Archive for the ‘LibraryReads’ Category

Latest Pub Date Changes, Diversity and GalleyChat Titles

Monday, April 20th, 2020

UPDATE: New changes in pub dates since the 4/20 list, are here New-date-changes-as-of-4/23/20

Since publication schedules are changing rapidly, we checked GalleyChat titles, as well as those on our list of Upcoming Diversity Titles, for those with new LibraryReads voting deadlines.

Among the many changes is ALA MidWinter opening speaker Wes Moore’s upcoming title, Five Days, moved from April to August, extending its eligibility for LibraryReads voting through July 1 (votes already entered will still be counted).

Our list of all the changes we could identify, based on Edelweiss information is here, EarlyWord GC/Diversity-Date-Changes-4.20

More titles for LibraryReads consideration are listed on our roundups of the most recent GalleyChat, available as a downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord-GalleyChat-April-2020 and an Edelweiss Catalog. The deadline to vote for June titles, is next Friday. Please give consideration to our list of Upcoming Diversity Titles

Publishing Date Shifts, More Time for LibraryReads Nominations

Sunday, April 5th, 2020

Publishing schedules are being blown apart as publishers continue to grapple with changes brought on by the pandemic. As an indicator, one of the titles recently announced on the April LibraryReads list will now be published in July:

Downing, Samantha, He Started It, (PRH/Berkley, 7/28/2020; DRCs on Edelweiss and NetGalley)

The title will stay on the list, says LibraryReads Executive Director, Rebecca Vnuk. For the May list, LibraryReads is working with publishers and will accodomate date changes reported by April 13.

To get a sense of the scope of changes, we reviewed the LJ Spring Preview: Big Titles, on Edelweiss, for titles scheduled to be released between April 1 and June 30. Of the 676 titles, 106 now show as moving into upcoming seasons. To avoid the fall pile-up some titles have even been put off until the beginning of the new year. Bill Gates’s How to Avoid a Climate Disaster (PRH/Random House Knopf) is one of those, moved from June to February, a grim reminder that once we “get through this” other disasters may be developing.

Libraries on fiscal year budgets will face a juggling act, as many titles have been moved to dates after July 1. Our list of changed dates is here, LJ Spring Preview Pub Date Changes As of 4.2, but this is only a snapshot. Many more titles are likely to be changed in the next week.

Several titles from GalleyChats and our list of Upcoming Diversity Titles have moved forward, giving additional time to vote for them for LibraryReads (don’t worry, if you have already voted for a title that has been moved, that vote still counts). The compiled list is here, GalleyChat.Diversity-Titles

November’s LibraryReads List is the Most Inclusive Ever

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

The November LibraryReads list is the most inclusive so far, with 6 of the 10 titles on the main list by authors who are African/American, Mexican/American, Asian American or Japanese. The number one title is by a Nigerian author.

Celebrating LibraryReads’ fifth anniversary, the Steering Committee has introduced several changes, including the new Hall of Fame for titles by authors who have appeared on LibraryReads twice before. This opens the main list of ten to more new authors.

Diversifying the list is only part of the job. The second, even more important step is up to you, in getting to know these books so you can recommend them to readers. To add to the LibraryReads annotations, below are the inclusive titles, with notes from GalleyChatters and on recent media attention. Most are still available as DRCs, so you can download and sample them.

The next deadline for LibraryReads is a month away, Dec. 1 (voting deadlines are now the first of the month, making them easier to remember). When considering titles, please check out our list of eligible inclusive titles.

Braithwaite, Oyinkan. My Sister, the Serial Killer, PRH/Doubleday– #1 pick — DRC available on Edelweiss and NetGalley through 11/20/2018.

Popular on GalleyChat,ever since it was first mentioned back in June.— Andrienne. “set in Lagos, Nigeria that is kind of satire and crazy, but I loved the ending.”— Joe Jones. The sister bond is really tested in this dark tale set in Nigeria. Caught me by surprise in how much I enjoyed it!”  It is  on Entertainment Weekly‘s list of 20 Books You Need to Read This Season,  “This slim, scathingly black comedy delves into two sisters’ tenuous dynamic — heightened since one of them is, erm, a serial killer. Such morbidity only sharpens the book’s comic edge, which emerges via Braithwaite’s deadpan prose. She admits, ‘It was fun to write — even though people were dying.’ ” It’s already caught the attnetion of Hollywood. Film rights were acquired, by what Deadline terms the “U.K. production dynamo” Working Title.

Carrasco, Katrina, The Best Bad Things, Macmillan/MCD– DRC available for 60 days after downloading; on Edelweiss and NetGalley

Sept GalleyChat — Joe Jones (who also wrote the LR annotation), “wow was that fun! Alma is such an amazing character in this historical mystery set in the Pacific Northwest.”  Washington Post, “The 10 books to read in November “– “Love crime fiction? Love historical fiction? Have I got a book for you! Meet Alma Rosales, a Mexican American, bisexual, cross-dressing, defrocked Pinkerton detective whose hunt for stolen opium on behalf of her boss and sometimes-lover Delphine Beaumond will keep you on the edge of your seat and maybe even wondering if you’ve lost your mind. Sexy, fun, serious and unputdownable.”

Higashino, Keigo Newcomer, Macmillan/Minotaur Books — DRC available for 60 days after downloading; on Edelweiss and NetGalley

GalleyChat, Vicki Nesting. “I recently read Keigo Higashino’s upcoming mystery NEWCOMER and loved the way it was structured so the detective solved one small mystery in each chapter, leading him to the solution to the murder. Brilliant!” — Joe Jones, “Told from multiple points of view we slowly weed out the possible suspects in a murder set in a small neighborhood in Japan.“ This is the author’s second LR pick — the first was in 2014 for Malice,. Many of the author’s novels have been made into movies and TV series in Japan.

Jemisin, N. K. How Long ’til Black Future Month?, Hachette/Orbit — Unfortunately, this one is not available as a DRC,. Scour your print galley shelves

GalleyChatters gasped at having missed this, the first collection of short stories by one of their favorite fantasy writers. Jemisin is not only the first African/American to have won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, but the first person to win the prize three years in a row. Entertainment Weekly profiling the author, writes that the books in The Broken Earth trilogy are “a prescient allegory of racial and political tensions” and are currently in development as a TNT series.

Kim, Eugenia The Kinship of Secrets, HMH; DRC on Edelweiss and NetGalley

LJ Prepub Alert, Sophisticated Reads, “Told through the alternating perspectives of the distanced sisters, and inspired by a true story, The Kinship of Secrets explores the cruelty of war, the power of hope, and what it means to be a sister.” Picks up where the author’s previous title, The Calligrapher’s Daughter ended.

Suri, Tasha, Empire of Sand, Hachette/Orbit; DRC on Edelweiss and NetGalley

Popular on GalleyChat — Lucy Lockley. “Fascinating desert world, complex characthers, social/cultural/religious persecution due to magical blood plus a romance!” — Publisher, “a captivating epic fantasy inspired by Mughal-Indian history. If you loved City Of Brass, Uprooted, or The Wrath & The Dawn, Empire Of Sand Is your new must-read.”


Fourth of July, Time to Read Diversely

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Thanks to all of you who made Fruit of the Drunken Tree, by Ingrid Rojas Contreras, (PRH/Random House/Doubleday) a LibraryReads pick. This debut about two young Colombian girls, close friends from very different backgrounds, shows how political upheaval dramatically changes lives. The characters of the two girls are so clearly defined that you continue to wonder how thier lives evolved long after finishing the book.

We love when the list brings us such discvoeries. Please do it again. For this Fourth of July holiday, check our recently updated list of upcomg Diversity Titles for LibraryReads Consideration. download the DRC’s for those that interest you (the Notes section gives background on each title), read them and vote for your favorites.


From the September list (votes due by July 20) we recommend Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black, (PRH/Knopf), about a young Barbados slave named ironically for the first US president. A sympathetic while man discovers that Wash has talents useful to him in scientific studies and brings him to the Arctic. Ghanian-Canadian author Edugyan, the first Black woman to win Canada’s Scotiabank Giller Prize, describes the Arctic cold so vividly that you may find yourself shivering.

If the heat makes you want to reach for something on the ligher side, try GalleyChat favorite, The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory, (PRH/Berkley; the author was featured in NPR’s recent story, “Beach Reads by Authors of Color.” This is an October title) or Ian Smith’s twisty Harvard-set mystery, The Ancient Nine. (Macmillan/St. Martin’s).

We look forward to your discoveries.

Diversity on Summer Reading Lists

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Many of this year’s summer book lists include titles we’ve been tracking on our list of Diversity Titles, Upcoming, LibraryReads ConsiderationEntertainment Weekly gets specific, recommending “7 inclusive novels that will make you think,

Several August titles (LibraryReads nominations due next Wednesday, June 20), receive attention:

River of Stars, Vanessa Hua, (PRH/Ballantine Books); DRC, Edelweiss and NetGalley

Debut. A GalleyChat favorite, this title appears on multiple summer reading lists, including EW‘s “7 inclusive novels that will make you think.”  In 5 Great Debut Novels to Help Get You Through This Summer, the Voice describes it as,  ” … a 21st-century immigrant story about the terror, drama, and desperation of being undocumented and yet unable to leave.”

Severance, Ling Ma, (Macmillan/FSG); DRC NetGalley

Debut. NY magazine’s Vulture writes in 18 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Summer, “this phenomenal debut explores what happens when we make any number of decisions by rote and fail to see or question the bigger picture.” Adds BuzzFeed in “30 Summer Books To Get Excited About, “Ma’s language does so much in this book, and its precision, its purposeful specificity, implicates an entire generation.”

How Are You Going To Save Yourself, JM Holmes, (Hachette/Little, Brown); DRC NetGalley

Debut. Entertainment Weekly, 7 inclusive novels that will make you think, “follows the lives of four friends as they drift apart and come back together, navigating adulthood as black men living with traumatic legacies who have been offered very different fortunes as they come of age. Holmes’ searing study in masculinity is offset by irresistible heart and biting humor. ”

Praise Song for the Butterflies, Bernice L. McFadden (Akashic, August), Original; DRC, Edelweiss

Philadelphia Inquirer, Summer books, “A tale set in Ghana, where a girl is given up by her family, endures a very hard life, and, once set free, must find a way to heal and live forward.”  McFadden is the author of 8 books, her previous, The Book Of Harlan, won the 2017 American Book Award, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work (Fiction) and was named a Washington Post Notable Book of 2016.

Praise Song for Butterflies is also mentioned in the new issue of Vanity Fair, which debuts a real books section, replacing the old Hot Type column, with its dizzying run-on list of titles. The welcome change is no surprise. The magazine’s new editor, Radhika Jones, was formerly at the NYT Book Review. Featured in the new issue’s book section is a profile of the owners of the “Trailblazing Black-Owned Bookstore,” D.C.’s Mahogany. Their favorite upcoming title is McFadden’s.

The Air You Breathe, Frances de Pontes Peebles, (PRH/Riverhead); DRC Edelweiss and NetGalley

Philadelphia Inquirer, Summer books, — “The long friendship between Dores and Graça is forged through music. Based partly on the life of Carmen Miranda, this novel takes us from 1920 Brazilian sugar plantations to the urban samba scene of the 1930s.” Previous title, The Seamstress.

Asghar, Fatimah, If They Come for Us , (PRH/Random House/One World, August). Pbk. Original; DRC, Edelweiss and NetGalley

The Philadelphia Inquirer notes, “Asghar, co-creator of the web/HBO series Brown Girls, writes through the eyes of a Pakistani woman who comes to America and discovers a very strange country indeed.”

Reading Diversity

Friday, May 25th, 2018

As you load up your book bags and reading devices for the holiday weekend, remember this also a good time to explore titles to nominate for LibraryReads.

My own resolution is to read upcoming books that fall under the awkward and difficult-to-define term “diversity.” I want to hear new voices and read about cultures I’m not familiar with. As a resource, we’ve created EarlyWord “Diverse Titles for LibraryReads Consideration,” drawn from several sources, including GalleyChats and titles being featured at the upcoming Book Expo and ALA Annual.

We’ve included notes to help you find titles you may want to try. Below are some I’ve loaded onto my Nook (or will, as soon as I get around the pesky authentication issue):

Dawson, Erica, When Rap Spoke Straight to God

This will definitely take me outside of my own reading predilections. It’s a book-length poem, something I wouldn’t read unless I was led to it, which Jennifer Egan did by picking it as a book she is excited about in an interview with New York.

Zoboi, Ibi, Pride

As one of the few librarians who is not a fan of Jane Austen (sorry, so many shameful admissions in a single post), a book based on Pride and Prejudice would not grab me. This one is different, however. The story of a black family dealing with gentrification in present day Brooklyn, the opening line sells it, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that when white people move into a neighborhood that’s already been a little bit broken and a little bit forgotten, the first thing they want to do is clean it up.” As I sit here in Brooklyn, listening to the sounds of dozens of new buildings under construction and old ones under renovation, this appeals to me. In addition, the author’s previous book, American Street, was a 2017 National Book Award finalist in Young People’s Literature.

Publishers Marketplace, Book Buzz Fall/Winter 2018

While I’m trying to figure out how to get DRCs on to my Nook, this serves as a partial solution because it downloads easily from the B&N site. While excerpts can be frustrating, those from short story collections are complete stories, so they are more satisfying.  I was intrigued by the collection Friday Black by a student of George Saunders, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. The title story takes the idea of Black Friday madness to a new, surreal level.

What are you reading? Have you identified any titles not on our list? Let us know in the comments section, below.

Towards More Diverse
LibraryReads Lists

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

Reminder: Nominations are due for the June LibraryReads list in just a couple of days, by midnight, April 20th.

The just-released May LibraryReads list is remarkably homogenous. All the authors are white women, most of them have already published several books, and the majority of the titles are in the rapidly growing, some would say over-published, category of psychological suspense.

While readers advisors can happily read and recommend any of the titles, as Becky Spratford has often noted in her blog RA for All, they won’t expand readers’ horizons. She pointedly asks, “Why aren’t we all going out of way to look for titles that don’t get recognition?”

To help you do that, we’ve added “Debut” and “Diversity” columns to our spreadsheet of the nearly 200 titles mentioned during last week’s GalleyChat, GalleyChat Titles, April.

Below are are excerpts from the tweets about the June titles by non-white and LGBT authors. If you haven’t read them already, you probably won’t have time to do so before the deadline, but this may serve to remind you of titles beyond the familiar. As Becky says, “If every single one of [you] laid off of voting for the more mainstream titles and instead voted for a more diverse title, many of those mainstream titles would still get in, but maybe a few more marginalized voices would too.”

Native American

Trail of Lightning, Rebecca Roanhorse, S&S/Saga Press, June 26, 2018, DRC available

GalleyChatter: “Really fun, unique urban fantasy/postapoc blend with Indigenous characters & mythology!”  —– ” a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy with a Navajo cast of characters.”

Author background:
“Rebecca Roanhorse is an Ohkay Owingeh/Black writer of Indigenous futurisms. She lives in Northern New Mexico with her husband, daughter, and pug. Her debut novel Trail of Lightning (Book One of the Sixth World series) is available summer 2018 from Saga Press, and her children’s book Race to the Sun is coming in 2019 from Rick Riordan Presents. Her short story ‘Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience‘  is on the 2017 Nebula Recommended Reading List.

Her nonfiction can be found in Invisible 3: Essays and Poems on Representation in SF/F, Strange Horizons, and the upcoming How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation (Macmillan, 5/15/18).”

There There: A novel, Tommy Orange, PRH/Knopf, June 5, 2018, DRC available

GalleyChatter: “a story of urban indigenous peoples. Got a big push at #pla2018” — Following up on that, PRH Library tweeted that it is a department favorite.

The New Yorker recently published a story that comes from the book, and an interview, in which the author explaind that  he wrote There, There because, “I knew I wanted to write a multigenerational, multivoiced novel about Native people living in Oakland. My wanting to write it largely had to do with there not already being a novel about Native people who live in cities, and very few novels set in Oakland. Native people suffer from poor representation as it is, but having little representation in literature, as well as no (literary) version of our (urban Native) experience, was what made me want to write into that space, that void, and try to honor and express fully all that it entails to be Native and be from Oakland.”


The Kiss QuotientHelen Hoang, PRH/Berkley pbk original, June 5, 2018, DRC not listed

Bustle headlines a story about the book, “The Kiss Quotient Is A Refreshing Own Voices Romance With A Heroine On The Autism Spectrum”

From the publisher:

“Key Selling Points
DEBUT AUTHOR who was discovered during Pitch Wars, an online contest with wide social media reach, where published authors match up with a mentee and work on pitch to catch an agent or editor’s eye; Helen was mentored by Brighton Walsh, a contemporary romance author published by Berkley and St. Martin’s Press

THE HEROINE HAS ASPERGER’S, as does the author, who is willing to discuss her personal experience

MULTICULTURAL CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: hero is half Vietnamese and the author, who is also part Vietnamese, seamlessly introduces cultural elements

AN OWN VOICES NOVEL: romance readers are clamoring for better representation in romances and this book speaks to the #OwnVoices social media movement”


History of Violence: A Novel, Édouard Louis, Translated by Lorin Stein, Macmillan/FSG, June 19, 2018, DRC available

Gallleychatter: “…by the author of End of Eddy. Has a unique voice.”

New Yorker profile of the author,  “Growing Up Poor and Queer in a French Village

From the publisher: “On Christmas Eve 2012, in Paris, the novelist Édouard Louis was raped and almost murdered by a man he had just met. This act of violence left Louis shattered; its aftermath made him a stranger to himself and sent him back to the village, the family, and the past he had sworn to leave behind.”

When Katie Met Cassidy, Camille Perri, PRH/Putnam, June 19, 2018, DRC available by request

Galleychatters were enthusiasitc about the author’s
debut, The Assistants.

Former librarian and library page Perri speaks to librarians at a PRH Open Book session (be sure
to check out her demo of the “Page Freeze” beginning at time stamp 3:24)

Confessions of the Fox: A Novel, Jordy Rosenberg, PRH/ One World, June 26, 2018, DRC available


Author background:

“Jordy Rosenberg is a transgender writer and scholar. He is an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he teaches eighteenth-century literature and queer/trans theory. He has received fellowships and awards from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation, the Ahmanson Foundation/J. Paul Getty Trust, the UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies, the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, and the Clarion Foundation’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of a scholarly monograph, Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transformation of Religious Passion. He lives in New York City and Northampton, Massachusetts. Confessions of the Fox is his first novel.”


Ayiti, Roxane Gay, Grove/Atlantic, June 12, 2018, DRC available by request

Originally published in 2011 by the Artistically Declined Press, this new edition from Grove Press, according to the publisher, “includes several new stories,” which may qualify it for the LibraryReads list.



The Lost Vintage: A Novel, Ann Mah, HarperCollins/Morrow, June 19, 2018, DRC available

GalleyChatter comment, “Loved the LOST VINTAGE by Ann Mah- historical fiction with a mystery about a family member no one knew about, WWII & it’s set in a vineyard.”

The author is Chinese American, and a  Francophile. Her memoir, Mastering the Art of French Eating was an Amazon best book of 2013, and winner of the Elle readers prize. She also is publishing Instantly French!: Classic French Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker  in September.

South Asian – American

Half Gods: Stories, Akil Kumarasamy, Macmillan/FSG, June 5, 2018, DRC available


One of the stories in this collection, “New World,” was published last year in Harper’s magazine.

Weekend To Do List: Nominate Titles for LibraryReads

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Add something fun to your weekend to do list, nominate titles for LibraryReads.

The nomination deadline for October titles is this Sunday, August 20th. But you can also nominate titles with publication dates beyond October. Ideally, the best time to nominate titles is right after finish reading the galley.

For those new to nominating, the video below describes the basics. In addition, LibraryReads Steering Committee members Stephanie Chase (Hillsboro [OR] Public Library) and David Wright (Seattle Public Library) describe how to find galleys (time stamp 38:10) and demystify writing reviews (time stamp 45:26).

The lists have come under scrutiny recently for under-representing authors of color (see the Book Riot ‘s “LibraryReads So White, or Why Librarians Need to Do Better”), for featuring established authors over less-known (see Becky Spratford’s RA for All post), and large publishing houses over indie presses. David Wright makes a strong case in the video above for librarians using the lists to demonstrate their ability as taste makers, rather than followers, (time stamp 4:09).

The lists reflect what librarians are reading and loving, so commit to diversifying your own reading. Check out publisher’s recommendations in the diversity catalogs linked at the right. Get to know indie publishers, sign up for their marketing newsletters (see our list of publisher contacts in the links at the right) and turn to their catalogs when choosing what to read next.

Towards a More Diverse LibraryReads

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

UPDATE: Just added, the Penguin Random House diversity catalog.

A recent story on Book Riot pointed out a lack of diversity among the LibraryReads picks. To help librarians discover titles by a wider range of authors, we asked library marketers at the various publishing houses to put together what we call, for the lack of a better term, “diversity catalogs” of titles eligible for LibraryReads nominations. We have posted the ones we’ve received so far in the links at the right and will add more as we receive them.

What better time than the Fourth of July holiday to celebrate diversity? Highlighted below are titles available to download now and one to request:


The City of Brass, S A. Chakrabortty, (HarperCollins/ Harper Voyager)

A debut fantasy that interweaves aspects of Muslim culture. HarperCollins Voyager imprint is one to look to, as they declare themselves “committed to introducing a new wave of diverse voices and intriguing stories that push the boundaries of science fiction and fantasy for the 21st century.”  Listen to the Book Buzz description here. See the full HarperCollins diversity catalog here.

The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao, Martha Batalha, translated by Eric M. B. Becker (Oneworld Publications, dist. by IPG)

Originally published in Brazil, it is described by the publisher as “A darkly comic portrait of two rebellious sisters in 1940s Rio de Janeiro that illuminates contemporary issues of feminism and domestic equality. ” It is published by independent publisher Oneworld Publications, which focuses on “diverse cultures and historical events.” Recently profiled in the Guardian, the 30-year-old company is based in Oxford, U.K., and opened offices in New York in 2009. Its titles are distributed in the US via Publishers Group West [Note: this is a correction. Previously, we incorrectly identified the distributor as IPG]. See the full IPG/PGW diversity catalog here.

Real American: A Memoir, Julie Lythcott-Haims, (Macmillan/Holt)

Called a “bold, impassioned memoir that explores the emotional and cultural divide imposed by American racism on people of mixed race” by Publishers Weekly, this is by the author of the best-selling anti-helicopter parenting book, How to Raise an Adult. Full Macmillan diversity catalog here.

Dogs at the Perimeter, Madeleine Thien, (Norton, Original Trade Pbk; Recorded Books)

Chinese-Canadian Thien’s novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Norton; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample) was a finalist for the Man Booker and swept Canada’s literary awards. This, her third novel, available for the first time in the U.S., is about Cambodian refugees dealing with past traumas. It received strong reviews when it was published in the UK in 2012, including The Economist, which noted, “The strife in Indo-China has inspired some astonishing writing in recent decades, both fiction and non-fiction. Dogs at the Perimeter belongs with the best of such works.” Like the other titles in the Norton diversity catalog, it is available by request.

We’re Going To Need More Wine, Gabrielle Union, (HarperCollins/Dey Street).

We mentioned this collection of essays by the actress and activist in our earlier post, noting her heartfelt tribute to libraries during a panel at Book Expo.

It’s now available to download.

LibraryReads Needs Diverse Books

Monday, June 19th, 2017

A recent analysis of titles picked for the LibraryReads program showed a sorry lack of diversity. The headline of the Book Riot story puts it succinctly and starkly, “LibraryReads So White, or Why Librarians Need to Do Better.

This is not news to the LibraryReads Steering Committee (which, until recently, I was part of and continue to be an advocate). As current member Stephanie Anderson of Darien PL, responded, the group is working on plans to encourage more nominations from library staff. As she says, “diverse titles make the list when multiple librarians read them in advance and vote for them. I agree that as individual librarians, we have a lot of work to do.”

Fortunately, you can be part of the solution. Set your own personal challenge to read more diversely and nominate the titles you discover for LibraryReads. If you’re part of the crowd grabbing galleys at ALA this week, give special attention to those by non-white authors. If you need suggestions, ask the library marketers. We expect, in response to this issue, that publishers will soon be posting diversity catalogs and we will do a round up.


On my own TBR list is Gabrielle Union’s We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True (HarperCollins/Dey Street). She had me at the title, but she sealed the deal with heartfelt tribute to libraries during a panel at Book Expo. Print galleys will be available in July, but you can download digital ARCs in the next few days.

I’ll also be reading Celeste Ng’s second book, Little Fires Everywhere (PRH/Penguin Press; Penguin Audio/BOT). She will be featured at the United for Libraries Gala Author Tea.

It’s timely that one of the programs on the upcoming ALA agenda is Growing Readership Through Diversity. As that title indicates, not only will LibraryReads benefit from your diversifying your reading, so will your library.

THE LYING GAME Tops July LibraryReads List

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Making it three for three, Ruth Ware lands on the July 2017 LibraryReads list, this time in the #1 spot for The Lying Game (S&S/Gallery/Scout Press).

Ware has written three books. All have been librarian picks. Her debut, In A Dark, Dark Wood (S&S/Gallery/Scout Press), made the August 2015 LibraryReads list and her sophomore effort, The Woman in Cabin 10 (S&S), made the July 2016 list.

“Isa and her friends are boarding school misfits who are notorious for playing ‘the lying game.’ The more believable your lies, the more points you earn. A suicide at the school results in the girls being expelled under a cloud of suspicion. Fifteen years later, Isa hasn’t seen her three closest girlfriends in a decade, but one text will bring them together again to deal with their deadly childhood secrets. I could not put this atmospheric book down. This is definitely going to be a summer hit.” — Virginia Grubbs, Darien Library, Darien, CT

Additional Buzz: Time names it one of the “Top 10 Thrillers to Read This Summer.” It headlines Bustle‘s list of “29 New Fiction Books To Read This Summer” and is included on the New York Post picks it as one of their “20 best books of the summer.” Kirkus stars, warning “Cancel your plans for the weekend when you sit down with this book, because you won’t want to move until it’s over.”

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson (HC/William Morrow) marks another three-peat. While Jackson has written nine novels, this newest is her third LibraryReads pick, following The Opposite of Everyone (HC/William Morrow), which made the February 2016 list, and Someone Else’s Love Story (HC/William Morrow), on the November 2013 list.

“Leia finds her life is spiraling out of control. First she discovers she is pregnant from a one night stand, then she receives a phone call that her beloved grandmother is acting erratically. Meanwhile, she finds her stepsister in the middle of a marital crisis. Returning to her grandmother’s small hometown in Alabama to figure out the future, Leia is confronted by the past including a dark family secret. This is a compelling story about love and family told with humor and charm. Jackson paints a picture of the South that is filled with affection but is also honest.” — Janine Walsh, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY

Additional Buzz: LJ and Kirkus star, with Kirkus writing it is “A satisfying, entertaining read from an admired writer who deserves to be a household name.”

It comes with an intriguing trailer:

Not a repeat but a debut, When the English Fall by David Williams (Workman/Algonquin) also makes the list.

When the English Fall offers a new perspective on apocalyptic fiction, written from the point of view of an Amish farmer named Jacob. Part insight into Amish culture, part dystopian novel, the story follows the days leading up to a solar storm and its aftermath. Jacob lives a peaceful life with his family. As events unfold outside of the community, he becomes witness to his English neighbors’ unraveling. Jacob and his family, already accustomed to a life without modern conveniences, must decide what course of action they will take, and what assistance they will provide to their English neighbors.” —  Sara Kennedy, Delaware County District Library, Delaware, OH

Additional Buzz: It is a GalleyChatter pick too, with the advice that “Discussion groups that have enjoyed Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and The Dog Stars by Peter Heller can add [it] to their roster.” Heather Bistyga, librarian from Anderson, SC, raved,  saying “This is a worldwide disaster writ small, rendering it exquisitely powerful and quietly terrifying.” It is also an Indie Next choice for July. Kirkus stars, writing it is “A standout among post-apocalyptic novels.”

The full list of ten picks is available online.

LibraryReads Pick To The Movies

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Big Little Lies producer and star Reese Witherspoon has issued a “Great Book Alert!” to her 9.7 million followers on Instagram, about the LibraryReads pick Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman (PRH/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Just a few days later, Deadline Hollywood, reported that she will produce the film version and likely star.

The actress and Hollywood powerhouse when it comes to adapting books, says the novel is “Beautifully written and INCREDIBLY funny … I fell in LOVE with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love too!”

Her rave review adds star power to what is already a buzzy debut, as does the fact that she also added it to her rwbookclub on Instagram.

MAGPIE MURDERS Tops LibraryRead List

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

9780062645227_84e73LibraryReads-FavoriteA double whodunnit tops the June LibraryReads list, Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio).

“Susan Ryeland is a London book editor who has just received the latest manuscript from one of her most irascible authors, Alan Conway. But the manuscript’s ending appears to be missing and she learns that Conway has committed suicide. As Ryeland learns more about his death, she starts to question whether a murder has occurred and begins to investigate. Magpie Murders is a delightful, clever mystery-within-a-mystery. Horowitz shows real mastery of his craft. This is a terrific, modern take on the traditional mystery with ingenious puzzles to solve.” — Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Library, Libertyville, IL

Additional Buzz: It is also the #1 Indie Next pick and a GalleyChat favorite from February, with Joseph Jones from Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library saying, “Mystery readers are in for a treat.” Kirkus, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly star, with Kirkus offering “Fans who still mourn the passing of Agatha Christie … will welcome this wildly inventive homage/update/commentary as the most fiendishly clever puzzle—make that two puzzles—of the year.”

Most of the press attention has been in the UK and Ireland. The Guardian includes it on their “The best recent thrillers – review roundup.” The dismiss the novel’s beginning as “thinner than Poirot’s moustache,” but are over the moon about the second part, “which is worth the price of admission alone.” The Irish Times calls it “at once a brilliant pastiche of the English village mystery and a hugely enjoyable tale of avarice and skulduggery in the world of publishing … [it is] a compendium of dark delights.” Horowitz introduces the story in an interview with Audible UK.

9780765392039_fcc6eAlso making the list is Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (Macmillan/Tor).

“In Every Heart a Doorway we met Jack and Jill, two sisters bound together yet alienated. In this installment, we learn how these two girls escape their parents when they exit the world we know for a realm of fairy-tale horror via a magic stairway, appearing in a trunk in a locked room. This is a story about two young women and the trauma that shapes them; a story about love, hate, and the thin line between. A captivating and emotional novella that irresistibly sweeps the reader along.” — Tegan Mannino, Monson Free Library, Monson, MA

Additional Buzz: Entertainment Weekly published an excerpt. Library Journal and Publishers Weekly star it, with LJ writing, “Beautifully crafted and smartly written, this fairy-tale novella is everything that speculative fiction readers look for: fantastical worlds, diverse characters, and prose that hits home with its emotional truths.”

9781101990483_f22a2Fiona Barton returns with The Child (PRH/Berkley; RH Large Type; Penguin Audio/BOT), after her bestselling debut, The Widow.

“When a baby skeleton is unearthed at a construction site, reporter Kate Waters thinks it is a story worth investigating. As she digs into the mystery of the child, she uncovers more than she bargained for. Told from the viewpoints of various characters, Barton tells an intriguing tale about the newborn baby and all the characters involved, leaving it up to the readers to put together the connections until the very end.” — Annice Sevett, New Hanover County Public Library, Wilmington, NC

Additional Buzz: Entertainment Weekly interviews the author. It tops Canadian Loan Stars list for May. Publishers Weekly stars it, writing “Readers patient with the relatively slow initial pace until the intertwining stories gain momentum will be rewarded with startling twists—and a stunning, emotionally satisfying conclusion.” In the video below Barton talks about what libraries mean to her:

The full list of ten picks is online.


Thursday, April 13th, 2017

9780735220683_fcd46LibraryReads-FavoriteA debut novel is the number one library pick this April, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman (PRH/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio/BOT).

“I loved this book about the quirky Eleanor, who struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new work IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor’s orderly routines are disrupted. This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever. Highly recommended for fans of A Man Called Ove and The Rosie Project – this would make a great book club read.” — Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Blufton, SC

Additional Buzz: Honeyman is an EarlyReads author and spotted early by GalleyChatters in February. The Guardian profiles her in their introduction to the “new faces of fiction for 2017.” The book was the subject of a fierce auction fight, landing Honeyman over seven figures (in the US alone). PW reports it was one of the biggest books of the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2015. Paving the way, Honeyman won the Scottish Book Trust’s Next Chapter Award in 2014, which supports “a talented yet unpublished writer over the age of 40.” Booklist stars, writing “Move over, Ove (in Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove, 2014)—there’s a new curmudgeon to love.”It is an Indie Next pick for May.

9780062651259_9040aAnother debut making the list is The Jane Austen Project, Kathleen A. Flynn (HC/Harper Perennial; HarperLuxe).

“The Austen fan genre is expanded by an original new novel set both in the past and the near future. Two employees of a time travel company are assigned to go back to Austen’s day, ostensibly to retrieve the full copy of “The Watsons,” lost for all time…until now. The blending of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance with a beloved classic author thrown in the mix is a daring combination which succeeds.” — Leslie DeLooze, Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia, NY

Additional Buzz: Not to be confused with The Austen Project, a series of modern retellings of Austen, such as Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible, this time travel novel made Flavorwire‘s Staff Picks back in February.

9781492649359_ebafaA nonfiction choice is The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women, Kate Moore (Sourcebooks; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the story of hundreds of young, vibrant women who were sentenced to death by their employers. The so-called “Radium Girls” painted luminescent faces on clock and watch dials using a paint mixture that contained radium. Instructed to “lip-point”their brushes as they painted, they absorbed high doses of radium into their bodies. When the effects of the radium led to horrific disfigurement and pain, the company refused to take responsibility. This heartrending book was one I could not put down.” — Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, CT

Additional Buzz: It is an Indie Next pick for May. Coverage is wide ranging, from The Atlantic to the NY Post to The Spectator to Nature. The Spectator leads with the creepy headline, “The Radium Girls — still glowing in their coffins,” while Nature calls the book “harrowing.”


ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE Tops LibraryReads List Of Librarian Favorites

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

9780812989403_3b3daLibraryReads-FavoritePulitzer Prize-winner Elizabeth Strout’s newest novel, Anything Is Possible (PRH/RH; RH Audio/BOT), is the number one pick for the April LibraryReads list.

It marks her second time at the top of the list, first winning in January 2016 for My Name is Lucy Barton, a novel that also was on the Favorite of Favorites annual list the same year.

“Strout does not disappoint with her newest work. Her brilliant collection takes up where her novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, leaves off. The chapters read like short stories with Lucy Barton as the thread that runs between them. The characters populate Amgash, Illinois and their stories are woven together carefully and wonderfully. No one captures the inner workings of small town characters better than Strout. Written to be read and enjoyed many times, I highly recommend for readers of fine literary fiction.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Additional Buzz: It is on a number of 2017 forecast lists including the NYT‘s “What You’ll Be Reading in 2017,Nylon‘s count of “50 Books We Can’t Wait To Read In 2017,” and the AV Club‘s list of”Lose yourself in 2017 with these 17 books and comics.”

9781501160769_3546aAnother multiple favorite also returns to the list, Fredrik Backman with Beartown (S&S/Atria). He first landed on the list in 2015 with My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry and then again in 2016 for Britt-Marie Was Here, which was the #1 pick in May.

“Backman’s most complex novel to date takes place in the small, hockey-crazed village of Beartown. He deftly weaves together the stories of the players, the coaches, the parents, and the fans as Beartown’s hockey team chases its dream of winning a championship. Weighty themes are explored. How high a price is too high for success? How deadly is silence? Who can you trust with your secrets? How far will you compromise your beliefs in the name of friendship? There are no easy answers. A great book club choice.” — Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Library, Cary, NC

Additional Buzz: It was picked by Canadian librarians as part of their Loan Stars selections. Backman is also the COSTCO buyers pick this month, featured for his long running best seller,  A Man Called Ove.

9780062460226_f3c29A new voice for LibraryReads comes via Kate Eberlen with her debut, Miss You (HC/Harper).

“Tess and Gus meet at when they are both eighteen and on holiday in Italy. Their meeting is one of those instant connections, but they go in different directions. Tess returns home, expecting to go to university, but instead her mother dies leaving her to care for her much younger sister. Gus goes to medical school and must deal with the death of his brother. Tess and Gus’ lives momentarily intersect at various points over the years. I enjoyed both of their stories and the anticipation of hoping they would meet again and make a final connection.” — Mary Bennett, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN

Additional Buzz: It was a smash in the UK with The Telegraph comparing it to David Nicholls’s One Day, and saying “Following on from a lucrative deal in the UK, there has already been a ‘pre-emptive’ bid in the United States, and a subsequent scramble to buy it in 24 other countries – so don’t be surprised to see it being devoured by sunbathers on holiday this summer.” The Guardian says it is a “funny, poignant and really rather lovely ships-in-the-night debut, although it’s not until the end that ‘will they/won’t they?’ becomes a burning question. Grief, family dynamics and how to live with, but not be defined by, the cards one is dealt are the central concerns here.”

The book trailer gives a sense of the story and feel:

The full list of ten picks is available now.