The Reading Group Choices authors. That's me, second from the right.

The Twin Cities were recently taken over by some of the most vigorous defenders of our democracy: independent booksellers. The American Booksellers Association (ABA) held its Winter Institute in Minneapolis this year, and I was lucky enough to be part of an affiliated event at Milkweed Books. Reading Group Choices recommends books to book clubs across the country, providing information and even discussion guides. South Pole Station was recently chosen as a featured RGC title, despite the fact that it doesn't come out until early July, and so I had the privilege of being part of RGC's Winter Institute event at the Open Book Center this past weekend. Though it sounds like an introvert's nightmare, the "author speed-dating" event was lots of fun. I was able to pitch my book to a number of book clubs and practice delivering lines like: "MASH set in Antarctica--but more deranged" and "The Nest...with beards." 

But more important. I learned about some other excellent books that are soon to be released or have recently been released and I wanted to share a few of those titles with you, because they sound excellent.

Salt Houses by Hala Alyan

Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan

Winter's Kitchen by Beth Dooley

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller