Most Exciting Titles Found at ALA Midwinter, Take III!

The final day of ALA was my favorite. Awards!!!!!!!

To listen to history in the making live? Absolutely incredible feeling. I went to ALA because it was local. When's the next time I'll get to attend the winter conference?? I missed part of the conference, though. My train was late arriving and then we lost power in the tunnel RIGHT as we were approaching my station. Noooo!!! I'd been following along on Twitter, at least...but lost signal right when the Printz was mentioned! But I made it to the convention center in time for a few awards, including the biggest two--the Caldecott and the Printz. So, so amazing to see this live in person. Then they handed out reference sheets and the Monday issue of Cognotes featured the winners as well. I kept those two papers safe and crisp and pristine ALL DAY. I want to keep that memory. (I also now need to read my existing review copies of THE UNIVERSE VERSUS ALEX WOODS by Gavin Extence and MOTHER, MOTHER by Koren Zailckas, which both took home Alex Awards today, and my purchased copy of Printz Finalist THE KINGDOM OF LITTLE WOUNDS by Susann Cokal. I AM SO ASHAMED OF MYSELF!)

Newly-minted William C. Morris finalist
Right after the awards, Cat Winters was signing her book IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS. I already knew I wanted to pick this up after hearing about it on Saturday, and I REALLY wanted to after she became a William C. Morris finalist! I meant to ask her to date the book because today is special, but I forgot. I also forgot to ask Rainbow Rowell to date ELEANOR AND PARK when she signed it the day before...I just knew she'd get a Printz nod!

Take a look at some of the spiffy booths set up after the awards to feature each publisher's winners:

Aren't they fabulous and sparkly?

I seriously loved seeing these booths and congratulating everyone on titles I was so excited to see had won or been honored. Favorite, favorite part of ALA. I truly enjoyed being a small (however insignificant) part of publishing history!

I went to ALA yesterday expecting to take home almost NOTHING. What could be left? The majority of galleys were distributed Saturday and Sunday. I had gotten the vast majority of what I really wanted--and then some. Ohhh, and then some... I WASN'T expecting exhibitors to start selling or giving away all of their display copies later in the day!!! I bought a couple of amazing books I've been wanting to read and was given so many more books. I felt greedy, but they also WANTED you to take them so they didn't have to lug them back. I stopped by Penguin because I wanted ONE ARC that had been on display-only alllll weekend. It was gone, but they were like, "Choose five, we WANT to get rid of them." So I walked away with almost as many books as I brought home the first night of the conference. CRAZY TALK. Yesterday's waiting lines for displays were so much fun, though. I got to talk to so many people about books and hopefully got titles I loved into more hands...I know I added some to my list!

Anyway, one last time, here are the titles that excited me the most about ALA Day III! I had a harder time narrowing it down today due to display copies, but I still limited it to the books that I'm most excited to read "first!"

(Day One Recap!)
(Day Two Recap!)

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES Re-Design by L.M Montgomery: This is actually from Sunday's haul, but I forgot to share it with you! At BEA last year, Sourcebooks had a poster up of the new design for the first ANNE book. I loved it even then! I asked a booth rep if there were postcards or bookmarks or anything with these gorgeous covers and she gave me a lovely pack of greeting cards to display! So pretty! Do you like the re-design?

I KILL THE MOCKINGBIRD by Paul Acampora: Um, so this isn't from ALA. Well, maybe Macmillan had it at their booth. I don't know. I came home from work yesterday and it was in the mail. I'm so, so excited about this book and had to add it to my wrap-up list. I'm calling it now...I predict that this book will be up for some big AWARDS next year!!! If you like (or teach) TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, this will be a great fictional companion novel. I can't wait to read it!

IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS by Cat Winters: This one has been on my radar for a while. I really, really want to read it. I'd seen hardcovers at the Abrams booth on Saturday. They said they were for a signing on Monday. The signing was at 9:30 am, right after the Awards ended. Cat Winters is now a William C. Morris finalist! Still mad I forgot to ask her to date the book for me! Abrams was selling these for only $5 a book--for a hardcover! And it's GORGEOUS inside and out. I can't wait to vlog about it for you!

SAINTS and BOXERS by Gene Luen Yang: Someone had this at Macmillan's BEA event last year and it hit my radar. I was really bummed there wasn't an Award or nod for this yesterday! Macmillan was selling its display copies for $5 a book, which is a steal. I only regret that I don't have the amazing box to keep them in! I am ready for an emotional, epic rollercoaster ride!

