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, April 28, 2023

RA for All Meetings

I will be in a meeting all day which requires a 2.5 hour drive each way. So, you will need to fend for yourselves until Monday.

If you are interested in Library System Boards, this is the meting I will be at. You could check out the agenda and even watch us from Coal Valley, IL. I am serious by the way. All library workers should be more involved with the larger systems that overlay their specific library be it county or regional system (in this case). 

Maybe today you can investigate your own larger system, look up when they meet, explore their website, and at the very least, learn about a new service or even better, find a way to volunteer or get involved. 

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Using Awards Lists As a RA Tool: Niche Awards Round-Up

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.

We all know about the major awards (speaking of, the Edgars will be announced tonight and live-streamed here. I am actively rooting for The Devil Takes You Home for the to prize), but often it is with the more niche awards that we can make better, and more impactful suggestions to our readers. Why? Because these are titles they would not know about without our help.

There are so many awards given out all of the time. It is hard to keep up. That is why I actively remind everyone to subscribe to PW Daily, Shelf-Awareness (Book Trade version), and BookPulse. They are paid to stay on to of it all so you don't have to waste your time scouring the web for revenant book news. I get all of the book news that is most relevant to my job delivered to my email every day. There is a lot of overlap, but since their missions are slightly different, I always find something unique from one that the others did not provide. 

Here are some of the more useful niche award announcements I have been gathering over the past few days from those sources. Click through on each link for more details:

Remember, you can use these current lists and their backlists of nominees and winners for suggestions, displays, and to round out your collections.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Big News for the Summer Scares Authors Panels!

I can finally announce this! 

In past years, the Summer Scares committee has hosted panel discussions with the authors-- one panel per age group-- and we posted them on the HWA You Tube channel for free.

This year, however, we have coordinated with our Summer Scares partner, Booklist to take advantage of their robust, regularly scheduled, FREE webinars, and have scheduled all 3 panels to be offered live with easy, free on-demand access.

The first one features the Middle Grade authors and is Friday, May 12 at 1 pm CT. Julia Smith, from Booklist and our Summer Scares MG expert will be moderating.

By working with Booklist for these webinars we can now give the Summer Scares program a larger reach. The webinar announcements will end up on the radar of thousands of library workers. We also have gotten more buy in from the publishers than we ever have before, again, because they trust Booklist webinars. And we can take advantage of the archiving of past programs which Booklist does so well. Library workers already know to go to that archived webinars page to look for training of any kind, on demand, and for free.

Sign up for the MG panel today with this link. Or pass it on to your YS staff. The YA panel will be later in May and the Adult in early June. I will announce them all on both blogs just as I am doing this MG announcement today.

I will also add the link to the archived webinar after it happen to the Summer Scares Resources page. And those Summer Scares pages get archived as well here. Which means, not only can you watch this year's panels after they happen at this link, but also, you can still easily access those old YouTube discussions at this link.

I hope you join us!

Summer Scares Middle-Grade Panel  

Date & Time: May 12, 2023 01:00 PM CT

Description: Gather ‘round the campfire for a spine-tingling discussion of this year’s middle-grade horror selections for the Summer Scares Reading Program, a program designed for libraries by the Horror Writers Association, in partnership with United for Libraries, Book Riot, and Booklist. Books for Youth senior editor Julia Smith will gab with Summer Scares authors Katherine Arden (SMALL SPACES), K. G. Campbell (A SMALL ZOMBIE PROBLEM), and Dan SaSuWeh Jones (LIVING GHOSTS & MISCHIEVOUS MONSTERS) about all things horror and why scary stories belong on children’s shelves, both at home and at the library. This free, one-hour webinar will take place on Friday, May 12th at 1 pm CT / 2 pm ET. Register now, or the banshees will haunt you forever. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Booklist Relationship Fiction Spotlight w/ a Bonus Booklist Reader Print Access Reminder

The latest issue of Booklist, in which I have 2 reviews, but today, I would like to highlight their Spotlight on Relationship Fiction.

What is Relationship Fiction? Well, I like to define it as all of emotionally driven relationships between people that are NOT Romance. For a more official definition, you can turn to my publisher and the series I write for here:

Relationship Fiction focuses on emotional stories filled with characters seeking to find balance, accept loss, or start anew. Story lines recount moments of inner conflict and domestic discord played out on a small, intimate scale. The problems in these books are rarely too big to overcome and even in the edgier titles there can be a somewhat comforting ethos. Readers enjoy that these stories are meaningful and reveal the core of a situation, character, or issue  and impart lessons learned.

Now on to Booklist's April 15, 2023 issue and their Relationship Fiction resources. 

My editor, Susan Maguire, has this list of the Top 10 Relationship Fiction: 2023. From that page:

The top 10 relationship fiction titles reviewed in Booklist from April 15, 2022 through April 1, 2023, plumb depths of feeling while exploring the power of human connection through intergenerational conflict, biological and found family, and, sometimes, humor.

To go with that list of print, Heather Booth also has a Top 10 Relationship Fiction on Audio: 2023. From that page:

The emotions at play in the relationship fiction titles listed below come through vibrantly thanks to narrations that are keenly attuned to their characters’ experiences and the interactions among family members, friends, and lovers. All titles were reviewed in Booklist from May 1, 2022, to April 15, 2023. 

And to round out the spotlight, Susan wrote this article with a list about Intergenerational Relationship Fiction. You will need to get your log in to read that last one, or check it out in the print edition. Again, if your library gets Booklist (which most do), you have free online access. Click here to set that up.

Relationship fiction is very popular and these resources showcase why. Use all to suggest titles, start a display, and/or share the lists with your patrons. And because this coverage focuses on titles from the last year, chances are many are on the shelf right now.

Relationship Fiction is also a category in the RUSA CODES Reading List Awards. This means you have access to many more backlist best titles with one click here. Now you have no  excuse to build those displays today.

Finally, this is a reminder that every issue of Booklist is a spotlight issue and will have best lists on a format, genre, or interest area that will include a top 10 list of the best titles from the past year. And most importantly, that spotlight content is also now available in the Booklist Readera magazine that features diverse readers' advisory recommendations for readers and listeners of all ages. It is filled with high-interest, themed lists that showcase books you can read and check out now. And you can click here to find out how to order print copies to give away to your patrons at the library.

Click here to learn more

Monday, April 24, 2023

National Library Week Kicks Off With Right to Read Day and Becky Gives You Access to Action Steps

Look, if you read this blog, you don't need me to tell you that it is National Library Week, or that there have been a record number of book challenges.

But, you do need me to remind you that National Library Week is a not for you, the library worker. It is for the library world to remind everyone else that we are here. It gives us an in with the media who will be primed to listen since this is "our week." It is our 1 week to get the world's undivided attention.

This means you need to be ready and willing to answer questions this week-- from patrons, friends, and family-- about libraries and all of the challenges that are going on everywhere. I know we are tired and frustrated but it is imperative.

My focus today is giving you tools to pass on to others so everyone can act. I can help you by gathering the information and resources you need to be able to help others understand and most importantly, ACT.

I have two sets of options for you. I suggest looking at both and figuring out which will work best for you and the people you are interacting with. There is no one-size fits all here.

First, please look at the official American Library Association information about Right to Read Day. There are easy to follow steps with information on how to act. And tons of links.

Second, today, Kelly Jensen, the head of censorship coverage at Book Riot, made this easy to use thread of her most popular and action oriented posts to help you get your supporters acting

Again, action is the key to this week. National Library Week MUST BE ABOUT ACTION. The other side is spending all of their time and gobs of money to take away everyone's freedom to read, disguising it as a an effort to "protect the children," but what they are actually doing is deciding for everyone what is okay to read, and their choices erase the experiences of millions of people, especially Black and LGBTQ persons. We are running out of time to stop them.

So how are you going to act?

Start with yourself. Look at the links above and figure out what you can do. 

