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

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

A Discussion of Using Themes to Help Readers

What happens in a book does not matter as much as how the story is told. People don't read for what happens as much as they read for how the story makes them feel. As I like to put it (and how you can see in my Greatest Hits archive), why someone likes the book, not what happens is what we need to focus on as we match books with readers.

But hand in hand with appeal we now also have themes. While appeal describes the feel of a book and is specific to that book, themes are common story elements that pop up in many books and can be applied across genres. Or, to simplify it-- “appeal” is why you like the book you are holding, while “theme,” is about the things in that book that enhance the reading experience and make you want to seek them out in other books.

NoveList has done a great job of fleshing out this idea and developing themes--  story elements that can be applied to books across genres. An example of a theme would be "times slip" or "vengeance is mine" or "fake relationship" or "dark academia."

If you have a NoveList subscription, you can go to the "Browse By" drop down menu at the top of every page and choose "Themes" to learn more and see them applied to titles.

Themes can be a huge appeal factor for many readers, it can be the things they care about more than anything. For example, if someone loves "dark academia" stories, they might not care if the book is character centered or plot centered, methodical or fast paced. For this reader, the "dark academia" theme is what they want, at all costs. 

Also, because they can cross genres easily, it helps us to have a resource that allows us to help readers navigate all of fiction, not just the genres and authors they already know about. I had a reader like this. She loved stories with a "Tudor" frame. She craved them so much she read fiction, nonfiction, all ages levels, any genre that was set in that time period,including speculative fiction and graphic novel formats. For her theme was the top consideration. 

But NoveList is not the only place where themes are discussed; it is just the easiest to search in one centralized location. 

Here is another example. Book Riot recently had this post entitled, "9 Classic Types of Sci-fi Plots." I cross referenced this with the themes list for SF on NoveList [you need a subscription to see it] and there is a lot in common here. This Book Riot list is an excellent starter pack not only to understand common themes in SF but also to see how you can use them in tour RA interactions-- both to make matches and have deeper conversations about why the reader in front of you enjoys a specific type of book.

Yes, this article is organized and presented within the frame of only one genre, but reading this list will allow you to think about the applications to other books as well. Understanding why these plot types are common and the different ways they are applied, begins to ope up your mind to using this knowledge across the entire book landscape.

Check out the SF article here. But there is also one for Horror, Crime Fiction, Mystery. And for Romance, you can use the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books Bookbinder to search by dozens of themes.

What I am trying to show you with this post is that appeal is great; it is our old standby, solid and true. We can quickly get to the heart of why someone likes a specific book and even what kind of book they want to read next by focusing our conversations on the feel of that book through discussing it's storyline, tone, pacing, characters, frame, language, etc... But we can also make connections across books when we add in a consideration of theme as well. This takes a little more time and practice, though.

Take some time to peruse the resources I have mentioned in the post. Orient yourself with the concept of themes. Then actively apply what you have learned to your RA conversations. Start with a trusted patron. Be totally open and honest. Say that you are trying to incorporate "themes" into your tool box of resources you use to help readers. Engage that patron in the conversation and see what you learn.

I think you will find that by considering and discussing theme you will enrich the experience for both you and the reader you are helping.

And if you learn something from this experience that you want to share with all of my readers, contact me so we an talk about a guest post. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

How Fiction Helps Us Cope With the Real World via Self

When I teach Readers' Advisory in general and genres that appeal directly to the emotions, specifically [Horror, Romance, Gentle Reads, and Relationship Fiction], I spend a great deal of time talking about how important reading fiction is to us as humans.

Reading stories of fictional worlds, allows us a safe way to escape our day to day existence while also exploring new places, people, and situations. And because of the public libraries and the work we do to help match readers with the right book for them at that moment in their lives, it is an affordable way to escape.

Matching books with readers based on the feel of the book, not the plot, is at its essence what RA is. It is different from "bibliotherapy" however. We, as public library workers, are not trained to provide actual psychological help to our readers, many of who we barely know. But, we can help them find the right book, author, or even genre, to explore as a way to help themselves in the way they need at that moment. 

