Book Sense Reading Room at BEA to Feature Augusten Burroughs, Pam Munoz Ryan, Sue Monk Kidd, Gregory Maguire

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The American Booksellers Association has announced the lineup for the 2003 Book Sense Reading Room, to be held at BookExpo America on Saturday, May 31, from 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., in the Los Angeles Convention Center theater. The popular annual event -- a bookseller favorite -- features four outstanding writers reading in a relaxed, intimate setting. In the past, such authors as Paul Auster, Raymond Carver, Kate DiCamillo, Richard Ford, Michael Malone, Alice McDermott, and Ann Patchett have appeared at the Reading Room. There is no charge for the Reading Room, and the event is open to all badged attendees.

"This promises to be another great listening experience, the prefect segue for booksellers as they transition from the hectic show floor to the various events of the evening," said Mark Nichols, director of Book Sense Marketing.

This year, the Reading Room authors are:

  • Augusten Burroughs, author of Running With Scissors (St. Martin's), a July/August 2002 Book Sense 76 pick and a finalist for the 2003 Book Sense Book of the Year Award in the Adult Nonfiction category. In nominating Running With Scissors for the 76, Lin Orndorf of Malaprop's Bookstore/Café in Asheville, North Carolina, said, "This book is like a hybrid offspring of the writings of Derrick Jensen and David Sedaris, as the author's story is both insightful and humorous. Anyone who reads this book will have a greater understanding and respect for those who had difficult or unusual circumstances or challenges in their youth. I highly recommend this book."

    Burroughs's upcoming book is Dry: A Memoir (St. Martin's), which will be published in June.

  • Pam Munoz Ryan, author of Esperanza Rising (Scholastic) and Mud Is Cake (Hyperion), which were both Fall 2002 Children's Book Sense 76 picks. In nominating Esperanza Rising for the 76, Carol Stoltz of Concord Bookshop in Concord, Massachusetts, said, "How do you think you would adjust if you were forced to work in a farm labor camp? Esperanza had a privileged upbringing in her native Mexico in the 1930s, but events conspire to rob her of all that is familiar and she must go to California to work to survive. Aside from being a terrific story, this makes this period in history come alive."

    Additionally, Munoz's book When Marian Sang (Scholastic) was a Winter 2002 - 2003 Children's Book Sense 76 pick.

  • Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees (Viking/Penguin), The number one March/April 2002 Book Sense 76 pick and a finalist for the 2003 Book Sense Book of the Year Award in the Adult Fiction category. In nominating the book for the Book Sense 76, Kathy Westover of The Bookworm in Edwards, Colorado, said, "Kidd creates a narrator whom the reader will grow to love. White, 14, and a runaway, she finds the true meaning of family in a very unusual place: the home of three black sisters who raise bees. Beautifully written, this is a page-turner."
  • Gregory Maguire, author of Lost (Regan Books), a September/October 2002 Book Sense 76 pick. In nominating Lost for the Book Sense 76, Crissa Cummings of Books Inc., San Francisco, CA, said, "This combines the substance of Maguire's first book and the fun of his second. The ghost story nicely augments the 'real life' trials of the protagonist, and I was on the edge of my seat as it all unfolded."

    Maguire was also a featured author in the Fall 2002 Children's Book Sense 76 and January/February 2002 Book Sense 76. The Fall 2002 Children's 76 made special mention of his book The Good Liar (HarperCollins), as well as three HarperTrophy titles: Five Alien Elves, Six Haunted Hairdos, and Seven Spiders Spinning. The January/February 76 list spotlighted Maguire for his books Lost; Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (Regan), which was a November/December Book Sense 76 pick in both 1999 and 2000, for the hardcover and paperback editions, respectively; and Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Regan).

    Maguire's next book, Mirror Mirror (Regan), a retelling of the Snow White fairy tale, is scheduled to be published in October 2003.

Augusten Burroughs
Photo credit:
Dennis Pilsits
Pam Munoz Ryan
Sue Monk Kidd
Photo credit:
Ann Kidd Taylor
Gregory Maguire