Author appearances at BEA have always been a highlight and this year’s programming is providing more opportunity to meet and hear authors than ever before. Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel hosted the first two author breakfasts which have included some of the best speeches in recent memory. Anjelica Huston was introduced by Neil Patrick Harris on Thursday and she poignantly began her talk by reading a Maya Angelou poem which then framed the rest of her speech. Continuing and enriching the theme, Tavis Smiley delivered an inspiring speech about Ms. Angelou which then weaved perfectly into a discussion of Martin Luther King. Lisa Scottoline was next up and she summed up Tavis Smiley’s appearance by exclaiming that this was her worst nightmare, referring to the fact that she had to speak after such an inspiring performance. Jeff Kinney had the same experience at the Children’s Breakfast. He was the final speaker and when he took the stage after Mem Fox he commented that having to follow her speech, which had hushed the room to a whisper, was the last thing he wanted to do. But of course he rose to the challenge. Carl Hiaasen was the first speaker. The author breakfasts are what make BEA unique. Each day they pull in over 1,000 members of the trade, who are also genuine book lovers, and for that moment everyone is completely connected.