The American Booksellers Association has announced the lineup for the 2004 Book Sense at Five Reading Room, to be held at BookExpo America on Saturday, June 5, from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., in Room 404B/C of Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center. All BEA attendees are welcome to the free event, which has become an ABA Convention tradition.
Four outstanding authors, whose works are independent bookseller favorites -- as evidenced by their appearance on the Book Sense 76 and the Book Sense Picks lists -- will read from their books in a relaxed, intimate setting. This year's readers are:
- Steve Almond, author of Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America (Algonquin), the number one May 2004 Book Sense Pick. In nominating Almond's book for the Picks list, Steve Turnbull of Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington, Kentucky, said, "Everyone out there was once a kid, and every kid once had a favorite candy, one that he or she just couldn't get enough of. Steve Almond seems to have delighted in them all, and in Candyfreak you will read enough sugar-coated candy lore to make your molars ache. Now, pardon me, I've got to rush out for a bag of mini Reese's!"
- Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees (Viking/Penguin), the number one Pick on the March/April 2002 Book Sense 76 in hardcover; a Top Ten Paperback Pick in March/April 2003; a finalist for Book Sense Book of the Year in 2003 in the hardcover category and in 2004 in the paperback category; and a selection of independent booksellers for the Best Books: The Best of Book Sense From the First Five Years. In nominating Kidd's book for the 76, Genny Lord of Browsing Bison Books in Deer Lodge, Montana, said, "The Secret Life of Bees is a wonderfully sensuous read. Book groups will be intrigued as relationships are explored in the context of religion, family, and race. I will share this book with all the people I care about."
- Christopher Moore, author of Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (Perennial), a March/April 2002 Book Sense 76 Pick in hardcover; a Top Ten Paperback on the March/April 2003 Book Sense 76; and a 2004 Book Sense Book of the Year Finalist in the paperback category. In nominating Moore's book for the 76, Ginnie Traver of Bishop Bookstore in Bishop, California, said, "This is, by far, the funniest book I've read in quite awhile. This was a hit in our store in hardcover, and, now, in paperback, we'll put this into the hands of many more readers."
- Kate Whouley, author of Cottage for Sale -- Must Be Moved (Commonwealth Editions), a May 2004 Book Sense Pick. In nominating Whouley's book for the Picks list, Fran Keilty of Hickory Stick Bookshop in Washington Depot, Connecticut, said, "Take one savvy and determined woman, a Cape Cod cottage for sale, and a cat named Egypt, and you have the ingredients for Kate Whouley's successful addition to her three-room house. Along the way, you'll learn just how much a close-knit community of friends and advisors can accomplish."