Saturday, June 6, 2015

BEA Recap: Pictures and BookCon


If you didn't know by now, We Live and Breathe Books went to BookExpo America as well as BookCon last week. We did recaps for BEA day one, day two, and day three, but decided to save our BookCon updates for one big post and also include all our photos! So here are my BEA and BookCon adventures in photos!

BEA Day One & Blogger's Conference

I don't have many photos from day one of BEA, but I have these! The first photo is from the morning when we got there - it's my badge from BEA with the Blogger's Conference schedule. After that is keynote panel about the state of blogging, my Blogger's Conference book haul, and my overall day one haul! For more details about day one, check out my day one recap!

BEA Day Two

My second day of BEA was mostly dedicated to going to some awesome signings. I got to meet (from left to right on top then bottom) Margaret Stohl, Josephine Angelini, Marissa Meyer, Alexandra Bracken, and Jennifer E. Smith! They were all so nice and I'm so excited to read all the books in that last picture (aka my day two haul). For more details, check out my day two recap!

BEA Day Three

Day three was INSANE!!! When I planned BEA, I made an Excel spreadsheet with all the signings of interest to any of the WLABB bloggers. While day one was one page and day two was two pages, day three was three pages! And it definitely lived up to the busy schedule! I waited in lines a lot but it was still fun because I met some great people. I was really happy that I made it to the signings for Liza Weimer, who is an absolute gem, Leila Sales, and Richelle Mead (even though I didn't manage to take a clear picture)!

I'd like to give a special shout out to my Ballet Cat tote bag that I got on day three. I cannot explain to you how much I wanted this tote bag once I found out that a "Ballet Cat tote bag" existed. I didn't know who Ballet Cat was, but I knew that I needed it. I think this also warrants pointing out that I waited in a longer line to get this Ballet Cat tote bag than I did to get a Shadowhunters tote bag. Ballet Cat rocks. I've put this bag on display in my room because IT'S SO CUTE. Oh, and those are the books I got on day three (kind of pales in comparison to the Ballet Cat tote bag, in my opinion).

Before we all left after day three, WLABB made sure to take a group picture! Unfortunately, our posing skills were sub-par. Hopefully we'll get the chance to take a better photo in the future. Overall, BEA 2015 was a success and I'm really hoping I'll be able to go next year even though it's in Chicago! For more day three adventures, check out my day three recap!

BookCon Day One

Since I experienced the hell that BookCon was last year, I was a bit skeptical about going this year. However, since I was able to snag a VIP pass and since this year was supposed to be completely different from last year, I decided to give it a shot. The first thing I noticed upon entering Javits that morning, was that it was still a mad house - there were so many people! On the other hand, the organization of the mob was much better than last year. While the system in place this year wasn't perfect, I felt like it was a lot better than last year. (I mean, it couldn't really be worse than last year...)

In case you missed #SlothTakesBookCon, SLOTH WENT TO BOOKCON! If you don't know who Sloth is, he was featured in the second Stuffed Animal Saturday post we did. He's also just generally one of my traveling companions. Sloth goes on adventures - it's just what he does.

This is Sloth waiting for the train and on the train to BookCon! While at BookCon, Sloth wanted to see how he would look with a gigantic beard that was evil. He decided it wasn't for him.

Sloth getting Furiously Happy. Yea, he's looking at you.

The Graphix guy thinks Sloth belongs in a graphic novel, and I agree. Someone should really get on that. Sloth also wanted everyone to know that he reads YA, which I obviously already knew because we read together all the time.

The highlight of Sloth's day was definitely meeting Captain Underpants. I think meeting Sloth was also the highlight of Captain Underpants' day. Later, Sloth took a break and chilled on that pink chair. He thought it was both stylish and comfortable - double win! Even though Sloth loves photo ops, he also wanted to go to some panels with me!

These photos are kind of redundant, but Sloth likes to be a star on the blog and insisted upon having his photos included. The first panel we went to was Gayle Forman, Sarah Dessen, and Jenny Han discussing best friends. They talked about their best friends and also how they wrote friendship.

Next we went to the Rainbow Rowell panel where she discussed fandom, fanfiction, and Carry On! Rainbow is always funny but I enjoyed one particular story so much that I'm going to share it now. (I'm sorry that my story telling skills are inferior to Rainbow Rowell's). One of the audience members asked her if Rainbow was her real name. Rather than just saying yes and moving on, Rainbow Rowell decided to tell us all a story. One day, while vacationing in Disney with her son and his bumble bee pillow pet, they were riding the bus to the park and they sat across from a girl with her purple unicorn pillow pet. Seeing that her son clearly wanted to talk to the little girl in question, Rainbow decided to ask the girl what her purple unicorn's name was. Do you want to guess what it was? It was Rainbow.

Right after Rainbow Rowell's panel, we went to the Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Sloth panel with author Jesse Andrews, director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, Thomas Mann, and Olivia Cooke. Wait, Sloth wasn't actually a part of the panel. This panel was SO FUNNY, especially Jesse Andrews. Even though I haven't had a chance to read Me and Earl and the Dying Girl yet, I feel like I'm going to love it because his voice and personality were just so fun and his humor was right up my alley.

Lastly, we went to the Paper Towns movie panel with John Green, director Jake Schreier, screenplay writer Michael H. Weber, composer Ryan Lott, and actors Nat Wolff and Justice Smith! It was really fun because you could tell that John, Nat, Justice, and Jake were all really close from working on the movie - especially Nat and John, since they also worked on The Fault in Our Stars together last year. I motion for Nat to have a cameo appearance in every John Green adaptation.

BookCon Day Two

Unfortunately, Sloth was tired from all his BookCon day one adventures and wasn't able to join me for day two :(

For BookCon day two, we left a lot earlier so we could go to the First in Line author breakfast and signing. In case it wasn't obvious, you had to be one of the first 500 people in line to get in to the event! While at the breakfast, Amrutha and I took a fun picture. Unfortunately the guy who took the photo couldn't get an actually clear picture. This is the closest we got.

After the First in Line event, the day was less eventful that day one. The first panel I went to was the Fierce Reads tour kick off with Jennifer Mathieu, Courtney Alameda, Anna Banks, and Emmy Laybourne. The main thing I can tell you about this panel is that Anna can read. The second panel I went to was called Fierce is my Middle Name, which featured Rae Carson, Charlaine Harris, and Sarah J. Maas. Even if Fierce wasn't actually their middle name, these ladies are definitely fierce, and so are their books!

Overall, I think BookCon was better than last year but it wasn't perfect by any means. I don't understand why they chose to close half the show floor from BEA for an event with what felt like way more people. The bathroom lines were ridiculous and people were very edgy. I'm not sure if I'll be returning to BookCon again next year, especially since it's in Chicago, but I'm not completely set against it yet. We'll see what happens!


                        BEA Day One & Blogger's Conference 
Blogger Con, while hella rad, did not have me taking hella pictures, so I bring to you pictures of books, a picture of an author's signature in my book preemptively assuming it would be the best book I've ever read, and a picture I was tagged in on twitter. I loved the first day of BEA because I got so many of the books that I wanted, including Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl (WHICH WAS IN THE REJECT PILE ON THE GROUND, WHAT A GEM). We also got to hang out with some super cool bloggers (featured on the left) and got to discuss (rant) about books and the struggle that is standing in lines. We also got harassed by some lady that wanted us to write about her Pomeranian and by a guy who wanted us to review his book about drug dealers that he met in a 7/11 in Albuquerque, but other than the train problems, all in all, it was a really successful day. For more details, check out our full length recap post!

                                         BEA Day Two

LOOK AT ALL THE AUTHORS IN THOSE PICTURES. JUST LOOK. I got to meet so many cool authors and take pictures with them and talk to them and most importantly grab their books so I can revel in the glory that is a good writer. On the far left is me with JLA and Katie McGarry (they're both honestly so sweet it hurts, no wonder their fanbases are so true to them). Then, on the middle/left is me with Brandon Stanton, from Humans of New York -- I met him last year and got a picture with him in which I look awful and this year I got a redo and I am pretty pleased with the results. Also his blog is breathtaking and meeting him (no matter how many times) is never going to get old. Then, on the middle right is me, Alexandra Bracken, and a super chill lady from her publishing company who's name I unfortunately do not know. #1 This author is beautiful #2 Her writing is beautiful #3 She's like the nicest person ever so I'm not really sure what more I could've wanted from that experience. Finally, on the far right is Eleanor Herman, who wrote Legacy of Kings and was cool enough to actually cosplay for the signing -- super admirable. If you care to see more of my gushing about BEA Day two, you can find the full recap post here.

