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Browsers' helper

2011 Books Issue | For readers who search for books by genres and categories

Issue: "2011 Books of the Year," July 2, 2011

"Library science" researchers have shown that most of us are browsers. We go to a library or bookstore to find an interesting book to read. We scan the shelves until we find it. Occasionally we go with a book in mind, or search the card catalog, or look for something else by an author we've enjoyed-but most of the time we browse.

Browsers face a problem, though. Too many books fill the shelves. They overwhelm us. So librarians learned to shelve fiction in categories: mysteries or romance, horror or science fiction. We are like children who know we want chocolate before we go into Baskin-Robbins, so don't distract us with all those other flavors.

We've organized the following pages for browsers. We asked WORLD writers and some talented freelancers to pick a nonfiction category or a fiction genre they like, and to recommend a handful of recent books. We've used Dewey classifications to divide our nonfiction recommendations: books on the 2008 financial crisis, poverty-fighting, sports, humor, biographies, and history. In fiction, we have "inspirational fiction" (that's how novels published by Christian houses are labeled), speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy), and young-adult fantasy, followed by a look at P.G. Wodehouse and American Southern Literature. The section concludes with a look at books that make good gifts on some special occasions.

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330 Finance
A crisis observed | David L. Bahnsen

362 Poverty
Heart, head, hands | Amy L. Sherman

796 Sports
Highs and lows | Les Sillars

817 Humor
Laugh tracts | Albin Sadar

921-928 Biography
Better than bullets | Edward Lee Pitts

973 History
Fighting cancers | Emily Belz

F-Inspiration
Getting better | Susan Olasky

F-Speculative
Worlds apart | John Ottinger III

F-Young Adult
Enchanted woods | Megan Basham
Darker times | Janie B. Cheaney

F-Wodehouse
Bygone Britian | Kenan Minkoff

F-Southern
A rare jewel of conference contentment | William Boyd

Buy the book: Links to purchase the books featured in WORLD's 2011 Books Issue

Browse through our library of annual Books Issues dating back to 1999.

Susan Olasky
Susan Olasky

Susan pens book reviews and other articles for WORLD as a senior writer and has authored eight historical novels for children. Susan and her husband Marvin live in Asheville, N.C. Follow Susan on Twitter @susanolasky.

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