Library Reads

LibraryReads List

May 2015 list

LibraryReads has announced the top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love. You can request the featured titles below on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the LibraryReads site

If you are a librarian, you can nominate titles for the LibraryReads list via NetGalley!

Additional LibraryReads titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson
ISBN 9780062190376



Why Book Reviews Matter & How to Write Them

We’re always talking with our members and publishers to find out how they use NetGalley, and what is important to them when it comes to finding titles, reading them, providing Feedback. Recently some of you told us that you would like some tips on how to write a book review and what happens once you submit your review to the publisher via NetGalley.

First, I’d like to start with why your reviews are important to the success of the book and the author. Since most titles on NetGalley are pre-pub and not even yet on sale, publishers are making them available for a very specific purpose: to gain feedback and insight from you–professional readers and influencers. These reviews will later help inform consumers, too.

Publishers (and authors!) really love a thoughtful, insightful, meaningful review. They can be used in many ways: as a blurb on the printed galley or final book jacket, in marketing/advertising materials, to help build a blog tour or other online promotions, to spur excitement in-house and with sales reps, etc. Don’t take our word for it–here are a few anecdotes straight from our publishers (and scroll down for some tips for meaningful reviews, too!):




Dina Sherman
School & Library Marketing Director
at Disney Book Group





Continue reading “Tips for Writing Reviews”


Indie Next List

April edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the April Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next Titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

World Gone By: A Novel by Dennis Lehane
ISBN 9780060004903

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris
ISBN 9780393240184

After Birth: A Novel by Elisa Albert
ISBN 9780544273733

The Precious One: A Novel by Marisa de los Santos
ISBN 9780061670893

The Harder They Come: A Novel by T.C. Boyle
ISBN 9780062349378

A Reunion of Ghosts: A Novel by Judith Claire Mitchell
ISBN 9780062355881

Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter by Nina MacLaughlin
ISBN 9780393239133

Our Endless Numbered Days: A Novel by Claire Fuller
ISBN 9781941040010

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
ISBN 9781594487132

The Last Days of Video: A Novel by Jeremy Hawkins
ISBN 9781619024854


The UK’s Top Ten Books . . . coming in May 2015

With many of the fiction big-hitters releasing titles in March and April, May is often one of the most interesting months in the literary year – and this May is no exception. Perhaps the most exciting debut novel of the year – certainly the one that’s been causing the most interest at NetGalley – is our book of the month, The Gracekeepers. We’re all fans of Kirsty’s first book, The Rental Heart and Other Stories, and this is the perfect follow up. It’s sure to be a contender for novel of the year!

There are three great crime titles this month, with the most intriguing coming from Saul Black, the pseudonym of a well-known, non-thriller writer, and one of the hottest new YA books, Bad Bones. Finally, there’s a book from a name that might be familiar from your inbox: NetGalley’s own Stuart Evers!

The Gracekeepers
Kirsty Logan
Harvill Secker
UK Edition
US Edition

Kirsty Logan’s first book, a collection of stories called The Rental Heart, introduced a huge talent – and earned her comparisons with the genius of Angela Carter. Her debut novel is everything you could want from a follow up: superb characters, a consistently compelling narrative and a vivid, brilliantly realized fantasy realm which is mainly under water. On first reading the bare bones of the plot – the magical story of a floating circus and two young women in search of a home – it’s easy to see why this is being compared to The Night Circus, but The Gracekeepers is entirely its own fabulous beast. Exquisite.

The Green Road
Anne Enright
Jonathan Cape
UK edition

Anne Enright won the Man Booker Prize in 2007 for her startling The Gathering, and The Green Road sees her again on scintillating, brilliant form. A dark, brooding novel set on Ireland’s Atlantic coast, The Green Road centres on the Madigan family, who are spending one final Christmas at the family home. It’s a time of upheaval, of the past rubbing against the future – and a novel that casts an enormous emotional hold over its readers.

Your Father Sends His Love
Stuart Evers
UK Edition

The third book from Stuart Evers – who is also NetGalley’s UK Community Manager – is a collection of twelve stories exploring parental love and parental mistakes. Set in the past, present and future these ‘thrillingly inventive’ tales have already been acclaimed by authors Eimear McBride, Jenny Offill and Teju Cole – while Stylist magazine said, ‘These spare, haunting stories are set to catapult Evers into the big time.’ Perfect for fans of Haruki Murakami, Lorrie Moore and George Saunders.

The Harder They Come
T.C. Boyle
UK edition

T.C. Boyle is one of America’s most celebrated and garlanded writers, but he remains somewhat under-rated here in the UK. This is set to change with this charged and emotionally wrought tale of Vietnam vet Sten Stenson, his wife Carolee and their unstable son, Adam. A deep and disturbing meditation on the roots of American gun violence, it explores the fine line between heroism and savagery, between protection and barbarity. This is an exceptional novel from a true master.

The Slaughter Man
Tony Parsons
UK Edition

The Murder Bag was Tony Parsons’ first foray into the crime genre – and was one of the standout crime novels of 2014. Now, DC Max Wolfe ris back in another tense, gripping and violent mystery, this time trailing a pitiless killer through the streets of London. The Slaughter Man was the nickname given, thirty years before, to a killer who used a cattle gun to dispatch his victims. Then the same crimes begin again, even though the Slaughter Man is dying. Can he really be back?

Fall of Man in Wilmslow
David Lagercrantz
MacLehose Press
UK Edition

David Lagercrantz has been given the responsibility of continuing Steig Larsson’s Millennium series, and on this evidence, Lisbeth Salander is in good hands. This brilliantly realized reimagining of the death of visionary mathematician Alan Turing – he died eating a poisoned apple – is both convincing and utterly unputdownable, with an atmosphere that is palpable. This will be one of the most talked about historical crime novels of the year – and deservedly so.

The Killing Lessons
Saul Black
UK Edition
Aus Edition

There has been a slew of ‘literary’ writers entering the world of genre writing of late – some rather more successfully than others. Saul Black, pseudonym for a highly regarded literary writer, is absolutely one of the successes. This is a crime novel that could easily have come from the likes of Jeffrey Deaver and Linwood Barclay – both of whom are championing this tale of bloody violence, a child’s innocence and the broken psyche of detective Valerie Hart.

Bad Bones
Graham Marks
Stripes Publishing
UK Edition

Already compared to James Dawson’s Say Her Name, Bad Bones is the taut and chilling story of Gabe – a young man who is feeling the pressure. His family has money troubles, he’s hardly talking to his dad, plus lowlife Benny is on his case. Needing some space to think, he heads off into the hills surrounding LA. And he suddenly stumbles across a secret that will change everything. A shallow grave…

The Confectioner's Tale
Laura Madeleine
Black Swan
UK Edition

Combining evocative descriptions of early 1900s Paris with the smells and tastes of a decadent patisserie, and with a devastating love story at its heart, The Confectioner’s Tale is a slice of exquisite elegance, perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Rachel Hore and Victoria Hislop. The framing device of a grandchild discovering a photograph with ‘Forgive me’ written on the back gives the story an unusual narrative arc, and one that works delightfully.

Things We Have in Common
Tasha Kavanagh
Canongate Books
UK Edition

Described by Sophie Hannah as ‘A striking and highly enjoyable debut’ Things We Have in Common is an unusual and often very funny exploration of friendship, loneliness and jealousy. Yasmin would give anything to have a friend . . . and do anything to keep one. Overweight and unpopular, she feels far away from her classmates, but then something happens. Something changes. And Yasmin realizes she has a purpose. She is there to save Alice…


NetGalley goes to the Folio Prize!

Folio-Prize-Winner-2015255It sometimes felt like the whole of literary London was gathered in one opulent ballroom last night, as the second Folio Prize Awards ceremony was held at the St Pancras Hotel. Already this is a prize that feels like it has become an integral part of the fiction-world’s year – and the diversity and excellence of the shortlist gave the evening a touch of spice. There was genuine interest in the decision as no one could predict which way it was going to go. Jenny Offill’s The Dept of Speculation seemed to be the favourite in the room, but there was certainly no consensus – until William Fiennes, chair of judges, eventually announced Akhil Sharma as the winner of the 2015 Folio Prize for Fiction.

