RA FOR ALL...THE ROAD SHOW!

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.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Share Your 3 Books at ILA or On Display At Your Library

Tuesday through Thursday I will be attending the ILA Annual Conference. Thursday, I am presenting 2x on panels and sponsoring the coffee.

But today to kick off the week I wanted to use this space to promote a drop in event for those of you who will be in Tinley Park, IL this week AND explain how even those of you everywhere else in library land can use this event to create a display at your libraries. 

The team who run the Three Books podcast are going to be at ILA and want you to drop in a record with them.  Here is the link and the details from the Sign-Up Genius:
We want you to be a part of the Three Books Podcast! Sign up for a 15 minute time slot and be prepared to tell us your three favorite books (no perimeters - favorites of all time, from childhood, from the last year - it's up to you!) and a super brief synopsis of each title. You are welcome to bring one friend/colleague with you to record but we cannot accommodate more than two people at a time.  
Look at the times below and sign up as available. We will be in the Executive Board Room. Thank you!Questions? Ask Becca 
- bboland[at]eapl[dot].org
In case you don't know about this amazing podcast, click here to read a post about why I love and support them. That post also explains how Three Books is part of the reason the Popular Materials team from Ela Area [IL] Public Library will be receiving the ARRT award for RA Service at the ILA Awards Luncheon on Tuesday. I will be there at the ARRT table celebrating with them.

Okay, but I also promised how those of you not in IL could participate.  Don't worry, I did not forget about you. Here we go....

First, if you are not attending the ILA Annual Conference, you can still subscribe to Three Books and hear what everyone had to say after the fact. I am really excited to see the wide variety of titles they get by having these mini-recording sessions at this statewide event. Also, one of the reasons I love the podcast as much as I do is because of their commitment to bridging the physical virtual divide by buying a copy of every single book that is mentioned on air to put on display. This means they have created a display of books that has no boundaries; if a guest mentions it, the books are together in one display. And their guests talk about everything and anything. Click here to see a picture of that physical display. Patrons love it. Now they will have so many more and varied titles to display

Second, why not use their whole "three books" concept as a display prompt at your library?  Have staff all give you their "Three Books." Put the titles out together [even wrap a ribbon or string to connect the three physically] with the staff members name or picture on a display. Encourage patrons to take a bundle home. Your staff will love doing this. They will check to see if their books get checked out. They will book talk their choices to patrons to get them to check them out. It will really engage staff with your mission no matter where they work in the building. Also, if their "Three Books" get checked out, have them do three more. Bonus points here because each check out of one bundle counts as three checkouts! [Your administrators and boards will love the stats.]

Third, ask your patrons to share and submit their "Three Books." You can have them write down three titles on a piece of paper and place it in a box or use a white board or post-its to place on a board. Then you can collect their three and make a bundle for the display of patron picks. Ask patrons if they want their first name or not. You can label them all "Patron Picks" and include a first name if they are okay with that or not. Just make sure you are clear that some are form patrons; it is not only staff. This interactive display idea will engage patrons in your collections and RA Service as well as advertise to all patrons that you care about their opinions.

See, no matter where you are right now, the Three Books Podcast can inspire you.

Friday, October 18, 2019

What I'm Reading Flashback: Hematophages

Today over on the horror blog, I have a review of Stephen Kozeniewski's Skinwrappers which is a prequel novella to Hematophages. I read and LOVED Hematophages back in 2017. It is one of the best space horror novels I have ever read. It was fun, scary, and has a perfect horror ending [IMO].

I thought today was a great time to repost that review for my readers both in tandem with my review of the prequel on the horror blog and because it is a great read for the season for all readers looking for a good scare that is also a fun read.

See below for a repost of the original review and jump on over to the horror blog for a review of the prequel novella, Skinwrappers, including updated readalikes for more awesome space horror [maybe not as awesome as Hematophages, but still really good].

Here is the flashback review of Hematophages.

