I have recently begun to be in charge of staff recommendations. This involves gathering everyone's recommendations and comments about the book(s) they recommend.
I had the idea to have a theme for the staff recs. This month (and this was thought up by three of us on the Fourth of July, probably THE slowest day of the year for bookstores), we had the idea that the recommendation had to have an author that was born in August, OR a character in the book whose birthday is in August. For instance, the Harry Potter books worked, while Harry and JK Rowling share a July 31 birthday, which wouldn't qualify, Percy and Ginny Weasley both have birthdays in August.
Some August author birthdays are:
Orson Scott Card
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Alexander McCall Smith
The staff seems to like having a theme. When this month's theme was announced, many of the staff did research of their own to find an author they could get behind who was born in August.
Someone suggested then we should have to choose an author who shared OUR birthday, but that would be pretty narrow. (I, however, would have Agatha Christie, which isn't too bad!)
The staff are already asking about next month's theme. One suggestion was to have to recommend the first in a series. I like that idea, it gets the staff to think of perhaps lesser known series.
My thought was to have a book that has to do with school. It can have "School" (or college or university or kindergarten) in the title, OR have some of the book set in a school, or any of the characters can go to school. This seems broad enough that it should be fairly easy to find a book they like that fits.
My goal is just to get people (staff and customers) thinking about books. Something a little bit fun and different.