Friday, July 11, 2014

ALA Las Vegas Recap!

In the last days of June, at the height of the Las Vegas heat, librarians, publishers, teachers and book enthusiasts from all over the country converged on Sin City for the American Library Association Annual Conference for a week full of learning sessions, networking, and books, books, books.  This was a big one, people. I’ve been to ALA twice before, and this one was more crowded and just a little wilder that normal.  Must have been the Vegas vibe creeping in. Or perhaps it was, at least partly, because of a special appearance by comic book creator, father of Spiderman himself, Stan Lee.  The exhibits opened with a frenzy, as Disney-Hyperion had announced earlier that only 100 coveted wristbands would be handed out, and only those with wristbands would get to meet Mr. Lee and get his new novel.  Needless to say, there was some pushing and shoving and running—but what can you do. The man is a legend, I suppose. Luckily it wasn't a top priority for me, so I let the sea of craziness waft by me, and made my into the Exhibits. :)
book vending machine!

Some know this already, but along with being a book blogger, I’ve also worked at my public library for nearly 14 years.  It makes ALA doubly fascinating for me, getting to see what newfangled ideas
are coming to the libraries of the future! Things like book vending machines, automated check-in machines, fancy robotics that take books from one floor of a library to the next.  Such cool ideas.

As always, the best thing about ALA is the fact that you are in a giant room full of thousands of book lovers.  Chatting with all the publishers that I usually only email back and forth with is fantastic, hearing what books they are most excited about and also hearing about how much they love the libraries and what we  do.  Meeting other book bloggers is the best, and also catching up with those that I’ve met before. Somehow I never remember to get pics with anyone! LOL, we just chat away and don't even think about it for some silly reason! Next time! :)

So the amount of signings this time around was what really astounded me.  Little Brown especially seemed to have signing after signing, one right after the other.  I found myself choosing my battles this time around, usually because there were other signings I wanted to make it to at the same time, and when it came to the especially hairy lines (Maggie Steifvater's line looped across three aisles!), I decided to pass. But I definitely had a blast meeting all of these authors!

 From top: Colleen Gleason, Josephine Angelini, Kendal Kulper, Marcus Sedgwick, Ryan Graudin, Victoria Schwab, and Kate Boorman.  There were more that I didn't photograph...the whole experience is just too overwhelming sometimes! LOL

Some of my Fangirl-ier moments:
Meeting David Levithan for the first time!!!

I almost completely lost it when I met Judy Blume. The woman is the pinnacle of my childhood and teenage reading and I told her so. :) She gave me this awesome sweet smile and told me how much it meant to her to hear it. My life is more complete for this moment! :)
A.S. King holds a special place in my heart! Her Dust of 100 Dogs was one of the first books I reviewed here at Stories & was actually the one I was currently reading when I decided to start this little blog almost 5 years ago!
Here's Jay Asher.  It was incredible to meet him, and tell him how much my daughter and I loved his book.  He told me to tell her hi and I passed on the message. And a few days later, this happened:

OMG I can't tell you how much this made her day!  She was jumping up and down like a puppy. The girl has met many authors before, but she was so thrilled to get this tweet from one of her very favorites!  Best post-conference moment ever! :D 

SOOOO, I don't suppose you want to see what lovely books I picked up?
 You do?
Well, ok then! 
There were a few more than this...and some lovely cookbooks from the What's Cooking stage (we brought the husbands with us, and this was their favorite part LOL) and quite a few kids books that I grabbed for my son. But these are some of my favorites from the YA finds:

If I had to pick one that I am absolutely MOST excited about it would have to be Jackaby (see my WoW post about this to see why!).  And there was only one book that I heard S&S dropped and I missed it and I was so crushed...was Winterspell (if anyone has it and wants to do some trading, let me know please!)

 I feel so fortunate to have been able to make this trip, to have met so many awesome people, and gotten some really incredible books! Over the next few weeks, I'll be sorting through everything and doing some ALA giveaways and also some shelf-clearing giveaways.  It was another fantastic conference, we had a great time, but I am glad to be back from the 110 degree weather! Dry heat or not, 110 hurts!

Hurrah for next ALA Annual being in San Francisco!! Right down the road from me AND (usually) gorgeous weather in the summertime!  Anyone already planning to go?


  1. I saw in pictures they had Invaded by Melissa Landers there. Can't wait to read this because I read Alienated last month and loved it. I hope you get several hours at a time just to kick back and read, enjoy!

  2. Awwww, it looks like you had so much fun! One of these days I'm going to get myself to one of these conventions. And yay, you got Jackaby!! I hope you love it! :) I'm just going to sit here and stare at that copy of This Shattered World now.

  3. A book vending machine!? That is so awesome and I totally hope my library gets one.

    That's so awesome! It looks like such a fun event. You also stacked up on books! Hope you enjoy them all.:D

  4. I did see Invaded there but I didn't grab it since I haven't read the first one. Sometimes when I see a sequel, I leave it so someone else who already loves the series has a chance to grab it! :D
    Oh, I hope so, too! :) Thanks, Tammy!

  5. Rachel, come to San Francisco next year!! :D I would love to meet you in person! With Jackaby, it was fun to sit and chat with the publisher about it---the guy I talked to was just in love with it already! Ah, This Shattered World,...yes, a very close second to Jackaby as the book I was most excited to get!!

  6. I've never been to BEA but it looks so intimidating, the sheer size of the show!! ALA already makes my head spin, not sure I could survive BEA!

  7. I know, isn't that vending machine cool??
    It's definitely a lot of fun, a great experience all around. :)

  8. Looks like you had a great time! And how cool that Jay Asher tweeted your daughter! Love the idea of a book vending machine. Although I'd be afraid the books would get stuck like a bag of chips. Enjoy all of your new books!

    Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...

  9. Oh. How I am jealous, lol. <3 It looks and sounds like you had an amazing time :D So happy for you. Yet, yes, so jealous :D Would love to meet a bunch of awesome authors. <3 And ohh. SO MANY books! ACK. I die, lol. <3 Most excited about The Cure For Dreaming :) Happy reading sweetie. <3 Omg. I'm sorry you didn't get Winterspell :( But the book is PERFECT. But oh, how I want a print ARC. Sigh. :)

  10. I had that same thought! How do the books drop down without getting damaged? I didn't get to see it actually in action, but I'm thinking there may be some other way that they are mechanically moved to the drop bin. I hope!
    It was definitely cool that he tweeted her. Such an awesome person.

  11. Carina, your review of Winterspell is what got me so excited for it! Plus its such a gorgeous book. *sigh* :( BUT I am so grateful for the books that i did get. Cure for Dreaming, very excited for it, too!

  12. Marie @ Marie Loves BooksJuly 17, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    OMG. YOU'RE KIDDING. IN SF?!? Why do these things keep happening AFTER I MOVE!!!! I guess I'll be making a trip home! Do you know when it will be?

    Also, so jealous you got Snow Like Ashes!