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, January 29, 2021

Think Like A Reader: Book Discovery in Socially Distant Times via Book Riot

We are all looking for ways to connect with our patrons, to help them discover their next read despite our socially distant times. Book Riot had a great post this week, directed at readers, listing 10 Ways they can find books even though they really can't browse physical shelves right now.

Don't worry, the library is one of the 10 options.

Click here to read the article, "How to Find Books to Read: 10 Ways."

After reading it, I have two ways you can use the information.

First, and this one is obvious, take the ideas from the 9 places that aren't libraries and use them to help you find new titles or get ideas on how to present them to your readers.

And second, and this one is more important, look at how Book Riot writes their posts. Their authors address their audience reader to reader. The content creators think like the readers they are, they speak to the readers who clicks they are seeking. This is not a criticism. This is me saying we need to be more like them. 

Book Riot writes in a conversational tone. They are making friends with the reader. We write in a formal style or as if we know better and talk down to our audience. We need to be more about connecting with our patrons as the readers we all are, not about holding ourselves above them.

Read the article and learn from the content and how it delivers it.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Collection Development Bonanza: The Millions' Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2021 Book Preview

I was going through my saved draft  posts  and, lo and behold, I had saved the wonderful Great First-Half 2021 Book Preview from The Millions, but had forgotten to blog about. Today I fix that.

This is a comprehensive, and yes, a bit overwhelming, list of all of the titles, coming soon, that you MUST know about. Of course if you do collection development you can use this list to start compiling your carts for future purchases, but please do not underestimate how helpful this list is as you help readers at  the desk.

Here are some of the ways I use the current list, and backlist versions. And please note, cross reference this post with my post on Curbside Patrons and Discovery to include these ideas, lists, and conversation starters in your socially distant RA work too.

Collection Development: As I mentioned above, this is the most obvious reason to use these lists. You can go through them to learn about the most anticipated titles and get them on order. This list is especially helpful at identifying midlist gems. Titles that the editors think will gain traction but may not have the largest marketing plans and/or from lesser known authors. Even if they don't end up becoming break out hits, the fact that these editors identified them early is enough reason to have them in our library collections. The midlist are often some of our best "sure bets," titles we can suggest to readers with confidence ones that they would not know about with out us. They are also more likely to be on the shelf.

Displays: New books get their own display space, but what about great titles from the last 1-4 years that are in your collections, smashed between other books, not being highlighted, but are still a great option. We are always looking for ways  to get our high interest, backlist titles out in front of patrons. Well, these lists are just what you and your patrons are looking for. There are so many titles, from so many years that you could go through them one at a time. Make a display [online lists with catalog links and in building traditional displays] by year. For example, flashback to 2017's hottest books. And then put all the ones you own out and watch them fly off the shelves. Make it interactive by asking people what their favorite read from 2017 was and then make a second display of patron [and staff] picks from 2017. Then feature another year. Do one a month. Patrons will LOVE  IT. And your administration and board will also love it because your backlist will be circulating. Most of our investment collections-wise is in our backlist. Help it shine, collect data on the increase in circulation, and then get it into Board reports. Everybody wins!

Conversation Starter: I alluded to this above as a way to engage patrons in a conversation about their favorite books of "yore" for display, but in general these lists are a great conversation starter, especially online. And even more especially, on Goodreads. Why? Because if you get a library account and ask your patrons questions about their favorite books from 2018 on Goodreads, they can just go to their shelf and see what books they gave the most stars to that year. They are already in the space where the answers to your questions are. You could also start this convo on other social media platforms and link to the Goodreads conversation too. Those who use Instagram, post pictures of your physical displays and start a conversation about that year on that platform. There are many possibilities to start conversations about lesser known titles here.

Booktalks: One of my main mantras as I encourage more staff to actively participate in RA Service is to remind people that they can and should use the words of others as they suggest books to potential readers. These lists are all fully annotated, with a prepared soundbite that you can share with patrons. Obviously you  want to share books you own, but there is no excuse to not hand sell these titles if they are in your collections. You start by saying it was a hot title in, for example, 2018 and then read the blurb. If they seem interested you can pull the physical book or look up reviews on NoveList [professional opinions] and Goodreads [regular reader opinions] for more information. But the hardest part of your job-- finding a high interest title that is readily available and having something well thought out to say about it-- well that is done for you with these lists.

Covers: Finally, the least important reason I love this resource but a nice bonus, the cover is right there with the book's entry. Covers tell us a lot about a book [I have discussed it  many times and you can click here to read more on how to use covers in your service to readers] and having the cover in front of you before you pull the book is extremely helpful.

Please check out this year's and past year's previews and use them to make your job easier and your patron's happier.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

RA for All Virtual Roadshow Visit PCI Webinars for My Annual Year in Review

Each year I take a look back at the year that was and draw a few conclusions, making suggestions to help you as you move forward into a new year. I assess the best sellers, current events, service trends, and more, all in one place for you the library worker who is helping adult leisure readers.

Here is the link to the slides for the 2020 version of this program.

The idea here is for me to help you assess the year that was and move forward with purpose. 

I love creating this program, each year. You can click here or on the screen shot below for slide access. These slides are filled with links and books covers that will help you whether or not you are able to view the presentation.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Using Awards Lists As A RA Tool: Edgar Awards Edition

This is part of my ongoing series on using Awards Lists as a RA tool. Click here for all posts in the series in reverse chronological order. Click here for the first post which outlines the details how to use awards lists as a RA tool.

It's a busy awards announcement week. 

January 25, 2021, New York, NY - Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce, as we celebrate the 212th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, the nominees for the 2021 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2020. The 75th Annual Edgar® Awards will be celebrated on April 29, 2021.

Remember this award includes media [tv/film], YA, and nonfiction [including a separate true crime award!], as well as general adult fiction awards.

Also, the Mary Higgins Clark Award is one of my favorite straight up readalike awards. The award is literally for books that are similar to Clark's. And now there is one for Sue Grafton-esque titles too!

Click through to see the current nominees and click here for their excellent historical database of all nominees and winners, which you can sort by award. Again, this is super helpful especially for readalikes for fans of Mary Higgins Clark or Sue Grafton.

And a reminder again, I have a much longer post on exactly why the nominees lists in particular make for such an excellent tool to help us help leisure readers. If you have never read it, or haven't in a while, check it out for general tips and tricks to use for any award announcement.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Using Awards Lists as a RA Tool: The Alex Awards [and the link to all of the Youth Media Awards]

This is part of my ongoing series on using Awards Lists as a RA tool. Click here for all posts in the series in reverse chronological order. Click here for the first post which outlines the details how to use awards lists as a RA tool.

The Alex Awards are an awesome tool for every reader of this blog and the most helpful youth award for working with adults. 

Yes this award is meant to identify the 10 best adult books for teens [see below for the official mission statement], but I have used this award for years to identify high interest titles that I can use as sure best  for adults. The Alex Award is also always more genre fiction friendly than general adult awards, giving me a list of titles my adult readers might have overlooked or dismissed. Being able to tell patrons that a genre book won a general interest award,  always made them more willing to give a book a try they might have dismissed previously.

The Alex Award winners, past and present [use that backlist] are one of my go-to resources for "sure bet" titles for my adult patrons, titles I know will be compelling and interesting. Click here or see below to access the backlist. Put all of the winners on display. You don't have to identify them as "for teens," just  make it a library worker award winners themed display. Put up these titles, past titles, and other titles by the winning authors. Then in a few weeks, add the Adult Media Award winning titles when they are announced [I'll alert you].

In fact, I am not  sure why we don't have a permanent display, ALWAYS, filled with adult ALA award winners. Most of us have a permanent Newbery shelf. Goodness knows I used that shelf all the time to help kids find good titles when children's staff were busy and my brain went blank or my favorites were off the shelf. Let's make one for adult winners too. Just a rotation of current and 2-5 years past winners of the Alex Award and these RUSA awards.

Who's with me in starting this?

Back the the award at hand....This year, three of my personal favorites of the year made the list. Here are the links to my reviews of those titles:

Finally, before we get to the list of the Alex Award winners, here is the direct link to the full list of Youth Media Award winners including the Caldecott and Newbery winners.

About the Alex Awards

The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The winning titles are selected from the previous year's publishing. The Alex Awards were first given annually beginning in 1998 and became an official ALA award in 2002.

The award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. Edwards pioneered young adult library services and worked for many years at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore. Her work is described in her book Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts, and over the years she has served as an inspiration to many librarians who serve young adults. The Alex Awards are named after Edwards, who was called “Alex” by her friends.

Current Winners

Official Nominations

Previous Winners

Award Policies and Procedures

Suggest a Title

Committee Information

Teen Book Finder App

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, published by Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781534437678).  A diverse group of priests, sailors, and travelers converge in the holy city of Tova in preparation for the annual winter solstice celebration, which coincides with a solar eclipse in this epic fantasy adventure. Great writing and world building transport the reader to a civilization inspired by pre-Columbian mythology. 

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, published by Tom Doherty Associates/Tor Books (ISBN 9781250217288 ).  Buttoned-up and by-the-book Linus is sent to investigate a classified orphanage on a strange island by Extremely Upper Management. Forced out of his comfort zone, he is surprised to find love and family in this magically joyful tale.

The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice - Crossing Antarctica Alone by Colin O’Brady, published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781982133115).  Mindset expert Colin O’Brady recounts his experience as the first to traverse Antarctica solo and unassisted. Drawing strength from prior successes, failures, and his support system, he endures whiteouts, subzero temperatures, and starvation while pulling a 365-pound supply sled.
Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio by Derf Backderf, published by Abrams Comicarts (ISBN 9781419734847).  In 1970 the Ohio National Guard opened fire on Kent State students protesting the Vietnam War, killing four and wounding nine. This chilling graphic novel follows the lives of the students, politicians, guardsmen, and law enforcement in simple black and white, revealing a volatile situation ending in heartbreaking tragedy.

The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony, published by Park Row Books (ISBN 9780778308744).  A few years after losing their mother, the McClair twins use podcasting to search for their biological father. The family is turned inside out by the media, but with the help of their loving grandmother, they persevere in this witty coming of age novel.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones published by Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781982136451).  Told through the backdrop of cultural tradition versus modern expectations, this horror story follows four Native American men as a decision from their past comes back to haunt them. Magical realism and realistic fiction blend as an avenging presence tracks them down.

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins (ISBN 9780062942852) .  This gothic horror novel follows the lives of queer women throughout history. As our past and present heroines learn about a mysterious curse connected to Brookhaunts School for Girls, they explore their own identities in this work of metafiction filled with sapphic romance. 
Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebochi, published by Tom Doherty Associates/Tor Books (ISBN 9781250214751).  Ella has unexplained powers. She worries about her younger brother Kev, born during the LA riots and later incarcerated simply for being black. Magical realism highlights the injustice, anger, and systemic racism that is prevalent in modern society.
Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh, published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781982156947).  In this humorous graphic memoir about the ups and downs of life, Allie Brosh uses simple, expressive illustrations and wit to grapple with difficult and challenging topics, such as grief, loneliness, and self-love, even if you’re a weirdo. 
We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry, published by Pantheon Books, a division of Penguin Random House (ISBN 9781524748098). The 1989 Danvers High School Field Hockey team is sick of losing. Could their town’s gritty history surrounding the Salem Witch Trials and a notebook featuring Emilo Estevez change their luck and their lives? Join the team for this quirky ride.

Friday, January 22, 2021

ALA Midwinter Galley Guide and Spring Book Buzz

With the ALA Midwinter Meeting [beginning today] and with everything virtual that means there are more opportunities even if you are not registered.

I will be attending the conference and will share what I can, but I already have 2 things to help you.

First is the Library Journal Galley Guide made specifically for this conferencea list of all of the ARCs that attendees can get digitally in the virtual exhibit hall. 

Here's the thing though, these guides are actually more useful to those left behind or to access and consult after attendees return. Why? Click here to read my explanation from a previous round of Galley Guides. This post his about how and why Galley Guides are an excellent RA and Collection Development resource.

Another excellent RA and Collection Development resource is a good old fashioned Book Buzz. There are tons of these at conferences. Publishers getting together to pitch us the titles they are most excited about for the coming season. Well, earlier this week, the ALMA [a group of the library marketing people] got together and presented this 90 minute Pre-Midwinter Buzz. Click here for access.

This one featured a lot of publishers and a wide range of books. That is one reason I loved it; the breadth of titles from different publishers. 

The other is that every speaker is conscious of the fact that we need to be prepared to talk about these books without reading them. The talks are focused on WHY someone would like the book and what other authors or titles it is similar to. You can learn about a lot of books but just sitting back and taking the presentations in. 

Also, seeing a buzz with so many publishers represented at one time allows you to see trends emerging before your eyes. Trends in covers, trends in themes, trends in genres, lots and lots of trends. You cannot help but notice them in this format.

Finally, since it is a video. You can pause and take notes, look things up online, breathe between presenters, and actually enjoy the event. Seriously. When I attend these in person it is a race to get the title, author and key details jotted down to return to later. I often live Tweet these events too. That is stressful, but useful because my notes are then in my Twitter feed and I can pull them up easily at any time. 

This Book Buzz will not disappoint. You will learn quite a bit about what is on the horizon, how to handsell the titles, and who would best enjoy them. After watching this, I felt invigorated.

And then if you are attending the conference, downloads of many of the titles will be available.

Check out both the Galley Guide and the Book Buzz video when you have a chance to get up to speed on the most anticipated titles for library patrons this spring.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Call to Action: Stop Asking For People's Gender on Library Card Applications

Last week I was talking with a colleague who is a library worker in another state and she was updating me on their struggle to remove the gender check boxes from their library card applications. Like many things in libraries, even though the administration cannot come up with a compelling reason as to why they need this information, trying to undo the, "but we have always gathered it" or "we'd have to change the entire application" arguments are hard in libraries. Inertia is the motto and change freaks people out. Even in cases like this, where some of our patrons are being hurt by having to make a choice, a choice that we do not need, we keep forcing staff to enforce this,

I was upset by the situation and the way it defines library work in general. I am not someone who is afraid of change, rather I relish the chance to try something new, especially when someone points out that what I am doing could be done better. But as I learned as a manager, this attitude is not only NOT shared by my colleagues, but also it has be used against me as I have been chastised [more than once] for making employees feel uncomfortable for trying to "force change."

But lucky for me and all of you, I work for myself these days and I don't have to hold back. But, my frustrated colleague does. So I took my frustrations to Twitter. Here is the link to my original Tweet which includes the replies.

Because it came up yesterday- reminder that your library card applications do NOT need a section on “gender.” Seriously, what does that have to do with borrowing privileges? Address, name, a form of contact, yes. Gender, no.

Before I continue, I want to make it clear to my readers who are ready to jump on me to tell me that I do not understand why gender is part of the application, please remember, I am also a 20 year library trustee and a member of a larger state library system board. So come at me with your arguments as to why you NEED to have gender on your library card applications because I know you actually do NOT need it for any good reason. Even the state library doesn't collect that data point.

I have a platform to call out our missteps, to encourage everyone to do better, and to not let you all get away with being stupid and ignorant. So today, a lesson on why you don't need to collect gender identity for library card applications AND a discussion of things we do not collect, but should.

First. Do not reply to this call to action with the solution that you can keep the gender box and simply add more options. No. Just No. And here's why.
  1. Tell me why you need gender at all again? You don't have a good reason to collect this to provide library services. As I said in the Tweet, we need an address to prove you live in the community which that library serves. We need a way to contact you. We need your name as it appear on the ID you used to get the card [more on this in a moment]. Why are we asking for information we do not need? Stop. We don't need it. End of discussion.
  2. Adding more options is counter intuitive to what you are trying to do. We are not trying to be inclusive by asking them to check one of like 5 boxes [in fact, if you do this you will still need to ad an "other" box if your goal is inclusivity], rather we are making them uncomfortable by forcing a choice at all. And again, WE DON'T NEED ANY OF THIS INFO. Don't bring it up. It is not our business. Do we ask their marital status? NO. Do we ask their eye color? NO. Weight and height? NO. Because we don't need those. We are not a drivers license. Stop with your gatekeeping nonsense. Gender is equivalent to these other questions that we do not ask.
Second. Here is a list of things we currently do not ask for but should because these things would help us serve patrons better and make them more comfortable:
  1. Preferred Pronouns
  2. Preferred name
  3. Pronunciation of name
All three of these things allow us to address patrons in the way they would like to be addressed. It is just simple kindness, and since we are collecting identification info that we need, why not add that which will help them also have a better experience in the process.

Let me tackle why each is important to educate those of you who don't get it. 

Pronouns: Someone I trust recently asked why, I, someone named Becky, clearly a girl name who looks like I identify as a girl, needs to list my pronouns. Isn't that for the people who when you look at them or hear their name, you cannot tell. This is an honest question of someone trying to understand, and many are afraid to ask this question for fear of getting yelled at. Here is the answer, and I won't yell. If we only have those who have pronouns that are perceived as "different" call theirs out then we are still "othering" them. If instead, we normalize everyone listing their preferred pronouns, you will see more that conform than not; therefore, not isolating  or calling out those who are perceived as "different." If we normalize everyone using their pronouns, we also normalize everyone being referred to with words that make them feel valued and whole. I for one am all for people feeling valued and whole.

Preferred name: My daughter goes by a nickname of her given name that is most commonly used by boys. She identifies as female. She loves when there are preferred pronouns and preferred name options. It makes her so happy. Her college does this and it makes her feel so welcome to use her preferred name AND let people know up front that she identifies as female. I also know a lot of people who go by their middle name as their preferred name. I have seen their government issued ID and been shocked that I didn't know their legal name. I bet many of you know someone like this. Why do we make those people feel uncomfortable every time they come in and someone at the desk tries to be nice to call them by their name, but the name we have, the "legal" name is not what they go by? Adding a preferred name entry solves this. Side note: my legal name is Becky, not Rebecca. Don't ask, it was the 70s.

Pronunciation of name: This is just common courtesy to both the person helping the patron and the patron. Why make it difficult. And fill one out for every single person. again to normalize it for everyone. Also,  I have friends with names you would think are easy to pronounce and yet, they pronounce them in a unique way. Interestingly, we are Chicago Bears season ticket holders [no games this year] and they have a player card for each game. We print it off for use at home. It lists the active players on both teams and this year, it included a pronunciation guide. Well done Bears. We greatly appreciated it, as I am sure the players did too.

Look, I am not trying to make people mad today. Well, maybe a little because ignorant people and those who are afraid of change do piss me off. But seriously, stop being a jerk. You don't need to ask for gender. BUT, you do need to ask for these other things. Change it and move on. It takes a few keystrokes and some copies. Start living your life thinking about how to treat people with the respect they deserve as your first instinct, and then think about what information you actually need to administer library cards. That's all I'm asking. 

For past Call to Action posts, click here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

More Examples of Resolutions: The Book Cart Queen

Today I would like to bring you a another example in my series of posts where I am highlighting library workers who work in RA Service and Collections Development who have posted assessments of their 2020 goals and have set new ones for 2021.

Click here to see the other posts in this series, including my own. 

Today is long time RA for All Reader, Annamarie, one of the Book Cart Queens. Annamarie read yesterday's post and was inspired to share her  2020 Assessment and 2021 Goals which you can read here. What I love about Annamarie's assessment is how analytical it is. She breaks things down with data and numbers, an example of the process which I haven't highlighted yet.

There is no one, correct, way to do this. And the more examples I can highlight, the better it will serve you all.

