I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information including RA for All's EDI Statement.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Library Reads: June 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 created shows the publishers that even though people get the books for “free” at the library, our opinion drives overall sales.

For a few months I have been pleading with you to use this list to promote books by marginalized voices. This month we have 2 clearly inclusive titles, and an international one. It’s better than it has been; it’s a start.

Besides the fact that all worthy books are not written by or feature white people, supporting more inclusive titles 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 in this post last month, 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 agree with me, but they are helpless because YOU HAVE ALL THE POWER. Please choose to use your power to make a difference.

Finally, later this month I will begin a series with Kelly Jensen of Book Riot where she will give you sep by step directions on how to identify better titles to read and therefore nominate. We have been working on this with the blessing of Library Reads Executive Director, Rebecca Vnuk.

Below is my standard Library Reads statement on how you can use it as a resource and how to participate, followed by the June 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.

June 2018 LibraryReads

Bring Me Back: A Novel

by B.A. Paris

Published: 6/19/2018
by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250151339
“Intensifying psychological suspense. Twelve years after Finn’s girlfriend Layla disappeared, a discovery raises new questions.”
Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

There There

by Tommy Orange

Published: 6/5/2018 by Knopf
ISBN: 9780525520375
“A large cast of interwoven characters depicts the experience of Native Americans living in urban settings. Perfect for readers of character-driven fiction with a strong sense of place.”
Abby Johnson, New Albany-Floyd County Public Library, New Albany, IN 

Us Against You: A Novel

by Fredrik Backman

Published: 6/5/2018 by Atria Books
ISBN: 9781501160790
“The citizens of Beartown are about to lose their beloved hockey team and their rivals could not be happier. The narrator has you wondering who is going to die and why events occur as they do.”
Gail Christensen, Kitsap Regional Library, Bremerton, WA

The Word is Murder: A Novel

by Anthony Horowitz

Published: 6/5/2018 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062676788
“A playful commentary on the mystery genre itself and the first in a promising new series. The author, Horowitz, plays the part of the narrator, and gets caught up in solving a murder with Daniel Hawthorne, an out-of-work detective.”
Amy Whitfield, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

Jar of Hearts

by Jennifer Hillier

Published: 6/12/2018 by Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9781250154194
“A suspenseful thriller told from multiple perspectives. A Seattle detective must unravel a web of secrets dating back to his high school days.”
Gail Roberts, Fairfax County Public Library, Fairfax, VA 

Dreams of Falling

by Karen White

Published: 6/5/2018 by Berkley
ISBN: 9780451488411
“Set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, this story does what Southern fiction does best: family, lies, and secrets. For fans of Patti Callahan Henry and Mary Alice Monroe.”
Leanne Milliman, Charlevoix Public Library, Charlevoix, MI 

The Kiss Quotient

by Helen Hoang

Published: 6/5/2018 by Berkley/Jove
ISBN: 9780451490803
“A wonderfully sweet and erotic romance featuring an autistic heroine who hires a hot male escort to teach her how to enjoy sex, but learns so much more.”
Elizabeth Gabriel, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, WI

All We Ever Wanted: A Novel

by Emily Giffin
Published: 6/26/2018 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780399178924

“Great storyline that is relevant to issues both facing young people today and the people raising them. The story keeps you guessing.”
Sarah Trohoske, Erie County Public Library, Erie, PA

Little Big Love

by Katy Regan

Published: 6/12/2018 by Berkley
ISBN: 9780451490346
“A portrait of a family and a boy’s search for the father who left them, told from multiple perspectives with authentic, likeable characters.”
Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis County Library, Austin, TX 

How Hard Can It Be?: A Novel

by Allison Pearson

Published: 6/5/2018 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250086082
“Kate is holding it all together, unemployed husband, kids, and parents. So, she reinvents herself as someone younger to secure a job with the hedge fund.”
Toni Nako, The Public Library of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

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