So, this past weekend I went to Chicago to attend my first ever ALA Expo, and it was a fantastic time. I got to hang out with two of my book besties, Gail from Ticket to Anywhere and Jen from Hypable. The event itself was both exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time. We went to the opening night of the exhibit hall on Friday night, and there were just swarms of people there. I missed out on the Saturday morning opening as I was running a 10K that morning, but made for the afternoon, and was there for maybe about 1 1/2 hours, and the crowds weren't quite so bad, but it was still packed. Gail and Jen had already left for the day, so I just wandered around, taking it all in, picking up a few books as I went along. This was the night that I ran into the most authors that I was excited about meeting, such as Paolo Bacigalupi, Audrey Niffenegger, and Amanda Sun. Sunday I made it down for the opening of the exhibits, and the three of us wandered the exhibits until about 3pm and decided to call it a day for ALA.
We never really made it out of the Big 6 area, but I was ok with that. The hall was ginormous, and it was hard to take it all in. I did wander back to the graphic novel area on my own Sunday, and happened to run into Frank Beddor, whose Looking Glass War series I just love. We chatted for a minute, and then he gave me a signed copy of the special edition of the fourth Hatter M graphic novel. I really didn't know what to say to him. Honestly, with the exception of one author who took it upon himself to make me know who he was, every author at ALA proved yet again that author's are rock stars in my book; they are a generous, appreciative group of people who are always willing to chat with their readers, and I feel really lucky to be doing what I'm doing and getting to meet them. The author community, on the whole, is a remarkable group of people.
We may have picked up a few books along the way...
I got to meet several authors, including Paolo Bacigalupi, Audrey Niffenegger, Amanda Sun, Jojo Moyes, Rachel Hartman, David Levithan, and Frank Beddor, to name a few.
I ended up with 61 books total, 50 for me and 11 for friends.
A rundown of what I grabbed for me:
- Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (signed)
- The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi (signed)
- Splintered by A.G. Howard
- Ink by Amanda Sun (signed)
- Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (signed)
- Every Day by David Levithan (signed)
- Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger (signed)
- If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
- Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt (signed)
- Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
- Inhuman by Kat Falls
- The Lost Kingdom by Matthew J. Kirby
- Wild Born by Brandon Mull
- The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick
- The Tilted World by Tom Franklin
- Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan
- Night Film by Marisha Pessl
- Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi (signed)
- Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt
- Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
- Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow
- The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson (signed)
- The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde
- Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik (signed)
- The Facades by Eric Lundgren (signed)
- The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan
- The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell (signed)
- The Midnight Promise by Zane Lovitt (signed)
- A Boy Called Dickens by Deborah Hopkinson (signed)
- Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (signed)
- The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes (signed)
- The Humanity Project by Jean Thompson
- Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard by Kim Newman
- Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
- Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas
- Teardrop by Lauren Kate
- The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston
- The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
- Alex by Pierre Lemaitre
- Zen of Wonder by Frank Beddor (signed)
- Red Rising by Pierce Brown
- The Rathbones by Janice Clark
- The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
- Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
- These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
- Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford
- Relic by Heather Terrell
- Sunday You Learn How to Box by Bil Wright
- Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta
Not too bad, is it? Now, to only find the time to read all these loverly books!
So, not going to lie, this was a whirlwind busy weekend, but I would absolutely do it again and am already looking forward to next year. The ALA people really know how to put on a good show!