September 2013 LibraryReads List



by Rainbow Rowell

Published: 9/10/2013
by St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBN: 9781250030955

“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 Public Library, Seattle, WA


How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

by Louise Penny

Published: 8/27/2013 by Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9780312655471

“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 Public Library, Berkeley, CA


Night Film: A Novel

by Marisha Pessl

Published: 8/20/2013 by Random House
ISBN: 9781400067886

“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 Library System, Uniondale, NY


Help for the Haunted: A Novel

by John Searles

Published: 9/17/2013 by William Morrow
ISBN: 9780060779634

“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, Help for the Haunted 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 Public Library, Salem, OR


The Returned

by Jason Mott

Published: 8/27/2013 by Harlequin MIRA
ISBN: 9780778315339

“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 them 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 Library, Destrehan, LA


Burial Rites: A Novel

by Hannah Kent

Published: 9/10/2013 by Little, Brown
ISBN: 9780316243919

“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. Burial Rites is an excellent choice for reading groups, especially those who have enjoyed Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace.”

Margaret Donovan, Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA


Margot: A Novel

by Jillian Cantor

Published: 9/3/2013 by Riverhead
ISBN: 9781594486432

“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. This great book will appeal to reading groups and fans of alternative history, what-if novels and character-centered fiction.”

Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC


Songs of Willow Frost: A Novel

by Jamie Ford

Published: 9/10/2013 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345522023

“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 Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA


Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

by Sheri Fink

Published: 9/10/2013 by Crown
ISBN: 9780307718969

“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 Public Library, Lake Mills, WI


A House in the Sky: A Memoir

by Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett

Published: 9/10/2013 by Scribner
ISBN: 9781451645606

“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 led 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 Library, Fairfield, CT

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22 responses to “September 2013 LibraryReads List”

  1. Stephanie Franco says:

    This list is great, but all of these books are up-and-coming. I thought that the list would have books that have been out for a while. I know that there are people out there that get early editions, but not all librarians or bookstore staff have that privilege. How is that suppose to work? All these books are either coming out next week or in a couple of weeks. Staff picks are not always new books.

    • Melissa DeWild says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      Here are some suggestions for getting advanced copies of books to nominate!

      How can I get advance copies of books?

      Publishers distribute advance reading copies in both physical and digital formats, and there is a wide range of ways to get free early copies of the books that you’re excited to read. The list below features some of the more popular choices.

      Giveaways at conferences & shows: Visit publisher booths at BEA, ALA, and state library association shows
      Digital reading copies: don’t worry if you don’t travel! Edelweiss and NetGalley are fantastic online communities where publishers offer free advance copies to public librarians.
      Library Marketing departments: Many publishers have staff devoted to library outreach – these are great people to contact when there is a specific book you want. EarlyWord has an excellent list of marketing contacts and information here:
      Publishing newsletters and blogs: Reading copies are frequently offered via industry email newsletters and blogs (which have no subscription costs) – plus it’s a great way to stay on top of publishing trends.

      Hope this helps!


    • Susanne Sullivan says:

      I agree with Stephanie that many of us would like to see recommendations of books that have already been published. VERY few staff librarians get to see advance copies, so we won’t be able to contribute.

      • Brigid says:


        I just started requesting ARCs from edelweiss and NetGalley, and within a week I’ve been approved for more books than I can read in three months. I had no idea it would be that easy, so I requested a lot thinking I’d get a few. If you’re a librarian, you will most likely be approved, especially considering LibraryReads has its own special corner on Edelweiss 🙂

  2. Todd Mason says:

    An interesting start! Congratulations.

  3. This is a great start. I understand the concern regarding the fact that these are all either new, or about to be published. I too submitted *The Returned* and *Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital* as both of these books are in my opinion going to make a big impact on book clubs and readers. I was that excited about them. I don’t plan on submitting all *new or soon to be published* titles in the future, but sometimes I might as the readers/library patrons that I deal with like to be ahead of the proverbial curve.

    • Melissa DeWild says:

      Hi Marika,

      Glad to hear you’re participating in LibraryReads! At this point the focus is on newly published titles, so each month’s list will feature new titles published that month. I hope you’ll nominate some October titles too!


  4. Katie says:

    These are all grown-up books! Can we please have a list of Librarian Reads for children’s and teen books? I am a Youth Services Librarian, and while it’s interesting to see what adult titles everyone’s excited about, these aren’t the books that I will be asked about or will be recommending to my patrons. I have recommended three teen books through Librarian Reads, so I think there would be more than enough recommendations to create a separate list for children’s and teen books. Thank you!

    • Melissa DeWild says:

      Hi Katie,

      We’re starting with a very focused list, because we think that will have the greatest impact. One of the goals of LibraryReads is to showcase the important role public libraries play in building buzz for new books and new authors. This is already well-established in the field of children’s books – but perhaps not as widely acknowledged for adult books. We appreciate the suggestion and will definitely consider it for the future as LibraryReads becomes more established.


      • It’s good to hear that, in the future, there may be a list that specifically focuses on Children’s, MG, and YA titles. In the meantime, I think this is a fabulous start and I fully support all the books that have made the list!

  5. Ted Stark says:

    Sweet! That’s all.

  6. I love this list and have read most of the books mentioned. I went to the Earlyword site and noticed that the publicists/marketing agents/reps cater to the librarian crowd (I envy you all, by the way!). Will they work with bloggers; I am the owner of Book Hog, and at the end of each review, I tell my readers to visit their local libraries.

    • Melissa DeWild says:

      Hey Jacki,

      Nora from touched based with several of the publishers with library marketing teams, and they said if you get in touch with them, they’ll pass your email on to right place!


  7. Kristie says:

    Have the “digital marketing materials, to use on your website and in your own e-mail newsletters” been created yet? I don’t see them on the website. I would like to print our an attractive display copy, plus use this list but add links to my library catalog for customers. But this is a great initiative – I love Indie Reads and look forward to contributing in the future!

  8. Maggie says:

    I like this list as new releases – very helpful for our small library looking for good reads on a small budget.

  9. Lucy says:

    I noticed that you have included a PDF download link on the ‘Nominate Titles’ page. I think it would make more sense if the PDF download link was on THIS page, the one showing the ‘current’ Library Reads list, rather than on the ‘Nominate Titles’ page. It would be ever better IF that that link were to be included in the (first) email announcing the monthly Library Reads list.

    That being said, THANK YOU so much for including a link to a PDF copy for us to use! I am having color copies made of each monthly list to be sent out to all of our branches! They can display a copy of the list in the branch and offer copies for customers to take with them! Great for marketing forthcoming titles in the collection!

    I have been encouraging our staff to sign up for the Library Reads program and to start posting about their nominated titles on our book challenge blog.

    • Melissa DeWild says:

      Thanks so much for promoting LibraryReads, Lucy!

      The link to the marketing materials also appears on the sidebar of the homepage. If you’re not seeing it, just refresh the page.

  10. Barb Thompson says:

    I think it is important for us to understand this is a wonderful tool for librarians, but it needs the cooperation and assistance of the publishers. They are interested in getting feedback on new materials being published soon. And, they want librarians to get information on materials they may not have had a chance to see as of yet. I think it makes perfect sense for this to be a tool for new and upcoming materials. We have many other reader’s advisory tools for materials currently in print. And, the ARCs are readily available.

  11. Cyndi says:

    What a great list of books; most have immediately been added to my TBR/Wish list!!