RA Experiment

My friends and I had some geeky fun last week. I put out a request on Facebook for them to list the last three books they had read, and then promised I’d suggest a new title for them to read. I wanted to flex my reader’s advisory muscles because we will host a similar exercise at my library on June 14 on our library Facebook fan page. My coworker had suggested this ages ago, but I was also inspired by a recent article in Library Journal. The following conversations are real; identities have been changed.


Kristi Haffner Thirteenth Tale, A Discovery of Witches, Freedom
Short Librarian I recommend “Her Fearful Symmetry” by Audry Niffenegger. Book description by Novelist: When Elspeth Noblin dies, she leaves everything to the 20-year-old American twin daughters of her own long-estranged twin, Edie. Valentina and Julia, as enmeshed as Elspeth and Edie once were, move into Elspeth’s London flat and through a series of developing relationships a crisis develops that could pull the twins apart. It is an adult book that could appeal to teens; it is character driven, and deeply atmospheric. Hope this works!

Maggie Clarke Half Baked, Sing You Home, What’s Going on in There
Short Librarian I recommend “NurtureShock” by Po Bronson. Book description by Amazon: The central premise of this book by Bronson (What Should I Do with My Life?) and Merryman, a Washington Post journalist, is that many of modern society’s most popular strategies for raising children are in fact backfiring because key points in the science of child development and behavior have been overlooked. Two errant assumptions are responsible for current distorted child-rearing habits, dysfunctional school programs and wrongheaded social policies: first, things work in children the same way they work in adults and, second, positive traits necessarily oppose and ward off negative behavior. It’s nonfiction like two of your recent books, and it sounds good for a young mother. Hope you enjoy!
Maggie Clarke I actually have that one on my shelf to read next. Crazy! You are good!

Mary King Erm, with my themed monthly reading, not sure if it will work perfectly, but here you go: The Knife Man by Moore, Raven Rise by DJ MacHale and 1776 by McCullough. PS This month is non-fiction and I am listening to Mary Roach’s Packing for Mars. Hilarious, thanks for reminding me of her awesomeness!
Short Librarian Your reading history is schizophrenic. However, based upon these titles, it appears that you enjoy books that have crossover appeal to teens, a fast paced narrative, historical detail, and fantasy. I recommend that you read “Under Heaven” by Guy Gavriel Kay. Book description from NoveList : Shen Tai, a general serving the Emperor of Kitai, receives 250 Sardian horses, an unthinkable gift fit to overwhelm an emperor, and travels to claim the horses in person.

Jennifer Sullivan “holidays on ice” (david sedaris), “poisonwood bible” (barbara kingsolver), and “the interpretation of murder” (jed rubenfeld)
Short Librarian From the books you listed, I think something in a conversational tone, maybe first person, and funny would work. I found one that is all of these, and includes family relationships (due to your first two books that you listed). I recommend that you read “The Lay of the Land” by Richard Ford. Book description from NoveList : In the fall of 2000, with the results of the presidential election still hanging in the balance, Frank Bascombe confronts the perils of Thanksgiving as he contends with health, marital, and family issues and works as a realtor at the Jersey shore. Hope you like it. Thanks for commenting.

Jane Salmeron Oh, exciting! “The Arrival” (Shaun Tan), “Harlem is Nowhere”, and “Beatrice and Virgil” (Yann Martel). I can also give you a few other titles that I’ve been reading but had to return to the library before finishing, if you get stuck or are just curious 🙂
Short Librarian Based on your reading history, I thought a thought provoking, complex, and literary book would suite you. And in honor of your adopted city, I wanted a book set in New York City. I can’t decide which book to tell you about, so I will recommend both to you. “Passing” by Nella Larsen is a novella wrote in 1929. Book description from NoveList : Two light-skinned African American women try to pass for white to escape racism, and Clare Kendry cuts her ties to the past and to Irene Redfield, ignoring the fact that that racism exists. “Open City” by Teju Cole Book description from NoveList: Feeling adrift after ending a relationship, Julius, a young Nigerian doctor living in New York, takes long walks through the city while listening to the stories of fellow immigrants until a shattering truth is revealed.
Jane Salmeron Ooh, I’ve added both to my “read this book” (now at 5 pages long!). So exciting! We should play this game more often 😀

Blanche Leger Fear and Loathing in America by Hunter Thompson; “The Phantom Ghores” by Gregory Patrick; A Short History of Rudeness by Mark Caldwell
Short Librarian Sorry for the delay. I couldn’t get to this until i finished work. Based on your three books, it looks like a thought-provoking, politically savvy, and darkly humorous book would work for you. I recommend “Death with Interruptions” by Jose Saramago. Book description from Novelist: While Death sits in her apartment wondering what would happen if she became human and fell in love, no one dies, raising concerns among politicians, religious leaders, doctors, morticians, and others as they confront the harsh realities of eternal life.

About shortlibrarian

I am a woman working in the Twin Cities as a programming Librarian.
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