Archive for February, 2024

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