Reading through the alphabet

Maybe if I say this out loud (or type it quietly) I’ll have to actually follow through with something: I’m going to read a new author each week, for 26 weeks, right through the alphabet.

There are a few rules, and I’ll make up more as I go along (and as I break the ones I already made):

  1. Read consecutively through the alphabet, by last name.
  2. Limit authors to the “Mystery” section of the library
  3. I must select a book that is available at the library where I work.
  4. It’s best if the author has several titles.
  5. It’s okay to read bestsellers.
  6. The author must be someone I haven’t read.
  7. I don’t have to finish the book if I don’t love it.
  8. If I don’t finish a book, I will have at least done the Joyce Sarricks’ style of getting to know a book. (More about that later. Joyce Sarricks is a librarian, author, book reviewer and guru of good librarians.)
  9. I do have to find good things to say about the book and/or author.
  10. I will not be deterred from my alphabetical mission if someone should say something snarky, such as “What??? You haven’t read THAT yet?”

Hmmm … I’m going to work on those rules so they’re a bit snappier.

Anyway, I’m doing this because I think I’m recommending the same mystery authors again and again to readers at my library. I feel only 38 percent confident when I recommend a book/author I don’t know that much about; I always feel like I’m really talking out of my butt because I have no idea since I haven’t actually read the book. My intent with this is to explore mysteries I might not usually read — with the ultimate goal of being a better readers advisory librarian.

Oh, look at that! I just used library jargon. We talk about readers advisory a lot, and it’s what we do all day (or at least most of the day) in the Fiction Department at my library. I kind of hate that I just dropped that term into a blog post. Let me rephrase: I want to do a better job of connecting people with books that they have a high likelihood of enjoying.

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