February 13, 2015

ALA Midwinter 2015 Recap

The other weekend I was fortunate enough to get a ride down to visit the exhibit hall of Chicago's ALA Midwinter meeting. It was the closest the event will ever be held to me, and sounded like a good opportunity for some professional development (and for the acquisition of some new books).

Readers familiar with my blog will know that I'm not one to request many books for review; they come with the pressure of reading on a deadline and ensuring a review is written. And, honestly, there are so many books being published that I kind of want to wait and read reviews prior to my decision of whether or not to read certain books. As you can see from my photos and list below, the publishing representatives at ALA Midwinter were difficult to resist. The vast majority of these books I was either handed while walking down the aisles, or else received from attending a panel.

I had the opportunity to attend a few fantastic panels on my visit. Diverse Debuts was moderated by author Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die) and debut authors in attendance included Sona Charaipotra (Tiny Pretty Things), I.W. Gregorio (None of the Above), Fonda Lee (Zeroboxer), Miranda Paul (One Plastic Bag), Adam Silvera (More Happy Than Not), Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes), Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything), and Francesca Zappia (Made You Up). In a lively discussion, the authors spoke about books that acted as mirrors and windows for them growing up, and also about the importance of the #weneeddiversebooks campaign. 

I also attended the erroneously labeled Science Fiction Panel (all the authors in attendance are fantasy writers). In attendance were Jacqueline Carey (promoting her latest book in the Agents of Hel trilogy), Chloe Neill (promoting her latest book in the Chicagoland Vampires series), and Elizabeth Blackwell (While Beauty Slept). The authors mainly talked about their writing experiences and why they chose to write fantasy novels.

The final panel I attended was Children's Buzz for Spring 2015 titles from HarperCollins, Macmillan Children's, Bloomsbury Children's, and Disney-Hyperion. It was definitely on the more promotional side, but it also helped me get excited for some upcoming titles, and swayed me enough that straight afterward I went to track down a copy of Bone Gap

Other than that, I spent a lot of time wandering the exhibits and examining my new books. Speaking of books, though, here are some pictures and details of what I received.

So excited for these MG ARCs.
Mostly finished copies of adult books.

February 2015
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba (2/5/2015)
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (2/10/2015)
Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton (2/10/2015)


March 2015
Prairie Fire by E.K. Johnston (3/1/2015)
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (3/3/2015)
Dark Debt by Chloe Neill (3/3/2015)
Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose (3/10/2015)

April 2015
None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio (4/7/2015)
Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee (4/8/2015)
An Ember in the Ashes by Saba Tahir (4/28/2015)

May 2015
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh (5/12/2015)
Made You Up by Francesca Zappa (5/19/2015)

June 2015
Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley (6/2/2015)

September 2015
A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano (9/1/2015)
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (9/1/2015)

Previously Published Books 
While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Poison Fruit by Jacqueline Carey

YA ARCs (along with a finished copy of Red Queen and a super cute tote!)
As of right now, I'm on an indefinite book-buying AND book-borrowing ban. The exceptions to these bans are books for my young adult literature class (of course) and a purchase of Rachel Hartman's Shadow Scale next month (obviously).

My one resolution for the next ALA conference I attend is that I hope to attend panels and participate in discussions outside of the exhibit hall. The commercial/marketing aspect was still fun, but I missed out on professional development opportunities. Oh well: next time!
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Amanda loves few things better than sitting down with a cup of tea and a book. She frequently stays up far too late, telling herself she just needs to finish one more page. When she's not wrapped up in the stories of others, Amanda works as a children's librarian in a public library.


  1. Cool, good to hear you got to see some great panels and pick up some exciting reads! I would love to attend ALA someday. SUCH a cute tote!

  2. Ooooh The Girl on the Train! And man, Dark Debt. That's one series I really need to catch up on. I'm like 4 installments behind. lol I might have to check out A Curious Tale although I haven't really cared for the authors previous books. I'm so excited for AN Ember in the Ashes and The Wrath and the Dawn. And ahhhh! Everything, Everything too. So many great books to look forward to. Enjoy!


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