Book geeks like myself are drawn to the physicality of books. Most of us have huge collections of novels that we have read or that we’re going to read, and both sides of these lists are always growing. However, if book lovers like collecting books (and reading them), then imagine how great their desire is to collect the holy grail of a book lover’s world – the signature of their favorite author, especially a personalized one.
Like every other book geek, the idea of collecting author autographs is appealing to me. Now that most of the book blogging community is down in NYC for Book Expo America (BEA) getting all of their new ARCs signed, it seems like a fitting time to talk about my experience with book signings. It just so happens that up to this precise moment, I only have one signed copy of a book in my possession. So what is my single, signed book and who wrote it? David Sedaris‘ latest book When You Are Engulfed In Flames, and now for the story, because in true form, there definitely is a story here.
Back in the summer of 2008, I glanced in a local paper and noticed that one of my favorite writers would be making his way to my city while on tour for his latest book. No matter what, I knew I had to go to this reading, just so I could sit back and laugh over and over again. Being a DavidSedaris reading and book signing, I wasn’t disappointed at all in the laughter that the reading induced. Those who know me, however, know that I’m pretty shy under normal circumstances, so when meeting someone who I admired as much as him (especially two years ago), it wasn’t pretty. I waited in line for about an hour, and the whole time I was thinking, “What can I say to him?” I wanted to seem smart, funny and entertaining, and it was a lot of pressure…too much really.
(First bit of advice to would-be BEA attendees, don’t try to impress, just be yourself and the great parts about you will come shining through – if only I’d thought of this two years ago!?!)
I’m sure you can imagine that the more I pressured myself to say something witty, the less likely it was going to become a reality. However, I kept trying, thinking, and of course, waiting. Perhaps I should have been reading from my new, soon-to-be signed copy of WhenYouAreEngulfedInFlames because you see, I hadn’t actually read this collection of personal essays yet – only four of his older books. Perhaps that would have sparked some ideas about what I could or should say. Instead, I read from another new book I picked up and decided I wanted while waiting in the line. When it was finally my turn to get my book signed, I still hadn’t thought of anything really great to say, so David took the lead asking me about the other book I had in my hand. My answer was so hesitant (and we were in Montreal afterall), so the FUNNIEST thing happened, David mistook me for a Francophone, which really only matters because I’m so definitively not. This wouldn’t be so bad except for two things:
1. My mother tongue IS English
2. I have an M.A. in English Literature
Didn’t I tell you that it was funny in a David Sedaris type of way? Check out his books, and in the meantime, check out this picture of the inscription or rather drawing that he left in my copy:
Thanks for checking out my first Armchair BEA post, and remember that there’s more to come as the week progresses. Let me know what you think about this absurd situation – I’m actually dying for someone to laugh at me.
Last week, there was a cornucopia of books flowing into my home. Now this week, I have significantly less to report on What’s In My Mailbox? Regardless of the number, I’d say that I’ve received some quality books. I’m really excited about each one of these novels, and I hope that you will be too.
Recently, my parents came to visit. While they were here, my mom was reading The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. In case you didn’t know, this book came out in 2009, but they recently released a movie version starring Mylie Cyrus, so sales of the novel have seen a resurgence lately. Why am I telling you this? Well, during her trip, my mom actually finished this novel, and as I passed on to her my copy of White Oleander to read, she gave me her copy of Sparks’ novel – YAY! I’m really looking forward to this complex novel about a 17-year-old girl, who is forced to spend the summer with her father in North Carolina, after three years of estrangement. It isn’t until she meets and falls in love with Will, the last person she ever thought she’d want, that things start to fall into…and perhaps, out of place at the same time.
Next to arrive was a book that I’ve already written about on my blog, GimmeACall by Sarah Mlynowski. I won this book in a contest held on Melissa Walker’s site, so you can bet that I was so excited to get the news that I won and even more elated when it actually arrived at my door. I’m sure that whether you’re a teen or adult reader of YA novels, you’ll appreciate this fun, lighthearted novel that deals with the trials and tribulations that teens face. Life might not be turning out the way Devi imagined it would. However, when she drops her cellphone in a fountain, something strange and mysterious happens: the phone only calls one number – her’s from three years ago! What would you do if you could say anything to your high school self? Think about it, but in the mean time read Gimme A Call.
Now that your summer reading decisions have been made *hint hint*, you might start thinking about what you’ll read next fall. Recently, I published a review of John Boyne‘s The Boy The Striped Pajamas. In While Boyne mostly writes adult fiction, in October you can expect another children’s novel from him called, Noah Barleywater Runs Away, and I just received my advance galley copy of it. If this novel about a young boy’s journey, which changes his life, is anything like Boyne’s last kid’s book, then it will definitely change yours too. Can’t wait to read and share the John Boyne love with you!
Last, but definitely not least, I won a bookmark and goody bag from There’s A Book! awhile back, and I just got it last week. The bookmark and the items contained in the rest of the prize pack all have something to do with a new tween book from Barbara Dee called This Is Me From Now On, which was released in April. I don’t know if I’ll have a chance to read it, but if I do, I may just wear the matching necklace, chew the sugarless bubble gum and test out the wild raspberry Lip Smacker that came in my prize pack.
Let me know what you think of these books if you’ve read them already or tell me if you’re as excited as I am about these new books and book accessories!
If you’ve entered for the chance to win 1 of 3 copies of Jane Slayre, then the wait to know if you actually received a copy of this classic novel with a monster mash-up twist is finally over! Before you jump up and down to rejoice your win, you might want to wait till I actually announce the 3 lucky winners…geesh. ; )
Before I tell you who won, there is one other thing that I’d like to mention. On Friday, May 28th, I’m going to have a very special event. I will post my first interview with Sherri Browning Erwin, and throughout the day, she’ll be popping into my blog to respond to questions that you pose! I’m also inviting people to email me if they want their questions to be one of the ones I ask in the official interview. You have three and a half more hours to email me, otherwise you’ll need to come back on Friday and comment on my blog to ask your questions.
Now, we had 20 people enter the contest, but with all the extra entries that some people racked up, there were a total of 80 possible chances to win that I accepted. From some of the comments I got on Twitter, at least one person forgot to come back and sign up. Make sure you enter early next time. Without further ado, here are the winners of the Jane Slayre giveaway.
1. With #76, Kimberly H @SimmieTaye is the first winner!
2. With #35, Kay Fraser @kaymfraser is the second winner!
3. And finally, with #49, Casey @thebookishtype is the third winner!
I’ve emailed all winners, and they have 48 hours to respond with their addresses before I give the prize to another person. Thanks for everyone who entered, and remember to send me your questions and come back Friday to read the Sherri Browning Erwin interview!