BEA 2011 and NYC

Once again I was very pleased to be able to attend Book Expo America in New York City. I arrived in New York on Saturday evening with plans to go to the Javits Convention Center on Tuesday morning. There were a few hiccups with my accommodations but once that was sorted out everything with my trip went smoothly.

Tuesday morning came and I caught the shuttle bus going to the Javits from my hotel. That shuttle is so convenient - one of many that services convention attendees. The bus let us off at another entrance to the building than the one I'm normally used to going into. I'm not sure if that's because the building is undergoing renovations or because it's just less congestive. In either case, I found the registration line for check-in easily. There were maybe five people in line ahead of me but the process was so quick - less than a minute a person - that I received my badge in no time. I made my way into the main exhibition hall and picked up a tote. It was about 9:30 by that time and the hall was already quite crowded.

I spent the following hours visiting booth after booth, chatting with publicists, authors and other bloggers. I don't know if it was just me, but I found the hall a bit smaller than in previous years. When I realized that it was split into two sections due to the renovations I lost perspective of how big it really was. No matter, I found what I thought were the missing publishers when I discovered the hallway leading to the other part of the center.

I ended up bringing home about 30 books in all. I took only books that I thought I or my fellow Montreal blogger friends would like. Of course, given that there are six of us, that would add to more than thirty books but I only attend the conference for one day and so didn't pick up any of the available books on Wednesday or Thursday.

And that brings me to the only negative part of my trip. Last year Avis of She Reads and Reads, Cindy of Cindy's Love of Books, Linda of Better with Books and Tina from Bookshipper (Amanda from Tales and Treats is relatively new to our group and did not attend BEA with the rest of us last year) all traveled to New York along with my husband and I. We had a fabulous time and I missed having them there this year. Fortunately we're already talking about BEA 2012!

NYC May 23, 2011

I arrived in New York an hour late on Saturday night (train delay) and aside from the cold, cloudy weather (it's supposed to warm up tomorrow) we're having a blast! The picture is the view from our hotel window. Times Square is hopping as usual!

We've had a few adventures already (change of hotels after one night in the one we had reservations at didn't work out) and are absorbing with great gusto all of the atmosphere!

I will be heading to the Javitt's Center tomorrow morning for BEA and will try not to forget my camera!

Mailbox Monday May 23, 2011

In April, Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Mari of Marireads.

Last week I received two books in the mail. The first is Erik Larsen's latest, In the Garden of Beasts.

The second book is The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal.

Review: Fool's Republic by Gordon W. Dale

The back cover of Fool’s Republic has the novel's genre described as Fiction/Political Thriller/Mystery. I agree with those categories but I think one was left something out: intellectual thriller. A good part of the narrative of Fool's Republic is taken up with hints and clues about the crime the protagonist has supposedly committed but he does not admit to. The author dances around the charges against Simon Wyley so that the reader is never sure what transgression he is guilty of - only that is must be very bad. The protagonist’s wry sense of humor in the face of dire physical and mental conditions gave me a sense of relief. I liked Simon very much and rooted for him to survive. The story of Simon’s situation are told through a series of flashbacks giving details about his life and the circumstances which lead him into trouble.

When I saw the front cover of this book I was a bit leery. It’s mostly white with a barbed wire fence depicted on the lower half. For some reason, this cover reminds me of self-published books but I can’t say exactly why. I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading it however. It’s well-written and suspenseful which, for a thriller fan, is key. But I’d go farther than that – I’d say this is a sophisticated thriller – not the run-of-the-mill, read something like it a hundred times before story. This was different in that it was about an average guy in extraordinary circumstances.

I went to Gordon W. Dale’s website and started reading his current work-in-progess, What We Remember, and though quite different from Fool’s Republic, I found it to have the same high quality writing and the story had me engrossed right from the start.

I am very pleased to have discovered this new-to-me author. For anyone who enjoys thrillers and just plain good writing, I highly recommend Fool’s Republic.

BEA and New York!

For the third consecutive year I will be heading to New York to attend Book Expo America and be a tourist in New York City. The first year it was just my husband and I but last year we went with four other Canadian bloggers - Avis from She Reads and Reads, Cindy from Cindy's Love of Books, Linda from Better with Books and Tina from Bookshipper. We took the twelver-hour train ride there and back together and I have very fond memories of those hours!

BEA was and is a huge treat! It's a chance to meet other like-minded individuals and confirm a strong connection in a very real way with the book industry. I have not had the opportunity to attend the Book Blogger Convention held during the same time period, but I'm told that it's also a great opportunity to meet other bloggers and receive all the dos and don'ts of blogging.

And then there's New York of course. I'm planning on seeing two Broadway shows, visiting museums, The Strand and Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, Central Park...well, the list goes on and on!

I'll miss being with my Montreal blogger friends this year, but hopefully they'll (or some of them) be attending BEA in 2012. And to anyone else who is going, I'm looking forward to meeting you all!

Tuesday Teaser: The Chef's Apprentice by Elle Newmark

Tuesday Teasers is hosted by Should Be Reading. The rules are as follows:

Grab your current read and let the book fall open to a random page. Share two sentences from somewhere on that page and the title of the book that you’re getting the teaser from. Please avoid spoilers! Read the official Tuesday Teaser Rules.

My teaser is from The Taker by Alma Katsu. From page 88:

"Do you think it's smart to go there? I'd think the police would have tracked you to your hotel by now."

Mailbox Monday May 9, 2011

In April, Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Mari of Marireads.

I received two books last week. The first is Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington. From the author's website, a description of Alice Bliss reads:

Alice Bliss is a profoundly moving coming-of-age novel about love and its many variations: the support of a small town looking after its own; love between an absent father and his daughter; complicated love between an adolescent girl and her mother; and an exploration of new love with the boy-next-door. These characters’ struggles amidst uncertain times echo our own, lending the novel an immediacy and poignancy that is both relevant and real. At once universal and very personal, Alice Bliss is a transforming story about those who are left at home during wartime, and a teenage girl bravely facing the future.

The second book I received is American Heiress (called My Last Duchess in the UK) by Daisy Goodwin. The description of this novel reads:

Be careful what you wish for. Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts’, suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage.

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