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BookExpo America 2014: Thrilling, inspiring, exhausting

Whew. I'm back from this year's BookExpo America, held in New York City, and wow, what an experience. The largest book and author event in the U.S. lived up to the hype, with a series of superb author readings and discussions, and a dizzying number of attendees. I was amazed by the response to my book, and I went through five boxes full of copies of Cancer on the Brain, signing them for readers in the BookExpo autographing area and as a Headline Books Featured Author.

The event kicked off on May 29 with a terrific author breakfast starring actor Neil Patrick Harris, who delivered the best opening speech and book plug out of everyone at the event. Radio host Tavis Smiley also appeared, as did actress Anjelica Huston, who spoke movingly about the brilliance of the late Maya Angelou, who died the day before BookExpo kicked off.

The next day, Friday, I got to catch actor Alan Cumming and filmmaker and Girls star Lena Dunham discuss their upcoming books. My daughter, Bri, was thrilled to hear Dunham speak and can't wait to read her upcoming advice book, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned." Comedian Martin Short also delivered a funny talk about his upcoming memoir, and author Colm Tóibín added a hilarious and inspiring touch to the proceedings, discussing his forthcoming novel, Nora Webster.

Overall, the experience was thrilling, inspiring and exhausting. I enjoyed every minute of it, and was surprised, grateful, and yes, a little bit proud that I didn't have to bring any unsigned books back home with me!

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Surprisingly the author never tries to push a spiritual revelation onto the reader, but instead he uses humor...

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