As an acquiring editor it is a luxury to read a finished book, and I cherish those moments, so the books on my nightstand are a select bunch! I’m usually dipping in and out of several at once and I do prefer to hold a bound book in my hand when reading for fun rather than a glaring e-book. It is especially fun sometimes to read books wholly separate from my working life—adult travel or foodie books are a favorite, sometimes it’s the only way I can escape and be a regular reader again! But nothing can replace a good novel that takes you away to another world. I’m looking forward to seeing where I go next with these.
WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead
The Newbery winner from two years ago, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get to it! So far I’m intrigued with the unusual structure and voice. I’m not sure where it’s going yet, but I like it.
THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern
I first saw the ARC for this book at Comic Con and almost stopped to get it signed by the author because it looked so gorgeous. But I was already weighed down and I’m trying to keep my apartment floor from caving in due to the bookshelf weight, so I resisted. Then I got home and heard this is THE adult fiction book for the Fall season—people are comparing it to HARRY—which usually us publishing folks hate, so I kicked myself for passing it up. Lucky for me, my good friends at The Booksmith on Haight Street here in San Francisco had a spare copy they gave me! It reminds me a bit of JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR. NORRELL—a period piece with mystery and magic. It’s rare to have time to read adult fiction these days, so I’m soaking it up!
BEAUTY QUEENS by Libba Bray
Our new YA book club at Chronicle just read Libba’s first novel, A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY, so I’m curious to see how she has developed as a writer since then. Embarrassingly I haven’t read anything else of hers! This looks hilarious and I think it will be interesting to read something so different from her dramatic and fantastical first novel.
THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO by Patrick Ness
Our next book in the Chronicle YA book club! Heard lots of great things about this, excited to get started.
SMILE by Raina Telgemeier
I loved what Raina did with THE BABYSITTERS CLUB graphic novel and have been itching to read SMILE. I was lucky enough to meet her at Comic Con this year and get a signed copy!
CARNET DE VOYAGE by Craig Thompson
Craig Thompson’s BLANKETS is in my top five books of all time. I nearly swooned when I met him at Comic Con and even bought ANOTHER copy just so I could have a signed one. I haven’t read this little travel journal of his and hoping it will tide me over until his much-anticipated new graphic novel, HABIBI comes out.
SECOND SIGHT by Cheryl Klein
My friend Cheryl, a Senior Editor at Scholastic, wrote this very useful guide to revision for writers, but I am learning a lot from it myself! She has some great techniques for tackling revision that are just as helpful for us editors. I love her theory that a great book needs to have at least four of the following five elements: good prose, character richness, plot construction, thematic depth, and emotion that connects to the reader. All good reminders of what to look for when sifting through those endless submissions!
THE BLACK STALLION by Walter Farley
As a devoted horse-girl when I was young, KING OF THE WIND by Marguerite Henry was one of my favorites. But somehow I missed reading the most beloved horse-story of all time, THE BLACK STALLION. I found this old copy at a flea market a while back and just couldn’t resist!
A TALE DARK AND GRIMM by Adam Gidwitz
I’ve always loved a good retelling as well as a spooky tale and this one has gotten such high praise I can’t wait to dive in.
SHARKS AND BOYS by Kristen Tracy
How could you resist at title like this? My brilliant friend Kristen, whom I’m convinced never sleeps as she writes something like four books, a screenplay, and a poetry collection each year—not to mention teaching writing and volunteering on Alcatraz, wrote this book I’m dying to find time to read. The idea of a group of teens lost at sea having to fight for their lives against man-eating sharks, and each other, is too delicious to resist!
Read the last On My Nightstand post here.
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