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.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Psst....I'm Giving Away a Copy of My Book

But not here on this blog. It is over on the Horror blog as part of my weekly #HorrorForLibraries giveaway.

You should click to go there today because there is nothing for you here.

But there is a lot over there and there will be every day for the entire month of October. And that is also the point of today's post.

I am using this space in a cheeky way today to remind you that for the entire month of October, my priority is the Horror blog. I post there every single day for 31 days. And it is curated and solicited content that I have been planning and working on since August. I take it very seriously because I know and understand my role as the library world's Horror expert. 

You rely on me to help you help your scariest patrons, and October is when these skills are most needed. I will be there for you, I just won't be here as much.

So, this is your 1 day warning that this general blog will probably not run original content as frequently in the coming 31 days, but a simple click over to RA for All: Horror will bring you amazing, useful, and fun content every single day-- even weekends! 

See you on the dark side. 

No, literally, it is the dark side because that blog uses the same layout but is black with white writing. 

Look, I know I cannot be too horrific or many of you would be too terrified of using the resource. But I can be puny.

Seriously, check out 31 days of Horror every day from October 1-31 or click here for the previous 9 years of October content.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Romance Resources and the Booklist Spotlight on Romance

Yesterday's rant here on the blog was inspired by the hubbub cause by this AWFUL article in The Cut which tried to give "sexy," romance readalikes for the new Sally Rooney novel but which refused to suggest actual romances, only other "literary" novels. Why? Because of everything I said from a more general perspective yesterday.

I had a draft-post with the Book Riot link I highlighted yesterday and used my rage at the Rooney readalike situation to finally write a post to go with the save link. I tried to rise above the [rightful] noise from the Romance world, knowing that some of you would tune me out if it was only about Romance. Because, as I said yesterday, our entire profession has an issue with being judgmental, elevating literary fiction above genre fiction, and specifically ignoring some of our most popular library genres [Romance and Thrillers in particular].

But today, I also wanted to shine a spotlight on Romance and luckily this is the month that Booklist is also spotlighting Romance, so I have some very up to date and useful resources for you.

However, I want to begin with a general comment. As a Horror expert, I fell great kinship with the Romance world because our genres are both based on how they make you feel, and this makes them both subject to disparaging comments. And, even worse, this attitude is widely accepted. So, please don't be one of those people. 

Okay, now on to Romance resources-- real Romance resources. In general my two favorite Romance resources are All About Romance which is great for reviews and heat levels, and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books which is just great overall. 

In general Booklist is always great for Romance information but of course when they turn a monthly Spotlight on the genre, as they did in the September 15th issue, there is even more content. And the timing is absolutely perfect in this case.

You can click here for free access to all of the articles, Romance Reviews and book lists in this issue or clicking the specific links below:

Now go suggest a "sexy" book to a Sally Rooney fan with confidence. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

What is Worthwhile Reading? Via Book Riot.

Library workers, we need some real talk. I am so done with people telling me, each other, patrons, whoever what they can and cannot read. I have talked about this many times. Click herehere, and my favorite list of what you "Should Read," here for examples. 

To this argument, I often add other voices, so it isn't just me yelling at you all of the time. Today is one of those days.

I had saved this link to a Book Riot essay entitle, "What is Worthwhile Reading." That essay itself is worthwhile reading. You want to be a gatekeeper of other people's reading choices, well I am gatekeeping you back. Read this and think about it. Read all the links in this post and then rethink being a judgey jerk. 

Who are you helping with your views on what is worthwhile reading for everyone else? Last time I checked, you get to choose your own reading for your own reasons. For everyone else, you are just there to help them discover what they would love but don't know how to find without your help. They don't really care if you think it is worthwhile because to them, it is worthwhile, and they are the one who is going to be spending their precious free time reading it. 

WHAT THEY WOULD LOVE is then key here. Not what you think they should read. Stop with your nonsense and gatekeeping.

And while we are at it, here is a reminder that how many books you read has nothing to do with how good you are at your job. 

[Oh and audio books and graphic novels are also reading. But that is another ongoing fight for another day.]

