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, September 30, 2022

RA for All Greatest Hits: Share Why Someone Would Enjoy a Book NOT What Happens

Today's entry in the RA for All Greatest Hits series is one of  the tenants of RA Service, "Share Why Someone Would Enjoy a Book, Not The Plot." When we share book suggestions with readers we don't want to spend our time sharing the plot. What happens in a story is something that the reader will experience on their own. You can frame the story for them to prime them for how it begins, but when we are trying to match books with readers, the key is in the appeal-- how the story is told.

The post below not only reminds people of this foundational RA concept, but it also explains how you can easily articulate the appeal of a book by using both professional and reader based resources-- without every reading said book.

More below, but I would also like to add this exercise to the post. Take the last book you finished that you greatly enjoyed-- or an all time favorite-- and then look it up in NoveList and Goodreads as I mention below. Compare the professional reviews, appeal factors, and readalikes from NoveList with the "shelves" and reviews from 5 stars to 2 stars on Goodreads. Get a sense of why you and other like [or don't like] this book.

Now do the same thing but with a book you know about, but haven't read yet. Even better if you pick a favorite of a coworker and ask them why they like it first and then do the exercise described above second. You can compare their experience to what the resources teach you. 

Adding this exercise to the post will help you to practice and see the concept in "action."

For more of RA for All's Greatest Hits click here.


Share Why Someone Would Enjoy a Book, Not The Plot

Sometimes I feel like a broken record, but then I remember that many of you encounter this blog at different points in your careers  so today I just want to post a quick reminder about how and why we do this job of helping leisure readers.

When we talk about books with patrons we do not need to spend more than a single sentence on the "plot," and that sentence, or even just phrase, is more to frame the book within the vast of universe of the entirety of the publishing world.

What we need to all focus on is WHY someone would want to read it. That is the information you need to  share. The plot they can read on the back of the book, but how the story is told, that is why they will like it or not.

And here is the best news for you-- articulating how the story is told is super easy to find via resources. Bonus: if you haven't read the book yourself it is even easier! That is mostly because you will only use resources to articulate appeal rather than introduce your version of the book.

In terms of the best resources to do this, I have a two pronged attack-- Professional Book World resources and Reader Driven resources. This insures you get the book world opinion and actual reader comments. Using them in combination is both efficient and effective.

For the Professional opinion, the best place to go is NoveList because they have multiple resources in one place. You can find the professional reviews from the major journals and the appeal terms and themes assigned by NoveList. Pairing the main entry for a title with the reviews is one of the best ways to get a sense of why someone would enjoy the book. You can even read the appeal terms and some of the key points from the review right from the database to your patron.

For the Reader Driven option, I like Goodreads. Look, there are issues with Goodreads, it is not perfect, but it is where the largest number of reviews, from actual readers, are available. I always suggest checking 4 star and 2 star reviews to get a sense of why a book really worked or didn't work for a particular reader. This gives you a 360 degree view of the appeal of the book to a casual leisure reader. The only better resource for this is chatting with a patron at the desk.

Goodreads also has another one of my favorite reader driven resources-- the "shelves" people place a book on. Go on, look up a recent favorite read. Here is the entry for Plan Bad Heroines by Emily Danforth [I just gave it a star in LJ and it is out next week]. I picked this book because it has wide appeal. Toward the top of the right gutter you will find a "Genre" chart for every book. Here is a screen shot of the one for Plain Bad Heroines.

As you can see in the image, you can also click on "See top shelves..."for more. These shelves are the terms real readers use to classify their books. Let's use this example to show how you use these. This novel is a Gothic, historical, horror novel with a mystery at its heart and a strong lesbian frame. Those  things are all reflected in those terms above, but which is the most important to your reader?

If  someone mentions they like this book because it is historical, you are looking in different places for a readalike than those who identify the mystery as their biggest appeal. But because Goodreads crowdsources all of  the data, you can simply click on those terms that real readers use to find more similar titles.

This resource does not always make as much sense as NoveList but that is because it a product  of real readers' brains. Think about yourself. We all have books we enjoy  equally that on paper seem to not have anything in common. And yet, to us they do. Goodreads replicates the randomness of  people and their opinions in a way no professional resource can. I am not exaggerating when I say that there have been numerous times when I clicked n a user generated adjective like "spooky," to help a patron and got better results than using the controlled NoveList language-- because people don't always make algorithmic sense.

