What’s on my (mostly virtual) nightstand? 3/11/12

The Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference is winding down. The final sessions are this evening, March 11. The conference has been absolutely awesome, and I’m definitely planning to do it again next year. I’ve learned so much.

However (cough, cough) my to-do list for the next couple of weeks has grown by leaps and bounds because of all the good information I’ve picked up.

And it is definitely conference season. This week, March 14-16, we have the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia. We meaning I’m going to Philly. And since public librarians purchase a lot of fiction, there should be a lot of Advance Reading Copies available on the exhibit floor.

The good news is that because my husband works for a library vendor, I discovered at ALA Midwinter I can ship the ARCs I pick up back home with their booth. The bad news is that I can ship the ARCs I pick up back home with their booth. Those of you who are addicted to books know exactly what I mean.

Because of PLA, I am pleased to say that the nightstand for the upcoming week is not quite as covered with books as it might be. Catch up time!

First up is Haevyn by Darcy Abriel. This is the second book in her Humanotica series, after Silver. And just like Silver, I have also promised to review this for Book Lovers Inc. Haevyn is due out on March 20, and I need to get them my review before then. Howsomever, when you read my review and/or my thoughts about Silver, although it was interesting, you’ll see that it wasn’t my favorite book. It’s SFR, which is why I took it, but Silver was not a main character with agency. Thankfully Silver isn’t the point-of-view character for Haevyn. I’m hoping for more worldbuilding and a main character who moves the story under his own steam instead of waiting for thing to happen to him.

My other title is Suzanne Brockmann’s Born to Darkness. I haven’t read Brockmann before but I’ve heard tons of good things. This title is the first in a new series, and it’s military-based paranormal. I’ve really enjoyed the military-based romances I’ve read recently (The Night is Mine, SEAL of my Dreams, and military sci-fi titles too numerous to mention) and I adore paranormal, so this seemed like a great way to try some of Brockmann’s work. There’s a prequel e-only short story for Born to Darkness titled Shane’s Last Stand. Completist that I am, I’m going to read that first. Of course.

As far as last week’s nightstand goes, I finished Motor City Mage, and it was a treat! I think this might be the last we see of magical Detroit, because this is the last couple to be matched up in this group of otherworldly and magical beings. I’m sad to see this one end.

It looks like Apocalypse to Go and The House of Velvet and Glass are going to be my “airplane books” for the trip to Philadelphia. I always take at least one print book for the plane, so I have something to read when they make me turn of my iPad. Those will be it.

Reading Reality‘s blogoversary is coming up! April 4 marks the one year anniversary of the blog. It’s the day before my birthday, too. But I’d like to do something special to mark the blogoversary. Because of the two conferences, I still have my thinking cap on.

I would love to hear ideas for the blogoversary from readers. I’d love for you to help me celebrate!

But until the party starts, it’s still a regular week. Ebook Review Central is tomorrow. See you bright and early with featured titles from Carina Press.



The conference halo effect

There’s a phenomenon that I call the “conference halo effect”.  I think it happens to most of us, or at least I certainly hope so. The alternative would be unbearable.

While I’m at the conference, I’m energized. This is in spite of the fact that my feet are usually speaking to me, and what they are saying translates into “expletive deleted”.



The panel discussion that I participated in on Leading Technical Services in 2011 was very well attended. The room held 150, and we nearly packed it, but didn’t overflow. It was just right. The audience laughed in all the right places, and asked great questions. And if the person in the second row on the right with the wonderfully encouraging face is reading this, my heartfelt thanks. I had practiced one last time while sitting somewhere in the conference center and the gentlemen in the chair next to me fell asleep while I was practicing somewhat sotto voce.  Having someone in the audience who looked eager to hear me was a much better confidence builder!

My fellow panelists, Anne McKee and Peggy Johnson, were terrific. Peggy even acted out her slides when the PowerPoint gave up the ghost. Her performance was truly inspirational in more ways than one. Peggy didn’t just talk about leadership, she demonstrated it right there. And the coverage by American Libraries in their blog was awesome.

But every moment in the conference presented opportunities to see or hear something new – be it in the form of workshops, stalls or pull down banners, or if it was something to take back and work on, or a commitment that needs to be met in the days and weeks ahead.

At the time I was in New Orleans, every time I was in a meeting, or right after I finished a meeting with someone, I would send myself an email labeled “note to self” with the action item in the email. The joy of a 3G iPad is that I always had connectivity. (My hotel room wifi was iffy at best) Because of the “halo effect” energy of the conference, everything seemed both easy and possible while I was in NOLA.

And the biggest problem with actually being on a committee (I’m incoming Chair of the new ALCTS Affiliate Relations Committee) is that I didn’t get to half the places I wanted or needed to get to. My list includes a lot of entries that say “find out what happened at X session” that I wasn’t able to attend. But it’s all part of the ALA experience–except for the no conflict times, every time slot has 3 things you want to go to, and they are generally as far apart as geographically possible.

Now I’m back, and that mountain of “notes to self” is in my inbox. The halo has worn off. Those things don’t seem so easy anymore. But they are still possible. Even more important, they are still necessary. They are commitments I made to myself, and to others, of things that need to be done.

Time to dig in. I think I see a LOT of Diet Coke in my future.