Well, it’s time for the recap of the fun I had in NYC for Book Expo. This one’s going to be a long post filled with pictures, links and all the details so buckle up, baby….
Monday Night/All Day Tuesday:
Because my flight leaving to ATL was when the roosters get up in the morning (meaning I had to be at the airport way before roosters woke up) my aunt (who was dropping me off the airport) and I stayed in Jackson on Monday night. We had dinner at Half-Shell Oyster House and then retreated back to Holiday Inn Express for some shut-eye. For a myriad of reasons, I could not sleep well. So, when my 3am wake up call came, I was less than perky and would have probably asked for a coffee IV (if I was a huge coffee drinker).
I arrive at Delta in Jackson and get through security and then wait for my plane. I kept my eye out for the Airport Hero Turned into Zero guy I met 3 years ago ( and the airport gods rewarded me by him not being on my plane) and settled in for the quick flight to ATL. Clueless kept me company and I was in ATL before I knew it. *Read here to find out why he went from hero to zero.
After getting off the plane, I started walking toward my next stop and I see Rhiannon waving and doing a happy dance. Shortly, Alison arrived and we hugged because while we’ve been trying to meet for at least 3 years- 2017 was FINALLY the year we got to meet! Rhiannon left a bit later for her flight and Alison and I waited for ours.
I fell asleep on the flight to LGA and woke up just in time for pretzels and coke. Then fell asleep a bit more and woke up around landing time. I NEEDED that nap because I had a busy day ahead of me.
We (Alison, Rhiannon and I) got a Lyft and headed to home sweet hotel (The Row) where we would meet Kristin.
After hugs, squeals, and more we all went to our rooms, got unpacked and then decided that a trip to NYPL was in order. In 2015, Kristin took me by the NYPL, but I’d never been in it and was curious to see what the place was like. While inside the NYPL, we spot a librarian who should be held up as THE ideal for future librarians. Her hair was done up in a twist that almost brought tears to my eyes- it was perfection. The glasses and knowledgeable air about her was just icing on the cake. Rhiannon immediately named her Brenda and we all said a variation of “That is who I want to be when I grow up.” NYPL is a treasure, but Brenda was right up there with it.
After taking in the books- we headed to The High Line via subway and got there early for the tour. So, we found a bar, sat around and talked BOOKS. Who was reading what, etc. Then it was time to head to the High Line and well… we were at the wrong end. So we missed Chelsea Market and some of the art exhibits (although we did see one art exhibit) and Kristin narrated from her phone about where we were, etc. We saw a magnolia that had leaves as long as my 2 hands put together and flowers that WERE huge.
After the walk (IDK how many miles we walked- I would have loved to have had a Fitbit to see my mileage and steps in NYC) we wound up at this Italian place that Kristin had scoped out near our hotel. Because I’m a bit of a nervous flyer, I don’t each much on days that I’ll be on planes and when we got to NYC, I wasn’t really hungry ( excitement at seeing everyone!) So, the linguine Bolognese was great. Same with the wine! We headed back to hotel after eating and relaxing over plates of pasta and glasses of wine- then it was time to sleep (and I slept GREAT!)
I don’t know why I could not get it in my head that Wednesday was only going to be conferences. I guess because it had been different in the past, but I was kind of glad because I slept in, took a shower, did my hair ( I’m pretty into my hair, not as much as the main character from Dear Daughter, but I should have stock in Living Proof– that is how much I adore their No Frizz line.)
We had a quick lunch at Roxy’s and then it was on to the shuttle and Javits center.
Since Kristin and I usually are on the floor during the BookExpo Editors’ Buzz panel, we made a point to attend that conference on Wednesday. It was also the only conference that we attended (along with Rhiannon and Alison). Truth be told- I don’t always love the books the editors buzz about ( at least not from what I can tell on Twitter and other social media) so I was curious about which ones would get the buzz. The room was PACKED- I thought for sure we’d have to stand till my Girl Scout training kicked in and I spotted 4 chairs at front table and told everyone to make a move for them. We snagged them and met some publicists from Quercus Books!
The books that we being buzzed about:
After that, Kristin and I met with Amazon Publishing ( I really loved the brochures they gave- they had TONS of info and more importantly- email addresses!) It was nice to hear from them about some of their books they are really excited about- some I had my eye out for already and others that were new to me.
After we left Javits, we headed back to hotel to get ready to see Jenny Milchman (who just happened to be in town for the night. A quick subway ride and we were at The Mysterious Bookshop. Jenny was part of a group that night- so she introduced us to the other authors and we hung around the book store taking pictures of the books- I saw some UK thrillers, Sandra Block and Kate White’s latest, and more. It was a cute bookstore and one I highly recommend visiting.
Slight disaster struck on the way back home- my token card wouldn’t work ( I think out of money) and Kristin and Rhiannon were already on the other side of the subway. A wonderful woman let me use her card to get inside the gate and I said goodbye to the subway.
Rhiannon and Kristin had hummus at the restaurant by The Mysterious Bookshop, but I elected to try the Lobster Roll’s at Luke’s at City Kitchen. The food was good, but the service was lacking. 5 people waiting their order in the time I placed mine and everyone else got theirs and they handed me a shrimp roll (I had ordered the sampler) and then it was all “I think we gave your order to someone else.” So, even more wait while they got my order right. Because of that- I’ll probably never eat at Luke’s again.
Kristin got up early (well I think her normal time) and I slept in a bit and then she left for Book Expo- electing to walk and enjoy the weather, while I decided to take my time getting ready and take the shuttle.
When I walked into Javits- it was quiet, nobody handing out Publisher’s Weekly magazines and I was able to check my luggage with no problem. I rode the escalator up to the floor and texted everyone to let them know I was here. I walked around the floor a bit just to get my bearings. In past Book Expo experiences- within minutes of being on floor, I would have tote bags and books- but this year was different. Quieter. Less hustle. The booths had more space. It was different (but good different).
The big things on my agenda for Thursday: Get Even If It Kills Her by Kate White, have lunch with BA Paris, and get Mary Higgins Clark’s latest book because I had her in my Ticketed Author signings.
I found Kristin and then got to meet Felicia ( she was SO nice) and Kristin and I got in line for Kate White (Kate is SO nice and I love seeing her every year at Book Expo- especially THIS year as this is her first Bailey Weggins’s book in some time) I stopped by the Kensington Booth- where I got a copy of The Girlfriend and then spotted a book (In The Shadow of Alabama) that Deep South Magazine had just put on their Summer Reading List. I also zipped into Ellen Marie Wiseman’s line and snagged her latest (which has the greatest cover.
Little Golden Books is celebrating their 75th anniversary and they had the cutest booth! I spotted my absolute FAVORITE kids book- The Monster at the End of the Book and learned some facts about it (did you know it was published in 1971? Me neither!)
By then, I was time to head toward Marseille– for the BA Paris luncheon. Now, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I heard the word luncheon. I was picturing a separate room, 50+ bloggers and other media, and BA Paris on a stage of some sort- answering questions and taking books as the rest of us nibbled on plates of food that the staff would be circulating to each of us.
IT WAS NOTHING LIKE THAT.
When me and Alison walked in- a man named Johnny (that may not be the spelling of his name- since I never saw his name tag) greeted us and when I explained that we were there for the St. Martin’s luncheon with BA Paris- he led us to a long table ( not a banquet room as I had assumed) and we greeted people as they walked in. I was REALLY excited to meet Stacy from The Novel Life.
I’ve never been to a French restaurant before, so I was not sure what to expect, but happy to learn that shrimp beignets are good and that streak frites is just steak and fries 😉 The dessert was also excellent, but I was stuffed from the food and just the fun of the intimate atmosphere- where I had been expecting a big fuss and lots of noise- it was quiet. Intimate. A nice break in the day! BA Paris was charming and had such a POSH accent that I really think I could have listened to her read the phone book and been ok 😉
It was after 3 when we got back to the floor ( I did miss Mary Higgins Clark, but that was ok- because when else could I say I had a lunch at a nice restaurant with such a charming author?) so I walked the floor a bit, then got ready to meet Sarah from Little Bird Publicity and her new client, Eva Woods. Kristin was there too and it was nice to meet Eva and hear a bit about her book (and I WISHED I gotten a picture- because her skirt- emerald green and lacy- was to die for!) Kristin and I split up for a bit then and I went to meet Larissa of Claire McKinney PR because she’s my contact for my Gretchen Archer and Susan M. Boyer books (she got me hooked on them!) and we chatted for awhile about books and more and she gave me 2 more books (Wendy Tyson’s latest) to get me another author to get hooked on 😉
Then I saw Rhiannon and Alison- they were taking a breather before getting ready to see Hillary Clinton. Kristin and I had planned to eat at Gotham Market, but the lunch was filling so I decided to see if I could get a ticket to see Charlie and The Chocolate Factory ( I did!) and I totally enjoyed the show. It had Christian Borle in it and I find him to be so. darn. charismatic. I tweeted a pic of me at the show and Charlie on Broadway account tweeted back 🙂
When I got finished at the show, I wanted something to eat, but was not sure where to go. I walked toward Shake Shack, but the line was INSANE so I picked something up at the Food Court from across the street from our hotel (penne pasta and it was delicious and WAY TOO MUCH food for just me!)
