Sullivan Free Library's Blog

June 2, 2010

Reader’s Advisory

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sullivan Free Library @ 7:22 pm
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John Warner, contributing writer for an online magazine called “The Morning News” stirred up some controversy in a recent article where he dubbed himself the “Biblioracle”. As such, he offered his services in recommending what book to should read next, based on the last five books read. He got so many requests he had to stop accepting them.

I took him up on his offer, sending in this list:

1) Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
2) Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy
3) The Hopeless Life of Charlie Summers by Paul Torday
4) Bite Me by Christopher Moore
5) The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith

As promised, he responded within a few hours by recommending that I read “The Eyre Affair” by Jasper Fforde. As it happens, I’ve already read the book–and loved it. So I guess he did a good job in matching up my reading tastes and books.

What was the controversy? Some people felt he turned readers advisory, a task that librarians around the world do every day, into a hat trick. Warner didn’t really explain how he came up with his recommendations, but most people seemed satisfied with his results.

I found the whole thing humorous and, in the end, a good plug for libraries. Reader’s Advisory is a big part of what we do. A patron comes in and says they’ve finished everything by James Patterson, what can they read while waiting for his next release? (Harlen Coben, Jeffrey Deaver, Greg Isles, Patricia Cornwall). Someone wants a mystery, but without a lot of sex and violence. (Alexander McCall Smith, Sharyn McCrumb, Lillian Jackson Braun, Nancy Atherton) Who writes like Barbara Kingsolver? (Anne Lammott, Elizabeth Berg, Margaret Atwood).

To read Warner’s original (and very funny) article and the ensuing comments, visit:



  1. Bite Me was very entertaining. Christopher Moore has a knack with incorporating the supernatural into otherwise mundane life. He reminds me a little of Carl Hiassen.

    Comment by Karen Morano — June 13, 2010 @ 6:07 pm | Reply

  2. They are both masters of irreverent humor.

    Comment by sullivanfreelibrary — June 13, 2010 @ 11:50 pm | Reply

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