While visiting with a friend in Wichita recently, the conversation naturally turned to “what are you reading?” and she commented how she would never have picked up a Loma Landvik book, but one was given to her by a co-worker and really enjoyed it.

While visiting with a friend in Wichita recently, the conversation naturally turned to “what are you reading?” and she commented how she would never have picked up a Loma Landvik book, but one was given to her by a co-worker and really enjoyed it. (For the record, I could have told her Landvik is a good author and suggested she also try Adriana Trigiani.) The conversation got me thinking, though, how readers often get stuck in niches.
I encounter them all the time, those folks who will only read one genre and one genre only, whether they be romances, mysteries, inspirational or non-fiction. And while I certainly don’t judge them on that basis — after all, in Ranganathan’s laws of library science he states “every reader his book” — there are times when I want to thrust a different kind of book into their hands and plead, “Just give it a try!” After all, wouldn’t a diet of the same food day in and day out get monotonous?
Admittedly, I am most apt to pick up a mystery when I’m perusing the book shelves, but there are times when I’m in the mood for something else entirely or when I read something for a book discussion (often I hear a participant say, “I would never have picked this up on my own — but I liked it,” which makes me glow a bit).
While looking over my list of summer reads, mysteries are actually in the minority and I encountered a gem in “Lamb in Love” by Carrie Brown. Jodi Picoult’s “19 Minutes” was one of those that I couldn’t put down (but I tell anyone with high school aged children to steer clear of it — you’ll have far too many nightmares). And I just finished “The Uncommon Reader” by Alan Bennett, which should tickle any book-loving Anglophile. Yet what’s next on my “to read” list? A mystery. Yes, I may have sampled a smorgasbord of books this summer but it’s time to go back to my comfort food.
Still, I challenge you to try something a bit different when you’re selecting a book. Expanding your state means even more books to read — and isn’t that a great thought?
For more about books and reader’s advisory suggestions, go to http://pittsburg publiclibraryra.blogspot.com.


“Summer Blowout,” Claire Cook; “Domestic Affairs,” Eileen Goudge; “How to Be Single,” Liz Tuccillo; “Sail,” James Patterson; “Nothing to Lose,” Lee Child; “Dawn’s Light,” Terri Blackstock; “Black Out,” Lisa Unger; “Thread of Deceit,” Catherine Palmer; “Interpreter of Dreams,” Jhumpa Lahiri; “Resolution,” Robert B. Parker; “Adam,” Ted Dekker; “Chasing Harry Winston,” Lauren Winston; Sisterchicks Go Brit,” Robin Jones Gunn; “Mending at the Edge,” Jane Kirkpatrick; “Before the Storm,” Diane Chamberlain; “Beach Club,” Elin Hilderbrand; “Triumph of Caesar,” Steven Saylor; “Romanov Bride,” Robert Alexander; “Fidelity,” Thomas Perry; “From Dead to Worse,” Charlaine Harris; “Somers vs. Somers,” Julie Ellis; “Blue Smoke and Mirrors,” Elizabeth Lowell; “Fearless,” Diana Palmer; “Promise of the Wolves,” Dorothy Hearst; “Death and Honor,” WEB Griffin; “Spies of Warsaw,” Alan Furst; “These Is My Words,” Nancy Turner; “Wise Woman,” Philippa Gregory; “Whispers Along the Trails” and “In the Company of Secrets,” Judith Miller; “Other,” David Guterson; “Far Reaches,” Homer Hickam; “Dyer Consequences,” Maggie Seton; “Moon Shell Beach,” Nancy Thayer; “Sweet Love,” Sarah Strohmeyer; “Deceived,” Brett Battles; “Searching for Paradise in Parker, PA,” Kris Radish; “Practically Perfect,” Katie Fforde; “Absolute Scandal,” Penny Vincenzi; “Dreamers of the day,” Mary Doris Russell.

“Vineyard Chill,” Philip Craig; “Clubbed to Death,” Elaine Viets; “Poisoned Tarts,” G.A. McKevett; “I Shall Not Want,” Julia Spencer-Fleming; “Not in the Flesh,” Ruth Rendell; “Fearless Fourteen,” Janet Evanovich; “Killing Bridezilla,” Laura Levine; “Black Dove,” Steve Hockersmith;  “Queen of the Flowers,” Kerry Greenwood; “Hit and Run,” Lawrence Block; “Where Memories Lie,” Deborah Crombie; “Heavenly Pleasures,” Kerry Greenwood; “Front,” Patricia Cornwell; “Madman on a Drum,” David Housewright.

“Great Derangement,” Matt Taibbi; “Your Developing Baby,” Peter Doubilet; “The Joy of Discovering What You Were Meant to Do,” Thomas Moore; “Mobil Travel Guides for Southwest, Mid-Atlantic and Coastal Southeast”; “Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives,” Jim Sheeler; “Chris Farley Show,” Tom Farley; “Madness: A Bipolar Life,” Marya Hornbacher; “While They Slept,” Kathryn Harrison; “What Happened,” Scott McClellan; “Judas,” Marvin Meyer; “Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and the 82 Days That Changed the US,” Thurston Clarke; “A Spring Without Bees,” Michael Schacker; “Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage,” Daniel Epstein; “This Land Is Their Land,” Barbara Ehrenreich; “Stolen Innocence,” Elissa Wall.

“Chili Con Corpses,” J.B. Stanley; “Uncommon Reader,” Alan Bennett; “Winding Ways Quilt,” Jennifer Chiaverini; “Darkness Falls,” Kyle Mills; “Remarkable Mother,” Jimmy Carter; “Morning Sky,” “Daylight Comes” and “First Dawn,” Judith Miller; “Miracle at Speedy Motors,” Alexander McCall Smith; “True Light,” “Dawn’s Light” and “Night Light,” Terri Blackstock; “Murder of a Botoxed Blonde” and “Murder of a Real Bad Boy,” Denise Swanson; “Front,” Patricia Cornwell; “Secret Star” and “Hollow,” Nora Roberts’ “Neighborly Thing,” Wanda Brunstetter; “Suddenly,” Barbara Delinsky; “On Grandma’s Porch”; “County Fair,” Katherine Valentine; “Things I Want My Daughters to Know,” Elizabeth Noble; “Mudbound,” Hillary Jordan; “Cruelest Month,” Louise Penny; “Pushing Up Daisies,” Rosemary Harris; “Plague Ship,” Clive Cussler; “Third Angel,” Alice Hoffman; “Belong to Me,” Marisa De los Santos; “Blue Smoke and Mirrors,” Elizabeth Lowell; “Not in the Flesh,” Ruth Rendell; Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted,” Elizabeth Berg; “Life Beyond Measure,” Sidney Poitier; “Monster of Florence,” Douglas Preston; “Hollywood Crows,” Joseph Wambaugh; “Die With Me,” Elena Forbes; “Falling for You Again,” Catherine Palmer; “Odd Hours,” Dean Koontz; “Nothing to Lose,” Lee Child; “Other,” David Guterson; “Audition,” Barbara Walters; “Third Wave,” Jeff Shaara; “Skeletons at the Feast,” Chris Bohjalian; “Bulls Island,” Dorothea Benton Frank.

“Gingerbread Girl,” Stephen King; “So Brave, Young and Handsome,” Leif Enger; “Host,” Stephenie Meyer; “Phantom Prey,” John Sandford; “Harvesting the Heart,” Jodi Picoult; “Sacred and Profane,” Faye Kellerman; “Santa Fe Dead,” Stuart Woods; “Genius,” Jesse Kellerman; “Before Green Gables,” Budge Wilson; “Lady Elizabeth,” Alison Weir; “Comfort Food,” Kate Jacobs; “Chromosome 6,” Robin Cook; “Timeline,” Michael Crichton; “Downhill Lie,” Carl Hiaasen; “Sundays at Tiffany’s,” James Patterson; “Audition,” Barbara Walters; “NPR Driveway Moments: Baseball”; “Front,” Patricia Cornwell; “Where Are You Now,” Mary Higgins Clark; “Skeletons at the Feast,” Chris Bohjalian; “Venetian Betrayal,” Steve Berry; “Whole Truth,” David Baldacci; “Shadow of Power,” Steve Martini; “Quiver Full of Arrows,” Jeffrey Archer; “Blue Smoke,” Nora Roberts; “Force of Nature,” Suzanne Brockmann; “Nothing to Lose,” Lee Child; “Other,” David Guterson; “Resolution,” Robert B. Parker; “Blue Smoke and Murder,” Elizabeth Lowell; “Fidelity,” Thomas Perry; “Sail,” James Patterson; “Carrot Cake Murder,” Joanne Fluke; “Fearless 14,” Janet Evanovich; “Belong to Me,” Marisa de los Santos; “Plague Ship,” Clive Cussler; “Rosetta Key,” William Dietrich; “Bishop’s Daughter” and “Storekeeper’s Daughter,” Wanda Brunstetter; “Million Dollar Mystery” series, Mindy Starns Clark.

“Other Boleyn Girl,” “Bucket List,” “Since You Went Away,” “Hamlet,” “Julius Caesar,” “MacBeth,” “Othello,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Heidi,” “Just Around the Corner,” “Little Miss Broadway,” “Curly Top,” “Trouble in Paradise,” “Booneville,” “Lost Horizon,” “American Graffiti,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Captain Blood,” “It Happened One Night,” “Thelma and Louise,” “Badlands” and “Oklahoma.”