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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My Year in Reading

What was your year in reading like?

I know a lot of my bookish friends tend to describe their year in reading by how many books they read — and I do that too — but that still doesn’t say much about your year in reading, like what you were actually reading in those 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, etc. books you read over the course of 2016.

And, so to that end, I thought I’d recap my year in reading –a lot of which did not end up on the blog — and you could share your year in reading in the comments.

Note: not all of the books I mention are available in the library, but we can certainly try to get them for you through ILL if you’re interested!

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book with Magic

Magic — yay or nay?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from working in a library, it’s that people tend to have very strong feelings one way or another on whether they like books with magic or just fantasy in general. Even with our tween book club, for which the average age is ten, most of our members already have pretty firm opinions on the subject, with some really enjoying escaping into another world entirely and others strongly preferring that their fiction is rooted in realism.

If you’re in the first group, you probably won’t have any problem finding a book for this challenge. But if you’re in the latter and are still stumped for something to read or if you just are looking for something to read in general and don’t mind a walk on the fantastical side, here are some suggestions for you!

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Erica Swyler’s The Book of Speculation

the-book-of-speculation

Simon Watson receives an odd gift from a stranger in the mail one day–an old book that records the travels and business of an 18th century circus. The accompanying note suggests that he might like it because it has a distant family connection. Beyond that, Simon is a man who likes old books–he is a reference librarian in his hometown on Long Island. However, rather than the book merely being a piece of the past, Simon finds some troubling revelations about his family as he researches the topic further.

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Ask the Blogger: Death Note/Shaman King

To manga or not to manga.  For me, it was a big NEVER, until last week.  I know this may be an inflammatory statement on my part, for some of you.  But it is the truth.  I had never read any manga and had never really wanted to read it.

However, a few months ago when I was at Books in Bloom, some of our teen volunteers were taking a break at my table, and I made them give me reading suggestions. Bradley told me I needed to read Death Note, and Dustin recommended Shaman King to me. I finally got around to reading their suggestions, and I’m happy to report that my introduction to manga was an enjoyable experience. (Thanks for the great recommendations, guys!)

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book with a One Word Title

Off the top of your head, name a one word book title.

No cheating with Google or peeking at the nearest shelf of books!

I only torture you with this test because it actually took me an embarrassing amount of time to think of one word book titles when I first looked at the list of book challenges. My mind just completely blanked out and only could summon up very lengthy book titles.

If you are afflicted by a similar form of selective memory, don’t despair!

I’ve rounded up a selection of one word titles from recent books. As always, for more information on any of the books mentioned below, just follow this link to our online library catalog.

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2016 Library Challenge–A Book Set In A School

Believe it or not, school started here in the Ozarks a couple of weeks ago!  With all the kiddos out the door early these days, what better time to catch up on a few good reads?

These books set in schools are entertaining and can help you remember what it is really like for students in your life who are having to get up early, navigate the confusing social hierarchy that is a cafeteria, or worry about homework. It’s a win-win situation, really.

And, if you’re participating in the 2016 library challenge, this list will help you pick a book to fill in one more of those blanks!

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