ARRT GENRE STUDY WEBSITE

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.

RA FOR ALL...THE ROAD SHOW!

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.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Regional RA Training @ Darien [CT] Library

Yesterday I spent the day talking to the staff and patrons of the Darien Public Library.  Today, I am welcoming Reader's Advisors from all over the area.

We are going to be doing two programs this morning.

The first, from 9:30-10:30 will be on Bridging the Physical Virtual Divide, a topic I write about frequently.

Then, after a short break, I will be presenting a BRAND NEW program from 10:45-Noon called Genre Study Success! [Yes with an exclamation point]. Here I will walk the group through the process of planning and conducting a genre study, a journey they are interested in taking together.

For those who attend AND for anyone else reading this, the slides for these presentations, as well as all of my recent presentations, can be accessed here.

In fact, on Tuesday, I will have another BRAND NEW program debuting for Maine State Library-- Booktalking-- Harnessing the Power of Sharing Books with Readers which will also include a new horror booktalk to prep you for my favorite unofficial holiday, Halfway to Halloween, [coming in April].

Thanks to everyone who came to the Darien Public Library over the last 2 days. I have had a great time working with you. But mostly,  I am excited for your leisure readers. You are all striving to serve them better and I am proud to play a small part in it all.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Recharge Your Book Group for Patrons of the Darien [CT] Library

Now it is time for another program.  This time, I am talking to patrons!

Yes, I will sharing all of our librarian secrets with the members of the local book clubs in the Darien area in a reworked version of my popular Recharge Your Book Group program from 3-4:30.

Darien library does an excellent job of connecting with their area book clubs.  Click here to see. They have dozens of books clubs registered with them, and while these groups may not meet at the library, they are connected to their library through this service.

The library has made themselves relevant to all books clubs in the area, and now they are taking it one step further by inviting me to come and talk to them too.

It is a great idea. Train the book groups to take charge of themselves, but do it through the library.

I’m am happy to be a part of it.

Genre Training With the Staff of Darien [CT] Library

Good morning Darien Library.

We are going to be having two programs this morning and they are brand spankin’ new just for your guys.

First, from 9-10:30 is Demystifying Genre.  In this program I will break down the genres, their appeal, and talk about some key authors. It’s going to be a whirlwind tour of genre fiction, but with the slides as your guide in the days and weeks that follow, you can take your time to let it all sink in.

Then, from 10:45-Noon I am presenting a training entitled: Working with Genre Fiction Readers.  Here we will work together to take what we learned about genre fiction in part one and apply it to helping genre fiction readers, no matter their preferred genre.


The slides aren’t just for the Darien folks, by the way.  Even if you do not get to partake in the me talking part of the presentations, anyone can click on the titles of each program to bring up the shared slides. 

There are still 3 more programs on the docket for this trip, so stay tuned.  I also hope to find some time to write up the notes from Monday’s book club meeting too. But one step at a time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Let's Talk About Frame

I am currently working on an article for NoveList about the importance of considering frame when we help leisure readers.  As I was gathering my notes and thoughts, I came upon a post I wrote back in 2010 where I talked about the importance of frame.

I am also leaving in an hour for 2 days of RA training in Darien, CT where I will be talking about helping genre readers [more posts on that to come this week including slides]. While crafting those trainings, frame came into play frequently and will be a topic that I explore with the various groups.

So since I have "frame on the brain," I figured it was worth a re-post of some of my thoughts for everyone to think about.

And look for an entirely new article where I contemplate frame in the May 2015 issue of NoveList RA News.

******************************************************************
Monday August 16, 2010
Monday Discussion: What's Your Favorite Frame?
I am back from a 2 week vacation where I saw my baby sister get married in New England and visited my home state of New Jersey.  This got me thinking about the fact that since moving from Jersey to the Midwest, I will read anything-- fiction or nonfiction, any genre-- as long as it has New Jersey in it.

When I teach my students to write their Reader Profiles, I mention this reading quirk to them. I ask them to think about their reading habits. In the RA biz we call these special interest areas, "Frames."  "What special frames do you enjoy?" is the question I make them consider.

Most students look at me blankly at first, but once they go home to write their up their reader profiles they find they too have special frames which they will read about in any type of book. It is great exercise to make them think about their own reading habits, which can then make them more sensitive to addressing future patrons' habits. Until you force yourself to think about it, these likes and dislikes usually stay hidden in your subconscious. My goal is to make them "Super RA Librarians," and this is an important component tot heir training.

Here are some examples from students and friends of frames they love: Faberge Eggs, Tudor England, and I once had a student who would read any pink covered book. There are actual readers out there that will reading everything and anything that have these frames. You can click here to see some past student's reader profiles for more examples.

For me, other frames I greatly enjoy besides NJ are books with circuses, books that are set on college campuses, books with a Civil War background but which do not focus on the battles, and books with baseball in them. I will read any type of book in which these subjects appear and 9 times out of 10, will love it; even if it is a genre or type of book I normally hate. These special frames in and of themselves give me great enjoyment.

It is also important to note that some people's favorite frames are the same frame which another reader will avoid at all costs. For example, while I will read anything with a circus in it my colleague Joyce Saricksavoids circuses in her books at all costs. I also have patrons who love British Mysteries and others who refuse to read them. Literally, they refuse, even if I know they would love the book; they will not read British mysteries...period.

So today, let me know: What special frames do you like to have show up in your books? Also, what frames do you avoid at all costs? Today is the day to own up to your reading quirks.

And remember, you can use this link to follow past Monday Discussions.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

This is Horror Awards and Bram Stoker Nominees

This is a cross post with RA for All: Horror because who else is going to report this news to librarians?!

Seriously though, I only double up on the posts when it is important information for both the librarians who do the horror collection development AND those who work with any and all leisure readers.

These are two main stream horror awards. These are titles that public libraries should own and promote to the appropriate readers.  This is an easy way to also stay up on what is most popular in the genre. In case you forget how, here is my post on using awards lists as an RA tool.

Specifically, I think every library should own the winners and the runners up in the Novel, Short Story Collection and Anthology collections on the This is Horror list below.  Without even double checking my holdings I know I own 4 of the six, and I have reviewed Bird Box and The New Black.  I just ordered the two short story collections I did not own a minute ago [yes, I took a break to go check].  And I should publicly say, shame on me for missing the Stephen Graham Jones title because Richard Thomas (winner below), told me himself that this collection was awesome!

***************************************************

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2015

Here is the link to the winners of the This is Horror Awards announced this morning, including Horror Novel of the Year and one of my favs of 2014 hands down, Bird Box.

I have also posted all of the winners below.

Yesterday, the final Ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards was also released. Hint, Bird Box is on there too [why haven't you read it yet?!?!]. Click through to see the full final ballot.


This Is Horror Awards 2014: Winners

It’s that time again. We’re announcing the winners of the This Is Horror Awards 2014. Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who voted, it’s your participation that makes the This Is Horror Awards such a special occasion. Now to the winners.

This Is Horror Awards 2014: Winners

Novel of the Year

Bird Box
You write because you love reading, and you write horror because you believe in the monsters, you believe in the imagination, you believe in the dark. I BELIEVE IN THE DARK. Maybe you start with poems, unrelated chunks, paragraphs. This may lead to short, freaky stories. Then you’re finally writing books and (holy cow) now you’re publishing books. And then you receive a notice that your book, your scary book, has won the best novel prize from a great website, a purity in the field. Nobody does it better than “This is Horror” and so not only is this a glorious chain of events for me, it’s also a magnificent HONOR. Thank you, This is Horror, and may I always maintain my end of the bargain, that when a reader reads a book of mine they will think, ‘THIS is horror.’
JOSH MALERMAN, AUTHOR OF BIRD BOX
THIS IS HORROR NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2014

