Sunday, September 28, 2014

Book Recommendation Sites

I recently read (or re-read) two readers' advisory articles from Public Libraries Online. Each mentions online book recommendation sites which may be of interest to staff and our customers:

Need More Romance? There's an App for That by Christyna Hunter on Publc Libraries Online - September 24, 2014

Your Role in Readers' Advisory by Brian R. Smith on Public Libraries Online May 29, 2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Links from the Staff - Week of September 21 - 27, 2014

The following links were posted for all staff this week:

  • Jim B (Director-SCCCLD) mentioned a Pew Research Center study on Millennials and Public Libraries at Adult Services meeting on Wednesday, Sept 24th. He said :"If you have not read the report I would encourage you to do so. It offers some very interesting perspectives on how those under 30 engage with libraries and think about the role of the library in their lives." (9/25/2014)
  • In a reply to Jim B's post, Laura W (ILL Dept) provided a link to "A similar study (which) was done by Partners for Progress of Greater St. Charles last November that, while not focusing on libraries, is specific to St. Charles County Millennials." (9/25/2014)
  • Melanie F (KL Reference) posted (9/26/2014) "It's drama time again on PBS!  Check out what's coming on this Sunday..."

    Thursday, September 25, 2014

    Science Fiction Book Talks

    One Wednesday morning, Sept 24th, there was a RATraining book talks session for the Science Fiction genre. The titles talked about were:

     Redshirts by John Scalzi 
    Sheri K (DE) really liked the book even though she is not a science fiction reader. When she learned it was read by Wil Wheaton (who also read Ready Player One, the RAT Round 4 Science Fiction benchmark), she borrowed the audio version from St. Louis County! [ NOTE to self: need to order the audio book for SCCCLD... :-) ] The story revolves around a TV show called "SSS Intrepid" and is a spoof of  the original Star Trek television series. Sheri said you don't have to be a science fiction fan to enjoy the book, would highly recommend it to anyone, and thought YA readers would like Red Shirts as well. Sheri's full review has been posted on the SCCCLD Book Challenge.

    Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear  
    Lisa K (KR) read and listened to the book; with the audio version, she occasionally found the dialogue hard to follow. The book starts out with no background build up - a young man wakes up from a frozen state, trying to pull himself free from a pod while being encouraged to hurry by a young girl, and proceeds from there. He is in one of three sections (hulls) of an enormous space ship, each of which wakes up at a different time. But things have gone wrong ... The story is written from the main character's point of view and the  author does a good job of tying everything together. Lisa said the book is very Sci-Fi oriented but believes Young Adults would find it interesting as well. Lisa's full annotation/review is also to be posted on the SCCCLD Book Challenge.

     Archetype by M.D. Waters
    Although Sue D (MK & Float) was unable to be at the book talks session she posted about her Science Fiction title on the SCCCLD Book Challenge.

    A book talk for After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by Nancy Kress will be posted soon to the SCCCLD Book Challenge blog by Michelle N (CP). 

    Other Science Fiction book talk posts will be linked from Tales from the RAT Queen to their entries on SCCCLD Book Challenge as they show up on the blog.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014

    Science Fiction Book Talks from SCCCLD Book Challenge

    Searching the 'Blog Archive' on our SCCCLD Book Challenge I found a some entries from staff for Science Fiction titles posted in 2011. Click on a title to read what your co-workers had to say about these books:

     Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    Matched by Ally Condie 

     Cinder by Marissa Meyer

    Watch for links to other Science Fiction entries from the 'Blog Archive' of our SCCCLD Book Challenge in future posts. :-)

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

    Links from the Staff - Week of September 14 - 20, 2014

    Posted this past week by your co-workers in the district:

    • Louise P. Cheli (SP Reference) mentioned she "recently read Joyce Saricks article, "In Praise of Browsing," (Booklist Online) and as usual, (Saricks) had insightful observations, suggestions and ideas." (9/18/2014)
      • Display idea from Joyce: "...pull titles only from those bottom shelves, where good books languish."
      • Quotes from the above link: 
        • "Browsing also gets us into the stacks, where we’re more likely to come upon readers and to start conversations. Librarians behind the desk can seem forbidding, but librarians loose in the stacks are fair game, more open to conversations and sharing titles." 
        • "If we’re open to the power of browsing and the magic of serendipity, we become more open to all possibilities, more able to meet readers, listeners, and viewers wherever they are."
    • Posted by Anna Sylvan (MK) - a TED talk from Mac Barnett ...(9/17/2014)
      • "Childhood is surreal. Why shouldn't children's books be? In this whimsical talk, award-winning author Mac Barnett speaks about writing that escapes the page, art as a doorway to wonder -- and what real kids say to a fictional whale."

