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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Library Reads: May 2018

I love the concept of Library Reads. I absolutely love it. Library workers get to read books before they come out and vote for their favorites. Among other things, the lists this creates shows the publishers that even though people get the books for “free” at the library, our opinion drives overall sales.

But here’s the thing everyone. We have been given this power and we are not using it correctly. We are failing. We are wasting it. Once again, this list is almost all white. And there are a whole bunch of authors and titles which don’t need our help with promotion [Seriously, Amanda Quick? Who doesn’t have her on automatic order by now.]

Let’s use this list to promote books by marginalized voices. This is where we can make a difference. Why aren’t we all going out of way to look for titles that don’t get recognition? Then we can show the publishers that we want these titles by promoting them ourselves. If we get our patrons excited about less mainstream [white-hetero] titles before they come out, the publishers have to pay attention. 

We can do so much more to make changes in publishing and help our patrons find titles they would never know about without us by NOT promoting the big name titles.

We have more power than you think. Your choices matter. I often say this when I visit libraries in person, but it bears repeating here today-- By voting for a title for Library Reads you are not proclaiming to the world that it is THE BEST book you ever read. You might even personally enjoy a mainstream title coming out in the same month more, but that doesn’t matter. You are not voting for your personal favorite book. Use your vote to boost a title that is wonderful but may not have as a good a chance to stand out from the crowd without your help. That is the point of this venture. No one will hold you to this being your all time favorite book. [People actually worry about this; they have told me.]

Please also reconsider how you vote. Many of you have told me that you vote for the “Big” name titles and the smaller ones. THIS DOES NOT HELP. You are simply adding to the big vote getters total and diluting your vote for the diverse title. If every single one of my readers laid off of voting for the more mainstream titles and instead voted for a more diverse title, many of those mainstream titles would still get in, but maybe a few more marginalized voices would too. Can we try it?

And finally, stop blaming “Library Reads." This is on you. Every. Single. One. Of. You. Library Reads is simply the organization that facilitates everything. We are the ones who make the list. As I mentioned on Monday in this post, you need to own up to the fact that institutional racism exists and touches every one of us, even me.

Okay, so that’s my rant. And here’s the thing, people involved with Library Reads behind the scenes don’t disagree with me, but they are helpless because YOU HAVE ALL THE POWER. Please choose to use your power to make a difference.

Below is my standard Library Reads statement on how you can use it as a resource and how to participate, followed by the May 2018 list.
Today is  Library Reads day Library Reads Day means three things here on RA for All:
  1. I post the list and tag it “Library Reads” so that you can easily pull up every single list with one click.
  2. I can remind you that even though the newest list is always fun to see, it is the older lists where you can find AWESOME, sure bet suggestions for patrons that will be on your shelf to actually hand to them right now. The best thing about Library Reads is the compound interest it is earning. We now have hundreds and hundreds of titles worth suggesting right at our fingertips.
  3. You have no excuse not to hand sell any Library Reads titles because there is a book talk right there in the list in the form of the annotation one of your colleagues wrote for you. All you have to say to your patron is, “such and such library worker in blank state thought this was a great read,” and then you read what he or she said.
So get out there and suggest a good read to someone today. I don’t care what list or resource you use to find the suggestion, just start suggesting books.

Click here to for the very easy to follow directions on how to participate. You get access to unlimited eARCs.

May 2018 LibraryReads


by Claire Legrand

Published: 5/22/2018
by Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN: 9781492656623
“Fierce, independent women full of rage, determination, and fire. The first novel in the Empirium trilogy holds appeal for both young adult and adult readers. For fans of Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, and The Hunger Games.”
Kristin Friberg, Princeton Library, Princeton, NJ

The Other Lady Vanishes

by Amanda Quick

Published: 5/8/2018 by Berkley
ISBN: 9780399585326
“Historical romantic suspense. Who would suspect that the quiet California seaside tea shop waitress is actually an escaped mental patient? The second book in Quick’s Burning Cove series has the same 1930s vibe and glamorous, gossipy Hollywood ambiance as The Girl Who Knew Too Much.”
Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

by Ruth Ware

Published: 5/29/2018 by Gallery/Scout Press
ISBN: 9781501156212
“Ware’s best book by far. I finally stopped trying to puzzle it out and just sat back to enjoy the ride.”
Susanne Guide, Union County Public Library, Liberty, IN

The Perfect Mother: A Novel

by Aimee Molloy

Published: 5/1/2018 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062696793
“A frank look at mommy culture wrapped in an original twist on the suburban, psychological thriller.”
Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Love and Ruin: A Novel

by Paula McLain

Published: 5/1/2018 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9781101967386
“Biographical and historical fiction. Another fascinating Hemingway wife from McLain who always writes interesting women and great period detail.”
Elizabeth Angelastro, Manilus Library, Manilus, NY 

Tin Man: A Novel

by Sarah Winman

Published: 5/15/2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
ISBN: 9780735218727
“A beautifully written story of love, loss, grief, friendship, and acceptance. The story winds in and out of time in a figure eight like waves reaching shore and receding again.”
Donna Burger, Bryant Library, Roslyn, NY 

Our Kind of Cruelty: A Novel

by Araminta Hall

Published: 5/1/2018 by MCD
ISBN: 9780374228194
“Disturbing psychological suspense with an unreliable narrator. This is a love story. Or is it? It’s more a story of obsession.”
Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO 

Paper Ghosts: A Novel of Suspense

by Julia Heaberlin
Published: 5/15/2018 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780804178020

“Grace has spent years secretly investigating the disappearance of her older sister. Grace’s prime suspect is Carl Feldman, a photographer, who has been acquitted of the crime and now suffers from dementia. Grace decides that a road trip may jog Carl’s memory.”
Galen Cunniff, Scituate Town Library, Scituate, MA 

The Favorite Sister

by Jessica Knoll

Published: 5/15/2018 by Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781501153198
“Perfect for the reality TV addicted, this book is gossip laden, full of edge, and contains plenty of surprises.”
Sharon Layburn, Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY 

The Ensemble: A Novel

by Aja Gabel

Published: 5/15/2018 by Riverhead
ISBN: 9780735214767
“Set against the backdrop of the highly-competitive and merciless world of classical music, this brilliantly written debut is an exquisite portrait of a group friendship spanning decades. Gabel weaves a lyrical tale of four young musician’s journeys and their complex, yet resilient, relationships with each other. For fans of The Interestings, A Little Life, and A Secret History.”
Mayleen Kelley, JV Fletcher Library, Westford MA


Cari said...

Thank you for the reminder! I just submitted two diverse books to LibraryReads.

Dylansmom said...

What struck me about May's list, not having read any of the titles, is that they seem to be books women would read but men would not find as appealing.

Becky said...

I also thought that. It’s was all the stereotypical lady books. As a lady who doesn’t really read any of these books, I noticed that right away.