Film of the Year

Snowpiercer
Winner: Snowpiercer
Runner-up: The Babadook

TV Series of the Year

Short Story Collection of the Year

After The People Lights Have Gone Off Stephen Graham Jones


I feel like the Hamburglar: I tiptoed in theatrically behind all those other excellent collections and stole this one away. Thanks to Richard Thomas and Dark House Press for making After the People Lights Have Gone Off such a pretty book, and getting it out in the world, and thanks to all the editors and magazines and anthologies I wrote most of these stories for, and thanks to everybody who read and voted on it. And thanks to horror, for always being there each time I turn the lights off.
STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES, AUTHOR OF AFTER THE PEOPLE LIGHTS HAVE GONE OFF
THIS IS HORROR SHORT STORY COLLECTION OF THE YEAR 2014

Anthology of the Year

Burnt Tongues Chuck Palahniuk

I know I can speak for Chuck Palahniuk and Dennis Widmyer when I say that we’re honored to win this award. It’s been a long journey from the original workshops and nominations, to the final selections, to putting this out into the world. Chuck says, “We return to troubling films and books because they don’t pander to us—their style and subject matter challenge, but to embrace them is to win something worth having for the rest of our lives,” and I couldn’t agree more. Medallion Press has been extremely supportive, as have the authors, some going on tour and reading with Chuck, the overall reaction from readers somewhere between thrilled and scarred for life. It’s really been a group effort, working with Dennis and Chuck, as well as all of the talented authors to bring this eclectic collection of transgressive stories out into the light. Medallion had this to say, as well: “It’s been a privilege to join Chuck Palahniuk, Richard Thomas, and Dennis Widmyer on their mission to bring the remarkable work of twenty authors to a wider audience, and we’re grateful to This Is Horror for honoring each of them with this award.”
RICHARD THOMAS, CO-EDITOR OF BURNT TONGUES
THIS IS HORROR ANTHOLOGY OF THE YEAR 2014

Publisher of the Year

Severed Press

Winner: Severed Press
Runner-up: ChiZine Publications

On behalf of all the editors, cover artists and of course authors, I would like to say a huge thank you for voting Severed Press Publisher of the Year 2014. To have all their hard work recognised this way means a great deal to us.
GARY LUCAS, SEVERED PRESS
THIS IS HORROR PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR 2014

Magazine of the Year

Nightmare Magazine edited by John Joseph Adams February 2015
Winner: Nightmare MagazineRunner-up: Fangoria
Wow, thank you so much! It’s quite an honor to be selected as ‘Magazine of the Year,’ especially amongst such stiff competition! Thanks so much too to all of the writers and editors who work on Nightmare with me–without them, of course, it wouldn’t exist.
JOHN JOSEPH ADAMS, EDITOR/PUBLISHER OF NIGHTMARE
THIS IS HORROR MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR 2014

UK Event of the Year

dead by dawn logo
Winner: Dead by DawnRunner-up: FrightFest

Book Cover of the Year

Last Projector

It’s an absolute thrill to win Best Book Cover of the Year. Thanks to the voters, This Is Horror, and to David James Keaton and the folks at Broken River Books for bringing me on board. You have all made this an incredible journey.

JOEL VOLLMER, COVER ARTIST FOR THE LAST PROJECTOR
THIS IS HORROR BOOK COVER OF THE YEAR 2014

Tattoo Artist of the Year

Ollie Tye This Is Horror Tattoo Artist of the Year
A huge thank you to all who voted and support me in doing what I love. Lots more sexy monsters coming your way soon.
OLLIE TYE, COSMIC MONSTERS
THIS IS HORROR TATTOO ARTIST OF THE YEAR 2014

Podcast of the Year

Booked podcast
Winner: Booked. PodcastRunner-up: The Last Knock
I’m ridiculously excited to be selected for this award again. Thanks to This Is Horror and to the listeners who voted for making this possible. Clearly, you have excellent taste and solid decision making skills. See ya next year!
LIVIUS NEDIN, CO-HOST OF BOOKED. PODCAST
THIS IS HORROR PODCAST OF THE YEAR 2014
I’m truly honored to be named the podcast of the year. Thanks to This is Horror and to everyone that voted. This award is the fire that I’ll hold to our feet when we get lazy. Here’s to another year of horror excellence!
ROBB OLSON, CO-HOST OF BOOKED. PODCAST
THIS IS HORROR PODCAST OF THE YEAR 2014

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Discussion: Do your Reading and Viewing Tastes Match Up?

As I wrote about a couple of times last week, I really get into the Oscars. But like everything in my life, I relate my flurry of movie viewing leading up to the big day to my reading habits.

I got to thinking about my personal movie preferences and how they match up with my reading choices. That led to me thinking about how others feel. Hence, a Monday Discussion is born.

I'll go first.  I am a huge fan of books that are slightly askew [click here for details on what I  mean] and I love a great psychological suspense story.  I also love books that play with narrative structure in interesting ways, ways that enhance the story, its characters, and the overall message/tone of the story.  Stories within a story also are a favorite of mine.

Looking at the 8 best picture nominees this year I found my 4 favorites embody everything I love about my favorite books.
  • Grand Budapest Hotel: story, within a story, within a story...; slightly askew [all Anderson movies are and I love them all]
  • Boyhood: interesting narrative structure that only enhanced the movie
  • Whiplash: that was a good old fashioned psychological suspense story that made me tense for the entire movie [in a good way]
  • Birdman: a story within a story [movie about a play], and definitely askew.
I was so surprised at how closely my reading tastes translated to these movies that I started thinking about all my favorite movies and TV shows. Without going into a long list here, I found this meshing of my tastes to be fairly universal across all of my leisure reading and viewing.

I also found my dislikes are equally as shared.  For example, I am not the world's biggest superhero fan.  I love comics and graphic novels, just not those that are superhero based.  Similarly, I don't have much patience for superhero movies.  It drives my family insane and they still can't believe I haven't seen The Avengers, but at least I am consistent. 

I think this topic is very important to think about as we help patrons.  I often tell librarians in my various training sessions that if they are struggling to get a patron to talk about what books they like to read, try switching gears and ask her about movies or TV shows he enjoys.

But, maybe that is not always going to work. I am interested to see if the rest of you are more like me [where the tastes are similar] or if watching a visual story leads you in a different direction than reading a printed one.

So, for today's Monday Discussion let me know if your reading and viewing tastes are complimentary or in direct opposition with each other.

For past Monday Discussions, click here.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Joint ARRT and Sisters in Crime Program-- Open to All!

In conjunction with our two-year Crime Fiction genre study, ARRT is happy partner with Sisters in Crime to present an author panel discussion featuring local Chicago-land authors.  

Cari Dubiel, Sisters in Crime's Library Liaison will be joining to moderate the event spotlighting: Lori Rader-Day (The Black Hour), Susanna Calkins (A Murder at Rosamund's Gate and From the Charred Remains), and Clare O'Donohue (Missing PersonsLife Without Parole, and The Double Wedding Ring).

Join us on Wednesday, March 25 from 2p to 4p at Deerfield Public Library. 

 Please click here to access the signup form. 

I am so excited and so proud to be one of the organizers of this fantastic event.  Anyone who can get to the Deerfield Public Library on March 25th at 2pm and registers with only a $15 payment can come.  No need to be a member of ARRT.

Please consider joining us. This will be a librarian centric author event.  They will talk about the art of writing and the finer points of writing mysteries in particular. In addition, They will discuss what librarians should look for in recommending different mystery subgenres, and you’ll come away with many new suggestions for your patrons.

I hope to see you there.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Backlist Not To Miss: Ahab’s Wife

I was at the movies Monday night and saw a preview for In the Heart of the Sea based on the book of the same name by Nathaniel Philbrick. The book [and movie] are based on the tragedy of the whaleship Essex, the true story that inspired Moby Dick.

As I have mentioned numerous times on the blog, Moby Dick is one of my all time favorite books.  I have not only read the book, by I enjoy reading books about this book too.

Back to the movie preview, watching it made me think of Moby Dick, which then made me think of other books I have read because of their Moby Dick frame. And the first one to leap to my mind was Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund which I read back in 2011.

I can pretty much guarantee that I am not the only person who will have Moby Dick on the mind as this Ron Howard film begins to be advertised more and more.

So to help fill that “while you wait” gap for people who want Philbrick’s book, here is my original review of Ahab’s Wife. It’s a backlist gem.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2011

What I'm Reading: Ahab's Wife

Ahab's Wife: Or, The Star-gazer: A Novel (P.S.)It is embarrassing how far behind I have gotten on my reviews.  So no excuses, just putting my nose to the grindstone and going back to tackle a book I read in early August,  Ahab's Wife or, the Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund. Ahab's Wife was a book I actually owned in paperback and kept meaning to read, I just never got around to it.  After attending one of our Book Lover's Club meetings and hearing someone talk about how much they loved this book, I moved it from the bottom of the to-read pile right to the top.

I have to say I was also influenced by that fact that the book dovetailed nicely with my planned vacation.  Remember back here when I read the Lonely Planet travel guide on my trip to Nova Scotia?  And, with the whaling, light house and sea faring details in Ahab's Wife (all which were a part of that vacation) and the novel's setting during the 1800s in New England (which is a favorite of mine) and my personal obsession with Moby Dick, really what was I waiting for.  I threw this 600+ paged paperback into my suitcase and started reading it as my plane made its way toward the Atlantic Ocean.

Here is the setup.  The book is narrated by Una and it is her life story.  We know from the start that Ahab was not her first husband nor her last.  So what we have is the fictional memoir of the wife of a famous fictional character.  This is a huge part of the appeal of this novel.  In fact, many readers (myself included) love this type of "classics revisited" story which gives a new perspective on a popular fictional character or story.  Think about the cottage industry of Jane Austen inspired fiction alone.

Although at least a surface understanding of the plot of Moby Dick is helpful here, this really is a great example of historical fiction about a woman's life.  Una moves in the educated circles of 19th Century New England. Talk of the transcendentalists (Like Ralph Waldo Emersonand Margaret Fuller), life on whaling ships, the abolitionist movement, and industrialization fill this novel.  For me, this happens to be my favorite time period to read about, so I loved it.  But any reader who likes an authentic historical setting and an interesting protagonist will enjoy this book.

Una's childhood living with her uncle, a lighthouse keeper, and his family, her adventures (dressed in drag) on a whaling ship, her romances, her friendships, and her intellectual pursuits, fill this novel.  It is written in first person, with Una talking to us, the readers.  These are her confessional memoirs.  Her life is not scandalous, but it is eventful and she crosses paths with many famous people, both real and fictional. Una is a full and vibrant narrator with a historically accurate personality. Each person she encounters, is well fleshed out also.  Naslund puts character first here.

Due to the level of detail, the high page count, and the fact that it is the complete story of most of Una's life, this is a leisurely paced book.  This is not a novel to race through.  You are experiencing Una's life as she chooses to unfold it for the reader.  The leisurely pace is also underscored by the language.  There are beautiful descriptions and passages here.  There are whole sections you will want to re-read for their sheer beauty.

Overall, the tone of this novel is nostalgic, bittersweet, slightly darker, but realistic.  I say slightly darker because while Una is mostly happy, there is quite a bit of sadness in her life.  While she feels a true love connection with Ahab, we all know before beginning of the book, that his obsession with the white whale will also be his mortal downfall.  That knowledge and sadness does color the entire book.

