Week 16 Prompt

For me, reading has always been a special activity. As a kid, my relationship to books was mostly just that I devoured them and was constantly looking for new worlds to explore. Today, that element is the same, but I've gained an appreciation and knowledge of how those books come into the world and how the world views them. I love the ability to grab a book at the drop of a hat on my phone or iPad, but that's never going to replace the wish to read that book in print or to own print copies of my favorites (...or multiple copies). Books have only become more special to me as time has gone on, and those worlds I fell in love with as a kid will always be some of the most special. The world of reading and books feels as if it's gotten both smaller and larger at the same time. It feels like maybe the readers are fewer, but the number of books and the ways to access them are so much more. I loved how Ursula K. LeGuin put the perspective on reading, though, and recognized that a

Week 15 Prompt

In doing all of the readings this week, I started to think about what kinds of marketing I actually paid attention to when I visit a store or the library. Personally, I'm a big fan of recommendations I can take with me, like bookmarks or annotated book lists, but I also like a themed display. Displays I think one of my favorite ways to market books would be displays. They can be quick and easy to set up--so if you're short on time, you can do something informal, or if you have the time, you can take it much more in depth. I loved Joyce Saricks' Books You May Have Missed cart, because so much attention is paid to new releases and the backlist books seem to get forgotten. Featuring books that may have fallen by the wayside is a great way to expand reader's horizons, too. I love a lot about how Barnes & Noble makes use of all their space with endcaps, but their book selection is the worst. Because of the corporate sway (publishers often pay for their placement on pr

Week 14 Prompt

This is the kind of question where I have to decide what idea I like slightly more than the other, because I can make an argument in either direction for either urban fiction or LGBTQ works to be subdivided out. However, if I had to make the decision today, I'd likely separate urban fiction out while keeping LGBTQ integrated into fiction as a whole. My biggest basis for this is, first and foremost, experience. In my job at Barnes & Noble, at least a couple of times a week I'm asked for the urban fiction, in some form or another. Often it's where our African American books are, but every time I've delved further, it's been urban fiction they're looking for. We keep African American non-fiction separated out, but not the fiction--and no one is ever looking for the non-fiction when they ask. On the other hand, if I'm asked for LGBTQ books, it's the non-fiction people want, which is also separated out. I've not once been asked for fiction by or abo

Week 13 Prompt

I am a huge reader of YA, simply because I love it. (I'm a kid's lead at Barnes & Noble, so keeping up with middle grade and YA is part of my job--but I'd do it anyway!) I get really defensive when people start to disparage YA--especially when it's aimed at adults who read it. Because, as adults, most of the reading we're doing is leisure reading, why should every book we pick up be a work of literary fiction or a classic? Just because a book is written for teenagers doesn't inherently make it inferior. Can't we all agree a book like The Giving Tree is exceptional work? Yet was it written for adults? Nope! Does that mean I'm not allowed to read The Giving Tree  ever again, just because it wasn't written for an adult? I think there are lots of ways to help adults in their interest in YA, but I think encouragement is huge. I know in my own job I try to be aware of when adults are looking at or buying YA and find out why they're doing so. If i

Young Adult Annotation - Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian Ash Princess trilogy #1 Synopsis: When Theo was just 6 years old, her country was invaded, her mother, the queen, murdered in front of her, and her entire life changed. Now, 10 years later, Theo's spirit is nearly broken. Living in her rightful home alongside the people who destroyed her world, Theo has resorted only to surviving, appeasing the kaiser to avoid trouble. That is, until the day the kaiser forces her to kill someone important from her former life. With that act, the fire is lit in Theo's heart. She joins the rebels in their mission to take down the kaiser, plotting to seduce and betray the prinz. Even so, at each step, it feels as if the kaiser and his reach is ahead of Theo with every move. With the biggest risk yet to take, Theo wonders if their work will be worth the sacrifice. Characteristics of young adult fantasy: Detailed setting depicts another world : Theo's world is largely unspecific in terms of location

Reader's Advisory Matrix: Born a Crime

Author: Trevor Noah Title: Born a Crime Publication date: November 15, 2016 Number of pages: 304 Geographic setting: South Africa Time period: 1990s Subject headings: Noah, Trevor--1984-.Comedians--Biography. Television personalities--Biography. Type: Biography, Memoir Series notes: N/A Book summary: As the current host of The Daily Show , Trevor Noah is broadcast into millions of homes, sharing his specific worldview and experience with them. And despite "apartheid Africa" being a familiar idea, many know little to nothing about the lives of those who lived under it. As a mixed child, the son of a white Swiss man and black Xhosa woman, born in Johannesburg, Noah's very existence was illegal. In this episodic memoir, Noah recounts his sometimes violent upbringing with his signature wit and self-deprecation, sparing little detail or embarrassment. He tells of having to hide away when seeing his white father and having to pretend to be the nanny's

Week 11 Prompt

In some ways, whether a book is an ebook or an audiobook shouldn't affect the appeal factors too much. The book itself--the words that were written--don't change between formats. However, realistically, how a reader ingests a book is going to make a big difference in their experience with it. I think this is more heavily affected in audiobooks than in ebooks, though. Because an audiobook is produced by a group of people, their decisions of a narrator and/or cast, music, and direction are integral to the quality of the reader's experience. As Kaite Mediatore says in "Reading With Your Ears: Readers' Advisory and Audio Books," "a poor match between the pace of the story and the pace the narrator uses can cause a reader to stop listening to an audio book. Clyde Edgerton's Walking Across Egypt is narrated by Norman Dietz. Even though the book's southern setting and small town characters warrant a narration slower than that of a thriller, Dietz is to

Historical Fiction Annotation - The Alienist by Caleb Carr

The Alienist by Caleb Carr (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler #1) Synopsis: It's 1896 in New York City and someone is killing and mutilating boy prostitutes. The police want nothing to do with the murders of the least of city's denizens, but Theodore Roosevelt, the newly appointed police commissioner, is determined to bring the person responsible to justice. So he enlists his friends Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a well-known (and largely disliked) psychologist, and John Moore, a crime beat reporter, to investigate--unbeknownst to anyone else in the department. Kreizler seeks to do something no one has ever done: create a portrait of the killer using the evidence and inference--then find the man who fits that profile. However, it's not just time and the killer they're racing against, as the city's crime bosses don't want anyone snooping in their business and even the police interfere, fearing the loss of their income through pay offs and illegal dealings. And as Kreizler and Moo

Book Club Experience

For my book club observation, I visited the book club my mom runs. She has run it for at least six to seven years, and while it’s something I’ve been aware of and made suggestions for books to read for, I’ve never actually been to a meeting. This is in large part because of when they meet—midday on the first Friday of the month—and what they read, which is not to my taste for the most part. I didn’t have time ahead of the meeting to read the book, so I simply observed, and I made them aware that I was observing for a class assignment. This was because they all know me and would think it odd if I showed up to a meeting and didn’t participate. The group meets in the parlor at our church, a mid-sized, comfy room with couches and armchairs scattered in a loose circle around the room. My mom, the creator of the group, normally prepares a snack, which is most often a coffee cake or something similar, and sets up coffee and water to drink. This is all set along a sidebar in the room, for pa

Special Topics - Book Packaging

For my special topics paper, I wrote about book packagers, an aspect of publishing most people don't know about. The American Book Producers Association equates a book packager to an indie film, where a small company puts together a movie and seeks distribution for it. The little guy did all the creative work, but the larger company is the one that puts it in theaters and handles the marketing. That is largely the same for a book packager. In most instances, the packager handles the creative aspect--the story, editing, writing, production--and the publisher takes the product, puts their name on it, and sends it out into the world. Book packaging is far from a new idea. As early as 1899, Edward Stratemeyer produced the Rover Boys series and would later publish the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books as well. The Sweet Valley High series was as a result of packager, 17th Street Productions, which later became Alloy Entertainment--which is responsible for the Gossip Girl, Vampire Diar