Old School Wednesdays

Old School Wednesdays Readalong: June Poll (and an announcement)

Before we go ahead with the poll, a short announcement about the May Readalong (Jellicoe Road). The readalong was originally planned to happen on May 28, but since that date is right bang in the middle of BEA week, we decided to move it to June 4. See you then!

As you probably know by now, Old School Wednesdays is a new weekly Book Smuggler feature. We came up with the idea towards the end of 2012, when we were feeling exhausted from the never-ending inundation of New and Shiny (and often over-hyped) books. What better way to snap out of a reading fugue than to take a mini-vacation into the past, right?

Old School Wednesdays Final

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We asked YOU for your favorite old school suggestions – and the response was so overwhelmingly awesome, we decided to compile a goodreads shelf, an ongoing database, AND a monthly readalong/book club. (Note that we’ve removed books that we have already read, or that we selfishly want to review as solos on Wednesday!)

June Readalong:

It’s time for our June poll! The official May readalong happens next week on June 4 (Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta), but the clock stops for no one… so we turn an eye to June!

You can vote on which title you’d like to read next month by using the poll in our sidebar, or following the titles below. Without further ado, here are the new crop of 5 titles for voting! The June readalong will take place on June 25.

Farthing by Jo Walton


One summer weekend in 1949–but not our 1949–the well-connected “Farthing set”, a group of upper-crust English families, enjoy a country retreat. Lucy is a minor daughter in one of those families; her parents were both leading figures in the group that overthrew Churchill and negotiated peace with Herr Hitler eight years before.

Despite her parents’ evident disapproval, Lucy is married–happily–to a London Jew. It was therefore quite a surprise to Lucy when she and her husband David found themselves invited to the retreat. It’s even more startling when, on the retreat’s first night, a major politician of the Farthing set is found gruesomely murdered, with abundant signs that the killing was ritualistic.

It quickly becomes clear to Lucy that she and David were brought to the retreat in order to pin the murder on him. Major political machinations are at stake, including an initiative in Parliament, supported by the Farthing set, to limit the right to vote to university graduates. But whoever’s behind the murder, and the frame-up, didn’t reckon on the principal investigator from Scotland Yard being a man with very private reasons for sympathizing with outcasts and underdogs – and looking beyond the obvious.

As the trap slowly shuts on Lucy and David, they begin to see a way out–a way fraught with peril in a darkening world.

The Price of the Stars by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald


Freebooter at heart, spacer by trade, Beka Rosselin-Metadi doesn’t want to hear about how her father whose rugged generalship held back the Mageworlds — or her highborn mother whose leadership has held the galaxy together since. Beka pilots spacecraft — as far from her famous family as possible.Then Beka’s mother is assassinated on the Senate floor, and her father offers her the title to Warhammer, prize ship from his own freebooting youth — if she agrees to deliver the assassins to him “off the books.”

Looking for assassins has a tendency to make assassins look for you. In doing so, Beka’s arranged her own very public death and adopted a new identity; now all she has to do is leave a trail of kidnappings and corpses across five star systems, and blow the roof off the strongest private fortress in the galaxy.

Contact by Susan Grant


A beautiful co-pilot with a terrible choice…
A dark stranger who has known nothing but duty…

From the winner of the Daphne Du Maurier award for romantic suspense comes a tale of intrigue and passion where an airline pilot on a trans-Pacific flight finds her 747 hijacked by a UFO and a enigmatic member of their crew the only one she can trust.

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Among the Hidden

SHADOW CHILDREN Luke has never been to school. He’s never had a birthday party, or gone to a friend’s house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend.

Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He’s lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a new housing development replacing the woods next to his family’s farm, he is no longer even allowed to go outside.

Then, one day Luke sees a girl’s face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally, he’s met a shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows — does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford “not” to?(

So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane


Nita 13, chased by bullies, finds a magic book, meets Kit 12. His power is in machines, wand a car antenna, hers is plants and rowan twig. To heal claudication hiccups of conjured energy-radiating ball Fred, they must walk off a Manhattan tower. The trio must beat alternate world monsters for the Book of Light to save the world from the Evil One and his Book of Darkness.

[poll id=”15″]

Get voting, and we hope to see you on June 25.

Ongoing Suggestions:

Got a suggestion? Have an amazing book, published at least five years ago, that you would love to nominate for the OSW monthly readalong? Speak up and submit your favorites! (If you have problems with the form below, you can also access it HERE.)

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  • Marina
    May 21, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Diane Duane, not Dianne Dune (??)

  • Juan Pazos
    May 21, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Joe Walton, indeed πŸ˜›

  • Paige
    May 21, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    What Marina said. I know that typos happen, but misspelling authors’ names is…really offputting. And this is the second time that it’s been misspelled, in a different way from the last month’s poll!

  • wandering-dreamer
    May 21, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Ooooh, So You Want To Be A Wizard! Thought you guys might be interested that she’s created updated versions that you can buy as ebooks, it changes the dates around (so it’s set 2000sish instead of 1983) and it ups the character’s ages a bit too, been meaning to get around to reading the new editions myself!

  • April
    May 22, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I just re-read So You Want to be a Wizard (which was excellent) so I wanted to vote for Farthing which has been on my to read list forever but The Price of the Stars also sounds really good (and will be added to my to read list forthwith) but the poll is showing I already voted but, I haven’t. OH well.

    As for the typos, I suspect that autocorrect is the culprit, however, and I suggest this on a daily basis in my head as I traverse blogs here, newspapers there, etc. on the internet – always read over what you wrote before you post. Or have someone else do so. Autocorrect should be abolished in my opinion anyway. And, that being said, I do know that mistakes happen and our brain tends to make corrections without notice so they’ll even slip by when reading something looking for errors. Eh. Stuff happens.

  • Ana
    May 22, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Marina, Paige: I only now saw these comments so apologies for not acting sooner. This is terribly embarrassing and all my fault. Will correct.

  • Summer
    May 22, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Farthing! I love SYWTBAW, but Farthing was compelling in the best possible way.

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