Join us in celebrating #BookBdays for our many June releases! FLYING SHOES by Lisa Howorth This “buzz-worthy debut” (Publishers Weekly) novel by the co-founder of Square Books, set in Mississippi in 1996, based on the real-life, long-unsolved murder of the author’s young stepbrother is a July Indie Next pick! “Howorth’s dedication to capturing the messy, […]
Publishers Weekly's starred review for the audiobook of SHINE SHINE SHINE read, "While Jackson conveys all the book’s humor, her reading is also full of empathy, and she brings out the characters’ underlying humanity. This masterful, flawless narration of an imaginative novel is something special and not to be missed."
And don't forget, Nancy Pearl named SHINE SHINE SHINE one of her top ten favorite reads of the year!
Welcome back from Thanksgiving, everyone!
I hope you all had an uncomfortably delicious holiday. While you're recovering with your leftovers lunch we have a few items to share with you:
- Teen Librarians, please join us next Tuesday (12/4) for the Association of American Publishers' first ever Children's and YA Tri-State Book Buzz! There will be goodie bags, galleys, breakfast, and good times. RSVP now!
- The paperback of Talia's tell-all memoir is coming out in January, so be sure to check that out...
- We're very excited to see some really excellent fiction published by Tor on the official ballot for the 2012 World Fantasy Awards! Jo Walton's AMONG OTHERS is up for Best Novel and two wonderful anothologies BLOOD AND OTHER CRAVINGS edited by Ellen Datlow and THE WEIRD edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (which kept me company one dark and lonely workday) are both up for Best Anthology!
- And for all you librarians out there moonlighting as writers, the 2013 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition is now open. Last year's winning novel, A SIMPLE MURDER, was written by a librarian! Let's make it two years in a row!
This may just be the tiniest kitten. twitter.com/EmergencyPuppy…
— Emergency Cute Stuff (@EmergencyPuppy) August 8, 2012
Happy Monday, librarians! Welcome to the party (read: work week).
Today we're bringing you the good news about a few very special debuts.
- First of all, congratulations to Darynda Jones! The Romance Writers of America selected her debut, FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT, as the 2012 RITA Winner for Best First Book! The first three books in this series starring part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper Charley Davidson are available now from St. Martin's Press with a fourth coming soon! See all of this year's RITA winners here.
- If your patrons are looking for high-adventure of the steampunk variety with a Japanese twist, we're giving away galleys of STORMDANCER by Jay Kristoff. It's a swashbuckling debut that Publishers Weekly named their Pick of the Week!
Meanwhile in North Carolina...
Talia and the cats are still unpacking and adjusting to the new place.
To her great delight, whilst out adventuring in her new neighborhood Talia popped into the local Barnes & Noble and spotted a shelf almost entirely dedicated to St. Martin's Griffin titles!
Welcome to a new week, biblio-buddies!
We put up a number of important and delightful posts last week that we don't want you to miss including:
- Sign up information for the Edelweiss Librarian Boot Camp which you should all add to your calendars.
- The list of forthcoming titles that Talia presented during the most recent Booklist webinar, Book Battle 2: this time it's personal!, and we included a link to her slides.
GalleyCat has your cat video fix covered with The Most Popular Literary Cat Videos of All Time.
But most importantly: Sunday was Talia's birthday! I stayed behind on Friday with Peter and Emily from Academic Marketing and we did that thing that everyone hears about, but no one actually does: we blew up hundreds of balloons to leave in Talia's office...
Total balloon count: 432.
Let's cut to the chase: I loved this book. I had no idea what I was getting into when I cracked the pages of SHINE SHINE SHINE and here I am a month later still processing all of the wonderfully full and flawed characters—some of who are on their way to the moon(!), others of who feel alienated right in the suburbs of their own planet.
Debut author Lydia Netzer was kind enough to answer a few questions about her terrific first novel for us. Read on, readers!
Q: You cover a lot of ground in SHINE SHINE SHINE from Burma to Virginia to Pennsylvania to the Moon (not to mention the past and the future)! Which setting did you have the most fun writing?
I grew up in Detroit, but we spent all our summers in the hills of western Pennsylvania, living in a decrepit old farmhouse on a dirt road. Of course, I loved this old farm, and I still do -- it’s June now and I’m answering these questions from the dining room -- panelled in wormy chestnut and full of weird antiques! The valley where Sunny and Maxon played as children is my valley, their creek is my creek, and the stump that’s shaped like a throne -- that was my mossy old stump throne. It was very satisfying to bring that setting into the book and put into words the way I felt about this place as a child. As an only child, I spent a lot of time dangling from the tire swing by myself, and often imagined a playmate arriving magically out of the woods, just as Maxon did for Sunny.
