Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ALA12 Recap & Books

Alright, I'm taking a break from my actual book-writing to write this ALA recap/book post before I completely forget everything that happened. This past week's ALA Annual event was the second ALA I've been to and it couldn't have come at a better time, because I got to tell people in person that I had an agent. (People I told before I told you include Cindy Pon, Tahereh Mafi, and Morgan Matson. Also Liz, Khy, Zoe, Nancy. And probably a few others I've forgotten.) When I went to ALA Midwinter I made a list of the 25 most exciting or interesting things that happened while there, and I figure that worked pretty well so I'll do the same thing this time.

  1. I was there for two days -- Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday morning I had the go-ahead to make my agent new public knowledge and so spent a great deal of time grinning like a crazy person when I got to tell people. I'm especially especially happy I got to tell Tahereh Mafi in person because she's been one of the most inspiring and motivational writers to me for a long time, and getting to share this news with her was incredible. She's such a supportive and enthusiastic person. (Thank you, Tahereh!)
  2. In less-than-stellar news, I managed to lose my ipod/iphone thingy on Saturday. In the exhibit hall. Next to a booth and that huge line for Marissa Meyer's signing.
  3. I got to meet and hang out with Liz, from Consumed by Books for a while on Saturday morning. So that was nice.
  4. One of the signings I really, really wanted to get to was Morgan Matson's signing Saturday morning. Me and my sister showed up at the booth a little early and I asked one of the ladies there if she knew when/where the signing line was, and it just happened that the lady I asked was Morgan Matson herself. Chatting with her, and getting her to sign a copy of Second Chance Summer (I've been wanting to read this one for a while) was so great.
  5. I somehow went through a ton of my business/blog cards. Which usually doesn't happen -- most times at events I end up giving cards to a handful of people, but I met so many authors, bloggers, reps, and librarians at ALA. It was great.
  6. There were a few absolutely awesome reps I talked to at the booths -- one of the women at HarperCollins and another at Penguin were so sweet and so fun to talk to. I don't think I got their names though (maybe first, not first and last), which is a major bummer but I'm going to see if I can find them on Twitter somehow anyway.
  7. I met so many people at the blogger meet-up on Saturday night, including two authors who have debut sci-fi books coming out next year. AHHHHH!! (And it was so, so crazy to think that someday I might be them. Or not them exactly, but you know.) I had an especially good time talking to Amy Tintera, author of the upcoming Reboot.
  8. After the meet-up I got horribly, terrifyingly lost in the parking garage. And you know what's super creepy at about 10 at night? Wandering about a dimly-lit, low-ceiling parking garage all alone. But all is ok! I found my car! I survived!
  9. After I got home some kind person contacted me via Twitter to let me know they'd found my iphone. I called the ALA conference desk and it's gonna take a while, but I'll be getting it back! Yay! Librarians and librarian-types are so trustworthy; thank you!
  10. I met Sharon Creech. More on this later in the post. I don't normally get tongue-tied or starstruck around authors, but she was a definite exception. 

Okay so the thing I use to take photos is my dad's old iphone that has no service and now I use it as an ipod -- that's the thing I lost at ALA. So I'll be taking not-as-good pictures of these books (ARCs & finished copies) that I was lucky enough to pick up in the exhibit hall at ALA.

A note on the books: when I went to midwinter about a year and a half ago, I picked up a lot of ARCs (less than some people, but still. A lot). I ended up reading -- or at least starting to read -- all of them, but before heading to ALA this time I looked over what I'd gotten, what I'd liked, what I hadn't liked, what blew me away, and what I hadn't even finished. Because I'm picky, there were a lot I abandoned when I realized I wasn't liking the book or just wasn't interested anymore. So I decided that this time around, especially since I have less reading time than I used to, I'd try to be extra-selective in what I brought back. I'm happy to say that quite a few of the books are ones I'm really super excited about and all but about two are ones I'm just regular excited about. And I'm still pretty sure that (sadly) there'll be some I don't finish. The only book I was really, really wanting that I didn't end up getting is Unravel Me, but then I thought probably it'll be easier to wait for the third book if I have to wait for the second book, too.

I've tried to put the books in order (bottom to top) of when I got them, though of course I don't remember exactly. Books with a star in front of them are ARCs, the rest are finished copies I bought.

Second Chance Summer, by Morgan Matson - Like I said, I've been wanting to read this one for quite a while now and when I found out she'd be signing at ALA I had to buy a copy. Now, of course, I'm wishing I'd also bought a copy of her debut novel, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, because I still haven't read that one. But I guess I can probably borrow it from my sister, who did buy it. Meeting the author was super fun though, guys. Authors are fun people to chat with.

* Time Between Us, by Tamara Ireland Stone - A time travel YA romance? Sign me up! Despite not loving (or even liking) The Time Traveller's Wife (movie or book), this seems right up my alley and is something I'm so psyched to read.

* Diverse Energies, edited by Tobias S. Buckell & Joe Monti - In total honesty the one reason I made a point to pick this one up is because Cindy Pon is in it. I don't do great with short story collections, so so far I've been skipping around, reading what interests me and not worrying about the rest. There are definitely some really interesting stories in here, including Cindy's.

* Through to You, by Emily Hainsworth - WOO, MORE SCI-FI. You guys, I'm seriously seriously excited about all the YA sci-fi that seems to be coming out. This one is about parallel worlds, which reminds me of an episode of The Twilight Zone I recently watched. High hopes, guys, high hopes for this one.

* Love and Other Perishable Items, by Laura Buzo - Published in Australia years ago as Good Oil, I'm thrilled that this is finally in the US. The cover/title combo is so much better than the Aussie version (sorry) and it involves grocery stores, which I love. As Khy would say, "it sounds like a Jory book," so I hope it lives up and I feel super-lucky to have a copy of it.

