KEY BACKLIST What a week! I blink on Monday, then it’s Friday, 12:29 pm. At any rate, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk up choice oldies but goodies because, as we all know, even the most voracious reader in the world hasn’t read every title categorized as backlist. Nine times out of ten, I would bet most of your power patrons haven’t read even one entry in Agatha Christie’s classic Hercule Poirot mystery series, revived as of this week with the publication of The Monogram Murders, a Top New Release. The Cloud contains a couple dozen, including Five Little Pigs.
My first read of the fall, Maj Sjowell and Per Wahloo’s The Laughing Detective, book four in the Martin Beck private detective series and winner of the 1971 Edgar Award for Best Novel, has pulled out my eyes like a magnet, to paraphrase Elvis Costello. The characterizations are superb to the point of being 3-D, and the dialogue like tattoos I see on my arm. Sex, death, love, murder, and the Swedish welfare state: this is literature. Try it out on your patrons who don’t do genre fiction.
It’s back-to-school daze, and Sara Farizan’s If You Could Be Mine, a 2013 young adult novel about two young Iranian women in love, came to my attention again when it won a slew of awards over the summer, first and foremost the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children’s/Young Adult. This is one for book groups and your teen and adult readers who love to plumb heartbreak and angst.
Finally, we’re on the brink of National Hispanic Heritage month (September 15-October 15). Julia Alvarez, an Algonquin writer like Farizan, is a wonderful option to steep your readers in culture that is American, no question about it.