I first paid homage to Osprey, the military history publisher that I've consulted for, as they were very generous in getting me a badge for BEA weekend. I felt it was the least I could do to show up at the booth and help them set up for a bit. Here's John and Kerry hard at work.
Also, I helped Shirley open boxes and sort books before I headed out to attend two of the conferences in the meeting rooms the convention floor. [Shirley - I'll put the other pic up on facebook soon.]
I wanted to say hello to a few colleagues as they set up before I grabbed a bite then headed to the meeting rooms. The floor was a flutter with forklifts, people frantically opening boxes of books, and wandering eyes like myself, taking it all in.
I visited a few more booths then headed downstairs to the Red Hot EReader panel which discussed many of the new options and technologies of ereader software and devices. This was informative as I have yet to purchase an ebook/reader yet, but as of now I'm still undecided on what to get.
Then I attended the BEA Editors Buzz panel where 6 prominent editors discussed the books they were excited about. Since I was only able to nab two bound galleys I'll discuss them here.
When Alexsis Gargagliano, an Editor at Scribner, discussed the wild ride of reading this unbelievable memoir, I knew I had to grab a copy. In Alex Lemon's Happy, his life seemed unreal, the amount of things that happened to him and the many things he did to himself sounded extraordinary. I was intrigued as it is also a story of redemption and I can't wait to take the journey with the author.
If I find copies of the other books over the weekend I'll talk about them here soon. I do plan to review these two books when I'm finished with them.
I also grabbed the one graphic memoir discussed, Stitches by David Small. When Executive Editor at W.W. Norton, Robert Weil, spoke about this dream-like memoir by a multiple award-winning children's book author and illustrator, it sounded right up my alley.
I've already read 50 pages, and it reminds me of Chester Brown's I Never Liked You, another favorite of mine. It is certainly looking to be a classic graphic memoir and I see it getting loads of review attention. It is beautifully illustrated and contains hints of that warped childhood that we all can [certainly I can] identify with. [Apologies for the terrible jacket image grab, I couldn't find anything this late in the evening. Need to get that scanner.]
Later that evening I left for the Petrossian Resturant on West 58th Street, for a wonderful launch party for the U.S. release of, A Crate of Vodka.
The evening promised "a night of Russian caviar, cocktails, and conversation" with authors, Alfred Kokh and Igor Svinarenko. I had a blast, and was joined by my good friend Nancy.
The party felt more like a publishing throwback with great conversation, piano playing, and of course...vodka. I'd like to thank Robert Miller, publisher of Enigma Books, for the invite.
Generally, this is how I like to end any night...with a little drink maybe, and a good book. On this night, it happened to be a flute of vodka and reading about a reporter and a politician discuss 20 years of Russian history and politics as they work their way through 20 bottles of vodka.
And this is only day 1.