Anticipated Release: Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia

My schedule is a bit off, so yes, it isn’t Wednesday, but I can still talk about books releasing soon that I’m excited to read.

Today’s pick is a book that is coming out on Tuesday, August 2nd:

enter title hereI’m your protagonist—Reshma Kapoor—and if you have the free time to read this book, then you’re probably nothing like me.

Reshma is a college counselor’s dream. She’s the top-ranked senior at her ultra-competitive Silicon Valley high school, with a spotless academic record and a long roster of extracurriculars. But there are plenty of perfect students in the country, and if Reshma wants to get into Stanford, and into med school after that, she needs the hook to beat them all.

What’s a habitual over-achiever to do? Land herself a literary agent, of course. Which is exactly what Reshma does after agent Linda Montrose spots an article she wrote for Huffington Post. Linda wants to represent Reshma, and, with her new agent’s help scoring a book deal, Reshma knows she’ll finally have the key to Stanford.

But she’s convinced no one would want to read a novel about a study machine like her. To make herself a more relatable protagonist, she must start doing all the regular American girl stuff she normally ignores. For starters, she has to make a friend, then get a boyfriend. And she’s already planned the perfect ending: after struggling for three hundred pages with her own perfectionism, Reshma will learn that meaningful relationships can be more important than success—a character arc librarians and critics alike will enjoy.

Of course, even with a mastermind like Reshma in charge, things can’t always go as planned. And when the valedictorian spot begins to slip from her grasp, she’ll have to decide just how far she’ll go for that satisfying ending. (Note: It’s pretty far.)

I love this synopsis. I don’t want to have too many high expectations of where the story should go, but I do love satire and metafiction, which this definitely is. I can also relate to the feeling that one’s school-focused life (though I was much lest focused on college admissions than Reshma0) is “boring,” and the idea of a perfect storyline of how life should go.

What do you think? What other books are you looking forward to?


Waiting on Wednesday: The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman

Waiting on Wednesday

This Wednesday I would like to highlight a book that’s coming out on Tuesday, May 31: The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman.

the view from the cheap seats.jpgAn enthralling collection of nonfiction essays on a myriad of topics—from art and artists to dreams, myths, and memories—observed in Neil Gaiman’s probing, amusing, and distinctive style.

An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator, and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his bestselling fiction. Now, The View from the Cheap Seats brings together for the first time ever more than sixty pieces of his outstanding nonfiction. Analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, this cornucopia explores a broad range of interests and topics, including (but not limited to): authors past and present; music; storytelling; comics; bookshops; travel; fairy tales; America; inspiration; libraries; ghosts; and the title piece, at turns touching and self-deprecating, which recounts the author’s experiences at the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood.

Insightful, incisive, witty, and wise, The View from the Cheap Seats explores the issues and subjects that matter most to Neil Gaiman—offering a glimpse into the head and heart of one of the most acclaimed, beloved, and influential artists of our time.

I’ve read (and enjoyed) quite a bit of Gaiman’s fiction, but one of my favorite things from him is his nonfiction, like his blog posts, the Make Good Art speech (included in this collection, I believe), and his introduction to the newest edition of FahreInheit 451 (I’m not sure if that’s included…I couldn’t find a table of contents). As I’ve loved these and reading essay-like blog posts in general, I’m really interested into diving into more essay/nonfiction collections, especially if they relate to writing and books. (I’m planning to read a collection of George Orwell essays soon, and I previously enjoyed Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury.)

You can listen to the introduction on audio (read by Gaiman himself) here, and I admit it did convince me to pick this up as soon as I could. Though I want the physical book to skip around based on what I feel like reading, I might check out the audiobook from the library sometime to listen to it. There’s just something about an author reading his or her own words.

Will you also be checking this out? What particularly books are you looking forward to?

Happy reading and writing!

Waiting on Wednesday: Some Kind of Happiness by Clare Legrand

Waiting on Wednesday

some kind of happinessThis might not be a feature I’ll do every week, but there are a lot of books I’m excited about that haven’t been released yet.

Today’s pick is Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand, which comes out on Tuesday! I’ve got it preordered and I can’t wait to dive into it when it arrives.

This is one of the many 2016 releases that I became interested in based off its synopsis rather than hype (though it has gotten good reviews so far), so here is that blurb:


• Her parents, who are having problems. (But they pretend like they’re not.)
• Being sent to her grandparents’ house for the summer.
• Never having met said grandparents.
• Her blue days—when life feels overwhelming, and it’s hard to keep her head up. (This happens a lot.)

Finley’s only retreat is the Everwood, a forest kingdom that exists in the pages of her notebook. Until she discovers the endless woods behind her grandparents’ house and realizes the Everwood is real–and holds more mysteries than she’d ever imagined, including a family of pirates that she isn’t allowed to talk to, trees covered in ash, and a strange old wizard living in a house made of bones.

With the help of her cousins, Finley sets out on a mission to save the dying Everwood and uncover its secrets. But as the mysteries pile up and the frightening sadness inside her grows, Finley realizes that if she wants to save the Everwood, she’ll first have to save herself.

Reality and fantasy collide in this powerful, heartfelt novel about family, depression, and the power of imagination.

A middle grade book about mental health and escaping through imagination and fiction?

amy big yes

This book was made for me, basically. It’s especially relevant as I have been working on a middle grade book that discusses anxiety, and it’s difficult to strike the balance between character and plot, and light and darkness.