We  do this by being the middle person, a match maker, there  to open up the universe of options for them. To navigate the mass of titles and help them narrow down a choice, so they can find what they re looking for-- be it something for just a fun, quick, escape, something deeper, or anything in between.

Today, I want to share an essay by Jennifer Chen, from Self earlier this month entitled, "I Highly Recommend Romance Novels If You're Really Going Through It Right Now," where Chen talked personally about how Romance novels "...saved me when self-help couldn't."

This is a great resource for you, not only to look at the broader RA issues I am talking about, but also to see how a specific genre can provide a much needed real world connection.

If you are anyone who has ever helped any reader-- which should be all of you or why do you read this blog-- this reader reaction to finding the right books for them is a wonderful resource to ward understanding WHY we do this work and WHAT "success" looks like from a reader perspective.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Attack of the Bests Lists 2022: Largehearted Boy's List of Online "Best of 2022" Book Lists

This post is part of my year end "Attack of the Best Lists" coverage. To see every post in my "Best Books 2022" series [and more backlist best options] you can use the best lists tag

Over the last week, many of the to "best lists were announced, including NPR Books We Love (which I talked about in detail here) and the NYT 100 Notable Books. But there are many more, and they are coming fast and furious from now until January. 

As I have said each and every year, I do not try to post every single best list here on the blog. Rather, I choose to highlight those that are especially useful to us as we help public library readers in real time. [Again, NPR Books We Love is at the top of that list].

But, there are a few outlets that do go out of their way to keep track of every BEST list for you all in one place. 

Today I want to highlight my favorite-- Largehearted Boy and their Online "Best of 2022" list of lists.

Click here to enter the master list of lists

You can use this link for 2022's lists of every best list-- in alpha order. From general lists like the NYT one linked above, to super specific ones based on interests or type of publication, this master list of all the best lists is guaranteed to help you identify a title of interest for every patron.

The only problem you may have is that the books your patron wants are checked out because they are on the year's lists. But of course, readers of this blog know how to fix that problem-- the backlist!

One of the reasons I support Largehearted Boy's online lists of lists every year is not only because it is so comprehensive and easy to use, but also, because he makes the backlist access SO easy.

At the bottom of the page there is access to all 15 years of lists. Links to all of the best lists for 15 years, without having to construct a search or even click-- just scroll. I promise you, with the breadth of offerings you will be able to find a "best" read on the shelf for any patron without having to go back further than 1 year or 2. 

So, buckle up for the attack of the best lists to kick into a higher gear, but don't worry about knowing about them all, or missing one-- Largehearted Boy has got you covered. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Fun Display and List Idea: A Thanksgiving Reading Menu via Book Riot

As we move into the Thanksgiving Holiday break, and this blog is off until Monday, I thought I would  share this fun list from Book Riot: 

Pass the cranberry sauce! We’re having mashed potatoes! Hold that thought — before the big Thanksgiving meal/weekend, you’ll need a proper reading list to go with such a banquet. This is not your ordinary reading list. Think of it as a menu for reading. 

If you’ve ever cooked all or some of a big holiday meal, you know that there is a decent amount of waiting time involved. A standard thanksgiving turkey takes 4-5 hours to cook, more if you forget to defrost the turkey on time. 

How to use this menu: while your main course is roasting on the oven, help yourself to some nibbles, appetizers, and drinks. Ahem, flash fiction, short stories, and refreshing nonfiction. For the main course, we’re having a selection of richly detailed 400+ page novels, with sequels to accompany. Then, for dessert, help yourself to a sweet romance or two. Later in the evening, or tomorrow, there’s an assortment of anthologies to satisfy your cravings for a bit of everything. Line up your stacks or load up your ereader and phone with your selections and turn the holiday weekend into a reading challenge. 

No matter how you’re spending the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, finding time to relax and read is always a good idea. 

Click here to read the full menu of book options. 

