Books—everyone has read one, cherished one, and discovered one by surprise. It may have been the first sentence, the writer’s style, or the book’s content. Regardless of how you fell in love at first read, this book has mesmerized you and now you must tell the world about it.
As an assistant copy editor at Skyhorse Publishing, I am not an inexperienced stranger to these moments. In fact, I will embarrassingly admit, these moments are common occurrences.
I can’t help it; it’s just a reality of my job.
With over six thousand titles in print and many more each season at Skyhorse, it is part of my job to read, check, reread, reread, and reread the various publishing materials attached to these book titles. These materials can entail a foreword for a reprinted international book, a press release for a Man Booker Prize–nominated book (ahem, His Bloody Project), or a sell sheet for an adult coloring book (shout-out to Racehorse Publishing’s Creative Mindfulness series!).
Let’s just say, before these materials are released into the universe, my eyes have probably proofread those sentences several times.
While copy editing may not seem as interesting as other departments, I can proudly say I am one of the first people to get an advanced glimpse into the literary contents of each title. How do I obtain such a privilege? By proofreading the cover copy (the text to appear on each book’s back cover) of each title, I am able to read each book’s description and read other reviewers’ advanced reactions.
With that said, I must be a bookish fangirl and highlight my top-five favorite titles that were published this past November by Skyhorse.
1. The Golden Girls of Rio
Written and Illustrated by Nikkolas Smith
Yes, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio have already passed, but this Olympics was a major year for women’s athletics in multiple sporting areas for the American teams. This children’s book highlights these landmark events and its medal winners. Also, this title promotes the idea of girl power for younger readers. While this book’s content seems great, the cover’s illustrations are just as awesome! Full of color and fun glimpses into sports history, this book should be sitting on the bookshelf of any young reader’s personal library. I’m just saying.
2.Nest by Terry Goodkind
Where can I start with this title? Firstly, Terry Goodkind is a well-respected and adventurous writer whose genres span suspense, fantasy, and the paranormal; once you start one of his books, you can’t put it down. Secondly, I have read the cover copy for this title more than once, and each time it has captivated my interest. A mystery novel led by a human character with a supernatural ability and a trail of danger—what more do you need from a contemporary thriller? Lastly, this book is such a great post-Halloween fix for any reader interested in mystery and suspense. Like I said, you should definitely read it.
3. The Intimate Life of Alexander Hamilton by Allan McLane Hamilton, Willard Sterne Randall
If you haven’t noticed, the world is obsessed with Alexander Hamilton, and I don’t blame the followers of this trend; he had a unique life compared to the other founding fathers. However, telling the story of a man’s life is a difficult project for any writer, and it’s interesting how Hamilton’s grandson Allan McLane Hamilton tries to accomplish this. Rather than only using his personal account, the author incorporates the viewpoints of other close ones through their words and original family documents. This work is a splendid alternative for any reader interested in Alexander Hamilton’s life who wants to hear about his story from people who actually knew him.
4. The Heisman Trophy by Cory McCartney
Being a graduate of a university with an intense football program (yep, I went to a Big Ten school), this title instantly caught my attention for many different reasons. In the college football world, the Heisman Trophy is a crowning achievement for any collegiate footballer as well as a daunting title for any footballer entering his professional career in the NFL. Presenting coverage of every recipient and the award’s history, this read can educate any person new to the college football world or, even, a seasoned follower of this billion-dollar business.
5. Tina Nordström’s Scandinavian Cooking by Tina Nordström
While cooking may not be my area of expertise, I admire and appreciate people who can cook, especially international cooks writing visually attractive cook books. Now, Tina Nordström is a celebrity chef, cooking show presenter, and food columnist from Sweden with the Midas touch for creating delicious recipes out of Swedish dishes. I know this because I Googled her name for fact-checking purposes, and I read an assortment of websites showcasing her highly respected career in food. Finally, all I am going to say is I have never been to or traveled through Sweden, but her book is full of food coma–inducing photographs and helpful suggestions for the non-cookers of the world such as myself. If you are a non-cooker looking for an ephemeral sense of hope or a cook looking to learn Swedish recipes, you should definitely check out this book.
Contrary to what you are probably thinking, I have not had the opportunity to read the complete interiors for these titles. Luckily, a few sentences from a book’s cover copy can distinguish which books are worth reading or ranting about to your friends.
Anyways, keep reading!
-Christine Tenny, Assistant Copy Editor
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
The Intimate Life of Alexander Hamilton
By Allan McLane Hamilton, Willard Sterne Randall
Tina Nordström’s Scandinavian Cooking
By Tina Nordström
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