BookExpo 2019: The Books

This is a post tracking the books I got each day at BEA and what happened to them because such things interest me. You can also read my more eventful BEA recap in a separate post.

Not shown here: I work in a library and have a lot of blogger friends so I got some books knowing they’d immediately be passed on.

  • Green = Books I read and plan to keep
  • Blue = Books I read and then passed on
  • Red = Books I gave away without reading

Day One

  1. Moonstruck by Grace Ellis & Shae Beagle
  2. The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry, Terry Fan, Eric Fan
  3. Deadly Class: Reagan Youth by Rick Remender, Wes Craig
  4. Take The Mic edited by Bethany C. Morrow
  5. MoonCakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu
  6. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
  7. Guts by Raina Telgemeier
  8. Caster by Elsie Chapman
  9. Scavenge The Stars by Tara Sim
  10. The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill
  11. Far From Agrabah by Aisha Saeed
  12. Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor

And samplers of: Rebel by by Marie Lu; Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks; Practically Ever After by Isabel Bandeira, Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Steifvater

Day Two

  1. Spencer’s New Pet by Jessie Sima
  2. Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai
  3. The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake
  4. The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert
  5. Frankly in Love by David Yoon
  6. The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
  7. Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass by Lilah Sturges, et al
  8. Pandora’s Legacy by Kara Leopard, Kelly Matthews, Nichole Matthews
  9. Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson
  10. The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner
  11. Stargazing by Jen Wang
  12. Making Friends: Back to the Drawing Board by Kristen Gudsnuk
  13. I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Rishi
  14. The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Davis
  15. No Ivy League by Hazel Newlevant
  16. The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper
  17. The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord
  18. Permanent Record by Mary H. K. Choi

Day Three

  1. Angel Mage by Garth Nix
  2. 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston
  3. Stormrise by Jillian Boehme
  4. Sparrow by Mary Cecelia Jackson
  5. The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen
  6. A Thousand Fires by Shannon Price
  7. Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson
  8. Symptoms of a Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra
  9. The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring
  10. There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

And samplers of: Rebel by Marie Lu, Supernova by Marissa Meyer, and a very special exclusive in a manila folder.

Read and Keeping:

Read and Passing On:

Giving Away Unread:


  • Total books: 40
  • Read and Keep:
  • Read and Give Away:
  • Give Away Unread:

BookExpo 2019: The Recap

Here is my very belated recap of BookExpo 2019. I was lucky enough to be involved with the YA Editors’ Buzz Panel again this year as part of the selection committee that chose the five featured titles and was approved for press registration again this year.

The show’s format was a little different with the exhibit floor open for three days and signings, panels, and other events happening on all three days.

Let me say up front that I got to see so many friends this year. I have never felt so popular or had so much fun at a convention. As usual, Nicole and I were BookExpo buddies and as is becoming tradition we had quite the adventure figuring out how to pick up our press badges.

Wednesday was very low key with a later start. It was a good way to ease into the convention, figure out registration, find friends, and explore the show floor.Also there was a giant Christmas tree for The Crayons’ Christmas by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers. Please enjoy this preview of my new Christmas card:

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BookExpo 2018 Recap Day Two: Books, Pics, and Everything I Did

You can also check out my full recap of day one!

Day Two

On day two, Nicole and I thought we could plan to leave later than the day before since were already registered. But then I panicked and we wound up leaving early still which was a good call because it was raining and took a while to get a cab to the Javits Center. Then when we arrived we found our usual coat check was full and had to detour to a different floor to drop off our bags. But of course we still had time to mill around waiting for the show floor to open.

Look at this fun banner that was there for Kevin Henkes upcoming picture book:

Look elephants! banner at BookExpo 2018I also was able to take a start-of-day selfie with a new dress that I’m obsessed with.

(I also posted this selfie to Twitter with the tag which was a little embarrassing later when I was waiting on a line and people saw it as one of the latest tweets in the BookExpo hashtag. Oops!)

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BookExpo 2018 Recap Day One: Books, Pics, and Everything I Did

This year Nicole and I were both approved to attend BookExpo as Press and I have to admit it felt like order was restored. I decided to keep things simple this year and had very few big priorities. With the event being two days (without any added things) it was also lower key that it had been in a while.

Day One

Nicole and I started the day with a very circuitous hunt for registration to pick up our badges (this also included both of us accidentally ending up in the International Franchise Expo registration line but we quickly realized our mistake).

With badges in hand, it was time to do some waiting for the show floor to open.

I started the day with a selfie. As one does.

This was also the debut of my shorter hair cut after a failed attempt to grow it out this winter. I cannot tell you how happy I am to have short hair again!

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BookExpo and SLJ Day of Dialog 2017 Recap: All the books, some of the pics, GIVEAWAYS

BookExpo was held earlier this month. After a bit of waffling, I wound up going again this year with Nicole. I was lucky enough to be involved with selecting the books for the 2017 Young Adult BookExpo Editors’ Buzz Panel and was thrilled to receive a Speaker badge and have the chance to see the panel in person. (I also received a Press badge but only heard about it several hours into the show but that’s another story.)

BookExpo itself was scaled back a lot this year with the event happening across two days instead of three and generally a more laid back feeling.

The day before I got to attend School Library Journal’s Day of Dialog which was a fun day of panels and conversations about upcoming titles and publishing trends. I got to hang out with Stacy, a librarian friend I met through Twitter, listen to publishing pitches about Fall 2017 children’s and YA titles.

SLJ DoD also had amazing keynotes from Gene Luen Yang (talking about being a nerd, finding his people, and his Read Without Walls challenge); Megan Whalen Turner talked about the process behind making the maps for Thick as Thieves and the new paperback reissues of the rest of her series; Kwame Alexander closed the day with a keynote about his upcoming title Solo. The day ended with Roger Sutton and Kwame Alexander announcing the winners of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Prize and I’m still thrilled that Vincent and Theo by Deborah Heiligman took home the non-fiction prize! If you want to see some of my live tweets from the Day of Dialog you can find them on twitter.

While I tried to frame my week-long vacation to have down time before and after BookExpo, it was a lot to head to Javits immediately after Day of Dialog. Still, Nicole and I were ready bright and early.

For the first time I also got the point of free buttons–they look great on badge lanyards!

Day One was pretty chill with Nicole and I catching the YA Editors’ Buzz panel along with a few signings.We also got to meet up with Cecelia and Sajda for a lot of the day but because it’s me, I mostly forgot to take pictures.

I was very happy to catch Gabrielle Zevin who regular readers will know is one of my absolute favorite authors and a generally delightful person.

The afternoon saw signings with Megan Whalen Turner (which OMG still can’t believe it), Lynn Weingarten (I love seeing Lynn at real life events–definitely as fun as talking on Twitter!), and Charlie Jane Anders (who is easily the most enthusiastic author I’ve ever met and loved my Ruth Bader Ginsburg pin).

There was also a fair bit of waiting in lines for some “big” signings.

Jane, Unlimited has become a really important book for me–I’m not totally sure why since I’m not a Graceling superfan but it was very high priority to see her and, happily after a long wait in line, it all worked out! After that and a crazy line for E. Lockhart, Nicole and I decided to call it quits and haul our books and ourselves out of the Javits.

Day two started with exploring the floor and visiting Macmillan’s Grishaverse booth which had a photobooth, buttons, and samplers from Leigh Bardugo’s forthcoming The Language of Thorns.

I am all about these buttons which are matte and colorful and (for mine at least) say Queen and Witch.

Nicole and I also got to take some photos and even got this super cool gif version!

After exploring the floor for a bit, it was time for a crazy line for Marie Lu’s signing of Warcross.

The line was long but fast and I’m excited to dive into this sci-fi adventure soon!

Excitingly Isabel Bandeira was signing Dramatically Ever After in the afternoon. I love talking to Issy on Twitter and so enjoyed her debut Bookishly Ever After and interviewing her about it so it was amazing to get to see her again!

After that most of the afternoon was spent scoping out the kind of intense line for Holly Black’s signing and just wandering around the floor. I was skeptical of the Owlcrate booth but it wound up being really fun with a wheel to win different items, buttons, stickers, and cute tote bags.

I usually don’t do pictures with authors because it takes up time and I generally would prefer to use the time to talk to the authors. BUT I made an exception for Holly Black because, well, it’s Holly.

After that Nicole and I were fried so we headed home to have an early dinner with my mom before heading out for Macmillan’s publicist party.

Macmillan’s Fierce Reads party is an annual thing where bloggers get to mix and mingle, meet Macmillan’s wonderful publicity team, and chat with several authors. I am not the best at cold mingling (I need time to warm up) but I did get to meet Anna-Marie McLemore in person after tweeting her a few times. She is as lovely and mermaid-like in person as you’d expect. It was also great to catch up with Gina Gagliano–the excellent publicist for First Second Books.

My favorite moment of the night was definitely meeting Emmy Laybourne. Berserker already sounded like it was right up my alley but after talking to Emmy I’m even more excited to read it. Nicole and I also got to talk to Kami Garcia for a fair chunk of the party which made me think I have to give The Lovely Reckless a try soon!

Nicole, Cecelia, Sajda and I also finally remembered to take a picture together before the end of the night!

And with that BookExpo 2017 came to an end.

I’ll also leave you with some shots of all of the books I got from BookExpo!

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Pretty stoked about these ARCs and samplers from @fiercereads' BookExpo party! After chatting with Emmy Laybourne about Berserker it is at the top of my to read list. Also included: samplers of Renegades by Marissa Meyer, The Language of Thorns, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi; Moxie by Jen Matthieu; You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins, Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. Also: nail polish for The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia. The tote is so much fun it gets its own picture. I have to research permanent fabric markers and buy some to get it signed by some authors. #bookstagram #goodreads #instabook #instareads #bibliophile #books #reading #currentlyreading #amreading #bookworm #bookish #bookgram #booktography #bookblogging #bookblogger #bookphotography #books #bookexpo2017 #bookexpoamerica #bookexpo #moxiegirlsfightback #wildbeauty #youbringthedistantnear #berserker #renegades #childrenofbloodandbone #thelanguageofthorns #grishaverse #thelovelyreckless

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I’m also sharing the BookExpo wealth with some giveaways!

On Twitter:

On Instagram:


Event Recap and Reflections: Victoria Schwab Signing This Savage Song

Last week I went to Victoria Schwab’s signing on July 7 for This Savage Song at Books of Wonder. This book was the only ARC I asked my BFF Nicole to try to get for me when she went to ALA Midwinter a few months ago. I added the event to my phone calendar almost as soon as it was announced and adjusted my work schedule to be sure I could be there early. I went alone because no friends could accompany me and it was that important for me to be there.

It was a great event. Victoria talked about how the main characters of this book, Kate and August, both explore different sides of anxiety. She mentioned that a theme she returns to often in her stories is an exploration of what it means to not feel comfortable in your own skin. She also explained that August’s voice came to her very early on in the writing process while Kate remained much more reticent–forcing the entire story to shift into third person so that Victoria could tell both characters’ stories throughout the novel. It’s a common pattern in her novels having tough, non-talkative female characters contrasted with more emotive male characters.

During the Q&A, Victoria imagined that her characters Delilah Bard and Victor Vale would be the most interesting ones to see locked in a room together. She guessed that neither of them would talk but that by the time they were released they would have a grudging respect for each other. Victoria discussed how she explores archetypes in many of her books but always strives to create something new (witches in The Near Witch, monsters in her latest novel and so on) and how her degree in the portrayal of monsters factored into her writing This Savage Song. (Spoiler: The way monsters are perceived has everything to do with humans and not always a lot to do with the monsters.)

During the course of her career (eleven books so far) she has realized that every character she writes represents one aspect of herself whether it’s something she strives for (Delilah Bard) or something closer to her reality (Victor Vale or Holland–jokingly). She also talked a bit about organizing her owned books by color and how she isn’t a re-reader which, as someone else who doesn’t re-read, I loved. She explained how her calendar method of tracking progress on various projects helps her to be a consistent writer even if she is not a fast writer. (I adore this idea and use star stickers and a monthly calendar to track my blog and work stuff–working on adding writing back into my routine too.)

I try to attend Victoria’s signings whenever she’s in New York (just about a year ago I was at McNally Jackson buying a red-endpapers copy of A Darker Shade of Magic) and this one obviously didn’t disappoint. At the end of the night I returned my newly signed copies of This Savage Song and A Gathering of Shadows to their spots on my bookshelf.

victoriaschwabbooksAfter staring at my books I started thinking about a lot of things (like how lucky I am to be in New York where so many author events happen). This signing was an interesting full circle moment for me.

Four years ago, in 2012, I worked at Books of Wonder for eight months. It felt like my library degree was a mistake and although I desperately missed librarian work, I had begun to wonder if it was ever going to happen for me as an actual career. Last week, while I waited for my number (61) to be called I considered that point in my life where earning more than minimum wage seemed like a pipe dream compared to now when I just marked my second anniversary as a full-time librarian in June.

