A summer full of delightful books…and one big winner!

Timothy Pike, editor-in-chief
A Letter from the Editor

This summer, we prepare to choose the winner of the most prestigious literary recognition we’ve ever given: Book of the Year—an award that will go to a published book that our community simply loves.

And as part of our community, you get to help us choose the winner. It all happens at our September Book Reading Party, a virtual book fair where every chapter you read and “Buzz” propels the book toward the big prize. The Book Reading Party starts September 1st, so RSVP now!

In the meantime, be sure to stop by and check out our Beta Shelf section, where you can help authors by giving them last minute feedback before their books go to press. Our Hot Off the Press section has several published books ready for you to read.

If you’re a writer who has published a book, now’s the time to enter your book in the competition!

There’s so much to look forward to in the coming months, but let’s check out what’s in this month’s issue:

In yet another exquisite poem, author and poet Allison Marie Conway describes a raging storm. “All night the wind rattled the clanging chimes in the backyard and drove itself mad in loud rushes against the houses and buildings,” it starts out. From there, we journey to a summer memory, then into a place deep inside our very being—that “placeless place” where poetry comes from.

Next, Pallavi Sareen, professional book reviewer and journalist—who also graces our cover this month—reviews one of her favorite books, Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche by Haruki Murakami. The book, Pallavi explains, “is a compilation of incidents that led to the Tokyo gas attack collected through research and interviews.” And of the author: “I was impressed by his ability to stick to the truth while weaving an interesting story.” It’s an excellent review, and you can read the whole thing in this issue.

Pallavi also sat down this month to answer my questions about her life and career. A native of Jammu and Kashmir, India, this insightful literary critic tells me that by the time she turned eighteen, she had already read no fewer than 1,000 books and written 400 reviews. “What no one tells you about book reviewing is that just having a passion for reading is not enough,” she says. In her feature article, Pallavi reveals what else she could spend all her time doing, the book genre she doesn’t like at all, and what it takes to write great book reviews.

In our final article, I explain more about how the Book of the Year Competition works, and how there’s a little something for everyone: readers, authors, and even book reviewers. That’s right—because ratings from our expert book reviewers help determine, in large part, the Book of the Year winner, we want to recognize excellence in reviewing by crowning a Reviewer of the Year. Who will it be?

For many of us in the world, this time of year brings rising temperatures, backyard grill-outs, and spending as much time at beaches as is legally allowed. So today, mix up your favorite iced drink, have a seat in the shade, and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

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