April 16, 2015
Benchmark: The Templar Legacy by Steven Berry
Adventure Fiction Resources:
- Novelist – Getting Up to Speed in Adventure Fiction
- Manly Men Doing Manly Things by Nanci Milone Hill
Notes on Discussion
- WMLA: Roland Merullo will have an author talk on May 21st at 10am at the MLS Whately location. Chance to talk to the author and receive door prizes!
- MLS is having Leane Ellis’ Read a Book in Five Minutes on Tuesday April 28th at 10am at the MLS Whately location. Highly recommended that people go to learn valuable RA skills.
- MLA Conference is coming up. The Reader’s Advisory sessions will include speed dating with an author and some RA focused sessions.
Appeal Factors of Adventure:
- Identify aspects of what they liked about previous books to correlate them with a suggestion.
- Adventure has a wide range- Swashbuckling tales to high tech sci-fi themes
- Shares aspects with other genres
- Must talk with patron to find appeal factors they want to explore further
Elements in Adventure:
- ·Protagonist driven
o Always a challenge for individual
§ Mental, physical, emotional challenges they have to overcome
§ Setting is an included challenge (crossing deserts, seas, travel hardships, etc)
· Important role in story
§ Conveys risks
o Reader experiences the story
o Brisk pace
o “Page turner” is usually a give away
o Hope to find adventure or refusal for an adventure is usually included
o Male dominated
o Accomplish mission and/or puzzle
o Villains are really bad
o Referred to the “Male Romance Novels”
o High emphasis on male friendship and bonds
o Conclusions are usually satisfactory
o Tone can vary (dark to humorous)
Reader’s Advisory Skills:
- Establish what the reader appreciates first
- Find the appeal factor that they want to read more on
- Surveys on Novelist can help with read-a-likes
- The first three listed are usually the better choice
- They are people generated
· Speed dating at MLA session
o Steve Almond
o Patry Francis
o Other authors…
- 10 book series
- Pictures/maps in book really help
- Similar features to Dan Brown’s Books
- Discussion on push for more books from authors (does it loose the original appeal? Comforting for some to realize there is more to read and their TBR (to be read) pile can grow).
- Audiobook narrator was bad overall
- Surprises in story kept people involved
- “Larger than life characters” aspect
- was Cotton larger than life? Maybe not in this book but next?
- Was story larger than life?
- Discussion on Plots and Conspiracy = How do Authors do it?
- Beyond general reality
- Author thought process
- Pacing expectations
- This was slower than some thought adventure should be
- Could be writing style
- Parts were more lecture than story (maybe too much detail)
- Point of View
- Villain perspective
- Adventure Rereads
- Would you reread this book?
- Chick-lit for men?
- Historical Fiction for Conspiracy Theorists
· Sea of Words – nonfiction adventure book
o Explanation of naval terms
· Inferno by Dan Brown
o Fast pace, character drive, intriguing plot
· Maze Runner by James Dashner
o Fast pace, intense, some gruesome scenes, page turner,
· The Expected One by Kathleen McGowen
o Fast pace, intrigue, female centered
· The life of Pi by Yann Martel
· The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
o Romance, steamy, suspense, spirited characters
· Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian
o Male bonding, historical details, great narration
· James Bond by Ian Flemming (Live and Let Die, Diamonds are Forever)
o Some derogatory racial comments (consider time period writen),
o Fast paced, written from bond’s perspective (intriguing), witty, well written
· The Lost Sisterhood by Ann Fortia
o Setting changes with the two stories, romance, loose historical fiction, female centered adventure
· Mayan Secrets by Clive Cussler
o Over the top, fast paced,
· The Alexander Cipher by Will Adams
o Fast paced, not much depth, light tone, conversational
· Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
· Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte
o Fast read, YA?, setting, male dominated characters (no women)
· The Voyage of the Narwal by Andrea Barrett
o Character development, Horror story elements, psychological elements, complex, historical setting, political, social
Other Adventure Authors:
o Diana Gabaldon
o Wilbur Smith
o Isabel Allende
- Title: The Martian
- Author: Andy Weir
- Genre: sci/fi adventure
- Appeal Factors: awesomeness
- Summary/Thoughts: So good! I had heard strong reviews of this book from a few different sources but was skeptical about the premise. One guy stuck by himself on Mars? I thought there would be a lot of flashbacks and philosophical thrashing about. I couldn’t have been more wrong! This is a non-stop action adventure and I was instantly hooked. The story is great, but more than anything I loved the main character, Mark Watney, who has the world’s best “can-do” attitude. For possibly the first time ever, I was excited to hear that they are planning a movie, supposedly with Matt Damon, which I think could be totally fun.
ps Yes, there is science. Lots of science! Even some math. Suck it up!
pps I stayed up late last night to finish this and then was so excited about the ending I couldn’t go to sleep. Be warned!
