Archive for May, 2018

Reading Diversity

Friday, May 25th, 2018

As you load up your book bags and reading devices for the holiday weekend, remember this also a good time to explore titles to nominate for LibraryReads.

My own resolution is to read upcoming books that fall under the awkward and difficult-to-define term “diversity.” I want to hear new voices and read about cultures I’m not familiar with. As a resource, we’ve created EarlyWord “Diverse Titles for LibraryReads Consideration,” drawn from several sources, including GalleyChats and titles being featured at the upcoming Book Expo and ALA Annual.

We’ve included notes to help you find titles you may want to try. Below are some I’ve loaded onto my Nook (or will, as soon as I get around the pesky authentication issue):

Dawson, Erica, When Rap Spoke Straight to God

This will definitely take me outside of my own reading predilections. It’s a book-length poem, something I wouldn’t read unless I was led to it, which Jennifer Egan did by picking it as a book she is excited about in an interview with New York.

Zoboi, Ibi, Pride

As one of the few librarians who is not a fan of Jane Austen (sorry, so many shameful admissions in a single post), a book based on Pride and Prejudice would not grab me. This one is different, however. The story of a black family dealing with gentrification in present day Brooklyn, the opening line sells it, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that when white people move into a neighborhood that’s already been a little bit broken and a little bit forgotten, the first thing they want to do is clean it up.” As I sit here in Brooklyn, listening to the sounds of dozens of new buildings under construction and old ones under renovation, this appeals to me. In addition, the author’s previous book, American Street, was a 2017 National Book Award finalist in Young People’s Literature.

Publishers Marketplace, Book Buzz Fall/Winter 2018

While I’m trying to figure out how to get DRCs on to my Nook, this serves as a partial solution because it downloads easily from the B&N site. While excerpts can be frustrating, those from short story collections are complete stories, so they are more satisfying.  I was intrigued by the collection Friday Black by a student of George Saunders, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. The title story takes the idea of Black Friday madness to a new, surreal level.

What are you reading? Have you identified any titles not on our list? Let us know in the comments section, below.

Weekend Reading

Friday, May 18th, 2018

The June LibraryReads list brings some good news in terms of diversity.

  

Two of the titles are debuts by nonwhite writers.There There by Tommy Orange, (PRH/Knopf) is recommended for its “large cast of interwoven characters [that] depicts the experience of Native Americans living in urban settings. Perfect for readers of character-driven fiction with a strong sense of place.”

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, is a romance with an unusual twist. The main character is a woman on the autism spectrum, as is the author, and the heart-throb hero is half Vietnamese, as is the author.

If you haven’t already, get to know these titles. There There is available for download from Edelweiss and The Kiss Qutient via Netgalley, by request (while you wait to get approved, you can read an excerpt on Bustle here). UPDATE: The book is featured in the NYT‘s summer preview:


 …a groundbreaking novel about Native Americans who are city dwellers. But it’s not the Oakland, Calif., setting that leaps out. It’s Orange’s extraordinary ability to invest a series of interlocking character sketches with the troubled history of his displaced people.…

Getting published is an accomplishment for any first-time author, but nonwhite writers find it particularly challenging. Gabrielle Union’s memoir We’re Going to Need More Wine was on the October LibraryReads list, Despite being a well-known actress, she told the NYT that she found it difficult to navigate the publishing business as a black woman. Then she discovered that getting published was just part of the battle. Even after her book hit best seller lists, she “heard from readers that they had asked for it in certain cities, only to find it was still in stacks on the floor or in carts in the back.”

Similarly, landing on the LibraryReads list as a debut author is an accomplishment, but it only has meaning if other library staff read and recommend the titles.

YA/MG GalleyChat Roundup

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Link here for the titles that librarians buzzed during Wednesday’s YA/MG GalleyChat, #ewgcya.

Join us for the next chat on Thursday, May 16, 2:30 to 3:30 pm. ET (2:00 for virtual cocktails). #ewgcya

Bring a friend!

Ahead of the Curve with GalleyChat

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Click below to view all the titles discussed during the Tuesday, May 8 GalleyChat:

— Edelweiss catalog here, includes links to downloadable DRC’s.

GalleyChat titles, May, 2018 — spreadsheet of titles, with comments from the chat

Among the many discoveries, there was particular excitement about a debut not yet listed on Edelweiss,The Silent Patient by Alex. Michaelides. Just two GalleyChatters got their hands on it, but their excitement is infectious. A thriller by a British screenwriter, it is described as featuring “a successful painter who shoots the husband she loves in the head five times – and then never speaks again.” The author credits seemingly disparate influences, “his experience of working at a psychiatric unit, as well as his interest in the Greek legend of Alcestis and Agatha Christie thrillers.” It’s the first release from Macmillan’s new Celadon imprint, headed by Jamie Raab, former publisher of Hachette’s Grand Central and known for her keen eye. She will be speaking at LJ‘s Book Expo Day of Dialog. Galleys will be available there, as well as later in the Macmillan booth. It will also be available on NetGalley beginning May 15th.

Two other heavily promoted debuts getting kudos from GalleyChatters, are Vox by Christina Dalcher, August 21, called “so terrifyingly good that I can’t stop talking about it. In the future women are only allowed to speak 100 words a day! What would you be willing to do to give your daughter a future where she can speak freely?” and The Other Woman, a psychologial thriller by Sandie Jones, publishing on the same day, August 21,

GalleyChat’s own thriller maven, Robin Beerbower predicts that “the summer psych/suspense titles will be Ruth Wares’s Death Of Mrs Westaway (May 29) & Louise Cavendish’s Our House. (August 7). Ware’s book has a fabulous gothic feel & Candlish’s is a taut domestic thriller.”

There was also great curiousity about titles from known quantities, including Liane Moriarty’s as yet untitled novel, set for publication on November 6 and Kate Atkinson’s Transcription coming in September. Unfortunately,  DRC’s are not yet available, but GalleyChatters will be stalking them. On the other hand, Susan Orlean’s The Library Book about the unsolved 1986 fire at LA Public’s central library was just released on NetGalley.

Join us for the next GalleyChat on Tues., June 5, 4 to 5 pm ET (3:30 for virtual cocktails) and don’t forget out YA/MG GalleyChat, Wed., May 16th, 2:30 to 3:30. Details on each here. Bring a friend!