Week 3 Prompt

1. I am looking for a book by Laurell K. Hamilton. I just read the third book in the Anita Blake series and I can’t figure out which one comes next!

Book four is The Lunatic Cafe--so long as you're looking for the true fourth book, not counting novellas and the like! (Found via Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/49083-anita-blake-vampire-hunter)

2. What have I read recently? Well, I just finished this great book by Barbara Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer. I really liked the way it was written, you know, the way she used language. I wouldn't mind something a bit faster paced though.

I'd love to ask a few more questions here! A couple of my favorite authors--Juliet Marillier and Robin McKinley--write lyrical, lush, and descriptive books (the terms used on the NoveList page for Prodigal Summer), but both write fantasy, so a reader who's not interested in fantasy isn't likely to want their books. However, I'd also see if they were interested in more from Kingsolver, because her Poisonwood Bible is a favorite from a time that I'd not read much in the way of adult, more literary fiction. However, I found The Maytrees by Annie Dillard through NoveList. By selecting the writing style as lush, lyrical, and descriptive, I found several more books that fit that description. The Maytrees sounded like something that hit a lot of similar hallmarks as Barbara Kingsolver's book, though it's likely not fast paced by many standards.

3. I like reading books set in different countries. I just read one set in China, could you help me find one set in Japan? No, not modern – historical. I like it when the author describes it so much it feels like I was there!

In doing a general search for Japanese historical fiction that's richly detailed with a strong sense of place, I didn't have too many options. However, one stood out: The Teahouse Fire by Avery Ellis. With two main characters, one Japanese and one French, the novel is said to adeptly explore Japan's upheaval in the late nineteenth century.

4. I read this great mystery by Elizabeth George called Well-Schooled in Murder and I loved it. Then my dentist said that if I liked mysteries I would probably like John Sandford, but boy was he creepy I couldn't finish it! Do you have any suggestions?

I browsed quite a bit on NoveList to find something aside from the couple of really prominent names that kept coming up in read-alikes for Elizabeth George, and I found one called Christine Falls by Benjamin Black that sounded like a really good, different kind of recommendation! Like Well-Schooled in Murder, it's character-driven and intricately plotted, but the reviews say it's also very atmospheric and while it feels like your general detective story, it's more complexly written. It's described as gritty, but not violent like John Sandford.

5. My husband has really gotten into zombies lately. He’s already read The Walking Dead and World War Z, is there anything else you can recommend?

All listed as read-alikes for World War Z, in zombie fiction it's hard not to start with Feed by Mira Grant and I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Each takes on zombies a little differently, but all offer that bleak, suspenseful tone. Though not zombies, he could also try The Passage by Justin Cronin for the same kind of tone. And if he's interested in a different kind of graphic novel experience, he could try Chew by John Layman and illustrated by Rob Guillory, about a detective who gets psychic impressions from the things he eats (including dead bodies!).

6. I love books that get turned into movies, especially literary ones. Can you recommend some? Nothing too old, maybe just those from the last 5 years or so.

My first thought for this is Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. It's a little older--2009--but the movie came out in 2015 and was nominated for several Oscars. It's a very introspective novel about Eilis, who left her home in Ireland to seek a better life in New York and then is torn between returning to her beloved home or continuing to seek a new future in America. Also, The Sense of an Ending, which won the Man Booker Prize, had an adaptation released in 2017 and is defined by NoveList as literary fiction.

7. I love thrillers but I hate foul language and sex scenes. I want something clean and fast paced.

This was hard to find on NoveList so I turned to Goodreads and their group called "Clean Reads" (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/5989-clean-reads). Readers here discuss and help one another find books that they deem "clean." One book recommended on the group was Face of Betrayal by Lis Wiehl. It is Christian fiction, however, and the reader may want something secular. Many members recommended also Mary Higgins Clark, as well as Agatha Christie.

How I find books:

My books to read come from several places! I first hear about books most often on Twitter. Many times, it's because the deals have been announced in Publisher's Weekly and all the authors and other bloggers I follow are congratulating people. Otherwise, it's just word of mouth. If I keep seeing people mention a book, I look it up. Because I've been a YA blogger for so long, I have a good group of friends whose opinions I trust, so if one of them have raved about a book on Goodreads, I'm very likely to try it out. One of my favorite features bloggers do (me included sometimes) is called Waiting on Wednesday, where they feature a book they're excited for that's not out yet. I've found countless books that way, just browsing other blogs. Sometimes, a book gets by me, and it's not till it's coming into my store that I hear about it. I often work in receiving, opening boxes (and being the first person to touch the new books!), so I'll stop and read about things that come in that look interesting.


  1. Excellent job on your response! Full points! You did a great job outlining how you answered each of the queries and consulted great online resources!

  2. I recommended many of the same titles as I see in your prompt response...that's reassuring. I like how you included a desire to ask the patron additional questions. I had that thought on a few of the prompts as well. In a conversational setting, it would be easier to get a clear picture of the patron's needs. This exercise sheds some light on the differences between filling out a readers advisory request form vs. engaging in a personal discussion. By the way, your formatting is so user friendly and easy to navigate. I'm new to the blog scene and...well....it shows. ha.

    1. That was definitely the hardest part to me! It's so much easier to make recommendations when you're able to have a back and forth and see what the patron has read and likes. Coming from one book and having maybe a little more to go on was definitely a challenge!

      And thank you! Admittedly, I've run a blog for...gosh, nearly 7 years? I know Blogger inside and out by this point! I didn't do much here to personalize or make it fancy, but I definitely know how I like for things to look.


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