Tuesday, June 10, 2014

BEA14- Book Group Speed Dating Part II

In a previous post, I covered the books presented by Harper Perennial, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Liveright and Norton publishers during the Book Group Speed Dating at BEA14. This post covers Picador (Macmillan), Random House, Simon & Schuster and Soho.

Darren from Picador (Macmillan) presented the following books:
  • Dark Amelia- by Sally O'Reilly, an historical novel about Shakespeare's muse, with some sorcery thrown in. Fans of Deborah Harkness will like this one.
  • The Boy Who Drew Monsters- by Keith Donohue will appeal to fans of Stephen King and Joe Hill. It's a YA crossover book about a young boy who draws monsters that come to life, set on an empty Maine estate.
  • The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.- by Adelle Waldman is coming out in paperback after making many 'Best of 2013' lists. This one is about a 20-something young man in Brooklyn looking for love and sex. It has become a cultural touchstone.
  • Someone- by Alice McDermott is publishing in paperback and made my list of Most Compelling  Books of 2013. It's the story of an ordinary Irish-American woman as she ages from childhood on. It's beautiful and quiet, and my review is here.
  • Man Alive!- by Mary Kay Zuravleff tells the story of family living outside of Washington DC and what happens when Dad gets hit by lightning and it changes his personality.
  • Lookaway, Lookaway- by Wilton Barnhardt also publishes in trade paperback after making a big splash at last year's BEA. The story revolves around a Southern family falling apart and the tough matriarch keeping them all together. 
Maggie from Random House shared their upcoming books:
  • Still Life With Bread Crumbs- is Anna Quindlen's latest novel about a middle-aged artist who moves to a cabin in the woods and finds artistic inspiration and maybe love. Every woman of a certain age will want to read this, my review is here.
  • The Weight of Blood- by Laura McHugh put me in mind of HBO's True Detective with its story of a murdered teenage girl and how it may possibly tie into her friend's mother's disappearance years ago. Lots of creepy atmosphere here and I raced through this one even though these kinds of books are not usually my cup of tea.
  • The Mill River Redemption- by Darcy Chan, who first book, The Mill River Recluse, was a self-published ebook. There are some of the same characters in this book about love, family and forgiveness in a small town.
  • The Deepest Secret- by Carla Buckley tells the story of a mom who accidentally hits someone with her car, but can't turn herself in because she has a son with a devastating chronic illness. The ending is said to be completely unexpected.
  • Under the Wide and Starry Sky- by Nancy Horan continues the trend of novels about the wives of famous men, this time it's writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny.
Briony from Simon & Schuster had five books:
  • A Sudden Sight- is Garth Stein's follow-up to his smash The Art of Racing in the Rain. This one is a family story with a ghostly twist and an environmental slant, and is described as 'visually beautiful'.
  • We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas is one of the books that had everyone talking this year. The debut novel sold for one million dollars at auction, and it is the story of Eileen, an Irish- American woman, from childhood through marriage and adulthood. It's about love, desire and the fight to get into the middle class. This is one I will definitely read.
  • Juliet's Nurse- by Lois Leveen gives us the story of Juliet's nurse from Romeo and Juliet, and takes the reader from 14 years before their love story and beyond the final scene of the play. Fans of Phillipa Gregory will like this strong female protagonist.
  • Before I Go- by Colleen Oakley is traditional women's fiction, along the lines of PS I Love You.  A terminally ill woman tries to find a spouse for her husband before she dies and then regrets her attempt.
  • Henna House-is Nomi Eve's historical novel about young Yemenite Jewish girls who will be adopted by the Muslim community if they are unbetrothed when their parents die. Fans of The Red Tent and The Dovekeepers will want this one.
Soho presented four books:
  • Herbie's Game by Tim Halliman is described as "the spawn of Donald Westlake and Carl Hiaasen". He is a favorite of Nancy Pearl.
  • The Bishop's Wife  by Mettie Ivie Harrison is a mystery set amongst the Mormon community. When a prominent Mormon's wife disappears, her friend believes the husband killed her. It's based on a true story, and written by a practicing Mormon.
  • The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin is a YA crossover, called a 'docu-novel' about a teenage artist who may have committed suicide- or was it murder? The novel is filled with paintings and photographs.
  • Rainey Royal by Dylan Landis tells the story of young teen in Greenwich Village in the 1970's, and it "lifts the skin off the character" with its in-depth character study. It won an O. Henry Prize.
  • I'm Glad I Did is a YA mystery novel written by Carole King contemporary Cynthia Weill about young songwriters working in the famous Brill Building in 1963. There should be lots of interest in this given the smash Broadway show Beautiful is so popular.
Thanks again to BookReporter.com for putting this event together; it gets better every year.


  1. Speed dating is the best event! A lot of the same people came to my table.

  2. My favorite session at BEA -- you got a few different publicists than I did.