Which came first: the fried chicken or…?

 

 

“What was
the weather like?” That’s the first question co-workers asked about New
York last week (I attended Book Expo America).  Answer: “I wore my coat
every day!”

 

 

Ignoring
the forecast for weeklong 70s, I packed light outerwear that made brisk walking
in that unexpectedly cool, windy spell a pleasure–not that I was merely
traipsing from Point A to Point B.  Most of the time I hauled armloads of
books back to the hotel to stash in my luggage. 
Those
treasures and a 45-pound box of publisher giveaways and advance reader copies
shipped from BEA will furnish prizes for
grownup library customers during the “Mad About Reading” summer reading campaign.    Check our Facebook
page and library homepage for details next week.

 

 

Last
summer, when we held weekly drawings for literary goodies and hosted spontaneous
“Pop-Up Prize” giveaways at the reference desk, we relished seeing customers’
expressions change from puzzled to thrilled as we confirmed: “Take it–it’s yours!”

 

 

BEA called
to mind another rewarding variety of takeaway—candid gems from authors whose
work we cherish.

 

 

The Library
Journal
-sponsored Day of Dialog in the McGraw-Hill building (50th
floor, nice view of the Empire State Building) featured practical discussions:
collection development, formats in transition, etc.  But DoD is most known
for stellar assemblages of authors and publishers, all passionate about their
upcoming releases, their enthusiasm contagious. 
During
presentations–editors’ picks, cookbook trends, women fiction writers, key
contemporary authors—noted panelists offered up choice commentary:

 

 

Lisa
Scottoline
’s zingers broke up the room at frequent intervals.  She
shared a favorite compliment, bestowed by a gentleman who claimed that he never
bought books authored by women:  “You write like a man”.

 

 

Scottoline,
who loves to visit libraries and has done so countless times, confessed, “I’m a
library slut.”

 

 

Lengendary
food writer/restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton, asked what inspired her 1000
Things to Eat Before You Die
,
smiled, “Well, what motivated me was making a
great deal of money.”

 

 

Lee Brian
Schrager, author of Fried and True (an entire cookbook about fried
chicken) corrected the notion that this delicacy is of American, specifically Southern,
origin.  The true birthplace of FC:  Scotland.

 

 

Addressing
the panel’s observation that “women’s fiction” is a label while “men’s fiction”
is not, Sophie Littlefield suggested this alternative:  “Fiction
You Will Like”.

 

 

Marlon
James,
author of A Brief History of Seven Killings, recounted
anecdotes from his university teaching experience and admitted to a fascination
with the 1970s: “I just wanted to put my characters in polyester.”

 

 

Chelsea
Cain
, her injured leg cushioned and propped atop a chair, garnered a roomful of
guffaws by announcing the title of her new thriller:  One Kick.

 

 

Asked
which women authors deserved bigger audiences, the “Women Writing Fiction”
panel recommended these up-and-coming talents:

S.J. Bolton
Victoria
Schwab
Lidia Yuknavitch
Linda Castillo
Karen Witemeyer
Sarah Gran
Sarah
Beth Durst
,
and Stephanie Perkins.  The library has books by everyone on this list.

 

 

Finally,
a memorable revelation not from Day of Dialog but overheard at Javits Center in the massive queue
awaiting an autograph and a moment with Cary Elwes of Princess Bride fame:  “I missed a friend’s
wedding for this!”
 


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