Below is more information about the Booklist Reader contributors. Click on a contributor’s name to see a full list of their work.
Annie Bostrom, as marketing associate, is a key part of the well-oiled machine that is Booklist webinars. When not elbow deep in PowerPoints and webinar calendars, Annie assists the marketing, production, and editorial departments. Annie loves Chicago summers and is grateful that the other nine months of the year coincide nicely with the academic calendar, when she continues to pursue her MLIS. She publishes “Book Trailer Thursday” on The Booklist Reader.
Mary Burkey is a National Board Certified teacher-librarian in the Olentangy School District, in Columbus, Ohio. She is the past chair of the American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Recordings Committee, was part of the Odyssey Award Task Force, and served as the chair of ALA’s first Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production Committee. She currently serves as a judge for the Audio Producers Association’s Audie Awards and reviews for Booklist and Horn Book. She writes Booklist‘s audiobook column, “Voices in My Head.”
Vanessa Bush is a contract reviewer for Booklist and a former financial reporter who has worked as a freelance writer for the past 10 years, editing an international housing finance magazine. She contributes to Chicago Public Radio and is a former VISTA volunteer. She is also 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. For The Booklist Reader, she writes “Minority Report.”
Ilene Cooper is senior editor at Booklist and spends most of her day looking at, assigning, and reviewing (some) of the 7,000 children’s books that are published each year. She oversees the religion coverage for the Adult Books section of Booklist, too. On her own time, she’s (“unfortunately”) adding to mountain of children’s books by writing her own, even though her (imaginary) bumper sticker reads “I’d Rather Be Knitting.”
Sue Dittmar is a Sunday Librarian with the St. Charles City-County Library District (MO). She is an spirited member of the District’s Readers’ Advisory team. As an over active reader, she explores several different genres a month. Sue has also been a leader of several book clubs and is a member of the NMRT Footnotes committee. A mother to two active boys who specialize in soccer, baseball, and general mayhem, she often finds peace while baking cookies.
Cindy Dobrez is the middle-school librarian for West Ottawa Public Schools, in Holland, Michigan. Her favorite place to read is with a view of the water . . . preferably on her boat on Lake Michigan.
Katharine Uhrich spends her time handling Booklist marketing and the webinar program—a task not unlike herding cats. Purported to be a cat lady in some circles, this is probably why she loves her job so much. Outside of work and felines, she enjoys playing violin in the Ravenswood Community Orchestra, posing a danger in the kitchen, and riding her bike through Chicago’s neighborhoods.
Keir Graff is the editor of Booklist Online. In addition to writing book reviews and e-newsletters (most notably REaD ALERT), he contributes to Likely Stories, musing on publishing news and the art of the review. He is the author of four novels for adults and one children’s book, The Other Felix (2011).
Sarah Grant spends her days preparing content to be published on Booklist Online, updating Booklist‘s Facebook page, and assisting with various administrative tasks. She is a proud graduate of Booklist’s internship program, having been an intern in 2012, and holds a master’s degree in the humanities from the University of Chicago, where she studied modernist literature and theater.
Neil Hollands is an adult services librarian at Williamsburg (VA) Regional Library, where he specializes in readers’ advisory and collection development. He reviews books for Booklist and Library Journal and writes articles for publications such as RUSQ. His first book, Read On . . . Fantasy Fiction, was published in 2007 by Libraries Unlimited, and his second, Fellowship in a Ring: A Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups, in 2009.
Erin Downey Howerton is an experienced public librarian and youth advocate who is passionate about exploring the intersections between libraries, education, and technology. Erin has served on the Margaret A. Edwards and Printz Award committees, and has written several book chapters on collections for youth, intellectual freedom, and technology in the library. Currently, she is the Children’s Manager at the Wichita Public Library (KS). In her free time, she keeps up with trends online and enjoys learning new silversmithing techniques.
Sarah Hunter is an associate editor of Booklist‘s Books for Youth section. Sarah came to Booklist following her work with Open Books, a literacy nonprofit in Chicago, and she’s pleased to finally make good use of her master’s in English from the University of Chicago. When she’s not reading (which is rare), she’s baking something tasty to share or planning trips to the Pacific Northwest.
Karen Kleckner Keefe is the director of the Hinsdale (IL) Public Library and formerly head of readers’ services at Deerfield (IL) Public Library, where she recommended books for more than 10 years. Along with reviewing for Booklist, Karen reviews fiction for Library Journal and was named one of their 2009 Movers and Shakers. She was recognized for her leadership in the community-wide reading program “One Book, One Zip Code” and “Genre Boot Camp” program.
Daniel Kraus, senior editor of Booklist‘s Books for Youth section, spent a decade in the trenches of men’s and women’s magazines before initially joining ALA as an editor at American Libraries. He is the producer and director of numerous feature films, most notably the documentary Work Series, and the author of several YA novels, including Rotters and Scowler, both of which won the Odyssey Award. His next novel, Trollhunters, is coauthored with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.
Bill Ott editor & publisher at Booklist has been at Booklist for for 30 years. In addition to his various management duties, he continues to edit the crime fiction section of the magazine and delights in discovering new hard-boiled writers, particularly those who set their stories in Europe and Asia (where noir is more than mere window dressing). To get away from books, he attempts to play golf.
MaryKate Perry received a master’s in literature and then, once satisfied that she could find plenty of books for herself, decided she wanted to help others find some as well. After attending the UW’s iSchool, she settled with her husband and two daughters in Olympia, Washington, where she blogs about food.
Joyce Saricks, is Booklist’s Audio Editor. In addition to overseeing our audiobook coverage, she writes the column “At Leisure with Joyce Saricks.” But she’s addicted to audiobooks; when she’s not reading a book, she’s listening to one, while she enjoys her hobbies—cooking, walking, and traveling. She headed the Readers’ Advisory department at the Downers Grove (IL) Public Library for many years.
Donna Seaman, senior editor of Booklist‘s Adult Books section, works with freelancer reviewers who cover everything from romance and poetry to health and the environment. She also teaches and speaks at creative writing programs and serves as a book critic for Chicago Public Radio. Seaman is especially proud of receiving the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award.
Misha Stone is a readers’-advisory librarian with the Seattle (WA) Public Library. Misha hosts a science fiction and fantasy book group and co-teaches a course on genres at the University of Washington’s Information School.
Kaite Stover writes Booklist’s “He Read/She Reads” column with David Wright and refuses to give up her day job as director of Readers’ Services for Kansas City (MO) Public Library. When she’s not reading tarot cards, gardening, tap dancing, and despairing of ever redecorating her bathrooms, she’ a roadie and merch girl for her husband’s numerous bands.
Maggie Reagan is an editorial assistant in Books for Youth at Booklist. She has two loves in her life—books and horses. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from Denison University and attended the NYU Summer Publishing Institute, perfect preparation for Booklist, where she spends her days tracking (and pining after) children’s books and their reviews. Maggie enjoys poetry, country music, Joss Whedon, and weird musical theater. Away from work, you can usually find her reading or riding.
Lynn Rutan is a retired middle-school librarian in Holland, Michigan. When she isn’t volunteering at school or telling Bookends partner, Cindy Dobrez, what to do, she likes to read, travel, walk, and spoil her five grandsons.
Rebecca Vnuk is editor for reference and collection management at Booklist. She is also the author of two readers’-advisory nonfiction titles for Libraries Unlimited: Read On . . Women’s Fiction and Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide. A longtime reviewer and collection-development article writer for Library Journal, she was named their “Fiction Reviewer of the Year” in 2008. In 2010, Rebecca was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker and also received PLA’s Allie Beth Martin Award.
Ted Balcom lives in Arlington Heights, IL and conducts workshops on leading book discussions, which he has also published a book on: Book Discussions for Adults: A Leader’s Guide (American Library Association, 1992).
Nick DiMartino is a university bookseller in Seattle, WA. He was a Book Group Buzz contributor from 2007 to 2009 and is the author of Seattle Ghost Story (1998) as well as numerous plays.
Gary Niebuhr is the author of Make Mine a Mystery (2003), Caught up in Crime (2009), and other readers’ guides to mystery and detective fiction. He was a Book Group Buzz contributor from 2008 to 2014.
Mary Ellen Quinn is the author of the Historical Dictionary of Librarianship (2014), the former editor of Reference Books Bulletin and a long-time contributing writer to Booklist and the Booklist blogs. She is also our on-call nineteenth-century English literature pundit (the reputation of Anthony Trollope knows no greater friend), she has a subspeciality in history and historical fiction.