A Year in Books: Student Picks from 2015 | The Reader’s Shelf, December 1, 2015

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Mary Wilkes Towner and students in her Adult Popular Literature class at the School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, share their favorite titles of 2015.

The Future of Crime: SF Thrillers | The Reader’s Shelf, November 15, 2015

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At the intersection of “What If?” and “Whodunit?” are sf mysteries and thrillers. The following titles combine suspense and speculative fiction in surprising and innovative ways.

Under the Sea: Mermaid Tales | The Reader’s Shelf, October 15, 2015

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Treacherous or tenderhearted, mermaids spark the imagination and represent a desire to believe in something fantastical and out of reach. But are they truly confined to folklore? Dive in and see.

Haunting Halloween Debuts | The Reader’s Shelf, October 1, 2015

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Looking for some new voices in horror to suggest to patrons this Halloween? Here are six satisfyingly scary recent debuts that showcase the vibrant state of today’s horror.

The Long and Short of It: Short Stories by Novelists | The Reader’s Shelf, September 15, 2015

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Treat yourself to some economical yet substantial works by popular novelists. These shorts can be savored in less time than it takes to do a load of laundry or run to the grocery store.

Family Dynamics: Debuts in Domestic Struggles | The Reader’s Shelf, September 1, 2015

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Tolstoy tells us that every unhappy family suffers a unique despondency. These debuts, each addressing a family on the point of dissolution, prove his point.

Postscript: Life in Letters | The Reader’s Shelf, August 2015

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Between paeans to the practice itself, collections of correspondence, and novels in letters, there is an embarrassment of riches out there for epistolary readers.

A Personal Touch: Debut Memoirs | The Reader’s Shelf, July 2015

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These debut memoirs, while told by very different people, mine the most powerful aspects of common stories—life and death, creativity and perseverance, loss and hope.

Mars: The Re(a)d Planet | The Reader’s Shelf, June 15, 2015

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Sf writers and their fans have been drawn to the Red Planet for decades. Here are some of the best intergalactic adventures published between 1950 and 2014.

A Little Bit of Everything: Short Story Debuts | The Reader’s Shelf, June 1, 2015

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Here are six debuts, each by a writer well worth watching, that prove the pleasures of reading are not reliant on a profusion of pages.