Thursday, July 8, 2010

June Winner + Prize Check In

The June monthly winner is...

Helen from Helen's Book Blog!

The review picked by was Helen's review of Between Two Worlds: Escape From Tyranny, Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam by Zainab Salbi. It sounds like a fascinating read, be sure you check out the review.

I'll be emailing you shortly Helen (or if you see this before I email, you can email me) and you'll have 48 hours to get back to me :)

If you've won a prize in the past six months and haven't received it yet please let me know! You can leave a comment or email me. I want to be sure everyone has gotten their prize before the summer is over.

Also the Bottom of Heaven Roundtable Discussion of The Bluest Eye is almost over but you can read all the posts here

Happy reading!

Friday, July 2, 2010

July Book Review Links

We would love to spotlight some of your reviews! Please email Pam if you'd be willing to have one of your POC Challenge reviews highlighted here. Her email is and if you include a picture of yourself (if you have one) and a short bio it will make the spotlight that much better!
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the links and click on the blue "Add Your Link" button. Put the title of the book you have reviewed in the "Name" box. You can include your name or blog name in parenthesis if it will fit. Please be sure that you link to the specific URL address of your review, not the URL address of your main/home blog page. Then follow the directions to add a thumbnail image.
Link up your June POC Reading Challenge book reviews here:

*Sigh* More Whitewashing At Work

You're probably all surprised by the volume of posts coming out of this blog lately, but it's summertime so I've had more time to post here. Unfortunately, today's post is in response to the trend that originally inspired this reading challenge: Cover Whitewashing. Here's the newest case of it, which is crazily going in the opposite direction of what we'd prefer to see:

I think what burns me the most about this is that the original (hardcover) cover is so pretty and unique. It's not like every other YA fantasy on the shelves. The new paperback cover is too much like other books in the genre, and it obscures the fact that this is a historical fantasy, based in China, with Chinese characters. The change is in conjunction with a re-styling for the second book in the series:

The author has posted about this on her blog, and said that the publisher was reacting to the poor reception they got from booksellers with the first cover (Borders wouldn't pick it up for their stores and Barnes & Noble only in small numbers). It seems like the move is an attempt to gain a wider readership (and wider acceptance by booksellers) by making the cover more generic. *sigh* I can't even begin to be as eloquent as others on this topic, so I'll provide some links to reaction around the blogosphere.

The first place I'd point you to is author Cindy Pon's blog, where she discusses the cover change and her reactions to it.

Here's Ari's post at Reading in Color: "Guess What This Post is About?" in which she discusses the author's stance as well as discussing the covers.

Here's a post by bookshop on LiveJournal: "i don't want to be this person. Dear Publishing Industry, stop FORCING me to be this person." Great follow-up discussion going on in the comments, too.

Inkstone has a great post on it called "I guess I still have a post in me", which talks about the publishing industry and book sales in conjunction with this debacle. Inkstone is also gathering a master list of links here: Link Collection: Silver Phoenix

And here are just a few more links:
One thing that is for certain is that if you haven't gotten a copy of this book with the awesome and beautiful hardcover art, you should go do it now before they're all gone.

What do you think? Do you agree with the publisher that a more generic cover (that looks more like urban fantasy than historical fantasy set in China) will get the book to sell better? What is your reaction to this?