Tuesday, June 13, 2017

program preview 2

(broken into 2 pieces because Blogger wants to limit labels.  I dislike that function.)

Books that were great but ended up not included:
(The final list of 6 books to be revealed after July 6th!)

The last policeman by Ben Winters.  I really liked this book (having previously read the series myself--12, and 3) and was hoping on using it for the busting-into-sci-fi genre-bender.  It's edgy, sharp, witty, and a bit dark and would have fit well with two of the red wines on the tasting list.  I didn't include it because I chose another slightly-futuristic witty book that might nudge people into sci-fi.  (this actually scored 0 via my points system, but only because it's under-reviewed and under-categorized in NoveList.)

The thunder of giants by Joel Fishbane.  I've picked this book up for programs several times and never fit it in.  It would appeal to a wide range of historical fiction readers because it features stories in two different time periods (both historical) and it's told in a very lively, engaging style.  I chose another book for the historical fiction spot (also told in two different time periods).  (5)

Nakamura reality by Alex Austin.  The lyrical language and flawed but realistic and relatable character made this a great match for the darkest red on the menu.  Haunting, surreal, dark, but hopeful, it was a tie between this and the other darkly suspenseful tale.  First I turned to stats-- this book marginally outscored its competition in user starts in Amazon (4.7 from 6 reviewers) and Goodreads (4.0 from 28 ratings) while the book it was up against scored very closely (Amazon: 4.1 from 7 reviewers; Goodreads: 3.29 from 31 ratings).  Despite Nakamura reality's slightly higher score, an informal poll among nearby staff reflected that, though both are great, dark books, the other book would have a slightly wider appeal.  (3)

Coyote by Colin Winnette.  This was up with Nakamura reality for the dark, dark wine.  I found the (unreliable) narrator's voice strong and inviting.  Amazon and Goodreads starts were sub-4.  This was the first book on the chopping block.  (1)

Three books were up for the position of light, genre-blending women's fiction, Hugo and RoseIn another life, and the ultimate finalist:

Hugo and Rose by Bridget Foley.  The paranormal-tinged quasi-romance women's fiction story, this book seemed to have better writing, better language, and a more engrossing style than the other selections, but both Amazon and Goodreads reviewers scored it under 4.  (2)

In another life by Julie Christine Johnson.  Kicked out of the romance-y, paranormal-y women's fiction category, *and* overshadowed by another historical fiction set in multiple eras.  I was personally less impressed with the writing, although many people seem to like it-- one coworker in particular has read it and raved.  (1)

Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt.  I have read very good reviews and even heard a few positive things about this one, but I found it to be a slow-starter and difficult as the setting (both time and place) seem rather unspecified.  It was only a good fit for one of the wines, and I had more interesting, more versatile, more appealing titles to use.  (2)

If I fall, if I die by Michael Christie.  I have been trying to use this somewhere for ages.  Emotionally engaging coming-of-age story with interesting, colorful, unique characters.  It wasn't very flexible-- it only fit with one wine and another book edged it out-- but I think a lot of readers would find something to like about it.  I'm keeping it on my mental list for any future need.  (4)

Speak by Louisa Hall.  The story structure is very interesting and I think it could appeal to many readers who "don't read sci-fi" but, because it *also* employs stories in multiple timelines, I didn't want to duplicate that story feature.  Highly recommended for people who like a little experimentation in their fiction.  (0, but because it's info is sparse, not for lack of quality)

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