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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


New Book Arrivals: The Book Club Books

The Well's End - Seth Fishman Landry Park - Bethany Hagen Still Life - Jacqueline West, Poly Bernatene

I have a secret that sometimes makes book lovers hate me.


Publishers send me a lot of free books.


I am the Book Club Coordinator for New Moon Girls, which means that I consult with the executive editor of the magazine about book reviews to print, line up girl writers for those reviews, and, if I can swing it, set up online chats with the authors for New Moon Girls members. It's a really sweet position that has led me to discover some really excellent middle-grade fiction. And because publishers know I'm in this position, they send me a lot of middle-grade and YA books, hoping for coverage. They send far more books than we can possibly feature ... so, what's to be done with all those extra books?


I send many of the YA ones on to a library where I served as a Teen Services Librarian before I moved. I give some of the middle-grade ones to my god-daughters. I swap some. But ... I'd be lying if I didn't say I kept more than a few for myself. These aren't always the books I'd be first to pick up off a library shelf or at a used bookstore, but when someone is literally dropping them on my doorstep? What, do you think I have a will of steel?


So, I've decided to include the review copies that will make their way to my bookshelves in my "new book arrival" updates. In the past week, I've received three, which I'm listing along with my reasons for keeping them.


Landry Park by Bethany Hagen - A dystopian novel that seems to take place in a more luxurious setting than most. The glut of dystopia on the market has made me somewhat numb to them, even though it used to be a favorite genre of mine. But, well, I still can't turn one away when it falls into my lap, and this looks like it might be a new "take." Released this month.


The Well's End by Seth Fishman - Another YA one, this one apocalyptic of the "plague" variety. A creepy gas mask cover (are gas masks ever NOT creepy?) has me thinking this one will be a little on the dark side. That is a-OK with me. Released this month.


Still Life: The Books of Elsewhere by Jacqueline West - This is the one I'm most excited about. It arrived in the mail the day I'd finished the first Books of Elsewhere installment and decided myself newly in love with this series. And then this book came in the mail and it was as if it loved me back! I'll write a proper review of The Shadows soon. Jacqueline West participated in an awesome chat with New Moon Girls, too. (See, some of the books publishers send do hit their intended mark!) This one will be available on June 17. It'll take me at least that long to get through the rest of the series since I read series SLOOOOWLY, so don't worry -- no spoilers from me!