By: Karen Jakubczak, OverDrive Account Specialist and Jill Grunenwald, OverDrive Collection Development Analyst

All titles mentioned in this post can be found here.

OverDrive is excited to introduce you to Loan Stars!

Just what is Loan Stars?

Loan Stars is the new readers’ advisory service that allows library staff across Canada to collaboratively select their favorite forthcoming titles. Using CataList, the online catalogue tool available free to libraries, library staff can nominate their favorite adult fiction and non-fiction titles, the most popular of which will be promoted to readers through the Loan Stars website, social media and email marketing, media partners, and digital and physical promotion in libraries across the country.

Loan Stars is a joint collaboration between the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC), BookNet Canada, the British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) Readers’ Advisory Committee, the Ontario Library Association (OLA) Readers’ Advisory Committee, library vendors, independent Canadian publishers, multi-national publishers, and more.

I work in a library. How do I get involved?

Anyone employed at a library in Canada can participate in Loan Stars. You can go to the Loan Stars website for all of the details, but, in a nutshell, there are five easy steps:

  1. Sign up for CataList.
  2. Log into CataList to find new titles and request digital galleys.
  3. Start reading.
  4. Vote for your favorites. You can even leave a review or link to one you’ve written on the web.
  5. Repeat – You can vote more than once!

What titles have been chosen as Loan Stars recommendations?

The inaugural Loan Stars list, for forthcoming May titles, was released on April 11, 2016. Many of the titles are currently available for pre-order in OverDrive Marketplace. The selected titles include:

I Let You Go, Clare Mackintosh

“Wow! This book has everything: a great story, well-developed characters, excellent pacing and plotting, and unexpected turns. I don’t normally cry when reading, but this one did it for me. What started out as an interesting, straightforward read, turned into an unexpected, well-written thriller. Can’t recommend this one enough!”

—Jennifer Green, Oshawa Public Library

Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Madeleine Thien

An extraordinary novel set in China before, during and after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989—the breakout book we’ve been waiting for from a bestselling, First Novel Award winner.

A Country Road, A Tree, Jo Baker

“The story of Irish writer Samuel Beckett’s involvement in the French Resistance is beautifully rendered in this novel. Particularly moving is the recreation of Nazi-occupied France as a kind of ghost country filled with shuttered windows, locked doors and hidden lives. Well worth reading.”

—Claire Westlake, North Vancouver District Public Library

Everybody’s Fool, Richard Russo

“Rejoice, for the wonderful, wacky and entertaining citizens of East Bath, including our hero Sully, return in this not to be missed sequel to Nobody’s Fool.  Entertaining, funny, and endearing, this cast of characters with all their faults will stick in the reader’s memory for a long while.”

—Claire Westlake, North Vancouver District Public Library

The Noise of Time, Julian Barnes

A masterful novel dedicated to the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, from the bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending.

Life Without a Recipe, Diana Abu-Jaber

Self-determination can be tricky for girls—especially those caught between cultures. Bullied with loving “advice” from a tough, independent sugar-fiend of a German grandmother (Grace) and a flamboyant, spice-obsessed Arab father (Bud), Diana Abu-Jaber spent years learning to ignore their contradictory prescriptions about food, work, marriage, and motherhood.

The City of Mirrors, Justin Cronin

The wait is finally over for the third and final instalment in The Passage trilogy, called “a The Stand-meets-The Road journey”. The Passage trilogy is an epic adventure set in an apocalyptic America that has been shaped by the fallout from a government experiment on twelve death-row inmates. The series follows the journey of Amy, a mysterious girl asked to save the world.

The Voodoo Killings, Kristi Charish

“Fantastic fun of the paranormal sort, as Kincaid Strange is an elusive and intriguing main character with a dead rock star as a roommate and an atmospheric Seattle setting. Witty, a little creepy and definitely a great start to the series. While this is an adult read, older teens will hook into it immediately.”

Jenn Hubbs, Essa Public Library

Bad Singer: The Surprising Science of Tone Deafness and How We Hear Music, Tim Falconer

Bad Singer chronicles Tim Falconer’s quest to understand the brain science behind tone-deafness and to search for ways to retrain the adult brain. He is tested by numerous scientists who are as fascinated with him as he is with them. He also investigates why we love music and deconstructs what we are really hearing when we listen to it.

Not Working, Lisa Owens

“A cute and quirky ‘coming of age’ novel about Claire Flannery, a young woman on a desperate search for a more meaningful life. At least, she would be searching if she weren’t so busy watching YouTube videos and surfing the net.

This is a great summer novel. It would be perfect for people who like Sophie Kinsella and the new adult genre.”

—Margaret Elwood, Toronto Public Library

What’s next?

 Voting for the June Loan Stars list is happening right now! Check out the forthcoming June catalogues, or see what NetGalley has available. Log in to your CataList account to request digital galleys, vote, and review.

OverDrive will post the recommended titles each month to our Canadian Lists and as Must Haves in OverDrive Marketplace for our Canadian library partners.


Original blog post by BookNet Canada: