Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Things that don’t impress me

You know, one kind of post that is simultaneously helpful and annoying are these “Bookseller’s recommended August releases” posts, as here, for example, at tor.com.

It’s not that I don’t like knowing what’s coming out. It’s that I don’t buy for a second that these are lists of *recommended* titles. They’re just titles the bookseller thinks will sell a lot, end of story. Having kept an eye on these lists for some time, I must say, I don’t think for a second that the bookseller thinks these particular titles are especially outstanding or noteworthy or excellent. No. They’re just being pushed by their publisher, who is paying booksellers like Barnes and Noble to put the title front-and-center. Or they’re titles by famous authors that the bookseller plans to push on their own account. They are expected to be popular, excellence is optional.

Or that’s how these lists always come across to me, anyway.

I prefer the occasional emails I get from Goodreads: Forthcoming titles by authors whose books you love. Of course Goodreads can do that, because they can tailor the email you get based on the reviews you’ve written in the past. There’s no implication: THIS IS GREAT. Instead, it’s a simpler message: YOU MIGHT LIKE THIS ONE TOO. That’s a lot more helpful and less eye-rollingly OOH FAMOUS AUTHOR HERE than the lists you see from Barnes and Nobel’s acquisitions people.

Having said that, FINE, I’m definite interested in two of the titles on this particular Barnes and Nobel list: Magic Shifts, by Ilona Andrews; and The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin. Though I gather the latter is the beginning of a new trilogy, so no rush, no rush, I do not really want to find out if there is a cliffhanger the hard way. I’ll let someone else read it first and point that out before I touch it.

Meanwhile, just out: A Wish Upon Jasmine by Laura Florand has just hit the shelves. Mmmm. It’ll be a book to cuddle up with, I’m sure.

Also, for something completely different and not at all cuddly, Dan Well’s newest John Cleever book, The Devil’s Only Friend, was recently released. I may not read that for a while since it is also the first book of a new trilogy. But in the past, Wells has done a good job of tying each book up well enough, so maybe I’ll read it soonish after all.

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1 Comment Things that don’t impress me

  1. Mary+Beth

    I have run off to Amazon IMMEDIATELY to purchase the Florand book, so thank you for my weekend reading. :)

    I’m not a fan of Barnes and Nobles’ list at all, either. I much prefer Tor.com’s internal round-up of books being published each month, sorted by genre. There’s no pretense of “curating” or advocating for any of the books; it’s simply, this is what’s coming out, make your own choices about them. (And frequently some of them look dreadful, but some look great!)

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