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Friday, March 15, 2013
Beyond the Bestseller List: El Iliminado
I am not committing myself to a full blown new occasional series yet, but I have been waiting to write about the book in the title of the post for awhile now and couldn't really come up with a reason.
But as it says above-- Beyond the Bestseller List-- is exactly what I am trying to promote. I talk about the popular new books a bit and the backlist a lot, but there is this whole other area of books that are new, not getting a ton of press, but are totally worth a look. So for now I am labeling these books with that tag-- Beyond the Bestseller List.
To christen the series, I want to point you to a unique graphic novel that is getting quite a bit of buzz, and it isn't even a memoir. El Iluminado by Ilan Stavans and illustrated by Steve Sheinkin is Da Vinci Code-esque thriller involving the Crypto-Jews (families of Jewish peoples who have hidden their religious identities for centuries, usually to avoid persecution or even death.)
This is a great option for people who want a compelling story in graphic novel form. Fans of conspiracy thrillers, historical fiction, Jewish culture, hidden religious sects, or stories set in the American West would enjoy this book.
If only El Ilumindo got more media attention, I think it would be enjoyed by a large audience, hence my designation of Beyond the Bestseller List. I hope to bring the series back soon to highlight other worthy titles that need a bit more promotion.
Editor's Note: I first learned of this book from my college's alumni news as Stavans is a professor there, but no one solicited me directly or sent me a copy of the book for review.
Becky Spratford is a Readers' Advisor in Illinois specializing in serving patrons ages 13 and up. She trains library staff all over the world on how to match books with readers through the local public library. She runs the critically acclaimed RA training blog RA for All. She is under contract to provide content for EBSCO’s NoveList database and writes reviews for Booklist and content for Library Journal. Becky is also known for her work with horror readers as the author of The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Horror, Second Edition [ALA Editions, 2012] and is currently hard at work on the 3rd Edition. She is a proud member of the Horror Writers Association and currently serves as the Association’s Secretary and organizer of their annual LIbrarians’ Day. You can follow Becky on Twitter @RAforAll.