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Ashland - Local Town Pages

Bookstagrammer Jody Blanchette offers monthly book reviews and recommendations

@redreadreviews offers overviews, trigger warnings, avoids spoilers 

By Theresa Knapp

On the second Tuesday of every month, Bookstagrammer Jody Blanchette regals Ashland Public Library patrons with 30 minutes of book reviews and recommendations that inform and entertain. 

Blanchette is known as @redreadreviews on Instagram where she shares her thoughts on thrillers, horror, young adult thrillers, fiction, and any other topic that comes up in conversation. She also has a strong presence on YouTube. 

In January, on Instagram, Blanchette said she was teaming up with Ashland “because Ashland Public Library is one of the few libraries I have seen that offer events and spotlights to horror writers. I have been to a couple of events there and have hung out with [authors] Paul Tremblay and Christopher Golden. They get the best names in horror and give readers full access to them. I was so impressed by this, I asked to help in whatever way I could. Well, they found a way and I said yes!” 

The virtual sessions occur on the second Tuesday of every month from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For the Zoom link, register at 

Blanchette has been on Bookstagram since 2021, and is also the Chairman of the Eastford [CT] Public Library Board. 

“I use my celebrity to bring author events to our small library in rural Connecticut. By going to author events, like what Ashland did, I have developed relationships with authors and have had the privilege of hosting them at my library. Eastford has been overwhelming with their support and attendance. Because of the support, I am able to lead a thriller book club at the library - we are The Grim Readers and consist of all ages and tastes.”

Ashland Public Library Director Meena Jain said this is the perfect type of program for Ashland, “to bring in an ‘expert’ and an influencer in certain book genres to give us recommendations. Our librarians get asked all the time for book recommendations, so this seemed like a natural extension to that. Our patrons discover new books and authors through these kinds of programs.”

Jain explains that, during the meetings, “Jody recommends six to eight books to our listeners, describes the content of the book (without spoilers), what she liked about it, what other readers might like about it, and any triggers that people need to be aware of. We also discuss any topical issues around the books (which is always fun) and take book recs from the attendees as well.”

After each session, Jain sends out a list of the recommendations to all registrants and shares the YouTube link. 

Jain said Ashland Public Library has shared this virtual program with other libraries (with Blanchette’s permission) and several have signed on. She said this type of collaboration is a result of COVID and is a “powerful tool in the library arsenal” through which everyone benefits.  

“We do this a lot for virtual programs which has a three-fold benefit: (1) It allows for greater attendance; (2) it allows other libraries that don’t have the same programming resources we do to share great programming with their patrons; and (3) it allows for the speaker to do one program that reaches several communities rather than doing individual programs at each library.”

Blanchette said, “I’m pretty passionate about books…My goal is to get good books out there. I love supporting local authors and enjoy helping get their names out.” 

For more information about the program, visit the Ashland Public Library or @redreadreviews on Instagram.