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Reader's Guide: 07/25/08
Tonight I am doing something I rarely do. I am paring down my planned reviews by three children's books. I read them very quickly back April when I was coordinating a book drive for my son's school. My problem is two fold: I read them too quickly and too long ago. None of them made enough of an impression on me to be able to review them now, three months later. If I kept them in my roster, they would just get in the way of much better books and stories I want to review.
The second story Fantasy & Science Fiction is a humorous look at those ubiquitous "readers guides" that have been cropping up at the back of books in recent years. The story also called "Reader's Guide" is by Lisa Goldstein who swears her story wasn't inspired by her own book being re-released in a young adult edition with an unexpected reader's guide at the back.
"Reader's Guide" reminds me favorably of Ruth Nestvold's "Mars: A Traveler's Guide" from the January 2008 issue. The story starts off like any reader's guide with a series of questions. Except these questions get snarkier as they progress. Then things get weird and funny and a bit reminiscent of "Silence in the Library" (Doctor Who, series four) but minus the Vashta Nerada. There's also a bit of The Well of Lost Plots in this short story too except funnier.