Monday, December 8, 2008

Why not have yourself a merry little bookmas?

So I've been feeling a little under the weather the last few days. (That's my excuse for not blogging for a bit.) Kind of a weird case of the flu or something--with all the aches and sinus headache and devoid of energy, but without all the mucus and hacking that usually accompany such ailments. It's preferable to being a ball of snot, but still not pleasant at the same time.

The "no energy" part has been the real kicker--especially since the thought of dragging two hyper-active little boys to the grocery store was enough to make me crawl back into bed, fully clothed, Monday morning. The boys didn't mind much (it meant they got to have fruit loops for lunch) until their supply of Transformers fruit snacks and pretzel fish ran dry. I even resorted to eating the gluten free/dairy free cheeze pizza (notice the "z" in cheeze) that has been lurking in the back of the freezer for the last couple of months after I bought it on a "I'm so desperate I'll buy anything I'm not allergic to" kick. (And how was the cheeZe pizza, you ask? Um, let the fact that I only ate four bites of it answer your question.) By late evening, the boys were begging me to go shopping, so I left them with hubby and went to the grocery store for a little peace and quiet . . .oh, and a new supply of fish-shaped crackers and cereal bars made out of chickpeas (yeah, that's right, I did say chickpeas).

Little known fact about me: I love the grocery store. Ever since I was a little kid. It is my sanctuary.

At least it was before I ever had to take my two boys with me. Which is pretty much equivalent to hopping up a couple of Capuchin monkeys on meth and then shoving them into a car-shaped cart that isn't big enough to actually hold both of them in the cab (much scratching and biting and monkey fighting ensues), and then dashing through the store at top speed, trying to fill the cart with "nutritious" snacks without actually bringing the cart to full stop (because all parents know that if the car-cart stops for more than 1.5 seconds, the monkeys WILL get out--and then all hell breaks loose).

So anyway, I love the grocery store--sans children. It is a great place to wander up and down the aisles, contemplating one's future, or plotting the next great paranormal romance in one's head.

Okay, enough with the digression. I'm pretty sure this post had a point . . .which is . . .oh yeah . . .

I haven't been feeling well lately, and, let's face it, neither has the economy. In fact, it's in the toilet. Unfortunately that also includes the book industry. Things are not looking good for both big and small publishers. As a result, some publishing houses are either implementing or considering book buying freezes, and others have gone the layoff route (right before Christmas too! Seriously-- ouch).

In short, publishers have less money to spend on acquiring and producing books, and are even less anxious to spend it on new authors such as myself. You can read more about the problem here. Or here (scroll down to the November 10th post). Or here.

So how do we solve this disturbing dilemma? Simple: buy more books.

Lucky for us, tis the season for spending cash! I know you are sitting there right now with a large number of people on your list, and you have no idea what to get them for Christmas. Well, now you know.

We all can't run out and buy a Ford to bolster the economy (and would we want to?), but almost everyone can buy a book. If everyone bought just one book, that would be great--but why not knock several names off your Christmas list with one fun-filled trip to B&N (or even better yet, The King's English--or your local indie bookstore wherever you are). So go ahead and have yourself a merry little bookmas--and while you're at it, support your favorite author, save an editor's job, and help out your friend who has wild aspirations of selling her manuscript :-)

Need a little help picking titles?

The School Library Journal put out this list today of "Books that Make the Best Presents" for teens and children

Moonrat compiled this list of "Best-Ever Suggestions for Books as Gifts." (Mostly suggestions for adults.)

My sister-author Brodi is compiling her own lists. Here and here.

And here are a few more recommendations from myself. (A * indicates a local Utah author.)

Picture Books and Easy Readers:

My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann

Bertie was a Watchdog or basically anything else by Rick Walton* (especially great for boys.)

On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman (My friend Nicole gave this to KidA and my boys can't get enough of it.)

On the go with Pirate Pete and Pirate Joe
by Ann Edwards Cannon* (easy reader series about a couple of quirky pirate brothers who are afraid of the water)

Middlegrade: 8-12

Raymond and Graham Rule the School
by Mike Knudson* and Steve Wilkinson

The 13th Reality
by James Dashner* (I haven't read this one but my nephew loves it)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan (the first book is called The Lightning Thief)

The Goose Girl
or Princess Academy by Shannon Hale*

Young Adult: 12-40+ (we just talked about how this is for everyone)
In addition to the titles I listed in this post, I would also like to add these other titles:

The Losers Guide to Life and Love by A. E. Cannon*

Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My To Do List
How to Take the Ex out of Ex-Boyfriend by Janette Rallison

Adult: everyone else

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Um . . .look at those other lists because I don't really ever read adult fiction.

Care to share your suggestions so we can all have a Merry Bookmas? Fire away!

(Note: please buy books at your own discretion--I tried to only suggest books that I felt are "appropriate" for the intended age group, but we all have differing opinions on this matter. So do your research to find out if the book is suitable for the person you are buying for.)

(Additional Note: I've been informed that Graceling--suggested in my YA post from the other day--may have "racy" scene in it. I just started reading it, so I cannot substantiate this information, but so far I am enjoying the book. I also just started reading I'd Tell You I love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You . . .and so far, I LOVE IT!)


Rachie said...

Was I the one who told you Graceliing had a racy scene in it? In my opinion it was a bit risque for the teenage crowd, but I read it anyway. ;)

I loved this post! As one whose livelihood depends entirely on the publishing industry, I join your plea for people to buy books. I'm trying to do my share--I've bought four books in the last three weeks or so. I'm going to need to stop, though, before I start spending more on books than I actually earn from them.

Brodi Ashton said...

I went to the art gallery (King's English) last night and bought three new little works of art! I second your call to buy books! Especially for those of us who are looking to sell their first ones!

Nicole said...

Ok the grocery store with monkeys thing, I have so been THERE...

Thanks for the book suggestions, I love a good read.

Kim said...

I've read the 13th Reality and I thought it was awful to the point that it made me upset as a parent and a writer and reader of children's literate. I don't want to insult your nephew, but in my opinion the book was pretty bad, unless you get a kick out of laughing at some really bad writing. My husband and I are still laughing about some of the metaphors he used. Fable Haven is probably a better fantasy pick for that age group.

Bree Biesinger Despain said...

Interesting comment, Kim. Like I said, I haven't read it, but my nephew LOVES it. He is also a fan of the Fablehaven series (and so is my niece). I haven't read that one either (I don't read much Middle Grade fiction) but I should have mentioned it for this list, so thanks for the recommendation.

Kim said...

I just got some really fun picture books for my kids. Some of our favorites are Fancy Nancy, Waking Beauty,and Falling for Rapunzel, I'm Dirty, I Stink, and most of Mo Willems Pigeon books.