Friday, June 11, 2010

We will not be Shushed, 24-Hour Read-in

Live Video Stream of "We Will Not Be Shushed," a 24-hour read-in to support the New York City libraries. Saturday, June 12, 2010, 5:00 p.m. - Sunday, June 13, 2010, 5:00 p.m. on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library @ Grand Army Plaza.

The stream can be viewed at (under savenyclibraries), and this blog

Saturday, May 29, 2010

BookExpo America 2010 Awards!

The BookExpo Awards have returned! The awards pay tribute to authors, librarians, publishers and anyone who contributes to the success and essence of BookExpo. A quick disclaimer to readers: the awards are beginning to garner a reputation, but you should read them anyway, so let's start!

"Moment-in-time, picture-taking moment" Award

This award goes to the Moon (lower right-hand corner) for gracing the New Yorker skyline, and clearly being there to welcome in the opening night of BookExpo, as discovered by colleague Helen Tomlinson.

"In Pursuit of Excellence" Award!

This award goes to Opening Session
speaker Barbra "Babs" Streisand, who had a one-on-one, sit-down interview with Oprah's bff, Gayle King. The interview, which largely focused on Ms. Steisand's new book My Passion for Design (right) as well as her impeccable design and aesthetic, revealed the following:

#1: Ms. Steisand, at a very young age, use to play under the kitchen table, withdrawing into her imagination and creating a world outside of her humble abode in Brooklyn
#2: She loved reading Nancy Drew books as a youngster
#3: Her love of design blossomed during her location scouting for "The Prince of Tides," in which she designed a set inspired by her imagination
#4: Aptly corrected Gayle King when asked if she was a perfectionist, indicating that her aim is in pursuit of excellence

In sum, we discovered that Babs is, in every definition of the word, an artist. From singing to directing to designing to writing, she embodies the truest spirit of an artist, escaping into her imagination and creating. With great honor, we welcome Ms. Steisand to the imagination of writing and to the wonderful world of books!

"But they seem so nice and sweet" Award!

This award goes to the authors of Bite Me! This sister duo, Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat (left), appear in every way, the classic, sweet, all-American sisters from next-door, who have stirred up a paradoxical book campaign, combining their wholesome Suzy homemaker image with a saucy, adjective-filled cookbook entitled, Bite Me: A Stomach-Satisfying, Visually Gratifying, Fresh-Mouthed Cookbook.

Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings meets Twilight meets The Da Vinci Code Award!

Yes, I know, you really have to fit the niche for this award, but we do have a winner! This award goes to The Goddess Phophecies by D. R. Whitney (right). The story--Vivienne Le Faye, 16-years-old, unaware of her noble heritage, inherits a priceless family amulet and a strange family curse that haunts her. She will be cast into a 5-book epic featuring a mystical world of witchery and magic filled with portals, dragons, orbs, the cup of immortality, and supernatural gifts; only to be protected by her immortal love (sorry girls, not Edward Cullen)--a boy with blazing golden eyes who shields her from all things evil. Fantasy at its best!

The Southpaw Award!

This award goes to Ziggy creator Tom Wilson (left), Sara Gruen (right), and all the other left-handed authors out there! My, those left-handers are a creative, talented, truly awe-inspiring group of amazing human beings! Our left-handed writers provide the ying yang, universal balance in the world of right-handed writers, which, without them, would most likely result in an off-tilting of the Earth's axis, a catastrophic shifting of the tectonic plates and ultimately, our planet's gravitational pull right into the Sun (ouch!). So, please remember this and be really grateful the next time you read Ziggy!

"Oh, do you work for Library Journal?" Award!

The Librarian Lounge is a place for librarians to put down their heavy, over-stuffed totes, rest from the hunt for swag, and regroup, refocus and reenergize with FREE refreshments. This space and these refreshments are graciously sponsored, year after year, by Library Journal. This year, Library Journal staffers greeted and mingled with the Librarians. One such staffer looked familiar and when asked, 'oh, do you work for Library Journal?'--she could have responded with "like, uh, yeah, I'm only the Editor-in-Chief of Library Journal" she simply and understatedly said "yes." So, we thank Editor-in-Chief Francine Fialkoff for her modesty and Library Journal for sponsoring the Librarian Lounge!

Librarians' Editor Pick Award!

During Library Journal's Day of Dialog, the latest titles
and trends were presented by four editors during "Editors' Picks." With a twist on a good thing, we offer the Librarians' pick for the Editor to watch! The backstory: A publisher and vice-president with her own imprint, Amy Einhorn Books selects purposeful books with sustenance and reverence! This imprint published the hugely-successful book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, demonstrating this Editor's innate ability to choose contemporary literary masterpieces coupled with the commercial success of language translations, movie rights and selling a quadtrillion copies!

"What is up with Dogs and BookExpo" Award!

Inevitably, dogs make their way into BookExpo every year! This year is no exception as evidenced by the doggie swag (left), books galore including Puppies: Wet Noses and Fuzzy Bellies (lower left) and a tribute to Boo Boo, the world's smallest living dog (below)!

Best Librarian/Author conversation Award!

"You're awesome!"
"You're awesome!"
"You're super awesome!"
(the end)

Big award to Children's author Peter Brown (right) for quickly catching on that Librarians really do have the final say. Plus, to Little, Brown and Company for offering a great litho (left) when they ran out of Peter's new book, Children Make Terrible Pets ,due out in September 2010. But wait, is Peter a leftie as well?

