ARCS: New Batch!

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  • Words Without Music, by Philip Glass (left over from previous haul, released April 2015) I remember enjoying the Fresh Air interview with Philip Glass about this book, but I just couldn’t get into the book itself.
  • The Tiger in the House, by Jacqueline Sheehan (Released March 2017) Took a turn at the end that I wasn’t expecting – threads came together nicely.
  • A Crown of Wishes, by Roshani Chokshi (released March 28, 2017) I am so in love with this series I can’t even begin to tell you. IT IS AWESOME EVERYONE SHOULD READ IT THAT IS ALL.
  • Sins of Empire, by Brian McClellan (released March 7, 2017)
  • The Arrangement, by Sarah Dunn (released March 21, 2017) A married couple with a possibly spectrum-y kid decides to try an open marriage for six months, and unsurprisingly, Stuff happens.
  • The Girl With the Make-Believe Husband, by Julia Quinn (Undated)
  • Dark Saturday, by Nicci French (Undated)
  • I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere But the Pool, by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella (Undated). 303 pages of generic tripe. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. 
  • The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness, by Paula Poundstone (May 2017) Definitely brought me some happiness.
  • News of the World, by Paulette Jiles (Undated) Read in entirety during my flight back from the conference. A Western that is both simple and complex simultaneously. Made me well up at the end.
  • Ascension of Larks, by Rachel Linden (June 20, 2017)
  • Unraveling (Unblemished, Book 2), by Sara Ella (July 11, 2017) First one was okay, second one is pretty clunky.
  • The Writing Desk, by Rachel Hauck (July 11, 2017) Kind of heavy-handed with the Christian elements of the story, but a good story nonetheless.
  • Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler, by Bruce Henderson (July 2017) Completely fascinating story of specially-trained multilingual interrogators in WWII. A local author, too!
  • The Lost Ones, by Sheena Kamal (July 2017) Darker than I usually like, but featuring a compelling main character. Well done.
  • Séance Infernale, by Jonathan Skariton (August 2017)
  • Hate to Want You, by Alisha Rai (August 2017)
  • Are You Sleeping, by Kathleen Barber (August 1, 2017)
  • The Heart’s Invisible Furies, by John Boyne (August 2017)
  • My Absolute Darling, by Gabriel Tallent (August 29, 2017)
  • Any Dream Will Do, by Debbie Macomber (August 8, 2017)
  • The Cottingley Secret, by Hazel Gaynor (August 2017)
  • The Arsonist, by Stephanie Oakes (August 2017)
  • The Half-Drowned King, by Linnea Hartsuyker (August 2017)
  • The People at Number 9, by Felicity Everett (August 8, 2017) Life is too short to read books that don’t engage you.
  • The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes, by David Handler (August 2017)
  • Pieces of Happiness, by Anne Ostby (August 2017)
  • The Quiet Child, by John Burley (August 2017) Dark. Plays on the paranoia that can develop from the human brain’s tendency to find patterns. 
  • Unraveling Oliver, by Liz Nugent (August 22, 2017)
  • Sip, by Brian Allen Carr (August 2017)
  • Rebellion, by Molly Patterson (August 2017)
  • A Stranger in the House, by Shari Lapena (August 15, 2017)
  • The Blinds, by Adam Sternbergh (August 2017)
  • The Daughters of Ireland, by Santa Montefiore (August 2017)
  • Dinner at the Center of the Earth, by Nathan Englander (September 2017)
  • Right Where You Left Me, by Calla Devlin (September 2017)
  • Solar Bones, by Mike McCormack (September 2017)
  • The Blind, by A.F. Brady (September 26, 2017)
  • The Space Between Words, by Michèle Phoenix (September 5, 2017)
  • Keep Her Safe, by Sophie Hannah (September 2017)
  • The Child Finder, by Rene Denfeld (September 2017)
  • The Thing With Feathers, by McCall Hoyle (releases Sept. 5, 2017)
  • The Way to London, by Alix Rickloff (September 2017)
  • Thanks, Obama: My Hopey Changey White House Years, by David Litt (September 2017)
  • Something Like Happy, by Eva Woods (September 5, 2017)
  • The Golden House, by Salman Rushdie (September 5, 2017)
  • A Casualty of War (Bess Crawford Mystery #9), by Charles Todd (September 2017)
  • Fever, by Deon Meyer (September 2017)
  • The It Girls, by Karen Harper (October 2017)
  • House of Shadows, by Nicola Cornick (October 17, 2017)
  • The Rift Frequency (Rift Uprising Trilogy #2), by Amy S. Foster (October 2017)
  • The Last Mrs. Parrish, by Liv Constantine (October 2017)
  • Bonfire, by Krysten Ritter (November 2017)
  • The Gift, by Shelley Shepard Gray (November 2017)
  • The Library at the Edge of the World, by Felicity Hayes-McCoy (November 2017)
  • The City of Brass, by S. A. Chakraborty (November 2017)
  • The Black Painting, by Neil Olson (January 9, 2018)
  • Everything Here is Beautiful, by Mira T. Lee (January  16, 2018)
  • The Last Suppers, by Mandy Mikulencak (January 2018)
  • All Things Bright and Strange, by James Markert (January 30, 2018)
  • Tarnished City (Dark Gifts Trilogy #2), by Vic James (February 6, 2018)
  • Rosie Colored Glasses, by Brianna Wolfson (February 20, 2018)
  • The House of Impossible Beauties, by Joseph Cassara (February 2018)
  • Tangerine, by Christine Mangan (March 2018)

DAYS UNTIL I PICK UP THE NEXT BATCH OF ARCS: 226 (ALA Midwinter 2018, Feb. 9-13)

My Brain Is Mean To Me

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I have always been distressingly prone to the condition I call “radio brain,” more generally known as earworms or “involuntary musical imagery.”

Apparently it’s not in itself a sign of OCD, but it is an obsessive brain behavior, as it’s basically getting stuck in a loop of some kind, and it’s really really hard to get it to stop.

This happens to me all the time. It used to be a huge problem during exams in school, since apparently a quiet room in which I’m trying to concentrate is like catnip to whatever sadistic part of my brain does this.

See, while it’s “involuntary brain imagery” or whatever, I’m actually more inclined to believe in the version put forth by the Pixar movie INSIDE OUT. Somewhere, wandering the corridors of my memory, there are cruel little whatsits that make me remember random melodies over and over, just to torture me. And it’s never the full song. Just a verse or a line or two, over and over and over and over and over and over until I become a crazy person.

If you’ve ever been around me at, say, my birthday celebrations, you’ll remember that I vigorously refuse to allow anyone to sing any kind of happy birthday song. Know why? It’s because my stupid brain records and replays the most recent version of a song I’ve heard. And a lot of people think it’s funny to sing “Happy Birthday” off-key. What they don’t realize is that I will be hearing that inside my head on loop for the next several hours, if not several days. I have yet to find an effective way of stopping it. I’ve found that if I play other music loud enough, it’ll drown out the stuff inside my brain, but it doesn’t make it go away. In a few maddening cases, it’s actually led to my having more than one song stuck in my head simultaneously. The worst version of this was the month of the Beethoven’s 9th Symphony/RENT soundtrack mashup, back in college. Not fun.

Speaking of college, there was a food truck on campus that played a very electronic version of “La Cucaracha” for its horn (a song about cockroaches to advertise a food truck? Really? Who thought THAT was a good idea?), except there was one note in the sequence that was always very, very flat. And I’d spend the rest of the day unable to get that out of my head.

Songs I’ve recently had stuck in my head:

  1. Virgin America safety video music
  2. Farmers Only Dot Com jingle
  3. That “Cups” song from PITCH PERFECT
  4. “Try Anything” from ZOOTOPIA
  5. String quartet version of Katy Perry song “Dark Horse,” as played at OCLC reception at ALA conference
  6. “Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag” from the EASY VIRTUE soundtrack
  7. “Shake it Off,” by Florence and the Machine
  8. “#Flashback,” by The Baseballs
  9. “Vogue,” as performed by the cast of GLEE
  10. “There’s a Light (Over at the Frankenstein Place),” as performed by the cast of GLEE
  11. Opening progression from 8-part “Crucifixus” by Lotti
  12. “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,” as arranged by John Rutter

And that’s just in the last two weeks or so.

So if you’re in my company and I suddenly say “Oh, shut UP” out loud, it’s almost certainly not directed at you. It’s directed inward, at my stupid brain.

ARC Readathon Pre-Conference Update

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  • Words Without Music, by Philip Glass (left over from previous haul, released April 2015)
  • The Fortunate Ones, by Ellen Umansky (released Feb. 2017) Some elements slightly reminiscent of the film WOMAN IN GOLD, but nowhere near as dramatic. Two parallel stories, both to some degree revolving around absent parents and an obsession with a lost painting. Would recommend.
  • Setting Free the Kites, by Alex George (Released Feb. 21, 2017) Funny, poignant, wise, and naive. Like teenagers are themselves.
  • The Lonely Hearts Hotel, by Heather O’Neill (released Feb. 7, 2017) Somehow simultaneously fantastical and mercilessly realistic. A book you experience rather than merely read.
  • The Tiger in the House, by Jacqueline Sheehan (Released March 2017)
  • The Roanoke Girls, by Amy Engel (Released March 2017) Pretty dark. Not for everyone, but I found it surprisingly gripping.
  • A Crown of Wishes, by Roshani Chokshi (released March 28, 2017)
  • Sins of Empire, by Brian McClellan (released March 7, 2017)
  • The Arrangement, by Sarah Dunn (released March 21, 2017)
  • The Almost Sisters, by Joshilyn Jackson (releases July 2017) Tremendously enjoyable. Three generations of family secrets coming to light, generously sprinkled with Big Nerd Doings. Sign me up!
  • Devastation Road, by Jason Hewitt (releases July 3, 2017) An oddly slippery story, fascinating and compelling and full of unreliable witnesses. Totally worth it.
  • Grace, by Paul Lynch (releases July 11, 2017) An interesting premise, but his writing style seriously bugged me. Did not finish.
  • The Reluctant Queen (Queens of Renthia #2), by Sarah Beth Durst (Releases July 2017) Enjoyed the first, and enjoyed the second in this series. Looking forward to more. If you like fantasy that’s full of strong, complex women, this is for you.
  • The Thing With Feathers, by McCall Hoyle (releases Sept. 5, 2017)

DAYS UNTIL I PICK UP THE NEXT BATCH OF ARCS: 0!

Bibliomania

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In the 19th century, one Dr. Ferriar wrote a poem for his friend Richard Heber, a very distinguished book collector of his day, and in doing so, entered the words “bibliomania” and “bibliophile” into the popular lexicon. He defines the idea using following passage:

What wild desires, what restless torments seize

The hapless man who feels the book-disease.

If niggard Fortune cramp his generous mind,

And Prudence quench the spark by Heaven assign’d!

With wistful glance his aching eyes behold

The Princeps-copy, clad in blue and gold,

Where the tall Book-case, with partition thin

Displays, yet guards, the tempting charms within.

Not thus the few, by happier fortune grac’d

And blest, like you, with talents, wealth, and taste,

Who gather nobly, with judicious hand,

The Muse’s treasures from each letter’d strand.

For you the Monk illum’d his pictur’d page,

For you the press defies the Spoils of age,

Faustus for you infernal tortures bore,

Fore you Erasmus starv’d on Adria’s shores.

The folio-Aldus loads your happy shelves,

And dapper Elzevirs, like fairy elves,

Show their light forms amidst the well-gilt Twelves:

In slender type the Giolitos shine,

And bold Bodoni stamps his Roman line.

For you the Louvre opes its regal doors,

And either Didot lends his brilliant stores:

With fautless types, and costly scriptures bright,

Ibarra’s Quixote charms your ravish’d sight.

I Have a LLAMA Dream

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In a month, I will be the chair of the New Professionals Community of Practice, a part of the Library Leadership and Management Association, which is itself a division of the American Library Association. That’s a mouthful.

It’s not the first time I’ve led things, but it is without a doubt the biggest deal so far. The other things I’ve led have been so new that I felt my job was to lay a strong foundation on which future leaders might build, to channel the initial fizz of enthusiasm into groundwork so that the new group wouldn’t overstretch itself immediately.

