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.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

What I'm Reading: 2021 Goodreads Updates [2021 First Installment]

Today I have my first installment of my catch up reviews- interestingly, it took me until the missile of the year. This post should serves as a reminder that I do periodic updates of all of the books I read for "fun" on Goodreads and then compile them here so that the titles are searchable on the blog too. 

See below for the authors and titles as well as my three words. Use the links [click on titles] to read the full review on Goodreads.



Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Summer Reading Picks

Many resources release Summer Reading Picks. I treat these like annual year end best lists in terms of how to use them as a resource.

Click here to read my post about PW's excellent Summer Reading database and to learn more about how to use best lists as a resource.

As we are heading into the peak Summer Vacation season, I wanted to pass on a few more Summer Reading lists that you can use to help a wide range of readers efficiently and effectively.

Remember, this is the time of year when people tend to make more time for reading, so while "Summer Reads" lists are a great entry point, any vetted and annotated list of books will work. See below for a few options that I use and trust.

These lists are just a start. People are beginning their vacations in earnest starting this week. We need to be ready with suggestions. Get up displays that are wide in their range of offerings. I would especially use the link referenced above for the PW best books and summer reading combined access to have books for every reader both brand new and backlist.

And checkout what the libraries right near you are posting. Combine forces and share lists ["working together is your best resource is another one of my basic rules]. Get displays up in your buildings and online. 

Monday, June 28, 2021

Booklist's FREE Guide to Graphic Novels in Libraries

Click here to read now.

Click here to read the free Booklist Guide to Graphic Novels. This is the third year for this guide. 

I personally know and respect three of the authors who wrote pieces in here too-- Alec Chunn, Jack Phoenix, and Alex Brown. 

These are librarians whose opinions and knowledge I trust. They are all expert, and as a writer for Booklist myself, I am proud that they are included in this guide.

A great way to kick off your week. Click through now. There is advice for all ages of patrons. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

LibraryReads Quarterly Book Discussions

I am a huge proponent of finding time in our busy lives as library workers to make space for us to find moments of joy in our professional world. Participating in a Book Discussion, one that you don't have to organize and lead is a great example of that. 

I also wrote about the professional development positives of being a member of a book club here at the beginning of this month.

But many of you have told me it is hard to find anywhere that you can just be a participant and not have people expect you to lead.

Well, never fear because LibraryReads has started a Quarterly Book Discussion for any and all library workers and like all LibraryReads training programs, it is 100% free. 

All of the details and registration link below and here.

Click here to go to the site

Please join us for a virtual book discussion!
We have selected 4 titles from recent LibraryReads lists. We will meet on Zoom, and attendees can feel free to participate at your own comfort level!
Please register at http://bit.ly/LibraryReadsQBD to receive the link.

July 2021: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (Sourcebooks)
October 2021: The Bear by Andrew Krivak (Bellevue)
January 2022: The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans (Penguin Random House)
April 2022: The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson (HarperCollins)


Open to anyone working in a U.S. public library (at any job title)
6pm Central/7pm Eastern, 2nd Wednesday of the month:
July 14, 2021
October 13, 2021
January 12, 2022
April 13, 2022

Questions? info@libraryreads.org

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Latest Booklist Issue: Spotlight on Biography & Memoir, Audio, and an Important Special Announcement

I am not shy about sharing how much I adore the fact that every issue of Booklist Magazine spotlights some category of popular reading. I think this is one of the best things Booklist does. Yes the reviews are great [I write some of them], but because each issue is focused around a category, it means that each issue works as a RA and Collection Development resource. 

Booklist knows this and is going to double down on getting their extremely useful info out past the library worker and directly into your patrons' hands with a brand new patron facing version of the magazine coming in September. 

Please see below for all of the details on the current spotlight including links you can use right now and the info on the new "Booklist Reader" print magazine.

