YA Crossover Tops Inaugural LibraryReads List

The inaugural LibraryReads lists ten newly published and forthcoming titles nominated as “favorites” by librarians from around the country. The surprise is the first pick—a YA crossover described by School Library Journal as a “charming coming-of-age novel tells the story of a painfully shy teen who prefers the fantasy world of fanfiction to reality.”

The monthly list will be publicized and promoted by librarians in library branches as well as in patron newsletters, websites, etc., and will appear in Library Journal alongside an author interview. (See LJ 9/15/13 for the Q&A with Jamie Ford.)

Interested in getting involved? LibraryReads welcomes recommendations from all public library staff members, not just readers’ advisory experts or credentialed librarians.

1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (St. Martin’s)
“At turns funny, sweet, smart, and sad, Fangirl traces Cath’s journey to independence as she begins college, struggles to have an identity separate from her twin sister, find her voice and passion as a writer and fall in love, maybe, for the first time. As sharp and emotionally resonant as Rowell’s previous novel, Eleanor & Park.”—Stephanie Chase, Seattle P.L.

SLJ’s review




2. How The Light Gets In by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
“The latest novel featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec is as amazing as ever. The internal conflict within the Québec police force that has been building in the series comes to a head, prompting Gamache to retreat to the small town of Three Pines.  The combination of fascinating mystery puzzles, exquisitely crafted characters, and gorgeous, gorgeous writing is irresistible.”—Megan McArdle, Berkeley P.L.,CA

Read LJ‘s starred review and a preview of the audio version in our BEA Editors’ Picks

3. Night Film by Marisha Pessl (Random)
“Scott McGrath has it all—a successful career in journalism, a beautiful wife, and an adorable daughter— until his impulsive, possibly libelous comment about the mysterious film director Stanislav Cordova causes everything to fall apart. Five years later, Cordova’s talented daughter, Ashley, dies from an apparent suicide — or is it? A giant, delicious, juicy read in the noir tradition that cuts across genres.”—Elizabeth Olesh, Nassau Lib. Syst., Long Island, NY

LJ‘s starred review



4. Help for the Haunted by John Searles (Morrow)
“Fourteen-year-old Sylvia slowly unravels deep family secrets after her demonologist parents are gunned down in a deserted church. Creepy, disturbing, and compelling, with gothic overtones and well-drawn characters, this is definitely one of my favorite suspense novels of the year. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to older teens, and it would also make a terrific movie.”—Robin Beerbower, Salem P.L., OR

See Prepub Alert 3/18/13

5. The Returned by Jason Mott (Harlequin: MIRA)
“Around the world, people are coming back from the dead and trying to reunite with their loved ones. In a tiny Southern town, Harold and Lucille Hargrave are astonished to have their son Jacob come back to them fifty years after he died. A global government agency at first works to reunite “The Returned” with their families, then later confines as more and more people come back from the dead. A beautifully written exploration of love and family, community and responsibility, and a perfect book group selection.”—Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Lib., New Orleans

LJ‘s starred review


6. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Little, Brown)
“Kent has created a first-rate debut novel with beautiful, lyrical passages and characters true to their historical counterparts. The unforgettable story finds convicted killer Agnes Magnúsdóttir awaiting execution and seeking both a reprieve from her dreadful sentence, and the possibility of redemption. An excellent choice for reading groups, especially those who have enjoyed Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace.”—Margaret Donovan, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, MA

LJ‘s starred review

7. Margot by Jillian Cantor (Riverhead)
“Can you hide from your past and change who you are? If you try, what do you risk losing? This delicately written novel proposes an alternate fate for Anne Frank’s sister: Margot Frank survives the war, moves to Philadelphia, finds work as a law secretary and assumes the identity ‘Margie Franklin.’ But when the movie version of The Diary of A Young Girl  is released and the law firm takes on the case of a Holocaust survivor, Margot’s past and Margie’s carefully constructed present collide. Will appeal to reading groups.—Janet Lockhart, Wake Cty. Public Libs., Cary, NC

LJ’s review

8. Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford (Ballantine)
“Fans of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet have been eagerly anticipating Ford’s new book. Set in 1920s Seattle, this is the moving story of a young Chinese-American woman who becomes pregnant by her stepfather. With her stunning good looks and lovely voice, Liu supports herself through singing, but difficult circumstances force her to give up her son William for adoption. Flash forward several years: William spots a movie ad featuring the glamorous actress, Willow Frost. Convinced that Willow is his ah-ma, he escapes the orphanage, determined to find her. A memorable journey, and one well worth taking.”—Anne Lee, Free Lib. of Philadelphia

See Prepub Alert 3/18/13 and watch for the 9/15/13 interview with Jamie Ford

9. Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink (Crown)
“Through exhaustive interviews and extensive research, Fink offers a spellbinding account of Hurricane Katrina, a disaster which held the staff, patients and families of a New Orleans hospital captive and left thousands of others marooned by rising flood waters in the heart of city. Filled with unforgettable life and death stories, Fink’s fine work of investigative journalism reads like a novel. The book causes you to rethink your opinions about end of life, do-not-resuscitate orders and medical ethics.”—Marilyn Sieb, L.D. Fargo P.L., Lake Mills, WI

See Prepub Alert 6/24/13; a review of this title will appear in LJ 9/1/13.


10. A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett (Scribner)
“Absolutely gripping, harrowing and unforgettable! This well-written memoir is a true testament to the strength of one woman’s spirit and her will to survive in unimaginable circumstances. The family issues that lead Amanda Lindhout from her home in Canada to a life of world travel and a career in journalism are as richly detailed and compelling as the brutal account of her fifteen month-long captivity by Somali Islamist rebels in 2008. She tells her story with such vulnerability and honesty that it is a privilege to read it.”—Mary Coe, Fairfield Woods Branch Lib., Fairfield, CT

See Prepub Alert 3/4/13

Henrietta Verma About Henrietta Verma

Henrietta Verma is Senior Editorial Communications Specialist at NISO, the National Information Standards Organization, Baltimore, and was formerly the reviews editor at Library Journal.