Name: Sandy Records
- Title: The Expats
- Author: Pavone, Chris
- Appeal Factors: sensitive to main character’s experience, main character a woman, setting
- Summary/Thoughts: This is a story about a ” retired ” US spy- a woman, with a history that she wishes to keep separate from her personal life. There is a lot of tension and action as her past and some present dangers come crashing into the quiet life she has tried to create for her family. Perhaps it is not pure adventure, but a cross-over?
Name: Meg Haley
- Title: Inferno
- Author: Dan Brown
- Genre: Thriller, Adventure
- Summary/Thoughts: 4th book in the Robert Langdon series, it starts off with main character waking up in an Italian hospital with a head wound and no memory of the last few days. It then becomes a chase to track down the clues and figure out why he is there, not knowing who to trust. Very similar style of book to the Templar Legacy, but a faster paced story. I was more drawn into the characters and the mystery in Inferno than Templar Legacy and had a harder time putting it down.
Name: Jan Resnick
- Title: The Voyage of the Narwhal
- Author: Andrea Barrett
- Genre: Adventure/Historical Fiction
- Appeal Factors: Leisurely paced; Characters – complex, layered; Character-driven; Language: compelling; Tone: disturbing, dramatic, haunting, thought-provoking, strong sense of place & time; Frame: Philadelphia, Arctic – Baffin Bay, 1855-58; Illustration: Period illustrations, engraving.
- Summary/Thoughts: The Voyage of the Narwhal is the fictional account of a voyage of arctic exploration and its multiple costs. In the 1850’s, arctic explorer Sir John Franklin’s expedition disappears. The Narwhal voyage is one of several formed to find Franklin’s crew and route, to rescue or recover.
Most of the story is from the POV of Erasmus Darwin Wells, a naturalist and the expedition’s second, though not second in command. His role is hard to define – he is always expected to organize the details and fix problems, but is never considered when decisions are made. Those decisions are made by his childhood friend ‘Commander’ Zechariah Voorhees, an erratic and ambitious young man, whose father is the major sponsor of the expedition. Zeke has an agenda he does not shared with Erasmus, the ship’s captain or the crew even after they are overcommitted in the ice. His inexperience, weakness and arrogance do not make him a trustworthy leader. His mistakes cause injury, death and the Narwhal’s entrapment in the ice.
This novel is complex including the survival of the elements, class distinctions, the dissension among the crew, the eventual escape from the ship, the return home, and the fallout from that return. The role of the women left behind is significant in the story. In places, the reader feels the horror of the decisions made and their consequences.
This is the ‘third’ book. The stretch book when we suggest titles to adventure readers, but well worth the effort.
- Similar authors/titles: Naslund – Ahab’s Wife; Gilbert – The Signature of All Things; Dietrich – Dakota Cipher; O’Brian – Aubrey/Maturin series; Gregory – Virgin Earth; Wheeler – Snowbound; Melville – Moby Dick
- ALA Notable Books – Fiction: 1999; Library Journal Best Books: 1998; New York Times Notable Books – Fiction and Poetry: 1998
Name: Jan Resnick
- Title: The Dog Stars
- Author: Peter Heller
- Genre: Adventure/Apocalyptic Fiction
- Appeal Factors: Fast paced; Characters – complex, loner; Story: action-packed; Language: compelling; Tone: bittersweet, melancholy, bleak;
- Summary/Thoughts: A pandemic and climate change have altered life on earth for the remaining few. Hig partners with extreme militarist Bangle to protect an airfield and their limited survival. Fuel is not a problem so Hig regularly patrols the perimeter of their turf in his aging Cessna accompanied by his memories and his aging dog. Trespassers are shot. It is a desolate life. After one more devastating loss, Hig strikes out for one last attempt at contact with life as he remembered it.
- Red flag: violence
- Similar authors/titles: Leif Enger – Peace Like a River; Jim Crace – The Pesthouse; Alden Bell – The Reapers are the Angels; Emily St. John Mandel – Station Eleven; Ben H. Winters – The Last Policeman; Harry Turtledove – Supervolcano; Rhiannon Frater – The First Days
- Title: The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
- Author: Lauren Willig
- Appeal Factors: Character:Spirited Storyline:Plot-driven Pace:Fast-paced Tone:Steamy; Suspenseful Writing Style:Descriptive
- Title: The Alexander Cipher
- Author: Will Adams
- Appeal Factors: fast-paced, detailed, archeology
- Summary/Thoughts: This fast-paced adventure takes us through a few days in modern day Egypt. Daniel Knox gets on the wrong side of a bad guy, and is on the run, straight into a possibly historic archaeological discovery, possibly related to Alexander the Great. Knox tries to keep his head down, but soon finds himself on the run, and trying to do the right thing, including not letting the historical artifacts get into the wrong hands. Lighter tone and conversational, with well-drawn secondary characters.