Sunday, October 11, 2015

Calling All Mystery Fans ...

The 2015 World Mystery Convention: Murder Under the Oaks was held this weekend in Raleigh, NC. 

"The World Mystery Convention is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization which holds an annual convention in honor of Anthony Boucher, the distinguished mystery fiction critic, editor and author. It is the world's premier event bringing together all parts of the mystery and crime fiction community, and is commonly referred to as Bouchercon. [bough'·chur·con]" [Bouchercon World Mystery Convention]

On Saturday, 10/10/2015, this year's Anthony Awards were announced. The Anthony Awards are a literary award for the best in mystery fiction presented since 1986 at the annual Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. The award is named in honor of Anthony Boucher, mystery critic, editor, author, and one of the founders of the Mystery Writers of America. 

And the 2015 winners are ...

After I'm Gone by Laura Lippman 

The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day 

 The Day She Died by Catriona McPherson 


Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer's Journey edited by Hank Phillippi Ryan 

"The Odds Are Against Us" Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Nov 2014 - Art Taylor 

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger 

The full list of 2015 nominees can be found at Anthony Award Nominees and Winners

Next year's
Bouchercon: Blood on the Bayou will be held September 15-18, 2016 in New Orleans, LA.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

KLA/MLA 2015 Libraries Without Borders Conference!

Yours truly, the RAT Queen, will be presenting at the upcoming state library conference, KLA/MLA 2015 Libraries Without Borders, being held in Kansas City, MO Wednesday, September 20 - Friday, October 2. It is a joint meeting for members of the Missouri Library Association (MLA) and the Kansas Library Association (KLA) which means double the fun and plenty of programs!

Not sure I was thinking clearly when I submitted them but had two proposals of my own* accepted, a general session program and a poster session and then volunteered (Yes, volunteered!) to be a presenter in two others, the Readers' Advisory pre-conference and a 4-speaker panel presentation about YA Lit. It's going to be a busy conference!

If you are coming to Kansas City, look for me at the following:

50 Shades of Quit Judging: Readers' Advisory, Intellectual Freedom, & Personal Taste (Pre-conference)

Developing RA Skills & Moral: Genre Studies & Team Building (general session) *

Six Degrees of Reading (poster session) *

So Your Youth Has Become Historical Fiction: Talk Up Your Era with Today's Readers (general session)

The full conference schedule is available at Libraries Without Borders. Follow the conference on Facebook and also on Twitter with @KLAMLA2015. You can even track all the readers' advisory programs by using hashtag #raBlitz15

Follow-up posts with additional information about each of the sessions listed above are forthcoming, so keep checking back for more! :-)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

2015 Hugo Awards Announced

On Saturday evening, August 22nd, the 2015 Hugo Award Winners were announced during the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention, Sasquan, in Spokane, Washington. The Best Novel award went to The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu. 

The 2015 Hugo Award Winners Announced post includes a statement related to the giving of 'No Award' in a number of categories. "The members of the World Science Fiction Society rejected the slate of finalists in five categories, giving No Award in Best Novella, Short Story, Related Work, Editor Short Form, and Editor Long Form. This equals the total number of times that WSFS members have presented No Award in the entire history of the Hugo Awards, most recently in 1977.

Voting statistics, along with a list of all the finalists, showing the winners highlighted in Red, can be found at 2015 Hugo Awards

And if your from the Midwest and were not aware, MidAmericaCon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, will be held in Kansas City, Missouri in 2016 from August 17-21!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

October Display Ideas

Courtesy of the September issue of Book Display Ideas, a Library Aware e-Newsletter compiled by staff at NoveList:
  • Feature ghost stories or horror novels this month since Halloween is October 31
  • Twenty-five years ago, in October 1990, Rwanda’s civil war began, setting the stage for the horrific 1994 genocide.
  • Dinosaur National Monument was established 100 years ago on October 4, 1915. It started with only 80 acres in Northeast Utah but now encompasses over 210,000 acres in both Utah and Colorado. Since kids more than any other age-group love dinosaurs, this would make for a great children's display
  • If you didn't do a Saturday Night Live display earlier this year (the show marked this milestone with a prime-time TV special on February 15.), do one this month; the sketch comedy show first aired 40 years ago on October 11, 1975.
  • October 18-24, 2015 is both National Friends of Libraries Week and Teen Read Week.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien's final book in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King, was first published 60 years ago on October 20, 1955.
  • Even people who aren't British know that the Battle of Trafalgar was an important day in world history. Trafalgar Day, October 21, is celebrated in various Commonwealth countries, and this year marks 210 years since the battle
  • Celebrate the countries of the world -- the United Nations was founded 70 years ago this October, and October 24 is United Nations Day.
As mentioned in a post on August 3, celebrity birthdays can be great for creating fun displays. Choosing the Friday dates in October for a weekly display theme, here are some famous birthday ideas: 

  • October 2 - Comedians: Groucho Marx, of the Marx Brothers and Bud Abbott, of the comedy team 'Abbott & Costello' 
  • October 9 - Singer/songwriters: John Lennon of the "Beatles" and Jackson Brown
  • October 16 - Literary stars: Noah Webster, compiler of first American English Dictionary and Oscar Wilde, playwright & poet
  • October 23 - Sports figures: Pele, soccer player and Dan Flutie, football quarterback
  • October 30 - Actors: Henry Winkler ('Happy Days') and Harry Hamlin ('L.A. Law')

Check out Holiday Insights for more Famous October Birthdays

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Titles to Watch for NEXT WEEK: August 23-29, 2015

Forthcoming titles which may be of interest ...


The Fall of Princes by Robert Goolrick - "In a compelling, wholly seductive narrative voice, Rooney tells of his high-flying days as a Wall Street trader during the 1980's; however, his fall is as precipitous as his rise, and he recounts his days of great wealth and even greater excess with both wistfulness and regret, never failing to mention the people he hurt along the way." (Booklist review, June 2015)

A Good Family by Erik Fassnacht - "Fassnacht's debut works as a read-alike for both Jennifer Weiner and Jonathan Franzen for the way it so convincingly melds domestic drama, suburban angst, and beautifully descriptive writing." (Booklist review, July 2015)

  • Fantasy 

Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore - "In San Francisco, the souls of the dead are mysteriously disappearing and you know that can't be good in New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore's delightfully funny sequel to A Dirty Job" (HarperCollins, publisher)

  • Historical Fiction

Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig - "Raised in the mid-1950's by his beloved grandmother in Montana's Two Medicine Country, orphaned Donal Kyle fells as if he's been tossed into cold water when Gram, recovering from surgery, sends him to live with her bossy and mean-spirited sister in Wisconsin. Aunt Kate is so put out with Kyle that she sends him back, to be placed in the custody of the authorities. Gratifyingly, though, Kate's harassed husband slips away to join him." (Library Journal review, March 2015)

  • Mystery

Last Ragged Breath by Julia Keller (A Bell Elkin mystery)  - "A beautifully craftey mystery in which Keller (Summer of the Dead, 2014, etc.) explores love, hate, and poverty in a place of stunning natural beauty with pockets of overwhelming ugliness. The ending may leave you in tears." (Kirkus Reviews, June 2015)

Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny (A Chief Inspector Gamache novel) - "A strong sense of place, a multilayered plot, and well-crafted (and for Penny's fans, familiar) characters combine for a thoughtful, intriguing tale. More than a simple mystery, Penny's novel peels away the emotional and psychological layers of the inhabitants of Three Pines." (LJ Reviews, July 2015)

X by Sue Grafton - " ... features a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Once again breaking the rules and establishing new paths, Grafton waste little time identifying this sociopath. The test is whether Kinsey can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim." (Penguin Putnam, publisher)

  • Suspense Thriller

 Iron Wolf by Dale Brown - "The first woman president of the United States is tested by a Russian invasion of Ukraine and Moldova that compel a previous U.S. president to organize a radical counterattack involving manned robot soldiers." (NoveList annotation)

