This smartly designed reading log consists of entry pages to record stats, impressions, and reviews of each book you read. Evenly interspersed among these entry pages are 12 challenges inspired by our annual Read Harder initiative, which began in 2015 to encourage readers to pick up passed-over books, try out new genres, and choose titles from a wider range of voices and perspectives. Each challenge includes an inspiring quotation, an explanation of why the challenge will prove to be rewarding, and five book recommendations that fulfill the challenge. Get your copy (or one for the reader in your life for the holidays) here!
Welcome to Check Your Shelf! This is your guide to help librarians like you up your game when it comes to doing your job (& rocking it).
Thanksgiving’s coming, and whether you celebrate it or not, I hope you’re able to spend quality time with loved ones…and a few books! Let’s embark.
Collection Development Corner
- Random House has a new executive vice president and publisher.
- HarperCollins Children’s Books announces a new imprint, Heartdrum, which will focus on publishing books by Native creators.
- Barnes & Noble let go of all of its freelance writers who worked on their SFF and YA blogs.
New & Upcoming Titles
- The New York Times’ “1619 Project” inspires a book series for all ages.
- Tommy Orange is reportedly working on his second novel.
- James Rollins signs a 7-figure deal for an epic fantasy series to be published by Tor Books.
- Christopher Paolini announces his first science fiction novel.
- Carolina de Robertis announces her upcoming novel, The President and the Frog, out in 2021.
- Most anticipated YA for December 2019.
- 5 mystery/thriller titles coming out in 2020 by debut authors.
- 20 must-read books for 2020.
Best Books of 2019
- Choice picks from Amazon, Foyle’s, Library Journal, and the Washington Post.
- The Washington Post also picks their favorite fiction, nonfiction, mysteries/thrillers, romance, SFF, and poetry for 2019.
- Amazon: Best nonfiction of 2019.
- Kirkus: Best picture books.
- School Library Journal: Best picture books, transitional chapter books, middle grade, nonfiction, graphic novels, YA.
What Your Patrons Are Hearing About
- Get a Life, Chloe Brown – Talia Hibbert (NPR, Washington Post)
- Mary Toft, or, the Rabbit Queen – Dexter Palmer (New York Times, NPR)
- The Lying Lives of Adults – Elena Ferrante (Guardian)
- Little Weirds – Jenny Slate (NPR)
- Unreliable narrators are the biggest book trend of the decade.
- Here’s a list of all of the queer holiday romance novellas put out by indie publisher Ninestar Press.
- A TEDtalk about the feminism of romance novels.
- Where to start with reading Margaret Atwood.
- The evolution of the trans memoir.
On the Riot
- 8 thriller novels you’ll want to read in 2020.
- 20 must-read works of innovative nonfiction from 2019.
- Best book covers of Fall 2019. (Start looking for more of these articles, and put together an AMAZING display!)
- A primer on romance fiction terms and tropes.
- How to find upcoming book releases by date.
- Book club guides for Circe by Madeline Miller and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
- Star Wars Episode IX reading challenge!
All Things Comics
- IDW debuts a Spanish graphic novel line with a Spanish language edition of They Called Us Enemy by George Takei.
- Mifflin Harcourt announces a new graphic novel imprint for kids, Etch.
- Joker is reportedly getting a sequel, although the director said that the reports were “anticipatory at best.”
- Casting updates for Loki, which will be a limited series on Disney+.
- Best graphic novels & memoirs of 2019.
- Best comics of the decade.
On the Riot
- A brief intro to Marvel Comics and the Marvel Universe.
- Comics about mental illness.
- Why this reader reads comics for the art.
- 6 novels based on iconic comic characters.
- Michelle Obama receives a Grammy nomination for the audio version of her memoir Becoming. You can see the rest of the nominees here.
- James Taylor will publish an audio memoir on Audible in early 2020.
- The secret life of an audiobook narrator.
- Best audiobooks of November 2019.
- Best audiobooks of 2019.
On the Riot
- The joys of listening to audiobooks while reading books.
Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists
- 11 picture books to teach children about giving.
- 50 best nonfiction books of the last 25 years.
- 7 novels about cults and off-the-grid communes.
- 7 romantic poetry books.
- 13 Irish women novelists to have on your radar.
- Daniel José Older suggests 6 books with the protagonist “trapped in the in-between.”
- 18 of the best books about Queen Elizabeth II.
- Books about sex and sexuality.
- Reading suggestions for fans of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
- 7 standup comedy memoirs that will make you laugh and cry.
On the Riot
- 11 inclusive children’s books written by women of color.
- 20 of the best baby book subscription services.
- 10 children’s books about art.
- 25 of the best middle school books for today’s readers.
- 8 queer YA fantasy titles from 2019.
- 5 diverse romances that would make great Hallmark Christmas movies.
- Award-winning Canadian books from 2019.
- 15 historical romance novels about estranged lovers.
- 7 westerns that defy typical colonialist narratives.
- 20 must-read books about Brazil.
Best Books of the Decade
- Entertainment Weekly: Best books of the decade.
- LitHub: Best novels
- Entertainment Weekly picks N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy as the best fantasy of the decade!
- CrimeReads picks the best crime novels, true crime, and crime series of the decade.
- Paste: best fantasy novels.
Level Up (Library Reads)
Do you take part in LibraryReads, the monthly list of best books selected by librarians only? We’ve made it easy for you to find eligible diverse titles to nominate. Kelly Jensen created a database of upcoming diverse books that anyone can edit, and Nora Rawlins of Early Word is doing the same, as well as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.