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, October 30, 2020

RA for All Roadshow FREE Virtual Appearance: The True Monsters of Lovecraft Country for Library Journal [VIDEO ACCESS ADDED 11/4/20]

This year on 31 Days of Horror I worked in partnership with @ItsNiaMya from Library Journal as we hosted #LovecraftFridays on Twitter and here on the blog. This was part of the larger Library Journal #LJReads program. Every Friday in October we will dissected LOVECRAFT COUNTRY the novel by Matt Ruff and the hit HBO show. We came up with 4 larger themes and took a deep dive into them each week.

Each Friday in October around 5pm eastern, Nia posted a thread on Library Journal's Twitter to start the larger discussion on the topic. To supplement the discussion, I prepared some more reading lists and background information to help you put it into a broader context and help your library patrons.

I hope you enjoyed the month long discussion and engaged with us. Actually, even though we are done, you still can participate in the conversation anytime using the #LJReads and #LovecraftFridays hashtags. Pass it on to your patrons and encourage them to participate too.

Today to wrap it all up we have a live, free, wrap up program. Sign up now and find all the details by clicking here or on the graphic.

I know the event will be recorded, so if you cannot join us, you will still have access to the recording. 


One of the participants is Alex Brown, an award winning critic, who wrote the official episode reviews for Tor.com which you can access here.

Brown's episode recaps with commentary along with the #LovecraftFridays threads will help you get up to speed on the conversation, the show, the book, and the intersection of modern horror and racism. 

I hope you can join us, but if not, I will make access to the recording available as soon as I can.

And as I said here on the blog last week:

I can't wait. I don't know if I am more excited that we all get to nerd out together or that I know our entire program will be making Lovecraft spin in his grave while we do it.
*Cue Evil Laugh*

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Literary Tourism From the Safety of Home

2020 has meant no fun travel for everyone. As the months of staying close to home drag on, wanderlust is setting in; however, readers have some remedy-- arm chair travel through books.

I have posted about the allure of arm chair travel many times before, and you should check out those links [especially my posts about my love of reading travel guides even if I do not visit the location].

But today, I want to take arm chair travel a step further and point you to the "Literary Tourism" series on Book Riot.

This series is not a reading list of books for you to read about a place, but rather, it is a list of bookish places to visit for a specific location. Now, you might be thinking that this is evil of me to point you to these lists of places you cannot go, but I am thinking of using these lists differently.

People are stir crazy and reading books set in the places they are eager to visit is losing some of its enjoyment. In many ways, it is no longer enough. However, these lists, focused on a specific place, are filled with links of the places you could visit. Many of these locations have upped their virtual experience because of the pandemic, and now you can do some worthwhile, virtual, literary tourism. 

So pass on the Literary Tourism posts from Book Riot on to your patrons, pair it with a book set in said place, and remind them that they can explore new places in fiction and real life, safely, from home. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction 2021 Longlist


This is an extremely helpful list to give you, the public service library worker, a good sense of the most critically acclaimed titles of the year that also appeal to a wide audience. 

It is my favorite sure bet, best list because these 46 titles are not just critical darlings, there is an emphasis from the RA professionals who chose them on readability. 

I know people on the jury and I can assure you, this is 100% a goal- readability and excellence in concert, and it is proved below as you see bestselling titles, genre titles, essayists, popular history and more. These are books you can confidently hand out to most readers which is not always the case with some awards. 

While the Carnegie is technically an award, I would treat this longlist more like a best list for general readers who are looking for top picks.

Here is the full report from Booklist Reader where each title is linked to more info and books which received a star review are also noted:

Forty-six books (26 fiction, 20 nonfiction) have been selected for the longlist for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. The six-title shortlist—three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals—will be chosen from longlist titles and announced on November 17, 2020. The two medal winners will be announced by 2021 selection committee chair Bill Kelly at the Reference and User Services Association’s Book and Media Awards (BMAs) event, which will take place online on Thursday, February 4, 2021, from 3 to 4 p.m. CST.

Carnegie Medal winners will each receive $5,000. The six finalists and two winners will be honored during a celebratory event in the summer of 2021.


★ Apeirogonby Colum McCann (Random)

Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino, by Julián Herbert (Graywolf)

★ A Burningby Megha Majumdar (Knopf)

★ Crooked Hallelujahby Kelly Jo Ford (Grove)

★ Deacon King Kong, by James McBride (Riverhead)

★ Echo on the Bay, by Masatsugu Ono (Two Lines)

★ The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf)

★ Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell (Knopf)

★ Here We Are, by Graham Swift (Knopf)

★ Homeland Elegiesby Ayad Akhtar (Little, Brown)

Hurricane Seasonby Fernanda Melchor (New Directions)

★ Interior Chinatown, by Charles Yu (Pantheon)

★ Jack, by Marilynne Robinson (Farrar)

★ The Last Great Road Bumby Héctor Tobar (Farrar/MCD)

★ Luster, by Raven Leilani (Farrar)

★ Memorial, by Bryan Washington (Riverhead)

★ The Night Watchmanby Louise Erdrich (Harper)

★ Parakeetby Marie-Helene Bertino (Farrar)

Pew, by Catherine Lacey (Farrar)

Red Dress in Black and Whiteby Elliot Ackerman (Knopf)

★ Run Me to Earthby Paul Yoon (Simon & Schuster)

Shuggie Bainby Douglas Stuart (Grove)

Transcendent Kingdom, by Yaa Gyasi (Knopf)

★ Utopia Avenueby David Mitchell (Random)

★ The Vanishing Halfby Brit Bennett (Riverhead)

★ Weatherby Jenny Offill (Knopf)


The Beauty in Breakingby Michele Harper (Riverhead)

The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creatures in the Natural World, by Patrik Svensson (Ecco)

★ Caste: The Origins of Our Discontentsby Isabel Wilkerson (Random)

★ Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America, by Laila Lalami (Pantheon)

★ The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm Xby Les and Tamara Payne (Norton/Liveright)

★ The Dragons, the Giant, the Womenby Wayétu Moore (Graywolf)

★ Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town, by Barbara Demick (Random)

★ Fathoms: The World in the Whale, by Rebecca Giggs (Simon & Schuster)

God’s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern Worldby Alan Mikhail (Norton/Liveright)

★ Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Familyby Robert Kolker (Doubleday)

Humankind: A Hopeful Historyby Rutger Bregman (Little, Brown)

★ Just Us: An American Conversation, by Claudia Rankine (Graywolf)

★ The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch, by Miles Harvey (Little, Brown)

★ Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoirby Natasha Trethewey (Ecco)

★ Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, by Cathy Park Hong (Random/One World)

My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, by Jenn Shapland (Tin House)

★ One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle over American Immigration, 1924–1965, by Jia Lynn Yang (Norton)

★ Paper Bullets: Two Artists Who Risked Their Lives to Defy the Nazisby Jeffrey H. Jackson (Algonquin)

★ Recollections of My Nonexistenceby Rebecca Solnit (Viking)

★ The Undocumented Americansby Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (Random/One World)

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Attack of the Best Lists: PW and Its Super Easy, Massive Backlist Access

At the end of last week, Publishers Weekly, announced their Best of 2020 in 12 categories across all reading levels, here.

I mention this every year when this list comes out [and their summer reading list] and the main reason I love to promote this best list is because it is so useful.


Because no one makes using the backlist of best titles easier than PW.  Look at this screen shot I took of a title from the fiction page:

While the shiny new list is exciting to browse though, I want to draw your attention to to bar across the top. The bar that lists, clearly and on every single page, 1-click access to EVERY YEAR'S Best Lists and all of the Summer lists. Again, with 1-click!

I have said this hundreds of times before, but I keep repeating it because it is so important...

The back list is your best friend in RA Service.

A book that is best this year is great. But honestly, in a few weeks, they will all be checked out. Plus, your patrons are coming in to request these title specifically. They don't need much help from you to identify and request this year's best titles.

But... a book suggestion of a title that was "Best" a few years ago [especially 2-5 years ago] is like a present to your patrons. #1, the title will probably be one they would not have thought of themselves, thus making your intervention in suggesting it vital to their reading pleasure and #2, and this is the key, it will be on the shelf.

You will make a bigger service impact on your patrons and help your great collection circulate better by suggesting more backlist options. A "Best" book from a few years ago is still a sure bet. It is still a great option, one that many people thought was worth calling out then, even 5 years later, it is still an awesome read. Also if it was on one of those lists up to 5 years ago there is a very good chance that you added it to your collections and that you still have it. Give it out to someone who will love it right now!

The annual attack of the best lists has just begun, but any time of year, the PW "Best" platform is an awesome go-to resource for sure bet titles across all reading interests. And because it keeps getting added to every year and the backlist is easily accessible, it only gets more useful with age.

Monday, October 26, 2020

A Surprise Bonus Panel for Librarians' Day Courtesy of Sourcebooks

I try to keep the horror talk over on the horror blog, especially in October, but I did want to remind you that on this coming Sunday, 
November 1, the Horror Writers Association and ARRT with sponsorship from NoveList, LibraryReads, and Flame Tree Press will debut an entire day's worth of panels meant to replicate a full day event of continuing education for any public service library worker whether you are a horror fan or not.

Of course, in the virtual format you don't have to spend 7 hours in a row watching all the panels at once and they will be free to all at this link on the Horror Writers Association YouTube page all in one playlist. This means anyone can watch and learn both about the genre and how to work with patrons, but if you sign up at this link you will also be able to interact with the panelists, probably in a more detailed and meaningful way than you could have with only 15 minutes between panels during the planned in person event.

By signing up you get access to an email address which will allow you to ask any panelist a question. We will distribute the questions to the appropriate people and post both the answers and the questions on this resource page.

Just in case you aren't sure about participating, we have posted 2 teaser videos on the playlist including one that announces a bonus panel courtesy of  Sourcebooks.

Breathing New Life into Horror Classics - A lively conversation with the co- editors of Poisoned Pen Press’s Haunted Library of Horror Classics series Les Klinger and Eric Guignard, former HWA President Lisa Morton and Los Angeles Public Library librarian Daryl Maxwell about the behind the scenes creation of the series and the use of horror titles in library book clubs and programming. Thank you to Sourcebooks for organizing and sponsoring this panel!

You can access the playlist here to watch the teaser videos and again after midnight on 11/1 to watch every panel. The signup page has all of the details on the 6 panels we are offering

I think this new Sourcebooks panel further enhances the fact that while the frame of this program of CE is centered around horror, we are presenting information that can help any library worker. For another example, we have an entire panel about reviewing where the participants, including myself, talk about our reviewing philosophies and how you can  use any review to match readers with books.

I hope you decide to join us.

Friday, October 23, 2020

The Enduring Appeal of Agatha Christie via EW and Staying Up To Date on the Pop Culture Landscape

It's the 100th Anniversary of Christie's first book and she is more popular than ever. We know this at libraries both because of the continuous circulation of her books and the hundreds of new titles that are inspired by her.

In the most recent issue of EW, they have an in-depth look at her popularity here.

A must read for all library workers as patrons will see it and we may see an uptick in requests for Christie and Christie-esque stories based off of this article.

But you can also learn here as, this article goes into depth as to WHY people enjoy Christie-- then and now. [And see if you can spot the horror movie franchise inspired by Christie too. Seriously. I was shocked by this revelation.]

I would also like to use this post to provide a general reminder about how important it is for those of us who work with leisure workers to be aware of the general pop culture conversations. We cannot possibly know about everything that is popular at the moment, but we should know the resources to find that information.

EW's website and the now monthly magazine are the easiest way to stay up to date on every aspect of popular culture; it's your easy, one-stop shop to survey the entire landscape with a few clicks. They cover all aspects of media and pop culture and draw connections between them-- this Christie article is a great example as it looks at books, movies, and TV shows. But they do  it for everything all of the time. They frame the most popular things in our culture for us, every day.

So read the Christie article ASAP, but also make EW's website a regular stop as you work. Follow what's hot and anticipate your patrons leisure reading needs based on what's popular across the pop culture landscape.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

What I'm Reading: Greyfriars Reformatory

I have one review in the current issue of Booklist Magazine.

Greyfriars Reformatory
By Frazer Lee
Oct. 2020. 266p. Flame Tree, $24.95 (9781787584754); paper, $14.95 (9781787584730). First published October 15, 2020 (Booklist).

Emily finds herself, once again, on the bus, being sent to Greyfriars Reformatory with a new batch of troubled girls, but her acute dissociative disorder means Emily not only has serious behavioral issues, but also lacks the memory of her misdeeds. Through Emily’s honest, but completely unreliable eyes, readers quickly enter the severe and isolated institution, meeting her fellow students, the hard-nosed principal, and a nefarious, ghost girl, dressed in their school uniform. The breathlessly paced plot and its interesting twists and turns alone would keep readers glued to the page, but the solidly rendered creepy setting, Frazer’s ability to develop the secondary characters with strategically placed snapshot, backstory chapters of their own, and Emily's engaging and direct narration which draws readers in despite knowing better, all work together to enhance the unease and atmosphere of this intense tale. Readers heads will spin wondering what is real, what is supernatural and most importantly, who the real monster is. Sell it as Behind Her Eyes by Pinborough meets The Devil in Silver by LaValle to reach the full range of potential fans for this satisfying psychological suspense-horror hybrid.

Further Appeal: This is the perfect example of an intense and terrifying horror-psychological suspense hybrid. It is fast paced but with enough detail to get you hooked on more than the plot. And the twist only works because of how Lee handles Emily's narration. I pointed that out in the review, but I need to stress this. Other characters get shorter chances to "tell" their story but it is Emily who "sells" the horror and the twist.

...and let me tell you....it is a doozy of a twist. 

This is a book you can hand out easily to your fans of more intense domestic suspense-- which as we all know number in the hundreds at every library. 

Three Words That Describe This Book: disorienting, intense, unreliable narrator

Readalikes: I cannot stress this enough...buy this book and give it to all of your domestic suspense fans. As well as the two titles I suggest you can also add Now You're One of Us by Asa Nonami and The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani as readalikes.

Finally, a shout out to Flame Tree Press in general for putting out excellent pulp horror. Every single one of their books is a good choice for libraries. Consider buying them all.

You can find Flame Tree Press catalogs on Edelweiss [distributed by S&S] to preview, you can order through your normal channels, and the books hold up to multiple checkouts. This is one of the reasons why I invited them to present at the 4th Annual Horror Writers Association's Librarians' Day. Their panel, as well as the entire playlist of Librarians' Day videos will go live on 11/1 and can be accessed here [including details about how you can participate and signup].

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

RA for All Roadshow Visits the Illinois Library Association Annual Conference with Friends

This week I am attending the ILA Annual Conference, virtually. Yesterday was day 1, and I think it went well. I was able to view some interesting and educational programs. Some about things I do all the time and some so that I can learn more about new issues-- just like I would have in person.

Today at 3pm central, it is my turn to present.

Below are the details including the program description and a link to the live slides

Whether you can attend our live presentation or not, these slides will be very helpful as we made sure to add notes to assist as many people as possible.

Library Programming in Uncertain Times

Nothing, even a pandemic, stops library workers from providing the programming our communities crave! Three battle-tested librarians with almost 40 years of combined programming experience are ready to help you consider the new programming landscape. They will explain how to nimbly plan programming for patrons and continuing education workshops for staff. With real world examples, they will show how they have enhanced their programming options with partnerships, overcome technical hurdles, and engaged a wide variety of audiences. Most importantly, they will discuss the elephant (and opportunity!) in the room: once the pandemic is over, libraries cannot let go of our virtual programming. Let them share their successes and failures to guide you in providing library programming in any environment.


Speaker: Ms. Jez Layman, Adult & Teen Programming Coordinator, Elmhurst Public Library, Elmhurst, IL 
Speaker: Mrs. Becky Spratford, Reader’s Advisory Specialist, RA for All, La Grange, IL 
Speaker: Karen Toonen, Collection Development Librarian, Naperville Public Library, Naperville, IL

 Click here or on the picture below to view the slides

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Gabino Iglesias on the Appeal of Crime Fiction and Horror Via Tor Nightfire

I spend a lot of time here on the blog and in my training programs talking and writing about the importance of the appeal of a story to the reader-- both specifically with an individual book, but also entire genres. 

Genre is often one of the best "cheat sheets" we have to help match a reader with a book that they will enjoy. Why? Because we can make general statements about why a genre is appealing, use those assumptions to move a potential reader to that genre, and then use the genre as a springboard to find them a specific book to read.

Obviously it is much more complicated than that, and I present often on all of the genres and their appeal as well as specific genres. 

[Side note, I do have a new version of my Demystifying Genre program coming up before the end of the year and the slides will be posted here on the blog. You can always go to my Recent Presentations page for a link to the most recent version of "Demystifying Genre" to see slides which give you the major appeals and trends of each genre.]

In general, there are large statements you can make about genres and why readers enjoy them, but also, why people enjoy a genre at one point in their life can evolve and change.

I have been saying this for the last 4 years about the rise in interest in Horror and Gentle Reads. When the world is a dumpster fire, most people seek entertainment and escape in two ways: they try to find something more calming and reassuring or they look for something even worse to make their current situation seem manageable by comparison.

Award winning horror-crime hybrid author and friend of the blog, Gabino Iglesias, published an essay with Tor Nightmare yesterday which is a great addition to this conversation. Entitled, "A Dark Mirror: How Horror and Crime Fiction Help Us Examine Ourselves," this is a must read by anyone who serves leisure readers, in any capacity, right now. He uses a few recent titles to support his argument.

Here is snippet from the opening paragraphs of this essay:

"...Crime and horror are two genres I read constantly, and they often offer incredibly smart observations about life as well as sharp critiques of contemporary society. In many cases, crime and horror writers deconstruct things in order to understand them, and their narratives reflect that process. As a reader, I’ve always been aware of that. As a book reviewer, I often talk about this process and the resulting fiction. As a writer, I felt the need to articulate it all and share it with others, to point at genre fiction and say “Look, this is the best, smartest, most engaging writing out there and it shows us to ourselves!” 

Now, I’m not saying science fiction, literary fiction, or romance can’t be smart or give us a look at contemporary society and its problems; what I’m saying is that horror and crime stand at the forefront in terms of holding up a mirror to society and showing us the best and the worst it has to offer. Hillier’s novel is the tip of the proverbial iceberg. "

Please take a moment to read this essay and make sure you have these books in your collections [you should already]. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Directory of Best Practices for Public Library Events via Panorama Project

Another useful report has been put out by the Panorama Project, this time focusing on everything you need to know about putting on book related events at your library-- in person or virtually.

Below I have reposted the introduction to the "Directory of Best Practices for Public Library Events" but you can access the entire report here or use the linked table of contents that I have reposted proceeding the Introduction to skip to the section you want to read:

NOTE: As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted in-person events throughout 2020, many libraries shifted their focus to producing a variety of virtual events, leveraging many of the same best practices to produce and market them while relying on new platforms for hosting. This Directory addresses best practices for both formats.


Every year, public libraries across the United States produce, market, and host thousands of readings, literary festivals, book clubs, and other experiential events that directly connect their local patrons to books and authors—new and old. Some libraries work in partnership with publishers and/or local booksellers, while others work directly with individual authors. Many do both, especially libraries that produce more than 10 events per year.

These public library events not only introduce local readers to new authors and books, they can also increase circulation of related books in all formats, and even drive consumer sales, too.

This directory, based on findings from Panorama Project's 2019 Public Library Events & Book Sales Survey and compiled by a volunteer committee of public librarians, is intended to offer an overview of the best practices librarians across the country have used to produce, market, and host successful events of all types. It identifies best practices for each major step of the event process, and offers several notable examples.

It also covers methods of collecting and communicating data back to authors and publishers to clearly demonstrate the impact and value of those events.

This first edition aims for breadth over depth, leveraging the committees’ collective experience and expertise to produce a foundational document that can be expanded with additional feedback from a broader pool of contributors in future updates.

Friday, October 16, 2020


[Eds note, its a yelling day. Sorry in advance, but you all don't listen!]

It is that time of year again, when I start seeing library workers [and other book nerds] freak out about their Goodreads goals. And once again, I am taking a deep breath before putting my foot down to stop this nonsense.


I have even seen people posting about how they mark books the didn't finish as "read" just to hit their arbitrary goals and then have intense guilt about it.


In fact, it can be harmful. [Also I think I am done yelling now.]