  • Women's Fiction
If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins - "A divorced wedding-dress designer tries to extricate herself from her ex-husband's new life by moving from Manhattan to her suburban hometown, just in time to see her sister's marriage rocked by a sexually graphic text." (Kirkus Reviews, July 2015)

A Window Opens: A Novel by Elisabeth Egan - "... Elisabeth Egan brings us Alice Pearse, a compulsively honest, longing-to-have-it-all, sandwich generation heroine for our social-media-obsessed, lean in (or opt out) age. Like her fictional forebears Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones, Alice plays many roles (which she never refers to as "wearing many hats" and wishes you wouldn't, either)." (Simon and Schuster, publisher)


Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff - "...New York Times reporter John Markoff, the first reporter to cover the World Wide Web, offers a sweeping history of the complicated and evolving relationship between humans and computers." (HarperCollins, publisher)

Rising Strong by BrenĂ© Brown, Ph.D. - " BrenĂ© Brown isn’t a spiritual guru, or someone who’s risen from the ashes to tell us how to live our lives. She’s a researcher. And Rising Strong isn’t some feel-good-get-over-it regimen; it’s more investigative reporting on the common denominators of people who whole-heartedly get back up and go another round after getting their asses handed to them in big and small ways." (Amazon Best Books of August 2015 review)

  • Biography / Memoir

The Face That Changed It All: A Memoir by Beverly Johnson - "Featuring stunning never-before-seen photos, the first black supermodel to grace the cover of Vogue and one of the most successful glamour girls ever shares her childhood growing up in the racially charges 1960's, her meteoric rise to fame, her struggles with racism, drug addiction and divorce and her triumph over adversity." (Baker & Taylor annotation)

Kissinger’s Shadow: The Long Reach of America’s Most Controversial Statesman by Greg Grandin - "A new account of American's most controversial diplomat that moves beyond praise or condemnation to reveal Kissinger as the architect of American's current imperial stance." (McMillan Palgrave, publisher)

The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion by Tracy Daugherty - "Explores the life of the distinguished American author and journalist, following Didion's life as a young woman in Sacramento to her adult life as a writer interviewing those who know and knew her personally. (Baker & Taylor annotation)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Invitation to Book Group Program at St. Louis Public Library

I received an email from Jennifer Ohzourk, the new Senior Subject Specialist at St. Louis Public Library's Center for the Reader. She encouraged me to share the information and an invitation for any who might be interested in attending their upcoming program.

  • On Wednesday, September 23rd at 9:00 a.m., Kaite Stover will be presenting Care and Feeding of Book Groups: Maintaining, Sustaining and Rejuvenating. At this session, learn a little history of the book group, how to make good book selections, how to formulate discussion topics (especially when none can be found online), good internet resources for book group leaders, and how to handle difficult book group members. Share ideas for making a book discussion special, titles that were a hit, and titles that were not. Come prepared to talk about your book club experiences and get ideas for creating new ones.
  • Kaite Stover is the Director of Readers’ Services for the Kansas City Public Library. She is the co-editor of The Readers’ Advisory Handbook (2010) with Jessica E. Moyer, and currently writes the "He Reads, She Reads" column for Booklist with David Wright and "Under the Radar" for Public Libraries with Jessica E. Moyer. Additionally, she is a regular blogger for Booklist's "Book Group Buzz" blog.
  • The program will be held from 9:00 am – 11:00 am in the Central Library’s Auditorium. Registration is required for the event. 

The St. Louis Public Library calendar link is or those interested in attending can call the Center for the Reader at: (314) 539-0376.

Jennifer Ohzourk
Senior Subject Specialist
Saint Louis Public Library
Central Library | Center for the Reader
1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103

Thursday, August 13, 2015

September 2015 LibraryReads Top Ten Announced

And the September favorite is ...

The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo 

 At once tragic and hilarious, this book is a roller coaster of a read. You'll find yourself rooting for the snarky and impulsive but ultimately lovable Mattie. At the heart of this tale is a beautifully unraveled mystery that has led Mattie to her current circumstances, ultimately bringing her to her first real home.” Patricia Kline-Millard, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH

The rest of the LibraryReads September Top Ten are: 

Make Me: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child 

House of Thieves by Charles Belfoure

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young

Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart

The Scribe: A Novel by Matthew Guinn

The full list with annotations is available at LibraryReads

For those who enjoy listening to an audio version, here is a link to a recent Booklist Reader post about the September 2015 LibraryReads on Audio! 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Titles to Watch For NEXT WEEK: August 16-22, 2015

Some titles hitting the shelves next week ...


The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore - "A seemingly idyllic, affluent northern California family is tested by Ivy League ambitions, over scheduling, impossible expectations by the Bay Area elite and difficult personal secrets. By the author of So Far Away." (Baker & Taylor annotation) 

Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford - "For centuries, New York City has been a magnet to dreamers with fantasies of catapulting themselves into the upper echelons of society. Unfortunately, as Evelyn Beegan discovers ... , the higher you rise, the farther you have to fall should you lose your grip on the social ladder." (BookPage Reviews, 2015 August)

  • Historical Mystery

A Pattern of Lies: a Bess Crawford Mystery by Charles Todd - "A horrific explosion at a gunpowder mill sends Bess Crawford to war-torn France to keep a deadly pattern of lies from leading to more deaths, in this compelling and atmospheric mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Question of Honor and An Unwilling Accomplice." (HarperCollins, publisher)

  • Horror

Deceptions: A Cainsville Novel by Kelley Armstrong - "Haunted by visions of a blond child with an urgent message, Olivia Taylor Jones outmaneuvers her stalking ex-fiance while investigating how her destiny is being shaped by ancient scripts." (Baker & Taylor annotation)

  • Mystery Suspense 

Hostage Taker by Stefanie Pintoff - "Strong writing, a well-paced plot, and intriguing characters make this one of the best thrillers of the year. Fans of Lisa Gardner will find much to like here."  (LJ Reviews, July 2015)

The Murderer's Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman - "Engaging in high-risk activities to escape from her regimented life as a psychologist, Grace Blades has a one-night stand with a man who turns our to be her new client -- one who claims a unique connection to Grace's foster father."  (Baker & Taylor annotation)

Smaller and Smaller Circles by F. H. Bacatan - "Fans of forensic mysteries as well as readers who enjoy their crime fiction in under explored settings [The Philippines in 1967] will want to add this to their reading lists." (LJ Reviews, May 2015)

  • Romantic Suspense

Friction by Sandra Brown - "Petitioning to regain custody of his young daughter in the aftermath of a reckless decision, a Texas Ranger intervenes during the attempted assassination of an attractive judge, who he risks his life to protect when the gunman escapes." (Baker & Taylor annotation)

  • Science Fiction Thriller 

Zer0es by Chuck Wendig - "Five iconoclastic hackers are recruited against their will to serve the U.S. government by working as cyberspies before discovering an NSA artificial intelligence program that is rapidly growing out of control." (Baker & Taylor annotation)

  • Short Stories

Fortunes Smiles by Adam Johnson - "In six masterly stories, Johnson delves deep into love and loss, natural disasters, the influence of technology, and how the political shapes the personal." (Random House, Inc, publisher) 

  • Women's Fiction

We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh - "When her parents return to Mexico, 15-year old Letty Espinosa is forced to become a parent to her young sister and considers a risky move that jeopardizes their fragile hopes for the future. By the best-selling author of The Language of Flowers." (Baker & Taylor annotation)


The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan - "How a year of being thankful led to big changes in a woman's life. When editor and producer Kaplan (A Job to Kill For, 2008, etc.) made a New Year's resolution to take a full year and show more appreciation in life, she didn't realize what a difference that pledge would make." (Kirkus Reviews, May 2015) 


Court of Fives by Kate Elliott - "In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege." (Grand Central Publications, publisher)

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman - "This exhilarating start to the Blood of Gods and Royals series is a fascinating historical fantasy, bringing high drama, ardent romance, and dark magic to the tale of Alexander the Great." (Booklist Reviews, July 2015)