As noted in a previous post, the big national convention for people in the book biz was held last weekend in NYC. BookExpo (BEA) is generally a circus for the publishing/bookselling community. Publishers give away tchotchkes, throw parties, and generally endeavor to whip up interest in their forthcoming titles. My favorite part of this is running across celebrities big and small at the show. In years past I have bumped into Amy Sedaris sitting by her lonesome signing previews of I Like You; the guy who played Bobby Bacala hawking his Goomba's Guide to Life; Barbara Boxer; Scooby-Doo. I once got as close as I ever want to get to Oliver North, but couldn't muster the courage to tell him what I thought of him. And a few years ago I bumped into Richard Ford wandering alone through the Random House booth. He said that he had been up until 4 a.m. the previous night. When I (inappropriately) asked him what he'd been doing until 4 a.m., he drawled in that gentlemanly southern way, "Oh, I was just doing what a man does until 4 in the morning."
This year felt a little thin on star sightings. Sure, there was Mary Jo Buttafuoco, and isn't that Nancy Grace signing her forthcoming book? I did manage to get my picture snapped with the great James Ellroy, who has a big book coming out this Fall called Blood's A Rover.
But that gets me to the heart of this posting: the books. Reader, you should know that there is a tsunami of books by authors great and small heading towards your local bookstore in the next 4 or 5 months. Just to name a few: we've got two books by local favorite Dave Eggers, Zeitoun coming in a few weeks, which fleshes out the story of this Katrina survivor from a 2006 McSweeney's article; and his novelization of Where the Wild Things Are coming in October. Also heading this way are books by authors named Pynchon, Hornby, Doctorow, Irving, Alexie, Vonnegut, Atwood, Krakauer, Lethem, etc. Throw in a novel by the great Lorrie Moore, and there will be no reason to leave the house.