Q: Many of the characters in SHINE SHINE SHINE struggle to project an air of "normalcy," did you have any challenges writing scenes with such offbeat people?
I have yet to meet a person who is absolutely normal. I think normalcy is a construct. There are some people who do a pretty excellent job at burying their weirdness, but that doesn’t mean the weirdness isn’t there. These skilled social creatures, practiced at fitting in, collectively create a definition of what “normal” looks like and then others strive to match it. Or else they don’t. Some of us are less committed to passing for normal, and we let our weirdness out a bit, peel the lid off the crazy, off the angst and the exuberance. I’m sure people have good reasons for wanting to pass as normal and have others see them as acceptable. In fact, parenthood can really drive you in this direction -- toward stuffing down all your crazy and packing it away, presenting a very peaceful, unremarkable face to the world. No one sets out wanting to be the weirdo mom or the freak dad. It’s a status you have to come to grips with over time, sometimes after all attempts to disappear into normalcy have failed.
So to answer the question, I think there are offbeat people all around, and imagining what strange fancies lurked under the apparently normal skin of apparently average people was a very interesting project.
Q: If a Reader's Advisory librarian wanted to compare SHINE SHINE SHINE to a couple of other books or even movies on their shelves, which would you want them to pick?
Join me, Virginia from HarperCollins, Kelly and Erica from Random House, Elenita from Perseus, and moderator Barbara Hoffert from Library Journal for an hour-long book buzz webinar party today! Register now!
A LADY CYCLIST'S GUIDE TO KASHGAR | Suzanna Joinson | 978-1-60819-811-5
SHINE SHINE SHINE | Lydia Netzer | 978-1-250-00707-0
BENEATH THE SHADOWS | Sara Foster | 978-0-312-64336-2
THE LAND OF DECORATION | Grace McCleen | 978-0-8050-9494-7
A SIMPLE MURDER | Eleanor Kuhns | 978-1-250-00553-3
DEAD SCARED | S. J. Bolton | 978-0-312-60053-2
KILL YOU TWICE | Chelsea Cain | 978-0-312-61978-7
THE OTHER WOMAN | Hank Phillippi Ryan | 978-0-7653-3257-8
BRING UP THE BODIES | Hilary Mantel | 978-0-8050-9003-1
WHERE WE BELONG | Emily Giffin | 978-0-312-55419-4
MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND | Matthew Dicks | 978-1-250-00621-9
THIS IS NOT A TEST | Courtney Summers | 978-0-312-65674-4
REDSHIRTS | John Scalzi | 978-0-7653-1699-8
GLAMOUR IN GLASS | Mary Robinette Kowal | 978-0-7653-2557-0
THE WITCH'S DAUGHTER | Paula Brackston | 978-0-312-62168-1
AMONG OTHERS | Jo Walton | 978-0-7653-2153-4
CHINESE WHISKERS | Pallavi Aiyar | 978-1-250-01448-1
PAW PRINTS IN THE MOONLIGHT | Denis O'Connor | 978-0-312-66829-7
Welcome back, Monday!
- Library Journal's Douglas Lord strikes again with another round of bada** books for dude-identified readers. He said there has been "mucho good new reading around BFD HQ lately," including two of our books:
On CITY OF BOHANE by Kevin Barry he said, "It’s elegiac, lyrical, rollicking fun that mixes Brian Friel with A CLOCKWORK ORANGE." And he recommends that you try it "if you are tired of the same old crap."
On THE FOREST LAIRD: A Tale of William Wallace by Jack Whyte he said, "There’s brotherhood, patriotism, and political intrigue. And archery."
See all of the good Lord's recommendations in "The Good Guys, the Bad Guys, and the Ugly Guys in Six Suspenseful New Novels."
- Flavorwire took a liking to this year's Debut with the Best Library-Themed Cover (according to us), GIRLCHILD! They said, "The book is an inventive, electric story of youth and survival, as smart, Girl Scout-obsessed Rory, refusing to accept her fate as one of the 'third-generation bastards surely on the road to whoredom,' navigates her world." Earn your literary girl survivalism badge by reading your way through Hassman's book list (link).
- Following up on my #FridayReads: I finished the curious debut SHINE SHINE SHINE this weekend... no thanks to this mischievous feline! Nice try, cat, but you can't sabotage my weekend reading that easily!
- Also check out my paperback book club picks!