University of Nevada Press has new site

Photo credit: Anastasia  Zhenina. Courtesy of Unsplash.com

Image: Anastasia Zhenina. Courtesy of Unsplash.com

Have you checked out the new website of the University of Nevada Press? I’m impressed. It looks good and works well.

You can order current titles right from the main page. You can search for others from there; if you prefer to browse,however, a click takes you to a page where you can sort by author, title, subject, series title or publication date. The Spring 2017 catalog is on the site as well.

Remember that all titles are 20 percent off when you order through the website.

Another link from the main page takes you to the author (submission) page. The Press is soliciting contributions to its active book series and also will consider fiction and memoir.

5 reasons I don’t review books here

starI’m nice. I read. I know how desperate most authors are for book reviews. I know how hard it is to get readers—anyone—to write them.

So I should review books here, right? Wrong. And here’s why.

I know the authors, or feel as if I do.
And some of them know me. We’re friends. Friends are supportive, not judgmental.

I don’t want to make authors cry.
While authors say they want reviews, they don’t just want reviews. They expect five-star reviews, and many are crushed when they get anything less. It makes me uncomfortable because I don’t always give five-star reviews.

Not every book is good, and I have to be honest.
Sure, I could find something positive to say about any book, and I could ignore flaws. I won’t, though. I write reviews on Amazon and Goodreads under my own name, and my credibility is important to me. If I give fewer than five stars, I try to provide an explanation or constructive criticism (the things I don’t like might make the book more attractive to someone else). If I don’t like anything about the book, I stop reading it and refrain from reviewing it.

I can’t read every Northern Nevada book.
I don’t review books without reading them, and there’s no way I would have time to read every book published by Northern Nevada authors, set in Northern Nevada or about Northern Nevada.

Actually, I’m being polite. The truth is I don’t find every genre or topic interesting. I’m sorry.

I’ve been burned.
Two people (that I know of) plagiarized a review I posted here. I’m sure they were desperate for reviews, but I had put a lot of time into my review and resented the theft.

What I try to do here is gather and share information about Northern Nevada books. Although I rarely review them, I post news releases about them. When I get a free copy of a Northern Nevada book (or buy it for myself), I write a “Quick Look”—a summary without a rating. If nothing else, that gives the name and title another place to turn up in a Google search.

But I’m not resolving to write more reviews in 2016.

It’s not too late to buy books for Christmas

ChristmasNVRelax—you still have time to buy books for Christmas without paying shipping fees or worrying that they won’t arrive in time. These options are for—

  1. Family and friends who have Kindles or Nooks (or the free reading Kindle app on their computers or smartphones). Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble have e-book gift-giving options; just look for the “Give/buy as gift” button. If providing the recipient’s email address is a problem, Amazon will let you use your own. (I’m thinking you could print out the email and put it in a card or stocking . . . )
  2. Family and friends who live around here. For these, I’m talking about our local bookstores, They can’t always compete with the online booksellers on price, but they are here for you when you absolutely have to have a tangible gift for someone to open at Christmas and you haven’t bought it yet. (Remember that!)

Sorry, you’re on your own with e-book-phobic, out-of-town family and friends. Even when you pay extra for shipping, delivery by Christmas Eve is not guaranteed.

Favorite locally owned bookstores are Sundance Books and Music and Grassroots. If you’re willing to patronize a chain store, we have Barnes & Noble, of course. But did you know Costco sells local books? And—if you’re like me both a procrastinator and a cheapskate—you never know what like-new used books you’ll find at  Sundance and Grassroots as well as most of the local thrift stores.

Blast from the past

Denevibook001This was one of my finds at the Friends of Washoe County Library used book sale yesterday: A Year in My Garden by late Reno resident Angela Denevi. You’ve probably never heard of Angela, so let me tell you what I know about her.

Angela was an established member of Nevada Press Women when I joined as a new journalism grad the 1970s. I didn’t get to know her very well, but I remember her as being nice.

What I really remember is her garden column. It was like a bible to me. When do you prune roses? How do you divide irises? What plants will survive our winters? She knew everything. Sure, the Sunset garden guide provides information on climate zones. But Angela lived right here, and she knew about Washoe Zephyrs, late freezes and awful soil.

My mother-in-law happened to have a beautiful border garden here in Reno herself, and I found myself having to be careful not to quote Angela to her. She didn’t want to know that her roses showed signs of cane borer disease, she didn’t like irises and she was going to keep pruning when and the way she always had. Her garden was at least as beautiful as Angela’s, but she hated the competition.

I was too cheap to buy Angela’s book when she published it in 1989. I already had all the clippings, right? But when I found it at the sale yesterday for $1, I was delighted. And when I got home and opened it, I was thrilled to find she had autographed it. She dedicated the book to “all those gardeners who, through their hard work and perseverance, have proved that our lovely desert valley can be made more beautiful because of their efforts.”

Angela died in 1992, but I still think of her and her advice when I’m working in my yard. I really should divide the irises this year.

Reno author to sign ‘Love Target’ on Valentine’s Day

From a Sundance Books and Music news release

LOVE TARGET, front coverFormer Las Vegas showgirl Heidi Loeb Hegerich will be signing her debut novel, Love Target, in Reno on Valentine’s Day. She’ll be at Sundance Books and Music from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14.

Love Target (Forever Young, May 2014 ) follows young Ingrid Liebschreiber, a German immigrant in America, as she makes her way alone in the world—first as an underage Las Vegas showgirl, then as an aspiring New York model—as the 1960s develop into a wild decade.

Part fictional memoir, part historical novel, part love story, Love Target is an adventure with a colorful cast of characters set in an unforgettable time. The book includes illustrations by world-class artist John Bardwell.

Hegerich, a Reno resident, has lived in places as varied as Munich, Las Vegas, Miami Beach, New York City, Los Angeles and Squaw Valley. She has worked variously as a showgirl, business executive, entrepreneur, interior designer and real estate developer. A philanthropist for the arts, among other causes, Hegerich is now embarking on her own artistic quest as an author. Love Target is her first book.

Learn more at http://www.sundancebookstore.com/lovetarget.

This event is made possible through a partnership with Nevada Humanities and support from the Nightingale Family Foundation.

2 ways to buy Nevada books in time for Christmas (with suggestions)

ChristmasNVRelax—you still have time to buy books for Christmas without paying shipping fees or worrying that they won’t arrive in time. These options are for—

  1. Out-of-town family and friends who have Kindles or Nooks (or the free reading Kindle app on their computers or smartphones). Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble have e-book gift-giving options; just look for the “Give/buy as gift” button. If providing the recipient’s email address is a problem, Amazon will let you use your own. (I’m thinking you could print out the email and put it in a card or stocking . . . )
  2. Family and friends who live around here. For these, I’m talking about our local bookstores, which are suddenly competitive with the online booksellers when you absolutely have to have a tangible gift for someone to open at Christmas and you haven’t bought it yet.

Sorry, you’re on your own with e-book-phobic, out-of-town family and friends. Even when you pay extra for shipping, delivery by Christmas Eve is not guaranteed.

Favorite locally owned bookstores are Sundance Books and Music and Grassroots. If you’re willing to patronize a chain store, we have Barnes & Noble, of course. But did you know Costco sells local books? And—if you’re like me both a procrastinator and a cheapskate—you never know what like-new used books you’ll find at  Sundance and Grassroots as well as most of the local thrift stores.

Nevada book ideas

For children

sorrow-cover-blog-197x300
The Sorrow of a Crescent Moon by J. Wagoner


The Little Man in the Map
by Andrew Martonyi

Picture books by David Michael Slater

For middle graders

Willow series by Jacci Turner

For young adults and older

viral-nation-cover
Viral Nation series by Shaunta Grimes

Books by Jacci Turner

The Light Key Trilogy by Tracy Clark

His Dark Ways by Naomi Canale

“Teen novels” by David Michael Slater

For historical fantasy readers

Books by Marissa Ames

Books by Margaret McGaffey Fisk

For adult fiction readers

Hope
Books by J T Hume

Parallel to Paradise by Laura Newman (short stories)

Flipka by JT Twissel

Dishrags to Dirtbags by Brooke Santina

Books by David Michael Slater

For romance readers

Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame

For science fiction readers

Books by Trevor S. Schmidt

Wicked Tides by Sean Kinsley

For local history buffs

writeifyoulive
Write, If You Live to Get There
by Mary K. Sonntag and Mary Jo Sonntag

The River and the Railroad by Mary Ringhoff and Edward J. Stoner

Reno Now and Then by Neal Cobb and Jerry Fenwick

I’ve included some of my favorite Northern Nevada authors here. If you have a book with a Nevada connection that you’d like me to add, let me know.

Sure, do what you love, but…

loveWhen I read Marsha Sinetar’s Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow in the 1990s, it made sense to me. A few years later I quit my job and started a freelance technical editing business. I never made a living at it and crawled back to my old job a couple years later.

Oh, I gave my business everything I had. It didn’t come naturally to me, but I forced myself to make cold calls and network. I produced a brochure (do businesses still do that?) and wrote a monthly client newsletter. I landed a few good jobs, but they dried up. My specialty was editing documents for environmental and engineering consultants; there weren’t many of those in Northern Nevada, and they were sure they didn’t need an editor or could edit as well as I could. In those days when few were using email, my market was too small.

Over time I’ve realized that I’d seen what I wanted to see in Sinetar’s book–the parts about doing what you love. She certainly didn’t promise I’d make money doing it nor did she say how long it would take for the money to follow.

I’ve been seeing lots of people like me lately. Our sons, for example, are starving artists. (Well, they live on homemade pizza and fast food dollar items.) They build custom motorcycles using parts they make themselves and create metal and leather artwork. Their work has been in national and international motorcycle magazines and websites. Almost no one buys what they make.

It’s maddening for them. They’ve dreamed for years of being famous artists and often don’t feel any closer than when they started. They don’t understand how people can reject what they think is great. I asked them for input on this post, and one of them said, “It’s impossible to do what you love and appeal to a mass market.”

They do get praise, which means a lot to them, but how sincere is praise when no one buys their work? Pay is evidence of appreciation and vice versa.

I’m seeing lots of authors in the same position now that I’m doing Trembling Leaves and working at Booktrope. I have the same motherly feelings toward them, but I don’t have much comfort to give. Instead, here’s my advice:

First, keep doing what you love. You will be miserable if you don’t. I don’t agree with Samuel Johnson that “no man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.”

Second, have realistic expectations. Being a famous best-selling author would be a bonus; few reach that level, and (ahem) you have lots of competition. Some say, “Aim high! Reach for the stars! Don’t limit yourself! Do what you love, the money will follow!” I say, “Do your best and you might be surprised at what happens.”

Third, if you’re truly doing what you love, you’re writing your own story in your own genre in your own voice. Your work is unique and is likely to appeal mostly to readers who like the same kind of writing you do. Consider the possibility that there aren’t many like you. You have to figure out how to reach them, but you have a tool I was just beginning to use in the ’90s: the Internet.

Finally, appreciate the readers who do enjoy your work. Write more for them. Thank them for reading your books and appeal to them to help you with word-of-mouth marketing (maybe their friends like what they do). Don’t take them for granted while you’re worrying about the people who don’t appreciate you.

I’m impatient when I tell people I’m an editor and they reply, “I’d love to be a writer.” I want to scream, “Then write!” If only getting paid for it were as simple.

Author of ‘Who stole the American dream?’ to be in Reno Sept. 16

DreamBookCover.1231-173x259From a Sundance Books and Music news release

Bestselling author, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter and Emmy Award–winning producer Hedrick Smith will sign and discuss his newest book at Sundance Books and Music next Tuesday. Who Stole the American Dream? has been hailed by critics for its brilliant analysis of political and economic trends and changes in the United States over the past 30-40 years.

Smith’s book is an eye-opening account of how, over the past four decades, the American Dream has been dismantled and we became two Americas. Smith takes us across America to show how seismic changes, sparked by a sequence of landmark political and economic decisions, have transformed America.

As only a veteran reporter can, Smith fits the puzzle together, starting with Lewis Powell’s provocative memo that triggered a political rebellion that dramatically altered the landscape of power from then until today.

This is a book full of surprises and revelations—the accidental beginnings of the 401(k) plan, with disastrous economic consequences for many; the major policy changes that began under Jimmy Carter; how the New Economy disrupted America’s engine of shared prosperity; the “virtuous circle” of growth, and how America lost the title of “Land of Opportunity.” Smith documents the transfer of $6 trillion in middle class wealth from homeowners to banks even before the housing boom went bust and how the U.S. policy tilt favoring the rich is stunting America’s economic growth.

The book is essential reading for all of us who want to understand America today, or why average Americans are struggling to keep afloat. Smith reveals how pivotal laws and policies were altered while the public wasn’t looking, how Congress often ignores public opinion, why moderate politicians got shoved to the sidelines and how Wall Street often wins politically by hiring over 1,400 former government officials as lobbyists.

Finally, Smith offers ideas for restoring America’s great promise and reclaiming the American Dream. This magnificent work of history and reportage is filled with the penetrating insights, provocative discoveries and the great empathy of a master journalist.

About the Author
Hedrick Smith has established himself over the past 50 years of his career as one of America’s most distinguished journalists. In 26 years with The New York Times, he covered Martin Luther King Jr and the civil rights struggle, the Vietnam War in Saigon, the Middle East conflict from Cairo, the Cold War from both Moscow and Washington and six American presidents and their administrations. In 1971, as chief diplomatic correspondent, he was a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that produced the Pentagon Papers series. In 1974, he won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting from Russia and Eastern Europe. His book The Russians, based on his years as New York Times Moscow Bureau Chief from 1971 to 1974, was a No. 1 American best-seller. His next book, The Power Game: How Washington Works, was also a major best‐seller. His newest book, Who Stole the American Dream? was published by Random House in September 2012.

Details
6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 16, Sundance Books and Music, 121 California Ave. Learn more at www.sundancebookstore.com.

This event is made possible through a partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno’s Reynolds School of Journalism and Nevada Humanities and with support from the Nightingale Family Foundation.

Nevada professor wins Latino book award again

From a news release

Emma Sepulveda, a writer, University of Nevada, Reno professor and director of the University’s Latino Research Center, has won another International Latino Book Award from Latino Literacy Now. Emma Sepulveda

Sepulveda won two International Latino Book Awards in 2011 with her internationally acclaimed book Seventy Days of Night, a non-fiction account of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground after a mining accident.

This year, she won a first-place award with a book that is somewhat the polar opposite: Gringosincrasias: cómo sobrevivir en Estados Unidos y entender su idiosincrasia (How to Survive in the U.S. and Understand its Idiosyncrasy), is a book of personal, humorous reflections from the viewpoint of a Latina immigrant living in the United States.

Emma Sepulveda“It’s a wonderful honor to receive another first place in the Latino Book Awards and be among so many great Latino leaders and writers this year—like Isabel Allende and Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, among so many others,” Sepulveda said.

The Latino Research Center at the University of Nevada, Reno serves as a nexus between the Latino community and the University. Its mission is to foster research, student achievement, faculty collaboration, advocacy and outreach in a manner that best meets the educational needs and goals of the state of Nevada and best honors the intellectual and cultural capital of the Latino presence in our state.

Can you cope with 2 used book sales at the same time?

somanybooksYou say you haven’t had time to read all the books you’ve been buying? You don’t have room for any more books?

Too bad. The Grassroots Books warehouse sale and Friends of Washoe County Library used book sale have aligned with each other this week, and you know you don’t dare miss either of them.

The Grassroots sale started this morning and will run through Sunday. Warehouse books, both paper and hardback, are 99 cents each; children’s books and “A/V media” such as CDs, DVDs, VHS and audiobooks are 25 cents. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. This Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. you can fill a grocery-size bag for $4.99.

The Friends sale starts tomorrow at 3 p.m. and runs to 7 p.m.—if you’re a member, that is. The sale will be open to the public Saturday, July 13, through Sunday, July 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Sunday, July 20, you can fill a grocery-size bag for $5.

Generally hardbacks are $1 and paperbacks are 50 cents, but they sell collectibles and nearly new books at individual prices in a special section. They promise lots of summer beach reads in this sale.

Grassroots advertises 10,000+ items, and the Friends just say “thousands.” It’s hard to compare volume. Grassroots’ warehouse merchandise is presented unsorted in boxes, so you have to allow plenty of time and hope for serendipity. (For tips, see How to get the most out of Grassroots Books warehouse sales.) The Friends volunteers have their books and other merchandise meticulously sorted, shelved and displayed.

See you at one or both?