It was the best of times... it was the worst of times... but regardless, it’s BEA. From all over America and abroad, publishing industry professionals will be piling into the Javits Center to complain about the heat, the cold, the lack of taxis, the long lines for coffee, and the cost of everything. But even as they’ve just blown their wads in London, publishers bring their hopefuls for the upcoming seasons.
What that means for booksellers and librarians and all the rest of us is galleys—those pre-pub “books” that once upon a time all looked the same, but now catch our attention in glorious color. We hoard the ones that have the buzz, cherish the ones we’ve gotten signed, and pile as many as we can fit in bags because they’re there and we want to read every single one of them. One thing for sure: we’re happy to be at BEA and happy to have them.
At Abrams there will be samplers for giveaway of Yarn Whisperer (who needs a horse?) by Clara Parkes, with knitting as a metaphor for life, and Guys Can Be Cat Ladies Too by comic Michael Showalter, who’s not afraid to show his fuzzy side.
Algonquin is coming to BEA this year (for its 30th anniversary) with 500 galleys each of three much-anticipated titles and their always-anticipated authors: Guests on Earth by Lee Smith, who brings Southern gothic home with this novel of a teenage orphan in a mental institution under the direction of a famous psychiatrist in 1930s Asheville, N.C.; Explanation for Everything by Lauren Grodstein, the story of a relationship between a grieving biology professor and his evangelical student; and Alice Hoffman’s Survival Lessons, the guide she wished she’d had when she was diagnosed with breast cancer 15 years ago. Of novelist Hoffman’s first work of nonfiction, senior editor Kathy Pories notes its importance: “It seems only right that she should be personally handing out the book herself.”
Atria is giving away 300 copies of Thomas Keneally’s novel Daughters of Mars, which follows two Australian sisters to Europe to work as nurses during WWI, and 300 of Mountain of Light by Indu Sundaresan, a lush historical about the famous 105-carat diamond of the title. Ballantine Bantam Dell will have 200 galleys each of books from bestselling authors: Songs of Willow Frost, Jamie Ford’s second novel (his debut sold over a million copies), about a mother and son in 1920s and Depression-era Seattle; Under the Wide and Starry Sky, in which Nancy Horan takes on the adventures of Robert Louis Stevenson; trial lawyer Walter Walker’s legal thriller, Crime of Privilege; and Kelly Corrigan’s memoir of her mother and motherhood, Glitter and Glue. Baylor University Press will have 275 galleys available of Brett Robinson’s Appletopia: Media Technology and the Religious Imagination of Steve Jobs. Bellevue Literary Press’s galleys represent a commitment to human rights issues with They Started Shooting: Children of the Bosnian War and the Adults They Became by Lynne Jones, and a commitment to literature in translation: Aaron’s Leap, a novel by Magdalena Platzova, translated from the Czech, and one “richly atmospheric, supernaturally shaded novel,” Palmerino, by Melissa Pritchard.
Bloomsbury is piling it on with 800 galleys of The Bone Season, a creepy and imaginative debut novel by Samantha Shannon set in 2059 London, where a young girl is imprisoned by a creature “with dark honey skin... her master... her trainer... her natural enemy.” Also there will be 800 galleys each of the memoir, Men We Reaped, Jesmyn Ward’s story of surmounting the trauma and poverty of rural Mississippi, and Mitchell Jackson’s novel, The Residue Years, about a mother, her son, and drugs.
Blue Rider Press has 250 galleys to give away of Blowback by Valerie Plame, the former CIA agent whose cover was blown during the Bush administration and whose memoir hit the bestseller lists. This time Plame’s written a novel, with Sarah Lovett, about, yup, a female CIA agent.
Crown has 200 galleys of three titles: psychological thriller The Last Winter of Dani Lansing by P.D. Viner; My Life in Middlemarch, Rebecca Mead’s revisiting of the “seminal book of her youth”; and Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, “a tragicomic multigenerational memoir” by three-time James Beard Award–winning food writer Anya Von Bremzen. Clarkson Potter previews a group biography of “the Bloomsbury set of the food world” with 200 galleys of Provence, 1970 by Luke Barr. Coffee House Press will bring 100 galleys each of An Impenetrable Screen of Purest Sky by Dan Beachy-Quick and The Rise & Fall of the Scandamerican Domestic by Christopher Merkner. And for Valeria Luiselli, there will be 100 copies of a combined galley (though books will be sold separately), which includes her novel, Faces in the Crowd and her essay collection, Sidewalks, both translated from the Spanish. Counterpoint will have three giveaways: two novels—Lola Bensky by Lily Brett and Kara Was Here by William Conescu—and Nancy Spiller’s memoir, Compromise Cake. DK will have full-color galleys for giveaway of The Conquest of the Ocean: An Illustrated History of Seafaring by Brian Lavery, the first in a new series of narrative nonfiction titles.