Speaking of fantastic, Hematophages (Sinster Grin, $15.99, ISBN 9781944044558) by Stephen Kozeniewski is one my recent favorites. Paige, an academic who has never left her space station home base, gives the reader insight into a new world of the future where the male gender is extinct, corporations have replaced governments, and most humans live off-Earth. Paige is hired as a historian, part of a team sent on a salvage mission to find a ship that has been lost for centuries. As they travel to their destination, readers meet an intriguing cast of characters and get a tutorial in the intricate workplace politics (remember, this is a world controlled by corporations). When the team reaches the lost ship, the true terror begins, a terror which springs from the hematophages, lamprey-like creatures who attach onto their prey and suck out their insides for nourishment. And these sentient creatures particularly enjoy the human brain. Hematophages has a direct and snarky narration and a seamless inclusion of accurate science which never intrudes upon the fast-paced storytelling, only enhancing it. But because this novel is also horror, it also has terrifyingly awesome and gross scenes of the creatures as they take over the crew, one by one. While this novel is perfect for fans of classic horror movies in space like Alien or Event Horizon, it is also equally influenced by twenty-first-century horror classics like The Rising and The Ruins with more than a touch of the humor of Office Space. All that and a perfect horror ending means that the only problem you will encounter as you hand-sell this book to readers is how to pronounce the title and author’s last name.

Three Words That Describe This Book: dark humor, great world building, terrifying

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Cross-Post With RA for All Horror: Becky's Under the Radar Modern Horror Classics

This 31 Days of Horror post was too important not to double post to make sure all of you see it.

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Back in September, I put out a call on Twitter to ask library workers what kind of content they wanted from me during this month long blog-a-thon. I had a lot of general requests for the type of content I was already planning, but one specific request caught me eye.

Someone asked for a list of modern classics, but ones that are more under the radar. This request was seconded by a handful of others too.

Before I get to the list I created in response to these requests, I wanted to call out the Paperbacks from Hell line by Valancourt. All of those are vetted under the radar horror titles also worth your attention. Each reprint includes a new introductions by Grady Henrdrix or Will Erirckson and come in well priced 5 book bundles. On top of the books mentioned below, you should be ordering the Paperbacks from Hell titles for your libraries.

Now here are the 10 titles I am calling, Becky's Under the Radar, Modern Horror Classics. I have included a little information about why I included each title and linked to the Goodreads record where you can find out what readers have to say. [They are in no particular order by the way.]
  • The Ring by Koji Suzuki: Look I know most of you have heard of the movie, but have any of you read the book. You should. It is a classic work of horror fiction and very different from the movie. Also, I needed a Japanese Horror title in this list because any discussion of modern horror classics needs to acknowledge how amazing Japanese horror is, both in and of itself and its influence on the entire genre. In fact, here is an article from Book Riot entitled, Beginner's Guide to Japanese Horror, to back me up. The Ring is a listed as a "Landmark Title" in that article, and I agree.
  • The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum: This is probably the most divisive book I have listed. A classic of extreme horror [another subgenre I needed to make sure I included somewhere on this list], The Girl Next Door is graphic and brutal, but also masterfully written. It is based on a true story which makes it all so much worse. Readers feelings about this title run the gamut, but there is no one who knows the genre who doesn't acknowledge its importance in the pantheon of modern horror. 
  • Cipher by Kathe Koja: This is the beginning of 4 novels in a row on the list that won or were nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for the Best First Novel. Cipher won that award and the Locus Award for Best First Novel. While the former award was for horror only, the later is for all speculative fiction of the year. Cipher begins as a tale about a young couple who find a small black hole that can transform things, but then morphs into a charactered centered, coming of age tale of psychological terror, body horror, and salvation. 
  • The Rising by Brian Keene is widely considered, along with the movie 28 Days Later and the Walking Dead Graphic novels, as the trifecta that spawned our 21set Century zombie revival. This is THE ZOMBIE novel of this century, it won the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel, but many libraries don't own it. Why? Many did in the early 2000s but it went out of print for a while [very long and important publishing story but this post is not the place for all that], and, as a paperback, it probably had to be weeded. You can buy it now here and that is the preferred author edition. Consider buying the entire series while you are at it. Keene is an author whose entire bibliography should be on every library shelf. If you have every Stephen King, you should have every Brian Keene.
  • Crota by Owl Goingback: Another winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel. This is an #OwnVoices novel from back in the late 1990s, a horror novel featuring Native Americans, a legendary monster, evocative and atmospheric frame, and terrifying thrills. This is a monster story with real teeth. It's a shame that more people aren't still reading this great pulp crime-horror story. Fix that and add it to your collections today. Goingback also had a new novel out this year, Coyote Rage.
  • The Hollower by Mary SanGiovanni ends this mini list within a list as The Hollower was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel. It is also the first of a trilogy. This novel is a great example of cosmic, monster driven horror. Many readers have compared it to IT by Stephen King. If for no other reason than that comp you should be aware of this book, but also, SanGiovanni is an important author to be aware of in general, She was one of the first women to be recognized for writing violent, monster driven horror, a type of horror that before SanGiovanni, many readers thought only men could write [and they let her know about that in the early days, as you can imagine]. You can read this essay "Women in Horror,"where SanGiovanni honestly discusses being one of the only women in her position. She is the woman who carried the torch for today's plethora of excellent female horror writers who write violent stories full of monsters that all readers crave. And let's remember, we are not talking about very long ago here. She's only in her early 40s. Check out her other books too.
  • Clickers by J.F. Gonzales and Mark Williams: There are so many reasons you need to know about this book. First, it's killer crabs and there is a whole series of these books. I mean I could stop there, but I won't. Second, it is considered by many to be the first ebook published. Third, Gonzales was a trail-blazing author who died too young. Last year, there was an anthology tribute to him that contained a mini reboot of the Clickers series, called Clickers Forever [link to my Booklist starred review]. And finally, the series is being rebooted in full, with a line of new novels coming out soon. There is a commitment to also acknowledge Gonzales' support for authors of color and women in horror in the choices of those who will write for this new series. So get on the Clickers bandwagon now, before it is too late. All of the books are being reissued.
  • Afterage by Yvonne Navarro: Navarro's vampire novel is often one that is missed when lists of the best vampire novels are compiled, and it is shame because this is truly one of the best. What makes this book different than your run of the mill vampire novel is that here a apocalypse at the hands of the vampires has already happened. There is no sugar coating the vampires, nor are they hiding. They have won. We are hiding. This is a vampire novel about the human survivors. It is a timeless end of the world tale [no worries about technology issues for an older book because there is no electricity in this world] and a terrifying vampire story. But mostly, it is about the characters. I think many of today's readers will be surprised by this book, especially after you tell them it is from the early 90s.
  • Ceremony by T.E.D. Klein: Want to understand the current "Lovecraftian" trend, try this 1984 title that came before our current spate of Lovecraft inspired fiction. This is a tale of a couple, at first. It is a slow burn and the characters are painstakingly developed, but then....bam. The pay off is worth it. Final bonus points for Ceremony, it is also a book about books. It is filled with lists of Gothic literature, authors and titles fill your tbr, and in fact, the novel reads like one of those Gothic books too. Library patrons and library workers will love that connection to literature and books.
  • The Taken by Sarah Pinborough: Before Pinborough became a best selling author of terrifying and supernatural domestic suspense, she wrote awesome pulp horror novels. I love all of them, but I had to pick one for this list, so I picked The Taken because it was a finalist for the British Fantasy Award for Best Novel. Really though, any of her "Leisure" titles are worth adding if you can find them. And, you know people will read them because she is so popular right now.
I know I missed something here, a title I will feel dumb forgetting, but I look at this as more of start [plus, I am not perfect]. For example, I wanted to include an older title by Robert McCammon but didn't feel like he was "under the radar" enough, as a quick search revealed many of his classic titles were already in many library collections. Share titles you think I should have included and why in the comments and let's get an even better crowd sourced list.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

What I'm Reading: Sabbath

Today I am featuring my review of Sabbath by Nick Mamatas. This novel is based upon the graphic novel Sabbath: All Your Sins Reborn created and written by Matt Tamao.

I was not sure what to expect when this arrived on my doorstep. I really like and respect Mamatas as a writer and I know his writing always has multiple layers, so I dove in with guarded expectations, and.... spoiler alert to my review below [not the book], I loved it!

Here is my draft [longer] review to be followed by a lot more appeal detail:


Sabbath.

Mamatas, Nick (author).
Nov. 2019. 304p. Tor, $27.99 (9781250170118); e-book (9781250170101)
First published October 15, 2019 (Booklist).


