Laura, by Vera Caspary

Laura, by Vera Caspary

Laura, by Vera Caspary

So, Laura begins:

The city that Sunday morning was quiet. Those millions of New Yorkers who, by need or preference, remain in town over a summer week-end had been crushed spiritless by humidity. Over the island hung a fog that smelled and felt like water in which too many soda-water glasses have been washed. Sitting at my desk, pen in hand, I treasured the sense that among those millions, only I, Waldo Lydecker, was up and doing. The day just past, devoted to shock and misery, had stripped me of sorrow. Now I had gathered strength for the writing of Laura's epitaph. My grief at her sudden and violent death found consolation in the thought that my friend, had she lived to a ripe old age, would have passed into oblivion, whereas the violence of her passing and the genius of her admirer gave her a fair chance at immortality.

NOTICE ANYTHING INTERESTING ABOUT THAT?

(Okay, there's actually a LOT that's interesting about that paragraph—and that last sentence is flat-out FANTASTIC for multiple reasons—but I'm talking about something very specific.)

IT HELPS IF YOU ARE A TWIN PEAKS FAN.

Dead woman? Named Laura? And then a narrator named Waldo Lydecker

Laura Hunt's public face—like Laura Palmer's—was beautiful and kind and generous, but as the story goes on, you learn that different people knew her in entirely different ways, and the detective who is on the case gets more and more emotionally invested in it... there are more parallels than the names, is what I'm saying. This is not remotely a new connection—the second I Googled it, I discovered that a zillion and six people had already found it—but as I haven't seen the movie and it was the first time I read the book, IT WAS NEW TO ME.

And even beyond all the Twin Peaks stuff, I adored the book. Multiple narrators with entirely distinct voices, police transcripts, a twist I hadn't expected, AND some good zingers about... well, pick a subject. Sexism, gender roles, classism, power dynamics, on and on. I pegged the killer early on, as well as the motive, but that actually made it even better? Adding Bedelia to my TBR list FOR SURE.

Today at Book Riot...

Adaptation, by Malinda Lo

Adaptation, by Malinda Lo

Inheritance, by Malinda Lo

Inheritance, by Malinda Lo

...I wrote a bit about some of the first contact stories I've been binging on lately, including Adaptation and Inheritance by Malinda Lo:

HOW ARE THESE BOOKS NOT MORE WELL-KNOWN? Smart and complex on all levels—personal, emotional, cultural, and political—as well as exciting, with subplots that provide commentary on immigration, government surveillance, profiling, and more. AND. I really thought I was over love triangles FOREVER, but this duology changed my mind: not only does it feature a girl torn between a boy and another girl, but it also brings up polyamory as a possible solution, which I think I’ve only ever seen one other time in YA.

Yesterday at Kirkus Reviews...

Peas and Carrots, by Tanita S. Davis

Peas and Carrots, by Tanita S. Davis

The Girl from Everywhere, by Heidi Heilig

The Girl from Everywhere, by Heidi Heilig

...I rounded up a whole bunch of YA books due out this month. BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, I NEED MORE BOOKS TO READ.

Today at Kirkus Reviews...

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

...I wrote about Meg Medina's Burn Baby Burn and HOW FANTASTIC IT IS:

Medina weaves in details about the time—the movie Carrie prompted the “little knives” conversation—as well as specific events and slang and ’70s culture and descriptions of clothing and so on in a way that is so entirely organic that I felt like I was watching a movie that had actually been filmed in the ’70s. (I say “watching a movie” because I didn’t even notice myself turning the pages—I was that engrossed.)

SO GOOD SO GOOD SO GOOD!

*falls over from the excellence*

Diversity in Publishing: 2015.

Diversity Baseline Survey 2015, from Lee & Low Books.

Diversity Baseline Survey 2015, from Lee & Low Books.

As you probably know, Lee & Low books has been working to put together a Diversity Baseline Survey of the book industry for over a year now:

Countless panels, articles, and even conferences have been dedicated to exploring the causes and effects of this lack of diversity. Yet one key piece of the puzzle remained a question mark: diversity among publishing staff. While the lack of diversity among publishing staff was often spoken about, there was very little hard data about who exactly works in publishing.

At the beginning of 2015 we decided to conduct a survey to establish a baseline that would measure the amount of diversity among publishing staff. We believed in the power of hard numbers to illuminate a problem that can otherwise be dismissed or swept under the rug. We felt that having hard numbers released publicly would help publishers take ownership of the problem and increase accountability. We also felt that a baseline was needed to measure whether or not initiatives to increase diversity among publishing staff were actually working.

Their infographic above will give you a quick snapshot of where we're at, but do please, PLEASE click through for more information, including methodology and analysis. This is important stuff.