There is a reason I write reviews for Booklist and it is because I feel like its mission fits best with what I am trying to do. At Booklist if we do not think a book should be in your library’s collection, we don’t waste our time reviewing it. You have other resources for that. We are librarians. We know how much you all have to do. Reading reviews of books that aren’t worth your time helps no one-- not you and definitely not our patrons who want the best collections for their needs. Our reviews might not be as early as those by others, but they are all worth your time.
Booklist is also part of the ALA so it is a not for profit. They do not take bribes for reviews. They do not write the magazine to make a profit. They do it all to help you. I support that.
But the final reason I write for Booklist is illustrated in the lists you see below. Booklist understands that genre titles are important. They understand that genre titles are among some of our most popular books at the library. I know they understand this, but I was almost in tears today when I saw the Editor’s Choice for All Adult Books they included STRANGE WEATHER by Joe Hill. A horror book that I reviewed! But a horror book in the overall best list. It was not relegated to a special genre area. It was not just deemed good for horror, it was good for ALL types of books for all libraries.
I agree of course, but I am so used to being the only one screaming about the value of genre books and fighting for not putting them in a corner, that I was a bit taken aback.. You can click here to see that list; they used my language in the annotation. Plus there is a link to my review.
Thank you Booklist and all my editors and friends who work there for proving me right in my choice to share my knowledge and passion with your publication.
By the way I have looked though all of the adult lists, and especially in the Adult Nonfiction, I found a lot of great titles I am not seeing on other best lists; some that I didn’t even know about. I can’t wait to start suggesting them to readers [starting with myself and this one].
Finally, if your library doesn’t subscribe to Booklist please show them this post and argue for it. They do more to help you as you strive to provide the very best RA Service than any other library journal. Literally you can use every single issue to make a display and help patrons because each issue is a spotlight on a specific topic- including a best list for the last calendar year. And there are reviews on top of that! It pays for itself.