So, I survived Book Expo America (BEA). Despite my complaining about the fortress-like Javits Center and the exhaustion that comes with BEA, it was actually a somewhat productive week. I had a few good meetings and some nice experiences. The highlight was definitely yesterday’s BEA Author Breakfast.
Last year’s breakfast brought me up close and personal with Mindy Kaling. This year, nothing quite that exciting happened but I did get to see and hear some amazing people speak. Jimmy Fallon led off with a few quick jokes before making his exit. Then Kirstie Alley stepped in as host. Her speech was a little all over the place (and a little too much trying to compete with Fifty Shades of Grey), but oh well. Then we got to the more established authors. Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay among other things, gave a great talk about the inspiration for his upcoming book Telegraph Avenue. Then Zadie Smith, who is an acclaimed writer that I am embarrassed to say I haven’t read yet, spoke beautifully (if a little over my head) about writing in general and her upcoming novel NW.
Finally, there was J.R. Moehringer. If that name sounds familiar it might be because his memoir, The Tender Bar, is on my mom’s list. I read it a while ago now and really liked it. In terms of literary weight, he seemed a little light compared to his fellow authors at the breakfast. Even he was concerned about having to follow them. But then he took his turn explaining the background of his first novel. The guy can tell a story. As much as I enjoyed the others’ talks, Moehringer impressed me the most. And he converted me! Upon first glance at the summary, I wasn’t interested in his book, Sutton. After hearing him, though, I will definitely take a look at it.
And, the best part is, it’s easy for me to do so! The breakfast came with free copies of both Michael Chabon’s and J.R. Moehringer’s not-yet-released books. Score! If you’re nice, I’ll let you borrow one when I’m done.
I think my TBR list just got even longer.
[Oh, and did I mention that when I tweeted about the breakfast yesterday, J.R. Moehringer retweeted me? Yeah, pretty cool.]