30 May 2010

BEA 2010: Editor's Buzz

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.

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.
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.

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.


Marie Cloutier 5/30/10, 8:28 AM  

Me too! They all look great.

Marg 5/30/10, 8:36 AM  

Juliet is the one that sounds really good to me, but that could be because I am a historical fiction junkie! I would read all the rest though without too much hesitation.

Unknown 5/30/10, 8:38 AM  

Room caught my attention for sure! It was also one of the few books that I felt I could actually talk to the people at HBG about - their booth was madness!

Thanks for the buzz update - looking into the other books now!

Michelle 5/30/10, 8:41 AM  

Speaking of Buzz, everyone I spoke to seemed to be buzzing about Room. I'm interested to see how well it's received in reviews. I might be inclined to pick it up if it's not too super heavy in the prose.

I'm glad you found the panels and meals worthwhile and enjoyable. :)

Ana S. 5/30/10, 8:54 AM  

How exciting that Bad Science is getting published over there! It was my favourite non-fiction read of last year, and I hope it reaches a wide new audience.

Andi 5/30/10, 9:05 AM  

Wow, Room sounds captivating. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for that one.

Megan 5/30/10, 9:13 AM  

I didn't make it to adult editor's buzz, so thanks for the recap. I unwittingly picked up several of the selections while wandering the show floor. They all sound interesting, but I have to say I'm probably most excited about Room.

Heather 5/30/10, 9:17 AM  

I knew(!) I should have requested ROOM, it sounds like it would be very interesting to read. I love how all of Donohue's books are so different from each other. Slammerkin has long been a favorite.

The rest, especially Juliet, all sound really good too! Oh how I wish I could have heard about them there, like you did!

Amy 5/30/10, 9:33 AM  

Out of the list I only ended up with ROOM, but it does sound great.

Booksnyc 5/30/10, 10:45 AM  

A UK friend of mine recently gave me her copy of Bad Science and she raved about it - I am looking forward to it since I work in science with data so I am interested in his perspective.

These books sound great- thanks for the heads up!

Melissa 5/30/10, 10:46 AM  

I'm hearing a lot of good buzz about Room! I hadn't heard about Juliet, but that sounds intriguing too. Onto the list they go ...

Missed you at the Book Blogger Con on Friday!

Julie P. 5/30/10, 1:15 PM  

I thought this panel was terrific. I didn't take the monkey book because I was a bit turned off by one of the scenes, but now I'm regretting it!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 5/30/10, 1:34 PM  

I plan to read them all, probably in order of publication (why? to make myself feel organized). ROOM has me the most interested ..., although "it's not bestiality, it's love", to quote Cary Goldstein about THE EVOLUTION OF BRUNO LITTLEMORE, is definitely unique!

Sandy Nawrot 5/30/10, 1:57 PM  

I think they all sound like varying degrees of great. I can almost imagine what it is like to sit there and listen to these guys pump their favorite books, and the bloggers literally drooling, with their fingers twitching to get their hands on a copy. It is good have you back...

Your friend Dandy

caite 5/30/10, 5:19 PM  

I requested a copy of Room...which they offered in a special "so you can't go to BEA" ad in Shelf Awareness. Hope I get that one...

Beth Kephart 5/30/10, 6:48 PM  

Oh! Seina! I must get that book.

Jenners 5/30/10, 7:18 PM  

Of all of them, I think "Room" grabs my attention the most ... and then the Goldacre book.

Thanks for sharing!

Gwen 5/30/10, 9:03 PM  

Bad Science sounds like the author has been reading my mind. So tired of the mixed messages!

Robin M 5/30/10, 9:12 PM  

They all do sound good. Will have to check out a few and looking forward to hearing what you think about them.

Alexia561 5/30/10, 10:50 PM  

Wasn't able to make the YA Buzz panel, but glad I made this one! I'm most excited about Room, and really hope the editor keeps his promise and sends me a copy. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your BEA adventures!

Beth Hoffman 5/31/10, 10:42 AM  

I had not heard of the book ROOM until reading your post this morning; it is one that I must put on my list!

Glad you had a good time at BEA. I hope you took a ton of pics.

Wendy 5/31/10, 1:40 PM  

I wish I had made it to this conference...thanks for the recap of it. I am also excited about Room (managed to grab a copy!) and I am interested in reading the Bruno book which I picked up as sort of a whim and am now glad I did! It was so great to meet you in person :)

Anonymous,  5/31/10, 4:57 PM  

West of Here was the only one that didn't grab me, so I'll be interested in hearing what everyone thinks of it.

And I'm impressed by all of the BEA posts I'm already seeing! I'm sitting here suffering from jet lag...if I ever go to NY again, I will not be flying home at 6am!

Pam Pho 5/31/10, 6:13 PM  

I think out of all the books listed Bamboo People is my pick.

Serena 6/2/10, 12:20 PM  

I missed the buzz panels, but the Bamboo People sounds like a good one.

Wendy 6/2/10, 12:22 PM  

I picked up a copy of Bamboo People - it looks great...and lately I have been reading about Burma so this fits in with all of that.

PeachyTO 6/3/10, 12:23 AM  

Room has been added to my list. Thanks.

bermudaonion 6/4/10, 11:01 AM  

Great recap! Lenore dared Julie to read The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore, but I think Julie passed on it.

Lenore Appelhans 6/4/10, 11:18 AM  

My favorite part of the editor's buzz was that I got to meet you in line!

Teddy Rose 6/9/10, 1:45 AM  

I sounds like it was an awesome event. Thanks for sharing it with us. I think I'll BEA next year. I felt bad that I missed out this year.

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