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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

BEA 13- Speed Dating

Last year at BEA (Book Expo America), one of my favorite things was attending the Book Group Speed Dating, where publishers moved from table to table talking about books that would be perfect for  book clubs. It was hosted by Carol Fitzgerald of BookReporter.com, and it was a huge success.

I was so happy to hear that they were continuing with it this year and signed up right away. At my table, we had someone from Hachette Book Group, and their big upcoming book is Burial Rites, an historical novel about a woman in Iceland accused of murder in 1829. It is Hannah Kent's debut novel and has "great writing, great characters, and a great landscape." (September)

The other books from Hachette were:

  • That Part Was True by Deborah McKinlay- a novel that will appeal to people who liked The Guernsey Potato Peel Pie & Literary Society, One Day & The Bridges of Madison County. (February)
  • Schroder by Amity Gaige- This one we were told "will cause passionate conversations". It is a based on the Clark Rockefeller story, about a man who assumes the identity of a man from a famous American family and kidnaps his young daughter when things fall apart. (October)
  • The Outcasts by Kathleen Kent- an adventure novel set in the 19th century west coast that "connects well with readers." (September)
  • Eloise by Judy Finnigan- the debut novel from the co-host of Britain's answer to Oprah, The Richard and Judy Show. (September)
Harper Perennial showcased four books, highlighted by National Book Award winner, The Round House, by Louise Erdich, featuring stunning new cover art by Erdich's daughter. (Paperback in September)
The hardcover cover
Also from  Harper Perennial:
  • Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon- This also has a gorgeous new cover for paperback, and it is about a white man and black man who own a used record shop in Oakland. (September)
  • The Cutting Season by Attica Locke- Set in present day on a New Orleans plantation where a murder has occurred and may be tied into a murder that happened over 100 years ago. (September)
  • The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell- The story of two young sisters who try to keep the mysterious deaths of their parents a secret. (October)
Berkley's books all had beautiful cover art that would encourage bookstore browsers to look further inside. The one that interested me most was Dollface by Renee Rosen, set during the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago about a flapper who becomes a gun moll.  (November) After reading The Other Typist and seeing The Great Gatsby,  I'm obsessed by this 1920s time period.
Other Berkley books are:
  • The Serpent and the Pearl by Kate Quinn- a historical romance "from a brilliant storyteller" set during the rise of the Borgias in Rome in the late 15th century. (August)
  • Between a Mother and Her Child by Elizabeth Noble- For fans of Elizabeth Berg, this novel tells the story of family in the aftermath of a tragedy, but is "not depressing." (September)
  • The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister- is "foodie fiction" set in Seattle, coming in trade paperback. (November)
  • You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert- A debut novel set in New England where two best friends who had a falling out inherit a house together. For fans of Jane Green and Emily Giffin. (September)
Picador had four books to talk about, including one that was chosen for the Editor's Book Buzz panel, Amy Grace Loyd's The Affairs of Others, about a young widow who owns an apartment building and becomes involved in the lives of her tenants. It should appeal to women in their 20s and 30s. (August)
Other books from Picador are:
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan- Sloan is a founder of Twitter, and this is the trade paperback version of the popular and quirky novel, also aimed at the younger reader. (September)
  • The Good House by Ann Leary- is about remaking life in middle age, where the protagonist is a real estate agent who is in denial that she has become an alcoholic. (October)
  • Havisham by Ronald Frame- tells the story of a young Miss Havisham from Dickens' Great Expectations  and how she ended up the way she did. (November)
  • The Heart Broke In- by James Meek- is a "big, sprawling family novel about midlife crisis and marriage" set in present day London. (October)
For more information on these and all of the books presented by the 21 publishers, click on this link from Book Reporter.


  1. You had totally different publishers than I had, so I'm grateful for this recap. Although my bookshelves may be groaning.

    1. I know, speed dating can be dangerous. Every time they talked about a book I didn't know about, it was "oh, I have to read that one!"

  2. This event sounded great - I will have to sign up next year!

    1. You should go to this one next year, you would enjoy it.

  3. Great post. I loved this session too.

    I didn't have anyone talk about the books you mentioned except for DollFace. I loved hearing about that.

    THANKS for the post.