Friday, April 26, 2013

Student Librarian Interview!

I have an interview coming up next week! That's right, an interview to be a REAL LIVE LIBRARIAN! I'm ridiculously excited. If I get the position, I'll be working 8 hours per week at a retirement community near the University of Washington as their house librarian. I'll be responsible for acquisitions, cataloging, readership advisory, shelving, weeding, creating presentations, and leading the library committee -- generally managing the 2,500+ volume reading library. I really want to go check out their library in person, but I'm not sure how they would feel about visitors not visiting their residents...

For part of my interview, I need to select four books for the library to consider purchasing, two fiction and two nonfiction. The books need to have been published within the past six months (November 2012 forward). I was given some demographic information (average age 88, military service, college degrees, etc.) about the residents as well as the library's acquisitions focus (critical acclaim, best sellers, large print, popular or local authors, etc.). I've been doing some looking around and I've started building up a list. I'll spend tomorrow and probably Sunday refining it, but as of 9:26pm on April 26th, this is what I've got. Not knowing what their library is like now is sure making this tough!

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Middle C by William H. Gass
All That Is by James Salter
Harvest by Jim Crace
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro (October 2012)
Snapper by Brian Kimberling (added to the list 4/28)
Daddy's Gone A Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark (added to the list 4/28)

The Entertainer by Margaret Talbot
Artful by Ali Smith
The Generals by Thomas E. Ricks (September 2012)
The Story of Ain't by David Skinner (October 2012! Augh!)
Between Man & Beast by Monte Reel (added to the list 4/27)

Maybe they'll even let me start/join a knitting circle. Books and knitting? All of my dreams fulfilled!

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell

Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell
Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell

Angry and ambitious, Jamalee wants out of her Ozarks trailer park and teams up with her beautiful brother and a hardboiled drifter to escape in this alternately humorous and heartbreaking country noir novel.

Venus Holler – the trailer park on the wrong side of the tracks in the Missouri Ozarks – is the sort of place where people live real fast and learn real slow.

Sammy rolls into town with a once-clean shirt and a couple of cassette tapes looking for somewhere or someone to call home – or at least find some cold beer and womanly comforts for a time, but a warm beer will do too.

Jamalee, a firecracker with hair to match, wants out of the trailer park, out of Missouri, out of the Midwest.

Jamalee’s brother, well, let’s just say if your ex had his lips, he wouldn’t be your ex.

All Jamalee needs to do is raise the cash to get clear of Venus Holler and she has a plan on how to do it. She just needs her brother to seduce the wealthy women in the town and those women have practically already done that for him. Then they’ll just collect the hush money and they’re set. There are just a few bumps in the road: getting paid is harder than Jamalee thought and her brother might rather prefer the company of men.

For the trio, there’s only one thing more dangerous than being ambitious and a loudmouth and that’s being gay in the Ozarks. 

Also by Daniel Woodrell:

Suggestions for further reading:

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

25 years after testifying that her brother slaughtered her mother and two sisters in a Satanic sacrifice, Libby Day finds herself reluctantly working with a group of fanatics to potentially prove his innocence.

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

Trekking across the unruly western frontier, two guns for hire bound by blood and possibly misguided loyalties hunt their next mark and their next paycheck.

Murder on Rouse Hill by Alan Terry Wright
Murder on Rouse Hill by Alan Terry Wright

This riveting Law and Order-paced historical reconstruction of 1915 Soutland, Missouri and the brutal, unsolved murder that took place there twines small town politics with a brilliant cast of characters ranging from busy bodies to defense attorneys to would-be lynch mobs.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Readership Advisory Session: Sally

About Sally:
Sally is a mid-twenties female library page in the Pacific Northwest, MLIS candidate, and self-described "book snob". She has an academic background in English literature and creative writing. Sally's boyfriend reads primarily memoirs and nonfiction, but she typically doesn't read nonfiction unless it's academic in nature.

Sally's Likes:
- Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
       - Has read all of J.D. Salinger
- Short stories by Karen Russell
       - Has read all of Karen Russell
       - Elastic realism used to illustrate a point rather than a literary gimmick
- Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
- Coming of age stories, especially about boys
- Graphic novels
- French Milk by Lucy Knisley
- Fiction

Sally's Dislikes:
- Nonfiction
- Genre fiction
       - Particularly romances and serial mysteries

Reading Suggestions:
Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
1. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

This quirky and poignant love story of a middle-aged, old-fashioned immigrant and a young materialistic Korean-American is superimposed on a dystopian backdrop of a not-so-distant future America teetering on the precipice of economic disaster. Sally may appreciate this critically-acclaimed novel for its unusual characters, multi-layered plot, and satirical, offbeat humor.

Blankets by Craig Thompson
2. Blankets by Craig Thompson

Faith and first love motivate the introspective male protagonist in this critically-acclaimed, autobiographical graphic novel. Beautifully drawn and emotionally charged, Sally may enjoy reading this multidimensional coming of age story because of the male protagonist and depth of narration.

Dandelion Wine  by Ray Bradbury
3. Dandelion Wine  by Ray Bradbury

The summer of 1928 marks the last season of innocence for twelve-year-old Douglas. The simple pleasures and routines of small town life illicit nostalgia for the past and hints at the beginnings of disillusionment. This pre-coming-of-age story is suggested for Sally because of the young male protagonist and mythical elements that are used to support the metaphors in the stories.

White Teeth by Zadie Smith
4. White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Unlikely friends, first and second chances at life, and kids growing up in an ethnically-diverse London neighborhood fill this multi-family, multi-generation award winning novel. The multiple coming-of-age stories and topical issues may appeal to Sally.

What would you have picked for Sally and why?

*This readership advisory transaction was a classroom exercise.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff

The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff
The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff

Alysha Gale -- born into a family of witches consumed by power and lust and dominated by a horde of not-so-subtle aunties -- finds more than yo-yos in her recently inherited junkshop in Calgary.

Suggestions for further reading:

A Discover of Witches by Deborah Harkness
A Discover of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Attempting to escape her magical family by engrossing herself in academia, Diana unintentionally ignites the interest of the magical underworld and draws the attention of a remarkably handsome vampire.

Faking It by Jennifer Crusie
Faking It by Jennifer Crusie

A family of high-spirited women have more than a few secrets locked away in the basement of their art gallery. When Tilda encounters a dashing conman with overlapping goals, they form an exhilarating partnership.

A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits by Carol K. Mack
A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits by Carol K. Mack

An upbeat and well-researched look at the mythical, mystical, and unusually devious inhabitants of what Tanya Huff calls the Under Realm.

Books Read or Heard in 2012

Read or Heard in 2012:
  1. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco (finished January)
  2. Dark Fire by C.J. Sansom (finished January)
  3. Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart (finished February)
  4.  A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (finished February 2)
  5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (finished February 28)
  6. Still Alice by Lisa Genova (finished March)
  7. The Cat Who Sang for the Birds by Lillian Jackson Braun
  8. The Master & Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  9. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (finished April 5)
  10. Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung (finished May 15)
  11. Lost by Gregory Maguire (finished June 9)
  12. Amsterdam by Ian McEwan (finished June 11)
  13. The Scar by Sergey Dyachenko (finished June 28)
  14. Mason-Dixon Knitting by Kay Gardiner (finished July 7)
  15. The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro (finished July 16)
  16. The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card (finished July 19)
  17. The Secret History by Donna Tartt (finished July 31)
  18. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (finished August)
  19. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (finished August 13)
  20. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (finished August 15)
  21. Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James (finished August 23)
  22. The Tourist by Olen Seinhauer (finished August 31)
  23. The Dark Horse by Craig Johnson (finished September 1)
  24. Arabella by Georgette Heyer (finished September 2)
  25. The Shootist by Glendon Swarthout (finished September 7)
  26. The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb (finished September 18)
  27. The Brothers Sisters by Patrick deWitt (finished September)
  28. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie (finished September 20)
  29. Blankets by Craig Thompson (finished September 30)
  30. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (finished October 4)
  31. The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay (finished October 18)
  32. Way Station by Clifford Simak (finished October)
  33. The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff (finished November 4)
  34. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (finished November 17)
  35. Soulless by Gail Carriger (finished December)
  36. The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin (finished December)
  37. The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin (finished December)

Started but Abandoned in 2012:
  1. Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
  2. The Undutchables by Colin White
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