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Book Display Ideas: Summer Thrills

Post by Dawn Towery
Posted June 12, 2015 in NextReads

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Summer is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere (don’t be jealous, residents of the Southern Hemisphere, it was a long winter here), and summer means that a lot of folks are looking for beach books and other fun, escapist reads. While the definition of fun certainly varies by person, a glance at the bestsellers tells you that thrillers and suspense novels are some of the hottest things going year-round, so anytime and anywhere seems to be the perfect time and place for a Thrillers and Suspense display.

Thrillers and Suspense Inspiration

In the monthly Thrillers and Suspense newsletter, NextReads features both new and older titles that put the spotlight on military heroes, ordinary people who suddenly find themselves in dangerous situations, all sorts of spies, and lots of folks on the hunt or on the run. You can easily consult this newsletter for an assortment of titles to create an easy summer book display. Want to expand the theme? If you’d like to use "Crime" as the overarching idea, we also have a monthly Mystery newsletter that highlights police procedurals, cozy mysteries, and such. Be sure to add true crime titles if you go this route.

Additionally, other NextReads newsletters sometimes feature books that go hand-in-hand with thrillers and suspense novels. For instance, the Biography and Memoir April newsletter included a "Spies" theme. These real-life stories could be added to a Thrillers and Suspense display or be showcased on their own. For our Spies theme, we included The Company We Keep by Robert and Dayna Baer, a dual memoir of two CIA agents who met and fell in love on the job, and The Triple Agent by Joby Warrick, which details how a CIA counter-terrorist operative was actually working with al-Qaeda. But that’s not all! There are also more books on the list that examine the history of spies and spying, including Double Cross by Ben Macintyre (it documents covert D-Day operations by the Allies), Hal Vaughan’s Sleeping with the Enemy, (which examines Coco Chanel’s shocking work aiding Germany during World War II), and Douglas Waller’s Wild Bill Donovan (a biography of the man who first lead the OSS, the Office of Strategic Services, American’s forerunner to the CIA).

For full inclusiveness, don’t forget to add Romantic Suspense titles (include books by Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, Iris Johansen, and Sandra Brown) as well as Christian Fiction Suspense works (some authors to include are Ted Dekker, Irene Hannon, DiAnn Mills, Dee Henderson, and Frank Peretti).

Add Visuals

If you caught NoveList’s recent webinar "Creating Engaging Book Displays," you know that less is usually more when it comes to visuals for book displays. For a Thrillers and Suspense theme, you could create a sign with simple wording and one eye-catching image (a red hand-print, the silhouette of a person looking over their shoulder, etc). Call your display "Summer Thrills," "Crime Time," "Books to Watch Out For," or something similar.

Other Places to Find Inspiration

If you’d love a few more ideas for the coming months, give our other newsletters a look. Consult our Book Display Ideas April newsletter for more June ideas and the May and June newsletters for July and August (we like to help you plan ahead). Check out our June Romance newsletter, which has a "Hot, Hot, Hot!" theme (all of the titles have "hot" in them, making this a display you could easily add books to). If you’re flying high thinking about superheroes and your summer reading program, check out the following three June newsletters -- Teen Scene (superpowers), Kids’ Books (Who’s your hero?), and Picture Books (superpowers) -- which all have themes that complement 2015's Collaborative Summer Library Program slogans.

Happy summer, happy relaxing, and happy reading!