Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Christi's Adventures: BEA 2011 recap (where I get fangirly, swoony, and stalker-ish--all in one day!)

Have you entered my Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop yet? 

I apologize in advance for the length of this post. 
It was an exciting day and I want to share it all!

So Tuesday my colleague (and friend) Courtney and I headed into NYC for our first-ever BEA. Before we even boarded the 6:30am bus we were kicking ourselves for deciding to only do one day. I have to tell you, we got a lot done and we saw a lot of awesomeness, but I can't help reading other blogs and tweets and listing what we missed. So yes, BEA was completely incredible, but it would have been mind-blowing if we'd done TWO days (like we plan to next year). I actually thought about doing a highlight of all the stuff we MISSED,  but that seems kind of pessimistic, so here are some highlights of what we actually accomplished!

Best. Thing. Ever. I was going to do a countdown to my actual favorite part of the day, but I just can't wait to tell you. I was determined to meet Christine Mandelski, author of The Sweetest Thing, because I've been dying to read her book and my library doesn't own it yet. So I was actually first in line for her table signing. A woman walked past me and said excuse me, or apologized, or something. I happened to look at her, and then I looked at her name tag...and said "Bettina?" It was Bettina Restrepo, author of Illegal! But wait, it gets better! She looks at me, looks at my name tag, and screams (I'm not kidding) "Christi the Teen Librarian!" And then gave me a huge hug. You guys, she totes recognized me. She. Knew. Who. I. Was. And even more mind-blowing--she was excited to see me! She introduced me to Christine Mandelski and Kiki Hamilton (fellow 2k11 classmates), she tweeted that she met me, she gave Courtney and I some swag, we took photos, and then I totally let her sneak in the line with me. Sorry, peeps behind me. And then I got to "meet" Christine again, and she signed her book for me. And Bettina offered to Skype with my teens at the library! I tell you, I could have gone home after that meeting, and been the happiest librarian there.

Bettina Restrepo, me, and Christine Mandelski

More highlights:

Seeing Julianne Moore and Ice-T in person (separately!). We didn't get to BEA nearly early enough to get tickets for any authors, but just seeing some famous people was a treat enough for me!

I could not have asked for a better facial expression!

Randomly discovering that Florence Henderson was doing a photo op and handing out ARCs of her upcoming biography, Life is Not a Stage. I only met her for a second but she was so sweet and petite! I felt like Ginormica next to her.

Mrs. Brady & me!!

While waiting in line for Florence Henderson, I spotted...David. Levithan. I was actually so distracted that Mrs. Henderson's people had to remind me it was my turn. I was actually walking right behind David Levithan for several moments. I actually got a little stalker creepy:

Great literature comes out of that head.

For a brief moment I considered stalking following him for the rest of the day, but Courtney talked me out of it. I was way too shy to actually approach him, which was stupid on my part, because he seems like a completely approachable person. I saw him later at the Scholastic booth, and had totally convinced myself I was going to say hi and tell him I love his stuff, but he was otherwise engaged talking to another couple.

Meeting Mike Holmes (from HGTV's Holmes on Homes, and he also wrote a book, duh.). I waited in line for AN HOUR to meet him. Fortunately there were some really nice people in front of and behind me, so that helped make the wait bearable. Mike was really nice, and I think I was actually one of the younger people in line to meet him. Which made me feel good because I usually feel old. Anyway.


When I told Mike my name he said, "Christi makes great cookies." To which I said, "Umm, actually, I do!" He then went on to tell me about a cookie company in Canada that uses "Christi makes great cookies" as their tagline. To which I said, "Umm, I make great cookies." Little star struck, I was. (Later research leads me to discover that Nabisco is known as Christie in Canada, and there's an old commercial where a little girl says "Mr. Christie, you make good cookies!" So, there you go.)

I met lots of great authors and got lots of great books. What I'm going to do with them, I have no idea (theoretically I got a lot for summer reading giveaways, if I can part with them!).

These are all the adult books (and a few cookbooks) I got:

These are the young adult books and ARCs I got (and yes, one of these is going to be in the Splash Into Summer Giveaway package--did you enter yet?)

And in reality, I can't even remember all the great authors we met and had books signed by (and I'm feeling too lazy right now to look them up.) I definitely remember meeting and getting books signed by:

David Lubar (he signed Attack of the Vampire Weenies for my daughter), 
Jonathan Maberry (who had ARCs of his adult zombie novel, Dead of Night, due out in November), 
Nancy Holder (who graciously gave me 2 copies of Crusade--one for me and one for my teens!), 
Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer),
AC Crispin (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom),
Daniel Stefansky (the 14-year-old author of How to Talk to an Autistic Kid)
And I know there are more but I'm blanking right now.

Completely random, but still fun:

I snapped this picture for my daughter. It's an inflatable marketing Diary of a Wimpy Kid 6. Pretty cool, I thought!

I gotta say, the worst part of the day was the crush I got caught in at the Penguin booth. It was horrible--there were people pushing and shoving, a shelf fell, and the poor rep was trying to fix it and no one would let her! I was so scared that the whole day would be like that. Thankfully, that was the only negative thing we experienced. 

And we even made it back home--via public transportation!--with minimal discomfort and injury. :)

All in all, it was a GREAT day!! I know I have no right to be upset about what I've missed, especially because it was the first BEA for both Courtney and myself, and we agreed going in that we'd treat this as a learning experience. So yes, we learned, and yes, we'll be that much more prepared for next year!

Enjoy your reading!


  1. It sounds like you had an amazing time! I loved all your pictures and moments from the day. Thanks for sharing your experience at BEA:)

  2. I'm not generally ARC-crazy, but you have copies of both FOREVER and THE SCORPIO RACES?


    Anyway, looks like you had a great time, and if you make it next year, hope to meet you in person! =)


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