Friday, March 27, 2015

Author Visit ARC Giveaway!

Excited about the Author Visit programs coming in April? Well, guess what! I have ARCs to giveaway! For those unaware, ARC stands for Advance Reader Copy.

Use the Comments link for a chance to receive an ARC for one of the following titles! One ARC per Commenter please, to share the wealth.

Sara Gruen will be at the Spencer Branch on April 8th and I have not one but two ARCs for At the Water's Edge
  • "While her brother, Ellis, and his friend attempt to find the Loch Ness Monster in an attempt to get back into her father's good graces, Maddie is left on her own in World War II-era Scotland and experiences a social awakening."
You can register for the program here.

Also have an ARC (just one) for A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley who will be at the Corporate Parkway Branch on April 16th. 
  • "Hired by a once-famous historian to crack codes in a 300-year-old journal that once belonged to a Jacobite exile, Sara Thomas encounters complications in the form of the journal's reclusive owner, a charming Parisian neighbor and the journal's own writer." 
You can register for the program here.

And to make things more interesting, I have ARCs for some titles which have already been released. Perhaps you have a reserve waiting to be filled for one of the following?
I have two ARCs for Mary Doria Russell's Epitaph: a Novel of the O.K. Corral 
  • "A sequel to "Doc" is based on the true events of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral and Wyatt Earp's survival against a backdrop of volatile politics in 1881 America."
Have a single ARC for My Sunshine Away by M. O. Walsh, a Penguin First Flights Debut Author Program selection
  • "A man reflects on the summer of his fourteenth year, where in Baton Rouge he fell in love with a golden-haired girl across the street before an unspeakable crime shattered illusions in his seemingly idyllic neighborhood."
And finally, a really HOT commodity ... I have one ARC (and only one!) for The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • "Obsessively watching a breakfasting couple every day to escape the pain of her losses, Rachel witnesses a shocking event that inextricably entangles her in the lives of strangers."

First come, first served!! Use the Comments link if interested in an ARC for one of these great reads!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

New Titles to Watch for This Week: March 23 - 28, 2015

For your reading consideration, some titles coming out this week ...

A few Adult fiction titles to watch for:

The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons - Sherlock Holmes works with American author, Henry James to investigate a death which may have been orchestrated by Moriarty.

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum - a woman, unhappy with her picture perfect life, makes some morally ambiguous choices which are not as easy to discard as she expected

The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos - an estranged father and abandoned daughter attempt a reconciliation while working together to write his memoir

Someone Is Watching by Joy Fielding - a woman struggles to regain control of her life after a brutal attack, leaving her trapped not only within her apartment but also with her own fears

The Stranger by Harlan Coben - a master of suspense delivers a new thriller where hidden secrets can build lives yet once revealed, can also destroy them

Non fiction books which may be of interest: 

Cake My Day! Easy, Eye-Popping Designs for Stunning, Fanciful, and Funny Cakes by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson - a book for creative bakers, with fun confection designs for a variety of occasions

The Porcelain Thief: Searching the Middle Kingdom for Buried China by Huan Hsu - a great-great grandson searches for a lost treasure trove of porcelain 70 years after it was hidden away

And for those who enjoy Young Adult literature, check these out:

Half Wild by Sally Green - second book in the 'Half Bad' trilogy follows a young man, an outcast, struggling to to find himself in a world of magic.

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach - four high school seniors from varying backgrounds must deal with the possibility of an asteroid strike ending the world

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

April 2015 LibraryReads List!

The LibraryReads titles for April have been announced! The top ten titles with the most votes are: 
At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen - who just happens to be coming to the Spencer Road Branch of St. Charles City-County Library District (SCCCLD) on April 8th! 

Register for her Author Visit! 
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan 

A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley - another author program coming to SCCCLD on April 16th! 

The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg

Still the One by Jill Shalvis

Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy   

The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos

The Bone Tree by Greg Iles

Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight

The April list with annotations can be found on the LibraryReads website.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

New titles to watch for next week: March 2-7, 2015

There are a number of new titles coming out next week which readers might find of interest. 

Watch for these Adult Fiction releases:

World Gone By by Dennis Lehane

The Assassin by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell

Epitaph: a Novel of the O.K. Corral by Mary Doria Russell  

Adults might also enjoy the Young Adult title: 

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver  

There are a couple of Adult Nonfiction publications to consider as well:

H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (a memoir) 

Which of these titles appeals to you?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

2015 Academy Awards

The winners have been announced and the parties begun. The big winner for the evening was Birdman with four Oscars: Best Picture, Directing, Cinematography, and Writing (Original Screenplay). 

If you missed the awards show, here are some of the winners and a link to the complete list.
Best Picture:  Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) - Alejandro G. Inarritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole 

Actor in a Leading Role:  Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything

Actress in a Leading Role:  Julianne Moore - Still Alice 

Actor in Supporting Role:  J. K. Simmons - Whiplash

Actress in a Support Role:  Patricia Arquette - Boyhood

Animated Feature Film:  Big Hero 6

Directing:  Alejandro G. Inarritu - Birdman or (The Unexpected Virture of Ignorance)

Click 87th Academy Awards for a full list of winners and nominees

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Announcing the 2014 Nebula Awards Shortlist ...

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) 2014 Nebula Award nominees have been announced. "The Nebula Awards are voted on, and presented by, active members of SFWA. Voting will open to SFWA Active members on March 1 and close on March 30." The winners will be announced during the 50th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend to be held in Chicago, Illinois, June 4 through 7, 2015. 

In the category of NOVEL, the shortlist consists of:

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison  

Trial by Fire by Charles E. Gannon 

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

Coming Home by Jack McDevitt

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

The full list of nominees in all categories can be found at the SFWA site.

Which title would you vote for?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Zuckerberg's Next 'A Year of Books' Title Announced

Mark Zuckerberg of facebook has announced his newest reading selection. The fourth title for his 2015 book club challenge, is:

On Immunity: an Inoculation by Eula Biss, a Top Ten pick of the New York Times Book Review for 2014. 

"A provocative examination of the pervasive fears and myths surrounding vaccines researches, from a mother's perspective, the historical and cultural factors that cause people to doubt government regulations and the medical establishment." (NoveList)

If interested in others opinions of his choice, there are posts about it on FastCompany and  

Will you take up Zuckerberg's challenge?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Love is in the Air! Romance Reading Suggestions

Hearts & Roses! Chocolate & Strawberries! A date with your honey! This is the day to celebrate love and relationships. 

Romance fans may like to explore the genre through reading and there are plenty of titles to choose from. During February readers can find up to 20 suggestions on the "Explore a New Genre: Romance" board on Pinterest. Five titles are added to the board each Monday throughout the month so you can pick one or all to read! 

If the list of titles looks familiar, scroll down to the Romance Genre book talk suggestions list under the Book Talk Titles tab. :-)

After Valentine's Day, keep love in the air by reading a Romance novel.

Have a favorite Romance title or reading one right now? Share the title and why you enjoyed it through Comments.

Friday, February 13, 2015

March 2015 LibraryReads List!

The March 2015 LibraryReads Top 10 list was announced Friday, February 13 and the winner is ...

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce. 

A leisurely-paced, character-driven novel and follow-up to the author's best-selling 2012 debut The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

"Given days to live and attended by a cast of well-wishers, Queenie Hennessy hides the existence of a long letter to Harold Fry revealing shocking and beautiful truths about her life." (NoveList)

The full March 2015 list of Top Ten titles can be found on the LibraryReads website.

2015 Andrew Carnegie Longlist Announced

The Longlist for the this year's Andrew Carnegie Medals for Fiction and Nonfiction have been announced. The Andrew Carnegie Medals are "a joint initiative of Carnegie Corporation of New York and the American Library Association" with a committee selecting titles from the most recent Booklist Editors' Choice and RUSA Notable Books List. 

This year's Awards Longlist consists of 43 titles which will be narrowed down to three Fiction and three Nonfiction titles to make up a Shortlist to be announced in April. The winning Fiction and Nonfiction titles will be announced on Saturday, June 27 at the American Library Association's (ALA) 2015 Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA.

Start reading now and see if you can 'pick' the shortlist titles! Maybe after all your reading you will be able to anticipate the 2015 medal winners!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

20th Annual 2015 Audie Award Finalists Announced

Seeing as I am into all things audio this year, it is exciting to share the list of finalists for the 2015 Audie Awards

The Audies are sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association and "is the only awards program in the United States entirely devoted to recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment."

The 2015 winners will be announced on May 28th at the Audie Awards Gala in New York City.

Monday, February 9, 2015

'Explore a New Genre' Pinterest Board

If you haven't already seen it, check out the new genre board being posted by staff at St. Charles City-County Library District (MO) on Pinterest.

Each month a board will be posted exploring a new genre with five (5) titles added each Monday; 20 titles in all to choose from, read, and enjoy! For February the titles are, of course, all about Romance and there are ten (10) great romances on the 'Explore a Genre: Romance' board as of today with more to come throughout the month! Another board for a different genre will be posted in March - providing an interesting way to discover new titles all month long!

These Pinterest boards are inspired by an idea in The Romance Readers' Advisory: the Librarian's Guide to Romance in the Stacks by Ann Bouricius (2000). In her book, the author proposes a 'Five Book Challenge' as a method for learning about any new genre. She suggests reading five (5) titles a year in a genre as great way gain a closer understanding of what the genre about and why reader's enjoy it.

Monday, February 2, 2015

2015 Youth Media Awards Announced!!

The 2015 Youth Media Awards were announced  Monday morning, February 2 during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Conference in Chicago. 

Highlights from the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) awards include:

Alex Award Winners - given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The winning titles are selected from the previous year's publishing.

Margaret A. Edwards - which honors an individual author for their significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens.

William C. Morris Award - honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author.

Michael L. Printz Award - is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.

The Odyssey Award - is given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. The award is administered by ALSC and YALSA and sponsored by Booklist.

Highlights from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) awards include: 

Caldecott Medal - is awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

Andrew Carnegie Medal - honors an outstanding American video production for children released during the previous year.

Newbery Medal - is awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

(Laura Ingalls) Wilder Award - honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.

More Youth Media Award winners can be found at ALA News.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

RUSA 2015 Book & Media Awards Announced!!

The Reference & User Services Association (RUSA) 2015 Book & Media Awards were announced Sunday February 1 during the American Library Association (ALA) 2015 Midwinter Conference in Chicago, IL.

The Listen List - highlights extraordinary narrators and listening experiences that merit special attention by a general adult audience and the librarians who advise them.

Reading List -is an annual best-of list composed of eight different fiction genres for adult readers.
Notable Books List - is an annual best-of list comprised of 26 titles written for adult readers and published in the United States, including fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

Sophie Brody Medal - is funded by the Brodart Foundation and is given to encourage, recognize and commend outstanding achievement in Jewish Literature. Works for adults published in the United States in the preceding year are eligible for the award.
The Dartmouth Medal - honors the creation of a reference source of outstanding quality and significance and is given to the best new reference source published during the previous year.
I had the honor of announcing the winner of the Louis Shores Award which  recognizes an individual reviewer, group, editor, review medium or organization for excellence in reviewing materials for libraries.
News and links to all of the 2015 RUSA Book & Media Awards can be found at ALA News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

WESTERN Book Discussion - Question # 7

One final question about the characters ...

  • Are any of the characters in THE OUTCASTS "good people," in your estimation? What qualifies as goodness in the universe of this novel? Which character (if any) do you consider the story's moral center, and why?

Submit your points via the Comments: link.

Monday, January 26, 2015

WESTERN Book Discussion - Question # 6

Who might enjoy this book ...

  • To which of your customers, family, friends, or co-workers might you suggest The Outcasts? Why do you think they would enjoy it? 

  • Many readers learn about new titles using social media ... how would you promote the book on Twitter or Hootsuite, using less than 140 characters?

Let's talk about the readers' advisory aspect using the COMMENTS: link.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

WESTERN Book Discussion - Question # 5

What about the genre itself ...

  • How does this book compare with other Westerns that you have read (or seen)? What themes does this novel share with them, and which does it reject or reimagine?

Use the COMMENTS: link to provide your answer.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

WESTERN Book Discussion - Question # 4

Let's continue with the title ...

  • Why do you think this novel is called THE OUTCASTS? Which characters does this phrase describe, and why? What would it take for THE OUTCASTS to be "included," and what would they lose in the process?

Please enter your response using the COMMENTS: link.

Friday, January 23, 2015

National Readathon Day - January 24, 2015

Tomorrow is national READATHON day which is being sponsored by Penguin Random House, goodreads, Mashable, and the National Book Foundation

Anyone can get involved by joining readers across the country in a marathon reading session from 12:00 Noon to 4:00 PM on Saturday, Jan 24th, 2015.  Local businesses or libraries may even be holding reading parties for visitors to join. 

Participants can also share experiences and photos through social media, use the hash tag and make #timetoread.

WESTERN Book Discussion - Question # 3

What about Nate, the male protagonist ...

  • Nate's first encounter with Dr. Tom and Deerling is marked by distrust and disapproval of their questionable methods, but his relationship with both men evolves as they work together. What does Nate learn from these more seasoned rangers, and from being on the job? How would you describe the portrayal of male friendship in this novel?

Use the COMMENTS: link to discuss this point.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

WESTERN Book Discussion - Question # 2

Now let's expand the discussion by exploring the character of Lucinda ...

  • Lucinda's moral spectrum has many shades of grey. Dr. Tom sums her up with a question: "What makes you think a woman with any decency left would cleave to an evil man like McGill?" Is his assessment of Lucinda fair? Did you find yourself sympathizing with Lucinda or judging her? To what extent should we forgive her capacity for cold self-interest and even brutality?

 Use the COMMENTS: link to continue the discussion.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WESTERN Book Discussion - Question # 1

The Western benchmark selection is THE OUTCASTS by Kathleen Kent, "a taut, thrilling adventure story about buried treasure, a manhunt, and a woman determined to make a new life for herself in the old west."

Let's begin with a bit about the main characters ...

  • Most of THE OUTCASTS revolves around the separate journeys that Lucinda and Nate take before their paths cross. Discuss the motivations that initially drive the two protagonists towards their goals?

Post a COMMENT to begin or continue the discussion.

Friday, January 16, 2015

An Old-Fashioned Book-Group Leader?

 Another great post from the district's own Sue D about book discussion groups! Check out her current Book Group Buzz blog post on The Booklist Reader:

I'm an Old-Fashioned Book-Group Leader - and Proud of It!

The article has some interesting and useful points for consideration, no matter how a leader or group runs their book discussion.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge?

Many set goals with the start of a new year - lose weight, live a more healthy life, manage their time better, and so on. By now, half way through January, those goals are most likely set so I wondered what reading goals may have been established as individual challenges for 2015.

Some will challenge themselves to increase their reading, setting a goal for a number of books to be read each month or for the year. Why even Mark Zuckerberg of facebook has set himself a reading goal for this year: to read a book every other week

Others wish to expand their reading into other areas by, for example, reading more titles in a specific genre, reading more nonfiction, or listening to recorded books. 

My personal goal this year is to read 50 books, on average 4 a month. In addition I want to make, at least, half of those audiobooks. Have been increasing my audiobook listening in 2014 and decided a challenge for 2015 was the way to get me to increase it again.

So tell me what your reading goal is for 2015? Can hardly wait to see your challenges in the Comments!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Western is Still Alive, Really ...

Wish you could offer more than paperback series titles when customers ask for assistance in finding a Western to read, but you don't know where to begin?

Maybe you are interested in exploring the Western genre for yourself? Why not read one (or more) of the suggested titles under the Book Talk Titles tab and next time that pesky Western question comes your way you will have more to share. Copies of each title on the list are available in the SCCCLD collection, including the designated *benchmark*

If you wish to or have already read the *benchmark*, The Outcasts, please join in an online book discussion of Kathleen Kent's award-winning title through Tales from the RAT Queen

Watch for a question to be posted each day, beginning Wednesday, January 21 running through Tuesday, January 27. Use the Comments link at the bottom of each post to carry on the discussion.

Posting about your Western book of choice on the SCCCLD Book Challenge blog will help your co-workers and our customers learn about more titles in this genre. Please submit your Western title posts to the staff blog beginning January 28th, the day after the online book discussion ends. 

Contact Laura P at the Spencer branch if you are not already a participant in the district book challenge.

It will be great to hear about all the upcoming Western discoveries made by the SCCCLD staff!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Genre Study Schedule Update

The schedule for Round 5 of the Genre Study Book Discussion program has been updated. The format of the program has also been adjusted.

Check out the link under the Round 5 tab to see the changes.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Local Area Librarian Honored!

Check out the blog post on BOOKRIOT - Five Book Culture Heroes of 2014 by Brenna Clark Gray. Librarian Scott Bonner of Ferguson Municipal Public Library was chosen as "Book Culture Hero of 2014." The story was also picked up on EarlyWord - Ferguson Librarian Honored.

Ferguson Municipal Public Library (MO)
It is great to see Mr. Bonner and the Ferguson Library recognized for all their good work.

CONGRATULATIONS!! Well done and well deserved!

RA Tip: Finding Mixed Genre Titles

Genre Blender
Do you have customers who are fans of mixed genre titles? Have trouble finding books to suggest? Wish there was a tool to help?

Well, thanks to librarian Megan McArdle there is a place where you can choose two or more genres, throw them in a 'blender' and get a list of title suggestions! 

Check out GENRIFY: Where genres mix and mingle

The blog is a companion to The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Blends by Megan M. McArdle (ALA Editions, 2014)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What Are You Reading for the Holidays?

Many of us will be taking time off in the next week or so to celebrate the holidays. That vacation may include visits with family and friends, opening presents, watching sports, going out to the movies, food (plenty of food, more than likely), or simply time to just kick back and relax!

One of the best ways to relax is reading and there are sure to be folks who already know what they are planning to read during their Holiday vacation. Some folks may currently be reading (or have already finished) the book they were planning to read in  December. Or perhaps you have a favorite title you enjoy re-reading at this time of year. 

Soooooo, tell us ... 

What ARE you reading for the Holidays? And if so inclined, let us know why that book for this Winter season. 

Use the COMMENTS link below.

Friday, December 12, 2014

RA Tip: LibraryReads January 2015 Top Ten Announced!!

The first Top Ten list for 2015 has come to pass and the winner is ... As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust: a Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley.

Lizzi Gall of Grand Rapids Public Library (Grand Rapids, MI) describes the book ...

"After the unexpected recover of her mother's body brings the de Luce's family secrets to light, Flavia's life is turned upside down. Now on her way to a Canadian boarding school, she must survive her first term-and more importantly, uncover the mystery of a corpse found in her dorm room chimney the night she arrives. A delightful installment in the series!"

Check out the complete January 2015 list at LibraryReads. A PDF of the annotated list is also available - use it with a display or as a customer handout!

Note: the due date for LibraryReads has changed to six weeks ahead of the publication month. For example, the nomination deadline for February 2015 titles is December 20, 2014 with March 2015 titles due by January 20, 2015.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

#libfaves14 Winners Announced on EarlyWord!

Yesterday's post was about the  annual event of library staff tweeting their Top 10 favorite reads for the year. The 2014 'event' ran from December 1 through December 10 and during that time, the tweets using hasttag #libfaves14 were being compiled on EarlyWord to create a full list of titles.
EarlyWord: The Publisher/Librarian Connection

'Votes' were also being counted to determine which favorite title (or titles) were tweeted about the most! The #libfaves14 winners were posted on EarlyWord this morning!

Were the winners one of your favorite reads for 2014?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


For the last 10 days, library staff from all over have be tweeting TOP 10 titles for 2014. If you didn't know, tweeting about your Top 10 reads of the year has become an annual event with the titles posted once a day in reverse order from December 1 through December 10. [NOTE: you can play catch up if you miss the starting date or happen to skip a day ... ]

See last year's post RA Tip: FAVORITE READS OF 2013!

Using #libfaves14, participants list title, author and a brief description using fewer than 130 characters. I participated again this year so here are my Top 10 reads for 2014, posted on Twitter over the last few days: 

10. Gaiman’s THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE: part childhood reminiscence, mythology, & innocence lost, with lyrical language #libfaves14
9. DRACULA VERSUS SANTA - DeJesus & Power: hilarious Graphic Novel with Christmas symbols facing off famous monsters #libfaves14
8. THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY – G. Zevin: made me feel like I was wandering the aisles of a small cozy bookstore #libfaves14
7. THE BOOK OF LIFE: search for Ashmole 782 concludes with life & family becoming more complicated for Diana & Matthew #libfaves14
6. Cain’s ONE KICK: dynamic between Kick & Bishop is intense, 2 determined, flawed individuals working toward a common goal #libfaves14
5. DANGEROUS WOMEN: great anthology of new short stories by 21 different authors who write is multiple genres #libfaves14
4. STORM FRONT: listened to with family during long drive, believe have turned my children into lifelong Dresden fans!  #libfaves14
3. FIRST LORD’S FURY - on a Jim Butcher kick in 2014: finished listening to last title in his Codex Alera fantasy series #libfaves14
2. IN THE KINGDOM OF ICE: fascinating nonfiction about lost ship & crew searching Arctic passage to the North Pole in 1880s #libfaves14
1. THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen: an epic fantasy debut with magic, mystery, adventure; 1st in series #libfaves14

What were your top 10 reads for 2014? Let's use the COMMENTS: link below and you'll only need to list the title and author. :-)


Do you anticipate a particular "Best of..." book list every year? Or do you enjoy looking at any and all such lists?

The "Best of ..." lists usually come out near the end of the year and it has become common practice for them to be posted online. They are posted on the website of whichever the newspaper, journal, organization, company, publisher, or [insert name here] that produces the list.

Some lists are re-tweeted, re-posted on related news sites, or blogged about by interested parties. It can be a problem keeping track of the "Best of ... " book lists those who find such lists of interest. Well there is a site which can help with that!

A music blog called  largehearted boy has posted an alphabetical list of every online "best of [year]" which they can find very year for the last seven years! What a great way to look for a link to your favorite "Best of 2014" book list.

Check out their most recent update to the Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists.