Winter break will be here in just a few weeks and the question arises, what are you to read? You could always read ahead on your course materials…but more likely you’ll be looking for something fun to read. If you’re looking for fiction, you’ll find all kinds in the Andersen Library from classics to modern action adventure, mysteries, and romances. What we don’t have you can frequently get via Universal Borrowing or from your local public library.
Once you’ve decided that fiction is the way to go, you may immediately think of New York Times bestsellers or other hot contemporary books like the Life of Pi (20 copies in other UW system libraries) or series like Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (Curriculum Collection, Juvenile Fiction, call number F Mey and on Kindle) and the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Curriculum Collection, Juvenile Fiction, call number F Col), all of which have had movies out in the last year. On the other hand you may have already read them and are looking for something along the same vein to entice you. Well in this case, the library has the perfect database for you to investigate: NoveList. This helpful database will aid you in finding read-alikes and more books by authors you know and love, or maybe even just learned about. To start check out the description and review sections of the entry for a book you like or are interested in. Here you can get an idea of what the book is about and how it’s been rated. Next, progress to the fields below: genre, storyline, pace, tone, writing style, grade level (when relevant) and lexile (also when relevant). These are searchable and will find you new things to read.
For example, let’s say you read and enjoyed Life of Pi and even saw the movie. Now you’re interested in mystical literary fiction that was made into a movie. An advanced search for these criteria finds you To Dance with the White Dog by Terry Kay (three copies in other UW system libraries) and The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (Main Collection, call number PQ8098.1.L54 C313 1986). Or maybe you are a Janet Evanovich fan, loved One for the Money (7 copies in other UW system libraries), and want to find similar funny chick lit mystery stories to read. An advanced search for these criteria finds you 50 stories. So in addition to the 18 sequels and other novels by Evanovich, you’ll encounter titles like Size 12 is not Fat by Heather Wells (UWs Madison and Green Bay) and Dating Dead Men by Harley Jane Kozak (UW-Oshkosh). These look great.
Most books checked out from UW-Whitewater, such as those in the Main, Browsing, and Curriculum collections, and via Universal Borrowing can be checked out for 4 weeks, and you might be able to renew them for a second (or third if you are faculty or staff) 4 weeks if no one else has requested the book. If you cannot renew a book, just return it to the closest UW system library and they’ll make sure it gets back to the Andersen Library swiftly.
I hope you enjoy your winter break and get lots of reading done in the spare moments between holiday shopping, eating and other general merry-making. In the immortal words of Oscar Wilde, “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”