New Professionals has been around for three and a half years now, so I think I can and should pay attention to some building, instead of just foundation.. I’ve been involved from the get-go, but didn’t begin in any sort of leadership position. I’m definitely nervous about this, but I’m also kind of excited.

The original chair of the community (a new designation – we used to be called sections, and I’m trying to get used to the word) used to say that his dream for New Professionals was to reach a place where it was so integrated into the larger LLAMA community that no separate group for New Professionals was necessary. That we would make ourselves obsolete.

Maybe it’s because I never really knew LLAMA before the New Professionals community, but after three and a half years, I’m not sure I agree with that as a goal. I like it, in theory, and I agree that library school students, new professionals, and those taking on new levels of leadership in their career need to be more deeply rooted in LLAMA as a whole, but there’s something to be said for the comfort in being part of a group all at similar stages, professionally.

I believe that LLAMA plays a unique role in the American Library Association. Unlike other divisions, leadership and management cut across ever single library, archives, and information science career. It’s important to remember that one can lead without being a manager, and heaven knows we’re all aware of those who manage without leading. But no matter which of LLAMA’s communities interest you – human resources, assessment, or buildings and equipment, to name a few, I think it is important for the newcomers to have a place of their own, to address their specific issues.

The original section chair wanted the New Professionals to build an association in which they were obsolete as a separate group. What I want is for the new name, that of “community of practice,” to become the reality of what we are. I’ve been working with our social media team for a few weeks now, trying to revitalize it and provide a variety of resources, as well as figuring out exactly who our audience is. What I’d like to see developing is greater back-and-forth interaction. I’d like to see threads and conversations. I’d like to see our Facebook page especially become a place where we can discuss our challenges, share ideas and resources, and ask the “dumb” questions without fear of feeling stupid, because let me tell you, it’s just like in school – if you didn’t get something in class, I can bet you that others had the same question. Someone just has to be brave enough to say they don’t get it. I have those kinds of questions all the time.

Many of us leave library school feeling confident and full of ideas, but with the job market the way it is, you find yourself reading job description after job description with steadily waning confidence in what you actually know. New professionals need a community of people going through similar stretches in their careers. That does mean that as a community, we need to be prepared for a more rapid rate of turnover than other parts of LLAMA. New professionals will launch from us to other areas, as they should, but I hope they’ll remember what it felt like to be starting out, with the learning curves and the frustration and the secretly feeling like you somehow missed something important in library school.

I have a year. I don’t expect huge changes – what I’d like to see New Professionals become is the kind of thing that takes time and wider community engagement. But I’m going to do my part to make it a welcoming place, and I’ll do what I can to both answer and ask the dumb questions.

 