While I realize it is too late for you to use this list and its menu categories for Thanksgiving 2022, keep this idea in your back pocket for next year, or for many feast based event. It is a fun and interactive idea. It shows people you are thinking outside the box and truly trying to find them a great read. You are not simply giving them books set during the holiday. And it also showcases all of the different types of books you have from a perspective that is not genre based.

Again, click here for he entire article. And thanks for Book Riot for providing it. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Library Journal Offers a Free Online Day of PRH Authors Featuring Me


Click Here to Register

On Thursday, December 8th, Library Journal and School Library Journal are offering an online festival, panels with PRH authors from across the reading landscape. 

You can click here to see the entire free event. I would suggest registering now because you will be able to watch it after the day as well.

Specifically, I will be doing this panel (although we are pre-recording)

11:55 AM–12:45 PM ET | Haunting Tales

Demons, a plague of tornadoes, and haunting legacies stalk these pages. Join authors and a leading horror expert in a conversation about stories and the importance, and influence, of the genre. 


V. Castro, The Haunting of Alejandra (Del Rey)

Jessica Johns, Bad Cree (Doubleday)

James Kennedy, Bride of the Tornado (Quirk Books)

Victor LaValle, Lone Women (One World)

My goal for these events is to not only provide a panel where you learn about the specific titles but also, I make it a priority to allow the authors to let their personalities show. And, I also give them space to teach you more about what horror means to them.

And if you need another reason to register for something that is free and can be viewed on demand, I have already turned in a STAR review of Castro's book for the January issue of Library Journal. You can get a preview here.

I hope you can join all of us who are working hard to provide a fun and useful session.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Attack of the Best Lists 2022: Washington Post

This post is part of my year end "Attack of the Best Lists" coverage. To see every post in my "Best Books 2022" series [and more backlist best options] you can use the best lists tag

The Washington post recently reinstated their standalone Sunday pull out book section-- Book World  This was great news, but even better news, they also rethought their "Best Books" coverage as well.

They have the expected "bests" such as:

And then they threw in a wild card near and dear to my heart:
Literally a list that says everything I always tell you. A book can be "best" at any time. People appreciate a  great read for the read's sake. The average reader does not care when a book came out, just that it is good. I love that the Washington Post is shinning a light on this important point. But then they even went 1 step further with:
In this article, columnist Michael Dirda, contemplates something I am always saying as well, "Books of the past not only add to our understanding. They offer repose, renewal and perspective. Also, they can be fun."

Although we know this already, it is nice to see a major "best" list spending time singing the praises of the backlist.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Genre Updates: Trends in Romance and SF/FSY

Staying up to date with the trends and changes in the genres makes our job easier, whether you are a fan of that genre or not. There are many ways to stay in genre shape and I have a bunch of them listed here.

That is the Becky's Favorite Free Genre Resources page and it is also always linked on my 10 Rules of Basic RA Service page.

Today I have 2 specific resources that you can peruse quickly to get a sense of where 2 popular reading areas heading at this moment.

The first is from the editors at Harlequin, the larger publisher  of romance, writing about what they see as the biggest trends in the genre.

The second is my colleague and friend, Kristi Chadwick, the Science Fiction and Fantasy columnist for Library Journal. She has her SFF Genre Preview (similar to what I write for Horror) in the current issue of LJ and online. In this article she previews key titles and talks about the emerging trends. 

Take a look at these articles today. It won't take long. And then bookmark my Genre Resources page for later. You can systematically go through all of the genres and check in to see what is new and different from the last time you looked. You don't have to do it all at once either. Make a plan to take a close look at each genre at least once a year.

Back Monday-Wednesday next week and then off Thursday-Friday. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Attack of the Best Lists 2022: Time's 100 Must Read Books of 2022

This post is part of my year end "Attack of the Best Lists" coverage. To see every post in my "Best Books 2022" series [and more backlist best options] you can use the best lists tag

In terms of usefulness for you, the public library worker, the very best "best" lists are the ones that think about the average reader and identify titles that are well constructed, engaging, and accessible. They have literary merit, yes, but are not obtuse. They provide new information on a topic or a different perspective, but they are also extremely readable. 

These are titles we can display and suggest with ease. And these are exactly the types of titles Time Magazine gives us each year with their "100 Must Read Books." Here is the link to the 2022 list.

Notice they don't call them "the best," they are "must reads." I love this language. It speaks perfectly to library users. 

This is a list you can display proudly, and quite honestly, having looked through it myself, easily. Easily because you have these books already. Easily because there are mays to promote it via their website, which has a visual representation of each cover that people can scroll through quickly or click on a specific title for an annotation with details. They have both general and specific information with ease.

You can also offer access through your subscription to the magazine itself-- print or digital. In fact, this list provides you with the opportunity to market your magazine access points in general. Many libraries are seeing their magazine usage go way down and while some of it is a larger industry issue, I have also found that when you remind people about the easy Libby access to magazines, they start reading them again.

But wait, there's more. Time has also produced  a video montage that shows each cover. You can click here or on the image below to watch it.

Click here or on the image to see the video

All of these different ways to deliver the list  provides an example of what it means to be truly inclusive. Having a variety of ways for users to take in the information honors all the different ways people prefer to access information. It lets them know that Time cares about them access the list in the manner that is most comfortable to them.

Time is both setting an example of how to be inclusive and providing us the tools we need to follow their example.

Of course, it is not only this list that is a great choice for readers, but also, the backlist of lists. Time has been making this "100 Must Read Books" list since 2019. Here are the backlist links for you to use with your patrons immediately:

Prior to 2019 they did shorter lists, but these "100 books" lists provide you many sure bet options; titles you probably have on the shelf; titles that were labelled "must read" only a few years ago; titles that they surely have not read all 100, but would love if they only knew about them. 

The attack of the best lists have only just begun, and while I will have more updates on some of the most useful lists for our purposes, don't forget to use the backlist options to fill out your displays and add to your suggestions. If something was "best" or "must read" in the last few years, it hasn't lost that status just because the calendar has clicked over. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Short List Announcement

We announced the short list yesterday, but the 15th is always LibraryReads Day so I bumped the official announcement of the ACM Short List to today's blog post. 

Click here to a longer post when I talked about how to use this award as resource.

But today, I want to celebrate our committee and our year of work with this wonderful 6 booklist. Below I have the full announcement, but you can always access the website with access to finalists as well as easy access to every year's long list, finalists and winners here.

All of the title links below go to the Booklist reviewed for each finalist. 

2023 Winners

Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction
Click here to go tot he site

Six books (3 fiction, 3 nonfiction) have been selected as finalists for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. Two medal winners will be announced by 2023 selection committee chair Stephen Sposato at the Reference and User Services Association’s Book and Media Awards live streaming event, during LibLearnX on Sunday, January 29th at 4:30 p.m. CT. 

A celebratory event, including presentations by the winners and a featured speaker, will take place at the ALA Annual Conference in June 2023 in Chicago.

Carnegie Medal winners will each receive $5,000.

Share your favorite Andrew Carnegie Medal shortlist titles on social media using the #ALA_Carnegie hashtag!


David Santos Donaldson.
(Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)

Donaldson delivers a psychologically acute portrayal of a queer Black man crumbling under the weight of personal, historical, and racial trauma. Despite heavy subject material, Kip’s irreverent narration provides moments of memorable levity.

Night of the Living Rez.
Morgan Talty.
(Tin House)

At the heart of this collection of linked stories is David, a member of the Penobscot Nation in Maine, in whose small world Native traditions mix matter-of-factly with binge-watches of The Sopranos. With a clear-eyed and compassionate gaze, Talty reveals the complexity of his characters and the ways they are shaped by their community and their pasts.

The Swimmers.
Julie Otsuka.

(Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC)

In an underground pool, a collective “we” reports the comings and goings of the titular swimmers, regulars who have established their schedules, lanes, and paces with comforting familiarity, until a crack in the pool floor causes upheaval. The water was an essential haven for Alice, whose story aboveground is a polyphonic reveal through her fading memories. Otsuka’s devastating masterpiece is an extraordinary examination of the fragility of human relationships.


Constructing a Nervous System.
Margo Jefferson.
(Pantheon Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC)

Blending the multicolored threads of Black cultural life with memories of her past in this impressionistic memoir, Jefferson reflects on the Black icons who shaped her worldview, from jazz great Bud Powell to legendary entertainer and Resistance hero Josephine Baker. Jefferson is a critic’s critic, turning her keenly honed analysis on herself, her family, and her class, while relentlessly interrogating the broader underlying context of white racism.

An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden World around Us.
Ed Yong.
(Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC)

The animals and their unique perceptual abilities Yong examines here range from the platypus with a bill that detects electric fields, the echolocation prowess of bats and dolphins, the ultrafast vision of killer flies, and the outstanding olfaction of elephants. Yong’s scientific curiosity is contagious, and his writing is empathetic, impeccably researched, imaginative, and entertaining.

Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage.
Rachel E. Gross.
(W.W. Norton & Company)

Realizing that the terminology for what medicine refers to as “the female reproductive system” was insufficient, Gross set out to correct this. The result expertly balances authoritative sources, history, and scientific data with frank discussions by medical professionals, scientists, and people of all genders.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

LibraryReads: December 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.... 


December 2022 LibraryReads List!

The Circus Train

by Amita Parikh

G.P. Putnam's Sons

“Lena is a polio survivor whose father is an illusionist with a traveling circus. One day she rescues Jewish stowaway Alexandre. Growing to be more than friends with WWII looming, the two are torn apart when disaster strikes. A beautiful story mirroring the horrors of war with the innocence of young love, this is for fans of historical fiction and circus tales like Water for Elephants.” 

Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX
Novelist Readalike: The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff

And now the rest of the list!

A Dash of Salt and Pepper

by Kosoko Jackson



"Moving back to his parent’s house after getting fired and dumped feels like failure to MBA graduate Xavier. He believes it’s just a matter of time until he rebounds and gets his old life back. Then he meets Logan–chef, musician, father, utterly irresistible–and finds himself having to choose between love and his career dreams. You won't be able to put down this charming small town romance." 

Alicia Ahlvers, Henrico County Public Library, Henrico, VA 

Novelist Readalike: Chef's Kiss by T.J. Alexander

The Ingenue: A Novel

by Rachel Kapelke-Dale

St. Martin's Press

“Former piano prodigy Saskia returns home after her mother’s death to find her family home has been bequeathed to someone else. Saskia is a believable and tragic figure as she searches for answers to questions that have been years in the making. What makes an ingénue and what destroys her? For fans of My Dark Vanessa.” 

Courtenay Reece, Millville Public Library, Millville, NJ

Novelist Readalike: The Turnout by Megan Abbott

The Light Pirate

by Lily Brooks-Dalton

Grand Central Publishing

“As the effects of climate change begin to overwhelm America, we meet Wanda, a girl born during and named after a devastating hurricane. With civilization faltering in the face of mounting challenges, she must learn to live differently. The depiction of climate change and its effects here are bone-chilling, but Wanda’s resilience is inspiring. For fans of Station Eleven.” 

James Ludy, New Canaan Library, New Canaan, CT

Novelist Readalike: Above the Ether by Eric Barnes

Ms. Demeanor: A Novel

by Elinor Lipman

Harper Perennial

“After a neighbor’s complaint, Jane finds herself with her law license suspended and wearing an ankle monitor for six months. Her sister persuades her to try food blogging and soon Jane’s cooking for another house-arrested tenant while trying to discover the identity of her accuser. This is a breezy fun read with a dash of romance and mystery for fans of Tom Perrotta and Jennifer Weiner.” 