* Prodigy, by Marie Lu - SIGNED! If you remember, Legend was a really terrific dystopian -- one of the best, in my opinion, and I'm excited to see what happens next in this world and find out more about the history. I missed Lu's first signing on Saturday, but luckily she had another one and I got to go to that one (and buy a hardcover of Legend).

* Summer and Bird, by Katherine Catmull - I honestly can't tell what genre this is, though from the summary it reminds me a bit of Imaginary Girls and Alice in Wonderland. Also a bit like the old children's book Silverwing, by Kenneth Oppel. So basically it could be anything. But I love the title and the cover and the story itself sounds fairy-tale-ish. I'm nervous and excited to read it, especially since it's represented by my agent (which, not gonna lie, was a big draw in me trying to get a copy at ALA). 

Legend, by Marie Lu - I had an ARC of this that I got signed at Comic-Con last year, but I had to buy a hardcover. And while I don't like that it took me so long to buy a hardcover, I am glad I got one at ALA so the author got to sign it. 

* Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You, by Joyce Carol Oates - I'll admit I don't know a ton about this book, but it sounds like it could be right up my alley; I love the whole secrets-and-friendship thing in books, as long as it's done well.

* The Great Unexpected, by Sharon Creech - I hate bragging about ARCs, but omg I have a Sharon Creech ARC!!!! This book sounds most excellent. MOST EXCELLENT. *spazzes out* Also, how excellent is that title?

Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech - I don't really know if I've read this one yet, but I bought a copy for Sharon Creech to sign (along with The Great Unexpected and the copy of The Wanderer that I brought with me) and am excited about reading it (or rereading, as the case may be).

Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots, by Abby McDonald - My sister has been wanting to read McDonald's Getting Over Garrett Delaney for ages, so we skiddaddled over to her signing as soon as Creech's signing was done on Sunday. And just aside from this book sounding really good, Abby McDonald was absolutely awesome to meet and talk to. Also, at this point I loaned my sister the last ten dollars in cash I had, which is why I didn't end up buying a copy of Between Shades of Grey (NOT THAT OTHER BOOK!!!) for my mom.

* Send Me A Sign, by Tiffany Schmidt - I've read (or started reading, at least) quite a few YA books that deal with "the  big C," but this is one I'm really hopeful about and not just because it has a dandelion (my favorite flower, which I know is not really a flower) on the cover.

* Dear Teen Me, edited by E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally - To the wonderful rep (and blogger!) at the Zest booth who gave me this ARC -- thank you! We started talking about this book (which they had on display) and how excited we both were for it and she went, "Well, I'm really not supposed to be giving these out, but I'm going to see if I can sneak you a copy." Aaaaand now I've announced it on my blog. Oops! (But seriously, so excited.) We then went on to discuss how brilliant Before I Fall was.

* Son, by Lois Lowry - Ack! I did not actually realize, when I picked up this sequel to The Giver, that there are two books between The Giver and Son. I'm hoping the book will make sense even though I haven't read the other two -- does anyone know? Anyway, I felt compelled to pick up a copy of this since The Giver was such a surreal and weirdly memorable reading experience for me as a kid. The book isn't one of my all-time favorites, but it's definitely one I have vivid memories of.

* Keeping Safe the Stars, by Sheila O'Connor - Another amazing rep (at the Penguin booth) gave me this copy. When she saw I had an ARC of Son she asked if me and my sister could go snag her a copy and we wound up talking about covers and books for a little while. It was honestly one of the best conversations I had at ALA (and there were a lot of good ones).

* Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer - I lined up half an hour early for this signing just to be sure I was able to get a copy of this book. If I'd known Meyer was signing at ALA before I drove down to Anaheim, I probably would have brought my copy of Cinder for her to sign as well, but I didn't. I'm excited for this one, guys. I loved how Meyer twisted the story of Cinderella in the first book and Little Red Riding Hood is one of my more favorite fairy tales from childhood, so I'm definitely intrigued for this next book.

* Out of the Easy, by Ruta Sepetys - First of all, it was embarrassing standing in line for Ruta Sepetys' signing and having to tell people what book we were in line for. Between Shades of Grey is just too too similar to that other book that I am definitely definitely not going to read. Anyway, since I was out of cash I couldn't buy a copy of the paperback of Between Shades of Grey like I was planning. Which is sad because that cover is gorgeous and it would have been awesome to have a signed copy. But her upcoming book, Out of the Easy, takes place in the 50s in New Orleans and sounds even more interesting to me.

* Fangirl, by Ken Baker - This one, that I just happened to stumble upon (the author was signing ARCs) sounds like absolute fun and the type of love story I've been wanting to read for a while. Woo!

Big Girl Small, by Rachel DeWoskin - I wasn't planning on picking up this book but I ran into the author and we ended up talking and now I have a book to read. It's sort of YA but sort of adult.

* Secrets of Shakespeare's Grave - A fun-looking middle grade. It was pushed into my hands right as I was leaving and while I'm not crazy-excited about it like I am for many of the other books I managed to pick up, I'm hoping it'll be a fun, mysterious read. A good middle grade would be awesome.



  1. Let me know how you like Love and Other Perishable Items! I couldn't resist reading it, and I liked it. It's very awkward and quirky but sweet-- I'm not head-over-heels in love with it, but I did quite like it!

    Also, it was lovely to see you on Saturday, as always. :)

  2. Gah I can't imagine being lost in a gigantic parking lot late at night. That just freaks me out. So glad you were safe and that someone returned your iPod!

    Also, yay books. So super stoked for Prodigy, too!