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The To-Read Pile

November 18, 2013

Since I work at a bookstore I end up with a slightly larger to-read pile than I think the average reader has, but feel free to disagree with me.  It’s dangerously easy for me to add books to my list and to my actual pile because of ARCs.  ARC stands for Advance Reading Copy.  They’re also sometimes known as galleys.  These precious little gems are shipped to us several months before the actual book comes out and so they’re here, in my hands, early, and for free.  How am I supposed to resist that?  I end up taking books that I have only the vaguest interest in because… FREE!
Unfortunately, many of them end up languishing on my shelf at work.  Or the three other shelves I’ve appropriated to accommodate my growing collection.  Some of them actually make it to my house!  Where I have shelves, tables, dressers, desks, and occasionally beds full of unread books.  Then, there are the digital ARCs.  I can be even more extravagant with those, because they don’t take up any room.  The downside to these is that they expire either after a set time (usually 60 days) or once the book is released.  I object to this because with print ARCs I can keep them forever, so why can’t I keep the ones that actually cost the publisher less money to produce?  However, at the end of the day, FREE BOOKS!  I’ll take them however you want to give them to me.  And take them, and take them, and take them!
But that’s not all!  There are plenty of books that never get ARCs made, or others that I’m not lucky enough to get my hands on.  Then there are the older books that I missed when they came out originally.  So I’ve got a plethora of finished copies of books sitting at home.  (Books I pick up at conventions fall into this category as well.)  So, I thought today I’d give you a little insight into which books I have awaiting me.

Already Released:

prismThe Black Prism by Brent Weeks
Mary Robinette Kowal recommended this one to me (actually, a bunch of these are going to be her ‘fault’) when she was here in September.  It is a brick of an epic fantasy and she assured me that when I finished it I would thank her.  I can’t remember all the amazing things she said about it, just that it all sounded very relevant to my interests.  I’m sure that if you hit her up over on Twitter she’ll be happy to give you her recommendation spiel.  It’s on my nightstand waiting for me, patiently.  It knows I’ll come for it soon.  I actually thought about taking it on the plane with me to DisneyWorld, but weight was a major concern because I refuse to check luggage.  I’m looking forward to telling Mary that she was right as soon as I make time to read it.  (published by Orbit)

dyingDying is my Business by Nicholas Kaufmann
This one is Mary’s fault too.  She has a segment over on her blog called My Favorite Bit wherein she has authors visit and discuss their favorite bit about their most recent work.  She had Kaufmann on in October and I was very interested.
It’s a book about a guy who can’t die.  Well… he can.  But he wakes up again a few minutes later.  But without his memory.  And someone else has died in his place.  Unfortunately, since he works for a crime boss in Brooklyn this happens more often than might seem ideal.
Yeah, that sounds awesome!  Also, Kaufmann was on Sword & Laser and seemed really nice, which actually does bump his book up higher on my list because I’m judge-y like that.  If you’re an ass I don’t really want to read your book anymore.  If, on the other hand, you’re super awesome (like Paul Cornell) I will suddenly become a major fangirl where your work is concerned.
(published by St. Martin’s Griffin)

sheShe Who Waits by Daniel Polansky
friendThis one actually just got added to my list yesterday because it arrived in the mail.  Also, I’m cheating a bit because it’s a British import.  Daniel (we’ve interacted on Facebook, I think that gives me permission to use his first name.  Also, he told me I was his new best friend!)
She Who Waits is the third book in the series that started off with Lowtown (The Straight Razor Cure in the UK).  I love that book.  I sell the snot out of that book at the store.  I also had to import the next two (Tomorrow the Killing is book 2) because they aren’t out in the US and there’s not release date that I can find.  This makes me sad.  Very, very sad.  Because I love Daniel’s writing and I’d like to share it with all of my customers.  But not my copies.  I imported those for me.
(published by Hodder & Stoughton)

Books that Aren’t Out Yet

deadThe Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley
This is the 6th book in the Flavia de Luce series by awesome author Alan Bradley.  He’s really nice (I got to interview him once for work, so I can say that), which helps with my whole I’m-obsessed-with-these-books thing.  The books are about an 11-year-old chemistry prodigy in England in the early 1950’s. She has a bicycle named Gladys, evils sisters, and a philatelist for a father, which is often more of a trial than it should be.  All of the books are delightful, and I’m very grateful to my awesome Random House sales rep for getting me a copy of the forthcoming book!
(Pub Date: January 14, 2014, published by Delacourte Press)

Untitled-1Alien Research by Gini Koch
This time it’s my amazing sales rep from Penguin who got me an early copy of a book!  I love Gini Koch’s Kitty Katt series of sci-fi adventure.  I’ve talked about a few of the books on the blog before; they’re fun, light reads that never take themselves too seriously, but still have important themes and rocking adventure.  Also, not that it truly matters, but I really love the cover on this one.
(Pub Date: December 3, 2013, Publisher DAW)
empressEmpress of the Night by Eva Stachniack
I just picked this one up at the bookstore today.  It’s a novel of Catherine the Great.  I was a Russian Lit & Culture major.  Yeah, I don’t feel that I need to explain this one too much.  I missed the first book in the series, The Winter Palace, and I’ll probably go back and pick it up if I like this one.  I’m conversant with the life of Catherine, so I don’t feel the need to read the books in order.  Also, I’m lazy.
(Pub Date: March 25, 2014, published by Bantam)


That’s just a fraction of the books I’ve got around here to read, but those are some of the ones at the top of my list.  What’s on your To-Read list?

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