Book Riot Live 2015

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So this past weekend I had the good fortune to attend Book Riot Live 2015 in New York City. I had never been to a book conference before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but when I started getting information about the line-up of speakers and panelists I was pretty excited! For those of you that don’t know about Book Riot, they are a great site for book recommendations and reviews and so much more. They also have a quarterly shipment that they do for both Adults and YA. I subscribe to the Adult one and so far I’ve gotten two shipments (one of which you can read about here) and I really like them. They also do multiple podcasts including book recommendations and new releases. So anyways they organized a book conference for this past weekend and hosted some of their podcasts live and also had some seminars with authors. Plus there were a ton of vendors there and a cute little reading area and other fun activities. I was lucky enough that my husband agreed to tag along with me as far as the hotel while I went to the conference and geeked out so I didn’t have to travel to NYC and back by myself! Him and I also had a great time seeing different parts of the city between when I was at the conference and in general its always nice to get away for a night and relax. So below are a few highlights about the conference!

My Top 3 Sessions I Attended at the Conference

3. The Reading Lives podcast Live Recording with Jeff O’Neal (Moderator) and Angela Flournoy (Author)
For those of you who don’t know, Angela Flournoy is the author of The Turner House, which was released this past April and is a finalist for the National Book Award and the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, a Summer 2015 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and a New York Times Sunday Book Review Editors’ Choice. While I haven’t read The Turner House yet, it is pretty high up on my to read list and I was excited to see her in person. Also for those of you who don’t know, The Reading Lives podcast is a show where different authors are interviewed about their lives leading up to when they became a successful author. Angela was a great interviewee and I learned a lot of interesting factoids about her life growing up. Unfortunately the book store at the conference ran out of her books before I could buy one so I couldn’t get a signed copy but it was still great to hear about her life. If you are interested in hearing this specific podcast, it it doesn’t seem to be up quite yet but when it is that epidsode and all other The Reading Lives episodes can be found here.

2. Writing Relationship seminar with Sarah Wendell (Moderator and also an author), Beverkly Jenkins (Author), William Johnson (Editor), Sarah MacLean (Author) and Jill McDonough (Poet)
I snuck into this seminar right before it started because I decided to skip lunch and I am just so glad I did. I thought this was a really great seminar and I really enjoyed the panelists and the topic. The Speakers discussed how they go about creating relationships between the characters in their works and even how they create a relationship with the readers of their books. There were a lot of interesting points made (the most common one seemed to be “Writing is hard” which 100% made sense to me!) and some great stories from all of the Panelists.

1. Get Booked Live Recording with Amanda Nelson (Moderator/Book Riot) and Sarah MacLean (Author) 
Anyone who has read my blog knows that romance is definitely a genre that I enjoy, so I was especially excited about meeting author Sarah MacLean. Sarah has written many best-selling historical romance novels, the most recent of which is being published in 2 weeks! Little did I know before hand that she would be SO FUNNY! I just loved her! And honestly part of it was that her and Amanda just played off each other so well when they were speaking, it was such a great seminar! For anyone who doesn’t already know, the Get Booked podcast is a show where people can write in and request book recommendations based on prior reads or really on any kind of criteria. Since Sarah was guest hosting, this was a 100% romance podcast which was fun for me since I recognized a lot of the authors/books mentioned and got a few new ideas from the mix as well. It was a GREAT show and you can listen to the recording (once it’s been posted) here plus all previous recordings of the show are listed there as well.

My Top 3 Other Fun Things from the Conference

3. THERE WERE SO MANY BOOKS
Honestly I was in book overload. As it is I spent WAY too much money but I could have spent WAY more. I am very please with all the books I got though! However, it wasn’t my smartest move to just bring a small backpack to the conference because I ended up having to lug 10+ books (at least half of which were hardcover) with me around the conference, through NYC and onto the train with me. Lesson definitely learned for next time, but overall so psyched with the new books I have to read!

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2. The Harry Potter Alliance’s Apparating Library
This was one of the booths at the conference, you bring in old books and “check them in” to the library on Saturday and then you can “check out” the same number of books on Sunday. I thought it was a really fun idea and I got two new books out of the bargain! (Pictured above: My Father’s Wives and The Tiger Wife)

1. Book Signings!
I got two books signed!!! AHHH!!

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Top 3 Things I Wish I Had Done

3. Talked to more people
I talked to a handful of people and honestly I was really proud of myself for even doing that. I am 100% an introvert and I have such trouble putting myself out there and talking to new people. But here I was though surrounded by book nerds who were just like me, this should have been an easy crowd for me to get involved with! So I feel myself wishing I had introduced myself to more people and made more connections.