ARC Readathon Monthly Update

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  • Words Without Music, by Philip Glass (left over from previous haul, released April 2015)
  • Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly Intense and thought-provoking. Not the story I was expecting – in a good way. Strongly recommended.
  • On Second Thought, by Kristan Higgins (Released Jan. 31, 2017) Yeah, yeah, it has “chick flick” written all over it. I LOVED IT AND I DON’T CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS. So there.
  • Huck Out West, by Robert Coover (Released Jan. 2017) Just couldn’t get into it. Didn’t finish.
  • The Patriots, by Sana Krasikov (released Jan. 24, 2017) A surprisingly gripping story about three generations struggling with straddling Soviet/Russian/American identities, but not a particularly agile or lightfooted one. Still worth it, but it’s not a quick read.
  • I See You, by Clare Mackintosh (released Feb. 21, 2017) Psychological thriller. Not my thing. Didn’t finish.
  • The Fortunate Ones, by Ellen Umansky (released Feb. 2017)
  • Setting Free the Kites, by Alex George (Released Feb. 21, 2017)
  • We Are Okay, by Nina LaCour (released Feb. 14, 2017) For a short book, this is a slow burn. Made me tear up.
  • Gilded Cage, by Vic James (released Feb. 14, 2017) A bit more unsettling than I expected, but caught me up by the end. Looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.
  • The Lonely Hearts Hotel, by Heather O’Neill (released Feb. 7, 2017)
  • The Tiger in the House, by Jacqueline Sheehan (Released March 2017)
  • The Roanoke Girls, by Amy Engel (Released March 2017)
  • The Gargoyle Hunters, by John Freeman Gill (released March 2017) An odd story of loneliness, misunderstanding, and architecture in 1970s New York City.
  • A Crown of Wishes, by Roshani Chokshi (released March 28, 2017)
  • Sins of Empire, by Brian McClellan (released March 7, 2017)
  • The Arrangement, by Sarah Dunn (released March 21, 2017)
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman (releases May 9, 2017) Well. That was odd.
  • Standard Deviation, by Katherine Heiny (releases May 2017) Ambivalent about this one, though it’s always odd to find a character who shares my first name. Plausible story but full of characters I found unappealing.
  • The Scribe of Siena, by Melodie Winawer (releases May 2017) Magnificent. One of my favorite books of the last few years.
  • The Original Ginny Moon, by Benjamin Ludwig (releases May 2017) A great look inside the mind of a recently-adopted autistic teenager who is struggling with the break between her old life and her new life.
  • Under a Sardinian Sky, by Sara Alexander (releases Spring 2017) Satisfyingly predictable and full of mouth-watering descriptions of Sardinian food.
  • Chemistry, by Weike Wang (releases May 2017) An interestingly timeline-fluid look at the challenge of figuring out what we want in life.
  • The Ultimatum, by Karen Robards (Releases June 1, 2017) A ripping good yarn. Looking forward to the rest of the series.
  • Lonesome Lies Before Us, by Don Lee (releases June 2017) A “shit happens, people don’t change much, life goes on” kind of book.
  • The Almost Sisters, by Joshilyn Jackson (releases July 2017)
  • Devastation Road, by Jason Hewitt (releases July 3, 2017)
  • Grace, by Paul Lynch (releases July 11, 2017)
  • The Reluctant Queen (Queens of Renthia #2), by Sarah Beth Durst (Releases July 2017)
  • The Thing With Feathers, by McCall Hoyle (releases Sept. 5, 2017)

DAYS UNTIL I PICK UP THE NEXT BATCH OF ARCS: 23

Do you think I’ll finish by then?

WIP Wednesday 

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In case you were wondering (I know you have been dying to know), here’s where things stand with the three giant cross stitch projects: 

 L’Esperance from Heaven and Earth Designs. 5/48 pages of the pattern complete. Stitched 1×1, full cross, on 25ct. 

 Peacock rug by Barbara Hammett. Approximately 30% done. Stitched in Anchor tapestry wool on canvas mesh.  Hopefully. IT WILL NEVER DIE. 

 Ex Libris, from Heaven and Earth Designs. 5/28 pattern pages complete. Stitched 2×1, tent stitch on 25ct. 

