Sunday, June 12, 2005

What to Read Next: the hardest question to answer

Reference librarians are still asked all kinds of questions despite the popularity of the internet , but the most challenging reference question is, "what should I read next?" BHPL has a whole collection of "readers' advisory" reference works and a database, NovelList, that help answer that question. Nancy Pearl, a now-retired Seattle Librarian, is the Queen of Readers' Advisory, as mentioned in a previous post. Lately I haven't been able to find a book that really grabs me. My pile of books have all been started and rejected. Nancy, help! So I turn in desperation to Pearl's Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason. Since I just finished Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, I turn to her chapter on 'Asian American Experiences.' She describes Donald Duk by Frank Chin; Gish Jen's Typical American; Gus Lee's China Boy; and Chang-rae Lee's Native Speaker.

How do you find the next book to read?

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