Thursday BEA Notes & Pics

Today was the first day of BEA, the official set up day as well as a day filled with conferences, panels, and discussions about what else - books.

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.


Stephanie said...

Remember me from the blog signing? It was really nice to meet you.

I went to the editor's buzz too but by the time I got outside Stitches was gone - good catch!

Jayf said...

Hey Stephanie - sure, I remember, the signing was a great time (I just posted about it). Sorry you missed grabbing a copy of Stitches. It was great meeting you.

Kerry said...

Wow, I made it onto Bookrastination! It was great to see you at BEA, Jay, and I'm looking forward to lunch soon.

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