Friday, June 29, 2018

ALA 2018 Recap

As many of you know I traveled to New Orleans recently to attend ALA's (American Library Association) annual conference. It was a week filled with a lot of books, incredible food, more alcohol than I usually consume, and amazing sites. 

I'll first share the books I got while attending the conference. I had a fantastic time walking around and seeing all the books that the publishers were eager to showcase. ALA is a much more relaxed than Book Expo and as a result I feel you get more time to really look at the booths and see what is on display.

Day one consisted of me snagging the following review copies:

Kens by Raziel Reid (goodreads)
Sadie by Courtney Summers (goodreads)
The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman (goodreads)
Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok (goodreads)
Only A Breath Apart by Katie McGarry (goodreads)
The Dark Descent Of Elizabeth Frankenstein (goodreads)
What If It's Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli (goodreads)
The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle (goodreads)
A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer (goodreads)

Courtney Summers is an actual ray of sunshine. She was so kind. It made me even more excited to devour Sadie as soon as I get the chance. It was also exciting to see ARCs of Spectacle as I wasn't anticipating it being available at the conference. 

Day two was just as fun and informative at the first day. I got the following books:

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory (goodreads)
Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend by Karen Blumenthal (goodreads)
The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas (goodreads)
Enchantee by Gita Trelease (goodreads)
The 7 1/2 Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (goodreads)
Hunting Charles Manson by Lis Wiehl (goodreads)
The Lady's Guide To Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (goodreads)
Dear Evan Hanson by Val Emmich (goodreads)
Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco (goodreads)
The Gentleman's Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (goodreads)

I  went to the panel that Lis Wiehl had discussing the process of writing Hunting Charles Manson and was blown away by the research and access she had. It made me want to read the book even more and was thrilled to learn that there would be a signing right after the panel. I got to say hello to both Kerri Maniscalco and Mackenzi Lee. I love both of their books and was so happy to get to meet them again. I also got to gush about The Wedding Date with Jasmine Guillory and was so excited to get a copy of her next book, The Proposal, to review on the blog.

My final day of the convention was much quieter. I stumbled across a great sounding thriller, snagged a YA book everyone has been gushing about and got to pick up a copy of a book I have been wanting to read ever since I saw the movie.

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman (goodreads)
Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward (goodreads)
Jack Of Hearts (And Other Parts) by Lev A.C. Rosen (goodreads)

I looked forward to not just the conference but see New Orleans itself while I was in town. The city did not disappoint. I had so many memorial experiences while there and cannot wait to go back. Here are just a few of my favourite photos from the trip and some details about what I did while there:

As a huge true crime fan I had to stop by the LaLaurie mansion while I was in New Orleans. It's a rather pretty house that does not reflect the horrors that happened inside. This place is rumoured to be cursed (information provided by the amazing true crime tour I took while there) and I believe it.

Drinks were very much a part of the New Orleans experience. My favourite place that we had drinks at was Saints and Sinners. The restaurant/bar that Channing Tatum built in New Orleans.

It's a fun little place on Bourbon Street and they had the best cocktails! I may have drank more than I should have there that night (but it was so worth it).

Two of my favorite drinks were the Love Potion #10 which was DELICIOUS!

I also loved the Saint which is one of their signature drinks along with the Sinner. Kelly and I each ordered one of them so we could try both and I definitely preferred the one I ordered. 

One of my favourite parts of the trip was the true crime tour that we booked. The tour company is called Unique NOLA Tours. The guide, David, was great at making sure everyone was having fun and told some great (but chilling) stories. It made me see New Orleans in a different light and also made me immediately want to research all of the stories we were told (and I am never going to forget the one that feature an oven *shudder*)

If you're in New Orleans I would highly recommend booking one of the tours they offer. They have a few different ones so no matter what you want to experience they should have something to fit your needs. 

No trip to New Orleans would be complete without trying beignets. We, obviously, went to Cafe Du Monde and I loved them. They were so incredibly delicious (and so obviously bad for you).

The other must try was a Hurricane. We went with the, rumouredly, best in the city and tried one at Pat O'Briens. This was perhaps my favourite meal out of all the ones I had in New Orleans. 

I can also confirm that Hurricanes and delicious (and extremely strong).

We also took a quick trip to the Historic Voodoo Museum which had some interesting things relating to Marie Laveau including this portrait. 

The architecture was incredible and I was constantly looking at buildings as we passed by. This is St. Louis Cathedral which is near Jackson Square and it is stunning in person.

That's pretty much it for my trip to New Orleans I am excited to dive into the books I got, and am pretty sure my body still needs to recover from the trip. 

Me and my friend Kelly (from Kellyvision) enjoying our Hurricanes

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