By the third day of BEA15 I had totes filled with unread titles and a blister or two on my swollen feet. It wasn’t a “more is better” philosophy that kept me coming back – it was the prospect of the Book Group Speed Dating event on Friday afternoon. With that knowledge, I was very particular about the booths I visited beforehand. Continue reading Ellen in Wonderland- The Last Hurrah
This partial view of the floor at Book Expo provides an inkling of the vast territory we explored each day. While you’d think it’s all about the books, the reality is a conference of this size is also about all the many people, from the author to the publisher to the bookseller and reviewer who help bring it to life. Everyday there was an extensive agenda of presentations and a far larger lists of author signings. The publisher’s goal is to get their books into the hands of broadest range of consumers. My goal is to search out great titles I can share with readers, through book groups, topical presentations or book reviews on this blog. To do this, I hone in first on smaller publishers whose lists have proven to be well-written and thought-provoking. Continue reading Ellen in Wonderland – Day 3
Thanks to Dan, the good spouse, I stayed not far from an entrance to The High Line, the magnificent above ground urban park on the west side of Manhattan. A recent extension brings it to 34th Street, a stone’s throw from the entrance to the Javits Convention Center, home to Book Expo America.
So before walking the endless aisles at BEA15, I took the opportunity to see how The High Line had changed since my visit in frigid March. Lush green replaced the dormant winter brown and occasional flowering plants are blooming. And the crowds! Even on a sticky, overcast morning, there were people everywhere – more power-dodging than power walking.
Arriving in the main entry, it’s clear which books the publishers want on a REALLY big stage. Notice the enormous Go Set A Watchman cover art for Harper Lee’s upcoming title and the itty-bitty ant-people below.
As a true bookie, being at BEA makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop. No calories but with all the book giveaways, lots of extra weight. The day is spent going from booth to booth getting a sense of what new authors are writing and then racing back to pick up a galley from a favorite author. Lines are long for author signings but all are quite gracious in the 10-second encounters with each of several hundred readers.
For some authors, tickets are required. Each year I try to get at least one special title for each of my parents. This year my pick for Dad is Al Roker’s The Storm of the Century. Talk about a hardworking man – here he is signing the advance copy at 4 in the afternoon.
For the evening I went back to Mom-mode and helped my daughter finish moving out of her apartment and cleaning up. My reward? A late night (at least for me) dinner at Diner in Williamsburg. It is a very hip modern restaurant with wonderful food. Then back to Chelsea, rinse and repeat on Thursday.
It doesn’t get much better than this. Having arrived in New York midday, I set out to explore Chelsea and the Flatiron District, the neighborhoods around my hotel. Timing being everything, Madison Square is having a monthlong festival Mad. Sq. Eats bringing a pop-up food truck and cafe area to the vibrancy of Madison Square Park. Add that to the amazing art installation for a terrific afternoon. There was even time for knitting in the park.
Just across the street is Eataly, the enormous new Italian market/food hall/ destination. Everywhere you look there is another amazing counter. Me, I am always partial to a beautiful produce or fish display. I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
My evening plans were extra-special. Over the last few years I’ve had several opportunities to reconnect with childhood friends and fellow New Rochelle High School classmates. Tonight three of us had a dinner/theatre evening. Thanks to my daughter, Miriam, we snagged tickets for Hand to God, a provocative and very well-acted play. Meri, Debbie and I had a blast. And I had the chance to introduce my daughter to these lovely women – priceless!
Tomorrow starts the main event – Book Expo America. And I can’t wait!