Extreme horror and dark fantasy collide in this fun, cinematic, sardonic and violent play on the fish out of water story. Hexen Sabbath is an eleventh-century warrior, a man who sins and kills in the name of a Chirstian God; that is until he is yanked from death on the battlefield and slapped down in 21st Century Manhattan. As an angel of the Lord informs him, Sabbath has been saved from death and damnation for a reason though. The seven deadly sins have emerged, in human form, bent on ending the world in seven days, unless Sabbath finds and beheads them in time. What follows is an action packed adventure filled with sex, gore, and, the manefetation of sins piled upon sins, but it is the thought provoking and witty satire, some blantant, some more subtle, and all of it hitting uncomftably close to home, that allows this story to rise above its gritty and graphic details. Hexen Sabbath is a brute, he is boorish, but compared to those of us who call the 21st Century home, he is a softy. That realization is what will stay with readers long after they finish this dark, cautionary tale. A great choice for fans of the movie Seven, the graphic novel series Monstress, and especially, American Gods

Further Appeal: Let's get this out of the way first-- there is A LOT of sex and violence here, but, and this is very important, this is a book all about an ancient warrior having to violently destroy the physical manifestation of seven deadly sins in order to save the world from destruction. This is key because if the book wasn't explicit, the entire story would fall flat and feel fake. The seven deadly sins are accurately portrayed and described in the visceral way they should be. Destroying them cannot be easy for the book to work, and it is not.

However, this story is also a lot of fun. Sabbath, is a hero from his time, and yet, also for our time, as I explain in the review above. The fish out of water story is amusing and keeps you glued to the page, but then Mamatas expertly and slowly adds in the details that make us realize that Sabbath, while not a good guy, is not that much worse than the average 21st Century American. Talk about unsettling.

Expect action scene piled upon action scene in this dark fantasy-horror hybrid and an overall graphic novel sense of storytelling in prose form.

As you can tell from the review and these further appeal comments, everything about this book is so much more than you would expect at the start. Come for the adventure and action, but stay for the serious and uncomfortably close look at humanity today.

And finally, I loved the dedication; hilarious, hard truth, and sardonic, just like the book that follows.

Three Words That Describe This Book: explicit, thought provoking, satire

Readalikes: I mention three above, but I want to specifically mention the American Gods comp. Sabbath is shorter, with a faster pacing, and more violence than the Gaiman novel, but the feeling and overall message is very similar.

If you want another extreme horror title that would work for libraries and had a similar Christian religion frame [without being religious], try Jonathan Janz' Splatterpunk Award nominated, Exorcist Falls.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Library Reads: November 2019

Today is Library Reads day and that means four 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.
  4. Every book now has at least 1 readalike that is available to hand out RIGHT NOW. Book talk the upcoming book, place a hold for it, and then hand out that readalike title for while they wait. If they need more titles before their hold comes in, use the readalike title to identify more readalike titles. And then keep repeating. Seriously, it is that easy to have happy, satisfied readers.
    Also, the Library Reads Board has also started another great book discovery and suggestion tool for you, a monthly What We're Reading column. This means there are even more library worker approved titles, new and old, for you to choose from. 

    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.

    Also, please remember to click here for my Library Reads 101 recap for everything you need to know about how to participate. And click here to see a database of eligible diverse titles sorted by month. 

    November 2019 LibraryReads


    The Starless Sea: A Novel

    by Erin Morgenstern

    Published: 11/5/2019 by Doubleday
    ISBN: 9780385541213
    “A moving labyrinth of a story, ever changing and evolving. What begins as a mysterious thread in a book, an opportunity taken or missed and the consequences of the choice, evolves into a story similar to a choose-your-own adventure tale or a mystical video game experience. For fans of Neil Gaiman, Susanna Clark, and Lev Grossman.”
    Cynde Suite, Bartow County Library, Cartersville, GA
    NoveList Read-alike: Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

    The Bromance Book Club

    by Lyssa Kay Adams

    Published: 11/5/2019 by Berkley Jove
    ISBN: 9781984806093
    “Thea gave up everything when she became Gavin’s wife, and has been faking more than just her happiness. When the marriage is headed for divorce, Gavin’s friends bring him into their secret book club to help him win his wife back. For readers who like romance with a little humor, and fans of Curtis Sittenfeld and Jennifer Crusie.”
    Melissa McNeill, Montgomery County Memorial Library System, Conroe, TX 
    Novelist Read-alike: Wooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany Turner

    The Deep

    by Rivers Solomon

    Published: 11/5/2019 by Saga Press
    ISBN: 9781534439863
    “An incredibly interesting reimagining of what happened to the slaves that got thrown off the ships while crossing the ocean. For fans of She Would Be King by Wayetu Moore and The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates.”
    Kelli Ponce, Mesquite Public Library, Mesquite, TX 
    NoveList Read-alike: The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

    Get a Life, Chloe Brown

    by Talia Hibbert

    Published: 11/5/2019 by Avon
    ISBN: 9780062941206
    “Chloe is doing all she can to avoid being defined by her illness. Redford is a talented artist who was verbally abused by his former girlfriend. Smart and snarky, they find ways to help each other face their challenges. Snappy dialogue, dynamic characters, and a realistic story make this a good choice for fans of Alyssa Cole and Jasmine Guillory.”
    Paula Pergament, Lincolnwood Public Library, Lincolnwood, IL
    NoveList Read-alike: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

    Little Weirds

    by Jenny Slate

    Published: 11/5/2019 by Little, Brown and Company
    ISBN: 9780316485340
    “Weirdly delightful and beyond compare. Essays that provide a look into the comedian’s brain. For fans of Miranda July.”
    Jesica Sweedler DeHart, Neill Public Library, Pullman, WA
    NoveList Read-alike: One More Thing by B.J. Novak

    Not the Girl You Marry

    by Andie J. Christopher

    Published: 11/12/2019 by Berkley Jove
    ISBN: 9781984802682
    “A perfect contemporary romance that will make you laugh, swoon, and maybe even get a little weepy. Hannah is a heroine for the ages, prickly, real, and worth fighting for. For readers who loved How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days.”
    Elizabeth Gabriel, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, WI
    NoveList Read-alike: The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada

    Tracking Game

    by Margaret Mizushima

    Published: 11/12/2019 by Crooked Lane Books
    ISBN: 9781643851358
    “This is a terrific series with characters that are constantly changing. I’m so excited to see what happens to them next! A good pick for fans of Nevada Barr.”
    Liz Kirchhoff, Barrington Area Public Library, Barrington, IL
    NoveList Read-alike: Ryder Creed series by Alex Kava

    Twenty-One Truths About Love

    by Matthew Dicks

    Published: 11/19/2019 by St. Martin’s Press
    ISBN: 9781250103482
    “Daniel Mayrock is struggling to find his way as a man, husband, and potential father. His story is told entirely in lists. Written as a form of therapy for himself, Daniel’s lists show his sense of humor and feelings of inadequacy. Funny, sad, uplifting but always relatable. A must read for fans of Rachel Joyce and Gabrielle Zevin.”
    Sam Sepulveda, Milford Town Library, Milford, MA
    NoveList Read-alike: The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

    We Met in December

    by Rosie Curtis

    Published: 11/5/2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks
    ISBN: 9780062964564
    “A lovely charmer of a book. Jess follows her dream and moves to London and rents a room in a big Notting HIll house with one rule – no dating your flatmates. For fans of One Day (even mentioned in the book), Four Weddings and One Day in December.”
    Stephanie Chase, Hillsboro Public Library, Hillsboro, OR 
    NoveList Read-alike: Covent Garden in the Snow by Jules Wake

    The Witches are Coming

    by Lindy West

    Published: 11/5/2019 by Hachette Books
    ISBN: 9780316449885
    “Lindy West takes on rape culture, climate change, Hollywood and toxic masculinity among other topics. It’s funny, relatable and on-point. For fans of Rebecca Solnit and Roxane Gay.”
    Shari Suarez, Genesee Districy Library, Goodrich, MI
    NoveList Read-alike: The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy

    The Confession Club: A Novel

    by Elizabeth Berg

    Published: 11/19/2019 by Random House
    ISBN: 9781984855176
    “What starts as a simple supper club transforms into something special when one member reveals a very personal secret. Berg continues her Mason, MO, series with a story that exudes goodness, warmth and solid friendships. A surefire winner and hot book club pick!”
    Ron Block, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, Ohio
    Read-alikes:
    The Summer Seaside Kitchen by Jenny Colgan
    Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper
    Chronicles of a Radical Hag by Lorna Landvik

    The Family Upstairs

    by Lisa Jewell

    Published: 11/5/2019
    by Atria Books
    ISBN: 9781501190100
    “Gothic and creepy, this is the tale of an aging London mansion taken over by a strong-willed con artist happy to prey on the minds of the eccentric family living there. I look forward to each Lisa Jewell release and The Family Upstairs does not disappoint.”
    Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT
    Read-alikes:

    Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
    The Au Pair by Emma Rous
    The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

    Monday, October 14, 2019

    RA for All Roadshow Visits Las Vegas-Clark County Library District

    I know many of you are off today. How do I know? Because I am never off on the second Monday in October [an American Federal holiday], as it is the most common Staff Day for public libraries.

    Today I am at a casino in North Las Vegas for the annual Las Vegas-Clark County Library District's Staff Development Day. No, that was not an attempt at a bad joke, they actually do have their staff day at a casino. Contrary to popular belief, most of LVCC's patrons and staff don't live under the flashing lights of the strip. It is a large county serving 1.6 million people spread out over 8,000 square miles, an area larger than the state of CT!

    In order to get staff, spread out at branches across that expanse, together once a year, they need a central location that can fit everyone. Hence, we are at a casino. It's brilliant really. And there is a hotel so some staff are staying overnight.

    This will be one of my more memorable staff day appearances for sure. Too bad it is October and my schedule did not allow for me to stay a bit longer than the 23 hrs I will be in town.
    Before we get to their schedule of 2 breakout sessions with me, this is your friendly reminder that if you would like me at your 2020 October staff day, you need to contact me soon. It will be scooped up before the end of the year.
    Here are the links for today, accessible to those who are in attendance or anywhere.
     RA for All: Readers Advisory belongs in every library, no matter its budget. The implementation of this vital service is the responsibility of every staff member-- from pages to directors, from those behind the scenes to the ones on the front lines. This program will remove the mystery behind providing great RA service. Using her “Ten Rules of Basic RA Service” as a guide, Becky Spratford will use your own love of your favorite books to show you how to help any patron find their next great read. It's not as hard as you think. But more importantly, you will learn why a staff that can harness the power of sharing a great read will become a stronger team and improve service to all patrons. [60 Mins]

    Booktalking Your Way to the Friendliest Library in Town: Booktalking is at the heart of what we do with patrons each and every day at the public library. Whether we are sharing books informally at the services desk, presenting a prepared list of books, or posting information online, talking about books is something we do each and every day. It is a core service, but it is also hard to teach. Booktalking is more of an art than a skill, but with the right guidance and some practice, it can go a long way toward engaging your patrons and re-energizing your staff. Join experienced Readers’ Advisory Becky Spratford as she shares the secret behind delivering great book talks, giving you tips and tricks you can begin using right away to hone your own skills. Rediscover the power and joy that comes from sharing books with patrons. [60 Mins]

    Friday, October 11, 2019

    Free Book Buzz from HarperCollins-- Today-- Live From Your Computer

    Today I wanted to pass on this great FREE live event happening later this afternoon OR, if you cannot make it, there is also a link to view the recording. [I will be using that link as it coincides with my volunteer time at the local elementary school library.]And it is from my FAVORITE Library Market Team- Library Love Fest from Harper Collins [well tied for favorite with Sourcebooks, but that is unfair because their head is a longtime friend and neighbor]. Also, what a fun way to spend a Friday, hearing all about the exciting titles that are coming soon and a talk by an author, all right on your computer screen! Thanks for doing this Library Love Fest. We could all use something positive to start our weekends off right.Links and details below. 



















    It's a Librarian Love Fest!

    Hello, librarians!

    Mark your calendars! This Friday, October 11th, Library Love Fest will be hosting a two-part book buzz and author talk. The event will be live streamed from the Library Love Fest Facebook page from 11:30AM-12:30PM EST and will resume from 1:00-2:00PM EST!

    Please note: A Facebook account is not required in order to watch the live stream of our presentation! A recording of the presentation will also be available on the Library Love Fest Youtube channel immediately following the Facebook Live broadcast.

    To watch live, visit 
    www.facebook.com/librarylovefest

    To watch the replay, visit 
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJA5wGbfkCzQ2OEVBFCgbbw
     


    Schedule

    11:30AM-12:30PM EST:
    Title presentation begins

    12:30-1:00PM EST:
    Break

    1:00-1:30PM EST:
    Title presentation resumes

    1:30-2:00PM EST:
    Special guest speaker Jeffrey Colvin,
    debut author of Africaville (on sale December 10th, 2019)

    Click here to request an egalley on Edelweiss+
    Click here to request an egalley on NetGalley


    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
    -The LLF Team (Virginia, Chris, and Lainey)  

    Thursday, October 10, 2019

    RA for All Virtual Roadshow Visits PCI Webinars for #OwnVoices for All Readers

    Later today, I am back with PCI Webinars to present my no holds barred #OwnVoices for All Readers: Incorporating EDI Values into RA Service.

    Click here for slide access whether you are attending or not.

    Because this is such an important topic, I have included many of my notes in the Google Slides, so even if you are not part of the webinar, you can learn more. The link to the slides also allows you to click on the links within the presentation and get access to a lot more content by me on equity, diversity and inclusion.

    I have already given this brand new program 3 times since its debut a month ago, and I am scheduled to give it just about everywhere I go in the coming months. Every time I post the slides, it is the most up to date version as I am constantly tweaking and adding to it.

    Click here to see the links to my past programs going back 6 months and the upcoming ones I have scheduled.

    See some of you later today.

    Slide Access Here

    Wednesday, October 9, 2019

    What I'm Reading: Becky Suggest Horror to Non-Horror Readers

    As you can imagine, I get inundated with requests during the month of October from people who normally don't read horror but want to try something "creepy" for the haunting season.

    These requests are tricky because while these readers make it clear that they do not want a lot of blood and gore, they are usually not too clear about anything else they want from their token annual horror book.

    So below are three titles that I have had the best luck suggesting to a general adult audience who are looking for a "creepy" book to get into the Halloween spirit. The links go to a longer review by me for each title, but I have included a small sound bite book talk you can use to suggest these titles.

    Slade House by David Mitchell is the most recently published novel reach "classic" haunted house status. Set over 5 Halloween weekends, spaced nine years apart, and told in 5 episodic bursts, this is a creepy tale of nefarious twins, but told through the eyes of their victims who are unknowingly summoned to the house. This is a great choice for fans of Gothic horror, atmospheric tales of dark corners, ghosts, and ghost stories.

    The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon is a historical thriller about the bonds between mothers and daughter  set "off the grid" in VT but told in two time frames, 1908 and the present. A mysterious death in the past is still literally and figuratively haunting the present. This is a great choice for fans of historical thrillers who want a little supernatural edge during this time of year.

    The Caretaker of Lorne Field by Dave Zeltersman is a, short but intense and unsettling psychological suspense story of the 300 year line of Durkin mean whose lives are dedicated to pulling the weeds that grown in Lorne Field. Why? Because the weeds are vicious monsters, and if not weeded, they will grow to their full form, leave the ground, and destroy the world! Then again…they might just be weeds. The only way to know for sure is to stop taking care of the field. This is a great choice for all of your many fans of psychological suspense.

    Tuesday, October 8, 2019

    RA for Cookbooks via Booklist

    When I first started out in RA Service, one of the requests I was completely unprepared for was helping readers who liked to read cookbooks for fun to find more they would also enjoy. I knew about reading travel guides for fun more than to prep for a trip because it was something I have always enjoyed. But the idea of reading a cookbook for more than the recipes was foreign to me.

    Well, I quickly learned that there was a sizable group of patrons for whom cookbooks was their go-to leisure reading genre.

    Booklist has had a spotlight issue on cookbooks for many years, and this month along with lists of the top cookbooks and core collection articles on Foundational Cookbooks and YA for Foodies there is also this excellent piece by Susan Maguire [my fabulous editor] on Cookbook Advisory. Past Becky could have used this, but all of us can use it now.

    Susan breaks down what a reader wants from a cookbook. She includes a discussion of the main areas of appeal and how to discuss these with a patron to help them find the best cookbook for them. This is a "how-to" RA article you need to read.

    This article also reminded me on the enduring popularity of cookbook book clubs. Many more libraries than I could ever list host these. I have included this example of some of the ones hosted at branches of the Chicago Public Library.

    If you are unfamiliar with cookbook book clubs or want some advice on how to start one at your library, click here to read a Book Riot article on the topic.

    Why not consider suggesting a cookbook to a reader yourself? At the very least, use the information in Susan's article to put together a book display that pairs cookbooks with a fiction title. I think it would be a fresh and inviting display for your patrons. One they might not expect. And it is when we surprise them that they notice us more.