Mobile Menu Mobile Search

Booklist Online: More than 180,000 book reviews for librarians, book groups, and book lovers—from the trusted experts at the American Library Association


You must be logged in to read full text of reviews.

> Logged-in users can make lists, save searches, e-mail, and more!

> Try a free trial or subscribe today


Reviewers A–F
Reviewers G–L
Reviewers M–S
Reviewers T–Z

Reviewers A–F

Amy Alessio is a young adult librarian and an author. Her young adult mystery will be published by 4RV Press and her reference titles include the co-authored A Year of Programs for Teens 2 (ALA Editions, 2011) and Mind Bending Mysteries for Teens (ALA Editions, 2012). She conducts vintage cooking and crafting workshops as well. You can find her on the web at [Adult Books]

Donald Altschiller is the history, government documents, and military affairs bibliographer at Mugar Memorial Library, Boston University. A longtime reviewer who has also served on the RBB Editorial Board, he reviews reference materials for Choice, Library Journal, and other library publications and is also a freelance writer. A recipient of the ALA Carnegie-Whitney Award, he has expanded his bibliography into a reference book, Animal-Assisted Therapy (Greenwood, 2011), which also includes a narrative history. [Reference]

Erin Anderson works as a teacher and librarian at Millcreek Township School District in Pennsylvania for grades 6–8. Along with reviewing literature for youth and troubleshooting the never-ending drama of middle school, she loves to read thick antiquated works of nonfiction, the dustier the better. [Books for Youth]

Miriam Aronin is a writer and editor in Chicago. She is the author of a number of nonfiction books for children on topics ranging from animals to natural disasters to animals in natural disasters. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring, visiting the library, dancing, knitting, and lending books to her friends. [Books for Youth]

Freelance writer and former legal reporter Michael Autrey has written on diverse subjects: from architecture to viticulture, from tango to yoga. In addition to Booklist he writes for His book reviews have appeared in The Oregonian. He published his first book of poetry, From the Genre of Silence, in 2008. [Adult Books]

Susan Awe, a longtime business librarian, is now director of outreach for the University Libraries at the University of New Mexico. She started reviewing reference and business books in 1990 and currently reviews for Choice, Booklist, and ARBA. [Reference]

Jeff Ayers is a library associate 4 in the Seattle Public Library System. He's the author of Voyages of Imagination: The Star Trek Fiction Companion (2006). He also reviews for the Associated Press, Library Journal, and RT Book Reviews, and has interviewed authors for LJ, Writer Magazine, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. [Adult Books]

Diego Báez holds an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers at Newark, and teaches writing at Chicago's City Colleges. The rest of the time he’s busy correcting his students' weird misplaced apostrophes and his dumb phone's T9 predictions. [Adult Books]

Jen Baker is a reader services librarian at the Seattle Public Library. She has served on the Reading List Council, is a sometime contributor to NoveList and has reviewed fiction for Booklist for many years. [Adult Books]

Greg Baldino is a writer and journalist in Chicago. His work has also appeared in New City, Bleeding Cool, Rain Taxi, Sequential Tart, City Pulse, and several other publications and websites. [Adult Books]

Thom Barthelmess teaches literature and library services for young people at the Dominican University (IL) Graduate School of Library and Information Science. He lives in an old church, eats plenty of cruciferous vegetables, and watches other people play tennis. [Books for Youth]

Casey Bayer is a graphic designer for ALA. He has a BA in Film Studies and reviewed movies for several years at various small-town publications. When not devouring DeLillo or Roth, he loves to read all sorts of nonfiction. Someday soon he'll finish his great American novella. [Adult Books]

After years of dividing her education, and personal and professional lives, between natural history and library work, Nancy Bent has finally settled in as a reference librarian in La Grange, IL. In her spare time she goes birding, rehabilitates orphaned and injured wild animals, and reads anything she can get her hands on. [Adult Books]

Barbara Bibel is a reference/collection development librarian and consumer health information specialist at the Oakland Public Library. She reviews for Reference Books Bulletin and also reviews mysteries and Judaica for Booklist. [Adult Books, Reference]

Ken Black is associate CTLE director, teaching and learning technologies at Dominican University (River Forest, IL); prior to that he was assistant director of the library and reference librarian at Dominican, and also has earlier public library experience. He has a BA in history, an MLS in library and information science, and an MS in computer information systems. Apart from history and computer-related things, his interests include literature, wildlife, and nature, and he's a long-time lover of Doctor Who. [Reference]

Allison Block’s love of books began with Dr. Seuss and never stopped. She especially enjoys reviewing mysteries and memoirs (but they don’t have to rhyme!). When she’s not stretching her mind with books, she’s stretching her limbs with yoga or hiking one of the many beautiful trails near her home in San Diego. [Adult Books]

Marta Segal Block is a freelance writer, editor, and marketing communications expert. She is based in Chicago where she specializes in the totally normal combination of young adult nonfiction and the wedding industry! She has been putting her MA in literature to good use, reviewing fiction for Booklist for over ten years. [Adult Books]

Heather Booth is a readers' advisory librarian at the Downers Grove (IL) Public Library, where she focuses on young adult services. She listens to most of her review audiobooks while she makes dinner—when the books are really good, dinner is late. [Books for Youth, Media]

Katherine Boyle is a freelance journalist and law student at the University of Chicago. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, an online journal. She previously worked for an environment and energy newswire in Washington, D.C. She loves reading and running and is actively involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters. [Adult Books]

Frances Bryant Bradburn, the author of Output Measures for School Media Programs and former editor of North Carolina Libraries, is retired from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction where she was Director of Instructional Technology. Throughout her career she has been especially interested in young adult literature, chairing both the Best Books for Young Adults Committee and the first Printz Award Committee. Nothing pleases her more than being able to share books with her growing bevy of grandchildren, with the oldest granddaughter now devouring The Hunger Games trilogy, YA fantasy, and graphic novels. She hopes all the others follow suit. [Books for Youth]

Christine Bulson is librarian emeritus, State University of New York (Oneonta). She has reviewed for Reference Books Bulletin since 1988 and was chair of the Editorial Board 1991–1993. She also writes for Booklist Online's Points of Reference blog. [Reference]

Charlotte Burcher is an adult services librarian at the Williamsburg (VA) Regional Library, where she contributes regularly to Blogging for a Good Book. [Reference]

Ester Burke is a reference librarian in the Adult Services Dept. at the Champaign Public Library in Champaign, IL. She also designs and teaches computer classes for the public. She has a BS in biology and an MS in library and information sciences, both from the University of Illinois. Before becoming a public librarian, she was a medical reference librarian. Her favorite reads are sci-fi and mystery. [Reference]

Mary Burkey is an independent library consultant in Columbus (OH). An enthusiastic audiophile, she has served on all four of ALA's audiobook award committees, as well as an Audies Award judge. In addition to writing the "Voices in My Head" column forBooklist, she is the author of Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature (ALA, 2013). [Media]

A reference/instruction librarian at the State University of New York (Oneonta) and environmental activist, Nancy Cannon lives in the scenic foothills of the Catskill Mountains. From her backyard, she strolls through woods and meadows, taking time to smell the flowers and observe wildlife. [Reference]

Jerry Carbone has been a librarian since 1976 and is director of Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro, Vermont, a position he has held since 1993. He is a member of ALA, the Vermont Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee, and the New England Library Association. He also serves on the Brattleboro Literary Festival Authors' Committee. [Reference]

Vanessa Bush, is a former financial reporter who has worked as a freelance writer for the past ten years, editing an international housing finance magazine, contributing to Chicago Public Radio and writing book reviews for Booklist magazine. She is a former VISTA volunteer and is on the board of Young Chicago Authors, a nonprofit organization that encourages adolescents to develop writing and performance talent as a means of self-expression. She is also currently teaching a media course at Columbia College of Chicago. [Adult Books]

Michael Cart, author of "Carte Blanche," and a Booklist reviewer, is a former president of YALSA and of ALAN. Founding editor of the YA literary journal Rush Hour, he is the author or editor of 20 books, most recentlty Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism. Until his recent re-location to the Midwest, he taught YA literature at UCLA. [Adult Books, Books for Youth]

After 20 years as a teen librarian at Berkeley Public Library, Debbie Carton now works in the Art & Music department, where she specializes in programming, such as theater groups, noon concerts, and quilt shows.  Her two teens at home are always eager to see review books arrive in the mail, and sometimes read them before she does. Her spare time is devoted to chamber music performance and the occasional jigsaw puzzle. [Books for Youth]

Romance maven John Charles, an adult services librarian for the Scottsdale Public Library System, has been happily reviewing romances for Booklist since 1999. A contributor to the Romance section of Gale's What Do I Read Next, co-author of Voice of Youth Advocate's annual "Clueless: Adult Mysteries with Young Adult Appeal" column, a reviewer for Library Journal, and co-author of The Mystery Readers' Advisory: The Librarian's Clues to Murder and Mayhem (2001), Charles was named 2002 Librarian of the Year by the Romance Writers of America and names good chocolate and good books as two of the world's great pleasures. [Adult Books]

Donna Chavez, a member of the National Book Critics Circle, also reviews books for Publishers Weekly and A Chandler, AZ-based freelance writer with numerous publishing credits, including the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, she is also a writing coach. Visit her website at [Adult Books]

Edith Ching is an instructor in the College of Information Science at the University of Maryland, where she teaches a children's literature survey course to aspiring librarians and teachers and also a course on Universal Usability, making libraries more accessible and friendly to those with special needs (isn't that all of us?). She is also an author escort and has enjoyed the company of lots of adult authors as well as children's authors and illustrators and once even escorted a dog (with his owner, of course). She has been on ALA's Newbery Committee, the Notable's Children's Video Committee, and is now serving on the Notable Children's Literature Committee. [Media]

Bryce Christensen, who is an associate professor of English at Southern Utah University, received his PhD in English literature from Marquette University. Dr. Christensen has published articles on cultural and literary issues in Philosophy and Literature, Christianity and Literature, Renascence, Modern Age, and various other scholarly journals. He is the author of Utopia Against the Family: The Problems and Politics of the American Family (1990) and Divided We Fall: Family Discord and the Fracturing of America (2005). He is also the author of the novel Winning (2007). [Adult Books]

Kevin Clouther is a lecturer in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at the State University of New York (Stony Brook). He holds degrees from the University of Virginia and Iowa Writers' Workshop, and his stories have appeared in The Baltimore Review, The Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Madison Review, and Puerto Del Sol. [Adult Books]

Retired from 40 years as an educator of elementary students and a librarian at school and public libraries, Sharon E. Cohen continues to enjoy Booklist reviewing, reading, and writing. Her goal for this year is to work with a literacy program and write a children's book which was started as part of a EdD program at Teacher's College, Columbia University (NY). [Reference]

Tina Coleman loves music, reviews graphic novels, writes books about crafting and stories about aliens and ace detectives, makes art when she can, and has been known to write poetry. [Adult Books, Graphic Novels]

Emily Compton-Dzak is the Head of Adult Services at the Deerfield Public Library in Illinois. When she's not managing all things reference, readers' advisory, and multimedia she's usually goofing around with her family, cooking, reading, or driving. [Reference]

Harold V. Cordry is a writer and researcher who lives in Tecumseh, KS. [Reference]

Don Crinklaw is a former university teacher currently working as a reporter for the Tribune Company in Fort Lauderdale. He's written reviews for Commonweal, National Review, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. [Adult Books]

Karen Cruze just recently began reviewing audiobooks for Booklist. Before her metamorphosis into a young adult librarian at Northbrook (IL) Public Library, she was a journalist. She's married to (hold your gasps), Tom Cruze, a photographer not an actor, and is still mad she can't have him paged at airports (which she tried to do, but was told she couldn't, 17 years ago when their daughter Anna was about to be born). [Books for Youth, Media]

Formerly Coordinator of Children's Services at the New York Public Library, Julie Cummins has chaired the Newbery, Caldecott, Notable Children's Books, and Schneider Family Book Award committees. She has been on two African safaris (and close enough to touch a cheetah), lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, enjoys gourmet cooking, is an expert on hoop snakes, and has written five children's books with numbers six and seven in the works. [Books for Youth]

Danica Davidson is a professional writer who is currently seeking to publish a YA novel. As a freelancer, she's written a few hundred articles for more than 30 magazines, newspapers, and websites. You can find her website at [Graphic Novels]

Nina C. Davis, the adult services librarian for Smith Public Library in Wylie, TX, has been reviewing romance and fiction for Booklist since 2000 and contributing features since 1998. A self-professed history geek and Anglophile, she once flew all the way to New York City to watch Alan Rickman in his Broadway performance of Private Lives. In her spare time, she's a fanfic author, aspiring romance novelist, and football and anime junkie. [Adult Books]

Kara Dean is the youth services librarian at the Walpole Public Library. She tries to stay on top of the world of childrens literature by reading absolutely everything and then writing about it at her blog Look for her on Twitter as tardisgrl. [Books for Youth]

GraceAnne A. DeCandido was a librarian, then an editor, the last of the late, lamented Wilson Library Bulletin. She now reads, writes, and edits, and she teaches children's and YA literature for RutgersOnline out of her NYC home-office aerie. In odd moments she makes tea; watches the Yankees; puts early music, singer/songwriters, and rock and roll on her iPod; and sends too much e-mail. [Adult Books]

Susan DeGrane is a freelance writer, a volunteer for Green Sanctuary Group of Beverly Unitarian Church, and a former editor of Loyola University's alumni magazine. [Adult Books]

Betty Dickie has a BA and MA in English and has written advertising and public relations copy, and edited newsletters and magazines. A brief stint of teaching brought her to library work and the serials department of Boatwright Library at the University of Richmond (VA). She likes reading just about anything, but especially likes books that make her think and take her places she's never been with good strong characters to guide the way. [Adult Books]

Cindy Dobrez is a middle school librarian for West Ottawa Public Schools in Holland, MI. She prefers to read her review books while bobbing on her boat in Lake Michigan or sitting at her backyard tiki bar. In the winter months, she moves inside by a fire. [Books for Youth]

Deborah Donovan has been reviewing for Booklist since 2000, when she retired from the fiction department at the Cincinnati Public Library and moved to a small town in Colorado. She enjoys reviewing ethnic and Native American fiction and nonfiction, regional fiction, and debut novels for Booklist, is a part-time librarian at the La Veta (CO) Public Library, and also reviews fiction for Bookpage. [Adult Books]     

Brendan Driscoll is a writer and attorney based in New York City. He studied philosophy, rhetoric, social science, and law and worked for a time in the acquisitions department of the Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago. In his spare time, he enjoys a good road trip. [Adult Books]

Julie Elliott is an Associate Reference Librarian and Coordinator of Public Relations and Outreach at Indiana University South Bend. Now that she has finished a 4 year stint on ALA’s Notable Books Council, she is enjoying spending a little time reading mysteries again, but with a 6 month-old son, she is also becoming very acquainted with board books and looks forward to learning a lot about children’s literature in the future. [Reference]

Rachel Elrod is the Head of the Education Library at the University of Florida. She holds a BS in Psychology and Sociology from Campbellsville University, a MEd in Counseling Psychology from the University of Louisville, and an MLS from the University of Kentucky. Rachael will begin work on an EdD in Higher Education Administration at the University of Florida in 2016. [Reference]

Patty Engelmann has always been drawn to the place of true inspiration, the library. She has worked in libraries since college and now works in an Illinois high-school library helping teenagers safely trek the vast Internet. Booklist allows Engelmann to indulge her passion for reading, especially romances, and she is happy to help educate the world about this often maligned genre. [Adult Books]

Randall Enos has been youth services consultant at the Ramapo Catskill Library System (NY) since 1982. He has served on the Newbery, Caldecott, Notable Children's Book, and many other ALSC and ALA committees. The guilty pleasures to which he admits are date and almond rolls and M&M's—not necessarily in that order. He is totally devoted to his two dogs, Liberty and Mason. [Books for Youth]

Lesley Farmer coordinates the librarianship program at California State University (Long Beach). In between teaching and reviewing, she writes and presents about school librarianship and educational technology, preferably while traveling. [Reference]

Gordon Flagg reviews graphic novels, books on film and other aspects of popular culture, and the occasional novel. [Adult Books, Graphic Novels]

Margaret Flanagan is currently a reference and readers' advisory librarian at the Melrose Park Public Library. She began her career as an editorial assistant for Booklist and has been a freelance reviewer for over 25 years—though it kills her to admit it has been that long. [Adult Books]

Connie Fletcher reviews both adult mysteries and children's books for Booklist. Often, books like Bunny's First Snowflake and Blood in the Snow mingle on her coffeetable. Fletcher is an associate professor of journalism at Loyola University Chicago. Besides blood and bunnies, Fletcher loves ballet, theater, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. [Adult Books, Books for Youth]

Diane Foote is a parent, a former associate editor of Book Links magazine, and a former executive director of the Association for Library Service to Children. She served on the 2010 John Newbery Award Selection Committee and is currently a member of the 2011–12 Coretta Scott King Book Award Jury; both given by ALA. She has so many books that neighborhood children have been known to come to her house to borrow them. [Books for Youth]

Jeanne E. Fredriksen has been a teacher, a proofreader, an advertising copywriter, and the cash room manager at a major outdoor music theater in Chicago. It was when she worked as a paraeducator on a 7th grade team in Tinley Park, IL, that she fell in love with the current explosion of middle grade and young adult fiction. In addition to reviewing for Booklist, she leads creative writing workshops for middle schoolers, writes articles and book reviews for India Currents magazine, serves as a reporter for a small newspaper in the Raleigh-Durham area, and freelances as a writer/editor/designer. Since moving to North Carolina in 2011, she has been able to carve out more time to work on three novels. One of those might even see completion. [Books for Youth]

Jay Freeman has a master of arts in both classical history and U.S. history and is a reviewer of history books. He teaches history at a public high school in Chicago. [Adult Books]

Katharine Fronk assists ALA Graphics with developing and marketing the iconic READ posters, as well as other promotional products. In addition to reviewing poetry and memoirs for Booklist, she also contributes to Graffiti Magazine. When not writing, she enjoys music, film, and exploring Chicago. She lives with her cat Matilda. [Adult Books]

Jim Frutchey was a reference librarian at Marywood University (Scranton, PA) from 2007-2011. He is presently serving the dual role of collection development librarian and interim library director at Marywood. He lives in Clarks Summit, PA with his wife Donna, son Ethan, and a baby in waiting. [Reference]

Jonathan Fullmer holds an MFA in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is co-founder and co-editor of Knee-Jerk and Knee-Jerk Offline, a monthly online literary magazine and annual print journal, respectively. His book reviews have appeared in Booklist since the fall of 2009, as well as in Time Out Chicago, Bookslut, and Word Riot, among other publications. [Adult Books]

Back to Top


Reviewers G–L

Michael B. Gannon is the associate director for administrative services at the Prince George's County Memorial Library System (Hyattsville, MD). He is the author of Blood, Bedlam, Bullets & Badguys: A Reader's Guide to Adventure/Suspense Fiction, the 2003 recipient of the Public Library Association's Allie Beth Martin Award, and a past president of the Maryland Library Association. He enjoys reviewing all types of adventure and suspense fiction—the more action the better. [Adult Books]

Thomas Gaughan is a retired academic library director and the former editor of American Libraries magazine. [Adult Books]

Eve Gaus is a program officer for continuing education with the Young Adult Library Services Association. She previously worked as a reference and instruction librarian. When not reading, she is off adventuring on her bicycle.

Lolly Gepson has been a youth services librarian at the Northbrook Public Library for 25 years. She has served on the 2005 Caldecott Committee, and both the Illinois Monarch and Rebecca Caudill Committees recently. She loves backpacking, swimming, travel, cross-country skiing, children's books, and reading to her grandchildren. Summers find her marching in the Fourth of July parade dressed as a giraffe, an astronaut, a monster, or whatever matches each year's summer reading program theme. [Media]

Rebecca Gerber reviews science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, and the occasional craft book. A voracious reader from a young age (having read the dictionary in elementary school), she enjoys relaxing by "crawling into her books." She is the reference librarian for the ALA. [Adult Books]

Carol Gladstein is a librarian and freelance writer living in Portland, OR. When she's not reading or writing, she's swimming, knitting, or waiting for the next season of Project Runway. [Adult Books]

Steve Glassman teaches writing and literature at Embry-Riddle University (Daytona Beach, FL). He reviews crime fiction. [Adult Books]

Shelley Glantz, a retired middle-school and high-school librarian and director of school libraries, has been reviewing materials for K–12 school libraries for almost 30 years. She has been reviews editor for Library Media Connection (and other Linworth Publishing journals) for almost 18 years. [Reference]

Francisca Goldsmith works for the California State Library's Infopeople Project, and lives in Berkeley (CA). She will read anything with font over 6 points or with accompanying illustration. She gives away galleys (post review) to children travelling alone on planes. [Graphic Novels, Books for Youth]

Retired from school libraries after 30-plus years, Phillies fan Sue Gooden is happily working part-time in the public library, where she regularly sees former high-school students with their children. She also supervises practicum students, giving her a reason to visit school libraries throughout all of Delaware. [Reference]

Brachah Goykadosh is a freelance writer and book critic in New York City, where she studies at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Previously, she earned her MA in English Literature from Brooklyn College. [Adult Books]

Roland Green has been a full-time writer since 1973, and a Booklist reviewer since 1979.  He reviews science fiction, fantasy, and military and maritime history. He lives in Chicago with his wife of 35 years, Booklist reviewer Frieda Murray, and their daughter Violette. [Adult Books]

Asia Gross is the branch manager at McClay Branch, St. Charles City-County Library District (MO). [Reference]

Genevieve Grove serves as Branch Services Librarian for the Oak Park Public Library (IL), which means she gets to help every type of patron every day. Yes, it is awesome, actually. She has been voted "Most Likely to Wear Vintage Curtains as a Skirt" and is proud of it. [Reference]

Carol Haggas reviews fiction, gardening, biographies, and creative nonfiction. A freelance writer specializing in public relations and marketing communications, Carol Haggas serves as a readers' services advisor for the St. Charles (IL) Public Library. All of which leaves little time for her favorite hobby, gardening, since Carol happily spends more time reading than weeding. [Adult Books]

Carol Sue Harless is a retired public school librarian and grant writer, but continues to review for RBB and for the published journal articles of the International Reading Association. An avid reader, Carol now enjoys Chinese brush painting, weight training, yoga, and volunteers at the Georgia Aquarium every week. She remains active by walking 3.5 miles every day. [Reference]

Lindsay Harmon is the librarian at the American Academy of Art, a visual arts college in Chicago. Despite working at an art school, she has undergraduate degrees in English and Journalism and is a former editor of medical and professional books. In addition to reviewing reference books for Booklist, she also writes for Booklist Online's Points of Reference blog. [Reference]

Suzanne Myers Harold is the Outreach Coordinator for Libraries Reading Outreach in Clatstop County, where she coordinates the countywide Summer Reading program and promotes free library cards for rural youth. She lives in Astoria, Oregon, overlooking the Columbia River. 

Laurie Hartshorn retired as head of reference at Pekin Public Library after more than 30 years on staff. She has also logged time as a school librarian, college cataloger, and community college teacher. She and her husband enjoy searching for antiques, beachcombing in Florida, and visiting their daughter and son-in-law in Chicago. [Media]

Muhammed Hassanali works on novel engineering projects during the day and pursues his other interests outside work hours. He has led photographic expeditions, written articles for encyclopedias, and given presentations to general and specialized audiences. In addition to reviewing for Booklist, he has reviewed for De Re Militari, World History Connected, International Institute of Asian Studies, The Industrial Physicist, and Annals of Biomedical Engineering. [Reference]

Maria Hatton is the director of administration for a Chicago-based restoration company, which can be a highly stressful occupation. To relax, she reads romances, a habit that has made her an expert reviewer for Booklist, and which inspires her to write: "I am lost without a book in my hands, especially a romance novel which takes me away to another time, another place, and someone else's stress!" [Adult Books]

Carl Hays is a University of Illinois graduate in English and creative writing. He has been a computer technician, a technical writer, and has reviewed sf and non-fiction science books for Booklist since 1992. [Adult Books]

Jack Helbig is a journalist and playwright. He regularly reviews theater for the Chicago Reader and the Daily Herald. He is currently working on a new musical with Mark Hollmann based on Menander's The Grouch. He lives in Oak Park, Illinois, with his wife, Sherry, and his spunky daughter, Margaret. [Adult Books]

