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Sunday, March 14, 2010 2:03 pm
From the conference swag box
Posted by: Kaite Stover

It takes me more than a month to unpack all the goodies I get at ALA from the exhibitors. I ship it all and about three weeks later am pleasantly surprised again at all the galleys, notes, and tchotchkes I’ve collected.

One brochure I picked up that I won’t be letting go anytime soon is the “Random House Library Book Club” guide. I should have grabbed a handful to send to some book group facilitator friends.

This guide is a very good mix of fiction and nonfiction, a book club classic, a couple of memoirs, inspirational and literary fiction. A great mixed bag for the group that likes to read everything.

Aside from the typical features of a short annotation and a handful of discussion topics, each entry includes a very short shelf-talk and note the format availability of the book. A website at the bottom of each entry directs the reader to further information or discussion questions either at an author’s website or the publisher.

Some of the short shelf talks, called Readers’ Advisory, are better than others. A few are simple one-liners that pair the book with another bestselling or familiar title. Here’s a sample of one of the better ones:

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. With the international scope of The Kite Runner and the narrative power of The Thorn Birds. For readers of A Bend in the River, Of Human Bondage, and The Poisonwood Bible.

I’m looking forward to collecting even more book group goodies at PLA next week. I promise to unpack the box sooner.


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