At times during the second day of Book Group Expo I found myself wanting to say "I have a book group...it's just on the Internet." There's a certain awkwardness when you're a solo reader at a convention intended for those who read together, but while we have no formal group agreement most of the book blogs I follow read the same books as I around the same time, so there's discussion. It's like a book group...except it's not. Luckily, after this weekend I will be able to find a book group pretty easily if I decide that's something I'd like to take on.
Again, in-depth coverage of the panels will wait until I have access to photos (through BGE's website since my camera seems to have given up the electronic ghost) and recordings, so I don't recall anything incorrectly. But briefly, some highlights:
- Significantly less people were present than on Saturday. I wonder if it's because they didn't know it was a two-day event, or if most people can only take so much about books? There were more young people at Sunday's gathering, but perhaps they were only easier to find with the smaller crowds. All in all, still prominently middle-aged white women between 40 and 65.
- Panels attended:
- Go Tell It on the Mountain: An Inspiration Celebration with Kristin Billerbeck, Van Joes and Garth Stein, with Sam Barry moderating
- The Liar's Club: Let Me Tell You A Story moderated by Julie Robinson, with Rabih Alameddine, Selden Edwards, Michelle Richmond
- Where There's a Will...Shakespeare in the 21st Century with Jennifer Lee Carrell, Reed Martin, Austin Tichenor, Julia Flynn Siler, and Kirsten Brandt moderating
- Garth Stein is surprisingly hot, considering he may be old enough to be my dad (but a very young dad). He's got beautiful eyes.
- Considering he worked on his first novel, The Little Book, for over thirty years, Seldon Edwards may be my new hero. I seriously cannot wait to read his book. That's a major problem with Book Group Expo - my book wishlist grows far beyond my ability to read!
- Interred with Their Bones, a thriller in which the murderer copies famous deaths in Shakespeare's plays, was a book that I considered requesting before it was published, but since thrillers aren't my cup of tea I decided against it. Good choice. From the way it was described by its author, Jennifer Lee Carrell, it might make a good movie (think: National Treasure) but I wouldn't enjoy reading it. Carrell totally won the prize for self-promotion, though. It seemed that every sentence began with "When I was writing my book-" or "In my book-." I mean, every author does that during their panels, but she was the most blatent by far.
- Joshua Henkin was wandering around BGE handing out envelopes containing information about his latest novel, Matrimony, and an offer of a free bottle of wine for book groups discussing it. No free wine for me, alas. But I did enjoy his essay "A Writer Visits Book Groups", so I thought I'd post the link so ya'll can read along, too.
- Someone mentioned that Christopher Moore (not present) has a new novel coming out in February 2009, and it will be about one of Shakespeares' jesters, that one from King Lear. Waaaaaaaaaaay too cool.
More to come later. Lots of fun, wish I'd had a chance to speak with the authors present, but once again work interferes.