Thursday, April 21, 2011

BBC + BEA = Hip Hip Hooray!

I've known I was going to do this for a while, but knowing you're going to do something and plunking down the money are two different things.  But now it's official.  I have airfare, a hotel reservation (of sorts), and I am officially registered for both the second ever Book Blogger Con (BBC) and BookExpo America (BEA).  Both of which will be held in New York, just about a month from now.

Now, I am a seasoned vet of many a BEA, but I haven't attended in three or four years now.  There are several reasons why.  For starters, the conference has made changes that work less well for me.  It used to travel to different cities:  NY, DC, LA, Chicago.  Now it's held in NY every year--and just a few weeks before another conference I attend (Thrillerfest) which is also annoyingly held in NY every year.  Don't get me wrong--I love NY (for up to 10 days at a time), but I'd prefer my trips be spaced a little further than five or six weeks apart.  Also, BEA used to be held over a weekend.  Now it's mid-week.  Finally, I used to go for the galleys.  Now, as you've seen by Mailbox Monday, I don't have to travel 3,000 miles and spend thousands of dollars to collect a season's worth of galleys.  Now, they just come to me.  So, BEA has been less of a priority.

And truthfully, BEA isn't what's getting me to NY this spring.  The biggest catalyst is this shiny, new Book Blogger Con.  They held the first one last year, and I was intrigued.  I might have gone then, but the con fell smack between April and July NY trips, and not even I could rationalize a third.  But by all accounts, the first Con was a success.  And this year, everything seemed to align.  I could accomplish a massive spring theater trip (I hope to shoehorn in 7-9 Broadway shows!) and both conferences with a week in NY, after which I would spend a week in DC with my family.  There I would celebrate my nephew Joshua's third birthday; visit with either my very, very pregnant sister, and/or meet my new nephew; spend time with my parents; see the girls at Tuesday night stitching; take Sara Leigh out for a belated birthday luncheon; enjoy my hometown, and catch the starry revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies at the Kennedy Center.  Whew!

In case you're wondering, yes, my life does exhaust me.

In addition to my general BEA attendance, I also sprung for the two adult author (as opposed to children's author) breakfasts.  (Sleep?  Who needs it!)  I've heard some amazing speakers at these breakfasts over the years: John Irving, Stephen Colbert, Barak Obama, John Updike, Umberto Ecco, Amy Sedaris, Ken Burns, Lisa See, Khaled Hosseini, Alice Seybold--the list goes on and on.  The line-ups this year are no exception.  Here are the two events:

8:00AM – 9:30AM WEDNESDAY BOOK & AUTHOR BREAKFAST (Special Events Hall)

Wednesday morning will feature Diane Keaton, author of Then Again (Random House); Jefferey Eugenides, author of The Marriage Plot (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); and Charlaine Harris, author of Dead Reckoning (Ace/Penguin Group USA). Mindy Kaling, author of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) (Crown Archetype) will be the Master of Ceremonies.

THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2011

8:00AM – 9:30AM THURSDAY BOOK & AUTHOR BREAKFAST (Special Events Hall)

Thursday morning will feature Roger Ebert, author of Life Itself: A Memoir (Grand Central); Anne Enright, author of The Forgotten Waltz (W.W. Norton); and Erik Larson, author of In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin (Crown Publishers). Jim Lehrer, author of Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to McCain-Obama (Random House) will be the Master of Ceremonies.
How awesome is that!?!  I'm most excited about Jefferey Eugenides!  I'll be writing more about both of these conferences in weeks to come.  Truthfully, I haven't missed BEA that much, but now that I'm returning, I'm really excited!  Oh, and of course I'll blog from NY, as time allows.  For now, this is what I really want to know:  Is anyone else attending either of these events?  Please let me know in the comments!  (Vulgar expressions of jealousy are welcome as well.)


  1. I most certainly am jealous. It's a goal of mine to be there either next year or the year after -- and hopefully get the trip paid by my job. *I hope I hope I hope*

    Hope you have fun!

  2. Oh yes, this looks like it's going to be great! I wish you a brilliant time in New York, Susan.

    I will have to follow it all from a distance, at the ArmchairBEA - yes, there is such a thing for those of us who can't make it to NY.