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    HAPPY 1ST ANNIVERSARY - Tales from the RAT Queen!

    On Monday, September 16, 2013, Tales from the RAT Queen opened with it's first post welcoming all SCCCLD staff to Round 5 of the district's RA Training program. The Readers' Advisory Training (RAT) Program post introduced the blog and talked about the great staff training workshop in August which kicked off the current round -- a program presented by none other than Duncan Smith of NoveList!

    The Round 5 genre study then began with participants reading 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill in preparation for a Horror book discussion to be held at the end of September. The blog continued on from there with new material being posted for each new genre session, allowing staff to expand their knowledge of books and learn new ways to assist customers with readers' advisory queries.

    To celebrate the first anniversary of the blog, I invite all staff to 'talk' about what title they are currently reading, viewing, or listening to and why they selected it. Use the Comments link below to share your title and join in the fun by expanding our readers' advisory training experience!

    Saturday, September 13, 2014

    Links from the Staff - Week of September 7 - 13, 2014

    Your co-workers out in the district often post links to interesting articles or information about events and programs on our internal listserv. I thought it might be fun to share those through the blog as well ... 
    • For all PBS viewers, Melanie Foster (KL Reference) posted the following (9/12/2014): "Barring any last-minute pledge drives , here's what's coming up on PBS, beginning tonight ..."

    Friday, September 12, 2014

    LibraryReads October 2014 Top Ten Announced!!

    And the winner is ... A Sudden Light: a Novel by Garth Stein (Published by Simon & Schuster)

    From the LibraryReads announcement:

    "Garth Stein has given us a masterpiece. This beautiful story takes readers on a thrilling exploration of a family estate brimming with generations of riveting Riddell family ghosts and secrets. This is a true exploratory novel, taking readers through secret passageways, hidden rooms, and darkened corridors that engage all of the senses."
    Whitney Gayle, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
    The full list of October 2014 Top Ten titles can be found at:  LibraryReads 

    Thursday, September 11, 2014

    Penguin First Flights

    At the District's Discussion Leaders meeting in August, Penguin First Flights was mentioned as a good resource for learning about titles by debut authors. The program is run by Penguin using forthcoming debut titles with monthly live chat sessions hosted by Nora Rawlinson of Earlyword

    The titles vary from genre to genre, so one month the book may be a mystery or science fiction and the next month it could be literary fiction or fantasy. The main connection between the books is that they are always forthcoming titles by debut authors. 

    A few titles previously introduced in First Flights are: The City of Women by David R. Gillham, The Movement of  Stars by Amy Brill, The Yonahlosse Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani, The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker, Archetype by M. E. Waters, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal and Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer. As I mentioned before, the debut titles cover a wide range of genres.

    The October debut title is Unbecoming: a Novel by Rebecca Scherm - "a thriller about a small-town girl who charms her way into the world of international art fraud." (Penguin) The author chat session for this title will be held October 22 starting at 3:00 PM Central Standard Time.

    One of the perks of being a member of Penguin First Flights is receiving an ARC of the next title (for FREE!) in the mail - a month before the live author chat session. This allows participants time to read the book and be prepared for the chat session. NOTE: you are not required to submit comments during the chat, you can just 'lurk' during the session if you wish. This can be handy if you haven't finished the book but would still like to learn about the title and/or the author ... :-)  

    Participants receive email reminders ahead of each chat session and also have the opportunity to submit questions about the book (or the author) in advance.

    If you are interested in the Penguin First Flights program, click on the link listed under RECOMMEND SITES.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014

    RA Branch Visit

    Monday, Sept 8th, I spent all day at our Kisker Road Branch having been invited by Diana T, the branch Manager, to attend the monthly staff meetings at 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM. In advance of my visit, Diana had encouraged her staff to sign up for individual 30-minute NoveList training sessions to be held throughout the day.

    For the staff meeting, I had 15 minutes to talk about readers' advisory, what it is, how staff can work together to assist customers, and suggest ways to prepare in advance for future RA inquiries. The NoveList training sessions were great fun! The  Kisker staff challenged me with their queries on how to use the database and I came away learning as much as they did from those 30-minute sessions.

    I would love to do similar readers' advisory training at all the branches in the district and plan to spend a day at other locations in the coming months. If you wish to arrange for an RA branch visit, have your branch Manager contact me at General Administration.

    Saturday, September 6, 2014

    SCCCLD Book Challenge

    Are you interested in posting to the SCCCLD Book Challenge blog but never know exactly what to say about the title you've read? 

    The guys from UNSHELVED (an online, subscription e-comic about life in a public library...) use an interesting format for their Friday postings. Click on the following link to see the format they use to review books for the weekly 

    From the examples in the link above, your annotation / review format might consist of the following elements:

    ----------     ----------

    Subject line format (recommended for SCCCLD Book Challenge blog):
    Title / Author / Page # / (Challenge/Bonus - if applicable)

    Plot description (2-3 sentences; could also include a cover graphic - if available)

    Why I picked it up:

    Why I finished it:

    It's perfect for: (Telling who you might suggest the title to and why you think they would enjoy it.)

    Readalikes: (Optional - but useful if you have one or more titles to suggest and why they could be appropriate readalikes)
    @bookblrb:  (Optional - a 110-120 character plot summary; great to use as a tweet!)

    ----------     ----------

    Another format you could use is the PRES technique mentioned in the October 29, 2013 post and explained on this blog under the Resources tab.

    If you're interested in participating in the staff reading challenge blog, contact Laura Pirondi at Spencer.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    SCIENCE FICTION - Discussion Questions & Book Talk Titles

    The staff genre study book discussion for the Science Fiction benchmark will be held Wednesday morning, August 27, starting at 9:00 AM in Room 112 at General Administration.

    A complete set of discussion questions for Fortune's Pawn have been posted under the Book Discussions tab.

    In addition, a suggested list of alternate Science Fiction titles to consider for the next meeting in September, has been posted under the Book Talk Titles tab.

    SCIENCE FICTION Book Discussion - Question # 6

    Now let's talk about appeal ...

    Will this appeal to female readers? Devi is female, but acts typically male. Will this turn off male readers? How will you entice various readers to try this series?

    Please enter your response by using the COMMENTS: link at the bottom of the post.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

    SCIENCE FICTION Book Discussion - Question # 5

    And what about the story ...

    Is there too much action and not enough explanation/world building? Does it really require so much shooting and blasting to make it a good story?

    Please use the COMMENTS: link below to enter your response.

    Monday, August 25, 2014

    SCIENCE FICTION Book Discussion - Question # 4

    What about the other characters in the story ...

    The Glorious Fool's crew is mixed with several alien characters. Are they relatable? Do they add to the story or are they just there for color?

    Please enter your response by using the COMMENTS: link below.

    Sunday, August 24, 2014

    SCIENCE FICTION Book Discussion - Question # 3

    What about characterization ...

    Is Devi a believable main character? Do her actions match her motivations to become tops in her field?

    If participating in the online discussion of Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach, please enter your response by using the COMMENTS: link below.

    Saturday, August 23, 2014

    SCIENCE FICTION Book Discussion - Question # 2

    Let's look at another aspect of the novel ...

    Can a romance be successfully mixed into space opera without alienating science fiction readers? How would you suggest this title to romance readers?

    Please enter your response by using the COMMENTS: link below.

    Friday, August 22, 2014

    SCIENCE FICTION Book Discussion - Question # 1

    The online book discussion for our Science Fiction benchmark, Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach, starts today! 

    I will be posting a question-a-day through Tuesday, August 26th so any and all staff can participate in this section of the Genre Study Program. 

    There will also be an in-person book discussion on Wednesday, August 27th in GA Room 112 starting at 9:00 AM for any staff who can and wish to attend.

    Now, the first question ...

    With a female main character who is in a typically male role (mercenary), does it change the way readers view her aggressive/masculine actions and speech?

    So everyone can follow the discussion, please enter your response by using the COMMENTS: link at the bottom of the post.

    A complete list of the discussion questions for this title will be posted Tuesday evening, August 26 under the Book Discussions tab

    [My thanks to Jessica Moyer, Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for generously supplying the discussion questions!]

    Scroll down for additional information about Fortune's Pawn, the SCCCLD staff Readers Advisory Training (RATraining) program, and our current Genre Study.

    Sunday, August 17, 2014


    The 2014 Hugo Awards were announced this weekend in London during Loncon 3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention

    FYI ... This year's Hugo winner for best novel, Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, is also this year's winner of the Nebula, British Science Fiction, Locus, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards.

    Saturday, August 16, 2014

    Genre Study Program - SCIENCE FICTION

    Just in time for the 2014 Hugo Award Winners to be announce, the Readers' Advisory Training Genre Study program is beginning it's sessions on Science Fiction!

    The benchmark for the SF book discussion is FORTUNE'S PAWN by Rachel Bach. It is a fast-paced, military sci-fi, adventure story featuring a "tough, sexy, armor-clad space chick ..." (Kirkus Reviews)

    NoveList description: "When professional mercenary Deviana Morris took the security guard job aboard the Glorious Fool, all she wanted was a fast route into the Devastators --- the elite league of armored fighters entrusted with the most important duty on her home planet of Paradox."

    The science fiction book discussion will take place on Wednesday, August 27 starting at 9:00 AM in Room 112 at General Administration. Any SCCCLD staff who are interested in reading Fortune's Pawn, copies are available for checkout on the district catalog (book or CD spoken) or by contacting Lucy, the RAT Queen at:

    For more information about Fortune's Pawn look under the Benchmarks tab.

    Thursday, August 14, 2014

    Crystal Gardens / Amanda Quick/ Audio Book 9 discs/ Romance

    Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick is not your typical historical romance as the main characters are plagued with paranormal gifts that prevent them from leading a normal societal life.

    Our protagonist is Evangeline Ames, a female author and private investigator who has left London for the calm life of a country village after an attempt on her life. Her employers have forced her to take time out to recover her wits, enabling her to work on her novel.  However, trouble seems to follow wherever she goes, and when we first meet her she is fleeing out of her window from a man who wishes to murder her. This second attempt on her life sees her escaping from her cottage onto the grounds of Crystal Gardens, the country house owned by the mysterious Lucas Sebastian.  Whilst our heroine is investigating who could be behind the attempts on her life, Lucas is trying to discover who murdered his uncle, the previous owner of Crystal Gardens.  It becomes clear that their investigations could be linked, making Lucas and Evangeline work together to decipher the truth.

    Crystal Gardens is for readers who enjoy their historical romance with strong paranormal elements. This was my first experience with the paranormal-romance genre and I found I enjoyed listening to this book on audio. The narrator had a very dramatic way of reading it, though sometimes her voice sounded a little odd (especially when she narrated the male characters).  Her British accent was authentic and each character sounded distinctive.  Quick's books seem to lend themselves well to audio books. Her style is very focused on the mystery components, but the romance seemed to take a bit of a back seat at times.  That is not to say that the romance wasn't good. It was. I just expected more. I do feel that she emphasized the paranormal elements a bit too much, using the term 'psychical' excessively. Readers get the point about the paranormal energies and she could have added depth by building up the story in other ways. Descriptively, Quick excelled in her portrayal of the Crystal Gardens and its otherworldly atmosphere, truly transporting the reader there.

    This title is the first in the Ladies of Lantern Street Series.

    Similar Titles:  Touch of a Thief  by Mia Marlowe, Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster, Firelight by Kristen Callihan

    Any Duchess Will Do / Tessa Dare / 375 pages / Romance

    Tessa Dare has crafted one of the most pleasurable books I've read. If you’re looking for a fun, sexy Historical Romance, then you’ll not want to miss this! I thought it perfect escapism.
    Oozing humor, it’s filled with witty dialogue and the banter is ever flowing. It also has very sensual love scenes and offers a story that flows faultlessly from beginning to end. There’s no wading in; from the get-go it grabs you and will have you laughing out loud and anxious for more. This talented author touches on one of the most devastating losses anyone could experience, and yet the tone and mood is perfectly balanced carrying the reader forward. I loved it all!

    The story begins:  Thirty four year old Griffin Eliot York, eighth Duke of Halford, better known as Griff to his friends and family, is determined to stop his interfering mother’s plans to see him wed. In her latest scheme of kidnapping and spiriting him away to Spindle Cove, he finds the perfect solution. When told to choose any of the ladies with a promise issued that she’ll have them shaped into “Duchess” material within a few weeks, He turns the table. Instead of a proper lady visiting this quaint sea side town, he chooses instead a local; twenty-two year old Pauline Simms. She’s the daughter of a farmer, serves as barmaid at the tavern and her first impression left much to be desired. It doesn’t take long before Griff and his mother learn there’s much more to Pauline Simms than her untidy first impression. This is a very lovable heroine. It’s rare to find a hero and heroine that add equally to the enjoyment of a romance. When that happens, it’s like finding gold. She’s smart, gutsy, feisty, determined and has a dream for better. Life hasn't been easy for Pauline and with the secret deal Griff offers, she finally can envision a future of brightness for not only herself, but her special and much loved younger sister.

    Part of the Spinster Cove Series:  1-A Night To Surrender   2-A Week To Be Wicked  3-A Lady By Midnight   4 - Any Duchess Will Do

    Similar titles:  The Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn,  The Cynster Novels by Stephanie Laurens,  The Survivors' Club Septet by Mary Balogh

    Monday, July 28, 2014

    Audio Readers' Advisory Workshop

    A Readers' Advisory Training workshop with special guest presenter Kelly Fann

    Listening to a book is a different kind of experience 
    from reading a book and advising customers in 
    finding that next good audiobook requires different 
    techniques. The St. Charles City-County Library 
    District Reader's Advisory Training program is hosting 
    an audio readers' advisory workshop for all library staff. 

    The workshop will be presented by special guest speaker Kelly Fann from Tanganoxie Public Library, Kansas. Kelly will give advising tips and tricks, discuss appeal factors and trends, provide external resources, and review marketing and packaging techniques. Hot titles, mid-list titles, and key narrators will also be explored.

    Presenter: Kelly Fann is the Director of the Tonganoxie Public Library in Tonganoxie, Kansas. She is a regular workshop presenter on readers' advisory practices, trends, and topics--her specialty being the horror genre and the incorporation of digital mediums for enhancing and invigorating library readers' advisory services. Kelly is also a reviewer for AudioFile magazine. Glued to the Internet, her iPhone, video games and audio books she is constantly seeking out new avenues and methods for finding the ultimate readers' services guides.

    The Listening Advisory workshop will be held at the Spencer Road Branch in the Community Commons, Room 240. There will be two presentations of the workshop in order to try and accommodate as many attendees as possible. 

    The dates and times to choose between are:

    Tuesday afternoon, July 29 - from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM 
    - OR -
    Wednesday morning, July 30 - from 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

    St. Charles City-County Library District
    Spencer Road Branch  - Community Commons, Room 240
    427 Spencer Road
    St. Peters, MO  63376

    You can enter the Community Commons from the Boone Hills entrance on the North side of the library.

    There will be handouts, light snacks, and possibly even some door prizes.  :-)

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

    The Black Hawk / Joanna Bourne / 304 pages / Romance

         Romance isn't my usual stomping ground. I am extremely picky when it comes to things like plots and believability. The Black Hawk is fourth in a series following spies for France and England during those countries' wars and disputes. Adrian Hawkhurst was a boy with no family or name and was taken in by the King of Thieves in London. Eventually he was caught and the government turned him into a spy and a very good one at that. He rose to become the Head of the British Intelligence Service. Justine DeCabrillac was a French count's daughter and saw her family destroyed by the French Revolution. After serving time in prison, she was taken under the wing of a famous Madam who actually was a spy. Both Adrian and Justine had come across each other during their various missions. Sometimes they worked in concert and others against each other.
         Our book begins after Napoleon has been utterly defeated and Justine has retired to England to be an ordinary shopkeeper. But her instincts warn that something is happening - various people around the city of London have been stabbed. Justine decides she must tell Adrian and when she leaves her shop in a downpour, she is viciously stabbed and left for dead. She makes it to Adrian's headquarters and the mystery starts from there. The narrative switches between the present day and the past. The plot is tightly drawn often referring to earlier missions from the earlier books but that isn't a problem. Of course the murderer is figured out and stopped. And our spies fall in love. A tightly woven plot with not a lot of graphic words. Some scenes that will make chaste readers uncomfortable but the majority will be satisfied.

    Six degrees of reading: The Escape by Mary Balogh, The Captive by Grace Burrowes, The Secrets of a Scoundrel by Gaelen Foley.  

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

    Romance Book Talks

    The Readers' Advisory Training program will hold a Romance book talks session on Wednesday, June 25th. The meeting, which is open to all staff, will be held at the Kisker Road Branch and begins at 9:00 AM.

    Book talks are a great (and quick) way to learn about titles in any genre. Come on over to Kisker, share tips and/or insights into this VERY popular genre, and listen to your co-workers talk about the Romance titles they recently read!  

    A list of some of the titles which may be book talked is available under the Book Talk Titles tab. 

    Sunday, May 11, 2014

    Genre Study Program - ROMANCE

    On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, the Readers' Advisory Training program will begin its study of the Romance genre. The benchmark title is DARK WITCH by Nora Roberts and participants will be listening to the  audiobook version read by Katherine Kellgren.

    Dark Witch is the first in the author's 'Cousin's O'Dwyer' trilogy and centers on the youngest cousin from America. Iona Sheehan has come to Ireland in search of Irish ancestors and hopes to learn more about some mysterious and uncontrolled powers she seems to have inherited from the O'Dwyer's. Little does Iona know that there is an ancient family curse and romance waiting for her as well. 

    For more about Dark Witch check under the Benchmarks tab and scroll down to the section on ROMANCE.

    Saturday, May 10, 2014

    A Strong West Wind / Gail Caldwell / 226 pages / Biography - Autobiography

    Front CoverA Strong West Wind is a memoir of culture and history - of fathers and daughters, of two world wars and the passionate rebellions of the sixties.  It is a memoir written for each of us who longed to move away from our hometowns, knowing that something better just had to be around the corner.  Caldwell, who grew up in the Texas panhandle, artfully uses the metaphor of the wind to steer us through the passages of her life.   Hooked by her first line "How do we become who we are?",  hers is a story of growing up with more questions than answers, that you could be sad and half crazy and still have a life that meant something, that sometimes these definitions are concealed or shrouded in a brighter truth--what looked like an off-road ditch might be another, better path.

    Caldwell artfully weaves disparate themes of literature, war, growing up in the 1960's, and her special relationship with her father into a colorful tapestry. As an avid reader, I particularly enjoyed how she cited lines and characters from favorite books to correspond with scenes in her life. Caldwell is at ease discussing a broad spectrum of authors from classics like Shakespeare and Tolstoy to more modern writers, Faulkner and McCarthy. It is clear how important reading is to her life from her first visits to her hometown library "a generous old Georgian mansion with two sets of stone steps up to its wide verandas." Caldwell aptly describes herself as a child "bored beyond measure without a book in my hand."

    From girlhood to middle-age, the wind carries us through these spaces in Caldwell's life--a life like so many of our own.

    Similar Read-alike suggestions:  The Longest Trip Home by John Grogan,  All Over But the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg, The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

    Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) / Jenny Lawson - The Bloggress / 315 pages / Biography-Autobiography

    Front Cover
    Her readers obviously don't care whether her book is fact or fiction.  The memoir debuted at the top of the Washington Post and new York Times nonfiction bestseller lists, and in her introduction, Lawson writes, "This book is totally true, except for the parts that aren't".  Lawson relishes revealing plenty about her life, except just how much she may exaggerate about it.  She is hugely popular online where she's detailed her life on the Web for years.
    The book skims through a series of comic essays, akin to Sedaris if he were an anxiety-stricken Texas mother with a fascination for taxidermy and the zombie apocalypse.  Her writing may be an acquired taste for some, especially with the high animal body count, the constant cursing and the occasionally disjointed manner.  But for her many fans, the randomness will only add to the charm.  The tale is meandering, though never boring and she finds her footing in the world of blogging, where quirkiness is queen.

    Similar suggested titles:  Any books written by David Sedaris;  Sippy cups are not for Chardonnay by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor;  My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me by Hilary Winston, or Chelsea  Chelsea Bang-Bang by Chelsea Handler . 

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

    I Am Malala - The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban / Malala Yousafzai / 321 pages / Biography-Autobiography

    When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.  On Tuesday October 9, 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price. When she was shot in the head at point blank range while riding the bus home from school, few expected her to survive.

    Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in Northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, and of Malala's parents' fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

    It will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world. 

    Similar Suggested Read-alikes:  Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof,  Blasphemy by Asia Bibi, First Darling of the Morning by Thrity N. Umrigar.