An update to our meeting schedule

Lionel Richie Hello

We now meet quarterly from 9:15 – 11 a.m. every 3rd Tuesday of January, April, July and October, in person or by teleconference (when possible).

Our next meeting is January 16th, 2018 at the Burnaby Public Library Bob Prittie Branch (near Metrotown) in the 3rd floor meeting room.

Thank you!

 

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RA Roundup – Food and Booze Edition

Who doesn’t love a booklists that gathers the perfect pairing of a new read and an adult beverage or some bites? Or how about a list of food-centric books that’ll make your mouth water? Check out these fun booklists and share any of your recommendations with us in the comments below.

Vancouver Public Library’s Books and Beers Booklist

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VPL’s Readers’ Advisory team partners with Chester Carey, a cicerone and co-founder of the B.C. Beer Awards, to curate a beer lover’s dream booklist. The list features some amazing craft beers (and the Irish classic Guinness) paired with a range of titles that include fiction and non-fic titles.

Book Riot’s 100 Must-Read Books: Food in Fiction

A list of 100 food-centric novels? Don’t mind if I do! Check out this amazing booklist that gathers a wide range and diverse titles for any reader, including children’s and YA titles. The list is also broken down by different categories: sci fi and fantasy, historical, and contemporary. Also there’s a list of titles where food is used as magic!

Bustle’s 9 Book and Wine Pairings that are Perfect for a Boozy Book Club

Screenshot of a booklist from Bustle.com that pairs 9 book titles with the perfect wine.

A slightly older list from 2015, but it still holds strong with its recommendations! It’s an eclectic list for any reader including some excellent titles such as The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

Bookstr’s 10 Perfect Food and Book Pairings

A list of some popular contemporary (soon-to-be classics) titles that include a match made food pairing. Some of the writer’s choices are obvious, whereas others are a little more tongue and cheek such as popcorn for Stephen King’s It.

Stephanie Hong is a library technician for Surrey Libraries and Vancouver Public Libraries. She often pairs her reading with donuts.

Best Bets 2017

Each year we pick our favourite books that we can’t stop recommending to people. Check out our 2017 list below!

You can also download a BCLA Best Bets 2017 (2).

 

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All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

This book will make you uncomfortable. It certainly made me uncomfortable. It will make you question the world and yourself. The strength of it lies in the author’s refusal to force a view or opinion on the reader. Greenwood simply tells the story in beautiful language and brings the characters to life so vividly they live in your memory long after you close the book. It is up to the reader to pass judgement, to feel and react.

– Submitted by Ariana Galeano, Richmond Public Library 

 

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Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

The eclectic “Amazing Telemachus Family” is made up of three generations of psychics, telekinetics, and con artists who find themselves facing all sorts of problems- from navigating their powers, to mob bosses, to 1990s AOL chat. Weaving together many storylines, the novel is a hilarious and heartwarming look at love and family. I’d recommend it to anyone who liked Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s The Nest and also appreciates a healthy dose of weirdness in their books.

-Submitted by Lindsay Russell, Port Moody Public Library

 

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Rabbit Cake by Annie Harnett

Reminiscent of Where’d You Go Bernadette, this story is written in the voice of 12 year old Elvis Babbitt as she grieves the loss of her mother.  It is a poignant story that is simultaneously achingly sad and utterly hilarious. Highly recommended.

– Submitted by Pat Cumming, West Vancouver Memorial Library

 

 

 

19161852The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

A fantasy novel leagues ahead of others, The Fifth Season is set on a continent under the constant threat of apocalypse via natural disaster. Some people in this world, including the main character, have the gift or curse—depending on how you look at it—of being able to move and control the forces beneath the earth’s surface; in other words, they can stop or cause natural disasters. The world-building is amazingly inventive and complex, the cast is full of complex, fascinating characters (human and sort-of- human), and the plotting is deftly crafted, with a few brilliant twists.

– Submitted by Casey Stepaniuk, UBC SLAIS Student

 

27245980The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson

How much is your happiness worth? In this slim novel, Swedish author Karlsson imagines an initiative that calculates the “Experienced Happiness” (E.H.) of each person in the world. Those who have experienced greater than average happiness must pay into a fund which will be redistributed to those who have experienced less happiness. Our protagonist has been assessed with a massive E.H. bill, which vastly exceeds his earnings as a part-time video store employee. This modern parable is gently satirical and thought-provoking.

– Submitted by Tara Matsuzaki, West Vancouver Memorial Library 

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The Bill Hodges Trilogy by Stephen King

While these do each stand on their own, the three of them pack a powerful punch.  King puts his hand to hardboiled detective fiction style with some nice twists that look back at his previous work in horror.  Strong, unique characters and chilling climaxes in all three novels make for a ‘don’t put it down’ kind of read.  Great to have a title that has multiple hooks for our varied library users!

 – Submitted by Thomas Quigley, Retired Librarian in Vancouver

 

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The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing

Olivia Laing approaches the topic of loneliness in one part memoir and one part art history lesson in these beautifully poignant essays that explore the subject through artists and the city of New York. A thoughtful and relevant work that allows one to examine what it really means to be lonely in an urban landscape and how it’s changed through society and technology in an ever increasing connected world.

-Submitted by Stephanie Hong, Surrey Libraries and Vancouver Public Library

 

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The Heaviness of Things That Float by Jennifer Manuel

Bernadette has spent 40 years as a nurse living on the West Coast of Vancouver Island on the periphery of a remote First Nations reserve. As she faces her retirement and imminent move from the community, she is forced to explore her relationships with the people and place she has grown to deeply love.

 – Submitted by Kristy Hennings, Okanagan Regional Library 

 

25694617His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae by Graeme Macrae Burnet

With an unreliable narrator, an intricate structure, and a remote and bleak Scottish highland setting, it’s not surprising that this book was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker. Set in 1869 this novel tells the story of Roderick Macrae who provides the reader with a memoir written while in jail, and plenty of insight into the brutal living conditions that Scottish crofters faced. Was he guilty or insane?  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

 Submitted by Shelley Wilson-Roberts, New Westminster Public Library 

 

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On Trails: An Exploration by Robert Moor

Moor takes a question with what seems like an obvious answer “Where do trails come from?” in the middle of walking the Appalachian trail and brings the reader along with him for a fascinating exploration of history and humanity. A delightful, immersive reading experience and not to be missed.

 – Submitted by Meghan Whyte, Surrey Libraries and Vancouver Public Library 

 

 

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Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran

Politics, feminism, family, and pop culture are examined by Gen X’s columnists Caitlin Moran in Mornanifesto. This book will make you laugh out loud, ponder important issues, and maybe even shock you once or twice. If fiction and non-fiction worlds could merge, Caitlin Moran would be Bridget Jones’ funniest and smartest friend.

-Submitted by Cathy Mount, West Vancouver Memorial Library

 

 

29780253Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Comedian Trevor Noah was born to a black mother and white father in South Africa in 1984, when it was against the law for a mixed-racial couple to have a child together. In his biography, Noah describes growing up in apartheid South Africa, being raised by his strong-willed and resilient mother. His tales are often humorous and the reader gets a glimpse of a child growing up in a very different cultural environment. What is truly unforgettable are the harrowing stories Noah tells about living with the restrictions of apartheid.

– Submitted by Lori Nick, Fraser Valley Regional Library

 

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The Unbroken Machine: Canada`s Democracy in Action by Dale Smith
Dale Smith, a freelance journalist in the the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery, has done us all a tremendous favour with this 100-page primer on Canadian parliamentary democracy. His mastery of the material makes the book engagingly limpid, while the punchy argumentative style will help novices immediately appreciate the principles behind the various parts of our political system (even if they ultimately come to view some issues differently than Smith.) To achieve true accountability, democracy–which encompasses much more than elections–requires a broadly distributed command of the basics of civic literacy.  “The Unbroken Machine” brilliantly deploys the book format to support citizens in performing this function.

-Submitted by Joseph Haigh, New Westminster Public Library

 

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Bad Ideas by Michael Smith

Poetry can seem intimidating, especially if you were scarred by it in english class in high school. But Michael V. Smith’s latest collection of poems, “Bad Ideas” (2017) is very accessible and richly rewarding: reading his poems feels like watching a beautiful rainbow, his words wash over you in waves of colourful emotions – joy, sadness, grief, and humour. His poetry is not weighed down by oblique references or excess verbiage: he speaks plainly and from his personal experience dealing with family trauma, lost loved ones and long-distance friends. Bad Ideas is a great introduction to poetry in the 21st century.

-Submitted by Andrea Davidson, Surrey Libraries

 

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Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First NationsMétis, & Inuit Issues in Canada by Chelsea Vowel

 

A clear, precise, and unflinching series of essays on the diversity of indigenous issues in Canada, from blood quantum to two-spirit to the Sixties Scoop. Chelsea Vowel, a blogger, lawyer, and educator, writes with a sharp, informative, and entertaining voice. Challenge yourself to pick up this accessible and absorbing book.

-Submitted by Chloe Riley, Simon Fraser University and Vancouver Public Library

Oh, the Horror!

October is the perfect month to indulge in the horror genre. I would love to share some of my favourite Reader’s Advisory horror tools, some spook-tacular display ideas, and one of my favourite horror novels.

Finding a wide variety of excellent horror suggestions can be difficult, especially if you don’t read the genre (and many people don’t). Most fans of the horror genre have read popular authors such as Clive Barker and Stephen King. Here are some great RA tools to help you find some new authors and the best possible selection of horror:

RA for All Horror

This is Horror-Awards

What Should I Read Next?

Literature Map

I also enjoy creating displays in the library to showcase different aspects of our collection, and in October I love to make spooky displays. Here are a few ideas to try at your own library:

 

Mariko Koike’s The Graveyard Apartment is a great book to recommend to customers who love to read horror novels.

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After moving to a new apartment complex next to a cemetery, a young Japanese family experiences strange and terrifying occurrences that send the other residents fleeing their homes, ultimately leaving them alone with a dark, evil something, or someone, residing in the basement.

If you are a fan of horror, please add your favourite reads in the comments below!

-Sally, Library Technician, Maple Ridge Public Library

 

NoveList Book Squad

Have you heard about NoveList Book Squad? Book Squad is a newsletter put out by NoveList that delivers RA tips and tricks, genre information, display ideas, and showcases interesting and relevant topics for discussion at your library.  You can select a number of topics to receive information about, just like how NextReads works.

topic selection

I find Book Squad most useful for unique and simple display ideas. For example, a recent newsletter featured a picture of a “Killer Summer Reads” display with a selection of horror titles to get started.  Most newsletters also come with readymade posters, bookmarks, and other printables that you can use in your own library.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

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It’s a good idea to make sure all the titles are in your library’s collection before you print out posters. Even if you’re not interested in printing out any of the materials, it is a good way to ideas for displays and then populate them with books right off your own shelves.  If you don’t like the display they’ve made, it helps to jump start the brainstorming process or bring new possibilities and topics to light.

Of course, NoveList is interested in self-promotion, so the newsletters also provides tips for using NoveList for your RA inquiries, links to NoveList training materials like genre outlines, and other ideas about how to use NoveList at your own library. And, because NoveList is an American company, a lot of the content tends to be more American in focus.

Have you used this resource and found it useful? Let us know in the comments below!

Sarah Jost – Information Services Librarian at FVRL

 

Romance Readers’ Advisory

Romance is one of the biggest genre in fiction. You got historical, thrillers, horrors, werewolves, vampires, cozy mysteries, fairies, modern-day, futuristic. The variety is simply endless. Romance novels follow the classic structure: lovers come together, they must overcome obstacles and then live happily ever after. Apart from that, anything goes. This immense diversity makes romance readers’ advisory quite challenging and interesting. But fear not, here are some resources to the rescue!

 

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Romance Readers’ Advisory: The Librarian’s Guide to Love in the Stacks by Ann Bouricius

This is a nice intro into the genre and its’ diversity.

 

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Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan

Funny, smart, and throughout. This is a great examination of the genre.

 

The RITA Awards

The RITAs are given every year to those romance novels judge to be the best of best in their categories. For romance novels, this is THE AWARD.

 

Smart Bitches Trashy Books

Great blog dedicated to discussion on romance novels. Make sure to check out their podcast too!

 

AAA

Another fantastic blog dedicated enterally to reviewing romance novels. It’s Power Search is particularly brilliant! You can search by author, title, book type and more.

 

Goodreads Romance tags and Book Lists

Goodreads never disappoints and it’s a great resource to check out read-alikes as well as book reviews.

RA Roundup

Library Journal: Growing Readership Through Diversity ALA Panel

An insightful summary from the “Growing Readership Through Diversity” ALA panel from this year’s conference. The article discusses the important role that library staff have in terms of increasing visibility in books and authors by introducing their patrons to diverse readers.

Vancouver Public Library: Newly Added Literary Landmarks

VPL recently added new plaques for the Literary Landmarks Initiative for the following authors and creators:  Ivan Coyote, David Suzuki, bill bissett, and Madeleine Thien. If you’re not familiar with the initiative check out the website for the interactive map, information on the authors and their contributions to their neighbourhoods, as well as a list of their works.

Toronto Public Library: Toronto in Literature – Neighbourhood Booklists

Here’s another example of how public libraries are incorporating local fiction maps into their RA. Check out Toronto Public Library’s Neighbhourhood Booklists that feature a breakdown of the various neighbourhoods and how they’ve been captured in literature. The list includes a variety of formats from novels, graphic novels, short stories, and memoirs.

Book Riot: Indulgent Fiction and Food Pairings

Celine Low over at Book Riot has compiled fantastic list of fiction and food pairings (some even include a “pairs poorly with” offerings). The titles range from George R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones to Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians.