Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, IWSG Anthology Contest, Favorite Sci-Fi Songs with Scott Coon, and New Releases

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

The awesome co-hosts today are Pat Garcia, J.Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre!

We need co-hosts!! July 1, August 5, and September 2. If you can help, leave a comment or send me an email. At the moment, we have no one scheduled.

Today’s question - Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

Well, before all this virus stuff went down, I was already really good at two things – washing my hands and social distancing. I am a compulsive hand washer and I’ve been social distancing my whole life. (No touchie!)

Don’t forget the IWSG Anthology Contest is open!

Guidelines and rules:
Word count: 4500-6000
Genre: Science Fiction
Theme: Dark Matter
Submissions accepted: May 6 - September 2, 2020
How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your full contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.
Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.
Our judges: Dan Koboldt, Lynda R. Young, Colleen Oefelein, Damien Larkin, Ion Newcombe, Julie Gwinn, and David Powers King

Top Ten Sci-fi Songs by Scott Coon

I am Scott Coon, author of Lost Helix, a story about DJ and an encrypted file, and these are my top ten favorite sci-fi songs:

Pets, Porno for Pyros
A simple but fun song that always reminds me of the 1973 film Fantastic Planet.

Fire Coming Out of The Monkey's Head, Gorillaz
A quirky spooky sci-fi fantasy story told over quirky spooky music.

No Missing Link, Dan Bern
Based on his singing, I'd say he feels very strongly about his theory on this.

Sci-Fi Wasabi, Cibo Mato
The lyrics don't make sense to me, but they include a shout out to Obi-Wan Kenobi. What more can you ask for?

Destroy Puny Earthlings, Famous Monsters
I want someone to create a 1950s style sci-fi movie around having this song playing over the climactic scene.

Astro Zombies, Misfits
A melodic call for the extermination of the whole human race.

Rapture, Blondie
Who doesn't love the man from mars who eats guitars, and sometime cars, or even bars?

UFOs, Big Rigs, and BBQ, Mojo Nixon & The Toadliquors
It's punkabilly and it's the best song you'll ever hear about space truck drivers.

Space Oddity, David Bowie
It's THE classic, ground control to Major Tom.

And My #1
Nothing but Flowers, Talking Heads
An ironic sci-fi vignette and my favorite sci-fi song. I strongly recommend hearing this, or at least reading the lyrics.

Scott Coon has been published in various magazines and has won accolades for his short stories. He served for six years in the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Analyst, including a tour in Kuwait where he received the Joint Service Achievement Award. Now a software developer for a major bank, Scott brings his computer and military experience into his work, along with a sense of spectacle. See his website for links to his published shorts and his papers on the art and business of writing. Scot Coon SciFi

When his dad goes missing, DJ finds a file containing evidence of a secret war of industrial sabotage, a file encrypted by his dad using DJ's song Lost Helix. Caught in a crossfire of lies, DJ must find his father and the mother he never knew.
Find it on Amazon Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iTunes

New Releases!

Wielder’s Fire by Elle Cardy – Lynda R. Young

Wielder’s Fire is the thrilling conclusion to the sweeping Wielder’s Storm trilogy. Lose yourself in this epic fantasy adventure set on the high seas. 

I read the first book and it’s excellent! 

Find it on Amazon

Walking with Jesus: Stories from One Hope Church is an anthology of stories, poetry, and scripture, edited by Tyrean Martinson

Read to discover how ordinary lives become extraordinary in the light of God’s love.
Real people. Real dilemmas. Real Jesus. 

Find it on Amazon and Smashwords

Mateos Law by Sandra Cox

A modern day, shapeshifting sheriff.

Find it on Amazon

The Medusa Effect: A Tomorrow News Network Novella by J.S. Pailly
Litho is a peaceful, isolated colony world on the frontier of space. Nothing bad ever happens there. So when a reporter from the Tomorrow News Network shows up, nobody takes much notice. Nobody except a young colonist named Milo. 

Find it on Amazon

And big thanks to Tara Tyler for sending the cool swag!

What are some of your writer secrets? Entering the IWSG Anthology Contest? What are your favorite sci-fi songs? (I’d pick either My House on Mars by Ayreon or When Worlds Collide by Powerman 5000.) See some new books to pick up? And who can help co-host?
I'm on a blogging break this week - see you June 15.


Patsy said...

I don't have any secrets! Well, none I'm admitting too anyway.

Elephant's Child said...

I am far too dull to have secrets.
Loving as always the books you featured. Lots of temptation there. Thank you.

Susan B.Rouchard said...

Thanks Alex for all this news. Definitely entering the Anthology contest this year. Cool sci-fi songs. Would love to be your co-host for August 5th. My email
Social distancing has proved easier for Anglo-Saxon and Northern cultures, we don’t kiss, hug or touch as much as Mediterranean people or in African or Arab countries. The Ramadan was very trying this year for the Muslims, especially in France, Italy and Spain where confinement rules were very strict.
Wishing you an inspired month of writing and blogging. Take care, stay safe. Cheers, Susan.

Mason Canyon said...

If you tell your secrets then they're not a secret anymore and all the mystery is lost. LOL Congrats to everyone with new releases. Looks like some interesting reads.

nashvillecats2 said...

You have featured some outstanding books and authors, my best wishes and good luck goes with them all.

Have a good month Alex.


Erika Beebe said...

Congratulations authors! The only song that pops in my head is Sail by Awolnation when he talks about him being a different breed. I just love all the electronic sounds though.

Nick Wilford said...

Looks like you were well primed for lockdown. I think the introverts among us are managing quite well. Looks like a great release from Scott - in fact, all these books look good, Elle's series is excellent. For a song, what about Girl From Mars by Ash? Fun and reminds me of my carefree youth!

Rhonda Albom said...

Sorry Alex, they call them secrets for a reason :)
Interesting list of songs and themes for each. Sort of leaves you shaking your head.

Stacy McKitrick said...

No secret-sharing here. But when I saw the list of sci-fi songs, this one popped into (and is stuck in) my head, so it must be my favorite: In the Year 2525.

Cathrina Constantine said...

It's strange that doctors and scientists have to tell people to wash their hands as if it was something new and unique. LOL.

Congrats to all the new releases!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Same here regarding the hand washing and social distancing before the virus. I always hated when people crowded me in a line - I used to put my hands on my hips, jut my elbows out to make myself wider, get people to step back a bit. :)

Joanne said...

no secrets that I'm aware of. Maybe they are too deeply hidden and yet to be revealed. Now that's the secret! Congrats to all of the authors this month - quite a variety for any readers.
And as a kid, the backseat game "I'm not touching you" is a winner today.

Jemi Fraser said...

I don't know all those songs - but I'm off to look up a few! The book sounds great!
I just finished Elle's first book and loved it. This one's on my Kindle waiting for me :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Susan, thanks, and glad you're entering. Yes, it pays now not to be so touchy-feely.

Mason, you got me!

Nick, smart pick.

Stacy, not familiar with that one.

Madeline, clever idea!

Liza said...

You make me laugh this morning, and that is a good thing. Now I am picturing Sheldon Cooper when I imagine you...

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Somehow I didn't realize there *were* sci-fi songs! That's really cool.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Wow. SciFi songs. Who knew?

Jennifer Lane said...

Good thing you were prepared for the pandemic! I've prepared all my life for the re-opening. ;-)

I'll co-host for July or August.

Toi Thomas said...

All these new releases look great, and I think I have all but one. Might have to fix that.
Space Oddity is a great song.

J Lenni Dorner said...

I'm happy to volunteer to co-host. My new blog link is now on the Linky.

Porno for Pyros is now going to be stuck in my head all day. OMG.

Wielder’s Fire -- Ohhh, I love that cover!

The hand sanitizer labels, I'm dying of laughter.

There's Kill Hannah "Under the Milkway," but that's not really sci-fi other than mentioning the Milkway.

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's good that you were ahead of the rest of us by already washing your hands a lot. I wouldn't have thought that you social distance all the time since you are in a band.

Congrats to everyone on their new books. And thanks for letting me co-host this month. I really appreciate it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Liza, hopefully I'm not that annoying!

Jennifer, I'm ready for that as well. And thanks.

J Lenni, thanks!

Natalie, appreciate you doing it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I got my cute little hand sanitizers from Tara. It was like receiving liquid gold in the mail.

How about Children of the Sun by Billy Thorpe? Or just about anything by Planet P.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Happy IWSG Wednesday, Alex. I don't have many secrets, not really. Nothing exciting. Except you're one of my heroes!

Nancy Gideon said...

Alex, I SO look forward to your monthly lists! I can co-host in August!! Let me know...

Gwen Gardner said...

Ha! I've always hated shaking hands. Every time I have to shake hands, I run to wash my hands as soon as I can. Now with the pandemic, though, I don't have to worry about it. I'm working remotely now, too, which I love! I want to work remotely forever! LOL.

Put me down for whenever you need me as a co-host. Thanks!

James Pailly said...

I'm with you about social distancing. I've been doing that my whole life, so this situation hasn't changed much for me. And thanks for including me in the new releases section. I really appreciate that!

mshatch said...

I wish I had some writer secrets! I could sure use some about now!

David Powers King said...

Lots of new releases, congrats to the authors! Not sure I have a favorite sci-fi song. Does the Star Wars soundtrack count? :)

Mary Aalgaard said...

My family has always been big on hand washing. Even more so, now. My boys are great at social distancing, all introverts. Me, not so much. I stay home, for the most part, but have secretly seen some friends during quarantine. Mental health needs are real.

Tamara Narayan said...

I'm pleased I recognize three of the songs on that list. Space Oddity would be at the top of my list.

PJ Colando said...

Great topic this month, Alex and crew. I shared secrets - the social distance of many years in my past! Ha! (nobody was harmed in the writing or publishing of my post)

I'll host in the future, but need to gain more 'how to' skills, including not having some of my comments disappear from people's blogs. Sigh.

Yolanda Renée said...

Sdi-Fi songs, gosh never even considered that there was such a thing. :)

Not a secret, really. LOL

Tyrean Martinson said...

I think I have most, if not all, of the new books already! :)
Thanks for the shout-out!
And, I can help co-host in July (and maybe August, but not sure yet).

Liesbet said...

Hi Alex!

Those are fantastic "secrets" to have, especially during a pandemic. As a writer and follower of strict hygiene, Covid-19 must not have brought many changes to your life. :-)

Yes, you can sign me up as a July 1st co-host. You have my email address.

Carrie-Anne said...

I don't come from a touchy-feely family and prefer aloneness to socializing, but I hate not being able to go out and live a normal life anymore. Though when I was a lot younger, I daydreamt about living on the Aleutian Islands, in a remote cabin, or having a farmstead somewhere.

Lidy said...

Congrats on all the releases!

Seeing Gorillaz on the list made me think of their song "Clint Eastwood."

Have a new story that's been whirling around in my head but With all I have to do over the summer haven't come to a decision about entering the contest.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, same pinch...even I'm a compulsive hand washer and even I practice social distancing in a big way!

A Hundred Quills said...

Hi Alex. I'm not a hand washer but yes social distancing is a double yes for me. I'm wondering can I try for the anthology. Not my genre really but maybe!
Sonia from

Lynn La Vita said...

Hi Alex,
Sounds like another habit has served you well.

Thank you for introducing Scot Coon. He sure has an fascinating background. Perfect for SiFi.

Thanks, too for the list of new releases. With all the noise, it helps to shine the spotlight on these stories.

Lynn La Vita blog: Writers Supporting Writers

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Congrats to all the authors on their new releases. My secret is like yours. I was always kind of a social distance person too. And I love staying home. I've really missed the library though.

