It feels like it's been a long time coming, but the newest (7th) edition of Genreflecting: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests is finally here!
For those of you not familiar with Genreflecting as a reference book, it's the mother volume in the series, including information and title lists for a ton of genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thrillers, Westerns, Romance, Women's Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Mainstream Fiction, Christian Fiction, Urban Fiction, Graphic Novels, and...for the first time ever...TA-DA...a chapter on NONFICTION!*
You may wonder what a chapter on nonfiction is doing in a book on genre fictions, but I say, it's about time. If we truly want to consider all the genres or types of books that people read, particularly for recreation, then I think we have to consider nonfiction. I was very honored to ask to be included, and I look forward to using the other chapters to expand my own genre title and author knowledge.
Of particular note in this volume are editor Cindy Orr's** fantastic introductory chapters. She provides information on reading as a social activity, a "toolbox" for expanding your readers' advisory knowledge, solid tips for providing good RA service, and much more. In my favorite segment, she even describes "Difficult Situations, Difficult People," which includes tips on how to help patrons who don't communicate well ("the Clam"); people who are looking for books for someone else ("the Proxy"); picky readers ("the Fuss-Budget"); and my personal favorite, parents who won't let their teens talk with you alone about what they want to read ("the Double Whammy"). And of course, because she's Cindy, she describes all these situations with gentle and understanding humor, and then provides concrete and practical solutions.
It's a gorgeous volume, chock-full of chapters by library staff and experts much more knowledgeable in their genres than I am (although I gave it my best shot, as always). Do check it out.
*Written by yours truly!
**Yes, the same Cindy Orr who edits the Reader's Advisor Online blog (among many other jobs and talents). There's nothing she can't do!