The inaugural Loan Stars list is live!

It’s here! We woke up this morning and shouted, “Can today really be the day that the first Loan Stars list comes out?” Yes, it is true! Library staff from across Canada have spoken and selected their favourite forthcoming May titles and the list is a great one. We won’t keep you in suspense:


1. I Let You Go, Clare Mackintosh | ISBN: 9780451488596 

"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

2. Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Madeleine Thien | ISBN: 9780345810427

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. 

3. A Country Road, A Tree, Jo Baker | ISBN: 9780345816382

"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

4. Everybody’s Fool, Richard Russo | ISBN: 9780307270641

"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

5. The Noise of Time, Julian Barnes | ISBN: 9780345816573

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

6. Life Without a Recipe, Diana Abu-Jaber | ISBN: 9780393249095

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. 

7. The City of Mirrors, Justin Cronin | ISBN: 9780385669559

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.

8. The Voodoo Killings, Kristi Charish | ISBN: 9780345815880

"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

9. Bad Singer: The Surprising Science of Tone Deafness and How We Hear Music, Tim Falconer | ISBN: 9781770894457

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.

10. Not Working, Lisa Owens | ISBN: 9780385686006

"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

Just what is Loan Stars?

Loan Stars is the new readers’ advisory service that allows library staff across Canada to collaboratively select their favourite forthcoming titles. Using CataList, the online catalogue tool available free to libraries, library staff can nominate their favourite 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.

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

It's easy and free! 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 favourites. You can even leave a review or link to one you've written on the web.
  5. Repeat – You can vote more than once!

How do I get advanced reading copies?

We encourage you to sign up for NetGalley to get digital copies of forthcoming titles. You will find links throughout CataList to all titles that are available in NetGalley. For many of the publishers on CataList, you can also make a direct request to the publisher for a forthcoming title. Start by selecting the “Read Me” button next to a title, which will allow you to either request a copy via NetGalley (if available) or make a direct request to the publisher.

Voting for the June list is active right now, so get reading!