Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Books to Look Forward to in 2015: Fiction

For your convenience, we've compiled a list of the most highly anticipated reads of this year - some recently published, some to be published - from lists on Buzzfeed, the Seattle Times, Flavorwire, the Washington Post, and The Millions, with links directly to the library catalog! We've tried to keep our focus on some less famous titles - we figure you've heard about the latest from Toni Morrison, Kazuo Ishiguro, Sara Gruen, Kate Atkinson, Jane Smiley, Anne Tyler, Harper Lee, etc. Apart from those, are there more titles that you think we should add to the list?  Let us know in the comments!

Find Me by Laura van den Berg

Sweetland by Michael Crummey

The Infernal by Mark Doten

A Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell

The Harder They Come by T.C. Boyle

The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty by Amanda Filipacchi

Hall of Small Mammals: Stories by Thomas Pierce

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

A History of Loneliness by John Boyne

Almost Famous Women: Stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy

Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg

Binary Star by Sarah Gerard

Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story by Mac McClelland

The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman

There's Something I Want You To Do: Stories by Charles Baxter

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows  

Glow by Ned Beauman

Frog by Mo Yan

A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor

Watch Me Go by Mark Wisniewski

Bonita Avenue by Peter Buwalda

The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James

Young Skins by Colin Barrett

The Last Word by Hanif Kureishi

Aquarium by David Vann

The Last Flight of Poxl West by Daniel Torday

My Struggle: Book 4 by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Academy Street by Mary Costello

Mislaid by Nell Zink

A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me by David Gates  

Did you know that Goodreads has a Hurry Up and Release It!!! list for "books we just can't wait to come out"?  (We're looking at you, George R. R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss!)A good resource if you're following a series - includes expected publication dates.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Pleasures of Re-reading and the Bibliomemoir

I have been indulging in my annual re-reading of Jane Austen and it has struck me — strangely, for the first time — that not one of her five heroines has a satisfactory mother... But in leaving her heroines without the wisdom, affection and guidance of a sensible mother, Jane Austen was artistically right. A book can only have one heroine and each of the novels has the same basic plot, the story of a virtuous and attractive woman who overcomes difficulties, including the lack of a mother, to win the husband of her choice. In other words, Mills & Boon written by a genius.
~P.D. James

A few years ago, I got rid of a lot of books. My place is really small, and I thought, "I love these books, but I will never re-read them."  I work in a library, after all - there's hardly a better place on earth to learn about new books coming out, my hold list is always full, and if I want to re-read, say, Beloved, I can always borrow it from the library, right?

I wasn't always this way.  In my teens, I can remember deciding to re-read one of my favorite novels, The Color Purple, every year (this lasted about 3 years, I think). I also re-read The Bone People and Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit several times during my late teens. In my twenties, I liked Bastard Out of Carolina so much that immediately after I finished it, I turned back to the first page and started again. Not so long ago, I was haunting library book sales, looking for copies of Ngaio Marsh, my favorite mystery writer - I would re-read those as "comfort reading".

But, I'm middle-aged now, with a lot more reading under my belt, and new books coming up on my radar every day, it seems. So, though I will read everything that an author I like publishes, I find myself less likely to go back and revisit the books I've loved before.

Until I picked up Rebecca. I've been carrying it around in my car for ages and I'm not sure where I got it from.  I like the edition - it's the same cover as the paperback copy I read back in my teens, when I read it for the first time.  Then, I was closer in age to du Maurier's nameless heroine at the beginning of her story; now I'm older than Maxim, described by Mrs. Danvers in the book as "not yet forty-five".

I started reading Rebecca again while I was in my car, waiting for something.  Now I'm starting to think of it as my car reading, because I'm enjoying it so much I want to savor the re-reading - unheard of for me. I usually gobble books up in haste, and forget the whole plot just as fast. This re-reading is giving me time to appreciate du Maurier's language as she sets the scene:
This was Manderley, our Manderley, secretive and silent as it had always been, the grey stone shining in the moonlight of my dream, the mullioned windows reflecting the green lawns and the terrace.  Time could not wreck the perfect symmetry of those walls, not the site itself, a jewel in the hollow of a hand. The terrace sloped to the lawns, and the lawns stretched to the sea, and turning I could see the sheet of silver, placid under the moon, like a lake undisturbed by wind or storm.  No waves would come to ruffle this dream water, and no bulk of cloud, wind-driven from the west, obscure the clarity of this pale sky.
Re-reading also gives me the chance to focus on details. While they are still in Monte Carlo, Maxim "took an emery board out of his pocket and began filing his nails" while the nameless narrator is trying to tell him she has to leave to return with her employer to New York. I'm still trying to figure out the meaning of this gesture, but hands in general seem to be important signifiers to du Maurier - when the narrator meets Mrs. Danvers, the latter is described as having a hand "limp and heavy, deathly cold...like a lifeless thing", whereas Maxim's sister's Beatrice "shook hands very firmly". Later, when Maxim and his new wife have returned to Manderley and are having an uncomfortable conversation about broken china, she polishes her nails - "They were scrubby, like a schoolboy's bails. The cuticles grew up over the half moon. The thumb was bitten nearly to the quick."

In that same conversation, Maxim worries he is too old to be with the new Mrs. de Winter; he thinks she has gotten thinner since they returned from their honeymoon, and is not happy.  His concern is tempered with a parental scolding - he berates her for hiding the broken object "[j]ust like a between-maid...and not the mistress of a house" and for her tone, telling her "It was not a particularly attractive thing to say, was it?" Meanwhile, her feelings for him are feverishly devotional: "You are my father and my brother and my son. All those things."

Sigh. I haven't yet finished my re-reading of Rebecca.  Even though I already know how it ends, the journey of reading, the Gothic atmosphere and the suspenseful buildup, still holds me spellbound. Yet, when I picked up a book called The Rebecca Notebooks and Other Memories, du Maurier has this to say about her creation:
It is now over forty years since my novel Rebecca was first published. Although I had then written four previous novels, The Loving Spirit, I'll Never Be Young Again, The Progress of Julius and Jamaica Inn, as well as two biographies, Gerald: A Portrait and The du Mauriers, the story of Rebecca became a instant favourite with readers in the United Kingdom, North America and Europe. Why, I have never understood!
The Rebecca Notebooks contain the notebook du Maurier kept while writing Rebecca, full of the changing details of the story - Mrs. Danvers was called Mrs. Danvers from the start, but Maxim was at one point called Henry, for instance - along with "The Rebecca Epilogue", with which du Maurier originally intended to end the novel, and "The House of Secrets", an article she wrote to contribute to a book called Countryside Character. The "...and Other Memories" part of the book appears to be early stories.  I've read du Maurier's introduction to The Rebecca Notebooks, but not much more...yet. After I'm done taking in the novel again, maybe I'll go back with du Maurier's notebook entries and compare and contrast.

Are you also a fan of Rebecca? If you are interested in further immersing yourself in Rebecca, we also have the eBook, the book on CD, and the movie and PBS special (starring Game of Thrones' Charles Dance as Maxim de Winter).  There are also no less than 3 re-imaginings of du Maurier's classic in the library catalog - Alena by Rachel Pastan, Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman, and Mrs. de Winter by Susan Hill - in addition to other titles by Daphne herself and a delightful biography of the author, Daphne du Maurier: The Secret Life of the Renowned Storyteller by Margaret Forster.  And while you're at it, why not try a mystery or two by Joanna Challis featuring a young du Maurier as a sleuth?

The idea of re-reading Rebecca was in part inspired by reading Rebecca Mead's delightful bibliomemoir, My Life in Middlemarch. Here are some other bibliomemoirs from the library catalog:

A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewicz

How To Be a Heroine: Or, What I've Learned From Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis

How to Live, or, A Life of Montaigne: In One Question and Twenty Attempts at An Answer by Sarah Bakewell

The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia by Laura Miller

How Literature Saved My Life by David Shields

What Makes This Book So Great: Re-Reading the Classics of Science Fiction and Fantasy by Jo Walton

The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them by Elif Batuman

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman

Reading Dante: From Here to Eternity by Prue Shaw

Housekeeping vs. the Dirt by Nick Hornby

Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with D.H. Lawrence by  Geoff Dyer

The Year of Reading Proust: A Memoir in Real Time by Phyllis Rose

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch   

What about you? Are there books you re-read again and again? Do you write about what you've read? Let us know in the comments!


P.D. James on Jane Austen [Washington Post, video]

Re-reading: The ultimate guilty pleasure?  [BBC]

Rereading as Rebirth: Young Susan Sontag on Personal Growth, The Pleasures of Revisiting Beloved Books, and Her Rereading List [Brain Pickings]

Are Rereadings Better Readings? [New Yorker]

Re-reading books is good for your health [Stylist]

The top 10  books about reading [Guardian]

Thursday, April 30, 2015

In Praise of Walking

I leaned closer, and as she tapped the thickest part of [a rubber bracelet on her left wrist] a number of glowing dots rose to the surface and danced back and forth. “It’s like a pedometer,” she continued. “But updated, and better. The goal is to take ten thousand steps per day, and, once you do, it vibrates.”

...A few weeks later, I bought a Fitbit of my own, and discovered what she was talking about. Ten thousand steps, I learned, amounts to a little more than four miles for someone my size—five feet five inches. It sounds like a lot, but you can cover that distance in the course of an average day without even trying...
~David Sedaris, "Stepping Out"

We don't have an abcreads Fitbit, but one of us did get a new phone with a pedometer, and now that the weather has been warm, we have been trying to get out and walk daily. Like David Sedaris, some of us are a bit obsessive about making our 10,000 steps a day and achieving a little light applause and a gold medal from our phone's pedometer.  Some of us could use a little more inspiration. We could try Cheryl Strayed's Wild (although we've mostly been walking the city neighborhoods) and we've placed a hold on Stephen Ausherman's Walking Albuquerque: 30 Tours of the Duke City's Historic Neighborhoods, Ditch Trails, Urban Nature, and Public Art. Some websites recommend walking routes, the Paseo del Bosque Trail is calling to us, and even the City of Albuquerque wants us to Get Up and Get Moving! Still, some of us need a little more inspiration, so here are some items from the catalog that we hope will inspire all of us to take a walk!  (Once we finish reading, anyway.)

A Philosophy of Walking by Frederic Gros

Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit

The Lost Art of Walking: The History, Science, Philosophy, and Literature of Pedestrianism by Geoff Nicholson

The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert Macfarlane

The Last Great Walk: The True Story of a 1909 Walk From New York to San Francisco, and Why It Matters Today by Wayne Curtis

Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail by Ben Montgomery

Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson

A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople - From The Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Like a Tramp, Like a Pilgrim: On Foot, Across Europe to Rome by Harry Bucknall


Patience (After Sebald): A Walk Through The Rings of Saturn

Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago
 For more walking guides (including travel guides), try a search of walking guidebooks or walking tours.  

What about you? Is there a place in Albuquerque you like to walk?  Do you take a daily stroll? Use a Fitbit or a pedometer?  Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Secrets Secrets Are So Fun

When I was in college, I ran away for a summer.  Well, I didn't technically run away, but I did escape to the muggy, tornado-stricken climes of Omaha, Nebraska to share a tiny bedroom with my best friend in her on-campus apartment.  It was quite the adventure.  However, this post is not about me, nor the first tornado I ever had to sit through in a real live basement, nor any of my other tall tales from Omaha.  It is about a book I discovered while living with my girlfriend that summer that changed my life: 

PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives by Frank Warren

If you haven't heard of the world of PostSecret, I think you will find it fascinating!  People anonymously send their secrets on the backs of postcards to Frank Warren, the founder of PostSecret.  The criteria for sending a secret are simple: it must be true and you can never have told it to another human being.  Frank (as the public usually refers to Mr. Warren) calls it "an ongoing community art project," and posts newly delivered secrets every Sunday on the PostSecret website.  Every week Frank posts about 30 never-before-seen secrets.  But if you are a book lover, his posts can't beat the hard copies he has published of selected secrets, which you can find here, in our catalog.
When I read my first PostSecret book in that tiny apartment bedroom, I sped through it like it was a suspense-thriller.  As soon as I finished, I went back through and lingered over my favorites.  When I was through poring over the art others had created to set their secrets free, it got me thinking about my own secrets.  A day or two later, I set to work turning one into a postcard to send to Frank.  It was beautiful!  I addressed the back, carefully applied the postage stamp, and walked across campus to the mail box.  I put my other letters down the chute, and paused.  I wasn't ready to let go of this powerful declaration my secret had become, so I tucked it back into my bag.  I never sent my secret.  Instead, it hangs on a wall in my bedroom as encouragement for my soul. 

Thinking about and expressing our secrets can be such freeing acts.  When we no longer have to hold inside something so huge, when we can share it with another person, it loses its power over us.  Or if it is a positive secret, as mine was, expressing it can unleash its potential.  Another huge aspect of the PostSecret concept is that seeing others' secrets can set us free or encourage just as much as acknowledging our own secrets does.  We may realize that the secrets we thought we bore alone belong to others as well, and the feelings of shame and isolation that secrets so often wield over us diminish.  It is worth noting that perhaps all of these benefits occur less so when our sharing is anonymous rather than face-to-face with loved ones, but sharing at all is a great start.  On the lighter side, not all secrets are dark and life-changing.  Sometimes they are just plain ridiculous, and that only adds to the addiction.  There's something at PostSecret for all of us. 

Check it out and let us know what you think!  Or if you are already familiar with PostSecret, how has it impacted you?  Have you sent in a secret?  Has another person's secret affected your life?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Trends in young adult fiction in 2015

As I've been adding young adult books to my to-read list, I've been noticing some trends for books being published this year. After doing some research, I thought I'd break down the trends I've been noticing into two groups: themes and covers. These lists are not, by any means, comprehensive, and not all the books on the list have been published yet.


Suicide: Suicide isn't a new theme to young adult fiction, but it has certainly taken off this year as one of the most noticeable trends.

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff
I Was Here by Gayle Forman
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand*
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven*
My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

*Make sure you have a box of tissues by your side when you read these, because they're pretty much guaranteed to make you cry.

Books about the end of the world: I don't mean the end of the world as in some natural disaster is going to destroy the world and mankind. What I mean is I've noticed more books being published about when the world is going to end according to religious leaders. Some of the books focus on parents who have given up everything to follow a religious leader who says the end of the world will happen on a specific date, and then when the world doesn't end, the teens have to try to find their parents, who have mysteriously disappeared. Others focus on the aftermath of what happens to families when parents give up everything to follow a religious leader who says the end of the world will happen on a specific date, and it doesn't.

No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss
Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle

Books that are based on fictional works in other books: This seems to be a newer trend, and I don't know how much of a trend it'll really be. The two books that fall under this category started out as a musical written by a character in one book and as a piece of fanfiction written by a character in a different book.

Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Book Covers

A lot of what I found for book cover trends are from the blog Stacked Books. Some of the trends I noticed aren't necessarily trends Stacked Books mentioned, but are trends I noticed while looking at the trends they noticed.

Fonts that look like handwriting: This is a trend I noticed last year, and it looks like it has continued into this year.

Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills
Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

The above cover images are from Goodreads.

The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
If You Were Me by Sam Hepburn
Finding Paris by Joy Preble
A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith

Light up place signs: So far, there are only two books that have this on the cover, unless you count Finding Paris, which has an outline of a light up place sign.

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

Illustrated covers: This is another trend that started last year and has continued into this year. I love it; illustrated covers, when done right, can be gorgeous.

Mosquitoland by David Arnold
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Thatcher
Hold Tight, Don't Let Go by Laura Rose Wagner
The Kidney Hypothetical, or, How to Ruin Your Life in Seven Days by Lisa Yee

The above cover images are from Goodreads.

Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert
Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

What trends have you noticed in themes or book covers this year?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What Do Librarians Read? Part Two

It might go without saying that librarians (and library support staff - we answer to "librarian", but in truth we go by many titles) like books! Library workers are encouraged to read (though not at work), and to have a working knowledge of the library's holdings - helpful for book recommendations, book clubs, and the like. With that in mind, and inspired by an article from Book Riot (because when we're not reading books, we're reading about reading books), we asked a smattering ABC Librarians to share their reading habits, including:

1. What I'm reading now
2. What's on my to-be-read list
3. How I choose my next book
4. Favorite book to recommend

Here are their responses! (For more responses, check out Part One.)


1. What I'm reading now: I've really been enjoying re-reading the Harry Potter series and just started book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  I've also just begun one about vermicomposting called Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof.  As fascinating as the worm book is (I'm not being sarcastic), it's pretty hard to pick it up when I have Harry Potter on hand!

