Whew- after being inspired by Sean Cranbury and firing up the social networking engines with Tara Matsuzaki and Heidi Schiller, RA in a Half Day kept right on going at full speed…well, speed-dating that is! What follows is a brief summary of each presentation, please contact us for a full copy of any of the genre presentations.
Romance- Desiree Baron, Vancouver Public Library
The romance genre is defined by a developing love relationship around which the plot is based. And happy endings of course! Romance books are a massive industry with several subsets and incredibly prolific readers. Think about using author readalikes to help readers branch out but be careful to listen to patron’s preferences within the genre. This genre has become very popular in the ebook world with more genre blurring and connectivity.
Mystery- Christine Miller, West Vancouver Memorial Library:
The vital elements of a mystery are of course a murder and the ability of an intelligent investigator to get to the bottom of it. There should be a sense of fair play by the author and the reader is often delighted and satisfied by the ingenious ways in which the crimes are solved. There are several subsections in mystery books and it is important to focus on what appeals to the patron. In this way librarians can match books of similar appeal in theme, setting, character, and plot to the patron’s next read. Christine suggested using popular mystery websites like Stop, You’re Killing Me and Fantastic Fiction.
Science Fiction and Fantasy- Stephanie Kurmey, Surrey Libraries:
There are several classics or pioneers in science fiction and fantasy to be aware of based on subsections like sword and sorcery, myths and legends, humour and urban fantasy. Readers of this genre tend to be serious about their series and some tools which can help you keep up to date include Fantastic Fiction, NPR’s Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books and various science fiction and fantasy award websites.
Thrillers- Olivia Anderson, Greater Victoria Public Library
Thrillers are a relatively new genre, compared to some of their literary contemporaries, but are rapidly gaining popularity among readers. They involve a great deal of cross-over with other genres but are defined by a fast pace and high level of excitement as the author throws challenges at both the protagonist and the reader. They can be villian-driven and often contain flat or less dynamic secondary characters, but at the pace you’re reading who cares?! Some resources for recommending thrillers are The Big Thrill and Halifax Public Library’s Guide to Thrillers.
Western Stories- Paul Hayes, Vancouver Public Library
When Paul first asked the crowd “Who reads Westerns?” he received a luke-warm showing of a few tired hands. A genre that is plagued by misconceptions, Paul explained Westerns are stories which take place during the settlement of new frontiers. There are several notable examples of books as frontiers expanded across North America (and other lands!) These books contain themes like the lack of and then establishment of law, cultures in conflict, unlimited opportunities and a sense of pervading optimism. Within westerns there are neowesterns which mark the end of periods of settlement as well as weird westerns which integrate the best (and worst?) of other genres like aliens, magic and technology! So when Paul asked again “Who reads Westerns?” the whole room seemed to be able to recall a read which took them to a new frontier.