Friday, February 20, 2015

Post ALAMW 2015: 5 Books to Be Excited About

ALA Midwinter is, by in large, a much more relaxed conference then Book Expo America (I spoke more about this last year).  I can't say anything towards the Annual Conference (which is larger and has a huge literacy signing open to the public), but for me ALAMW is really the perfect sort of conference.

I've already gone into (briefly, more to come) the We Need Diverse Book Panel (Part 1), and I'll speak as to several other author panels I sat in on at the Pop Top Stage (which was possibly my favorite part of the conference).  But I wanted to get y'all geared up for some exciting books coming our way.

You can see a complete list of the books I got at the conference here on GoodReads. Where possible I linked to a digital galley you could request, all other links lead back to GoodReads. 

"Here in the Just City you will become your best selves. You will learn and grow and strive to be excellent."
Created as an experiment by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, the Just City is a planned community, populated by over ten thousand children and a few hundred adult teachers from all eras of history, along with some handy robots from the far human future—all set down together on a Mediterranean island in the distant past.

The student Simmea, born an Egyptian farmer's daughter sometime between 500 and 1000 A.D, is a brilliant child, eager for knowledge,  ready to strive to be her best self. The teacher Maia was once Ethel, a young Victorian lady of much learning and few prospects, who prayed to Pallas Athene in an unguarded moment during a trip to Rome—and, in an instant, found herself in the Just City with grey-eyed Athene standing unmistakably before her.

Meanwhile, Apollo—stunned by the realization that there are things mortals understand better than he does—has arranged to live a human life, and has come to the City as one of the children. He knows his true identity, and conceals it from his peers. For this lifetime, he is prone to all the troubles of being human.

Then, a few years in, Sokrates arrives—the same Sokrates recorded by Plato himself—to ask all the troublesome questions you would expect.
Whyso Interested?  Let's start with the fact Athena (Pallas Athene) is a time traveling goddess and I think from there you can extrapolate why I'm so excited.  Also I think I'm going to like Ethel and Simmea.  I really do.

Welcome to Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions, the premier trainer of minions for Evil Overlords everywhere. No student is prouder to be at Dr. Critchlore’s than Runt Higgins, a twelve-year-old werewolf. (At least he thinks he’s twelve. He was abandoned at the school as a baby, so he can’t say for sure.) Runt loves everything about Dr. Critchlore’s. He loves his classes—like History of Henchmen and Introduction to Explosives. He loves his friends—like Darthin the gargoyle and Syke the tree nymph. And he loves his foster family, who took him in when his wolf pack couldn’t.

But not everyone loves Dr. Critchlore’s as much as Runt. After a series of disasters, each worse than the next, it’s clear that someone is trying to shut the school down. It’s up to Runt, who knows the place better than anybody, to figure out who’s behind the attacks . . . and to save his home, and Dr. Critchlore himself, from total destruction

Whyso Interested? SCHOOL FOR MINIONS.  Aside from the obvious awesome that is, who could say NO? I'd go to that school in a HEARTBEAT.

Goodreads // Netgalley
In the wake of the deadly devastation of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace, rescued from the ocean after torturous days adrift with her dying friend Libby, knows that the Persephone wasn’t sunk by a rogue wave as survivors Senator Wells and his son, Grey, are claiming—it was attacked.

To ensure her safety from the obviously dangerous and very power­ful Wells family, Libby’s father helps newly orphaned Frances assume Libby’s identity. After years of careful plotting, she’s ready to expose the truth and set her revenge plans into motion—even if it means taking down the boy she’d once been in love with: Grey Wells himself.

Whyso Interested?...yeah so I ran into a door while reading this...I greatly enjoyed Ryan's "Forest of Hands and Teeth" books (and short stories), and revenge is always intriguing to me. There's always more then one side to every story and I have to wonder what the truth is exactly because its never as cut and dry as it seems.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I'm allergic to the world.I don't leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He's tall, lean and wearing all black--black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can't predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It's almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Whyso Interested? In the normal course of things I'm not sure I would have glanced twice at this as its not in my normal genres of choice.  However during the "We Need Diverse Books" panel at ALA Midwinter, the author spoke so engagingly about it that I decided I would read the book.

Goodreads // Edelweiss
Eleven-year-old Nell Warne arrives on her aunt's doorstep lugging a heavy sack of sorrows. If her Aunt Kate rejects her, it's the miserable Home for the Friendless.

Luckily, canny Nell makes herself indispensable to Aunt Kate...and not just by helping out with household chores. For Aunt Kate is the first-ever female detective employed by the legendary Pinkerton Detective Agency. And Nell has a knack for the kind of close listening and bold action that made Pinkerton detectives famous in Civil War-era America. With huge, nation-changing events simmering in the background, Nell uses skills new and old to uncover truths about her past and solve mysteries in the present.

Based on the extraordinary true story of Kate Warne, this fast-paced adventure recounts feats of daring and dan
ger...including saving the life of Abraham Lincoln!

Whyso Interested? HOW COULD I NOT BE?  This sounds fabulous!  Also anything to do with the Pinkerton Detective Agency from back in the day is of interest to me. 

Did you find new stuff to read and check out?  Did you hear about a book I didn't? Share your thoughts!