2. What's on my to-be-read-list: I currently have 68 books on my list.  Oh my, I didn't know it was that bad.  And a good portion of them are series.  I want to read the Legend series by Marie Lu (it's young adult).  I want to read several kid's trilogies, including the Half Upon a Time series by James Riley.  I also have a ton of non-fiction I'm looking forward to.  For one, there's Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart L. Brown.  Also, cookbooks: Nourishing Broth by Sally Fallon Morrell.  I'll stop there.

3. How I choose my next book: Usually it's just what feels right.  Something catches my eye and I usually just write down the title, but every once in a while I'll see a book and think to myself "I need to read this now because I'm just THAT excited about it."  People recommend books to me all the time, but if my heart's not in it, I won't pick it up.  It has to be the right time.

4. Favorite book to recommend: I think people asking for a recommendation often want a novel - we'll pretend that's true for my purposes in answering this question, at least.  So in that case, I would say The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.  This one is the first of an epic fantasy series, The Kingkiller Chronicle.  It's hard to get into at first, but so worth it - I adore it.  The second one, The Wise Man's Fear, is also great.  If you ask for my recommendation and don't like fantasy, you might be out of luck!  All I read is fantasy and most of it is for kids.  The Name of the Wind is definitely not for kids, but may interest young adult readers.


1. What I'm reading now: I am currently reading Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

2. What's on my to-be-read-list: My to-be-read list is about 600 books long (literally) and is made up of everything that has caught my eye or recommended to me by a trusted source.

3. How I choose my next book: I choose my next book my randomly selecting something off my to-be-read list. I refuse to just go down the list one by one, I need a little spontaneity.

4. Favorite book to recommend: My favorite book to recommend seriously depends on the person. Children: The Phantom Tollbooth. YA: Cinder or Legend series. Adult: Lies of Locke Lamora or Where'd You Go Bernadette?.


1. What I'm reading now: Thunderstruck and Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken, What the Fork Are You Eating? by Stefanie Sacks, Get in Trouble by Kelly Link, and on the Overdrive Media Console app on my phone I am listening to The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford.

2. What's on my to-be-read list: I have over 400 books on that list and it gets bigger every week.  I use Goodreads to help me keep track of it, as well as random scraps of paper stuck in random places.  Goodreads is nice because I can tag books as being available to borrow from the library, or needing to suggest the library purchase it, or having to get an Interlibrary Loan, or just buying it outright.  The books I am MOST excited about reading are In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume, The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits, Delicious Foods by James Hannaham, A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott, Single, Carefree, Mellow: Stories by Katherine Heiny, and Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver. 

3. How I choose my next book: Mostly by how I feel, but sometimes by what comes in for me through my library hold list.  I try to listen to books that will motivate me to walk every day, so a suspense book like The Pocket Wife is good, because in order to keep "reading" it for a long period, I have to walk for a long period, which is my daily exercise.  I listened to Reconstructing Amelia, and My Sunshine Away, for the same reason.  I also get advance reader copies sent to me occasionally, and I like to read those before I read my library books since they are often copies of stuff that hasn't been published yet, which makes me feel smug and superior.  I often look through my Goodreads list of stuff that is in the library collection and see if it's available on the shelf at my branch, when I am looking for a last minute read.  I also follow every book account (including ABC Reads!) I can find on Twitter to keep up with what the collective book world is reading.

4. Favorite book to recommend: This changes, especially since I HATE it when people ask for a recommendation, and then when you recommend this awesome book you just finished they say something like, "Oh, I never read fiction," or "Oh, that sounds too sad for me.  I wanted to hear about something funny."  However, my newest book that I'm a psychotic weirdo for is Night At The Fiestas: Stories by Kirsten Valdez Quade.  This book made me wish I still worked in a bookstore so I could force people to buy it.  The stories mostly take place in Northern New Mexico, and they are so well done, especially when describing the people of New Mexico.  Sometimes I will come across a book that I love so much that I want people to read it even if they hate, just so they will read it, and be aware of it, and this is how I feel about Night At The Fiestas.  I felt the same way about The Book Thief, Where'd You Go, Bernadette?, The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Let's Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell, and Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney.


2) What's on my to-be-read list: Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles by Les Standiford,  Bettyville: A Memoir by George Hodgeman, and Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum (because sometimes you need fluff)

3) How I choose my next book: I process the new books, so I “browse”…..Also Mental Floss has an awesome book list for non fiction

4) Favorite book to recommend: The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy. Set in post WWII Los Angeles, an awesome look into how Los Angeles used to be (that’s my hometown!). Completely twisted and dark, not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. But absolutely compelling. Based on an actual unsolved murder that has become legend in Southern California.


1. What I'm reading now: Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death, The Castlemaine Murders, The Big Four (audio), Best Tent Camping in New Mexico

2. What's on my to-be-read list: Next up: Leaving Tinkertown, a Donna Leon mystery on audio, all (yes, all) of the cookbooks

3. How I choose my next book: Depends on which one is out.  Lunch reading alternates between mysteries and nonfiction, tending towards NF and for that I look at the new shelf.  Bedtime reading is a mystery (literally) and I tend towards the cozies.  For the car it’s also usually a mystery.

4.  Favorite book to recommend: For grown-ups I sometimes recommend Louise Penny.  For chapter books Dealing with Dragons and for kidlets anything by Nicholas Oldland.  Because they are awesome.


1.What I'm reading now: I am currently reading The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth a novel of suspense.

2. What's on my to-be-read list: Anything mystery or suspense ends up on my to-be-read list. The next book I plan to read is
Life or Death by Michael Robotham.

3. How I choose my next book: I select titles based on the author, book reviews and book recommendations by friends, co-workers and customers.

4. Favorite book to recommend: I generally read mystery and suspense, currently a favorite mystery to recommend is The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny.  Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall was recommended by a customer and I have shared that title with others looking for a good general fiction read. The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim is my pick for historical novel.  For children I like to recommend A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck and for YA Epic by Conor Kostick.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New & Novel: New Mexico Authors

There is a lot of writing talent here in the Land of Enchantment.  We all know about George R.R. Martin and Rudolfo Anaya; there are libraries named for Ernie Pyle, Erna Fergusson, and Tony Hillerman.  But did you know romance author Jude Devereaux has ties to New Mexico? How about mystery writer Martha Grimes?

If you are looking for books by New Mexicans, we can help! We have a LibGuide (which includes links to New Mexico author groups) and you can also search in the library catalog for the tag "New Mexico authors". If you search by author in the LibGuide, you will find the author's New Mexico connection - Armistead Maupin is now a Santa Fe resident and Michael McGarrity has degrees from UNM and served as Santa Fe County Deputy Sheriff, for instance - and a link to their books in the catalog, as well as to the author's website.

We hope you will check out some of New Mexico's literary offerings!  You might be surprised to find your favorite author listed in the LibGuide - or you might discover your next great read.

Here's a quick roundup of some of the latest New Mexico literature, in a variety of genres, which can be found in the library catalog:


The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob

Night at the Fiestas: Stories by Kirstin Valdez Quade

Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones

The King and Queen of Comezón by Denise Chávez

The Cane Creek Regulators: A Frontier Story by Johnny D. Boggs

Written In My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon

Exo by Steven Gould

Kansas Bleeds: Colton Brothers Saga by Melody Groves

Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold

Backlands: A Novel of the American West by Michael McGarrity

The Golden Princess: A Novel of the Change by S. M. Stirling 


Singing at the Gates: Selected Poems by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Hoe, Heaven, and Hell: My Boyhood in Rural New Mexico by Nasario García 

Goin' Crazy with Sam Peckinpah and All Our Friends by Max Evans with Robert Nott

The New Mexico Farm Table Cookbook: 150 Homegrown Recipes from the Land of Enchantment by Sharon Niederman

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the U.S.S. Jeannette by Hampton Sides

If you are looking for New Mexico history,  library staff recommend the Images of America series.


ABC Library's New Mexico Authors Guide

G. E. Nordell's New Mexico Authors Guide

NM Children's and YA Authors, Poets, and Illustrators [New Mexico State Library]

Books Set in New Mexico [Goodreads]


"Founded by Anne Hillerman and Jean Schaumberg in 2002, WORDHARVEST is devoted to the art and craft of writing. From our headquarters in Santa Fe, New Mexico, we celebrate the legacy of iconic mystery author Tony Hillerman with the Tony Hillerman Prize for first mystery novel, and the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference, a  three-day workshop offering how-to advice on writing techniques and the business of writing."