Here at the Delaware County District Library, we pride ourselves on good customer service. Part of providing such a service is to know what is happening in the publishing world.
As a way to keep up to date, the staff meets every other month to talk about what they are reading in a committee called Readers’ Advisory. Readers’ Advisory is “librarian-speak” for a fundamental library service that involves suggesting fiction and nonfiction titles to a reader through a conversation or question-and-answer process.
For a librarian or library staff, having a Readers’ Advisory committee is an excellent way for staff to learn about different genres, older favorite books, good narrators for audiobooks, read-alikes, what is most popular and, for example, whether or not the newest Elizabeth Gilbert book is worth reading.
Last month, some of the titles talked about were “Young Jane Young” by Gabrielle Zevin, a book which mirrored the Monica Lewinski incident; “My Friend Anna” by Rachel Laroache Williams, which is a true story about a particularly cunning con artist; and a juvenile fiction book in verse by Nikki Grimes titled “One Last Word.”
Talking about books is one of our favorite things to do, and if it is something you also enjoy, pick up an issue of the library’s quarterly newsletter, “Check it Out,” to see what your nearby library book club is sampling, or read some of our staff recommendations on the inside back cover.
For this week, the titles below come from the October LibraryReads newsletter. This list is created from the top 10 books published this month that librarians across the United States read, reviewed and loved. You can subscribe to receive monthly updates from a number of different reading lists when you visit www.delawarelibrary.org/services and search for New Materials.
• “Nothing to See Here” by Kevin Wilson. A funny, snarky narrator takes on the job of caretaker for kids with remarkable and strange abilities. Everyone involved learns that sometimes all we need after being repeatedly let down is someone to rely on. For fans of Chuck Klosterman and Gary Shteyngart.
• “The Library of the Unwritten” by A.J. Hackwith. The ideas of books never actually written possess dangerous potential and power. They are kept in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell. Determined librarians tend the library keeping watch for escaped characters, angels and demons. For fans of Genevieve Cogman or Neil Gaiman.
• “The Art of Theft” by Sherry Thomas. In this fun, playful series, Thomas has created a female version of Sherlock Holmes who is vibrant, real, relatable, and intelligent. This fourth book has Holmes and Watson travel to France, with twists and turns the reader won’t see coming. Perfect for fans of Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series and Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily series.
• “The Body: A Guide for Occupants” by Bill Bryson. A fascinating look at the human body and how it functions. Each historical tidbit is well-researched and thoroughly cited. Interesting stories, such as how diseases, cells, nerves, and organs were discovered, are woven throughout. For readers who like narrative nonfiction such as “Gulp” by Mary Roach, “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande, and “Gut” by Giulia Enders.
• “Ordinary Girls: A Memoir” by Jaquira Díaz. Díaz was out of control. Her life was a never ending cycle of indifferent (or worse) parenting, street fights, abuse, drugs, arrests, alcohol, skipping school — all are detailed in this coming-of-age memoir. Reading this extraordinary memoir reminds you that no one can make you do something until you decide to on your own. For fans of Hunger by Roxane Gay and When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago.
If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at [email protected] No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!