Some like it hot

Yes, I’m overthinking this.  Chances are that if a city official or Michelle, our library director (or anyone else) happened by the reference desk when I said that, they wouldn’t consider it strange or inappropriate.

I’m still going to disregard that professional advice.  But the Library Journal article was quite useful otherwise. Acknowledging the massive popular response to trilogies by E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey) and Sylvia Day (Crossfire series), the author surveyed the history of “hot romance” and “erotic romance” books, offering suggestions for further reading, strategies to determine what readers want, how to find credible review sources, etc.

Observing that everyone has preferred styles or emphases and that some readers always choose the sexier stories, the author advised: “My favorite way of determining this criterion is by asking, ‘How hot do you like it ?’ “

Well, that question immediately flunked my Something I Would Ever Say at the Reference Desk test.  But the point is certainly valid.  Maybe I could propose a theoretical 1-10 scale where 1 is something you’d read aloud to your grandmother, and so forth.

Not that any amount of care would guarantee 100% professional behavior on my part.  Recently, helping a customer who needed a cache of funny one-liners for a performance project, I ended up laughing along with her–a lot, and too loudly. Poor role modeling for the Quiet Floor, but those bits were first-quality comedy. Humor truly does affect us like a tonic.

Just thinking about that episode puts me in such fine spirits that I’ve thought of two ways to share the happiness:

First, for E.L. James fans, here are suggestions for other authors whom you may enjoy and whose books are available at the library (thanks to Sylvia Day’s expertise for this information):  Lora Leigh, Lauren Dane, Shayla Black, Jaci Burton, Shannon McKenna, Emma Holly, Maya Banks.

Second, I’ll remind humor fans that you can pinpoint some wonderful reads just by typing “parody” or “parodies” or “satire” in the Catalog Quick Search box on the library’s home page.  Your finds will run the gamut from classic to edgy:

  • The Complete Stories of Dorothy Parker (audiobook)
  • Spoofs! (Sesame Street, DVD)
  •  Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator (DVD)
  • Goodnight iPad 
  • The Da Vinci Cod by Don Brine or The Dick Cheney Code by Henry Beard
  • Comedian Chris Elliott’s The Shroud of the Thwacker
  • The Girl with the Golden Bouffant (from the Jane Bond series by Mabel Maney)
  • Don’t Mess with Travis by Bob Smiley
  • Snobs by Julian Fellowes
  • Our Dumb World: The Onion’s Atlas of the Planet Earth
  • The Politics of Barbecue by Blake Fontenay

And let’s not forget The Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by Fanny Merkin.

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