Oddly-Specific Genres: Imagining a Better World

You may have heard, we’re Building a Better World at libraries all over the country this summer.  We’re trying to build one here in Berryville too.  But before you build it, you’ve got to dream it!  So dreaming of new and better worlds is what we’re all about this June.

Fantasy authors have been building imaginary new worlds in their writing for years.  Read on and you may just find a new world worth exploring!  Or at least ideas of things we may want to start doing (or avoid doing) in our real world. . . .

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Oddly-Specific Genres: 2017 Books in Bloom Authors

It’s that time of year again!

And by that time of year again, of course, I mean Books in Bloom.

We hope you’ll join us on May 21st in Eureka Springs at the Crescent Hotel for another afternoon of books and author talks.

Like last year, we’re giving you the scoop on who will be there, so you can get a head-start reading some of the offerings from this year’s authors.

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Oddly-Specific Genres: It’s Raining Cats and Dogs!

There’s a mystery sub-genre for all occasions and tastes. Literally. You want to read a mystery with food in it? There’s an entire sub-genre devoted to it. You want to read a mystery that involves some hardcore knitting? There’s an entire sub-genre devoted to it. You want to read a mystery that involves cute dogs and cats? Well, this post is for you!

Personally, as much as I enjoy mysteries, I’ve never really delved into these types of mystery sub-genres.

I’ve already talked about my hopeless track record in regard to food and mysteries.

Knitting and needle-crafts in general are not my friends, so that’s just not even an option.

But it’s really kind of odd that I’ve never gotten into pet mysteries because I really do like pets, specifically dogs. I’m currently owned by a 3-lb. Chihuahua named after a Roman emperor.

Even beyond my own personal enjoyment of animals, one of the first books I remember loving as a child featured pet detectives (sort of)–Bunnicula. Granted, they were paranoid and not always terribly competent pet detectives, but that was a huge part of their charm.

So, if like me you’re a newbie to the world of pet cozy mysteries, here’s a roundup of introductory titles to this oddly-specific genre.

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Oddly-Specific Genres: Love Gone Wrong

The need to find balance in all aspects of your life is much touted these days.  We at the Berryville Library want to do our part to help you in this quest.  So, after a February full of hearts, love and chocolate, we thought March was a perfect time to feature true tales of love gone wrong! 🙂

Of course, said love gone wrong doesn’t necessarily have to be romantic love. . . .

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Oddly-Specific Genres: Rugged Romance

“Of course, women don’t like Westerns.”

This statement from a stranger probably triggered one of my more embarrassing social interactions in college.

I don’t know about wherever you went to school, but at my undergraduate college, it wasn’t unusual to find yourself at a cafeteria table of mostly strangers. The following incident was relatively early in my college career, before I realized the importance of coordinating meal schedules with friends and arriving early so that I could avoid the awkwardness of small chat with strangers.

But on this particular day, I didn’t know any better and had found myself in this situation and, as an introvert, I responded by developing a laser-like focus on my plate and ignoring everyone else at the table. I was jarred out of this protective social cocoon when I overheard someone confidently proclaim that “Of course, women don’t like Westerns.”

Now, as a woman who happens to immensely enjoy Westerns–indeed, some of my favorite books, movies, and television shows are Westerns–that broad generalization really infuriated me. And without giving it much further thought or even clarifying context or anything else, I immediately blurted out an unintentionally very confrontational, “Well, I like Westerns!”

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Oddly-Specific Genres: Exploring the Fjord Side

Happy New Year and welcome to the first installment of our new monthly series, Oddly-Specific Genres!

Last year, we hosted the 2016 Library Challenge, which was pretty intense. This year, we decided to take a more relaxed approach and are instead inviting you to step into a new genre in 2017…or really 12 new genres, one per month. And we don’t want people to get bored so we’ve come up with sub-genres, or perhaps sub-sub-genres (what I have termed “oddly-specific genres”) to tempt you to take that plunge. The library will be displaying books in that month’s Oddly-Specific Genre each month, and I will be highlighting some here and on our Facebook page. Read along with us and let us know with your comments on the blog or on our Facebook page. Prizes will be in store for those in the Berryville area that conquer at least 10 of these this year!

As winter begins to take hold, there is no better way to start off than with an escape to the fjord side…yes, you guessed it, Scandinavian murder mysteries, aka Nordic Noir (which just happens to be one of my personal favorites.) I’ve talked about my love for Scandinavian fiction here before, but what I love about the books in this genre are their highly atmospheric settings and their psychological insight. Most of the authors I’ve read in this genre are skilled at combining police procedurals with thrillers, and even though these books can be fast-paced, they also tend to be more character-driven than a lot of other mysteries.

With that being said, let the Scandinavian crime spree commence!

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