At Dutton, there will be 250 galleys of Covet, about a disintegrating marriage and the “charming policeman” the wife meets after a job takes her husband away from home. This is Tracey Garvis Graves’s first hardcover after selling half a million copies of his first novel in e-book and paperback. Linda Fairstein’s new crime thriller, Death Angel, has Alexandra Cooper delving into the history of Central Park with the former prosecutor signing 125 galleys. Farrar, Straus and Giroux is giving away 200 galleys of Nicola Griffith’s Hild, a medieval historical set in seventh-century Britain about St. Hilda of Whitby, who began her rise to influence as the king’s seer. And there will be 100 galleys of Someone, Alice McDermott’s new novel, which follows the life of an ordinary woman through the transformation of her Irish-American Brooklyn neighborhood. Gallery has 300 galleys available of Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen, and Globe Pequot Press arrives with 150 galleys (and maybe more) of their lead fall title, Girl Factory by Karen Dietrich.
Grand Central is the place to be if you want to hide in the stacks. The ever-popular Scott Turow has a new book forthcoming, Identical, with 750 copies up for grabs. And joining Turow in the 750-galley category are Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child with White Fire; Leila Meacham with Somerset; Deborah McKinley with That Part Was True; Jean Hanff Korelitz with You Should Have Known; and for Rhoda Janzen’s Mennonite Meets Mr. Right, 500 galleys. Graywolf has its two biggest fall books for giveaway: Duplex, a coming-of-age novel by the inventive Kathryn Davis (a renegade from Little, Brown), which blends past and future, robots and sorcerers; and Kevin Barry’s new story collection, Dark Lies the Island. Over at Grove/Atlantic expect 150 galleys each of two debut novels: It’s Not the Love, It’s Just Paris, about an American girl (in... uh huh, Paris!) by PEN/Hemingway winner Patricia Engel, and the terrifying Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly, in which a child goes missing under a best friend’s watch. There will also be galleys of Bob Shacochis’s first novel in 10 years, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul.
HarperCollins brings galleys across its many imprints. From Harper, there’s The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy, a novel connecting a diverse set of characters; a reimagining of Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope; and Ann Patchett’s This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage. (Anything from Patchett can cause a riot in the aisles.) Amy Tan has a new book, Valley of Amazement (Ecco); John Searles returns with Help for the Haunted (Morrow); and from Joshilyn Jackson, Someone Else’s Love Story (Morrow). Also Turn Around Bright Eyes: A Karaoke Love Story (It Books) by Rob Sheffield; Human Remains (Harper Paperbacks) by Elizabeth Haynes, whose police analyst heroine finds her neighbor’s decomposing body; and from HarperOne, ARCs of Chickens in the Road by Suzanne McMinn.
Harlequin is pulling out all the stops at BEA for its biggest title of 2013, Jason Mott’s The Returned, in which loved ones return from the dead (blessing or horror?), with a book tree of galleys available all through the show, 1,500 of them. Also, Bella Andre moves into print with The Look of Love, the first in an eight-book series. And there’s Shona Patel’s debut novel, Teatime for the Firefly, set in the hills of Assam, India, along with Sylvia Day’s Afterburn. Henry Holt has galleys of a novel by Renaissance man (producer, publisher, author) Peter Gethers, who often writes about travels with Norton (his cat). In that spirit, Ask Bob is a love story about a pet doctor.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s got titles galore to give away, including Jonathan Miles’s second novel, another clever piece of satire, Want Not, that his publisher is calling “a three-pronged tale of human excess”; The Lion Seeker, a debut novel by Kenneth Bonert set in Johannesburg’s Jewish community; and Oliver Pötzsch’s The Ludwig Conspiracy, a historical thriller about the mysterious death of dear old eccentric Ludwig II of Bavaria, known for his fairy tale castles.
Ig Publishing’s galley giveaway is Betwixt and Between by Jessica Stilling, a debut novel about where children go when they die. Knopf is giving away 250 galleys each of Subtle Bodies by Norman Rush, Longbourn by Jo Baker, The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook, and Alexander Maksik’s A Marker to Measure Drift.
Little, Brown has 700 copies of Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites, a debut thriller about the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1892, based on a true story. For Kathleen Kent’s novel, The Outcasts, set on the 19th-century American frontier, there are 200 galleys. And covering mystery and spies, there’s 500 galleys each of Gone by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, The Double by George Pelecanos, Dominion by C.J. Sansom (Mulholland Books), and 500 galleys of Countdown, Alan Weisman’s exploration of “the complexity of calculating how many humans this planet can hold without capsizing.” Liveright has “plenty” of galleys of Allan Garganus’s new book, Local Souls, his first in 10 years: three linked blackly comic novellas of cults, male friendships and a woman seeking the child she was forced to give up at birth take place in Falls, N.C., the town of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. Also available, a first novel by P.S. Duffy, The Cartographer of No-Man’s Land, that should do for WWI what Matterhorn did for Vietnam.
