Good Reading… with a British Spin

bloomsbury-good-reading-guideNow in its 8th edition, the Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide is a great place to look for future book group selections, whether your group reads a shared work or explores themes.

Edited by Nick Rennison, the book alternates between entries on individual authors and entries that list books related to particular themes or genres. Each author entry provides a bit of biography, a description of books that make good starting points for that author, and works to read next if you’ve enjoyed that author’s works in the past. Thematic entries provide a list of 10 to 12 books that fit the theme, with convenient cross-referencing to any of the authors in the list who are highlighted in other sections of the book.  There’s also a nice list of award winners in the back.

This is an English publication, so British writers are given the most attention, receiving about two-thirds of the individual entries. This will be a pleasure for readers who are anglophiles, but requires further research in some cases for Americans, as some of the featured books are only available in English editions. Ultimately, however, this book is a fine resource for book groups, libraries, or individual readers. At nearly 500 pages, it’s thorough, inclusive of many genres and nonfiction subjects, well researched, and pleasingly designed. With a late 2009 publication date, it’s also very up-to-date. All in all, it’s one of the best all-inclusive reading guides I’ve seen.

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About the Author:

Neil Hollands is an Adult Services Librarian at Williamsburg Regional Library in Virginia, where he specializes in readers’ advisory and collection development. He is the author of Read On . . . Fantasy Fiction (2007) and Fellowship in a Ring: a Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups (2009).

1 Comment on "Good Reading… with a British Spin"

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  1. lildab7@yahoo.com' Lillian says:

    I am a MLIS candidate at the University of Washington and feel so honored that you and I are reading this book simultaneously. I wrote a ‘slim’ review on good reads and totally agree with your thoughts, especially your last line. Thank you Neil for the validation!

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