I am happy to announce the publication of my new book, The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Blends, officially coming out from ALA Editions tomorrow, October 1 (although it’s been  available and shipping from booksellers for a couple of weeks).  The book is part of a wonderful series edited by Joyce Saricks and Neal Wyatt, which usually focus on a particular genre or format and give in-depth advice for librarians engaged in serving readers.  My volume is a little different, as it covers not one genre but all of them, analyzing the books that blend genres together.

I personally love books that play with genre.  The comfort of genre is at least partly about knowing what to expect, and blends give you that but then throw in the delightful surprise of something you weren’t expecting at all.  Hopefully it’s a welcome surprise like someone slipping some bacon into your peanut butter sandwich (don’t knock it until you tried it — everything tastes better with bacon) and not an unwelcome surprise like a bug in your soup (brief pause for joke: what’s worse than finding a bug in your soup? Finding half a bug). When they work, blends bring the best things each genre has to offer and can deliver a refreshingly new reading experience. They can open up new genres to readers who never thought they would like a particular kind of book. They can inject new life into a genre that a reader has grown bored with.  There are blends that are so well-established that people forget they are even a blend and they can be so weird that you are sure you’ve never read anything like it.

In the book I give examples of blends of all kinds of genres, talk about the appeal of both the original genres and the blends, and give readalikes for books that might lead a reader on another genre journey. One of the most fun things about the book was re-reading some favorite books (I’ve always loved blends) and finding so many new favorites. Another fun part of the book for me was finding all the great blends in film, TV and graphic novels for the “Whole Collection” chapter. I talk about the challenges blends pose for libraries and how we can best promote these books so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.

The book covers seven genres: Adrenaline (thriller, suspense and adventure), Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Romance and Science Fiction.  There are plenty of examples of blends of all these genres, plus tips on helping readers find blends.  The table of contents is as follows:


  1. Adrenaline Blends
  2. Fantasy Blends
  3. Historical Fiction Blends
  4. Horror Blends
  5. Mystery Blends
  6. Romance Blends
  7. Science Fiction Blends
  8. Whole Collection Blends
  9. Readers’ Advisory for Blends


  1. Literary Fiction Blends
  2. Blend MVPs

I hope librarians find the book useful for understanding better how to talk about blends with readers and gives them ideas for new ways to promote these great books that sometimes get lost in the stacks.  Those looking to purchase this tool can buy directly from ALA, from Amazon, BN, Powells, and from library suppliers like Ingram and Baker & Taylor. ISBN:  9780838912560.  Oh my god, I have an ISBN number!!!

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