His novel, Family Life, was a surprising winner in many ways: on the surface, perhaps the most conventional of the eight shortlisted titles; also the bookmakers’ outside bet – with Colm Toibin and Ben Lerner the front runners. Yet the award was greeted with enthusiasm by many, and Akhil Sharma’s acceptance speech – in which he thanked his editors for allowing him to be nine years late in delivering his novel – showcased his self-deprecating and touching wit.

Family Life is a worthy winner of a prize devoted to excellence in fiction. It is moving, touching and subtly written – a quiet book, but one that sears into the memory. Based on the true story of Sharma’s brother’s accident and his subsequent need for round the clock care, it is a nuanced and poignant story of immigration and family, of home and otherness.

The novelist Nikesh Shukla has been one of Family Life’s biggest proponents. Asked why, he said: ‘I’ve been banging on about this book for a year now. It’s a masterful work in its conciseness. It does everything you expect a novel to do, in a surprising and challenging way. It is one of the best pieces of work about the children of immigration ever written. It’s nice to see a book about me prove to be world-beating.’

NetGalley has been proud to partner with the Folio Prize throughout the whole judging process – and we couldn’t be happier with the result. We can’t wait for next year!





Welcome Mandy Peterson, Media Specialist at Schuyler Community Schools in Schuyler, Nebraska, as our guest. Mandy is a long-time NetGalley member, a plugged-in librarian and has been generous enough to answer our questions about the role of technology in her library. Keep reading to discover how Mandy became a librarian, what a 1:1 school is, and what she’s reading via NetGalley!

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A great place to start is your librarian origin story – how did you become a school librarian?

In my fifth year of teaching, I realized that the library was my favorite place to go. When my students were at lunch or in specials, I frequently could be found browsing or volunteering to reshelve books. During these visits, the librarian and I developed a nice comradery and I began bouncing ideas around for what grad program I should begin. Originally, I was thinking math or science. She suggested the library program at University of Nebraska at Omaha. The head of the Library program drove 2 hours to come visit me at my house. After that meeting with Dr. Rebecca Pasco, I was not only “sold”, but I was also confident that library was the right direction for me. I continued teaching while taking graduate courses to become a librarian. When the high school librarian in my district retired, I was fortunate enough to snag the position. We are currently taking the library from a traditional library to a 21st century library (as well as changing the role of librarian). I love working with the students, parents, teachers, staff, and community at Schuyler Community Schools!

How has having access to digital galleys impacted how you recommend titles for purchase but also to your students?

Through digital galleys, I know what’s coming up. As I read, I may not personally love the book but I can usually think of the student who will. So I talk to them, “Hey, I’m reading this book you might like. Here’s what it’s about…” Then I allow students to help me decide what to purchase. If they seem interested, I’m all over it. Digital galleys have also encouraged me to go outside of my personal preference zone. I am usually decidedly dystopian and sci fi young adult lit. Through NetGalley, I’ve discovered paranormal/horror, contemporary, and historical fiction that I really enjoyed. These purchases have been incredibly easy to make because I’ve seen the quality of the material. Purchasing on blind faith with tax payer money is rough. I am able to feel more secure when I’ve already previewed the material. I’ve actually recommended NetGalley books to family members, other library buddies, and community organizations. Since I also post my reviews to our blog, Twitter, Amazon, Facebook, and Goodreads, strangers are using my recommendations to decide what they should read – which is a very flattering notion!

Do you have a certain strategy for finding new titles, particularly on NetGalley?

I immediately head to Young Adult/Teen books. Not only is it what is mostly in the SCHS Library, but it is also what I enjoy reading personally. Don’t tell anyone but I am a bit of a total cover snob. The cover is what first attracts me. I am more apt to read the galley of an author I have never read before. Publisher summaries are a big deal. I find that a well-written summary can move a book from “meh, I’ll read it when I get time” to “I MUST READ THIS IMMEDIATELY!”.

What upcoming book on NetGalley are you the most excited about sharing with your students?

WOW! Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran hands down. I hadn’t read any of her books before and historical lit wasn’t really my interest. This book blew me away. I have my dystopian kids who are devouring the Shatter Me series (by Tahareh Mafi) and historical fiction fans reading The Walled City (by Ryan Graudin) – all are eagerly awaiting the release of Rebel Queen.

