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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nonfiction RA: Books About Our Favorite Authors

Yesterday as I was driving to work, I heard an interview on Morning Edition with the official biographer of Roald Dahl, Donald Sturrock.  His new biography of the great writer entitled, Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl, came out last week.

Here is the direct link to the interview.

If you read my post yesterday, where I described how I like my books to make me feel unsettled, than you can understand that I am a huge fan of Dahl's work. I really enjoyed listening to Sturrock talk about Dahl's life and will probably check the book out soon.

However, my enjoyment of this interview got me thinking about how I often forget to suggest books about the life of a favorite author to my patrons. Many of my patrons would love to read a well done, engaging biography about a beloved author, yet, I rarely, if ever suggest one.

No more, this interview has reminded me to think of the writer biography more. I pledge to try to remember to ask readers who really enjoy one specific author if they are interested in not only books by that author, but also books about said author.

Another nonfiction path to take with fans of a specific author or genre is to suggest books in which authors talk about their personal favorites. Again, another newer title reminded me of this.  Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads was just published by the Thriller Writers Inc this summer. From their website:
The most riveting reads in history meet today's biggest thriller writers in Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads.
Edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner, Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads examines 100 seminal works of suspense through essays contributed by such esteemed modern thriller writers as: David Baldacci, Steve Berry, Sandra Brown, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, Heather Graham, John Lescroart, Gayle Lynds, Katherine Neville, Michael Palmer, James Rollins, R. L. Stine, and many more.
Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads features 100 works - from Beowulf to The Bourne Identity, Dracula to Deliverance, Heart of Darkness to The Hunt for Red October - deemed must-reads by the International Thriller Writers organization.
Much more than an anthology, Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads goes deep inside the most notable thrillers published over the centuries. Through lively, spirited, and thoughtful essays that examine each work's significance, impact, and influence, Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads provides both historical and personal perspective on those spellbinding works that have kept readers on the edge of their seats for centuries.
I have many thriller and suspense readers who would love to try something new and a title suggested by one of their favorite authors might just do the trick.

Basically, with this post I am reminding myself and all of you out there, be you a librarian or reader (or both), to remember that nonfiction books about authors and books is an often overlooked readalike option for a wide range of readers.

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