But I never have matched a book based on its plot. Maybe its frame, which many might consider plot [it's not], but never on what actually happens. It is always about how the story unfolds, the narrative choices the author makes, and if the reader likes how it all comes together to tell that plot that matters.

Stop focusing on what happens and start sharing why the reader might enjoy it. Use the resources, not your personal experience to share that. Trust me, you will have less stress and happier readers. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

RA for All Road Show Visits the Missouri Library Association Conference

Click here for the conference site

For the next two days I am in Springfield Missouri for the Missouri Library Association Conference. You can click here for the full schedule.

My appearance is sponsored by LibraryReads. One of LibraryReads' current priorities is to fund RA training at state library association conferences. The goal is to get more basic RA training into as many states as possible to train those who are at the state conferences and have them bring it back to their staff.

I have been appearing at state and regional library conferences for years, so I know the drill. I am glad that LibraryReads is making it possible for me to be here. You can click here for access to all of my programs via the conference website

I begin with a half-day preconference this morning from 9am-12pm. 

  • 9-10:30: RA for All: Flip the Script and Think Like a Reader [Slides]
  • 10:45-Noon: Booktalk Your Way to the Friendliest Library in Town [Slides]
After a lunch break, I will be an attendee at this LibraryReads and NoveList joint program.

Then tomorrow:

  • 9am-10:45am: Actively Anti-Racist Service to Leisure Readers w/ discussion time included. [Slides]
  • 11-11:45: Horror RA: Hew to Help Your Scariest Patrons [Slides] with my HWA Library Committee Co-Chair, Konrad Stump and NoveList Horror expert, Yaika Sabat.
Speaking of NoveList, at the end of the Booktalking and Anti-Racist programs there is a teaser slide from NoveList about a BRAND NEW learning opportunity that  I will be doing for them with Robin Bradford. Both Robin and I are very excited about being able to bring our training to more people in a new way. 

Any of you can see the teaser but the full details will be coming very soon. We can't wait to share it with you, but first, I will be seeing some of you here in Springfield, MO.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Best Graphic Novels Reading Lists and the GNCRT

The Graphic Novels and Comic Round Table [GNCRT] is a newer division of the American Library Association. Their job is to provide information, programing, and best lists for the format much like the other ALA based best lists.

Today, I wanted to  point you to there because the lists they have been creating are excellent for collection development, display, and suggestions across all age levels.

Click here to get to their "Best Graphic Novels Reading Lists." They have a list for 2020, 2021, and their nominations list for 2022. Lists are broken up by audience, adult and children, as well as fiction and nonfiction. What I love about the final annual list is that they pick a top 10 overall and then have the full honors list below. There are many titles and they are all vetted by experts.

Also as you can see, all years' lists are linked on the main page, which makes the backlist super easy to access.

But what surprised me, and what I found super useful, was the fact that they have a running list of the nominated titles for the current award year. Click here to see the titles that have been nominated and seconded by a committee member already this year.  This list is a wonderful, real time, resource. Since the critical coverage of GNs is way too low considering their popularity and, quite honestly, excellence, I love that the GNCRT does this. It helps to elevate the format and provides more resources for those curating collection and helping patrons. As someone who bought for a well funded and popular GN collection from 2000-2015, I would have loved to have a resource like this. 

As great as these lists are, however, I would like to bring up a larger, gatekeeping issue. These lists are for a format. A format that is better than the awards landscape gives it credit for. Just because this official ALA GNCRT Best List committee exists that does not mean that all GNs are now excluded from genre or even literary awards.

I truly believe that the very best GNs are among our very best books [period]. Just as I believe that genre books can be among our very best books [period]. Just like a books can win the Coretta Scott King Award AND the Newbery Medal. Just because a "Black" focused book award exists, that does not mean those books get the Coretta Scott King Award and that is enough. They are also eligible for the overall best awards and have won.

And yet, while this last statement is well accepted now, we need to remember it took decades of the Coretta Scott Award until people accepted this. The argument was, well there is a "Black" award already so we don't need to honor those books with the overall award as well. And that was a common discussion. Now it seems wrong, but I assure you, it was COMMON.

