NCIBA Recap + Haul

Hello lovely bookish friends,

Last week I told you I was going to my first ever booksellers conference. Specifically: The Northern California Independent Bookstore Association's trade show. And, as I teased in my Sunday Post, I brought home FOUR tote bags full of books.

Below, I recap the event and show you the books. Buckle up, grab the popcorn, etc. because it's a long one!


So, for people who have never been to this kind of function, let me give you an idea of what goes down:

Rep Picks

The way indie bookstores work is the buyers (the people who buy books for a the bookstore) meet with reps from each publisher they carry (such as Penguin, Scholastic, etc.) to go over the publisher's catalog. The reps, who are generally the same for all the bookstores in a given region, build a rapport with each bookstore and help determine what's going to sell in that store. Side note: I think I'd totally love to have this job one day.

The first session of NCIBA was rep picks, so we heard the reps from each publisher highlight their favorite things on their catalogs and what they thought was going to be big (while we made sure we ordered enough for the holidays)

This part was fun, but since I'm not a buyer, it wasn't too important to me.


Next, we had lunch, which sounds average but was actually really cool. While we ate, we listened to eight different speakers talk about their new books. The speakers covered all different genres, and so I heard from people I normally wouldn't have, like a poet who witnessed civil war in El Salvador, and a physician who spent 15 years writing a World War II book.

Of course, my favorite speakers were the YA and Children's Lit people: Jacqueline Woodson, Andrew Smith, and Marc Barnett.

I also learned a thing about how these lunches work. When your reps get to know you as booksellers, they might invite you to sit at a table with one of the authors they're promoting. It's considered an honor. I wasn't invited to any table beforehand, but while in line for lunch, our Hachette rep invited me to sit at a table with athlete Valerie Kondos Field.


At this point I had a choice between a brainstorming session called "Budgeting for Your Bookselling Career" and a keynote presentation by Jarrett Krosockza, author of (NBA longlisted) Hey, Kiddo, in conversation with David Levithan.

Guess which one I picked?

My only familiarity with Jarrett's book, Hey, Kiddo, was that it was a graphic novel that was longlisted for the National Book Award. During his keynote, I learned that it was a memoir about growing up with his grandparents while his mother was addicted to heroine. His mother actually passed away from an overdose while he was in the process of writing this book.

He also did a TED talk on the subject if you're interested in what his keynote was like:

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka
YA graphic memoir, 320 pages
September 25, 2018 from Graphix
add to goodreads

It seems like it will be a really important book -- not necessarily for every young adolescent person, but for young people who experience things like drug addiction in their family it could be life changing. And I'm sure it will be deeply moving for me as well.

Author Reception and Show Floor

At the end of the day came the best part: An open floor for booksellers to roam. In one room was an author reception, where authors were installed at small tables around the room and you could go up and get a signed ARC or comp (a free hardcover). In the other room were publisher's booths where there were ARCs galore! (This is where 90% of my haul comes from... read on!)


Although I took home four tote bags, I have very limited space on my bookshelf so I had to sort through them and choose wisely. Immediately below are the books I kept, divided by release season. After that are some books I decided to re-home with colleagues and friends - but I still want to show them to you!

To make this haul more interesting, I'm going to give you a one-sentence teaser of each book, since I don't know all the synopses.

Fall 2018

Art Boss by Kayla Cagan
YA Contemporary, 344 pages
October 2, 2018 from Chronicle Books
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"8/12 3:13 pm // How can so much happen in three days?"

A Winter's Promise by Christelle Dabos

YA Fantasy, 468 pages
September 22, 2018 from Europa Editions

"It is often said of old buildings that they have a soul. On Anima, the ark where objects come to like, old buildings mostly become appallingly bad tempered."

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
YA Magical Realism, 384 pages
October 9, 2018 from Macmillan
add to goodreads

"Everyone has their own way of telling our story."

The Echo Room by Parker Peevyhouse 

YA Science Fiction/Thriller, 320 pages
September 11, 2018 from Tor Teen

"5:37 A.M. // Someone is calling to me... // Rett woke to the cold press of metal beneath him and the knock of pain against the inside of his skull."

The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody
YA Contemporary, 320 pages
October 2, 2018 from Simon Pulse
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"By the time the messenger arrived at our front door, Jackson had already been dead for two weeks."

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti 

YA Contemporary, 358 pages
September 18, 2018 from Simon Pulse

"Annabelle Agnelli is trying to hold it together in the parking lot of Dick's Drive-In."

Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith
YA Science Fiction, 448 pages
September 25, 2018 by Simon & Schuster
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"'Is that a fucking tiger?' Billy Hinnman asked."

Winter/Spring 2019

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
YA Fantasy, 400 pages
January 15, 2019 from Wednesday Books/Macmillan
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"The Matriarch of House Kore was running late for dinner."

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

YA Fantasy, 352 pages
February 26, 2019 from Fiewel Friends/Macmillan

"An ax swings for my head."

Enchantée by Gita Trelease
YA Historical Fantasy
February 5, 2019 from Flatiron/Macmillan
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"Paris, 1789 // Yves Rencourt, the chandler's apprentice, had lost his wig."

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

YA Fantasy, 496 pages
February 19, 2019 from Simon Pulse

"Veronyka gathered the bones of the dead."

The Cerulean by Amy Ewing
YA Fantasy, 496 pages
February 5, 2019 from HarperTeen
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"We are the Cerulean. Our blood is magic."

Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell
YA Science Fiction, 624 pages
May 26, 2019 from Simon Pulse

"The rain was falling sideways in the marsh. It was never a straight downpour. It was always crooked. Just like the people here. Con artists and hustlers and crocs, the lot of them."

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis
YA Contemporary
March 12, 2019 by Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins
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"When I wake up, all my friends are dead."

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

YA Contemporary/Verse, 304 pages
March 12, 2019 from Penguin

Note/TW: This is Laurie Halse Anderson's memoir in verse about surviving rape. The first sentence of her intro is: "Finding my courage to speak up twenty-five years after I was raper, writing Speak, and talking with countless survivors of sexual violence made me who I am today. The book shows how that happened."

"in the name of love //
When he was eighteen years old, my father
saw his buddy's head sliced in two pieces,
sawn just above the eyebrows by an exploding
brake drum, when he was in the middle
of telling a joke."

Middle Grade and Children's Literature

Fall 2018

And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness
MG Retelling, 160 pages
September 4, 2018 from Walker Books
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"Call me Bathsheba. It is not my name, but the name I use for this story."

Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel José Older
MG Historical Fantasy, 272 pages
September 11, 2018 from Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic

"Magdalys Roca sat on her bed in the girls' bunk at the Colored Orphan Asylum and closed her eyes."

Mac B. Kid Spy: Mac Undercover by Marc Barnett
MG Mystery/Humor, 160 pages
September 11, 2018 from Orchard Books/Hachette
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"This is the house I grew up in. It is on top of a hill in a little town called Castro Valley. That's a real place. You can look it up."

Sweep by Jonathan Auxier
MG Fantasy, 368 pages
September 25, 2018 from Puffin Books

"There are all sorts of wonderful things a person might see very early in the morning."

Making Friends by Kristen Gudsnuk
YA Graphic Novel, 272 pages
July 31, 2018 from Graphix
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"Great-Aunt Elma's will just said: 'the family can sort through my stuff.'"

Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty
MG Fantasy, 384 pages
July 10, 2018 from Disney-Hyperion

"Willa crept through the darkened forest, following the faint scent of chimney smoke on the midnight air."

The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Brontë Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty
MG Fantasy, 384 pages
October 9, 2018 from Arthur A. Levine
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"I was ten years old when my parents were killed by pirates."

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
MG Paranormal Fantasy, 272 pages
August 28, 2018 from Scholastic

"People think that ghosts only come at night, or on Halloween, when the world is dark and the walls are thin."

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
MG Contemporary, 192 pages
August 28, 2018 from Nancy Paulson
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"We think they took my papi."

The Questioneers #1: Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters
Kids Chapter Book, 144 pages
October 2, 2018 from Amulet Books

"Rosie Revere put on her safety goggles."

Winter/Spring 2019

The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu
MG Fantasy, 368 pages
February 19, 2019 from Walden Pond Press
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"Once upon a time, there were two sisters, alike in every way, except for all the ways that they were different."

To Nightowl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer
MG Contemporary/Epistolary, 304 pages
February 12, 2019 from Dial Books

"From: Bett Devlin
To: Avery Bloom
Subject: you don't know me

but I'm writing you anyway."

Polly Diamond #2: Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair by Alice Kuipers
Kids Chapter Book, 112 pages
May 7, 2019 from Chronicle Books
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"Three reasons today will be spectacular // 1. Spectacular is my Word of the Day."

Picture Books

Pearl by Molly Idle
Picture Book, 48 pages
October 9, 2018 from Little, Brown

Super Pooper and Whizz Kid: Potty Power! by Eunice & Sabrina Moyle
Board Book, 24 pages
August 14, 2018 by Abrams Appleseed

For Colleagues and Friends

For my book bestie (includes some duplicates, books I thought she'd like better, and books not from conference)

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
YA Fantasy, 336 pages
November 6, 2018 from James Patterson Presents/Hachette
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People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins
YA Contemporary/Verse,  431 pages
September 4, 2018 from Simon & Schuster

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West
YA Contemporary, 384 pages
February 5, 2019 from HarperTeen
add to goodreads

XL by Scott Brown
YA Contemporary, 320 pages
March 26, 2019 from Knopf

Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
YA Contemporary, 448 pages
May 22, 2018 from Katherine Tegen
add to goodreads

When We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen
YA Fantasy,  384 pages
October 2, 2018 from HarperTeen

Rule by Ellen Goodlett
YA Fantasy, 376 pages
September 11, 2018 from Little, Brown
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The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth
YA Fantasy, 320 pages
October 23, 2018 from HarperTeen

The Similars by Rebecca Hanover
YA Contemporary, 352 pages
January 1, 2019 from Sourcebooks Fire
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Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian
YA Fantasy,  512 pages
February 5, 2019 from Delacourte

The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Allie Condie
YA Science Fiction, 336 pages
March 26, 2019 by Dutton
add to goodreads

For my work colleagues (duplicates not pictured)

The Meaning of Birds by Jaye Robin Brown
YA Contemporary, 368 pages
April 16, 2019 from HarperTeen
add to goodreads

Black Enough, edited by Ibi Zoboi
YA Anthology, 416 pages
January 8, 2018 from HarperTeen

The Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury
YA Science Fiction
February 26, 2018 from Scholastic
add to goodreads

For my young friend!

The Questioneers #1: Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters by Andrea Beaty
Children's Chapter Book, 144 pages
October 2, 2018 from Amulet
add to goodreads

Ghoulia by Barbara Cantini
Early Reader, 64 pages
August 28, 2018 from Abrams

1 comment

  1. What an awesome event. I definitely have some book envy right now. I want to read XL and Kiddo. I loved Geography of Lost Things. My favorite Brody book to date. Hope you enjoy all your awesome books.