BEA14 Recap

June 3, 2014

Let us rejoice, fair readers, for I have returned triumphant. Book Expo America — the one day of it that I could attend — was a success!

I arrived in New York Friday night after quite a few wrong turns and extra bridges (my GPS and I had a disagreement — she really wanted me to go to Staten Island) to my friend’s lovely and welcoming apartment. After some food and conversation it was off to bed and a few hours later we were up, grabbing bagels (oh, how I miss NY bagels) and heading to the Javits Center.

I checked in and got my badge and we waited in line until the exhibition floor opened at 9. Then it was GoGoGo until the show closed in the afternoon.

Unlike in previous years, the Power Readers (or Book Con-ers, this year) were segregated to one section of the floor. While this made certain parts blissfully open, the other section, where much of the action was happening, was horrifically crowded and claustrophobic.

Even with all the extra people, I got tons of books.

I’d like to think I was more discerning this year, and perhaps I was, but all the same, I am already out of bookshelf space. There are just so many books and they all look so good! So yeah, this should prove interesting.

Now, I know you actually care very little about my experience at the expo. You just want to know what books I got. So, without further ado, I present my BEA14 Book Haul:

The BEA14 Book Haul Pile

The BEA14 Book Haul Pile

The Tastemakers: Why we’re for cupcakes but fed up with fondue by David Sax
The Happiest People in the World by Brock Clarke
Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev
How Star Wars Conquered the Universe by Chris Taylor
Birth of a Bridge by Maylis de Kerangal, translated by Jessica Moore
Zac & Mia by A. J. Betts
The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister
Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole
Jacob T. Marley by R. William Bennett
On Immunity: An inoculation by Eula Biss
Juliet’s Nurse by Lois Leveen
The Black Butterfly by Shirley Reva Vernick
Laura Ingalls Wilder: A writer’s life by Pamela Smith Hill
Pioneer Girl edited by Pamela Smith Hill
Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival by Jennifer Chiaverini
My Real Children by Jo Walton
All Roads Lead to Jerusalem by Jenny Jones
City of Lies: Love, sex, death, and the search for truth in Tehran by Ramita Navai
The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy
The Dogs Were Rescued (and So Was I) by Teresa J. Rhyne
Empire’s Crossroads: A history of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day by Carrie Gibson
Alice + Freda Forever: A murder in Memphis by Alexis Coe
Madame Picasso by Anne Girard
Straight White Male by John Niven
Let’s Get Lost [excerpt] by Adi Alsaid
Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf
Misdiagnosed: One woman’s tour of and escape from healthcareland  by Jody Berger
Good Chinese Wife by Susan Blumberg-Kason
The Last Breath by Kimberly Belle
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Stars of the World Cup
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Fridays at Enrico’s by Don Carpenter, finished by Jonathan Lethem
Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican
Rebel Souls: Walt Whitman and America’s first bohemians by Justin Martin
If Only You People Could Follow Directions by Jessica Hendry Nelson
The Girl Who Never Was by Skylar Dorset
Turkish Coffee Culture
A Millennium of Turkish Literature
The Aegean Mythology
Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles M. Blow
Rainey Royal by Dylan Landis
Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle
Drawing Amanda by Stephanie Feuer
Turkish Coffee by M. Sabri Koz and Kemalettin Kuzucu
The Geek’s Guide to Dating by Eric Smith
Jackaby by William Ritter
The Black Hour by Lori Radder-Day
Neverhome by Laird Hunt
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Liberty’s Torch by Elizabeth Mitchell
Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis
The Jewel by Amy Ewing
10:04 by Ben Lerner
We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas
The American Plate: A history of the United States in 100 bites by Libby H. O’Connell

Hi book fans! Fun fact: I am perpetually behind the times. Even, it seems, in my own life. As an example, I present you with the fact that the 100th post of Witless Witticisms  was… five posts ago. Oops. Well, we shall celebrate now and pretend like we planned it this way.

I think I’m going to try to make this blog more visually appealing. I’ll add photos of books I’m reading. Maybe shots of lines I like? I haven’t worked out all the kinks yet, but I think it’ll be a fun adventure.

So here’s the first photo of a recent book haul from the Philadelphia Free Library.


You’ll get reviews eventually.

I think I’m going to try to make the book haul photos a regular thing. They’ll appear on my instagram (which will then push to my twitter and tumblr). Clearly you should follow me on all these other social media things to make sure you don’t miss anything. I’m Poindextrix on everything because you’ve got to stay true to your brand (or I’m lazy, but let’s go with the brand thing).

But really, you should follow me on instagram to see lots of pictures of my cat and follow me on twitter to see retweets of library-related stuff. I don’t actually understand tumblr, I’m just pretending.

Anyway, this was my celebratory 105th post/shameless plug to get more followers on social media/trying to add more visual appeal to the blog.

Reviews will recommence forthwith!


The Rowling Ruckus

July 26, 2013

So by now I’m sure you’ve heard all about the not-so-new J.K. Rowling book.

If not, let me bring you up to speed:

Back in April, J.K. Rowling quietly published The Cuckoo’s Calling, an old-school detective novel under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. It got pretty good reviews and sold reasonably well for a book by an unknown author. Then, somehow Rowling’s identity as Galbraith (or Galbraith’s identity as Rowling?) got out.

With enough distance, it appears the leak originated from the law firm representing Rowling, but at the time there was talk of super-observant (or dedicated) individuals noticing that Rowling and Galbraith shared an editor and publishing company and subsequently uncovering similarities in the writing styles present in The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Casual Vacancy. In any case, once Rowling was outed, she confirmed that she had, indeed, written the book as Galbraith.

Some have suggested that it was a marketing ploy, pointing to skyrocketing sales after the leak of Rowling’s role as author, but I really think that’s unlikely. Of course the sales soared; that’s to be expected, but it’s not like she needs the money.

J.K. Rowling is a billionaire (the first to become one through writing, I might add — this according to something I read on the internet that may or may not be reputable and I can’t remember where I saw it in order to check my sources. Let’s all agree that I’m a terrible academic/information professional and move on, shall we?).

Rowling has stated that she wrote The Cuckoo’s Calling under a pseudonym because she wanted to write without the pressure of other expectations. Thinking back to the hype leading up to the release of The Casual Vacancy, I can certainly understand that desire and I kind of wish that she’d been able to keep up the pseudonym a bit longer (both for her sake and because it would be so much more explosive when she revealed herself down the line). I find it interesting that her chosen pseudonym is male. I’m sure there is plenty that could be read into that, especially given her history (she was advised to use initials so that readers would not be put off by a book with a male protagonist written by a female author).

Anyway, I, like everyone else, heard about this book and immediately looked up the blurb. And, well, it looks really good. So I requested it from my public library branch… Along with what feels like half of New York. I am currently number 322 on the hold list for 26 copies. I don’t totally know how collection development works in public libraries of NYPL’s size, but it’s possible that they may acquire more copies since the book is in such high demand.

All of this hullabaloo also reminded me that I haven’t actually gotten around to reading The Casual Vacancy. Interestingly, I was able to get that from NYPL immediately. There’s probably a backed up hold list now, so I’ll need to read it before my loan period is up, but I felt a nice little surge of victory in beating that particular rush. So I’ll be reading and reviewing that in the (somewhat) near future.

I’ve also got a few other galleys and library books going, so stay tuned for a few other reviews.

BEA Recap

June 6, 2013

Hello again, fair readers!

If any of you were in New York last week you may have noticed quite a commotion as hordes of people made the pilgrimage from Penn Station to the Javits Center everyday for Book Expo America — the largest publishing event in North America.

I was one of those people.

This was my first BEA and it was quite the experience. Thankfully, I was able to go around with two people, both of them hardened BEA veterans, who were able to show me the ropes. It was also great because we got to know each other’s reading preferences, so if we saw a book that wasn’t quite in our realm, but would be perfect for someone else, we passed it along.

BEA was really fantastic. I made a lot of great connections (I told myself I would pass out as many of my cards as I could and I think I did pretty well with that) both for the blog and in the librarian world.

I saw Neil Gaiman speak and met/got autographs from Billy Collins, Holly Black, David Levithan, and a few other authors. Needless to say, there were a few fangirl moments (point of interest, there’s a book I’m excited about called Fangirl). Even when I wasn’t all in a tizzy about an author, BEA was my first big conference/event experience and it was a lot to take in. It was overstimulating and exhausting and I can’t wait to do it again.

So what does this mean for the blog? I have a ton of ARCs (and grooves on my shoulders from carrying them home) and I’ve signed up for NetGalley, so assuming I keep up with my reading (no promises though. I am in grad school after all) I’ll be posting reviews of books before or shortly after they’re released. That means you can add books to your presumably never-ending TBR lists and piles before they even hit the shelves. Plan your library requests and book budgets accordingly.

I was going to add an inventory of books I got at BEA. I haven’t decided if I still want to do that. It would probably be smart for my own records, but I don’t know if I’ll end up publishing it unless you guys are really interested. I’ve already finished one of the books I got at the Expo, so that review will be up in the near future.

Coming Up

December 19, 2012

I’ve been MIA for a while, but I just finished my first semester of grad school (!!!) and now I have a whole month to catch up on reading and reviewing. Get excited.

I finished A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords and I’m halfway through A Feast for Crows now. I’m bummed that A Dance with Dragons isn’t out in paperback yet. It won’t match my other books…

Reviews for 11/22/63 and The Perks of Being a Wallflower will happen eventually. There are probably others as well.

I will have a very bookish break and I’m excited. Cleaning my apartment, laundry, and reading are the only things on my to do list at this point. It is glorious.

I’ve made myself a list of books to read before break is over. We’ll have to see how many I get through, but it should be good.

More updates to come!

I’m not dead (yet)

October 16, 2012

My dearest readers, I have not forsaken you! I’m still here. I’ve just been drowning under a tidal wave of schoolwork and — for reasons that I’ll go into when I have more time — I’m looking for a new apartment. New York real estate is insane and makes me question my will to live, but I think my search might soon be over, so keep your fingers and toes crossed for me.

My program doesn’t have midterms, but I am in the midst of a bunch of projects, all of which seem to be due now or in the very near future, so working on those has taken up much of my time.

I am still reading though! And you will (eventually) have reviews. I finished In One Person and am reading 11/22/63 right now.

Once I move and get settled and clean you might even get pictures of my new place!

I have some planned posts that are in various stages, so they might appear at some point as well. In short: I haven’t forgotten about you, I’ve just been busy.

I’d say follow me on Twitter, but I’m often too busy even for that (though you should follow me —shamelessplug shamelessplug), so in order to truly get the effect you’d probably just have to stalk me for a day and see how much time I spend on the train/doing schoolwork… I probably wouldn’t be that interesting of a stalkee (yes, that’s a word now, I just made it up).