Elle magazine Reader's Prize
Each month, Elle selects fifteen readers, sends them three books, and has each reader rank them and comment on each one. I participated years ago in the non-fiction category, but it was so much fun to participate in fiction this spring. Fiction and non-fiction alternate months, and then at the end of the year, all of the fiction judges will read the monthly winners and crown a grand champion. It's a book tournament all its own. Our picks appear in the May 2012 issue (it's also online), but I read them all back in February. The titles were: The New Republic by Lionel Shriver (my review), The Red Book by Deborah Copaken Kogan (my review), and The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler (my review.) I didn't know how the votes turned out until I received my issue on my Kindle Fire last week. It was a thrill to see consensus; the majority ranked these three novels the same way I did:
Drake Blue magazine
Working as an academic librarian, very little of my job involves talking to people about fiction. When the marketing office approached me to take part in their 'Pick 5' books column for the spring magazine, I was thrilled to share some of my favorite reads with the Drake community. Fitting with the name of this blog, I was given the theme of 'books that take you away.' At the top of page 11, you'll find my picks:
Regular blog readers won't be surprised by my picks:
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (my review)
If You Follow Me by Malena Watrous (my review)
The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey (my review)
Stiltsville by Susanna Daniel (my review)
The Personal History of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber (my review)
These books are all among my favorite reads of the last few years, but I picked them for this feature because of how strongly they evoke their places, from those I have no desire to visit except through books, those I hope to see one day, and the one set in a place I knew little about before reading.
American Library Association Emerging Leaders project
This year I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of the American Library Association's Emerging Leaders. As part of the program, each person joins a team and works on a project. I was thrilled to get my first choice project: creating a new blog for the Reference and User Services Association. Along with my four fellow team members, I'm writing for our blog Chasing Reference. We've been posting for three weeks now, and it's been so fun to see how we all have different approaches (collectively our team includes a public librarian, medical librarian, community college librarian, a large public university librarian, and me--a medium private college librarian) but share the core values of providing user-centered library services. Our posting schedule is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Everyone contributes to Friday posts, and in the individual rotation, we each post about once every three weeks. We'll be presenting a poster session at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Anaheim in June.
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