Thank you again to Annamarie for volunteering to share her experiences with all of you. Please note that I am still accepting guest posts from other library workers willing to share their assessments and goals. Don't think it is too late to either go through this process yourself or to help others by allowing me to share your work. That's how I found about about this Book Cart Queen in the first place. She volunteered herself.

Contact me if you are still interested. The more examples I have, the better it is for everyone.

And in the meantime, take a look at Annamarie's assessment and goals and the Book Carts Queens blog in general.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

More 2021 Resolutions: Abby the Librarian

Today I would like to bring you a fourth example in my series of posts where I am highlighting library workers who work in RA Service and Collections Development who have posted assessments of their 2020 goals and have set new ones for 2021.

Click here to see the other posts in this series, including my own.

Next up is my friend Abby the Librarian. Abby does collection development in Southern Indiana, right across the river from Louisville. On her blog she shared both her assessment of 2020 and her goals for 2021 in this post.

Below is the intro to her post. Please click here, on the graphic below or at the end of her intro to enter her blog and see how Abby took the time to look back on 2020 before forging ahead into 2021. 

Thank you to Abby for allowing me to share her experiences with all of you. Please note that I am still accepting guest posts from other library workers willing to share their assessments and goals. Don't think it is too late to either go through this process yourself or to help others by allowing me to share your work. Contact me if you are still interested. The more examples I have, the better it is for everyone.

Now back to Abby the Librarian.

Happy 2021! It's definitely a year like no other. Maybe you feel like this is a year to give yourself some grace and take it easy. Maybe you feel optimistic about changes you want to make. Are you planning on making some reading resolutions this year? 

As you can see, I'm already late to the game, but part of my plan for the year is to practice grace for myself. If 2020 taught me anything it's that being uber-focused on productivity and optimization is not the best. Sometimes you need some space to take a breath, to rest, to refocus, or just to get through your day.

That said, I do have some reading goals for myself this year, and I'm curious what yours are (if you have any - it's totally fine if you do not!). 

But first... deep breath and let's look back at last year's reading resolutions...

Click here to keep reading Abby's post.

Monday, January 18, 2021

LibraryReads: February 2021

  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.... 

The Four Winds: A Novel
By Kristin Hannah
St. Martin’s Press

“Elsa, abandoned by her husband, leaves Texas with her two children to save her young son from dust pneumonia. Beautifully written historical fiction about a mother’s love and strength holding a family together as they leave the Dust Bowl and head West to fulfill dreams of green lands, only to find themselves unwelcome and with conditions worse than what they left. For readers who enjoy historical fiction with unforgettable characters, and fans of The Giver of Stars and Cilka’s Journey.” —Michele Coleman, Iredell County Public Library, Statesville, NC
NoveList read-alike: I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows

The Echo Wife
By Sarah Gailey
Tor Books

"This book asks questions about identity, morality, and genetics, and resists giving easy answers. The man Evelyn and Martine claim as “husband” is lying dead. Gailey invites us to consider a world where clone technology is almost perfect, and its creations are regarded as little more than cattle. What happens when a clone rejects her programming? And what happens when a woman can’t resist the influence of her upbringing? For fans of Black Mirror and Orphan Black.”

—Krista Feick, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH 
NoveList read-alike: Foe by Iain Reid

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It
By Elle Cosimano
Minotaur Books

“What a fun, enjoyable romp! Finlay Donovan is mistaken for a hit woman, a desperate wife hires her to kill her husband, and it gets crazy from there. An entertaining, hilarious distraction. Perfect for all the Stephanie Plum fansout there.”

—Rosemarie Borsody, Lee Library Association, Lee, MA
NoveList read-alike: A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

Honey Girl: A Novel
By Morgan Rogers
Park Row

“One of the best parts of this book is the friendships. These friends listen to, support, and love each other. Grace Porter has just finished her PhD in astronomy and goes to Las Vegas to celebrate. She meets a beautiful woman, Yuki, and by the end of the night, they are drunk and married. When Grace goes to New York to visit Yuki, they fall in love all over again. For fans of Queenie and The Bride Test.”

