Sunday, January 29, 2017

Prompt: Week Three

Novelist Search:

1. I am looking for a book by Laurell K. Hamilton. I just read the third book in the Anita Blake series and I can’t figure out which one comes next!

In Novelist, when looking for the next book in a series, I typically do a keyword search of the author. In this case, I searched "Laurell Hamilton". It took me to her author page. Underneath her bio, there are several tabs:Books, Audiobooks, Series, More about his author, and Lists & Articles. I went ahead and chose the series tab, which then listed all of the series she has written/co-authored. The "Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter" series was an option and then once there you are able to see that the 4th book is The Lunatic Cafe

2. What have I read recently? Well, I just finished this great book by Barbara Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer. I really liked the way it was written, you know, the way she used language. I wouldn't mind something a bit faster paced though.

After finishing Prodicgal Summer,  I would suggest picking up Edward Wilson's, Anthill. In Novelist's read alike section, they describe both Prodigal Summer and Anthill as lyrical novels with ecological thees. Prodigal Summer is seen as a romantic, thought-provoking book which Anthill also seems to have, but Antill also has elements of suspense which should move the book along at a quicker pace. 

3. I like reading books set in different countries. I just read one set in China, could you help me find one set in Japan? No, not modern – historical. I like it when the author describes it so much it feels like I was there!

When looking for  books set in a specific place, I normally just type that location in the keyword search. In this case I typed, Japan. Since you were looking for a book that is a little more historical in setting, I used the search limiters on the left to change the time period. With that, many selections came up and I'll recommend a personal favorite: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell. 

4. I read this great mystery by Elizabeth George called Well-Schooled in Murder and I loved it. Then my dentist said that if I liked mysteries I would probably like John Sandford, but boy was he creepy I couldn't finish it! Do you have any suggestions?

If you are looking for a great read-alike for Well-schooled in Murder by Elizabeth George, I would suggest picking up, D.A. Mishani's, A Possibility of Violence. Both books deal with psychologically suspenseful police investigations of violent crimes that take place in schools. Unlike Well-Schooled in Murder, this read-alike doesn't have violence listed as a tone, so as a reader you shouldn't have the same issue that you did with a John Sanford Book.

5. My husband has really gotten into zombies lately. He’s already read The Walking Dead and World War Z, is there anything else you can recommend?

A few of my favorite go to zombie books that I would give to people who love The Walking Dead and World War Z would be: Feed by Mira Grant which is the first book n a trilogy about life 20 years after the zombie apocalypse, Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry which is a fast-paced book about the start of the apocalypse, and The Zombie Autopsies by Steven Schluzman which appears as a nonfiction much like World War Z, but in a more medical science take. 

6. I love books that get turned into movies, especially literary ones. Can you recommend some? Nothing too old, maybe just those from the last 5 years or so.

Novelist has a great feature under the quick links tab at the top of the site that is for people looking for the books-->movies section. They also have a keyword search, "GX books to Movies" and with that you can limit the year of the book. Some books that I would suggest are:

  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (Movie: 2012)
  • Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon North (Movie: 2013)
  • The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff (Movie: 2015)
7. I love thrillers but I hate foul language and sex scenes. I want something clean and fast paced.

On Novelist, I had a bit of trouble finding books that specifically laid out their content in such a way to fit this category, so for this I went to my stereotypical go-to website: Goodreads. A group of people had actually asked for something similar and they suggested books by Mary Higgins Clark, which I too would concur. Her books are sometimes more suspenseful than a thriller, but I believe she has aspects that would fulfill this request. 

Like I kind of touched on in my answer to question seven, I normally look to GoodReads to find my next book that I am going to read. I typically read young adult books and there are quite a few lists on the website that showcase great YA reads. Often times if you type in Young Adult and then a certain year you can find books that came out in a that year. GoodReads is great because each book has a rating attached to it. Normally if a book is under a 3.8/5 I don't even bother picking it up. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Personal Reading Profile

I am definitely a veracious reader, especially when it comes to Young Adult books. Prior to working at the Dallas Public Library, I used to be a Young Adult assistant at the Carmel Clay Public Library. Until then, I didn’t read much YA, however now that is pretty much exclusively what I read. Last year with grad school, I only read 45 books, but typically I average in between 125-150 books read each year. If I had to pick my favorite genres would probably be science fiction, psychological thrillers, fantasy and LGBTQ. On the flip side, if I had to choose my least favorite genres I would have to pick romance, especially the “feel good” Summer romance books that are popular in YA fiction. I actually owned quite a bit of books, however in my move to Texas I parted ways with close to half of my collection so that the moving load wasn’t so large.

Creating a list of books that are my “Top Picks of 2016” is definitely hard, even with the fewer amount of books that I read. But, here it goes:

  •        The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid (Science Fiction and I met the author at ALA this past summer!)
  •        Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Science Fiction, #2 in a series)
  •         Draw the Line by Laurent Linn (Realistic Fiction with a twist of Graphic Novel throughout)
  •         Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin (Realistic Fiction/LGBTQ)
  •         Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Fantasy)

My TOP 5 ALL TIME favorite books (even harder to come up with than last year’s list!!)

  •        The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
  •              I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
  •        Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
  •        Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  •             The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger