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.