I am glad I waited until I had time to immerse myself in Una's world.  I was able to enjoy all this book had to offer while physically seeing whales from the deck of a ship and visiting light houses.  But even if you are sitting at home, landlocked in your comfy chair, Naslund's lyrical writing and compelling protagonist will take you on a memorable journey, as long as you are willing to sit back and let her take you on a ride at her own pace.

Three Words That Describe This Book:  classics revisited, historical woman's life, lyrical

Readalikes:  There are so many directions you could take readers after they finished this book.  First, obviously, many will be interested in the source material, Moby Dick.  But also, Nathaniel Philbrick has spent much of his popular, nonfiction writing career researching Moby Dick.  Readers might want to try In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex or the new title, Why Read Moby Dick?

Other "classics revisited" which would appeal to fans of Ahab's Wifeinclude Finn by Jon Clinch (my review is here) which looks at The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from Huck's father's perspective,Geraldine Brooks' March which is a retelling of Little Women from the absent father's point of view, and The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall which looks at Gone With the Wind from the slaves' perspective. All are set around a similar time period, bring up similar issues, and use a beloved piece of literature as their frame.

In a similar vein, I would also suggest the novel Sally Hemings by Barbara Chase-Riboud which is a fictionalized account of the slave who fathered many of Thomas Jefferson's children.  The nonfiction counterpoint here would be the award winning nonfiction title, The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed.

As I was reading Ahab's Wife I could not stop thinking about how similar it is to Isabel Allende's Ines of My Soul which is about one of the female founders of Chile in the 1500s.  We read it for book club here.  As a rule, both Naslund and Allende write lyrical, authentic stories of brave and bold women.

Although it takes place a century before the action in Ahab's WifeBrookland by Emily Barton, which I reviewed here, follows a young, strong woman's life and her place in history.  Interestingly, I also finally got to Brookland this year after a few years of it languishing on my "to-read" list.

Finally for another leisurely placed saga story, featuring strong characters, and a love story at its heart, try Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Getting Ready for the Academy Awards: Adapted Screen Play Nominees and RA Implications

Sunday night is the Academy Awards.  Here are the movies which are up for Best Adapted Screenplay with a link to the works which they were adapted from [in some cases, the titles are different].

American Sniper 
The Imitation Game 
Inherent Vice
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash [which is based on a previously produced short film]

Now these books are probably checked out at your library, but thats fine because here is the link to a list of every film which has ever been nominated for best adapted screenplay with the title and author of the work which it was adapted from.

Use the interest in this year’s nominees to direct people to the hundreds of great books which have been turned into Oscar nominated films in years past.

You are bound to have at least a few of these on your shelves right now.

Yes, patrons think that they want the 2015 nominees, but they will actually be just as happy with any title that was nominated ever.

Trust me, I do this ever year and I have had plenty of satisfied patrons. People simply want a book that is pre-approved in someway.  Any years nominee fits this bill.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

So Many Training Opportunities From So Many Different Perspectives

I am in the midst of a very busy few months of providing training to various libraries all over the country.  It is very exciting that so many organizations want to improve the RA skills of their staff. But it means that I am working around the clock updating existing programs and creating entire new ones from scratch.

You can go to my Recent Presentations page to see schedules, topics, and links to slides.

When I am in presentation creation mode I need to constantly remind myself to get out of my own head and touch base with the opinions of others. Yes, people want to hear what I think, but I am most useful as a trainer when I have considered the opinions of others before drawing my own conclusions.

Thankfully, it is very easy to stay up to date with the breadth of free webinar options available.

However, it is less easy to keep track of who is offering what and when.  So, since I am in the training prep mode, I thought I would pass on the links to what I think are the best, free webinar providers for training of library staff who work with leisure readers.

Now you can have the links all in one place. This also means that you have no excuse to put off training yourself any longer.  These are free and can be watched via archives on your own time if the live streams do not work for your schedule.

What, still don't think you need any training? [This is an attitude I unfortunately encounter regularly.]  To these people I say the following, "People pay me to train them, and I regularly attend webinars and go to trainings.  If I need to do it, you most certainly do too."

So, no more procrastinating.  Keeping your RA skills up to date is very important. Back in January I had a series of four posts where I talked about this at length, offering tips to help you get started with some self-directed learning.

Continuing education is one of the most fulfilling things you can do.  As you learn more, you gain more confidence, and your patrons are treated to better collections and service. Everyone wins.

Okay, I'm done lecturing and scolding. Here are the links as promised.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Library Reads: March 2015

Its Presidents Day, the library is closed, and I am enjoying a catch-up day at home with the kiddos.  Here is the newest Library Reads list.  Please remember you can access all of the past lists here. But more importantly, this is your reminder that the older lists can be used to help patrons. These are proven winners, with librarian written annotations to help you book talk them to patrons.


March 2015 LibraryReads List

LoveSong-199x300

The Love Song of Miss
Queenie Hennessy: A Novel

by Rachel Joyce

Published: 3/3/2015 by Random House
ISBN: 9780812996678
“Miss Queenie Hennessy, who we met in Joyce’s first book, is in a hospice ruminating over her abundant life experiences. I loved the poignant passages and wise words peppered throughout. Readers of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will enjoy this book. There’s no fast-paced plot or exciting twists–it’s just a simple, sweet story of a life well-lived.”
Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA
DeadWake-198x300

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

by Erik Larson

Published: 3/10/2015 by Crown
ISBN: 9780307408860
“In cinematic terms, this dramatic page-turner is Das Bootmeets Titanic. Larson has a wonderful way of creating a very readable, accessible story of a time, place, and event. We get three sides of the global story–the U-boat commander, British Admiralty and President Wilson–but what really elevates this book are the affecting stories of individual crew and passengers.”
Robert Schnell, Queens Library, Jamaica, NY
Prudence-201x300

Prudence

by Gail Carriger

Published: 3/17/2015 by Orbit
ISBN: 9780316212243
“I was hoping we’d be seeing Prudence in her own series. Baby P–Rue to you–is all grown up and absolutely delightful. First-time readers will think it’s a wonderful book on its own merits. However, it becomes spectacular when we get to revisit some of the beloved characters from the Parasol Protectorate. Gail Carriger is always a delight!”
Lisa Sprague, Enfield Public Library, Enfield, CT

WitchofPaintedSorrows-200x300

The Witch of Painted Sorrows

by M. J. Rose

Published: 3/17/2015 by Atria Books
ISBN: 9781476778068
“Rose weaves a passionate tale of sensuality, heartbreak and despair, exposing readers to a side of Paris that is as haunting as its main characters. The melding of time and generations transform Sandrine and La Lune into a single force to be reckoned with. The unexpected ending will leave readers wanting more.” 
Marianne Colton, Lockport Public Library, Lockport, NY

CatOutofHell-188x300

Cat Out of Hell

by Lynne Truss

Published: 3/3/2105 by Melville House
ISBN: 9781612194424
“Cats don’t live nine lives. They survive eight deaths. There’s something special about Roger, the cat, and it’s not that he can talk. Truss spins readers through a hauntingly, portentous tale. When my cat’s tail thrums, I’ll forever wonder what devilment will follow.”
Ann Williams, Tippecanoe County Public Library, Lafayette, IN
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Vanishing Girls

by Lauren Oliver

Published: 3/10/2015 by HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780062224101
“Reminiscent of E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, this book begs for a re-read after you finish it. Nick, the main character, is recovering from a devastating trauma. Her family life is turned upside down, and a longtime childhood friendship is strained due to her sister’s exploits. I recommend this book to anyone who loves to read multi-layered stories.”
Sybil Thompson, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland, OH
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Delicious Foods: A Novel

by James Hannaham

Published: 3/17/2015 by Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 9780316284943
“How can you not be immediately intrigued by a novel that opens with a teenage boy driving from Louisiana to Minnesota after both his hands have just been cut off at the wrist? When you read this novel, you’re dropped right into a world–darkly funny and audaciously bold.”
Meghan Hall, Timberland Regional Library, Lacey, WA
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The Fifth Gospel: A Novel

by Ian Caldwell

Published: 3/3/2015 by Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781451694147
“A murder on Vatican property begins this tale of religion, politics, and family. Two brothers, both priests, struggle to make sense of their friend’s murder. When one is accused, the other must go to extreme lengths to prove his brother’s innocence. Caldwell’s second novel is a book to savor. This is a heart-wrenching book you will want to read more than once.”
Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

