The Books of BEA (And a little treat for you!)

27th June 2012

How have I not yet managed to talk about the books I got at BEA? I will tell you, though, that I am so excited about the books I had shipped home. There are only 15 of them, but wow, do they look good. These 15 represent almost all different publishers, many of them independent. They range from stories about an artist who does reproductions to a biography of a body part. Of the 15 books, 8 are by women, 7 are by men. Three are distinctly nonfiction, with Naomi Wolf’s Vagina in a category of its own. In all their, ahem, glory…

From the top:

From the top:

  • Johnson’s Life of London: The People Who Made the City Who Made the World by Boris Johnson/Riverhead Books
  • Instant by Chris Bonanos/Princeton Architectural Press (October 2012)
  • The Shadow Girls by Henning Mankell/The New Press (October 2012)
  • Inferno by Dante Alighieri, Translated by Mary Jo Bang/Graywolf Press (August 2012)
  • Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolf/Ecco (September 2012)
  • Rules of Civility by Amor Towles/Penguin
  • Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See by Julianne Garey/Soho (December 2012)
  • The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón/Harper (July 2012)

Which will I be reading first? It’s almost as though I’m afraid to break the spell, as though if I choose one, the rest will disappear. That said, I think I’ll start with the slimmest volume, Beside the Sea. Lori and Tara actually told me about the book, saying: “It’s about a mother who is planning to kill her children.” Pleasant, right? Except that my Master’s thesis was about women who kill their children throughout literature. Specifically, the title is The Dialectic of Maternity: From Medea to the Moderns. Snazzy, huh? Ok, so it sounds kind of ridiculous, but it’s interesting how many many time this sort of story repeats itself in literature (and in life). So that will be my first pick.

And for those of you who weren’t able to make it, I have a BEA bag just for you. In the Random House tote bag are the BEA edition of The New York Review of Books, Anne Lamott’s newest, Some Assembly Required, in audio, Next to Love by Ellen Feldman (this one is so good!), and A Fatal Debt by John Gapper. Something for everyone! The only rules are you cannot have attended BEA, and you must leave me a comment. Which book would you most love to get your hands on? Is there any particular publisher you’re interested in? Do you think I’ve got 15 winners in these stacks? Make sure you comment by next Tuesday, July 3, at midnight!

UPDATE: Rachel won the BEA bag o’ goodies. Congrats!

  • CassandraNeace

    I’ve got all but one of the titles in your giveaway, so I’m not entering. I am very interested in a couple of the titles you came back with, though, and I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about The Absolutist, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and The Prisoner of Heaven (I have an e-galley of it). I can’t wait to compare notes!

    • Yes, I think I definitely have a good, eclectic group here. We shall see. I actually thought Harold Fry had been out for some time, but I’m on a tour for it in August, so I’ve been holding off reading it. The other two are definitely high on my list, but honestly, they all are. I kind of just want to have a BEA binge, where I read nothing but BEA books for the next month. Might have to…

  • I don’t even know where to start! New Inferno translation?! yum! Am desperate to read Rules of Civility — looks like my kind of book. I’ve got The Revised Fundamentals… and am super eager for it. Obvious, cannot wait for your thoughts on Vagina and Beside the Sea! No need to enter me in your giveaway as I’ve got almost all the books you’re offering — you’re so sweet to do so!

    • I know! It’s been ages since I read the Inferno. I’m think maybe an October readalong? Doesn’t that sound especially appropriate?

      As for Rules of Civility, I can’t believe I haven’t read it sooner, actually. Thrilled to have it.

  • Next to Love sounds great! I’d love to get my hands on that one!

    • Rachel – It really is a great book. Make sure I have your email address in case you win!

  • hellokitty ispretty

    Any in the bag sound like goodreads but in your stack would love to get my hands on Vagina & Inferno. Can’t wait till both of those come out. No prefernce on publisher though.

    • Naomi Wolf is so smart. I don’t always agree with her, but she certainly makes me think in different and interesting ways. I’ll keep you updated.

  • Andi

    You have a great haul! And it’s fun to see so many independent books. I’m eager to get my hands on Wolf’s newest. I’ve enjoyed everything of hers I’ve read.

    Would love to enter the giveaway!

    • I know. I really tried to pay attention to publisher in a way I didn’t last year. As for Wolf, heck yes. Have you read Misconceptions? Wow. What an eye opener in terms of reproductive health/birthing babies.

  • The ones that I am most interested in, I managed to snag myself from with Edelweiss or a book tour (Harold Fry and Prisoner of Heaven). I didn’t get to go to BEA and your giveaway bag of swag is calling my name! Pick me!!

    • I haven’t used Edelweiss at all. Do you like it?

  • I was unaware that Beside the Sea will be published in the US as well. Such an amazing and impressive book. I’m very happy it will be available to US readers soon 🙂

    • After I finished it the other night, I looked it up (because wow) and found it had been published years ago overseas. It really was so amazingly effective. I can’t wait to talk about it.

  • Christina

    Every year I tell myself “This will be the year that I go”. LOL. #fail *shrug* I’m okay about it because I think that I would be soooo nervous to be around all of those people (but I would love to meet those that I’ve connected with, if that makes sense). You have so many fun looking books and I can’t wait to hear about Shadow Girl.

    • Christina, the first year is crazy overwhelming. This was my second year, and I knew what I wanted from BEA: I wanted to build relationships with people. It was so nice to really feel more confident and talk with people, chat with editors and publicists. These people love books, and I made sure to seek out a few editors who worked on books I loved. You could tell they enjoyed talking about the book as well. So that was the goal this time, and I’m very happy with what I did. The point wasn’t to grab every book there (I don’t see how anyone could) but to really curate some good ones from different publishers. I definitely think I succeeded!

  • I’m interested in Anne Lamott’s book because I love, love, love BIRD BY BIRD and recommend it to everyone. It’s supposed to be writing advice, but it’s really great advice for life, too. NEXT TO LOVE sounds good, too. And I have to admit, I really want the tote because I cannot have enough book bags! Thanks for this, Jenn!

    • Haha! Totes are fun. This and one other were the only ones I got at BEA because STOP WITH ALL THE BAGS, JENNIFER. I have way too many. But you should have seen some of these people. Totes up and down each arm. Craziness.

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