Publishing People: Tell Us What You’re Reading!

Alison Morris -- August 20th, 2008

This week, I’m asking ShelfTalker readers to tell the world what it is they’re reading "for pleasure" these days. In Monday’s post I asked booksellers, librarians, and teachers chime in. Yesterday’s post solicited responses from authors and illustrators. Today’s post is reserved for people in publishing! Whether you’re in editorial, marketing, human resources, or work in the warehouse, you’re invited to tell us what you’re reading right here.

BUT THERE IS ONE CATCH! This is the space where you’re supposed to tell us what you’re reading for PLEASURE, not for work. In other words, this is NOT an open invitation for you to promote a book you’re publishing — give a nod to another house for a change. Please take off your marketing hats, and talk to us as fellow readers!

To get you started I’ve asked Jeannette Larson (editorial director of picture books at Harcourt Children’s Books) to talk about what she’s been reading. Jeannette says:

"I just started reading Haven Kimmel’s The Solace of Leaving Early, which I picked up because I’d liked her memoir A Girl Named Zippy some years back. Zippy was full of funny charm; the novel is a more haunting small-town story that starts off with a death; both are full of wonderful language."

Now it’s time for the rest of you! Have at it!

39 thoughts on “Publishing People: Tell Us What You’re Reading!

  1. Jessica

    I’ve been making my way through a few of George Sand’s books in French: “La Petite Fadette” and “Elle et Lui.” “Consuelo” is next in the pile. She was a good writer and the stories are good reads. I also discovered Richard Brautigan, thanks to a display on him at my library, and read “The Abortion.” He had such a simple style that was very endearing.

  2. kidlitjunkie

    I just got my hands on a copy of Nancy Werlin’s Impossible, which I have been dying to read. The two books I just finished are Elizabeth Scott’s Something, Maybe (not as good as her earlier books, but still a delicious teen read) and Gemma Malley’s The Declaration, which is good chilling dystopian fare.

  3. kel

    Well as many of you I am reading a number of novels at the moment – all equally exciting. The first is the lovely Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean, the second is South of the Border, West of the Sun by Murakami and I just finished (yes it’s YA so maybe it doesn’t count, but was still one of my favorite books of the year) The Hunger Games by Susan Collins –

  4. Nancy

    In the middle of GIRLS LIKE US (bio of Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and Carole King),which desperately needs an emergency semi-colonoscopy (was the editor on vacation that month?) and MADE TO STICK (digging it). Recently finished Justin Evans’s A GOOD AND HAPPY CHILD (good but overrated)and the second book in the TWILIGHT saga (INCREDIBLY, unbearably overrated).

  5. sharyn november

    I multitask my reading, and am in the middle of: 1. THE PLEASURE OF FINDING THINGS OUT (a collection of Richard Feynman’s short works) 2. Margot Livesey: THE HOUSE ON FORTUNE STREET 3. Leonard Marcus: MINDERS OF MAKE-BELIEVE (like every other children’s book editor in the known universe) 4. E.B. Sledge: WITH THE OLD BREED: AT PELELIU AND OKINAWA

  6. Hilary Sares

    The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon (or is it Policemen? I loaned my copy, can’t remember.) Funny, poignant. And… Plato and A Platypus Walk Into A Bar by those two guys from, um…gave away my copy, don’t remember. Really funny! Three Men In A Boat. A classic and a hoot. A crazy fox terrier, three inept punters on the Thames, artful dodgery all around, and the occasional sly spoof of effulgent late Victorian religious and educational prose thrown in for no particular reason. Found tattered copy at a bus stop of all places.

  7. A

    Just finished re-reading “Cat’s Eye” by Margaret Atwood. Lordy, that lady’s language/story-telling/characters/writing are amazing. Please read this.

  8. Jen

    I’ve been on a New Yorker kick since reading the fabulous article on E.B. White, Ann Carroll Moore, and the controversy over Stuart Little. I started with The Years with Ross (James Thurber’s account of working with Harold Ross), I’m currently in the middle of the Dorothy Parker biography What Fresh Hell Is This?, and I’m saving Roger Angell’s autobiography of life with E.B. and Katherine White, Let Me Finish, for last.

  9. Mary-Alice Moore

    Thanks to the dreaded Summer Reading List, I’ve been able to re-indulge in a childhood favorite with my kids: Beverly Cleary’s Ellen Tebbits (an under- appreciated gem in my opinion). Even my jaded 6th grader has been lured into the room by the giggles from my 1st and 3rd graders. Such earnest, honest fun!

  10. Joann Hill

    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins which kept me up till 3:30am to finish it! The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon which drove me kinda crazy. I love Michael Chabon’s other books so much it was hard to read him in his gangly beginner stage(in my humble opinion). And Graceling by Kristin Cashore which is a satisfying page turner.

  11. Raquel Matos

    I’m reading Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. Hardy is one of those authors that is responsible for my fascination with literature and thus my journey into book publishing as a career. So it’s nice to rediscover his works.

  12. Cassie

    I just finished reading Breaking Dawn, the last book in the Twilight series, and it was great. I wasn’t sure what to expect, because I’d read that a lot of fans were upset with how it went. I thought it was great though! Right now I’m waiting for the galley of the new Orson Scott Card novel in the Ender/Bean series. That one I really, really want to read!

