BEA 2011 Day 1: THE NIGHT CIRCUS And Some Other Exciting New Books

bea editors buzz panel

Hello everyone and welcome to Day 1 of my adventures at Book Expo America (BEA), and I can tell you that it really felt like an adventure for me today.

This is my first time at BEA and as so I wasn’t really sure what to expect on this first day, so as I headed to the Jarvis Center in New York I of course got a little bit lost and ended up going all around the center, so that started the day off well. But I finally got there, picked up my badge and realized that there wasn’t really anything going today at least not at 10am in the morning. Yikes!

Yeah, so that was a bad start, but now on to the interesting part. I found out that there was a panel that I wanted to attend later in the day:

BEA Editors Buzz

And that’s when things get exciting. The panel featured editors who presented six of the Fall’s biggest potential breakout releases.

While each book had its merit, I have to highlight one in particular that really caught my interest, as in “I need to read this now”. The book is:

THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern

The books comes out on September 13th, 2011. And I’ll just share the synopsis below, which I’m hoping will translate just how awesome this book sounds:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Best part is, we were provided with advance copies of the book (and the others as well) at the end of the panel, so you’ll definitely be reading more about my thoughts on it right here on Daemon’s Books. In the meantime, you can find the cover that was shown at the panel on the left and on the right the cover of the copy we received. Pretty neat right?

the night circus

But of course that’s not all. The panel also featured lots of other books that you might want to take not of. They are:

RUNNING THE RIFT by Naomi Benaron – January 17, 2012

Synopsis: Running the Rift follows Jean Patrick Nkuba, a gifted Rwandan boy, from the day he knows that running will be his life to the moment he must run to save his life, a ten-year span in which his country is undone by the Hutu-Tutsi tensions.

Born a Tutsi, he is thrust into a world where it’s impossible to stay apolitical – where the man who used to sell you gifts for your family now spews hatred, where the girl who flirted wiht you in the lunch room refuses to look at you, where your Hutu coach s secretly training the very soldiers who will hunt down your family. Yet in an environment increasingly restrictive for his people, he holds fast to his dreams of becoming Rwanda’s first Olympic medal contender in track – a feat he believes might deliver him and his people from the violence.

When the killing begins, Jean Patrick is forced to flee, leaving behind the woman, the family, and the country he loves. Finding them again in the ultimate race of his life.

THE ART OF FIELDING by Chad Harbach – September 7, 2011

Synopsis: At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Superior, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for the big leagues. Then a routine throw goes disastrously off course and the fates of five people are upended.

Henry’s life purpose is called into question. Longtime bachelor Guert Affenlight, the college’s president, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry’s gay roommate and teammate, becomes swept up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the team captain and Henry’s best friend, realizes he has guided Henry’s career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert’s daughter, returns to Westish to start a new life after escaping an ill-fated marriage.

As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets, and help one another to discover their true paths. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about the bonds of family and friendship and love, and about commitment–to oneself and to others.

THE UNDERSIDE OF JOY by Sere Prince Halverson – January 17, 2012

Synopsis: To Ella Beene, happiness means living in the Northern California river town of Elbow with her husband, Joe, and his two young children. Yet one summer day Joe breaks his own rule – Never turn your back on the ocean – and a rogue wave descends, drowning not only the man but his many secrets.

For three years, Ella has been the only mother the kids had known, and has believed that their biological mother, Paige, abandoned them. But when Paige shows up at the funeral, intent on reclaiming the children, Ella soon realizes there may be more to Paige and Joe’s story. “Ella
s the best thing that’s happened to this family,” say her close-knit Italian-American in-laws, for generations the proprietors of the local market. But their devotion quickly falters when the custody fight between mother and step-mother urgently and powerfully collides with Ella’s quest for truth.

BIRDS OF PARADISE by Diana Abu-Jaber – September 2011

Synopsis: In the tropical paradise that is Miami, Avis and Brian Muir are still haunted by the disappearance of their ineffably beautiful daughter, Felice, who ran away when she was thirteen. Now, after five years of modeling tattoos, skateboarding, clubbing, and sleeping in a squat house or on the beach, Felice is about to turn eighteen. Her family—Avis, an exquisitely talented pastry chef; Brian, a corporate real estate attorney; and her brother, Stanley, the proprietor of Freshly Grown, a trendy food market—will each be forced to confront their anguish, loss, and sense of betrayal. Meanwhile, Felice must reckon with the guilty secret that drove her away, and must face her fear of losing her family and her sense of self forever.

WE THE ANIMALS by Justin Torres – September 1, 2011

Synopsis: Three brothers tear their way through childhood— smashing tomatoes all over each other, building kites from trash, hiding out when their parents do battle, tiptoeing around the house as their mother sleeps off her graveyard shift. Paps and Ma are from Brooklyn—he’s Puerto Rican, she’s white—and their love is a serious, dangerous thing that makes and unmakes a family many times.

Life in this family is fierce and absorbing, full of chaos and heartbreak and the euphoria of belonging completely to one another. From the intense familial unity felt by a child to the profound alienation he endures as he begins to see the world, this beautiful novel reinvents the coming-of-age story in a way that is sly and punch-in-the-stomach powerful.

So that’s the end of Day 1. Today, BEA officially starts so I’ll have lots more to report later tonight.

You can of course follow me on Twitter @sandiedaemons

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