The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, Third Edition

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors
  • Reviews

This book is available in e-book format for libraries and individuals through aggregators and other distributors—ask your current vendor or contact us for more information. Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use.

Everyone’s favorite guide to fiction that’s thrilling, mysterious, suspenseful, thought-provoking, romantic, and just plain fun is back—and better than ever in this completely revamped and revised edition. A must for every readers’ advisory desk, this resource is also a useful tool for collection development librarians and students in LIS programs. Inside, RA experts Wyatt and Saricks

  • cover genres such as Psychological Suspense, Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Mystery, Literary and Historical Fiction, and introduce the concepts of Adrenaline and Relationship Fiction;
  • include everything advisors need to get up to speed on a genre, including its appeal characteristics, key authors, sure bets, and trends;
  • demonstrate how genres overlap and connect, plus suggestions for guiding readers among genres; and
  • tie genre fiction to the whole collection, including nonfiction, audiobooks, graphic novels, film and TV, poetry, and games.

Both insightful and comprehensive, this matchless guidebook will help librarians become familiar with many different fiction genres, especially those they do not regularly read, and aid library staff in connecting readers to books they’re sure to love. 

Introduction: Appeal and Genre: Gateway Frameworks for Working with Readers

The Adrenaline Genre

  • Chapter 1    Adrenaline

The Intellect Genres

  • Chapter 2    Psychological Suspense
  • Chapter 3    Mystery
  • Chapter 4    Literary Fiction
  • Chapter 5    Science Fiction

The Landscape Genres

  • Chapter 6    Fantasy
  • Chapter 7    Westerns
  • Chapter 8    Historical Fiction

The Emotion Genres

  • Chapter 9    Relationship Fiction
  • Chapter 10    Romance
  • Chapter 11    Horror

Appendix: Hack This Book and the Five-Book Challenge

Author/Title Index
Subject/Appeal Index

Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is a contributing editor and the readers' advisory columnist for Library Journal. She has served as President of The American Library Association's Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), chair of the Collection Development and Evaluation Section, and as chair of the Readers' Advisory Research and Trends Committee, The Notable Books Council, The Reading List Council, and The Listen List Committee, the last two of which she founded. She was instrumental in the creation of the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, the Sophie Brody Award, and the Zora Neale Hurston Award and is the founder of the Readers' Advisory Research and Trends Forum. She won RUSA's Margaret E. Monroe Award (2012) and the Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award (2013). She is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction as well as numerous articles and several book chapters. She holds a PhD in Media, Art, and Text.

Joyce G. Saricks

From 1977 until her retirement in 2004, Joyce Saricks worked at the Downers Grove Public Library and developed and directed the readers’ advisory department which involved working with fiction readers and books. She is the author of three books: Readers’ Advisory Service in the Public Library, The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, and Read On: Audiobooks. In her retirement she taught Readers’ Advisory at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, served as Audio Editor for Booklist, and consulted for Ebsco’s NoveList. She has presented workshops on readers' advisory for public libraries and library systems across the US and abroad and has spoken at state, regional, and national library conferences. She won the Public Librarian Association’s Allie Beth Martin Award in 1989, was named Librarian of the Year by the Romance Writers of America in 2000, and won the Reference and User Services Association’s Margaret Monroe Award in 2011.

"This valuable resource lets public librarians move beyond a narrow approach to readers’ advisory and become more open to a wide range of possibilities."
— Library Journal

"The book is as well-written and engaging as ever, and it is so chock-full of both theoretical and practical information it puts Mary Poppins’ bag to shame ... Absolutely essential, and this updated edition cements its relevance."
— Booklist (starred review)

"Provides both depth and breadth ... A great guide for librarians building collections in these areas."

Praise for previous editions:

"This book is brilliant, accessible, and quite useful … for librarians and readers alike."

"This book is also a great read! It is highly recommended for public libraries and anyone helping readers select books for enjoyment and leisure reading."
— The Australian Library Journal

"The book makes a real contribution to the field and is useful both to its intended audience of librarians and to nonprofessionals who are aficionados of genre literature."
— Internet Reference Services Quarterly

"Saricks has written a thoroughly enjoyable readers' advisory guide. Of equal use to professional librarians and library science students, this easy-to-navigate comprehensive guide is an invaluable resource tool for learning how to connect readers with the right book."
— Catholic Library World