  13. Julie

    In between work manuscripts but I had to start The Implacable Order of Things by Jose Luis Peixoto. This novel set in Portugal is so heartwrenching in detail- am enjoying it very much.

  14. Carol

    I don’t read many kids’ books, but after the ARC of Bolaño’s richly disturbing 2666, I needed something completely different. The Cabinet of Wonders lives up to its title–a roomful of delights. Marie Rutkoski, write faster! Can’t wait for the sequels.

  15. Nikki

    Never having enough hours in the day to read, I, of course, have several things going at once: My before-I-go-to-bed book is David Sedaris When You Are Engulfed in Flames; my in-my-car-while-I-should-be-driving book is Graceling by Kristin Cashore; my during-the-day-when-I-should-be-cooking-dinner-or-cleaning-the-house book is The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry; and my cheesy-cozy-mystery-pool book is Shelia Connolly’s One Bad Apple. I am enjoying them all, for very different reasons, but am especially liking Graceling and The Lace Reader.

  16. Jim

    I recently discovered Elizabeth Wein and her book The Sunbird, about King Arthur’s half-Aksumite (Ethiopian) grandson. I’m a big fan of Megan Whalen Turner’s books, and The Sunbird delivers the same satisfying alternative history mixed with plenty of political intrigue. I’ve ordered the two follow up books about this character, one just out this year, and two previous titles featuring his parents, including Mordred!

  17. Lauri

    I am belatedly working through my BEA galley pile. Just finished The Lace Reader and am halfway through I See You Everywhere, the new Julia Glass. I am also reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, but I’m trying to make it last–which is very hard as I am a fast reader, so I’m reading it in bits and starts. My Guilty Pleasure book is By Schism Rent Asunder, (David Weber) — space opera tackles the evil Church of God Awaiting. Love it! And because I have read ALL the Christopher Moore books and needed a fix I am reading Duncan Delaney and the Cadillac of Doom by A.L. Haskett which was blurbed by Moore(made me buy it) and it is making me stop reading and laugh out loud.

  18. Jacque

    I’m thisclose to finishing Brideshead Revisited, one of those books I meant to read years ago and was spurred to pick up by the (then upcoming) movie. I’m also reading Tuesday Next First Amoung Sequels, which I love, and A Great and Terrible Beauty, which I’m rather undecided about even though I’m eighty percent through. And I have The Other Boleyn Girl beside my bed for those nights I have time to read; I love it while I’m reading it but have a hard time picking it back up. I’m obviously not a serial monogamist when it comes to books!

  19. HAYLEY GONNASON

    I just finished reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, literally. I was up until 1 am finishing it last night. To be perfectly honest, it made me fall in love with reading again. It was an emotional roller coaster filled with adventure, animals, camaraderie, and romance. You hate the evil characters, empathize with the helpless, and root for the heroes. Hurrah!

  20. the second Peggy

    While I’m usually a reading polygamist my full attention has lately been won by Rabih Alameddine’s The Hakawati. I honestly picked it up because of the cover, but bought it because of the staff recommendation at BookPeople, my favorite Austin indie. It’s definitely living up to it.

  21. Raelene

    As always, I have to have several books “in process”, depending on my mood of the moment. Right now it’s The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry, Pandora’s Box by Natale Stenzel, Cooking One’s Corgi by Mike Harding (from 1988), and Out of Time by Samantha Graves.

  22. Reka

    Hooray for the people who mentioned The Summer Book and the Dido Twite books, which I adore. I’m currently reading Terry Prachett’s newst, Nation, and loving it, and I’m looking forward to reading a few grown-up books on vacation next week, among them Farthing by Jo Walton and Mortal Loves by Elizabeth Hand.

  23. Noa

    I’m rereading Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness quartet. (…this happens about once a year.) Next up: Sonya Hartnett’s Ghost Child and Minders of Make Believe, if I can get my hands on one of the three rotating office copies. I just read David Hajdu’s The Ten-Cent Plague, about comics in the 40s & 50s, and LOVED it. Highly recommended!

  24. Mary Kate

    While waiting for “Posthumous Keats,” by Stanley Plumly (which I ordered after reading that fantastic review by Chip McGrath in the NYT), I’m reading Keats’ “Selected Letters.” Wow, he was a bit of a drama queen, but still, they’re yummy.

  25. tim

    Recently finished (and loved) Hannah Tinti’s novel The Good Thief. Well-crafted, Dickensian fun. Am halfway through Selden Edwards’s The Little Book and like it quite a lot–he weaves together a number of very cool ideas.

  26. EM

    Currently in the middle of three: LITTLE WOMEN (on The LIST of things I really should read/reread), MINDERS OF MAKE-BELIEVE, and HUCK FINN. Although I may sneak in SUITE SCARLETT or the new Octavian Nothing before I finish any of these. (Please note that ordinarily, I’m a serial monogamist reader.)

  27. Erin

    I’m reading too much for fun right now… haven’t been reading enough that I’m supposed to be editing. White Teeth (Zadie Smith), The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O’Brien (Oscar Hijuelos), and American Tragedy (Theodore Dreiser.) So far, I’m enjoying all three and keep rotating them so I can finish them all.

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