I know for many of my readers this rant is old news, but I have been interacting in a few spaces with people who work in our industry and are judgey jerks. Even worse, they pride themselves on it. The phrase "making people work for it since this is the library" was used in one interaction. 

Nope! That is not a thing. The public library is there to help and assist not make people work for it. That is literally the opposite of what we do in RA Service.

So please, pass this post on to people who need to "hear" this. 

Eds note: this was co-authored by my last nerve.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Please Reconsider Supporting Banned Books Week w/ an Assist from Miss Julie

Over the last few years, I have been among a growing group of people who have urged you to reconsider the entire concept of Banned Books Week.

Click here for last year when I urged you to NOT celebrate banning books but rather shift your focus to the "Freedom to Read."

But this is not strong enough. I was already thinking about how I was going to be more firm about why Banned Books Week is problematic this year, but then my friend and colleague Julie had this post, "reasons I despise banned books week." 

I trust, admire, and truly like Julie as a human. She is my go-to person for any YS questions or concerns. This post is strong, clear, and smart. And as she says at the very end:

"Consider this my perpetual treatise on banned books week. So long and thanks for all the misplaced effort."

Please click through and read Julie's post listing the 7 reasons why Banned Books Week is no good in any way. 

And I understand that this frank conversation may make many of you uncomfortable. Especially those of you will huge displays that just went up. Heck, I am uncomfortable looking back at old posts where I glorified incarceration by posing with a banned book like a mug shot and thought this was GREAT promotion. 

This is what Robin and I mean when we we talk to all of you about being comfortable with being uncomfortable. We have all misstepped, but getting upset about being called out about "bad" behavior is not the goal. We are all learning and growing. Acknowledge problems [as I have above and try to do always] and vow to do better going forward. Systemic racism and oppression are solidly entrenched. It will take years of thoughtful action to even make a dent. 

Let's start now by ignoring Banned Books Week. Below are links to Julie's EXCELLENT blog and the specific post.

reasons I despise banned books week

Friday, September 24, 2021

Using Awards Lists As a RA Tool: National Book Foundation 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.

The National Book Foundation announced their long list for 2021 awards Please go here to see the list and to access all of the virtual events that will surround the announcement of the winners.

One of the things I really like about the announcement is that there is an essay discussing the nominated titles and their themes. This is invaluable to you as you work with readers. When patrons come in wanting to know more about the books they heard about in the news, you can access a quick soundbite for them with one click [whether you have even heard of the book or not]. 

This is a great example of what I mean when I talk about how essential it is for all of us to use resources to help leisure readers. You do NOT get bonus points for NOT using a resource and just knowing about a book. In fact, as a library worker I say you should LOSE points for NOT using resources. Using resources is what we do as a profession; it is what we are known for-- being able to find the answers, not knowing them all in our  brains. You  should NOT be proud of yourself for not using resources; actually, you should be ashamed of yourself.  

You can also click here to see my post on how to use this list to help readers with more detail, from last year when the 2020 long lists came out. 

And of course, remember past lists. Past long list nominated books are just as awesome as the current titles, but more importantly, they are probably on the shelf. The National Book Foundation has an aesthetically pleasing and useful interface to explore every past title here. Make a display, list, social media post, or just use the resource for sure bet suggestions for your literary fiction and book discussion book readers.

Here are the direct links to each category and the 5 under 35 list which is also a great resource to identify up and coming writers:

The 72nd National Book Awards ceremony with be online on November 17, 2021. Click here for details.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Readers' Advisory Guide to Horror Third Edition Shipping NOW!

Click here to order

Full out promotional post today, but I don't feel bad about it at all because I am VERY proud of this book and it will help you help readers, which is the goal of this blog.

Yes, my BRAND NEW book is out now. All of the details are here and below.

Click here to order directly from ALA Editions. Due to the supply chain issues this is the fastest way to get the book and you will need it ASAP to help readers for October and beyond. It was supposed to be out in August but, and this is not a joke, there was a glue shortage that held it up over a month.

