Monday Book Review… not yet.

As I’ve said before, I’m not starting my Monday book reviews just yet. I was busy this past weekend, and what time I did spend reading I spent finishing Gone With the Wind. I also said before that I’m not going to try reviewing that one. Although I did have an interesting idea for a blog post comparing the Rhett Butler character with LaVeyan Satanism. But I’ll save that one for another day… maybe. I probably won’t.

Anyway, I’m not going to do a book review next weekend as I’ll be on vacation. I doubt I’ll have a review the Monday after I get back, as well. Even if I have time to start a book on the plane trip back I won’t have time to finish it. I’ll probably be too jet-lagged on the day after to really concentrate on what I’m writing, anyway.

But I’m running into a big problem while I’m trying to prepare for the book reviews. How do I pick the book to review? My first step was to reduce the selection by deciding to only review new releases. I’m not a well-established money maker so I’m not getting advanced copies of anything. So I figured that fine, I’ll just pick up what looks like the most interesting new release (or two, depending on length) each week to review. However, how the hell do I find out what that week’s releases are?

It’s easy to find out what new releases are coming out in music and movies (both on DVD and in the theater). Lists abound online for such things. I’m signed up for a newsletter from a local retail chain, which gives a list of such releases. It leaves out some of the more niche-market items but I can still find listings for those easily enough. But it turns out that it’s not so easy finding such a list for books.

Individual publishers have web pages listing new releases but so far I haven’t found any that sort them by date, if they give a release date at all. The only websites that I found that do list new releases by date, such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon, prioritize “bestsellers” first. When I try to browse by “release date” instead, I get a whole lot of upcoming releases before anything else and I get discouraged from trying. Going to a Barnes & Noble store in person isn’t much better. They have all of their new releases organized with each category, and even then they group several weeks together without any discerning order.

I don’t begrudge any of these outlets for this. But it amazes me that I haven’t been able to find an actual list anywhere of new releases. Should I just bite the bullet and only go for bestsellers? It would be easier, but I would know in the back of my mind that I’m missing some hidden gem or possibly more intellectual work. That’s not to say that bestsellers are necessarily crap. But I don’t want to limit myself by some other person’s arbitrary category.

So, are there any book new release list out there that I’m missing? If you know of anything, please let me know in the comment section below. I’m probably missing something obvious. But I’d rather embarrass myself that way than by not finding out.

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