The same thing happens with Graphic Novels. Only Maus has ever broken through, and it took a "special" award to make it happen. Because GNs are a format, the fight to mainstream the very best into our awards conversations is not as urgent as those that are race or ethnicity or religion or ability based [we have ALA awards for all of those things as well], but if we are striving to be as inclusive as possible, we need to  consider BEST as BEST regardless of if the story is told with pictures. And, I would argue, some books are better told as a marriage between words and pictures. 

Sorry for the side rant, but this is something I am in the midst of and trying to work out. Back to the wonderful work of the GNCRT.

Keep this page bookmarked because the GNCRT is doing great work and they have proved that they are here to stay and keep doing great work for years to come.

Friday, September 23, 2022

RA for All Greatest Hits: Library Books Are Not Free, They Are Pre-Paid

Today's entry in the RA for All Greatest Hits series is one of my most popular posts, something I remind people of as often as I can, and something that I have gotten others to adopt-- the reminder that we should NEVER tell patrons that the items and services we offer are free. They are NEVER free. Every single person pre-pays for library service in the form of some type of taxation. And yes, renters pay too because those costs are worked into rent. 

Long time readers knew this one was coming soon.

For more of RA for All's Greatest Hits click here.


Call to Action: Stop Spreading the Fake News That Library Books Are Free

Today I have a quick Call to Action, one that is very easy for all of you to start doing right now. It is a small language change, but it can make a huge difference for our entire profession. Here it is:
You need to stop telling people that our services are free and instead say they are PRE-PAID.
First, "free" is NOT accurate. People do not pay to check out the books and movies as they borrow them, but everyone does pay for the library and its services through their tax dollars. Yes, even renters pay because their rent pays for the taxes for the owner of the building.

We are a profession which is all about accuracy, about combatting "fake news," and yet we perpetuate our own fake news by telling people our services are free.

Reminding people that for example, they can take more than 1 book because they are free is NOT TRUE. They have paid for them, just earlier, as part of their taxes. We need to be more accurate on principle, yes but there is more to it.

Second, when we aren't being honest about the cost of our services, when we dismiss them as "free," we lull our patrons into a false sense that these services will always be there no matter what. If they forget that they have paid for these services as taxes, when the talk of tax freezes or tax cuts comes around, it will be much easier for the public to argue for cutting the library's tax line because they forget that they pay for it. All that "free" talk means they aren't reminded about the actual cost.

We need to be advocates for the good feels that the library gives people and equate that as a cost benefit. I live in a high tax area. I get it. But when my friends and neighbors complain about their taxes, I remind them what a great deal they are getting through the library [and the schools]. I tell people to think what it would actually cost them to check out those materials, stream those shows, buy audio books, go to great programs, etc.... Now look at your library tax line. It is a steal.

We have to talk about the money openly, honestly, and accurately or we will loose the financial support we need to survive.

Third, and this one is just human nature, people don't value things that are free as much as they value things they pay for. Reminding people, frequently, that they have pre-paid for the library and all of its services, elevates the value of the institution.

Every time you remind patrons that the services and items they are so please with are PRE-PAID you are advocating for your public library, actually for every public library. You are advocating for the institution itself. You are advocating for equal service to all, everywhere, all of the time.

But every time you tell people the service is free, you are undermining everything. I know you think you are trying to help by letting people know there is no charge at the time of service, but there is a charge. We have budgets, budgets that are shrinking. We do a lot with very little already, any less and we will disappear. People need to know that. They need to realize that their tax dollars are key to our survival.

So please, consider using PRE-PAID when you talk about user costs of our services. And remind them often so that if a time comes when people in your town start talking about budget cuts, they won't even consider the library's tax line. Why? Because that line is one they respect, one they use, one they know has monetary value, one that isn't free, one that requires dollars to survive. And it is our responsibility to stop the fake news of free and accurately proclaim...PRE-PAID!

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Reminder of the #HorrorForLibraries Giveaway and 31 Days of Horror

Today I am cross posting with the Horror blog as a reminder that I have been giving away Horror books to any library worker for 29 months now and to tease the impending 31 Days of Horror, back for it's 11th year. See below for all of the details, and enter now!

#HorrorForLibraries Giveaway 99: Wayward by Chuck Wendig

99th giveaway! Hard to believe even for me, the one who visits the post office every week to send the winners.

Well if there was every a time to start start celebrating it is as I inch toward my 100th giveaway here on the Horror blog. It all started back on April 30, 2020 with this giveaway of a book that would go on to win the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection. And here we are today, 29 months later on the cusp of my 100th giveaway [more on that giveaway at the end of this post] AND with October and my annual 31 Days of Horror just over a week away.

It seems the right time to go BIG and I am doing just that today with a giveaway of one of the "biggest" titles coming this Fall, big in both high anticipation and actual size. Details on this week's giveaway below, but first, the weekly reminder on how to enter:

  1. You need to be affiliated with an American public library. My rationale behind that is that I will be encouraging you to read these books and share them with patrons. While many of them are advanced reader copies that you cannot add to your collections, if you get the chance to read them, my hope is that you will consider ordering a copy for your library and give away the ARC away as a prize or pass it on to a fellow staff member.
  2. If you are interested in being included in any giveaway at any time, you must email me at zombiegrl75 [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line "#HorrorForLibraries." In the body of the email all you have to say is that you want to be entered and the name of your library.
  3. Each entry will be considered for EVERY giveaway. Meaning you enter once, and you are entered until you win. I will randomly draw a winner on Fridays sometime after 5pm central. But only entries received by 5pm each week will be considered for that week. I use Random.org and have a member of my family witness the "draw"based off your number in the Google Sheet.
  4. If you win, you are ineligible to win again for 4 weeks; you will have to re-enter after that time to be considered [I have a list of who has won, when, and what title]. However, if you do not win, you carry over into the next week. There is NO NEED to reenter.

Click here to see giveaway #98. Our winner was Christy from San Diego [CA] Public Library. Now on to this week's giveaway.

Wayward by Chuck Wendig is the highly anticipated sequel to Wanderers. Click here for my review of Wanderers. 

I read Wayward back in August and my GLOWING review will be in the October 2022 issue of LJ, but if you use this link you can get a preview. Spoiler alert....it is good. And it moves briskly even at 800+ pages. Here is one thing I really loved about the book from those review notes:

There was a heartbreakingly beautiful ending that not only tied up the world and the story but also was a nice payoff for those who were reading every word along the way. [Not going to spoil].

I am a sucker for a heartbreakingly beautiful ending but I also love when an author takes the time to make every detail matter. In an 800+ page book that is hard, but in my opinion, Wendig did that extremely well. Not just in the ending, across all 800+ pages this holds true. As a reader, that is very satisfying. 

I also want to use this time, as I have your attention, to tease an event I am moderating featuring Chuck Wendig, Gabino Iglesias, Linda Addison, Cynthia Pelayo, Hailey Piper, and Lisa Morton. It will be for the Book and Author Society on Monday, October 17th from 7-8:15 Eastern. More information soon, but it is virtual and FREE. I am super excited to talk Horror with this amazing range of authors.


And now, as promised, we end today with news about next week. To celebrate giveaway 100 I will have at least 5 winners. I am considering more. And the giveaway is courtesy of my HWA Libraries Co-Chair Konrad Stump and his work for the Missouri Library Association Annual Conference. I will be there LIVE to grab some of the books he solicited for attendees and I will even be participating in a Horror Book Buzz [more on that on the general blog next week]. You don't want to miss that give away or this one for that matter.

Get on it. Follow the directions above and enter yourself. Again, once you are entered you stay entered until you win. And it is not just next week you want to be in for. I have another copy of Wayward to give away, at least 2 copies of Stephen Graham Jones' newest, a bound galley of the upcoming V. Castro's Big 5 release, books by Zoje Stage, Daniel Kraus, and so much more. 

And don't forget, 31 Days of Horror is coming October 1. You will want to visiting the Horror blog every day next month for all of your Spooky RA needs.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Banned Books Week Mid-Week Updates

I am jumping in mid-week to share more Banned Books Week Coverage. But before that, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, If you are doing any promotion or displays this week, everything you do should focus on the books that are being challenged RIGHT NOW! Do not spend your time with classics and why they were challenged in the past. 

