(The following article appeared in May 2014 issue of The Book Club Insider. The Book Club Insider is a Syosset Public Library newsletter sent out monthly to local book clubs that have become part of the library’s Register Your Book Club program. For more information about Register Your Book Club, please call the Readers’ Services desk: 516 921-7161 Ext. 241.)
I’ve hit a rut. We’ve all been there … you pick up book after book and nothing holds your interest for very long. Ultimately, you pick up the TV remote and just stop reading for awhile. My problem is not that the books are “bad” or boring. I am reading too many of the same types of books. And you may be too.
Instead of sticking with my usual genres, I decided to mix it up and finally discovered how to extricate myself from that disheartening black hole of the reading rut. I spent the month of April “Genre-Hopping” which can be described as purposely reading books from different genres, rather than my typical favorites, or jumping from genre to genre.
Below are the books I read in April while Genre-Hopping. All would make fabulous book discussion choices. I encourage you and your reading group to try your own “Genre-Hopping” experiment.
Biography/Memoir: Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman
“Follows the author’s incarceration for drug trafficking, during which she gained a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and met a varied community of women living under exceptional circumstances.”
Historical Fantasy Fiction/ Fairy Tale Adaptation: While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell
“Reflecting on her long-ago service with a princess who fell under a sleeping curse, Elise remembers witnessing how events actually transpired and were connected to a secretive labyrinth of evil…A Gothic retelling of the story behind the legend of Sleeping Beauty.”
English Translation: Block 11 by Piero Degli Antoni (Translated from Italian)
“Two elderly survivors of Auschwitz recall the harrowing night when they and eight other prisoners were ordered to pick which of their number would be executed at dawn, a choice marked by shocking revelations and wrenching debates about which of them deserved to live or die.”
Nonfiction-Social Issues: Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
“Reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center after Hurricane Katrina destroyed its generators to reveal how caregivers were forced to make life-and-death decisions without essential resources.”
Indie Pick: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
“When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A.J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family, and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.”
All summaries from the publishers.
– posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services