First, Goodreads is still keeping track of what you have read even if you don't set a goal. In past years people have told me they keep track because otherwise Goodreads doesn't track. Oh, how naive to think they aren't tracking you every second of every day. Go to the "My Books" page and towards the bottom of the left gutter you can choose "Year in Books" or "Reading Stats" at anytime.

Second, reading books to get to a number is less helpful than reading about books for your work with leisure readers. Some of the best RA librarians I know read only a handful of books a year. Click here for a great discussion of this point on the podcast Bellwether Friends. Alene is one of the best RA providers out there and her honest discussion of how few books she actually reads is inspirational.

Third, all these reading goals do is increase anxiety. Reading is our job, but it is also something many of us also do for fun. It is hard enough to separate the "have to" and the "want to" reads in a normal year, let alone in 2020. Stop making your life more difficult and DO NOT SET A READING GOAL. [Oops, I wasn't done yelling.]

Finally, click here to read my post on handling TBR anxiety, many have told me it has helped them. And also this post about why setting reading goals and shaming others [and yourself] for not making theirs goes against everything RA Service is about.

Sorry for being so blunt and grumpy today, but this is a problem you have the power to solve for yourselves, with a few clicks, and yet, every year I hear the same whining and complaining. We are living in a world where most things feel out of our control, but this is one easy thing you can do to take control of something.  Stop setting reading goals along with voting are two ways to assert control in your life right now.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

LibraryReads: November 2020

It's LibraryReads 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 LibraryReads 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 LibraryReads 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.... 

Announcing the November LibraryReads List!

Miss Benson's Beetle: A Novel 
by Rachel Joyce

The Dial Press

“Two very different women set off on a journey to New Caledonia to find a Golden Beetle, and discover so much more. A story of friendship and women breaking out of what is expected and being who they really are. By turns humorous, heartbreaking, and triumphant, you'll find yourself cheering for Miss Benson. For fans of Fredrik Backman, Elizabeth Berg, and Gail Honeyman.”

—Janine Walsh, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY 

NoveList read-alike: The Ship of Brides by JoJo Moyes

The rest of the list.....


Before the Coffee Gets Cold
A Novel
by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (Hanover Square Press)

“A cafe has something magical—if someone sits in a particular chair and a cup of coffee is poured, they can travel to the past. In this slender story, the lives of visitors and staff intertwine, and four hopeful people sit in the chair. While this book deals with different kinds of loss, it's ultimately warm and uplifting. For fans of
The Immortalists and Oona Out of Order.”

—Julie Graham, Yakima Valley Libraries, Yakima, WA

NoveList read-alike: Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami


The Boy Toy

by Nicola Marsh

(Berkley Jove)

“Hot Aussie alert! After a bitter divorce (cheating husband with a pregnant nineteen year old mistress), Samira left Australia for L.A. Now her cousin has convinced her to return for 6 months. On a night out, Samira is saved from a weirdo by a cute boy much younger than she is, and she’s in for the surprise of a lifetime with her new Boy Toy. For fans of Ayesha at Last and The Wedding Party.”

—Afton Finley, Waseca Public Library, Waseca, MN 

NoveList read-alike: The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai


The Burning God

The Poppy War, Book 3

by R. F. Kuang

(Harper Voyager)

“In this satisfying finale to the Poppy War series, Kuang beautifully weaves in much Chinese history while maintaining a distinct storyline. Rin's similarities to Chairman Mao are fully realized by this third book, yet she remains a unique character with complex emotions of both rage and empathy. For fans of series fantasy such as Chakraborty’s Daevabad trilogy and Liu’s Dandelion Dynasty.”

—Richard Lawhorn, East Cobb Library, Marietta, GA 

NoveList read-alike: The Burning Series by Evan Winter


Murder in Old Bombay

by Nev March

(Minotaur Books)

“James Agnihotri has recovered from a war injury when he reads about the “suicide” of two ladies. His first interview as a new journalist is with the husband of one of the women, who wants to know who murdered his wife and sister. Jim follows clues, interviews observers of the tragedy, and travels through India. For readers who like intrigue, other cultures, and romance, along with fans of Kate Atkinson and Laurie R. King.”

—Gail Christensen, Kitsap Regional Library, Bremerton, WA 

NoveList read-alike: A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee


The Offiffice of Historical Corrections
A Novella and Stories by Danielle Evans (Riverhead Books)

"A novella about the first African-Americans in Wisconsin and the lives of their descendants today along with several other haunting short stories. Recommended for fans of Jodi Picoult."

—Heather McIntosh, Botetourt County Libraries, VA

NoveList read-alike: The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw


The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany
by Lori Nelson Spielman


"Emilia is a devoted daughter, the second daughter in her family, and second daughters are cursed to never marry. Aunt Poppy, another second daughter, invites her on a trip to Italy promising to break the curse. For readers who enjoyed The Old Drift and It’s Not All Down Hill From Here."

—Chris Markley, Kingsport Public Library, Kingsport, TN 

NoveList read-alike: The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal


This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing
by Jacqueline Winspear (Soho Press)

"The author of the beloved Masie Dobbs novels shares both madcap and poignant stories of her nuclear and extended family, giving insight into the humor and hardships that shaped her imagination and work. For readers who enjoyed Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir and How To Write an Autobiographical Novel."

—Joy Robinson, Piscataway Public Library, Piscataway, NJ

NoveList read-alike: My History: A Memoir of Growing Up by Antonia Fraser


The Burning God

The Poppy War, Book 3

by R. F. Kuang

(Harper Voyager)

“In this satisfying finale to the Poppy War series, Kuang beautifully weaves in much Chinese history while maintaining a distinct storyline. Rin's similarities to Chairman Mao are fully realized by this third book, yet she remains a unique character with complex emotions of both rage and empathy. For fans of series fantasy such as Chakraborty’s Daevabad trilogy and Liu’s Dandelion Dynasty.”

—Richard Lawhorn, East Cobb Library, Marietta, GA 

NoveList read-alike:The Burning Series by Evan Winter


The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany
by Lori Nelson Spielman


"Emilia is a devoted daughter, the second daughter in her family, and second daughters are cursed to never marry. Aunt Poppy, another second daughter, invites her on a trip to Italy promising to break the curse. For readers who enjoyed The Old Drift and It’s Not All Down Hill From Here."

—Chris Markley, Kingsport Public Library, Kingsport, TN 

NoveList read-alike: The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal


Written in the Stars

A Novel

by Alexandria Bellefleur


"Darcy, a buttoned-up actuary, convinces quirky astrologer Elle to fake a relationship for a couple of months to get her brother (and Elle's new business partner) off her back. For fans of The Kiss Quotient and You Had me at Hola."

—Elizabeth Gabriel, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, WI 

NoveList read-alike: Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall


White Ivy

A Novel
by Susie Yang 
(Simon & Schuster)

"A coming of age immigration story, Ivy, is obsessed with her privileged classmate and will do anything to win his love. For fans of You and Gone Girl."

—Joann Im, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA

 NoveList read-alike: Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton


Written in the Stars

A Novel

by Alexandria Bellefleur


"Darcy, a buttoned-up actuary, convinces quirky astrologer Elle to fake a relationship for a couple of months to get her brother (and Elle's new business partner) off her back. For fans of The Kiss Quotient and You Had me at Hola."

—Elizabeth Gabriel, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, WI 

NoveList read-alike: Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

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.

Archangel's Sun

by Nalini Singh (Berkley Jove)

“This excellent addition to The Guild Hunters series reveals the backstory of mentally wounded angel Sharine (a.k.a. Hummingbird) and archangel Titus as they battle the evil remnants of a devastating war. Singh’s fans will not be disappointed with her latest paranormal romance.”

—Karen Garris, Wayne County Public Library, Goldsboro, NC

Read-alike: Sin Eaters by Kai Leakes 

Read-alike: A Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day

Read-alike: Binding Shadows by Jasmine Silvera


Moonflflower Murders

A Novel
by Anthony Horowitz (Harper)

“Retired publisher Susan Ryeland returns to London to shed light on a woman’s recent disappearance, which may be connected to a novel written by Susan’s former client. Agatha Christie fans will devour this story within a story, brimming with red herrings and deliciously devious suspects.”

—KC Davis, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, Fairfield, CT

Read-alike: Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson 

Read-alike: The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji 

Read-alike: The Book of Murder by Guillermo Martinez