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The Readers' Advisory Guide To Genre Fiction

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This revised edition provides a way of understanding the vast universe of genre fiction in an easy-to-use format. Expert readers' advisor Joyce Saricks offers groundbreaking reconsideration of the connections among genres, providing 1) Key authors and themes within fifteen genres 2) An explanation of how the different genres overlap 3) The elements of fiction most likely to This revised edition provides a way of understanding the vast universe of genre fiction in an easy-to-use format. Expert readers' advisor Joyce Saricks offers groundbreaking reconsideration of the connections among genres, providing 1) Key authors and themes within fifteen genres 2) An explanation of how the different genres overlap 3) The elements of fiction most likely to entice readers Provocative and spirited, this second edition offers hands-on strategies for librarians who want to become experts at figuring out what their readers are seeking and how to match books with those interests.


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This revised edition provides a way of understanding the vast universe of genre fiction in an easy-to-use format. Expert readers' advisor Joyce Saricks offers groundbreaking reconsideration of the connections among genres, providing 1) Key authors and themes within fifteen genres 2) An explanation of how the different genres overlap 3) The elements of fiction most likely to This revised edition provides a way of understanding the vast universe of genre fiction in an easy-to-use format. Expert readers' advisor Joyce Saricks offers groundbreaking reconsideration of the connections among genres, providing 1) Key authors and themes within fifteen genres 2) An explanation of how the different genres overlap 3) The elements of fiction most likely to entice readers Provocative and spirited, this second edition offers hands-on strategies for librarians who want to become experts at figuring out what their readers are seeking and how to match books with those interests.

30 review for The Readers' Advisory Guide To Genre Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    karen

    last textbook review for now, but seriously - i love love love my readers' advisory textbooks!! this one is focusing on genre fiction, rather than the process of readers' advisory, so for all you bookloving people who are not or are not planning to become librarians, this one might be even more fun for you than the other joyce saricks book i am in love with. this one basically just identifies the different genres that exist, and then gives nice short essays about "why people like these books", or last textbook review for now, but seriously - i love love love my readers' advisory textbooks!! this one is focusing on genre fiction, rather than the process of readers' advisory, so for all you bookloving people who are not or are not planning to become librarians, this one might be even more fun for you than the other joyce saricks book i am in love with. this one basically just identifies the different genres that exist, and then gives nice short essays about "why people like these books", or "appeal factors", if you are a librarian. so even if you; the librarian, the bookseller, the curious reader, do not personally like a particular genre, this book tells you why other people are drawn to them so you can identify other books with the same qualities, even in other genres which results in crossover appeal which will open even more doors to the book-seeker and if that doesn't make you hard, you are no booknerd, my friend. in class, dr chelton was always talking about libraries that had special "readers' advisory corners" where the staff would collect all the books like this and things like genreflecting and detecting women and other awesome r/a tools, and people could just go and dork out at their leisure and learn about tons of new authors without having to ask for help. this sounds like a dream to me. in my head, i picture it like a windowseat with peach seat cushions and little like curtainy things that give the impression of seclusion. also, there would be lemonade. (when i was about 13, we moved into a house that we had built for us, and i was promised a windowseat, but either the builders forgot to build it or my parents forgot their promise to me. i was also promised a unicorn mural on the wall, but that may have been my brother's fault for not actually doing it. i am still bitter about the windowseat. even though my dad put this wooden chest thing in front of the window that had a padded cushion on it - it was not the same as a windowseat) but so that's what i imagine in these mythical libraries that are apparently all over long island. i also picture this song playing while i curl up with these textbooks in my imaginary windowseat. library school is awesome. come to my blog!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brittany McCann

    This is an excellent breakdown of genres, and a great way to see a librarian approach to interacting with people looking for different types of books. I love the different viewpoint on genres, since many of the articles and books I have previously read are told from an author perspective. It has already proved invaluable for my Genre assignments and I keep going back to it to re-read passages, especially during my microburst writing assignments. 5 stars, highly recommend

  3. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Fitzg

    When your non-librarian spouse picks up a readers’ advisory book and consumes it over four nights you know you have something good on hand. He read it. I read it. We are both impressed with the ease with which Neal Wyatt and Joyce Saricks introduces you to the rather complicated process of recommending books. The enthusiasm for finding the right book for each reader jumps from the page and it is not a surprise that this popular title is on its third update. My advice is to read this book in chap When your non-librarian spouse picks up a readers’ advisory book and consumes it over four nights you know you have something good on hand. He read it. I read it. We are both impressed with the ease with which Neal Wyatt and Joyce Saricks introduces you to the rather complicated process of recommending books. The enthusiasm for finding the right book for each reader jumps from the page and it is not a surprise that this popular title is on its third update. My advice is to read this book in chapters, sit with the information and try it out with your library users before moving on to the next chapter. Wyatt and Saricks provide an excellent overview of the ‘why’ people read what they read and the ‘why’ is different for each genre: adrenaline, intellect, landscape and emotional genres. If you are looking for advice on how to conduct a reader advisory interview this is not the book for you but the authors so-clearly articulate what is appealing about the four broad genres and their sub-genres; analysis of language, style, pacing, and characterization; how genres intersect and diverge; and, key authors, you will finish this title chomping at the bit to try out your newly acquired skills on the next unsuspecting person you meet. Recognizing that each library collection is unique, the format of the book offers the reader advisor multiple entry points: key authors, trends, extensive appendices and multiple indices. The authors thoughtfully included blank pages and ‘hack this book’ pages at each chapter’s end where you can record local ‘finds’. Defying the title, suggestions are provided in moving fiction readers to nonfiction and vice versa with the thought-provoking ‘expanding reader horizon’ sections at the end of each chapter addressing where science fiction and poetry meet or what type of graphic novel a romance reader might want to try. The authors thorough knowledge of their subject makes me want to be a better reader and I will be taking them up on their five-book challenge at the end of the book. Simply, read five books in a new genre each year. If you are at a loss of where to start, you can start with any of the suggested key authors they have highlighted.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Wendelle

    An indispensable guide to different genres that breaks down their typical structure, their identifiable appeal elements, and provides a good host of suggestions for the next book for fans of the genre

  5. 4 out of 5

    Neil

    Joyce is a friend, so perhaps I'm biased, but I don't think so. I'm so glad to see this new edition finally in print. We now have dozens of readers' advisory titles to work with as librarians, and I revisit many of them on a regular basis, but if I could only choose two with which to train a new librarian in how to connect readers with books, Joyce's two books are the one-two punch I'd choose in a heartbeat. Everything you need to know about the basics of connecting readers with fiction is in th Joyce is a friend, so perhaps I'm biased, but I don't think so. I'm so glad to see this new edition finally in print. We now have dozens of readers' advisory titles to work with as librarians, and I revisit many of them on a regular basis, but if I could only choose two with which to train a new librarian in how to connect readers with books, Joyce's two books are the one-two punch I'd choose in a heartbeat. Everything you need to know about the basics of connecting readers with fiction is in them. Knowing from personal experience how hard it is to capsulize even one genre in a book, I'm deeply impressed with the effort that it takes to go after them all, and this book not only tries but succeeds. The ways in which she characterizes the genres and their readers are spot-on in my experience and there's a wealth of titles to consider as examples in each case. I particularly like the lists of authors leading into each genre from other reading areas and out to other genres for readers looking to stretch themselves. These are highly useful lists that provide good examples for how we need to think about books as we make suggestions to readers. Now if only ALA could get the price down on these books so we could market them not just to librarians, but to all the readers who would love them as well. But that's another story. Librarians, get your hands on this book and read it now while the book recommendations are so joyously fresh.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I didn't really finish it. I used up all my renewals and had to return it. I thought about buying it but it was 60 bucks and I didn't get enough amazon gift cards for Christmas. This is an absolutely necessary book for anybody serious about Readers' Advisory. all the genres broken down into sub- and sub-sub- genres with read-alikes so you can get a feel for a wide range of books without having to read every single author. I was planning to read my way through an example of every category and som I didn't really finish it. I used up all my renewals and had to return it. I thought about buying it but it was 60 bucks and I didn't get enough amazon gift cards for Christmas. This is an absolutely necessary book for anybody serious about Readers' Advisory. all the genres broken down into sub- and sub-sub- genres with read-alikes so you can get a feel for a wide range of books without having to read every single author. I was planning to read my way through an example of every category and some day I will. There are sources online for quick reference if you're at the desk doing RA on the fly but I'd like to have the deep personal knowledge that's in this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Fasching-Gray

    Although intended for public librarians, I would recommend this to anyone who recommends books to others. I had read two or three chapters that were assigned in a course I took, but then I went back and read the whole thing cover to cover. Saricks and 'Readers Advisory' in general thinks about genre fiction differently than teachers, critics, publishers, or booksellers do and reading this book helped me reflect in a more systematic way about what I like about the books I like. Saricks also chall Although intended for public librarians, I would recommend this to anyone who recommends books to others. I had read two or three chapters that were assigned in a course I took, but then I went back and read the whole thing cover to cover. Saricks and 'Readers Advisory' in general thinks about genre fiction differently than teachers, critics, publishers, or booksellers do and reading this book helped me reflect in a more systematic way about what I like about the books I like. Saricks also challenges librarians to read fiction from genres they have previously avoided. For each genre covered, Saricks offers many suggested authors and titles to explore and unfortunately I now have scribbled down some books I will need to add to my already ridiculous Goodreads 'curious' list.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    This is an excellent textbook for librarians/library students learning about reader's advisory. It was thorough in covering all aspects of each genre - from appeal terms, to key authors, to the actual reference interview. Saricks also include a Five-Book Challenge for each genre discussed in the book. As librarians it is good for us to read or dabble in several genres so I appreciated this challenge and will certainly use to to challenge myself. This is an excellent textbook for librarians/library students learning about reader's advisory. It was thorough in covering all aspects of each genre - from appeal terms, to key authors, to the actual reference interview. Saricks also include a Five-Book Challenge for each genre discussed in the book. As librarians it is good for us to read or dabble in several genres so I appreciated this challenge and will certainly use to to challenge myself.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I am reading this book for a class. I found it very informative. I never thought about dividing books into some of these categories. But I could see how I pick books with certain appeals over others. It will help me conduct book interviews with library patrons and to help me connect them with their next good read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Vona Karns

    I mean, I don't read textbooks for fun, but I feel like I learned a lot in this book that will help me complete Reader's Advisory well. I usually sell textbooks as fast as I can, but I plan on keeping this one as a resource. I mean, I don't read textbooks for fun, but I feel like I learned a lot in this book that will help me complete Reader's Advisory well. I usually sell textbooks as fast as I can, but I plan on keeping this one as a resource.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amy Gideon

    As interesting as any textbook can be.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sobia

    Excellent book used for my adult RA class. Great insights and recommendations.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Siska

    I will definitely be referring to this book throughout my career (and maybe just for fun). It is very well organized and has a multitude of useful details.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    This one was interesting with how she divided genres. Would like to purchase someday

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I picked up this book because I wanted to learn a little more about what is involved in reader's advisory services, and found it to be really fascinating. It's not so much about the service as it is about what makes readers want to read some books and not others. Keeping this in mind, Saricks lays out definitions of genres from a librarian's point of view. It went slowly trying to read the whole thing all the way through in order to learn about all the different genres, so I ended up skimming the I picked up this book because I wanted to learn a little more about what is involved in reader's advisory services, and found it to be really fascinating. It's not so much about the service as it is about what makes readers want to read some books and not others. Keeping this in mind, Saricks lays out definitions of genres from a librarian's point of view. It went slowly trying to read the whole thing all the way through in order to learn about all the different genres, so I ended up skimming the second half of the book. I found it especially useful, though, that Saricks breaks up the genres into groups based on what makes them tick--Adrenaline or Emotion? Intellect (mind-engaging) or Landscape (setting-driven)? The section on Adrenaline genres particularly taught me something as before I'd never heard a clear definition of the differences between Adventure, Suspense, and Thrillers. Now I have a better idea of how those are defined. The author also points out that genre characteristics cross over into one another, perhaps now more than ever. So, genres don't necessarily have to exclude elements from other genres--they can still be defined as long as there seems to be a main focus (i.e. adventure novels may have romance in them, but the romance is not the focus of the story). All in all, a very useful reference that I may return to someday. I would recommend it for studying one specific genre at a time rather than trying to take in the whole broad overview.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction is a great little crash-course in the broad genres of literature, with careful attention to how genres and ideas overlap with one another. I appreciated the constant recommendations of books and authors to look at, as well as the Five Book Challenge at the end. I do wish there had been more of a bibliography in each section, but the fact that this one was so thorough was great. Most of the recommendations are current - the authors that I knew, I agree The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction is a great little crash-course in the broad genres of literature, with careful attention to how genres and ideas overlap with one another. I appreciated the constant recommendations of books and authors to look at, as well as the Five Book Challenge at the end. I do wish there had been more of a bibliography in each section, but the fact that this one was so thorough was great. Most of the recommendations are current - the authors that I knew, I agreed with whole-heartedly. It's clear that Saricks has made a great effort to be in touch with each genre and this is definitely useful to anyone frequently looked to for recommendations. [Edit: I got my Romance Readers' Advisory books mixed up. The one referenced in here was definitely subpar compared to Romance Fiction: A Guide to the Genre. Ignore the original version of this review - if you're going to look at a Romance installment, skip the ALA book and go straight to Kristin Ramsdell]