It is pricey, yes. But find someone with an ALA membership and that gives a discount. Plus at the top of this page I have a discount code for another $5 off. And remember, it is a minimum of $350 to hire me to give you the 90 minute, summary presentation of the book, so when you factor that into the equation, it is a deal. 

And don't forget, this edition comes with double the titles from the 10 chapters of annotated books organized by subgenres for free at this link

I ma very grateful to everyone who helped me to write this my THIRD[!] book. To that end, I have made my acknowledgments available here for anyone to read.

I also can't believe I have published 3 books, and even more, that so many of you have bought them. And please note, even though it is a third edition, 90% of the information is BRAND New. I hope you order it for your library.

I will have more to say about the book during my 31 Days of Horror blog-a-thon throughout the month of October on the horror blog. Click here to get ready and read past year's entries

Here is the press release that my publisher prepared: 

Spratford’s new guide to horror fiction

For Immediate Release
Tue, 09/21/2021


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing & Media

American Library Association



CHICAGO — Like the zombies, ghouls, and vampires which inhabit many of its books, the popularity of horror fiction is unstoppable. Even if you don’t happen to be a fan yourself, you won’t be “scared” to advise readers on finding their next great fright thanks to the astute guidance provided by horror expert Becky Siegel Spratford in the newly updated third edition of “The Readers' Advisory Guide to Horror,” published by ALA Editions. This definitive resource for library workers at any level of experience or familiarity with horror fiction:

  • details the state of the genre right now, including its appeal factors and key authors, assisting readers in getting up to speed quickly;
  • presents ten annotated lists of suggested titles, all published since 2000, each with a short introduction providing historical context;
  • delves into horror movies, TV shows, podcasts, and other formats; and
  • offers abundant marketing advice, programming options, and pointers on additional resources.

Spratford is a Readers' Advisory Specialist in Illinois specializing in serving patrons ages 13 and up. She trains library staff all over the world on how to match books with readers through the local public library. She runs the critically acclaimed RA training blog RA for All and its evil twin RA for All Horror. She is under contract to provide content for EBSCO’s NoveList database and writes reviews for Booklist and a horror review column for Library Journal. She received the prestigious Richard Laymon President's Award from the Horror Writers Association (HWA) in 2021. You can follow her on Twitter at @RAforAll

Many book retailers and distributors are experiencing service disruptions or delays, including Amazon. For speediest service, order direct from the ALA Store. ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library and information professionals worldwide. ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman publishes resources used by library and information professionals, scholars, students, and educators to improve programs and services, build on best practices, enhance pedagogy, share research, develop leadership, and promote advocacy. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a variety of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman at editionsmarketing@ala.org.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

What I'm Reading: Among the Lilies: Stories

Last week I gave away a copy of today's book on the Horror blog. You can go there to read more about that, but in general, this is an excellent reminder that I have been hosting a [mostly] weekly giveaway since April of 2020. Any library worker can enter, and once you are entered, you are entered in perpetuity, until you win. The rules and the archive of every giveaway can be found at this link.

The official review of this book appeared in the 9/15/21 issue of Booklist. Below is the longer draft review and bonus appeal and readalike content. 

Among the Lilies
by Daniel Mills
Sept. 2021. 260p. Undertow, paper, $17.99  (9781988964317)
First published September 15, 2021 (Booklist).

Aptly opening his new collection of 12 immersivity creepy stories, light on gore but high on anxiety with the line, “Gentlemen, I am tired of ghost stories,” Mills is clearly ready to rethink Horror conventions. Each tale is marked by an expertly controlled sense of unease, beginning with unsettling format choices and settings that immediately trap the reader, emotionally and physically, in the story, its protagonists, and the heightened anxiety. Compellingly paced tales quickly close in on readers, as Mills keeps them dangling over a precipice where pure terror waits below, finally dropping them with his final line. “Lucilla Barton (1857-1880)," original to this collection, is a great example. It is the story of a woman around whom everyone dies, but it is told entirely through mundane newspaper accounts, census records, and court documents. And yet, it is clear from early on that this is not only bad luck at play, but what is it exactly? And how nefarious? One deep breath after each terrifying ending and readers will dive back in to experience the rush all over again. Fans of Alma Katsu [The Hunger] and Andy Davidson [The Boatman’s Daughter] will find a lot to like here.

