11-ish Things I Learned at BEA 2011

In no particularly order –

  • The HarperCollins team is just as awesome in real life as they are in emails & on twitter. They publish great books AND they throw a hell of a party.  What more can you ask for?
  • Have you seen the vlog, Books Are My Boyfriends? If not, you need to!  Kit is exactly like that in real life. Super friendly, super upbeat and a lot of fun to be around.
  • Margaret Atwood’s agent, a  sweet woman who has worked with Ms. Atwood for decades, calls her “Peggy”.
  • If you get a tattoo of the Two Dollar Radio logo – which is a nifty, retro line drawing of a radio – they give you their entire collection of books for free. F-R-E-E. That’s their entire backlist, plus all the new books they publish as long as the company is in business. But you need to provide proof. Two Dollar Radio, you’ll be hearing from me soon…
  • Greg Olear, author of Totally KillerFather-Mucker (coming out in October) and Senior Editor at The Nervous Breakdown is almost as obsessed with Stephen Colbert as I am. He may disagree. We’ll be arm wrestling BEA 2012 to determine who loves Stephen more. That is, unless one of us can produce an actual restraining order with both Stephen and your name on it (might as well clarify the rules up front) before then.
  • Chuck Palahniuk may be the nicest person on the planet. Seriously. He signed 175 galleys of his new book (as reported by @andrewtshaffer), all personalized, had something nice to say to everyone, never stopped smiling AND posed for pictures. Don’t think that makes him nice?  Imagine how many times he probably had to listen to “The first rule of BEA…”

    "I'm so glad you loved CHOKE.... here, have a seed packet"
  • Speaking of lines. When Random House organizes a line, they ORGANIZE a line. And nobody f#@!$ with the Random House line…. *low and menacing voice*no-body.
  • You need to be following Kim from Sophisticated Dorkiness & Anastasia from Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.  They’re amazing.  Kim is my go-to girl for Non-Fiction. Anastasia is a YA guru.
  • Less than 400 translations are published yearly in the U.S., including technical manuals. That’s right, the instructions for your cell phone and the pictograph telling you how to put together your IKEA LACK table are part of that number.
  • Romance authors get slightly offended when you tell them you don’t review romances, particularly if you mention your blog is named BookSexy Review.
  •  Levi Asher & I cornered Evil Wylie  (O.K., so he didn’t look all that cornered. In fact he looked quite comfortable, smiling and with a drink in hand. He even gave me a button.) and questioned him on why Simone de Beauvoir & Jean Paul Sartre made it into Andrew Shaffer’s new book on Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love. He makes a strong and convincing case on why they belong there, despite what those French Canadians say.
  • Levi Asher is now publishing the equivalent to small chapbooks on the Amazon Kindle. I just bought Why Ayn Rand is Wrong (& Why It Matters). His blog Literary Kicks is probably the oldest literary blog in the country and Levi is my personal blogger icon. If you are looking for a smart discussion of literature & philosophy (& who isn’t?) Litkicks is the place to be.
  • Did you hear about my amazing reunion with Lori from The Next Best Book Blog… all thanks to Book Expo 2011 & Random House?  That’s right, they’re not just “Bringing you the best in fiction, nonfiction & children’s books”... they’re bringing people together. (Hallmark, watch out!)
  • Rachel from A Home Between Pages and I had an incredibly awkward introduction/conversation at that same Random House party. But she eventually forgave me (I think).  In person, she is the Goddess of Snarkiness.  I will be following her like our parents followed The Grateful Dead.
  • The entire population of Iceland is now writing thrillers. Fortunately the entire population consists of only 318,452 people.
  • And, finally, I have seen the shy & elusive Reading Ape
from left to right: Books Are My Boyfriends, the fabulous Margaret Atwood & her lovely agent, The Next Best Book Blog (& Club, for you Goodreads fans), and BookSexy Review

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13 thoughts on “11-ish Things I Learned at BEA 2011

  1. Hey, I LOVE this recap of things you’ve learned at BEA. I Lol’d quite a few times (it helps that we have shared most of these memories together!). DO we really have to wait over a year for the next BEA??????


  2. Ha, I like being called a guru! You’re amazing as well, Tara. ♥

    Other stuff: there’s only 400 translations being published in the US?! Including CELL PHONE MANUALS? What? No wonder I had such a hard time tracking down translated YA books last summer!

    That Two Dollar Radio is pretty nifty! And it’s not even a fugly design– plus you’d get free books! Really, really tempted here…


  3. I love your list of things you learned! I noticed The Reading Ape when he asked a question in my panel at BBC… and then couldn’t find him again! (I looked, I swear!) Also, all it takes is a tattoo to get ALL of their books for LIFE?! Can more publishers do this? I would totally do this if they had more non-fiction 😉


    1. Anastasia – I know, crazy right? I hadn’t realized you were looking for YA International fiction last year… what did you find? I actually have two recommendations. One is Walter Moers (I did a review of one of his books if you look in my archives), who is a German author. Very much fantasy – but in a totally different way. Don’t let all the animals fool you, either. They aren’t kids books.

      The other author, who I haven’t read yet, is Alan Snow’s The Ratbridge Chronicles. I don’t know that much about the book as I haven’t read it yet, but it’s in my To Read pile. He’s British.

      Thanks for stopping by!


      1. I mostly just found light novels from Japan– the sorts of things you’d read on a train while commuting to work? They’re not great but they’re usually entertaining. And also a couple of German novels, one which really sucked (Magic Moon) and another which was fantastic (Mimus). Oh, and Cornelia Funke’s books, of course (she’s German, too).

        I actually did discover a cache of Australian/British books in my university’s library back then, which was fun (I love the slang!). It’s not QUITE the same as books from non-English speaking countries, though, which is what I was really after.


    2. Amy –
      I missed your panel!!!!??? I can’t believe I let that happen.

      The Reading Ape was a really nice, laid back kinda’ guy. It was really nice meeting him.

      I know, that tattoo idea is tempting. Lori from @TNBBC & I have tentative plans to get ours together.

      Thanks for commenting!


    1. I’m not sure … I don’t recall seeing you at the Random House tea. But you may have heard me mention it afterwards … for some reason I couldn’t stop laughing about it.


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