TSARINA by J. Nelle Patrick: Because this is the magical, mystical pen name of Jackson Pearce. And I love Jackson Pearce. This is a historical novel featuring the Romanovs! I thought she'd self-published this for some glad that I was wrong and there when Penguin was giving away the display copy!

WINGER by Andrew Smith: I have heard SO. MANY. THINGS. about WINGER. A LOT of people thought it would win an award yesterday. It was robbed! Now I get to see what all of the buzz is about, since Simon and Schuster was giving away display copies of this! I've never seen it at a store, and so I always forget about it until I hear someone mention the title in passing! And there was an epic conversation on Twitter last night about how I have to read this if I want to ugly-cry, so I'm SO GLAD I HAVE IT!

DOLL BONES by Holly Black: The other big display book I was given by Simon and Schuster! I was really excited! They told everyone to start lining up at noon and they'd give away books at 12:30, four per person. I really wanted to read this newly-minted Newbery Honor, so I swung on back and stood in line. They had a LOT of copies...and only three or four left when I got to it! But I got DOLL BONES and WINGER. So, so happy with those! I'm already halfway through DOLL BONES. It was the book I started reading while killing time waiting for the train. It's so quotable! I'm on page 158, but you'd never know that if you follow me on Goodreads. Because I want to share these quotes and I hate they I can only do that once every half an hour! It deserved a nod. I can't wait to review this for you!

FLY AWAY by Patricia MacLachlan: Because it's a new book from SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL Newbery Winner. I don't need to know anything else! Let's see how far this one goes next Awards season!

STAY WHERE YOU ARE AND THEN LEAVE by John Boyne: I haven't read THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS. Or seen the movie. Gasp, I know, I know. I don't tend to be a fan of war stories, but I keep getting asked for good recommendations for guys that are historical, so I want to try this out and see if it fits the bill! Do you think Boyne is going for a 2014 Award?

THERE WILL COME A TIME by Carrie Arcos: This book sounds like it will make me cry. I'm gearing up for some ugly-cry books, and this one's going in that pile. I want to be devastated this year. Devastate me, books! Help me be a mess when I write my own ugly-cry moments! 

THE CRACKS IN THE KINGDOM by Jaclyn Moriarty: This sounds intriguing! A princess has to run a kingdom when her father goes missing and hide his disappearance from everyone. She puts together a group of kids to fool the press, and well, you know something is going to go wrong!

SAY WHAT YOU WILL: I remember seeing this featured on a list of books to read if you're a fan of John Green and Rainbow Rowell. That alone sells it, don't you think?

ON THE FENCE by Kasie West: I haven't read one of her contemporaries, only her series, but I hear really good things about them! This one sounds fun and fresh, full of those insecurities everyone can relate to. And I love that the girl is a tomboy!

THE PROMISE OF AMAZING by Robin Constantine: I've heard people say amazing things about this one, so I was intrigued. I don't know too much about it, only that there's been a lot of chatter!

THE THICKETY by J. A. White: This one was a Buzz Title for HarperCollins at ALA. I picked up the display copy and decided to check it out. The summary doesn't set me on fire, but if it's a high-focus title this spring, I know I want to read it!

GRIM Anthology by Various Authors: Because fairy tales! I'll review this in April for Fairy Tale Fortnight! There are some GREAT authors in here--and some surprising ones, too! Ellen Hopkins, Rachel Hawkins, Kimberly Derting, Malinda Lo, Jackson Pearce, Jon Skovron, and many, many more! I was amazed at the booth rep's memory, too! She remembered--on Monday--that on Saturday, I had wanted something on display that they didn't have ARCs of. I wasn't over at their booth often at all. I'm amazed she remembered that I wanted something. It was so sweet of her to give it to me!!!!

THE MERCHANT'S DAUGHTER and THE CAPTIVE MAIDEN and THE FAIREST BEAUTY by Melanie Dickerson: More fairy tales! I've been meaning to read Melanie Dickerson for a while, and had talked to a Zondervan representative about having her get in touch with us for Fairy Tale Fortnight. He kindly, kindly gave me three of her novels before the booth was officially giving anything away. I can't wait to feature these!

FROG MUSIC by Emma Donoghue: I don't really know what to expect. ROOM was disturbing, but really good. FROG MUSIC is historical fiction. The summary doesn't necessarily appeal to me, but I really want to read another book by this author! And I love the title!

Which of these will you be adding to your TBR?


  1. ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. I have the poster, too, from ALA, and I have been coveting it in book form. Definitely need the whole set, though I don't know when it'll happen. But wantssss!

  2. Oh my goodness! So many goodies!! I've actually never read Anne of Green Gables, but I really want to order the new books and finally get around it! :)


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