The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 2-18-18

Sunday Post

We’re home after 10 days away at back-to-back conferences. It is SO GOOD to be home. Especially now that the cats have forgiven us, and seem to have meowed all the things they needed to tell us. THAT took a while. Obviously they had a lot to say, and just couldn’t wait to say it. We missed them, so it’s good to know that they missed us, too.

One of the most important things that I was at ALA Midwinter to accomplish was to participate in my final round of voting and wordsmithing as part of the ALA Notable Books Council. For the past four years, I have been part of this excellent group that picks the 25 (or so) best literary fiction, non-fiction and poetry for adults. This year’s list was awesome. If you’re looking for great books to read and recommend, you can’t go wrong with one of our lists.

But Notables is a lot of work (we get over 1,000 books each year to at least look at) so the rules are that we can only serve four years in a row. This was my fourth and final year for this go around. I can come back later, and I might. But in the meantime, this coming year I’ll be part of the Carnegie Medal Committee, which picks one best book in fiction, and one in nonfiction, each year, for adults. (Sometimes there’s overlap with Notables, and sometimes there isn’t). It’s a new group and a new process, but still passionate about books and reading. I’m looking forward to it!

Current Giveaways:

$10 Book or $10 Gift Card in the Romance is in the Air Giveaway Hop
3 paperback copies of Christmas Cowboy and Smooth-Talking Cowboy by Maisey Yates

Winner Announcements:

The winner of the $10 Book or $10 Gift Card in the February Book of Choice Giveaway Hop is Gaby N.

Blog Recap:

B Review: The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard
Romance is in the Air Giveaway Hop
A Review: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison
B Review: Modern Loss by Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner
B+ Review: Smooth-Talking Cowboy by Maisey Yates + Giveaway
Stacking the Shelves (275)

Coming Next Week:

A Plunder of Souls by D.B. Jackson (review)
The Upside by Abdel Sellou (blog tour review)
The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron (blog tour review)
Shelter My Heart by L.G. O’Connor (review)
Deborah Calling by Avraham Azrieli (blog tour review)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 1-17-16

Sunday Post

We came back from the ALA Midwinter Conference in chilly, windy Boston late Wednesday night. And we’re still a bit tired and frazzled. I love conferences, but they are exhausting. And I was not looking forward to the cold winter weather in Boston. Next year, the winter conference will be here in Atlanta, so it won’t be such a slog to get there, and the weather obviously won’t be any worse than I would have had to put up with anyway.

Oh, and the communal coat racks ate Galen’s coat at an event Sunday night, just as the weather turned really cold. Murphy definitely was an optimist!

But part of my business at the conference was to be on the ALA Notable Books Council and select what we thought were the 26 best books of 2015. That’s 12 Fiction, 12 Nonfiction and 2 Poetry, just in case you’re wondering where that number comes from. For the curious, the list of this year’s selections is here.

We were gone almost a week. LaZorra has turned herself into “cat glue”, pasting herself to my husband’s side at every conceivable opportunity. It’s adorable. And just ever so slightly intrusive. Wait, I think I just said she’s a cat.

And now back to our regularly scheduled blogging:

dreaming of books 2015[1]Current Giveaways:

$10 Book or $10 Gift Card in the Jeepers! It’s January Giveaway Hop (ends tomorrow!)
$10 Book or $10 Gift Card in the Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop

Winner Announcements:

The winner of Wolf Haven by Lindsay McKenna is Tabathia B.
The winner of a $10 Book or $10 Gift Card in the Hello My Name Is…Giveaway Hop is Danielle.

rising by ian tregillisBlog Recap:

B Review: Thrill-Kinky by Teresa Noelle Roberts
B+ Review: Bad Kitty by Teresa Noelle Roberts
A Review: The Rising by Ian Tregillis
B- Review: On a Barbarian World by Anna Hackett
A Review: Unbound by Jim C. Hines
Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop




rogue retrieval by dan koboldtComing Next Week:

The Lady’s Command by Stephanie Laurens (blog tour review)
Give Us the Ballot by Ari Berman (review)
Moonlight Over Paris by Jennifer Robson (blog tour review)
The Rogue Retrieval by Dan Koboldt (review)
Redemption by Kate Douglas (review)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 1-10-16

Sunday Post

I’m working way ahead here. Which means that next week’s schedule is likely to fall apart, at least at the end.

keep warm and read onAs you read this, I am in Boston, probably freezing, at the American Library Association Midwinter Conference. In fact, when this goes to “press”, I’ll probably be in a committee meeting finalizing the ALA Notable Books list for 2016. I bet we pick some real winners. But then, we always do!

