July 21, 2020
NoveList is pleased to offer our subscribers access to the 5th Revised edition of the Adult Reading Round Table’s Popular Fiction List. Librarians and readers can use the workbook to evaluate their familiarity and comfort with authors in the most popular genres. The self-assessment can be used to reveal holes in genre knowledge as well as to discover new authors to try.
NoveList users can find the revised workbook by searching “Adult Reading Round Table” in the Basic Search box and clicking on Lists & Articles.
We spoke with Emily Vinci, Bibliography Editor for the ARRT Steering Committee, to learn more about the Adult Reading Round Table and how they put together the workbook and changes and updates to this new edition:
Can you tell me a little bit about the Adult Reading Round Table and its purpose?
The Adult Reading Round Table was established in 1984 and is dedicated to providing resources, training, and other professional development for librarians and library staff who serve patrons particularly in adult fiction readers' advisory. Our mission is to promote reading for pleasure and to help librarians develop their readers' advisory skills.
How long have you been involved and what’s your role?
I have been a member of the ARRT Steering Committee since 2015 and currently serve as the Bibliography Editor. This update of the Popular Author Workbook was my first big project.
What goes into updating the workbook? How often is it updated?
The first step is to assemble the teams that will be responsible for each of the main sections of the Workbook. Each team has a captain who is responsible for keeping the team on track to meet deadlines and sets up either in person or virtual meetings between the member to discuss their author choices. The team captains relay questions and feedback to me so I can monitor progress and determine what issues need to be brought to the larger group at bi-monthly Steering Committee meetings. Who is on each team is based largely on Steering Committee members volunteering for the areas about which they are the most knowledgeable and have the most experience.
The Workbook is updated every three years or so. The 4th edition was released in 2013 and was updated (edition 4.1) in 2016. For the latest update, we wanted to do more of an overhaul of both the content and layout which prompted us to release an entirely new edition.
Are there any big changes in this version from the previous version?
A major change that comes with this edition of the Workbook is a bit of restructuring. Where previous editions of the Popular Fiction Workbook treated “special interests” of some fiction authors as separate categories, this edition recognizes their popularity in the framework of the genres within which they write. Basically, we made an increased effort to include authors of diverse backgrounds in all categories rather than have separate lists calling out an author's ethnicity, sexual identity, etc.
We also created a new "Formats" section to address material specifically popular because of the manner in which it is delivered — audiobook and graphic novel — as well as its literary merit and community interest.
What is your favorite genre?
I enjoy literary fiction and am a big horror fan. I also read a lot of nonfiction and particularly enjoy cultural criticism and essay collections. I'm here for anything — fiction or nonfiction — written by and about angry women.
What are you reading right now?
I recently finished Writers & Lovers by Lily King and began Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh. I usually have at least one nonfiction book going, too, and right now I'm reading So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and To the Bridge by Nancy Rommelmann.
Halle Eisenman is a Content Development Manager for NoveList. She is currently reading The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin and listening to Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner.