Highlights from BEA

During the second week of May, I had the opportunity to attend Book Expo America (BEA) in Chicago. BEA is an industry event in North America that features authors, publishers, journalists, librarians, bloggers, etc. So you may be wondering why I attended, seeing as I only have a few posts on this blog and work in medical billing. Well, the simple answer is this – While I have a great passion for books and want to work in the book industry, I am unsure as to what I want to do. I figured this event would give me some greater insights into the various sectors of the book world. I was not disappointed! In addition, I also attended the Bloggers Conference that was held on the first day of BEA. It is my hope that the tips and tools I picked up at seminar will help me to become a better blogger.

While at BEA, I was fortunate enough to meet a plethora of book lovers that work in fields dedicated to fostering a love of books and reading. In addition, this trip was a great way for me to develop personally. This trip was the first time that I have ever travelled by myself. In the past, I have flown by myself multiple times, but have always met someone at my destination. For this trip, however, I booked my own room (another first for me) and had to manage transport to and from the airport, dining options, sightseeing, and various other anxiety inducing details. I also ordered room service for the first time! This may not seem like a very big deal for someone thirty-seven, but keep in mind that I am from a very small rural town and have never really had the financial ability to travel. I also have pretty severe anxiety, so this was a very big step for me. But, let me just share with you – how much sweeter the accomplishment when there are some obstacles along the way!

Without further ado, here are some photos from my trip:


While in Chicago, I stayed at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place so that i would be onsite for the conference. My room and the staff were incredible and I highly recommend this hotel, particularly if you are attending a conference located there. Here is a peak at my lovely view of Lake Michigan.


This sign was my first glimpse of BEA on Wedneday, May 11th, 2016. Couldn’t help but to pose for a selfie!


Here is a snapshot of all of the hanging banners that decorated the walkway between conference rooms.


Here is the badge I picked up at registration. By this point the trip was seeming more real. I also felt like a little bit of a cheater by listing Blogger without “Wannabe” tagged on the end. Guess that just means I have something to work for.


My second say at BEA began with a Book & Author Breakfast. Look for an upcoming post about the wonderful authors I heard speak and a list of the free books I received at this event. I will also be posting reviews of some of the titles.

On my third day at BEA, I attended the Children’s Book & Author Event where I was delighted to hear the lovely Jamie Lee Curtis talk about her upcoming release as well as the importance of children’s literature in general. Other authors at this event include Dave Pilkey, Gene Luen Β Yang, & Sabaa Tahir. Look for future posts showing the free books I received at this event and the subsequent reviews of those books. This was one of my favorite events at BEA.

Lastly, I just wanted to mention that the best part of BEA was not the events, author meetings, or merchandise booths. Instead, it was such an incredible experience because I was able to network with so many people who love books and reading as much as I do. I was overwhelmed by seeing so many like minded people in one place. Everyone was so gracious and friendly. In the future, I will be covering the various blogs and business that I learned about while at BEA. What could be better than a shout out to all those who have inspired me to find my own place in the great big world of books? Until then – keep reading!




Big Changes are Coming…

Ok! So I know that I have not posted in a very long time. I’ll save your time and not offer any lame excuses. Instead, I will just jump right into my news. Three weeks ago, I gave my notice to the physician’s group where I’ve worked in medical billing for the past two years. With the completion of my M.A. approaching (I graduate in December!), I felt that I need to concentrate on school. This being said, all of my time will now be devoted to studying, reading, writing, and of course – blogging. In fact, I suspect that once I start on my thesis, this blog will become my “fun writing” and will serve as an even better way to decompress.

Secondly! Tomorrow I will be flying to Chicago to attend BookExpoAmerica and BookCon. While there, I will also be attending a one day blogging seminar, where I hope to learn tons of tips which I can use here to increase the quality of my content, delivery, and editing. I will make sure to take lots of photos and will post if able throughout the week. I am unsure about the availability of internet.

Lastly – I must admit that I am equally excited and terrified about this next chapter in my life. I am unsure exactly how to structure a life and career around my love for books, but I suppose that I will simply have to figure it out as I go along. Wish me luck!

Maya Angelou Gives me the Feels

I wanted to start February off with a re-reading of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. But wait, it gets worse. Instead of reading the physical book, I decided that it would be lovely to listen to the audio book narrated by Ms. Angelou herself. While I greatly enjoyed this epic story conveyed by one of the most eloquent speakers I’ve ever encountered, I can’t seem to move past the book. It was such an amazing experience that I felt like I was learning the story for the first time. Now I want to keep returning to the world of young Marguerite. Even if you have read the book before, or even multiple times, I urge everyone to try the audio book. Unfortunately for me, my library only has the first and last of Angelou’s memoirs on audio. The several in between are only available in physical and e-book form. While it may seem silly to not continue, I have decided that I want to invest in her books in both physical and audio form. It might take me awhile to obtain them all – have you guys noticed how expensive audio books can be? – however, the listening experience just cannot be beat. And now for what I’d like to say to Maya Angelou – Thank You. Thank you for sharing your stories with the world. You have taught me so much over the years. Your writing has introduced me to poetry that I actually enjoy, to the joy of memoirs when I thought I hated nonfiction, to the delight of seeing myself in a work written by someone else, and most importantly, to the miraculous journey of experiencing life through the eyes of someone different than me. Now, even after you have passed on, you have challenged my dislike of audio books and given me a brand new way to experience the wide world of literature. Trust that you will love on in all your reader’s hearts.

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Down the Rabbit Hole

  1. All morning I struggled to find time to blog about a book I finished in February. Unfortunately, our insanely gorgeous hotel wreaks havoc on cell signal so I was thwarted at every turn. Just to catch you up, my best friend won a Disney Land vacation and we chose my birthday weekend to redeem our prize. Knowing that no one can spin a narrative as well as good ol Walt, I figured I could find some things in the park to write about instead. And I was not wrong. The bright scenery, interactive staff, and smiling park goers made everything seem noteworthy. I took a ton of pics but will only share a few at the moment.     MICKEY! Enough said. But as much as I love Disney what could be good as reading Alice in Wonderland? How about the Mad Hatter and Alice singing Bon Jovi covers? That’s right readers, you know you are in.    More on Disney later, I promise! 

January Reads

I thought that I would start sharing images of the books I read each month. Here is a look at what I finished in January. I’ve also included my Good Reads rating. Please note that a three star rating for me means a good solid book. Four stars means it is incredible and is a candidate for a re-read. Five star ratings are those books that are perfectly satisfying for me, I wouldn’t change anything. Also keep in mind that I rate my books based on how much I enjoy them, both the reading experience and the reflections afterwards. My ratings are not intended to indicate the skill of the various authors.