After walking the floor for a couple of days, librarian BEA attendees gathered for the fourth annual "Shout and Share" session near the end of the show. A panel of seven library collection development and media types had just eight minutes each to share as many titles they could. While the group anticipated Richard Russo, Michael Chabon, Barbara Kingsolver and other new books from bestselling authors, but the Shout and Share participants were especially adept at shining light on new gems.
Moderator Barbara Genco, special projects manager at Library Journal, got things rolling by picking The Absolutist by John Boyne (Other Press, July). "I'm still in a Downton Abbey depression," she shared, but this World War I story (with white feathers of cowardice and a gay love triangle) helped ease that condition. She also mentioned the Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook by Emily Ansara Baines, to be published in September by Adams Media, which also published unofficial cookbooks for Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. Another book Genco suggested for those who like "food porn" as much as she does: Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson (Basic Books, Oct.). Her crossover YA pick was Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow, published by Tor Teen in October.
Next up, Alene Moroni, order collection manager, King County Library system, Wash., made an already frenetic pace seem more like a frenzy as she plowed through recommendation after recommendation. The Art of Procrastination by John Perry (Workman, Sept.) intrigued Moroni, although, she admitted, "I haven't had time to read it." She also pointed out the "Gatsbyesque" Life Among Giants by Bill Roorbach (Algonquin, Nov.) and Breed by Chase Novak, which she described as "Rosemary's Baby moves to the Upper East Side" (Mulholland Books, Sept.). Novak, incidentally, is the pen name of Scott Spencer, author of Endless Love and the National Book Award-nominated A Ship Made of Paper. Moroni also shared "cat poetry" from the forthcoming I Could Pee on This by Francesco Marciuliano (Chronicle, Aug.)
Offering the male perspective, Library Journal's "Books for Dudes" columnist Douglas Lord praised The Yard (Putnam, May), a debut thriller by Alex Grecian--heir to the Grecian Formula hair franchise, Lord joked, "but it's good." Under "escape reading," Lord recommended Dead Men by Richard Pierce (Overlook, May) and Hidden Things by Doyce Testerman (Harper Voyager, Aug.).
In nonfiction, he named Ballparking: Practical Math for Impractical Sports Questions by Aaron Santos (Running Press, May), for those who might ever wonder about things like the number of teeth lost by National Hockey League players (27,000).
There was an murmur of agreement from attendees when Kaite Mediatore Stover, director reader's services, Kansas City Public Library, shared how she was moved by Will Schwalbe's BEA talk about The End of Your Life Book Club (Knopf, Oct.). "It's an unsentimental portrait of a man's love for his witty and wise mother going through chemo," she said. "We all fell in love with Will."
Stover's pick for Downton Abbey fans: The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields (Pamela Dorman Books, Aug.).
The New York Public Library's Miriam Tuliao started off with Office Girl, a debut novel about twentysomethings who start an art movement because office work would kill them, written by playwright Joe Meno with illustrations by Cody Hudson and photographs by Todd Baxter (Akashic, July).
She also mentioned Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay by Paul Vitagliano (Quirk, Nov.), an illustrated book featuring the experience of famous and not-famous people from across the LBGTO community. "I think we really need to get it for our libraries," she emphasized.
"Didn't you just choke up yesterday?" asked Robin Beerbower, from the Salem Public Library, Ore., referring to Jonathan Evison's discussion of his third novel, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving (Algonquin, Aug.) "It's obvious that this comes from both his heart and his soul," she added. Her women's book club pick was The Care of Handling of Roses with Thorns by Margaret Dilloway (Putnam, August).
Beerbower's YA pick was Every Day by David Levithan (Knopf, Aug.), which is about a teen who wakes up in a new person's body every day. "What do you do when you fall in love?" asked the Oregon librarian.
Wendy Bartlett, collection development manger for Cuyahoga County Public Library, Ohio, thanked the panelists for letting her round out the day's picks with her "number one book for the fall": The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin (HarperCollins, Aug.) The premise: the caretaker of an orchard finds himself taking care of two very young and pregnant teens. "I am a sucker for language," said Bartlett, "and this is beautifully, beautifully written."
Among the other books Bartlett highlighted was Denis Lehane's first pick for his new imprint at HarperCollins, The Cutting Season by Attica Locke, coming out in September. She also gave a nod to Juliet in August by Diane Weaver (Amy Einhorn/Putnam, July), which won the Giller Prize in Canada. --Bridget Kinsella