My Recap: Book Expo 2017 (with lots of pictures!)

I was a first time Book Expo attendee (and 1st time NYC visitor) this year and had a whirlwind of a time.


Tamara, Alison, and I met Kristin at our hotel in the early afternoon on Tuesday and then promptly headed over to the New York Public Library:

We also met our team mascot, "Brenda", and decided we all wanted to be her when we grow up.

#TeamBrenda (the pic doesn't do her justice. Her hairdo alone should have its own post)

We then took the subway (adventure!) to what we thought was the beginning of the walking tour for The High Line. Being early we stopped off for cocktails at The Drunken Horse. When we arrived at what we thought was our destination, we found out we were way off! Oh well, Kristin pulled up the visitor information and gave us our own private tour!
We headed back towards the hotel for dinner at Mama Mia. I had the MOST delicious shrimp pasta in mushroom cream sauce! After a full day of travel, walking 10 miles or so, and a nice Italian dinner with wine, I was asleep before my head even hit the pillow!


Tamara, Kristin, and I went to the Roxy Diner for lunch (Alison headed to Brooklyn for a meeting) and then picked up our badges at the Javits Center where I squealed and a freaked out a bit. I felt like I had found some version of heaven / my mothership. I super loved the ad for Book of Dust (which I am dying to get my hands on).

We met up with Alison and headed to the Adult Editors Author Buzz Panel, which was packed.

I enjoyed listening to the speakers and thought "I'd like to grab a couple galleys from this list." Well, at the end of the session it was mayhem! No organization, rhyme, or reason. Just mayhem! I thought "I'm not going to get physical to get these books!" We're not in a mosh pit nor is it Black Friday! I grabbed two and went to stand outside, where I made friends with two very nice, older educators. The gentleman continued to go in and bring out more and more copies. When his partner said that they couldn't take all of those, they gave a bunch to me! Jackpot!

We all headed back to the hotel for a bit before Tamara, Kristin, and I headed over to The Mysterious Bookshop to see our girl, Jenny Milchman do her thing.

Again, I was beat at the end of my long day...and Book Expo hadn't even really started yet!


I had tickets to the 8:00 a.m. Adult Author Breakfast and was ready to take the first shuttle at 7:00a.m.  I was waiting at 6:45 and was still waiting until the 7:30 a.m. shuttle arrived. I was furious! I arrived at the conference room for the breakfast and was bummed because it was packed, but after showing my ticket I was escorted to the very front section (I guess there were multiple ticket tiers, I forget what they were). Since it was just me I was able to grab a seat at the VERY FRONT. Stephen King and his son each did a short speech and then Whitney Cummings came out to talk about her book and then introduce the panel: Claire Messud, Scott Kelly, Jesmyn Ward, and Pete Souza.

I loved every minute and that ticket was worth every penny! I could go on and on about how freaking hilarious Whitney Cummings was and write a full blog post on every one of the other authors as well. I was able to get Whitney to sign my book at the end and tell her that she had liked my tweet that morning. She said it cracked her up and I fangirled out a little bit (to myself mind you, I didn't want to SHOW my crazy)  I was on Cloud Nine when I walked out of that breakfast (where I ate about 3 bites of a bagel and had half a cup of coffee).

Now it was time to hit the floor! I had a very specific plan (there were spreadsheets involved) to meet and grab a galley/copy from:

Jamie Ford
Ellen Marie Wiseman
Sujata Massey
Alice Hoffman
Neil Olson
Jessica Valenti
Emily Culliton
Fiona Davis
Gabrielle Union
Amy Tan
and Natasha Pulley

I headed over to the FedEx Center (inside Javits, but next year will use the other shipping center) to "prepare my box". This was interesting in that you could start a box and keep dropping items in it until you were ready to ship. #TeamBrenda met in the upper food court to compare notes on our day and then Alison and I headed to "An Evening with Hilary Rodham Clinton". Upon arriving we found out that she would be interviewed by Cheryl Strayed and the whole crowd sighed / "oooh"-ed in awe. After the event, Alison and I walked back to our hotel and then enjoyed wine and cheese in our hotel bar.


I had a little bit of a better idea what to expect on Friday. My plan was:
Celeste Ng   
Karen Rinaldi
Marissa Meyer (for my friend's daughters, I was a bit disappointed that she was not doing a full copy)
Wendy Walker    
Taylor Reid
Rene Denfeld
Ginger Zee    

I ran into Felicia in the lower food court and we had lunch together. It was so fun to meet an online friend IRL! Friday afternoon #TeamBrenda (all members, I think) attended Book Club Speed Dating (which I'm so glad Tamara suggested to me) and that was another time where some people were getting a little greedy. Oh... and OMG this lady took out a full packed lunch and proceeded to *violently* eat. Like, she was chewing AT me. It was rude....but in all fairness I may have been a little cranky. After the Speed Dating wrapped up, I headed back to FedEx to ship my box. Tamara had told me to be prepared for the high cost...$75! Ugh! But, I think it was worth it to not have to schlub another suitcase full of books to the airport and home. Alison shipped her box (similar weight) at the other shipping center and her total was about $10 cheaper AND it arrived a day earlier. Like I said, next year, I'm using the other center.

After meeting back at the hotel we all went to dinner at Cara Mia right across the street from Mama Mia.    We walked over to Times Square but, first I had to do a wardrobe change:  We checked out the lights, and the Strand "kiosk" and took some fun pics.


Kristin and Tamara headed for home early in the morning, but Alison and I didn't depart until almost 4 p.m. so we had a leisurely morning and headed to brunch at The Rustic Table which had a very "warm industrial chic" vibe. After brunch we headed to the airport and flew back to the A!

I'm totally ready for next year! Who's with me?


Carmen said...

Fun and lots of books...That's my version of Heaven! :-)

Breeny N said...

This seems to have been a wonderful experience! I've been vicariously living through posts like these. I'm hoping to get to attend Book Expo or Book Con sometime in the near future. Awesome post!

I'm new to blogging and book reviewing, and I was wondering if you had any tips for newbie bloggers and book reviewers.

If you have the time, please check out my blog @breenysbooks. I'd love any feedback. Have a wonderful day.

OnDBookshelf said...

I'm so glad that one of you managed to snag a picture of the now famous Brenda! Great recap. I'm sorry that I didn't meet you, hopefully next time!

Rhiannon Johnson said...

With my new template I'm not able to do personal replies (add that to my list for my next template!) so I hope everyone clicked the box for follow-up comments. Breeny, check out a post I wrote a couple years ago about starting blogging Then follow a couple book bloggers and see what they do that you like and don't like. Feel free to reach out to me with questions. I'll try to help if I can!