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Thursday, February 15, 2018

New Issue of the Corner Shelf

Today I am mired in deadlines including, if you can believe it, my Halfway to Halloween column for Library Journal [it will appear on the next to last page of the April 15th issue, but you can click here to see my backlist of LJ Readers’ Shelf Horror columns].

But, I am taking a short break to direct you to the most recent issue of Booklist’s Corner Shelf, the free newsletter “where readers’ advisory meets collection development.”

From editor Susan Maguire’s intro to the current issue:
I am an eternal optimist. This tendency to think things will work out for the best is sometimes at odds with my inner curmudgeon, but what can you do? I like to think this conflict keeps my also-inner Pollyanna in check, but sometimes, that Pollyanna is strong. 
Take, for example, the time my book group read The Ministry of Special Cases, by Nathan Englander. If you've read it, you know it's a deeply affecting novel set in 1970s Argentina, about a Jewish fixer of sorts, Kaddish Pozman, and his wife and college-age son. If you haven't read it, I'm about to spoil it. The son goes missing, and despite Pozman's shady connections, the ending is ambiguous, vis-á-vis his son's fate.  
At least I thought it was ambiguous. When I brought up the possibility that Pato might have survived his disappearance, well, the group laughed at me. 
Before you rush to my defense (and thank you for that), I think it was more of a laugh of surprise. They didn't know that my crusty shell held such a soft, gooey center! Frankly, neither did I.  
But that's the beauty of the book group, isn't it? Not that people laugh at you for naive optimism (which hopefully is an experience unique to me . . .) but that we can read unexpected things that can teach us about ourselves.  
Say, speaking of book groups! We've got a live event coming up in Chicago in partnership with NoveList: ROGUE BOOK GROUP CHOICES. Woo! And if you're not in the Chicago area, fear not: we will be streaming the event on Facebook live and recording it for posterity. (And I'll share a link in the next Corner Shelf.) 
And speaking of Chicago . . . in this issue of Corner Shelf, Stephen Sposato, from the Chicago Public Library, shares the way he turns their beloved Best of the Best list into a readers'-advisory training opportunity. Then we highlight some great, diverse reads: a top diverse nonfiction list, some suggestions from Keir Graff about soccer and immigration (which would be great to incorporate into any international-sports displays you may be doing right now . . . hello Olympics!), and I select a backlist title just because I like it. Happy reading, folks!
Click here to read the entire issue complete with all the links she mentions and a bonus shoutout to me. Can you find it?

Back tomorrow with a review of a book that I only read because I had to, a book I wasn’t expecting much from, and yet, when I finished it, wow!It was great. And with that teaser, I am back to work on that deadline

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