McGraw-Hill Professional is bringing Numbersense by Kaiser Fung, to take the mystery out of big data, and Leading the Starbucks Way by Joseph Michelli. Milkweed will have 300 galleys available of Larry Watson’s latest, Let Him Go, set in the mid–20th-century American West, with a retired sheriff and his wife on a quest to retrieve their dead son’s child after his mother marries into a treacherous clan. Norton is giving away galleys of the novels A Guide for the Perplexed by Dara Horn and Rustication by Charles Palliser. Overlook Press has 400 galleys for The Facades, Eric Lundgren’s debut novel; billed as a “comic existential mystery,” already anointed as a Buzz Selection. Also, Overlook is bringing 200 galleys of Rosie Thomas’s heart-tugging romance set in Bali, Constance, and 100 galleys of The Little Tokyo Informant, Andrew Rosenheim’s latest thriller, this one leading up to Pearl Harbor.
Penguin Books is giving away 200 copies of Necessary Errors by Caleb Crain (the finished book). Plume is coming with galleys of its New York Times bestselling author Sarah Jio, whose fifth novel, Morning Glory, is set on a Seattle houseboat. Quirk Books will have William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher available throughout the show. And Random House brings a slew of heavy hitters and 200 galleys each of their forthcoming books: Night Film, Marisha Pessl’s sophomore novel, a literary thriller about the mysterious death of a reclusive cult horror film director; Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld, the story of identical twin sisters; and as for the boys, there’s Paul Harding of Tinkers and Pulitzer fame with a second novel, Enon; Colum McCann’s novel Transatlantic, which “spans 150 years and two continents”; and E.L. Doctorow’s Andrew’s Brain.
Independent press Red Hen is coming with galleys of all its fall titles (along with chocolate bars and appropriate swag), notably Song for Chance, a novel by John Van Kirk, and When Rain Hurts, a memoir about adopting a child with fetal alcohol syndrome. Riverhead’s giveaways (650 for each title) are Drama High, the inspiring story of drama director Lou Volpe and the Levittown, Pa., high school where he put on theater productions, written by journalist and Levittown native son Michael Sokolove; and The Dark Path, David Schickler’s memoir about his conflicted feelings surrounding his desire to become a Jesuit priest. Spoiler: he’s married with children.
Running Press is giving away its Beatles book, When They Were Boys by Larry Kane, and Eric Devine’s novel, Dare Me, about the consequences of a YouTube video. Sarabande is bringing 65 galleys of its lead title, Praying Drunk, a collection by Kyle Minor, billed as “a masterful blend of fiction, autobiography, and surrealism.”
Scribner has 300 galleys to give away of Jayne Anne Phillips’s Quiet Dell and My Notorious Life by Kate Manning. Simon & Schuster’s lucky number seems to be 300, which is how many galleys of each title it will be giving away, starting with Lauren Weisberger’s Revenge Wears Prada. Other giveaways are The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion’s novel about a genetics professor who takes on the project of finding love, and Unremarried Widow, Artis Henderson’s memoir about the death of her husband in Iraq. Skyhorse is bringing galleys of three titles: We Were There: Revelations from the Dallas Doctors and Nurses Who Attended to JFK on November 22, 1963 by Allen Childs; 24 Karat Etiquette: Advice from the Founder of Beverly Hills Manners by Lisa Gache, and The Assembler of Parts: A Novel by Raoul Wientzen (Arcade). Sourcebooks comes with fiction, lots of it, with 1,000 ARCs of The Book of Someday by Dianne Dixon, and for The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure and Lies You Wanted to Hear by James Thomson, 500 galleys each. Spiegel & Grau has 100 galleys of My Promised Land by Ari Shavit.
St. Martin’s is giving away all-time favorite author Lisa Scottoline’s latest, Accused, as well as Lookaway, Lookaway by Wilton Barnhardt; How to Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman; and Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain. From Griffin, there are 250 each of A Killing in the Hills, Pulitzer–winning journalist Julia Keller’s debut crime thriller; Rainbow Rowell’s FanGirl; and Suzanne Palmieri’s novel, The Witch of Little Italy, about a pregnant girl’s return to her Italian-American family in the Bronx, also a debut. And the indomitable Louise Penny signs How the Light Gets In (Minotaur).
Thomas Nelson will have galleys of The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective, and Sometimes Perspective Finds You by Andy Andrews. Three Rivers Press has Reasons Mommy Drinks by Fiona Stevenson and Lyranda Martin-Evans about the struggles of new motherhood, and so all that drinking doesn’t make Mom fat, The 2-Day Diet by Michelle Harvie and Tony Howell, 200 galleys of each. TitleTown brings 100 galleys each of Breathe for Me: Surviving the Antelope Canyon Tragedy; Invisible Killer by Diane Montane and Sean Robbins, about serial killer Charlie Brandt;and The Deadlist Game, a thriller by Hal Ross. Tor/Forge Books is bringing Michael Pocalyko to sign galleys of The Navigator; there’ll be 250 galleys of The Dogs of Christmas by W. Bruce Cameron; and The Incrementalists, an urban fantasy by Steven Brust and Skylar White. Touchstone is giving away 300 galleys of In the Blood by Lisa Unger and Speak of the Devil by Allison Leotta, while Workman will have 500 galleys of photographer Christopher Boffoli’s Big Appetites: Tiny People in a World of Big Food, in which miniature figurines “play” with their food in “cleverly captioned photos.”
As Tiny Tim observed, “God bless us, every one!”