2. Book Crawl
A bunch of people from the conference went on a Book Crawl on Saturday night. It is like a Pub Crawl but you go to book stores and it sounded like the coolest thing to me (self-admitted book nerd). I was bummed to not participate but at the same time I really wanted to spend a little time with my husband in the city and a Book Crawl is definitely not something he would find cool/enjoyable/remotely interesting.

1. Hand out more of my Blog Bookmarks and Wear my blog T-shirt
I’m honestly still kicking myself for this because I didn’t even think to wear my t-shirt that has my blog information on it! We thought of it Sunday afternoon that I should have worn it and I was so mad I didn’t think of it sooner! First off, what a great conversation piece and second what a great marketing/promotional tool! Those people are my EXACT audience!!! And I brought some bookmarks with my blog information on them with me but I only ended up handing out one because a) I’m shy and b) I am AWFUL at promoting myself because I always worry the other person isn’t going to be interested or it will seem like I am bragging.

So what about all you readers! Have any of you been to a book conference? I’d love to hear about it, I am doing research as to which ones I want to go to in the future!

Book Riot Quarterly Box

So I discovered the coolest thing back in March when I saw on Facebook that one of the pages I follow, Book Riot, does a quarterly shipment of books and book-related items. I’ve heard about a variety of companies that have started doing quarterly shipments, you pay a set fee each quarter and in the mail you get a box of fun surprises. The shipment is technically run through Quarterly Co and they have such a great variety of quarterly shipments you can choose from, like one from Pharrell Williams and gaming, fitness, cooking, hair care, and art. I decided to sign up for the Book Riot Quarterly Shipment to try it at least once and see if I liked it. I am trying to expand my horizons with reading and I thought this would be a fun way to find new books I might like. Each shipment is set to a “theme” and most shipments have 2 books and some extra items, plus there are some lottery items that a certain percentage of all the shipments get as well. So last Friday my shipment came and I was absolutely pumped! I had been looking forward to this since I signed up for the shipments in March and I was not disappointed!

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Isn’t it beautiful!? So the theme for this shipment was technology, the internet, and the future of reading. The shipment comes with a pamphlet describing each item that is included and how it fits with the theme.

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So now I will talk about each item that I got in my shipment. I’ll start with the book-related items and then talk about the books last.

1. A Grid-It Organizer
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This is a handy item for storing all your gadgets. Its got like elastic straps that you can use to hold down the gadgets on this board thing. Could come in handy.

2. Pop Chart Lab Literary Genres Map
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I’ve seen this online before and it is so awesome. Its a map of all the different genres of fiction. I can’t wait to hang this one up in my library (once my library is done being constructed).

3. The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon
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This book sounds super interesting. Its about a time in the future when all print materials are pretty much extinct but one group of people are working to finish the North American Dictionary of the English Language when the editor-in-chief goes missing. I’m excited to give this one a try. This book also came with a bonus item from the author, a special coda that was written exclusively for Book Riot Quarterly subscribers. The events from this occur after the book.

4. Smarter Than You Think by Clive Thompson
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Many people think that technology is making the general population less capable than generations of the past because they end up relying on technology for so many of their tasks through the day. Some have even argues that the over-reliance on technology in the younger generation has made them “dumb.” This book sets out to argue against this idea and prove that technology is improving civilization as a whole. This book also came with a bonus item from the author, an essay for Book Riot Quarterly subscribers about reading War and Peace on his iPhone.

5. Lottery item! Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson
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The lottery items are for lucky randomly selected subscribers (less than 5% of total subscribers). Woo hoo I was one of the lucky ones! This book isn’t even supposed to be released until September so this was a big score! The book is about Leningrad in September 1941 and the true story of a composer that wrote a symphony that would rally the city together.

So that was my shipment. I have to say I was extremely please and I can’t wait for the next shipment to come in September! For anyone who’d like to sign up the receive their own shipment, you can do so here. Book Riot also just came out with a YA Quarterly subscription if you prefer YA books. Details on that subscription can be found here.