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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

LibraryReads Recommends Great Books

Written by Jon Williams

Working as a partnership between public libraries and a group of major publishers, LibraryReads is a program designed to promote librarians’ favourite novels to adult readers each month. Beginning in September of 2013, each month they produce a list of ten newly published titles nominated and voted on by librarians across the U.S. That very first list was a winner right off the bat, containing, among others, the very popular Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

Since the beginning, 160 novels have been selected by LibraryReads for recommendation to patrons, with a fresh batch ready to go for the first month of the new year. With December being somewhat slow for the publication of new titles, instead of producing a new list, LibraryReads instead came out with their “Favorite of Favorites,” the very best of previously selected titles. It’s a list of great books that showcases the great taste librarians have for literature. The previously mentioned Fangirl made the list, as did another novel by Rowell, Landline. The list also includes Pulitzer Prize winner The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and National Book Award finalist All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

The book selected as the overall favourite, though, was The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, originally selected for the April 2014 list. The story of a grumpy bookseller and collector who undergoes a gradual transformation when a young girl comes into his life, it is Zevin’s eighth novel. Her first, Elsewhere, published in 2005, was a YA novel dealing with the afterlife. Since then, she has written for both teens and adults, with Storied Life being her most acclaimed work to date.

The full list of LibraryReads Favorite of Favorites can be found in our January audiobook buyer’s guide, or on our website. And for January, it’s back to the usual list of ten brand new novels for patrons to check out. This first list is headlined by such titles as As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, the new Flavia de Luce title from Alan Bradley, and The Rosie Effect, follow-up to The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simison. It also includes The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, The Bishop’s Wife by Mette Ivie Harrison, Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar, First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen, and Full Throttle by Julie Ann Walker.

Interested in LibraryReads for your library? No problem! Check out the program’s website for materials you can use to promote each month’s titles to your patrons. While you’re there, you can find out how to nominate books for the list and participate in selection, if you don’t already. Help bring your love of books—and audiobooks!—to patrons who might otherwise miss these great reads.

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