Here is a reminder form the post I did Friday about how to celebrate the Freedom to Read this week.

As always, please go to Book Riot's Censorship coverage at least a few times a week, every week here.

EveryLibrary Institute is doing a lot of the real work to help libraries fight attacks on the freedom to read. You can go here for all of their work, but specifically, for Banned Books Week they released the results of their report on voters onions about Book Banning and the news is good. Click here for all of it and it is immediately below:

Some of the key findings were as follows: 

  • Nearly all American voters (92%) have heard at least something about book banning.
  • Half of voters believe there is “absolutely no time when a book should be banned.”

  • Only 8% of voters think “there are many books that are inappropriate and should be banned.” 

  • 31% of Republicans think there is absolutely no time when a book should be banned. 

  • 75% of voters will consider book banning when voting for legislators. 

  • 50% of Voters find the legislation being created to regulate Americans’ access to books most concerning.

  • Voters have favorable feelings about their libraries (69%) and librarians (66%) and their schools (53%) and school librarians (62%).
  • Only 18% of voters support banning books that focus on race and CRT, and only one-third of voters support banning books that discuss sexuality.

The poll was conducted by Embold Research, a nonpartisan research firm. Embold surveyed 1,123 registered voters from August 31st-September 3rd with a margin of error of 3.4%. The survey looked at the differences in beliefs among voters segmented by age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, and 2020 presidential vote. 

Now that we know people don't want books banned, we need to convince those people to go vote or, even better, run for office.

In less good news, PEN America released a report "Banned in the USA," specifically during this week to draw as many eyes on to it as possible. It is an update to the April 2022 report they also released. All of the information is here. READ IT.

Please make sure you take time to look at these 2 important and nuanced reports. You need to understand the issue so you can explain it to your patrons. This is not about Catcher in the Rye or Huckleberry Finn being challenged. This is about an organized effort by well funded political groups trying to decide for EVERYONE what books are are allowed for you to read. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Resource Alert: BuzzFeed Books for Conversation Starters

I normally avoid BuzzFeed, mostly because it is too much for me-- too busy, too much information, too distracting. But, recently, I was reminded that they have a useful 2x a week "Books" newsletter. [Honestly, I cannot remember where I heard about it most recently, but I think it was a podcast.]

I subscribed, and so far, I have been glad I did. You can click here for their books coverage, but I wanted to point out a few of the articles and lists which I found the most useful in the past month or so:

What these lists all have in common is that they are about starting conversations about books and reading. Yes they post a bunch of lists like everyone else, but they also balance it with these great ideas. You can use BuzzFeed books to help you get started with more interactive displays and RA service. They give you an eye-catching talking point and the books to start the display or list. Then you just have to run with it. 

If nothing else, BuzzFeed books coverage reminds us that people love to talk about books as much as they love to read them. We often forget this as we work in the library. Our patrons want a chance to TALK about the books they love, the books they are excited about, the books they found fascinating. We are the perfect place for them to do this talking, and yet, too many libraries don't encourage this type of sharing, this dialog, this relationship building.

The excuse is often that it is too hard and we don't have enough time. Well, subscribe to the BuzzFeed Books Newsletter and I just countered your excuse.

Monday, September 19, 2022

What I'm Reading: The Black Maybe

In the most current issue of Booklist, I have a review of another first time in English collection from Valancourt. As usual it is excellent and you should buy it for your collections. [Click here for more reviews of titles in the Valancourt World Horror series. ]

The Black Maybe: Liminal Tales
by Atilla Veres
Oct. 2022. 310p. Valancourt, $29.99 (9781954321694); paper, $17.99 (9781954321700)
First published September 15, 2022 (Booklist).

Veres, Hungary’s leading Horror author was first brought to the attention of English speaking readers in the critically acclaimed Valancourt Book of World Horror Stories Vol 1. With his first full length English language debut, a collection of original stories situated at the sensory threshold where dread teeters on the precipice of terror, Veres presents 10 tales covering a range of  Horror subgenres, united by an unnerving, matter of fact narration, contemporary settings, and a quick flip from mundane to sinister. Set either in urban city centers, like the creepy found document framed “Fogtown,” featuring an obscure but possible deadly band, or rural locales, such as the immersive and beguiling “Return to the Midnight School,” where what appears to be zombie story grows into an original, weird, and disquieting nightmare. Horror master, Steve Rasnic Tem, who writes the introduction, is a great read alike here, but the feel of Veres’ stories also share a lot in common with Asian Horror creators such as Nadia Bulkin or Junji Ito.

