Tag: libraries

libraries

Authors and Books and Readers, Oh My

 Crime conference season is still in full swing. Thrillerfest takes place in New York City in a couple of weeks. (Yes, I’ll be there!) Bouchercon happens in Florida in September. Dozens of other events are scheduled worldwide between now and November. I counted 17 on Sisters in Crime’s upcoming events calendar. Libraries also kick off their summer reading programs this time of year. They host author events in conjunction with their efforts to encourage people to get out and read. This Saturday, June 30, from 1-3pm, I’ll be at the Dixon Public Library in Dixon, IL as part of their Summer Author Series. Author events and conferences have several things in common—authors, books, and readers. Beyond that, they’re as different as, well, authors, books, and readers. Some feature moderated panels. Several authors answer questions they may or may not have received in advance. Some feature interviews. Someone, usually an author, interviews the featured guest author in front of an audience. Authors read from their works at some events and give prepared speeches at others. Sometimes an author hosts a table. Readers may spend the entire event seated with the table’s host or they may move from table to table and meet […]

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Reader Seeks Unattached Book

 My local library is hosting “Blind Date with a Book” in honor of Valentine’s Day. The librarians put books inside gift bags so readers can’t see the title. (I’ve seen other libraries gift wrap the books.) They write a brief, cryptic description on the outside of the bag; readers choose a mystery book based on the description. I decided to try my luck and selected a bag based on the description: “Cambridge, Warm Beer and Hot Jazz, Jewelry Theft, Art Forgery”. The book inside turned out to be The Grantchester Mysteries: Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death.Instead of asking the Missdemeanors a question this week, I gave them a challenge: Set up a book for a blind date–write a personals ad. Think of literary Tinder or eHarmony or old-school newspaper Lonely Hearts column. Can you guess the books from the descriptions? (No peeking at the answers, listed at the end of the post) TraceeMan wishes to meet woman who will ignore the recent brutal murder of his wife. Would prefer gal with house in decent neighborhood, but is willing to fund cheap hotels. Young daughter part of the deal, but she’s quiet and will give up riding shotgun and take the […]

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For Love of Libraries

Today, at 7p.m., I am speaking at THE RAMSEY PUBLIC LIBRARY in Bergen County, NJ, where I grew up and now live. I am so thankful that they invited me and that I live in a place with wonderful local libraries.   Librarians rock. By and large, they are amazing sources of information. Most read constantly and pride themselves on acquiring good books and then recommending them to their visitors. As a result, a strong library system can be the difference between a wonderful work of fiction getting discovered by the masses.  One of the most well read people in the mystery, thriller community is librarian and author Jeff Ayers. Track him down at the next mystery conference and ask about a book that you enjoyed which no one has been able to talk to you about. Chances are, Jeff will know it. Chances are, he’ll even personally know the author. The library was where I discovered my own love of reading. My mom would take me several times a month to the TEANECK PUBLIC LIBRARY to stack up on new books. I loved holing away in a corner of the building, surrounded by the sweet, faintly earthy smell of paper and ink, and getting lost in a fictional […]

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Your local library…

 I’m leaving in a few minutes to drive to my hometown (9 hours away, not a short hop). I’m doing this today – on this particular weekend – because they are having an author’s event and as a hometown girl I want to participate. Plus, I believe in local libraries. The Hopkins County – Madisonville Library was ‘my’ library growing up. It’s where we learned how to access microfilm and use interlibrary loan for research papers. It’s where books we would never have seen in our local bookstore were on display. It was a temple of quiet and calm and reading!  I have even fonder memories (no research papers attached) of the library near my grandparents. They lived on a plantation in northwest Mississippi and the next but one nearest town was Ruleville. (As an aside, Ruleville had a population around 3,000 and it was the BIG town.) When I was in grade school we spent every day of summer break at my grandparents, and I spent a good number of those days at that library. I remember it as a lovely modern brick building with small courtyards. My memories are so precise and pleasurable that I have never tried to find a real […]

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