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Shelf Renewal Blog - Booklist Online

Shelf Renewal

A Booklist Blog
Nobody puts backlist in a corner—readers'-advisory experts Karen Kleckner Keefe and Rebecca Vnuk bring attention to older titles by featuring "dusty books" and offering read-alikes for what’s hot on the holds list.

Friday, August 22, 2014 10:48 am
Web Crush of the Week: Tales from the RAT Queen
Posted by: Rebecca Vnuk

No, she’s not actually a rodent (she’s really a quite nice librarian). Lucy Lockley, Booklist Editorial Board member and collection development manager for the St. Charles City-County Library District in Missouri, coordinates the district’s Readers’ Advisory Team, also known as the RATs. Hence, she is the RAT Queen.

The RAT program uses a combined book-discussion and booktalking format and covers multiple genres. With the combination of a book-discussion meeting, where everyone has read the same title, followed by a booktalk meeting, where each participant speaks about their selection, everyone reads two titles in each genre, and the results of their discussions can be found on the Tales from the RAT Queen blog.

Useful genre stuff here, including benchmark titles, as well as links to various RA resources. Give it a look!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014 11:53 am
Secrets and Lies
Posted by: Karen Kleckner Keefe

big little liesLiane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies is burning up the charts. Fans of Moriarty’s smart, suspenseful women’s fiction may enjoy these other engaging domestic dramas.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 1:56 pm
Do You Have a Feel for Steel?
Posted by: Karen Kleckner Keefe

steelIf you include her children’s books, Danielle Steel has over 100 books to her credit. She has been delighting, and indeed creating, fans of women’s fiction for five decades. With a fan base like that, you better believe they get itchy when they have to wait for a new one. Die-hards have probably already devoured July’s A Perfect Life, so turn them onto some other easy-to-read contemporary fiction focusing on women’s lives (and, a lot of the time, loves.)

Friday, July 25, 2014 7:00 am
Web Crush of the Week: Bustle
Posted by: Karen Kleckner Keefe

bustleBustle is a pretty great website/brand/online presence that is, as they say, “for and by women who are moving forward as fast as you are.” Less snark than Jezebel more meat than The Mary Sue (both of which I love, BTW) this is a great great site for a quick fix of pop culture, lifestyle, and current events. And, of course, everyone smart and awesome also writes about books. As do the fabulous ladies and men who write Bustle’s lively book section. Recent articles include Child of the ‘90s? These 16 Books and Series Will Send You Back, 11 Moving Beach Reads That’ll Have You Weeping Into Your Pina Colada and read-alikes for Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings (to which I would totally add Joanna Smith Rakoff’s A Fortunate Age.) In summary–books: good; smart ladies: good; really good.



Wednesday, July 23, 2014 2:04 pm
Not Happily Ever After
Posted by: Karen Kleckner Keefe

californiaWhen our best writers imagine a new society, it’s rarely filled with happy people, flying cars and Jetsons-style yummy food packs. No, these near futures or imagined places often emerge as the result of some catastrophic event of our own making. From classics like 1984, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451 to popular teen titles The Giver, Hunger Games, and Divergent — things are not looking good. Edan Lepucki’s California is the latest tale of scarcity and survival to keep worried readers up all night. Readers eager to explore other apocalypses and dystopic dramas may enjoy:


Monday, July 14, 2014 7:00 am
For Fans of Factory Man
Posted by: Karen Kleckner Keefe

factory manSubtitled “How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local–and Helped Save an American Town,” Beth Macy’s Factory Man is one of the most buzzed about books this summer. In addition to Macy’s engaging, approachable writing style, readers are responding to this book for what it makes them think and how it makes them feel. For one reader the appeal might be the story of  one guy willing to take a stand–for others it will be the illuminating look at global economics. Talk to your readers about what they liked or why they’re on the waiting list, then make their day by recommending something else right up their alley.




Thursday, July 3, 2014 4:04 pm
Road Trip
Posted by: Karen Kleckner Keefe

carsickThe 4th of July is a time when we reflect on our nation’s history. The rest of the summer, we focus on its breadth–making the most of long days, no school, and our beautiful lakes, streams, and oceans. The Great American Road Trip is a part of our cultural history. Want a very modern take? Ride along with cult flm director John Waters in his hilarious hitchhiking adventure Carsick. Not tickled by the idea of hours alone in a car with Mr. Waters? (Can’t imagine why.) Then test your luck with these travel tales that explore our shining seas, mountains majesty, and everything in between.

Friday, June 27, 2014 8:00 am
Web Crush of the Week: Lee Goldberg
Posted by: Karen Kleckner Keefe

goldbergAuthor and TV producer Lee Goldberg offers a unique perspective on mysteries of page and screen. He’s written scripts for and/or produced such hits as Spenser: For Hire. Diagnosis Murder, Nero Wolfe, and Monk.  He has written books based on the  Diagnosis Murder series and the Emmy-award winning Monk.

Goldberg’s blog covers everything from insights on new mystery TV series picked up for fall to what it was like writing the Fox & O’Hare books with Janet Evanovich. An encouraging kindred spirit for those wanting to break into crime-writing and a jovial introduction for those content to wach from the sidelines.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 7:00 am
Good Sports
Posted by: Karen Kleckner Keefe

Yes, the World Cup is pretty exciting. Wimbledon, too. And how about golf phenoms Lucy Li and Michelle Wie? No denying it, it’s a good week to be a sports fan. But let’s not forget the little guys. The balls and pucks and shuttlecocks that live outside the limelight. Let’s give the second-stringers some love with a little backlist shove.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 10:38 am
Dusty Book: Writ of Execution by Perri O’Shaughnessy
Posted by: Rebecca Vnuk

(OK, so it takes place in Lake Tahoe rather than Las Vegas . . .  but this Dusty was inspired by the upcoming ALA conference in Vegas.)

In Writ of Execution, Jessie wins a mega-jackpot on a slot machine. When she goes to collect her winnings, however, she is too frightened to reveal her identity to the authorities, as she is on the run from a stalker.  As it turns out, poor Jessie’s got more troubles ahead. Attorney Nina Reilly assists the young woman and finds out the slot machine was rigged, and the crooks who rigged it want their money. Now. 

From the Booklist review:  “The big question is, Who will get the money? Jessie, who pulled the lever? The man who got up from the machine? Jessie’s former father-in-law, who seeks revenge on the young woman? The father-in-law’s lawyer, who is Nina’s nemesis? Or maybe a corrupt casino employee trying to rig the system?  The sister duo behind the O’Shaughnessy pseudonym know how to tell an engaging story, and this one doesn’t disappoint.


Many thanks to librarian Magan Szwarek and to the Stop You’re Killing Me database for helping me find this book based on a very thin thread!




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