I have 2 Library Board meetings this week-- my local one and the system board meeting. Do you know when your local library board meets? Maybe look that up and make a plan using the resources I have shared to attend your meeting and support your library.

There are other options beyond going to meetings. Click through and make a plan for yourself. 

But also, go beyond yourself this week. Act by engaging your patrons in conversation about the Right to Read and those actively trying to take it away from everyone. This week, our patrons are hearing it on the radio, reading it on the internet, seeing it everywhere. Now is your chance to take them listening to action.

And that is the only thing you should worry about this  National Library Week.

Friday, April 21, 2023

RA for All Roadshow Virtually Visits E.C. Scranton Memorial Library [CT] for The Secrets of Stellar Readers' Advisory

As I have mentioned previously, I am presenting so often that I no longer do a post for every event. You can still see most of my appearances and the slides that go with them here on my Recent and Upcoming Presentations Page

However, I did want to post the slides and information about today's training because it is for a request I have been receiving a lot more recently-- a 1 hour RA Basics program.

When I appear at a library's staff day, I prefer to have a minimum of 90 mins to do my interactive RA for All: Flip the Script and Think Like a Reader. But many libraries cannot give me more than an hour (some only 45 mins). It is not the price because I charge the same for 0-90 mins; it is literally the time. 

As a result, I have strengthened a previous program and have made it an overview of the concepts of RA in today's libraries. It is all about the change in philosophy, shifting RA from a transaction based service (how many people can you help in a day or how many books can you get in their hands) to a relationship based service.

It is frustrating for me to not have the extra half hour to walk people through a book they love and have them assess why, and I cannot hit all 10 Rules of Basic RA Service fully; however, I also know that getting the concept and philosophy of good RA Service into a planned training day for all staff is too important an opportunity to pass up.

So, here are the slides to my 1 hour RA Basics program: The Secrets of Stellar Readers' Advisory. As I said, I have a bunch of clients (including ALA) who are currently asking for this more general program, so, I thought it was worth sharing with everyone.

And if you want me to come to your library-- in person or virtual-- contact me

Thursday, April 20, 2023

New NoveList/LibraryReads Crash Course in Fantasy

Another newly updated Crash Course is coming from NoveList and LibraryReads next month. This time it is Fantasy.

Before I share the details, here are some important changes to these FREE training programs.

The webinars are still 100% FREE but only if you sign up a head of time. When you attend, you will get access to the slides and the title list after the fact and can watch the recording for 2 weeks. Bu the key here  is-- you must attend. 

The archives are now being moved to the Learn With NoveList platform where they cost $20 each to view, which for genre training from experts is a good deal. But this change is new and caused some confusion with the Science Fiction Crash Course back in February.

I wrote about the changes in detail after meeting with NoveList to clarify it all. Please read that post for specifics.

My advice-- sign up NOW, and even if you are busy on the day, click the link and let it run in the background on mute so you qualify as having watched it. Then you get free access to the recording for 2 weeks and can download the title list. 

That being said, here are all the details for May 16th so you can sign up:

Fantasy is an eternal favorite for many readers, so we’re back with a revisit (and refresh!) of the Crash Course for this popular genre. Readers of fantasy are some of the most voracious, and we’ve got some new and updated genre information and titles for your #TBR. 

Do you have a go-to readers’ advisory strategy for helping readers of Fantasy? Whether your readers are fans of academies of magic or swords and sorcery, let NoveList and LibraryReads break down the best fantasy has to offer your readers — from hidden heritage to vengeance is mine.    

Join Amy Dittmeier, Librarian at Des Plaines Public Library in Illinois, and Jessica Trotter, Collection Development Specialist, Capital Area District Libraries in Lansing, Michigan, as they cover:  

  • Popular subgenres, appeals, and themes  
  • Current trends and authors to watch   
  • How to help readers of fantasy 
  • Other popular media in the genre  

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

Tuesday, May 16th, 2023, from 2-3 pm ET 
Optional NoveList training from 3-3:15 pm ET


Attendance for the live webinar is free. A recording of the webinar and bonus content will be available on learnwithnovelist.com for a fee approximately one week after the live session.


Amy Dittmeier (she/they) is a librarian at the Des Plaines Public Library, where they enjoy finding the perfect book (or movie!) for people. Amy has contributed articles to Library Journal, Booklist, and Shelf Awareness and loves talking about books with patrons and librarians alike. In her spare time, she can be found parked on the couch playing video games, in her garden hanging out with plants, or exploring one of the hundreds of breweries in Chicago. You can follow them on Twitter and Instagram @roboticdinos. 

Jessica Trotter is an archivist by training but now works as a Collection Development Specialist for Capital Area District Libraries in Lansing, Michigan. She also works as Digital Selector for the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services OverDrive Consortium, serves on the Board for LibraryReads, and advocates for thoughtful and inclusive Readers’ Advisory. She presents regularly on Collections Maintenance, Readers’ Advisory, and Genealogy topics.    

Moderator Yaika Sabat comes from a background in public libraries and now manages the Reader Services team. While she is a horror fan first, she does her best to read across genres and is passionate about diverse representation in books and media. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Author Interviews As a RA Resource

I am currently working on my interview with Cassandra Khaw for the July issue of Library Journal and Just turned in my interview with Paul Tremblay for the June issue. I am also organizing a series of author panels for Summer Scares.

All of this is to say that author interviews are top of mind here at RA for All HQ. 

I know when I conduct these interviews, my mission is to create a conversation that will not only be enjoyable for you to read but also, I am intentionally trying to create a resource for you to use to help patrons. Whether it is letting you know more about the author and their processes or asking them about influences and favorite new writers, the goal is for these interviews to work for you.

Interviews in general are an excellent RA resource especially if you have a patron who has a favorite author. I also use interviews when preparing for book discussions.

Just Google the author in question and "interview" and watch the results roll in. 

Here are a few tangible things you can do with interviews as a RA resource:

  • Use interviews to help a reader learn more about their favorite author and introduce them to other authors that favorite writer loves. This idea of using author recs of other authors is a topic I have written about in more detail here and it is one of my 5 Resources You Cannot Live Without.
  • Use interviews to make better "While You Wait" displays and lists. Yes we can use NoveList or other resources to find readalikes based on appeal, but what about "While You Wait" resources that are more fun and interactive. Make displays or lists that say, "Waiting for a new book by [insert author here]? Try one of their favorite authors while you wait." This can be both when there is a long holds line AND if a popular author hasn't had a new release in a while. 
  • Use author interviews as a collection development tool. Almost every author interview mentions other authors. When you come across interviews as part of the new book media blitz, take note of the authors your popular authors are mentioning and add them to your collections now. See the first bullet point (click through to the longer post) for why I know those books will circualte.
  • Re-post author interviews on your website and social media. As new books come out, interviews are everywhere. Pick one per author to share and promote to your users and followers. You can even create a page for those links on your reader resources sections of your website to archive them for future use, both by you and tour readers for the reasons suggested above. Too often we worry about creating original content to share online, but as I always remind you with my 10 Rules of Basic RA Service, we use resources, it is what we do as library workers. Posting interviews in our digital spaces shows readers we are thinking of them and anticipating what they like to read. 
These are but 4 examples of how to use author interviews as a resource in your day-to-day work. Now you can make author interviews part of your go-to resources for helping readers.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

What I'm Reading: Unnatural Ends and Night's Edge and Remembering Bill Ott

The latest issue of Booklist has 2 reviews by me but before we get to this, I wanted to take a moment to remember Bill Ott who died recently. Bill was the head of Booklist for many years and was the person who hired me back in 2015. Please read this full article noting his passing in PW.

Bill was excellent at his job and his love of Crime Fiction was legendary and infectious. But he was also kind and supportive. Seeing him at local library events and conferences was always a highlight. He was always truly happy to see me and chat. And it wasn't just me, he was that way with everyone. Anyone who every visited the Booklist booth at any conference saw this in action.

Over the years, Bill and I jockeyed over titles that blended Crime and Horror. Last year it was The Devil Takes You Home by Gabino Iglesias. I gave in to Bill on that one and did my review for LJ instead, but turns out we were both right to want to review it as this title is up for both the Edgar and the Stoker this year. 

That was just one of many examples, and all of these examples shows how collaborative Bill always was. Most of the reviewers are contract employees but he treated us as a team, always. All of us reviewers were already invited to a gathering at ALA Annual this June. I for one am glad we are going to be able to come together and share our Bill stories and honor him as the team we are.

In a sad moment of irony, I happen to have a review of a mystery, that I wrote for Bill, as he still oversaw the Crime reviews in retirement, in the current issue of Booklist. And it is a star. That is followed by a horror review. 

As usual, these are the draft reviews and this post contains my three words as well as more readlaikes and appeal info.


Unnatural Ends

Christopher Huang

June 2023. 402p. Inkshares, paper, $18.99  (9781950301065); e-book (9781950301058)First published April 15, 2023 (Booklist).

After the success of his debut mystery, A Gentleman's Murder, Huang is back with another stellar historical mystery that channels Agatha Christie, giving readers a tale that accurately honors the past while providing thought-provoking fodder for our present. April 1921 and Sir Lawrence Lindwood, the patron of a Yorkshire hamlet, was murdered. His adopted adult children return for the funeral. Alan from an archaeological site in South America, Roger, a successful engineer, from London, and Caroline, from Paris where she is a journalist. When the will is read, the children find out that Lindwood Hall will be left to the sibling who can solve his murder. The set up immediately draws readers in and holds them for the duration as Huang introduces the siblings in more detail, moving the point of view around and building the gripping backstory of their relationships with each other and their parents. An immersive read with satisfyingly intricate plotting, but where this mystery excels is in how Huang seamlessly incorporates issues from its time and makes them integral to the resolution– race, class, gender, eugenics, and PTSD– issues that will resonate with 21st Century readers. A great choice for fans of family drama fueled mysteries, featuring strong, likable characters such as Bradley’ Flavia de Luce mysteries or Chang’s The Family Chao.

Further Appeal: This book is a perfect example of why we need diverse voices writing traditional golden age type mysteries. It showcases what is missing when only white people are allowed to tell these stories. This is an excellent historical mystery both in setting and how it is told, but there is more than meets the eye. 

And the characters are realistically diverse. How did you give a white landed gentry dude racial diverse kids? Adoption is the answer we are given at the start, but of course, there is more to that story.This is a “diverse” mystery that just is diverse. Not preachy about issues, but by existing again, it showcases what is missing when only white people write historical mysteries.

Camelot metaphor is well used throughout the story as well. Well worth your time, even if you are not a huge mystery fan, but this one will be greatly enjoyed by your mystery readers.

Three Words That Describe This Book: intricate plotting, great characters, immersive

Readalikes: There are so many more than what I listed. First of all the Knives Out movies are a great comp as well as Agatha Christie. I chose one mystery series above, but I also urge you to try The Family Chao. The family drama/sercrets and a hint of a mystery are there. Many of the same issues, but this time it is modern day and a far flung family trying to figure out who gets the restaurant when the dad dies.

Night’s Edge
By Liz Kerin
June 2023. 288p. Tor Nightfire, $26.99 (9781250835673); e-book (9781250835680)First published April 15, 2023 (Booklist).

In 2023, the world is learning how to manage after the Saratov Syndrome global pandemic of 2010, which turned the infected into vampires. Mia was 10 when her mom Izzy became a “Sara,” and instead of turning herself in, Izzy adapted by feeding off of Mia and working only after dark. Now 23, Mia is stuck protecting her mom’s dangerous secret, never allowed to get close to anyone, faced with no future, always returning home at sundown to provide her mother’s meal, until the day she meets Jade and starts to question everything. Told in Mia’s conversational and honest narration from alternating time lines in 2010 and 2023, readers fall right into the novel as the details of the world and Mia and Izzy’s life are effortlessly relayed through the compelling story, simultaneously hammering home the anxiety and hopelessness of this speculative world alongside the very real horrors of addiction and toxic family relationships. A morally gray and timely story that is bursting with Sookie Stackhouse vibes but will also appeal to fans of Cartriona Ward and Zoje Stage.

