Challenge #1 is your wild card! You can pick any book at all.
Where to start?
Perhaps an intriguing title you spotted on someone's bookshelf while you were waiting for them to get off the phone? In my experience, it's rare that a book doesn't live up to its title. The possibility of an island. A tale for the time being. Invisible cities. The left hand of darkness and Heart of darkness both. Stuff I forgot to tell my daughter. Don't lets go to the dogs tonight. The spirit catches you and you fall down. All good reads. But if anyone has any examples of annoyingly misleading titles, please tip us off!
Or how about defying the received wisdom and choosing a book by its cover? Without even flipping it over to see what it says about the author, or if you recognise the names on the blurbs -- you know, those other guys signed to the same publishing conglomerate, or who taught at the author's creative writing programme.
In today's publishing world, covers are usually going to tell you just as much as the blurbs, and they will always be more imaginative.
Quick! Match these adjectives to the books below. Tantalising. Wrenching. Seventies. Surreal. Was that hard?
If you're looking for something new to read, the best place to start is with the New Titles lists on our website. Because so many new books already have a waiting list when they are delivered to the library, you won't always see them on the shelves. Browsing the lists you'll find a cover photo and a summary for each title, and be able to request it in two clicks. It doesn't always mean going on a wait list -- it could be available, but just at another library, and you'll get it in short order!
The lists include fiction and non-fiction, audiobooks, ebooks, childrens, teens, DVDs, books in other languages and more. The fiction is divided by genre and there are an awesome 20 different lists, including graphic novels with 113 new titles this month, the second highest total after good old "general fiction" (ie non-genre).
If you're looking for non-fiction, there are 39 categories to choose among, including both a Cooking - Cakes and Dessert and a Cooking - Vegetarian, Low-fat, with 27 titles just this month, including one by an Emma Bacon, who clearly does not demonstrate the nominative determinative theory.
There's also a category called Human Society, to distinguish it from, I suppose, books about bees, penguins, bonobos, tetras and the like. I scrolled through books about violence and borders, terrorism and white supremacy, sex and evolution, which got me wondering about that "Human", but I was quickly reassured by encountering a book which promised to show me how to turn grocery shopping, lawn mowing and PowerPoint making into "sources for meaning and joy".
Happy hunting! Happy reading!