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12 Books from BEA I’m Excited to Read

Finally, the post from Book Expo America with all of the books! I had mixed success grabbing the books I was curious about from the show, but found several others I’m looking forward to reading. Below are 12 of the books I’m most excited to read, followed by some quick thoughts on the other books now gracing my bookshelves.

12 books from BEA excited to read

A Deadly Wandering by Matt Richtel (Sept. 23 from William Morrow): This is a piece of narrative nonfiction by a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist (see why I picked it up?) about the dangers of texting and driving. The book has two threads, one the story of a man who killed two rocket scientists while texting, the other about the science of attention and the impact of technology on our brains.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (Aug. 5 from Harper Perennial): Technically, I didn’t snag this book at BEA — it arrived in the mail the day after I got home — but it was one of the books that the Harper Perennial marketing folks featured during a preview event. These essays feature politics, criticism, feminism and pop culture. I can’t wait to read it.

Dangerous Odds by Marisa Lankester (May 21 from Cappuccino Books): This one is described as a “true crime thriller memoir,” an inside tale of one woman’s experience behind the scenes in the world of illegal sports betting. I’m really curious about this story!

City of Lies by Ramita Navai (Sept. 9 from PublicAffairs): The Tehran we seen in the news is only part of the story. In this book, Ramita Navai explores the lives of ordinary people in the city — “the porn star, the ageing socialite, the assassin and enemy of the state who ends up working for the Republic, the religious militiaman who undergoes a sex change, the dutiful housewife who files for divorce, and the old-time thug running a gambling den.”

On Immunity by Eula Biss (Sept. 30 from Graywolf Press): On Immunity was one of the books featured in this year’s BEA Editor’s Buzz Panel. The slim book is an exploration of vaccinations and our ideas about what immunity means and how it connects our bodies and our communities.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty (Sept. 15 from W.W. Norton): I was so excited about this book, a memoir by a woman who worked in a crematory, I started reading on the plane ride home from New York. I’m only about 40 pages in, but so far it’s great — she’s managed to include references to both Puppy Surprise and Pogs, which warms my heart.

Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev (Nov. 11 from PublicAffairs): This book reminds me a little bit of City of Lies in the sense that is is a book that goes inside a generally close society. In this case, the society is modern Russia, specifically the way new money and new power is fostering major changes.

The Price of Thirst by Karen Piper (Oct. 1 from University of Minnesota Press): I like hthe brief description from the publisher, so I’m just going to borrow it — “Karen Piper leads us through the frightening landscape where thirst is political, drought is a business opportunity, and multinational corporations control our most necessary natural resource. Visiting the hot spots of water scarcity and the hotshots in water finance, Piper shows what happens when global businesses buy up the water supply and turn off the taps of people who cannot pay.”

The Glass Cage by Nicholas Carr (Sept. 29 from W.W. Norton): I’m actually a little apprehensive about this book, a look at the way automation — factory robots, self-driving cars — is changing how we interact with the world. Carr’s last book, The Shallows, was a bit of an alarmist book about the horrors of the Internet, so I’m curious about the tone of this one.

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe by Chris Taylor (Sept. 30 from Basic Books): This one just sounds like fun. — “Veteran journalist Chris Taylor traces the series from the difficult birth of the original film through its sequels, the franchise’s death and rebirth, the prequels, and the preparations for a new trilogy.” Pop culture, history and business are my jam.

Fire Shut Up In My Bones by Charles Blow (Sept. 23 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt): Charles Blow is a New York Times columnist, and this is his first memoir. The book explores the small Louisiana town where he grew up, the abuse he suffered from a cousin, and his coming-of-age in a black fraternity at a state university. I think this is going to be a tough but important read.

Daring: My Passages by Gail Sheehy (Sept. 9 from Harper): Memoirs by lady journalists are my kryptonite, so you have to know that this is a book I was excited to get my hot little hands on it. In the book, Sheehy explores her time as a groundbreaking girl journalist making her way in a man’s world. I can’t wait.

The Rest of My Books, Briefly

If you were paying close attention to that list, you’d have noticed a striking similarity among several of the books (aside from the fact that they’re all nonfiction):

That is not an exaggeration. Of the 37 books that I brought home (not everything was a new release), 21 are books coming out in September. For those curious, the stack on the right is September releases, while the stack on the left is everything else I brought home.

books from BEA 2014

If you have questions about any of the other titles, let me know in the comments!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Shannon @ River City Reading June 10, 2014, 6:04 am

    I somehow totally missed grabbing a copy of On Immunity even though it was a buzz book, but I so want to read it!
    This might make you feel a little better. I was looking at some of my books on Edelweiss and noticed that some of the spine pub dates have changed, like We Are Not Ourselves is August now. So there are still a TON of August, but not quite as many.

    • Kim June 10, 2014, 8:04 pm

      That would be great! I checked most of them online, but that may not be accurate either.

  • Shelleyrae June 10, 2014, 6:40 am

    Thanks for sharing this, there has been plenty of focus on the YA titles at BEA but barely anything on adult fiction or non fiction. I was starting to wonder if there actually were any.

    • Kim June 10, 2014, 8:05 pm

      BEA is fun when you’re looking for non-YA titles. Those lines can be really long. I only stood in a few short lines for these.

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) June 10, 2014, 6:53 am

    I only got one of the books you spotlighted. It was like we were at different shows!

    • Kim June 10, 2014, 8:05 pm

      That’s so strange! I’m excited to see the books you are going to highlight.

  • Jenn Lawrence June 10, 2014, 7:11 am

    I have four of these on my list as well. I agree; so many of the ARCs I snagged at BEA publish in Sept. It’s always a crazy busy publication month!

    • Kim June 10, 2014, 8:06 pm

      It seems even busier than usual, or maybe I just haven’t paid as much attention in the last couple of years. Either way, lots to be excited about in August!

  • Kerry M June 10, 2014, 11:38 am

    How Star Wars Conquered the Universe sounds AWESOME–can’t wait to hear what you think. Lots of other great titles on your list as well, most of which I missed… I see some Edelweiss requests in my near future.

    • Kim June 10, 2014, 8:07 pm

      I’m really excited about that one! I have a few friends who are really into Star Wars, so I’m excited to find out if I can recommend the book to them.

  • Meg June 10, 2014, 12:24 pm

    Woo, sounds like you have lots of great reads in your future! Daring: My Passages should shape up to be pretty awesome. Will look forward to your thoughts!

    • Kim June 10, 2014, 8:07 pm

      I hope so — I always love lady journalist memoirs though.

  • Anita June 10, 2014, 1:02 pm

    I just had the opportunity to request A Deadly Wandering, I think it will be good but scare the shit out of me. I have three children who drive, I say children, they are mine but two are almost 21.
    September will be insane! Look forward to your thoughts.

    • Kim June 10, 2014, 8:07 pm

      I’m nervous and excited to read that one. It sounds amazing and also really scary.

  • Jeanne June 10, 2014, 2:15 pm

    The one about Russia sounds like one I should get my son to read; he wants to go to Russia in the next year or two. I am afraid, so I should probably read it too, for that sense of control through more knowledge.
    Tried to leave a comment of agreement on your great post at Book Riot. Couldn’t use google or make disqus post the comment. Now understand more about why blog comments are getting more rare.

    • Kim June 10, 2014, 8:08 pm

      Ugh, that is frustrating! I’ll be cross-posting that piece here on Thursday, I think, so I hope you can come back and comment then.

      The publicist at the booth raved about the book on Russia — I’ll let you know when I get to read it!

  • Jenny @ Reading the End June 10, 2014, 3:35 pm

    I am SO EXCITED for Bad Feminist. I love Roxane Gay and have been sad that I can’t face reading her novel (it just sounds like too much for me), so it’s good she has another, not quite as horribly upsetting, book coming out later in the year.

    • Kim June 10, 2014, 8:09 pm

      I have her novel too and yes, I can’t quite bring myself to read it. I will, eventually, but I can’t yet. I’m excited for the essays instead.

  • Christy June 10, 2014, 5:33 pm

    Oh I heard about the accident that is featured in A Deadly Wandering. It was one of the stories featured in Werner Herzog’s short documentary called From One Second to the Next: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BqFkRwdFZ0
    Herzog interviewed both the daughter of one of the scientists and the man whose distracted driving caused the accident. Heartbreaking stuff.

    Dangerous Odds and Fire Shut Up in My Bones both sound intriguing. I look forward to your eventual reviews on some of these!

    • Kim June 10, 2014, 8:09 pm

      Thanks for the link, I am going to watch that.

  • tanya (52 books or bust) June 11, 2014, 3:47 am

    After reading An Untamed State I have to read Bad Feminist. No question. And I totally get the Gail Sheehy kryptonite thing. So many good books on the horizon. September is going to be busy for you.

    • Kim June 11, 2014, 8:53 pm

      There’s no way I’ll get to all of those September books, but I hope I can get to many of them because they all look great.

  • Laurie C June 11, 2014, 6:00 am

    What a pile of great nonfiction to read! Looking forward to your reviews! I hadn’t heard of any of these, but may try to read A Deadly Wandering, if I can bear it.

  • Sheila (Book Journey) June 11, 2014, 10:39 am

    I did not see The Price Of Thirst. That one sounds super interesting!

  • Athira June 11, 2014, 8:49 pm

    These are all new-to-me books, so I will be looking forward to seeing what you think! They all sound very good! Which are you hoping to start with?

    • Kim June 11, 2014, 8:54 pm

      I already started reading Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, which is great. After that… I’m excited about A Deadly Wandering, but I’ll probably get to Bad Feminist before that.

  • susan June 21, 2014, 2:43 pm

    Thanks much for telling us about these books at BEA. I like to know what’s coming up! Of these you list, I’m most interested in the Gail Sheehy book. Sounds like a delicious read. cheers.