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Sunday, June 10, 2012

BEA12 Wrap-Up- Is Speed Dating Wrong When You're Already Married? Part 1

Books from the authors I met at speed dating

Two of the events I enjoyed most at this year's BEA were speed dating. The Book Bloggers Conference opened up with Author Speed Dating.

Each table was numbered and we got to choose where to sit; I chose table 9 because of I was looking forward to meeting Lee Woodruff and Justin Cronin. Lee Woodruff is a reporter on my favorite morning show, CBS This Morning, with Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Erica Hill.

One of the stories she did on the show was about the uber-popular book, Fifty Shades of Grey. She visited with housewives, including her sister, to find out what all the fuss was, and this story was one of the earliest in the mainstream media to report on the phenomenon.

When she sat down at the table, the reporter in her came out as she asked us all who we were. Then she discussed her upcoming book, her first novel, Those We Love Most, a story about a family whose lives change tragically in an instant. It is told from the perspective of four people, and it's about marriage, the secrets we keep from the ones we love, and the consequences of those secrets. I'm really looking forward to reading this one.

Amy Sohn, author of Motherland, joined us next. Her novel is a sequel to Prospect Park West, and both are about that trendy section of Brooklyn and the inhabitants who live there. It's like the next step for the Sex & the City characters. Her time with us seemed short, all she could do was describe her new novel to us and then the bell rang.

I was very excited to meet Justin Cronin, whom most people know as the man who wrote The Passage, but I know him for his lovely book Mary and O'Neill.  I was so happy to be able to tell him how much I loved that book, and I think he was pleased to hear it. (I fear I was slightly schoolgirlish in my devotion.) His upcoming book is a sequel to The Passage titled The Twelve.

Our last author was unfamiliar to me; Will Schwalbe wrote a memoir about the death of his mother, The End of Your Life Book Club. He was so genuine and his description of the book had our entire table under his spell. He accompanied his mother to her chemo treatments, and they decided to read and discuss books together to pass the time.

His love and admiration for his mother, who founded a women's and children's refugee organization in Afghanistan, had all us teary-eyed. I think our table all fell a little in love with Will. His mom must have been remarkable to have raised such a wonderful son. I can't wait to read his tribute to her.

All in all, I have to say that my first speed dating try was very successful; of the four authors I met, I am excited about "dating" three of them. (And by "dating", I mean reading their books and following them on social media.)

My next post will be about speed dating at the Book Club Buzz Panel.


  1. wow -- sounds like so much fun. One day I will make it to BEA.

  2. Those We Love Most looks very interesting to me. I was undecided about Amy Sohn's first book so I will look for reviews of this one to see what people think.