I've been working at a fabulous independent bookstore in my hometown for about a month or so, and I absolutely love it. The ins and outs of working in a small bookstore are very interesting, and of course being around all those books is a lot of fun too. One of the best parts about it is that I am forced to know what is in stock all over the store, so I've been exposed to a lot of great-sounding books that are totally outside the YA genre, which has been a fun experience.
There are always too many things to read and too little time (as one co-worker says, the in-box will never be empty), so even though I can't read everything that I see that looks good, I can at least tell you, my lovely readers, what is out there. And seeing as you're reading this blog, I'm guessing we have similar tastes, so I hope that you may be interested in some of the books I discover as well.
So, this will start a new feature here on the blog, Shelf Discovery, in which I will highlight one book each week that I have discovered while prowling the shelves at the store, that I hope you will find interesting as well. They most likely won't be YA, but some diversity is good, and I hope that you will find them interesting!
First up is The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch. I first discovered it when unpacking a shipment from our distributor. We were quite busy and all of the employees were going every which way, so I caught a glimpse of it on the invoice and thought, "Interesting title," and then didn't see it again until it was ready to be shelved.
When I say "interesting title," what I probably really meant was, "Okay, the hangman part is interesting, but oh my word, why does every other book need to be about the daughter of someone?" It's a slight pet peeve of mine, and it always irks me to see books like that, because unless the parent of whoever this daughter is is significant in the book, why name your book that? And most of the books with those titles don't have those interesting parents.
In all honesty, I probably wouldn't have looked at this book any more if a co-worker, whose opinion I greatly respect, hadn't mentioned it again. So, when I got around to shelving it, I looked at it to see what it was all about, and my opinion changed...I think that this sounds like a book that is worthy of its title. Here's the official summary:
Jakob Kuisl is charged with extracting a confession from her and torturing her until he gets one. Convinced she is innocent, he, Magdalena, and her would-be suitor to race against the clock to find the true killer. Approaching Walpurgisnacht, when witches are believed to dance in the forest and mate with the devil, another tattooed orphan is found dead and the town becomes frenzied. More than one person has spotted what looks like the devil—a man with a hand made only of bones. The hangman, his daughter, and the doctor’s son face a terrifying and very real enemy.
Taking us back in history to a place where autopsies were blasphemous, coffee was an exotic drink, dried toads were the recommended remedy for the plague, and the devil was as real as anything, The Hangman’s Daughter brings to cinematic life the sights, sounds, and smells of seventeenth-century Bavaria, telling the engrossing story of a compassionate hangman who will live on in readers’ imaginations long after they’ve put down the novel."
I think this sounds fabulous, and it now has the very enviable position on the Staff Picks shelve, so I hope that someone will buy it and love it! And I hope that I can find time one day to pick it up! Plus, isn't that cover awesome? It actually reminds me of something I'd find on a YA cover. I think it's very interesting and fun, and I probably would review this on the blog as it seems to have a lot of crossover appeal! Maybe one day...
What do you think?