April 17th, 2018 By: Nora Rawlinson
Reminder: Nominations are due for the June LibraryReads list in just a couple of days, by midnight, April 20th.
The just-released May LibraryReads list is remarkably homogenous. All the authors are white women, most of them have already published several books, and the majority of the titles are in the rapidly growing, some would say over-published, category of psychological suspense.
While readers advisors can happily read and recommend any of the titles, as Becky Spratford has often noted in her blog RA for All, they won’t expand readers’ horizons. She pointedly asks, “Why aren’t we all going out of way to look for titles that don’t get recognition?”
To help you do that, we’ve added “Debut” and “Diversity” columns to our spreadsheet of the nearly 200 titles mentioned during last week’s GalleyChat, GalleyChat Titles, April.
Below are comments on the June titles by non-white and LGBT authors. If you haven’t read them already, you probably won’t have time to do so before the deadline, but this may serve to remind you of titles beyond the familiar. As Becky says, “If every single one of [you] laid off of voting for the more mainstream titles and instead voted for a more diverse title, many of those mainstream titles would still get in, but maybe a few more marginalized voices would too.”
Trail of Lightning, Rebecca Roanhorse, S&S/Saga Press, June 26, 2018, DRC available
GalleyChatter: “Really fun, unique urban fantasy/postapoc blend with Indigenous characters & mythology!” —– ” a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy with a Navajo cast of characters.”
“Rebecca Roanhorse is an Ohkay Owingeh/Black writer of Indigenous futurisms. She lives in Northern New Mexico with her husband, daughter, and pug. Her debut novel Trail of Lightning (Book One of the Sixth World series) is available summer 2018 from Saga Press, and her children’s book Race to the Sun is coming in 2019 from Rick Riordan Presents. Her short story ‘Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience‘ is on the 2017 Nebula Recommended Reading List.
Her nonfiction can be found in Invisible 3: Essays and Poems on Representation in SF/F, Strange Horizons, and the upcoming How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation (Macmillan, 5/15/18).”
There There: A novel, Tommy Orange, PRH/Knopf, June 5, 2018, DRC available
GalleyChatter: “a story of urban indigenous peoples. Got a big push at #pla2018” — Following up on that, PRH Library tweeted that it is a department favorite.
The New Yorker recently published a story that comes from the book, and an interview, in which the author explaind that he wrote There, There because, “I knew I wanted to write a multigenerational, multivoiced novel about Native people living in Oakland. My wanting to write it largely had to do with there not already being a novel about Native people who live in cities, and very few novels set in Oakland. Native people suffer from poor representation as it is, but having little representation in literature, as well as no (literary) version of our (urban Native) experience, was what made me want to write into that space, that void, and try to honor and express fully all that it entails to be Native and be from Oakland.”
The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang, PRH/Berkley pbk original, June 5, 2018, DRC not listed
Bustle headlines a story about the book, “The Kiss Quotient Is A Refreshing Own Voices Romance With A Heroine On The Autism Spectrum”
From the publisher:
“Key Selling Points
DEBUT AUTHOR who was discovered during Pitch Wars, an online contest with wide social media reach, where published authors match up with a mentee and work on pitch to catch an agent or editor’s eye; Helen was mentored by Brighton Walsh, a contemporary romance author published by Berkley and St. Martin’s Press
THE HEROINE HAS ASPERGER’S, as does the author, who is willing to discuss her personal experience
MULTICULTURAL CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: hero is half Vietnamese and the author, who is also part Vietnamese, seamlessly introduces cultural elements
AN OWN VOICES NOVEL: romance readers are clamoring for better representation in romances and this book speaks to the #OwnVoices social media movement”
History of Violence: A Novel, Édouard Louis, Translated by Lorin Stein, Macmillan/FSG, June 19, 2018, DRC available
Gallleychatter: “…by the author of End of Eddy. Has a unique voice.”
New Yorker profile of the author, “Growing Up Poor and Queer in a French Village”
From the publisher: “On Christmas Eve 2012, in Paris, the novelist Édouard Louis was raped and almost murdered by a man he had just met. This act of violence left Louis shattered; its aftermath made him a stranger to himself and sent him back to the village, the family, and the past he had sworn to leave behind.”
When Katie Met Cassidy, Camille Perri, PRH/Putnam, June 19, 2018, DRC available by request
Galleychatters were enthusiasitc about the author’s
debut, The Assistants.
Former librarian and library page Perri speaks to librarians at a PRH Open Book session (be sure
to check out her demo of the “Page Freeze” beginning at time stamp 3:24)
Confessions of the Fox: A Novel, Jordy Rosenberg, PRH/ One World, June 26, 2018, DRC available
“Jordy Rosenberg is a transgender writer and scholar. He is an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he teaches eighteenth-century literature and queer/trans theory. He has received fellowships and awards from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation, the Ahmanson Foundation/J. Paul Getty Trust, the UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies, the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, and the Clarion Foundation’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of a scholarly monograph, Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transformation of Religious Passion. He lives in New York City and Northampton, Massachusetts. Confessions of the Fox is his first novel.”
Ayiti, Roxane Gay, Grove/Atlantic, June 12, 2018, DRC available by request
Originally published in 2011 by the Artistically Declined Press, this new edition from Grove Press, according to the publisher, “includes several new stories,” which may qualify it for the LibraryReads list.
The Lost Vintage: A Novel, Ann Mah, HarperCollins/Morrow, June 19, 2018, DRC available
GalleyChatter comment, “Loved the LOST VINTAGE by Ann Mah- historical fiction with a mystery about a family member no one knew about, WWII & it’s set in a vineyard.”
The author is Chinese American, and a Francophile. Her memoir, Mastering the Art of French Eating was an Amazon best book of 2013, and winner of the Elle readers prize. She also is publishing Instantly French!: Classic French Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker in September.
South Asian – American
Half Gods: Stories, Akil Kumarasamy, Macmillan/FSG, June 5, 2018, DRC available
One of the stories in this collection, “New World,” was published last year in Harper’s magazine.