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Karen Ostertag's blog

CLASSY SF

"A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read." - Mark Twain

I've spent the last couple months working on one of the more difficult aspects of my job: weeding.  Weeding (or "deaccessioning," to use the formal term) is the process of removing outdated, damaged, or significantly underused materials from the collection to make room for newer, more useful (and hopefully more appealing) titles.  The first of couple categories are usually pretty easy to deal with-- no one's going to be checking out a title on exciting new computing careers from 1987, or a book that's been chewed on and smells like old gym socks.  It's the last category where weeding gets painful for me, particularly in speculative fiction.

New Romance Fiction for May 2011

In paperback:

Captured by a Rogue Lord by Katharine Ashe (2, Rogues of the Sea) H
An Affair without End by Candace Camp (3, Willowmere trilogy) H, M
Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase (3, Scoundrels) H
Secrets of a Proper Countess by Lecia Cornwall H, M
The Secret of Cypriere Bayou by Jana DeLeon (Harlequin Intrigue: Shivers) C, M, S
Taken by the Prince by Christina Dodd (9, Governess Brides) H, M
Never a Gentleman by Eileen Dreyer (2, Drake's Rakes) H, M
My Irresistible Earl by Gaelen Foley (3, Inferno Club) H, M
Seduce Me in Dreams by Jacquelyn Frank (1, Three Worlds) SF, S

New Speculative Fiction for May 2011

New to our shelves:

The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham (1, Dagger and the Coin) F
Brave New Worlds by John Joseph Adams, ed. SF, A (SF Brave)
The Way of the Wizard by John Joseph Adams, ed. F (Fantasy Way)
The Winds of Khalakovo by Bradley P. Beaulieu F, M
The Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennett H
Dark Jenny by Alex Bledsoe (3, Eddie LaCrosse) F, M
Tiassa by Steven Brust (13, Vlad Taltos) F, M
There Is No Year by Blake Butler H
The Scar-crow Men by Mark Chadbourn (2, Swords of Albion) F, M
Betrayer by C. J. Cherryh (3, Foreigner 4) SF

Mating Season

It's springtime!  Days are warming and flowers are bursting into bloom.  If you're like me, the signs of spring engender a desire to get the gardening tools out of storage and break out the heavy-duty allergy medication.  My fuzzier neighbors, however, are dealing with desires of a different sort.  All over my backyard, critters are chasing through the underbrush in pursuit of their romantic destinies.  Last week I could barely go out the back door without getting dive-bombed by a love-crazed songbird.  They're all doing it-- the birds, the bees, the rabbits, the skunks (ugh!), the werejaguars.... hold on.  WEREJAGUARS?  That's right, it's mating season in romantic fiction, too!  (Okay, okay... technically, It's always mating season in romantic fiction.)  Given the, ahem, effusion of Nature going on all around us, I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about a specific category of supernatural romance: shapeshifters.  If you're ready for a real walk on the wild side, read on! 

New Romance Fiction for April 2011

In paperback:

Hidden Away by Maya Banks (3, KGI) C, M
Never Again by Michele Bardsley (1, Wizards of Nevermore) C, F, S
An Unlikely Countess by Jo Beverley (11, The Mallorens) H
Swept Off Her Feet by Hester Browne C
Pleasure Me by Monica Burns H
Living on the Edge by Shannon K. Butcher (1, Edge) C, M
Accidentally Catty by Dakota Cassidy (5, Accidental Friends) C, S
Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole (11, Immortals after Dark) C, S, A
It Happened One Bite by Lydia Dare (1, Gentleman Vampires) H, S
Deadly Lies by Cynthia Eden (3, Deadly) C, M

New Speculative Fiction for April 2011

New to our shelves:

The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi (1, Khaim) F
Daybreak Zero by John Barnes (2, Directive 51) SF, A
Sleight of Hand by Peter S. Beagle F
The White City by Elizabeth Bear F, H, SF, M
The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston F, H
River Marked by Patricia Briggs (6, Mercy Thompson) F, H, R
The Enterprise of Death by Jesse Bullington F, H
The Crippled God by Steven Erikson (10, Malazan: Book of the Fallen) F
Hidden Cities by Daniel Fox (3, Moshui, The Books of Stone and Water) F
The Neon Court, or, The Betrayal of Matthew Swift by Kate Griffin (3, Matthew Swift) F, H

It was something like...

It's funny how the mind works.  Picture this: you're having lunch with your best friend.  A few weeks ago, you finished a book that you absolutely LOVED, and you think she'd really like it, too.  But now that you have the opportunity to recommend it to her, you find that a few key details (like the book's author and title) have slipped your mind.  You can wax rhapsodic about the plot.  You can remember the color of the dress the heroine is wearing on the cover, and you remember her name-- Rose.  (Or maybe it was Violet?  A flower, anyway.)  You know she has an eccentric older relation.  You sit there wracking your brains, feeling a little embarrassed over your lapse, and assure your friend that you're almost positive the word "Scoundrel" is somewhere in the title... or maybe it was "Scandal"?  (If you're a regular romance reader, you're probably laughing in pained sympathy by now.)  Anyway, you got the book from the library; you're sure the librarian could help her find it.  (Librarian's answer: "Maybe?")  Sound familiar?  I can assure you, you are NOT alone in this difficulty.

New Romance Fiction for March 2011

In paperback:

Undertow by Cherry Adair (1, Cutter Cay) C, M
Here to Stay by Catherine Anderson (3, Harrigan Family) C
An Invitation to Sin by Jo Beverley, Sally Mackenzie, Kaitlin O'Riley, & Vanessa Kelly H (Pbk-Romance Invitation)
Fierce Eden by Jennifer Blake H, W
The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton (1, Play by Play) C
Harvest Moon by Robyn Carr (13, Virgin River) C
Dragon Warrior by Janet Chapman (2, Midnight Bay) H, A, F
The Werewolf Upstairs by Ashlyn Chase (2, Strange Neighbors) C, S
The Seduction of His Wife by Tiffany Clare (2, Surrender of a Lady) H

New Speculative Fiction for March 2011

New to our shelves:

The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie (Best Served Cold) F
Demonstorm by James Barclay (3, Legends of the Raven) F
The Sea Thy Mistress by Elizabeth Bear (2, The Edda of Burdens) SF, F
Halo: Cryptum by Greg Bear (1, Halo: The Forerunner Saga) SF
The Soul Mirror by Carol Berg (2, Collegia Magica) F, M
Twilight's Dawn by Anne Bishop (9, Black Jewels) F, R
Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? by Max Brallier, with Christopher Mitten, illus. H
Blackveil by Kristen Britain (4, Green Rider) F
Farlander by Col Buchanan (1, The Heart of the World) F

"BOOKING" A CRUISE

The days are getting noticably longer as the end of winter approaches, but temperatures outside are still uncertain.  (The weather, even more so.  Will this snow EVER go away?)  I know many of you must be longing for balmier weather.  Well, it's cruise season!  If you can't get away from it all in person, why not escape winter for awhile between the pages of a book?  New City Library's doughty crew is ready to weigh anchor for the destination of your choice, and the only passport required is your library card. 

Our romance collection has a veritable fleet of "dreamboats" in port right now, eager to whisk you away to some warm, welcoming sea (or at least a nice bubble bath).  Just think of it-- exotic locations, handsome captains, dashing pirates, charming fellow travellers... and dressing for dinner is completely optional.  Put on your flip-flops, pour yourself an umbrella drink, and grab a deck chair... it's time for a little shipboard romance! 

 

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