Readers Advisor

Readers Advisor

I’m Mary K.–librarian, mom, blogger, reader. I believe there’s no such thing as too many books–if you do, too, you’re in the right place! Browse this page for great finds from across our collection. What will you read next?

Email Mary K.

Book Buzz
A Round-the-World Contest Print Email

Jacket cover of

March is Women's History Month, and readers can mark the occasion by learning about two of America's most adventurous women.  In 1889, after Jules Verne's novel Around the World in Eighty Days became popular, two publications sent female reporters on their own race around the world to beat the fictional record.  In Eighty Days, Matthew Goodman recounts the frenzied journeys of Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland and offers a fascinating look at life during the late 19th century.  On a personal level, Bly and Bisland were a study in contrasts, but both were pioneering journalists who challenged gender stereotypes in the Victorian era.

 
Stephenie Meyer's Alien Love Story Print Email

Very closeup picture of a woman's face, showing only part of her nose and one eye that is looking directly at you - something alien about her

After her wildly popular Twilight series had teen fans crowding bookstores and theaters, Stephenie Meyer tried her hand at writing for adults with The Host, first published in 2008.  Now The Host, a sci-fi thriller featuring a love triangle with only two humans involved (it's complicated), comes to theaters on March 29th in a film adaptation written and directed by Andrew Niccol (The Truman Show).  This story is vampire-free but it does have aliens--"souls" who have taken over Earth and captured humans to serve as host bodies for their occupation.  If you haven't read this one yet, you've got time to check out all the action--romantic and otherwise--before the movie opens on the big screen in a little more than a month.

 
Bookish Launches Print Email

Logo for the website Bookish, showing a stack of horizontal bars representing books next to the word Launched in early February, the new website Bookish offers a comprehensive destination for book lovers to find insider insights into great reads and authors.  Like GoodReads, Bookish promises that if you create an account and tell them what sorts of things you like, they will recommend similar titles to help you find your next read (this part of the site is still developing and will probably improve with time).  The subject pages are particularly enjoyable, collecting articles, interviews, new and noteworthy titles, booklists and related news on broad reading genres.  Worth checking out!  Click "read more" for a list of other features ...

Read more...
 
New in Historical Fiction Print Email

Jacket covers of Two new historical fiction novels worth noting are both told at least partially from the point-of-view of the wife of a famous person.  The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin reveals the private dreams and disappointments of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, an accomplished aviator herself and wife to one of history's most famous aviators.  In a similar vein, Above All Things by Tanis Rideout interweaves the story of George Mallory's ill-fated 1924 attempt to be the first man to conquer Mount Everest and a single day in the life of his wife as she waits at home in England for news of his return.

What makes good historical fiction?  One thing to look for is evidence that the historical underpinnings of the novel are based on research, not just personal experience.  Watch for authors notes detailing their research or maybe even suggesting nonfiction resources from which to learn more.

 
What Makes a Good Book Club Book? Print Email

Jacket covers from three titles on this list - Fieldwork, A Plague of Doves, and In the WoodsI love what Nancy Pearl had to say about what makes a good book club selection in her recent Publishers Weekly "Check It Out" column.  One thing Nancy says does not produce good conversation is whether or not you liked the book.  Qualities likely to generate good conversation are:

  • The book has an ambiguous ending.
  • The main character has to make a life-altering decision.
  • The narrative structure is unusual.
  • The narrator is an unreliable character.

Click HERE for the list of titles that are Nancy's sure bets for book groups.

 
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