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The Pocket Wife: A Novel

by Susan Crawford

Published: 3/17/2015 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780062362858
“Dana is a ‘pocket wife’ because her lawyer husband barely gives her the time of day. One afternoon, she drunkenly argues with her neighbor Celia, takes a nap, then wakes to find Celia dead. Could she have murdered Celia? Dana, suffering from manic episodes, tries to solve her friend’s murder before she loses all self-control. Highly recommended for fans of Gone Girl.”
Katelyn Boyer, Fergus Falls Public Library, Fergus Falls, MN
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Where All Light Tends to Go

by David Joy

Published: 3/3/2015 by Putnam Adult
ISBN: 9780399172779
“This beautifully written novel juxtaposes the glory of the Appalachians against the despair of everyday life. Jacob McNeely recognizes his family’s brutality, but Maggie, the love of his life, gives him hope. Achingly told, the visceral prose will stay with readers long past the conclusion. Fans of the Southern fiction of Ron Rash and Wiley Cash will fall in love with this new voice.”
Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Friday the 13th!

Ahh, Friday the 13th, a day that people either embrace or fear.  A day that doesn't come around too often, except this year when we get 2 back-to-back months of the day.

Since I am a horror maven [in my spare time], I figured this would be a great time to remind you that I have another blog which is all about horror books.  So if you are looking for something scary to match the day for you or your patrons, click here and explore.

Since it is Women in Horror Month, there is even a new post up today too.


But since we get to do this twice in 28 days, I thought I would give you a few other fun options to share with your patrons.

I will leave you with this thought for those of you who have to work the public desk today [I am off to chaperone a 7th grade field trip which may be even scarier]-- please remind yourself of the date as the kooky patrons come in, one after another, that at least for today, we can blame their behavior on the date.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Two New Genre Programs

Today I am spending most of the day working on a brand new set of programs for an upcoming training session. They go hand in hand and are all about genre.

The first I am calling, "Demystifying Genre." In this presentation, I will talk about genre fiction and why understanding the difference between genres matters, but also why understanding where the lines blur is equally as important.

The second will be entitled, "Working With Genre Fiction Readers." While in the first presentation, I will focus on the genres themselves, here I will demonstrate how to use what you know about a patron and their genre preferences to match them with a good read.

So I guess part 1 is the nuts and bolts while part 2 is the putting what you know into action. The entire presentation, both parts, with a 15 minute break in between will take 3 hours.

To prepare my thoughts, I was looking back over everything I have labelled genre here on the blog in the past, and if I do say so myself, there is a lot of good information there.  I figured if it was helping me, it would definitely be of use to the rest of you. So please click here to see everything I have posted on genre.

Also, remember that I have a long list of labels in the right gutter of the blog, down toward the bottom. I have worked very hard to make sure these are useful. So if you see a topic you are interested in, click on the label to pull up more info.

After 7.5 years of blogging, there is a lot of really great stuff buried here that even I have forgotten about.

And although these presentations are for the staff of the Darien Public Library, the slides will be available here on the blog. In fact, for those of you with no patience, over on the Recent Presentations page I have the schedule of events for my 2 days of training already posted with links to the 2 out of the 5 program slides that are already completed. Or you can wait until Feb 26th when they will be up on the RA for All main page.

If you are interested in these programs for your library or consortia, please contact me. I am currently booking June 2015 and forward.  If you are looking for a webinar version or are in the Chicagoland area, I might be able to fit you in a little bit sooner.