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Last year at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, we had a great turnout and discussion during our book buzz event. If you’ll be at ALA, join us again this year to keep the conversation going:
Lately, everyone’s been talking about diversity in children’s books. We know where we are and where we need to be. But how do we get past â€śDiversity 101â€ť and find ways to create lasting change? Join us for a special â€śDiversity 102â€ť discussion on:
â€śLina, a young, ambitious New York attorney in 2004, never knew her mother. Josephine, a young house slave in 1852, never knew her child. More than a century apart, their lives connect in unexpected ways. Corporate law offices, art museums, antebellum homes, and the Underground Railroad provide the setting for a story filled with secrets, betrayals, and love. Does theÂ House GirlÂ title apply to both women? The paths of these strong women will have the reader marveling at the layers Conklin has created to tell their intertwined stories.â€ť
Virginia, 1852. Seventeen-year-old Josephine Bell decides to run from the failing tobacco farm where she is a slave and nurse to her ailing mistress, the aspiring artist Lu Anne Bell. New York City, 2004. Lina Sparrow, an ambitious first-year associate in an elite law firm, is given a difficult, highly sensitive assignment that could make her career: she must find the â€śperfect plaintiffâ€ť to lead a historic class-action lawsuit worth trillions of dollars in reparations for descendants of American slaves.
It is through her father, the renowned artist Oscar Sparrow, that Lina discovers Josephine Bell and a controversy roiling the art world: are the iconic paintings long ascribed to Lu Anne Bell really the work of her house slave, Josephine? A descendant of Josephineâ€™s would be the perfect face for the reparations lawsuitâ€”if Lina can find one. While following the runaway girlâ€™s faint trail through old letters and plantation records, Lina finds herself questioning her own family history and the secrets that her father has never revealed: How did Linaâ€™s mother die? And why will he never speak about her?
Moving between antebellum Virginia and modern-day New York, this searing, suspenseful and heartbreaking tale of art and history, love and secrets, explores what it means to repair a wrong and asks whether truth is sometimes more important than justice.
Bethenny Frankel, of Skinny Girl and Bravo TV fame, is releasing her debut novel, SKINNYDIPPING, today. Frankel calls it her most favorite creative project of her life. “It’s a guilty pleasure that you don’t even have to feel guilty about!” says Frankel.
Here’s a description of SKINNYDIPPING:
â€śWho do I have to sleep with to get a drink on this plane?â€ť
Beloved by countless fans for being devilishly dishy, outrageously funny, and always giving it to us straight, three-time New York Times bestselling author Bethenny Frankel now makes her fiction debut with the story of Faith Brightstone. Faith is an aspiring actress just out of college, who moves to L.A. determined to have it allâ€”a job on the most popular TV show, a beach house in Malibu, and a gorgeous producer boyfriend. But when reality hits, she finds herself with a gig as a glorified servant, a role that has more to do with T&A than acting, and a dead-end relationship. Finally, Faith decides sheâ€™s had enough of La La Land and moves back to New York with just a suitcase and her dog, Muffin.
Five years later, Faith has finally found her groove as an entrepreneur and manages to land a spot on a new reality TV show hosted by her idolâ€”the legendary businesswoman and domestic goddess Sybil Hunter. Diving into the bizarre world of reality TV, Faithâ€™s loud mouth and tell-it-like-it-is style immediately get her in trouble with her fellow contestantsâ€”the delusional socialite; the boozy lifestyle coach; the moody headband designer; and her closest friend, the ambitious housewife who eventually betrays her. Even Sybil is not what she appears.
As the show comes to a dramatic close, Faith discovers that the man of her dreams may have just walked into her life. Will she choose fame or love? Or can she have it all?
skinnydipping by Betheny Frankel
So, will you be picking up Bethenny Frankel’s debut novel? What are your thoughts on Bethenny Frankel and her meteoric rise to fame?
What does one do after starring in an Oscar winning film, winning the Palm Dog Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, attending the White House Correspondents Dinner and occupying your own special booth at the Weinsteins’ Oscar Party at the Mondrian?
Write a tell-all, of course! Uggie, the breakout star of The Artist will be releasing Uggie: My Story. He’s getting a little help from author Wendy Holden and readers can pick up this gem from Gallery Books in October.
I am officially obsessed with the New York Times new column, BY THE BOOK. It appears in the Sunday Book Review as well as a longer version that runs on the paper’s online site. By the Book interviews literary celebrities about their reading habits, what they are currently reading, what books remain favorites and my personal favorite, whether or not they take notes in their books.
Here is David Sedaris’ answer to the question, do you take notes when you read?
What are your reading habits? Paper or electronic? Do you take notes? Do you snack while you read?
I sometimes read books on my iPad. Itâ€™s great for traveling, but paper versions are easier to mark up, and I like the feeling of accomplishment I get when measuring the number of pages Iâ€™ve just finished â€” â€śThree-quarters of an inch!â€ť I like listening to books as well, as that way you can iron at the same time. Notewise, whenever I read a passage that moves me, I transcribe it in my diary, hoping my fingers might learn what excellence feels like.
