Twice yearly in the spring and fall I pick out the non-fiction titles that I think the most important of the huge numbers of new books. My task is easier thanks to Publishers Weekly and Edelweiss, a web site that reproduces the catalogues of hundreds of publishers. Occasionally I consult Amazon.
I have selected 145 titles from approximately 750 publishers and composed “blurbs” that give some idea about what the author is about. Most of my selections are in hardback editions, some paper. Few of my choices cost more than $30.00.
As is always the case, a disproportionate number of the books that I have chosen are published by university presses. Major publishers (In the trade they are referred to as the “five big sisters” and they are the second most significant group. I make every effort to include titles from small presses. Fortunately many of the smaller presses are distributed by the major trade publishers and hence are described in their catalogs.
My selection resembles the books that our four buyers chose for Goerings Book Store to stock.
I try not to think too much about being ‘fair.’ You will find some publishers disproportionately represented. The favored publishers change from season to season, but most often are one or another of the university presses. I believe that Yale University Press “takes the cake” this season. I have selected 18 titles listed in their spring catalogue.