As I noted in the November entry of my column, Every Book Its Reader, the theater section of most libraries is a neglected source of fast-reading, conflict- and character-driven titles. Many readers encountered Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Miller, and Tennessee Williams in school (or through productions, or filmed adaptations), but there’s a world of theater […]
Author Archive: Neil Hollands
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).
In previous posts, I’ve introduced the All the Best Books Compilation, and highlighted the top crime and thriller novels that it identified for 2014. Let’s continue coverage by looking at which books were most often mentioned as a best book of the year in the historical fiction category. I’ll count down the top nine, those that […]
In honor of Mystery Month, let’s look at the top 10 crime novels and thrillers of last year, as counted by the ABBC (All the Best Books Compilation). The ABBC looked at 172 sources—including Booklist, the RUSA Reading List Awards, and genre-specific sources such as the Edgar Awards, the Left Coast Crime Awards, and Crimespree Magazine—to see which […]
Beginning last November, you saw dozens of lists claiming to identify the best books of 2014. But when you think about it, that’s a big claim. Had the writer of the article read a sizable fraction of the books published in that year? Not likely. And even if the list is compiled by multiple reviewers, […]
It’s just like Gilligan’s Island, but the passengers are indentured servants and the tour is longer than three hours. Imagine if Eliza Bennett went to India with her parents and got orphaned there. This is 12 Years a Slave meets Eat, Pray, Love. I’m lying, and rather despicably. It’s more like one of the darker […]
One book or many? It’s a question I debate with my colleague Andrew Smith, who leads one-book discussion groups at Williamsburg Library. I prefer themed book groups that bring multiple books to the table for each meeting. Ultimately, either solution can be effective. Sue Dittmar, a wonderful librarian from St. Charles City-County Library District in […]