoy zombie movies and I’ve had more than one semi-serious conversation with my husband on our survival strategy should we face a zombie hoard. But this particular literary trend has jumped the shark and needs to be put down. A double-shot to the head ought to do it.
Tomorrow: My final day at BookExpo. In the morning, I’ll be attending a breakfast event featuring The Daily Show host Jon Stewart, Condoleezza Rice, John Grisham and Mary Roach, and then the rest of the day will be spent visiting the booths that I didn’t get to today. And of course, picking up more awesome books.
Read about my first day at BookExpo here.* An ARC is an Advance Reader Copy. Most of the books handed out at BookExpo America are not the finished book, which may not be ready yet. These ARCs are often uncorrected proofs, missing the final cover art or index, et cetera.