Click to view on NetGalley
Click to view on NetGalley







Continue reading “Librarian Spotlight”


Cover Love

March Edition

The snow is finally melting, and so are our hearts… for these beautiful covers! Here are some covers we adore this month, including YOUR top-loved cover this month – DEEP by Kylie Scott!

Click through to read the full description, request the title, and “Like” the cover if you haven’t already. If you’ve already read these titles don’t forget to share feedback with the publisher and with your social network.

Lisa Sankar-Zhu

Pub Date Feb 3 2015

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Pub Date Apr 21 2015

Quirk Books

Pub Date Jun 2 2015

TIME Books

Pub Date Feb 18 2015

St. Martin's Griffin

Pub Date Mar 31 2015

Library Reads

LibraryReads List

April 2015 list

LibraryReads has announced the top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love. You can request the featured titles below on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the LibraryReads site

If you are a librarian, you can nominate titles for the LibraryReads list via NetGalley!

Additional LibraryReads titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

The Precious One: A Novel by Marisa De los Santos
ISBN 9780061670893

The Bone Tree: A Novel by Greg Iles
ISBN 9780062311115

Where They Found Her: A Novel by Kimberly McCreight
ISBN 9780062225467


Today we have a special post to coincide with our feature on the Parenting & Families category.

Introducing our new favorite thing for book-loving parents. . .

Brightly Wordmark - Peach




We got the scoop from our friends at Penguin Random House on their new initiative.

What is Brightly?

Brightly is a new online resource to help parents raise lifelong readers and book lovers. Through thoughtful recommendations, expert tips, and fun ideas, Brightly aims to help make reading meaningful and memorable for families.

Why did you start Brightly?

We love books and reading. And we want our kids to love books and reading, too. But with more than a quarter of a million children’s books on the market, finding the right book for the right child at the right time can be a challenge! Parents are busy, and not everyone is blessed with a fantastic local bookstore or librarian to guide them. We want to make it a little easier, and a lot more fun, for parents to raise children who love to read.

You can read more about what inspired us to launch Brightly and what we hope to offer parents in The 7 Reasons We Started Brightly.

What kind of content can we expect to see on Brightly?

On Brightly you’ll find book recommendations for kids of all ages from across the publishing world, as well as reading tips and insights, special author and illustrator content, personal essays, seasonal activities, contests, sweepstakes, and more. Our focus is on celebrating and embracing different kinds of readers, kids, and interests.

Check out some of our recent posts on reading aloud to big kidsdiverse booksquestions to ask librarians, understanding the Common Core, and book recommendations for grown-ups.

Who is behind Brightly?

Brightly is a Penguin Random House initiative co-founded by Amanda Close and Christine McNamara, who are booklovers, moms, and book-publishing professionals. The site’s editorial direction is led by Liz Kotin, formerly of

The Brightly team brings together some of the best voices covering reading and parenting on the Web to offer inspiration and guidance around creating a reading life for your family. Brightly contributors include teachers, librarians, and bloggers such as Tom Burns, Devon Corneal, Janssen Bradshaw, and Melissa Taylor.

Learn more about the folks behind Brightly and our Contributors.

Why is the site called Brightly?

We chose the name Brightly because we believe reading has the power to illuminate kids’ lives. Reading is a window to the world for children, and is critical to a bright future in school and work. When we think of our own reading experiences as children, some of our fondest memories are reading under the covers at bedtime with a flashlight.  It’s that kind of love for reading that we want to inspire.

What’s the best way to experience Brightly?

Checking out the Brightly website, and signing up for the newsletter are great places to start.

We also have a great community on our social channels such as FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Come join the conversation!


News from NetGalley

Congrats to the PEN/Faulkner Finalists

The finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award were announced on Tuesday and we’re so pleased that many of them were available on NetGalley! We were happy to partner with PEN/Faulkner this year to provide an optional digital reading system for nominated titles.

Did you read any of these books via NetGalley? Please be sure to share your feedback with the publisher and your social media followers, and congratulate these authors on their finalist status!

Prayer for the Stolencover45434-mediumcover35506-medium








Additional finalists:
Song of the Shank by Jeffery Renard Allen
Preparation for the Next Life by Jennifer Clement