Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I Want The Revenant. . .

When the Oscar films are chosen, the number of holds on the books they are based on skyrockets!  Often, these are older titles and the publishers are scrambling to print movie-tie-ins.  There are a number of resources which can help you predict upcoming movies that are made into books.  You can't always predict how popular the book will become so this will always be a bit of crapshoot to match demand from the public.  EarlyWord and CBC Books have recently been the most helpful to me.

The Conversation:

Customer: "I am looking for The Revenant.  I want to read the book before I watch the movie."

Readers' Advisor: "That might be difficult because there are currently 200 holds on that book."

C: "Really?!  Oh, I was looking forward to reading it this weekend."

RA: "The book is widely available to purchase if you are really desperate to read it.  I can check availability at the local bookstore for you.  Can I make a few suggestions of books that are similar?  Do you know anything about the book?"

C: "I heard it was about a bear attack!  I like to read books about survival."

RA: "I checked Amazon and the books seems a lot like a Western.  Do you like Westerns?"

C:  "That part doesn't matter to me so much, I just like to read about how humans survive against animals."

RA:  "Okay, I'm going to do a search and make some suggestions."

The Search:

Your suggestions will likely come more from collection knowledge than search tools.  Some subject headings include: "revenge," "trappers" and "wilderness survival."  The BookList Reader has this list which can get you started if nothing comes to mind.


The Bear (2014) Claire Cameron

Grizzly Man (2005) film

Into the Wild (1997) Jon Krakauer - book and film

The Tenderness of Wolves (2007) Stef Penney

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival (2010) John Valliant

Monday, January 11, 2016

I can't get enough of "Making of a Murderer"

The television show that is currently being binged upon is Netflix's "Making a Murderer."  This is a documentary series which follows a man convicted of rape who is later exonerated by DNA evidence.  He is subsequently charged with murder and the series follows the case over ten years.  Customers who have access to Netflix will be watching and discussing the series while customers who have no access to Netflix will hear about it and will be anxious to get their hands on the series when released on DVDs.

The Readers' Advisory Conversation:

Customer: "I have been watching this "Making a Murderer" series and I just can't get enough of it.  Do you have anything similar?"

Readers' Advisor: "I have hear about it but I haven't watched it.  Tell me about it and what you specifically like about it."

C: "It is about this guy who goes to jail, then gets out of jail and then goes to jail again.  I was so fascinated by all of the legal issues, how evidence is used and how it seems that no one knows the truth."

RA: "That's crazy!  I love movies and books that look at true crime.  You said that you liked watching the legal issues.  Are you interested in murderers in general or just ones who have their convictions questioned?"

C: "Nah, I hate that serial murderers stuff.  I want something that challenges my assumptions about the court case?  Anyone else who has been exonerated?"

RA: "Did you want books or films right now?"

C: "More movies, just movies right now."

RA: "Great, I'll give you some suggestions."

The Search:

Start with a catalogue search, limit your search to DVDs.  Search using search terms such as: "murder," "trials," "criminal investigation," and "criminal justice, administration of."  Do not limit your searches to just fiction DVDs as many of these films are documentaries.


Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hill (1996), Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (1999), Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2012) and West of Memphis (2013).  Atom Egoyan directed a fictionalization of this real-life court case called, Devil's Knot (2013).

The Jeffrey Dahmer Files (2012)

The Thin Blue Line (1988)

Murder on a Sunday Morning (2003)

Capturing the Friedmans (2003) - this films features a child abuse case but is focused on the trial

An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton's Story (2013)

The Central Park Five (2012)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Loan Stars

Early reviews can be one of the most important tools for a readers' advisor.  Your readers will often come into the library to ask about the newest books because they are seeing them in the bookstores or in the media and they want to get information about the book to make a reading decision.  Library staff who have direct access to publishers' reps - Dewey Divas and Dudes - may be seeing forthcoming books and getting reviews however this is not available everywhere.

There is a new program in Canada which will keep you informed about the new forthcoming reads with reviews available.  Loan Stars will launch shortly and it will provide library staff with lists and reviews for forthcoming titles before books are even published.  This project is a partnership between BookNet Canada, Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC), Canadian library associations, library vendors and publishers.  Library staff can volunteer to be readers and reviewers.

Loan Stars is based on a similar American program, Library Reads.  This program features ten library staff picks per month.  The books featured are largely fiction with a few narrative non-fiction included.  The format of the Canadian version will be revealed when the tool is launched and it will be a great source of information for selectors and advisors.