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Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'm back

I apologize for the long absence. I didn't mean to go this long without posting, but it seems life had other plans for me.

In addition to reading volumes of books for the New Voices committee (our final list needed to be finished by mid-August), I've been working with my new editor at Reading Today to see where Susan and I fit into the mix. Thankfully, they want to keep us on, and it seems they have some interesting ideas for us in the future. I'll keep you posted as soon as everything has been worked out and the ink is dry.

Also my family (in late May) said goodbye to our beloved cat, Heather, who graced us with her presence for fourteen years. Those of you who have pets know how hard this can be. I had planned to blog about how my son handled this, but still it's too close for me to do so. Maybe in the future I will.

We didn't last long before a new cat entered our lives. His name is Gus. And while Heather was the epitome of grace, style and dignity, Gus is a bit of goofball and always good for a laugh. And he can certainly turn on the charm, especially with my college-age daughter whom he seems to have taken a distinct liking to.

On to the books I've been reading. I've had an amazing summer with the ABA New Voices books, reading many more wonderful books than actually made the list. The committee was a terrific mix of people who, in spite of varying tastes and opinions, were able to discuss, laugh, reason, and talk about books with enthusiasm and genuine interest.

Now, I'm getting caught up (slowly, but surely) on the books that were not eligible as well.

First, I think one book that deserves major accolades is WITH A NAME LIKE LOVE by Tess Hilmo. It's one of the WOW! books. From page one, the voice and writing style let you know you're in for something special.

And keep an eye out next week for WONDERSTRUCK by Brian Selznick. In form, it resembles THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET. But once you begin reading it, you'll find it's only in structure that there is a similarity.. It's a completely different novel, weaving two stories (one in pictures and one in text), from two different times together. Again, a WOW! book.

Mike Mullin's ASHFALL arrived in the store this week. I'm assuming it's shipping early because of the amazing job Mike's done of advertising his debut novel and the buzz surrounding it. It really is that good, folks.

Also, the sequel to I AM NUMBER FOUR is out, titled THE POWER OF SIX. This by no means is going to win literary awards, but that's not what it was written to do anyway. It was written to give the reader a great ride, and that it does. Like the first book, this one is nonstop, nail biting action. The one drawback: This one doesn't end as neatly as the first, so it really leaves you hanging and wanting the next edition.

I  do hope to be posting more often in the next few months about the new books coming out.

In the meantime, keep reading and writing.