Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Top 5 of the Nonfiction 5 at the Public Library Association Conference

At every conference I try to attend at least one program focused on readers' advisory. My second in Indianapolis (having also attended the Ann Patchett Book Hour) was Top 5 of the Nonfiction 5. The idea was that five librarians would present five lists for five nonfiction genres. Three of the lists (Must Know  ____, New ____, and Personal Favorite ____) would have five titles each. Classic ___ Authors would have five authors. Trends in ___ would have five trends, which could have any number of titles. If it had been 5 x 5 x 5, it would have 125 book titles (if you ignore any overlap), but it was more complicated than that. It would take too long to count how many titles the five book savvy librarians identified. Since there was no way to describe all in one hour, Rebecca Vnuk from Booklist posted all the lists and slides at Shelf Renewal.

That also means there was much too much for me to mention here, so I'll just note some books I really want to read, which will suggest to you the great variety offered. You should visit Shelf Renewal and print the lists for collection development, frontline readers' advisory, and developing your own reading lists.

Rebecca began with Memoirs. From the trend We Put the FUN in Dysfunctional, I'd like to read Disaster Preparedness by Heather Havrilesky, and from the Rebecca's Personal Favorites, Late Bloomers' Revolution by Amy Cohen.

Barry Trott from the Williamsburg Regional Library followed with Science and Nature. This is a genre that I really enjoy, and there were too many titles for even a year of my reading. On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History by Nicholas Basbanes from the Microhistories trend and The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert from the Last Things trend are my top picks to add to my wish list.

Third was Kaite Mediatore Stover from Kansas City Public Library with Pop Culture. From her lists of books, some with dazzling covers, I want to read Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and World War II by Mark Harris from the Back-Story trend and Watching the English by Kate Fox from Kaite's Personal Favorites.

David Wright of Seattle Public Library drew the Self Help assignment. While I like David and enjoy his humor, I have never enjoyed reading self help books, but it is good to know about them since we buy them and get them into the hands of willing readers. I might try When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It! by Yogi Berra from David's Personal Favorites.

Finally, Jessica Moyer of the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin presented lists for the Food and Home genre. I was glad to see she included Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting by Michael Perry, one of my favorite authors, in Must Know books. I have long intended to read Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky in her Classic Food and Home.

This just scratches the surface. I'll repeat, go to Shelf Renewal and see the slides and lists.

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