My mom's love of reading is probably the most predominant factor contributing to my complete and utter bookwormdom. She has been a voracious reader since she was a young girl, and she holds degrees in English and book club management. (So I'm inventing a second degree here--but hey, she's deserving of the title if anyone is.) As I've changed my job plans frequently since graduating from college in 2002, it stands to reason that my parents might not be entirely ready to jump in full-force behind these bookstore plans. But now that I've been planning Avid for two years and show no signs of slowing, I think they're beginning to understand that this is it. This is for real. So having my mom at SIBA with me was pretty great--she got to meet some of my real-life and virtual-life friends and got to pick up lots of ARCs (advanced reading copies), which is a thrill for any reader.
Janet, Mary Carol, & Marsha Wood
Robb SorianoAmong the real-life friends I got to reunite with were Marsha Wood and Robb Soriano from Ingram Book Company; Jef Blocker and Jeff McCord from Bound to Be Read Books; Charley Greiner from Baker & Taylor; and Laura and Anne Devault (sisters from Charlottesville, VA whom I met at the Paz & Associates training).
There were several people whom I've emailed or tweeted with whose faces I'd never really seen. I'm happy to report that all were just as nice in person as they seem to be online. These folks included writers Laurel Snyder and Donny Seagraves as well as SIBA gurus Nicki Leone, Elton Porter, and Wanda Jewell. Of course it was lovely to finally meet online book industry folks in person: Rich Rennicks and Caroline Green of Malaprop's, Michael Hill (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Bob Gray (Shelf Awareness), and more.
Robert Jackson Bennett & Rhodi Hawk
Mary Carol, Janet, & author Batt Humphreys
A few weeks before SIBA, I looked through the day-to-day schedule of the show and recognized very few author names. Attending two Book Expo America shows taught me a valuable lesson, though: not having heard of many names on the program is not a bad thing at all. In fact, it's a thrill to walk into a trade show on a Thursday with a program chock full of strangers' names and leave on Saturday having met (and acquired signed books of) many of those authors. Now I'm thrilled to have a staggering new collection of books I can't wait to read. Some books I'm most excited about include those of authors that appeared at two panels I attended: the "Got Us Shaking in our Boots Author Panel" and the "Writing the South" panel. I'm not a big thriller/suspense reader, but when I met the gracious and funny Robert Jackson Bennett at a mixer hosted by Fiction Addiction, I decided to support him by attending the panel he'd be taking part in. And am I glad I did--it turns out I am interested in suspenseful, scary books (at least the ones presented by this collection of authors).
Jenny and her mom, author Donny Seagraves
chef/author Ted Lee and author Laurel Snyder
Mary Carol with Jeff & Jeff of Bound to Be Read Books
Now if only I could freeze time and spend the next couple of months reading the 40+ books I acquired in the last few weeks. Sigh.
What new (or new to you) books are you excited about reading?