Further Appeal: This book was just shy of a star review. I would give it 4.5 stars. The story I call out above pushed it to maybe a star. I hope that story is read by a lot of people. It blew me away with its originality and how it made me feel. I am purposely being vague so you can experience it with no context, too much context would ruin it.

What I think readers will enjoy about these stories the most are the unnerving, matter of fact narration and the contemporary settings. Yes, these tales are set in Hungary, but they are mostly set now and western readers will not have trouble orienting themselves. I also loved how every story seemed normal or predictable until it wasn't.

Three Words That Describe This Book: matter of fact narration, unsettling, translation

Further Readalikes: One of my all time favorite Horror books is The Caretaker of Lorne Field by Zeltserman, and the Midnight School story is a great readalike for this, but then when I thought about it more, I think Zeltserman in general I an excellent readalike author as he uses the same unnerving, direct narration that makes everything that is happening, no matter how scary, seem "normal."

Friday, September 16, 2022

Celebrate the Freedom to Read Week NOT Banned Books Week

This is going to be my only post about "Banned Books Week," which begins on Sunday. Why? 2 reasons.

First, I want you to stay away from "Banned Books" language. We need to make the narrative about the real issue here, the infringement on people's freedom to read what they want. It is fine if you don't want to read something, but you CANNOT force others to not have access to it as well. Focusing on the "banning" undermine how serious this fight it. So if you are doing promotion for the week, consider changing your language to Celebrating the Freedom to Read. This is what is actually at stake.

Second, I am not an expert on this issue. I am someone who is fighting the good fight, but Book Riot, under the editorial direction and tireless work of Kelly Jensen, is leading here. As I have been for months, I and passing on their censorship coverage to you. I will be retweeting their coverage. Spend your time on Book Riot on this issue, not here on RA for All.

Specifically I have three posts I want you to have read before you get up your "Banned Books Display" this weekend, but I encourage you to use the Book Riot censorship tag for more information as well. 

Here is an article entitled, "Celebrating Banned Books Week 2022,"by Nikki DeMarco. This article breaks down the importance of "celebrating" this week and links to virtual programs you can offer.

And here is the one you MUST READ. "How to Create a Good Banned Books Display," by Kelly Jensen. From the intro:

Banned Books Week is coming, which means that waves of displays in libraries, classrooms, and bookstores are also incoming. We’re already seeing many, and while they are useful for highlighting the reality of censorship across America to those who are not as tapped into the news about it, too many banned books week displays are outdated and do not accurately reflect the reality of censorship right now. Banned Books Week displays continue to rely on older classics that have been historically challenged or removed. But to make a true impact — and to be accurate and effective in messaging — it’s time to rethink the Banned Books Week displays and make them more up-to-date and include a call to action.

Click here to read the steps with links. Its includes a great graphic.  Please consider everything Jensen has to say before you put up a display. 

Finally, here is her brand new article which is a list of 7 action items to do next week. I have done or will be doing many of these. 

I urge you to follow her lead, as I do.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

LibraryReads: October 2022

    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.... 


October 2022 LibraryReads List!

Mad Honey: A Novel 

by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan

Ballantine Books

“First love between golden boy Asher and intriguing new girl Lily ends with one teen dead and the other under suspicion of murder. This stellar collaboration is more layered, surprising, and emotional than any story has a right to be- and readers should eagerly devour every page. For fans of: The Bad Daughter, and Defending Jacob.”

—Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY 
NoveList read-alike: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

And now the rest of the list...

Anywhere You Run: A Novel 

by Wanda M. Morris

William Morrow Paperbacks

“This fast-paced heart stopper is set in Jim Crow Mississippi, where two sisters are on the run after a murder in their town. And as they run, their secrets follow. With pulse- pounding suspense that’s also filled with empathy and hope, give this to fans of historical thrillers such as Lady in the Lake and American Spy."

—Carol Ann Tack, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY 
NoveList read-alike: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Demon Copperhead: A Novel 

by Barbara Kingsolver


“From abusive foster homes to the collapse of the coal and tobacco industry and rise of the opioid epidemic, this masterpiece follows one of the most unforgettable characters in recent literary history, who comes-of-age in an Appalachian Virginia community filled with people of extraordinary character. For fans of Dopesick and Raising Lazarus.”

—Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier Public Library, Warrenton, VA 
NoveList read-alike: Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty

The Family Game 

Catherine Steadman

Ballantine Books

“Novelist Harriet “Harry” Reed is blissfully engaged to the scion of the Holbeck family, a clan with the money and power to hide the darkest secrets. Harry knows something about secrets herself, but when she embarks on a mysterious game with the Holbecks, she realizes they’re stranger, and more dangerous, than fiction. For fans of Ruth Ware.”

—Jenifer French, Shreve Memorial Library, Shreveport, LA 
NoveList read-alike: The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous

Hester: A Novel 

by Laurie Lico Albanese

St. Martin's Press

“This darkly bewitching reimagining of The Scarlet Letter centers Isobel Gamble as Hester. Estranged from her poppy-addled husband, Isobel works as a talented seamstress in puritanical Salem. A friendship with Nat Hathorne blooms into forbidden intimacy, highlighting America’s cruel and dangerous double standards. Try The Daughter of Dr. Moreau or other new takes on classics.”

—Lori Hench, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD
NoveList read-alike: The Whale by Mark Beauregard

Jackal: A Novel 

by Erin E. Adams


“Liz goes back to her small hometown for a wedding, but then Caroline, her friend’s biracial daughter, goes missing. Liz discovers that black girls go missing yearly, but the police don’t care, so she hopes to uncover this serial killer. This is a well- written suspense novel with supernatural elements. The plot was well-paced, and there were enough twists.”

—Claire Sherman, Clearwater Countryside Library, Clearwater, FL 
NoveList read-alike: Red X by David Demchuck

Lavender House: A Novel 

by Lev AC Rosen

Forge Books

“This mystery, just a step past cozy, is set in 1950s San Francisco, where a P.I. is hired by a woman who needs to know the truth about the death of her wife. When he discovers their home is a protective haven for a found family of queer couples, it opens his eyes. This is an absorbing, locked-room mystery that works in commentary.”

—Rebecca Swanson, Fitchburg Public Library, Fitchburg, WI 
NoveList read-alike: Last Call at the Nightingale by Katharine Schellman

Mistakes Were Made: A Novel 

by Meryl Wilsner

St. Martin's Griffin

“Cassie and Erin hook up at a bar, but then unexpectedly meet again the next morning at breakfast with Parker, Erin's daughter and Cassie’s friend. This affecting romance is steamy. The tension is from their "forbidden" relationship--and it's because they're lying to Parker, not because they're bi or the age gap. For fans of Alexandria Bellefleur.”

—Cari Dubiel, Twinsburg Public Library, Twinsburg, OH 
NoveList read-alike: You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akweze Emezi

Our Missing Hearts: A Novel 

by Celeste Ng

Penguin Press

“Can a book shout quietly? This one does. In a dystopian society desperately seeking scapegoats, young Bird’s missing mother is deemed “un- American.” He traverses a perilous landscape in search of her: What’s left when a country sells its soul for a semblance of security? Unforgettable and heartbreakingly beautiful. For fans of Margaret Atwood and Octavia Butler."

—Beth Mills, New Rochelle Library, New Rochelle, NY
NoveList read-alike: The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

Station Eternity 

by Mur Lafferty


“A science fiction murder mystery that was a blast to read, cinematically written with amazing characters. Lafferty introduces new aliens and their culture slowly enough to take in the details. The plot is Murder She Wrote meets sentient Deep Space Nine. It‘s all over the place but comes together satisfyingly.”

—Carri Genovese Indianapolis Public Library, Indianapolis, IN 
NoveList read-alike: Dead Space by Kali Wallace

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 

Little Eve [Link is to Becky's Booklist Star Review]

by Catriona Ward

Tor Nightfire

Partners in Crime: A Novel 

by Alisha Rai


Such Sharp Teeth [Link is to the LJ Star Review]

by Rachel Harrison