I finished The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead!...and a rant.

Book one--done! (See list below.) I checked out the book again last Friday and finally had a chance to finish. I really loved it. So creative and so much commentary on how things haven't changed much in the US in some respects. The book does have brutal depictions of violence, as it should, but it was amazing and beautiful. *Highly Recommended*

I am debating about reading Grunt. I would love to read it, but the copy from my library has a heavy cigarette smoke smell, and I don't know if I can take it. I tried to read some from it last night, but it was just not happening. So, that one may go off of the list until I buy my own copy one day. I am also trying to decide if I want to delay reading Fates and Furies. I am loving Stephen King's short stories, so I know I will finish that one. In any case, I will keep you posted. Any book I have to toss from the list will be replaced with another book. :)

Now for my rant:
I recently (as in today) listened to a couple of "book recommendation" podcasts. People wrote in with queries for books to give as gifts (usually in a particular subject area) or for books that match the reader's taste in a particular genre. In other words, someone writes in and says, "I recently read X and loved it. Can you recommend more books like X?" This is the question booksellers get all of the time, and special librarians called Reader Advisory librarians also serve those who ask this question.

Anyway, while listening to the suggestions on this podcast, it became clear to me that the hosts were recommending books that fit their tastes rather than what the person actually asked for. First rule of Reader Advisory: You serve the needs of the patron--not your own needs or agenda. It isn't that the books suggested are bad books. All of them are great. It is just that the books suggested didn't even come close to the heart of the question being asked. Ugh. This is such a pet peeve. I guess that recommending books is a talent, but it is a delicate matter. In any case, that is all. I just had to vent. :)


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