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Reader Spotlight

Blog name: The Hiding Spot
Blog URL: http://thehidingspot.blogspot.com
Your name: Sara Grochowski

What genre(s) does your blog focus on?

All genres and ages from pictures books through Young Adult and even the occasional the adult novel with crossover appeal.

Which book(s) would you suggest for a middle grade level reluctant reader?

In my experience, it seems like most reluctant readers want to read, they’re just overwhelmed (often by the size of the book or the amount of text) or they haven’t been offered a book that fits their interests. So, in that regard, there’s a specific book for each reluctant reader! A few books that I find myself recommending again and again are The Terrible Two by Jory John and Mac Barnett, The Unwanteds series by Lisa McMann, and Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntryre. I also regularly recommend graphic novels for reluctant readers; recently El Deafo and Roller Girl have been my favorites!

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How long have you been blogging about books and why did you start?

I’ve been blogging about books for nearly 8 years now! Originally, I started my blog as a kind of online journal to keep track of what I was reading and as a way to meet fellow book addicts lovers. I’m from a very small town and I didn’t know very many other people who were passionate about reading… or reading socially, which is what book blogging feels like to me. I love to talk about books and blogging provided a perfect platform for that. Granted, I never imagined I would be doing it this long or that I would make so many great friends along the way!

You are also a Children’s & YA Literature Specialist at Brilliant Books, can you briefly explain your role and your favorite aspect of your job?

Oh, gosh, where do I start? Perhaps I’ll just touch on the biggest aspects of my job. I do the buying for the picture book, chapter book, and middle grade, and YA sections of the store, choose all of the Brilliant Books Monthly picks for Kids and YA subscribers, and assist teachers and librarians with grant research, selecting books to fulfill grant requirements, finding books to fit into curriculum, fill gaps in library collections, etc. I’m also responsible for displays within those sections. And, of course, I spend a lot of time talking to young readers and adults searching for the perfect book. My favorite aspect of my job isn’t anything that I do, it’s the feedback and interactions that I’m able to have with young readers. Like the time a boy and I bonded over shared love of Rohan Gavin’s Knightley and Son – which he read while in London!! – and then he recommended me a handful of books to read. Or any time a reader comes back and tells me that a book I recommend is their new favorite. Those moments are the absolute best!

Do you feel that your role as a blogger and as a bookseller impact and/or influence each other?

Definitely! I feel like my role as a blogger actually makes me more aware of which books are going to be well received by readers, which has an impact on buying decisions for the store. If I see fellow bloggers whose opinions I value and respect raving about an upcoming book, I know that it’s likely something special. Similarly, if a book isn’t being well received and I wasn’t already interested in it, I’ll likely give it less attention. At the same time, being a bookseller has affected me as a blogger in that I’m more conscious of what readers are looking for and struggling to find. When a reader tells me that he loves books like The Thickety and asks for readalikes, I’ll end up writing a post featuring the books I recommended! My blog may have started as a reading journal, but now it’s my hope that fellow readers see it as a resource.

Are there certain questions you usually ask when trying to match someone with a book?

Do you like books that are set in the real world or in fantasy worlds? How old are you? Do you like books that make you laugh? What was the last book you read? Did you like it? Tell me three of your favorite books. Tell me a book that you didn’t like at all. Books readers dislike are just as telling as books they love!

Which upcoming Middle Grade book(s) on NetGalley are you the most excited about recommending?

How to Outfox Your Friends When You Don’t Have a Clue by Jess Keating, Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon by Kate DiCamillo, and Beastly Bones by William Ritter. The last one is technically YA, but it’s a great pick for Middle Grade readers who are reading well above level. Ritter’s books have great plots and pacing, but aren’t inappropriate for younger readers.

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Lightning Round!

If you could interview 1 author, who would it be?

Melina Marchetta.

Your favorite Storytime book to read:

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat. (Then we make Beekle crowns to wear home!)

Your blog in 2 sentences:

Honest and passionate book recommendations for all ages from a lifelong reader and bookpusher. Plus author interviews, cover reveals, and giveaways!

Your bookstore in 2 sentences:

Brilliant Books is the nation’s Long Distance, Local Bookstore. We deliver personal service, expert selections, and efficient, no cost shipping across the USA. (Okay, I admit it – this is from our website, but I couldn’t say it any better myself!)

And to finish off our interview, if you could have coffee (…or something stiffer) with any author, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

Bonnie Sue-Hitchcock. Her debut novel, The Smell of Other People’s Houses comes out next Spring and it is without a doubt one of the best books I’ve ever read. Her writing is gorgeous and her characters have burrowed deep into my heart and head. I want to press this book into the hands of readers everywhere. And if by something stiffer you mean a latte with 5 shots of espresso so that we can keep up our energy while talking books, we’re on the same page!

cartoon sara grochowski Thanks so much for spending some time with us and answering our questions Sara!
Please make sure to check out The Hiding Spot and stay tuned for our next Blogger Spotlight! 

Would you like to nominate your blog, or a blog you admire, to be featured in our Blogger Spotlight series? Fill out this form!

*Interviewed by Tarah Theoret

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IndieNext

Indie Next List

August edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the August Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

Barefoot to Avalon by David Payne 
ISBN 9780802123541

Orphan Number Eight by Kim Van Alkemade
ISBN 9780062338303

Multiply/Divide: On the American Real and Surreal by Wendy S. Walters
ISBN 9781941411049

The Pope’s Daughter by Dario Fo, Anthony Shugaar
ISBN 9781609452742

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IndieNext

Indie Next List

July edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the July Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

Love May Fail by Matthew Quick
ISBN 9780062285560

Speak by Louisa Hall
ISBN 9780062391193

Down Among the Dead Men by Peter Lovesey
ISBN 9781616956264

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IndieNext

Indie Next List

June edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the June Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

The Invasion of the Tearling: A Novel by Erika Johansen
ISBN 9780062290397

Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson
ISBN 9780062190376

A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel by Paul Tremblay
ISBN 9780062363237

Medicine Walk: A Novel by Richard Wagamese
ISBN 9781571311153

Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann
ISBN 9780316247764

Mislaid: A Novel    Nell Zink    978-0062364777

 

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IndieNext

Indie Next List

May edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the May Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next Titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

The World Is on Fire: Scrap, Treasure, and Songs of Apocalypse by Joni Tevis
ISBN 9781571313478

Church of Marvels: A Novel by Leslie Parry
ISBN 9780062367556

The Bone Tree: A Novel by Greg Iles
ISBN 9780062311115

Where They Found Her: A Novel by Kimberly McCreight
ISBN 9780062225467

The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain
ISBN 9781908313867

The Green Road: A Novel by Anne Enright
ISBN 9780393248210

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IndieNext

Indie Next List

April edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the April Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next Titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

World Gone By: A Novel by Dennis Lehane
ISBN 9780060004903

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris
ISBN 9780393240184

After Birth: A Novel by Elisa Albert
ISBN 9780544273733

The Precious One: A Novel by Marisa de los Santos
ISBN 9780061670893

The Harder They Come: A Novel by T.C. Boyle
ISBN 9780062349378

A Reunion of Ghosts: A Novel by Judith Claire Mitchell
ISBN 9780062355881

Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter by Nina MacLaughlin
ISBN 9780393239133

Our Endless Numbered Days: A Novel by Claire Fuller
ISBN 9781941040010

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
ISBN 9781594487132

The Last Days of Video: A Novel by Jeremy Hawkins
ISBN 9781619024854

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IndieNext

Indie Next List

March edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the March Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

 Additional Indie Next Titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

The Buried Giant: A novel by Kazuo Ishiguro
ISBN 9780307271037

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
ISBN 9780307408860

Welcome to Braggsville: A Novel by T. Geronimo Johnson
ISBN 9780062302120

An Exaggerated Murder: A Novel by Josh Cook
ISBN 9781612194271

Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral by Mary Doria Russell
ISBN 9780062198761

The Room: A Novel by Jonas Karlsson
ISBN 9780804139984

Ongoingness: The End of a Diary by Sarah Manguso
ISBN 9781555977030

Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss
ISBN 9781612194424

The Bookseller: A Novel by Cynthia Swanson
ISBN 9780062333001

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IndieNext

Indie Next List

December edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the December Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

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IndieNext

Indie Next List

October edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the October Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Love Me Back      Nora Webster      A Sudden Light      The Fall      The High Divide
View on NetGalley       View on NetGalley      View on NetGalley        View on NetGalley       View on NetGalley

Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace      Night Blindness      Florence Gordon      The Paying Guests       Some Luck
View on NetGalley       View on NetGalley       View on NetGalley       View on NetGalley        View on NetGalley

Lila       Wolf in White Van
View on NetGalley        View on NetGalley


Additional Indie Next Titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
ISBN 9780345544926

On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss
ISBN 9781555976897

Good Grief: Life in a Tiny Vermont Village by Ellen Stimson
ISBN 9781581572551

Thrown by Kerry Howley
ISBN 9781936747924

Man V. Nature: Stories by Diane Cook
ISBN 9780062335975

How to Build a Girl: A Novel by Caitlin Moran
ISBN 9780062335975

Gutenberg’s Apprentice: A Novel by Alix Christie
ISBN  9780062336019

A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention by Matt Richtel
ISBN  9780062284068

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IndieNext

Indie Next List

August edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the August Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Painted Horses      Lucky Us      Small Blessings      A Man Called Ove      In the Kingdom of Ice
View on NetGalley        View on NetGalley       View on NetGalley      View on NetGalley       View on NetGalley

Life Drawing      The Magician's Land      The Book of Life     Herbie's Game      Mountaintop School for Dogs
View on NetGalley        View on NetGalley      View on NetGalley       View on NetGalley       View on NetGalley

The Good Girl      A Colder War       The Mockingbird Next Door      Tigerman
View on NetGalley      View on NetGalley        View on NetGalley       View on NetGalley


Additional Indie Next Titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

The Home Place: A Novel by Carrie La Seur
ISBN 9780062323446

Further Out Than You Thought: A Novel by Michaela Carter
ISBN 9780062292377

This Is the Water: A Novel by Yannick Murphy
ISBN 9780062294906

Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay
ISBN 9780062282712 

World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Book III by Ben H. Winters
ISBN 9781594746857

The Lost Clerihews of Paul Ingram by Paul Ingram, Julia Anderson-Miller (Illus.)
ISBN 9781888160772

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