Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Armchair BEA: Book Signings and Author Sightings

It isn't true that all book bloggers have left the blogosphere to attend the BEA (Book Expo America) in New York this week.  There is, for example, me!  I'm still here at home, and I have discovered that other book bloggers (like Sarah of Puss Reboots, who designed the logo pictured here) have decided we could have our own BEA on our blogs.  Here are some examples:
  • Yesterday Chris of Book-A-Rama posted I See Dead People and populated her "dream panel" with dead authors -- Jane Austen, Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot), and Charlotte Bronte -- adding, "though I doubt Charlotte would be comfortable being stared at by so many people."
  • Today Nancy, the Bookfool, posted Blast from the Past, showing us a dozen books she fell in love with as a child and as a young mother.
  • Yesterday Florinda of the 3 R's Blog posted If I were there, and NOT in my chair. She imagined herself THERE in New York City and wandered through the New Title Showcase.
I knew I needed an idea, so I searched Armchair BEA Central's suggestions and came up with this BEA-related one.


Here I am with Fannie Flagg, who is signing my copy of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. (Photographing a small snapshot with my cell phone caused that reflection across the top.)  My favorite of all her books is Red Bird Christmas, because of quotes like this one from page 35:
Mildred looked at her, highly incensed. “And just how am I supposed to know what I want until I get there? That’s why it’s called shopping, Frances!” And with that she marched out the door.
Laurie Halse Anderson signed Fever 1793 for me when she was in Chattanooga a couple of years ago.  I have reviewed her YA novel Speak, which has been challenged, on this blog and on my Banned Books blog.

John Dominic Crossan signs books as "Dominic," as you can see.  This is what he wrote for me in his memoir A Long Way from Tipperary.  I've met him a couple of times, once when he led a seminar about his book God and Empire and another time on The First Paul, which he wrote with Marcus Borg.

Dom's friend and occasional co-author, Marcus Borg, led a day-long seminar that I attended on his book The Heart of Christianity.  I got my email moniker from that book:  Emerging Paradigm.

After driving three hours to a conference in the northeast corner of Tennessee, I lucked out and actually had lunch at Masha Hamilton's table before taking part in her workshop about her novel The Camel Bookmobile.

Theda Perdue wrote a history of Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700-1835, probably the best history book I've ever read.  Aong with the other women of my face-to-face book club, I met her when she spoke at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on the same night we sat around a table to discuss her book.

Years ago, I drove an hour north of here to hear Madeleine L'Engle, who wrote A Wrinkle in Time and dozens of other books.  She was younger then than this picture of her.  She is one of my favorite authors of all time, and I was surprised at how sad I was when I heard she had died in 2007.

Robert Hicks signed his novel, A Separate Country, for me.  I've been to two of his book signings.

I'm trying to remember other authors I have met, but this may have to do for now.


Addendum (5-27-2010):  Yep, I knew I'd start remembering other authors I've met.  Here are two more I have remembered this morning.

Just this past August I met Susan Gregg Gilmore at a local bookstore where she was promoting her 2008 book Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen. Here's a teaser from page 236:
"My mama and daddy had certainly left me a mess to sort out, and I couldn't think of a single verse of scripture that was going to comfort me as I came to terms with an adulterating daddy, a resurrected mama, and an expectant mistress with an imaginary fiance."
And another author I met was Paul Von Ward, who wrote Soul Genome.  I've run into him a time or two since I first met him two years ago, and he has signed three of his books for me:  Our Solarian Legacy, The Soul Genome, and Gods, Genes, and Consciousness.

UPDATE on Sept 8, 2010:  I met Janisse Ray about a decade ago, but I had forgotten until I read about her on another blog. I've written about her on my blog today.  Click here to read about her and her books.

UPDATE on Dec 12, 2010:  Helen listed books she read during 2010 that got her highest rating, and among them is Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis.  That reminded me that I met him at a reception held in the home of another member of the committee that brought him to Chattanooga.  I even chatted with him over hors d'oeuvres.  I highly recommend Bud, Not Buddy.

And it just crossed my mind that I met Avi at a conference in Kentucky.  My favorite book by Avi is Nothing But the Truth.

The list keeps getting longer.  So far I've remembered Fannie Flagg, Laurie Halse Anderson, John Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg, Masha Hamilton, Theda Perdue, Madeleine L'Engle, Robert Hicks, Susan Gregg Gilmore, Paul Von Ward, Janisse Ray, Christopher Paul Curtis, and Avi.  That's a baker's dozen (thirteen, in other words).


Bonnie Jacobs said...

Get in on the fun by going here:

pussreboots said...

Lovely post. Welcome to Armchair BEA. :)

Here's my posted interview of Valerie of Life is a Patchwork Quilt

Melissa said...

Oh, how awesome that you had the chance to have lunch with Masha Hamilton! I absolutely loved The Camel Bookmobile.

Great post! I wrote mine on meeting author Beth Kephart, but I love the idea of a compilation of all the book signings/author meetings I've been to. Might have to borrow this idea ....

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Sarah, Valerie's "band width" was exceeded (you made her famous!), so I couldn't get to her blog.

Melissa, I'd love to read about all the authors you have met!

Susan Tidwell said...

Great post, Bonnie! Who needs to go to New York when you can join the fun online. Have a great day!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Yep, I knew I'd start remembering other authors I've met. Just this past August I met Susan Gregg Gilmore at a local bookstore, and a couple of years ago I met Paul Von Ward for the first time.

(I'll go back and add these at the bottom of my post.)

Florinda said...

Thank you for linking to my first Armchair BEA post! Today, there's a great discussion going on about blogger/publisher relations.

I'm SO envious that you met Madeleine L'Engle. A friend of mine attended a few writing retreats she led during the late '80's.

Bookfool said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Bonnie! You've met a LOT of authors. We have at least one in common. I met Madeleine L'Engle when we were living in Tulsa and I was very pregnant with my eldest son. I don't think I want to admit how many years ago that was, but her husband was still alive. :)

Great post!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Nancy, I think I met Madeleine L'Engle in the early 1980s, but I'm not sure exactly.

Bookfool said...

Okay, I confess. It was 1984 when I met L'Engle. Her husband (who was just about as deaf as a post) was in town for a class reunion -- he went to high school in Tulsa. We were very fortunate to see her; we didn't live in Tulsa for very long, so the timing was excellent.

Marg said...

Fun post Bonnie! I reminisced about meeting an author for one of my Armchair BEA posts too!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I met Janisse Ray about a decade ago, but I had forgotten until I read about her on another blog. I've written about her on my blog today.