Genreflecting: A guide to popular reading interests

Never mind the cover shows a woman reading an eBook!  This new book is for helping patrons find their next great read. I think Part III will be especially helpful.  It separates Mysteries from Thrillers and breaks them both down into more descriptive categories.  Fantasy and Science Fiction also neatly explained.  Take a look. It’s in Ready Reference or on the desk.

“Dork Diaries” author at Books and Greetings

Rachel Renee Russell will be Books and Greetings Friday June 7th at 4pm. Her books are very popular in my school. I posted recently about the article about her in the New York Times in April/May.  She is African-American and the main character in her Dork books is white. She was a lawyer who turned to writing in her 40’s.  Wish I could go!

“Manuscript Found in Accra”

I was very confused by this newest book by Paulo Coelho.  I expected a story set in ancient times.   In actuality, there is no story.  What Coelho has written is a book of reflections on how to live a good life.  The “story” is based on a manuscript discovered by an English archeologist, Sir Walter Wilkinson.  Through the process of Carbon 14 tests, it was revealed that the manuscript was not an original but a copy that was probably written   around AD 1307.  Coelho prefaces the story by saying that he received a copy of the manuscript from the son of the archeologist.  His book “Manuscript Found in Accra” is a translation of the manuscript.  After some digging I found that this aspect of the story is true.  The translation is the fiction.

In the story a mystic referred to as the Copt speaks to various people who are awaiting the invasion of Jerusalem by the Crusaders.  He tailors his advice to each group who is facing this invasion.  He offers heart-felt wisdom on how to appreciate and evaluate the life that we have been given.

This is only the second book I have read by Coelho.  While I found this novel interesting, it is not what I expected.

End of the trail

I’ve finished Mary Roach’s Gulp. I recommend it to anyone who wants to know the inside poop. Seriously, I did learn a lot and laughed a lot. In an early chapter she is talking about chewing, the mouth and the uvula, “that queer little oral stalactite.” “Its full medical name, and my pen name should I ever branch out and write romance novels, is palatine uvula.” She often has fun with coincidental names such as Sleeter Bull being the head of the University of Illinois Meats Division. And Dr. Crapo, who studies lethal doses of hydrogen sulfide produced by manure.

In the latest online American Libraries, there is an article about Common Core and using more non-fiction in storytimes. Some of the titles that the author (a children services manager) recommends are Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert, any titles by April Pulley Sayre, Bob Barner and Gail Gibbons, and the Pebble Plus series by Capstone for the pre-schoolers.

For the elementary school crowd, titles by Steve Jenkins are great — I always bring one when we visit the schools, the kids love the facts contained in books like Actual Size and Down, Down, Down: a Journey to the Bottom of the SeaNick Bishop’s Snakes, Frogs and Lizards contain amazing photographs as well as information. Also recommended is David Schwartz’s How Much is a Million? for fun facts about large numbers, as well as Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy, for ideas about inventions.

To me, it seems that the bottom line with Common Core is for the kids to read more non-fiction, and all the “rules” just endorse this aspect