Wherever you are on this wintry weekend, I hope you are keeping warm, and reading a terrific book.

Current Giveaways:

$10 Book or $10 Gift Card in the Jeepers! It’s January Giveaway Hop
Wolf Haven by Lindsay McKenna
$10 Book or $10 Gift Card in the Hello My Name Is Giveaway Hop

Winner Announcements:

The winner of Anything for You by Kristan Higgins is Victoria B.

night hawk by lindsay mckennaBlog Recap:

Jeepers! It’s January Giveaway Hop
16 for 2016: My Most Anticipated Books of 2016
B Review: Night Hawk by Lindsay McKenna + Giveaway
Hello My Name is Giveaway Hop
B+ Review: Adrian by Heather Grothaus
Stacking the Shelves (167)

on a barbarian world by anna hackettComing Next Week:

Thrill-Kinky by Teresa Noelle Roberts (review)
Bad Kitty by Teresa Noelle Roberts (review)
The Rising by Ian Tregillis (review)
On a Barbarian World by Anna Hackett (review)
Unbound by Jim C. Hines (review)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 2-8-15

Sunday Post

Last weekend I was in Chicago for the American Library Association Midwinter Conference. Yes, Chicago in January. And it snowed. The 5th largest snowfall in recorded Chicago history. I used to live in Chicago and let me tell you, Sunday night the streets were as deserted as I’ve ever seen them. Next January in Boston. OMG.

One of the reasons I went to the blizzard was to participate in the ALA Notable Books Council. We spend two or two and a half days locked in a room together picking the 25 or 26 best books of the year, at least according to the collective us. Although the timing of the awards program couldn’t have been worse (in the middle of the blizzard and just as the Super Bowl was kicking off) the books we selected are awesome. If you enjoy literary fiction and excellent non-fiction, you might find something on the list for you. I hope so.

share the love hopCurrent Giveaways:

$10 Amazon or B&N Gift Card in the Share the Love Giveaway Hop
Stuffed dragon from Rhys Ford in her Black Dog Blues tour

Winner Announcements:

The winner of The Marriage Charm by Linda Lael Miller is: Kate I.

beneath a trojan moon by anna hackettBlog Recap:

Author Guest Post and Giveaway: Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford
B+ Review: Ghosts of Christmas Past by Corrina Lawson
B Review: Rough Rider by Victoria Vane
A- Review: Beneath a Trojan Moon by Anna Hackett
Share the Love Giveaway Hop
Stacking the Shelves (121)



accidental empress by allison patakiComing Next Week:

The Promise by Robyn Carr (review)
Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb (review)
Death of Yesterday by M.C. Beaton (review)
The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki (blog tour review)
Death of a Liar by M.C. Beaton (review)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 3-9-14

Sunday Post

The good thing about being married is that you share things with your spouse. The bad thing is that the sharing sometimes means that you share being sick. I spent most of the week down with a sinus infection, and then I was generous and gave it to my husband.

The good thing (there was one) about the sinus infection was that I spent a lot of time reading. The bad thing is that I have a ton of reviews to write, because sitting at a keyboard and leaning forward hurt like hell. And made my nose run.

Speaking of “real life”, I’ve just become a member of the American Library Association Notable Books Council. Which does just what it sounds, pick the “notable books” of the year. It means I’ll be reading more literary fiction and nonfiction this year, which should be interesting. There’s also a bit of secrecy to the whole thing, since we’re not allowed to say which books are even being considered. So don’t ask!

Current Giveaways:

The Obsidian Heart by Mark T. BarnesIt’s Always Been You by Jessica Scott (ebook) ENDS 3/10
$25 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Nina Croft ENDS 3/10

Winner Announcements:

$10 Amazon or B&N Gift Card in the Leap Into Books Giveaway – the winner is Ashfa A.
Paperback copy of Cider Brook by Carla Neggers – the winner is Courtney W.
Signed copy of The Obsidian Heart by Mark T. Barnes – the winner is Jo J.

never deal with dragons by lorenda christensenBlog Recap:

A- Review: Bittersweet Darkness by Nina Croft + Giveaway
A Review: Never Deal with Dragons by Lorenda Christensen
C+ Review: Deceiving Lies by Molly McAdams
B Review: Death Defying by Nina Croft + Giveaway
A- Review: It’s Always Been You by Jessica Scott + Giveaway
Stacking the Shelves (79)

slam dance with the devil by nico rossoComing Next Week:

Slam Dance with the Devil by Nico Rosso (review)
Good Together by CJ Carmichael (review)
The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan (review by Cass)
Retribution by Anderson Harp (blog tour review)
Unleashed by Emily Kimelman (blog tour review)

Notable Books and Advance Galleys: It’s so much fun to say “We knew you when”

I’m so very pleased (actually giddy) to say that this post will appear on April 6, 2012 as the first of their “Librarian Voices” columns at NetGalley.

It can be fun to look at someone famous and say “I knew you when…”, particularly when that “someone” is a book, and the “when” in question is waaaay back before that book came out, and no one knew the book was going to be as hot as it turned out to be.

Or when you’re looking at the ALA Notable List, and remembering when you picked up the ARC at a conference, or got the egalley from NetGalley, because you thought it might be good, and, lo and behold, there it is, an award-winner.

Sometimes, you read a book, and you know it’s special. Then you tell everyone you know until they’re sick of it, and you. Unless you’re very lucky, and it’s your job to help people find their next perfect read.

The ALA Notable Books List is always interesting and useful, because as soon as I see it, I look at it and go, “oh, that one was popular”, “oh, that’s an interesting choice”, or “mmm, I can see why that got picked.” In collection development, it always made for a list of titles to check, but they were usually ones the library already owned. We’d miss one sometimes, especially on the poetry portion of the list!

Maybe it’s because I’m  personally a genre fiction reader, but the ALA Notable Books List always seemed like the “big books” list, Not big in the sense that they’re long books, but big in the sense that they’re literary, at least on the fiction side. These are “important” books, even when they are also very, very popular. Tea Obreht’s  The Tiger’sWife was one book that we just couldn’t get copies of fast enough. I remember seeing it in NetGalley before the pub date, and I wish I had snagged it then! Then I would have known in advance it was going to be big!

There’s another ALA list, one that reflects what people read for pleasure, instead of the important books. It’s The Reading List that RUSA CODES publishes. This list has categories for genres like “Science Fiction” and “Mystery” and “Romance”, you know, the good stuff. (I’ve never been so sure about that “Adrenaline” category.)

Genre fiction sells, and genre fiction circulates. That’s what circulation statistics show, and publishing numbers and everything else. The books on this list are the ones that people will enjoy.

And they’re fun.

The trick for librarians is picking out which one, or ten, are going to stand out from the crowd. It’s hard because the genre field is crowded and very diverse. Each genre can feel like its own little planet, and the galaxies can seem light-years apart. Lists like this are great navigational tools.

Each title on the fantasy list this year is absolutely marvelous. One of my favorite books of the year, The Magician King by Lev Grossman, is on the short list. The short list! It’s not even the winner! I knew when opened the first page of that egalley from NetGalley that it was going to be one of the big books of the year. But as far the winning title is concerned, as soon as I saw the NetGalley description for this title, it was clear that Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus was something special.  The circus arrives and it brings magic.
On the 2012 list, one of the shortlisted titles in the romance category is Kristan Higgins’ My One and Only. I resisted the impulse to get an egalley last year, but Higgins new book, Somebody to Love, is available now. And I have an egalley from NetGalley.

Maybe Somebody to Love will be on the RUSA CODES Reading List in 2013. And I’ll be able to say that “I knew it when…”