Archive for June, 2008

Study Guides: the Species
By June 28, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Study Guides: the Species

Just what exactly should a study guide be? For decades of my life, study guides meant only one thing: a zebra-striped, yellow-and-black series of pamphlets called Cliffs Notes that were generally used for cheating. The Cliffs Notes version became a way of disparaging any condensation or expurgated version of a story, a kind of cheapening […]

Posted in: Book Groups
What They Wanted to Talk About

What They Wanted to Talk About

As book discussion leaders, have you found that sometimes what you planned to focus on in the discussion isn’t always what your group members want to talk about?  During the past two weeks, I’ve led two discussions — one at the library, with my regular group, and the other at Dominican University, with a class […]

Posted in: Book Groups
One Week Reminder

One Week Reminder

I am curious about what other book group leaders do to prepare themselves and their groups for discussions.  There are so many aspects to “preparation,” so I am just going to share one. Every month, one week prior to our meeting, I send out an e-mail reminder.  Because it is a Library book group, I […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Book News
Re-Reading — a Whole Different Process
By June 25, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Re-Reading — a Whole Different Process

I’m about to re-read my favorite new book of the year, Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger. Our book club discusses it one week from today, and a couple months have passed since I first made the acquaintance of Balram Halwai, entrepreneur. What a guy. I’m looking forward to having him try to hustle me again. […]

Posted in: Book Groups
10 Ways to Lighten It Up for Summer

10 Ways to Lighten It Up for Summer

When vacations, families, and the great outdoors call, book groups can quickly take a back seat. Here are ten ideas to help your group avoid doldrums and dog days: 1) OPEN UP THE POSSIBILITIES Instead of assigning a particular book, select a broad topic like mysteries, romances, or thrillers. When they have choices, your members […]

Posted in: Book Groups
What We'll Do at Our Summer Conference

What We'll Do at Our Summer Conference

Booklist editors will be busy, busy, busy this weekend. If you’re going to ALA’s Annual Conference in Anaheim, here’s where you’ll find us. Or drop by and see us at booth 2340. Friday, June 27, 8-10 p.m. Booklist Books for Youth Program: Presenting the Odyssey Award Hilton Anaheim California, Pavilion A This year’s Books for […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Checking for Macavities

Checking for Macavities

The nominees for the 2008 Macavity Awards have been announced. The winners will be revealed at Bouchercon in October. I sure wouldn’t want to handicap Best First Mystery–some tough compeition there. Best Mystery Novel Soul Patch, by Reed Farrel Coleman (Bleak House) The Unquiet, by John Connolly (Atria) Blood of Paradise, by David Corbett (Ballantine) Water Like a […]

Posted in: Book Awards, Book News
No Frey at ALA

No Frey at ALA

News flash: James Frey has canceled his appearance at ALA’s Annual Conference in Anaheim. He was to have appeared (with American Libraries‘ Leonard Kniffel) from 1:30-2:30 on Sunday, June 29. Fortunately, I can offer an alternative: the Booklist Adult Books Readers’ Advisory Forum: Post-9/11 Fiction, from 1:30–3:30 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 304 A/B. I’ll be speaking […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Why stop there? Why not have the computers read the books they recommend for us?

Why stop there? Why not have the computers read the books they recommend for us?

I’ve been meaning to take a look at BookLamp for awhile, a site that describes itself as being like Pandora for books. Where LibraryThing helps readers find books based on similarity of taste, BookLamp takes a more technical approach, scanning the books and, well, here it is in their words: So the first thing that we did […]

Posted in: Libraries
Warming Global?

Warming Global?

In New York (“A Warming Trend“), Christopher Bonanos noticed a sweet new book-jacket trend:                         I love this stuff, although I usually find out about it second-hand: most of the books that I review have plain paper covers. Seen a good trend lately? Let […]

Posted in: Books and Authors