2016 Library Challenge: A Book by a Female Author

Tomorrow, March 8th, is International Woman’s Day, and we decided to celebrate by blogging about the challenge that asks you to read a book written by a female author.

Of course, we’ve already covered a lot of great female authors over the past couple of months, including but certainly not limited to Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Daphne Du Maurier, Barbara Kingsolver, and Margaret Atwood.

But I thought I’d use this blog post to be more reflective than usual and chat about some of my favorite female authors, though this list certainly doesn’t include all of them. As always, if you are interested in reading any of the books mentioned, just follow this link to our catalog.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Mystery or Thriller

Here at the library, we’re celebrating March Madness all month long, and I figured that’s the perfect time to present suggestions for the 2016 Library Challenge of reading a mystery or thriller.

Personally, I love a good mystery or thriller, and like anyone else who reads this genre, I have favorite authors and favorite series. (I have a pretty wide-ranging list of favorites,  everything from light, classic British mysteries to darker American noir to standard police procedurals to amateur detective books to legal thrillers to psychological suspense thrillers. But my biggest soft spot is for Scandinavian murder mysteries, which I was introduced to several years ago. About the only mystery subgenre I don’t particularly care for is cozies, but even then, I sometimes read them.)

I realize, though, not everyone reads a lot in this genre and for those of you that do, you undoubtedly have your own favorite authors or series. For these reasons, I wanted to provide a selection of books that will appeal to you regardless of how much you read in the genre. To that end, I decided to focus on more recent books, either from this year or last year, and also to avoid books from long-standing series. All of the books below are either stand-alones or are intended as first books in a series, so that should make it easier to get into them, regardless of your own amount of reading in these genres.

As always, if you’re interested in any of these books, just follow this link to our online catalog, which will allow you to read more about them, check availability, and place items on hold.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book Set in a Different Country

For our last challenge, we stayed close to home, exploring books with Carroll County settings. I figured for this edition, we’d venture away from Arkansas and, indeed, the United States to do a literary tour of all seven continents.

These suggestions are specifically designed to meet the 2016 Library Challenge of reading a book set in a different country, but these recommendations are also perfect even if you’re not participating in the challenge. I selected 3 books for each continent and also tried to include a nice range of genres, everything from literary fiction to mysteries to nonfiction to romance. As always, if you’re interested in learning more about any of these books, just follow this link to our online catalog. From there, you can read more information, as well as check availability and place holds.

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Holly Goldberg Sloan’s Counting by 7s

Counting by 7s

One thing that has consistently surprised me in the past few years is how much I have enjoyed a lot of young adult fiction (YA). I didn’t actually read a lot in that genre when I was the target age in my teens. However, I’ve found a lot of engaging, thought-provoking books  in this category. Despite whatever associations you may have with the term “young adult literature,” YA definitely isn’t just for adolescents anymore.

On that note, I’ve had a couple of different people recommend this YA book to me–my coworker Mary-Esther and library patron Mynette–and I was not disappointed when I recently read it.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book Set in Your Hometown

Since the library’s theme this month is “Home is where the heart is,” we thought it seemed logical to cover the “Read a book set in your hometown” challenge now.

For the purposes of this challenge, we’re letting people define hometown however they want to–whether it’s the town they were born, the town they were raised, the town they’ve lived the longest, etc. And since this, of course, varies for every person, we thought we’d highlight books in our collection with a Carroll County setting.

Even if you’re not participating in the challenge–or if your hometown isn’t in Carroll County–you can still enjoy these books. (And, while we’re on that subject, if your hometown isn’t in Carroll County and you’re stumped trying to find a book to meet this requirement, just contact the library. We’ll help you find something that will work!)

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2016 Library Book Challenge: A Classic Romance

One of the categories in this year’s reading challenge is a classic romance, and the week before Valentine’s Day seems the perfect time to offer suggestions for this one.

The word “classic” means something different for everyone, so I tried to include a broad range of selections. Yes, there are books that most people would instantly describe as classics, even if it is not their preference–19th century, gets taught in school. But I also included some more contemporary titles that have been popular in recent years.

In addition, I know not everyone enjoys this genre, so I’ve tried to include enough variety that everyone should find something they like, even if “classic romance” isn’t a category they usually read.

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Ask The Blogger: What 3 Books Would You Take To A Deserted Island?

One of the most important reasons the Berryville Public Library decided to create a blog is we wanted to provide a form for conversation with our patrons. To that end, I’m more than happy to take requests and suggestions for items to review and topics to discuss.

I’ve already received several great recommendations of things to review and write about, and I decided to start this series of posts with the first suggestion I received, from Kris. (Thank you again, Kris!) At our blog launch reception on January 19th, she asked me what three books I’d take with me to a deserted island, so here’s my answer:

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