Catherynne M. Valente has just posted pictures of the ARCs of the second volume in her Fairyland series, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There.
It's got an absolutely gorgeous cover in what look like melted-grape-popsicle shades of purple.
It has also inspired in me another outbreak of ARC-fever. I lament that I am not important or influential enough to warrant ARCs. I don't so much want to be important for its own sake, but I wouldn't mind being book-influential; I have good taste in books.
But I'm sad about not being able to read advance copies.
As I've mentioned ad nauseum, I can't afford to buy new books very often, especially not hardcover new releases. I do my book buying from goodwill and library used book sales and yard sales. New books are rare, exquisite treats for me, and since my perilously small income is under threat of becoming nonexistent in the fall semester, new-book-buying needs to come to a halt.
There are a handful of books coming out that I am dying to read; they're in the category I maintain (mentally, anyway) of Books I Will Buy New. Diana Wynne Jones lived in this category by herself for quite awhile, but I've had to make expansions.
So what's coming up that I can't live without?
Railsea by China Miéville, due out in May. It's his young adult novel, and it sounds dreamy, and since I love his books and have an intense book-crush on him, I NEED to own this one as soon as possible.
This is not a test by Courtney Summers. I really, really like her books; this one is a zombie novel, and I'm very curious about what she'll do. This one should be out in mid-June; I can make do with a library copy, but the library doesn't always have new releases in a very timely fashion.
Who Could That Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snicket. It's the first book in his new series (All the wrong questions), coming out in October. I don't think I need to say much about how badly I need to have this one.
And of course, Catherynne Valente's second Fairyland book, out in October as well.
It's not just my excitement/love/curiosity that drives wanting ARCs; it's that I now know, at least online, quite a number of people who do receive ARCs regularly, and post about them. It's frustrating and sad to be left out of those conversations, even if they're just little bits and burbles on twitter. It puts me behind the times, conversationally speaking, sometimes by months. By the time I've read the new book, a number of the people with whom I want to talk about it have moved on to the next ARC. They've had weeks or months to mull the book over, or their memories aren't as sharp or emotions as fresh as when they just finished it.
Reading and talking about books with other people has been my primary life goal since forever. This is partly why teaching makes me so happy (provided students do the reading). Reading and talking about children's and YA books is what I most want to be doing, more than almost anything else, and to feel belated and excluded from the very conversations I most want to be in is not very enjoyable.
I suppose the instantaneous availability of ebooks makes a difference, or would if I had - or could afford - an ebook reader other than my laptop. I've had to read lengthy texts on my computer before, and it's very uncomfortable; I don't like reading on a screen and I don't retain information as well at all. So that's not much of an option, really.
I'm also still smarting from the unavailable-in-the-US-ness of the third Spud book by John van de Ruit, and of more books by Simmone Howell and Gabrielle Williams and probably a million Australian YA authors who I can't/won't discover because it's too bloody expensive to order them from over here in the states.
On occasion, something joyous will occur, as when I received the glorious Sea hearts from my amazing online friend in Australia.
But other than that extraordinary kind of event, I suppose I just have to accept my belatedness.
Doesn't that Fairyland cover look delicious? I cannot wait to read it.