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sonja Isaacson

    While I like the idea of a way to sort fiction...it doesn't completely work. How do I know this? Because I made each of her genres into a Goodreads shelf and then used it to sort things. My biggest problem is contemporary fiction that isn't "literary" but isn't completely from a female perspective. Granted I don't read a lot that falls into this, but what if I did? And then this is also really adult fiction. Not children's. But it was fun to see in a graph form that I prefer Fantasy and Mystery While I like the idea of a way to sort fiction...it doesn't completely work. How do I know this? Because I made each of her genres into a Goodreads shelf and then used it to sort things. My biggest problem is contemporary fiction that isn't "literary" but isn't completely from a female perspective. Granted I don't read a lot that falls into this, but what if I did? And then this is also really adult fiction. Not children's. But it was fun to see in a graph form that I prefer Fantasy and Mystery by a long shot. And that I have really no use for psychological suspense. And not all of her suggestions fall into what she said. But on the other hand, I love having lists and lists of suggestions. You know, in case I ever run out.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    This is the single most enjoyable textbook I have ever read. I absolutely loved it. It is designed for library students, but it will be fascinating to all book lovers. It is so good that my wife and I read most of it out loud together. We enjoyed the book and had great(and lengthy) discussions. If you can get your hands on the first edition (which would be far cheaper), get it. If you love fiction, you will love this. But have a highlighter handy, because you will find lots of books you want to r This is the single most enjoyable textbook I have ever read. I absolutely loved it. It is designed for library students, but it will be fascinating to all book lovers. It is so good that my wife and I read most of it out loud together. We enjoyed the book and had great(and lengthy) discussions. If you can get your hands on the first edition (which would be far cheaper), get it. If you love fiction, you will love this. But have a highlighter handy, because you will find lots of books you want to read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Liz De Coster

    Another excellent readers' advisory title. While I would quibble with some of the author's descriptions, it's generally a good overview of genres popular in libraries, and makes suggestions for expanding reader's horizons and getting the most use out of the collection. I appreciated the appendix on "genre studies," suggesting books for librarians to read to become familiar with the genre, and hope to spend some of my imminent unemployment free time expanding my own horizons. Another excellent readers' advisory title. While I would quibble with some of the author's descriptions, it's generally a good overview of genres popular in libraries, and makes suggestions for expanding reader's horizons and getting the most use out of the collection. I appreciated the appendix on "genre studies," suggesting books for librarians to read to become familiar with the genre, and hope to spend some of my imminent unemployment free time expanding my own horizons.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Reading this book is like sitting down with Joyce Saricks, picking her brain, and asking, "What do I need to know about this genre?" Saricks unpretentiously defines each genre, discusses characteristics and genre appeal, and lists key authors, sure bets, and holistic readers' advisory charts of similar books in various genres. I am definitely ordering this book for our library and will use it continually to increase my knowledge of genres. Reading this book is like sitting down with Joyce Saricks, picking her brain, and asking, "What do I need to know about this genre?" Saricks unpretentiously defines each genre, discusses characteristics and genre appeal, and lists key authors, sure bets, and holistic readers' advisory charts of similar books in various genres. I am definitely ordering this book for our library and will use it continually to increase my knowledge of genres.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    This was my text book for class and I liked how straight forward and easy it was to read. Great book for librarians!! I can say that you get the full breadth of Saricks wisdom through this book! She is one my teachers for readers advisory and the book follows exactly what they discuss in class. Recommended for all librarians!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I read this book for a reader's advisory class, and boy does Joyce Saricks know her stuff. She does a great job of defining the genres and providing information on why people like each genre. She also has great lists of author to try in each genre depending on the type of books you usually read. I read this book for a reader's advisory class, and boy does Joyce Saricks know her stuff. She does a great job of defining the genres and providing information on why people like each genre. She also has great lists of author to try in each genre depending on the type of books you usually read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Genre structure: Covers characteristics of story line, frame, setting, pacing, style/language, tone/mood, characterization, key authors/sure bets (If you liked___, you might enjoy...), trends. Presented to writers' group. Genre structure: Covers characteristics of story line, frame, setting, pacing, style/language, tone/mood, characterization, key authors/sure bets (If you liked___, you might enjoy...), trends. Presented to writers' group.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dominic

    short on lists, long on discussion of genres and their appeals. genres are grouped in an interesting way (e.g., "adrenaline genres," "intellectual genres," "landscape genres") and i like the suggested readings for crossing from one genre to another. short on lists, long on discussion of genres and their appeals. genres are grouped in an interesting way (e.g., "adrenaline genres," "intellectual genres," "landscape genres") and i like the suggested readings for crossing from one genre to another.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A superb overview of reader's advisory, well organized, and provides many examples for readers to get acquainted with a particular genre. A superb overview of reader's advisory, well organized, and provides many examples for readers to get acquainted with a particular genre.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Barber

    Great, great resource for anybody working a service desk at a public library. Also, great for developing your own reading list for leisure reading!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Awesome study that helped me identify and differentiate genres. Gives great bibliographic information and reading and crossover suggestions.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bekka

    An excellent resource for adult fiction genres. Covers everything from mystery to horror to romance.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Reading this for work. Very interesting.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karrie Stewart

    This was my text book for a Readers Advisory class. Great choices for read-a-likes. Breaks down each genre perfectly.

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