[FEATURE] On the Nightstand, January 2010.

18 01 2010

I have to admit that I was an inattentive blogger in 2009, and I will try to right this slackness in 2010.

A little late, since we are more than halfway through the month, but let’s get a discussion started.


I had taken home a big pile of 2008 advance reader copies at one point, and am only now getting to read them, mixed in with some re-reads.

Currently on the headboard of my bed are the following books….

1] ARCs:

* GRACELING by Kristin Cashore – completed, need to review. I was impressed with this debut novel and now need to dig up FIRE.

* NICK OF TIME by Ted Bell – halfway through. Enjoying immensely for the subject matter, even if it has some definite narrative flaws.


* SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE by Austin Grossman

* THE GIRL IN A SWING by Richard Adams



What’s on *your* nightstand, Gentle Readers?



“…And a Happy Book Year…”

18 01 2010

I’m enjoying the electronic age just a wee bit more these days, as I watch people “live-blogging” and Twittering the ALA Midwinter Conference and its awards ceremonies.

I was unable to be there this year in Boston, but am thrilled that, with all the current networking platforms out there, others are helping fill me in as events unfold.

Rebecca Stead, Jerry Pinkney, Libba Bray Win Newbery, Caldecott, Printz

A Cybils Awards judge liveblogs while viewing the ALA webcast

Even if I have to be on the sidelines this year, it’s still a vicarious thrill.

Did *YOUR* choices win, my Gentle Readers?


Reinventing the database wheel.

3 12 2009

This is an inquiry post, my Gentle Readers, that may turn into a rant later.

Are you aware of any webpages acting as author databases and bibliographies, especially genre-specific ones, that DO NOT reference Amazon.com as a buying source?

It’s my contrarian independent bookseller streak showing, I know, and I truly do not wish to offend those of my Gentle Readers who are authors and depend on Amazon.com listings to impress their publishers with book sales.

But I am trying not to have to make my own database, and would love to find one that suggests IndieBound.org as a place to help customers shop locally for their favourites. I wouldn’t even mind if it had IndieBound alongside Amazon, as long as Amazon wasn’t considered the be-all and end-all of book shopping.

Thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer me.


Back to the Desk of Doom.

24 11 2009

If I met you at Philcon 2009 this past weekend, please give me a shout-out here!

Lots and lots of bookish news to compile from the convention weekend, but I must first unpack my bags and try to make some sense of my piles in my office. Therefore, a full con report remains forthcoming.


Philcon 2009 – Will you be there?

13 11 2009

This is an official public service announcement to remind people that yes, I will be at Philcon 2009 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey from Friday, November 20th through Sunday, November 22rd.

I will be traveling via Greyhound on Thursday the 19th and returning on Monday the 23rd.

My appointment book has some events already slotted in, but I’m taking a head count of others who also know they’ll be there. Please reply if there’s any chance I’ll see you there.

I’ll put my schedule and itinerary in a later post as it gets closer to the con.


Local bookstore reopens! Let jubilation reign.

24 10 2009

I’m pleased to report that Worcester, Massachusetts still has a friendly neighborhood bookstore.

Annie’s Book Stop, previously at 120 Stafford Street, has reopened its doors at 65 James Street in the James Street Shopping Plaza, near the Commerce Bank ATM, the Clayground pottery studio, the Green China restaurant, and the Clippers hair salon.

Their selection includes a sizable science fiction and fantasy section, as well as two full rooms of children’s books… both factors warranted to make me tickled pink. Annie’s carries new and used books and offers trade-in for store credit.

Their first in-store event is a talk and signing on Saturday, November 14th with Michael Bisceglia, a veteran New Hampshire educator and author of the novel ROOM 600.

Annie’s Book Stop has a LiveJournal at anniesbooks.livejournal.com and a Twitter account at www.twitter.com/anniesbooksworc. Their telephone number is 508-756-9836 and their hours are 11AM to 7PM Mondays through Fridays, 11AM to 5PM on Saturday, and 12Noon to 5PM on Sunday.

I’m very excited to have an independent bookstore in walking distance again.


Books here, books there, books books everywhere!

21 09 2009

I’ve been given a bit of a kickstart in digging this blog out of mothballs by Adam Lipkin. We had a brief exchange about reading several books at once, based on where we were at any given moment and what we were doing.

Here’s mine:

My “bathtub” book [what’s the point of having a clawfoot tub in an old house if you can’t read in it?]: TOM JONES by Henry Fielding. This was a “discard” from the local state library.

My “backpack” book: WAR OF THE WITCHES by Maite Carranza. Easily digestible on the bus while running errands.

My “porch” book: TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY by John Steinbeck. This is normally an annual ritual re-read in summer, after the completion of DANDELION WINE. 2009 has been anything but normal for me, and thus this has been moved to become an autumn indulgence.

My “bedside” books: An ARC of Kate DiCamillo’s THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT, my BEA scores of INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY by Gary Frank and WATER WITCH by Deborah Leblanc, and the first EREC REX book by Kaza Kingsley.

I’m curious, Gentle Readers, if you [a] read several books at a time and [b] keep books stashed all over your living spaces.