I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
I'm gonna start with things I bought, both before to get signed, and at the con either for funsies or to get signed.
All eight books of the Temeraire books, signed, some personalized, some not because of time constraints. Novik was very kind, signing every single book put in front of her. If you have a chance to see her, do. She's intelligent, thoughtful, funny, and incredibly generous. Despite signing in a random hallway, she personalized and added something to the book I sent Jessica. (Two copies of Uprooted, one for Jessica, and two of League of Dragons, one for a library raffle.) She also signed my copy of Will Supervillains Be On the Final?
Nnedi Okarafor signed Who Fears Death, The Book of Phoenix, Kabu-Kabu, Lagoon, Aka Witch, and both Bintis at the table. She signed an extra copy of Akata Witch for the library raffle basket, and an extra copy of Binti for the professor who interviewed me for grad school because that played into me getting in. She also signed a book of short stories called Mojo: Conjure stories that I got in the dealer's room without realizing she was in it. I'm still slightly obsessed with Voodoo type stories from when I was looking for alternate spiritualities, and Nalo Hopkinson edited this. (Also, she helped Nnedi out, it turns out, and I met Nalo and fell in love with her work at an earlier Readercon! The publisher said it was embarrassing, though. Nnedi was going by her full name and laughed when she said she thought her name was misspelled with one n, and double checked. She seemed pleased to see this book in someone's hands, though.)
Cat Valente signed The Melancholy of Mecha Girl at an autograph session and sold me a copy of The Refrigerator Monologues - only ten dollars - and signed that.
LJ Cohen sold and signed the latest in her AI series that I love.
Max Gladstone signed the copy of Last First Snow and Four Roads Cross I bought in the dealer's room.
Gillian Daniels and Sonya Taafe and John Benson - the first two authors, the third the editor - signed all three copies of Not One of Us I brought in for Daniels' signature. Sonya was there, and had stories in all three, and told me John was there. Yoon Ha Lee not only signed Ninefox Gambit and Raven Stratagem, but the story he had in Not One of Us. He said he was impressed I tracked it down and I went, well, actually... I'm sorry, but I bought it for Gillian Daniels who I met last year and loved to have something to sign, and I realized I had other Readercon authors there. He was incredibly cool about it all, because I suck at lying, and seemed to just be happy to have someone have their hands on this.
Frank Wilde signed the copies of Updraft and Cloudbound I bought in the dealer's room. I tried to hide the fact that I bought them for ten dollars a piece - how could I resist - but I mentioned that I got her book last year and hadn't finished Updraft as I got it on sale at Audible and have, ah, sucked at listening to audiobooks lately. She was incredibly cool when she saw the price tag, and told me a story about how she saw someone at another con who had bought the book off e-bay from another con!
Tui Sutherland signed Wings of Fire: The Dark Secret for me.
Trisha J. Woolridge signed the copy of UnConventional she tacked onto my Mojo sale.
I bought a hardcover of The Doll Collection that was signed by Ellen Datlow. She also signed my copy of The Monstrous that I'd purchased earlier. Steve Berman signed Wilde Stories 2010 and Bad Seeds: Evil Progeny for me.
Daryl Gregory signed Unpossible for me.
Michael Thomas Ford signed a hardcover of Lily, which was a Shirley Jackson Award nominee, for me.
David Demchuck signed The Bone Mother for me. Brett Savory sighed A Perfect Machine and The Agressors for me. And gave me the title for that review: a work with no literary merit. He wrote it when he was very young - under twenty - with friends, and was lie, 'ah, this is gonna be bad.' He also said there's probably no review for it everywhere, and I was like, 'I might write a mean one for this, and just not tell you? Unless you want?' And he was totally unfazed: 'yeah, that's cool.' Seriously, y'all, if you have any chance to meet the Chizine crew, do it. Brett and Sandra Kasturi - who I will talk about right after this - are some of the most amazing people I've met, and they're down with negative reviews. I mentioned my issue with the PT Jones book - it sounded like two older white dudes writing teen slang - and that I would call issues out when I saw them. Sandra's reaction was 'great, we don't want lackeys!' and Brett's was a sarcastic look and 'chillax!' I was like 'can you throw a dudebro in there?' and they were mocking that word for a bit. But seriously: they are one of the things I look forward to most at Readercon!
Sandra Kasturi signed her story in my copy of The Sum of Us, and also read this at her reading. It was Sunday, and I was exhausted of just, y'know, people, because introvert. So I was also coloring with the Marvel app on my iPad when I hear Sandra say, 'we have time, and I'm going to read this for Shoshana because I know she likes this poem.' She thanked everyone for coming, and I shouted back, 'thank you for the shoutout!' (She had time to read two poems by the way.)
Those were all my signed books.
Unsigned books I bought at the dealer's room. The Skids by Ian Donald Keeling, The Mount by Carol Emshwiller - which looks super kinky, Brave Boy World by Michael D. Takeda because giant robot on the cover but is also a collection of stories about trans men, At Times I Almost Dream by Amy E. Yergen, You want to be a Robot by A. Merc Rusted, and four issues of Clarkesworld, 114, 115, 125, and 129. Neil Clarke gave me an odd look as he'd seen me looking over the covers and picking them out and I was like 'oh, no.' Instead, he kindly asked what had prompted me to choose these four. 'Oh, the covers al have robots.' I told him how I lean and he was telling me which artist had books out of art about robots - all robots apparently - and he was showing me the postcard for More Human Than Human - which I have on pre-order. I was like, 'oh, I saw that out on the racks and took it, and it was one of the first things I saw.' He was actually telling me about all these details about the cover art. Like apparently if you look really closely, the woman has pupils that are square to show she's an android, too, and in the background you can see the shape of the creepy dude hunting the two androids. There's also an issue I got with a really romantic image of a robot and the human woman he's wooing. Turns out it's supposed to be Clarke and his wife! Which is super awesome. We ended up chatting and I was like, 'wow, I hear so many good things about Clarkesworld, so you must do well here!' Well enough to sell at least. He said Readercon was one of the only places he'll sell since it's all about the books, and he doesn't do well at mixed conventions - aka one not about books. (Readercon is perfect for him too since it focuses on sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.) We also talked about commutes: mine is forty five minutes each way and his is four and a half hours. Ouch!
I also bought two graphic novels for about fourteen dollars: Ministry of Space by Ellis, and Batman: Child of Dreams because it's a manga style, but adapted by Max Allan Collins and I couldn't resist!
Freebies I picked up:
Middle Planet No. 2, a literary magazine, in hardcover. Chupacabra Vengeance, because I couldn't resist, Shark by Jan Suzukawa because it's so small it's adorable, and Expect Civilian Casualties by Gary Bonn. Luckily there wasn't so much on offer, so that helped me really cut down on what I brought back! I was trying to be very good about this year, and I was. I also somehow managed to come out of the dealer's room with sixty bucks and a couple ones left, which shocking! I've never done that, and usually end up spending down to the last penny there.
Maybe I've finally got some self control? Because I brought as much money as I did last year. (And a little extra that someone gave to me for fun, to be honest, but I came out with more than they handed me, so there's that.)