Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Week 7 Prompt

I found it interesting how a book can go from unknown to bestseller just because a celebrity talks about the book. Take Oprah book club selections, the paper “From Obscurity to Bestseller: Examining the Impact of Oprah’s Book Club Selections” talks about how “Oprah endorsement was enough to bring a book up into the top 150 bestsellers in America, and almost certainly guaranteed a sturdy spike in the rankings, in the beginning, followed by a prolonged period of strong sales for months to come” (Butler et. al., 32). While Oprah has not picked as many books as she use to when she had her talk show her influence is on the books she picks. It kind of funny that we are talking about this subject right now since this week we got the newest pick “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones in the new books to process today. In the past, I have had people get upset with me when we didn’t have one of her picks from several years ago. They were like but it was an Oprah pick what do you mean you don’t have a copy. Mind you the one they were looking for was from 7 years before and all of the copies had been lost, stolen, or damaged.  

I remember when the I saw that Emma Watson was going around Paris putting out copies of “Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood and thinking I wish I was there. This book had become popular not because she started putting out copies but because of the TV show. I do think some celebrities are just trying to promote reading and literacy but at the same time I feel some are just doing it for self-promotion but if celebrity book clubs get people reading I say the more the merrier.

Butler, Richard, et. al. “From Obscurity to Bestseller: Examining the Impact of Oprah’s Book Club Selection.” Publishing Research Quarterly, Winter, 2005, pp. 23-34.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Week 6 prompt

I would make a horror display for a program that we would have coming up. Last year around Halloween we did a program called is your library haunted where we had a local ghost hunter group come in and do an investigation at our Carnegie library. Leading up to this program we did a display of horror novels and paranormal nonfiction books. We then did a program where we did a story time out at the graveyard for adults. We had patrons come out to one of the local cemeteries in our area and tell a story that either they had witnessed or heard of. We could incorporate integrated advisory next time we do this program by bringing books that people can either read from or take home after the program to read at a later point. Another program that can be done to incorporate horror novels is doing a horror marathon with a collection of novels that are related to the movie that is being shown to give the patrons a chance to check something out to take home with them.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Horror Annotation: The Elementals

301053Author: Michael McDowell
Title: The Elementals
Genre: Horror
Publication Date: 1981
Number of Pages: 292

Geographical Setting: Southern Alabama, Mobile, and Beldame
Time Period: Modern
Plot Summary:
3 houses are located in a place called Beldame off the gulf coast in Alabama. 2 houses are still being lived in during the summer, while the 3rd house is slowly being eaten by a sand dune. The houses are surrounded on one side by the gulf on the other by Elmo’s Lagoon, and at high tide, Beldame becomes an island. The Savages and McCray’s own the 2 livable house. The matriarch of the Savages, Marian, just passed away and the funeral brings Luker and his daughter India McCray down from New York to support Leigh and Dauphin Savages. Leigh and Luker mother Big Barbara was best friends with Marian which is why Luker and India were invited to Marian funeral. After the funeral, it is decided that they will all go and stay the summer at Beldame. When they arrive India is very taken by the 3rd house and want to use her father camera to take pictures of it. Luker doesn’t feel this is a good idea but lets her do it anyway. The family has always been scared of the 3rd house because weird things seem to happen around the house. When India get the pictures back of the houses she finds out why everyone is scared. The house is full of what Odessa calls Elementals or spirits but not ghost. Weird things start to happen when they get back to Beldame after spending 4th of July in Mobile and no one knows if they are going to make it out.
Subject Headings:
·         Gulf Coast (Ala.) -- Fiction 
·         Haunted houses -- Fiction 
·         Haunted houses
·         Alabama -- Gulf Coast.
Tone: menacing
Pace: erratic
Character: character driven
Elements of Horror:
Nightmare mood: This book is full of times when the character especial India are in a nightmare situation because of her interested in the third house.
The monster in this is the third house and the elementals that are showing themselves throughout the book as different people or thing that the character know.  
Protagonists haunted: This is the case with all of the character throughout the book. When dealing with India it wasn’t until after the pictures but the rest of the character had always be scared of the third house from the first time seeing it.
This book has several unexpected appearances that keep the reader on their toes.
Non-Fiction Works and Authors:
“Weird Haunting: True Tales of Ghostly Places” compiled by Joanne Austin; Illustrated by Ryan Doan: Story about haunted houses
“The Demon of Brownsville Road: a Pittsburgh Family’s Battle with Evil in Their Home” by Bob Cranmer: Story about evil within a house
“The Haunted House Diaries: The True Story of a Quiet Connecticut Town in the Center of a Paranormal Mystery” by William Hall: Story about evil within a house
Fiction Works and Authors:
“The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson: share some of the same appears like character driven and menacing. Also, a story about the evil within a house.
“Hell House” by Richard Matheson: Shares appeal factor of menacing. Story about evil within a house

“The Widow’s House” by Carol Goodman: Story about the evil within the house and talks about seeing thing from the past.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Kirkus style review

Now Is Everything
by Amy Giles
Ages 13 & up

Hadley walks away from the plane crash thinking, "no one walks away, I should be dead too."

Hadley comes from what looks like, on the outside, to be a perfect family. They are rich and live in a good neighborhood. Hadley is the captain of the lacrosse team and has a 4.34 GPA but that just from the outside. This book pulls at your heartstrings with all that Hadley has to put up with by her father. At 17, she is not allowed to date, her dad wakes her up at 4:30 am every day to go running, and beats her if she doesn’t do everything he says. This book is about a girl’s struggle to keep herself and her younger sister Lila out of the reach of her father’s abuse. With her new boyfriend Charlie, who her father doesn’t know about, and her two best friends Meaghan and Noah, she tries to live her life like nothing is wrong. Then one day, Charlie sees the bruises and she can’t hide the fact that her father beats her. She makes him promise that he will not tell anyone. It is a story that shows why it is so hard for children in an abusive family to reach out and get help. In Hadley’s case, her father telling her that he would kill her if she ever talked and the fears of what he will do to her sister if she ever does. He makes her believe that no one would believe her if she did tell anyone about it. The narrative goes back and forth from now, since the plane crash and after to then, about 2 months or so before the crash, which at times get frustrating because you just want to know what is happening with Hadley now. This writing style keeps you guessing until the end. You don’t learn about what truly happens with the plane crash until the end. This is a must-read for anyone who has ever been in or knows of anyone who has been in an abusive relationship to better understand why it is so hard for them to get help.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Week 5 Prompt

Ebook only books, which are increasingly popular (especially in the romance genre) see little to no reviews in professional publications unless they have a big name author, and then still it’s usually only RT Reviews or other genre heavy publications. How does this affect collection development?

I do some collection development for my library science fiction collections and sometimes have hard times find reviews for items and if we didn’t use carts that were mostly picked out for us by our vendors I would problem miss some books. Reviews help me find what other people thought about the book and if it is worth spending the money to get the book for our collections. With some many self-published books that are Ebook only books, it is hard to know if the book is worth buying when it comes out if there are no reviews for it. Review help buyer narrow down what they want to spend the little budget they have, so without a review it is sometimes hard for buyers to pick up an unknown authors book even if it is great.

Look over the reviews- do you feel they are both reliable? How likely would you be to buy this book for your library?

Looking at the reviews they both look like they are from someone who read and enjoyed the book. I feel I would want to see more reviews on this book to make a decision of whether or not I would want to buy it. I do feel that this review are important because they are customer review. This gives the buyer a look at what a patron might think about this book, not just other librarians or professional reviewer because sometimes what we as librarians like is not always what the patron might want.

How do these reviews make you feel about the possibility of adding Angela’s Ashes to your collection?

I have read “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt and I found it to be a good book about a hard subject. Each of these reviews shows how hard McCourt life is and give you just enough that you want to read it to find out more. For example, in the review from Booklist Review, they state “McCourt spares us no details: the stench of the one toilet shared by an entire street, the insults of the charity officers, the marauding rats, the street fights, the infected eyes, the fleas in the mattress… Yet he found a way to love in the miserable Limerick, and it is love one remembers as the dominant flavor in this Irish stew.” When you look at all these reviews they tell you that this story is going to be heartbreaking but give hope that you can survivor something this horrible. This would be a book that I would recommend buying for any library. Library Journal Review state in the last line that it is “a wonderful book; strongly recommended for readers of any age.

Do you think it’s fair that one type of book is reviewed to death and other types of books get little to no coverage? How does this affect a library’s collection? And how do you feel about review sources that won’t print negative content? Do you think that’s appropriate? If you buy for your library, how often do you use reviews to make your decisions? If not, how do you feel about reviews for personal reading, and what are some of your favorite review sources?

I find it sad that most books that are reviewed to death are the authors that everyone is already reading. For example, James Patterson has hundreds of books published and I am sure more than half of them have 2 or more reviews. By now this is an author that most people know if they haven’t read anything by him and at this point if they haven’t a review is probably not going to get someone to.  The ones that need to be getting more reviews are the up and coming authors who are putting out their first books. These authors are the one people want to know about otherwise it hard for buyers to pick up titles that they haven’t heard anything about. This affects library’s collection because you end up getting a lot more book from James Patterson then from lesser known or a new author who may have better stories and not just the formal writing. Not that they are anything wrong with this still I read several of James Patterson series but I know they are better books out there that are not being looked at. I feel negative review help us avoid some of the books that patron might not like. But as Laura Miller says in her article titled “8 Books I Bailed on in 2013” ‘underlines the truth that there is no cultural product that everyone likes’. I like to look at the Kirkus reviews to see the section called “our critics’ takes on this week’s bestsellers.” This is an interest section where they suggest whether you should ‘buy,’ ‘borrow,’ or ‘skip’. I have disagreed with this section may time for example the reviewer of “Artemis” by Andy Weir really didn’t care for the book but I enjoyed the book when I read it. Sometimes I think when I see a negative review it makes me want to read the book to find out what I think about the book and whether or not I agreed with the reviewer. Like I talked about above I am currently buying books for the science fiction section at my library and I try to use book review when I can find them but this is another section that doesn’t get as many reviews or if they do it is after I have already had to pick which books I am getting. When we are selecting books we are looking at books that will be out in 3 to 5 month and I have trouble finding reviews for some of the books. If it is an author that we have other books from I look at the circulation data that we have and sometimes reviews for the other books that they have written. I do the best I can to try and find items that I feel patron that read science fiction will want.

Miller, Laura. “8 Books I Bailed on in 2013.” Salon. 01 Jan. 2014.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Secret Shopper

The library I used for my secret shopper was a small library that didn't have a designated reference or information desk. Everything was done at the main desk from circulation to answer information questions. The lady that help me did a good job of asking what type of book I was looking for and when I told her I enjoy to read young adult she went on to ask me what genre I usually read. She never once looked anything up on the computer but she was still able to help me find a book I would like by discussing the books I had already read and enjoy and ones that she had read and liked. With her knowledge of young adult books, she was able to recommend a book that she had just read that she thought I would like. The book she recommended was 'An Enchantment of Ravens" by Margaret Rogerson. When I got home I looked it up on Novelist and found out that it had several read-alikes of books that I have read.

This experience has helped me look at what I currently do when people ask me this question and what I should and shouldn't do. Since she didn't need resources to help me find a book I would like I asked her what she usually uses when she is helping people look for a new book to read and she doesn't know much about it. She told me she usually uses Goodreads to find books for patrons. Overall she did a good job of being able to help me find a book that I would like and helped me see what it looks like to have an engaging conversation about books form the patron's point of view.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Week Three Prompt Response

Part 1:
  1.        I am looking for a book by Laurell K. Hamilton. I just read the third book in the Anita Blake series and I can’t figure out which one comes next!

The next book you will want is The Lunatic Cafe. I found this using NoveList and searching for the author Laurell K. Hamilton. Once you get to her page you will click on series, then select the Anita Blake series and it shows all the titles printed in order of publication.
       2.  What have I read recently? Well, I just finished this great book by Barbara Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer. I really liked the way it was written, you know, the way she used language. I wouldn’t mind something a bit faster paced though.

