Oh, the overstimulation! At SIBA11, you get to touch and smell and hear about thousands of books that have recently been published or will soon be published. Being a newbie to these types of events, I fear I spent most of the time wide-eyed and slack-jawed, wondering how on earth I was going to read all these wonderful novels.
But a few caused a more visceral reaction...sweating palms, racing heart, and fangirl foolishness. Please, allow me:
A FEAST FOR THE EYES
Chopsticks - Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral (Penguin Teen). The story of a young piano prodigy Glory, her relationship with the boy next door, and her descent into madness, is told through pictures, newspaper clippings, youtube links and DMs. Not only is this book incredibly creative, but it messes with your mind as well. Review to come soon. Releases November 2011.
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt - Caroline Preston (Harper Collins). Frankie Pratt receives a scrapbook as a high school graduation present in 1920, and begins collecting memorabilia that documents her life. The author lovingly collected thousands of actual items to tell this story of Frankie and of America - nothing is photo-shopped. Releases November 2011.
A REUNION OF OLD FRIENDS
Pandemonium - Lauren Oliver (Penguin Teen). The sequel to the much-loved "Delirium". Need I say more? No, I'm not going to, else I spoil it for those who have not read this incredible YA experience. Releases March 2012. This gives you five months to read the first one!
Agent 6 - Tom Robb Smith (Simon and Schuster). I loved "Child 44", but was a bit disappointed with its sequel "The Secret Speech". The solid attraction to the series, however, is the protagonist Leo Demidov...once entrenched in the Stalinist Russia secret police, but a good guy at heart. In this installment, Leo is headed with his wife and kids to America. I'm holding out for the audio for this one.
A Grown Up Kind of Pretty - Joshilyn Jackson (Simon and Schuster). I cannot get enough of this author. She is everything a Southern author should be, her books make me laugh and make me cry. I shudder to think of how I would act if I ever met her. Releases January 2012. Because Jackson narrates her own audio books, this is the only way I will read them.
BRING THE TISSUES
Unsaid - Neil Abramson (Center Street). I know better than to read books about animals, but when I heard this author speak, I knew I had no choice. Drawing from his knowledge of a real-life vet (his wife), he tells the story of a vet who has passed away but cannot move on until she reconciles her feelings of guilt for her personal relationships and the animals that passed through her care. There wasn't a dry eye after Neil finished speaking.
Praying For Strangers - River Jordan (Penguin). I was hearing about this book prior to SIBA, after Kathy read it and told me it was a must read. River Jordan tells of her personal journey, as her sons leave for Iraq and Afghanistan, of "uncovering the needs of the human heart as she prayed her way through the year for people she had never met before."
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness (Candlewick). While this book has been out in the UK for some time, it was just released here and I got my hands on a copy. I know this read is going to devastate me, but like "Unsaid", I feel it is reaching out to me. The story is about a young boy, a monster from his nightmare, and loss.
A FEW OF MY OBSESSIONS
The Watch That Ends the Night - Allan Wolf (Candlewick). My daughter and I love to read about the Titanic...who doesn't? But a book about voices from the Titanic? In verse? Reading things in verse is my newest love, after reading "Song of the Sparrow" and "Exposed".
Monsters in America: Our historical obsession with the hideous and the haunting - W. Scott Poole (Baylor). I've spent my whole life enthralled with horror movies, ghost stories, true crime, Salem witches, and various beasts. This historical account of all things that go bump in the night might just explain why this is.
The Rebel Wife - Taylor M. Polites (Simon and Schuster). It could have gone either way. I could easily have talked about Taylor on last week's post about the authors. Taylor is a debut author and is a happy, hilarious, joyful person who loves his Gone With the Wind. His first novel has hints of this classic, with a strong heroine fighting for her life. Look out for this one next February!
So how do these sound? Are there any that will end up on your lists?