NetGalley Devours:
Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman & 

Tenth of December by George Saunders

Welcome to a new blog series from NetGalley! NETGALLEY DEVOURS is dedicated to our staff reviews of titles that have been posted on www.NetGalley.com. Just like all of you, we at NetGalley are avid readers! Each month we’ll be picking a few titles that we’ve read, and telling you what we thought. Have you read and reviewed these titles too? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter! #NGDevours

Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman (Soho Press, On Sale: January 8, 2013)

Little Wolves

Recipe:
Mix one part loner with two parts violence to get an ethereal story run through with Norse mythology rooted firmly in realism.

Description:
A tragic act of violence echoes through a rural Minnesota town in a haunting new novel from Alex Award winning author of The Night Birds, Thomas Maltman. 

Set on the Minnesota prairie in the late 1980s during a drought season that’s pushing family farms to the brink, Little Wolves features the intertwining stories of a father searching for answers after his son commits a heinous murder, and a pastor’s wife (and washed-out scholar of early Anglo-Saxon literature) who has returned to the town for mysterious reasons of her own. A penetrating look at small-town America from the award-winning author of The Night Birds, Little Wolves weaves together elements of folklore and Norse mythology while being driven by a powerful murder mystery; a page-turning literary triumph.

Review:
Little Wolves is a story full of quiet grief and malice. Although the story starts with a literal bang, the protagonists are left to wade through a miasma of questions—why did he do it? How could I have prevented it? Who am I? How do I move on? 



This is a novel that lives in the grey-area between past and present, good and evil, power and weakness. Maltman weaves the lives of his characters together into tighter and tighter knots, giving us more than a simple mystery. Wolves and ghosts roam the realistic narrative (it’s based on true events) and I love this book for its stark portrait of a small-town dealing with tragedy and the individuals within that community who can’t simply accept that everything is as it appears.

If you would like to add Little Wolves to your collection, personal or professional, you can purchase it at any of these locations: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Google Play, Indiebound

I read this title on my Bluefire Reader app on the iPad.

– Review written by Kristina Radke, Community Concierge

Tenth of December by George Saunders (Random House, publication date: January 8, 2013)
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Recipe:
One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet. [From the publisher]

Description:
In the taut opener, “Victory Lap,” a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In “Home,” a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned. And in the title story, a stunning meditation on imagination, memory, and loss, a middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who, over the course of a fateful morning, gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is. A hapless, deluded owner of an antiques store; two mothers struggling to do the right thing; a teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality; a man tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust, to love, to kill-the unforgettable characters that populate the pages of Tenth of December are vividly and lovingly infused with Saunders’s signature blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation.

Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war, Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary experience. These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human.

Unsettling, insightful, and hilarious, the stories in Tenth of December-through their manic energy, their focus on what is redeemable in human beings, and their generosity of spirit-not only entertain and delight; they fulfill Chekhov’s dictum that art should “prepare us for tenderness.”

Review:
The NY Times Magazine ran a feature story in their January 3, 2013 edition, “George Saunders Has Written the Best Book You’ll Read This Year,” more of a homage than a review, really, to coincide with the publication of Saunders’ newest collection of short stories, Tenth of December (Random House, January 8, 2013). I requested the book from the NetGalley catalog, and read on my iPad using the Bluefire Reader app.

Since short stories aren’t my favorite, I actually, ashamedly, hadn’t read any of Saunders’ previous works (he is often described as “one of the great writers of our time”). But there was something about the NYT article that drew me in: “… the main thing about it, which tends not to get its due, is how much it makes you feel… One thing is that you read them and you feel known, if that makes any sense.” And truth be told, it does make sense; he has a way of writing that captures familiar human emotion in the most absurd circumstances, from the teenaged girl being kidnapped in the first story, “Victory Lap,” to the futuristic mind-altering drugs in “Escape from Spiderhead.” His writing is creative and exciting.

From a literary perspective, there’s no doubt that Saunders is one of the finest writers you’ll experience. Many times I found myself stopping to admire the beauty of a turn of phrase or collection of sentences, as if the book were an art museum. (I love books like this—Junot Diaz of course comes to mind, and Paul Harding’s Tinkers, too.)

But if you are a reader not particularly interested in the pedigree, it bears mentioning that the stories are wry, witty and clever. You will identify with the characters in just a few pages, will be anxious about what will happen next, and miss them when the story ends and a new one begins. Each story is surprisingly different, yet the collection is harmonious and many themes echo throughout. And although many of situations Saunders describes are despicable and ugly, life’s relentless penchant for beauty shines through again and again. (Saunders says it best, “Why were we made just so, to find so many things that happened every day pretty?”) And… well, I could go on.

The collection is short – less than 120 pages – and a quick and enjoyable read. If you’d like to own a copy (as I would), you can purchase it at any of these locations: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Kindle, Nook, iBookstore

 – Review written by Susan Ruszala, NetGalley President

Check out the other titles we’ve reviewed – 2012 NetGalley Picks!

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New Year, New NetGalley!

Dear NetGalley member,

Welcome to 2013—a new year, with a new NetGalley! Do you remember how NetGalley looked at the start of 2012? (Refresh your memory.) My, how we’ve changed—and grown, too: last year at this time there were 50,000 NetGalley members. This year? We’re kicking off 2013 with over 92,000 reviewers, bloggers, media, booksellers, librarians and educators using our free service for professional readers. Whether you just joined, or you’ve been a member since the beginning, we want 2013 to be your best year with us, so here are some helpful hints to maximize your NetGalley experience.

First and foremost, make sure publishers know who you are! Quick ways to improve your profile:

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Don’t forget, NetGalley will NEVER reveal your address, phone or email without your permission. Use the “Visible to Publishers” check-boxes to customize what publishers can see.

Throughout the year, make sure you’re getting the most out of NetGalley!

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Now that you know all the tips and tricks, why not make a New Year’s Resolution? Tell us your NetGalley Reading Goal for the year on Facebook or Twitter with #NG2013

Happy New Year, and Happy Reading!
The NetGalley Concierge Team

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Dear readers and publishers,

On behalf of our entire team, I’d like to take a moment to wish you and yours happy holidays and best wishes for 2013. This holiday season more than ever, we are grateful for your support of NetGalley.

Do you remember how NetGalley looked at the start of 2012? (Refresh your memory). How much has changed!

We began the year with 50,000 members, and will end 2012 with well over 90,000 reviewers, bloggers, media, booksellers, librarians and educators registered for this free, essential service. On average, over 300 new titles are added each week to NetGalley.

You have likely already caught some of our “2012 NetGalley Picks” campaign via email or social media (where so many of you connect with us daily!). For the first time, NetGalley has published our own “best of: list—an eclectic combination of titles we personally discovered and recommended this year via the site.

What have you discovered this year via NetGalley? How are you reading digitally? What kind of recommender are you? We hope to get to know you better in 2013. Leave us a message via Facebook or Twitter—we love hearing from you!

Being a central resource for readers of influence to discover powerful new titles is fascinating and exciting. We love what we do, and we hope that it shows.

Happy reading!

Best,
Susan Ruszala | President, NetGalley

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This year we’ve compiled our own list of 2012 NetGalley Picks. These are titles that our team read and loved from NetGalley this year, or titles that we can’t wait to read next. Click to find out why they made the cut, and we’ll be asking you to weigh in on Facebook Twitter!              

           Age of MiraclesGone GirlWe SinnersNarcopolisPenanceKino

           Where's You Go, BernadetteThe Light Between OceansThe Art ForgerWonderSplinteredRemarkable

Many of these published earlier in the year and are no longer available in NetGalley, but we encourage you to buy the finished books as gifts (or treat yourself!) using the links provided. 

           Change the World Before BedtimeQuietConsider the ForkHow Children SucceedComediennesHot Dogs and Hamburgers

Thanks to all our clients for their support of NetGalley, and of course, for continually “feeding our readers.”

Happy reading,

The NetGalley Team

           

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NetGalley today, December 2012. Our re-launch prompted a doubling of our monthly page views.

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NetGalley pre-October 2012. How much has changed!

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Wow, NetGalley

October 2012: If you’ve visited NetGalley recently (and if you haven’t, go ahead right now), you’ll notice a dramatic change.

It is our pleasure to announce the recent launch of a fundamentally redesigned NetGalley. I hope you will find a few moments to login to the site, take a look around, and let us know what you think.

With your support, what started out as a simple concept—-why not make digital review copies?—-has evolved into an industry standard for the promotion and marketing of new titles. Over 200 publishers worldwide and 80,000+ reviewers, media, librarians, booksellers and educators have come to rely on NetGalley as a platform for previewing and reviewing new titles. It is our privilege to help publishers ignite the word-of-mouth phenomenon that is the magic of selling books.

On behalf of the NetGalley team, thank you for your past and future support of NetGalley, and for your interest, participation and patience during the re-launch project.

Here are two quick to-dos for the new NetGalley:

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Although today’s launch represents significant research, effort and investment in new features, it is truly only a starting point. There is a long list of requested new features and enhancements we’ve collected from our publishers and readers, and we are excited to dig in and continue building the site. Have something you want to add to the list? Tell us.


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