Food was from Hong Anh Palace, where I have been eating for many years. It was very good. I just learned from their web site that they are closed on many major holidays, and honestly, I was a bit surprised!
Lanora presented the kids' titles from Penguin Group, because it turned out that Alex was travelling with Patricia Polacco (and she made a stop at Boswell, and we had a wonderful event that brought several attendees to tears). For me, the highlight was Loren Long's Otis, a wonderful story with illustrations that are an homage to classic illustrators like Virginia Lee Burton and Munro Leaf. I'm pretty sure ex-Boswellian Sarah would have loved it. Must check her blog to find out.
Cathy Schornstein presented titles from HarperCollins and Hyperion. She had so many wonderful books that I can't list them all here. In particular, she was enthusiastic about Ree Drummond's The Pioneer Woman Cooks, which turned out to be a much more attractive and more urban-friendly book that anyone would have thought. Here's the blog that led to the book contract.
And Joe Cain had a few gems from Penguin. He gave us another chance to read Juliet Naked, and highlighted several sleepers from Tarcher. The one that caught my eye was The Power of Kindness, which Common Good Books in St. Paul has done very well with over the last year.
Thank you to all the reps who participated in this year's program. It was really great to continue a tradition that went on for so long at Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops, starting at David's Schwartz's home, and then, as we grew, expanding into the stores. There's no question that rep nights have made successes of books in our stores or at least cemented our commitment, most recently The Uncommon Reader and The Elegance of the Hedgehog. What success will come from this year, I'm not sure of yet. I can only hope for something big.