In the upcoming 9/15/21 issue of Booklist I will have a glowing review of Among the Lillies by Daniel Mills. I was unfamiliar with Mills but Undertow Publications sent me this book unsolicited. I have been very impressed by their collections up to this point, so I agreed to squeeze it in. 

In the meantime, I am not the only one to give this press accolades. As I reported here, Undertow Publication won the This is Horror Award for Publisher of the Year.

Back to this book specifically, I was impressed because one, the stories were very enjoyable and well constructed, and two, I knew they would have wide appeal. 

They are light on gore but high on anxiety, and while mostly falling within the Horror umbrella, the stories definitely play with the genre confines in a satisfying way. I suggest this collection for fans of Alma Katsu or Andy Davidson-- who have wide appeal as well.

I had a few more notes from when I read the collection that I wanted to share. 
  • These stories have amazing first and last lines. 
  • While most of these are previously published, they were never collected and scattered throughout the speculative fiction landscape.
  • There are 2 original stories [1 of which I highlighted above] but there is also a cult classic novella, "The Account of David Stonehouse, Exile." I had not heard of it, but I did some research after reading it [and enjoying it], and this truly is a novella that fans adore and it was only ever printed in super limited release by a small publisher
  • With a majority of the stories set in the 19th Century and in New England, the world building is strong, but the sense of place is timeless. For example, another one of my favorites, "The Lake," [not sure if this is the full title or just what I wrote in notes and I sent the book off already] is set in 1997, but still feels timeless.
  • Expertly controlled unease, crafts it consciously, holds back just enough, uses format to keep the pace compelling but the reader unsettled, dangles the reader over the precipice where they would tumble to outright terror. Only letting go with the final lines. Awesome feeling. Breathe and dive into another.

Three Words That Describe This Book: expertly controlled unease, strong narrative voice, unsettling format choices

Readalikes: If you have fans of Katsu or Davidson as mentioned above [and the thing is, all of you do], this is a great collection to pass off to those readers.

Other speculative story writers this collection reminded me of were Karen Russell, Elizabeth McCracken, and two Undertow writers I discovered this past year whose collections would make an excellent option, Steve Toase and Seán Padraic Birnie. Click on their names to read my reviews of their collections and get even more readalikes.

Buy this collection. It will be enjoyed by a wide range of readers. And the publisher is clearly one on the rise.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

RA for All Roadshow Presents Meet Your Local Horror Authors

Today I am moderating an event for the Chicagoland Chapter of the Horror Writers Association entitled, "Meet Your Local Horror Authors." While this program is centered around horror authors from the Chicago area, it is OPEN to anyone and everyone. Click here or see below for signup details.

This is part of a larger program I have created with Konrad Stump, as the Co-Chairs of the HWA's National Library Committee. We are connecting local chapters of the HWA with library systems to offer these free roundtable discussions about the horror genre. I developed this program and sample questions for chapters all over the country to use to approach their library systems. So if someone contacts you, please consider allowing the to offer this FREE program.

You will learn a lot about Horror in general and for all ages of readers in this two hour event. We will be taking questions too. 

When the recording is available, I will be posting it over on the the Horror blog as part of my 31 Days of Horror Series. So if you cannot join us, no worries, you can catch the replay. But, it is going to be a lot of spooky fun.

Please click here for more details and a registration link.

Click here to register

About This Event

Join horror expert and RAILS Board member Becky Spratford, author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Horror, 3rd Edition [ALA Editions, August 2021] as she helps get you ready for the Halloween rush. In this program, Becky will moderate a panel of authors who are members of the Chicagoland Chapter of the Horror Writers Association [http://www.hwachicago.org]. Panelists will include Cynthia Pelayo, author of "Children of Chicago" and New York Times Bestselling author Daniel Kraus. This engaging panel will talk about why they love and create Horror, share their favorite titles, and help you in your work with readers as you match them with the perfect scary read. Ideas for displays, free programming, a chance to ask Becky or the authors your spookiest questions, and more will be included in this 2-hour CE event.

All registrants will also be entered into a drawing to win a free copy of Becky's brand-new book courtesy of ALA Editions. Don't wait until the hordes of readers begin shambling into your library when the calendar flips over to October; prepare yourself now and have fun along the way.

When: Tuesday, Sep 21, 2021 | 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Where: Zoom


Cynthia Pelayo

Cynthia Pelayo is a Bram Stoker Award, Elgin Award and International Latino Book Award nominated poet and writer. She is the author of LoteriaSanta MuerteThe MissingPoems of My NightInto the Forest and All the Way Through and Children of Chicago.  

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College, a Master of Science in Marketing from Roosevelt University, a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a Doctoral Candidate in Business Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Cynthia was raised in inner city Chicago, where she lives with her husband and children.


Daniel Kraus

DANIEL KRAUS is a New York Times bestselling author. His posthumous collaboration with legendary filmmaker George A. Romero, The Living Dead, was acclaimed by The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Kraus’s The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch was named one of Entertainment Weekly‘s Top 10 Books of the Year. With Guillermo del Toro, he co-authored The Shape of Water, based on the same idea the two created for the Oscar-winning film. Also with del Toro, Kraus co-authored Trollhunters, which was adapted into the Emmy-winning Netflix series. Kraus has won a Scribe Award, two Odyssey Awards (for both Rotters and Scowler) and has been a Library Guild selection, YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, Bram Stoker finalist, and more.

Monday, September 20, 2021

NoveList and LibraryReads Crash Course in True Crime Coming 10/27

The NoveList-LibraryReads free interactive Crash Course training programs are back and this time it is all about True Crime.

Click here or see the details below to register. I know it is not until October 27th, but sign up today so that when you forget about it later, or get busy, you will automatically get the reminder and the recording link. 

Click here to see the archive of past programs in this series.

Click here to sign up

Webinar: Crash Course in True Crime

Do you have a go-to strategy for helping readers with True Crime? Whether your readers are fans of salacious, ripped-from-the-tabloids scandals or dramatic capers with nary a murder in sight, let NoveList and LibraryReads break down the best True Crime has to offer your readers.  

Join as they cover:  

  • Why readers choose True Crime  
  • History of the True Crime genre 
  • Classics, new titles/authors to watch, and trends to know    
  • Subgenres and crossovers  
  • NoveList insider information on genre headings, themes, appeal terms, and more  

We welcome anyone interested to stay for an additional 15-minute training to share search strategy tips and learn where to access genre-related information in NoveList. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021, from 2-3 pm ET 



Kate Fais is the Senior Young Adult Librarian for the Bloomingdale Library, a branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL). A voracious reader from an early age, her mother inadvertently started Kate down the path to True Crime by giving her Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie novels. Eventually, she happily discovered the 364.1523s, and the rest is history. In 2021, Kate also co-chaired NYPL’s first-ever Best Romance committee, so it has been pretty weird in her head with the happily ever afters and serial killers. When not watching Forensic Files (or listening to any of her various True Crime podcasts) with her four parakeets, she enjoys knitting, Scottish Country Dancing, and learning as much as she can about eels.  

Yaika Sabat is Senior Readers' Advisory Librarian at NoveList. Yaika comes from a background in public libraries and now works on editorial content as part of the Book Discovery team. She is passionate about graphic novels and diverse representation in books and media. Proudly nerdy, Yaika is a Potterhead, Whovian, movie lover, and a folklore, myth, and urban legend addict. Yaika has two adorable cats who keep life interesting and loves animals. She enjoys reading a wide variety of books, but her favorites are graphic novels, horror, magical realism, and short stories. In her free time, you’ll find her reading, listening to podcasts, writing, and watching movies. 

Susen Shi is a Young Adult Librarian at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (NYPL). She is a huge advocate for teen voices in all aspects of life. Susen believes in empathy-led interactions in libraries and conversations. When she is in a cozy chair, Susen enjoys reading all True Crime and mysteries, preferably with a cup of tea. 

Moderator Halle Eisenman leads the Content Team which oversees the creation of the lists, articles, NextReads newsletters, and read-alike recommendations. Prior to working at NoveList, she spent a dozen years working for a public library system in a variety of roles, but no matter what her job title, her favorite part of any day was suggesting books to patrons. When not at work, Halle can often be found walking her dogs (they get lots of exercise when she’s listening to a particularly riveting audiobook), binge-watching TV shows aimed at teenagers, baking, or sitting on her back porch with a book. She is currently serving as 2022 committee chair for the ALA Reading List Council. 

Friday, September 17, 2021

RA for All Virtual Roadshow Visits Aurora, IL Today and PLA News

This morning I am giving the keynote address at the staff day of the Aurora Public Library District. I am very excited they invited me, not only because Aurora is the second largest city in Illinois, but also because it is the hometown library of my husband who is proud to have grown up walking distance from the West Branch.

Today I have 90 minutes to present Actively Anti-Racist Service to Leisure Readers. This is one of my appearances without Robin, but as always, her thoughts will be scattered throughout. In this case, I can be a little less specific too because Robin and I are appearing together at the Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in 2 back-to-back sessions- 1 hour of lecture and 1 hour of live q and a. So all of these employees can access the more in-depth version next month.

Back to today. Today, I will spend about 1 hour on the presentation and then we have 30 minutes for questions. I love when there is time for questions because this is where the real learning happens, but also, Robin and I learn the most about what you need from us in these trainings going forward when you ask questions.

Whether we present together or alone, we both report back to each other on what we have heard from you. I also know it can take courage to ask some of the hard questions in front of your co-workers, and for this reason, we both take questions for free at any time, from anyone, but we do prioritize those questions from places where we have presented. 

Click here for slide access to today's program.

I also wanted to share some BIG news with everyone. Robin and I submitted our Actively Anti-Racist Service to Leisure Readers training to PLA for one of their 3 hour pre-conference sessions on March 22, 2022. We also asked our friend and colleague Alene Moroni from the Forbes Library [MA] to share her experience putting anti-racist measures into real action at her library. I will also be inviting a BIPOC Horror author to appear with us. This means we will have a fully interactive, 3 hour discussion with those of you who join us in person [for now] in Portland.

I am excited to add more content to what Robin and I already offer. Look for information about the PLA Conference coming soon. For now though, you can click here or on the image below to access the website.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

RA for All is Off for Yom Kippur

See some of you on Friday morning when I am presenting the Keynote for the Aurora [IL] Public Library District's staff day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

LibraryReads: October 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.
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.

And finally, here is LibraryReads' extremely helpful Resources page.

Now let's get to that list.... 


Announcing the October 2021 LibraryReads List!

And it features THREE! Horror Novels [with links to the 2 books I have reviewed already]


All the Feels: A Novel 

by Olivia Dade


Alex is an actor on a Game of Thrones type TV show entering its final season. Lauren’s job is to keep him out of trouble. Their relationship develops over forced proximity, a road trip, and tons of fanfic tropes (only one bed!). This steamy romance, with flawed, genuine characters and sensitive treatment of mental health and body issues, is a delight from start to finish. For fans of Spoiler AlertGirl Gone Viral, and One To Watch.”
Lauren Mitchell, Neenah Public Library, Neenah, WI

NoveList read-alike: Incense and Sensibility by Sonali Dev



by Rachel Harrison


“Annie is floundering after an unexpected breakup and a subsequent move to a small, quirky town. Her new friend Sophie is a little strange, but Annie is so happy to have someone who has chosen her that she ignores her concerns. This delightfully creepy fall story will work well for those who like paranormal fiction and light horror, and fans of The Year of the Witching and The Deep.”

—Rebecca Swanson, Fitchburg Public Library, Fitchburg, WI 

NoveList read-alike: We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry

Death at Greenway: A Novel

By Lori Rader-Day

William Morrow Paperback

“In this departure from RaderDay’s usual thrillers, two young women, hired as nurses to care for a group of children, are evacuated to Agatha Christie’s country estate during WWII. Then a dead body shows up, and suddenly there's no telling what is safe and who can be trusted. For fans of Agatha Christie and Louise Penny.”

—Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT 

NoveList read-alike: In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen 

The Death of Jane Lawrence: A Novel

by Caitlin Starling

St. Martin's Press

“Jane, a sensible young woman, decides that she must get married. Her first choice is Dr. Lawrence, but she soon discovers his dark, terrifying secrets and becomes engulfed in a tangled mystery of magic, ghosts, demons, and bizarre rituals. A well-written story for fans of gothic fantasy and horror like Gideon the Ninth and Mexican Gothic.”

—Sandra Allen, South Community Library, St. Petersburg, FL 

NoveList read-alike: The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Last Girl Ghosted

by Lisa Unger

Park Row

“Wren meets Adam on a dating app, and they seem to hit it off. After she tells him a secret, though, he ghosts her. She refuses to let it go and starts searching for him. What she finds is shocking, but she can match him in the secret department. Chilling, twisty, and hard to put down. Give to fans of Ghosted and The Couple Next Door.”

—Shari Suarez, Genesee District Library, Goodrich, MI 

NoveList read-alike: The Date by Louise Jensen

The Lincoln Highway: A Novel 

by Amor Towles


“In 1952, castoffs from a Nebraska juvenile detention camp embark on a road trip that takes them in different directions than initially intended. There’s so much genuine sweetness and aching loss in this exuberant book full of characters you’ll care about deeply. For fans of John Irving and Ann Patchett.”

—Diana Armstrong, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR 

NoveList read-alike: Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig

Nothing But Blackened Teeth 

by Cassandra Khaw

Tor Nightfire

“This short, creepy haunted house tale, brimming with Japanese folklore, cleverly reveals the 

monstrousness in ordinary human callousness--we’re awful not from horrendous actions or beliefs, but because we just react and shout each other down. For fans of My Heart is a Chainsaw and The Toll.”

—Matthew Galloway, Anythink Libraries, Thornton, CO 

NoveList read-alike: Slade House by David Mitchell

Once More Upon a Time

by Rohani Chokshi

Sourcebooks Casablanca

“In this classic fairytale with a twist, a prince and princess who became a cursed king and queen are given a second chance at a future. The storyline and characters are engaging, but it’s the beautiful, flowing writing that really stands out. Recommended for readers of Stardust and Kill the Farmboy.”

—Sandra Woodbury, Burlington Public Library, Burlington, MA 

NoveList read-alike: Monkey Around by Jadie Jang

Payback's a Witch 

by Lana Harper

Berkley Jove

“Emmy reluctantly returns to her hometown to serve as arbiter of a magical tournament. But the town now seemingly has much more to offer, including a gorgeous witch. Will she be enough incentive for Emmy to stay? Romance and a welldeveloped magical system make this perfect for fans of TJ Klune and Seanan McGuire.”

—Alicia Ahlvers, Henrico County Public Library, Henrico, VA 

NoveList read-alike: The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling


A Spindle Splintered 

by Alix E. Harrow


“Harrow delights with a queer fractured fairy tale novella. Zinnia Grey, forever obsessed with the Sleeping Beauty story, gets a spindle for her 21st birthday. When she pricks her finger, she’s transported to another dimension and finds a princess who'd rather not marry the dashing prince. For fans of Naomi Novik and Margaret Atwood.”

—Jill Minor, Washington County Public Library, Abingdon, VA 

NoveList read-alike: Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

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.

Click here to access the Hall of Fame Archive with annotations and readalikes


The Book of Magic: A Novel 

by Alice Hoffman

Simon & Schuster

A Line to Kill: A Novel 

by Anthony Horowitz


Oh William!: A Novel 

by Elizabeth Strout

Random House

The Vanished Days 

by Susanna Kearsley

Sourcebooks Landmark

Well Matched 

by Jen DeLuca

Berkley Jove