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Library Fiction

With the planning process in full swing for a new Halifax Central Library, I’ve been thinking a lot about libraries, especially about a library’s connection to writers and their readers.

(btw, there is to be a Halifax Central Library public/online meeting happening this Thursday evening at Dalhousie University: Shape the Places & Spaces of your Halifax Central Library).

I’ve yet to meet an author who wasn’t a wholehearted supporter of public libraries. They love libraries, period! End of story!

But it really is a symbiotic relationship.

Authors help bring new patrons to our libraries by providing author readings and writing workshops, not to mention the public demand for their books.

Libraries help to promote the author’s works through our book displays and via reading suggestions provided by staff. Of particular note is that libraries are able to provide access to an author’s older titles, some of which may be out of print. We also provide a place for readers and writers to meet at our free programs and workshops.

This line of thought got me to thinking further about fiction and libraries.

There is certainly no shortage of novels with libraries and/or librarians as a central feature. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised at this fact, as most authors do spend a lot of time in libraries as patrons, often researching the details for their latest book. I’m sure our Reference Dept staff here in Halifax could name drop all kinds of celebrity authors who have spent hours of their time at the Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library.

So in the spirit of this great relationship between writers and libraries, here are a few recent novels related to libraries:

The Inferno Collection, by Jacqueline Seewald

Reference Librarian Kim Reynolds investigates her friend’s apparent suicide. This intriguing mix of mystery and the paranormal, with thriller like tension, make for an adrenaline filled reading experience. Author Seewald gets the library details just right, including the mysterious closed stack collection, in this creepy who done it. (I bet most reference librarians would make great detectives!).

Mad, Bad and Blonde, by Cathie Linz

This romp of a romance novel is not so much about libraries, as it is about an adventurous and determined librarian. Youth Services librarian Faith West is left at the altar, but be damned if she is going to let that little setback prevent her from going on her honeymoon anyway. She could use some quiet time alone. Little did she know that ex-Marine Caine Hunter would spark his way into her life, for better or worse. Great chemistry and lively misadventure make for a great romantic read.

The Bad Book Affair, by Ian Samson

This is the fourth installment of the popular Mobile Library series. Another cheeky adventure for Israel Armstrong, the Mobile Librarian, who sets the plot’s wheels in motion by giving a teen reader a “bad book”. The Bad Book Affair contains great interplay between the eccentric, naive librarian and her community of misfits and scallywags. New readers will probably want to start with book one, The Mobile Library : the case of the missing book.

Also consider:

Rainbow’s End, by Vernor Vinge.
A disturbing science fiction tale involving the elimination of library collections! See a previous blog post for a full review.

Library Books, a previous blog post by Maureen.

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