COUPON CODE!

Get $5 off your pre-order of THE READER'S ADVISORY GUIDE TO HORROR THIRD EDITION. Click here and enter RAGH21 at checkout. Works with your ALA Member Discount also.

RA FOR ALL...THE ROAD SHOW!

I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information including RA for All's EDI Statement.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Resource Alert: Goodreads Groups

Look, there are a lot of problems with Goodreads; it is far from perfect. I know this. But it is the best place to find large groups of readers. If we want to understand how to help our readers, we need to go where they are, and they are all over Goodreads.

One area of Goodreads as a resource that I use but, as far as I can tell, I haven't ever written about are the Groups.

I especially like using groups to find fans of a particular genre. topic, theme, or category. All you do is type in what your patron likes and you have access to a wealth of information created by uber fans. 

You just need to type in what you are looking for, such as "Horror" [it is October]. And then choose "Groups" under the search bar. Here is an example of a Horror group.

Groups have discussions and genre specific topics, make lists, do group reads, etc... But you can also see who else is in the group and know that their reviews might be a good "expert" resource for you to find a read for a patrons. 

Don't forget you can do this today for your last minute Horror questions, but also anytime and for any genre. And not only established genres. You can search subgenres, keywords, tropes, really anything, and then click groups to see any groups where that interest of your reader is mentioned by other readers.

Try it sometime. Pick one of your own specific interests and put this resource to the test.

Just remember, as much as we prioritize professional resources, it is also important to have reader driven resources too because readers are who we are helping. Let's not lose sight of that.

Have a nice weekend and a great Halloween.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Halloween Week Links For Casual Horror Fans

As we get into the final days of October, we are all seeing an uptick in patrons asking for "scary" reads. Many are not traditional Horror readers and are seeking our help without truly understanding what they are looking for because besides Stephen King, they do not know what is out there. 

While I always have Horror help for all library workers to help every type of reader on the Horror blog, I realize that an entire website may be a little overwhelming as Halloween is on our doorstep.

So today, here on the general RA blog, I have a few key links, resources that can help you to serve patrons quickly, with a focus on the most general Horror reader.

Not only can these links help you serve these last minute, not generally Horror fans, to scratch their seasonal scary reads itch, but also remember that many patrons meant to read a spooky book this month, but life intervened and they didn't get to it. The best thing you can do to serve these patrons [of which there will be many] is to keep up Horror displays and list for AT LEAST 2 week after Halloween.

I purposely capped this list at only 4 options so as to not overwhelm you. However, if you need more quick pick, annotated lists, I did a link roundup each Sunday this month on the horror blog. Click herehere, or here to access these links quickly.

Good luck as we shamble toward Halloween. 

Here are those links:

  • Speaking of Goodreads, use their Horror Week coverage from earlier in the month to get some ideas and suggestions from the top Horror authors, as well as lists of the site's most popular Horror titles right now.
  • Kirkus had a great list of the scariest books of 2021. Not all are Horror. I like that as an option for this week's non-Horror reader requests.
  • 10 New Horror Novels Perfect for Crime Fans via CrimeReads. All of CrimeReads Horror coverage is accessible here. This is a great go-to resource for non-traditional Horror fans looking for a scary read.
  • Finally, a tangible example on how to make that Horror display go past Sunday, via a library worker on Twitter: Blind Date with a Book Display, "but make it spooky."
    • This is a great idea for you to offer self service. Patrons will choose based on the appeal factors you list on the brown paper cover. Use a review from a 5 star reader on GoodReads. This is that book's best reader, and letting them speak for the books is a great [and easy] idea. Here is an updated picture from the one at the link above:

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Feel the Fear: A Horror Round Table Discussion w/ Chicago Public Library and Me

Tonight at 6pm central I am doing a FREE, virtual, live event with Stephen Graham Jones, Alma Katsu, and Hailey Piper for the Chicago Public Library. We will be talking about Horror and announcing the Summer Scares spokesperson at the end of the event. I am going to hand the announcement duties to Summer Scares veteran Stephen Graham Jones who's Mongrels was a 2019 inaugural suggestion and who led the program in 2020

This is the first year we are announcing the spokesperson LIVE and I am so happy to do this in conjunction with the largest library in the country who supports the Summer Scares program. We will also be having our normal Halloween announcement here on the blog and with a press release. 

We are going to talk about the state of Horror today, but we are also going to delve into the question of why those from marginalized perspectives are writing some of the bets horror today. All three authors are proof of that. Jones and Katsu were both up for the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel in May and Piper will be appearing on at least 1 year end Best Horror list that I know of [and that is because I was on that committee]. This is not a trend, by the way, and we will discuss that openly and honestly. 

Also, side note, CPL does an excellent job with virtual live events. Take a look at their YouTube page where they live stream events [as well as on Facebook] and archive them all. CPL does not require a registration for these events which I think is a great idea. You can set a reminder for Facebook and YouTube to remember so people can quasi register, but without making them physically register you eliminate troubleshooting registration links as you are trying to start an event.

See below or click here to watch us tonight. 

But before I lose your attention, tomorrow, the Oak Park Public Library [a town which touches Chicago on its eastern border] is hosting Brian Keene, another former Summer Summer Scares author, for a live event. I will be attending that one as a viewer. You can live anywhere to join that one. Click here to register.

See some of you tonight. We will be taking questions. 


Feel the Fear: A Horror Roundtable Discussion
Wednesday 
October 27, 2021
6-7 pm central

Click here to join

Get in the Halloween spirit and join a lively discussion with three of today's hottest voices in horror: Stephen Graham Jones, Alma Katsu, and Hailey Piper, moderated by local librarian and Horror expert Becky Spratford. They will talk about why they love Horror, how they bring the fear to life on the page, and what creators they seek out for their own frightening fun. This will be a casual and fun conversation where participation by the audience will be highly encouraged. As a special bonus, the evening will be capped off by the official kick off of the 2022 Summer Scares program with a LIVE announcement of this year's author spokesperson. 

For more information about Summer Scares and for librarian vetted Horror for all ages of readers please visit: http://raforallhorror.blogspot.com/p/summer-scares.html. Come spend a spooky evening with us...if you dare!

How to Attend:

This event will take place on CPL's YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Can't make it to the live stream? We'll archive the video on YouTube to watch later as well.

Accessibility

Captioning is available via YouTube's captioning service. Just turn on the captioning option.


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A Librarian's Perspective on E-Lending via Book Riot

Today I would like you to head over to Book Riot to see this excellent essay about E-Books and libraries. I am constantly dismayed at the number of library workers who disparage E-Books [and Graphic Novel and Audio]. More often than not this comes from an equally annoying tendency of those in our profession to fetishize the physical book as an object. 

Click here to read the full article. I have also reposted the opening below.

But also, note that Book Riot has a "Libraries" tag that you can use to curate the excellent librarian created content they provide every day. 

LIBRARIES

A LIBRARIAN’S PERSPECTIVE ON E-LENDING

Monday, October 25, 2021

Best Books 2021: Publisher's Weekly

The annual onslaught of Best Books has officially begun, with PW setting the pace, as usual, with their EXCELLENT Best Books Website. 

At the end of last week, Publishers Weekly, announced their Best of 2021 in 12 categories across all reading levels, here.

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

Why?

Because no one makes using the backlist of best titles easier than PW.  Look at these screen shots I took of the opening page:



Click on any screen shot to load the page

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

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

The back list is your best friend in RA Service.

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

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

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

And one final reason I love the PW Best Books portal is because it is a whole collection resource. They break titles down by genre, have nonfiction [in a few popular categories], Graphic Novels, YA, Middle Grade, and Picture Books all called out in separate lists. You can help just about every reader with this resource, and it's backlist options. There are hundreds of proven titles to suggest on one easy to use webpage.

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

Friday, October 22, 2021

RA for All Off For Strategic Planning

No blog today because I will be reneged in a full day of meeting for RAILS, including a morning of strategic planning.

This work is extremely important as RAILS serves libraries of every type across half of IL. It deserves my full attention.

There is a post on the Horror Blog though because 31 Days of Horror is an unstoppable force.

Use this break to catch up on 31 Days of Horror. Or, place your order for my new book, if for some reason you haven't gotten your library a copy yet.

Back Monday.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Announcing the Next FREE ARRT Virtual Program: Selling Happily Ever Afters

Please see below for a FREE Virtual Program opportunity from the Adult Reading Round Table, a group I am a member of. I will be there. What about you?



Selling Happily Ever Afters: Secrets from the Romance Book Slingers
Wednesday, November 10, 2021  at 2-4pm  (CST)

 
Join us for this free Zoom program to hear renowned booksellers share their tips and tricks for suggesting romance to readers. Learn the techniques booksellers use that library staff can implement in their libraries, and similarities and differences between the ways these two professions provide reader’s advisory services.
 
Panelists include:
 
Leah Koch – The Ripped Bodice bookstore in CA
Roseann Backlin -  Love’s Sweet Arrow bookstore in IL
Edna Castillo – Barnes & Noble Arboretum in Austin, TX  & Edna’s Emporium
 
Register here

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Using Awards Lists As A RA Tool: The 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Longlist 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. 

This week the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction and Nonfiction 2022 Longlist was announced. From that announcement:

 


Forty-five books (23 fiction, 22 nonfiction) have been selected for the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction longlist. The six-title shortlist—three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals—will be chosen from longlist titles and announced on November 8, 2021. The two medal winners will be announced by 2022 selection committee chair Terry Hong at the Reference and User Services Association’s Book and Media Awards (BMAs) event, during ALA’s first annual LibLearnX on Sunday, January 23rd at 4:30 p.m. Central. The celebratory event, including presentations by the winners and a featured speaker, will take place at the 2022 ALA Annual Conference in June 2022 in Washington, D.C.

What I love about this list is that it is an excellent and reliable go-to resource for "best books" readers and not just those who only prefer literary fiction. [Also, don't underestimate how nice it is to have such a long list of vetted titles].

Because the people on this committee are library workers and booksellers first, the range of titles they are offering for this "literary" award is much more representative of what is best across the publishing landscape-- fiction and nonfiction. 

This award is about the quality of these titles combined with how enjoyable they are to read. This is a realistic list of what is "best" in terms of the writing but also the readability by the average book lover.

And the website has EASY access to all backlist information right at the top of the page with a clickable tab for every single year going back to 2012-- year 1 of this award.

You should not only check your catalogs and make sure you have all 45 books on order or in your collections, but you should also bookmark this website for helping your end of the year patrons looking for a "best book" option. 

They will be coming soon. Patron who only read a book or two a year and want something worth their time. Something others have deemed worthy for them. The Carnegie Medal website can get you something into their hands be it from this year's longlist or from last year's or even further back. They are still worthy, even if from a few years ago, and the chance of them being on the shelf is greater.

Also, this is a reminder to start getting your "Best of 2021" display lists ready. Use the link at the top of this page to access award announcements across all genres, or go to my genre resource page to start compiling lists of all of the books that were nominated for major awards in all genres. 

The year end onslaught is about to begin. Get your ducks in a row now.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

RA for All Virtual Roadshow Opens the LJ/SLJ Evaluating, Auditing, and Diversifying Your Collections Course with Robin Bradford

Today Robin Bradford and I are speaking during the opening session of the new 3 week LJ/SLJ course on Evaluating, Auditing, and Diversifying Your Collections.

We have 45 minutes of conversation planned, using these slides as a guide. Whether or not you are in this session, you can access the slides here. And please note, there are many links to more information and resources including a link associated with every image. So click away and go down the Actively Anti-Racist Service to Leisure Readers rabbit hole with us.

The goal today is for us to set the "ground rules" of what the students can expect from the course. You can find those "ground rules" on slide 3, but if you follow the work Robin and I do even a little, you will not be surprised.

Robin and I will have a conversation that will challenge much of what the average library worker holds dear. We will purposely introduce difficult and uncomfortable situations to challenge you. And then, we will leave 15 minutes for a few questions. If you are in the class though, know that Robin will still be around during the entire course to moderate learning and that the questions you have from our presentation, will help lead you through this valuable course.

I realize this course is expensive, but the slides are free here. And emailing me with your questions [which I pass on to Robin] is also free. Click here or on the RA for All logo from any page to access my contact info page.

Robin and I are committed to doing what we can to help dismantle systemic oppression in public libraries, but we are not naive. We have purposely focused on work on your service to leisure readers because that is our specialty-- her, collection development and me, RA service. Our goal is to shake loose a few of the stones in the towering wall that is systemic oppression with the hope that of they are loosened  you can start dismantling that wall at your institution and throughout your every day work. We have to start somewhere because the status quo over.

For more about the work Robin and I are doing with libraries all over the country, please go to our Actively Anti-Racist Service to Leisure Readers homepage here. That page contains training options and pricing.

Click here to access slides



Monday, October 18, 2021

What I'm Reading: October Booklist Issues

I had a review in each of the October 2021 issues of Booklist. Below are the draft views with extra content.

Also, see the Booklist website for the FREE October issue of The Booklist Reader for a bunch of horror content including an article by me and my fabulous editor Susan Maguire where we break down titles by scare-level. 

I begin with a 100% STAR, a new standalone but Christopher Golden. Honestly, I had very high expectations for this one, and from page one to the final line, it surpassed my expectations. This will be a contender for the best horror novel of 2022.


by Christopher Golden
Jan. 2022. 232p. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (9781250274304); e-book, $14.99 (9781250274311)
First published October 15, 2021 (Booklist).

Golden firmly plants his flag at the top of the Horror-Thriller hybrid mountain with a tale that will chill even the most jaded readers. Tieg, documentary producer, with ghosts in his past, is travelling the Kolyma Highway through Siberia, a road paved with the bones of gulag victims, to scout a village for his next project. The cold is so intense, cars must be left running and people can only survive for minutes outside. As Tieg and his best friend/cameraman travel the road, they meet those who call this place home. But when they get to what they thought was their final destination, the town is deserted. Every villager has fled their homes, into the uninhabitable forest, all except one young, traumatized girl. At the edge of said forest, appears a parnee, a shaman and his animal spirit army, and they are not happy. Opening with a high anxiety sequence, and relentlessly building on the dread of the setting, the ceaseless terror, the unrelenting cold, and the omnipresent, well organized force stalking them, Golden places the action, violence, and fear front and center. However, because it is told from multiple points of view, the character development allows the reader to see that the real threat may actually be human hubris, a realization that ultimately adds a gentleness, depth, and beauty to a story that could have been centered around carnage. Give to fans of emotional, thought-provoking, nature inspired Horror like The Only Good Indians by Jones or Wonderland by Stage.

YA: The combination of non-stop action, fascinating and terrifying setting, and folk horror and nature gone wild elements will draw teens into the story immediately, while the characters will keep them turning the pages, even as the terror increases exponentially. 


Further Appeal: I need to stress that the dread, anxiety, and danger is here from the very first scene and never lets up. 

Here are my notes from as I was reading:

Opening with a high anxiety sequence, the story builds upon the danger, claustrophobia, and freezing temperatures non-stop and that is before the "parnee" comes out of the forest. 

It is told from multiple points of view, allowing the characters to build and the terror burrows even deeper into the reader, the chill searching for warmth anywhere it can find it. 

Violence and fear. 

Human Hubris. What is evil? What is out there? Who is civilized? Answers are not easy and they challenge the very nature of human hubris and reason.. And yet, it is all very real.-- not really so rewrite that. Smack in the face of westerners who think we know it all-- spoiler alert [not really]-- we don’t.

Social commentary about what we really don’t know about the world. How small we are. Golden straight up shows us westerners what jerks we are. The world is large and we think we are better than everyone else, but in reality people live everywhere-- happily and thriving-- and yet we think, how can they?

Chilling [pun intended but also accurate on every level].

Finally, there is a moving tribute to Bruce Springsteen in one of the important subplots. So Bruce fans will love this book. My deceased Father-In-Law was a huge Springsteen fan and he would have loved this book. 

Three Words That Describe This Book: Ceaseless Terror, Strong Sense of Place, Human Hubris

Readalikes: The nature gone wild elements are huge here. The Jones and Wonderland recs, have much to say about human hubris, nature's power, and how we need to respect it more.

I would also eagerly suggest Eden by Tim Lebbon.



Nov. 2021. 452p. illus. Dark Moon, $39.95  (9781949491500); paper, $19.95 (9781949491487); e-book, $8.99 (9781949491494)
First published October 1, 2021 (Booklist).
Critically acclaimed editor Guignard, has outdone himself with this imaginative, eerily realistic,  and  fun anthology showcasing 63 Horror authors from all over the world. Featuring an elaborate frame, including the creation of an alter ego-- the fictional, international paranormal expert Dr. Charlatan Bardot-- numerous illustrations, a stunning cover, and an index, Guignard’s meticulously constructed volume mimics an actual travel guide to haunted places across the globe. Organized by continent, the 27 stories and 36 flash fiction pieces are annotated by Bardot and introduce haunted places that are not houses. Instead readers feel the fear at, for example, a Puerto Rican frozen yogurt stand, an indoor fish market in Sweden, or a clothing factory in the Philippines. Readers could take the included GPS coordinates and explore these places for themselves, except none of it, save the well executed scares, is real, and that may be the creepiest part of all. For fans of original, haunted tales that chill while fully immersing the reader into their creepy spaces such as Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Khaw or the award winning anthology, Echoes edited by Datlow. 

YA: Teens will love this anthology with its winning combination of stellar haunted tales in a variety of sizes, featuring fascinating illustrations, and with its tongue planted firmly in cheek. It is an excellent prompt tool for teen writer groups as well.
Further Appeal From My Notes:

The results, a fantastic Horror anthology that brings the world of Horror right to readers fingertips, and with a stellar list of contributors, a stunning cover, and satisfyingly scary stories, this is a volume that will work with all Horror collections.

It is also a beautiful and well constructed book. Made like an actual travel guide. Care given to the layout. But ultimately it shines because the stories [short and flash] chill and thrill.

Lots of effort into realness here and worth it! Talk about set up and alter ego and intros etc….Index, advertisements for other books by Guignard. It models an actual travel guide with illustrations [no photos because not real]. I
appreciated all the effort to make it seem real.

Literally and figuratively bringing Horror from all over the world to the reader. Diversity in action.

This is FUN.

Haunted everything but houses. Authors from all over the world writing about their homes [mostly]. Nothing typical here.  

Excellent cover that sells itself! Too many authors to mention. Dozens and dozens. Names
you know and ones I have never heard of.

Three Words That Describe This Book: original, strong sense of place, eerily realistic

Further Readalikes: Slade House by Mitchell, Guignard's A World of Horror anthology, Valancourt's World Horror anthology Volume 1 [and I am reading volume 2 for review now]

For those who liked the flash fiction stories, they should run out and read Tiny Nightmares: Very Short Stories of Horror, edited by Lincoln Michel & Nadxieli Nieto. 

Or for flash ghost stories only Ghost Variations: One Hundred Stories by Kevin Brockmeier


Friday, October 15, 2021

LibraryReads: November 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 November 2021 LibraryReads List!

All Her Little Secrets: A Novel 
by Wanda M. Morris
William Morrow Paperbacks

“All is not as it first seems in this thriller set in present-day Atlanta. In-house attorney Ellice is suddenly elevated to corporate general counsel after her boss’s death, but things don’t add up. A beautifully written, entertaining mystery with on-target social commentary about workplace politics and racial and sexual discrimination. For fans of Hank Phillippi Ryan, Attica Locke, and S. A. Cosby.”

—Nina Radakovich, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, Atlanta, GA 
NoveList read-alike: As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall

And now the rest of the list:

The Donut Trap: A Novel 

by Julie Tieu

Avon

“Jas is lost and working in her family's donut shop. When she accidentally follows her crush on Instagram, things start to change. An all-around good book that touches on family dynamics, friendships, and issues faced by recent college grads. For fans of Get a Life, Chloe Brown and The Friend Zone.”

—Suzy Card, Grapevine Library, Grapevine, TX 
NoveList read-alike: Simmer Down by Sarah Smith


The Fastest Way to Fall 

by Denise Williams

Berkley Jove

“Absolutely loved the body-positive message of this fun romance between a lifestyle web reviewer and the fitness coach she’s supposed to be evaluating. Wonderful, well-written characters make this a winner. For fans of Olivia Dade and Kate Clayborn.”

—Rebecca Moe, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo, NY 
NoveList read-alike: Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich


Guild Boss 

by Jayne Castle

Berkley

“In this wonderful return to the Harmony paranormal romance series, Gabriel finds a kidnapped Lucy sitting on a crystal throne with a dust bunny feeding her pizza. Adventure and sexual tension ensue. For readers who enjoy Christine Feehan and Gena Showalter. ”

—Angely Jibaja, Queens Library, Rockaway Park, NY
NoveList read-alike: Illona Andrews

Just Haven't Met You Yet 

by Sophie Cousens

G.P. Putnam's Sons

“When her boss wants more like her “How did you meet?” video interviews, Laura travels to the island of Jersey to explore her parents’ story. She learns the truth about her family, makes friends, learns how to follow her passion in work, and has her own meet- cute. A well-rounded romance novel for fans of One Day in December and Good Luck with That.”

—Heather McIntosh, Botetourt County Libraries, Roanoke, VA 
NoveList read-alike: Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters


A Marvelous Life 

by Freya Markse

Tordotcom

“An Edwardian baronet mistakenly becomes the bureaucratic liaison to a hidden magical society in this trilogy starter. Features great character development and a strong story line weaving fantasy, mystery, and a study in manners, all with a twist of humor. For fans of Zen Cho and V.E. Schwab."

—Courtenay Reece, Millville Public Library, Millville, NJ
NoveList read-alike: KJ Charles


Never Fall for Your Fiancee 

by Virginia Heath

St. Martin's Griffin

“Hugh’s the handsome nobleman and Minerva is his fake fiancee--a fully realized hero and heroine sure to win over many fans in this delightful Regency romantic comedy brimming with appealing characters. For fans of Bridgerton and League of Extraordinary Women.”

—Janet Schneider, Peninsula Public Library, Lawrence, NY 
NoveList read-alike: Any Duchess will Do by Tessa Dare


Noor 

by Nnedi Okorafor

DAW

“What’s the price of harnessing the wind? Who really benefits from "clean" energy? Okorafor explores these themes and more in her tale of a woman who discovers she’s much more than her cybernetic implants. Masterfully written, this is a thoughtful, accessible page turner for fans of Octavia Butler and Martha Wells.”

—Jennifer Ohzourk, West Des Moines Public Library, Des Moines, IA 
NoveList read-alike: The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden


The Sentence 

by Louise Erdrich

Harper

“A weird novel that is occasionally very funny, this is set in Birchbark Books, Erdrich’s own Minneapolis bookstore, which is haunted by the ghost of its most annoying customer. The story moves through the pandemic and the explosion of protests after George Floyd’s murder, but Erdrich's warmth is always there. For readers of Isabel Allende and Tommy Orange.”

—Diana Armstrong, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR 
NoveList read-alike: Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart


The Singles Table 

by Sara Desai

Berkley Jove

“Desai provides so much warmth, humor and heat as Zara, free-spirited lawyer with commitment issues, promises to help driven, entrepreneurial CEO Jake find the woman of his dreams. This opposites-attract romcom is perfect for fans of Farah Heron, Farrah Rochon, and Alisha Rai.”

—Laura Eckert, Clermont Library, Cincinnati, OH 
NoveList read-alike: The Man Ban by Nicola Marsh



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


These Precious Days: Essays 

by Ann Patchett

Harper


Wish You Were Here: A Novel 

by Jodi Picoult

Ballantine Books