When I was a young girl growing up in the Bronx, N.Y., I loved to go to the public library. My mom would drop me off at the library and then go shopping at the supermarket. The library was my babysitter.
I'd head over to the "NEW BOOKS" display and scan the binders and jackets of each book. I liked the fresh smell and feel of new books. There weren't any dirty fingerprints all over the shiny covers.
My mom would return after an hour or so. I'd check out my books, and then we would stop at the bakery for a big sprinkle cookie (a large round shortbread with chocolate sprinkles on top) to eat on the walk home. Ah, the simple pleasures of life.
When I grew up and had kids of my own, I often took my daughter A and son D to the library near our home in Cherry Hill, N.J. Once again, I'd wander over to the shelf that said "NEW BOOKS" and pick out the pretty picture books. There's nothing as wonderful or as relaxing as the joy of reading a book to a young child.
Going to the 2015 Book Expo America
These days I never go to the library. I purchase most novels on Amazon and download them onto my Kindle. I do still adore books, especially new ones. That's why I was delighted to attend the 2015 Book Expo America (BEA) at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City last month. The BEA is where publishers showcase their upcoming releases for the year.
The BEA Bloggers Conference
On day one, I attended the BEA Bloggers Conference with fellow midlife blogger and friend Helene Bludman Cohen of Books is Wonderful (a great place to go for book recommendations). It was interesting to hear the cognoscenti of the book blogosphere share their passion for books.
We also heard self-published authors talk about the triumphs and challenges of being a writer. (OK, folks, I've now added "writing a memoir" to my bucket list. I just have other things I want to accomplish first!)
If you want to read reviews about new books, check out these popular blogs:
New Books That Are All the Buzz
On day two, I walked the exhibit floor as a member of the press, stopping at various publishers and meeting noteworthy and newbie authors. As for my favorites, here are some of the genres and titles that struck a chord and that I look forward to possibly reviewing when they debut (release dates are noted next to each book where available):
- Wisdom of the Sandbox by Cynthia L. Copeland (August). (One tip is, "If you want a kitten, start out asking for a horse.")
- The Woman's Wakeup: How to Shake Up Your Looks, Life, and Love After 50 by Lois Joy Johnson (January 2016). (Well, I hope their publicist has me on the list for this self-help book.)
I'm still a sap for a good picture book. The illustrations in these books are just adorable. Maybe I'll buy a few and save them for my eventual grandchildren!
- Snow White and the 77 Dwarfs by Davide Cali; illustrated by Raphaelle Barbanegre (now available)
- The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels, illustrated by Emma Block (November), ages 6-9
- This Is Sadie by Sara O'Leary; illustrated by Juli Morstad (now available)
- The Good Little Book by Kyo Maclear; illustrated by Marion Arbona
- How to Tell a Story: 1 Book + 20 Story Blocks = A Million Adventures by Daniel Nayeri; illustrated by Brian Won (October). (You'll want to buy this for your grandchild but keep a copy for yourself. It teaches kids how to tell a story. I'd like to learn too!)
- An Armadillo in Paris by Juli Kraulis (now available). (May have to get this one for my sister N. She is a Francophile.)
- Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear; illustrated by Julie Morstad (now available). (OMG, the illustrations in this book blew me away. It is likely the cutest book ever. Definitely a must have about two young chefs.)
I gravitate to cookbooks. I've tried to download cookbooks to my iPad but I like a hard copy better.
- Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh & Classic Recipes From My Lebanese Kitchen by Maureen Abood (now available). (This book looks fantastic. A definite must-have on my list.)
- Stop & Drop Diet by Liz Vaccariello (December). (Not that I have to lose weight, but I really liked her 21-Day Tummy Diet. It's pretty much the FODMAP diet that helps me control my IBS.)
- Crossroads: Extraordinary Recipes from the Restaurant That Is Reinventing Vegan Cuisine by Tal Ronnen with Scot Jones and Serafina Magnussen. (October). (Tal is the chef who prepared the meals for Oprah Winfrey's 21-day vegan cleanse.)
- Field & Feast: Sublime Food from a Brave New Farm by Dean Carlson (October)
- Agricola Cookbook by Josh Thomsen with Kate Winslow (now available). (From the celebrated Princeton, N.J. restaurant. The Famous Kale Salad and Cranberry Apple Crostata look delicious.)
- Mi Comida Latina by Marcella Kriebel (now available). (This cookbook is beautifully hand-lettered with colorful illustrations for tamales, fish tacos, salsas, and more.)
I'm getting more into redecorating my townhouse to fit my new casual lifestyle.
- The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living by Nathan Williams (November).
- Loveable Livable Home: How to Add Beauty, Get Organized, and Make Your House Work for You by Sherry and John Petersik (September). (This couple has a DIY blog, Young House Love.)
- The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering: Create and Develop Your Own Style by Valerie McKeehan (October). (I had so much fun drawing on my chalkboard when I was a kid. Now there are lots of coloring books for adults. It's very trendy as a zen/relaxation exercise.)
- The Steal Like an Artist Journal: A Notebook for Creative Kleptomaniacs by Austin Kleon (October)
- Tea Leaf Reading: A Divination Guide for the Bottom of Your Cup by Dennis Fairchild (October). (Have you ever wanted to learn how to read tea leaves? I have.)
- Color Yourself Calm, A Mindfulness Coloring Book by Tiddy Rowan (now available). (For those of us who are still kids at heart—and also into yoga.)
For more book suggestions, click on over to my Books page.
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This post originally appeared on aboomerslifeafter50.com.