Good thing mini Alex is there to protect that hand sanitizer. That was like gold for a while.

cleemckenzie said...

It seems you've been doing just the right training forever.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Diane, Billy Thorpe is good.

Joylene, thanks!

Nancy, appreciate that!

Gwen, thanks.

James, you're welcome.

David, I guess it would.

Mary, I understand.

PJ, appreciate it.

Tyrean, you're welcome, and thanks.

Leisbet, other than I miss my movie theater and gym! Thanks.

Lidy, that's a cool song.

Sonia, give it a try!

Susan, yes it was.

Andrew Leon said...

I'm with you on the hand washing. My family hates it.
It's a habit I formed from working with comics and ccgs.

Anonymous said...

So revealing my favorite Sci-fi songs kind of gives away one of my secrets. Love Powerman 5000! Practically no one knows I love heavy metal music. Also, the David Bowie and Talking Heads songs are great!

Beth Camp said...

Hello, Alex. You can add me to the list of co-hosts for July if you like. Looks like the only activity I have going is writing and trying to stay sane during this coronavirus epidemic and watching too much tv re the sad unrest surrounding George Floyd. Let's hear it for the introverts. Best, Beth bluebethley @ yahoo dot com

Chrys Fey said...

I'm a music nut and love to find new-to-me music. I'm going to have to check out the songs Scott recommended. And congratulations to Scott for Lost Helix! It's a really good book.

Jennifer Hawes said...

I love to be surprised in books and movies. Not so much in real life:) My fave songs to listen to are mostly 80/90s music. I can co-host in August.

DMS said...

Wow! Lots of new books our. Congrats to all the authors. I love Space Oddity. Wishing Scott the best of luck! ~Jess

J E Oneil said...

Yeah, in terms of my social behavior, not much has changed for me.

Sherry Ellis said...

Congratulations to Scott on his new book!

Wasn't that nice of Tara to send the hand sanitizers! I got a couple bottles from her too.

John Wiswell said...

I've only gotten into the Talking Heads recently. I'll have to track that song down. Thanks!

Arlee Bird said...

I've always been almost extreme about fastidious cleanliness and hand washing and such, but now I think some people have gone to illogical extremes. It's important to be regularly exposed to germs and other microbial threats in order to maintain a good immune system. At least that's the science I've always heard and I don't see any reason now to believe otherwise even with COVID. If we get too sterile then we will start losing our defense mechanisms.

Off with the masks! Bring back abilities to congregate with other people (though I still prefer to be relatively isolated just because that's what I've always preferred).

As far as sci-fi songs I still like the albums The Story of Simon Simopath by the British sixties group Nirvana and Trans by Neil Young.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Heather M. Gardner said...

Happy Wednesday, Alex!!!

I love your swag from Tara! I got some, too!

Getting ready to read some amazing stories!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Congratulations on all the new books coming out, Good reading ahead.
I know none of the songs.
Washing hands is good. Especially after you've played with the dog and the kittys.

Carol Kilgore said...

Congrats to all those with new books!

Fundy Blue said...

Great post, Alex! So many enticing books. It never occurred to me before that one could have a top 10 list of sci-fi songs. I've played Ayreon "The Source" so many times. So I'll just say that album as a whole.

Fundy Blue said...

I can co-host if you need someone: August 5 or September 2.

Sandra Cox said...

Ha! No touchie. I love it. In another life I worked in the food service, so hand washing is a way of life for me.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Loni Townsend said...

I think we'd have less of a pandemic on our hands if people were like you with the hand washing and no touchie rules!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lee! That is too cool. You're a rocker.

Beth, thanks!

Jennifer, appreciate it.

Sherry, it was perfect timing.

Lee, building up an immune system is always a good thing. We do need some exposure.

Fundy, excellent!! And thanks.

Liz A. said...

All the books look good.

kaykuala said...

Hi Alex, Not having secrets to tell. Saves the bother of worrying lest the secret's out. Good listing of songs for the informed


Truedessa said...


haha - If I told you some of my secrets then they wouldn't be secrets.

I don't know how I missed Lynda's series, it sounds like an amazing adventure.

Congrats - Scot - Talking Heads and David Bowie are always a good choice. I had to check out "Nothing but Flowers" great lyrics.

Have a great week Alex!

Chemist Ken said...

Well, here's another IWSG post day I almost missed. (Hangs head)

I can always help co-host on August or September if you still need people.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Thanks for sharing the news about the release of Wielder's Fire, the third book in the series!!

Congrats to Scott! I read his book and enjoyed it!

Unknown said...

nice listing of songs. Congrat Scott Coon and all the others too. Happy IWSG!

Juneta key said...

Hmmm, my comment register funny. You do know me lol. Wonder if it has done that on the other blogs I visited I just noticed it. Nice listing of songs. Congrats Scott Coon and all the others too. Happy IWSG!

Pat Hatt said...

I always washed my hands like crazy and stayed away too, so no big deal for me either.

Botanist said...

Never really thought about sci-fi as a category for songs. Almost anything by Hawkwind would come immediately to mind.

Birgit said...

I have secrets but who doesn’t? I have kept plenty of secrets that others have told me and I am proud to say, I never told anyone unless they told me it was ok to do so later. I will check out Sandra’s book because I like stories about shapeshifters. I always wanted to have that ability to shapeshift into a wolf, horse or bird except my fear of heights may not work out too well. I love the Blondie song but I would add the Klaatu song, Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft.” They were the first before The Carpenters and, in fact, I have their whole album which is great.

Diane Burton said...

Your secret obsessions must have come in handy this year. Hope you have a great month. said...

If you still need a co-host for September, I can do it.

Lori L. MacLaughlin said...

Congrats to all the new releases! Sounds like some great reads there. My favorite song has always been Come Sail Away by Styx, which has a sci-fi twist at the end. Happy IWSG!

Jenni said...

I am good at social distancing too. :) I actually like being alone. Congrats to all the new releases! Lots of fantastic books here. I could co-host for July, if you still need someone.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Alex,

Happy to hear you are so far ahead of all of us with you hand washing and social distancing... LOL. Me, I am a hugger and miss hugging my friends, maybe that's why I send virtual ones all the time. They do lift the human spirit....

Congrats to all the authors with new books... ALL THE BEST!

Not too many writer secrets here, but I may have a few, LOL.

I had hoped to submit to the anthology this time, but Dark Scifi is really not my expertise. I will leave that to the authors who truly have the gift for it. I am writing somewhat again, so at least I am sort of in the loop. I will just be happy to finish my current WIP and then I'll be free to explore something new. I am not the type of writer who writes a book a year. I write quickly, BUT I edit for years until it is perfect... as you once said to me, I am tenacious. To a point, I am ... or maybe just plain stubborn. LOL

Stay safe my friend and my best to your family.

Deniz Bevan said...

I remember that Porno for Pyros song!

I could co-host on 2 September! It'll be my first time :-)

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

I was a compulsive handwasher before the pandemic too! The good thing about that is that you're ready for it. See what good hygiene habits can do for you?

Those sound like some neat tunes on that list! I especially like Blondie''s Martian song and Bowie''s Major Tom song. I'll have to check out the others.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hank, that's a good way to live.

Truedessa, you would enjoy Lynda's series.

Ken, thanks!

Lynda, you're welcome!

Birgit, that's a new band on me.

Kim, thanks!

Lori, yes it does.

Jenni, thanks.

Michael, stay stubborn.

Denez, that would be great!

Steven, we didn't have to be told to wash our hands...

diedre Knight said...

Howdy Captain!

Congratulations to Scott! This was the first time I ever (consciously) listened to Talking Heads – interesting. I wouldn’t mind an abundance of flower gardens.

“The Medusa Effect” sounds intriguing, and I’ve already loaded “Mateo’s Law” on my kindle ;-)

I’m expecting a busy summer, but I can help out for September if you still need someone.

