Tuesday, July 16th, 2024

Maine Job: Member Specialist

We need to find a great new employee, so we’re offering $1,000 worth of books to the person who finds us one.

Rules! You get a $1,000 gift certificate to the Maine or local bookseller of your choice. To qualify, you need to connect us to someone. Either you introduce them to us—and they follow up by applying themselves—or they mention your name in their email (“So-and-so told me about this”). You can recommend yourself, but if you found out about it from someone else, we hope you’ll do the right thing and make them the beneficiary.

Small print: Our decision is final, incontestable, irreversible, and completely dictatorial. It only applies when an employee is hired. If we don’t hire someone for the job, we don’t pay. If we’ve already been in touch with the candidate, it doesn’t count. Void where prohibited. You pay taxes, and the insidious hidden tax of shelving. Employees and their families are not eligible to win.

Maine Job: Member Specialist

LibraryThing is hiring a full-time member specialist. Although LibraryThing is mostly remote, this job is only available to people who can come into our Portland, Maine HQ at least some of the time.


  • Love books and readers
  • Be energetic, capable, organized and conscientious
  • Write well, clearly and quickly
  • Be highly proficient with computers
  • Work well both independently and under direction
  • Get What Makes LibraryThing LibraryThing
  • Be detail-oriented. Start by following the directions in this ad!

Extra Credit

  • Book-world experience (bookstore, library, etc.)
  • Professional social media experience
  • Project-management or QA experience
  • Strong technical skills (e.g., Excel, HTML, CSS, Photoshop, Canva, databases, SQL, ChatGPT)
  • Strong intellectual interests, demonstrating passion and a capacity for deep thinking

The Job

The core of the job is set: Talking to LibraryThing, TinyCat and Litsy members by email and on the LibraryThing site, troubleshooting bugs that they find and working with LibraryThing staff to get them fixed.

You need to be able to come into the LibraryThing office, but how often is negotiable. You will need to fulfill orders from the LibraryThing Store, from product in the office.

As a small company, we aim to hire great employees and have no “siloes.” If you have specific skills or experience, we’ll use them. And other duties calling on communication, organization, adaptability, diligence, intelligence, and creativity will pop up, and you must play an engaged and constructive role in company meetings on any topic.


Because we’re willing to consider a wide variety of applicants, we can’t set a salary. We anticipate applicants will be looking for $40–65k.

LibraryThing has gold-plated health insurance. We require hard work and are only looking for full-time applicants, but are unusually flexible about hours.

How to Apply

Send a resume in PDF format to tim@librarything.com. Your email should be your cover letter. It should show your ability to be persuasive but succinct.

Fine Print

LibraryThing is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of religion, race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy status, parental status, marital status, veteran status or any other classification protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

Remember that part about diligence? Your subject line should be “Cheddar Cheese: [Your name]” so we know you are diligent.

Labels: employment, jobs, maine

Tuesday, July 9th, 2024

Author Interview: Bob Eckstein

Bob Eckstein
Footnotes from the Most Fascinating Museums

LibraryThing is pleased to present our interview with illustrator, author and cartoonist Bob Eckstein, whose work has appeared in such publications as the New Yorker, New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Smithsonian Magazine, and Atlas Obscura, and who has been exhibited in the Cartoon Art Museum of San Francisco, Smithsonian Institute, The Cartoon Museum of London, and others. Eckstein’s The History of the Snowman was published in 2017, and addressed the significance of these icy creations, while his more recent 2022 The Complete Book of Cat Names (That Your Cat Won’t Answer To, Anyway), offered a humorous, cartoon-filled guide to naming our feline friends. His Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores: True Tales and Lost Moments from Book Buyers, Booksellers, and Book Lovers highlighted amazing bookshops from around the globe, and was a New York Times bestseller. A follow-up, Footnotes from the Most Fascinating Museums: Stories and Memorable Moments from People Who Love Museums, was published this past May by Princeton Architectural Press. Eckstein sat down with Abigail to answer some questions about his new book.

Done in the same style as your earlier exploration of bookstores, Footnotes from the Most Fascinating Museums profiles seventy-two North American museums. What made you turn to museums for your next project, and how did you select which ones to include? What made you choose to focus on North America, when the previous title was global?

A couple of things convinced me to do a museum book. I love art and I knew this would be a dream job. And it was. I never enjoyed doing a book more.

I have just decided to try to do more of what I love to do. I’ve said no to some book projects proposed to me. I also saw during COVID that museums were struggling (like so many things). Raising awareness for them really motivated me to get this project off the ground and really do a good job. Throughout the work I was thinking I had to convince my readers to go out and visit or revisit these important institutions.

That said, this book is more of a summer vacation bucket list. I wanted to give affordable suggestions for a family. Including exotic museums from Europe and around the world didn’t fit that criteria. I can’t afford to travel to museums around the world to do the book myself—budgets for books, I think for most everyone, have been shrinking.

There are over 37,000 museums in North America alone so focusing on just here was also the right choice, assuring I would give them the proper attention. I narrowed the choices down to the top 150 before I had to cut that number in half to fit in the book. I took into account each museum’s beauty, historical significance, its range of appeal, geographical and cultural diversity, and its role in the local and arts community, like educational programs and its preservation importance. I then choose the best stories from the hundreds I collected. It was a big project.

What makes museums so important? What role do you see them playing in our lives, and what do you want your readers to take away from your book, in terms of that role?

This is a question, the importance of art in society, that cannot be answered in a day let alone in a paragraph. Museums really are giant selfies. People love selfies and that’s what they are. It’s everything we’ve done on this planet, all our accomplishments and even our mistakes, collected in one place to assess.

Museums are constantly evolving and are different from when we were kids. This is something I tried to point out in the book. They are far more human. All museums create memories while educating your family. And it’s an activity that anyone can participate in. Museums go out of their way to appeal to all ages at once.

Tell us a little bit about the museums themselves. What different kinds of museums were included? Were there ones you discovered in the course of creating the book? Did you visit all of the museums profiled? Which are your favorites, and why?

I tried to include museums for people who don’t necessarily like museums or art. There’s outdoor gardens, car museums, a Spam museum, and a museum on just comedy. I even included the Museum of Bad Art.

My favorite museums keep changing depending on the day and my mood. There were so many great museums. I live next door to the tranquil Cloisters, the old Medieval castle. But there is nothing like bringing a kid for their first time to the American Museum of Natural History. I am planning to revisit The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art as soon as my schedule allows. I was blown away by their collections. But it’s impossible to pick one as they are all always changing. Museums are more organic than people realize. My favorite museums are those I walk away from with a feeling of rejuvenation.

I went to as many as humanly possible. Some days I went to three in one day. With some others, helpers had to go for me. Some were museums I had been going to my whole life. There were a couple I discovered after being at another museum and discussing museums in general.

Cloisters American Museum of Natural History Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art

Your book doesn’t just focus on the museums themselves, it includes anecdotes and stories from museum curators, workers and visitors. What are some of the most interesting stories you heard, when it comes to the human side of museums?

Every museum has so many stories. There is the story in my book about where Michelle and Barack went on their first date. It was in connection to the same museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, that I share a story about a meltdown break-up in front of a painting and how a different painting, nearby, convinced Bill Murray not to commit suicide.

A personal favorite of mine is how a friend who is a New Yorker cartoonist devised a plan to sneak a painting of his onto the walls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Your book includes 155 original illustrations. What are some of your favorites?

There’s an illustration in the book with my wife with her back to us sitting in front of a John Singer Sargent painting in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

I had a great time at the James Bond exhibit at the Petersen Automobile Museum in Los Angeles, a museum I wasn’t planning on going to but then did, after figuring, “why, not?” when I was at the La Brea Tar Pits across the street. So glad I went.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston James Bond exhibit, Petersen Automobile Museum La Brea Tar Pits

Tell us about your library. What’s on your own shelves?

We have at least 2,500 books. Aside from the multiple bookcases, there are piles of books everywhere, from sitting on chairs to display racks to piles next to the bed that force us to be mountain goats. My wife likes fiction and I prefer biographies and nonfiction. I have about 300 books on gag cartooning.

And a lot of books are sent to me from writers I’ve met or who want a blurb or review, and quite honestly will never read, as I don’t have any interest in vampires or space alien love stories.

What have you been reading lately, and what would you recommend to other readers?

Between cartooning, illustrating, public speaking, teaching and writing, I have little time for reading outside all the reading I need to do for research. Right now I’m reading “The Loveliest Home That Ever Was”: The Story of the Mark Twain House in Hartford in preparation for my lecture I’m giving there June 26th.

Labels: author interview, interview

Monday, July 1st, 2024

July 2024 Early Reviewers Batch Is Live!

Win free books from the July 2024 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 180 books this month, and a grand total of 3,310 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Thursday, July 25th at 6PM EDT.

Eligibility: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Italy and more. Make sure to check the message on each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Once More from the TopThe Stranger at the WeddingThe Color of HomeThe Wishing Pool and Other StoriesTea with ElephantsCode Peking DuckI Hate Job Interviews: Stop Stressing. Start Performing. Get the Job You WantRethinking College: A Guide to Thriving Without a DegreeFriends with SecretsFrom SavageryThe Trial of Anna ThalbergA Token of LoveThe Dark RoadThe Rhino KeeperThe Thing about My UncleGeneration RetaliationThe Ballad of Falling RockThirty Seconds at a TimeThe Vanishing at Echo LakePinnacle: The Lost Paradise of RastaHow to Love a Forest: The Bittersweet Work of Tending a Changing WorldThe Chaos Clock: Tales of Cosmic AetherWhat I Saw in Heaven: The Incredible True Story of the Day I Died, Met Jesus, and Returned to Life a New PersonWhen Demons Surface: True Stories of Spiritual Warfare and What the Bible Says About Confronting the DarknessAt the Fall LineVoices Carry: A Story of Teaching, Transitions, & TruthsUSS Primis: The First StarshipChristmas at Sugar Plum ManorA Hope UnburiedOf Gold and ShadowsThe Christmas CatchAmeliaThe Geometries Of InnocenceSavagesBetween These Bones: A Collection of PoetryThe Climate Change Solution: Complete Mitigation ScienceBorn in Space: Unlocking DestinyNature SingsTrust the Whisper: How Answering Quiet Callings Inspires Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary GraceRebecoming: Come Out of Hiding to Live As Your God-Given Essential SelfTrunk Goes Thunk!: A Woodland Tale of OppositesNeighbourly MischiefThe America I Deserve: All My Amazing Plans for When I Become the Great American Dicktater For One Day-ish, Donald J. TrumpWhat We Sacrifice for MagicAwakenThe Darkest Night: A Terrifying Anthology of Winter Horror Stories by Bestselling Authors, Perfect for HalloweenThe Friendly FirecatThe Runaway RumblebearGrowing Up: An Inclusive Guide to Puberty and Your Changing BodyJohn the SkeletonOliver's TaleResilienceEthereal AwakeningThe Holographic New ClothesHer Shadows From The PastInto the UnknownThe Girl Who Dreamed: A Hong Kong Memoir of Triumph Against the OddsThe ArrangementThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective ReapersColor Me DeadMurderous CONsequencesJeep Transfer Cases: How to RebuildThe Legacy of the ElvesThe Nomadic Devil: The True Story of Israel Keyes America's Most Methodical Serial Killer Who Planted Murder Caches NationwideThe UnfamiliarEdge of the RainbowIt's a Game, Not a Formula: How to Succeed As a Scientist Working in the Private SectorLife after KafkaProven InnocenceThe Nonprofit Dilemma: Insights & Strategies for Purpose-Driven LeadersChristmas in Cranberry HarborBlood and MascaraBenji Zeb Is a Ravenous WerewolfInto the Goblin MarketNarwhal's Sweet ToothOn a Mushroom DayThe Portal KeeperStars in My CrownThe Island Before NoThere Are No Ants in This BookBuick V-8 Engines 1967-1980: How to RebuildOrganizational Behavior Essentials You Always Wanted to Know Second EditionThe Mummy of MayfairSequins, Scandals & Salchows: Figure Skating in the 1980sIron RoseTheir Unlikely ProtectorSex with JesusFeral Creatures of SuburbiaPilgrim: Volume 1Fundamental Mechanics of the Human Thinking MindWhish: PoemsThe Spy Prince of BasadeshThe Black Heart Of BudapestThe Titan CrownBe Unstoppable: No Excuses!Bleeding SeaVoices in RamahSandra Likes to Make a MessBecoming Like Jesus: How to Think and Live Like Jesus ChristThe Ordinary Chaos of Being Human: True Stories. Soul-Baring Moments. No Apologies.Fall and Recovery: Raising Children with Disabilities through Lessons Learned in DanceFoothills Fae Academy: Book ThreeA Chance For HappinessBeautiful and Terrible ThingsLincoln's ReturnThe Bench: A Parable About Life, Death, and BeyondAfterWorldEros RisingVaricose VeinsCauldron of WrathSilence In The BasementA Story About a Father & Son1600 Days of Moving On: Explorations of Love, Grief, and Acceptance through PoetryMy Sugar in Sugar LandBeach Rose PathMarks on the Wall: No Rules, No Rituals: Turn the Burden of Dos and Don'ts Into Signposts of Growth, Pathways to Freedom, and Expressions of LoveNabukkoHoofprints in Saguaro ShadowsInn DreamsThe New YorkerSoul Masters: The Hunting GroundsThe Consortium: GenesisThe Girl from Jersey CityThe Water SpiderInto the Lure of TimePilots Dawn 2024The Duke's Forbidden PassionFinding RickyAlarisThe Thief and the Nightingale: A Novel of Medieval SpainMission: UnknownClifford: A Short StoryExcavating the Buried HeartFlowerThe OthersMindful with Me: Connecting with Your Child Through Daily MindfulnessHis #1 FanAhab and Jezebel: A Match Made in HellThe Reluctant MessiahBloody Battle Boxer: Hip Hop NovelaRise of the PhoenixsubspaceLearn & Retain Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French with Spaced Repetition: 1,000+ Anki Notes with Comparative Grammar, Vocabulary, Common Phrases, and Audio PronunciationRooted and RememberedDomesticationDawning of Darkness: The Fall of Gods and KingsPieces of My HeartMaster of the Art of DetectionReaching for GraceEmma Madison, Master MeddlerHealthcare and the Mission of God: Finding Joy in the Crucible of MinistryGirl Meets Horse: An Easy Introduction to Horse Care and Riding for Kids and TweensDesperate MeasuresBlack DaysUnleashing Your Potenetial: How to be Successful... IN EVERYTHING!!A little book of PoemsCity Zoo: An Unfairy StoryThe Unboxing of a Black GirlMy Name Is NkechukwuọmaFor Those in the Midst of ItThe SavageRock Crush and RollThe Quest for Happiness: To Be Happy or Not to Be Happy. The Choice Is YoursNever What We Wanna Say: Poetries, Essays and StoriesThe Vale of SilenceWakers of the CryocryptSentience HazardThe DecedentGilded LiesEating Our Way Through American History: Pairing Historic Sites with Tasty Bites in and Around PhiladelphiaThe Genetic UniverseWorld's Abyss: A Journey of Exuviation and RebirthBesting the Beast and Other Fantasy TalesHereafter Lies: R.I.P.Goldfield ForestFinding the PastMavi, My Dearest: An Extraordinary Journey to MotherhoodCoco Lost in MiamiBuried Secrets of the Copper LocketI Know You Do

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

5 AM Publishing Akashic Books Alcove Press
Baker Books BDA Publishing Bellevue Literary Press
Bethany House BHC Press Blacksmith Books
Broadleaf Books CarTech Books Circling Rivers
City Owl Press Crooked Lane Books Freak Flag Publishing
Gnome Road Publishing Grey Sun Press Harbor Lane Books, LLC.
Harper Horizon Heliopolis Press Heller Verlag
Henry Holt and Company History Through Fiction IngramSpark
Jolly Witch Book House Magpie Publishers Milford Books LLC
NeoParadoxa Nosy Crow US PublishNation
Restless Books Revell Sattva Publishing Inc
Sea Crow Press Sunrise River Press True Crime Seven
Tundra Books Type Eighteen Books Vibrant Publishers
William Morrow Wise Media Group

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Thursday, June 27th, 2024

TinyCat’s June Library of the Month: The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

I’ve been eagerly hoping for an interview with our current TinyCat’s Library of the Month since they joined us in 2018. It is my pleasure to feature the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, whose library is run by Archivist & Librarian Jonna C. Paden. Jonna was kind enough to field my questions this month and share more about their important work:

Who are you, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”? 

The Library & Archives is part of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The library is a special collections, non-lending research library dedicated to the culture, traditions, history and lives of the 19 Pueblo nations of New Mexico and the Ysleta del Sur in El Paso, Texas. We provide publications and information about Pueblo and Indigenous peoples and communities of North America. We aim to provide materials that reflect the voice and perspective of Pueblo and other Indigenous peoples about their history and contemporary activities. 

The IPCC Library & Archives holds over 8,500 books about the twenty Pueblo and other Indigenous nations. As a research library, we primarily hold nonfiction titles across a range of subjects. We have dissertations and theses by Pueblo scholars and about Pueblo topics. We have historical and contemporary materials, including books that are no longer in print. 

We are currently open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9am to 5pm (MDT).

Tell us some interesting things about how your library supports the community.

The library supports Pueblo educators, researchers, students and community members within the city of Albuquerque, and nearby and distant Pueblo communities, IPCC staff and volunteers, and the general public. The library hosts the Pueblo Book Club quarterly and features a variety of Native authors or topics significant to Native American history. I also write a blog, Indigenous Connections and Collections, which features various Native American topics and is a great research resource. We are a welcoming place that supports research about Pueblo people and topics. If we don’t have the material, we can help connect to a library or place that does.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?


I love the Children’s and Juvenile section! The fiction and non-fiction books are primarily Indigenous authored and illustrated with engaging stories and beautiful tribally representative Native artwork. Young Indigenous readers can see accurate portrayals of themselves and role models in these books.We also have unique materials not found elsewhere like reports and collected research materials donated by archaeologists and others. Donations like these are greatly appreciated! We also have a collection of newspaper articles dating from the 1980s to the mid-2000s which highlights Pueblo artists and writers and the activities and changes of Pueblo and tribal communities during this time.

What’s a particular challenge your library experiences?

Contrary to what some people might think, there is a lot of work done in libraries from cataloging to shelving, data entry to responding to research requests, and so on. Our challenge is staffing, so a catalog that makes processing books easier is very helpful.

What’s your favorite thing about TinyCat and is there anything you’d love to see implemented or developed?

TinyCat is very user friendly for anyone to catalog and is very affordable for small libraries. (I use it for my personal home library, too!) I love that an app has been added that populates data entry fields by scanning the book’s barcode. I also like that there are a variety of ways to customize and view the Take Inventory page depending on what details you want to see.

Thanks so much for the feedback, I’m glad to hear TinyCat is smart and easy for you to use!

Want to learn more about the IPCC? 

Visit their website at https://indianpueblo.org/library-archives/ and check out their full TinyCat collection here.

To read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

Want to be considered for TinyCat’s Library of the Month? Send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Monday, June 17th, 2024

Come Join the 2024 Pride Month Treasure Hunt!

It’s June, and that means that our annual Pride Month Treasure Hunt is back!

We’ve scattered a shower of rainbows around the site, and it’s up to you to try and find them all.

  • Decipher the clues and visit the corresponding LibraryThing pages to find a rainbow. Each clue points to a specific page right here on LibraryThing. Remember, they are not necessarily work pages!
  • If there’s a rainbow on a page, you’ll see a banner at the top of the page.
  • You have just under two weeks to find all the rainbows (until 11:59pm EDT, Sunday June 30th).
  • Come brag about your shower of rainbows (and get hints) on Talk.

Win prizes:

  • Any member who finds at least two rainbows will be awarded a rainbow badge. Badge ().
  • Members who find all 12 rainbows will be entered into a drawing for one of five sets of LibraryThing (or TinyCat) swag. We’ll announce winners at the end of the hunt.

P.S. Thanks to conceptDawg for the peacock illustration.

ConceptDawg has made all of our treasure hunt graphics in the last couple of years. We like them, and hope you do, too!

Labels: treasure hunt

Wednesday, June 5th, 2024

Author Interview: Joyce Maynard

Joyce Maynard

LibraryThing is pleased to present our interview with author Joyce Maynard, whose bestselling 1998 memoir, At Home in the World—a subject of controversy in some quarters due to its exposé of the author’s brief relationship with the reclusive J.D. Salinger—has been translated into sixteen languages. An earlier memoir, the 1973 Looking Back: A Chronicle of Growing Up Old in the Sixties, was Maynard’s book debut. She would go on to pen three other works of nonfiction and twelve novels. Two of her novels, To Die For (1992) and Labor Day (2009) have been made into films—the 1995 To Die For starring Nicole Kidman, and the 2013 Labor Day starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslett. From 1984 to 1990, Maynard was also the author of the syndicated column Domestic Affairs, and she has contributed articles and reviews to numerous publications. Her 2021 novel, Count the Ways, described by Joyce Carol Oates as a “fearlessly candid, heartrendingly forthright examination of the joys and terrors of family life,” won the Grand Prix de Littérature Américaine (American Literature Grand Prize). How the Light Gets In, Maynard’s thirteenth novel, and the sequel to Count the Ways, is due out from William Morrow later on this month. She sat down with Abigail to answer some questions about her new book.

How the Light Gets In is a departure for you, in that it is the first sequel you have written and published. Did you always mean to write two books about your main character and her family, or did you find, upon finishing Count the Ways, that there was more to tell? Does writing a sequel differ from writing a stand-alone novel, and was there anything particularly challenging or enjoyable about it?

When I wrote Count the Ways, I never envisioned it as the first of two novels. I imagined, when I reached the last page of that novel, that I would have to say goodbye to the characters in that story. (This is always hard, by the way. My characters become so real to me, over the course of writing a novel, that when I reach the end, I miss them. Even the problematic ones.)

But after Count the Ways was published, I heard from so many readers who wanted to know what happened next. Many expressed concern—even anger—that the main character of Count the Ways, Eleanor, seemed to have spent her entire adult life sacrificing herself for everyone else and putting her own needs last. They wanted to know: When did it get to be Eleanor’s turn?

I thought long and hard about this. As a woman–exactly the same age as Eleanor, and one who has grappled with that same question—I wanted to see Eleanor reach a new stage in her life, as I have in mine, where she is finally able to ask the question “What do I want… for my own life?” And she is finally able to let go of feeling that her role in life is to look after everyone else.

I spent a whole year just thinking about what kind of next chapters I wanted to give to Eleanor. I didn’t begin to write How the Light Gets In until I had a clear sense of what would make a satisfying resolution for this woman I had come to know so well. Almost as well as I know myself.

Of course she encounters many challenges in the new novel. Some very grave. But her perspective has changed with the passage of time. She’s not trying to fix everybody’s problems any more. She knows she can’t do that. She’s made her peace with imperfection. That’s why I gave this new novel the title I did. It comes from a song by Leonard Cohen, with the line, “There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

This new story is about learning to embrace the messy, difficult, sometimes painful cracks in our lives. And finding beauty in them.

As for the challenges of writing a sequel: I wanted to make sure, as I wrote this book, that a reader would not have to have read Count the Ways to read and appreciate this one. (Of course I recommend that a reader begin with the earlier novel. But it’s definitely not a prerequisite for understanding this one.)

What was challenging: Keeping track of all those different characters—the members of Eleanor’s family, and others—over the passage of time. But I loved that too. I got to spend more time with some characters I love, chief among them Toby, Eleanor’s youngest son, brain injured at age 5. He’s in his late thirties when the new novel opens, and grows into his forties. I love Toby so much. I wanted good things for him. I wanted him to find love. It wasn’t easy, imagining where that might come from.

Between the two books, you cover some fifty years in the life of one family—a life played out against the backdrop of public events. In How the Light Gets In this includes climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic and the events of January 6th. What connection, if any, do these events have to the lives of your characters? Are they simply the backdrop against which more personal crises unfold, an influence on your characters and their choices, or perhaps some kind of parallel to individual experience?

To me, there was no way to write about the years from 2010 to 2024 without making reference to what was going on in our country at the time. I could no more set a novel in the Trump years—and their aftermath—than I could set a novel in France or Germany in the late 1930’s and early 40’s and not mention World War 2.

I write about relationships, families, what happens in kitchens and living rooms and bedrooms—and at the edge of a waterfall, or a small town bowling alley, or in a school where kids learn to be fearful that a kid with an AK 15 might walk into their classroom. In my mind, there is no way to separate what happens in those places, from what’s going on in our country and the world. I’m not getting on a soapbox when I write, offering my political opinions. I’m trying to portray life in the United States of America as ordinary people live it.

Your book has been described as a family saga, one that addresses “the new American family.” What does this mean to you? What distinguishes the new American family from the old, and what does your story say about the role of family in our lives?

When I was growing up—in a household of many secrets and troubles as well as much creative inspiration—I took my definition of “a happy family” from what I saw on television. Mother/ father, kids. Nobody worried about a father getting drunk, or the mother suffering from depression, or one of the kids addicted to drugs. No divorce. No money problems. No struggles with gender identity.

I carried that picture into my own adult life. When I was divorced from my children’s father, at age 35, I was viewed, the term for where I lived with my children was “a broken home.” At the time my marriage ended, I was supporting our family writing a syndicated newspaper column about raising children, being a parent. Almost half the newspapers who had been running that column chose to drop it, once I announced the divorce. “Joyce Maynard is no longer qualified to write about family life,” one editor at a major newspaper wrote to my newspaper syndicate.

Over the years, my definition of “family” has evolved considerably. So has our national perception, I think. A family can be two women, or two men, or a single parent and her children. Sometimes we make our own families, that have nothing to do with blood connection.

I still know myself to be a person who cares deeply and passionately about “family”. But I know now, there is no one picture of what constitutes a family. And more than one way to be part of “a happy family”. And no such thing as a perfectly happy family, either. What I strive for these days is to accept my flaws and failures, as I do those of others around me. Being part of a family requires compassion and forgiveness. Not perfection.

You have written two memoirs over the course of your career, and have spent time reflecting on the events of your own life. Did your personal life story provide any inspiration when writing about Eleanor and her family?

I want to make this very plain: Eleanor is not me. She’s a fictional character. But I’d be lying if I pretended that her story wasn’t hugely informed by my own experiences of parenthood, love, loss, divorce, and its aftermath. I’ve also been the beneficiary of a huge gift over the years, which has come from nearly thirty years I’ve spent hosting memoir workshops for women.

Hundreds of women—well over a thousand, in fact—have trusted me with their most intimate and often painful stories, over the years. Those are private. I don’t divulge what women tell me in my memoir workshops, unless they specifically grant me the right to do so. But I have learned as much about women’s lives in those workshops as the women have learned, about writing. I carry the stories of those women with me every day of my life. They are always with me when I write.

The figure of the mother is central to both of these books, even when she is missing from the family circle, or estranged from her children. What does your story have to say about the role of the mother? What does a mother owe to her children, and what does she owe to herself?

There’s a chapter in How the Light Gets In called “The Definition of a Good Mother”, in which Eleanor strives to answer the question, “what is a good mother?” And tackles the impossibility of ever being good enough. (In case you want to take a look, it’s on page 259 of my book. I’m pretty sure that when I travel around the country, giving readings and talking about this new novel of mine, I’ll read a few paragraphs from that chapter.)

I could say so much about this question, of what a mother owes her children, and what she owes herself. In many ways, I think this entire novel stands as my attempt to answer those two questions. What I’ll say here, to keep it simple, is that there may be no greater gift a mother can give her children than the model of a woman who—along with providing them loving care, nurturing and attention—also values and respects and cares for herself.

When a mother fails to do those things—when she sacrifices everything for her children—sooner or later she finds herself in Crazyland. (Read Count the Ways and How the Light Gets In and you’ll understand what I mean).

Tell us about your library. What’s on your own shelves?

Plenty of fiction of course. But also: Art books. Poetry. Children’s books. Books of classic photography. Books about US history. And my collection of the Sears Christmas Catalogue from around 1960 to 1969. Among other things…

What have you been reading lately, and what would you recommend to other readers?

In honor of Alice Munro, a writer I revered—and one whose work always instructs me—I am trying to reread as many of her short stories as I can this summer. (Last summer I did the same with the short stories of Raymond Carver and Andre Dubus II.)

Labels: author interview, interview

Monday, June 3rd, 2024

June 2024 Early Reviewers Batch Is Live!

Win free books from the June 2024 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 194 books this month, and a grand total of 3,777 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Tuesday, June 25th at 6PM EDT.

Eligibility: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, Sweden, Denmark and more. Make sure to check the message on each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Meddling with MistletoeThe Blooming of DelphiniumThey Were Good Germans Once: A MemoirDecade of Disunion: How Massachusetts and South Carolina Led the Way to Civil War, 1849-1861Disgusting Critters: A Creepy Crawly CollectionThe Dishonest Miss TakeBane of the WitchThe Thing About My UncleGeneration RetaliationThe Ballad of Falling RockRAPilates: Body and Mind Conditioning in the Digital AgeFalse IdolsHidden FurySaved by the MatchmakerBy Evening's LightOthered: Finding Belonging with the God Who Pursues the Hurt, Harmed, and MarginalizedWhen I Look at the Sky, All I See Are StarsReady for True Love: The Modern Guide for Ladies, Gents, Daters and CouplesMist and Moonbeams: Stories from the Great Lakes EdgeRight Hand of the ResistanceSeenThe Heir of VenusThe Paris Cooking SchoolSleep TightAfter OzProphet's DeathMe, My Father and I: Normandy to Hamburg: A Tankies StoryVoices Carry: A Story of Teaching, Transitions, & TruthsThe AwakeningThe Nonprofit Dilemma: Insights & Strategies for Purpose-Driven LeadersThe Path of RevengeStrong Songs of the Dead: The Pagan Rites of Sacred HarpStructured Madness: New Poems in Traditional FormatsVictors: A Novel of Love, War and JazzSome Things Aren't Meant to BeIn a Flash 2024Fourteen StonesPlease Don't Talk to MeA Life in TalesBlackheart ManNew & Selected PoemsCan Robots Love God and Be Saved? A Journalist Reports on FaithUSS Primis: The First StarshipTechnical Analysis Basics: Stock Market ChartsDon't Want to Be Your MonsterLockjawSomething MoreTo the One I LoveAnimals RisingThe CaricaturistThe Secret BeautifulShardsBusiness Communication Essentials You Always Wanted to KnowTaken by His SwordHealing Magic & PlayboysA Bowl of Friends: Friends Are ForeverDark HeartMy Specific Awe and Wonder: PoemsWhere is Ana Amara?The Righteous ArrowsReady for True Love: The Modern Guide for Ladies, Gents, Daters & CouplesDenial and ExclusionThe Grocer Who Sold McCarthyism: The Rise and Fall of Anti-Communist Crusader Laurence A. JohnsonA Curse for SamhainCatch a CowboySequins, Scandals & Salchows: Figure Skating in the 1980sFarewell PerformanceArtificial WisdomGoode Vibrations of the Wresting PlaceThe WastelanderQuest for SurvivalOne Random Act of ViolenceSpace Cats: Making EnemiesSpace Cats: Making EnemiesKatharine's Remarkable Road TripThe Merchant of Venus: The Life of Walter Thornton: A Trailblazer in Modeling, Advertising, WWII Pin-Up Girls, and Shaping Future Stars of Hollywood's Golden AgeShe Serves the RealmDraw A Hard LineA Quality ManThe First Quarter: Turning Twenty-Five Is a Milestone, But the Journey Is So Much MoreFeral Creatures of SuburbiaPilgrim: Volume 1Lady Cosa Nostra: Victoria's SecretsOut of the Water: The Epic of MosesBurned Over! The Surivival of Montana Firefighter Dan SteffensenWalking with the Good Samaritan: Servant Leadership For A New EraFalling in FlamesThe Fear of FireSparks Fly, Tempers FlareBehind the Wheel TipsUntil The Cold Is GentleThe Snow GamesThe Christmas ProofMemory and BoneUgliestDance Daughters of the Most High!: Amazing Stories of Long Overlooked and Underappreciated Women in the Old TestamentTale of the Unlikely PrinceThe Rabboni: The Lost Mission Journals of St. MatthewGetting to Know YouMaejSomething about LizzyHarriet's EscapeTranquila: A Doctor-Mom Attempts Slow Life in SpainIn Love With Him AgainTrickstersEmergent MarsMissing Monarchy: What Americans Get Wrong About Monarchy, Democracy, Feudalism, and LibertyScarlet and SapphireA Thousand Thousand Petty Phrases: A Collection of Sonnetsbliss is a fitter muse than miseryTree of TruthTable for Two: A Collection of StoriesThe Night Garden: Of My MotherFundamental Mechanics of the Human Thinking MindHelp! My Room Exploded: How to Simplify Your Home to Reduce ADHD SymptomsGilded LiesCremation VacationThanks for Stopping ByParachutes Not IncludedIn Search Of The Perfect Buzz: An 80s Metal MemoirWaxwing CreekCinnamon BeachFinancial Fun from A-ZThe Gift of Journaling: Writing as a Path to DiscoveryEating Our Way Through American History: Pairing Historic Sites With Tasty Bites in and Around PhiladelphiaThe Phoenix and the FirebirdPink EyeThe AcquaintanceTheir Unlikely ProtectorCasey and Parker Find A Forever FamilyWedding BanditsThe Genetic UniverseBudding Lotus in the West: Buddhism from an Immigrant's Feminist PerspectiveI Know You DoCoco Lost in MiamiLifelong Fulfillment: Take Charge of Your Life!The Glorious and Epic Tale of Lady IsovarThe Recipient of SecretsOswegatchie Save MeBody on Ice: A Vermont Murder MysteryKeeper of Lost LovesMommy Needs a Minute: From Burnout to EmpowermentGirl Meets Horse: An Easy Introduction to Horse Care and Riding for Kids and TweensDead EgyptiansWhen It All Falls DownHogs Head StewStone CreekGhosts of History: The Temple of AoddaFlames and Frying PansKat GirlHow to Pass Your FAA Part 107 Pilot ExamBetwixt Ice and EmbersThe Sea and other bullshit: Second Edition Revised and UncensoredSonya: Music of the SpheresFrom Young To Wise: The Philosopher's Fallacy and How to Avoid ItFestive Mayhem 4God Unlimited: Why We Believe in GodSonya: Far FutureThe Spy Prince Of BasadeshMIND GAME ChallengeCupcakes Everywhere: One Sweet Tale of Overcoming InfertilityMetavilleFinding the PastThe Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Starting Your Own BusinessFavorite Things: The Far IslandElven BloodSong for Susie EppA Good WomanEffortless Menopause for the Savvy Woman: Simple Science-Backed Solutions For Hot Flashes, Mood Swings, Vaginal Dryness, and More, to Restore Physical & Mental VitalityShorter Than The DayPigs Have WingsLast Day at DyatloveMass ExodusA Curse of Scales & FeathersThe Respian ManSpliced UpKyd's GameTruth HurtsA Dark and Cozy NightHis Two Hidden MasksGambaTough RocksMaplecroftThe Titan CrownWorld's Abyss: A Journey of Exuviation and RebirthRise of the NemesisRexCity Zoo: An Unfairy StoryBlood RougeThe ReentrantMercyThe Reluctant MessiahWinx Thinks - Dinosaurs!Brown vs White

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

5 AM Publishing Akashic Books Alcove Press
Aquarius Press Baker Books Bellevue Literary Press
Bethany House BHC Press Blue Cedar Press
Chestnut Heights Publishing Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC City Owl Press
CMU Press Crooked Lane Books DarkLit Press
Delphinium Books eSpec Books Grey Sun Press
Highlander Press Hot Tree Publishing Köehler Books
LaPuerta Books and Media Love Moderne Milford Books LLC
Owl Club Media Group PublishNation Purple Diamond Press, Inc
The Ravens Quoth Press Revell Rootstock Publishing
Simon & Schuster Toodat Fiction Treasure Bay Books
Tundra Books Tuxtails Publishing, LLC Underworld Amusements
Vibrant Publishers Wise Media Group

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Tuesday, May 7th, 2024

Author Interview: Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin

LibraryThing is pleased to sit down this month with author Eileen Garvin, whose 2021 novel, The Music of the Bees, was a national bestseller, receiving accolades from the Christian Science Monitor, People Magazine, LibraryReads, IndieNext, and many more. Garvin made her debut in 2010 with her memoir, How to Be a Sister: A Love Story with a Twist of Autism, and her essays have been published in The Oregonian, PsychologyToday.com, and Creative Non-Fiction Magazine, and featured on the Mom’s Don’t Have Time to Read Books podcast. Her second novel, Crow Talk, which addresses themes of friendship, hope and healing, all while set in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, was published by Dutton at the end of April.

The natural world plays an important role in Crow Talk, which features three people who have withdrawn to a rural retreat in order to nurse their wounds. What role does nature play in your story, and why did you choose the specific setting you did?

In Crow Talk, nature is meant to be a healing source for my three main characters—Frankie, Anne, and Aiden. I chose to set the story at June Lake—a fictional place—because I’ve always personally drawn solace from the natural world. When I was a child, our family lake cabin was a place of respite for all of us. As an adult I continue to be comforted and energized by woods, water, mountains, and trails. I believe nature is a powerful force.

How did the idea for your story come to you? You’re an amateur beekeeper, which must in some way have influenced the story you told in The Music of the Bees. Do you have a similar connection to crows, or to other corvine species?

Yes, my own beekeeping helped me write The Music of the Bees. While writing the book, I knew early on that my characters would get to know each other through beekeeping. I completed my Master Beekeeper Apprentice certification while I was revising the novel. I don’t have any similar hands-on experience with crows or other birds, but I’m an avid birdwatcher. I love watching the birds in my yard and in the woods around town. I also love to listen to birds and can often more easily identify them through their songs and calls than how they look. This is especially fun during migration, when an old favorite arrives in town, like the varied thrush and the robin.

The idea for Crow Talk came to me during the pandemic. All the trails in my hometown were
shut down and I was longing for the woods. I was able to make a trip back to the family place I mentioned earlier. When I arrived, I felt such relief at being alone and outside under the trees. That’s when I first got this idea—what if I took three wounded people and put them in a setting like the one I loved so much? How might the natural beauty of that place help them connect and heal?

What makes crows and other corvids so special? Did you have to do any research for that aspect of the story, and if so, what is the most interesting thing you learned?

Crows and other corvids are so smart and so interesting! While researching this book, I learned many things. For example, crows can recognize human faces. This means they recall those who have helped them as well as people who have not been so nice—for years! I learned that crows love to play and have been documented doing things like surfing the air on pieces of wood, sliding on snow, and riding an updraft just for fun. They use tools and are incredibly mischievous—teasing dogs and stealing things like windshield wiper blade, cigarettes, lit candles from shrines, cups of coffee. I loved reading about how they care for sick and injured family members too. The books of corvid expert John M. Marzluff were hugely helpful. So were books by Sy Montgomery, Helen MacDonald, and Lyanda Lynn Haupt.

One of your characters is an Irish musician. Are you fond of traditional Irish music? Do you have any favorite performers or pieces of music? (full disclosure: some of my own favorites in this vein include Altan, The Bothy Band, Karan Casey, and the sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird)

Yes, I’m a big fan of traditional Irish music as well as Celtic music in general. I grew up listening to the Thistle and Shamrock and singing older ballads—Irish, Scottish, and English. My great-grandparents were Irish immigrants and everyone in my family sings, though none of us has formal training. Big fan of Altan (Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh—what a voice!), and I love Kevin Burke’s fiddle playing. I think he plays with The Bothy Band sometimes.

Tell us a little bit about your writing process. Is there a particular way you work, a specific spot where you like to write? Do you have the story mapped out in your mind before you begin?

Since I wrote my first book, my process has been fairly consistent. I have small office in the (darkest, coldest) corner of the house. I get up early, make coffee, and start working on whatever project I have underway. Any new writing happens in these first hours. I can revise and answer emails later, but the creative stuff happens early or not at all.

I write all the way through a first draft and never have the story mapped out before I start. When I wrote my memoir, I had loads of old memories and stories, but no sense of how they would hang together. When I wrote my first novel, the opening sentence just came to me when I was in the car one day. With Crow Talk, I got the idea for the setting first—a remote alpine lake—and then the characters came along. It’s been different each time and always a leap of faith.

Tell us about your library. What’s on your own shelves?

My shelves are a mix of poetry, memoir, fiction, and children’s books. I collect fairytales and children’s books—usually those that involve magical animals. I also have a collection of old novels that were my grandmother’s—Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, Frances Hodgson Burnett. I cringe now to think how’d I drag those lovely old books up into the woods to read when I was a kid! But I also love that the family culture was “Read! Read everything, anywhere, all the time!”

What have you been reading lately, and what would you recommend to other readers?

Some recent favorites include the memoir by Scottish comedian Fern Brady called Strong Female Character (featuring her adult diagnosis with autism), James by Percival Everett (a reimagining of The Adventures Huckleberry Finn from Jim’s point of view), and Poetry Unbound: 50 Poems to Open Your World by Irish poet Pádraig Ó Tuama (in which he introduces the poems of others in a similar way that he employs on his wonderful podcast Poetry Unbound).

Labels: author interview, interview

Wednesday, May 1st, 2024

May 2024 Early Reviewers Batch Is Live!

Win free books from the May 2024 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 174 books this month, and a grand total of 3,527 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Tuesday, May 28th at 6PM EDT.

Eligibility: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, the UK, Canada, Ireland, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany and more. Make sure to check the message on each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Between the Sound and SeaCounting Bones: Anatomy of Love Lost and FoundBuns Gone BadFuneral Songs for Dying GirlsJuris Ex MachinaThe Big StingThe Space Between You and MeHard LineDocile: Memoirs of a Not-So-Perfect Asian GirlThe Green Baby SwingI'm Afraid, Said the LeafMegabat MegastarOnce upon a SariYour Story Matters: A Surprisingly Practical Guide to WritingThe After Life Meddlers ClubToo Much Too Young, The 2 Tone Records Story: Rude Boys, Racism, and the Soundtrack of a GenerationCocoa the Tour DogA Choice ConsideredMeet Me at the StarlightMeeting Her MatchCold VengeanceWorld War II and Nevada: The Silver State's Contribution to VictoryEchoes of the Divine and Other Steampunk StoriesCamouflage Mom: A Military Story about Staying ConnectedMexicanos HustleThe Shield of the VanirHerman NatureDwarf DaysA Lie for a LieHow to Build a Thriving Marriage As You Care for Children with DisabilitiesRe: Apotheosis - GenesisThe Caterpillar HotelBeyond Words: A Symphony of Passion and ActionReignite The EmbersThe Golden One: A ComedySkull Kingdoms: An Imaginary OmnibusLinesYou Can't Go Home AgainHiding PlacesOf Blood and LightningThe Navigator: PoemsBig Guy: A School Horse StorySolsticeThe Devil's BerriesAnastasia And The Nuclear IncidentHow to Be in BusinessPre-Pulitzer PoetryLet's Run Our Schools TogetherTo Make the SkySwinging Away: A CelebrationBlack Like ElvisFor the Downfall of My Beloved: Volume 1An Introduction to PhilosophyThis Kind of Man: StoriesSavagesA Husband's Take on the Menopause!Laura: Finding Independence in the Highlands of KenyaThe Hedge WitchElephant and CastleHow Children Grieve: What Adults Miss, and What They Can Do to HelpThe Rogue Scholar: The Rogue To VictoryThe Arctic Corsair, Through Hull's Sacred Gates40 Years of MiraclesAlyssa's WishesWildcat: An Appalachian RomanceInto the UnknownA Horse Called NowSky Explorer: A Young Adventurer's Guide to the Sky by Day and NightAfter Dinner Conversation - Nature of RealityAfter Dinner Conversation - Equality EthicsTrue Crime Storytime: 84 Unforgettable & Twisted True Crime Cases Throughout History That Haunted People For DecadesIndia's Road to Transformation: Why Leadership MattersThe KlangarooReady for True Love: The Modern Guide for Ladies, Gents, Daters and CouplesA Thousand Faces: Volume 1Who is Amy Carpenter?HestherSong of Myself: A Gay Man's Odyssey of Self-DiscoveryTrailer Park PrinceNot Without MeThe Black Bird of ChernobylMirror ImageBecoming Brave Together: Heroic, Extraordinary Caregiving Stories from Mothers Hidden in Plain SightPresenters Aren’t Robots: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Fearless and Engaging Public SpeakerThe Corpse in the Trash RoomAlone | All In One: A Solitary JourneyThe Pearl that Lies in the Sea: A Story & A CovenantFinding HomeThe Sigils of the MoorAfter the Game: Bridging the Gap from Winning Athlete to Thriving EntrepreneurFinding Footprints: A Sasquatch SagaThe StatesDraw A Hard LineLearning to Shine: A Guide to Unlocking Your PurposeSonya: Far FutureThe Fink Needed KillingThe Shadow of the Langham HotelSonya: Music of the SpheresFrom Young To Wise: The Philosopher's Fallacy and How to Avoid ItThe Lost Women of Mill StreetLast Day in DyatloveCompanion Planting for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide to Growing a Thriving and Sustainable Garden.Soul Masters: The Hunting GroundsSteady in LoveThere Are No Bibles in Heaven: Walk and Talk with God All the Time, Just like You Will in HeavenThe ReentrantThe Magic Sea TurtleShorter Than The DayJasmineHandcrafted Lunch Meats: A DIY Guide to Delicious, Healthy, and Affordable Creations In Your KitchenChoo! Choo! Choo!: The Train at the ZooThe Fae CrisisSpace Cats: Making EnemiesHeartfeltCo-Parenting With a NarcissistThe Tale of the Little Lonely HedgehogScream of SilenceDebriefing DarlyFarewell PerformanceHunting a Cat in DogtownJourney of SoulsThe AI That Feared DeathShattered by FaithPinch HittingDating Tips for Women: Finding Love the Feline Way with Advice From CatsThe Palestine MuseumTito's Coconut TreeThe Year I Lived TwiceGod Unlimited: Why We Believe in GodThe Magic of DelusionLectures on Weird Fiction: Volume 1Nothing Short of OddThe WastelanderScorched: Burn Me Once...The Black Heart Of BudapestSonya: Fast HorsesUnfix MeThe Pelican TideArtificial WisdomPilots Dawn 2024Under WaterThe Respian ManThe Heir of the DynastyTrue Crime Trivia 3: Test Your Knowledge of Serial Killers, Unsolved Mysteries, Infamous Crimes, Hoaxes & More with 250 Chilling & Fascinating Quiz QuestionsTrue Crime Trivia 3: Test Your Knowledge of Serial Killers, Unsolved Mysteries, Infamous Crimes, Hoaxes & More with 250 Chilling & Fascinating Quiz QuestionsThe Powell ExpeditionsTricked by LoveStolen Introductions!Escaping CircumstancesThe Mad King and the False QueenSpindleheart: Trail of Shadow and SpoolMy Enemy, My PrinceJundiHow To Talk To Your Spirit Guides In Ten Simple Steps: Connect With Your Spiritual Guidance to Receive Unconditional Love, Protection and Support in All Areas of Your LifeThe Refrigerator GhostBio Marty Vita: Life Life LifeThe Dawn of DarknessPhelan's GoldShadow Work Journal & Adult Coloring Book: Unveil Your Inner Strength, Find Peace Through Animal Wisdom And Experience True Transformation Through Art Therapy, Reflection, And AffirmationsThe Phantom EnforcerSilver HeartsThe Legendary Mo SetoMIND GAME ChallengeJeza's Jesus Juice: A Drag Queen's Christian DevotionalSong for Susie EppHide and BeMy Brother, MyselfThese Cruel WatchersPride and PerjuryMoose and the Math FairyWanted Millionaire Spiritual, But Not Religious: 101 Dating Red Flags For The Wise WomanHaimaTruth HurtsEver The Same

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

After Dinner Conversation Inc Akashic Books Alcove Press
Baker Books BDA Publishing Beit Eshel Publications
Bell Jar Books Bethany House Big Ideas Library
Bywater Books Cardinal Rule Press City Owl Press
Fawkes Press Gilded Orange Books Grass Valley Publishers, LLC
Greenleaf Book Group Harbor Lane Books, LLC. HB Publishing House
Highlander Press Hot Tree Publishing IngramSpark
Islandport Press Legacy Books Press Love Moderne
Magpie Publishers NeWest Press Nosy Crow US
Paper Phoenix Press Personville Press Pixie Ink Press
PublishNation Purple Diamond Press, Inc Revell
Rootstock Publishing Sattva Publishing Inc Simon & Schuster
Three Rooms Press Tiny Ghost Press Toodat Fiction
True Crime Seven Tundra Books Tuxtails Publishing, LLC
University of Nevada Press Unsolicited Press Vibrant Publishers
Wise Media Group

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Friday, April 26th, 2024

TinyCat’s April Library of the Month: The Annisquam Village Library

TinyCat’s Library of the Month is just a short drive down I-95 from LibraryThing’s Portland, ME headquarters: the Annisquam Village Library in Gloucester, MA has been serving their community since 1904! Janet Langer, a retired librarian and member of the Library Committee, is in charge of collection development and was kind enough to answer my questions this month. Here’s what Janet had to say:

Who are you, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”? 

The Annisquam Village Library (AVL) is located in the northern part of Gloucester, MA, a city known for its early ties to the fishing industry. The library has been a fixture in the village for generations and many of our patrons have visited the library since they were children, as did their family before them. We have both year-round and seasonal (summer) residents of all ages who use our library, but most of our patrons are adult recreational readers who are retired. Our goal is to provide them with engaging reading material and meaningful community events.

Tell us some interesting things about how your library supports the community.

The AVL is a central part of village life, particularly in the off-season when many local businesses are closed and activities are curtailed due to winter weather. We are open on Monday from 3:00 – 5:00 and Saturday from 9:00 – 11:00. On Monday we serve tea and refreshments, with a “high tea” once a month, a tradition that began many generations ago. On Saturday we serve coffee and pastries. Residents love to stop by and enjoy a warm fire, conversation with neighbors, and access to our collection of reading material. Refreshments are provided by volunteers who bake and help with set up and clean up each day we are open. Many of our patrons make generous donations of current books to our collection as well. We host an evening of poetry, author talks, and an annual summer party to raise funds for the library. As with many libraries, ours is a gathering place for the community and is used by other groups.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?


Our collection consists primarily of current fiction, with a healthy offering of mystery titles for those who love this genre. We have a children’s corner for readers under twelve years old which includes picture books, early readers, juvenile fiction series, and some non-fiction titles. We feature our local authors in a special collection since many of our residents have written novels, non-fiction books about their careers, or family histories related to their time in Annisquam. And finally, we have a small collection of books about Gloucester’s history for use in the library. We work with our local historical society to make material available to those who are interested in our heritage, including the fishing and boat-building industry, early tourism, the granite industry, and artists who resided in the area.

What’s a particular challenge your library experiences?

I’d have to tell you about the challenge that we overcame in the last five years or so: The library collection at that point consisted almost entirely of books donated by residents once they had read a particular work. There was no systematic collection maintenance, so over many years the shelves filled and the books grew old and musty. We were fortunate to have a library committee with a new chairwoman, all of whom supported or pitched in on an extensive weeding of the collection and cleaning of the library, hiring a new librarian, and developing a robust collection for our community. TinyCat was a fundamental part of this library relaunch. Every book has been entered into the catalog and the catalog is now online for people to search when we aren’t open. We’ve also built an accurate database of our patrons which has made communication with them more effective. It was a big change for our long-time residents and there were some raised eyebrows, but most have embraced the new collection and accepted the digital catalog.

That sounds like a wonderful success story for your library, I’m so glad to hear it! Speaking of LibraryThing and TinyCat, what’s your favorite thing about the system and is there anything you’d love to see implemented or developed?

First of all, I appreciate the support from the TinyCat staff, from setting up our catalog to addressing questions and technical issues over the years. As I mentioned, TinyCat has been central to our collection management strategy. It has allowed online access to our catalog and simplified our circulation procedures. As a retired librarian, I’m responsible for collection development, and I value the statistics, reports, and charts available through TinyCat. This data helps me in meetings with the library committee and with weeding projects. I wish the reports could be customized a bit more: it would be helpful to run a transaction report that was sorted by the tags I’ve assigned to titles, or a report where the entries could be listed alphabetically by author. (Forgive me if this is already an option and I just don’t know how to do so!)

Great feedback, thanks! I’ll add your suggestions to our list and we’ll be sure to announce any improvements to TinyCat’s Reports.

Want to learn more about AVL? 

Visit their website at https://annisquamvillage.org/village-library, and check out their full TinyCat collection here.

To read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

Want to be considered for TinyCat’s Library of the Month? Send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Friday, April 19th, 2024

Come Join the TinyCat Birthday Hunt!

April 8th was TinyCat’s eighth birthday, and we’re celebrating with a special catcentric TinyCat Birthday Treasure Hunt!

We’ve scattered a clowder of TinyCats around the site, and it’s up to you to try and find them all.

  • Decipher the clues and visit the corresponding LibraryThing pages to find a TinyCat. Each clue points to a specific page right here on LibraryThing. Remember, they are not necessarily work pages!
  • If there’s a TinyCat on a page, you’ll see a banner at the top of the page.
  • You have a little less than two weeks to find all the TinyCats (until 11:59pm EST, Tuesday April 30th).
  • Come brag about your clowder of TinyCats (and get hints) on Talk.

Win prizes:

  • Any member who finds at least two TinyCats will be
    awarded a heart badge Badge ().
  • Members who find all 15 TinyCats will be entered into a drawing for some LibraryThing or TinyCat swag. We’ll announce winners at the end of the hunt.

P.S. Thanks to conceptDawg for the catbird illustration!

Labels: treasure hunt

Monday, April 8th, 2024

Happy 8th Birthday to TinyCat!

TinyCat celebrates its 8th birthday this month, and we want to give a special thank-you to all our members, including the more than 37,000 TinyCat signups since our launch in 2016. Because we’re turning 8 years old and it’s April 8, we’re keeping the theme of eights and running a special LibraryThing Store sale now through Wednesday, May 8!

TinyCat’s Birthday Sale puts all TinyCat merch, library supplies, and holiday bundles (while supplies last) on major discount for the next month. Come and stock up on gorgeous enamel pins, laptop stickers, printed barcode labels, and more.

As always, we want to thank everyone who’s joined TinyCat to share and manage their library online over the last 8 years, and we can’t wait to see where the next year takes us. Come and share your own birthday messages on Talk, and let us know what other new features you hope for next!

Don’t forget to visit the LibraryThing Store by Wednesday, May 8, to take advantage of the deals while you can: https://www.librarything.com/more/store

Labels: birthday, sale, TinyCat

Friday, April 5th, 2024

Author Interview: Chad Corrie

Chad Corrie

LibraryThing is pleased to sit down this month with author Chad Corrie, whose published work ranges across a variety of genres and forms, from comic books and graphic novels to fantasy fiction. His epic fantasy series for adults, The Wizard King Trilogy, was published in 2020 and 2021 by Dark Horse Comics, which also published The Shadow Regent in 2023, as well as his recent graphic novel, Sons of Ashgard: Ill Met in Elmgard, a 2023 Foreword Indie Award finalist in the Graphic Novel & Comics category. As the Sparrow Flies, the first in Corrie’s new young adult dystopian series, Sojourners’ Saga, is due out from Dark Horse in May.

Set in a dying world, As the Sparrow Flies is a dystopian fantasy with a twist, featuring two young protagonists who must find a way to survive or escape their world, rather than save it. Is this important? Were you simply interested in writing a survival story, or was there a deeper message there, about how the individual might respond to harsh circumstances and apocalyptic events?

A major impetus for Sojourners’ Saga was the desire to do something new. At the time I started writing the series I was working on finishing up more epic fantasy tales with these massive story universes and there was an appeal to actually having a series where the world was dying and things were bleak—a near complete opposite of what I was doing with this other work at the time. Person vs. nature also wasn’t a story type I’d yet explored, further sweetening the pot.

And it would be fair to say I was intrigued with the idea of seeing how I’d be able to write something more survival-based in general. It wasn’t so much an initial theme or concept that drove me to it, just the idea of exploring something different. The idea of fleeing the danger rather than trying to correct it was also something different and a bit of a challenge to myself, I guess, to see what was possible.

Dystopian fiction has become very popular over the last few decades. Why do you think that is? Does it offer something to readers that other kinds of fiction do not?

Dystopian fiction has indeed had a long history from 1984 and Brave New World—and even before that with some of the pulp speculative fiction from the early 20th century, etc. Recent years have seen something different in terms of the intended audience for many of these tales—that is many of the dystopian tales from the last couple decades having a definite YA bent or focus.

This allows for the theme of the younger generation rising up to combat/correct the corruption/failure of the previous generation(s) as well as the classic coming of age tale in a world/place that is far from ideal. The fact that these newer tales were written initially by Gen X authors who already had some skepticism to things and didn’t trust authority or authority figures in general, probably only aided their creation. Add in various challenges from concerns over climate, fear of having less/being worse off than the previous generation, etc. and it only adds more fuel to the fire.

And while I’m Gen X myself, this wasn’t the sort of path I ended up going for Sojourners’ Saga. As you said, the protagonists know they can’t save their world and so have to find alternatives to survival, which end up taking them down very different paths, which soon enough will cause problems and internal crises of belief in said ideas and ideals, not to mention issues and challenges with remaining population groups.

As to what dystopian fiction offers the reader, oddly enough it’s hope. As no matter how bad something is portrayed in a story we can usually step back and say, “maybe we don’t have things as bad as some think, as it could be much worse than this…” And, in most cases (but not all) there’s a silver lining to those dark dystopian clouds. The heroes triumph, the world is improved, etc. And in that, I suppose, it can inspire the reader to not give up hope and look for ways to make the world a brighter place—at least in their own sphere of influence.

What was the inspiration for your book? Did it start with a story idea, a character, or something else altogether?

I usually get “scenes” or “flavors” that inspire me to write a story. Often I’ll view something in my mind’s eye that’s really just like watching a movie. The whole scene will play out and serve as either the foundation or inspiration for some tale. Other times I’ll get ideas for different flavors of a story that would make an interesting mix. Perhaps something like Vikings mixed with anthropomorphic squirrels, which led to the the creation of the Sons of Ashgard graphic novel, for example.

With the Sojourners’ Saga series the desire mainly was to do something different than what I had been doing before, which as I previously mentioned, was more epic fantasy fare. Going from a massively epic setting to something more apocalyptic and human-centric was also a first for me. I was curious to explore a story and world that only had humans as the main population, rather than a roster of varied beings and beasts.

It was only later as I was in the midst of the process that I finally understood the story was supposed to be YA, which was also a few steps removed from what I had been doing before. This would later inform more of how things would be organized by chapter and POV, and actually was an interesting learning experience that forced me to think and re-think things through in ways I might not have if I was writing a more strictly adult story.

This book is a departure for you, in terms of the intended audience and the story type. Were there challenges, or things you particularly enjoyed about writing for a young adult audience? Was there anything different about your writing and storytelling process, in light of the fact that this world was less magical, less fantastic, than some of the others of which you have written?

Obviously, I can’t speak to everyone who writes YA, but for myself I had to consider just what was the best way to convey something that made sense to a younger character’s mind who may or may not have all the additional reference and context that older people would from years of lived experience.

As I said previously, it really had me stopping and considering things in some new ways, and ultimately had me going through and re-writing whole chapters and scenes as I came to better understand Elliott and Sarah, our two main protagonists. Additionally it allowed me to have some fun with the older characters and scenes with more nuance and other elements that older readers will notice: subtle ways things are said, how they come across to the younger character(s), etc.

As far as challenges to the world building, the biggest challenge was in realizing that I’d still have to craft a pretty detailed history and culture for various people even if the world—and the populous by extension—is crumbling around them. I had foolishly thought in the beginning that because things are going to be on their last legs, as it were, it wasn’t really important to get too much into the history and background of things. But I didn’t get too far into the process before realizing I’d been mistaken.

I had to take some time off writing to build the world—crafting things that most folks won’t ever see or know—so I’d have a solid foundation upon which to rest the story. So no matter how much I had tried to get around it the present, it turns out, is very much predicated on the past. That said, I did manage to get in some of that history and background in each of the books in the way of appendices readers can explore if they’re seeking more context and background to certain aspects of the world and/or story.

It was refreshing to get something more “low fantasy” in the mix too. In some ways it made for some more interesting stories as you can’t just have them zap something with a spell or laser to save the day. There’s a level of grit and reality that permeates the narrative space I found intriguing and added some interesting parameters and feeling to the tale.

As the Sparrow Flies is the first in a trilogy. Can you give us any hints about what’s coming next, in the Sojourners’ Saga?

First off, the entire series has been written. I tend to write the whole series of a work before I submit it to publishers. That way we all know what we’re getting into and it allows me a chance to go back and better align the tale so it flows smoothly from beginning to end. Having it finished also helps with readers, many of whom can be leery about approaching a new series. If they know it’s finished from the get go it’s less of a risk in giving it their consideration.

In the two remaining novels (each to be released in May over the next two years) Sarah and Elliott will come to face their beliefs about themselves and what they previously held so dear while also trying to stay alive long enough to reach some perceived better place for them as both their personal worlds along with the planet unravel around them.

There will be action, exploration of more of the world and its history, as well as a bonding between these two unlikely persons who come to see more of the truth that has so long eluded them and others of the world all these years. And, ultimately, there will be some interesting answers and developments that unfold—for both reader and characters alike.

Tell us about your library. What’s on your own shelves?

Not as much as there used to be. Since I’m always working on something—world building, writing, etc.—I haven’t read as much for pleasure as I used to, usually focusing on more non-fiction topics tied to business or writing or other areas I’m seeking to explore for creating worlds, making websites, or something else I’m engaged in at the present.

That said, some recent titles I’ve been able to squeeze in are the new Calvin and Hobbes collection that came out last year, picking up some of the latest Conan comics—Conan the Barbarian Vol. 1, Conan the Barbarian Vol. 2, Conan the Barbarian by Jim Zub Vol. 1—from Marvel before they went to Titan Comics for their new editions, Blood of the Serpent by S.M. Stirling, and the two latest Dragonlance novels by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (Dragons of Deceit, Dragons of Fate). Next on my TBR pile is Winter’s Song: A Hymn to the North by T.D. Mishchke, which talks about winters in the Midwest.

What have you been reading lately, and what would you recommend to other readers?

While I think those with a fantasy-bent to their reading preferences might enjoy the above-mentioned titles, over the years I’ve found myself revisiting some of Robert E. Howard’s writing on occasion. In particular, I’ve rather enjoyed exploring his other characters outside of Conan such as El Borak, Bran Mak Morn, Solomon Kane, and Kull.

Now granted, these stories might not be everyone’s cup of tea and some are better than others, but two tales really have stood out to me over the years for different reasons: The Screaming Skull of Silence and The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune.

Both are Kull stories and are rather short, but just have something that inspired me in various ways with my own writing and world building, I guess. But they also, I now realize, are rather part of a dystopian flavor that permeate a good deal of Howard’s work—especially with his Kull stories, which feature a character who was literally ruling over an empire and people in decline. So, in a way, I guess you could argue that these stories (with many others over the years) helped provide some of the initial ideas and atmosphere for Sojourners’ Saga, bringing us neatly full circle to where we started with this interview…

Labels: author interview, interview

Monday, April 1st, 2024

April 2024 Early Reviewers Batch Is Live!

Win free books from the April 2024 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 175 books this month, and a grand total of 3,614 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Thursday, April 25th at 6PM EDT.

Eligibility: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and more. Make sure to check the message on each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Until Our Time ComesWhat Does Little Crocodile Say at the Birthday Party?Roy Is Not a DogThe Hypnotic Tales of Rafael SabatiniFair Shake: Women and the Fight to Build a Just EconomyThe Book Censor's LibraryHow the Light Gets InTo & FroBuster: A DogRain Breaks No BonesThe Hudson CollectionBorn of Gilded MountainsRocky Mountain JourneyToward the DawnSetting His CapAfter Dinner Conversation - Crimes & PunishmentsAfter Dinner Conversation - BioethicsWhite Dove, Tell MeNo Charity in the Wilderness: PoemsThe Fast: The History, Science, Philosophy, and Promise of Doing WithoutThe Ghost of Ravenswood HallThe Overlanding Vehicle Builder's GuideQuarter-Mile Corvettes 1953-1975: The History of Chevrolet's Sports Car at the Drag StripBlood and WaterBummer at Luna BeachThe Rising Tides of Beru1988: A Poetic Diary of a Wrexham AuthorThis Kind of Man: StoriesHearts on Thin IceKnee Deep in MurderSo Now I Get It: The Miracle of Soul-Centred CounsellingTimeslayersMétis Like MeAnd Then There Was UsMile End Kids Stories: Colette, Albert and MayaShineFerren and the Doomsday MissionGiant Trouble: The Mystery of the Magic BeansShe Lived UnknownGirls NightBe Kind Always - In All WaysAll Who Believed: A Memoir of Life in the Twelve TribesMarcelo, Martello, MarshmallowThe Secret Candy DrawerL. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume 40From Sweetgrass BridgeThe Pheeworker's OathA Tale of Friendship and Health / Una historia de amistad y saludHow to Align the StarsThree Hearts Stitched: Poems about AdoptionInsolventAll the Animals Were SleepingDrawn from LifeThe Search: A Story about a JourneyThe Last LeviathanA Kingdom of Souls and ShadowsThe Other Side of the MirrorSadie Does Not Like SorriesThe Neighbors' SecretI Sleep Around: The Humorous Memoir of a Nomadic WriterA Book Club's Guide to Murder & MayhemBound Across TimeThe Ghost of Loon LakeSocial Media Marketing Essentials You Always Wanted to KnowData Analytics Essentials You Always Wanted to Know (2024)The Dinosaur and MeAn Orphan of the LightThe Poppy FieldA Dry Heat: Collected StoriesETA: The Trial of Logan GruverPhelan's GoldThe Anti-Semite Next Door?Kip's Funny Little FeetRed PinesHomeland InsecurityRVMirror ImageA Perfectly Good Fantasy: A MemoirA Perfectly Good Fantasy: A MemoirCensorship from Plato to Social Media: The Complexity of Social Media's Content Regulation and Moderation PracticesJameson Rescues His Best FriendSpliced UpThe Witch HouseThe Demon and the WitchCloser to HomePrey for the DevilJundiVincent's Women: The Untold Story of the Loves of Vincent Van GoghYou're Not Your Job: Going Above and Beyond for YourselfSaviour of BabylonThe Arrival100 Places You'll Find in Heaven: A Non-Biblically Accurate Guide to the AfterlifeUnveiling 11 Relationship Styles: Secrets Nobody Told You: Reinventing Dating and Friendship Apps: Insights from Evolution, Science, and PsychologyRun Away to MarsThe Returnप्रोफेसर साहब : प्रेम, प्रतीक्षा और परीक्षाTalk With the Moon: Silence Between StarsBio Marty Vita: Life Life LifeWant Do Get: A Screenwriter's ManualSpillageThe Pig Patrol: Adventure in SpaceAnxious GirlThe Sun Stone & The Hybrid PrinceDaddy's Little StrangerFamous People Around The World: Learn About Their Personal Life, Career, Legacy, Interesting Stories and Much More (Volume 01A)The Next Run: A UC Berkeley Student’s Rise to Major Pot SmugglerWhat Grows From the DeadInfinitudeEverything No One Tells You about Parenting a Disabled Child: Your Guide to the Essential Systems, Services, and SupportsBreaking Free: Stop Holding Back, Start Being You: Your Guide to Creating the Career & Life of Your DreamsSummoned by the Earth: Becoming a Holy Vessel for Healing Our WorldEarth and Soul: Reconnecting Amid Climate ChaosJudOnce We Were WitchesI'd Rather Be Dead Than Deaf: A Young Woman's Journey With Liver CancerI’m Tired, Not Lazy: Recharge Your Life With The Power of AcceptanceUnder the SkinOlivia Cole and the Legend of the Silver SeedAnvil of GodShelby’s Season of SurpriseTarnished PilgrimSmoke and LightThoughts & Tangents: Musings on Life, Society, and SelfShelby Becomes a Horse GirlSpindleheart: Trail of Shadow and SpoolThe Phantom EnforcerThe Northwest DeceptionUnder Far Galaxian SkiesStone Feather FangSiPEli Elephant Works Through Emotions: Practicing Kindness Along the WayThe Peppercorn Tree and Other Australian PoemsFrannie: Memoir of a FriendshipThe Invisible WarThe Four QueensProof of Life After Death: True Stories of the Afterlife & Spirit CommunicationMilk Before MeatShadow Work Journal & Adult Coloring Book: Unveil Your Inner Strength, Find Peace Through Animal Wisdom And Experience True Transformation Through Art Therapy, Reflection, And AffirmationsThe Guardians of KawtsAlley of Scented RosesFaythe of North Hinkapee: The Saga of a Young Woman’s Quest for Justice and Love in Colonial AmericaGabriel's Tooth Fairy TaleEmergent MarsCreamRascalNovaMIND GAMELeft Wing, Right Wing, People, and Power: The Core Dynamics of Political ActionA Chef on Ice: Living and Working As a Chef in AntarcticaWhy AI? Is Smartest... Is Dangerous... Is DivineBright College Years: (or, If That's Not Life)The Great Escape of Goddess Innana: A Law of Attraction Troubleshooting GuideThe Smooth Fulfillment of the SoulThe Alchemical Book of LilithThe Heron LegacySoundbite with SherlockThe Cultist's WifeAn Element of MagicThe Unbroken QueenPresenters Aren’t Robots: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Fearless and Engaging Public SpeakerThe Infinet DirectivesSinta, Sorceress-DetectiveThe Bear's Black JawAstrology in the Era of Uncertainty: An Astropoetic Exploration of Psyche and CosmosFrom Hitler to Here: The Dolores Wieland StorySonya: Fast HorsesYour True Self Is Enough: Lessons Learned on My Journey Parenting a Child with AutismWhen Nothing is Going Your Way: A Guide to Thriving Through Tough TimesSomething GainedThe Art of Job Hunting: A Dramedy in VerseDave and the Love GunPlease DO NOT GO To ParisGhosts of History: The Temple of AoddaBest Little Marriage Handbook: A Powerhouse Of Great Discussions - The Love Behaviors & 8 Safe Communication Skills That Make Great MarriagesThe Prince of Oregon

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

After Dinner Conversation Inc Akashic Books Alcove Press
Babbly Bellevue Literary Press Bethany House
Bumpity Boulevard Press CarTech Books Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC
City Owl Press Edufrienz 99 Egret Lake Books
eSpec Books EverImagine Books Galaxy Press
Grand Canyon Press Grousable Books Harbor Lane Books, LLC.
HB Publishing House Hot Tree Publishing IFWG Publishing International
Literary Wanderlust LLC Mirror World Publishing Nosy Crow US
PublishNation Purple Diamond Press, Inc Restless Books
Revell Rootstock Publishing Simon & Schuster
Tapioca Stories Themes & Settings in Fiction Press Tiny Ghost Press
Tundra Books University of Nevada Press Unsolicited Press
Vibrant Publishers William Morrow

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Thursday, March 21st, 2024

TinyCat’s March Library of the Month: Toowong Bridge Club

TinyCat’s Library of the Month is all about fun and games! Or, rather, the particular card game of Bridge (formally known as Contract Bridge). The Toowong Bridge Club based out of Brisbane, Australia has been using TinyCat since 2021 to make sure their members can always access the library to advance their skills. 

I had the pleasure of interviewing Toowong Bridge Club Librarian Jill Duffield for the feature, and here’s what she had to say:

Who are you, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”? 

The Mission of the Toowong Bridge Club, by implementing TinyCat, was to make the library more accessible to the 800+ members so they could improve their game of Bridge.

Tell us some interesting things about how your library supports the community, and feel free to share how you got started with TinyCat.

Before we moved to automating the TBC Library there were over 800 books on the game of Contract Bridge that had been collected over the years since the Toowong Bridge Club opened in 1965. Members were able to browse the physical shelves of the Library for 30 minutes before each game started. They were assisted by volunteers on different days who recorded books that were borrowed on a borrowers’ sheet. When the books were returned, these books were crossed off this sheet. Members did have access to a simple printed subject catalogue at this time.

Toowong Bridge Club members at play.

In 2020 I was asked by the TBC Committee to investigate an affordable way to automate the Library. After looking at over eight free or very inexpensive systems, I recommended the Club use TinyCat. I then spent almost a year cataloguing each Bridge book. I tried to provide a recognisable tag for every chapter of every book. Some books have up to 20 tags attached to them. I was conscious that I needed to keep these tags consistent as I worked and we now have over 100 tags that can be attached to books. Members appreciate that they can search via the tags as well as via title or author.

When I had completed adding the books to TinyCat, I sent the link to the catalogue to all members. Initially it was intended that the books would be signed out using the barcode reader but it was decided with the number of different volunteers assisting with the library, it was easier to continue using the “Borrowers’ Record Sheet” and this appears to work well for us. Members now look at the website at home and come to the club to ask to borrow particular books after noting their call numbers. We are very pleased with the look of the TinyCat website and the access it gives members to our collection. 

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

The newest books by Barbara Seagram appear to be the most popular so I have purchased them in multiple copies. I also run the “Book Stall” stand in the Toowong Bridge Club, where members donate their fiction books which we “sell” for $1 per book. The money raised is used to buy new books for the Bridge Club Library.

What’s your favorite thing about LibraryThing and TinyCat, is there anything you’d love to see implemented or developed?

My favourite thing about TinyCat is the fact that it is so easy to add books to the catalogue. I love that you can search for a new book and just add it to TinyCat without having to do a full catalogue. I then edit the record by adding the call number, tags, barcode and photo if necessary. I found the ease of arranging the look of the TinyCat web page, that is seen by the elderly borrowers, was great too. I left out a lot of information that I knew they would not need so the page remains clear.

Yes, I highly recommend LibraryThing for small libraries. I have been using my personal account since about 2011 to keep track of my novel reading too. Thank you Kristi and your  team!

I’m so glad TinyCat has worked so well for your Bridge Club and its members!

Want to learn more about the Toowong Bridge Club? 

Visit their website at https://www.toowongbridgeclub.com/index.asp, and check out their full TinyCat collection here.

To read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

Want to be considered for TinyCat’s Library of the Month? Send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Monday, March 18th, 2024

Translator Interview: Karen Emmerich

Karen Emmerich

LibraryThing is pleased to sit down this month with award-winning translator and scholar Karen Emmerich, an associate professor of comparative literature at Princeton University whose focus is on modern Greek literature and on the theory and practice of translation. Her 2017 study, Literary Translation and the Making of Originals, examines translation as a process which goes beyond the transmission of an original work from one language to another, one which transforms and expands the work into its new language. Her own translations include Good Will Come From the Sea by Christos Ikonomou (2018), Before Lyricism by Eleni Vakalo (2016), The Scapegoat by Sofia Nikolaidou (2015), and Why I Killed My Best Friend by Amánda Michalopoulou (2014), among many others, and she has been the recipient of translation grants and awards from the NEA, PEN, and the Modern Greek Studies Association. In 2019 she won the National Translation Award for What’s Left of the Night by Ersi Sotiropoulos. Emmerich’s new translation of Alki Zei’s 1963 novel, The Wildcat Behind Glass, which follows the story of a family in 1930s Greece that is torn apart by the rise of fascism, and which is considered one of the classics of modern Greek children’s literature, is due out this coming May from Restless Books.

Before we get to issues of translation, talk to us as a reader. What was your reaction when you first read The Wildcat Behind Glass? What makes Alki Zei’s story so powerful that her book has become a classic?

I first read the novel many years ago, as part of my research for a different translation: Amanda Michalopoulou’s Why I Killed My Best Friend, which tells the coming-of-age story of two young girls in Greece in the 1970s and 1980s who are growing into their friendship and also into lives of leftist political engagement. Alki Zei’s The Wildcat Behind Glass, written in the 1960s and set in 1936, is a key point of reference for the two girls in their political awakening. So from the start I understood Zei’s book not only as part of a tradition of politically engaged literature for children, but also as a widely-read “classic” with the power to shape children’s experiences of their current realities. I immediately fell in love with The Wildcat Behind Glass, and I’ve been wanting to translate it ever since.

Zei’s novel has so many things to recommend it: crisp, engaging writing; a story that pulls you in and keeps you moving in unexpected directions; compelling characters; and social and political commentary that feels incredibly important in our current moment, which is witnessing such a distressing erosion of democratic structures. For me, a book for young readers dealing with the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1930s felt like an important project to undertake.

Can you describe your translation process? Imagine you’re speaking to someone who has never translated a sentence in their life before. Where do you start, and how do you proceed?

I always read a book through a few times first. Then I sit with it for a while and try to think about what kinds of other texts I want my translation to be in dialogue with, and what kinds of readers I hope will find their way to it. What kinds of conversations do I want the book contribute to? What different readerships will it touch? How can I best serve those readers and conversations with my translation? I find that it helps if I imagine really specific readers—actual people I know in the world.

When I have a sense of these general goals, I sit down with the book propped on a bookstand beside me and just dig in. I try to translate all the way through a text as quickly as I can, not worrying too much about the specific choices of particular words or phrases—I’m mostly trying to get a feel for the language I’m going to be using in the translation, the register, the tone, the pacing, the rhythm. Then I revise. All of my translations go through many, many, many drafts. For much of the time, I put away the Greek and focus on the English, trying to make it the best version of itself that I can. Then I pull the Greek back out and make sure I’m keeping my text aligned with what I think the Greek is doing, both in local choices and in overall approach.

Toward the end of the process, I always bring in other readers to let me know how the translation lands with them. With this translation, I was very lucky to get to share the book with a few of my (undergraduate and graduate) students, as well as with my daughter (5 at the time), my nephews (7 and 9), and a friend’s daughter (12), all of whom gave me fantastic feedback about some of my translation choices—feedback I then incorporated during further rounds of edits. It was very exciting to be able to do that, since they were some of the readers I was imagining when I first set out to translate the book.

Most of the books you have previously translated are works of literature for adults. Are there differences between working on a children’s book and working on one for adults, issues that need to be considered when translating for a juvenile audience?

First of all, I would say that I hope this book is widely read by readers of all ages; I don’t think of it as a book that is strictly for juvenile audiences. But yes, I did face many issues when trying to take those younger readers into consideration—and the feedback I got from my young family members, students, and friends was so helpful. For instance, in most of my translations, I use dashes rather than quotation marks to indicate dialogue, as is standard in Greek. It’s a technique that’s not unheard of in U.S. fiction for adults, but my younger readers for The Wildcat Behind Glass found it confusing, so I introduced quotation marks instead. Similarly, I chose to translate honorifics into more standard English terms of address, where I might not have for an older audience. Because it’s a historical novel, written in the 1960s and taking place in the 1930s, I also felt like I was balancing a desire for the book to be comprehensible to a wide range of readers with a desire for it to have some flavor of the past in its language. I wanted the translation to be an exciting read, but also not to feel entirely contemporary, to have a sense of historicity. I hope I got the balance right!

In your study, Literary Translation and the Making of Originals, you look at the translation process as one of transformation, one in which the translator adds something to the work. What do you feel you added to Alki Zei’s work? How will the Anglophone reader’s experience of your translation differ from the Greek reader’s experience of the “original?”

I think what I added to Alki Zei’s work is, quite simply, a new English version that can be read by people for whom English is a more comfortable language to read in than Greek, or than any of the many other languages in which Zei’s novel has been translated. I don’t think there is any single way that Anglophone readers will experience the book, or that Greek readers experience the book, either. That said, the Anglophone reader is probably less likely to come at the book with a sense of it being a “classic,” and with less of a sense of the specific place and historical context in which it is set. I suspect that many younger readers of the book in the Anglophone context might know Greece best from the Percy Jackson books. I hope The Wildcat Behind Glass will open up new conversations among these readers about a place and a history I care deeply about. I also hope it will make them want to get their hands on more of Zei’s books, more literature coming out of Greece, and more translated literature in general.

The Wildcat Behind Glass has been translated into English before. In fact, Edward Fenton’s 1968 translation was awarded the American Library Association’s Mildred L. Batchelder Award, which recognizes the best children’s books translated into English. Was it at all intimidating to approach a work that had already been translated to some acclaim? Did you read Fenton’s translation before beginning your own?

Yes, I did read Fenton’s translation. It was out of print at the time, and even before I considered retranslating the novel, I thought maybe I could simply find a publisher who would want to reprint Fenton’s text. But when I read the translation, I realized I really just wanted to make my own. Fenton’s translation is great—but I also felt like I could create a new translation that would land differently, more vibrantly, with a current generation of readers. I had already made what felt like an importantly different choice in how to translate some key words quoted from the text in Michalopoulou’s Why I Killed My Best Friend—made-up words the two sisters share as a kind of secret vocabulary—and so I knew my tack would be quite different. I also think it’s great to have more than one translation of a work of literature out there in the world: that way readers can compare translations and see more easily what stance each of the translators is taking, the
choices they’re making.

What do you find the most rewarding about your work as a translator? The most challenging?

I love almost everything about the process. I love reading with the close attention to the structures and details of a text that translation requires. I love the research aspect of the job, too, the rabbit holes you can fall down trying to understand certain moments in a text. I love solving language puzzles, and figuring out how to make English do things it might not have done before. I also really love being part of a community of translators working between many different language pairs; it’s an incredibly generous, caring, and mutually supporting community. There are, of course, many challenges, as well, both textual and extra-textual. For instance: trying to advocate for equitable labor conditions for translators, for adequate recognition of translation as both creative and intellectual labor, for increased diversity both in the field of translation and in the realm of translated literature, and for the place and value of cultural products from elsewhere and/or first written in other languages. Because all that is part of the job, too.

Tell us about your library. What’s on your own shelves?

I live in a small NYC apartment, so I’ve gotten about as economical as I can with my books. It’s one reason why I feel very grateful to have access to a great university library, as well as to the amazing Brooklyn public library system: I can read so much more literature than I could ever possibly hope to keep in my home! But I do still have lots of Greek literature, translated literature from other languages (I subscribe to a few presses that specialize in literature in translation, like Archipelago Books, so I get their entire catalogues each year), literary criticism and theory, and books about translation. My daughter is 6 so we also have a pretty huge collection of her books—including tons of great new books in translation, from presses like Elsewhere Editions and Enchanted Lion.

What have you been reading lately, and what would you recommend to other readers? Are there specific translators and translations you recommend?

Frankly, most of my recent reading is probably not of much interest to a wide audience! I’m writing an academic book about citizenship and forms of literary belonging in the modern Greek context, so I’ve been reading a lot of scholarly material on legal and political systems of inclusion and exclusion, which I find fascinating but are perhaps a bit off the beaten path for most. As for translators and translations, there are too many beloved texts and translators for me to mention all of them here, so I’ll just stick to a few recent reads. From the Archipelago subscription, two of my recent favorites are Chi-Young Kim’s translation of Cheon Myeong-Kwan’s The Whale and Maureen Freely’s translation of Sevgi Soysal’s Dawn—very different books, neither an easy read, but two incredibly careful and inspiring translations. I also love Sophie Hughes’s recent translations of Fernanda Melchor’s work, published by New Directions. And in the context of the genocide happening in Gaza, I also must recommend Elisabeth Jaquette’s stunning translation of Adania Shibli’s Minor Detail.

Labels: interview, translation

Friday, March 1st, 2024

March 2024 Early Reviewers Batch Is Live!

Win free books from the March 2024 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 155 books this month, and a grand total of 2,828 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, March 25th at 6PM EDT.

Eligibility: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta and more. Make sure to check the message on each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Her Part to PlayThe Aziola's Cry: A Novel of the ShelleysBlood TornThe Dishonest Miss TakeThe Goat and the Stoat and the BoatExtreme Survival: How People, Plants, and Animals Live in the World's Toughest PlacesThis Is NOT a Dinosaur!The Quickest Bedtime Story Ever!Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man's Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the HolocaustI Disappeared ThemThe Billabong TrailSecondary TargetFor a LifetimeA Run at LoveThe Sisters of CorinthWith Each TomorrowThe Mother Artist: Portraits of Ambition, Limitation, and CreativityWe Refuse to Be Silent: Women's Voices on Justice for Black MenThe Work Is the Work: Letters to a Future ActivistThe Wildcat Behind GlassThe ImposterIn Excess of DarkKosaThe Demon of Devil's CavernThe Color of SoundCrossing Divides: My Journey to Standing RockFinding Myron: An Adopted Son's Search for His Birth FatherThe Death Project: An Anthology for the LivingHomefront: StoriesFire on a Circle: PoemsFrom the Farm, to Our TableWalk of Ages: A Generational Journey from Mt. Whitney to Death ValleyCircle of Sawdust: A Circus Memoir of Mud, Myth, Mirth, Mayhem and MagicTenderloinFutureFuturoBirdhouse JesusPaws for Thought: Life Through a Dog's EyesHere for the Wrong ReasonsPreacher Stalls the Second ComingBug in a VacuumThe Further Adventures of Miss PetitfourThe Good Little Mermaid's Guide to BedtimeThe Lightning CircleSparkles, No SparklesThe GulfWater, WaterThe Desk from HobokenHoly SmokeLearning to SwimHow to Align the StarsThe Swan HarpHumanizing Classroom Management: Restorative Practices and Universal Design for LearningSamsung Galaxy S24: A Comprehensive Guide to PhotographyPre-Pulitzer PoetryASP. NET Core 8 and Angular: Full-Stack Web Development with ASP. NET Core 8 and AngularAs the Sparrow FliesThe Marble QueenBusiness Communication Essentials You Always Wanted to KnowMarketing Management Essentials You Always Wanted to KnowGRE Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real Essay Topics - Book 1 (Ninth Edition)The Destiny Book: Rediscovering the Mother of SpiritualityThe Law of Birthdays: A Story about ChoiceTreacheryEmpowerment: A Journey of DiscoveryPoems for Princesses with Peas Under Their MattressesThrough the Veneer of TimeThe East WindMental Exercises for Dogs: Unlocking Behavior SolutionsA LadyFinders Keepers, CowboyDevi's GameCameron and the Shadow-Wraiths: A Battle of Anxiety vs. TrustWhite WhaleCome And Get MeFamous Composers: Lives, Stories, and Legacy (Volume 1)Princess OhletherbeShelby Becomes a Horse GirlThe Last Free DogPrincess Rouran and the Book of the LivingSwimming with Lord Byron: A BiographyPrayer in Time of WarDeath by TheftThe Spirit WellOwn Your Color: How to Unleash Your Limitless Potential with One Secret Tool: M.E.N.T.O.RCo-Parenting With a NarcissistApocalypse Still: StoriesThe Fast: The History, Science, Philosophy, and Promise of Doing WithoutOff SeasonDivorcing a Narcissist Forever: Recover from the Emotional and Narcissistic Abuse of a Toxic Relationship or Destructive Marriage, and Start Co-Parenting the Right WayThe Anti-Semite Next DoorThe ReturnKip's Funny Little FeetStumbling StonesThe ClimbMIND GAMEMe PowerTough Trail HomeCommune of the Golden SunWorlds ApartFinding Designated Ground ZeroArmageddonCloset of DreamsAn Element of MagicShattered Windows: Flash FictionThis Haggadah Is the Way: A Star Wars Unofficial Passover ParodyDaxNight ShadowsWandering from China to America: A Life Straddling Different WorldsThe Assays of AtaRuminations: stories, essays & poemsLet Them TrembleBy the Orchid and the OwlThe Great Escape of Goddess Innana: A Law of Attraction Troubleshooting GuideThe Smooth Fulfillment of the SoulA Seat at the C-Suite Table: Insights from the Leadership Journeys of African American ExecutivesSmoke and LightThe Tale of the Little Hedgehog and the Great FloodThe Last Survivor: Lessons From the Past and the Dying Dream of FreedomAstrology in the Era of Uncertainty: An Astropoetic Exploration of Psyche and CosmosHearts in ClawThese Things HappenFathers and SonsErisThe Get Ready Blueprint: A 52-Week Guide to Changing the Way You Think about MoneyMarriage and HangingBest Little Marriage Handbook: A Powerhouse Of Great Discussions - The Love Behaviors & 8 Safe Communication Skills That Make Great MarriagesSoundbite with SherlockRoot Karbunkulus and the Miist of KalliopeThe Sunny Day Squad: The Quest for the CaringstoneMothersound: The Sauútiverse AnthologyDrawn from LifeLost DistillationRaising Wrenns: A MemoirBlood DebtSwinging Away: A CelebrationThe Story of MadrikaWe Are HuntedThe Emotional Backpack: How to Release Unhealthy FeelingsThe Infinet DirectivesPress Heart to JoinAlone | All In One: A Solitary JourneyA Black and Solemn SilenceDrawn to MurderSavior on the ZenithHow Did Christianity Begin?: Hallucinations? Fabrications? Myths? Resurrection?: A Look at the Evidence.Horse Girl: A Journey HomePlease DO NOT GO to BangkokThe Man with the Butterfly MindTokyo Outdoors: 45 Walks, Hikes and Cycling Routes to Explore the City Like a LocalEntropyThe Ring EternalThe Debate Team - Freshman YearA.I. & YouBlack Phoenix

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Akashic Books Alcove Press Bethany House
BHC Press Blue Cedar Press Broadleaf Books
Bushwhack Books Cardinal Rule Press Dark Horse Books
DarkLit Press Egret Lake Books eSpec Books
Gnome Road Publishing Harbor Lane Books, LLC. History Through Fiction
Identity Publications IngramSpark LaPuerta Books and Media
Lerner Publishing Group Nosy Crow US Packt Publishing
Perch & Pen Books Personville Press PublishNation
Restless Books Revell Rootstock Publishing
Tapioca Stories Tundra Books Twisted Road Publications
Type Eighteen Books University of Nevada Press Vibrant Publishers

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Thursday, February 29th, 2024

TinyCat’s February Library of the Month: Ingleside at King Farm

TinyCat’s Library of the Month is that of a wonderful life plan community called Ingleside at King Farm (IKF), located just outside of Washington, D.C. IKF’s collections are actually two separate libraries managed by a volunteer committee, many of whom are former librarians.

I had the pleasure of interviewing IKF’s Library Committee Chair Judy Sandstrom for this month’s feature, here’s what she had to say:

Who are you, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”? 

Ingleside at King Farm is a life plan community of about 500 residents in Montgomery County, Maryland, about 10 miles from Washington D.C.  

When it opened in 2009, the then about 300 residents donated books from their personal collections and a volunteer library committee developed a database record of the library.

New construction in 2019 brought an additional 200 residents, a new location for the library, and additional retired librarians. At that point we were able to migrate to TinyCat and expand our collection.

Very soon after Covid hit and we had to modify our lending practices. Library access was closed, and residents sent email requests to the committee. Books were signed out and placed in bags outside the library for pick up. Thankfully we are back to normal library operations. 

We manage two libraries totaling 4000+ books and DVDs, one for independent living residents, the other for assisted living residents who are housed on a separate floor.

The library is managed by a committee made up in large part by former librarians from various types of libraries: public, school, law, and federal, as well as volunteers who love libraries.

Image: IKF’s Volunteer Library Committee

Tell us some other interesting things about how your library supports the community.

We publish a monthly column for our inhouse newsletter focusing on different aspects of our collection ranging from columns on how to access TinyCat from our online platform to “books of the month”. 

We have a large print collection in the Assisted Living Library

Our homepage has been modified to add links to our county library system and libraries for the blind or accessibility challenged residents.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

We have a collection of about 25 books written by our residents.

What a vibrant and interesting community! Is there a particular challenge your library experiences?

Because our library has no budget, we depend on donations from residents. Additionally, our space is limited resulting in restrictions in the number and type of books we will accept.

Our committee was hoping to use the TinyCat online checkout system, but because our residents range in age from 70 to 100+, the steps required are not practical for this community.

What’s your favorite thing about LibraryThing and TinyCat, and what’s something you’d love to see implemented/developed?

The display of new book covers brings residents to the library pretty quickly! We love the feature “Similar in this Library.”

We instituted a barcode project hoping to use it for online checkout but find it helpful with general circulation. TinyCat made the project simple and quick.

Because our holdings are limited and some residents are visually and mobility challenged, we would love to have a seamless link to Libby from our homepage.

You can certainly add a link to your library on Libby, if you have one (such as this one for the Montgomery County Public Library), or you can add live links to individual records by using LibraryThing’s “Comments” field (which show up as “Local notes” on TinyCat Detail pages), but let me know if you’re looking for something else!

Want to learn more about Ingleside at King Farm?

Check out their full TinyCat collection here.

To read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

Want to be considered for TinyCat’s Library of the Month? Send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Wednesday, February 14th, 2024

Come Join the 2024 Valentine Hunt!

It’s February 14th, and that means the return of our annual Valentine Hunt!

We’ve scattered a collection of hearts around the site, and it’s up to you to try and find them all.

  • Decipher the clues and visit the corresponding LibraryThing pages to find a heart. Each clue points to a specific page right here on LibraryThing. Remember, they are not necessarily work pages!
  • If there’s a heart on a page, you’ll see a banner at the top of the page.
  • You have a little more than two weeks to find all the hearts (until 11:59pm EST, Thursday February 29th).
  • Come brag about your collection of hearts (and get hints) on Talk.

Win prizes:

  • Any member who finds at least two hearts will be
    awarded a heart badge Badge ().
  • Members who find all 14 hearts will be entered into a drawing for some LibraryThing (or TinyCat) swag. We’ll announce winners at the end of the hunt.

P.S. Thanks to conceptDawg for the cardinal illustration!

Labels: treasure hunt

Monday, February 5th, 2024

Author Interview: Kristin Hannah

LibraryThing is pleased to sit down this month with bestselling author Kristin Hannah, who has had twenty-four novels published from 1991 through 2021. Trained as a lawyer, she practiced law in Seattle for a time before devoting herself to writing full time. Her best-selling book, The Nightingale (2015) has sold more than 4.5 million copies globally, and has been translated into 45 languages, while her 2008 Firefly Lane was adapted in a popular 2021 Netflix series of the same name. Hannah’s twenty-fifth novel, The Women, which chronicles the lives of women coming of age during the 1960s, is due out from Macmillan this month.

Your new book follows the story of a young woman who joins the Army Nurse Corps, and follows her brother to Vietnam. How did the story first come to you? Did it start with the character of Frankie, or was it the idea of a woman living through these events that came first?

This is actually a book I have wanted to write for more than twenty years. I grew up during the Vietnam era, and even though I was in elementary school, the war cast a huge shadow across my life. A very close girlfriend’s father was a pilot who served and was shot down and was Missing In Action. In those days, we wore silver prisoner of war bracelets that commemorated a missing serviceman. The idea was to wear the bracelet until he came home. Well, my friend’s father never did come home and I wore that bracelet for years, and was reminded of him and his service and war each day. I was a young teenager when the war ended, and I remembered how the veterans were treated when they returned home after their service. It was a shameful time in America and that, too, cast a long shadow. For years, I wanted to write about the turbulence and chaos and division of the times, but it wasn’t until the pandemic, when I was on lockdown in Seattle, confined to my home essentially, and watching our nurses and doctors serving on the front lines of the pandemic, becoming exhausted amid the political division of the time that it all came together for me. That’s when I knew I was ready to write about the women who served in the war and were forgotten at home.

The 1960s was a time of great change and social upheaval, and has been written about extensively, as has the war. What does The Women bring to the table? Do you feel it offers a new perspective, and if so, why is that important?

Honestly, for years and years, the Vietnam War was kind of a taboo subject. The American mood seemed to be that when the war finally ended, no one wanted to talk about it, so I actually think there are a lot of stories out there that need to be told. I hope The Women will encourage other stories. And yes, the novel adds an important element to the war narrative—its the story of the women who served and how they dealt with that service when they came home. It’s about their lost and forgotten service. The nurses who served in Vietnam were tough, resilient, courageous. Their story is one to be remembered.

Tell us a little bit about your process, writing the book. Did you have to do a great deal of research? What are some of the most interesting things you learned about the period? Was there anything you found particularly difficult to write about?

I love doing a deep, deep dive into a time and place, and certainly this time in America and in Vietnam were a daunting task to try and understand. That’s one of the reasons that I focused on my character of Frankie McGrath; I was able to tell a big, epic story in a very intimate way. The most difficult part of this book, in the writing, was the fear I felt that veterans of the war would be reading it, and the seriousness of my ambition to do right by them, to tell their story in an honest, accurate, and unflinching way. I am proud to say that the word of mouth on the book from Vietnam veterans has been the highlight of my long career. I am so proud to shine a light on their service.

Your story centers female friendship, even as it depicts characters whose wartime experiences are suppressed and disregarded, in part because they are women. What is it about this tension, between the private and public lives of women, that makes for such a powerful story?

We are lucky to be living in a time when forgotten and marginalized stories are being celebrated. I think when it comes to women’s stories, it’s just important to put us back in the historical narrative. All too often our service and courage and grit have been overlooked by the people who wrote the history books and taught the classes. I want to ensure that the women coming of age now, and their daughters and sons, will know and appreciate the importance of women’s roles in history. And yes, The Women definitely is a novel that highlights female friendship. For years, we have seen and read about men’s friendships that are forged in the fire of battle, and women are no different. So many women keep up those friendships, lean on them, for the whole of their lives, and I love to show that. The beating heart of The Women, for all it’s wartime drama and peacetime conflict, is really the friendship of the female combat vets.

Tell us about your library. What’s on your own shelves?

Like any book lover, my house is crowded with books on shelves. They are everywhere! I have fiction shelves and non fiction shelves galore. But I do have some enduring favorites that I always recommend: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón; One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez; The Witching Hour by Anne Rice; and The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy.

What have you been reading lately, and what would you recommend to other readers?

Well, at the moment, I am trying to come up with a new idea, which is surprisingly difficult to do. Following The Women will not be easy. My favorite recent reads are: The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, All the Colors of the Dark, Demon Copperhead, and The Good Left Undone. Also, there are several Vietnam nurse memoirs that I read in researching The Women that I think are amazing: Healing Wounds: A Vietnam War Combat Nurse’s 10-Year Fight to Win Women a Place of Honor in Washington, D.C. by Diane Carlson Evans; American Daughter Gone to War: On the Front Lines With an Army Nurse in Vietnam by Winnie Smith; and Home Before Morning: The Story of an Army Nurse in Vietnam by Linda Van Devanter.

Labels: author interview, interview

Thursday, February 1st, 2024

February 2024 Early Reviewers Batch Is Live!

Win free books from the February 2024 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 180 books this month, and a grand total of 3,427 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, February 26th at 6PM EST.

Eligibility: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Slovenia and more. Make sure to check the message on each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

The Road Before UsThe Swan HarpThe Girl Who Planted TreesFlight of the Wild SwanThe Hebrew TeacherOpposite IdenticalsThe Poppy FieldThe Seafarer's SecretRebel SkiesThe Heavy Bag: One Girl’s Journey Through GriefAlt SagasViewfinderHow to Help a Hare and Protect a Polar Bear: 50 Simple Things YOU Can Do for Our Planet!So You Wanna Run a Country?The Song of Sourwood MountainUnforgivenThe Encyclopedia of Rootical Folklore: Plant Tales from Africa and the DiasporaCultures of Growth: How the New Science of Mindset Can Transform Individuals, Teams, and OrganizationsSugar SandsBlood TornEmily PostsSwimming into TroubleThe Roads We FollowNight Falls on Predicament AvenueThese Tangled ThreadsJoyce Carol Oates: Letters to a BiographerLincoln's Angel: The Rebecca Pomroy StoryKids' Big Questions about Heaven, the Bible, and Other Really Important Stuff: 101 Things You Want to KnowThe Taekwonderoos: Rescue at Rattling RidgeA Dry Heat: Collected StoriesMoulded By MadnessThe East WindHoliday ShiftersIt Was Her New York: True Stories & SnapshotsGrief Is a Sneaky Bitch: An Uncensored Guide to Navigating LossUrgent Calls from Distant Places: An Emergency Doctor's Notes about Life and Death on the Frontiers of East AfricaThe Family that Finds UsOnce a Homecoming QueenSeventy-Seven and Counting: The Somewhat Gay Life of BrianFrom Ice to SandStars Beyond RealmsThe Secret of the Sweet Treats KingdomThe First MurderBlack Confetti: My Bipolar MarriageNancy Bess Had a DressRe: Apotheosis - GenesisMattie, Milo, and Me: A MemoirFootball Refereeing in Scotland: A History of its Organisation and Development 1873-2023Affirmation AlchemyBookbound and Other StoriesFord Mustang Restoration: 1964-1/2-1973The Bloodstained KeyButterflies in the StormChildren of TomorrowThe Last PantheonDrive Or Be DrivenIn Excess of DarkKosaThe Demon of Devil's CavernFather ForgivenessMad Mothers: A Memoir of Postpartum Psychosis, Abuse, and RecoveryA Garden Called HomeProfessor Goose Debunks the Three Little PigsThe Destiny Book: Rediscovering the Mother of SpiritualityStonechat: PoemsLost SoulsLearning to SwimIndia's Road to Transformation: Why Leadership MattersGRE Reading Comprehension: Detailed Solutions to 325 Questions [Seventh Edition]The Aziola's Cry: A Novel of the ShelleysThe Prisoner of AcreiPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max: The Complete Photography GuideWhat Happens in MontanaMeditations for the Superhuman MageWitch's Creed: Jesus ProjectTrue Crime Trivia 2: Test Your Knowledge of Serial Killers, Cults, Cold Cases, Mysteries, Organized Crimes & More with 300 Chilling & Fascinating Quiz QuestionsDragon ClassThrough the Veneer of TimeWhat is the Bible?: Understand Its History, Find Personal Meaning, and Connect With Its AuthorAstral Alignment: ApocalypseJohnny Lycan & The Last WitchfinderA Black and Solemn SilenceYour Soufflé Must DieOff SeasonThe J.E.D.I. Leader's Playbook: The Insider's Guide to Eradicating Injustices, Eliminating Inequities, Expanding Diversity, and Enhancing InclusionMy Best Friend, MartyA Curse of Scales & FeathersKatie & Danny in Fairyland with GrandmaSecond ShotL' Air du Temps (1985)The Woodland StrangerThe Woodland StrangerReclaiming Your Roots: A Self-Healer's Guide to Ancestral Healing Through Transformational Spiritual PracticesStill AliveThe Pig Patrol: Adventure in SpaceThirty-Eight Days of RainBreaking Bad Patterns: 60 Ways to Free Yourself from a Life Stuck on RepeatThe EdgeDrawn to MurderBeneath the Gods' TreePrice of VengeanceSwing Strong: Golfing Fitness for SeniorsA Vengeful RealmHow We Became Intergalactic SuperheroesThe Courage to Leave: A Memoir of Escaping and Moving Forward From Spiritual AbuseThe Kelsey Outrage: The Crime of the CenturyTraveling in Wonder: A Travel Photographer's Tales of WanderlustHow Did Christianity Begin?: Hallucinations? Fabrications? Myths? Resurrection?: A Look at the EvidenceYou Are HereReflections: Echoes & WhispersThe UnravellingChildren of the CrossMental Exercises for Dogs: Unlocking Behavior SolutionsLet Them TrembleThe Adventures of the Flash Gang: Episode Two: Treasonous TycoonGrandma's Gone With GodThe Assays of AtaAll Of Us AloneJoey's Road TripThe Christmas HedgehogDecode Connect Dominate: The Unstoppable Guide to Read People Like a Book, Overcame Shyness, Crack the Code of How To Talk To Anyone, Use Psychology and Body Language to Decipher People’s IntentionsThe Further Travels and Surprising Adventures of Baron MunchausenHorse Girl: A Journey HomeTarnished PilgrimFinal Video GameTalk With the Moon: Silence Between StarsNavudaan: Revolution of ChangeJourney of SoulsLocked in SilenceBranding Your Practice: A Comprehensive Guide to Building a Strong Brand in Health & WellnessRearranged: An Opera Singer's Facial Cancer and Life TransposedBottles in the Basement: Surviving an Alcoholic: A MemoirAlignment: An Unlikely Road to BethlehemThe Gambler's GameLife in the Childfree LaneNo Matter How FarThe Worlds Behind Her EyelidsThe Worlds Behind Her EyelidsShelby’s Season of SurpriseThe Reluctant UndertakerPlease DO NOT GO to BogotáFreedom: The Case For Open BordersTwisted FateMushroom CloudAylunFinding Designated Ground ZeroArmageddonPersonal Finance for Teens Simplified: 7 Easy-to-Learn Strategies for Conquering Debt, Understanding the Value of Money, and Achieving Financial IndependenceMy Trip to the Hair SalonTransitThe Bloodstained KeyLies and LoveThe SurfacingA Simple Tale of Ink and BindingsA Simple Tale of Ink and BindingsPerilous ShoresFeraldThree Volleys to LoveTexture of Silence: An Illustrated Collection of Prose PoetryIn Helping HandsForest Living: In Central FloridaBeyond the Family Tree: Advanced Tools & Techniques for the Genealogical ExplorerAncestry Standards for Data Integrity: Getting History Right the First TimeSoftware Tools for Genealogy: Digital Tools for Tracing Family HistoryThe Balance Point: Charting America's Fiscal RenaissanceMale Chauvinism: Tripping on Male DominancePrayer in Time of WarWhite WhaleThe Badge And The GunThe Book of Arcane SecretsTime Is HeartlessCruel ProvocationsThe Sapien EmpireBlaze Union and the Puddin' Head SchoolsMaya and Waggers: I Have to Scoop What?Murder Under Redwood MoonA Perfectly Good Fantasy: A MemoirA Perfectly Good Fantasy: A MemoirAlien View: Where Science and Technology Meet Human BehaviorForest Living: In Central Florida

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Akashic Books Beaches and Trails Publishing Beaufort Books
Bellevue Literary Press Bethany House BHC Press
Cardinal Rule Press CarTech Books Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC
Circling Rivers DarkLit Press Egret Lake Books
Exploding Head Fiction Gnome Road Publishing Grand Canyon Press
Great Plains Press Greenleaf Book Group Hawkwood Books
Heritage Books History Through Fiction Identity Publications
Legacy Books Press New Vessel Press NewCon Press
Nosy Crow US Perch & Pen Books PublishNation
Revell Rootstock Publishing Scorched Earth Press
Simon & Schuster TouchPoint Press Tundra Books
Type Eighteen Books University of Texas Press Vibrant Publishers

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Monday, January 29th, 2024

TinyCat’s January Library of the Month: The U.S. Cavalry Memorial Research Library

The U.S. Cavalry Memorial Research Library (USCMRL) has been with LibraryThing since 2018 so I’m very glad to feature them as our first 2024 Library of the Month. USCMRL’s Volunteer Reference/Research Librarian and Cavalry Journal Editor Samuel Young was kind enough to answer my questions this month. Here’s what he had to say:

Who are you, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”? 

The U.S. Cavalry Memorial Research Library (USCMRL) is a key part of the U.S. Cavalry Association (USCA) (a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization). It serves as the repository of U.S. Cavalry archives, biographies, books, flags, histories, interviews, journals, manuals, manuscripts, microfilm, papers, periodicals, pictures, and other spoken, digital, and written materials. The USCMRL is totally a research and reference library.

Tell us some other interesting things about how your library supports the community.

The USCMRL is located on the north side of old Fort Reno, which is on the western edge of El Reno, OK. The old fort is also the home of the Grazinglands Research Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribal lands include the area around El Reno. Thus, we have expanded the library’s collection of books on those tribes, to include Indian culture and language—spoken, written, and sign language.

Because Fort Reno was a cavalry & infantry post for thirty years, then, for forty years, a U.S. Army remount depot, the library’s archives have material on those seventy years and of some of the local civilians who worked there.

The cavalry community resides all over the world. Thus, the USCMRL is designed to be accessed digitally with digital responses. If it is a book we have, they should be able to get it through their local library or purchase it from their local bookstore or online.

The library section of the USCA website offers access to many of the items in the USCMRL repository as well as other cavalry resource sites.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

*Sample items from the online catalog pictured above. Full LibraryThing catalog can be found here.

What’s a particular challenge your library experiences?

Like most small libraries, space for the library’s collections. But we are managing it very well with our two volunteer staff: an archivist and a reference/research librarian.

What’s your favorite thing about LibraryThing and TinyCat, and what’s something you’d love to see implemented/developed?

LibraryThing is AWESOME! The cataloged books can be accessed via our website which makes it available to any and all researchers, especially since it links the books to Amazon for the additional and very helpful information found there! We have no recommended changes for TinyCat.

Want to learn more about the USCMRL?

Visit their website at https://uscavalryassociation.org/library/, explore their full TinyCat collection here, and their LibraryThing catalog here.

To read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

Want to be considered for TinyCat’s Library of the Month? Send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024

Janaury 2024 Early Reviewers Batch Is Live!

Win free books from the January 2024 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 151 books this month, and a grand total of 3,109 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Thursday, January 25th at 6PM EST.