Five years ago, in 2011, I discovered Victoria Schwab’s debut novel The Near Witch at a signing at Books of Wonder. I had just started attending book signings as I became more aware of the book community in New York through a combination of blogging, getting review books through Amazon Vine, and being in library school. I was at the signing for a different author but gave myself permission to buy one book. After much agonizing, I picked up The Near Witch. I read the book soon after and reviewed it on here, as I’m wont to do.

A few months later I met Terra McVoy at another signing (at Books of Wonder) and she offered to participate in a blog interview. And honestly, that changed my life. Because of that meeting with Terra, I began reaching out to other authors, including Victoria Schwab to talk about The Near Witch.

The rest is history.

Of course I snapped up The Archived and The Unbound. How could I not when I was a librarian and these books featured a library where the dead rest on shelves like books? Vicious became a point of pride book to get at BEA 2013 and a favorite read that I think still find myself thinking about to this day. And I can’t even tell you how often I’ve been recommending A Darker Shade of Magic (which I was lucky enough to read just before its release thanks to a very generous librarian who saw my tweets asking for ALA attendees who got an ARC to think of me). When I received an ARC of A Gathering of Shadows after requesting it from the publisher, I really felt like I had arrived as a blogger. Then, of course, there’s This Savage Song which might be my favorite Victoria Schwab book to date of the ones I have read.

Victoria talked about her “overnight” success on Tumblr last week. Specifically, about how framing her career that way isn’t the most accurate portrayal. Reading that post, seeing Victoria at a signing and knowing we are solid acquaintances now thanks to Twitter, and admiring my own books on their shelf, I realized what a privilege it is to follow an author  from their beginnings. It’s crazy to think about who I was when I attended that small panel signing where I bought my copy of The Near Witch compared to who I am this month when I was 61st in line for Victoria to sign copies of her eleventh book.

I am so grateful to be where I am and, silly as it is, a bit humbled when I think about how many opportunities I have found and received surrounding Victoria’s books (and so many other books that I  have discovered because I started blogging and going to book signings).

BEA 2016: The Recap

BEA was in Chicago this year and for a very long time, I had no plans of going. I knew the added costs of travel (not to mention room and board) were going to be hard to manage. But as we got closer (still months away, mind) Nicole said that she wanted to go and after talking with my mom I decided I could make it work.

Fast forward through months of selling odds and ends on eBay to fund my flights and room, obsessively checking Chicago weather to figure out what to pack, and lots of other preparations for the trip that I did not expect having not traveled to BEA before (since it’s been in NYC every other year I went) and not traveled in general on this scale in at least ten years.


Nicole and I knew we wanted to get in some sightseeing in Chicago since we’d never been so we booked an early flight on Tuesday (the day before BEA).

Upon arriving in Chicago we took the world’s longest cab ride to our hotel which was a bit dated but still pleasant enough for our trip. It was also swank as hell from the outside.

After checking in at the hotel and stowing our luggage until a room would be ready, we headed to the best breakfast place in the entire world: Yolk. Yolk was conveniently in walking distance to the hotel and became a favorite spot during our short trip.

Because I was an art history minor in college and love museums, I lobbied heavily for a visit to the Art Institute Chicago next.

I made sure we saw the Thorne Miniature rooms.

Nicole discovered the Art Institute Chicago’s Paperweight collection.

Then we both started to lose steam and decided to head to the gift shop. (Got to get those souvenirs!) This stop proved extremely helpful because I realized it was important to check out some other iconic pieces of art before we left.

After that, it was time to head back to the hotel. We decided to walk along Michigan Avenue to check out some other souvenir shops and window shop back to the hotel.

After regrouping at the hotel Nicole and I headed out to get dinner (dollar burgers at Bar Louie) and explore. I think because we were in a touristy area and near Columbia College Chicago, there was a lot of green space near the hotel and lots of public art in the form of sculptures and murals. So, just walking along Michigan Avenue it was possible to see a lot of beautiful things.

And with that day one in Chicago came to a close.


It turns out when you travel one time zone over you body never really adjusts to being an hour ahead and you end up being awake really early for no good reason. So although BEA did not officially start until the afternoon, our day started early.

Happily, there were pancakes involved.

Then it was basically time to head to McCormick Place where we discovered that some things are the same in any city (AKA pre-BEA crowds).

BUT all of this line waiting did give me a chance to catch up with Cecelia and Sajda (and make dinner plans with Cecelia–more on that later) and also to meet Christina. Finally! So exciting. As is my way, I forgot to take pictures with almost everyone. So it goes.

Luckily Cecelia was a bit more on point so I at least have this:

The first day of BEA was pretty chill. There were some lines.

There were signings. And, most importantly, there was the new Little Elliot book Little Elliot, Big Fun.

Because so much of the show was scaled back this year, Nicole and I actually got to leave at a reasonable time. So we headed back to the hotel, emptied our suitcase, and got ready for dinner.

I had been asking about places to eat in Chicago for months by this point and one that stuck out was Portillo’s. As soon as Carli told me there were cake milkshakes, I was sold. So I dragged along Nicole, Cecelia and Cecelia’s friend Liza.

Words and even pictures cannot do justice to the sensory overload that is Portillo’s.

It was insane but I think it was also a sort of rite of passage as a Chicago visitor. The cake milkshake was exactly what you would expect of a piece of chocolate cake being put through a blender. I can still taste the icing.


This was the first full day at BEA and the busiest.

There were tickets to be had.

There were signs to be held.

(I didn’t get that book, incidentally, but holding the sign seemed important.)

There were friends to meet like Val and Shannon and Kristen. There were friends to see like Britt and Cecelia and Sajda. Nicole and I spent a good chunk of BEA hanging out with Sajda and Cecelia which turned out to be an excellent life choice.

There were lots of exciting books!

One of my goals going into BEA this year was to be more selective about books and also to hit up some of the “less big” publishers. Mission accomplished because Sourcebooks was on point this year!

I didn’t take a photo with Zoraida Cordova BUT she did like my nails and had some epic candy swag.

After a full day at the convention center, Nicole and I decided it was high time to see the Bean. I don’t think either of us expected it to be as amazing as it was. But we had a blast!

So many photos ensued.

Like this isn’t even all of the photos yet. I’m still working through sharing them all on Twitter or Instagram. Anyway, it was a blast.

After that it was an easy walk to Giordano’s for their infamous deep dish pizza. The only problem is making the actual pizza took forever so our night wound up being quite long for what, I’m just going to say it, was a fairly horrible pizza experience. It turns out deep dish pizza is only good when it is super hot. And even then the “goodness” is questionable. I will say that the bruschetta we ordered as a starter was delicious. Live and learn!


The final day of BEA started quite early. But we had a plan.

After realizing that Chicago BEA is a lot more chill that NYC BEA, Nicole and I decided to get tickets to Maggie Stiefvater’s signing for The Raven King. Because why not?

This involved getting to McCormick Place quite early, waiting in line, getting coffee, and then (finally) getting tickets before heading out to get breakfast. A mad dash back the convention center followed.

There were, unsurprisingly, a lot of lines on this final day of BEA.

My face, I think, sums up my feelings about said lines.

Things got really intense while Nicole and I were waiting for Kendare Blake’s signing. Every year there is one book at BEA that seems to be impossible to get. This year it was Three Dark Crowns. This signing involved waiting for over an hour, several book counts, and repeated warnings that we might not get books.

But, eventually it all worked out!

After finishing up at McCormick Place, Nicole and I had to figure out shipping our books. There was not going to be time to do anything in the morning and we discovered that the local post office hours did not work with our schedule.

But it turns out our hotel had numerous benefits (like a free shuttle to McCormick Place every day) including being across the street from a larger, swankier hotel with a Fedex Store in the lobby. There’s no way around it: shipping books is expensive and I don’t think either of us counted on the level of embarrassment in emptying an entire suitcase (plus two tote bags in my case) of books into a box. Not that we were alone–lots of people were queuing up to do the exact same thing as we left. But it all worked out and I felt a lot better about it than having to deal with BEA shipping.

The swankier hotel also had a gift shop where I found a necklace in a style I’d been searching for without success for the last year.

We closed out our last full day in Chicago with tacos from Flaco’s Tacos (delicious) and some quiet time in our room. And packing.


The final day in Chicago wasn’t really a day. It was just time for a nice breakfast (and a souvenir shirt from Yolk, of course), a long cab ride to the airport, and two hours waiting in the security line at the airport.

Once we were checked in for our flight, Nicole and I got some last minute edible souvenirs (popcorn and fancy chocolate) before waiting for the flight home. Then it was time for another long cab ride home.

And with that, BEA 2016 officially came to a close.

My books arrived the next week and at this point everything is squared away. Until next year.

Interested in every book I got at BEA? Check out my 2016 BEA Books Recap.