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Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Discussion: Sure Bets to Booktalk in the Stacks

I am getting excited to debut my brand new booktalking program with Maine State Library tomorrow morning.  One of the topics I will be talking about at length is how to prepare yourself for booktalking in the stacks with patrons.

But I want to get the conversation kick-started a day early here on the Monday Discussion because one of my biggest tips for being ready when the opportunity for impromptu booktalks arises is to have a stable of sure bet titles in your head.

These would be books that:

  1. you have found from experience appeal to a wide audience
  2. you feel comfortable talking about concisely and enticingly
  3. are at least a few years old (backlist titles), so that there is a higher probability that they are on the shelf.
So what are your current sure-bet favs to hand-sell to patrons as you encounter them in the stacks; patrons that you might not have time to properly enter a formal RA conversation with.

I'll go first. Here are my current favs that I am book talking to patrons regularly.  I have included my opening line, sound-bite, that I use to gauge their initial interest [if they look uninterested, I move on the the next book and sound bite quickly]. The titles here are also linked to my full review for the book.
  • The Golem and the Jini by Helene Wecker-- This is a typical immigrant tale set at the turn of the 20th Century in NYC except for the fact that the protagonists are anything but typical. Both are from their home country's folklore: a Jewish Golem and a Arab/Christian Jinni (genie).
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa-- A housekeeper is hired to care for a mathematician whose memory, because of an accident years before, only lasts for 81 minutes. Now imagine these two people building a true and beautiful friendship under such trying conditions.
  • Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones One man in Atlanta has 2 families, but he does not tell us his tale, rather it is through the eyes of his 2 teenage daughters, one who knows about the other family, and one who does not, that we experience the story.
  • The Bees by Laline Paull-- Divergent meets Watership Down only with bees! (This is all you need to say on this one; either they will grab it from you or make a disgusted face; you will know immediately)
  • The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt-- It is a cross between the movies O Brother, Where Art Thou and  No Country for Old Men. Two brothers with the last name Sisters are hit men for hire in Gold Rush CA.
Now it's your turn.  Feel free to use my sound bites and reviews to help you, but I would also love for you to contribute to the list. For today's Monday Discussion, give me a title or two, ones that are your go-to, hand-selling options when you encounter patrons looking for a good read. The more titles that we compile together, the better off we all are.

For past Monday Discussions, click here.

1 comment:

cdealba said...

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
The story of the author's unique and extremely difficult upbringing, and how she and her siblings survived and thrived into adulthood.

I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley
David Sedaris but a woman.