Last day of Book Expo. Had my schedule. Game plan: Meet Suzy from Suzy Approved Book Reviews, get The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, The Good Widow and Lie To Me (and fan girl over JT Ellison a bit.. ok a lot.)
Suzy and I had never seen each other in real life so we were texting each other pictures of what we were wearing to make sure we knew each other! I found her in the Celeste Ng line (which I hear ran out of books they had so many!) and we gabbed for a bit, then I wandered the floor. I saw for the second time in 2 days, Donna from OnDbookshelf and got to hear about some of the signings she’d been to the day before.
I go line up for JT Ellison and while in line I see Donna and Reeca behind me, then Suzy introduces me to Leah DeCesare (author of Forks, Knives and Spoons). Then Cindy R comes up and we hug like crazy and I get to see Ann Marie again!
Finally, I’m in front of JT. I’d already Lie To Me from Netgalley, but I had to fangirl hard. And I did. I may have used the words “freaking phenomenal” in my fangirling! Then it was time to meet Kaira Rouda- I don’t know her very well, but her next book, Best Day Ever, is looking like a SUPER good read.
After the Harlequin booth signing, most of us headed right over to Wendy Walker’s book signing for Emma in the Night and then Suzy got the news about a Jane Green picnic lunch! We agreed to meet back up for that and I headed over to Taylor Jenkins Reid signing with Alison. While standing in line, my mom was texting me about my niece, Miss A, wanting to know where was I so I sent her a quick video and said I would see her tomorrow. In TJR’s line, it moved fast and I was finally able to tell TJR that I owed her an apology- because I had not been sure that The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo would be for me ( I thought after One True Loves I totes knew TJR’s writing style) BUT how Evelyn Hugo was TOTALLY my kind of book and I basically could not stop telling everyone to READ IT.
Then me and Suzy met up and walked over to Jane Green’s picnic lunch. It was GREAT. She had these lunches packed for us, in super cute bags and we stayed around for a bit- talking with Jane and her publicists- I got to see Craig (aka BookHopper) and then Suzy and I went back to Javits, ate lunch (SO good) and headed to see Liz and Lisa before going to Speed Dating. I see Kaira again on the way to Speed Dating and we snap a pic!
Speed Dating time. Rhiannon, Alison, Kristin and Suzy all attended as well, but none of us sat together. My table was…. different. Heavy on literary fiction/translated books and the librarians that were there early had snagged the few copies of a couple of books I was curious about. So… I only wound up getting 1 book. It was still a good event, but when they asked us to reply 3 books that we heard about that we wanted to read, I could only think of 2. I also think that in the power point presentation of books they print for us- maybe they could include the names/emails of the publicists that are presenting each book- we don’t get to meet everyone and many times the publicist has run out of cards and when they tell us their email verbally, I sometimes miss part of it due to the noise in the room. Just a suggestion, though.
After that was over, we went to see Elin Hilderbrand and then started saying good byes to people who would not be heading to hotel with us. Also shipping books! This is the first year that I did not ship my books (I only got around 26- normally I get 50-60) so I thought I could get them all in my luggage. I did and my carry on bag (but I’m totally shipping next time. It’s just NOT worth the hassle of carrying books home on plane, having TSA check your bag, etc).
For supper, we ate at another Italian place that was near the first we ate at earlier in the week. Pizza was the plan- until we found out they did not do pizza at night. So, we all went back to pasta- for me, it was ravioli. Then we did a walk to Junior’s Cheesecake and then headed on to Times Square.
After that, it was back to Rhiannon and Alison’s room where we watched Booktuber videos and ate cheesecake. Then we had to say good-bye because I was leaving on an early flight, Kristin’s husband was picking her up and Alison and Rhiannon were not leaving till late in the day.
All in all it was a fun time and I’m really glad I went. I was glad to see Kristin and Rhiannon again, to meet Alison and Suzy, to talk with Donna and Reeca!
This is probably what you are interested in the most. It’s smaller pile than why I normally get (I usually come home with 50-60 books) BUT quantity over quality is good and all that jazz 🙂 And I’m very excited about at least half of this stack!
* Any suggestions on which book to read next?*
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T