The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction: Third Edition by Neal Wyatt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an excellent guide to readers' advisory work and is a pacy and engaging read. I would suggest reading it in chunks as it is helpful to think about how this information can be applied in your library. Each genre has a section which provides a definition, the characteristics and appeal including frame, setting, story line, tone, characterisation, language, style and pacing. Subgenres are explored. Key authors are suggested with an interesting mix of new and older authors. Information about fans of each genre is included (as to how much assistance they are likely to be interested in), as are 'sure bets'. One of the most interesting sections in each chapter is the reading among genres (so other genres you can suggest to particular readers), and 'reading the whole collection' which brings in non-fiction including poetry, graphic novels (although they are included in other places as well), audio books, film, television and video games. I really like the approach of making the whole collection work for readers' advisory work as there are some implications for how other enquiries are dealt with as well. Each chapter ends with a section called 'hack this book' where you can write in local information.
I read this as an ebook, however, for maximum use in a public library it may be necessary to buy a print edition (even with the rather tough exchange rates at present). This books could be very helpful for staff training, including detailed genre discussions.
While I do not agree with all the descriptions of each genre, they are very helpful.
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