The Latest Booklist: Spotlights on Biography & Memoir and Audio

Our June 1 & 15 double issue of Booklist is now live! This year we are celebrating the very best in memoir and biography, featuring the year’s top 10 memoirs alongside top 10 biographies in adult and youth books. Inspired by Anne Sebba’s star-reviewed Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy, Donna Seaman offers a Read-alikes of Cold War biographies that are replete with intrigue. Maggie Reagan presents a Core Collection that delves into collective biographies highlighting women changemakers. Heather Booth explores the world of author-narrated memoirs in her latest Listen-alikes, influenced by Elizabeth Nyamayaro’s starred narration of I Am a Girl from Africa.

Speaking of quality narrators, the June issue also shines the spotlight on audiobooks. This year’s Odyssey Award went to the young adult historical fiction title Kent State, which features a full cast of voices and was produced by Scholastic Audio. Audio editor Heather Booth sat down to talk with author Deborah Wiles, director Zane Birdwell, and producer Paul Gagne. This year’s greatly anticipated Fall Audiobook Preview, compiled by Heather Booth and editorial assistant extraordinaire Biz Hyzy, is included, too.

We are also excited to share these additional features: Ronny Khuri’s list of 2021 Printz Award Read-alikes and a thoughtful audiobook Booklist Backlist from Heather Booth full of exclusive listener content.

You can also find the complete magazine online! Booklist’s digital edition of the June 1 & 15 issue is also live. It’s a great way to explore the magazine from your iPhone, iPad, tablet, Samsung Galaxy, or any other internet-connected device. With the digital issue, subscribers will now get print, online, digital, and archival access to the 22 Booklist and four Book Links issues each year! Visit www.booklistonline.com.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: New Patron-Facing Magazine From Booklist Launching in September

Booklist’s new product will focus on enriching the readers’ advisory (RA) experience for library workers, library patrons, and for everyone who loves to read. Click here for all the details.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

NPR Summer Reads is Back with SF and Fantasy of the Last 10 Years

Ahh the annual NPR Books feature for Summer Reading is BACK! Click here for my info on past year's and here for access to past NPR Books summer features.

Click here for the official kick off post or below to start reading. And please participate. Enter your books into the mix. Over the course of the summer, this feature will have information and lists from both author experts AND readers. Please pass the links on to your own patrons.

It is fun to participate, but the list of the best and most popular Science Fiction and Fantasy of the last 10 years will keep you full of info for updated displays, lists, and suggestions for years to come!

The Summer Reader Poll Returns: Tell Us Your Favorite New Sci-Fi And Fantasy Books

Ten years is a long time! In 10 light-years, you could get from Earth to a whole new solar system, Epsilon Eridani. And in the past 10 years, science fiction and fantasy have undergone a revolution — new voices, new perspectives, and new stories, bright as stars in the night sky.

So we thought it would be a great time to revisit our original 2011 reader poll of favorite science fiction and fantasy. And not just because of all the fantastic new stuff that's come out in the past decade, but because that 2011 list has some, uhhh, notable holes in it (Octavia Butler, I am SO sorry).

We're doing things a little bit differently this year since we already know you guys love The Lord of the Rings. Instead of a grand survey of all of time and space, we're zeroing in on titles from the past 10 years — that is, anything that's come out since the 2011 poll. And since we're only looking at the past decade, our panel of expert judges will take your nominations and use them to curate a final list of 50 titles (rather than our usual 100).

Click here to keep reading, meet the expert authors, and participate for yourself and pass on to your patrons.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Get Ready for ALA Annual-- Tomorrow with a Free Book Buzz Today!

While ALA Annual 2021 officially begins virtually tomorrow for paid attendees, there are also things that are available to participate in outside of the conference itself for FREE and for All.

Today, I will be highlighting some of those things...1 of which is this morning. and passing on a few ALA Virtual guides for you to refer to.

Before I begin, I wanted to let everyone know that I am NOT presenting by choice this year. I need a break from being the talent at these things, but I will be attending and enjoying the inspiration.

Here is the American Libraries official ALA Annual Preview.

Here is the Library Journal Official ALA Annual Preview.

Both of those links will give you a good sense of the highlights and what to expect. Even if you are not attending, I would look these over as they give you an idea of the overall themes and issues. Also they will help you to make sense of the Twitter chatter.