—Patti Lang, Pima County Public Library, Tucson, AZ NoveList read-alike: Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

The Kindest Lie: A Novel
By Nancy Johnson
William Morrow

“This novel begins on the eve of the 2008 election at a watch party hosted by Ruth and Xavier. Ruth must soon confess a secret: she had a child as a teenager, but walked away to begin a new life. When she returns to her hometown, she begins a friendship with a troubled 11-year-old white boy. Their connected paths are brilliantly told and explore themes of race, money, and finding your way back home. For fans of Tayari Jones and Jacqueline Woodson."

—Ron Block, Cuyahoga Public Library, Cuyahoga, OH
NoveList read-alike: he Mothers by Brit Bennett

The Kitchen Front: A Novel
By Jennifer Ryan
Ballantine Books

"WWII era, Great Britain, four women vie for the chance to copresent a BBC radio program helping housewives create tasty meals with their war rations. As these women compete against themselves and each other, the contest threatens to tear the community apart unless they can find common ground and work together for a common good. For readers who enjoyed The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion and The Ship of Brides."

—Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ
NoveList read-alike: Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce

Much Ado About You
By Samantha Young

"Feeling overlooked in her career and her personal life, Shakespeare-loving Evie Starling takes a leap of faith and goes to Northern England to run the Much Ado About Books bookshop. There, she meets a very sexy farmer who makes her want to break her one and only rule for her trip: no men. For readers who loved The Tourist Attraction and Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune."

—Laura Collins, Lexington Main Library, Lexington, SC
NoveList read-alike: Paris is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay

The Paris Library: A Novel
By Janet Skeslien Charles
Atria Books

"Parallel narratives, one set in WWII Paris and the other in the U.S. in the 1980s, both featuring librarians and bookstore owners. Your patrons will love it. For fans of The Lions of Fifth Avenue (Davis) and Sarah’s Key (de Rosnay)."

—Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA
NoveList read-alike: Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini

The Vineyard at Painted Moon
By Susan Mallery

"Mackenzie is abruptly divorced, loses her job as winemaker at a prestigious family winery. She hasn't had to be on her own in years. Now she has all kinds of decisions to make. Great relationship fiction with the bonus of learning the inner workings of the wine industry. For fans of Kristin Hannah."

—Gail Christensen, Kitsap Regional Library, Bremerton, WA
NoveList read-alike: The Future She Left Behind by Marin Thomas

The Witch’s Heart
By Genevieve Gornichec

"Weaves the rich story of the witch who taught the magic of prophecy to Odin and Freya, married Loki the trickster, and raised the "monsters" who would help bring down Asgard's mightiest rulers. For fans of Circe and The Mists of Avalon. "

—Stacy Lienemann, Waseca-Le Sueur Regional Library System, Waseca, MN
NoveList read-alike: The Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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.

First Comes Like: A Novel
By Alisha Rai

“Dev, actor and grandson of a Bollywood star, is making the move to U.S. cinema. He meets YouTube influencer Jai at a party and can’t get the encounter out of his mind. Wonderfully developed characters populate this sweet own-voices novel about falling in like, and then love.

—Heather Cover, Homewood Public Library, Homewood, AL
Read-alike: Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert Read-alike: Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade Read-alike: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

The Nature of Fragile Things
By Susan Meissner

“Just before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Sophie, a poor Irish immigrant, answers an ad from a man looking for a wife and mother to his child. Sophie is complex, strong and a bit mysterious, and details of the earthquake and subsequent fires add to the story’s depth.”

—Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY
Read-alike: The Two Mrs. Carlyles by Suzanne Rindell Read-alike: A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick Read-alike: The Dressmaker’s Dowry by Meredith Jaeger

The Survivors
By Jane Harper
Flatiron Books

“Harper’s latest gripping murder mystery is set in a seaside town on the coast of Tasmania, where suspicions surrounding three deaths following a shipwreck resurface when a young woman is murdered years later.”

—Paul Lane, Palm Beach County Public Library, Boca Raton, FL
Read-alike: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh Read-alike: I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh Read-alike: And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall