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The Best Books of BEA (in my highly biased opinion)

I got a lot of books at Book Expo America. Like a lot. Mainly because it was held in Chicago this year, so I had no concerns about how to get them home. 

(all not pictured)

Some of these books I very purposely sought out.  Some I thought looked neat as I passed by and I grabbed 'em. Some were placed in my hand by publishers who just didn't want to carry them home. Which am I most excited about?

Dust Bowl Girls. Pitched as A League of Their Own meets Boys in the Boat, and then they had to explain what Boys in the Boat is to me because that is not my area of interest. This is about a group of girls in the Depression who were basically The Sandlot, but with basketball and girls and no James Earl Jones-owned giant dog. Or weirdly successful without-consent lifeguard kissing.

ok but if I saw this cosplay in person I would lose my shit

The players in Dust Bowl Girls beat BABE DIDRIKSON'S TEAM. That's right, the woman we only know about because of that time Emily Deschanel played her on Drunk History. So it's maybe less like The Sandlot and more like Little Giants. Oh man. What a great movie. So it's probably a great book. I'm pretty psyched.

Frontier Grit. I have way less to say about this. And I am so sorry about that. I saw it listed in the daily handout for BEA. It's about ladies in the Old West. I love ladies AND the Old West, so I figured...hey, better get that book.

Mary Astor's Purple Diary. Ok, this is by cartoonist Edward Sorel and it not only has awesome illustrations and is totally the result of him fangirling Mary Astor hard for YEARS, but it introduced me to the people at Liveright Publishing, and they're crazy-nice and have very pretty books and let me have a copy of Mary Beard's SPQR, which I will probably maybe read someday.

look at how GREAT this cover is

A List of Cages. I got this from the Disney booth, and the girl telling us about it legit started tearing up while talking about it, so that bumped it up on the reading list by a ton. I don't even remember what she said it was about. No idea. But jumping into something sight unseen is how Julianne Moore's The Forgotten went from a psychodrama to a sci-fi movie for me in one stunning second (of aliens snatching people onscreen).

Nothing else is right near the top of my attention, but Rebecca Solnit's Silence is Broken will undoubtedly be great, You'll Grow Out of It was written by one of Amy Schumer's writers and I love that damn show, and I paid for The Lunch Witch at Book Con, but I'm psyched about it, and buying it led to me haggling with its Canadian publisher, because haha this might be Book Con, but I just spent three days getting free books at BEA do you think I'm paying full price for this I don't think so.

If you want a more varied list, I wrote one for Book Riot, which includes many books I did not pick up (primarily of the YA variety). I also wrote one about the totebags of BEA. This is a subject about which I have very strong feelings. My happiest moment at Book Con happened when my friend spotted a Twin Peaks tote, I asked the lady where she got it, AND SHE GAVE ME HERS. 

Oh, Twin Peaks. You might be a weird, murdery alternate universe, but you're the AU in which I most want to live. "What about Narnia, Alice?" Yeah, no. You go and have tea with trousered fauns. Sounds great. A+ time. I'll be at the Double R Diner making disapproving faces at Bobby and Shelly and encouraging Agent Dale Cooper to get with Audrey Horne even through her age makes this a terrible idea.


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