I find myself now eagerly anticipating who the next By the Book profile will be. Can’t wait until next Sunday to find out!
Go ahead and email your address to email@example.com Congrads! I will do a huge run on Monday of all the books I need to mail out to date.
So I've gotten some ARCs lately. We've heard all about Matched (coming in Nov 10) and Paranormalcy (coming next week). But, WOW! there are some other awesome books coming out before next summer.
SPECIAL SHOUT-OUT! Let me talk about Across The Universe for a second by my blogger buddy Beth Revis. PW sent out a special edition this morning with her first chapter. Holy crap - you all have to read it. This is definitely in my top 3 for next year! Im so proud of her and its been so great watching her along the way. I started reading her blog a couple years ago. I predict a bestseller and a huge new trend in SciFi. You heard it here first :)
Today I wanted to give a Bookanistas Buzz shout-out to the books we are all excited about - some are obvious but some you may not have heard of yet (I marked the ones in red I'm most excited about :)
Obvious Winners (YA)
You by Charles Benboit (Just released!)
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (new YA series) - Next week!
Torment by Lauren Kate (sequel to Fallen) - Sept 2010
Crescendo by Rebecca Fitzpatrick (sequel to Hush Hush) - Oct 2010
Jude Farraday is a happily married, stay-at-home mom who puts everyoneâ€™s needs above her own. Her twins, Mia and Zach, are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill enters their lives, no one is more supportive than Jude. A former foster child with a dark past, Lexi quickly becomes Miaâ€™s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable. But senior year of high school brings unexpected dangers and one night, Judeâ€™s worst fears are confirmed: there is an accident. In an instant, her idyllic life is shattered and her close-knit community is torn apart. People — and Jude — demand justice, and when the finger of blame is pointed, it lands solely on 18-year-old Lexi Baill. In a heartbeat, their love for each other will be shattered, the family broken. Lexi gives up everything that matters to her — the boy she loves, her place in the family, the best friend she ever had — while Jude loses even more.
When Lexi returns, older and wiser, she demands a reckoning. Long buried feelings will rise again, and Jude will finally have to face the woman she has become. She must decide whether to remain broken or try to forgive both Lexiâ€¦and herself.
NIGHT ROAD is a vivid, emotionally complex novel that raises profound questions about motherhood, loss, identity, and forgiveness. It is an exquisite, heartbreaking novel that speaks to women everywhere about the things that matter most.
Firefly Lane still goes down in my own personal reading history as one of my favorite novels! I read it over two days, during a summer vacation on the beach and didn’t move from my beach chair except to get water and reapply sunblock. Every time I pick up a new book, I hope that it will pull me in with the same intensity as Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane…maybe Night Road will be that book. Judging from the intense description, it looks like it might just have a valid chance.
Now you can incorporate your love of literature into your personal style. Kate Spade has launched a new line of clutches that are modeled after the classics. According to the website, the clutches capture the “spirit of each novel” and are inspired by classic Penguin covers. I think it’s adorable!
(And Megan Miranda) last fall for lunch (aka Mexican fiesta!), I developed a huge writer crush on her. Not only is she so sweet, but she is hilarious - and you all know how much I love funny, sweet people.
Now, if you have not read this series because you are telling yourself "I am not a zombie person" I want you to know - "I am not a zombie person either!"
But a couple years ago, I happened to watch
Forest of Hands and Teeth trailer on Amazon and it scared the crapola out of me. yet intrigued me so much I bought the book that day. And a) i never read zombie stuff b) hate horror, and 3) hate to be scared like that. But the words on that video pulled me in.
And I've read all 3 books happily.
So after just finishing the Arc of TDAHP (which btw the sequels are really companion novels because they follow 3 different characters though they are all connected closely) - here is my shout out:
The BookFinds team is preparing for Book Expo America next week. We’re gathering as much information as we can on what *big* books to look for, which authors will be on hand for signings and what the most interesting aspects of the show will be. I am hoping to update here all week with tidbits from the show (hopefully with some good pictures from the conference floor).
When high school junior Sara wins a coveted scholarship to study ballet, she must sacrifice everything for her new life as a professional dancer-in-training. Living in a strange city with a host family, she's deeply lonely-until she falls into the arms of Remington, a choreographer in his early twenties. At first, she loves being Rem's muse, but as she discovers a surprising passion for writing, she begins to question whether she's chosen the right path. Is Rem using her, or is it the other way around? And is dancing still her dream, or does she need something more? This debut novel in verse is as intense and romantic as it is eloquent.
What I loved: I love a good book written in verse mixing love and ballet. The writing is beautiful - uh yeah I was jealous. Oh yeah and the guy on the cover is hot :)
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding GIRL READING by Katie Ward and I can understand why. The plot sounds both mesmerizing and intriguing.
