Last night's updates would have been Red sky in the morning, book people take warning! (aka, There is no way I am going out on a boat in this weather! Even if it is docked and really cute!) and This New Orleans-style bar is already out of Abita's Purple Haze! Noooooooooooo!
|Bourbon Street Bar & Grill, setting of the Digital Book World party. Cute, yes? Yes. Would be cuter with more Abita.|
True confession time: I killed my cell phone, and have been too lazy to get a new one. One that, you know, can get the internet (even) in (very far west) Manhattan. Temporary, until-I-get-an-upgrade-in-June GoPhone, you are my frenemy.
So, I'm back in the office, taking a breather. Yes, you read that right. Taking a break. By doing work.
That said, five very awesome-sounding books (and their editors) were on display this year. I lust(ed) heartily after four of the books, and take a keen interest in the fifth. The moderator, from the NYPL (did you know the lions had a cleaning in 2004 and, ever since, have not been allowed their annual holiday wreaths? Neither did I) was at once hilarious and insightful.
The five buzz books:
The aforementioned Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Down the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham
As the moderator pointed out--yes, a lot of these covers feature girls flying without faces.
There were great stories to go along with these books--an editor calling an agent back after reading six pages, and telling her "Don't you dare sell this without telling me"; unanimously approving ed boards (which is rare); books selected via websites (one did very well on InkPop); an editor growing up in the city, having no idea what a badger looks like, and asking her cover artist, "Really? That's what they look like?" and--my favorite, for its perfect way of describing a book's ability to be both funny and horrific--an editor was reading the manuscript and her daughter asked why she was laughing. And she had to tell her that it was because a man was being attacked by a bear. (Which got a roar of approval from the crowd.)
It's always a bit crazy at the end of these buzz panels--everyone follows everyone else, hoping to discover where the ARCs are and get a good spot to hover. Usually there's a table; this year--for whatever reason--there were boxes in a corner that went unopened after the first box was given away. Picture around fifty or seventy young women, most in their twenties, close to willing to resort to violence. When we were all standing there for a long time (okay, probably less than a minute, but still) without any new boxes opened, one edit-staffer tore open the first box, and started passing them to those in the front, who passed them back. A very civilized arrangement, many people commented. The people from the next group told us (over the loudspeaker) we had to leave--nothing. There were no tools, only fingernails--still, the feeding frenzy continued. The Carrier of the Mark was gone in about thirty seconds. I heard rumor of a small box of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, but never saw it.
I got out of there with four ARCs (yes, two of Daughter of Smoke & Bone--I've read only the first page, but I'm enchanted already) and only one minor scratch. Not to worry, I have Band-Aids. I come prepared.
In terms of parties, yes, there were several last night and our schedules for the next few days are simply ridiculous. You can check out the list of (semi-) public parties here. It's my prediction that the Soho Press party tonight will be one of the biggest (yes, perhaps because of the open bar). Huge groups of rather important people were turned away for the Electric Literature party at the very swanky Standard in the Meatpacking District (not my favorite neighborhood: it seems to consist mostly of cobblestones and stilettos); no one knew they had to RSVP. In the elevator, on the defeated ride back down eighteen stories, someone commented on how "the gatekeeper" (I'm sure they meant the young, modelesque women who heard these famous names and replied that, no, they don't know who they are) was very tough. Which got something of an inappropriate chuckle from me.
|The lobby of the Standard Hotel|
So, yes. Time for more coffee, more sugar (I'm seriously loving these caramel-covered chocolate wedges from Trader Joe's), more zooming around like a madwoman. In flats, today. Tried the (low) heels yesterday, and that's just not going to happen again. Like I said: Band-Aids.
Hope this finds you well.