The book I would suggest is Yellow Emperor’s Cure. Prodigal Summer had the writing styles of descriptive, lush, and lyrical and Yellow Emperor’s Cure has these same writing styles along with richly detailed but the pace is fast-paced which is what the reader has requested. I found this suggestion using NoveList and first pulling up the title Prodigal Summer to find out what the writing style was. If you scroll down on the title you are looking at you can change your search terms by options that are part of the title you are looking at. I selected all of the writing style options and clicking on search. Once the search came up I used the option on the left side of the screen to narrow down the pacing to fast-paced. This book is the third option on the list but I felt that it matched better with Prodigal Summer then the first two options.

        3   I like reading books set in different countries. I just read one set in China, could you help me find one set in Japan? No, not modern- historical. I like it when the author describes it so much it feels like I was there!

The title I would recommend is The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery. It is a historical fiction set in Kyoto, Japan. This book is described as having a descriptive, engaging, lyrical, and richly detailed writing style. This would fit the requirement of the book the patron was looking for. I found this by doing an advanced search and using the search term of Japan and historical and selecting to sort by adult and fiction. Once the list of titles was shown I used the left panel and limited the writing style to descriptive and richly detailed.
       4. I read this great mystery by Elizabeth George called Well-Schooled in Murder and I loved it. Then my dentist said that if I liked mysteries I would probably like John Sandford, but boy was he creepy I couldn’t finish it! Do you have any suggestions?

I would recommend A Possibility of Violence by Dror Mishani. This book is one of the suggested read-alikes given by NoveList for Well-Schooled in Murder. When you look at the appeal terms several of them match. Characters are both complexes, the storyline is character-driven and intricately plotted, the tone is suspenseful, and writing style is compelling and richly detailed. I found this by looking up Well-Schooled in Murder in NoveList and looking at the read-alikes that were provided by NoveList.

      5.My husband has really gotten into zombies lately. He’s already read The Walking Dead and World War Z, is there anything else you can recommend?

I would recommend Rise Again: a Zombie Thriller by Ben Tripp. I found this suggestion by looking up World War Z and picking several different appeal and subject search. I selected for the genre to be apocalyptic fiction and horror, storyline to be plot-driven, and the writing style to e compelling. When the search result came up I pick this title and looked at the read-alikes list that was given and the first one on the list was one of The Walking Dead fiction books by Robert Kirkman.  

       6. I love books that get turned into movies, especially literary ones. Can you recommend some? Nothing too old, maybe just those from the last 5 years or so.

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman, Room by Emma Donoghue, Inherent Vice by Thomas Pychon, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain, and The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers are just a few that I would suggest. I found this by looking at books to movies section on NoveList. From there I click on a couple options till I found one that said Literary fiction was one of the genres and then I did a refined search by scrolling down the page and selecting both literary fiction and books to movies. Once I found some titles I double check that the movies had been released in the last 5 years by doing an IMDB search for the movie.

       7.  I love thrillers but I hate foul language and sex scenes. I want something clean and fast-paced.

I would recommend The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker. This is a fast-paced thriller that has no sex scenes or foul language. This is a book I just finished and like. Ted Dekker is a Christian author who writes clean books but doesn’t try to force religion down your throat.

Part 2:

When I am looking for a new author similar to authors I have read before I like to use NoveList to find read-alikes. I also use NoveList anytime I am trying to find the next book in a series because it is the easiest site I have found to use for this. When I am looking for a new young adult book to read I look at a blog called tween 2 teen book reviews ( This site has a best of whatever year it is with release dates so I know when to start looking for the books I want to read. It has another section called what to read next which gives you ideas of books that you might like after finishing some of the popular YA books. The is another section called top ten suggestions which she changes up when she finds a book that she likes more then what is listed. If I am just wanting to browse through lots of different books and lists I use Goodreads. I like Goodreads because I am able to see what my friends are reading and liking and I usually find about 1 or 2 or 10 books to add to my to-read list (which is never-ending).