Speaking of, whether or not you have a Twitter account, I highly suggest you use this link to follow all of the #ALAAC21 action and discussion. Again, you do NOT need to have an account to read what is going on at this link. And you definitely don't need to be an attendee. Library Twitter does a great job of sharing information. Please take advantage. 

Another excellent resource that you can use to help readers whether you are attending the conference or not is the ALA Galley Guide compiled by Library Journal. Click here for access to the PDF with all of the titles and details

But also, click here for my 2019 post where I outlined how to use the Galley Guide as a resource in your libraries regardless of whether or not you attend the event. 

And, Booklist has a few of their in-person ALA events set up as FREE webinars outside of the dates of the conference. Click here for all of the FREE Booklist upcoming webinars and here for the FREE archives of past webinars.

I would like to point out 2 of those  events which I will be attending. Links go directly to their registration pages:

  • 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence Gala: June 24th 3pm CentralCelebrate the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence at an exciting virtual gala hosted by Booklist and RUSA. Hear acceptance speeches from Carnegie Fiction winner James McBride, for Deacon King Kong (Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC), and Carnegie Nonfiction winner Rebecca Giggs, for Fathoms: The World in the Whale. (Simon & Schuster). Our keynote speaker will be novelist and journalist Thrity Umrigar, the best-selling author of, among others, The Weight of Heaven, The World We Found, The Story Hour, Everybody’s Son, and The Secrets Between Us. This free, one-hour celebration is sponsored by NoveList.
  • Booklist Read N Rave: June 28th at 10 am central. This is where a panel of librarians take the books they heard about at ALA for which they are most excited and rave them quickly for everyone to know about. I have been on this panel multiple times before. It is a lot of frantic work for the panelists, but it is also pure joy for them and the audience.

Click here to register

But first, the library marketers have teamed up for a FREE Book Buzz this morning. You can click here to join, or check out the recording of this buzz and all past ones anytime on the ALMA YouTube Page here. I am all signed up. Maybe I will see you in the chat!

Even for the "Zoomed out", there is a lot going on over the next week or so in relation to ALA Annual and a lot of it is free. I hope you can find a moment to engage with the learning and inspiration.

Monday, June 21, 2021

LibraryReads Bonus: July 2021 Hall of Fame

Editor's note: There were 12 books on Hall of Fame list this month!!!! Think about that. Not a single one of the books on the main list would have made the July 2021 list and 2 of the HoF authors wouldn't have made it either. This is an example of equity in action. When I talk about being ACTIVE in your EDI work this is what I am talking about-- making sure that the widest group of books gets to be in the spotlight.

Kudos to LibraryReads and Executive Director, Rebecca Vnuk for working so hard to make sure the books library workers love are highlighted, especially the ones that might have gotten lost in the marketing machine shuffle. This month really highlights the hard work LibraryReads is doing all year long.

Also, titles by genre author like Grady Hendrix and Sonali Dev have been given some of that extra space since the advent of the Hall of Fame and now they are reaching HoF status leaving even more room for fresh and new voices.

To celebrate this achievement, LibraryReads has created a special second monthly list for just the Hall of Fame, which you can access here.

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.

Here is the overflowing with options, July 2021 Hall of Fame list!

Fallen: A Novel of Suspense

By Linda Castillo

Minotaur Books

"Get ready to drop everything to read the newest Kate Burkholder thriller, as Kate returns to Amish country after the brutal murder of a woman she knew as a child. All of Castillo’s trademarks are here--smarts, suspense, twists and turns--making this 13th series entry feel as fresh as the first." 

—Heather VanFleet, Genesee District Library, Mt. Morris, MI 

NoveList read-alike: Kate Shugak series by Dana Stabenow

False Witness: A Novel

By Karin Slaughter

William Morrow

“Leigh is a successful Atlanta attorney while her estranged sister, Callie, is a drug addict. When Leigh defends a serial rapist, she and Callie are forced to confront their traumatic past and complicated future. This is a thrill ride with satisfying depth and two main characters worth rooting for.” 

—Donna Ballard, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY 

NoveList read-alike: The Eleventh Victim by Nancy Grace


The Final Girl Support Group

By Grady Hendrix


“In the horror genre, the final girl is the last one standing at the end. Now imagine a group of them being targeted by a killer on the loose. Who will survive this time? Hendrix scatters plenty of twists and horror references throughout his latest novel.” 

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

NoveList read-alike: Final Girls by Riley Sager

For Your Own Good

By Samantha Downing


“Belmont Academy is one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country. However, teacher Teddy Crutcher despises many of the elitist parents and entitled pupils, and he plans to do something about it. This nonstop roller coaster ride will have readers turning pages deep into the night.”

—KC Davis, Fairfield Woods Library, Fairfield, CT

NoveList read-alike: Gentlemen & Players by Joanne Harris

A Good Day for Chardonnay: A Novel

By: Darynda Jones

St. Martin’s Press

“Sheriff Sunshine Vicram returns with a new case involving old flame Levi, while also having her hands full with her independent daughter who can't seem to avoid dicey situations of her own. Another delightful entry in this series of zany mysteries set in New Mexico.” 

—Emily Chandler, Indianapolis Public Library, Indianapolis, IN 
NoveList read-alike: Detective Betty series by Kathleen Kent

Incense and Sensibility: A Novel

By Sonali Dev

William Morrow Paperbacks

“Yash, a rigid political up-and-comer, must work with India, a stress coach and family friend, after being shot at at a rally. The two must overcome their shared past, secrets, and mental roadblocks to succeed in life and love. For fans of Jasmine Guillory and Helen Hoang.” 

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

NoveList read-alike: Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Isn't It Bromantic?

By Lyssa Kay Adams

Berkley Jove

“It’s refreshing to read a romance featuring men with healthy friendships who discuss mental health and how to combat toxic masculinity. This installment of the Bromance series focuses on hockey player Vlad and his wife Elena and also celebrates their Russian heritage.” 

—Jennifer Sullivan, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, WA 

NoveList read-alike: Playbook series by Alexa Martin

It Happened One Summer: A Novel

By Tessa Bailey


“Piper lands in a remote Pacific Northwest town lacking the glamour of her superficial ‘It-girl’ lifestyle. But her determination to accomplish something real leads to a budding romance with a gruff fisherman. Don’t be fooled by the spoiled heroine--Bailey’s fans will fall in love with this book."

—Jessica C. Williams, Tiffin-Seneca Public Library, Tiffin, OH

NoveList read-alike: Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper

Last Guard

By Nalini Singh


“As the Psy-Changeling series gets longer, Singh still focuses on great world-building and fresh characters. The latest installment introduces new protagonists and expands the setting to India. While the book may not be the best entrypoint for new readers, longtime fans will find lots to enjoy.”

—Jessica Werner, The Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA

NoveList read-alike: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

The Stranger in the Mirror: A Novel

By Liv Constantine


“Addison is an amnesiac ready to move on with a new life when her past catches up to her. Readers of Constantine’s other books as well as those who crave a fast paced thriller will be very satisfied with this twisted ride into buried memories and uncertain futures.”

—Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

NoveList read-alike: Have You Seen Me? by Kate White

The Therapist: A Novel

By B.A. Paris

St. Martin’s Press

“Alice and Leo move to a posh London neighborhood and soon learn a woman was murdered in their home. Unnerved, Alice grows obsessed with the homicide. It drives a wedge between her and Leo, but will it lead to finding the killer? This is a well-constructed thriller with solid character development.” 

—Kelly Verheyden, San Diego Public Library, San Diego, CA 

NoveList read-alike: Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson

While We Were Dating

By Jasmine Guillory


“Ben and Anna begin as colleagues and end as lovers in this sweet and steamy romance. Anna is an up and coming actress trying to make a name for herself. When Ben swoops in to help her in a family emergency, they become close quickly. But will their Hollywood romance last?” 

—Michelle Magnotta, Mamaroneck Library, Mamaroneck, NY 

NoveList read-alike: You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria