Thursday, May 08, 2014

Historical fiction picks at BEA 2014

Here's my annual post on the historical fiction picks at BookExpo America (BEA). Unlike last year, when I stayed home and regretted it, I’ll be heading to Manhattan at the end of May to meet up with other book enthusiasts, reacquaint myself with some favorite ethnic restaurants, and make my pilgrimage to the Strand.

The original list of picks was based on BEA's list of autographing sessions, Publishers Weekly's "Galleys to Grab" focus (with a special thanks to my library for their institutional subscription), and publishers’ own BEA announcements. It's been updated with details from Library Journal's BEA galley and signing guide, NetGalley announcements, and even more details from authors and publishers.  Updates welcome. This information is correct as far as I’m aware, but please cross-check these dates/times with the BEA site or program book to avoid possible disappointment.

Last updated: Thursday, 5/22. New entries will be added regularly up until the show date, so please keep checking back!  Look for ~new~ within this post later on to find recent additions.

~Galleys to Grab~

Algonquin (Booth 839)
Lin Enger, The High Divide - a family's physical and emotional journey in the late 19th-century West.

Europa (Booth TM29 - in the Translation Market, at the far back, right side of the hall)
Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay - third installment in her Neapolitan Novels about the lives of two friends in '50s Italy.

Grove Atlantic (Booth 1321)
Malcolm Brooks, Painted Horses - a female archaeologist in '50s Montana.
Lily King, Euphoria - archaeologists in '30s New Guinea, inspired by the life of Margaret Mead.
Audrey Magee, The Undertaking - a marriage of convenience becomes something more in WWII-era Germany. 

Hachette (Booth 2819)
Laird Hunt, Neverhome - a farmer's wife fights for the Union during the US Civil War.

HarperCollins (Booth 2038)
Jessie Burton, The Miniaturist - love, obsession, art, and the secrets found within an unusual miniature house in 17th-century Amsterdam (giveaway 11am Thurs)
Alix Christie, Gutenberg’s Apprentice - dramatizes the printing of the Gutenberg Bible in 15th-century Germany (giveaway 4pm Thurs)
Katy Simpson Smith, The Story of Land and Sea - set in Revolutionary War-era North Carolina.
~new~ Andrew Taylor, The Scent of Death - thriller set in NY during the American Revolution.  (giveaway 10am Sat)

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Booth 1657)
~new~ Molly Gloss, Falling from Horses - in 1938, a Western ranch hand sets out for Hollywood to become a stunt rider.

Macmillan (Booth 1738) - special giveaway times noted below.
Kate Forsyth, Bitter Greens – Thursday 5/29, 2:30pm - places the fairy tale Rapunzel in the historical context of Renaissance Italy and interweaves it with the story of Charlotte-Rose de la Force, an early teller of the tale.  [read my interview with Kate, based on the Australian edition]
Jo Walton, My Real Children – Friday 5/30, 10:30am - two different versions of modern history; speculative and historical fiction, both.
Ashley Weaver, Murder at the Brightwell – Friday 5/20, 2pm; also Saturday 5/31, 11:30am.  Historical mystery set in the '30s.

Moody Publishers (Booth 2050)
~new~ Tessa Afshar, In the Field of Grace - author will be at booth all day Thursday to meet readers and sign ARCs of her biblical novel, a retelling of the story of Ruth and Naomi.
~new~ Tessa Afshar, Harvest of Rubies - giveaway Saturday @ 10am. Inspirational fiction set in the ancient Persian empire.

Overlook (Booth 1546)
Rosie Thomas, The Illusionists - set amid the inner workings of the late Victorian world of theatrics and magic.  Really enjoyed this one. 

Penguin (Booth 1521)
~new~ Sarah Jio, Goodnight June - multi-period saga/mystery/romance about the strength of family, the value of reading, and the children's books of Margaret Wise Brown.
~new~ Alyson Richman, The Garden of Letters - a novel of love, tragedy, and war set in German-occupied Italy.
Sarah Waters, The Paying Guests - in '20s London, a widow and her spinster daughter take in lodgers who disrupt their lives.
Naomi Wood, Mrs. Hemingway - biographical fiction imagined from the viewpoints of the four very different women who were known by that name.
~new~ Hazel Woods, This Is How I'd Love You - an independent American woman during WWI.

Perseus Books Group (Booth 1406-07)
~new~ Cecilia Ekbäck, Wolf Winter - a dramatic thriller set in Swedish Lapland in 1717.

Random House (Booth 2839) - per Library Journal, all galley giveaways appear to be tied to book-signings.  See below for signing times.
Amy Bloom, Lucky Us - two friends take a road trip across 1940s America.
Jane Smiley, Some Luck - an Iowa farm family's dreams, achievements, and tragedies, from post-WWI through the 1950s.

Simon & Schuster (Booth 2638-39).  No schedule announced; check at the booth.
~new~ Donald McCaig, Ruth's Story: The Story of Mammy from Gone With the Wind.
Matthew Thomas, We Are Not Ourselves - multi-generational saga of an Irish-American family set in the postwar years.

Sourcebooks (Booth 921)
Allegra Jordan, The End of Innocence - a WWI-era love story featuring two Harvard students.
Greer Macallister, The Magician's Lie - in turn-of-the-century Iowa, a female illusionist is accused of her husband's murder.  ~new~  Galley giveaway is Friday 5/30 at 11am.

Turner (Booth 1168)
Gregg Loomis, The Cathar Secret - multi-period religious thriller.
Barbara Wood, Rainbows on the Moon - a missionary's wife in early 19th-century Hawaii.

WW Norton (Booth 1921)

Ann Hood, An Italian Wife - an Italian immigrant arrives in early 20th-century America in an arranged marriage; her decisions and their consequences.

~ Author Signings ~

Thursday 5/29

~new~  9:15am (Booth 2557, Mystery Writers of America)
Elizabeth Wein

10-11am (Booth 3038, Harlequin)
Pam Jenoff, The Winter Guest - love and family strife in WWII-era rural Poland.

10:30am (Booth 2839, Random House)
~new~ Amy Bloom, Lucky Us - see above under Galleys.

11am (Booth 2839, Random House)
~new~ Jane Smiley, Some Luck - see above under Galleys.

11-11:30am (Table 15)
~new~ Stephanie Feldman, The Angel of Losses - debut novel of family secrets, war, and Yiddish myths.

11-11:30am (Booth 2939, Other Press)
Rupert Thomson, Secrecy - a dark novel of love, art, and intrigue in 17th-century Florence.

11:00–12:00 noon (Booth 839, Algonquin)
Lin Enger, The High Divide - See above under Galleys.

~new~ 1:45pm (Booth 2557, Mystery Writers of America)
Lyndsay Faye (The Gods of Gotham, Seven for a Secret) and Susan Elia MacNeal

4-5pm, Table 13
Jo Walton, My Real Children - See above under Galleys.

Friday 5/30

10-11am (Booth 3038, Harlequin)
Anne Girard, Madame Picasso - the great love story between Eva Gouel and Pablo Picasso in early 20th-century Europe. Girard is the pseudonym for historical novelist Diane Haeger.

10-10:30am (Booth 2946, Soho Press)
~new~ James R. Benn, The Rest Is Silence - 9th volume of the Billy Boyle WWII mystery series.

10:30-11am (Table 19)
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train - the bestselling novel about a surprising friendship, set in '30s America and today.

10:30-11am (Booth 1921, WW Norton)
Ann Hood, An Italian Wife - see above under Galleys.

10:45am-11:15am (Booth 2557, Mystery Writers of America)
~new~ James R. Benn, The Rest Is Silence - see above under 10am slot.
~new~ Nancy Bilyeau, The Chalice -16th-century thriller
~new~ Annamaria Alfieri (details on book title TBA)

11-11:30am (Booth 1321, Grove Atlantic)
Malcolm Brooks, Painted Horses - see above under Galleys.

11am-noon (Table 19)
Laird Hunt, Neverhome - see above under Galleys.

~new~ 11am (Booth 839-939, Workman)
Lin Enger, The High Divide - see above under Galleys.

11:30am-noon (Booth 2557, Mystery Writers of America)
~new~ Laura Joh Rowland

12-12:30pm (Table 7)
M.J. Rose, The Collector of Dying Breaths - suspenseful novel of reincarnation, poison and perfume in 16th-century Florence and in the present.

12-1pm (Booth 2917, Hachette)
Susan Jane Gilman, The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street - a Russian immigrant becomes a cunning entrepreneur in early 20th-century New York.

1-2pm (Booth 921, Sourcebooks)
Greer Macallister, The Magician’s Lie - See above under Galleys.

2-2:30pm (Table 8)
Lily King, Euphoria - See above under Galleys.

3:15-3:45pm (Booth 2557, Mystery Writers of America)
~new~ M.J. Rose

Saturday 5/31

~new~ 10am (Booth 2839, Random House)
Alan Furst, Midnight in Europe -
pre-WWII spy thriller.

~new~ 10:30am (Penguin book truck, Crystal Palace foyer area of the Javits)
Alyson Richman, The Garden of Letters - see above under Galleys

10:45-11:15am (Booth 3038, Harlequin)
Anne Girard, Madame Picasso - see in Friday's listings.


  1. Thanks Sarah- you found a few I missed!!!

    1. I'll have to see if you found any I didn't! That BEA grid isn't the easiest thing to navigate.

  2. Oh, thanks for the list.....and there it is....the Sarah Waters. I wish I could go--are they giving review copies of her book away? Sigh. Looks like lots of great new titles to look forward to!

    1. The PW writeup says they're giving away 500 galleys - wow. I hope I can get one. I've enjoyed everything I've read of hers. Especially Fingersmith and The Little Stranger.

    2. My fingers are crossed for you! :) Fingersmith and The Little Stranger are my favorites, too, but I am convinced she cannot write a 'bad' book!

    3. Thanks for the positive wishes! I've read that this one is on the creepy side. Little Stranger had me so on edge that I had to glance around the room a few times after putting the book down!

  3. Fabulous selection to look forward to. Thanks for the list.

    1. I agree - glad you liked the list!

  4. Euphoria is a great one. I loved reading it.

    1. Thanks for the positive report. I've read just the first chapter, as part of the Buzz Books ebook, and would like to read more.

  5. Anonymous11:07 AM

    Does this mean they are giving away Pam Jenoff's next book (and she is signing arcs)? Maybe some of these will be available on Edelweiss after BEA . . .

    1. Yes, she'll be there signing ARCs. There's a giveaway running in Shelf Awareness if you want to grab one now!

    2. Anonymous1:03 PM

      I've already entered, more than one time ;-)

      Sarah Other Librarian

  6. Thanks for adding me, I will be at the Mystery Writers of America booth on Friday, May 30th, 10:45 to 11:15, with The Chalice, which just won the RT Award for Best Historical Mystery. Last year when I signed at the MWA booth I met some really great librarians. Looking forward to doing it again!

    1. Thanks for the added info on your signing, Nancy! Looks like you ended up with an all-historical time slot, which is great. I'm hoping to be there. Congrats on your RT award!