The Unofficial, Official BookExpo Tote Award!

Most years at BookExpo, a tote will appear out of nowhere, readily available, on display by the registration area, and becomes the unofficial, official tote for BookExpo (right). And often, this generous exhibitor, usually small and unassuming, goes unnoticed and is lost in this grand offering. Ah, but not this year! Let us pause and take a moment to thank Eunice Tse and her family's business, TSE Worldwide Press Inc., which provides book-printing, custom packaging & conceptual design to book-sellers and libraries worldwide! Thank you to the Tse family for this great tote!

Best reference to pop culture and most eye-catching, swanky book cover Award!

Leave it to an art book publisher, Assouline, to give us a brilliant, visually-inspiring book cover and leaving us secretly hoping for a Lulu remake of To India, with Love, starring a young Ben Kingsley look-alike, with set design by a colorizing, crazed Andy Warhol type.

Best Swag Award!

The exhibitors always provide great and interesting swag, ranging from small orange construction cones to lanyards to pighead squishy toys. This year's winners gave us exceptional swag (pictured above):

1st Place: C & C Offset Printing Co., Ltd. generously provided a set of three pop-up maps which included Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai!
2nd Place: Waterford Press offered two beautifully illustrated identification brochure guides for New York City Birds and Central Park Wildlife!
3rd Place: Rough Guides gave out a fold-up map of New York City--no ordinary map, a special map, a waterproof map!

Best Tote by Category Award!

The winning Exhibitors, by age category, have earned a reputation for consistently providing outstanding totes, year after year! The winners are:

Children's: Kids Can Press continues to reach excellence in offering sturdy totes that truly showcase its books and characters with brilliance! Scaredy Squirrel and Chester, two beloved Children's book characters from Kids Can Press, adorn this tote (above), clearly making it the first place tote in the Children's category!

Young Adult: Penguin
Promoting the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series, this was the most popular tote (right) among young Librarians, who seemed seduced by the Pac-Man vampire design. Kudos to Penguin for offering an unlimited supply as well as a brilliant tote in multiple colors!

Adult: Ingram scores first place again with its tribute to the greatest city in the world, the Big Apple (left)!

Newcomer to Totes Award:: Roaring Brook Press makes a sweeping entrance to the world of totes with this off-beat, alternative-looking tote (right)!

A back to reality moment Award!

While for many, the few days of BookExpo becomes the Center of our Universe, only because it is such a rich, wonderful and exciting experience, there were two important life events that happened simitaneously with BookExpo.

The first was a rally at City Hall (left) to save the public libraries in New York City from devastating budget cuts that will unemploy librarians and decimate library services for millions of New Yorkers.
The other event was the joyous graduation ceremony of library and information science students (right: Selina Sharmin and Kimmie Szeto from Queens Library) at Queens College. So, this award goes to the graduates entering the profession and the practicing librarians (Queens Library's Aliqae Geraci, Anne Marie Clarke, and Nancy Weiss, to name only a few) fighting for the very basic services offered by libraries and librarians.

While this harsh economy endangers new librarians finding employment and cripples library services and librarians' livelihoods, it offers us an opportunity to discern what is important, what is essential and what is necessary. Yes, yes BookExpo is important, but libraries and librarians are more so. Libraries serve a fundamental role in our communities and librarians offer an invaluable service that will always, always be necessary, essential and important.

Most interesting BookExpo fact Award!

From start to finish, it takes 18 months for publishers to give us a book.

Best Cover Award!

Memo to publishers: "If you put scaly creatures, floppy-earred dachshunds and snowpets on the cover, the Librarians will take your catalog." But even better, you may receive one of these serendipitous awards!

1st Place: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (top left); 2nd Place: Waterford Press (top right); 3rd Place: Sleeping Bear Press (bottom left)

Best Tote & Exhibitor Award!

Drum roll, please. As exhibitors wait on bated breathe, the winner of this dynamic duo award is Ingram! Consistently, Ingram has provided a strong, durable plastic tote, with a design that honors the hosting city of BookExpo! And more importantly, a small group of librarians, waiting in line for Justin Cronin's The Passage, collectively decided that the tote was just great and perfect for carrying groceries. Oh, those librarians, so practical and sensible! Ingram continues to exemplify the truest essence of BookExpo--being front and center with a large exhibit space during hard economic times, continuing to offer great, traditional service & product, and providing a tote that advertises its name, pays homage to the capital of the publishing world and lastly, helps the librarians bring produce home to their families.

"I can't believe I snagged that" Award!

In the final hours of BookExpo, as the Exhibitors pack up and the few remaining Librarians drag their totes, exhibitors will give away books that, well, they just don't want to pack up and lug back to their publishing houses. Here are a few of those snags...

Best decision ever Award!

BookExpo America has decided that the exhibits will return to 3 days next year, making the new dates May 24-26, 2011. Mark your calendars!

BookExpo America 2010 Pictures:

Pictured clockwise, sort of: Left-handed Michael Connelly autographing while saving the world just by being (top center); authors' first computer displayed by Abrams (upper middle right); Jane Pauley's husband's new book (middle left); the next best book blogger, Lori Hettler, The Next Best Book Club (lower middle right); and Harper Lee's 50th anniversary of setting the bar high for great American literature (lower center)