Mari At Work · thinking out loud

Gems of the Month, January to June

Since I skipped the mother’s day Top Ten Tuesday, I think it’s only right that I also skip father’s day. I was originally planning to do a top ten worst mothers/fathers in Diana Wynne Jones’ books for both, but I never got around to it (and I think someone else had done it!) Instead, since it’s June and we’re almost halfway through the year, I’m sharing my Gems of the year so far.

While we don’t have a “staff recommends” thing going on at the store, we have a monthly promotion called Gems of the Month, in which all the store’s buyers pick titles they recommend or find interesting. We used to have a store newsletter that includes our capsule reviews of these books, but recently we’ve stopped doing that. Instead, we scribble our thoughts on cards that get displayed on the Gems table with the books. So in the end it’s not much different from a “staff recommends” section!

I usually do a minimum of 3 books a month, as I’m the buyer for YA, SF/F, and Comics. These are the Gems I’ve chosen up to June. Most of these are titles I’ve loved or was really excited about. Sometimes, I’d choose books because I know a lot of people who love them, and more people who will love them, even if they’re not exactly my cup of tea (mainly The Boy on the Bridge.)

We don’t discount a lot at the store I work at – our Gems of the Month are important to us not just because they’re more personal, but also because they’re 25% off for the month. We only have two major promotion periods with similar or higher discounts – our anniversary month, which is in April, and Christmas, which usually starts around the third week of November.

YA (and one MG)

January: The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd
February: Roseblood by A.G. Howard
March: The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine
April: No Gem (Anniversary Promo, which includes 12 YA/MG titles)
May: Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
June: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia


January: The Rise of Io by Wesley Chu
February: Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
March : Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
April: No Gem (Anniversary Promo, which includes 10-15 SFF titles)
May: Walkaway by Cory Doctorow
June: The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey


January: The Legend of Wonder Woman by Renae De Liz
February: The Unbelievable Gwenpool Vol. 1 by Christopher Hastings & Gurihiru
March: Beowulf by Santiago Garcia & David Rubin
April: No Gem (Anniversary Promo, which includes 12-15 comics)
May: Toppu GP Vol. 1 by Kosuke Fujishima
June: Dreamin’ Sun Vol. 1 by Ichigo Takano

Right now, we’re all getting our July Gems ready and I’m pretty excited about mine! We’ve also started the selection for our Christmas promotion titles (chosen titles will be 30% off, and will be included in our end-of-year store catalogue.)


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