Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 6

Assignment 1:
I chose Tor-Fiction Affliction to follow. I just spent a few minutes skimming their May picks for SciFi, Fantasy, and "Genre Benders". There are a few titles among the different categrories that seem interesting including The Fireman by Joe Hill. I guess the "genere benders" hold more appeal to me than the straight up SciFi or Fantasy.

Assignment 2:
Explore the Prezi Link. This was really interesting. I think the romance subgeneres are lacking a bit, but then if they stuck every single tiny subgenre of things it would be even more complex. I'm least familiar with Urban Fiction which I think is more of a reflection of my religion and upbgringing. In the same vein I'd be interested to find a non-Jewish African American person who read a lot of Jewishly related fiction (YidLit?).

Assignment 3:
3 subgeneres I'm unfamiliar with: Borough Warfare (Urban Fiction), Disaster (Adventure), and Pioneer Families (Western).

List three authors or titles that are associated with or typify each of these 3 subgenres.  What are the hallmarks or appeal factors of each of the subgenres?

Borough Warfare: 1)Little Ghetto Girl by Danielle Santiago. Story about a girl trying to get out of the life of illegal activities, but falls in love with a man who is deeply entrenched in it.
2) Diary of a Street Diva by Ashley Antionette. A woman falls in love with a man who appears to be a music producer, but is actually deep in the drug world.
3) Married to the Game by Chunichi Knott. A story of two girls who get into the drug game in order to get revenge after she endures tradgedy.

Disaster: 1) Eruption by Harry Turtledove. The world must rebuild following a supervolcanic eruption at Yellowstone Park.
2) Quake by Jack Douglas. NYC is hit by a huge earthquake and the people fight for survival while trying to reunitie with familes and loved ones.
3) The Tsunami Countdown by Boyd Morrison. A man realizes he has one hour to save millions of people from a horrific natural disaster.

Pioneer Families: 1)The Warriors Path by Louis L'Amour. Yance and Kin Sackett race to save Diana. One brother must to the West Indies and using all of his knowledge as frontiersman to save her.
2)...........(I just realized I have no idea what other books would fall under this category, and I'm just going to move on....)

Mashups of subgenres, e.g. steampunk westerns, are becoming increasingly popular.  Find two titles, not shown on the flowchart, which could cross over into another subgenre. Describe your rationale.

....And I'm at a loss for this. Hopefully some of my colleagues came up with things and I can get a better sense of what's out there.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 5

Assignment 1:

I'll be honest, I haven't really been paying attention to the NPR blog like I should be. I've really been checking BookPage and Kirkus Reviews more regularly. One of the things I love about Kirkus Reviews is they have a quick overview of the best sellers and recommend "buy it", "borrow it", or "skip it". To be honest, I love reading the "skip it" stuff the most. I like knowing when a book isn't as good, and why.

Having just checked the NPR blog now, it seems to me like they're reviewing a lot of the same books I keep seeing all over. I cant help but feel like there's a handful of books each month (or whatever) and they get reviewed positively all over so I see them everywhere and then all of the customers want to read those books that get reviewed and then all of these good books that didn't get reviewed everywhere get left behind.

*rant over*

Assignment 2:

What's popular in my branch? Goodness. Everything. People line up for the new James Patterson, Debbie Macomber, Danielle Steel etc. Jewishly related fiction (I seriously need to come up with a better term than that) is also pretty popular, but that would be a reflection of the Pikesville area  population. Kids devour pretty much every series and are constantly asking for the next book only to find out it's not coming out for the next several months or more. It's actually one of the things I love about working at this branch, there really are readers here. People leave with stacks of books.

Assignment 3:

So I actually look forward to Amazon's best of the month every month. I think it's really interesting what they pick and it generally gives me a good sense of what's coming down the pike in terms of popularity. In fact, Hugh Jackman actually posted a picture to his Instagram today of him reading The Gene: an Intimate History.
Anyway, I think The Atomic Weight of Love might take off here. Romance and sweeping timeline seems to go over very well at this branch.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 4

So Assignment 4 is to explore Goodreads. If anyone wants to see my profile or friend me, you can find me here. My husband and I had spent a day or two a few years ago trying to log all of our books into Goodreads in the hopes that we could keep track somewhat of our books, but I haven't really touched it much since except to enter some giveaways (which is always fun). Poking around it a bit now, I can see that I should probably  be using it more often than I do. This would give me a chance to find new things to read, or have a better sense of read-alikes. I'm interested in seeing what other people are reading or recommending and will hopefully make a few recommendations later in the week.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 3

Assignment 1:

Thanks for having a review of this. It looks like it should be something I revisit often.

Assignment 2: 

It's great to listen to someone who is very eloquent in their discussion of books. She give just enough information to let you know what the book is about, but not enough to give it away or make it seem uninteresting.

Assignment 3:

Conversation 1) You might like No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love and Wandering  by Clara Bensen. An expansion on her article about her craziest OKCupid date, this is a book about a woman who meets a really energetic professor and on their first date they agree to go travel the world with no plans, no hotel reservations, and no luggage. It's an interesting story of relationships, adventure, and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Conversation 2) I personally really like the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. While it does have a bit of angsty romance, it's got a lot of adventure and humor. They're a fun read and easy to get through the whole series.

Conversation 3) There's a new book out called The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer. Though it's a title worthy of a cable show, its the true story of a Haidara, an archivist and historian who helped smuggle manuscripts out of Timbuktu after Al Qaida militants enacted Sharia law and began destroying the literature.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Week 2: Appeal Factors

The Debt of Tamar by Nicole Dwek

With a sweeping story line and exotic settings, The Debt of Tamar is an epic story of love, loss, and how lives that are seemingly disparate are intertwined more than we know. When Jose Mendez escapes with his family from the Spanish Inquisition to the Ottoman Empire, he sets off a chain of events that trickle down to modern day. Fast paced, and incredibly compelling, this story is effortlessly readable and incredibly exciting.

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Intriguing, fanciful tone threaded throughout what would otherwise be a typical teen angst story, challenges the reader to question what is reality and what is fantasy in this story of twins Jude and Noah who have had a falling out in their teen years. Told from Noah's perspective from the younger years, and Jude's perspective in the later years, the story of how they got to where they are is pieced together as the reader progresses. Both Jude and Noah are sympathetic and identifiable characters, and the reader can understand their choices and heartaches. Readers will root for their reconciliation and will enjoy much of the heartache and happiness along the way.

Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O'Keeffe by Dawn Clifton Tripp

Set in her early career as an artist, this novel of Georgia O'Keeffe's life explores her love affair with the photographer Alfred Stieglitz. Georgia's strong character is almost at odds with her era and Stieglitz. Their affair, though full of love, is also full of palatable frustration and heartache as O'Keeffe's career continues to thrive. As Stieglitz makes efforts to shepherd Georgia in the direction he feels she should go, they travel, alone and together, giving ample opportunity for the settings to play a role along with the human characters. Bittersweet in tone, this is a lovely novel that gives depth to a famous personality.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 1 Assignments

Well, after panicking that several other participants had started ahead of me, I found where I needed to start. I thought it was going to be emailed, I would have hated to be the only person falling behind.

Assignment 1: Well, I am a little ashamed to admit I only got 12 out of 24 correct on the Adult books quiz. I think it might be because I enjoy reading Young Adult fiction a lot of the time, and so I haven't read as much adult fiction as I probably should. For the children's books though, I fared a bit better. I got 16 out of 20 correct. I've never even heard of The Napping House.

Assignment 2: I got most of these, though the thriller ones seem to trip me up. I wasn't entirely sure what a "techno" thriller is.

Assignment 3: These are some great tips. There was once a time I was keeping track of books I was reading along with a little summary. I still have that notebook, perhaps I should pull it back out.

Assignment 4: I'm going to go with the NPR blog for my book blog. I'm hoping it will open my eyes to more literature. As for the genre choice, I'm going to go with's Fiction Affliction.

Assignment 5: I wonder what would have happened if you gave the same kid different covers for one book? Kids are so imaginative.