All the fun at #TheBookCon, and an award!
BookCon 2017 in New York City was an absolute blast. So many people, and so many books! Being my first BookCon, I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was bigger than I'd ever imagined.
And, it got off to a great start. I was blown away to receive an IndieReader Discovery Award for best Science Fiction Novel!
After that, my wife and I toured the floor, and then we wanted to check in on some panel discussions. In the first one, Marc Maron and his producer Brendan McDonald discussed 'Waiting for the Punch', their new book that's compiled from the hundreds of episodes of their world-famous WTF podcast. They recounted some of their favorite stories and interviews, from the session with Obama to a candid discussion/argument with Louis CK about friendship. I was struck by Mr. Maron's candidness (though that's sort of the whole crux of the podcast) and honesty, especially when he admitted the blog's first few episodes were basically him inviting people over so he could tell them his problems. After reading an advance copy of the book (which is structured similarly to the ESPN oral history 'Those Guys Have All the Fun') I can say it's a treasure, full of wisdom, wit, and stories you can't get anywhere else.
Next up was Jeffrey Tambor, who just released his not-a-memoir 'Are You Anybody?', a series of reflective essays on the events and interactions that shaped his life. He was funny and reflective and wise, and his rapport with the panel moderator (Abe Riesman, writer for Vulture) took the interview hilariously off the rails, turning a Q&A into a real conversation.
Our last panel of the day discussed the transformation of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale to the small screen, with the showrunner of the Hulu drama Bruce Miller and Ms. Atwood herself. She was warm and open and brought her trademark sense of humor. As fans of the show (and of course the novel that it's based on), my wife and I greatly enjoyed hearing how it came to fruition, and Bruce told the story of his first lunch meeting with Ms. Atwood and how his level of nervousness nearly derailed the whole thing. We had the opportunity to meet Ms. Atwood later in the day, and I even shared a copy of Election 2064 with her. ("You think there will be elections in 2064?" she asked, to which my reply was "Um..." - and now I might have to rewrite the book haha)
All in all, it was a great weekend, including some incredible food, sightseeing and reflection (if you haven't been to the 9/11 memorial, GO). And a lot of books. Until next year!