Booklist’s Adult Books editor Brad Hooper retires after 40+ years of service

For Immediate Release
Fri, 10/30/2015


Katharine Uhrich

Marketing Director




CHICAGO – Booklist’s Adult Books editor Brad Hooper retired on Oct. 30, after four decades of working for the magazine, the book review journal of the American Library Association. Effective Nov. 2, Donna Seaman and Rebecca Vnuk will jointly direct Booklist’s Adult Books department. As Adult Books editor, Seaman will manage the print section of Booklist and oversee the editorial plan for the department. Vnuk will serve as Collection Management and Library Outreach editor and will direct Booklist’s adult books programming efforts, which range from live events to online professional development. She will continue to edit e-newsletters including Corner Shelf and Top Shelf Reference, which address the day-to-day concerns of librarians working in collection development, readers’ advisory, and reference.

“Brad’s contributions to the book reviewing and library worlds have had a huge impact. He has taught us all an enormous amount and will be missed,” said Editor & Publisher Bill Ott. “Moving forward, I’m very excited about the new configuration of the Adult Books section as led by Donna and Rebecca. Their complementary areas of expertise will allow us to continue serving librarian professionals in the best ways possible.”

Hooper started as an Adult Books reviewer in 1974, becoming an associate editor in 1985 and Adult Books editor in 2001. He served on the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence selection committee four times, including chairing the committee in 2014. His book "Writing Reviews for Readers’ Advisory" (2010) is a standard in the field. Among his other books are "The Fiction of Alice Munro" (2008) and "The Fiction of Ellen Gilchrist" (2005). Hooper received RUSA’s Louis Shores Awards for excellence in book reviewing for libraries in 2015. Hooper has written more than 9,000 book reviews in his time at Booklist.

Seaman joined the Booklist staff in 1990 as an associate editor in the Adult Books department and was promoted to senior editor in 2005. Her reviews and essays have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and many other publications. She is a past member of the National Book Critics Circle and a recipient of the Writer Magazine’s Writers Who Make a Difference Award, the James Friend Memorial Award for Literary Criticism and the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award. She also hosted a Chicago radio show, Open Books, and has appeared on the NPR affiliate, WBEZ, as a book critic. She also edited a fiction anthology, "In Our Nature: Stories of Wildness," and her new book, "Identity Unknown: Portraits of Forgotten Women Artists," is due out in summer 2016.

Vnuk came to Booklist as reference editor in 2011. Before that, she was head of Adult Services at River Forest Public Library, readers’ advisory librarian at Elmhurst Public Library and collection development specialist at the Chicago Public Library. She is the author of three readers’-advisory genre guides: "Read On . . . Women’s Fiction (2009); Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide "(2009); and "Women’s Fiction: A Guide to Reading Interests" (2013). Her newest book is "The Weeding Handbook: A Shelf-by-Shelf Guide" (2015). She was the 2010 winner of the PLA’s Allie Beth Martin award for her "unwavering dedication to books of any cover,” and she was also named a 2010 Library Journal  "Mover and Shaker" for her work on the Shelf Renewal blog, which now appears as part of the Booklist Reader.

Booklist is the book review magazine of the American Library Association, considered an essential collection development and readers’ advisory tool by thousands of librarians for more than 100 years. Booklist Online includes a growing archive of 170,000+ reviews available to subscribers as well as a wealth of free content offering the latest news and views on books and media. Booklist subscriptions offer essential integrated print, online, and digital edition access for the most efficient and effective workflow.