Not Noah’s ARCs


I never know when they’re coming. They just show up on the doorstep. Or on my desk at work. They are review books, those delicious Advance Reading Copies I love and covet. And right now I’m absolutely swimming in ARCs, and I’m not talking  about Noah’s.

A lot of the recent inundation is from the Holtzbrinck Group of publishers (they own a huge number of publishing houses so I really, REALLY need to stay on their good side), who sent me a huge box of review books, comprising most of the books in the photo and a few more that are scattered around the house. These books came to me at the library, which is kind of embarrassing when you’re trying to keep a low profile about the fact you’re a book whore who pimps reviews like prostitutes pimp … well…, stuff that prostitutes do.

The thing is I don’t always want to read all of the books the mega publishers send, and more and more mega publishers are sending me more and more books all the time.The mega publishers also don’t really ask me WHAT I’d like to read. They just send me what they need reviewed. They send me  a lot of first novels, and an awful lot of thrillers. I don’t mind the occasional thriller, but I’d much rather be on the list for more of that yummy yummy literary fiction.

There’s the rub.

Occasionally I do get some really sweet ARCs, like the latest Mark Haddon book. That was so exciting I ripped open the package and had half the book read before the package delivery dude (the great looking one, who resembles Richard Gere)(the one who also owns a Jack Russell Terrier, and thinks our dogs are cute) even made it back into his truck. His lucky truck, that gets to see him every day. My God I hope he never reads this.

Simon & Schuster and Random House send me a lot of goodies like the Haddon book, and on a fairly regular basis, too. Simon & Schuster also regularly sends me out little bonuses, like Belgian chocolates. I know I’ve mentioned the Belgian chocolates on this blog before, but I really don’t think I can mention it too much. Maybe if I mention how much I like Belgian chocolates more often more publishers will get wind of it and think, “Hey! You know what’s a good idea? Sending out Belgian chocolates!”

Or not.

I’m having a lot of fun doing what I do, in case that’s not completely obvious. What I really love is getting emails from small publishers, not to mention from authors themselves, asking me to review books based on the fact I’ve blogged about a subject that’s near or directly involves the subject matter of the book they’re asking me to review. Now, you people I love! You can keep right on doing that. And I’ll keep right on reviewing them. When you take the time and trouble to match my interests with your books I appreciate that very much.

The only thing that could make than any better would be Belgian chocolates. Have I mentioned that?

6 thoughts on “Not Noah’s ARCs

  1. Wow–Belgian chocolates–now that’s nice of them! 🙂 Do you review all the books here on your blog? It would be fun to get all those new books, but I think ultimately I would feel like they were taking me away from my “regular reading”. Can you pick and choose what to review? I did like this when I worked at a bookstore–borwsing through the shelf with all the ARCs!


  2. Danielle, I don’t always review these books on this blog, partly because it can just be really rushed when I start blowing through these books and reviews really quickly. I could do a summary of them here, though, I just really haven’t done that so far.
    I do pick and choose, and I don’t always read what I’m sent, especially if what I get is a big box full of books. I don’t even think they’re necessarily keeping track of everything they’re sending me, anyway. Once you get in with a publisher they put you on a list, and you just start getting the books sent pretty much automatically. Some publishers (the small ones, especially) will ask me which I’d like, or ask me to tell them when there’s something specific, but otherwise it’s just a mass mailing. I’m not sure they even expect me to read them all, but maybe one of them will see this and let me know!!


  3. One of the books in the photo got a lot of buzz: _Eat the Document_. It was a _New York Times_ Notable Book of 2006. It’s actually on my rather long reading list, but who knows when it will ever move up to the top.


  4. I knew ‘Eat the Document’ sounded familiar, but I haven’t even read the back cover blurb so I wasn’t sure what it was all about. Now that you say that about the NYT it’s ringing a bell. It’s a dim bell, off in the distance, and it could use a new clapper, but I’m hearing it now.


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