One of the perks of working at the library, and especially in acquisitions, is first dibs on the advance reading copies — also known as galleys — that vendors and publishers send us every month. These uncorrected proofs of forthcoming titles are shipped out to booksellers and libraries far and wide to drum up pre-pub buzz and ultimately convince us to buy them. Even though I know it’s mostly a marketing ploy, unpacking that box every month is a little like Christmas — there’s something really exciting* about getting to read a book so new it still has some typos in it, and read it before everyone else. Also, free books!!!
Now contrary to popular belief, librarians do not get to sit around and read all day at work. And after my husband told me I couldn’t bring home any more galleys because we also need room in our house for, like, food and furniture and stuff, I had to rein in my kneejerk reaction during the ceremonial unpacking of the new galleys (which was initially along the lines of “ALL THE BOOKS FOREVER ARE MINE, THE END”) and limit myself to one or two new books to preview each month.
The thing is, though, they send us way more than one or two a month. Actually, they send more than an entire building of librarians could ever hope to get through.** The solution? We’ve decided to share the wealth and give YOU (hello, you!) the chance to preview these upcoming releases as well!
So henceforth, each month I’ll be giving you a sneak peek one of the galleys we’ve recently unpacked and a chance to win that galley or a handful of others that are available. See, don’t ever say your library never gave you anything nice.
This month, the one I’ve carefully handpicked with a discerning eye for literary merit and artistic value (See also: Ooh, Pretty Cover!) is Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich.
The publisher says: “A rollicking, sensuous, feel-good romantic comedy about a grieving young widow who decides to get in shape and get her groove back…and a whole lot more!”
What’s it about? Logan Montgomery, personal trainer to the stars, and Holly Brennan, large woman, meet-cute on an airplane. Holly — who has recently lost her husband, has been comfort eating, and needs a positive change in her life — takes Logan up on his offer to help her shed the extra lbs. She throws herself into her new exercise routine and (
spoiler alert j/k, it’s right on the inside flap) into Logan’s arms.
Who would star in the movie adaptation? Perfect world scenario: Melissa McCarthy and Ryan Gosling. More probable scenario: Katherine Heigl in a fat suit and Ryan Gosling.
Where do I know that name…? Stephanie Evanovich is indeed the niece of noted mega-selling author Janet Evanovich. This is her debut novel.
So is it any good? Publishers Weekly says “quality writing, memorable characters…and an emotionally satisfying story add up to a marvelous gem.” Kirkus says it’s “a good start by Evanovich” (and Kirkus hates pretty much everything, so that counts as a rave review).
Reminds me of: Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner and Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding
Try it if you like: Jennifer Weiner, Sophie Kinsella, Candace Bushnell, Emily Giffin, or Lauren Weisberger
When can I read it? It hits shelves on July 9th, and you can put your copy on hold here. (Or you can have it RIGHT NOW, if you enter the giveaway contest!)
Other galleys up for grabs this month:
Now for the Great Galley Giveaway Ground Rules:
- To enter the contest, comment in the Leave a Reply section below. Make sure you include a valid email address (this will not be publicly displayed, and we’ll only use it to let you know if you’ve won).
- In the Message field, let us know which of these galleys you’d like to win.
- Winners will be chosen at random by drawing and notified via email.
- Here are some things you can do with your new galley should you win: read it, give it to a friend, use it as kindling for a fire, hollow it out and hide small trinkets in it. Here’s the main thing you cannot do with it: you cannot sell it. The publishers aren’t messing around with that “Not for Sale” thing, and if you think we lack a sense of humor when it comes to overdue fines, ooh boy, just wait.
That should do it for today…now who wants to win a galley? Ready, set, go!
*Librarian Enthusiasm Level Key: ”Really exciting” = more exciting than 50 Shades of Grey casting rumors (“oh, that’s neat”); less exciting than “J.K. Rowling might write another Harry Potter book” rumors (“ZOMG BEST THING EVAR!!”)
**Hank maybe could, if he were so inclined, given the rate at which he reads. I suspect he’s developed some top-secret speed-reading method involving dark magic and/or osmosis.