ARC Readathon Monthly Update

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  • Words Without Music, by Philip Glass (left over from previous haul, released April 2015)
  • Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
  • On Second Thought, by Kristan Higgins (Released Jan. 31, 2017)
  • Huck Out West, by Robert Coover (Released Jan. 2017)
  • The Patriots, by Sana Krasikov (released Jan. 24, 2017)
  • I See You, by Clare Mackintosh (released Feb. 21, 2017)
  • The Fortunate Ones, by Ellen Umansky (released Feb. 2017)
  • Setting Free the Kites, by Alex George (Released Feb. 21, 2017)
  • We Are Okay, by Nina LaCour (released Feb. 14, 2017)
  • Gilded Cage, by Vic James (released Feb. 14, 2017)
  • The Lonely Hearts Hotel, by Heather O’Neill (released Feb. 7, 2017)
  • The Wanderers, by Meg Howrey (released March 14, 2017) Postulates a near-future simulation of a three-astronaut Mars mission and how that affects the astronauts, their families, and their handlers. Beautifully-written, with a satisfying ambiguity at the end.
  • Becoming Leonardo: An Exploded View of the Life of Leonardo da Vinci, by Mike Lankford (released March 2017) I’d call this a “speculative biography” – it hits the known points and tries to guess at the rest – moods, personalities, thought processes. An unusual take on the Italian Renaissance.
  • The Tiger in the House, by Jacqueline Sheehan (Released March 2017)
  • The Roanoke Girls, by Amy Engel (Released March 2017)
  • The Gargoyle Hunters, by John Freeman Gill (released March 2017)
  • A Crown of Wishes, by Roshani Chokshi (released March 28, 2017)
  • Sins of Empire, by Brian McClellan (released March 7, 2017)
  • The Arrangement, by Sarah Dunn (released March 21, 2017)
  • The Barrowfields, by Phillip Lewis (released April 2017) Hypnotic and well-written. Definitely a flavor of Southern Gothic to it.
  • Music of the Ghosts, by Vaddey Ratner (released April 2017) Heartachingly beautiful. Former Cambodian refugee returns after about twenty years, hoping to find some clues to what happened to her father during the years of the Khmer Rouge. Stunning.
  • The Women in the Castle, by Jessica Shattuck (released April 4, 2017) Three German “resistance” widows take shelter after the war in a castle, trying to figure out what comes next in their lives. Beautiful and sad and hopeful.
  • Unearthly Things, by Michelle Gagnon (released April 2017) Quite a disappointment. Billed as a modern spin on JANE EYRE, but it seems clear that the author mined Bronte’s work for names and the most basic plot points and jumbled them all together into something that’s only the most superficial tribute to the 19th-century novel. It sticks to “orphan girl in big rich person house where creepy stuff happens in the attic” but loses all sight of the actual substance of JANE EYRE.
  • The Excellent Lombards, by Jane Hamilton (released April 4, 2017)  Kept seeming like it was going to go somewhere, but never did. Left me feeling indignant that I’d wasted time reading all 270-something pages of it when I could have been reading something else.
  • Toward a Secret Sky, by Heather Maclean (released April 4, 2017) Fifteen years ago, I’d have been ALL OVER this book and any sequels that might appear. Demons, angels, and a gorgeous guy with a Scottish accent? Sign me up!
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman (releases May 9, 2017)
  • Confessions of a Domestic Failure, by Bunmi Laditan (releases May 2, 2017) This is probably a lot funnier if you have kids. I found the punchline-to-page ratio to be out of whack, and in general it read like Bridget Jones Has An Infant.
  • Standard Deviation, by Katherine Heiny (releases May 2017)
  • The Scribe of Siena, by Melodie Winawer (releases May 2017)
  • The Original Ginny Moon, by Benjamin Ludwig (releases May 2017)
  • Under a Sardinian Sky, by Sara Alexander (releases Spring 2017)
  • Chemistry, by Weike Wang (releases May 2017)
  • The Ultimatum, by Karen Robards (Releases June 1, 2017)
  • Lonesome Lies Before Us, by Don Lee (releases June 2017)
  • The Almost Sisters, by Joshilyn Jackson (releases July 2017)
  • Devastation Road, by Jason Hewitt (releases July 3, 2017)
  • Grace, by Paul Lynch (releases July 11, 2017)
  • The Reluctant Queen (Queens of Renthia #2), by Sarah Beth Durst (Releases July 2017)
  • The Thing With Feathers, by McCall Hoyle (releases Sept. 5, 2017)

DAYS UNTIL I PICK UP THE NEXT BATCH OF ARCS: 54

Do you think I’ll finish by then?

