Sunday Lowdown #37

Interesting Facts From School This Week:

This week is all about Reader Advisory, which can come in many forms. You can ask a librarian for a book that relates to your interests, search the library website, look at book displays in the library, use a social media site like Goodreads, sign up to receive emails from your library, or check out the “also recommended” feature on Amazon.

  • “The biggest cause of RA angst is keeping up with books and genres, a problem cited by 21% of the librarians. Almost as many, at 17%, noted discomfort with unfamiliar genres.” — source
  • “Many librarians now are not readers, their colleagues say, or at least don’t read widely enough to become expert readers’ advisors.” — source
  • One library uses Pinterst to advise readers on which books to read because “using Pinterest appeals to an audience that does not typically use the catalog.” — source
  • “You can host a program for school aged kids to create book talk videos for your web site or ask a local interest group, like a gardening group, for example to create a display in the library on recommended gardening books while also allowing them to promote their group’s activities.” — from professor’s lecture

Do you ever seek out Reader’s Advisory in any of its many forms?

This Week’s Blog Posts:

Monday I reviewed the first book in the OWL MAGE trilogy, Owlflight, by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon. I enjoyed the characterization, which has improved over previous trilogies, and the realistic animal portrayals. I’m not sure where the next novel will go, as the protagonist doesn’t fit into a neat category. Exciting!

Wednesday I shared my top six scary books turned into movies or TV shows in celebration of all things spooky in October. I’m so glad I persuaded many of you to check out new works, especially the recently released Netflix movie We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Friday was a trio of audio book reviews, which again didn’t get much attention! I’m trying to figure out if it’s the audio books or the Friday posts that don’t meet readers’ needs. Please let me know in the comments. 💋 If you’re interested, I reviewed An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware, and Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson.

Next Week’s Blog Posts:

On Tuesday I’m sharing a review of a newly released work of satire by E. Jean Carroll called What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal. Based on the Swift allusion in the title, you should get a sense of what this book is like.

On Friday — *fingers crossed* — I’ll have my review of L.M. Montgomery’s collection of short stories Among the Shadows: Tales from the Darker Side. I’m crossing my fingers because I’m waaaay behind on my reading schedule thanks to The Summer Queen by Joan D. Vinge. I did plan accordingly for this 600+ page behemoth, but lo and behold, the font cannot be any bigger than 10pt, I swear.

Book I’m Reading Aloud to My Spouse:

So close! So close to done with David Copperfield. Our titular protagonist has wandered around and landed himself in Switzerland for three years of grieving various deaths, when he suddenly realizes he denied Agnes’s love all those years ago, back when he was a boy, and that it’s likely too late for them.

We’ve fallen behind on the Dickens companion audio book The Victorian City by Judith Flanders, and I’m wondering if that’s the next one I’ll end up reading aloud from the chonky hardcover edition. However, I’m already scheming to read Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? by Caitlin Doughty.

Books Added to the TBR Pile:

Thanks to Anne for her recommendation!

17 comments

  1. Well, a small snap, I recently reviewed (and enjoyed) Little Women. I can’t guess why your audiobook reviews aren’t getting much attention – you don’t date the books, but except for the top few each year, older books very quickly get forgotten. In my experience libraries have a lot of unmemorable middle of the road stuff.

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    • Two of the audio books I reviewed are fairly new/in the media right now. Perhaps I should include a publication year to give perspective.

      What do you mean your library had a lot of middle-of-the-road stuff? You mean in terms of books and recommendations?

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      • I only use libraries for audiobooks and the analogy would be easy-listening music. So very little edgy stuff or classics, just romance, US and English crime fiction, and contemporary, non-challenging, story telling.

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        • That’s a bummer that your library doesn’t get quality audiobooks. I’m currently listening to The Victorian City, which is this chunky academic work about life in the London about which Dickens wrote. It’s really interesting, a bit funny, and definitely informative. I’ve noticed that I tend to lean toward nonfiction when I do audio books because I hate pausing a story in the middle a chapter. Some of the audio books don’t indicate when a chapter ends (especially an app called Hoopla), which drives me insane.

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  2. I know I got all behind on Friday and only caught up today, which often happens on a Sunday for me. So I’ve read and commented on your audiobook post now. I like round-up posts. Did you post the original late at night? I do so much better when I post around 9am UK time, so now if I’m going to post late I schedule it for the morning. But who really knows? I was scared I was going to get called out about some attitudes I put in my review of “Unicorn” on my blog and hardly anyone even read the post!

    Happy reading for next week. I’ve picked up a book on record stores where the text is small AND goes almost to the edges of each page!!

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    • I post at 6:00AM, though I’m not sure that means anything if I have readers in other countries. Maybe I should post later in the U.S. so it’s earlier elsewhere? Confusing.

      A book on record stores sounds interesting. They used to be a hub of the music community, completely died, and now are resurrected thanks to hipsters. The world is a weird place.

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  3. I’ll circle back and read your audio post, I think I was reading it on my lunch break and got a phone call that lead me down the distracted rabbit hole. I’m curious about American Marriage since it’s one so many people said was fantastic.

    Finally Copperfield is figuring out what Aunt Betsey tried to advise him in without telling him what to do all those years ago when was asking about Dora.

    I read Little Women a few years ago for the first time. It’s another one I didn’t read as a kid. I also watched the masterpiece classics series from earlier this year (I think) and it was pretty good. I also want to read a book called March by Geraldine Brooks and The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper since I’ve read and watched Little Women

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  4. You are most welcome for the recommendation! Hope you like it.

    I’m surprised that Pinterest is a place to recommend books. At first, I thought “god help us if people look to pinterest for reading recommendations’ but then I felt bad about thinking that, because I probably sound like a huge book snob by saying that (which I sort of am, I suppose)

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  5. I know it’s slightly different from libraries but in my bookstore experience, recommending books is a huge part of the job. For the genres I don’t read much, I’ve relied heavily on co-workers who do. At one bookstore, we kept lists of staff recommendations according to genre. I find reading reviews helps a lot too; that way I at least know what’s out there and what others have liked or disliked. Customers sometimes expect you’ve read everything and it’s just not possible!

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    • It’s definitely not possible, and one thing I do appreciate about blogging is all the historical fiction and mysteries that my blog friends read, plus all the young adult fiction I get exposed to, even if I don’t read it. I didn’t know you worked in a bookstore. I hope it was lovely!

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