16 On Paperback Releases

In which our heroine receives frontlist (and waxes poetic about Kesha)

I had to search back through my archives to see if I’d used that subtitle before; I have, in issue two, but it remains relevant. Ya’ll, I got through so much frontlist receiving today. Not because I was moving with anything like speed—Ghost has been waking us up for 6am dingbat hour these last few days, so I have definitely been sluggish—but because my POS/inventory system is awesome. I don’t think I’ve actually mentioned it here: it’s called Bookmanager and it has made my worklife so much easier. (They’re not paying me to say this, I just have a fascination with bookstore inventory systems and a strong desire to make the bookselling business as sustainable as possible; a good inventory system can seriously improve your margins. If you want to talk about inventory systems, you can always respond to this newsletter and say so. Nothing would delight me more.)

But enough about how much easier it is to quickly and accurately receive books with Bookmanager. You came here to read about books. Today wasn’t a big release day—that’s usually the first Tuesday of the month—but there is a lot of good stuff coming out in paperback, just in time for summer.

Advice for Future Corpses* (*And Those Who Love Them) by Sallie Tisdale

I have been listening to a lot of Kesha lately, and by lately I mean since her album Rainbow came out… almost two years ago. For the last couple months I’ve had Warrior on repeat, and there is a song called “Out Alive” where she sings the refrain “no one’s getting out alive.” Every time I hear it—this is going to sound so mawkish—I’m struck by how true and poignant that is.

(I feel like Bob from Bob’s Burgers staring at the pseudo-inspirational poster Linda buys from Teddy.)

But I would be lying if I said that song doesn’t make me recognize my own mortality and question mine and my country’s values. I honestly think if we had a better relationship with our own mortality we would be less concerned with what we’re accumulating and more concerned with what we’re leaving behind. We are all future corpses. Bringing us back to this book! Now out in paperback and ready to deliver a “practical perspective on death and dying.” Which we will all have to deal with one day.

(If you’d like to hear more about my opinions on Kesha, you can also respond to this email. I’m a one-stop shop for rants on Kesha and inventory systems.)

Tell the Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams

In a near future dystopia (I assume—we don’t really write books about utopias or at least not utopias that don’t end up being revealed as having been dystopias the whole time) Pearl’s job is to give people personalized recommendations for happiness using her company’s patented happiness machine. But her teenage son seems to find happiness in being willfully unhappy. And so begins a novel about the nature of happiness, the advance of technology, and our society’s obsession with satisfaction (again, I assume, I haven’t read it).

I love this concept. I have previously considered happiness to be a goal in life. And being happy is great, but, as my high school English teacher reminded our class every Friday, all things in moderation. You can’t always be happy; you can’t actually know happiness if you don’t have unhappiness to compare it to.

I bet this would great on audio.

All the Names They Used for God by Anjali Sachdeva

Quite a redesign compared to the hardcover:

I prefer the hardcover. What kind of reader do you think they’re trying to draw in? Are mermaids back? Not that I’m not a mermaid fan—The Little Mermaid was one of my favorite Disney movies as a kid and it might be my favorite Hans Christian Andersen story—but the paperback cover feels, oh I don’t know. I guess it works if all the stories are about mermaids, but I don’t think they are.

I already talked about meaning to read this in the article I wrote for SRB a few months back. I still haven’t read it, and I stand by what I said, or, rather, what I quoted Carmen Maria Machado saying; she calls it:

a perfect diorama: scrupulously assembled, complex, unsettling. Completing one is like having lived an entire life, and then being born, breathless, into another.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Speaking of Carmen Maria Machado, she wrote the intro to this new edition of The Awakening, put out by Modern Library Torchbearers, a new Penguin Random House series that aims to recognize “women who wrote on their own terms, with boldness, creativity, and a spirit of resistance.”

I’m going to be honest, I’ve read The Awakening. Twice. Once in high school and once in college and I disliked it both times. But I’ve been meaning to pick it back up again. I suspect there are elements which went over my head ten or so years ago. I mean, this was assigned by the same teacher who introduced to me to Shirley Jackson. I must be missing something. And if anyone can convince me, it’s Machado. But I think I may read the intro after I’ve re-read the book. I’ll be curious to see what my opinion of it is sans influence.

Currently Reading

Total Cat Mojo by Jackson Galaxy

Well, I haven’t actually started it. I just downloaded the audiobook from the library. I love being a cat mom, but I think since losing my first cat, Link, I’d glossed over the frustrating aspects of cat ownership (e.g. 6am dingbat hour). So, as I do with most problems, I am turning to a book in the hopes that it will help.

Other Ways to Find Me On the Internets

Once a month (or so) I host a podcast called Drunk Booksellers where my best friend and I interview a fellow bookseller while drinking. I sometimes tweet about books and politics. I sometimes post pictures of books I’m reading, or cats I’m hanging out with on Instagram.

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NOTE: Most book links go to Indiebound so you can shop local via the Internet. Also, they are affiliate links so if you purchase something I get a tiny kickback (which goes towards my podcast because why have two affiliate accounts). Why shop local? Long answer: Here are a bunch of economic impact studies about the importance of shopping local. Short answer: bookstores are good/warm/lovely places that add so much value to the community, but they are also businesses, which cannot survive if you’re not shopping there.
Thanks to Lara Kaminoff for the cat mascot, Giles. Find more of her work here. Follow her on Instagram here.

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