ARC Readathon Monthly Update

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  • Words Without Music, by Philip Glass (left over from previous haul, released April 2015)
  • Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
  • On Second Thought, by Kristan Higgins (Released Jan. 31, 2017)
  • Huck Out West, by Robert Coover (Released Jan. 2017)
  • The Patriots, by Sana Krasikov (released Jan. 24, 2017)
  • Bone Box, by Faye Kellerman (releases Feb. 2017) A tremendously satisfying cold case mystery procedural. One in a long-running series, and I’m inclined to seek out the others.
  • I See You, by Clare Mackintosh (released Feb. 21, 2017)
  • The Fortunate Ones, by Ellen Umansky (released Feb. 2017)
  • Setting Free the Kites, by Alex George (Released Feb. 21, 2017)
  • We Are Okay, by Nina LaCour (released Feb. 14, 2017)
  • Gilded Cage, by Vic James (released Feb. 14, 2017)
  • The Lonely Hearts Hotel, by Heather O’Neill (released Feb. 7, 2017)
  • The Underworld, by Kevin Canty (Releases March 2017) Inspired by real events. At times intensely gripping, other times pretty lackluster. If you’re into gritty “reality,” this might be for you.
  • In the Name of the Family, by Sarah Dunant (releases March 7, 2017) While I enjoyed the inclusion of Niccolo Machiavelli into this novel about the end of the Borgia papacy, I didn’t care for its being written in present tense.
  • Dead Letters, by Caite Dolan-Leach (Released March 2017) Another twisty turny mystery full of some sordid little realities of the world. Takes a VERY unexpected twist at the end. Well played, author, well played.
  • Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World, by Nell Stevens (releases March 14, 2017) Odd little story – half memoir, half drafts of fiction. Works surprisingly well.
  • The Hollywood Daughter, by Kate Alcott (Release March 7, 2017) A sufficiently engrossing read, but at its core bears a striking similarity to her earlier work, A Touch of Stardust.
  • The Wanderers, by Meg Howrey (released March 14, 2017)
  • Becoming Leonardo: An Exploded View of the Life of Leonardo da Vinci, by Mike Lankford (released March 2017)
  • The Family Gene: A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance Into a Hopeful Future, by Joselin Linder (Releases March 2017) Fascinating, in a horrifying kind of way. 
  • The Tiger in the House, by Jacqueline Sheehan (Released March 2017)
  • The Roanoke Girls, by Amy Engel (Released March 2017)
  • The Gargoyle Hunters, by John Freeman Gill (released March 2017)
  • A Crown of Wishes, by Roshani Chokshi (released March 28, 2017)
  • The Ashes of London, by Andrew Taylor (releases March 28, 2017) Gripping but straightforward murder mystery set in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London in 1666. Would make an excellent travel read.
  • Sins of Empire, by Brian McClellan (released March 7, 2017)
  • The Arrangement, by Sarah Dunn (released March 21, 2017)
  • The Barrowfields, by Phillip Lewis (releases April 2017)
  • Music of the Ghosts, by Vaddey Ratner (releases April 2017)
  • The Women in the Castle, by Jessica Shattuck (releases April 4, 2017)
  • Unearthly Things, by Michelle Gagnon (releases April 2017)
  • The Excellent Lombards, by Jane Hamilton (releases April 4, 2017)
  • Toward a Secret Sky, by Heather Maclean (releases April 4, 2017)
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman (releases May 9, 2017)
  • Confessions of a Domestic Failure, by Bunmi Laditan (releases May 2, 2017)
  • Standard Deviation, by Katherine Heiny (releases May 2017)
  • The Scribe of Siena, by Melodie Winawer (releases May 2017)
  • The Original Ginny Moon, by Benjamin Ludwig (releases May 2017)
  • Under a Sardinian Sky, by Sara Alexander (releases Spring 2017)
  • Chemistry, by Weike Wang (releases June 2017)
  • The Ultimatum, by Karen Robards (Releases June 1, 2017)
  • Lonesome Lies Before Us, by Don Lee (releases June 2017)
  • The Almost Sisters, by Joshilyn Jackson (releases July 2017)
  • Devastation Road, by Jason Hewitt (releases July 3, 2017)
  • Grace, by Paul Lynch (releases July 11, 2017)
  • The Reluctant Queen (Queens of Renthia #2), by Sarah Beth Durst (Releases July 2017)
  • The Thing With Feathers, by McCall Hoyle (releases Sept. 5, 2017)

DAYS UNTIL I PICK UP THE NEXT BATCH OF ARCS: 84

Do you think I’ll finish by then?

ARC Readathon

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  • Words Without Music, by Philip Glass (left over from previous haul, released April 2015)
  • She Came from Beyond!, by Nadine Darling (left over from previous haul, released October 2015)
    Weird, but not as weird as I expected.
  • Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
  • On Second Thought, by Kristan Higgins (Releases Jan. 31, 2017)
  • Huck Out West, by Robert Coover (Releases Jan. 2017)
  • The Patriots, by Sana Krasikov (releases Jan. 24, 2017)
  • The Lost Girl of Astor Street, by Stephanie Morrill (Releases Feb. 7, 2017) In spite of the fact that there’s some violence, it’s actually kind of a fluffy little mystery.
  • Shadowbahn, by Steve Erickson (releases Feb. 2017)
    A deeply weird book. Did not like, and did not finish.
  • A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker Kline (Releases Feb. 2017) A quietly gripping story speculating about the life of Christina Olson, the real woman shown in the Wyeth painting “Christina’s World.”
  • Bone Box, by Faye Kellerman (releases Feb. 2017)
  • The Keeper of Lost Things, by Ruth Hogan (Releases Feb. 2017) Loved this. Very much for Elspeths. 
  • I See You, by Clare Mackintosh (releases Feb. 21, 2017)
  • The Fortunate Ones, by Ellen Umansky (releases Feb. 2017)
  • Setting Free the Kites, by Alex George (Releases Feb. 21, 2017)
  • We Are Okay, by Nina LaCour (releases Feb. 14, 2017)
  • Gilded Cage, by Vic James (releases Feb. 14, 2017)
  • The Lonely Hearts Hotel, by Heather O’Neill (releases Feb. 7, 2017)
  • The Underworld, by Kevin Canty (Releases March 2017)
  • In the Name of the Family, by Sarah Dunant (releases March 7, 2017)
  • Dead Letters, by Caite Dolan-Leach (Releases March 2017)
  • Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World, by Nell Stevens (releases March 14, 2017)
  • The Hollywood Daughter, by Kate Alcott (Release March 7, 2017)
  • The Wanderers, by Meg Howrey (releases March 14, 2017)
  • Becoming Leonardo: An Exploded View of the Life of Leonardo da Vinci, by Mike Lankford (releases March 2017)
  • The Family Gene: A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance Into a Hopeful Future, by Joselin Linder (Releases March 2017)
  • The Tiger in the House, by Jacqueline Sheehan (Releases March 2017)
  • The Roanoke Girls, by Amy Engel (Releases March 2017)
  • The Gargoyle Hunters, by John Freeman Gill (releases March 2017)
  • A Crown of Wishes, by Roshani Chokshi (releases March 28, 2017)
  • The Ashes of London, by Andrew Taylor (releases March 28, 2017)
  • Sins of Empire, by Brian McClellan (releases March 7, 2017)
  • The Arrangement, by Sarah Dunn (releases March 21, 2017)
  • The Barrowfields, by Phillip Lewis (releases April 2017)
  • Music of the Ghosts, by Vaddey Ratner (releases April 2017)
  • The Women in the Castle, by Jessica Shattuck (releases April 4, 2017)
  • Unearthly Things, by Michelle Gagnon (releases April 2017)
  • The Excellent Lombards, by Jane Hamilton (releases April 4, 2017)
  • Toward a Secret Sky, by Heather Maclean (releases April 4, 2017)
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman (releases May 9, 2017)
  • Confessions of a Domestic Failure, by Bunmi Laditan (releases May 2, 2017)
  • Standard Deviation, by Katherine Heiny (releases May 2017)
  • The Scribe of Siena, by Melodie Winawer (releases May 2017)
  • The Original Ginny Moon, by Benjamin Ludwig (releases May 2017)
  • Under a Sardinian Sky, by Sara Alexander (releases Spring 2017)
  • Chemistry, by Weike Wang (releases June 2017)
  • The Ultimatum, by Karen Robards (Releases June 1, 2017)
  • Lonesome Lies Before Us, by Don Lee (releases June 2017)
  • The Almost Sisters, by Joshilyn Jackson (releases July 2017)
  • Devastation Road, by Jason Hewitt (releases July 3, 2017)
  • Grace, by Paul Lynch (releases July 11, 2017)
  • The Reluctant Queen (Queens of Renthia #2), by Sarah Beth Durst (Releases July 2017)
  • The Thing With Feathers, by McCall Hoyle (releases Sept. 5, 2017)