Peer Picks…Meet Our Newest Peer Picks Selector

Posted on November 11, 2015

Robin BradfordRobin Bradford is currently the collection development librarian for fiction, Large Print, DVD, music and world languages for the Timberland Regional Library System in Washington. Prior to moving to Washington a few months ago, she was the fiction collection development librarian for the Indianapolis Public Library. She has worked in a variety of libraries, academic and public, in a variety of positions, from student assistant to librarian. The one thing that has been a constant throughout, however, is a love of reading. When she isn’t working, or tweeting, or blogging, or reading, or at a conference focused on books, Robin is looking at the map and planning her next adventure.

Robin’s Picks

THE GOOD GIRL by Mary Kubica      the good girl

*An Indie Next Pick

*A Midwest Connections Pick

“A powerful debut . . . this Girl has heart — which makes it all the more devastating when the author breaks it.” — starred, Publishers Weekly

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, she enters a bar to meet her sometimes boyfriend. When he doesn’t show, she leaves with an enigmatic stranger. It’s the worst mistake of Mia’s life. Colin’s job was to abduct Mia and deliver her to his employers. Instead, he suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota.

978-1-4104-7307-3  $31.99 U.S.

If you’re looking for a story that will make you second guess every character’s motives, this is the book for you. The book tells the story of Mia Dennett’s kidnapping from several points of view, in a non-linear fashion. You’ll see her parents, her kidnapper, and the detective charged with bringing her back, as they try and solve the case, and the aftermath. It is not only a “whodunit” but also a whydunit, and you’ll find yourself switching loyalties until the very end of the story. Compared favorably to Gone Girl, very few characters are exactly what they seem, but all of them will keep you guessing and entertained.— Robin Bradford

the emperor's bladesTHE EMPEROR’S BLADES Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne • Book 1 by Brian Staveley

“In this epic fantasy debut, Stavely has created a complex and richly detailed world.” — starred, Library Journal

The emperor of Annur has been slain. His daughter and two sons do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each also has a life-path on which their father set them. Kaden, heir to the Unhewn Throne, is in a remote mountain monastery where he must master an ancient power. An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the elite Kettral soldiers. And at the heart of the empire, Minister Adare believes she knows who murdered her father. 978-1-4104-7314-1  $30.99 U.S.

Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, there is a renewed interest in fantasy books that mix magical elements with political maneuvering and world building. The Emperor’s Blades is a book that handles all of those elements very well. There is an assassination to begin the book, and the plots deal with how each of the Emperor’s children deal with their swiftly changing situation, whether they are in the middle of the kingdom in turmoil or dealing with danger away from home. The world Staveley has created is one that is adventurous and exciting, where you never know what will happen next.— Robin Bradford

Robin’s Take on Large Print Books

Large Print books . . .There are many stereotypes about large print books and readers of large print books. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that many of those stereotypes, just like so many others, are incorrect. Readers who wish to rest their eyes, or are combating eye strain after spending workdays staring at computer screens, often turn to large print for recreational reading. Readers of large type books, just like readers overall, are a very diverse group in terms of interests. The keys to building a successful large print collection, therefore, are experimentation and creativity. Experimentation: the ability to move beyond the bestsellers or the stereotypical genres (gentle romance, cozy mystery) and try books in large type that may not have previously been part of your collection. Try a hard science fiction title, or a rock musician’s biography, or an erotic romance. Patrons may be excited to find books they’re interested in now available in a format that is convenient for them. Creativity comes in marketing the collection in new ways to new audiences. Include large print format when doing subject displays, or do a display of all large print titles. Promote it to every audience, not just those who “look like they would enjoy a larger font.Keeping the collection fresh, and getting the word out to everyone, are two ways make a winning large print collection.

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