Read Something: Gripping

“If it’s not gripping you, you’re reading the wrong book.”  
– Nick Hornby

This week we Read Something gripping. What makes a book gripping is in the eye of the beholder. Some readers are gripped by a fast-paced covert-ops thriller with a high body count; others would use gripping to describe a well-realized, vivid work of history or a quietly intense coming of age memoir. That said, some authors have a special knack for grabbing us right away, and not letting go. Finding it hard to get going on a book? Check out one of these gripping reads:

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Read Something Amorous

Maybe it’s Bridgerton, or the promise of Spring; Valentine’s Day, or the promise of vaccination day, but more and more readers these days are discovering the wondrous and diverse world of romance fiction. Ever one of the most popular genres around, last year saw rising numbers of romance readers, with more expected in the year ahead, and while the Romance publishing industry has been justly called out for its traditional lack of diversity, there are encouraging signs that this is changing as we speak, in many ways. The happy ending: this is an exciting time to be a romance reader! So whether you’re a diehard fan, or just beginning to explore the literature of love, this week we turn over the card inviting you to Read Something Amorous!

Shelf Talk has long been a friend to literary lovers, (just click on the tags on this post if you don’t believe me), so to get things started, here are a few stellar romance titles representing the genre’s range:

How to Catch a Queen, by Alyssa Cole. Shanti Mohapi finds out that life as a queen isn’t all it is cracked up to be, when her new husband – King Sanyu of Njaza – barely seems to know she exists. Continue reading “Read Something Amorous”

Read Something Public Domain

Just what is the ‘public domain’ and why do you need to know about it? It’s appeal can be summed up in just two words: it’s FREE! The second card we’ve drawn in our ongoing #ReadSomething series is public domain, so let’s tell you a little bit about what that is, and how the public domain can enrich your life.

Simply put, the term ‘public domain’ refers to creative works that are not protected by copyright, and are thus free for all to use, copy and adapt. This includes works given away by their creators, but also works whose copyright protection has lapsed. For decades, lengthening copyright terms in the U.S. had prevented new works for entering the public domain. Since 2019, every January on Public Domain Day (or as some still refer to it, New Year’s Day), a whole year’s worth of works suddenly become yours, mine, and everyone’s. It isn’t hard to understand why this is a day that librarians love. This month, works have entered the public domain that were originally published in 1925, which just happens to be one of the all-time greatest years for books – a year that blew up literature in ways we’re still catching up with today. Continue reading “Read Something Public Domain”

Read Something Gifted

What was your favorite book you received as a gift this year? I’m assuming you got at least a few, but if somehow that didn’t happen then what was your favorite bookish gift; you know what I mean, all those non-book gifts that folks just love to give to readers.

I’ll begin: mine was Read Something, a “premium readers advisory deck” created by the talented team behind Unshelved, the library comic, and other bookish fabulosity. Gifted to me by one of my favorite librarian friends from Kansas City who is, like myself, and avid reader of both books and tarot cards, this wildly inventive reading game/tool includes 101 variously-themed illustrated cards, each one of which could complete the suggestion – or the command  (the plea?) – Read Something _________.

Because I’m a librarian, and librarians are notorious for sharing things, I thought it might be fun to share this deck with you, card by card, here on Shelf Talk, inviting you all to muse on and share your own ideas, as inspired by each card’s theme. (And yes, the cards’ creators thought that sounded fun, too) So join us for this whole series of #ReadSomething posts, as we invite chance and whimsey into our literary lives. Fittingly, the first card I’m sharing is: Gifted. Which leads me to my question: Continue reading “Read Something Gifted”