Saturday, January 28, 2017

Week Three Prompt

  1. The most popular series by Laurell K. Hamilton, and the only one that she is currently publishing new books for, is the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. NoveList allows you to search by author, then by series. If you sort by volume, you find that Circus of the Damned was the third book in the series and that the next one you should read is The Lunatic Cafe, number four.
  2. Luckily, this reader was able to describe what they liked about Prodigal Summer. They liked the language, lush and lyrical in NoveList appeal terms. Looking at the descriptions of the Read-Alikes and keeping in mind that the reader might like something a little faster paced, I would suggest The Little Paris Bookshop. Both titles have romantic appeal and a lush writing style which refers to descriptive writing. Publisher's Weekly had this to say about The Little Paris Bookshop, "Her sumptuous descriptions of both food and literature will leave readers unsure whether to run to the nearest library or the nearest bistro." One more reason that I think the reader would like this book is that the writing style is referred to as "engaging" which to me, would draw the reader in to the story and characters. This would make the story feel as if it moved along more quickly as the reader can't wait to see what happens next.
  3. Using the Basic Search, I looked for historical fiction, Japan. I refined these results by adding: adult, fiction, richly detailed, and Japan. From these results, I would suggest that the reader try The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell. Using "The Rule of Three" as described by Joyce Sarick in her At Leisure column, this title contains all of the appeal terms the reader mentioned: Historical fiction, Richly plotted, and it takes place in Japan. This book also received a popularity rating of 4 out of 5 stars from NoveList users and was given starred reviews by BookList, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Kirkus. 
  4. The first thing I did was to compare the differences in the two author's appeal terms:
         John Sandford
         Genre:Police procedurals; Thrillers and suspense
          Character:Flawed; Quirky
          Tone:Darkly humorous; Offbeat; Suspenseful; Violent
          Writing Style:Compelling; Gritty; Richly detailed

          Elizabeth George
          Genre:Mysteries; Police procedurals
          Character:Complex; Likeable
          Storyline:Character-driven; Intricately plotted
          Pace:Leisurely paced
         Tone:Strong sense of place; Suspenseful; Violent
         Writing Style:Compelling; Lyrical; Richly detailed
         Starting with the basic search for mysteries, I refined those results by adding                          adult and fiction.  Using the "Rule of Three" appeal terms that I felt were the most                  important for finding a suitable next book for the patron; character-driven storyline, a              leisurely pace, and a lyrical writing style. Based on these results, I would either                      suggest another mystery by Elizabeth George or any books written by Louise Penny.
   5.  I started by comparing the similarities of the the appeal termsfor the two books that the         reader liked.

          Walking Dead
          Genre:Books to TV; Comics (Graphic works); Graphic novels; Horror comics
          Tone:Bleak; Gruesome; Menacing
          Writing Style:Compelling
          Illustration:Black-and-white; Dark; Detailed

           World War Z
           Genre: Apocalyptic fiction; Books to movies; Horror; Multiple perspectives; Satirical                            fiction
           Tone:Bleak; Gruesome
           Writing Style:Compelling
 Beginning with a  basic search using the genre, Horror, I added adult and fiction. In order to further refine these results by adding the appeal terms: bleak, gruesome, and compelling. I knew I was on the right track when the first two results were for the two   books that the reader had mentioned they enjoyed. Based on these results, I would suggest the Preacher graphic novel series by Garth Ennis. In addition, based on the suggested read-a likes from NoveList, I would suggest either THMK by Jhonen Vasquez or the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. 

Then, I realized that neither of these had anything to do with zombies. So...This time   around, I used the advanced search with zombies, and the appeal terms; bleak, gruesome, and compelling. (The Rule of Three) By refining the results by using adult   and fiction, I was able to weed out the Young Adult titles. Of the 44 titles in this list, only 3 were not World War Z or Walking Dead titles. The first two are in a series by     Steven Barnes, Devil's Wake, which are about zombies, and although the other characters are teenagers, they are described by the appeal terms: gruesome and compelling. The third suggestion is The Damnation Game by Clive Barker and although it also is described as gruesome and compelling, I didn't feel that any of the three were likely to satisfy this reader.So...

Going back to the reviews of World War Z, I reread the professional reviews where George Romero's Dead trilogy was mentioned in three of them as read a-likes. The appeal terms and description for these titles seem to be more in tune with the reader's tastes. If the reader's wife comes back and reports that her husband didn't care for them, I probably would search other sources such as GoodReads or LibraryThing for new titles to suggest. These sites provide great feedback from readers about the book's appeal who offer lots of suggestions for read a-likes.

6. Using quick search drop-down menu for books into movies, refining it by adding the appeal terms; adult, fiction, and literary fiction, and limiting the search to 2011 and after, I would suggest The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers or Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. These books were rated a 5 and a 4 respectively and they both were the first choices on each other's list of read-a likes. Both books were turned into movies and are described as literary fiction. I'm not very confident about these suggestions however, because they lack a third common appeal term. If the reader      doesn't seem interested in either of them, I hope that we could continue our "reader's advisory conversation" as described by Joyce Saricks article,
Rethinking the Readers'-Advisory Interview, and I would be able to discern some other appeal terms that the reader likes. This would help focus a new search. 

7. This one was stumped me at first. I could only figure out to search by the thriller genre, then refine it by the tone, chaste. This gave me only two results, neither of which were rated very well, nor did they have much in common in terms of appeal. So, I went to the home page and chose to search the Recommended Book Lists for thrillers and suspense. Happily, when I hovered over that genre, I was given a chance to search for christian thrillers. (I learned something new about NoveList.) Searching through those results, I would probably suggest the Jed Patrick series by Mike Dellosso, the Men of Valor series by Irene Hannon, or a novel written by Dee Henderson. If the reader doesn't care for the christian theme, I would encourage further conversation and hope to glean additional appeal terms from them. Then, I would probably use a source other than NoveList, such as 
Although I have not used this site, it seems like a great choice for this situation because it allows you to search with a series of 12 sliding scales including sex to no sex. 

When looking for a book to read, if I am looking for a new or soon to be published one, I generally use several sources. Baker & Taylor's Forecast is usually my first stop. If professional reviews are available, I use those and then, almost always, go to Amazon and/or Barnes and Nobel to read customer reviews. With the understanding that not all of these reviews are totally honest, I read the worst ones first, then the best ones. Often, this is enough information for me to make the decision to put the title on my TBR list. If there were no professional reviews available, I will refer to Library Journal, Kirkus, BookList, or NoveList before going to Amazon or Barnes and Noble. When looking for a book to suit the reading mood I am in, I head to GoodReads, LibraryThing, or NoveList. 

As a side note, many of my staff and patrons use FantasticFiction to keep up with a series and/or author. This is a U.K. site which our tech services director doesn't like it because it isn't 100% accurate, but then, neither is Baker & Taylor. You get a picture of the author and a short biography. When searching by author, all of their books are listed books by series name and publication date as well as giving their omnibuses, novels, and series contributed to. It also gives upcoming publication information. One really nice aspect of this site is that when you print the list, you are given a concise list of each series, in order, which patrons keep so they can easily find the next book they need. We used to use the What'sNext database, but many times they did not have the author or series we needed. 

For mystery readers, Stop, You're Killing Me! ( is a great site. In addition to being able to search for new additions, new hardbacks, new paperbacks, new large print, new audio, book awards, book reviews, and read-a-likes, they have for job, location, historical, diversity, and genre indexes! Just to give a taste of what the site offers, here are the genre and character job indexes: 

Acting, Theater, Movies
Archeologists & Anthropologists
Art & Artists
Bail Bondsmen & Bounty Hunters
Banking & Finance
Beauty & Fashion
Cars & Car Racing
Child Care & Parents
CIA, FBI, Secret Service, etc.
Rabbis, Monks, Nuns, Priests
Crafts & Needlework
Domestics & Servants
Environment & Wildlife
Event Planners
Farmers & Ranchers
Fashion & Beauty
FBI, CIA, Secret Service, etc.
Finance & Banking
Firefighters & Arson Investigators
Fitness & Health
Food & Drink
Restaurants, Bars, etc.
Games & Gaming
Health & Fitness
Herbs & Gardens
High Society
Home Repair
Horses & Horse Racing
Inns & Hotels
Interior Decorators
Law & Legal
Media & Reporters
Movies, Theater, Acting
Museums & Galleries
Parents & Child Care
Cats & Dogs
Pet Sitters
Pilots & Planes
Politics & Government
Private Investigators 
Psychiatrists & Psychologists
Psychics & Other Paranormal
Public Relations
Puzzle Solvers
Crosswords, Sodoku, etcReal Estate
Real People
Reporters & the Media
Rich People
Secret Service, CIA, FBI, etc.
Social Workers
Spies & Secret Agents
Theater, Movies, Acting
Tour Guides
Wedding Planners
Wildlife & Environment



Friday, January 20, 2017

Reading Profile

I taught myself to read when I was five years old. My mother used to say that it was because I couldn't stand to have my big brother do anything that I couldn't. I think it was because I came from a family of readers and I couldn't wait to be one of them. I was also lucky enough to have a wonderful children's librarian at my public library. She always had suggestions for the perfect book, no matter what I was looking for, and even sometimes when I didn't know what I was in the mood for too. I remember her asking me questions about the books I had read and what I liked about them. In retrospect, she was probably conducting a simple form of a reader's advisory interview. 

Most of my reading for the last few years has been juvenile and young adult, so I am excited to explore new genres and revisit ones I haven't read for a while. Reading genres that are mostly unfamiliar to me, learning how to conduct a proper reader's advisory interview which I can share with my staff, and creating a cache of go to reference sources as described in our reading (Ross & Dewdney) is really exciting. Not only will I be better able to meet the needs my patrons, I will find new genres and authors to explore.

Something new for me has been listening to audio books. I had tried to read The Book Thief but just couldn't get into it. The audio book completely immersed me in the story. There were times that I had to pull off the road either because I was in tears or because the language was so beautiful that I needed to listen to it again. The same was true for Wonder. I loved it when I read it, but the audio book really took it to another level. One thing that not many people know about  me is that I would prefer to read the book and never see the movie version. So many books are so much better than their movies. The Never Ending Story, The Indian in the Cupboard, and The Selected Works of T S Spivet are three that come to mind immediately.

Five Favorites from 2016

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Wonder by R J Palacio
Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott
Storied Life of A J Fikry by Gabriell Zevin
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Five All Time Favorites

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Murie Barbery
The Mrs Piggle-Wiggle books by Betty Macdonald