Monday, May 31, 2010

The Passage--Promises to be Hottest Book of the Summer

Promoted as a cross between The Andromeda Strain and The Stand, the book grabs you in its first thirty pages, with questions that you can't wait to turn the page to answer--and a reference to Iowa in the first paragraph, no less! The author, Justin Cronin, is a U. of I. Writers Workshop graduate who teaches at Rice University. He was one of the last authors to sign books at the Random House booth on Thursday, but the line waiting for him was one of the longest lines of the show. I think they put him last so that people (who typically ship their books homes) would be forced to carry his book onto the plane--great marketing strategy!

For a bookie like me, Book Expo is the closest thing to taking a vacation
while working. Jon Stewart tickled the audience with his silent
reading of his new book EARTH, which he hopes will become a science textbook for high schools this fall. John Grisham shared his inspiration for his upcoming book, The Confession --a followup to his nonfiction book called,The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town, -- from an obit he read of a man who had been incarcerated for a crime he did not commit, then freed due to new DNA analysis techniques. Michelle Norris, from NPR's All Things Considered, shared a glimpse of her "extraordinarily ordinary" parents, in a memoir called, The Grace of Silence, as did Condeleeza Rice in a book also dedicated to her parents. Barbra Streisand,the perfectionist, shared with Oprah's friend Gayle King, her woes of remodeling her various homes.

Sara Gruen, of Water for Elephants fame, drew a huge crowd for Ape House--which I had planned to read on the plane, until I got sucked into the vortex of The Passage! There's another primate book in my very near future, by Benjamin Hale. Entitled, The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore, it is a first person account (by a talking chimp) of a love affair with his human.

I met Nelson DeMille, a long-time personal favorite and was intrigued by a presentation by mystery writers, Karin Slaughter, Lee Childs, and Justin Cronin, (who wrote The Passage--and yes, there is already a movie deal in the works).

For all you romance readers, I connected with Debbie Macomber who is considering a trip to Des Moines next year. And so is Adriana Trigiani--who is as funny as any stand up comic. So many great writers--so many great books!

In the next few weeks, I will be sharing my thoughts on some of the advanced reader copies that I picked up. For starters, here's the short stack currently on my bedside table:
--Ape House, by Sara Gruen
--Room, by Emma Donoghue
--God's Guest List, by Debbie Macomber
--Naked in Eden, by Robin Easton
--The Promise, by Jonathan Alter

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