Friday, May 29, 2009

BEA report, day 1

I'm here at the official librarians' hotel at BEA in midtown Manhattan, completely exhausted after walking the exhibit hall all morning and then across Central Park and back during the afternoon (Mark and I decided to visit the Met, where I hadn't been since a 9th grade field trip). The day started out not so good, not just because of the crappy weather (50s and rainy) but also because of noise in the hallway in the early morning. I'm assuming that the woman yelling and slamming doors at 4:30am was not a librarian. The weather's cleared up, though, and after a large diet coke in the Ballfield Cafe in Central Park about an hour ago, I'm more awake than I should be.

Here's what I accumulated history- and historical fiction-wise during my exhibit hall wanderings this morning. I'm being very cautious to take only those books which interest me, since I'm hoping to fit everything in our suitcases rather than mail boxes home as usual. (click photo to enlarge)

Leila Meacham's Roses, 2nd from left, is a saga spanning three generations in a small East Texas town during the 20th century, out from Grand Central in January 2010. Next to it, Maureen Lindley's The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel, from Bloomsbury USA in Sept, is based on the real-life story of a Chinese princess turned spy in the early 20th century. (If you've read Ian Buruma's The China Lover, Eastern Jewel made an appearance there too.)

Robert Hicks's A Separate Country, which I previewed earlier this week, does in fact incorporate a female narrative. It alternates between the viewpoints of several characters, one of whom is Anna Marie Hood, wife of the novel's subject.

This BEA is noticeably scaled down from the usual show. There are fewer exhibitors (some of the publishers I work with for the HNS aren't here) and fewer galleys. Normally I'd be sending a 40-lb box home every day of the show, full of historical fiction and history titles for fall and winter, but today I picked up all of eight books, along with some duplicates to send out for review for Nov's Historical Novels Review. The only autographing sessions I attended were for Sarah Dunant's Sacred Hearts, at the Random House booth, and Diana Gabaldon's upcoming An Echo in the Bone (preview booklet, not the full galley). I debated waiting in line for the Dracula sequel in the main autographing section downstairs, but the line was hellacious long.

Tomorrow my plan is to take my time and speak with publishers more; I was too tired and dizzy from lack of sleep this morning to feel sufficiently coherent. There are a number of program sessions for librarians tomorrow as well, plus the blogger session at 2pm, which I hope to attend.


  1. Those look like some good books - wish I was there!

  2. Thank you so much for writing a post while being busy at the BEA. It seems like a lot of fun. And those books look really interesting. Enjoy day 2!

  3. Lots of good books there! Have fun!

  4. OMG ALL those books are awesome!! I hope I get the Dunant one, I had requested it previously but it hasn't shown up so now I wonder. :(

    I am not sure if I want to see any more pics of the books you may still get.. I'll be green with envy!!

  5. I'm just glad I have my choice of books to read on the plane trip home! Especially if we get stuck in the airport like we did on the trip over.

    Just two more books on Saturday so far... though I'm planning on a trip to the Strand tonight.

    Hope you get the Dunant book, Marie!

  6. Thanks, Sarah, for taking the time to keep us informed. I've also watched parts of it on Books TV but haven't seen any familiar faces yet. I'm looking forward to the Dunant one, and the others.

  7. I'm psyched about the Dunant book. It looks really interesting!

  8. I'm reading the Dunant now and it's very good. I wish I'd brought it with me to work tonight, actually, business is very slow!