Dona J. Helmer, currently a librarian with the Anchorage School District in Anchorage, Alaska, is a former university librarian and professor who wanted to get back to the real world of working every day with real children and real books. She has served on the Newbery, Caldecott, and Outstanding Fiction for College Bound committees for ALA. She reads, quilts, and rarely exercises. [Reference]

Pat Henshaw is a retired Los Rios Community College librarian from Sacramento, CA. She has reviewed adult fiction for Publishers Weekly, the Houston Chronicle, and other publications. [Adult Books]

With the history of the West flowing through her veins, Diana Tixier Herald lives contentedly with husband Rick on the edge of a secluded canyon in a house created from recycled cans, tires, and bottles now that all 60 teenagers (biological and foster) are grown and gone. She has put her passion for fiction to use writing and editing several readers' advisory guides, including Genreflecting, Teen Genreflecting, Fluent in Fantasy, and Strictly Science Fiction—and, of course, reviewing romance novels for Booklist. [Adult Books]

Alan Hirsch, reviewer for books in classical music, has sung in choruses since age 9, including 26 seasons in the Chicago Symphony Chorus. In his mountaintop home in Southern Colorado, he listens to opera, symphonic, chamber, solo, and choral music, and seasons those with sprinklings of folk, jazz, and popular music. [Adult Books]

Neil Hollands is an adult services librarian, specializing in readers' advisory, at Williamsburg Regional Library (VA). The author of two books—Read On . . . Fantasy Fiction and Fellowship in a Ring: A Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups—he has also contributed chapters on readers' advisory to the Jessica Moyer-edited Research-Based Readers' Advisory and the Diane Zabel-edited Reference Reborn: Breathing New Life into Public Services Librarianship. He serves on Booklist's Advisory Board and contributes regularly to Booklist's Book Group Buzz blog and WRL's Blogging for a Good Book. [Adult Books, Reference]

Pam Spencer Holley is the retired coordinator of libraries for Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools, a past president of the Young Adult Library Services Association and founder of the "Audiobooks, It Is" column for VOYA. She served on YALSA's Amazing Audiobooks Committee and chaired the 2009 Odyssey Award Committee, all of which has led to her inability to cook, drive, iron or walk without an audiobook playing in her ear. [Media]

Carol S. Holzberg, PhD, is an educational technology specialist, computer journalist, private technology consultant, and anthropologist. She coordinates the technology program at three schools in Western Massachusetts and teaches in both the Licensure program at Hampshire Educational Collaborative (Northampton, MA) and online in the School of Education at Capella University. When she's not solving tech problems (or causing them), she goes for long country walks, reads poetry, bakes fabulous chocolate brownies (recipe available upon request), and copes stoically with the dust fluffs that have taken over her empty nest. [Media]

Brad Hooper, former Adult Books Editor, is the recipient of the 2015 Louis Shores Award and is the author of Writing Reviews for Readers' Advisory (2010), Read On . . . Historical Fiction (2005), and other books. He is Booklist's expert on history, geography, royalty, and the art of the short story. [Adult Books]

Danise Hoover is associate librarian for public services at Hunter College in New York City. She has reviewed for Booklist since being chair of the Notable Books Committee. She will review anything and everything sent, and especially loves books that have no academic relevance. [Adult Books, Reference]

Molly Horan is an associate editor at Refinery29 and an adjunct professor at Fordham University. Her writing has been published on Buzzfeed, Flavorwire, Mashable, Hellogiggles, Femsplain and many other sites. [Books for Youth]

Sharon Hrycewicz is a children's librarian at the Downers Grove Public Library. She began working with children's literature when she started working in a kid's bookstore in the early 1990s, not knowing anything about the books. Someone quickly handed her a book and she's been reading it ever since. Sharon loves listening to children's books on audiobook during her 20 mile drive to work. [Audio]

Jennifer Hubert is the middle school/coordinating librarian at Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School, located in the heart of New York City's Greenwich Village. She is a closet quilter obsessed with the color pink, all things Target, and reality television. [Books for Youth]

Kathleen Hughes reviews all sorts of different books for Booklist. She also is manager of publications for the Public Library Association (PLA) and editor of Public Libraries.  [Adult Books]

Kristine Huntley started her career working at Booklist as a publishing assistant and a freelance reviewer. Now living in Los Angeles and working in the entertainment industry, she still loves nothing so much as curling up with a good book. Or reading out by the pool (hey, it is L.A.).  [Adult Books]

Krista Hutley is the Teen and Adult Services Librarian at Wilmette (IL) Public Library. Specializing in sf, fantasy, and young adult books, she has also written reviews for the Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books and Library Journal Xpress. Her hobbies are reading, watching too much TV, everything horror, all kinds of gaming, Critical Role, funny cross-stitch, and yoga. [Adult Books, Books for Youth]

Longtime middle-school teacher and occasional librarian Kathleen Isaacs has worked in schools and colleges in Baltimore, Washington, British Hong Kong, and China as well as the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. She has served on and chaired a variety of book award committees, writes reviews and articles for professional magazines, and teaches children's literature at Towson University. [Books for Youth]

Merle Jacob was the director of library collection development for the Chicago Public Library until her retirement. Now she keeps involved in collection development and readers' advisory (her two loves) by reviewing for Reference Books Bulletin, writing reviews and articles on mysteries for NoveList, working as a consultant for publishers on marketing to libraries, and working on the Executive Board of the Adult Reading Round Table. [Reference]

Barbara Jacobs is a senior management consultant for Fortune 1000 companies, a former librarian, and a professional journalist who regularly reviews publications on home design, arts and crafts, and business. [Adult Books]

Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is a youth services librarian in Arlington, VA (it's more than just a cemetery, she is quick to note) who divides her time between her laptop and her lap cats. When she's not reviewing audio materials for kids, writing articles, conducting story hours, or teaching teachers, she's out in the garden giving pep talks to her plants. [Media]

Sarah Johnson, reference and electronic resources librarian at Eastern Illinois University, has been reviewing for Booklist since 2005. She is the author of two readers' advisory reference books: Historical Fiction: A Guide to the Genre (2005) and Historical Fiction II (2009). Originally from suburban Connecticut, she now shares a house out in the country with her husband, too many cats, and a large collection of books. [Adult Books]

Courtney Jones reviews multicultural youth titles, adult fiction, non-fiction and celebrity biographies. She's a former books for youth editorial assistant for Booklist, and currently serves as the Awards Coordinator for the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). [Adult, Books for Youth]

Alice Joyce reviews gardening books for Booklist, where her writing life took root as a garden travel author, photographer and speaker on destinations and design. A new website, Alice's Garden Travel Buzz is a resource enjoyed by garden tourists and armchair travelers, along with her award-winning regional blog, Bay Area Tendrils. [Adult Books]

Kat Kan fairly wallows in graphic novels as most of her work for Brodart and H. W. Wilson involves reading and reviewing them and selecting them for monthly lists and the Graphic Novels Core Collection. In her spare time she's a pastor's wife and works part time as a school librarian in a private preK–8th grade school. [Graphic Novels]

Jesse Karp is a librarian at LREI, an independent school in New York City, and teaches a course on the history and analysis of sequential art in Pratt Institute's Library and Information Sciences graduate program.  He is the author of the book Graphic Novels in Your School Library (2011) and the young adult novel Those That Wake (2011). He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two daughters.  Please visit him at [Graphic Novels, Books for Youth]

Chris Keech is the managing editor of ALA Production Services. He has a BA in journalism from Columbia College and has been a freelance writer for 15 years, focused primarily on film, music, television, and pop culture. He reviews adult nonfiction and fiction titles for Booklist and is a huge fan of both David and Amy Sedaris. [Adult Books]

Eloise L. Kinney has worked for Booklist since 1987, in Chicago and now as a freelancer—copyediting, proofreading, and writing book and media reviews. She also copyedits books for ALA Editions and other publishers, recently, happily, branching out into true crime (copyediting, that is).  [Adult Books]

Meg Kinney runs a small campus library at Indiana University, where she is a SLIS student. Previously she worked in publishing at several small indie presses. [Adult Books]

Liz Kirchhoff is an adult services librarian at the Barrington Area Library in the Chicago suburbs. She is a longtime book reviewer, and has read for the American Library Association's Notable Books Council. After her first book came out last year, Liz swore she'd never do that again (even though she probably will). Now she happily reviews books written by others. In her free time, Liz will read just about anything, although finishing is quite a different matter. [Media]

Mark Knoblauch, a freelance writer and former librarian, worked 15 years as a restaurant reviewer for the Chicago Tribune. He reviews books on food and cooking, history, and travel. [Adult Books]

Carolyn Kubisz has been a librarian for 18 years, is currently a reference librarian for Takeda Pharmaceuticals and occasionally teaches in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University. She started writing reviews for Booklist back in 1999 when she was the associate director of ALA's Library and Research Center. [Adult Books]

Abbie Landry, director of libraries at Northwestern State University Libraries, started reviewing reference books in library school and has continued ever since. She especially enjoys reviewing titles on history, sports, hobbies, and animals. [Reference]

Michele Leber retired in late 2002 from 24 years at Fairfax County (VA) Public Library, where her last and longest-held job was as assistant coordinator for collection management. She enjoys reviewing books of a variety of types and genres, particularly literary and feminist/women's fiction and mystery, as well as biography and nonfiction. [Adult Books]

Angela Leeper, the director of the Curriculum Materials Center at the University of Richmond (VA), has a small but growing collection of ceramic libraries. When not reading to, playing with, or carpooling her active identical twin daughters, she enjoys swimming, walking, and traveling. She hopes to visit the chateaux in France's Loire Valley one day. [Books for Youth]

Susan Dove Lempke is the Head of Youth Services and Assistant Library Director at the Niles Public Library in suburban Chicago. She began reviewing at the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, and currently also reviews for Reading Today and The Horn Book Magazine. Despite their noise and their mess, she still finds working with children far preferable to working with the grownups. [Books for Youth]

Janice S. Lewis is the associate director at East Carolina University's Joyner Library. She has been an RBB reviewer for nearly 20 years. As a former attorney, she enjoys reviewing legal and criminal justice titles. In her spare time, she bicycles and helps run her local public library's used book sale. Favorite fiction authors include John Sandford and James Lee Burke. [Reference]

Art A. Lichtenstein is the director of the library at the University of Central Arkansas (Conway, AR), and has been reviewing reference materials since 1988. A transplanted Yankee, he likes reviewing a heap a books for y'all. [Reference]

Donald Liebenson reviews DVDs for Booklist. He has written about the home video industry since the days of VHS. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, and Huffington Post. Before he becomes an empty-nester, he is desperately racing against time to share all of his favorite old movies with his son. [Media]

Elaine Lindstrom has been a suburban branch manager for much longer than she was a reference librarian at the Dayton, Ohio main library—but doing reference is still the main reason she enjoys being a librarian. Another is leading a monthly mystery book discussion group at the branch since 2000. She has a part-time job as a minister's wife. [Reference]

Erin Linsenmeyer is a youth services assistant at West Chicago Public Library District. When she isn't busy telling people that no, we are not located in the city of Chicago, or entertaining toddlers with countless voices, she is working on her MLIS at Dominican University (IL). [Reference]

Ellen Loughran works as a part-time reference librarian at N.Y. CityTech and Hunter College of the City University of New York, as well as being a visiting professor in the Pratt School of Library and Information Science. She reviews with great interest and pleasure: literary fiction, bildungsroman, and historical fiction—the weirder the book, the greater the pleasure. [Adult Books]

Wes Lukowsky has been reviewing mysteries, thrillers, sports releases, and westerns for Booklist since 1978. Through the years he's also worked for a number of local newspapers covering high school sports. He is currently employed as a supply chain manager for an international distribution firm. His involvement in the Iran-Contra affair is an interesting tale, but, alas, remains classified. [Adult Books]

Back to Top


Reviwers M–S

A second-generation Booklist freelancer, Elliot Mandel reviews adult nonfiction and documentary films on music, history, and New Orleans. Additionally, he reviews classical music in Chicago, plays the cello, takes pictures, and badmouths the Cubs with Media Editor Sue-Ellen Beauregard. [Adult Books, Media]

Sara Rofofsky Marcus is the electronic resource/web librarian at the Kurt R. Schmeller Library of Queensborough Community College in Bayside (NY). When not working as a librarian or reviewing books, she is busy teaching information literacy courses and reading with her children. [Reference]

Ivy Mason is an aspiring young adult librarian, currently working in higher education. An avid book reader (and listener)—from graphic novels, to fiction, to biographies and memoirs, she'll tackle any book that comes her way. When not reading she spends her spare hours cooking, gardening, and hiking in the vast forests of the Pacific Northwest—and building more bookshelves. [Media]

Lizzie Matkowski is a librarian at the Downers Grove Public Library in Illinois, but has worked in both public and academic libraries over the years. She has spent countless hours lost in a book since childhood, famously bringing a book to every family outing. After law school and some time in the legal world, she realized librarianship was her true calling. When not reading, she can usually be found making ceramic pots on the wheel, knitting, and gaming. [Media]

Joy Matteson is the Adult and Teen Services Librarian at the Downers Grove Public Library. She loves reading historical fiction, theology, and food memoirs in her spare time, and audiobooks are a new favorite. Baking and crocheting are her therapeutic hobbies; she also plays violin in a pop strings trio on weekends with her twin sister. [Media]

Kathleen McBroom has been a reviewer for Reference Books Bulletin for decades. During that time her job titles have included reference librarian, media specialist, teacher leader, and professor. She currently works as a coordinator for the Dearborn (MI) Public Schools. [Reference]

Mary McCay is the Landrieu Distinguished Teaching Professor and Director of the Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing at Loyola University New Orleans. She loves to listen to audiobooks, drink champagne, and travel. [Media]

Five grandchildren keep Nancy McCray (a former assistant editor in the Media section) commuting to Colorado and points overseas. Currently she works in the children's room at Evanston (IL) Public Library. [Media]

Kristen McKulski is a former associate editor of Book Links magazine. She has worked as an editor in trade and institutional publishing for more than 15 years. She has reviewed youth and picture books for Booklist since 2007. [Books for Youth]

Debbie McLeod is youth collections specialist for the Johnson County (KS) library, which means she selects all youth materials for a 13-branch system. Outside of the library, she gets to manage the caretaking of one husband, three dogs, one cat, one miniature donkey, and eight horses and ponies (though she does have help in the equine department!). Thankfully, her daughters are now graduated and off on their own—one in DC as a journalist and the other in KC as an attorney (whose two dogs Debbie also occasionally manages). When not managing things, she enjoys a good glass of wine, reading, and movies. [Media]

Kaite Mediatore Stover, who writes the "She Reads..." column and blogs for Book Group Buzz, refuses to give up her day job as Director, Readers' Services at the Kansas City Public Library. When she's not reading tarot cards or gardening, she's baking too much and collecting skull art. [Media]

Andrew Medlar, from age 0, was always the first kid signed up (literally, #1—thanks, Mom!) for the summer reading program at the Dayton Metro Library, where 16 years later they started paying him to shelve books. Fast forward a little bit more and now he happily is the youth materials specialist for Chicago Public Library; enthusiastically teaches graduate courses in kid and teen lit; proudly serves on such committees as Caldecott, Sibert, and Wilder; and gratefully dusts his Librarian of the Year Award from America Reads Spanish. [Books for Youth]

Emily Melton has been reviewing adult fiction for Booklist for over 20 years. From 1984–1988, she was headquarters librarian at ALA, and from 19911998, she was special assistant to the ALA executive director. For the past 11 years, she has worked for the World Energy Council, an international NGO based in London, where she currently serves as Senior Director, Operations and Institutional Development. [Adult Books]

Arthur S. Meyers has a BA in history from the University of Miami, an MA in history from Ball State University, an MA in English from the University of Missouri (St. Louis), and an MS in library science from Columbia University. He is the director of Russell Library in Middletown (CT) and has been a reviewer for decades. [Reference]

Jeffrey Meyers, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, has recently published Samuel Johnson: The Struggle (2008), The Genius and the Goddess: Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe (2009), George Orwell: Life and Art (2010)—his fifth work on Orwell—and John Huston: Courage and Art (2011). Thirty of his books have been translated into fourteen languages and seven alphabets, and published on six continents. [Adult Books]

Tony Miksanek is a physician and writer in Benton, Illinois. He is the author of 2 collections of short stories and serves as Co-Editor of the NYU Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database. He is a part-time instructor at John A. Logan College. Once upon a time, Tony was a student-athlete at the University of Chicago where he played on both the football and wrestling teams. As he has gotten older and slower, Tony now competes in Master's Track and Field events. [Adult Books]

Patricia Monaghan, professor of interdisciplinary studies at DePaul University in Chicago, is the author of more than a dozen nonfiction books, mostly on mythology, as well as four volumes of poetry. She is a part-time cheesehead, tending a small organic orchard and vineyard near Black Earth, WI, where she also runs the Black Earth Institute, a think-tank for artists who connect spirituality, the environment, and social justice in their work. [Adult Books]

Colleen Mondor is the Bookslut YA columnist and also writes about aviation in Alaska and haunted places in Florida. (It makes sense, she promises.) As moderator for the group site Guys Lit Wire she organizes an annual new book donation drive that sees hundreds of books end up in selected school libraries at the hands of donors worldwide. Map of the Dead Pilots, her exploration of commercial flying in Alaska (part Northern Exposure, part Air America, part Tim O'Brien) will be published in fall of 2011. [Adult Books]

Melissa Moore has served as public services librarian (or one of its mutations) at Union University (Jackson, TN) since 1992, where she also teaches graduate courses for wannabe school librarians. Her favorite course to teach? Young adult literature, of course. [Books for Youth]

Alan Moores, former associate editor of the Adult Books section of Booklist, has worked with the magazine for more than 30 years. He currently reviews nonfiction books on sports, politics, current events, and music, among other topics, and regularly copy edits reviews for Booklist. After working in Asia as a managing editor and free-lance writer, he has settled with his family in Seattle, WA. [Adult Books, Media]

Retired librarian John Mort has reviewed for Booklist since 1993. He is the author of the readers advisory guides, Christian Fiction, and Read the High Country; the novels Soldier in Paradise and Goat Boy of the Ozarks; and the short story collection, Dont Mean Nothin. [Adult Books]

Retired Arizona branch library manager and Romance Writers of America 2001 Librarian of the Year Shelley Mosley has written five romantic comedies with Deborah Mazoyer under the pen name Deborah Shelley. Mosley has written three books with fellow Booklist reviewer John Charles, with whom she's won two Veritas awards: The Suffragists in Literature for Youth: The Fight for the Vote (2006); The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List (2007); and Romance Today: An A-to-Z Guide to Contemporary American Romance Writers (2006). Mosley, who co-authored Crash Course in Library Supervision: Meeting the Key Players, has also written more than 600 limericks; articles for Library Journal, VOYA, and Wilson Library Bulletin, and is addicted to home improvement shows. [Adult Books]

Carolyn M. Mulac is division chief, general information services at the Chicago Public Library. She has reviewed for Reference Books Bulletin since 1991 and has never turned down an assignment involving quotation books. She chaired the Reference Books Bulletin Editorial Board from 2004–2007. [Reference]

Frieda Murray is a career civil servant who has published fiction, nonfiction, and Booklist reviews both in collaboration and separately. She lives in Chicago with her husband of 35 years, Booklist reviewer Roland Green, and their daughter Violette. [Adult Books]

Elizabeth Nelson is a corporate librarian by day and a community college reference librarian by night (or evenings and weekends) in the Chicago suburbs. She enjoys reading, writing, and listening to audiobooks, especially during the long commute to work. [Media]

Abby Nolan writes for various publications about children's books and pop culture. She currently reviews nonfiction children's books for the Washington Post. [Books for Youth]

Sue O'Brien is retired from the Downers Grove (IL) Public Library. She worked for the library as the Assistant Director for Support Services, Literature and Audio Services Coordinator, and as both a readers’ advisory and reference librarian. She has reviewed mysteries for Booklist since 2002.

Jack O'Gorman is a reference and instruction librarian and associate professor at the University of Dayton's Roesch Library. He chaired the editorial board of Reference Books Bulletin from 2001–2004. He has served on the RUSA Outstanding Reference Sources Committee and the Dartmouth Award Committee and is currently chair of the Dartmouth Award Commitee. He is co-editor of the third edition of Recommended Reference Books in Paperback (2000), and editor of the seventh edition of Reference Sources for Small and Medium Sized Libraries (2008), and is a contributor to the Guide to Reference. [Reference]

Brian Odom is a reference librarian and instructor of history at institutions outside of Birmingham, AL. He obtained master's degrees in both early American history and library science from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Roll Tide! [Adult Books, Reference]

Since leaving Booklist in 2010, former associate editor for Adult Books Ray Olson has continued contributing reviews to the Adult Books department and Booklist Online from his new home in St. Paul, MN, which feels quite comfortable because his apartment building has been in his family longer than he has. [Adult Books, Graphic Novels]

Anne O'Malley is the library coordinator at New Trier High School's Northfield Campus. She spends every day with over 1,000 high school freshmen, a very energizing experience with a great lens into teen culture.  When not with the ninth graders, Anne loves quiet moments reading, traveling, watching movies, and enjoying Chicago's cultural scene. [Books for Youth]

Cortney Ophoff is a home educator and board member of the Friends of the Dexter (MI) District Library. With a degree in biology, she previously worked as a veterinary technician. She has a lifelong love of reading and is also drawn to photography, running, sewing, cooking, and conservation. [Books for Youth]

Wade Osburn is the reference and theological librarian at Freed-Hardeman University, Loden-Daniel Library ( Henderson, TN). [Adult Books, Reference]

Maren Ostergard is the early literacy/outreach librarian for the King County (WA) Library System. She has been reviewing for Reference Books Bulletin since 2001 and is a past editorial board member. She has served on the Sibert Award Committee and chaired the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee and served on many other ALSC and YALSA committees. [Reference]

Blair Parsons works as a reference librarian in Austin, TX. He reads, runs, and sits on his porch with his dog. [Adult Books]

Heather Paulson, a librarian at Manhattan College (NY), has been a Booklist reviewer since 2007. She received her MLIS from Long Island University and and MA in literature and philosophy from New York University.  She particularly enjoys reviewing books about New York City, debut novels, and books about the American West. Heather hails from Montana but considers Brooklyn her home. [Adult Books]

John Peters grew up in Denver, Colorado, where he was a thorn in the sides of a succession of library supervisors from middle school through college. He then moved to New York, where he received a graduate degree at Columbia's School of Library Services, and had absolutely nothing to do with that school's subsequent closing. After a 30-plus year career in children's work he retired in 2010 as a supervising librarian from the New York Public Library's Children's Center at 42nd Street. He has been a book reviewer for over 25 years, and has chaired or served on most of ALA's children's book and other media award committees. [Books for Youth]

J. B. Petty is a retired library educator with over 25 years’ experience teaching children’s and young adult literature in school and academic libraries. She is the author of several books and articles focusing on multiethnic literature for elementary and middle schoolers. Her current interests include gardening as well as reading and reviewing both fiction and nonfiction for Booklist’s Books for Youth department. [Books for Youth]

Lynette Pitrak is the Teen Services Coordinator at the Downers Grove (IL) Public Library. She loves being able to work with middle school and high school students on a daily basis, and is passionate about providing teens with the resources to fuel their own creativity. When not at work, she enjoys painting, yoga, and longs walks with her two dogs. [Media]

David Pitt lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In addition to his reviews for Booklist, he writes a monthly column about paperback fiction and nonfiction for the Winnipeg Free Press, and covers the "Reading the Screen" beat for Booklist Online's Likely Stories blog. [Adult Books, Media]

Alison O'Reilly Poage has been working in libraries since she was 16 years old. Formerly a youth services librarian and public library director, she is now Director of the Booher Library at Seminary of the Southwest. Alison has been an Audie Awards Judge and is proud to have served on the 2011 Odyssey Award Committee. Although she's been known to gripe about the number of stereo components in her house, Alison secretly appreciates listening to audio books on her husband's old school equipment. [Media]

Sue Polanka is the head of reference and instruction at the Wright State University Libraries. She has been a member of the Reference Books Bulletin Advisory Board for over 10 years and served as chair from 2007–2010. Sue contributes to Points of Reference for Booklist Online and also moderates No Shelf Required. [Reference]

Elizabeth Ponder, the head of collection development and information services for Palestine (TX) Public Library, began reviewing inspirational fiction for Booklist in 2010. In her professional life, she explores new options for the digital frontier, admits to sending out the occasional ridiculously long email, and almost always attempts to help solve the problem of the day. When she can piece together a block of spare time, she enjoys reading contemporary fiction, beginning never-ending knitting aspirations, and playing with her dog, Lucy. Never too far from her iPod, Elizabeth has found that shelving books proves to be therapeutic for the audiobook junkie that she is. [Adult Books]

Margaret Power is the reference services coordinator at the DePaul University Library in Chicago. [Reference]

Mary Ellen Quinn is the former editor of Reference Books Bulletin. Our on-call nineteenth-century English literature pundit (the reputation of Anthony Trollope knows no greater friend), she has a subspecialty in history and historical fiction. [Adult Books]

Blaire Ranucci works as a Library Media Center Director in Indian Prairie School District in Illinois. Her days are spent surrounded by Kindergarten through 5th grade students and all of their assorted reading and technology interests. [Reference]

Jim Rettig was author/editor of the Wilson Library Bulletin's "Current Reference Books" column and its online successor, "Rettig on Reference," from 1981 through 1999 and has reviewed for Reference Books Bulletin since 1979. He has reviewed more than 4,000 reference sources. He served as president of the American Library Association 2008–09 and is university librarian at the University of Richmond in Virginia. [Reference]

Carolyn Richard lives and works in Chicago, armed with an MA in creative nonfiction from the University of Chicago. She spends her days reading, investigating, and writing mostly true accounts of what she finds. Carolyn has a variety of freelance projects going; her favorite is reviewing for Booklist. [Adult Books]

Rick Roche is a book blogger and head of the Adult Services Department at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library in Western Springs, IL. While his reading interests vary, he particularly enjoys science, nature, history, and biography. [Adult Books]

Hazel Rochman is the author of Against Borders: Promoting Books for a Multicultural World (1993), which has become a multicultural-literature bible for librarians. She retired as Booklist's Young Adult Books Editor in 2003, but still enjoys reading, writing, talking, and arguing about books—if only part-time. [Books for Youth]

Connie Rockman is a youth literature consultant with over 25 years of experience as a children's/YA librarian. She is a storyteller, lecturer, adjunct professor, and editor of the Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Book of Junior Authors and Illustratorsfor H. W. Wilson. A former chair of ALA's Notable Children's Recordings Committee and a member of the first-ever Odyssey Award Committee, she is an avid audiobook listener when she isn't reading, gardening, or folk dancing. [Media]

Deborah V. Rollins is the head of collection services at Fogler Library, University of Maine (Orono). [Reference]

Shelle Rosenfeld, a writer, editor and longtime Booklist contributor, holds a master's in English from the University of Kansas, a master's in library and information science from Drexel University, and has worked in public library youth and adult services. She enjoys moonpies, festive vintage hats, and continues to embrace her inner Ramona Quimby. [Books for Youth]

For the last 30 years, John Rowen has been a free-lance book reviewer and feature writer about books and the outdoors, mostly fishing. From his home in the Albany, New York suburbs, he authors a blog on food and travel. He likes writing for Booklist because of the camaraderie among editors and writers, and finds that the magazine's short-review format helps him write more concisely his other assignments. By day he is the vegetation manager for the New York State Department of Transportation. [Adult Books]

Freelance writer and retired professor of English and children's literature from Indiana University Northwest, Mary Harris Russell is a regular contributor to Tribune newspapers. She lives in Chicago and rides bicycles extensively in the level parts of the Midwest. [Books for Youth]

Lynn Rutan was a middle-school librarian for many years and now writes the blog Bookends, on Booklist Online, with her colleague Cindy Dobrez. She also reviews youth books for Booklist. When she is not reading, Lynn likes to travel, garden, and hike and hang out with her grandsons. [Books for Youth]

Alizah Salario is a freelance journalist living in Chicago. Her work has appeared in The Daily Beast, The Rumpus, at the Poetry Foundation, and elsewhere. She is currently working on her first book, about working and teaching in Istanbul. [Adult Books]

Linda Sawyer works as the youth services programming coordinator for Skokie (IL) Public Library, where she once dressed as a groundhog for a program. Also, she has taught children's literature courses at Dominican University (River Forest, IL). When she isn't running around with her children she can be found at home whipping up a new recipe and reading or listening to children's books. Her proudest "mom" moment is that both her children love books and think it is cool that "Mom" is a librarian. [Media]

June Sawyers, a freelance reviewer who specializes in pop culture and religion, originally hails from Glasgow, Scotland, has written or edited more than 20 books, mostly in music, literature, and travel, and is a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune and other publications. She teaches humanities courses at the Newberry Library and at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, Loyola University (Chicago). [Adult Books]

Linda Loos Scarth is a retired academic reference librarian, photographer, writer, and former college teacher. She has a special interest in environmental, health, psychology, and photography reference materials. She (along with her husband) published Deep Nature: Photographs from Iowa (2009) and blog about nature and photography on their website. [Reference]

Jim Scholtz is the library director of the Yankton (SD) Community Library and has been reviewing nonfiction videos and DVDs for Booklist since 1985. Additionally, he writes books about videos and libraries and library technology. His hobbies include singing loud and high as a barbershop tenor, making pottery, and playing tennis (although his knees and other body parts are giving out). [Media]

Regina Schroeder, who started reviewing for Booklist in 2001, worked at (the original) Powell's until 2003, when she decided she'd had enough of northern winters and migrated south. She spent some time at the University of Alabama working on an MFA in book arts, but eventually realized that she really did like snow and moved back to the frozen north. Now she makes paper in a nineteenth-century factory building and prints miniature books. [Adult Books]

Whitney Scott, awarded the 2009–2010 Writer-in-Residence Grant from the Bensenville (IL) Community Public Library, wears many hats in Chicago's publishing scene. A member of the Society of Midland Authors, Scott teaches writing at Chicago's Columbia College and is an author as well as editor and publisher (Outrider Press) of the acclaimed Black-and-White anthology series produced in affiliation with TallGrass Writers Guild; its fifteenth anniversary title is Seasons of Change (2010). [Adult Books, Media]

Diana Donner Shonrock is a science and technology librarian/human sciences bibliographer at Parks Library, Iowa State University (Ames). She is also the coordinator of the Iowa Community Cookbook Collection at Iowa State and collects historical cookbooks of her own. She lives with her husband, Bill, and her daughter's cat, Tripp, and is contemplating retirement this summer so she can do some consulting. She is an active member of ALA and has served as president of RUSA and edited an ALA book on evaluating library instruction. [Reference]

David Siegfried is an independent entrepreneur, photographer, and musician. His forays into the business world have included desktop publishing, computer assembly and repair, equities and options trading, candy vending, and video production. He currently runs an online retail store as an eBay PowerSeller. A singer and bandleader, he performs occasionally either with his group David and the Happenings or with his brother, the notorious James Chance. David is married to Booklist associate editor Donna Seaman. [Adult Books]

Esther Sinofsky, PhD, is director, instructional media services/library services for the Los Angeles Unified School District. She's written books and articles about copyright and presented on topics such as "Read-Alouds for Teens." She has reviewed for VOYA and still reviews for Library Media Connections and her unit's book evaluation program. Now on a year-round schedule, she misses those long summer vacations. [Reference]

Mary Ellen Snodgrass, a veteran teacher of English and Latin at Hickory High School and Lenoir Rhyne University (NC), writes award-winning reference works and textbooks. In addition to producing a biweekly column for the Charlotte Observer, she serves the state of North Carolina as a traveling lecturer for the humanities commission and as a state library commissioner. [Reference]

Karen Springen teaches journalism at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and writes for many publications, most often about health issues and about the publishing industry. She also writes a health column for Chicago magazine and a daily family blog for an NBC-owned site for baby boomers. Previously, she spent 24 years at Newsweek. [Adult Books]

Kathleen Stipek is a reference librarian at the Alachua County Library District (Gainesville, FL). Her reading interests include historical whodunits, food and culinary history, Latin American history, skepticism, and paranormal phenomena. Outside her reading life, she's a fan of the Tampa Bay Rays and Mythbusters. [Reference]

Stephen Stratton is the head of collections and technical services at California State University (Channel Islands). No, he does not swim, kayak, or boat to work—however, he can be found in deep water from time to time. In addition to reviewing a variety of reference sources for Booklist, he also writes, reads, and travels when he can. [Reference]

Leah Strauss is an editor living in Chicago, and holds a master of arts in creative writing (poetry specialization) from Northwestern University. She has been a Booklist freelance reviewer since 2006, focusing primarily on fiction. [Adult Books]

Magan Szwarek is the Adult Services Manager for the Forest Park Public Library (Forest Park, Illinois). A lover of audiobooks and a dedicated readers' advisor, Magan serves on the Steering Committee of the Adult Reading Round Table and is enthusiastic about re-imaging what public libraries can offer the communities they serve. [Media]

Penny Sympson is corporate librarian at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., a forensic engineering firm, and is very active in the Engineering Division of the Special Libraries Association. She previously was a reference librarian at the Des Plaines Public Library and the Morton Grove Public Library where she created bibliographies on pets and on true crime. [Reference]

Back to Top


Reviewers T–Z

Kaye Talley has been a librarian at the University of Central Arkansas for 35 years, where she has worked in almost all of the departments at one time or another. She was serials librarian for 25 of those years and coordinator of technical services for 23 years. She is currently the assistant director of Torreyson Library. Kaye has reviewed for Reference Books Bulletin since 2003. [Reference]

Gilbert Taylor has written thousands of reviews for Booklist since 1989. He predominantly covers new books about history, current events, and science, and occasionally reviews art, literature, sports, and fiction titles. [Adult Books]

Suzanne Temple is a juvenile materials cataloger for NoveList. She loves reading horror books, knitting, and spending time with her three young children. [Media]

Bridget Thoreson is an editor at The Journal Times, a daily newspaper in Racine, WI. She almost always has her nose buried in a book, becoming so absorbed that she experiences temporary deafness while reading, to which her long-suffering (and somewhat hoarse) family members can attest. [Adult Books]

Matthew Tiffany is a clinical mental health therapist and freelance writer. He lives in Maine and posts occasionally to Condalmo. [Adult Books]

Michael Tosko is the information literacy coordinator and history librarian at the University of Akron (OH). He spends his days spreading the good word of information literacy, helping history students locate elusive primary resources, and explaining to people why the University's sports teams are called "The Zips" (it was the name of a popular overshoe made by Akron's B. F. Goodrich Co. in the 1920s). [Reference]

Proudly wearing the label of book addict, Julie Trevelyan reads like some people breathe. Now a freelance writer and Utah wilderness guide, she's also been a book editor. A fan of books in any format, she holds both her print-book library and e-reader library in high regard. She is most interested in books about the Southwest, paranormal romance for adults and teens, and general fiction. You can find her at and @julietrevelyan. [Adult Books]

Mike Tribby has reviewed for Booklist since 1992. He is employed as a cataloger and specializes in materials concerning the dark side and margins of popular culture and music. [Adult Books, Media]

Annie Tully attended the University of Illinois and the University of Washington. In addition to reviewing fiction and memoirs for Booklist, she has written for the Chicago Sun-Times and Bookslut, and produces public programming in the arts in Chicago. [Adult Books]

Stephanie Turza is a Chicago transplant living in St. Louis. A publishing lifer, she honed her editorial skills at Dalkey Archive Press, W. W. Norton & Company, Common Ground Publishing, the University of Illinois Press, and Elsevier. She greatly enjoys the reviewing work she does for Booklist and is constantly searching for more bookshelf space. [Adult Books]

David Tyckoson is the associate dean at California State University (Fresno) and has been reviewing reference books since the late 1970s. Over his 30-plus years as a reference librarian, he has experienced first-hand the shift from print to electronic resources. Although his heart lies with reference books, he wonders how much longer they will survive. [Reference]

Supervising Children's Librarian for the Alameda (CA) Free Library, Eva Volin has been reading comics and graphic novels since her early twenties. No longer in her early twenties, she now keeps her long boxes hidden in the garage in an attempt to pass as one of the "Normals."  To the disappointment of her mother, this hasn't helped. [Graphic Novels]

Aleksandra Walker is a freelance writer and editor, former public relations specialist and Northwestern graduate. She has reviewed "chick lit" and other contemporary fiction for Booklist for more than six years. She lives in Chicago with her husband and their high-spirited toddler son. [Adult Books]

Sarah Barbara Watstein is a university librarian at the University of North Carolina (Wilmington). [Reference]

Cheryl Karp Ward, a library media specialist, has retired twice: once from public education as a school librarian; once from the corporate world as a teen specialist for collection development. Active in YALSA, she is a freelance teen consultant, serves on her town's library board, leads parent/child book discussion groups, and tutors in a middle school. When not traveling, pursuing the arts, running, cooking, or attending her son and daughter-in-laws coaching events, she dotes shamefully on her granddaughter or ventures to Montreal to gorge on poutine with her daughter. [Media, Reference]

Kay Weisman, a former school and youth services librarian, lives in Vancouver, BC, where she studies children's literature at University of British Columbia and chairs the Canadian Library Association's Book of the Year for Children Award (a.k.a. the Canadian Newbery). [Books for Youth]

Dr. Cindy Welch is an assistant professor of youth services at the University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences. She's been a practitioner, an administrator, and was once even a youth herself—which comes in handy in all sorts of situations. Closely supervised in her spare time by two cats, she loves to bake, read fiction, and watch good movies, not all at the same time, of course. [Books for Youth]

Lynne Welch is an Ohio reference and readers'-advisory librarian, named 2004 Librarian of the Year by the Romance Writers of America. She reviews popular fiction, including historicals, inspirationals, and romances, for Booklist. [Adult Books]

After 30 years in the field, Ann Welton still loves her work as a school librarian and reading teacher. When not gardening, walking, completing a paralegal certificate, replastering walls, and reading to her granddaughter, she spends her time reading children's books, architectural treatises, a select smatter of literary fiction, and lots of murder mysteries. [Reference]

Patty Wetli will read just about anything except user's manuals. She has an MA in English and a certificate in creative writing, with a specialty in nonfiction. A Chicago-based freelancer, her essays have appeared in Brevity and Front Porch Journal. [Adult Books]

Mary Whaley, Chicago resident and entrepreneur, has reviewed business books for Booklist since 1995. With an MBA from Northwestern University and experience as a consultant, commercial banker and teacher, as a freelance writer she enjoys many opportunities to learn about new ideas in management and economics. [Adult Books]  

Lucinda Whitehurst is the Lower School Learning Commons Coordinator/Librarian at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, VA. She has served on the Newbery, Caldecott, and various other ALSC/ALA committees. By gradually filling up her dining room with books, she is working to convince her family and friends that words should be savored and meals should be eaten in restaurants. [Books for Youth]

Christine Whittington is director of James Addison Jones Library at Greensboro College (NC). Before becoming a library director, she was a reference librarian for 20 years. She has chaired the Reference Book Bulletin Editorial Board, the Dartmouth Medal Committee, and several award committees. Her own book with young adult writer Kathlyn Gay,Body Marks: Tattooing, Piercing, and Scarification (2002), was named a 2003 Nonfiction Honor Book by VOYA. [Reference]

Harrison Wick started reviewing books in 2015. He is the Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and he works at the Library Reference Desk in the IUP Libraries. Harrison has been a professional archivist and librarian for 13 years, and earned his MA in History and MLS from Indiana University in Bloomington, (IN). [Reference]

Snow Wildsmith is a writer, former librarian, and avid reader who has been reviewing books for kids and teens for over 10 years. She has served on several YALSA award committees, including Great Graphic Novels for Teens, Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, and Printz. In her spare time she plays with her dogs, annoys her husband, and collects craft supplies, none of which seem to ever make it into an actual project. [Graphic Novels]

AV reviewer Brian Wilson works as a full-time children's librarian at the Evanston Public Library where, during storytime, he astounds the crowds with his jaw-dropping ability to imitate seals, kitties, disgruntled cows, and ducklings. In his spare time, he listens to loud rock music, writes plays about very silly things, studies the films of Fellini and Will Ferrell, and repeatedly reminds people that, no, he's not that Brian Wilson. [Media]

Neal Wyatt is a readers' advisory and collection development librarian from Virginia and author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (2007). She founded RUSA's Listen List: Outstanding Audiobook Narration, a juried list highlighting the year's top audiobooks. She listens to audiobooks for the pure pleasure of having a story told to her. [Media]

Steve York is a longtime professional choral singer who has been reviewing music reference works since 2005. He earned a bachelor's of music from the University of Nebraska, and an MLS with specialization in music librarianship at Indiana University. Steve is the cataloging librarian at Christopher Newport University. [Reference].

Shauna Yusko is a librarian at Evergreen Junior High in Redmond, WA. [Reference]

Back to Top

| | | | | | | |