Book Expo: The Big Round-Up of Books that Buzz

Happy Friday, kittens! Book Expo America (BEA) was a week ago, and it's time to look at some of the books of the show. First up: the buzziest of the buzz books, collected from the show floor, editors' buzz panels, and the chit-chat around which signings had the longest lines.

(Wherever possible, links below link to Indiebound if you're interested in pre-ordering a copy yourself from your nearest independent bookstore.)

The BEA Editors' Buzz Panel was held Wednesday evening at McCormick, with editors for each of six forthcoming titles talking about why they were excited for the book selected. First up was a non-fiction pick I myself can't wait to read (and one that will likely be coming soon to an #SJBC near you...): Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives, by Gary Younge (Nation, Oct 2016), which chronicles the stories of ten children killed by guns in the United States. The rest of the panel selections were fiction, but that's not to say they didn't deal in similarly weighty topics. Darktown, by Thomas Mullen (Atria/37 Ink, Sept 2016) is a historical novel about the integration of the Atlanta police force. History of Wolves, by Emily Fridlund (Grove Atlantic, January 2017), is the story of the daughter of counter-culture parents with a big family secret. Emma Flint's Little Deaths (Hachette, January 2017) is a suspense novel about the murder of two children in 1960s New York--which, to make it all the more eerie, is inspired by true events. I was excited about The Mothers, by Brit Bennett, before the show, but hearing the editors' pitch about this debut novel has me all the more excited for it. And lastly--but certainly not least--another debut from Nathan Hill, The Nix, is said to bring together the two stories of two individuals bound by the experience of social injustice. I'm told this has a ten-page sentence. Color me intrigued.

Around the show floor, the buzziest books were a little bit different (read: not as much non-fiction and literary fiction). Though several of these are not for me, I'm including them here as I expect they'll continue to be hyped as the year unfolds. First up was Blake Crouch's Dark Matter (Crown, July 2016), a sci-fi thriller, which had a massive display inside the Penguin Random House booth. The same booth was pushing The Girls, a debut novel from Emma Cline, pretty hard (Random House, June 2016). Ann Patchett has a new novel coming out, Commonwealth (Harper, September 2016), which many seem to be looking forward to (and I'm told for good reason; I've not read Patchett myself but I have several of her books on my list).

Not surprisingly, the new book coming up from Nicholas Sparks, Two by Two (Grand Central, October 2016) had a signing line that made my head spin; personally I won't be seeking this one out, but fans of Sparks should take note of his new novel about love overcoming all odds. Jonathan Safran Foer's first novel in years, Here I Am (FSG, September 2016), was predictably talked about on the show floor, and Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad (Doubleday, September 2016), a novel about a young slave's search for freedom, was much-buzzed (and personally I cannot wait to get to this one myself). Jennifer Close was also signing The Hopefuls (Knopf, July 2016), which I was hopeful I'd be able to pick up (see what I did there) but unfortunately didn't happen. I'm still looking forward to this one.

Celebrity-wise, Amy Schumer has a book out, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo (Gallery, August 2016)--and there were apparently lower-back temporary tattoos available in the booth (I skipped the lower-back temps but did go for an Alice in Wonderland tattoo from Litographs' booth). Carrie Fisher also has a new book out this fall (The Princess Diarist, Blue Rider, October 2016).


What buzzy books are you most excited about this year?? What am I missing?


Stay tuned for a round-up of new books from (my most) beloved authors and a collection of forthcoming titles from indie presses I was excited to discover at the show.

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