Eligibility: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Tunisia, Switzerland, Sweden, South Africa and more. Make sure to check the message on each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Someone Is Always WatchingShe'll Be the Sky: Poems by Women and GirlsThe Elusive Truth of Lily TempleSuper Friends!Every Bunny Is a Yoga BunnyUnder a Neon SunThe Bloodstained KeyThe Everlasting RoadThe Pancake ProblemAtlantis SplittingThis Book Will Make You an ArtistTrash: A Poor White JourneyFlannery OConnor's Why Do the Heathen Rage: A Behind-The-Scenes Look at a Work in ProgressUtopiaThe Pollutant SpeaksRouxHappy Healthy Wealthy and Wise: A Daily Companion Guide for Ordinary People Who Want Extraordinary LivesA Vision in CrimsonImmortal SecretsDoes Anyone See My Pain?: For Teenagers Dealing with Anxiety and DepressionUnexpected Weather EventsUlfhildrThe Sun Stone & The Hybrid PrinceUntil the Stars FallQuestions for Kids Travel Edition: Icebreakers and Conversation Starters for Road Trips, Family Travel, Camping, School Breaks, and MoreSugar SandsLove Across the Stars: PoemsThe Bloodstained KeyShared BloodHe Seemed Normal...A Noble SchemeIf the Boot FitsSet in StoneA Love DiscoveredAmerican Imam: From Pop Stardom to Prison AbolitionSea SmilesA Dangerous Country: An American ElegyWould You Rather? Book for Kids 8-12: 350 Challenging Questions, Silly Scenarios, and Hilarious SituationsPerilous ShoresOur Savage HeartElephants in BloomThe Phoenix and the AntNanolandLoose of Earth: A MemoirIce MusicLatencyStones on the Pathway: Writings During Times of UncertaintyMy Vietnam, Your Vietnam: A Father Flees. A Daughter Returns. A Dual MemoirRock Bottom RomanceBarbed-Wire, Barricades & Miss BeckerMum, Why Bother With Jesus?The Word Effect: 7 Simple Words to Create Your Most Beautiful LifeChronic Grace: Prayer, Saints & Thorns That StayWhen The Lights Turn To GreenAsterism: PoemsThree Hearts Stitched: Poems about AdoptionJenny's Life With Encephalitis3 Little Words: Daily Diary SeriesDescending Into DarknessThe Devil's TapestryTrondheimCustom Car Painting on a BudgetNightMARE CrushI Have To Let You GoThe Dark WitchData Analytics Essentials You Always Wanted to KnowPersonal Finance Essentials You Always Wanted to KnowWriting Impressive College EssaysThe Road, To Ruin, And BackFeral NightThe Twilight QueenSecondhand SpacemanLeonor: The Story of a Lost ChildhoodInside Harare Alcatraz and Other Short StoriesInside Harare Alcatraz and Other Short StoriesShelby and the Back-to-School BluesPerestroika: An Eye for an Eye, a Tooth for a ToothMeditations For The Superhuman MageAll Body Bags and No KnickersHope: Live in the Surety of the UnseenOn Mr. Darcy's SofaThe Badge And The GunFeraldBreath of Venus: A Tale of SurvivalGuide to Financial Freedom: Discover Money Skills for Teens to Retire Early, Tax Strategies, Budgeting, and Rich HabitsTime Traveling to 1974: Celebrating a Special YearEarly AdopterPrincess OhletherbeThe Forbidden Chef's Love AppetiteLouie the Lynx and Ryan the LionTime Traveling to 1954: Celebrating a Special YearTime Traveling to 1964: Celebrating a Special YearReversal!Jericho Caine, Vampire Slayer: Love, Lust, and BloodWitch’s Creed: Jesus ProjectTrivia Book of Wow: Wonderfully Weird Facts & Whatnot. For the Seriously CuriousESPionage: Regime ChangeThe Fairy of the Enchanted LakePhantom UltraLiam and Ellie: A Brother's Quest to Find His SisterQuestions for Kids Travel Edition: Icebreakers and Conversation Starters for Road Trips, Family Travel, Camping, School Breaks, and MoreHighland BeautyStardust Over the SekrLost and FoundTexture of Silence: An Illustrated Collection of Prose PoetryThe Enemy Within: Why We Black Americans Must Confront OurselvesUntil Our Lungs Give Out: Conversations on Race, Justice, and the FutureFirefaxUnleash Transformational Leadership: Unlock Your Potential to Empower & Inspire Your Organization and Create a Culture of SuccessVegan Keto Cookbook: Quick and Easy Ketogenic Meal PlansThe Big Book of Sudoku Puzzles: Easy to MediumLegacy of the Third WayHarold Heard Butt CakeMidnight ClimaxTitan's TearsPowerful Social Skills for Teens: Overcome Self-Doubt and Social Anxiety to Build Meaningful Friendships, Talk to Anyone, and Date with ConfidenceInto the FireThe Runaway Adventurous CrewThe Climate Misinformation Crisis: How to Move Past the Mistruths to a Smarter Energy FutureAlignment Archive: Guardians of TheiaAstral Alignment: AtlantisChildren of HeavenJudBlaze Union and the Puddin' Head SchoolsSecrets of Castle RowleyA Mirror for The Blind: Reflections of a Digital SeoulReal Men Don't Do Therapy: A Portrait of a Beautiful DisasterStick Taps: An Ode to Hockey's Heartbeats and HeroesTwo Players, One Family: How Gaming Unites UsToxic Feminism: Understanding the Root CausesToxic Misandry: A Deep Dive into DiscriminationFrom Dad Bods to Ab Gods: The Hilarious Truth About Male Beautification in the Age of InstagramThe Green Beer Diaries: St. Patrick, Leprechauns, and a Whole Lot of HopsThe Toadacious Tales of the MeadowLondon LabyrinthsThe PikeEquinoxKiller Dead, Victim AliveAt What Cost?Vegan Air Fryer Cookbook: 50 Quick and Easy Plant-Based Air Fryer RecipesFrank's Bloody BooksHistorical Christianity: The Ancient Communal FaithDouble Down on Your Genius: Own Your Gifts, Align Your Actions, and Flourish in Your CallingHistorical Christianity: The Ancient Communal FaithWar BondsJericho Caine, Vampire Slayer: Love, Lust, and BloodIntro to Indie Publishing: A Newbie-Friendly Guide to the Independent Book Development ProcessI Am Your Connection: Love Poems for Your BelovedBeneath the Gods' TreeMaya and Waggers : I Have to Scoop What?Eve's Apple

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Absolute Love Publishing Akashic Books Alazar Press
Beaches and Trails Publishing Bee Orchid Press Bellevue Literary Press
Bethany House BHC Press Brazos Press
Broadleaf Books CarTech Books Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC
City Owl Press Egret Lake Books Gnashing Teeth Publishing
Gnome Road Publishing Gorilla House HB Publishing House
NeoParadoxa NewCon Press Nosy Crow US
PublishNation Revell Three Rooms Press
Tundra Books University of Texas Press Vibrant Publishers

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Thursday, December 21st, 2023

Top Syndetics Unbound Titles of 2023

We’ve compiled the most popular books in public libraries around the world, drawing on the thousands of libraries that use Syndetics Unbound to add covers, recommendations, summaries, series information and other information and features to their library catalogs.

This post covers the United States. Tomorrow we’ll be releasing the data for Australia, Canada and the UK.

First, here’s a “bar chart race” showing the top books changing over the year. You can also see and share the visualization over on Flourish.

To share this on social media, share this: https://public.flourish.studio/visualisation/16219720/

And here is a complete list of the top 100 books in US public librariees.

  1. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  2. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
  3. Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
  4. Happy Place by Emily Henry
  5. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
  6. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  7. Spare by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
  8. Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
  9. The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
  10. It Starts with Us by Colleen Hoover
  11. Verity by Colleen Hoover
  12. Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
  13. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  14. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  15. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
  16. Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
  17. Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult
  18. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
  19. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
  20. Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear
  21. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  22. The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny, and Murder by David Grann
  23. The Housemaid by Freida McFadden
  24. The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand
  25. The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes
  26. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
  27. Simply Lies by David Baldacci
  28. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  29. None of This Is True by Lisa Jewell
  30. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
  31. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  32. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
  33. The Exchange: After The Firm by John Grisham
  34. Horse by Geraldine Brooks
  35. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  36. Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes
  37. I Will Find You by Harlan Coben
  38. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  39. Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson
  40. Identity by Nora Roberts
  41. Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
  42. Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls
  43. The Maid by Nita Prose
  44. Storm Watch by C. J. Box
  45. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
  46. Holly by Stephen King
  47. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  48. Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  49. The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham
  50. Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  51. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
  52. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  53. The 23rd Midnight by James Patterson
  54. Homecoming by Kate Morton
  55. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  56. I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai
  57. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  58. The Only One Left by Riley Sager
  59. Never Never: Part One by Colleen Hoover
  60. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  61. Yellowface by R.F. Kuang
  62. Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover
  63. Trust by Hernan Diaz
  64. Dog Man by Dav Pilkey
  65. Dark Angel by John Sandford
  66. Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros
  67. Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover
  68. Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Attia
  69. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
  70. The Woman In Me by Britney Spears
  71. November 9 by Colleen Hoover
  72. The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger
  73. Fairy Tale by Stephen King
  74. Resurrection Walk by Michael Connelly
  75. Zero Days by Ruth Ware
  76. The Body Keeps The Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma by Bessel A. van der Kolk
  77. The Secret by Lee Child
  78. Dirty Thirty by Janet Evanovich
  79. The House of Wolves by James Patterson
  80. The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict
  81. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  82. Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir by Matthew Perry
  83. West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge
  84. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  85. Just the Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica
  86. A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny
  87. Crying in H Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner
  88. Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
  89. Lady Tan’s Circle of Women by Lisa See
  90. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
  91. Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld
  92. How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix
  93. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  94. The Measure by Nikki Erlick
  95. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
  96. A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham
  97. Countdown by James Patterson
  98. The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  99. Beach Read by Emily Henry
  100. Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

How Do We Know?

This data was collected by Syndetics Unbound. The search data is fully
anonymized the day it is collected.

Labels: Uncategorized

Tuesday, December 19th, 2023

Your LibraryThing 2023 Year in Review

2023 Year in Review graphic

We’ve just added a fun new page that wraps up your 20231 activity on LibraryThing.

Check out your Year in Review to see the highlights of what you’ve contributed on LibraryThing this year, including what you’ve read2 and added.

>> Your LibraryThing 2023 Year in Review

Your Year in Review answers all your most pressing questions, such as: how many IKEA Billy bookcases would be needed to store the books you added this year? Who were your top authors? Of the books you added, what had the earliest publication date? How many pages did you read this year? What colors are your 2023 books? How many Talk posts did you write? What were the top awards and honors for your books? What badges and medals did you earn?

You can share your Year in Review with others just by posting the URL, or by taking screenshots to highlight your favorite pieces (like the beautiful poster of book covers).

Take a peek at some of our Years in Review:

Check out some screenshots:

2023 Year in Review read graphic 2023 Year in Review added graphic 2023 Year in Review measure graphic 2023 Year in Review Dewey and color graphic 2023 Year in Review medals graphic

What do you think? This is the first year we’ve attempted a year-end wrap up, and we’d love your feedback. Join the discussion of the Year in Review page on Talk.

  1. These stats are based on data from January 1, 2023 through today. Have you added new books since we released Year in Review? Click the regenerate button at the bottom of the page to update your data. We’ll update it for everyone after December 31, 2023. ↩︎
  2. Data about books read is only displayed if you used reading dates to track your reading on LibraryThing. ↩︎

Labels: new features, Year in Review

Tuesday, December 19th, 2023

Publisher Interview: Eye of Newt Books

Eye of Newt Books logo

LibraryThing is pleased to present our inaugural Independent Publisher interview, hopefully the first of a series. We sat down this month with Neil Christopher, one of the publishers of Eye of Newt Books, an independent Canadian press based in Toronto whose small but impressive catalog features works that pair imaginative fiction and folklore with beautiful and striking artwork. An educator, author and filmmaker who taught for many years in the Arctic, Christopher was one of the founders of Nunavut-based Inhabit Media, an Inuit-owned publishing house that specializes in content featuring traditional Inuit mythology and knowledge. He is himself the author of a number of collections of Inuit tales, from Arctic Giants to The Dreaded Ogress of the Tundra: Fantastic Beings from Inuit Myths and Legends.

How did Eye of Newt Books get started? Whose idea was it, how did it all come together, and what is your vision, going forward?

We have been working in publishing in the Canadian Arctic for almost 20 years, and during that time we met many amazing authors and illustrators that sometimes didn’t fit into our Arctic publishing initiative. As well, there were many stories and projects we wanted to do that didn’t fit into the Arctic publishing work. So, we wanted to start a Toronto-based publishing company that could work with these incredible writers and artists and could realize some of these projects.

Danny** was the one who came up with the name, and we worked together to clarify Eye of Newt’s vision. Basically, we want to make quirky books that might not have a home elsewhere. We want to make books for kids that we would have enjoyed; and we want to make books for adults that we want to read.

**Co-founder of Eye of Newt Books, Danny Christopher is Neil Christopher’s brother, and is also an author and illustrator.

Many of your books—Bestiarium Greenlandica (Denmark), Museum of Hidden Beings (Iceland), Hausgeister (Germany), Welsh Monsters & Mythical Beasts (Wales)—were originally published elsewhere, and often in different languages. How did you discover these books, and their authors and artists? What do you look for, when it comes to adding a book to your catalog?

In our work with Inhabit Media, we often come across books from other countries that we want to version in English and make available to the North American market. Most of these books are about folklore or mythology. We are interested in preserving and promoting authentic traditional lore from other countries. Both Danny and I loved that growing up, and now we get to bring it to a new generation of readers.

Now we often receive submissions from other publishers. It didn’t take long for us to get known, and we are always getting amazing book projects submitted to us for English versioning or licensing for our market.

Both Inhabit Media and Eye of Newt strongly feature works of folklore and mythology. Are you particularly drawn to such tales? What makes them important, and why do you think both of the publishing houses you helped to found are centered around them?

That’s a great question! When we started Inhabit Media, we saw that children in Nunavut were not aware of their own cultural stories. Correcting this situation was one of Inhabit Media’s early missions. Through that work, we saw that traditional stories and lore were being lost or forgotten all over the world. Myth and legends were always something both Danny and I loved growing up, so creating books that help gather and protect authentic representations of myths and legends from around the world is important to us. We love new quirky stories, but we don’t want to forget the old stories and ancient magic.

The books in the Eye of Newt catalog are visually striking, with artwork in a diverse range of styles and media. Are the illustrations as important as the text, and if so, why? What are some of your favorite illustrations, from your catalog, and what is it about them that speaks to you?

For Eye of Newt the artwork and illustrations are just as important as the text. Both Danny and I have other work in publishing and filmmaking. Eye of Newt started as a side project, which quickly grew into something larger. Because of this limited time, we are very selective of the book projects we take on. We are really proud of the list of books we have created, and we intend to keep our standards high to only bring unique and beautiful books to our readers.

Some of my own favourite illustrations are from Iris Compiet’s Faeries of the Faultlines and Kamila Mlynarczyk’s I Can Be Myself When Everyone I Know Is Dead… They are starkly different, but I have a soft spot for prolific creators who really pour their heart and soul into their work and create a lot of it.

Are you still involved in Inhabit Media, and if so, how do you balance your work there with your work at Eye of Newt?

Yes. Both Danny and I are still very active owners of Inhabit Media. Eye of Newt was a passion project for both of us and continues to be so. I am sure finding balance for any business owner is a challenging task, and we certainly find it challenging. Eye of Newt has a talented and committed staff team that are moving projects forward when we are away. A lot of the Eye of Newt work for Danny and I happens at night and on weekends. Danny and I also said that Eye of Newt would be our retirement project, it just got started a bit early and now we are playing catch up all the time.

What can we look forward to in the future, from Eye of Newt, and from you?

Our success with our early books has opened doors with many amazing creators from around the world. We are really excited about the books we have lined up. One area to watch for is the fun and unusual children’s books we will be launching in the next few years. This year we released Kyle Beaudette’s The Garden Witch which is a loose folklore retelling with an aesthetic (and naughtiness!) we enjoy. We always wanted to have children’s books as a major part of our list, and our early books slanted more towards mythology and fantasy. Now, we are looping back to children’s books to help round off our list.

Tell us about your own personal library. What’s on your shelves?

If you had a look at my library, you would easily see where some of our inspirations come from. Faeries by Froud and Lee, Gnomes by Huygen and Poortvliet, etc. and tons of strange and fun children’s books. Just like Eye of Newt, you will see books that are beautifully illustrated. As well, both Danny and I collect very old books. A lot of that collection focuses on folktales, history, witchcraft, and shamanism.

What have you been reading lately, and what would you recommend to other readers?

I have been leaning back into my older books lately. Two books I have been enjoying this month are Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin and The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island by Weta Workshop. Two books I consider classics. The World of Kong is very hard to find, as it is out of print, but well worth the hunt!

Labels: interview, publishers

Monday, December 18th, 2023

Come Join the 2023 Roundup Hunt!

The year is drawing to a close, and we’re hosting a special 2023 Roundup Hunt!

This hunt is meant to highlight developments in the bookish world and on the LibraryThing site over the course of this past year.

We’ve scattered a skyful of fireworks around the site, and it’s up to you to try and find them all.

  • Decipher the clues and visit the corresponding LibraryThing pages to find some fireworks. Each clue points to a specific page on LibraryThing. Remember, they are not necessarily work pages!
  • If there’s some fireworks on a page, you’ll see a banner at the top of the page.
  • You have just three weeks to find all the fireworks (until 11:59pm EDT, Monday January 8th).
  • Come brag about your skyful of fireworks (and get hints) on Talk.

Win prizes:

  • Any member who finds at least two fireworks will be
    awarded a fireworks Badge ().
  • Members who find all 12 fireworks will be entered into a drawing for one of five LibraryThing (or TinyCat) prizes. We’ll announce winners at the end of the hunt.

P.S. Thanks to conceptDawg for the Kingfisher illustration! The Belted Kingfisher is the 2023 Bird of the Year.

Labels: treasure hunt

Friday, December 8th, 2023

Top Five Books of 2023

2023 is almost over, and that means it’s time for LibraryThing staff to share our Top Five Books of the Year. You can see past years’ lists HERE.

We’re always interested in what our members are reading and enjoying, so we invite you to add your favorite books read in 2023 to our December List of the Month, and to join the discussion over in Talk

>> List: Top Five Books of 2023

Note: This is about what you read in 2023, not just books published in 2023.

Without further ado, here are our staff favorites!



cover image for Babel cover image for Glassworks cover image for Hello Beautiful cover image for Happiness Falls cover image for I Have Some Questions for You

Babel, or, The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang. Okay so I haven’t even finished this, but this post will be live by the time I do, and I know it belongs at the top of my top five. Victorian England. Oxford. Magic. Empire and colonialism. Language and translation. It is beautiful and brilliant.

Glassworks by Olivia Wolfgang-Smith. Four generations of messy humans connected in a variety of ways, each failing to understand those who came before them. Gorgeous prose.

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano. Do you like to be emotionally gutted by words? I do. Read this.

Happiness Falls by Angie Kim. Is it a mystery? A literary family drama? An exploration into language and cognition and philosophy? D, all of the above?

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai. An interesting and unexpected take on a mystery/thriller.

I read a lot of really great books this year, so I want to also give honorable mentions to these (Pick 5, you said? Is this cheating? I don’t care!): Tom Lake by Ann Patchett, Congratulations, The Best Is Over! by R. Eric Thomas, The Fragile Threads of Power by V.E. Schwab, The Stolen Coast by Dwyer Murphy, Yellowface by R.F. Kuang, Vigil Harbor by Julia Glass, Lavender House by Lev AC Rosen, Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls, Sam by Allegra Goodman, and They’re Going to Love You by Meg Howrey.


cover image for Exhalation cover image for Why We Did It cover image for Romney: A Reckoning cover image for The Alignment Problem cover image for Sid Meier's Memoir

Exhalation by Ted Chiang. Ted Chiang is that rare coming-together of a fine writer, a fine storyteller and someone who invents and then works through legitimately interesting science-fiction ideas. I loved his Stories of Your Life and Others, which included the story which became the movie Arrival. The stories in Exhalation are of the same quality. I particularly enjoyed The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate, which melds time travel and the narrative conventions of the Arabian Nights, and Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom, which imagines limited communication between branches of a many-worlds universe.

Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell by Tim Miller and Romney: A Reckoning by McKay Coppins. Why We Did It and Romney: A Reckoning both deal with the descent of the Republican party from what seemed a “normal” center-right party to the moral, ideological and policy train-wreck-dumpster-fire of the present day. How did it happen? How did so many normal politicians and staff go along with it? Who ignored the rot that turned into Trumpism and why? Who’s responsible? And what, if anything, can be done about it? Why We Did It is the personal and political memoir of a Republican operative—a gay man who became a “hitman for homophobes”—but finally left, disgusted. Romney: A Reckoning is a more straightforward political biography, reaching back to Romney’s early days, but focused on the last few years. It answers the question how one of the most ideologically “flexible” Republicans became an inflexible opponent of Trump and everything he did to the GOP. Romney gave Cobbins free reign over his emails and personal journals, and as many interviews as he wanted, and the anecdotes and quotes he came back with are solid gold.

The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values by Brian Christian. I read a ton about AI this year, especially the problems with it. The Alignment Problem is by far the best, explaining the technologies better and deeper than the others, and going into the problems without being hyperbolic or alarmist. The whole OpenAI debacle sent me to reread Cade Metz’ Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook, and the World, which remains the best narrative of the deep-learning book, until Metz writes the story of OpenAI.

Sid Meier’s Memoir!: A Life in Computer Games by Sid Meier. I love well-done biographies of businesses, such as Steven Levy’s Facebook: The Inside Story, In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives or Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything. This year I also read Jason Schreier’s excellent Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made, which recounts the stories of key games and the companies that made them. Sid Meier’s book is like those, but told from the perspective of the amiable, somewhat doofus-y programmer who made them. Also, the Sid Meier games are basically the games of my childhood. I played most of them, and have (deep in my brain) nuggets of trivia only Meier’s book could have found for me again. Not a book for everyone, but a book for me.

Honorable mention goes to: The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter by Joseph Henrich. Henrich makes a compelling case that the key human capacity is our capacity to learn. It really belongs in my top five, but I didn’t have much interesting to say about it.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells. I enjoyed this first of the Murderbot Diaries. Wells took an interesting idea and a compelling, original narrator and wrote a fine tale. I wish it were longer and I won’t forget it. I even started the second, and then I asked myself “Do I really want seven more helpings of this?” I did not. This says more about me and my dislike of series, franchises, reboots and other episodic and immortal intellectual properties than it does about the book.


cover image for I Have Some Questions for You

Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll. This fictionalized account of women who encountered Ted Bundy and the aftermath of their encounters, was so much more than I expected from Knoll. I spend a fair amount of time thinking about the true crime fascination our society has and this novel brilliantly focuses on the victims rather than the perpetrator.

A Heart That Works by Rob Delaney. I didn’t think anything would make me cry more/harder than When Breath Becomes Air and, well, I was wrong. Delaney’s memoir of the loss of his two year-old son is devastating. But it’s also beautiful, and funny, and hopeful.

You Could Make This Place Beautiful: A Memoir by Maggie Smith. Is there anything Maggie Smith can’t make beautiful? This is a gorgeous memoir on divorce and rebuilding.

My Last Innocent Year by Daisy Alpert Florin. I devoured this book! This is some of the best coming-of-age writing I’ve ever read, but it’s by no means a commonplace story.

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai. What Abby said. This certainly wasn’t what I was expecting, and I’m definitely not mad about it.


Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. This book was so much fun to read. The kind of book that you simultaneously want to read as fast as possible and read slowly so it never ends!

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. I love a great, long book. Despite a lot of this book being about war, which is usually not my favorite thing, Stephenson’s prose made it a joy to read!

Fairy Tale by Stephen King. I love my Stephen King books. A Stephen King book about a boy and his dog on an adventure is something I cannot resist.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. So many things in this book were familiar to me, having grown up in the 80s/90s and enjoying video games and online role-playing games. It’s always fun to read a book where you can relate to the experiences of the characters.

The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen. One of my daughter’s SantaThing books from 2022, this picture book is so much fun. It has great rhythm, beautiful artwork, and even a page with hidden animals that my daughter always loves to look at!


The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub. It’s been many years since my last Stephen King read, but it was like riding a bike: a hero, a journey with scary thrills, and a happy ending. I hear they’re making a series out of this—produced by the Duffer Brothers (that’s right, Stranger Things)—and cannot wait to see it.

How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community by Mia Birdsong. A thoughtful and intentional exploration of the modern ways we (in America) build and maintain community, and how some groups in particular are laying foundations. Mia’s storytelling made me reflect about how much awesome, transformative value real community can hold through the most challenging of times. I consider this a strong read for the average American, as modern families embark on the rising challenges of everyday life.

Hester by Laurie Lico Albanese. If you’ve ever heard of Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, this is the fictional story of the woman behind the main character of that book, Hester Prynne. Woven into the fabric of 19th-century Salem, Massachusetts stands Isobel Gamble, a talented seamstress and embroiderer from Scotland, looking to make a life for herself in America. She arrives in Salem about 125 years after the Witch Trials, and is forced to consider her own lineage as she walks the tightrope of status and reputation in Salem society. Isobel goes through many trials and tribulations as she seeks to define love, freedom, and strength: many of those qualities that, if bared too much, garnered a woman to be labeled as a witch herself. I loved the depth of character and history in this tale. Will definitely look out for more of Albanese’s work.

Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains by Kerri Arsenault. Everything is poisoned, paper mills are toxic waste factories, the government is lying (either outright or by omission) to us. Some people like reading tragic fiction, I apparently gravitate towards the real thing. I found this to be a depressing but necessary read, especially being a Mainer. Now please excuse me while I go and Google dioxin…

Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder. My annual nod to my son Finn’s collection this year. This is a great book for parents of curious young minds looking to supplement an honest exploration of all the different types of bodies that exist, and how each one has its own special gift.


Below the Root by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, illustrated by Alton Raible The first book in Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s classic Green Sky Trilogy, originally published in 1975, Below the Root is an immensely engaging and deeply moving work of fantasy/science fiction for young readers, one which explores the legacy of violence in a future society that has done everything it can to rid itself of this curse. I love pretty much everything about the book, from the world building to the vocabulary and the way it is introduced, the emotional depth of the characters to the story itself. As if all of this weren’t enough, this book is also greatly improved by the gorgeous artwork of illustrator Alton Raible. Although written in the 1970s, and a product of its time in many ways, in other ways the story here feels oddly current, particularly when it comes to the way in which the goal of avoiding or mitigating harm is used as an excuse for suppression. To offer such wonderful storytelling, and to have such powerful social and intellectual relevance, almost fifty years after its publication, speaks to this book’s staying power, and to its brilliance.

Anna Witch by Madeleine Edmondson, illustrated by William Pène du Bois. From beginning to end, I found Anna Witch a positive delight. It was so lovely, in both storytelling and illustration, that I felt I needed to own a copy of my own, and have now added it to my personal library. So many of the little details here, from the physical characteristics of witches in author Madeleine Edmondson’s world to the fact that they always use names that are palindromes, added to my reading enjoyment. The story itself was also engaging, addressing a number of common childhood themes—young people learning at their own pace, children both needing their parents and needing distance from them—in a magical way. The artwork from Newbery medalist and two-time Caldecott honoree William Pène du Bois was every bit as appealing as the story, capturing both the magical charm of the story and characters, and the emotional pitch of each scene.

The Black Riders by Violet Needham, illustrated by Anne Bullen. The first of Violet Needham’s eight-book Stormy Petrel series, The Black Riders is a marvelous Ruritanian romance for younger readers. First published in 1939, it has become something of a cult classic since, offering a rousing adventure story that is also beautifully written, and that features a wonderful cast of characters. I appreciated the fact that, while there are clear factions in the story, and while the young hero cleaves strongly to his side, the opposition is not depicted as evil, and neither is their leader. Indeed, while in some ways the story here is quite naive, in other ways, it is a very sophisticated book, addressing complex moral questions in an intelligent way, and never talking down to its young audience. Needham is considered a master of Ruritanian tales for children, and I look forward to reading more of her work in this vein.

The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman. My list of Top Five books for 2022 included The Thursday Murder Club—the first entry in Richard Osman’s mystery series of the same name—and I commented at the time that one of the strengths of the story was the wonderful cast of characters, who truly came alive on the page. In the course of 2023, I have read the second and third in the series, The Man Who Died Twice and The Bullet That Missed, and found that this was also the case with these books. I am not yet done with The Last Devil to Die, but suspect that it is going to be my favorite of the lot, owing in no small part to my love for the characters. As someone who cares for an elderly loved one with dementia, I was deeply moved by the author’s sensitive depiction of a loving couple whose marriage is being affected by Alzheimers. If Osman found it as heartbreaking to write those scenes as I found it to read them, it is no wonder he has announced that he is taking a break from the series.

Saved by the Boats: The Heroic Sea Evacuation of September 11 by Julie Gassman, illustrated by Steve Moors. The story of the maritime evacuation of lower Manhattan on September 11th, 2001, in which some 150 vessels and 600 sailors—many of them civilian volunteers—helped to rescue more than 500,000 people trapped on the island, ferrying them away to safety, is told in this immensely poignant picture book. The story, written by Julie Gassman, who herself escaped Manhattan on that day thanks to the maritime evacuation, is simple but powerful, and I found myself tearing up, while reading it. The artwork from Steve Moors, in muted grayish tones that are sometimes relieved by a bright blue, didn’t speak to me at first, but eventually felt just right for the story, capturing the contrast between the gray dust that coated everything and everyone that day, and the sparkling blue of that September sky. My mother escaped Manhattan on 9/11, thanks to the maritime evacuation, so this story had personal significance for me. It has also been of comfort, since the October 7th terror attacks in Israel, and the more recent spate of praise for Osama Bin Laden’s “Letter to America” on social media, to recall this story of good people stepping up in terrible times, and to remind myself that while there are those who respond to the evil of terrorism with celebration or justification, there are others whose response is to rush to help their fellow human beings.


Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Apocalypse fiction is a genre I tend to really enjoy, and this book was such a treat. It’s very character driven, and I was intrigued by how the storylines entangled throughout the book.

Fungirl by Elizabeth Pich. Fungirl is messy and vulgar and hilarious. Pich’s art style is so whimsical and cute. I don’t think I have ever laughed so much while reading a book.

Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi. Peaces caught my eye because I love magical realism, and Oyeyemi’s wonderful prose and surreal story did not disappoint. It’s set on a majestic old train with an unknown destination. The characters are quirky and mysterious and queer, and there are two cute and rambunctious pet mongooses. I adored this book.

All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks. I’m actually still in the middle of reading this one, but I feel like I have already gotten so much out of all the wisdom in it. I really appreciate hooks’ definition of love and her thought provoking look at love in our culture and relationships. This is a book I will be thinking about for a long time after I’ve finished reading it.

The Chromatic Fantasy by H. A. This is such a delightful graphic novel! The art is absolutely gorgeous and H.A. is an incredible visual storyteller. The characters are funny and charming and it was such a joy to watch their romance and adventures unfold in such a beautifully illustrated story.


That’s it!

Come record your own Top Five Books of 2023 on our December List of the Month, and join the discussion over in Talk.

Labels: top five

Friday, December 1st, 2023

December 2023 Early Reviewers Batch Is Live!

Win free books from the December 2023 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 144 books this month, and a grand total of 2,949 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Tuesday, December 26th at 6PM EST.

Eligibility: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan and more. Make sure to check the message on each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Never Fall AgainThe Lady with the Dark HairA Full Net: Fishing Stories from Maine and BeyondOf Starlight and MidnightThe Hampton House MysterySand and SecretsPsalms of My People: A Story of Black Liberation As Told Through Hip-HopBlack Women, Ivory Tower: Revealing the Lies of White Supremacy in American EducationDesires of the Heart: The Evolution of an American PsychiatristA Lady's Guide to Marvels and MisadventureOne Wrong MoveWhile the City SleepsChasing the HorizonPermaculture Gardening for the Absolute Beginner: Follow Nature's Map to Grow Your Own Organic Food with ConfidenceHeavy OceansPolyphemusThe Four Relationship Styles: How Attachment Theory Can Help You in Your Search for Lasting LoveIn Search of the Lambs and Other StoriesPlaces To Visit On The Way BackCaptive of the Stolen EmpireMet by MoonlightExplosive ChemistryNot to ScaleCambion's RiseBond CrushedThe Fast and the FuriesUn penique en mi bolsillo: Un libro para niños sobre el uso del dineroA Village Boy's Global Journey: A Story of Defiance, Self Discovery and TriumphMistletoe MagicFanny Fitzpatrick and the Brother ProblemMen Don't Owe Women MoneyThe Red WheelbarrowWomen Who Hate WomenTribuneThe Trade Detective Investigating How to Day Trade for a LivingThe Trade Detective Investigating How to Make Money Online and Live WealthyAmy the Elf Sorceress and Her FriendsSouth of Sepharad: The 1492 Jewish Expulsion from SpainA Call from Hell: The True Story of Larry Gene Bell a Small-Town Monster and the Crime that Shook the NationHow to Swap LS & LT Engines into Chevy & GMC Trucks: 1960-1998Over the Influence: Why Social Media Is Toxic for Women and Girls - and How We Can Take It BackServices Marketing Essentials You Always Wanted to KnowMacroeconomics Essentials You Always Wanted to KnowSocial Media Marketing Essentials You Always Wanted to KnowMountain Offerings: PoemsChildren of Steel: Short Fiction from Our Historic Steel Mill TownsTales from the DarksideThe Fragile Blue Dot: Stories from Our Imperiled BiospherePushing Back the DesertI'm Not AfraidDangerous Lovers: A MemoirSwanna in LoveThe ReservoirAccustomed to the DarkReturn to AlkademahClassic Short Stories by Trailblazing WomenThe Other MurderDead GirlThe Scream: Poems from the Outside and from Within, 2013-2023Tokyo Outdoors: 45 Walks, Hikes and Cycling Routes to Explore the City Like a LocalTokyo Outdoors: 45 Walks, Hikes and Cycling Routes to Explore the City Like a LocalEmo Reality: The Biography of Teenage Borderline Personality DisorderPosey's Problem: A Pony TaleWithout the ThunderDestinyThe Instructor's Guide to Accessible and Equitable Course Design: A Roadmap to Barrier-Free Teaching and LearningA Good Rush of BloodRed VelvetThe Time GeneTeaching with Heart: Lessons Learned in a ClassroomA Deadly GameThe Forest Demands Its DueDu Good: The Journey BeginsThe Devils' CrucibleThe Flirtatious CoupleThe Difficult Life of a Little Brown HoundMother Nature Nursery RhymesTwisted NeurosThe Intended SoulHow to Write a Book: Taking the Plunge into Non-Fiction and Conquering Your New Writer Fears and DoubtsShelby's Horse-Filled SummerAll Of Us AloneThe Art of Job Hunting: A Dramedy in VerseThe Price of RevengeBlood in the Water: An Account of Workplace BullyingReflections: Echoes & WhispersChildren of the CrossThe Teenage Guide to Success: The TICK TOCK Formula for Life, Relationships and CareersUnbound 2: A Threat OnboardingVespertine DreamsRise of the CultOOPS, POOPS: Hysterical Potty Training Stories and MoreSend in the Tort Lawyer$—A Legal FarceAlong the Cobbled PathSecrets of Castle RowleySmokoPrisoner of Consequence: Escape the Ripple of Effect and Rediscover Your Natural State of JoyAll Old People Must Die: The Last GenerationHarold Heard Butt CakeRun Away to MarsReasonableWalking the White Horses: Wiltshire's White Horse Trail on FootShelby and the Back-to-School BluesPrincess Rouran and the Book of the LivingConfronting Power and Chaos: The Uncharted Kaleidoscope of My LifeThe TwinsMore Than TrumpAlice on a Friday NightThe Revival You Want. The Revival You Need!: The Astonishing Account of the Hebrides Revival and the Strategies We Can ImplementKiller Dead, Victim AliveBy Hook or By CrookForgotten SecretHeading NorthMy Mary: A Story of One Barnardo Home ChildSharks Are Our FriendsDecember: The Spicy TaleUnleash Transformational Leadership: Unlock Your Potential to Empower & Inspire Your Organization and Create a Culture of SuccessA Clove NecklaceThe Ebon KnightRivers and CreaksTheo's Missing LullabyPassion Without Tension?Sun & ShadowForever HumanMale Chauvinism: Tripping on Male DominanceTwilight Twists: Boomers' Belly Laughs & BeyondFrom Man Caves to Man-Buns: Your Unofficial Guide to Understanding the SpeciesFrank's Bloody BooksRoots and Branches: Your Starter Guide to Becoming a Family History DetectiveBeyond the Family Tree: Advanced Tools & Techniques for the Genealogical ExplorerSoftware Tools for Genealogy: Digital Tools for Tracing Family HistoryAncestry Standards for Data Integrity: Getting History Right the First TimePiglet to Bacon: Unmasking Male ChauvinismTimeless Treasures: A Voyage Through European BeadscapesEquinoxHunter to Hunted: Surviving Hitler's Wolf Packs: Diaries of a Merchant Navy Radio Officer, 1939-45Analyzing the PrescottsThe Birthday of EternityDeath Pulls the StringsThe Self-Love Proclamation: Affirmations That Nurture Confidence and Self-WorthGrasslandsHow To Recognize a Soulmate: Your Guide to Soul Level AlignmentThe ContraptionThe Human Trial

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Akashic Books Alcove Press All We Need Publishing
Anaphora Literary Press Baker Books Beaches and Trails Publishing
Bethany House BHC Press Broadleaf Books
CarTech Books Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC City Owl Press
DarkLit Press GladEye Press HB Publishing House
History Through Fiction Islandport Press Kakkle Publications
Lighted Lake Press Liz Fe Lifestyle NeoParadoxa
Petra Books PublishNation Purple Diamond Press
Revell Rootstock Publishing Somewhat Grumpy Press
True Crime Seven Vibrant Publishers Wise Media Group

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Tuesday, November 28th, 2023

LibraryThing’s 10th Annual Holiday Card Exchange

The 10th annual LibraryThing Holiday Card Exchange is here!

Here’s how it works:

  • Mail a holiday card to a random LibraryThing member. You can send up to 10 cards!
  • Choose a handmade or store bought card. Add a special note to personalize it.
  • You’ll get the same number of cards in return from other fellow LibraryThing members.
  • In order for cards to be delivered correctly to you, you must include your real name in the address box when signing up: use whatever matches your mailbox. (Only your matches and LibraryThing staff can see your address.)

» Sign up for the LibrayThing Holiday Card Exchange now

Sign-ups for the Card Exchange close Tuesday, December 5 at 12:00pm Eastern (17:00 GMT). We’ll inform you of your matches within an hour or so after we close. Send your cards out soon after.

Questions? Join the discussion on Talk.

Labels: card exchange, event, holiday