The city center. The bustling downtown. The urban core, the central business district, the immense skyline. The beating, beating heart of a major metropolitan area. Also the outdoor escalators, and the free books everywhere …
Oh hi, New York publishing! Welcome to Los Angeles. Book Expo is about to start. Panels aplenty, lots of booksellers walking around the Staples Center basking in flattery and galleys. Dinners constantly. Salman Rushdie constantly. Also a talk from Jeff Bezos about … something! An unveiling, we hear. It’s supposed to be Steve Jobs-like. Maybe something about the Kindle? Maybe an add-on accessory that lets you print out stickers?
After quittin’ time, it’s going to be parties, though. We did some asking around and made a list of the big ones. Not a comprehensive one by any means, but a list nevertheless. Do with this information what you will.
Thursday from what we could tell is mostly quiet, even though most publishers and agents will be there by nightfall. The only big event on our radar’s the Crown Publishing Group’s dinner party at the Peterson Automotive Museum. In attendance: 17 authors, among them Pete Sampras and Suzanne Somers.
On Friday there’s Random House Trade cocktails at Sona with folks like Mr. Rushdie, Curtis Sittenfeld, David Ebershoff. Knopf cocktails are happening concurrently at Comme Ça, with a dinner across the street at Lucques to follow with Barbara Walters, Joseph O’Neil, Dexter Filkins, Arianna Huffington, Anne Rice, Art Spiegelman, and others.
Later on, Grand Central is throwing a party in honor of Ted Turner at Larry King’s house in Beverly Hills, and Book Soup, a celebrated indy retailer, is hosting a party for the Ecco Press at Palihouse. Weinstein Books is hosting a big thing at Chateau Marmont that most people we asked were planning on attending, and Atria is having a party for Prince, whose multimedia book they are publishing, at "an undisclosed location."
Then there’s the annual New York Review of Books party at the Bel-Air (Mark Danner will be there, also the philanthropist Max Palevsky), and The New Yorker party at Gordon Ramsay’s London West Hollywood, which features David Sedaris, John Hodgman, Simon & Schuster publisher David Rosenthal, and Mr. Rushdie again. Also Henry Finder and Leo Carey, who oversee the magazine’s books coverage.
Early evening Saturday there’s a party at the offices of CAA, followed by a big corporate gala for HarperCollins on the Twentieth Century Fox Lot. Then the weekend’s keynote address from Lewis Black. And after all that, it’ll be time to go to El Ray for the annual Publisher’s Group West blow-out, complete with a band (the Bone Daddies) and over 1,000 people drinking. It’s supposed to go until two. Morgan Entrekin said that’s going to be one of the only parties he plans to attend. Did we mention he’s bringing his children and staying with some of his wife’s friends in Santa Monica? "I don’t know my wife’s friends very well," he explained. "They’ve got children my little boy’s age."
Nevertheless, much more to follow.