In some way, shape or form, all of us here at the library recommend books to people. Most of the time we are telling our customers about a great read, through venues such as displays, booklists, staff picks and this blog. But we also inform each other about what’s new, popular or currently on our bedside tables.
John, one of my co-workers in the First Floor - New & Featured Department, processes our Bestseller collection. This means that he, solely, is responsible for unpacking those boxes of books as they come in, checking them into the system to make them “available” in the online catalog, pulling the titles when they have that not-so-fresh feeling and then boxing them back up to ship out. As you can see from that list of duties, this task is no small feat. But out of the kindness of his own heart, he adds one more step to his bestseller process – he writes brief descriptions of each book that comes in for that collection and periodically sends out the list to the rest of us, so we know what’s on those bestseller tables.
John has become quite well-known throughout the Main Library set for these book descriptions. Whenever possible, he tries to keep them to one sentence each. This brevity is not only to minimize his workload, but is also a challenge he sets for himself, a brainteaser if you will. Can you describe a book in one sentence? It’s not as easy as it may sound.
To help spread the gospel of John and bring him some of the attention he so rightly deserves, I share with you the most recent list of Bestseller titles and descriptions (circa mid-February 2013):
- Binchy, Maeve A Week in Winter – Chicky Starr turns an old dilapidated mansion into a cozy seaside vacation spot.
- Collins, Jackie The Power Trip - One Russian billionaire, the latest Latin singing sensation, a supermodel, a famous soccer player, a U.S. Senator and his unfortunate wife, a movie star, the professor and Mary Ann–embark on a pleasure cruise across the Sea of Cortez.
- Gardner, Lisa Touch & Go – An entire family is kidnapped.
- Jance, J.A. Deadly Stakes – A fortune in poker chips is found buried in the desert, with an ex-con keeping them company.
- Kellerman, Jonathan Guilt: An Alex Delaware Novel – An affluent L.A. neighborhood experiences a bizarre crime wave.
- Patterson, James Private Berlin – Chris Schneider, the most capable member of the world’s most capable investigative force, has disappeared!
- Steel, Danielle Until the End of Time – In this double narrative: Lillibet, a young Amish woman, writes a bestseller by candlelight then falls in love with her publisher AND a successful New York attorney (now a minister) moves to Wyoming with his socialite wife in tow.
- Weber, Carl The Man in 3B – Everyone loved the murdered man in 3B, now everyone’s a suspect.
- Houston, Cissy Remembering Whitney – From the one who knew and loved her best.
- Sotomayor, Sonia My Beloved World – It’s a long, hard road from a housing project in the Bronx to the United States Supreme Court.
Makes you want to read at least 4 of these titles, right? John’s the best.
P.S. In this latest email to colleagues, John also included this multiple-choice question. See if you get it right…
Identify the Kafka
Four of the following quotes were taken from the wrapper of a Halls Cough Drop*, the other from the pen of author Franz Kafka. See if you can identify the Kafka!
A) Buckle down and push forth.
B) Turn “can do” into “can did”.
C) You can do it and you know it.
D) Believing in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet to be made.
E) Nothing you can’t handle.
If you selected the letter D (as I am certain you did) you are correct. Of course there are no winners in Identify the Kafka. Only players.
* John’s favorite medicinal treat