by Erin Bow
2013 • 368 pages • Arthur A. Levine Books
I can’t say I’m totally sorry to have left bookselling in the rearview mirror when I left Denver, especially now that I am gainfully employed once more. (Yes, it’s publishing, no, it’s not trade publishing, and no, I’m not going to talk about it.) It’s really nice to have a predictable schedule and not have to deal with the small, interesting messes that come with working the children’s section. Or any other section, come to think of it.
But I do miss book recommendations simply falling into my lap at work with absolutely no effort. There was always a new shelf talker, bookmark, excited customer, or swag floating around. (This is why I own a City of Bones tee shirt. It lives at my mother’s house, where I wear it to clean.) Sorrow’s Knot was one such recommendation; I found the bookmark while cleaning out my pockets to do laundry. The downside of all of those recommendations, of course, is that there were so many of them that I never got around to them. But now I am very lucky to have a passive commute, where I can have my own sacred reading hour every (work) day.
So, at long last, I’ve come to Sorrow’s Knot, practically sight unseen after the summer I’ve had. Which is really the best way to come at such a hypnotic, archetypical, and yet thoroughly unique novel.
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
Deep in the throes of my hopefully final finals, I went on a NetGalley binge. I do my best to limit myself to one or two titles, because my reading list is so long without my attention wandering to whatever looks shiny. (I blame myself as a child for this habit. I used to lurk under bleachers.) But I need to have a bucket of posts ready to go for July and August, which, to me, justified going crazy and requesting everything that remotely sounded interesting. Thus Openly Straight, whose title and cute cover caught my eye. I got nothing else, really; another reason I try not to pick up books sight unseen is that I will just read any and everything. Some media habits are hard to break.
The Letter Q edited by Sarah Moon
Obviously, it’s rather tempting to start off this review with a brief note to my younger self, mimicking the entire concept of The Letter Q, but you can’t fit a punch in the face in a letter, even a letter to the past. (Look, between a punch to the face and two years of Debate, I would have sprung for the punch in the face. It would have served the exact same function in my development.) I think I first heard of this collection via Malinda Lo, even though she’s not a contributor (EDIT: she is!), and I knew I wanted to read it—besides being a treasury of good advice, David Levithan, Gregory Maguire, and Erika Moen contributed pieces.