Sci-fi song? Hmm, does “Space Oddity” or “Drops of Jupiter” count?

Happy June!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Like you, I've always been about social I just have a better excuse to say no.

I can co-host whenever you need me, so if there is still an opening somewhere, feel free to slot me in.

XmasDolly said...

I have this book I really need to type up some day and get it to you so you can let me know if it's good enough to get out there. I just never find the time, or I forget about it or I start typing & then it gets to depressing for me and I stop again! aughhhhhhhhhh That thing will never get published. HAVE A GREAT DAY MY FRIEND AND STAY HEALTHY, STAY SAFE AND MAY you, and yours always follow your dreams. HUGS

A Lady Lawyer said...

It’s so nice to be part of such a warm community of writers!
What does a co-host of the IWSG do exactly?
The anthology sounds fabulous but sci-fi isn’t my genre!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Diedre!

Shannon, thanks!

Noor, a co-host visits twenty blogs within a given range and leaves a comment. That way I know most people receive a comment that day.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Scott!

Very cool swag bag to receive. Especially the hand sanitizer. That stuff is like gold!

Most of the secrets I have, I share on my blog or in my books. I have a select few that I keep to myself.


Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

The Medusa Effect has got a really catchy title. It makes me want to read it just to find out what a "Medusa Effect" actually is.

Debdatta Dasgupta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - last but probably not the last ... great summary of all that's going on - and Scott Coon looks like he's got his abilities taped = good for him. Elle Cardy's Wielder series will make excellent reading - I too was hooked with the first one. Good luck to all the others ... take care - and all the best - Hilary

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Alex, really? No hugs? I'm a hugger and suffering terribly due to this pandemic. I love Tara's "swag." Werewolf drool. Splendid! Be safe everyone!

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

Like you I had already earned black belts in hand washing and social distancing before the plague struck. As a lifelong sci-fi fan, I'm surprised that I only know two of the sci-fi songs your guest listed - Blondie and Bowie. Shows I'm getting old.

Take care and have a nice weekend, good buddy Alex!

Sandra Cox said...

Great topic for the next anthology.
Hope you and your wife are having a wonderful, safe weekend.

Mary Kirkland said...

Mateo's Law sounds like my kind of book. Have a great week.

Nicki Elson said...

I'm sort of a natural social distancer, too! I'm not super huggy, so I rather like the excuse to avoid that.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Victoria, you'll be able to hug again soon!

Shady, not old! Seasoned.

Sandra, good weekend and looking forward to church tomorrow.

Nicki, works for me.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Congrats to those with new releases!

The anthology theme sounds intriguing. I'll have to think about it and see if I come up with anything.

Roland Clarke said...

Interesting list from Scott Coon - a mix of favourites like Space Oddity and Rapture to some I'd never heard. I may have listened many times to Talking Heads' songs but this time, with Scott's prompting, I followed the lyrics more closely. Thanks and good luck with Lost Helix.

As for my secrets, well, some people, the secrets are out.

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Cathrina Constantine said...

Alex, I'd be happy to be a co-host. Any of those dates work for me. Just let me know. Cathrina

Nilanjana Bose said...

No secrets, very boring life :) Also an old pro at social distancing.

SpacerGuy said...

Hey Alex, Funny facts usually make for a good read and humour, for instance I spike my posts with laughs all the time, yet sigh who notices? Destroy Puny Earthlings haha was good fun to listen to and by space I'll make time for the rest! Good one Scott Coon

farawayeyes said...

NIce to stop by and see so many names I recognize are still out there plugging away.

social distancing works great for me. I can go days in my own little world, not seeing or talking to anyone and I’m just fine. It hasn’t hurt my writing either.

Never really thought about Sci-fy songs.

Secrets, seems I’m becoming a blabber mouth and spilling most of mine.

Melissa said...

I actually recognized a couple of songs on your list!

Lots of good-looking books. Congrats and best wishes to the authors!