                                         BEA Day Three

Omg guys, I met Mindy Kaling. We weren't allowed to take pictures with her which was hella lame but above you can see a part of my face and all of the back of my head very close to a brown girl who holds a very special place in my heart. I basically just gushed to her about how much I love her work and how great her haircut looked so yeah, that was hella rad. I also took another picture with JLA while she signed the newest in the J. Lynn series, which I am personally very excited to read (also if i didn't emphasize it enough earlier, JLA is like the chillest person ever). Okay, now, time for a funny story: so Meg Cabot (my childhood hero) and Dave Baldacci (a famous author to whom I have no real connection) were both signing at the same table, Dave at 3 and Meg Cabot at 3:30. They were both ticketed events. Now, knowing to come a few minutes early I showed up and slipped right into line (like 8 from the front) by accident, thinking I was using my first-in-line readers pass and Meg Cabot ticket on Meg Cabot. Turns out, I actually ended up in line for Dave (while the lady behind me yelled about how there was a three hour wait and I had just walked right in). Now, here's the thing, I couldn't see Dave's name anywhere or the book that was being signed, only his face -- so, rather than assuming I was in the wrong line, I just assumed my whole childhood I had been wrong, and Meg Cabot was actually a man. I'm not kidding. I have screenshots of my conversations with people where I was like "MEG CABOT IS A MAN??????" Anyway, I quickly realized and at that point was so close to the front that I got a picture and a signed book, and then had to explain to the staff what had happened. Awkward as hell but actually hilarious. On the right, you will see who I mistook Meg Cabot for (still a cool guy, just really unexpected). 

                                         BookCon Day 1&2
I don't have many pictures from BookCon so I'll just group the two days together -- they were both pretty packed full of people but they were pretty successful in that I got the books I was looking for and I got to see John Green's panel and most importantly, I GOT TO MEET JUDY BLUME, THE WOMAN WHO LITERALLY MADE MY CHILDHOOD WHAT IT WAS. I shamelessly bought her $30 book and stood in line for 4 hours for her. No regrets. She was incredible and her writing has impacted so much of my girlhood (awkward but yeah) in my youth. Also, Me and some of Kiersten's hair were featured in the Show Daily (the daily show printout that shows when things are happening) so basically we are BookCon famous. I also got to see Nicole, who you may remember from last year's BookCon post, so that was pretty cool! BookCon was, like Kiersten said, better but certainly not perfect by any means - we'll call it a work in progress. 


BEA Day One & Blogger's Conference 

While I did obtain quite a few books day one, I didn't take all that many pictures. 

These are just a few pictures to show you some of the things I liked about Day One, so it's just an assortment of pictures showcasing some of the books and signing but I didn't end up taking pictures with any of the authors that day which is honestly a shame because I had on my cutest outfit of the three days that day. What a waste. On the left, we have a photo of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl which I've heard only good things about and am super excited to read. Then, the next picture is cut off a bit, but you can see the whole thing in my tweet. Anyway, it shows how Amrutha and I both got a book signed and the author wrote her a whole message and for me she only signed her name and it was one of the funnier moments of the day. A 4:30 AM picture of the train station adds a nice middle, and then we just have two more highlights, one signed and one unsigned, showing some of the books I got on the first day. For more of my ramblings on BEA Day One, check out our full length recap post!

BEA Day Two

I got to go to lots of signings on Day Two, starting with the lovely Margaret Stohl. She was so energetic and hilarious and even remembered me when I saw her again for her signing of Black Widow the next day. On the right, we have Brandon Stanton of the one and only Humans of New York, who I internally screamed over but of course managed to keep my composure long enough to ask for a picture. I actually look twelve kinds of terrible in this picture so I need to get myself back to BEA next year for a retake. #notoverit

Of course my selfie with Marissa Meyer is blurry. Of course. I'm not bitter at all. Oh well, at least you can still see how cute she is. And then I also got a selfie with the wonderful Jennifer E. Smith, who was also super cute and adorable and one of the people I was most excited to see. And my last day two picture, but definitely not least, is with one of my favorite humans ever, the very reason I woke up at 3 AM to take the train and wait on line for tickets, the star of my all time favorite movie and the author of a collection of short stories and essays that I'm very excited to read, Jesse Eisenberg. And I'm still not over it. 

For the full list of things I'm not over, read the full recap post here

BEA Day Three

Just look at the pure royalty emanating from this photo. Meg Cabot herself graced BEA with her presence and I was lucky enough to get a photo with her. Also, can we appreciate that she wore a tiara? That's like, my move. Meg Cabot feels me on an emotional level. I can get behind this. Also, let's also appreciate the majestic wonder that is Rainbow Rowell. Not only was she great at the children's author breakfast but meeting her was just fabulous and I'm so excited to have my special collector's edition of Fangirl

Honestly, meeting Mindy Kaling was a dream come true. I resonate so deeply with her show that before my phone crashed and I lost all my notes, I kept a running list of all the references that applied to my life, like things her character on the show said that I've said before in my life, because some of them I'd have said word for word before or a lot of things I'd have expressed the same sentiment. Even besides that, I just find her so funny and witty and she's such a strong powerful woman that I love that other women can look up to. When I talked to her she said the next season on hulu was going to be even racier so look out for that, everyone. Unfortunately, there were too many people there for us to be allowed to take a real picture but Amrutha took this picture of me talking to her which is actually pretty cute. David Levithan is my bro on the right and I technically wasn't supposed to be taking a picture with him either because of like crowd control reasons or something but he was like "if you take a selfie really quickly and I look up really quickly while I'm signing like this we can make it work" or something along those lines and we got our pic and I was really excited about that because he's one of my favorite authors and I love love love so many of his works and I was extremely excited about meeting him and so the fact that I was able to get a picture with him really made the experience even better. He was so nice and slightly awkward but overall it such an exciting encounter meeting someone whose work I admire so much. 

This is ultimately the haul I acquired over the three days which might not be as much as some others because I spent a decent amount of time waiting in lines but I'm happy with what I got and I'm moving anyway so I'd rather not have an excess of books to pack. Also, if you want the full day three post, check it out here

Note: I did not go to BookCon because I ended up in the ER due to epilepsy related reasons. I am okay now but I do not have any BookCon related photos or stories for you at this time. I'm sure Sloth has enough for the both of us.

Note 2: I swear I'm not as ugly in person as I am in these pictures.


BEA Day One & Blogger's Conference

For Blogger's Con/BEA Day One, I mostly sat with the bags downstairs while everyone else got books. As such, my haul for this day is pretty low (I got the Copper Gauntlet, though!).

The panels were pretty interesting and engaging, and there's loads of notes from them, but a lot of the time was spent warming up to familiar faces (like Xander) and new faces (Bayram, my new best friend).

BEA Day Two

Day two! Oh man! This was loads of fun. While I missed out on a few drops and signings, I think it was worth it, as I spent a lot of time actually bonding with people and not being a robot. (Shoutout to Bayram, who put up with me for more than half the day!)

What I really felt like stuck: the Alexandra Bracken signing. She's incredible. Breath taken away, pterodactyls in my stomach kind of incredible. She's like a tree nymph, or some other magical Forrest creature that makes you cry with words. I may have gotten her to sign Passenger to "bae." She may have written "of our love" under her signing tag "History is the beginning." I'm in love.

The Legacy of Kings author Eleanor Herman and I discussed historical misrepresentation of ethnic and gender structures in Alexander the Great's era, and it was loads of fun. Consequently, this is why I missed the Snow Like Ashes drop. However, it was so very well worth it. She's so, so smart and she rocks that outfit!

For a third year in a row, Brandon Mull. I love this man. Keep writing, childhood-maker. I enjoy the hell out of it.

While I am conflicted on about half of Lev Grossman's writing, I was nonetheless very excited to meet him. He's very down to earth. I'm hyped for his show on SyFy later this year!

Speaking of awesome, though. I got to meet David Levithan again! He's perfect. No more words on that. Perfect lovable genius panda of love and words.

BEA Day Three

I agree with Kiersten: day three was a bloodbath for my feet. At one point, I simply had to sit down at the Harlequinn booth for an hour with a few friends, not walking, to regain the strength needed to get into the next line.

It started with the Children's Author Breakfast, and I tweeted the hell out of that thing because everyone was so hilarious. I couldn't take a drink of water for fear I would choke on the laughter. Everyone was in sync with each other: their jokes on parsnips were effortlessly linked, somehow. My favorite moment was when James Patterson took the stage. Now, we may all love and hate the man for different reasons (too many reasons, cough cough), but he really dominated the morning with this message: we need to get children reading. And reading a lot. He made the point that literature-wealthy children were critical to the empowerment of a people, and without it, basically, we're screwed. Too many kids are underprivileged and too many schools underfunded, so he's starting to donate his considerable wealth towards these causes, and I commend him for it.

Pictured to the right is the 20 Light-year long Marie Lu line, which I avoided like the red plague (ha).

There are far too many things for me to go through for the day . . . but it was awesome! What really stuck with me was WeNeedDiverseBooks and the fact that . . . well . . . there were a quite a few diverse (I hate that word, and prefer 'normalization,' but more on that another time) books. For example, the first four books I got were Lizard Radio (trans protag), None of the Above (intersex protag), Endangered (WOC protag) and Dumplin' (large woman protag). Damn! Thank you, authors and editors and everyone who pushed for this! Diversity/Normalization is necessary.

Other than that, I got a few damn good books, like Six of Crows, among the bloodbath and got to see my one true love, again. There were little bottles she gave away at an In the After Light signing that I had Tzivi wait for while I did something else. I also did the In the After Light signing because I didn't have a physical copy of the book.

Again, the majority of my day was spent with Bayram, and thus:

Well that concludes BEA! I really loved Kiersten's BEA End pics, but I didn't want to bore you guys with it all again.

BookCon Day One

Uh. Well. I actually kind of hurt my heel and also Slept Very Late so I opted out of BookCon day one.

This was bad of me. This means I missed a few signings and panels. However:

BookCon Day Two

The one panel I really wanted to see, AKA WeNeedDiverseBook's panel, had an encore showing on day two! Thanks to I.W. Gregario's post, I didn't miss that for the world. I pretty much only went for this, as many of the panels and signings I had little interest in or had already gone to in some form before. I came mostly for this panel, and went to Gregario's signing afterward for a brief interview of her book, None of the Above (review coming soon!), where I got to chat with a few of her co-panelists, esp. Libba Bray, who is absolutely just wonderful.

Other panelists: I could not for the life of me get decent pictures.
For the panel: I tweeted it really, really, really hard so much that #WeNeedDiverseBooks is instinct for me now. I may write at-length on this later, but I thought the panel was just phenomenal.

After that, I pretty much did . . . nothing. Other than discuss None of the Above with I.W. Gregario, which I had finished reading on my day off, I didn't do much. So here's Libba Bray being absolutely gorgeous:

She is a true gem.
Well! That concludes my part! It was a great year! Bookcon was not Hunger Games pt. 2, and I was very glad for that. Otherwise, I had tons of fun, met far too many amazing people. I can't wait to do it again next year - oh wait. Probably can't, now that it's in Chicago during NYU finals week. I WAS ALMOST starting to like the BEA organizers. Almost.

Love you guys and stay bookish,



  1. hahahah oh wow, I LOVED this recap post! Awesome pictures (I'm still kicking myself for being too exhausted to think of taking a quick selfie with Marissa Meyer btw. She was SO sweet!) Anyway, I loved looking at all the awesome pictures you guys too, and the Sloth ones are hilarious! It honestly great to hear that despite still being a madhouse, BookCon was improved compared to the INSANITY that was last year. I'm still glad I opted out though, even though it seemed like BookCon got a LOT of good authors that I would have loved to see this year too. I honestly don't think my body could have handled both BEA + BookCon though. WTG for you girls, doing both. You must have been exhausted by the end of it! Thanks for sharing in the awesomeness with this epic post ladies^^ xx

    1. I'm not going to lie, in the mornings before BookCon I really hated myself for going after the three long days of BEA, but the panels were worth it for me. I was so exhausted afterwards though!