Not content with all the BEA picks already published, BEA ran their own survey of media who regularly cover the book industry. Show Manager Lance Fensterman admits, “This is one of the most unscientific surveys that we could possibly initiate,” but says it’s important to identify a title or two that may have been overlooked by the others.
Indeed, among the nine titles is Elizabeth Kostova’s Swan Thieves, (Little, Brown, Jan) which, as we noted, was inexplicably missing from other lists. On the other hand, the list includes a raft of titles that are by now the usual suspects: South of Broad, (Pat Conroy, Doubleday), Spooner (Pete Dexter, Grand Central) and David Small’s Stitches from Norton (how quickly one becomes a usual suspect!)
There IS one very unusual choice; a mass market paperback first novel about Victorian vampires, Soulless by Gail Carriger, described on the author’s Web site as “Jane Austen does paranormal, or PG Wodehouse does steampunk.” We suspect Ron Hogan, who has been touting it at Galley Cat, got it on the list.
So, OK, we’ll bite (sorry). It’s got a great cover, an inventive series title (the first in the “Parasol Protectorate Series”) and the author nearly convinced us that vampires affected Victorian fashion (cravats are great for covering neck marks!) on her web site.