CLICK HERE for quick access to the materials for the 2016-17 Speculative Fiction Genre Study.
The website now features UNRESTRICTED access, including notes from our meetings; however, in order to attend the meetings in person, you must be a member of ARRT. Click here for information about how you can join.


I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Crime Book Talks and Announcement of the 2016-17 Genre Study

As I mentioned here, at the last Crime Fiction Genre Study we asked the participants to come prepared to book talk a crime book that we did not get to over the two years.  This was a way for the participants to drive the conversation by getting in a book or a series that they have had good luck suggesting to patrons AND allowed us to tackle genre blending. Click here for the detailed assignment for that meeting.

Well, people came prepared with their book talks and now we can share it with everyone. Click here for the Library Aware book list our fabulous and amazing notetaker Karen Toonen compiled using the Naperville Public Library’s account.  Thanks to Karen and Naperville for making us look even better.

From Karen’s intro to the list:
During 2015 and 2016, the Adult Reading Round Table's Genre Study focused on Crime Fiction.  Over the course of the study, we discussed many authors, titles, and series. (See the notes section for details of our discussions.) As part of our final wrap-up meeting, participants wrote 90 second book talks.  The only qualification was that neither the title nor author could have been discussed during the study.  Written for library staff, to be shared with library staff, the following shows the variation in how people formalize book talks. The wide variety of titles mirrors the interest of crime fans as well as those newer to crime and the broadness of crime fiction in general.  As said by crime writer Karin Slaughter, "The most enduring stories in literature generally have some kind of crime at their center, whether it's the blood butchery of Hamlet, the lecherous misanthropes of Dickens, or the lone gunman from The Great Gatsby."
Click through to see the full book list, and feel free to use it as long as you credit ARRT.  

This list is an example of what I always say about compound interest in my training sessions. Each person provided a single book talk, but when we put each talk together, we have a diverse and useful list that has many books and will help a lot of readers. I am so proud of everyone and feel honored to have been able to lead this amazing and dedicated group for the last 2 years.

With endings come new beginnings though, and only 6 days after finishing the genre study, our new team-- Annabelle from Skokie, Megan from Morton Grove, and me and Karen (mentioned above)-- met to plan the next genre study on.... SPECULATIVE FICTION-- Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.

But what is so great about the new genre study is that we are not going to organize the meetings solely by genre because the nature of these three genres is that they blend. In order to more accurately get at the heart of why our patrons read them, we are going to organize the study more along the lines of appeal.

We have hammered out many of the details, but I am going to leave the specifics until Annabelle, the official head of the genre study, has finished putting the schedule together.

The four of us are extremely excited about the way it is all shaking out and cannot wait to start including our wonderful members in the conversation.

Which leads me to my final point. Remember, you must be a member of ARRT to participate in the genre study. The 2016 membership form is available now! But, you do not need to be a member to see our schedule and use it to lead your own speculative fiction genre study, all we ask is that you credit ARRT. I will let you know when all of those documents are ready.

In the meantime, you might want to start planning which speculative fiction books you are going to read next.

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