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, August 31, 2020

Resource Alert: Criminal Element

Genre blending is so pervasive that it is hard to find resources that are genre specific and yet represent the breadth of what readers of said genre are actually looking for as they look for a good read.

Readers who like "crime stories" are the best example. Some "crime" readers like mysteries only, while others read thrillers, adventure, and suspense [adrenaline genres]. But within those genres there is also a huge range of violence and tone. 

There are also readers for who "crime" means psychological suspense with its unreliable narrators, common open endings, and even despicable protagonists  [which can drive traditional mystery and adrenaline genre readers crazy, especially those who crave a colder ending and the "good" protagonist coming out happy and rewarded].

Others crave true crime. And all of this is without touching the format issue-- tv, movies, podcasts OR the fact that dozens of new "crime" titles come out every single week all year long.

It can be quite overwhelming especially as we help long-time fans who think they have "read everything you have." If we use the same old resources, it might seem like that is true to us too. [Hint: it is not.]

The only thing I can say for certain is always true about all "crime" readers is while they seem to be willing to consume any crime story, they actually do have very specific tastes, they just aren't sure how to articulate them beyond saying, "I like [enter series or author name here]."

There are so many great mystery and crime based resources, and tons of readalike lists available for us to use, but very few places give it all to you in one place like Criminal Element. This resource considers the general appeal of a story featuring a crime and looks at it with a team of writers that cover the FULL spectrum all in one place. There definition is very broad, even including horror where applicable. By featuring such a broad range of crime options, this allows us, the library worker, to also consider more options for our readers, options a traditional thriller or mystery resource alone would not provide.

I particularly like that they have both "Cozy Corner" and True Crime sections. These are two areas where my readers cannot get enough and I am always running out of new ideas. And again, when you look at those specific sections they consider all formats which is so helpful. "Readers" can want more than just books with their favorite kind of story, and we carry multiple formats.

I also like how they have essays about the crime genre. Those are archived here. I have used this archive to identify new authors and even tropes. For example, this recent essay by author Vanessa Savage about  Fairy Tales as Crime Stories. The concept is an awesome booklist/display idea for sure. But there is a vast backlist of essays to choose from. Take this essay from 2018 entitled, "Real-Life Lady Criminals of   Historical Fiction." Again, instant display/digital list idea!

You can use the 22 pages[!] of  essays to spark ideas for new ways to market some of the most popular books on your shelves.

Head on over to take a look for yourself. Because seriously, crime fiction along with romance, is our bread and butter, and yet, we allow some great older titles to languish in the stacks. We have SO MANY crime books, it is hard to remember all but the most recent or most popular authors. 

Let the resources help you and give your patrons a surprise, whether that is a great outside the box suggestion or a totally new and fresh display.

Friday, August 28, 2020

RA for All Virtual Roadshow Visits WI Trustee Training Week

Okay, today is a little off topic. This afternoon I am presenting as part of Trustee Training Week 2020 for the state of Wisconsin. This virtual training is an annual event where the state offers library trustees a week of 1 hour, webinars over the lunch hour. I am the final presenter:

Walk the Line: How Trustees Can Best Lead Their Libraries Without Overstepping Their Authority

Friday, August 28

Presenter:  Becky Spratford

Being a Trustee is an important job. You are part of a team that represents the tax payers, oversees the Library Director, and advocates for libraries. However, where exactly do your duties end and the Library staff's begin? This line, while very clear from a legal standpoint, can become a bit fuzzy in practice. Join Becky Spratford, a 20 + years librarian and 5 term library trustee as she helps you understand how to walk the fine line between being a leader and being in the way. She will go over how you as a Trustee can best help the Library thrive, noting when you should step in but also when you should back off, strengthening all of Wisconsin's Libraries in the process.

You can click here to see all of the details.

And yes, there are multiple Johnny Cash puns throughout, also balance beam memes. I mean come on, they had a week of this and I am at the end so I wanted to make it a little bit fun. Between the giggles I will also be sharing my 20[!] years of trustee experience including many real world examples.

Right after the presentation ends, I am off to the RAILS Board meeting [in a room down the hall from where I will be set up to present], so it will be a full day wearing my Trustee hat.

I am sharing my slides here for those of you who are interested. Back to RA on Monday.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Watch Someone Else Talk About Books and Reading

Look we all need inspiration some days. 

Matching books with readers is rewarding and fun on its best days. On others the patron is difficult, every title you suggest is out or missing. Some days the patrons are compliant and patient; other days well... you don't need to tell me about the rude behavior that happens over leisure books  at the library.

Being dulled down by the daily grind, with or without a pandemic, is a fact of life, but understanding this and then always keeping inspiration at arm's length is imperative.

One of my favorite ways to take a step back and see the power of a good book in action is to watch others, especially those not in our industry, share their stories.

Click here to run a search for all TED Talks that discuss "books" or  you can click here for "reading."

I like running both searches because they do bring up different results. Now both playlists include "library" driven talks. Try to avoid those. The point here is to be inspired by the story of how a book or the act of reading or even just words inspired someone to get on a stage and talk about it, to the world.

Spend some time watching a few. Play them in he background while you work. Some of the speakers have books of their own. See what you have so you can make a display. Create a playlist of some of the better ones on your website for patrons to encounter.

If it really catches on, see if staff or patrons want to create their own similar videos sharing a story about the power of books or reading in their lives. Nothing fancy, they can use their phones. But then you can put them up on your YouTube channel. Those locally created videos [even if  you just do staff] will be even more inspiring despite the fancy "TED Talk" polish.

I search out these videos at least once a month for myself. There is always one I haven't seen that grabs my attention. All are a reminder of the true power behind the work we do, and from a completely different perspective than the day to day grind. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Stock Your RA Pantry: RA 101 from LibraryReads

I am back with Stock Your RA Pantry, a series of posts that address the things you can do anywhere to enhance your RA Services and Resources both now and going forward. And, these are all things any library worker can do, no matter what their official job at the library happens to be.

Today I have LibraryReads' new Readers' Advisory 101 YouTube training video to pass on.

75 minutes that covers the basic essentials of RA with ready to use examples, in 6 parts:

- Appeal (presented by Stephen Sposato) - RA Conversations (Polli Kenn) - Handselling/Book Talking (Andrienne Cruz) - Merchandising (Gregg Winsor) - How to Read a Book in 5 Minutes (Stephanie Anderson) - Keeping Up with Books (Michael Santangelo) - Book Clubs (Kelly Currie)

Click here to view.

Everyone can learn from this, even the more experienced among you. I especially like hearing examples and book talks from others, both to spice up my go-to suggestions and to see different styles of RA Service illustrated in front of me-- in this case 6 different styles.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Environmental Lit Day: Lists for all Readers via Book Riot and a Rant About How We Fail Readers Everyday

Today Book Riot has a great feature on Environmental Lit with a series of lists for all readers. There are books of poetry, cookbooks, hopeful titles, bleak stories, picture books, literally every type of book dealing with the environment, all in one centralized page to be encountered by potential readers.

However, I am highlighting this list for more than the obvious reason that you can use it for display and list ideas to promote your collections to readers. This grouping of titles and theme day itself is one of the main reasons why I am constantly reminding library workers to look to Book Riot for assistance and ideas.

Unlike us in the library world, Book Riot doesn't silo everything into its specific place based on audience level or format. They don't because they are geared directly to the reader and readers like more than what is in the section they are standing in. Readers, our patrons, could be interested in a wide variety of options and formats, and yet, we don't ever acknowledge that in how we present books to them.

Our patrons might come in looking for books for the entire family. They might enjoy a book of poetry or a film to go with that novel they grabbed, but since that may be on a another floor or it's in a section they have never visited, they will never know. And do we seem to care? Nope because if we did, we'd change.

In very few libraries will you see a themed display that literally showcases the whole library's offerings in a topic-- all formats, age levels, genres, fiction, nonfiction...all in one display. And this is sad. Last time I checked, each staff member works for the Library, not just their department. We need to get over this siloing of our services and collections. [This is something I work into to every single training I give because it is our largest failing-- and we have many failings.]

As a profession are so worried about our classification systems and everything being in its "proper" place that we lose sight of our purpose-- to offer information and items for our readers. I would argue that the actual "proper" place for materials is where patrons will best find them, not where a classification system made in previous centuries says they should be. 

Think about this way, do you blindly do things in other parts of your life in the same way your great, great grandparents did? I am going to guess the answer is no.

Please consider thinking like a reader and less like a library worker for a few moments. Click through to the Book Riot Environmental Lit Day celebration page. Then step back and think about how happy your patrons would be to see something like this in a central location at your library or on the website. A display, whether physical or digital, that takes into account every type of item you have on a topic, and then puts it where they can find everything in one place. 

Obviously these relocations are not forever. The items can move for a few days or weeks and no one will end up in library jail, heck there won't even be any injuries [although you might not know it from the stink some library workers make when I suggest moving items around]; in fact, just the opposite will happen. Patrons will be elated because you are showing them that they come first with your actions.

Many of our library classification systems put out dated rules over reader behavior. And last time I  checked, our PUBLIC libraries are owned by and are for the PUBLIC. They are not there for the library workers. It is not your library. The library worker is not a gatekeeper but rather a facilitator, connecting their community to their collection.

[See also my rant on the stupidity of shelving series in alphabetical order rather than series order. I am going out on a very solid limb here to say that no one has EVER read a series [other than Grafton] in alpha order.]

Today, check out the offerings from Book Riot. Use them to help patrons right now. Build a display, make some lists, sure. But also, take a step back and think about how much better a job they are doing to address the habits, desires, and reality of actual readers with their lists and articles.

Why don't we ever take a topic and put out a sampling of EVERYTHING we have on said topic, from across the entire collection?!?!?

[Side note: one of the best displays I ever saw was at a tiny library in Appalachia where they took the topic "Dogs" and did just that.]

As a profession, we have much to learn from Book Riot. Yes, lots to learn from a for-profit, click driven, book based website. Don't roll your eyes. I know some of you are, but I am right, and you have to stop being so "high and mighty. Put your patrons first for a change!

Those of us who deal with leisure readers of any age need to spend less time thinking like library professionals and more time thinking like the readers are supposed to be serving. 

[End Rant}

See the intro and a link to the full coverage below.



Whether you call it enviro-lit or cli-fi, whether it’s nonfiction or fiction, whether they make weather puns (heh!) or take a more serious tone, there are so many amazing books out there about or featuring the world around us. We humans are just one small piece of a great big world, one that we’re fighting to save, so today we’re celebrating environmental lit across genres.

Find out if ecopoetry is the thing you’re missing in your life; get the best picture books to introduce your little ones to the environment and our impact on it; learn to cook sustainably; get some ecologically inclined manga recommendations. Today’s posts include all these and then some, and we wish you and your TBR joy while you explore! (And don’t forget to hug a tree—or your houseplant—when you’re done.)

Click through for the lists and start promoting these books to every patron.

Monday, August 24, 2020

4th Annual HWA Librarians' Day Registration is LIVE with a HUGE Announcement!

Free registration is now live for this full day of continuing education for all library workers. While the focus is on horror, there is a lot to learn for helping patrons of any genre. 

But even more exciting that the event is the announcement of the Horror Writers' Association's Diversity Grant which is being funded by leadership from the library community. From the grant page

"Thanks to the generosity of NoveList, LibraryReads, ARRT, and RA for All, each 2020 Grant is worth $500 and may be spent on approved expenses for a period of two (2) years following the awarding of the Grant. For details about the Diversity Grant and to apply please go here: http://horrorscholarships.com/diversity-grants/"

And library workers are eligible to apply. Again details are here.

We are also asking people who sign up to consider making a fully tax deductible donation to the diversity grant in lieu of a registration fee. That link is here, below, and on the EventBrite page. You do NOT need  to donate to participate. Everyone is welcome.

As you can see in the announcement, I have put my money behind this grant through my company. Readers know how important supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion is to me. But being "concerned" is never enough. I have been working all summer to help make this a reality and I am proud of ARRT, NoveList, Library Reads, and of course the Horror Writers Association for doing the work to make this happen.

I do want to also acknowledge Night Worms and Cemetery Dance [both part of the program below] for donating since the announcement. Their generosity has already guaranteed that this grant will live  beyond year 1.

Please checkout the announcement of our event and signup to get access to exclusive deals  from our presenters and the email to participate in the asynchronous Q & A

HWA 4th Annual Librarians’ Day is Going Virtual and Is Now FREE!

We are excited to announce that HWA Librarians’ Day will be moving to a virtual format, and it will be COMPLETELY FREE!

All panels will be taped ahead of time and released on November 1st to the public through the HWA’s YouTube Page.  Throughout the month of November, the Adult Reading Round Table will be moderating an asynchronous Q&A.  We would also like to thank our sponsors who have stuck with us NoveList, LibraryReads, and Flame Tree Press.

Registered attendees will be provided with an email address to pose their questions to the panelists.  Questions and the answers will be posted for attendees to access. All will be able to see the Q&A but only registered attendees will be able to ask questions.

While the event is geared toward library workers, we encourage all HWA members to view the panels. There have been some panel changes which are as follows:

  • The Scary Truth About Horror Reviews (Sponsored by Cemetery Dance) – Featuring New York Times Book Review Horror Columnist Danielle Trussoni, Booklist and Library Journal Horror Reviewer Becky Spratford, and Cemetery Dance reviewer and owner of Night Worms Sadie Hartmann.  Moderated by Ashley Rayner from the Chicago Public Library
  • Horror and Libraries: A Not So Scary Partnership – Featuring Gillian Cargile-King from Northern Illinois University, Konrad Stump from Springfield-Greene [MO] County Library, Cathleen Keyser from Novelist, and Gregg Winsor from Library Reads.  Moderated by Lila Denning from the St. Petersburg [FL] Public Library
  • Summer Scares 2020: How to Feature Horror for All Ages at Your Library – Featuring members of the Summer Scares Committee and the announcement of the 2021 Summer Scares Spokesperson!
  • The State of Horror Today: A Conversation – Featuring authors Daniel Kraus, Stephen Graham Jones, and Cina Pelayo.  Moderated by Becky Spratford
  • Meet Flame Tree Press – Editor Don D’Auria and Flame Tree Press authors John Everson, J.G. Faherty, J.H. Moncrieff, Melissa Prusi and Steven Hopstaken.  Moderated by Emily Vinci of the Schaumburg Public Library

Register for this new FREE event here

Please contact Becky Spratford at bspratford [at]  hotmail [dot] com with any questions.

While signup for Librarians’ Day is free we are also using this opportunity to launch a HWA Diversity Grant that was established with funds from the library community.

The Diversity Grants will be open to underrepresented, diverse people who have an interest in the horror writing genre, including, but not limited to writers, editors, reviewers, and library workers. Like the Diverse Works Inclusion Committee, the Diversity Grants have adopted the broadest definition of the word diversity to include, but not limited to, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabled, and neurodiverse. Thanks to the generosity of NoveList, LibraryReads, ARRT, and RA for All, each 2020 Grant is worth $500 and may be spent on approved expenses for a period of two (2) years following the awarding of the Grant. For details about the Diversity Grant and to apply please go here:http://horrorscholarships.com/diversity-grants/

Friday, August 21, 2020

Free Weekend Buzz Book Expo with Horror Publishers-- Streamed or Recorded

Below is an awesome Collection Development and Readers' Advisory activity for this weekend. You can watch it live or catch the recording later. Either way, it is a wonderful overview of they type of horror coming out right now. 

While it mostly features small publishers [but Saga, from big 5 S&S will be there too], and you might find title you want to add to your collections, I really want people to attend this event to hear the publishers talk about their offerings. Listen to the book talks, notice the trends across publishers, think about if those types of stories will work with your patrons. Make connections to other horror titles you already have, ones that you know people enjoy. But also notice trends across genres.

You can learn a lot more from any given "Book Buzz" than what you should order or not; if you really listen you can learn about the current state of the genre and larger trends. Honestly, that is my favorite thing about Book Buzzes, not finding titles I want to read myself, but learning about ALL the books that are coming soon and making connections across them all in relation to how I will suggest them.

Noticing the comp titles, hearing key terms or themes over and over again, this is why we attend them, not to fill our TBRs. It is just that most of the buzz's we attend are not broken up by genre, and horror specifically usually only gets a mention or two.

Not this weekend though! Just in time for you to start prepping for the October onslaught.

For the full information and schedule please go to author Mary SanGiovanni's website here. But I have also reprinted the key info below.

Buzz Book Expo 2020

August 22-23, 2020. Attend for free HERE — just click on the Buzz Book Expo Livestream.

SCHEDULE (All times are EST.)

Saturday 8/22
Silver Shamrock            12-12:50 pm
Erasurehead/Deadite     1-1:50 pm
Grindhouse                    2-2:50 pm
S&S Saga                      3-3:50 pm
Death’s Head                 4-4:50 pm
Bad Hound Press           5-5:50 pm

Sunday 8/23
Eerie River Press        11-11:50 am
Lamplight                   12-12:50 pm  
Thunderstorm             1-1:50 pm
Crystal Lake               2-2:50 pm
Blood Bound Books   3-3:50 pm
Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing    4-4:50 pm

Buzz Book Expo is an online book expo, not unlike what was done this year for BEA. Our goal is to give publishers from all over the world a chance to talk about their new horror releases for the upcoming year (September 2020 – December 2021). While our focus is specifically on horror, we consider this to include paranormal and supernatural thrillers, dark fantasy, genre blends, and even non-fiction books about the horror genre. We would like to give a platform to diverse voices bringing new kinds of horror to readers through presentations, Q&As, interviews, and the like.

We are inviting an extensive list of booksellers, librarians, book reviewers, podcasters, readers, and other media professionals to view the expo online with the hope that we can help publishers increase awareness of their books and promote their authors. Participation is free.

We will be recording the event so that it is available to those who are interested but can’t attend.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact me at the link below. A posted schedule of publishers and an FAQ will be posted in the near future.

Buzz Book Expo Committee
Mary SanGiovanni — Coordinator
Dave Thomas — Tech
Matt Wildasin — Tech
Katie Southard — Media Relations/PR
Richard Gerlach
Patrick McDonough

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Nonfiction Trend: Popular Science Books

Popular science has always been among the most popular nonfiction at our libraries, but these days, as everyone is becoming amateur infectious disease specialists, we are also seeing an uptick in all leisure science reading and listening.

Thankfully, popular science books have also been improving over the last few years to be as fun to read as they are informative. And there are a plethora of great science based podcasts.

One of the experts in this field of Nonfiction RA is Library Journal Associate Editor Stephanie Sendaula. And, thankfully for all of us, you can easily hear her share her favorites on Science Friday. Here is the link for  all of Science Friday's books coverage. Sendaula's recs are always spot on!

In fact, Science Friday's podcast, as well as Radio Lab, [both production of WNYC] are my go-to resources for all things popular science. Whether I am listening to learn some armchair science or to get reading recs [either directly or because they interview an author]; these podcasts are a resource I pass on to patrons frequently.

For more books only suggestions I  would start with this Library Journal archive of "Sciences" reviews.

If you have access to NoveList, you can also use the left gutter Recommended Reads list to pull up Adult Nonfiction for Science and Nature to find some sure bet titles. [see screen shot]

And because I always remind my readers that we need to balance our professional reviews and resources with resources that take the reader into  account [because ultimately we are helping actual readers find titles, NOT library workers], look up popular science titles on Goodreads and see where readers "shelve" them.

You can use this link to go to the Goodreads page for all books tagged "Science." And there you can find this direct link to "related genres." [screen shot]

Also here is a link to the "Nature" page. And my favorite page to help readers "Popular Science" which also includes a Goodreads user generated list of all books mentioned on Science Friday. [I love how the resources work together!]

There are many resources where you can suggest science related books and podcasts to your patrons to help fill the exploding interest in this nonfiction subgenre among a larger audience of readers.

I hope this post gets you started down your own popular science rabbit hole. It would make a great display anytime of year!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Resource Alert: The Same Editor as a "Readalike" Suggestion

On my Ten Rules of Basic RA Service page, one of my 5 Resources You Cannot Live Without is the following:

Authors recs of other authors: There isn't a single place you can go per se, but do not forget that many patrons will love trying an author or book that one of their favorite authors recommends. Try searching for a patron's favorite author on Twitter [don't need an account to view] and then see what authors they are promoting there. Most established authors do this. Also the back of a book a patron liked-- does it have blurbs by other authors? Those can be readalike author options. And Fantastic Fiction tries to catalog as many of an author's blurbs or recs that they can. Search an author in the site and scroll to bottom of record for examples. Then use Novelist or Goodreads to find out more about any titles or authors you find.The point here is you are using resources and need to know nothing about any of the authors involved, just that the patron in front of you likes them.

This is one of my tried and true tricks to use with patrons. Earlier this month, I wrote here about why author recs of other authors is a great RA resource [please read it for the nuance of "why"]; however, yesterday I saw this interesting post on Book Riot- "How to Find the Editor of a Book," and it got me thinking about using the same editor as a readalike, and I realized that it is a great option because I already do this with horror editors I know and trust- both for novels and stories.

Read the article for the great reasons why readers may like multiple authors with the same editor and learn how to identify and follow editors on social media. 

I will also catalog this post on my Ten Rules page so it can help more people going forward.

If you give this a try, let me know.

Remember, we want to use resources to showcase how important we, the human staff members, are in helping our patrons find their next great read. We do not want the process to look seamless; we want people to know a person did the work to find them a great story. We want to help them in ways they wouldn't think of or be able to do themselves so that when there are talks of cutting budgets, our staff are deemed invaluable.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Primers on Lovecraft for Public Libraries

I am currently working on a primers of my own about Lovecraft, his racism, and the importance of his legacy for the new book, but with the release of Lovecraft Country the TV show, others are also putting out some excellent resources right now.

So as you help patrons who are enjoying the show but do not know much about the man or his work, here are some resources you can use ASAP.

Finally, look for an interview with cosmic horror scholar and author Mary SanGiovanni [mentioned above] that we are currently working on together, specifically for library workers, all about Lovecraft, his legacy, and what "Cosmic Horror" really is, in the October issue of Library Journal.

Monday, August 17, 2020

LibraryReads: August 2020

 It's 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 through this archive OR the sortable master list allowing you to mix and match however you want.
  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 upcoming 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.
The LibraryReads 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.

Please remember to click here for everything you need to know about how to participate. Click here to see a database of eligible diverse titles sorted by month.

Now let's get to that list....

When No One Is Watching
A Thriller
by Alyssa Cole
(William Morrow Paperbacks)
"The gentrification of her beloved Brooklyn neighborhood has longtime resident Sydney Green mourning what's lost. Striking up an uneasy alliance with new neighbor Theo, she starts research for a walking tour to highlight the area’s rich history and diversity but quickly comes to realize that something far more sinister is going on. A sense of mounting dread and some startling twists and turns will keep readers turning the pages. Where HAVE all those old neighbors gone? For fans of An Unwanted Guest, The Woman in Cabin Ten,
and Watching You."
Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY 
NoveList read-alike: 
 BTTM FDRS by Ezra Claytan Daniels

And now the rest of the list for September 2020

Battle Ground by Jim Butcher (Ace)

“Battle Ground has more at stake than any previous book in the Dresden Files series, and more changes for Harry. Filled to the brim with non-stop action, this entry has Harry and almost every supernatural being he knows coming to defend Chicago from a mad Titan bent on reshaping reality. For fans of Mercy Thompson series (Briggs) and the Iron Druid Chronicles (Hearne).”

—Dan Brooks, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC

NoveList read-alike: The Brimstone Files series by Jason Sean Ridler

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Viking)

“At a seminal moment in her life, Nora visits a unique library. Every book she chooses is one that she becomes part of and is a possible life she might have led. There are adventures, close calls, and joy. Give this totally engrossing page turner to fans of Here and Now and Then (Chen) and Life after Life (Atkinson). “

—Deborah Margeson, Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO 

NoveList read-alike: Or What You Will by Jo Walton

Monogamy by Sue Miller (Harper)

“Annie and Graham have been married for 30 years. When Graham unexpectedly dies, Annie finds out he had a recent affair. As she reevaluates her relationship and deals with feelings of anger and betrayal, a few secrets in her own past are revealed. This story of grief, sadness, and acceptance is perfect for fans of Hausfrau and Unsheltered.”

—Laura Fowler, J.V. Fletcher Library, Westford, MA 

NoveList read-alike: Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury Publishing)

“Piranesi is the sole inhabitant of a mysterious “house” with endless rooms full of statues and a surging ocean below. With lyrical and hypnotic writing in his journal, he guides readers through his beloved labyrinthine home and introduces “The Other,” a sporadic visitor and the only other living human being...or so he thought. For fans of The Starless Sea and The Bedlam Stacks.”

—Catherine Tarver, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL 

NoveList read-alike: Little, Big by John Crowley

A Rogue of One's Own by Evie Dunmore (Berkley)

"The second book in the League of Extraordinary Women series revolves around Lady Lucie and her old nemesis Lord Ballentine. Their love/hate relationship is passionate and steamy. For fans of the Royal Wedding series and Dukes Behaving Badly series."

—Natalie Peitsinovski, Roselle Public Library, Roselle, NJ 

NoveList read-alike: The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan

The Roommate by Rosie Danan (Berkley)

"When Clara decides to move from New York to LA to live with her forever crush/childhood best friend Everett, he tells her he is going on the road with his band all summer, but not to worry, he has a roommate lined up for her. This roommate, it turns out, works in the adult entertainment industry. For readers who enjoyed My Favorite Half-Night Stand (Lauren)."

—Afton Finley, Waseca Library, Waseca, MN

NoveList read-alike: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (Knopf )

"Gyasi is a force of a writer and in her new novel, Gifty is a Ph.D student of neuroscience fueled by the need to understand her brother's addiction and mother's depression. For fans of Imagine Me Gone (Haslet) and Chemistry (Wang)."

—Kari Bingham-Gutierrez, Olathe Public Library, Olathe, KS 

NoveList read-alike:A Particular Kind of Black Man by Tope Folarin

Well Played by Jen DeLuca (Berkley)

"Upon hearing of Simon and Emily’s engagement, best friend Stacey is jolted into reevaluating her own life. Stacey reaches out to her old Ren Faire flame, Dex, but accidentally connects with Daniel, Dex’s cousin. When their friendly messages turn into something more, Stacey is faced with a surprise upon learning of the identity of her online paramour. For readers who enjoyed 99 Percent Mine (Thorne)."

—Morgan Malyn, Clermont County Public Library, Cincinnati, OH 

NoveList read-alike: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

The Writer's Library The Authors You Love on the Books That Changed Their Lives by Nancy Pearl & Jeff Schwager (HarperOne)

"As someone who loves reading, books, and talking about books this was perfect for me. I found it fascinating to get a glimpse of what books influenced such an eclectic group of writers. It made me look at my own reading history and at books and reading in a different way. For fans of My Life with Bob (Paul)."

—Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cuyahoga, OH

NoveList read-alike: My Ideal Bookshelf by Thessaly La Force & Jane Mount

The LibraryReads Hall of Fame designation honors authors who have had multiple titles appear on the monthly LibraryReads list since 2013. When their third title places on the list via library staff votes, the author moves into our Hall of Fame.
Anxious People
A Novel
by Fredrik Backman
(Atria Books)
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
The Book of Two Ways
A Novel
by Jodi Picoult
(Ballantine Books)
Cries From The Lost Island by Kathleen O’Neal Gear
My Real Children by Jo Walton
The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
A Deadly Education
A Novel
by Naomi Novik
(Del Rey) 
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko
Magic For Liars by Sarah Gailey

Don't Look for Me
by Wendy Walker
(St. Martin's Press) 
The Chain by Adrian McKinty
The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

One by One
by Ruth Ware
(Gallery/Scout Press)
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall

Tools of Engagement
A Novel
by Tessa Bailey
The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren
The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel