Oddly Specific Genres: The More, The Merrier

Some writers spend years working painstakingly on one book. Other authors, meanwhile, seem to effortlessly churn out several a year.

For readers, waiting years for the next book can be agonizing, but it can also be frustrating to read something that seems hastily thrown together. For that reason, every reader (and writer, for that matter) definitely has their preference, with some militantly spurning series and others who think that, well, the more, the merrier. (Personally, I’m in the middle. I enjoy a good series, but I’m also not much of one for the seemingly never-ending ones, with a couple of notable exceptions, because I quickly lose interest.)

This month at the library, we’re celebrating those merrier writers, those with long-running series, by highlighting their holiday entries.  The good news . . . if you like what you read, there’s plenty more!

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Oddly-Specific Genres: If They Can Write A Book, So Can You!

Are you ready to unleash your writing superpowers? That’s the theme of this November’s NaNoWriMo, the annual writing challenge that requires participants to write a novel in the span of 30 days.

Think you couldn’t write a book in 30 years, let alone 30 days?

Well, if these decidedly non-author celebrities can write fiction, why can’t you?

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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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Discussion Thread: Poldark

1783 was not a good year for Captain Ross Poldark. A British army officer, he has just returned from their defeat in the American Revolutionary War. He comes home to find that his inheritance is in shambles, that his family thought he was dead, and that his beloved Elizabeth has married another. Well, specifically, she married his cousin Francis. As you can imagine, complications ensue. . . .

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book of Short Stories

Don’t feel like you have the emotional energy to devote to an entire novel?

Still looking for something different but the nonfiction post from last week isn’t really your thing?

Try a short story collection!

Personally, I love a good short story. This may be a form of heresy to many readers, but if I had to pick between a good short story and a good novel, I’d pick the short story just about every time.

To that end, here are a few short story collections released in the last year or so!

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book That Has a Color in the Title

This week is National Color Day! Admittedly, I’m pretty clueless about what celebrating this day involves, but reading a book with a color in the title seems like a pretty reasonable approach.

Here are a few recommendations that have been released in the last year or so.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Graphic Novel

Confession: I used to avoid graphic novels.

I didn’t have anything against them, per se. I mean, I liked fiction and I liked art, but the combination of the two of them just never occurred to me as something I’d want to read.

I changed my mind about graphic novels after reading Art Spiegelman’s classic Maus and also Gris Grimly’s adaptation of Frankenstein.

It’s still not a genre I read widely in, admittedly, but now, whenever I hear that a book is a graphic novel, my first instinct is no longer to automatically assume it won’t be for me.

To that end, if you were like me a few years ago and think graphic novels aren’t your thing, here are some recommendations that illustrate the great variety within the genre.

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