PW U.S. Book Show Day 3: Adult & Children’s YA

This second in person day at U.S. Book Show was much more hectic but still as fun and exciting. With sessions and galleys on two different floors and each track featuring writers and talents of interest to PCS there was a lot of running back and forth between various rooms to learn and capture what I could and get as full a show as possible while knowing some sessions would get partially or fully missed along the way.

The offerings of galleys in the Adult track was intense. Here is just the table set-up followed by what I procured in both the Adult and Children’s/YA galleys. Some books presented in panel, others not and some books presented in panel but did not have an ARC available at show time.

My first panel of the day was best selling author Meg Wolizter talking with Lauren Grofff.

The main focus of the discussion was The Vaster Wilds (September 2023, Penguin Random House). They went over inspiration, research and much of the plot doing a great job of promoting for a book that should be truly a compelling read.

From there I went upstairs to the Children’s/YA panel of Big Books of Next Season for a short time.

The story of how Peter H. Reynolds  newest (coming soon) “All We Need Is Love and a Big Soft Pillow” (September 2023, Orchard/Scholastic) cocreated with his at the time 10 year old son adds so much to it and has me loving it so much more. Repeating it exact would be difficult so get a U.S. Book Show virtual pass to truly appreciate. The jist is that it built from the simpleness of a father and son sharing perfect quiet moments together and knowing all they need is each other, but the son saying ” and a…” and it going from there.

The other books on display here but which no ARC or promotional was provided were a new series from Melissa De La Cruz [The (Super Secret) Octagon Valley Society (September 2023, Disney Hyperion)], the final chapter of Karen M. McManus’ One of Us (this one is titled One of Us Is Back <July 2023, Delacorte>) and Salt The Walter by Candice Iloh [October 2023, Dutton Books for Young Readers] Candice is a strong black queer/LGBTQ+ voice when more are truly needed.

Next up at Adult was Big Books of Next Season.

The portion of the panel I mainly caught had Mitch Albom relay the anecdote of Duke Ellington being dropped from his label and finding out it was because he wasn’t selling, with Duke reacing “I make the music, it’s your to sell it!”. This was in relation to the fact that this also not really being true in music and definitely in being an author. Appaerances, marketing, etc. is as much the part of the job as writing the novel itself.

The books featured on the panel were as follows: Elizabeth AcevedoFamily Lore (August, Ecco), Mitch Albom Little Liar (November 2023, Harper), Alice McDermottAbsolution (November 2023, Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Kiley Reid – Come and Get It (Jan 2024, G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

Up next was Glory Edim, founder of Well-Read Black Girl in discussion with Sarah Jessica Parker (and the show to promote her imprint SLG Lit and only it) and the second author published by the imprint Kim Coleman Foote. Coleman’s book Coleman Hill (September 2023, SLG Lit). A very spirited conversation detailing the importance of the book and how the book came to be as well as SLG’s fight to get to publish it.

After this a long break was taken and needed. While it may seem like a lot, the working gears to get to the show in time and arrange and organize everything, especially as Press has lots of varying levels of excitement. Having a chance to just breath is very important.

Once time to get back to the show I knew that P-CS would be spending a fair share of time over at Children’s as their were sessions one after the other of personal interest as well as one definite Pop-Culture interest.

That pop-culture interest was a session with Kenny Curtis and Jillian Hughes of the Greeking Out podcast. They were there to speak about the book Greeking Out: Epic Retellings of Classic Greek Myths (September, National Geographic Kids) based on the podcast which is a full circle as the podcast is based on a podcast.

Next was Ryan La Sala in a discussion with writer and editor David Levithan. I absolutely loved Ryan’s The Honeys and I am equally excited to read this horror book BEHOLDER (October 2023, Scholastic).

Next up on stage was Vichet Chum, a playwright to discuss his debut novel Kween (October 2023, Quill Tree Books). What I find very fascinated by is that Kween will soon also be workshopped as a play.

I had to head back down to the Adult track to hear Tess Gerritsen tells stories. While she was there to speak The Spy Coast (October 2023, Thomas & Mercer), she also just told wonderful stories about Maine and the community that inspired the novel. The inspiraration for the novel itself sounds almost like a better story, a community full of retired CIA agents. The novel has already been optioned for Amazon Studios, so many a show can combine the books ideas and the inspiration.

From there it was off to meet Matthew Gray Gubler before his non-moderated, power point presentation. Gubler dressed up was the most amazing thing. He’s a pure true joy. You seen it in his previous book but to see him be this infectious and so different than any role he’s known for other than slightly his documentary work and talk show appearances.

The powerpoint to promote his Little Kid with the Big Green Hand (September 2023, Amulet) was a wonderful hilarious affair. One of the presentations that honestly I feel the energy did not translate from in person to video, but I also was there live so it is hard for me to make a proper comparison.

At a point in all the running around I had also gotten to hear former TV writer Patty Lin talking about her memoir End Credits (September 2023, Zibby Books). Her story especially now in the midst of the 2023 WGA Strike seems very important even as it is personal to her experience.

Finally to close out the In-person sessions at the entirety of the 2023 U.S. Book Show were Keegan Michael Key and Elle Key to present their book The History of Sketch Comedy (Octobve

Based on their podcast of the same name  the book is memoir, education, and comedy all rolled in one. In my short time with an ARC I learned stuff, agreed with stuff and more. We are currently reading a book on BOOM Chicago which is part of the book as well and look forward to getting the BOOM book to read about it from their end.

As a whole the U.S. Book Show offered an experience completely original to itself. A small focused program open to the public if they chose to be involved with a smattering of both major celebrities and literary ones. For it to be bigger it would be a different show and could only happen with the backing of the publishing houses and a proper venue and a way for it to be finacially viable as well. For now I hope the U.S. Book Show continues as it really is a great opportunity for folks in New York, librarians, fans, readers and industry to get together outside of ALA.

ADDENDUM: The official number of  registrants for the U.S. Book Show including virtual and in-person was 4,210. In terms of virtual this is way lower than it deserved to be, the Virtual experience offers opportunites itself in exclusive computer arcs, contact with publicity and industry people and a chance to even meet fellow fans in a hub built and designed around the love of books. As I hope the in-person show continues I equally see the promise that a virtual show allows and can continue to allow into the future.

This entry was posted in Books, Conventions, Events & Expos, USBookShow. Bookmark the permalink.