Further Appeal: This is a mixture of near future dystopia (lite), psychological horror, and vampires. Back and forth timeline narration by Mia as a kid and an adult hammer home the horror on multiple fronts. It also adds suspense and depth to Mia. She is morally gray but very sympathetic.

This story probes the very real horrors of addiction, abusive relationships (multiple) and child abuse, along with its vampirism tropes-- but all fairly effortlessly. This is a fast read and has the right amount of suspense. 

There is also a sweet blossoming love story with Mia and Jade. Both women find a true connection. No resolution on if they will stay together, but after the toxic and abusive relationships, and Mia lack of ability to make any connections because of her mom, the portrayal of Jade and Mia was realistic and sweet.

Three Words That Describe This Book: engaging narration, facing real fears, strong world building 

Readalikes: This will 100% scratch the Sookie Stackhouse fans itch. In terms of specific comps for the other authors above, I suggest Sundial for Ward and Mothered for Stage to start with. I would also suggest Just Like Mother by Heltzel and the Matthews edited Addiction Horror anthologies. Here is a link to the most recent one, a story from which is up for a Bram Stoker Award right now.

Monday, April 17, 2023

LibraryReads: May 2023 and Featuring Their Brand New Logo

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.

New in February 2023-- a bonus pick with an annotation by a LibraryReads Board member. See this month's pick at the end of this post. It also appears on the PDF list for printing and displaying at your library.

Now let's get to that list.... featuring a top pick to which I already have given a STAR in Booklist.

The Ferryman: A Novel  

Justin Cronin

(Ballantine Books)

In a world where people don't die but are ferried away to be regenerated into a 16-year-old with no memories, Proctor is responsible for making sure the "retirees" go without a fuss. But he is quickly drawn into a mystery at the heart of their society. The multi-layered quality moves this from a poignant story into thriller, into world-exploring science fiction.  

—John Sloan, Chicago Public Library

Saha by Nam-Ju Cho

Chain Gang All Stars: A Novel  

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah


In a near-future America, prisoners can opt into a gruesome program of death matches against other prisoners. Their lives are broadcast to a bloodthirsty public, and they can win their freedom if they kill enough opponents. The novel employs an effective series of rotating narrators to tell all sides of this story, forcing us to look at how we dehumanize prisoners.   

-Laura Bovee, Chicopee Public Library

NoveList Read-alike: Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick

The Guest: A Novel 

Emma Cline

(Random House)

Alex is coasting through life on the grace and credit card of her older boyfriend for the summer. She can’t return to the city now that her roommates want nothing to do with her, and her friends have all disappeared. There is nothing she won't do, and no one she won't manipulate, to get what she needs: a bit more time. Perfect for fans of The Talented Mr. Ripley.

—Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library

NoveList read-alike: Luster by Raven Leilani

The Half Moon: A Novel 
Mary Beth Keane 

What happens when your current life doesn't match your expectations? That's what's happening with Malcom and Jess. The married couple thought things would be easier, but life keeps throwing curveballs at them. Over the course of a blizzard, they are forced to reckon with their decisions and determine if they can move forward on a different path.

—Melissa Tunstall, Charleston County Public Library 
NoveList read-alike: Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny

Killing Me
Michelle Gagnon 
(G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Amber has very strong opinions about people who fall prey to serial killers and is sure that being savvy and street smart will keep her safe. Until she is taken by a serial killer, and her life becomes a hot mess. This quirky, snarky book reads like Janet Evanovich teamed up with Stephen King.

— Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library
NoveList read-alike: Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

Practice Makes Perfect: A Novel
Sarah Adams

A sweet Kentucky florist looking for love asks her sister-in-law’s bodyguard to help her sass up after a date accuses her of being too boring. With wonderful characters, this cute romance is a great second installment in the When in Rome series.

— Sonya Skibicki, Bartlett Public Library District 
NoveList read-alike: The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas

Quietly Hostile: Essays 
Samantha Irby

If you haven't already read Irby: 1) Who are you and how do you live? 2) This is a perfect time to start. Reading her relatable essays feels like hanging out with an older sister who doesn't sugarcoat the awkward parts of life and helps you recognize you’re not the only one faking your way through adulthood.

— Rebecca Hayes, Highland Park Public Library 
NoveList read-alike: She's Nice Though by Mia Mercado

The Secret Book of Flora Lea
Patti Callahan Henry

A poetic tribute to the power of story. Exploring the lifelong effects of the horrors of war, the richly developed characters endure loss that haunts them into adulthood. When a mysterious book appears, it sets in motion a search for answers, making sense of the past, and healing of broken hearts.

— Ron Block, Cuyahoga County Public Library
NoveList read-alike: The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

The Wishing Game: A Novel
Meg Shaffer
(Ballantine Books)

In this magical tale, a beloved children’s author announces a tantalizing game: four fans can compete to win the only copy of his new book. All the contestants are intriguing, but readers will root for Lucy, a teacher’s aide desperate to find the money needed to adopt an orphaned boy.

— Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library
NoveList read-alike: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Witch King 
Martha Wells 

Kai, the eponymous (and erroneously named) Witch King, traverses two timelines as he helps overthrow an empire and then has to deal with the descendants of heroes who live long enough to become villains. A very fun, tightly plotted epic fantasy with spectacular worldbuilding and pacing.

— Veronica Koven-Matasy, Boston Public Library
NoveList read-alike: The Goblin Emperor by  Katherine Addison

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 the Hall of Fame. Click here to see the Hall of Fame authors organized in alpha order.

The Celebrants
Steven Rowley 
(G.P. Putnam's Sons)

This story of four lifelong friends going through the challenges of middle age will make the reader feel like they know each character intimately by the end. And even when tragic events occur, there is still humor and a lot of heart. Highly recommended for readers looking for a light read with emotional depth.

—Elizabeth I., DeKalb County Public Library System
NoveList read-alike: This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub

The Senator's Wife: A Novel
Liv Constantine
(Bantam Books)

After her husband was murdered, Sloane never expected to find happiness, but she did...with Whit, who was married to her husband’s killer. Whit considerately hires an aide for Sloane, who has a chronic illness, to help her recover from major surgery. But as she suffers debilitating flare-ups and Whit exhibits suspicious behavior, Sloane wonders whether she will ever get her life back. This thriller will keep readers up well after bedtime.

—Chris Markley, Kingsport Public Library
NoveList read-alike: The Personal Assistant by Kimberly Belle

The True Love Experiment
Christina Lauren
(Gallery Books)

Romance author Felicity (Fizzy) Chen is asked by documentary filmmaker Connor Prince to find her “Golden Match” on a reality dating show. Readers will love seeing the dynamic between Fizzy and Connor grow through both their perspectives. Fun and light, this is perfect for Bachelor/Bachelorette fans.

—Rachel Salazar, Pueblo City County Library District
NoveList read-alike: The Charm Offensive by Allison Cochrun

Yellowface: A Novel 
R. F. Kuang 
(William Morrow)

Kuang hits it out of the park with eviscerating observations on the publishing world. She asks astute and provoking questions: Who gets to succeed in publishing? Why can we only have a few writers of color in a publisher’s docket at a time? Who gets to call out these transactions and does cancel culture hold the transgressors responsible? As a biracial reader, this hit home, particularly the way it ends with the question: What is the point of writing the great American novel if you’ve manipulated, exploited, and fetishized people of color to get there? An excellent example of women's work that expresses anger, which is still rarely shown in contemporary fiction.

—Molly Nota, Ada Community Library- Connect Branch
NoveList read-alike: The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris