I walked away with five tote bags, one umbrella, and fifteen books. Yup, fifteen books. One of the senior editors at work chastised me a bit, saying that "books are for the buyers," but I ignored her. The way I see it, the books at BEA are for buyers and poor peons like me, the ones who get paid pennies, work long hours, and grab the perks where we can get them. And a free book is always a perk to me.
Out of the fifteen books I picked up, I've very excited about reading By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan. I had read a review about it earlier this week and thought it sounded very interesting. By a fluke chance, I found myself at the Other Press booth on Wednesday, where they were not only giving away the book, but had the author signing copies. Totally fate. I queued up and got a signed copy. I've only read the first twenty pages or so, but I'm already hooked.
Other books from BEA that I'm (especially) looking forward to reading are The Holy Thief by William Ryan (Minotaur), Satori by Don Winslow (Grand Central Publishing), The Last Speakers by K. David Harrison (National Geographic), and The Wolves of Andover by Kathleen Kent (Reagan Arthur Books). Oh, and Poisonville by Massimo Carlotto (Europa Editions); it sounds like a modern version of Dante's Inferno and the cover art is just amazing.
*It was also my first BEA, but that's just a minor detail.