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Thursday, January 11, 2018

More 2017 Year-End Best Lists and a Look Ahead to 2018

RA for All: Horror is back for the new year and things are going to be busy from the get go. I am very involved with StokerCon 2018 coming March 1-4. So I will have many posts about that. Whether you can make it to Providence for Librarians’ Day or not [click here for details and a $10 off coupon], I will have plenty of horror resources, content, and book suggestions for you on the blog in the coming weeks. I am also working on a StokerCon themed reading list for my annual “Halfway to Halloween" Library Journal column.

But before we transition into StokerCon mode, I want to finish the wrap up for the best books of 2017.  Here are some lists that you should be using both as you serve readers and as you work on your collection development:

  • My list of the best horror books that I read which were published in 2017. I have 10 official selections with comments and links to reviews as well as 3 more titles that just missed the list and three more that I really loved but they were not quite 100% horror. These final three genre blended choices may be the best place for you to start with readers.
  • Brian Keene’s list of the Top 15 books he read this year. Not only is this a great list [note we have more than a few overlaps] but he includes a paragraph about each book and the author. These are very appeal based and can be used as your script to book talk the titles to patrons. Pull up the page and say, “According to horror writer Brian Keene.....”
    • Side note reminder, as I always say in my training programs, a book talk doesn’t have to be your words. You can read from the lists of others, NoveList, Library Reads, etc.... Patrons don’t care if you wrote it, they just want information about whether or not the book is for them. Of course credit the source as you are speaking. In my live appearances I explain this concept this way-- When someone comes in and asks for information about North Korea you don’t simply spout out what you know off the top of your head. Of course not! In fact, I am guessing that statement shocked many of you. You would never do that. Then why do you all think every book suggestion has to be generated from your personal experience?  For the reference question, you immediately pull up resources and read from those. Well guess what? Helping a reader can use the same tried and true process we library workers have relied on for centuries. Different type of question, but the process is the same. Now back to the horror lists...
  • Barnes and Noble’s Editors’ Picks for the Best Horror of 2017. Again list is annotated, so see above. Also, don’t roll your eyes at it being from B&N. They have a wonderful editorial staff for SF/FSY/Horror and produce some of the best content on speculative fiction, especially the more mainstream titles that libraries would be considering.
  • Tor.com’s Best Books of 2017- All are speculative, many are horror or horror-esque.
  • In January of 2017, in his column for LitReactor, Max Booth III posted his list of the 16 most anticipated horror titles of 2017 here.  I read and loved 8 of them [you can find reviews on the blog]. A 9th was reviewed by a guest poster. And just about all of them made year end best lists. So treat this year old preview as a trusted year end best now too.

And since he did such a good job predicting last year’s titles, here is Max Booth III’s list of the most anticipated horror of 2018 also via LitReactor. [I have already read 3 of them and will have reviews up very soon]. Horror RA and Collection Development don't only happen in October or during the year end wrap ups. Your readers want you adding good titles all year long. So get going.

Also, very soon the long list of StokerCon finalists will be out, followed closely by the official nominees. Remember these lists are excellent for RA and collection development.

And here is your semi regular reminder-- Horror patrons are not monsters. They just like to read about them.

Here’s to a scary 2018! [But only in fiction this year, please]

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