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BookCon 2019 Spotlight: Quirk Books
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BookCon 2019: Quirk Books Spotlight

The Jacob Javits Convention Center in NYC hosted this year’s BookExpo on Thursday and Friday and BookCon Saturday and Sunday, where publishers featured their books for media, educators, librarians, writers, and fans. While these two annual book events don’t bring in the massive crowds that NYCC does, they are being increasing more popular, with attendees swarming to pick up freebies, included the coveted ARCs (advance reading copy/advance review copy), as well as waiting in long lines to meet their favorite authors.

Quirk Books, one of our favorite publishers, had a presence at the event, with author signings, tote bag giveaways, and free books. Below is a spotlight on some of their 2019 releases that we’re excited about.

The Karate Kid: The Classic Illustrated Storybook
Pop Classics Series
Hardcover | Kindle
By Kim Smith (Illustrator)
Release date: May 7, 2019

Wax on, wax off! The classic movie about a boy and his karate teacher is now a fun picture book for the whole family!

When The Karate Kid appeared in theaters in 1984, its heartwarming story of an unlikely friendship between a bullied boy and the Japanese maintenance man in his new apartment building became an instant classic. Now the beloved film is reimagined as a cute and colorful picture book, with charming illustrations by Kim Smith. When young Daniel is targeted by students from the Cobra Kai dojo, his neighbor Mr. Miyagi agrees to train him for the upcoming karate tournament. But why is Mr. Miyagi making Daniel wax his cars, sand his deck, and paint his house? Will Daniel ever master the art of karate? This timeless story of overcoming the odds will delight kids, their parents, and anyone who has ever had that one special teacher.

The Karate Kid storybook

The Princess and the Fangirl
Once Upon A Con Book 2: A Geekerella Fairy Tale
Sequel to Book 1 Geekerella
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Ashley Poston
Release date: April 2, 2018

The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.

The Princess and the Fangirl cover banner

We Sold Our Souls
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle
By Grady Hendrix
Paperback Release date: June 25, 2019

Now in paperback, in this hard-rocking, spine-tingling supernatural thriller, the washed-up guitarist of a ’90s heavy metal band embarks on an epic road-trip across America and deep into the web of a sinister conspiracy.

Every morning, Kris Pulaski wakes up in hell. In the 1990s she was lead guitarist of Dürt Würk, a heavy-metal band on the brink of breakout success until lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom, leaving his bandmates to rot in obscurity.

Now Kris works as night manager of a Best Western; she’s tired, broke, and unhappy. One day everything changes—a shocking act of violence turns her life upside down, and she begins to suspect that Terry sabotaged more than just the band. Kris hits the road, hoping to reunite Dürt Würk and confront the man who ruined her life. Her journey will take her from the Pennsylvania rust belt to a celebrity rehab center to a satanic music festival. A furious power ballad about never giving up, We Sold Our Souls is one woman’s epic journey to reclaim her life—and save her soul.

We Sold Our Souls cover

Hope Rides Again: An Obama Biden Mystery
Sequel to Book 1 Hope Never Dies
Paperback | Kindle
By Andrew Schaffer
Release date: July 9, 2018

In the sequel to the New York Times best-selling novel Hope Never Dies, Obama and Biden reprise their roles as BFFs-turned-detectives as they chase Obama’s stolen cell phone through the streets of Chicago–and right into a vast conspiracy.

Following a long but successful book tour, Joe Biden has one more stop before he can return home: Chicago. His old pal Barack Obama has invited him to meet a wealthy benefactor whose endorsement could turn the tide for Joe if he decides to run for president.

The two friends barely have time to catch up before another mystery lands in their laps: Obama’s prized Blackberry is stolen. When their number-one suspect winds up full of lead on the South Side, the police are content to write it off as just another gangland shooting. But Joe and Obama smell a rat…

Set against the backdrop of a raucous city on St. Patrick’s Day, Joe and Obama race to find the shooter, only to uncover a vast conspiracy that goes deeper than the waters of Lake Michigan—which is exactly where they’ll spend the rest of their retirement if they’re not careful.

Monster, She Wrote
The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson
Release date: September 17, 2019

Satisfy your craving for extraordinary authors and exceptional fiction: Meet the women writers who defied convention to craft some of literature’s strangest tales, from Frankenstein to The Haunting of Hill House and beyond.

Frankenstein was just the beginning: horror stories and other weird fiction wouldn’t exist without the women who created it. From Gothic ghost stories to psychological horror to science fiction, women have been primary architects of speculative literature of all sorts. And their own life stories are as intriguing as their fiction. Everyone knows about Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein, who was rumored to keep her late husband’s heart in her desk drawer. But have you heard of Margaret “Mad Madge” Cavendish, who wrote a science-fiction epic 150 years earlier (and liked to wear topless gowns to the theater)? If you know the astounding work of Shirley Jackson, whose novel The Haunting of Hill House was reinvented as a Netflix series, then try the psychological hauntings of Violet Paget, who was openly involved in long-term romantic relationships with women in the Victorian era. You’ll meet celebrated icons (Ann Radcliffe, V. C. Andrews), forgotten wordsmiths (Eli Colter, Ruby Jean Jensen), and today’s vanguard (Helen Oyeyemi). Curated reading lists point you to their most spine-chilling tales.

Part biography, part reader’s guide, the engaging write-ups and detailed reading lists will introduce you to more than a hundred authors and over two hundred of their mysterious and spooky novels, novellas, and stories.

Monster She Wrote book cover

We Are Here Forever
Paperback | Kindle
By Michelle Gish
Release date: July 30, 2019

Based on the popular webcomic, this all-new stand-alone comics collection artfully blends post-apocalyptic sci fi, dry humor, and utter adorability.

It’s the most adorable apocalypse ever! The human race has vanished replaced by innocent, playful, creatures called the Puramus. In this hilarious and epic graphic novel, short interlocking stories follow the purple pals as they explore their new home, form a mini-monarchy, and develop a modern society on par with 21st-century humans. A final act pulls us across time and space in the search for clues to the origins of the Puramus. Along the way, humor and intrigue abound: Can King defend his village when nobody understands what war is? Will Jingle work up the nerve to read her poetry at open mic night? Will Puffpuff ever stop floating?

Based on the Tumblr comic, We Are Here Forever is for fans of post-apocalyptic sci fi blended with dry humor and undeniable adorableness. Colorful and cartoony art will have you rooting for these cute critters through their absurd adventures…but are they really as harmless as they seem?

We Are Here Forever

MacTrump
Paperback | Kindle
By Ian Doescher and Jacopo della Quercia
Release date: October 1, 2019

For readers craving a humorous antidote to the sound and the fury of American politics, this clever satire, written in iambic pentameter in the style of Shakespeare, wittily fictionalizes the events of the first two years of the Trump administration.

No one thought that MacTrump—Lord of MacTrump Towers, Son of New York—would ascend to the highest position in the kingdom. Yet with the help of his unhappy but dutiful wife Lady MacTrump, his clever daughter Dame Desdivanka, and his coterie of advisers, MacTrump is comfortably ensconced in the White Hold as President of the United Fiefdoms, free to make proclamations to his subjects through his favorite messenger, McTweet.

The Democrati, mourning the loss of their cherished leader O’Bama, won’t give up without a fight. They still remember the disastrous reign of George the Lesser, and they can see Putain’s dark influence on MacTrump. Their greatest hope is MacMueller, tasked with investigating the plot that empowered MacTrump’s rise to the throne.

As Desdivanka schemes to overthrow her father’s councilors, and as Donnison and Ericson—trapped in their own Rosencrantz and Guildenstern-like storyline—prove useless to their father, MacTrump soon realizes he has no true allies. Will he be able to hold on to his throne? Only time will tell in this tragicomic tale of ambition, greed, and royal ineptitude.

MacTrump cover

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