Monday, July 23, 2012

ALA Midwinter Leftovers

Remember way back in January when just about all I talked about (on here) was ALA? Well, I haven't had a chance--or time, or energy, or whatever--to unpack all the books I snagged. Now, since that conference, last month was "the" big annual conference where apparently a ton of people's panties got in an uproar about Advanced Reading Copies (ARCs). Or maybe it was just one or two panties in an uproar; I don't know. I do know that I attended the opening day of exhibits at Midwinter and haven't often witnessed anything more piggish in my life than librarians grabbing and snatching every book in sight. Yes, I took a few, too, but I tried to stay away from stuff I really didn't care about (i.e. picture books) and I also tried to hang by the smaller publishing houses since I was a little afraid to be in the Random House aisle with the crazy-snatching-librarians.

In the end, I had a large, full bag every single day I left the exhibits, and I'm finally pulling the books out to see what I actually ended up with. It makes me laugh that these are supposedly "Advanced" but I'll be reading them well after their actual publication dates (in most cases). And, to be fair, some are truly the final copy of the book, not ARCs at all. It's a little confusing, to be honest.

Anyway, here's the haul:
"Former secret police agent Leo Demidov is thrown into a foreign conflict and is forced to question and confront everything he ever thought he knew about his country, his family, and himself."

I 'read' Child 44 on CD about 6 months after it came out, picking it up blindly because a) "ooh, Russia!", b) "ooh, Soviet history!", and c) "ooh, crime novel!" Turned out to be a very memorable book that somehow reminded me a bit of the movie version of Dr. Zhivago, something with which it has little in common. When his second book (The Secret Speech) came out, I snatched it up and raced through it; unfortunately, all I remember is that it was really good, but not as good as the first. I really am excited to read this one though, and may go back and reread the others, too.

"A satire set in Texas during America's war in Iraq that explores the gaping national disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad. Follows the surviving members of the heroic Bravo Squad through one exhausting stop in their media-intensive "Victory Tour" at Texas Stadium, football mecca of the Dallas Cowboys, their fans, promoters, and cheerleaders."

Yes, ok, I picked this up because it's about football. I'll probably hold off till September or October to read this so I'm in the right frame of mind for spectacle and irony. My ARC has a completely different cover. I can't find a photo that matches my cover, which has confetti splattered over the top & bottom frame and a pair of army boot in the lower right of the page, all on a white background. I think I like the green one better.

"In the near future, the conjoined Armstrong twins, under the guise of the Armstrong Fancy Gifts Corporation, plot to create their own version of utopia using nanobots, while a guerilla group known as BZRK develops a DNA-based biot that can stop bots, but at risk of the host's brain."

Gotta grab me some dystopian YA. Honestly, I've never really heard of this author, but I was struck by the cover (I know, I know), and that while flipping through the book, it actually looked fairly 'smart.' We'll see.

"A woman seeking a reprieve from a going-nowhere relationship finds solace in flying to exotic places around the world from Alaska to Bhutan."

Not too hard to figure out why I'd pick up a book on getting away from reality at the point things were at in January with my reality! OK, truthfully? I'd've grabbed a book about travel anyway. Besides, the author lives in Creede, Colorado, and her other book is on my to-read list: Cowboys Are My Weakness.

"When Emily Covington's past as a drug addict catches up to her, she is framed for a murder she did not commit, and must identify the killer to clear her name and protect her family."

I've only just noticed the subtitle here: "an Intervention novel." This...confuses me a bit. Then again, I snagged this one because I haven't read anything by her, and she's a fairly popular mainstream Christian author, and Zondervan's booth wasn't exactly mobbed. I'm interested to see what a Christian intervention looks like, if it is any different than a non-Christian one.

"Jai Pausch shares her own story for the first time: is a powerful story of grief, healing, and newfound independence. With advice artfully woven into an intimate, beautifully written narrative, Jai's story will inspire not only the legions of readers who made The Last Lecture a bestseller, but also those who are embarking on a journey of loss and renewal themselves."

I loved her husband's lecture before it was published as a book. He was quite inspirational. It will be interesting to see if she is his equal.

My ARC copy is nothing like this cover: kludgy "crown archetype" background with just the boilerplate information superimposed over it. Also makes of point of being an "uncorrected proof."

"A visionary scientist creates a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that predicts movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy. His hedge fund, based in Geneva, makes billions. But after an intruder breaks into his home, he has to try to discover who is trying to destroy him."

Hmm, realizing I may have overdone the number of books about the future. On the other hand, I think it's just about time I read a Robert Harris book--I have wanted to read Fatherland since it first came out. Maybe I'll do a two-fer; maybe I'll learn something about economics in this one.

"Isabel is a single, twentysomething thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. 'Glaciers' follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move over a backdrop of deteriorating urban architecture and the imminent loss of the glaciers she knew as a young girl in Alaska.

This is a very tiny book, just 174 pages with lots of white space. And it looks interesting. Would it be VERY bad if I admitted that when I saw the cover I actually grabbed for a friend who does a lot of costuming for plays, and works at the library as well?

"After two young women are found dead, both drowned in their own blood, Inspector Harry Hole is compelled to return to Norway to see his dying father and to investigate the brutal crime, which may be the work of a serial killer."

Another author I've been meaning to read for eons. No time like the present, eh?

This one is really my vision of ARCs: orange tagboard cover (inside of which is the cover to the left), black print that's essentially a mash-up of the title page, verso and recto, and very tight print on all the pages. Not pretty, just functional.

"In 1974, fourteen-year-old Bonnie, eight other Amelia Earhart Cadets aged nine to seventeen, and their irresponsible young leader are stranded on a forbidden island off the coast of Thailand on the brink of a deadly storm and must fight to survive."

So, could be Lord of the Flies for girls. In any case, it's definitely all-girl adventure fiction for YAs. Looks good. Kinda excited about this one; probably a very fast read.

"Seventeen-year-old Kendra, living in the shadow of her brother's obsessive-compulsive disorder, takes a life-changing road trip with him."

I'm sure traveling with with someone with OCD would be interesting, possibly even life-changing. Actually, this makes it sound kind of boring. The description on the back includes the information that Kendra is caught up in a cheating scandal which could pose problems for her "perfect" reputation. She actually sounds just as OCD as her brother, in my eyes.

"Recruited on a clandestine mission to thwart the transfer of nuclear warheads into rogue hands, covert operative turned A-list movie star Ty Hunter uses all his skills as a spy, soldier, and actor to match wits with an enigmatic billionaire."

Hmmm, why on earth did I take this one? Not my kind of book in general, but I do like the cover. Maybe it will be better than it sounds.

"LinkedIn cofounder and chairman Reid Hoffman and author Ben Casnocha show how to manage your career as if it were a start-up business: a living, breathing, growing start-up of you. Start-ups--and the entrepreneurs who run them--are nimble. They invest in themselves. They build their professional networks. They take intelligent risks. They make uncertainty and volatility work to their advantage. These are the very same skills professionals need to get ahead today. This book will teach you the best practices of Silicon Valley start-ups, and how to apply these entrepreneurial strategies to your career."

I have absolutely no clue why I took this one either. Should be a quick read, though.

"At the age of 19, fluent-French-speaking Briton Marian Sutro is recruited for service in the Special Operations Executive during World War II, only to find that another secret organization wants her to infiltrate Paris to persuade a research physicist to join the Allied war effort."

Now this sounds like something I'd read! Based on history, espionage, smart women, some vague romance-y stuff that is not the main point of the story.... Can't wait!

"A young reporter on assignment is attacked and bitten by an unknown beast in rural Northern California and begins a terrifying but seductive transformation into a being with a dual nature, both man and wolf."

I haven't read an Anne Rice book yet. I should. I'm pretty tired of vampires, so a wolf book seems like a better plan. Another one I'm kind of excited about. And I do love that cover!

My ARC copy is encased in a plain white cover similar to the Jo Nesbø book, with a mock-up of the final cover just inside the jacket. Nice.

3 thing(s) to say:

amy said...

* Contents May Have Shifted (Pam Houston)--read it, liked it. Cowboys are my Weakness was head & shoulders better.
* Glaciers (Alexis M. Smith)--UNREAL how much I LOVED that book. I mean, I'm glad that I know you have it, because otherwise I'd have bought it for you. Twice. LOVELOVELOVE that book. OMG. Love.

What a fun bunch of books you have there!

Cat. said...

OK, honestly, Glaciers reminded me of you, too. ;-)

I have no idea when I'm going to read all these, but I'm going to try!! I still have books from when ALA was in Anaheim 2 (3?) years ago, though...

amy said...

As long as you're not going to try and tell me that I've got a lot in common with the costumer, it's fine. (When you're through reading it, I'll tell you The Rest of the Story about that book.)

A lovely dilemma: too many books! :)

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