Seven portraits. Seven artists. Seven girls and women reading.A young orphan poses nervously for a Renaissance maestro in medieval Siena. An artist’s servant girl in seventeenth-century Amsterdam snatches a moment away from her work to lose herself in tales of knights and battles. An eighteenth century female painter completes a portrait of a deceased poetess for her lover.Â A Victorian medium poses with a book in one of the first photographic studios. A girl suffering her first heartbreak witnesses intellectual and sexual awakening during the Great War. A young woman reading in a bar catches the eye of a young man who takes her picture.Â And in the not-so-distant future a woman navigates the rapidly developing cyber-reality that has radically altered the way people experience art and the way they live.
Each chapter of Katie Wardâ€™s kaleidoscopic novel takes us into a perfectly imagined tale of how each portrait came to be, and as the connections accumulate, the narrative leads us into the present and beyond. In gorgeous prose Ward explores our points of connection, our relationship to art, the history of women, and the importance of reading.Â This dazzlingly inventive novel that surprises and satisfies announces the career of a brilliant new writer.
Oprah.com listed it as their Book-of-the-Week, saying:
The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words gets trotted out pretty regularly, but we so infrequently stop to think what it means. In this luminously vulnerable debut novel, Katie Ward takes seven real images of women reading and imagines a story for each one. From a young girl struggling with an unintended pregnancy in 1333 to a performer photographed by her less flamboyant but much more talented sister in the Victorian era to an adolescent who’s fixated on a much older man during World War I, Ward’s characters are so utterly relatable that you’ll feel you know them after a few sentences. Yet none of them appears for more than a chapter, transforming each tale into snapshot of a womanâ€™s life. At first, the brevity of interaction is disappointing, because getting to know the characters is such a pleasure. But as you go (and the pages in this book do turn quickly), Ward’s reason for creating these short portraits becomes clearer. The sketches she composes are an invitation to the “girl reading” (that’s you!) to go further on your own, to imagine the characters’ next chapters, or even their whole lives, to enjoy the infinite imaginative possibilities offered by a finite portrait. If you dig into the stories, you’ll get far more than a mere thousand words. In fact, you’ll discover, as one of Ward’s characters says, that “there is a world underâ€ť each and every one.
Other industry reviews are glowing, as well:
â€śA real wow of a first novelâ€¦incredibly clever.â€ťÂ â€“The Times (London)
Book of the Week: “Katie Wardâ€™s assured debut is inspired by that mysterious and provocative subject of a thousand visual images: a woman reading . . . In each chapter Ward twists a story around real works of art. Her seven unpredictable tales serve up a lively, irreverent and even feminist journey through history.â€
Much, if not all, of the growth of electronic books will be directly related to the Kindle. This was the topic of much discussion at BEA over the weekend. The New York Times ran a piece about the kindle and its reception at BEA. The main competitor to the Kindle is the SONY Reader, which has been around since 2006.
I don’t have a kindle or a SONY Reader and therefore have yet to experience reading on small screen, but I can say that after a week of traveling with bags heavily weighed down with books, I can definitely see the appeal. However, I would never take an electronic device to the beach (a place where many people find themselves getting good reading time while on vacation). The Kindle, unlike the Sony Reader, can also download daily newspapers and magazines.
The New York Times reported that publishing insiders are also gravitating towards the ease provided by the Kindle. Random House and Penguin have given their entire sales force team electronic readers so that they don’t have to carry around as many galleys and copies of books.
Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of the infamous and award winning, Prozac Nation, has graduated from Yale Law. Wurtzel was profiled this in The New York Times Sunday Style Section in October about her law school path and life as a summer associate.Â Wurtzel also wrote this opinion piece in the LA Times about the disappearance of feminism.
Wurtzel wrote her most well-known work, Prozac Nation, at the age of 26. She certainly sounds like a motivated individual…and would probably make a very interesting dinner guest. It’s hard to imagine this self-proclaimed “wild child” as a lawyer, but I’m sure it will lend itself well to some interesting work.
Members from the Class presented an afternoon workshop on guerrilla marketing called 28 Great Marketing Ideas from the Class of 2k8. Nina Nelson, Marissa Doyle, Daphne Grab, and Nancy Viau spoke about marketing their debut novels, individually and as part of a group, to a packed room full of energetic attendees.
They began with the basicsâ€”have a signature line for every email that includes your information, create a professional-looking website that reflects not only your book, but you as an author. People nodded and smiled, and scribbled notes in the spaces left on the handout. Press kits were discussed, along with publisher/author communication, tie-ins to national organizations, and what can be done to create consistent buzz. People scribbled harder!
Nancy, Daphne, And Marissa
Half way through the presentation, Nina, Marissa, Daphne, and Nancy addressed the nitty-gritty of marketing and had a little show-and-tell of popular swag like posters, tote bags, pins, candy, and bookmarks. Library visits, school workshops, signings, movie trailers, and blogging were discussed as ways to spread the word about books. A topic that got a lot of interest was that of social networking, and numerous attendees had questions about the usefulness and safety of promotion through MySpace, Facebook, JacketFlap, etc.
Daphne, Nina,Marissa, and Nancy
The panel was a hit! Questions kept coming long after everyone filtered out into the hallway.
Check the Class website for more 2k8 presentations coming to local, regional, and national conferences this year.
Stay tuned: more pics from the NJSCBWI conference coming tomorrow!