Hello again! If you’ve been reading my other BookExpo recaps, then you know all about what I did pre-show as well as on Day 1 and Day 2. Day 3 (Friday) was our final day at the expo, since we opted not to stay through the weekend for BookCon.
Day 3 began early at 8 with the Children’s Book & Author Breakfast. (I didn’t take any pics during this panel since my pics from the adult breakfast didn’t turn out great and we were seated in the same area for the children’s breakfast.)
The panel was moderated by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. Guthrie was also promoting the children’s book that she has co-authored, titled Princesses Wear Pants.
First up to speak was author Jennifer Weiner, who typically writes for adults but was there to promote her latest middle grade title, Little Bigfoot, Big City. As with Whitney Cummings at the previous morning’s breakfast, I found Weiner’s sense of humor a bit much for the 8 AM crowd at a children’s book breakfast. She literally cracked a joke about blowjobs. Cue awkward laughter from the audience. However, I did appreciate Weiner’s shoutout to libraries and librarians.
Next up was Marieke Nijkamp, author of the young adult novel Before I Let Go. I found Nijkamp’s talk fascinating since it was not only about the book, but also about Nijkamp’s experiences as someone who identifies as both queer and disabled, and how it was important to write from an own voices perspective.
The next speaker was Jason Reynolds, author of young adult novels Ghost, Long Way Down, and Miles Morales (all titles that I left the event with). Reynolds is an engaging speaker. I was struck by the vibrant imagery he portrayed of childhood visits to Sugar Hill and the pecan tree that he sat under often, as well as how that tree was metaphorical for storytelling.
The final speaker for the morning was actress Isla Fisher, who was there to promote her children’s book, Marge in Charge. I don’t follow her as an actress, but I found her quite charming and enjoyed her contribution to the panel.
After this, my coworker Stevie and I popped into the Librarians Book Buzz panel. As the name suggests, it was targeted toward librarians and featured buzzworthy titles from various publishers. The slideshow went a bit wonky for a bit, so we decided to leave early. Luckily, they had given us plenty of handouts to refer to, so I still felt that the session was useful to me.
Throughout the day, I spotted many authors on the show floor.
Author Celeste Ng
Actor/Author Chad Michael Murray
Author James Patterson
At this point, I wandered around the show floor again in anticipation of the Chris Jericho signing at 11 AM. A little backstory, in case you’re not familiar: Chris Jericho is a WWE wrestler and frontman for the band Fozzy. He was at the expo to promote his book, No Is a Four-Letter Word. My boyfriend Michael is a fan, so when I found out that Jericho would be at BookExpo, I told Michael I’d get a signed copy of the book for him.
I got in line a little before 11, after a visit to the information desk since I couldn’t find the Da Capo booth. (Shoutout to the helpful BookExpo staff member who pointed me in the right direction!) The signing was in a corner booth, but we were queued up in such a way that we were around the corner and along the wall. So, we couldn’t see into the booth from where we were standing. As we got closer, I asked the girl in front of me if she could see Jericho. She pointed discreetly and said, “He’s right there!” So I scooted a little closer and peeked around the corner. He was chatting with a guy at the time, so I snuck some pics like a proper creeper.
I was impressed that Jericho took the time to chat with everyone in line, rather than just sign and hustle us through the booth quickly.
When I got up to the booth, I had no clue what to say, so I just went up and said, “Hi, Chris!” He was very polite and asked what my name was, as he opened a book and prepared to sign. I said, “Well, I’m Tiffany, but this is for my boyfriend, Michael.”
“Ok, Michael…” He wrote “To Michael” in the book.
I continued, “He’s a big fan of your wrestling and your music, so I told him—no, I promised him—that I would get your book signed for him, soooo if you want to write down that I’m the best girlfriend ever, that would be awesome.” OMG what a dork kill me now.
But because Chris Jericho is clearly awesome—he did! He totally wrote the thing I asked him to write.
He was such a good sport and super nice in person. I asked if I could take a pic with him and he was very gracious.
After this, Stevie and I decided to have an early lunch since we had a lot on our schedules for the afternoon. I was adamant about avoiding the awfully long wait for lunch from the previous day, so we stayed at the Javits and ate in the food court (which was expensive, as others had warned me, but it saved us time and the gyro I had was pretty good, so).
After we ate, I looked at my watch and it was 11:50 AM—crap, I almost forgot that I wanted to attend the signing with romance author Christi Caldwell, which was about to end at noon! Noooo! I ran (okay, walked briskly with a full stomach) from the food court back to the show floor and all the way to the autographing area in the back. I made it with five minutes to spare. Like a boss.
I apologized to her for being out of breath and explained that I had just booked it from the food court and almost missed her! She laughed at my phrasing (booked it, get it?), was so sweet, and said she was glad that I made it. I’m looking forward to reading her historical romance.
I was determined not to miss the 12:30 galley drop at HarperCollins because I really wanted to get a copy of Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai. When I got to the booth around 12:15, I was surprised to see that there was already a line. As I made my way to the end of the line, someone called out my name. I knew it wasn’t Stevie’s voice, so I glanced around, trying to figure out who was calling me. It was Frannie, aka @NBPLRomance! We had missed each other Tuesday night at The Strand, so it was great to meet her in person. I also met Katie, aka @younglibrarian, who was with her. They were in line for the galley drop, so after chatting with Frannie for a bit, I headed to the end of the line. Success! I scored a copy of Alisha Rai’s book, along with a few other galleys that looked interesting.
I sat in on a children’s panel that Stevie attended, Indie Insight with Children’s Books, which was a quick (half hour) but interesting talk about several indie titles.
The day was starting to wear on us after that and I actually changed my mind about attending two of the afternoon panels. But I decided to attend the 2 PM autographing session with romance author Sarah MacLean, who had been part of the talk at The Strand earlier in the week.
I got a signed galley of her new book, The Day of the Duchess, for my friend Lennis, who’s a big fan of hers.
I was pretty tired at this point, but also determined to hang in there until 3 PM for the Eloisa James signing. I learned a lot about her when I watched the documentary Love Between the Covers and thought she was amazing. When I saw her at The Strand, I adored her even more. So I really wanted to meet her!
I got in line around 2:45 and an unofficial line had started. I was so excited when Eloisa walked past on her way to set up for the signing. She’s like…a Romancelandia rock star. There were only several people in front of me in line, so I took some pics of her in the meantime.
When I got up to the table, I was a little starstruck. I mentioned that I had attended the talk at The Strand earlier in the week with my friend, who’s not a romance reader. Eloisa was in the middle of signing my book, but at this point she put it down and chatted with me a bit. She asked what I thought of the talk, what my friend thought (especially since she doesn’t read romance), whether we saw the special guest in the audience (Gloria Steinem!), etc. Oh and she said she liked my glasses! *preens* I may have gushed and told Eloisa that she was amazing. She was very gracious and so nice! My signed copy of Seven Minutes in Heaven might be my favorite book from BookExpo, simply because getting to meet her was really special.
After collecting my suitcase from the coat check, we left the Javits not long after that and headed back to the hotel. What a full but exciting day! I was thrilled but super tired, so I hung out at the hotel while Stevie met up with a friend for dinner.
Day 3 galleys—I’m very happy with the books I got. Many of them were on my watchlist, while others were a surprise on the day.
Complete galley haul, days 1-3. Not too shabby for my first BookExpo! I went through and pulled about 10 books out that I didn’t think I’d read anytime soon. I brought those to the library and offered them up to my coworkers. And I’m proud that I planned the crap out of this trip because my suitcase-packed-inside-another-suitcase plan totally worked and I was able to fit all these books in my luggage on the way home, plus several of Stevie’s too, without going over the weight limit! I didn’t have to mail anything home, either! *fistpump*
The totes of BookExpo! Not pictured: two additional totes that I bought from The Strand.
And now, some random pics!
Cool display in the Greenpeace booth.
View from our cab, on the way to the airport.
At LaGuardia, waiting to catch our flight home.
The view from the window seat.
Getting ready to land!
My favorite author interactions:
- “Tote in the wild!” meeting with Grant Ginder, because it made me smile and made me want to read the book more.
- Chris Jericho, because he was a good sport and wrote the best book inscription EVERRR.
- Eloisa James, because OMG she is Eloisa James. Also because she was attentive and just wonderful.
The romance novels I’m most excited about reading:
- Seven Minutes in Heaven by Eloisa James, for the aforementioned reasons.
- Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai, because I’ve been hearing so much buzz about it!
- For Love of the Duke by Christi Caldwell, because she’s a new-to-me author and was super nice in person.
Overall, I had a fantastic time at BookExpo and was grateful to attend. It was quite thrilling seeing so many authors and public figures I admire and even getting the chance to meet some of them. I’m not sure if I’ll get another chance to attend, but I might try to apply again next year, depending on what the speaker lineup looks like.
Hope you’ve enjoyed my recap posts! If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading my ramblings! 🙂