Monday, May 21, 2007

Book Recommendations!

There are many perks to being a published author. Right up there with the thrill of walking into a bookstore and (hopefully) seeing your own book on the shelves and getting to meet other authors is receiving free books, and even better, receiving ARCs (Advanced Reader's Copies). ARCs allow me to read books before they hit the stores. It makes me feel real hip and with it (in a very nerdy English major/teacher sort of way, I know).

Sometimes I get them because authors/agents/editors would like me to read them for possible blurbs. And sometimes I request them from authors/agents/editors because I want to read them. Either way, it rocks. And in an effort to appear unselfish, I will recommend great reads when I come across them. I love to champion a book, especially when it's by a new or lesser known writer. I love to share with other readers books I've found that I think they'll enjoy as well. And today I have two to offer up to all of you.

Thrity Umrigar
and Tony Romano each have new books in the stores and they are not to be missed. In each, you'll meet complicated, interesting families you'll ultimately fall in love with. You'll meet characters who will stick with you long after you've turned the final page.

Thrity's book, If Today Be Sweet is set in Cleveland in the days preceding Christmas through New Year's Day. It explores how we define and redefine family and home and how we must come to terms with loss and the past in order to appreciate today and hope for the future. You'll also find yourself craving Indian food

In Tony's book, When the World was Young, you'll meet a first generation Italian-American family living in Chicago in 1957. Over the course of the next two decades, you'll see the inevitable struggle between the generations set against the backdrop of an indescribable loss. This book illuminates how our decisions shape us, scar us, and make us more who we are.

Both of the families in these books will draw you into their circle through their flaws and their love for one another, imperfect though it may be.

So, grab these books, pull up a chair, and prepare to enter into worlds you'll miss when you're done. Me? I've got three more ARCs waiting for me. I promise I'll share them with you later this summer.


Larramie said...

Last spring I received my first ARC via a "first-to-email" request. The book was by a "flavor of the year" author and the novel proved to be a disappointment. At Christmas I received a surprise ARC from a debut author and it was literally glorious, reinforcing the fact that you just never know!

Enjoy the reading, Judy, and keep the reommendations coming.

The Writers' Group said...

Judy, I love book recommendations. Thanks for sharing yours. Have you read The Space Between Us, Thrifty's debut? It was recommended to me by the owner of Buttonwood Books in Cohasset, MA and I loved it.


Judy Merrill Larsen said...

I've always loved being able to pass on good books to my friends, so I'm glad I can do that again here--I can't wait to chat up the ARC I started last night--but I want to hold off until closer to the release date.

Amy, I haven't read Thrity's earlier book yet, but it's now on my list--I really love her writing.

mcewen said...

Can I publicly display my ignorance and ask what ARC means?
And thanks for the book recommendations.

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Good question! ARC stands for Advance Reader's Copy (sometimes referred to as galleys) of a book--these are sent out before publication to reviewers, bookstores, etc.

kristen said...

I love hearing about new writers, new books and then clicking over to Amazon for some instant gratification. Funny, I never thought I'd go for the online book buying experience. I still love to hold a book in my hands and read a page or two before I buy...

But, I've found I love the surprise even more. I love not really knowing if a book will draw me in until the delivery comes and I open to the first page. There's so much wonderful anticipation in the waiting.

I just ordered The Space Between Us and All the Numbers. I have a feeling some terrific surprises are in store for me.

mcewen said...

Thanks for the answer! I keep collecting more and more book recommendations 'for summer reading.'
Each summer I think that I'll 'catch up' on the pile that I already have, even though it seems to be constantly growing!