I’m not much of one for posting hauls—I’m not sure they offer much value, and I don’t like to contribute to the frenzy around buying books. But I’m so excited about all of the amazing books I got at Book Expo and Book Con that I’m making an exception and sharing my haul! I’ll also be posting some recaps of what I all did besides accumulate books, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.
Advanced Reader Copies
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (June 26)
I’m posting these in order of upcoming publication date, with finished copies at the end, so Trail of Lightning is up first even though it’s a finished copy and not an arc since it’s released yet this month. I’ve posted several times lately about how excited I am for this book, and it’s totally going to be one of the first ones I read. I was lucky enough to get a free finished copy during Roanhorse’s signing after the We Need Diverse Books panel at Book Con, and I found out later that it was her first signing line for Trail of Lightning! How cool is that?
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (July 10)
I’ve heard great things about Novik’s writing and I had some free time during her signing at Book Con, so I decided to brave the line and get a copy of Spinning Silver. This is another one I’ll be reading soon since the release date is coming up so quickly!
Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart (July 31)
I actually had no plans to get Grace and Fury, but when I met Madalyn from Novel Ink and she found out I like fantasy, she gave it to me since she got it after waiting in line for another arc and didn’t plan to read it. It sounds interesting, so I’ll have to give it a try.
Eleanor Roosevelt: Fighter for Justice by Ilene Cooper (Aug. 7)
I saw a pile of Eleanor Roosevelt: Fighter for Justice when I was waiting in line for Thi Bui’s signing and decided to grab a copy since I’m reading Blanche Wiesen Cook’s Eleanor Roosevelt trilogy, but heard it skimps on the last 20 or so years of her life when she was most active as an activist. While this book is targeted at middle schoolers, I still think it will help fill in some of the gaps in her later life when I finally finish the trilogy.
Seafire by Natalie C. Parker (Aug. 28)
I know I said in my post about books I was hoping to grab at Book Expo that I was on the fence about Seafire and several others just because I’ve found so much YA fantasy to be underwhelming lately, but I’m weak in the face of free books and grabbed it anyways. I’m very excited to start reading about lady pirates!
Mirage by Somaiya Daud (Aug. 28)
I think I’m most excited about this YA fantasy out of the three I had contemplated getting. Mirage promises all kinds of court intrigue that’s right up my alley while being set in a Moroccan-inspired fantasy world. I can’t wait to see how this one unfolds.
Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness (Sept. 18)
Time’s Convert will probably be the second book I got this past week that I start reading (I’ll talk about the first book later). This was my number one arc that I was hoping to grab, and I’m beyond thrilled that I was able to. I’m so excited to return to the All Souls world!
The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes (Sept. 18)
I’m super excited about anything the Rick Riordan Presents line publishes, but I’m even more excited for The Storm Runner after hearing Cervantes speak about it on a panel at Book Expo. It sounds like it’s going to be such a fun read! I can’t wait to follow the protagonist through his adventures with Mayan gods.
Pride by Ibi Zoboi (Sept. 18)
Like I said, I’m weak in the face of free books, and I grabbed a copy of Pride when I had the chance even though I’m almost always disappointed by Pride and Prejudice retellings. But this is just such a unique spin that I want to give it a try, and I found out later that Zoboi wasn’t intending to write a Pride and Prejudice retelling, but instead felt that the structure of such a retelling really strengthened her book, so I’m hoping it’s a good read!
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (Sept. 18)
Technically The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is already out in the UK under the title The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (seriously, adding the ‘half’ is irritating, Sourcebooks). I’d heard about it, but it wasn’t really on my radar until I read Naty’s review, so when I saw that they were dropping an arc of the US edition, I decided to grab it. But definitely order it on Book Depository if you don’t want to wait until September!
Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (Oct. 16)
Ogre Enchanted was another one of my most anticipated arcs given how much I love Ella Enchanted. I can’t wait to see what happens in Levine’s latest story set in the same world!
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan (Nov. 6)
The last YA fantasy I was eyeing and decided to grab, Girls of Paper and Fire sounds more serious than some of the others (Goodreads has trigger warnings for violence and sexual abuse), but it’s such an interesting premise. It’s about two concubines to the king falling in love with each other. I’m eager to see what happens in this one.
The Girl King by Mimi Yu (Jan. 8)
The Girl King wasn’t at all on my radar going in to Book Expo, but I was talking to a teacher while waiting in line for the Rick Riordan Presents signing and he was pretty excited about it and thought I would be too. So I made sure to stop and grab a copy! And I’m really glad I did, because it sounds awesome. It’s about two sisters who unwittingly become rivals to the throne.
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (Feb. 26)
The Priory of the Orange Tree also wasn’t on my radar until I saw Naty from Naty’s Bookshelf tweet about it, and then when I found out it was a feminist fantasy with lots of politics, I had to try and get a copy. It’s such a beat of a book!! At nearly 900 pages, it’s going to take me a bit to work myself up to reading this one, but I’m very excited for it. It’ll make a good pick for the next Tome Topple!
The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
Ok, now we’re moving into finished copy territory. I was actually planning to buy a copy of The Best We Could Do during Book Con and get it signed even though I haven’t read it yet because I really enjoy graphic memoirs, and I’ve heard amazing things about this one. Only Abrams was giving out copies as part of an in-booth signing during Book Expo, so I got in Deborah Harkness’ signing line really early so I could run over to this as soon as I got my book because they started at the same time. Fortunately the line wasn’t too crazy and Bui was actually stuck in traffic, so I made it in plenty of time. Also, Bui not only signed her name but drew a picture of herself in the book, which is easily the coolest signature I’ve ever gotten! As excited as I am for all of the arcs I got, I think this will be one of the first ones I read.
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
I’ve been wanting to read Aru Shah and the End of Time ever since I heard it was Sailor Moon meets Percy Jackson with Indian mythology, and listening to Chokshi talk about it on the Rick Riordan Presents panel only made me more excited. I’m so glad I have a finished (and signed!) copy now, and I’ll definitely be picking this one up soon, too.
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
I’ve been wanting to read Three Dark Crowns for a while now because it sounds like such an interesting book and I’ve (mostly) heard great things about it, so I decided to go to Blake’s signing where they were giving out free copies. Fun fact: Al Roker walked by while I was in line and asked me what it was for! Anyways, I’m so excited to finally own a copy of this, plus I found out that Blake is from Minnesota, which is practically like meeting someone from North Dakota since there are so few of us that make our way out to New York!
Highland Dragon Rebel by Isabel Cooper
I have no idea what Highland Dragon Rebel is about, I just saw the cover and the title and grabbed it after a panel at Book Expo about selling romance at indie bookstores. I don’t think you can go wrong with highland romances and dragons, so I’m excited to check it out!
The Displaced edited by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Displaced is the book I started reading right away after Book Con. I went to a panel called Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives with Nguyen and two contributing authors to this anthology and was so impressed that I had to buy a copy that day. It’s a collection of essays about different refugees’ experiences, and it’s such a powerful read. I was actually lucky enough to get the last copy at the Abrams booth—technically my sister grabbed it, but when we found out it was definitely the last copy, she let me buy it on the condition that I let her borrow it. And it’s signed by Nguyen and several of the contributing authors, which is awesome. I only realized later that it was actually half off, which is even cooler, though I’d have happily paid full price for this book. Seriously, it’s amazing. I already finished it and highly, highly recommend it. Plus 10 percent of the cover price of the book goes to the International Rescue Committee, a non-profit dedicated to helping refugees and other victims of oppression.
Packing for Mars and Gulp by Mary Roach
I’ve been meaning to read some of Mary Roach’s books for a while now, so when I saw the Norton booth had them on sale for $5 each, I decided to grab Gulp and Packing for Mars (I probably would have grabbed Stiff if that had still been in stock, too). My husband thinks it’s bizarre that I’m interested in a book about the alimentary canal (Packing for Mars is much more his speed), but my friend Kelcee swears by it. I’m excited to finally check out Roach’s books!
I’m not much of a comic reader, but I had to stop by the Oni Press booth to say hi to Margot Wood, formerly of Team Epic Reads! And I stumbled across the Image Comics booth, too, and got pulled in by all of the comics they were giving away, so I actually got a decent-sized stack. I’m excited to check these out!
A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson (June 13)
I really don’t need to know much more about this than the title, A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns. I’m not very familiar with using they/them pronouns for non-binary people, but I think it’s something I should learn more about, and I’m excited to check out this short little comic to do just that!
Open Earth by Sarah Mirk, Eva Cabrera, and Claudia Aguirre (Sept. 25)
The woman at the Oni Press booth pitched Open Earth as a comic about polyamorous relationships in space. That’s pretty much all it took to sell me on this one!
Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill (Oct. 16)
The only thing better than unicorns or mermaids is having them both together, so I definitely had to get a copy of Aquicorn Cove when I was at Book Expo. I actually already flipped through this one and thought it was really cute, and the illustrations are gorgeous. I love the style and colors of this comic!
Perdy by Kickliy (Oct. 16)
Perdy is another comic I grabbed without knowing much about it. Basically it follows a woman who loves sex and robbing banks, and after getting out of prison, she intends to pursue both of those interests with abandon. We’ll see how it goes!
Norroway by Kit and Cat Seaton (Nov. 13)
Are you sensing a theme here? Because I didn’t know much about Norroway when I grabbed a copy, either. I just liked the artwork on the cover and saw it was about a Scottish myth, and here we are.
Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, Jenn St-Onge, and Joy San
I was really excited to grab a copy of Bingo Love (and have it signed by Tee Franklin!) because I’ve heard good things about it. It’s about these two women who were in love as teenagers and reconnect 50 years later in a retirement home. It looks and sounds adorable, and I can’t wait to read it.
Paper Girls #1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson
I don’t know anything about Paper Girls other than that it’s written by Brian K. Vaughan, the author of Saga. I’m actually not the biggest fan of Saga, so I’m not sure I’ll like this either, but I’m still excited to check it out and see what I think.
Monstress #1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
I’ve heard good things about Monstress and immediately grabbed a copy of the first issue when I saw it at the Image Comics booth. I love fantasy, so a fantasy-based comic sounds like something I might really enjoy. And the artwork on the cover is amazing.
Last but not least, I got some neat swag at Book Expo and Book Con that I’m excited to talk about. I tried to limit myself on the tote bags and buttons because it’s super easy to get carried away and accumulate zillions of them at events like these, and I was mostly pretty successful at that!
I’m obsessed with both of the totes I got—I missed Sarah MacLean’s signing to do something else (she’s doing an event at The Strand in a few weeks, so I wasn’t overly concerned), but I was disappointed that I couldn’t grab one of these amazing tote bags. So I was super excited when she had a few leftovers at the panel I attended about selling romances at indie bookstores! And the other one not only has a great phrase on the front, but it has a flat bottom when you unfold it, which is so rare to find in totes but so, so useful!
I’m also very excited about some of these buttons! I stopped by the Fierce Reads table a couple of times to get the full set of Grisha order buttons from Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse (the crown is for King of Scars!), and I snagged the 20th anniversary Harry Potter pin (which is unfortunately upside down) at the Scholastic booth. I’m also very, very excited about the I Ship Monty + Percy button that Mackenzie Lee had in her signing line! Also pictured is a sleeping mask I got while waiting in line to get a copy of Aru Shah and the End of Time signed (I imagine the phrase will make more sense once I read the book), and I got The Little Prince tea from First Edition Tea & Co. when I spun the wheel at the Owl Crate booth.
I also got this cool poster of the new 20th anniversary Harry Potter covers that Scholastic is releasing this summer (the covers will create the above image when they’re laid out side by side).
More exciting, though, is the art print I got from the upcoming illustrated edition of The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. The artist’s signature was already on the print in blue, but Rick Riordan signed it for me while I was standing there! I got to tell him what a big fan of his books I’ve been since I was in high school (I’m 26 now, to put it in perspective) and how he helped me ace mythology in college without having to study and what a big fan I am of his new imprint. As you might have guessed, there was a lot of gushing going on! The print is a little worse for wear now that it’s home; I had a hard time keeping it pristine throughout the day considering I got it at noon and was at Book Expo for another five or six hours. But it’s still awesome even if it’s a little battered, and I’m so excited I got to meet Rick Riordan, especially after missing out on his book signing that morning.
I also got a bunch of cool prints and postcards and stickers and bookmarks that I accumulated throughout Book Expo and Book Con. One of these days I’ll have a space where I can hang all of the book-related things I’ve accumulated throughout the years, and it’s going to be awesome.
And last but not least, I was able to grab a couple of samplers at Book Expo and Book Con. I’m not the most excited about samplers since they’re really just enough to tease you, but I’m so excited about both Run and King of Scars that I couldn’t not get the samplers. Plus they look amazing. I think it could be fun to slice off the covers and add them to my bookish print and postcard collection.
I’m both super excited and super stressed by the number of books I accumulated. How will I find time to read them all?! Looking back, I really should have set a cap on the number of books I was allowed to bring home and stuck with it, because my TBR is never going to get to zero at this rate. Mostly, though, I’m really excited and extremely grateful to the publishers for the opportunity to read these books early or get finished copies for free or at discounted prices.
Not pictured are the copies of A Discovery of Witches and Bygone Badass Broads that I got signed by Deborah Harkness and Mackenzi Lee, respectively. Plus I have a few more books that I ordered after Book Expo/Book Con. Now that I’ve met Rick Riordan, I finally had to order my own copy of The Burning Maze. And I was really impressed by these two authors on a Romance and the Resistance panel that I immediately ordered copies of their books: The Boss by Aya de León and Insert Groom Here by K.M. Jackson. I also came away with a zillion more books on my TBR!