Nope, I’m not quite finished with talking about New York and BEA. I’m drawing it out.
The first BEA event that I attended was the Editors Buzz, where six editors gathered to gush about upcoming books. Each person was allowed a little less than 10 minutes to chat up one particular book. This was a fun event (although the room was crowded and HOT), so I thought I’d share with you all the editors present and the books they chose to promote:
Chuck Adams, Executive Editor, Algonquin: West of Here by Jonathan Evison
From the author’s website: “An epic western adventure wrapped in the history of one small town, from the rugged mudflats of the northwestern frontier, to a rusting strip mall cornucopia, West of Here is a conversation between two epochs, one rushing blindly toward the future, and the other struggling to undo the damage of the past.”
I decided not to pick up this ARC…I’m afraid the word western just doesn’t float my boat. However, plenty of other people are excited by this one.
Susanna Porter, Executive Editor, Ballantine: Juliet: A Novel by Anne Fortier
Here’s the B&N blurb: “Most readers are familiar with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but not everyone knows that the Bard based his play on an old Italian tale in which the doomed lovers meet and die in the medieval city of Siena. Drawing on this tale, Fortier’s historical debut features a plot as complicated as a Shakespearean play. When Julie’s aunt dies, she is left with a key to a safe-deposit box in Siena, where her long-dead mother supposedly left a treasure, but finds only old letters and a ragged copy of Romeo and Juliet. She learns she is directly descended from one of the play’s warring families, and her mother left clues to find “Juliet’s Eyes,” gemstones rumored to be embedded in a lost golden statue. As she draws closer to the treasure, she attracts the attention of a handsome beau descended from Romeo’s family line as well as that of a group who make the Mafia look like choirboys.”
Mitzi Angel, Publisher, FSG: Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
This one sounds fun! The author writes a column for the Guardian, and evidently he takes great delight in taking people to task for misrepresenting science. It’s already out in the UK and is a bestseller. Unfortunately, there were no ARCs to be had. But I’m keeping this one on my radar.
Judy Clain, Executive Editor, Little, Brown & Co.: Room by Emma Donoghue
I read Slammerkin a few years ago, so I was excited to hear that Donaghue has a new book coming out. And, yes, I came home with this ARC. And yes, I might have perhaps already read it. And yes, it was amazing. But the book doesn’t come out until September 13th, so I won’t post my review until closer to that date. Sorry. But if you get a chance…Read. This. Book. Seriously. It’s told from the point of view of a five year old boy whose entire world consists of his mother, one room, and the man who kidnapped his mother 7 years ago.
This one is definitely worthy of the buzz.
Nan Graham, Editor-in-Chief, Scribner: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Just like the title says, this is a biography of cancer. Here is the synopsis from Waterstone’s site: “A comprehensive history of cancer — one of the greatest enemies of medical progress — and an insight into its effects and potential cures, by a leading expert on the illness. Cancer is one of a handful of human ailments that continue to elude us. The modern age is plagued with news of rising cancer rates, all kinds of possible man-made causes and a constant stream of potential miracle cures. In the course of his investigations into cancer, however, Siddhartha Mukherjee discovered that it is an ancient illness, which endured for centuries as a private matter, swaddled in secrecy and shame. Peering beyond the screen he saw that every generation had imagined cancer uniquely, and made its own desperately inventive attempt to find a cure. It is only over recent generations that cancer has morphed into one of the most public and politically scrutinised diseases of our era. Mukherjee delves into the larger history of cancer. How old is it? When did the battle against it begin? How have we — as a society — dealt with its challenge? How have we imagined the disease and what forces have we marshalled against it? Essentially: where are we in the war against cancer?What, if anything, have we won so far, and what have we lost? Cancer is a survivor: it changes, it adapts, it evolves, it grows. It is so close to us in biology that, in destroying it, we often destroy ourselves. The quest for the ‘cure’ for cancer has gradually transformed into a lodestone quest, the yardstick of our scientific and medical progress. This book is the story of that quest.”
If you’re into non-fiction, this looks like a winner. And it’s in my to be read pile.
Cary Goldstein, Assoc. Publisher, Twelve: The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale.
And last, but not least, we have the “monkey sex” book. And yes, I picked up a copy. This is what Amazon has to say about it: “Bruno Littlemore is quite unlike any chimpanzee in the world. Precocious, self-conscious and preternaturally gifted, young Bruno, born and raised in a habitat at the local zoo, falls under the care of a university primatologist named Lydia Littlemore. Learning of Bruno’s ability to speak, Lydia takes Bruno into her home to oversee his education and nurture his passion for painting. But for all of his gifts, the chimpanzee has a rough time caging his more primal urges. His untimely outbursts ultimately cost Lydia her job, and send the unlikely pair on the road in what proves to be one of the most unforgettable journeys — and most affecting love stories — in recent literature. Like its protagonist, this novel is big, loud, abrasive, witty, perverse, earnest and amazingly accomplished. The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore goes beyond satire by showing us not what it means, but what it feels like be human — to love and lose, learn, aspire, grasp, and, in the end, to fail.”
I’m looking forward to this one, as well.
Not a bad bunch of books, eh? If I ever return to BEA, the Editors Buzz will be on my to do list…it was fun to listen to the editors talk up a book, and the books selected sound fantastic!