The day may have started off foggy and gray here in Chicago but that didn’t put a damper on our excitement for the start of Book Expo America! If you’ve ever been to BEA or a similar convention you know that the first day can be somewhat of a dichotomy. Wednesday at BEA is a half day for most attendees so many of us look at it as the “lazy day” or a least a slower start since most of us will take this opportunity to sleep in and rest up for the days ahead. Once we finally get to the convention center though, any lingering calm is thrown out the window, the excitement level hits epic proportions, and it’s all about the BOOKS!

Here are our picks for bests of the day and our full book hauls.


My favorite stop of the day was a tough choice. In the top was my old favorite, Lithographs, where I got to see a sample of their new book scarves (I’m so happy I backed that Kickstarter!) but today they were edged out by a new find for me, Obvious State with their absolutely gorgeous collection of bookish art and stationary.



Also making my bests of the day list are the books Faithful by Alice Hoffman, Jerusalem by Alan Moore, and The Wonder by Emma Donoghue but really how can I choose with a haul like this?





My favorite stop of the day was a pretty easy pick to make actually because it’s just really freaking cool! Coloring books are pretty big at BEA this year and I’ve been excited about that (if you read our coloring book post you should know why) so I really wanted to stop by the Newborn Media booth. They have the coolest coloring books that have 12 coloring pencils & a pencil sharpener included right with the book! To make it even better the 48 sheets are detachable and there is a wonderful cardboard piece that folds over flat and allows no bleed through if coloring with markers. I’m obsessed with it. Oh! AND those coloring pencils have a built in case that snaps shut. They have a great line of coloring books with music CDs included as well.



My favorite books of the day are the Jennifer Weiner book because I’m a huge fan and the Jonathan Saffan Foer book.




My favorite part of Day One at BEA16 was the panel of women’s fiction/romance authors which included Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Robyn Carr and Gayle Forman, whose newest release will be an adult rather than YA novel.  They spoke about the fine line between romance and women’s fiction, and how these genres have evolved and meshed over the years. Robyn Carr spoke of how she started her beloved Virgin River series and how over the years she developed the relationships between the town’s characters.  Similarly, SEP who has a new Chicago Stars book coming soon also told how this long running series came to be and what keeps it ticking.  It was an interesting way to spend an hour away from the frantic pace of BEA.  Even better, I got to meet Robyn Carr and get an autographed  ARC of upcoming book!


Because day one of BEA16 was only a half day, I was able to ease into the craziness of hoards of readers trying to score books and swag.  My day one haul wasn’t as large as I thought it would be, but I’m happy with what I got.  I’m really looking forward to Jennifer Close’s The Hopefuls, as I’ve never read her before.  The Wonder by Emma Donaghue, author of Room, is also one I can’t wait to read.  And it was so much fun meeting Scotty McCreery of American Idol fame…what a cutie!!


And what’s BEA without totes?




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