Old Favorites: Great American Read!

Great American Read

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2018, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

I usually use this feature to commemorate a special event in literary history, but this month is going to be a little different!

I am very excited to announce that the Berryville Public Library was one of only 50 libraries in the nation chosen to receive an ALA programming grant for PBS’s upcoming Great American Reads series.

As you can imagine, we were all very excited to win, but we’re even more excited about the programming we have in store, courtesy of the grant!

Now, you might be wondering exactly what all this means or even what it has to do with our regular Old Favorites feature.

In case you haven’t yet heard, the Great American Read is a PBS series that is intended to get Americans reading, talking about reading, and–ultimately–voting for their favorite book. One hundred books were selected for Americans to vote on, and the list includes everything from classic old favorites to more contemporary new favorites and genres that range from literary fiction to romance to mystery to horror to Westerns. You can view all the books here.

The first episode premieres tonight on PBS and is intended as an introduction. Then, through the summer, people will be able to read books on the list, discuss those books, and start voting for favorites. In the fall, the show will return to PBS with episodes examining themes in the book. The series finale will culminate in a reveal of the results of the voting. For more information, check out their website.

However, in the immortal words of the late, great Billy Mays, “But wait there’s more!” While we’re engaged in the Great American Read voting, we’re also going to be hosting a Great Berryville Read to see what Berryville’s favorite book is.

We’ll be updating you more on both the Great American Read and the Great Berryville Read as time goes on, and we’ll be using the blog to share people’s favorites and to review books from the list.

One of the first things on the agenda is sharing our “first favorites.” Those are the books that, as soon as we look at the list, we automatically think, “Oh I’d vote for that one.” I have 3 and will be revealing them next month in a review of one of them.

But in the meantime, what’s your first favorite? How many books have you read on the list? Will you be tuning in and voting? (We sure hope so!) Tell us in the comments!

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Books Abuzz: Literary Noir, (Allegedly) Fraudulent Ghosts, and Crooked Saints

Happy New Year! We’re ringing in 2018 with a new feature — “Books Abuzz.” We’ll be regularly profiling recent releases that have been getting attention or deserve to be getting more attention. This week, we’re looking at a unique historical novel, a nonfiction tale of fraud and (maybe) ghosts, and a young adult fantasy.

Continue reading “Books Abuzz: Literary Noir, (Allegedly) Fraudulent Ghosts, and Crooked Saints”

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.

Continue reading “Oddly-Specific Genres: It’s Raining Cats and Dogs!”

Discussion Thread: What Have You Been Reading in 2017?

reading

I spend a fair amount of time talking to all of you about what I’ve recently read, but seeing as we’re almost 1/4 of the way through the year, I thought now would be a good time to ask you, gentle readers, what you’ve been reading in 2017.

So, what have you read this year that you particularly enjoyed?

Have you read anything recently that you didn’t like?

What are you planning on reading next?

Is there a book you have been dying to read, if only the library would finally get it?

What would you like to see me review in 2017?

Be sure to tell us in the comments, either here or on Facebook!

2016 Library Challenge: A Memoir

Are you a fan of memoirs? They’re one of the categories on the reading challenge we’re doing this year, and one thing I’ve noticed from working in the library is people tend to either really enjoy reading them or they don’t. Personally, I like a good memoir, but I must confess, it’s not usually something I think to pick up on my own. I shared my own book for this challenge last week, but in researching selections for this post, I also found a wide range of memoirs that, hopefully, will appeal to readers who enjoy the genre and read widely in it and those who don’t. If you’re interested in learning more about any of the books mentioned below, please follow the link to our online catalog.

Continue reading “2016 Library Challenge: A Memoir”