Some of my favorite events at BEA are the various "buzz" panels and the author meals. This year's two-day format meant I had to make difficult decisions about how to best use my time.
I picked four events: the Editor's Buzz on Tuesday, the two author breakfasts, and the author lunch. (Note: I was unable to track down all cover images.)
Editor's Buzz (Tuesday afternoon)
At the Editor's Buzz, editors introduced us to some exciting titles for the fall book season. The speakers did their job because I ended up wanting to read almost every book on the list.
Chuck Adams from Algonquin: West of Here by Jonathan Evison.
An epic western adventure wrapped in the history of one small town, from the rugged mudflats of the northwestern frontier, to a rusting strip mall cornucopia, West of Here is a conversation between two epochs, one rushing blindly toward the future, and the other struggling to undo the damage of the past.If the description doesn't sell you, watch this video. I bet you'll put West of Here on your wish list.
Susana Porter from Ballantine: Juliet: A Novel by Ann Fortier.
When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena.This novel is not just another book about Juliet. It's a fresh take and is historical fiction.
Mitzi Angel from FSG: Bad Science by Ben Goldacre.
Have you ever wondered how one day the media can assert that alcohol is bad for us and the next unashamedly run a story touting the benefits of daily alcohol consumption? Or how a drug that is pulled off the market for causing heart attacks ever got approved in the first place? How can average readers, who aren’t medical doctors or Ph.D.s in biochemistry, tell what they should be paying attention to and what’s, well, just more bullshit?FSG is bringing Ben Goldacre to the United States--apparently he is fairly well known in the UK and Europe. I've wanted to read more about him ever since I read Nymeth's review: "Ben Goldacre is my new hero. Everyone should read this book. Not so that you can be persuaded to take one position or the other, but because there is information here that everyone should have. Also, it’s fun! Really, it is."
Judy Clain from Little, Brown: Room by Emma Donoghue.
To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.I'll let the description do my work for this book, but you could also check out this video. This is a title I'm particularly excited about.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. . . . Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.
Nan Graham from Scribner: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee.
The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificently written "biography" of cancer--from its origins to the epic battle to cure, control, and conquer it.Doesn't sound like much from the description, but I am fascinated by this concept and can't wait to read more about a disease that has been on earth for millennia.
Gary Goldstein from Twelve: The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale.
Bruno Littlemore is quite unlike any chimpanzee in the world. . . . Learning of Bruno's ability to speak, Lydia takes Bruno into her home to oversee his education and nurture his passion for painting. But for all of his gifts, the chimpanzee has a rough time caging his more primal urges. His untimely outbursts ultimately cost Lydia her job, and send the unlikely pair on the road in what proves to be one of the most unforgettable journeys--and most affecting love stories--in recent literature. Like its protagonist, this novel is big, loud, abrasive, witty, perverse, earnest and amazingly accomplished. [The book] goes beyond satire by showing us not what it means, but what it feels like be human--to love and lose, learn, aspire, grasp, and, in the end, to fail.Definitely a bit out there, but I'm curious!
Believe it or not, I walked away from the Editor's Buzz interested in all six books. West of Here and Room are at the top of list, followed closely by the others.