New project: The Backlist!

I've started a new project: The Backlist

For a long while, I toyed with the idea of giving this site an overhaul to make it fit the vision I have for The Backlist, but ultimately, it didn't make sense to go back and rework twelve years of posts and reviews.

Twelve years! A lot has changed since I started Bookshelves of Doom—for me personally, in terms of my own interests and the way I react to and analyze stories and texts, but also in terms of the blogging world and how we use social media.

In the book world, there's so much focus on the Newest, the Most Recent, the Upcoming, that I—as contrary as ever—am getting less interested in all that, and more and more interested in older books and stories. So at The Backlist, everything I cover is at least five years old. 

I'll be leaving Bookshelves of Doom up—I think the archives will be useful—but unless I do some sort of huge revamp, I'm not planning on updating here much.

Thank you for over a decade of reading and friendship—you all are truly My People—and I hope I'll see you over at The Backlist!

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.

New children's book award: The Klaus Flugge Prize.

Illustration by Satoshi Kitamura from Angry Arthur. In the Telegraph article, Klaus Flugge is credited with launching Kitamura's career, among others. 

Illustration by Satoshi Kitamura from Angry Arthur. In the Telegraph article, Klaus Flugge is credited with launching Kitamura's career, among others. 

From the Telegraph:

Established in honour of Klaus Flugge, an influential and long-serving figure in picture books publishing, the award's full title is The Klaus Flugge Prize for the Most Exciting Newcomer to Picture Book Illustration. It is the only prize to reward a published picture book by a debut editor, with the winning illustrator to receive £5,000. 

...

The panel of judges for the 2016 Klaus Flugge Prize will be announced in February, when submissions open. It will be open to all picture books illustrated by a first time illustrator, first published by a UK publisher during 2015. The shortlist will be announced at the end of April and the winner will be revealed in September.

Book drive: #1000BlackGirlBooks

Marley Dias. Image via the PhillyVoice.

Marley Dias. Image via the PhillyVoice.

From PhillyVoice:

"I told her I was sick of reading about white boys and dogs," Dias said, pointing specifically to "Where the Red Fern Grows" and the "Shiloh" series. "'What are you going to do about it?’ [my mom] asked. And I told her I was going to start a book drive, and a specific book drive, where black girls are the main characters in the book and not background characters or minor characters.”

...

Books collected will be donated to a low-resources library in St. Mary, Jamaica, where Janice grew up -- in the spirit of giving back to their roots.

THIS GIRL IS ELEVEN YEARS OLD. HOW AWESOME IS SHE?

According to the article, the drive will go until February 1, and book donations can be sent to 59 Main St., West Orange, N.J., 07052, Office 322.

More Queen's Thief, and soon?

Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner

Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner

According to Monica Edinger:

…. a little bird told me the next two are in the home stretch of being finished and coming out in the near future*.

Time for a re-read? DON'T MIND IF I DO.

ALSO. THE NEXT TWO? *faints*