Kate update!

The 21st Kate Shugak book has a release date!

From Dana Stabenow’s newsletter:


Can you hear me shouting with glee?

The Kate Shugak series is one of my all-time favorites, and I can’t wait to get my hands on #21!


Excuse me while I go do a happy dance…


At least in the world of books, 2017 is definitely going to be a good year!

Bookish Bits & Bobs

So much exciting book news lately! Well, exciting in my little corner of the bookish world, in any case… so I thought I’d write a quick post to tell you all what really had me jumping for joy (or scratching my head) in the last couple of weeks:


  • It was announced that David Nicholls, author of the wonderful One Day, will have a new book out this fall! Us is scheduled for publication in September; read more about it here.
  • I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this one: Anne Rice is writing a new Lestat book! Prince Lestat is due out in October, and will be the first in a new series revisiting the author’s vampire superstar. Read about it here. I don’t know — I loved Anne Rice’s first few vampire books back in the day, but so many years have gone by that I don’t really feel a need to revisit that world. Plus, to be honest, I haven’t loved the last few books of her that I’ve read. How about you? Will you read a new Lestat book?
  • Now this really is exciting! According to Patricia Briggs’s Facebook page, the author has just signed a contract for a new Alpha & Omega book, the 4th in the series. The book will be called Dead Heat, and will be published in spring 2015. *happy dance*
  • Beowulf by… Tolkien? According to this report, J. R. R. Tolkien’s previously unpublished translation of Beowulf will by published by HarperCollins in May.
  • Quick: When you think of Keith Richards, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? I’ll bet it wasn’t “children’s book author”, was it? In one of the more surprising book announcements of the year, it turns out the Keith will be publishing a books for kids called Gus & Me this fall. Gus & Me will tell the story about Keith’s grandfather and how he introduced Keith to music. Okay, maybe not as juicy as Life, but I’ll still check it out!

That’s it for now! What book news are you most excited about?

Bookish Bits & Bobs

I realize that all of my posts lately have either been book reviews or ongoing features of one sort or another — but no general musings or *deep* thoughts on the life of a reader. And that’s fine, but maybe it’s time for a general catch-up post with the random pieces of bookish ephemera that have been floating through my life:

  • Call it my mid-October resolution. Because who needs to wait for January 1st? I’m trying to put myself on a book stone-figure-10541_640diet. No more reading the random books that catch my eye until I catch up on my review books! I love the nice folks at NetGalley, but now I’m swamped! I made myself a pretty schedule of reviews a couple of months ago, but alas! I strayed. I read other things. And now I’m behind. So, I hereby resolve to declare “hands off” for all books lying around my house until I get through all of the review copies yet to be read on my Kindle! My goal is to catch up on all books with publication dates up through the end of November. And then I can return to my wanton ways, reading whatever the heck catches my eye at any given moment.girl-160172_1280
  • My new bloggy resolution, aka The Rule of 5 (because I like to give things titles…): I’m going to make more of an effort to explore the blogging world, and my goal is to visit five new blogs each and every day. Wish me luck!
  • Why am I not at New York Comic-Con? (Okay, the answer is that I live on the West Coast; that was a rhetorical question). I’m missing the Outlander panel, and I’m simply green with envy. But this piece at least reassures me that the Starz Outlander series is in very good hands!
  • Now that the fall TV season is underway, I’m finding myself with less time to curl up and read each evening. This is not a good thing. Something has got to go… hmmm, must prune the season-pass shows on my DVR pronto!
  • My son wants to read more graphic novels. The problem is, where to start? If he wants to read Batman, Superman, Spiderman, or Iron Man (or any of their known associates), the choices are simply overwhelming. If you have recommendations on good entry points or sequences for any or all, please drop me a note! Bear in mind that this is for an 11-year-old (although, okay, I may read ’em too!). Thank you mucho.
  • I haven’t been to an author event in ages… so I was excited to see a few appearances coming up in my area that I don’t want to miss! David Levithan, Rainbow Rowell, Gail Carriger… Let’s see if I can actually make it out of my house and attend!
  • A coworker came up to me today and said, “I hear you have a blog! I can’t wait to read it!” Well, I’m of two minds about that. Sure, getting more readers is a good thing. And yes, blogs are by their nature open to the public. But. This is a person who isn’t a personal ftux-161406_640riend, just a coworker. Granted, someone I like a lot and who’s an avid reader, but still. Boundaries. It makes me uncomfortable to think that the line between my work life and my creative outlets may become blurred. I’m interested in others’ experiences: Do you share your blog with everyone in your “real life”? Or do you keep it more or less private, sharing with your online circles but not your actual friends and acquaintances?
  • Again with the 11-year-old: His school has a Doctor Who club! It meets during lunch on Fridays, open to anyone who wants to get together to watch episodes and discuss them. Fun! And yet — nerdy! I encouraged him to go… but mustn’t push. Just because I’d choose Doctor Who over pick-up touch football games doesn’t mean my son needs to.
  • I’m joining the world of audiobooks! Or, at least, I’m giving it a shot. I’ve never been able to focus while listening to a book, but decided to download a copy of the Outlander audiobook last week when heading out by myself for a long walk. I think it helps that I know the story so well — but so far, so good! I’ve been listening in brief snatches during solo car rides… although my real intent was to motivate myself to go to the gym and hit the treadmill or elliptical while listening to the book. Yeah, so far, that hasn’t happened. Still, I’m really having fun listening to the book, and the narrator is truly wonderful, especially with her ability to switch back and forth between her British and Scottish accents. I’m still not sure that I’d  have the patience for a book that’s new to me — but for now, Outlander on ITunes is a treat!

Book News & Stuff That I Find Exciting (or at least noteworthy…):

  • There’s a new Firefly/Serenity comic book series on the way! According to this article, it will pick up after the events of the Serenity movie. I’m in!
  • How do y’all feel about books with movie tie-in covers? I came across this image of the new Australian cover for The Book Thief. Thoughts? I suppose if it attracts more readers to an amazing book, I shouldn’t knock it. Right? But for me personally, I never buy books with movie tie-in covers. *Shudder*
  • Who else is a Madeline fan! C’mon, raise your hands for the old house in Paris all covered in vines! Here’s a great tribute to the 75th anniversary of Madeline.
  • Cover reveal! I can’t wait to read Landline, Rainbow Rowell’s new book due out next July!
  • Are female characters stronger in children’s literature than in adult fiction? Read what author Kate Mosse has to say about it, here.
  • Catcher in the Fry? McDonalds plans to start giving out books instead of toys in Happy Meals. For realz.
  • An end to airbrushing? Verily magazine shows women as they are — no photoshopped bodies or faces allowed.

And that’s all for today! Must unplug, unwind, read a book, go for a walk… it’s the weekend! Happy Saturday, happy reading, and happy whatever-makes-you-happy to all!

Random book news of the day

I’m having a hard time settling on just one topic today. Maybe I’m just too tired — my ten-year-old woke me up at 3:15 am after a bad dream, asked me to sit with him while he went back to sleep (which he did almost immediately), then I tossed and turned for about an hour or so. Whine, whine, whine… poor me. At any rate, I’ve just been killing time bopping around the web, and here are some cool, random, or unusual tidbits I’ve stumbled across:

  • Did you have any idea that The Time Traveler’s Wife had not already been released as an e-book? This is one of my all-time favorite books, and I know it was a huge bestseller, so I find this rather puzzling. However, according to the Associated Press, the e-book version will finally be released on October 10th — about nine years since the book was first released in hardcover.
  • Carlos Santana is writing a book! Not, thank heavens, a cutesy kids book, like some celebs have done. (“Look, I’m a writer!” Yikes). Santana’s memoir is due out sometime in 2014, and will be published by Little Brown & Co., the same publishing company that brought us Life by Keith Richards.
  • A new study shows that 55% of the people buying YA novels are not, in fact, young adults. Or maybe they are young adults, but not “young adults” as in the target demographic for young adult fiction — which would be teens. Boy, that convoluted sentence makes my teeth hurt. In any case, over half of the buyers of YA fiction are over age 18, and most are in their 30s and 40s. (Guilty!) Does this surprise anyone? Based on wholly unscientific data — which is that lots of my grown-up friends and fellow bloggers adore YA — this doesn’t seem particularly shocking. If you’re interested, you can read more about the study here.
  • The 57th edition of the Guiness Book of World Records has just been released. Because we really, really need to know just how tall the world’s tallest mohawk is. (Answer: 3 feet, and it’s been growing for 15 years).
  • A book returned 78 years past its due date would have cost the borrower over $6,000 in fines, had an amnesty program not been in effect. You can read more about the Chicago Public Library’s amnesty program here; here’s a snippet which I found charming:

The rare edition of Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” had been checked out in 1934. According to Reuters news agency, Harlean Hoffman Vision found the book in her late mother’s possessions and wanted to bring it back, but she wanted to make sure she wouldn’t go to jail for having had it so long. “She kept saying, ‘You’re not going to arrest me?’ and we said, ‘No, we’re so happy you brought it back,’” Ruth Lednicer, the library’s marketing director, said. The library’s fine amnesty – dubbed “Once in a Blue Moon Amnesty” – began on Aug. 20 and ended Sept. 7. The value of the 101,301 items returned was estimated at $2 million. Several of the recovered items were checked out in the 1970s and 1980s, the Chicago Tribune newspaper reported.

  • Oops, maybe I shouldn’t have made fun of celebs who write children’s books. Jessica Lange’s book for kids, It Is About A Little Bird, is due out in 2013. Stop thinking about Constance on American Horror Story! I’m sure the book will be wholesome and lovely and not in the least bit creepy.
  • Apparently reviewers granted the privilege of getting advance copies of J. K. Rowling’s upcoming new release (and guaranteed international bestseller) The Casual Vacancy are subject to restrictions so strict that they’re not even allowed to talk about the fact that restrictions exist. Not exactly shocking, given the uber-security surrounding the Harry Potter releases. I know we’re all going to be reading this book. The question is, will we like it? Check back with me in early October!
  • And finally… according to this LA Times piece, you can get that embarrassing copy of 50 Shades of Grey off your bookshelf! Mail your copy to O/R Publishing, and the first fifty respondents will be sent a copy of 50 Shades of Louisa May as a replacement. Now that’s what I call a good deal! (said with a slight smirk and a just-barely-audible snort)

My web browser has crashed twice, causing me heart palpitations over potentially lost pearls of wisdom. This must be a sign from the gods of sleep that my time at the keyboard has come to a close.

Good night, all… and may your dreams be filled with cushiony armchairs and excellent reading.