Sharon Hutchinson, Keytesville Library, Keytesville, MO  

Novelist Readalike: The Candid Life of Meena Dave by Namrata Patel

Queen of Myth and Monsters

by Scarlett St. Clair

Bloom Books

“Vampire King Adrian and his beloved Queen Isolde return in this searing erotic romance in which peril hides at every turn. St. Clair takes the reader on another high-stakes thrill ride as the couple works to establish their reign in a dark fantasy realm of mortals and immortals. Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunters.”

Donna Rasmussen, Librarian-at-Large, Northern NJ Libraries

Novelist Readalike: Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost  

Someone Had To Do It: A Novel

by Amber and Danielle Brown

Graydon House

 “An ambitious intern and a conniving rich girl clash in this riveting dual POV thriller set in the world of big New York fashion houses. A fun, fast-paced read with a villain who's a ton of fun to root against! All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris is a similar novel.”

Mara Bandy Fass, Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL

Novelist Readalike: The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

The Sunshine Girls: A Novel

by Molly Fader

Graydon House

“Clara and Abbie are mourning the loss of their mother, BettyKay, when a stranger named Kitty shows up. They attended nursing school, and through diaries and flashbacks, the reader learns about their loves, friendships, and secrets. Well developed characters made this an enjoyable story!” 

Debbie Lease, Hillsdale Public Library, Hillsdale, NJ

Novelist Readalike: The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin

The Widowmaker: A Black Harbor Novel

by Hannah Morrissey

Minotaur Books

“As the case of Clive Reynolds’s disappearance 20 years ago unfolds, Detective Ryan Hudson discovers a link to his partner's murder. Skillfully woven together, the characters draw readers into a web of lies and deceitful actions that will keep them guessing who is the threat until the end.” 

Janet Makoujy, New City Library, New City, NY

Novelist Readalike: When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McClain

Witcha Gonna Do?

by Avery Flynn


"This is a very light magical romance. When a witch with no powers curses her witch family, she must work with her hot nemesis to save her family – and the world from domination.”

Lou Ann Shoultz, Mattoon Library, Mattoon, IL

Novelist Readalike: Go Hex Yourself by Jessica Clare

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 for more sure bet library worker favorites 

A Dangerous Business: A Novel

by Jane Smiley


“In this mystery set during the California gold rush, Eliza Ripple works at a brothel after her husband is killed in a bar fight. When young women start mysteriously disappearing, Eliza and her best friend investigate using sleuthing skills gleaned from Poe’s “Murders in the Rue Morgue.” For fans of the Kopp Sisters series.”

Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon Public Library, Flemington, NJ

Novelist Readalike: Missy by Chris Hannan

A Death in Tokyo: A Mystery 

by Keigo Higashino

Minotaur Books

“A man is stabbed but keeps walking past a police station to die in the middle of a nearby bridge. Later an accident victim is found with the victim's wallet on him. Looking beyond the logical connection, Detective Kaga keeps digging to determine what really happened. A deliciously puzzling mystery that will be perfect for fans of Sherlock Holmes.”


Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

Novelist Readalike: Inspector Chen Cao series by Xiaolong Qiu

A Hard Day for a Hangover: A Novel

by Darynda Jones

St. Martin's Press

“Though her rebellious daughter survived a murder attempt just last week, Sheriff Sunshine Vicram is back on the job. Meanwhile, drama with her longtime crush Levi Ravinder is distracting her from solving a series of crimes involving women going missing in their small town.”

Seanean Shanahan, Douglas County Libraries, Parker, CO 

Novelist Readalike: Detective Betty novels by Kathleen Kent

Well Traveled 

by Jen DeLuca


“Fed up with her demanding boss, lawyer Louisa “Lulu” Malone quits her job while visiting a Renaissance Faire. She continues traveling with the Faire, which means spending time with Dex MacLean of the Dueling Kilts musical troupe, who can’t believe Lulu is immune to his charms. Readers will have a hard time putting this rom-com down!”

Brenda O’Brien, Woodridge Public Library, Woodridge, IL 

Novelist Readalike: Spoiler Alert series by Olivia Dade