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Deciding What to Read Next


A regular reader of bloodcurdling suspense novels (serial killers preferred) visited the library last week and told me worriedly that she was wondering how to unload a copy of Eat, Pray, Love (preferably without reading it first). A well-meaning family member had given to her, assuring her she would love it. Instead, she knew without even opening it that it wasn’t her cup of tea.
For librarians doing reader’s advisory (hardly brain surgery, I know, but risky in its own way) this is a common job hazard: being so wrong with a book suggestion before you’ve had a chance to get to know the person’s reading tastes that the library patron avoids you ever after. Also, it’s hard to keep up with all the possibilities to suggest to a reader; every day I hear of a novel or collection of short stories that I should have been aware of before.
So today, I’m sharing the blogs recommended to reader’s advisors everywhere, professional and otherwise, by the pros writing for Reference & User Services Quarterly. I was directed to this link from one of my favorite librarian book blogs, RA for All. And if you need a laugh today, watch this video from Ron Charles, the Washington Post‘s fiction critic, about reader reviews, which I found through another favorite blog, Algonquin Books Blog. (If you’re not familiar with Chatroulette, the fast and anonymous way to chat with people online, check out this New Yorker article by Julia Ioffe first.)
P.S. For anyone who read Eat Pray Love, the memoir by novelist Elizabeth Gilbert about her trip through Italy, India, and Indonesia, and is looking for a similar book, try Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks (for whirlwind world travel and self-knowledge), Seeking Enlightenment Hat by Hat by Nevada Barr (a mystery novelist’s spiritual quest), or Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes (for more Italy and romance).

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