Saturday, February 02, 2008

Winter Institute 08

It took me all damn week but I'm finally posting some info and photos from last weekend in Louisville. The American Booksellers Association started Winter Institute three years ago as a chance to add more educational services directly for booksellers. In attendance were 500 booksellers from all over the country, sales reps, publishing bigwigs, people who will soon open new stores, authors, both established and up-and-comers, the always amazing ABA staff and the assorted book dork like me. While this same crowd attends Book Expo America, the show is such a huge, sprawling production that the opportunity to put on meaningful classes is almost unachievable. This is an excellent alternative and I was really happy to have attended if only for a day and a half (the Institute ran from Thursday evening until Sunday morning).

The big houses were all flogging new titles and brought some name firepower like Augusten Burroughs and Mary Roach and authors they're trying to break like Garth Stein whose upcoming The Art of Racing in the Rain has Harper Collins heaving with high hopes.

A few other titles that were getting a lot of buzz:

--Hachette/Grand Central (or whatever their name is this week) is pushing Things I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me by Ben Karlin, the former executive producer of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report

--Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles from Houghton Mifflin

--The Resurrectionist and Mudbound from Algonquin. What they say goes so expect both of these to do well

and the one I've been eagerly awaiting and which I just started, So Brave, Young, and Handsome, Leif Enger's first new novel since the amazing Peace Like A River. Despite the fact that I gushed like a teenage fanboy when I met him, he still agreed to take a photo with me:

Leif Enger and Reed Next. What a nice guy despite his obvious discomfort! Sorry Leif but love the Slim-Jim tie!

Here are some more photos of the Friday evening author reception:

Book Sense maven Mark Nichols, who I hope greets me at the gates of Heaven and says "I was able to make some calls and get you in." That's just the kind of man he is and I hope I'm that lucky.

The lovely Lindsay McGuirk, the latest addition to the all-stars at Algonquin.

Speaking of Algonquin, here's Craig Popelars,
Algonquin VP of marketing, just ruining the picture! Wait'll Hellfire!

John Mutter, the big pen at Shelf Awareness, flanked by Hap Houlihan and Wyn Morris of the soon-to-be Morris Book Shop in Lexington, KY

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