Sunday, April 26, 2009

Introspection Gets Boring

After the blow up about cool blogs and loser blogs and how the literary blogosphere is like high school, we're now all mumbly and slightly whiny about ARCs. Who gets them, who doesn't it and wasn't the blogosphere so much better before them? (Which baffles me, I've been book blogging for 4.5 years now. There have always been ARCs, but maybe because most of the blogs I started reading were by librarians who were getting the ARCs through other venues and then blogging about them as well.)

I don't want to get into it. Y'all know that when I read an ARC, I mention it in the review. If you actually want to know more, ask me.

Can we stop talking about ourselves and blogging in general and get back to talking about actual books?!

If you want to be introspective, here's what I want to know--how do you discover books to read? What made you pick up the last few books you read?

Here are the books I read so far this month and why I picked them up (you'll notice most come from the library. I work there. It's an occupational hazard):

Wild Orchid Cameron Dokey-- this is the latest installment of the Once Upon a Time series, which I love, so I put a hold on it at the library as soon as it showed up in the catalog, which is when the order was placed.

Being Nikki Meg Cabot-- this is an ARC that I requested when Cabot mentioned on her blog that the she had some for blog reviewers. I saw Airhead at the library last summer and it looked good and I like Cabot so I read it. I really liked it and have been looking forward to the sequel for awhile, so I jumped on the chance to get it a little early. I will review this in a few weeks, closer to the release date. I will tell you right now that it's better than Airhead.

The Corpse Walker Liao Yiwu-- books about China always catch my eye. I frequently check out the history section of the new bookshelf over in the adult section at the library. That's where I got this, but I might have read some buzz about it on the China blogs I follow.

Best Friends and Drama Queens Meg Cabot-- I got this when it came in at the library. I have read and enjoyed the earlier Allie Finkle books, so grabbed this right away.

Tales of Famous Americans Peter and Connie Roop-- I know Connie Roop personally. She once almost gave me detention! She was my homeroom and science teacher in junior high. When I found out she and her husband had a new one out, I scooped it up. I ILL'ed from another library.

The Secret in the Old Attic Carolyn Keene-- my friend Dana collects original editions of Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, Dana Girls, Judy Bolton and other old-skool mystery series. She loaned me a few and so I read the original side-by-side with the current edition to see how they compare. The current edition was checked out from the library.

No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row Susan Kuklin-- this is one of the titles on the reading list for our upcoming Teen Notables book discussion at work. I got it from the library.

Socialism is Great Lijia Zhang-- I read about this book, including an interview with Zhang on a few different China blogs. So when I saw it on the shelf at the library, I checked it out.

Lady Grace Mysteries: Gold Lady Grace Cavendish-- I really enjoy this series, but they stopped publishing them in the US after the 6th volume. When I was on vacation in England I saw that there were 5 more volumes available. So I bought them.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle Shirley Jackson-- I bought this last spring. I liked the cover and had been meaning to read some Jackson because she seems to be a favorite among some bloggers I really like.

Sisters Grimm: Everafter Wars Michael Buckley-- I love the Sisters Grimm series and had pre-ordered this on Amazon months and months ago. I started reading as soon as I opened the box.

I Want Candy Kim Wong Keltner-- I enjoyed Keltner's other books as fun chicklit so when I saw this on the new book shelf at work, I picked it up. It was very very different than her other work.

Racketty-Packetty House and Other Stories Frances Hodgson Burnett-- Burnett is a childhood favorite of mine. When I saw this at the library, how could I resist? I COULDN'T!

Fade Lisa McMann-- I loved Wake, which I had to read for the Teen Notables discussion, so I put a hold on the sequel right away at the library.

Moon Opera Bi Feiyu-- I saw this on the new bookshelf at work and it was about Chinese Opera! And really short. And was an author I wasn't familiar with.

Bog Child Siobhan Dowd-- Lots of people in blogland loved this book. So when I was trolling the shelves at work, I thought I'd pick it up.

Dead is a State of Mind Marlene Perez-- much like with Fade, I had to read the first in this series for the Teen Notable book discussion and loved it, so I snatched up the sequel as soon as it was available.

Lost and Found (Bluford High) Anne Schraff-- I'm doing a presentation at the Maryland Library Association conference next month about what's popular in YA. This series is super-hot at my library-- I was surprised to find a copy on the shelf!

Got Fangs Katie Maxell--So, for the above presentation, I need to read some more vampire books that are so popular thanks to Twilight. I got it at the library.

Beacon Street Girls: Worst Enemies/Best Friends Annie Bryant-- I thought I could use this for my presentation, so I checked it out of the library.

Jellicoe Road Melina Marchetta-- While this got good blogbuzz, I really picked this one up because it won the Printz. I checked it out from the library.

Repossessed AM Jenkins-- checked out from the library for use in my presentation. I knew about it because it was a Printz honor (last year? year before?)

Oh.My.Gods Tera Lyyn Childs--checked out from the library for use in my presentation. I originally heard about in from blogland, and it's been on display at the library, so I haven't forgotten about it.

The Celebutantes: On the Avenue Antonio Pagliano-- this was on my radar due to blogbuzz, but when I wanted more titles for "Gossip Girl with a twist" for my presentation, this one was one of the recommended titles. Checked it out from the library.

Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: Kingdom oo the Waves MT Anderson-- This is the book I'm currently reading thanks to a huge confluence of events. A friend picked up the ARC for me at ALA a while back, but sadly, I haven't been able to get to it until now. (She had it autographed for me too, and apparently Anderson and Mo Willems MOCKED ME for not being there! This makes me sad and happy all at once.) Anyway, I'm reading all the Printz books this year for this presentation AND the Octavian books are what my book club is discussing next week.

You'll notice most come from the new book shelves at work. Before you accuse me of being a mean-new-book-hogging-librarian I will point out a few things in my defense:

1. As soon as I can place a hold, members of the public can as well. In fact for a few of the "placed on hold before it came in" books, I actually placed the hold at home via the public catalog.

2. Books are on the new bookshelf for 6months to a year. Several of these, while still new, had been checked out a few times before me.

3. Yeah, I might be a new book hog. It's what happens when you're the one putting the new books on the shelf. I do try to get them read and back into circulation fairly quickly.

What about you? How do you choose books?


tinylittlelibrarian said...

The new books shelf is such a temptation... :) And one of the perks of library work, seeing them hot out of Acquisitions. A have a friend who works in that dept and she seems them even sooner, lucky thing.

Your presentation sounds really cool!

Mrs. F-B's Books Blog said...

It IS a job hazard of working in a library to have so many books to choose from, isn't it? Nevertheless, I try to get my books from the public library because they tend to have more copies available than I do in my school library. I usually read about the titles I choose on blogs, but sometimes I just see one that strikes my fancy. That's how I picked up Sister Wife recently. have you read Jellicoe Road yet? I have to say, I'm about 1/3 of the way in, and so far I really don't like it, which shocks me b/c I usually LOVE the Printz winner...I hope I'll change my mind. And I liked Being Nikki better, too! Happy day!

Book Psmith said...

Oh the many, many ways I choose my next's one...your Guardian challenge. My tentative list included All Quiet on the Western Front and it is shaping up to be one of my top reads for 2009.

dkwatson said...

I stole your idea and blogged my books' origins for this month, too. I think they basically all boiled down to trusted authors, the library, bookstore whims, and recommendations either from real people or Amazon.