BookExpo America: Dog Books, Funny Books, Holy Books, Swag

The exhibit hall of BookExpo America 2016 at McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Barbara Newhall

The BookExpo America 2016 exhibit hall, McCormick Place, Chicago. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

What do a Buddhist nun, a bald satirist, and a 136-pound Newfoundland dog have in common? They were all part of the mix at last week’s BookExpo America, held at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

Author Colin Campbell and his Newfoundland dog George at BookExpo America 2016. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Colin Campbell and his dog George attracted affectionate crowds at the BookExpo exhibit hall. Photo by Barbara Newhall

The nun, Pema Chödrön, was represented at BEA by her book, “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times.” The popular Buddhist teacher’s book was celebrating its twentieth anniversary at the Shambhala Publications exhibit booth.

The — truly — bald satirist was Scott Dikkers. He’s the founder of what claims to be the world’s first humor website, The very funny Dikkers was at BEA touting his most recent satirical effort, “Trump’s America: The Complete Loser’s Guide.” (Want to see The Donald deftly skewered by Dikkers? Check out my upcoming blog post.)

The BookExpo Dog

The dog? That would be George, a homeless lump of fur and muzzle who hooked up with a newly divorced marketing executive, found fame as a surfer dog in California, got a book written about him, and was at BEA last week gracefully accepting the attentions of dog book lovers.

Barbara Falconer Newhall's prize-winning book "Wrestling with God," got good display at the Foreword Reviews new titles display in the main showroom at Book Expo America 2016. Photo by Jon Newhall

“Wrestling with God” got good visibility at the Foreword Reviews display, where it’s a finalist. Photo by Jon Newhall

I was there, too, of course, resplendent in my “Wrestling with God” T-shirt, handing out WWG bookmarks and WWG business cards and scooping up copies of books, books, books.

BookExpo America is the largest book fair to be held annually in the U.S. It’s where publishers and authors meet face to face with librarians, booksellers and subsidiary rights buyers. It’s held in major U.S. cities — New York, Los Angeles and this year in Chicago.

The Big Five publishers were present in Chicago, showing off their lists and their authors. But so were smaller publishers like Sounds True Publishing, SheWrites Press, Skyhorse Publishing and Graywolf Press, as were organizations like the Author’s Guild and the American Library Association.

More about how my book came to be at “I’m a Studs Terkel Wannabe — He Captured American Voices.”  Thoughts on the writing life at “The Downside of Things Beautiful — From the Mighty Rose to the Humble Daisy.”

The BookExpo Swag

Part of the fun of BookExpo is collecting the freebies, many of them not yet released. These caught my eye. Yours?

The cover of A Live Everlasting by Sarah Gray at BookExpo America 2016

A baby’s organs donated to science. October release.

Free Days with George book cover displayed at BookExpo America 2016. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A traumatized dog and a traumatized divorce find their each other.

book cover of Please Enjoy Your Happiness by Paul Brinkley-Rogers. At BookExpo America 2016

This one by a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. October release.

cover of A Crooked Smile book by Terri Tate. At BookExpo America 2016.

She survived mouth cancer. November release.

cover of pema chodron book When Things Fall Apart at BookExpo America 2016

From a much-loved Buddhist teacher.

cover of Lacy Mucklow's adult coloring book, Color Me to Sleep. At BookExpo 2016

An adult coloring book that promises to Zen you off to sleep.



  1. Ginger Rothe says:

    a great t-shirt from a great book cover!

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