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BEA Galley Roundup

July 13, 2009

where-i-leave-youOne of the best parts of BEA is getting advance reader copies of books due to hit the shelves in fall or winter.  While Dan Brown’s bestseller in waiting was not among the crop of titles I ran off with, there were some gems in there…

First, one of the books from the Editor’s Buzz panel – this is where editors from different trade houses get up and pitch their book of the season.  Some did this better than others, granted, but it was nice to hear people who are so close to their books getting a chance to tell everyone why they are worth the read.

The book that I ended up starting on the train ride home from BEA, based on the editor’s presentation, was Jonathan Tropper’s This is Where I Leave You.  I’m about halfway through this one, so I can’t give you the full scoop, but I can say it is well worth the read.   The main character’s marriage is falling apart (his wife has been sleeping with his boss for the past year) while he is dealing with the death of his father and having to reconnect with his dysfunctional family.  Doesn’t sound like a hoot and a half, but Tropper, author of several other titles including “The Book of Joe”, makes it a funny and great read.

stitchesNext, also from the Buzz panel, David Small’s Stitches.  Not really sure how to do this description justice, so I’ll take it from the author’s site…

One day David Small awoke from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he had been transformed into a virtual mute. A vocal cord removed, his throat slashed and stitched together like a bloody boot, the fourteen-year-old boy had not been told that he had cancer and was expected to die.

In Stitches, Small, the award-winning children’s illustrator and author, recreates this terrifying event in a life story that might have been imagined by Kafka. As the images painfully tumble out, one by one, we gain a ringside seat at a gothic family drama, where David — a highly anxious yet supremely talented child—all too often became the unwitting object of his parents’ buried frustration and rage.

That’s enough to give you an idea of the plot.  Whatever you may think, it’s an amazing work.  It’s the first graphic novel-cum-memoir I’ve seen, so I can’t just it based on the genre.  It gives you a window into the world of this man that words couldn’t.  Once you pick it up, you won’t be able to put it down.  You may think, hey graphic novel, I can whip through this….don’t.  Take it a frame at a time.  Look, think, savor.  I’m glad the editor picked this book to talk about – he gave a touching tribute to the author and really made a lot of people excited about it.  When I left the room to find a copy of the book it wasn’t there, causing me to storm the booth the next day to get a galley, which ended up being autographed by the author during his signing.  Mega cool. 

Elizabeth Kostova’s new book “The Swan Thief” was supposed to be there, but wasn’t.  Big bummer as I loved “The Historian” and was hoping to pick this one up. 

The show floor wasn’t as busy as in years past.  This worked to my advantage when I browsed the children’s book publishers as a book fair mom rather than publishing babe.  Most reps took time to show me some new books and let me know what was going to be hot for fall. 

million dollar throwAt Penguin, I got a copy of Mike Lupica’s new book Million Dollar Throw.  Having grown up reading Mike’s column in the NY Daily News, I can vouch for his talent as a writer.  As a book fair volunteer, I heartily recommend his books to any sports minded child.  His new one looks like it will follow in that tradition. 


z rexAlso from Penguin, Z-Rex, billed as “a video game in a book, and perfect for kids who think they don’t want to read.”  I gave the book to a young man who loved it and got REALLY upset when he realized that the sequels won’t be out for many many months.  Author Steve Cole better get to work on fleshing out the series judging by that fan’s reaction.

Adriana Trigiani is out with the first book in a new series for teens, Viola in Real Life.  It’s listed as 12 and up, so I’m going to wait for Girl’s review, as it will be in her bag heading for camp.

divorce sucksFinally, while waiting for David Small’s book signing, I picked up an autographed blad of Mary Jo Eustace’s Divorce Sucks.  Who is Mary Jo Eustace, you may ask?  Why she’s the first wife of Dean McDermott, of Tori and Dean fame!   I can’t say I’m a Tori fan or hater, but I have always wondered what her and her husband’s exes had to say about them and their relationship.  Now we will know.  Not sure what Mary Jo was like as a wife to Dean, but in person she was very pleasant, and, quoting the words of the guy in line with me, “effing hot”, making me wonder why someone would leave her for an unstable Hollywood child like Tori.  Ah, seriously, not really.  Who has time to wonder that.  There are too many good books out there to read!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2009 8:28 am

    SO JEALOUS of your BEA’xperience.

    some day for me.

    some day.

    (both my fiction there AND me as well :))

  2. July 13, 2009 8:46 am

    I always grip about going, MizFit, but in the end, I’m quite happy with the loot I pull in.

  3. July 13, 2009 9:31 am

    Very good pick ups. That Jonathan Tropper sounds like a keeper.

  4. July 13, 2009 8:38 pm

    Hey, colleague. I just finished Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire if you’re interested.

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