Albert Lea Public Library

Librarian Annice Sevett at the Albert Lea Public Library in Minnesota talked with Celadon about local book trends, go-to title recommendations, and the last great book she read.

By Jennifer Jackson

What is your favorite thing about your library?

My favorite thing about my library is the community. Our community is made up of great individuals who are very supportive of the library and the materials and programs we have.

Librarian Sevett Annice

What book has made the greatest impact on you?

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs changed my outlook on life. I grew up in a large city and went to public school, but I was shielded from knowing about some of the things people experience on a day-to-day basis. This book really put things into perspective, and I started looking at the world differently after reading it.

What book do you recommend most and why?

This is a hard question because book recommendations are so personalized depending on what the individual is looking for. If people are looking for a good book in general, The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin is my go-to right now. For mystery lovers, I like recommending Laura Lippman’s novels because of the quality of writing. When someone is looking for a great nonfiction read, you can’t go wrong with recommending Erik Larson’s books.

What’s the last great book you read?

I recently read The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup. I binge watched the TV series The Killing (based on the author’s Danish TV series), and when I saw he had a book, I knew I had to read it. I was transported to the setting of the book and immediately gravitated towards the detectives and their backstories. The book had plenty of tension and kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end.

What’s your favorite genre?

I love mysteries, although I try to read widely in order to offer better advisory service. There’s something about having to piece together the clues and figure out the ending that intrigues me every time I pick up a new mystery.

What’s the most unique or memorable book request you’ve gotten?

When I was living in another state, we got a book request for The Unofficial Guide to Mall of America. Having grown up five minutes from the Mall of America, I never thought of it as a tourist destination or could have imagined that there was a travel guide for it.

What have been the biggest book trends at your library in the past six months?

Our biggest circulation numbers come from mysteries and children’s books. Mystery has, and continues to have, it’s place in the hands of readers, especially with the rise in popularity of everything true crime. Nonfiction has been popular as of late. Memoirs are becoming increasingly popular, particularly celebrity memoirs. Books about current events are having a moment right now, as are DIY books. There’s also a lot of people who are looking for uplifting books given the current state of the world, which aren’t as easy to find as one may think.

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