Friday, July 24, 2009

friday finds

It was a busy week, and this week is going to be even busier at the store, as Monday marks the first of our week-long Band Camp. I'm armed with random junk, kazoos, poster board, and Ann Wiseman's beyond excellent Making Music. The first day of June's Superhero Camp was pretty rough, but I have a better idea of what to expect, and hopefully with something more tangible as teaching basics of music and rhythm to the kids, there will be more active things to do and discuss.

But I don't want to just do Friday Finds (as fun as it is to keep track of my incoming books), so I'll try to keep the blog as fresh as possible this week. I finished both Knife of Never Letting Go and the upcoming Candor, and there's a lot to discuss regarding both books. I didn't intentionally seek out two like texts, but in the process of finishing Candor, I realized that there were a lot of parallels to both its and KNLG's storylines. Both feature male protagonists who are both insiders to their horrifying worlds, but outsiders because of the presence of disparate perspectives and willingness to defy the momentum of the status quo. So, hopefully, more on both of those books later this week.

Onto the Friday Finds! Only a day or so after my last Friday Finds post, I received a big box of Random House ARCs, and I have to say that this may have been one of the best promotional boxes I've gotten in a long time. I put a lot of the books on my galley shelves in the storage closet, but I snagged a large amount for myself. Among the selections in the box:

- A two-in-one ARC for the Looking Glass Library release of The Book of Dragons by E. Nesbit and The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald.

- Dream Life by Lauren Mechling, the follow-up to Dream Girl Coming out January 2010.

- Party by Tom Leveen - Entitled teens at a party - Yay for underage debauchery! Coming out April 2010.

- The Smart Aleck's Guide to American History by Adam Selzer - I love The Smart Aleck's Guide series, and I still hold a fondness for Dave Barry's Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States, so I'm looking forward to this one. It's coming out December 2009, and I think it could be a great Christmas sell.

- The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone. Truth be told, the cover sucked me in one this one, but as I learned with The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, sometimes that's all you need to clue you into a great read. This is an art mystery, similar in sound to Blue Balliet, Mystery of the Third Lucretia, etc. Comes out February 2010.

- The Knife That Killed Me by Anthony McGowan. High School-set thriller coming out April 2010.

- All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab. Mystery thriller, featuring the mean, rich, elite of a private school. I don't read enough murder mysteries featuring bitchy teenagers. This one looks like it will be more than a cut above the rest. Comes out January of 2010.

- Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray. Three boys strike revenge on those they believe responsible for their friend's death. Set in England and Scotland, I'm very, very excited for this one. Coming out March 2010. [By the way, kudos to Random House for getting these ARCs out super early. It's not always a great thing to be laden down with galleys, especially if you get them only a month or so before the release date. Getting them far in advance gives you a chance to really get into each title, increasing the publisher's chances of having you not just read the book, but enthuse about it, build up excitement about it, etc.]

-Notes From the Dog, the latest release by Gary Paulsen, who has always been hit or miss with me, but this one sounds pretty promising. It comes out this Tuesday, so I'm hoping to get a jump on this title. Also, I'm chasing after Wendy Lamb books these days, because I've had such good experiences with their releases.

-Split by Swati Avasthi. Another March 2010 release, this one an intense coming of age about a runaway moving in with his estranged brother.

So, those were my RH box grabs - There were at least three or four other books that I left on the shelves that I may go back for. Right now, I'm going to try and get through at least one of these galleys a week.

Other grabs:

- The Writing Class by Jincy Willett - Because I am a cheap bastard at heart, I was waiting for this one to come out in paperback. Not that I don't think she's every bit worth the twenty-some dollars for the hardback. Willett may be my favorite writer, and I've only read Winner of the National Book Award. I just started this one, and even though I'm only ten pages in, I'm pretty sucked in. And as a former English Lit/writing student, the use of a creative writing workshop as a backdrop for a murder mystery appeals to every bit of my sense of humor.

-A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century by Jane Vandenburgh. I've read quite a bit about this memoir, and I've liked the sound of it, so when I saw this in a box of ARCs, I grabbed it immediately. I don't tend to jump into memoirs like I used to, but I'll give this one a read very soon.

That's it for the finds. Wish every week could be as lucrative in books (although my bookshelves must certainly be relieved that this kind of windfall only happens occasionally).

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