Created by Book Riot, this smartly designed reading log consists of entry pages to record stats, impressions, and reviews of each book you read, and is a GREAT GIFT for readers this holiday season. Evenly interspersed among these entry pages are 12 challenges inspired by Book Riot’s 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. Indulge your inner book nerd and read a book about books, get a new perspective on current events by reading a book written by an immigrant, find a hidden gem by reading a book published by an independent press, and so much more. 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 one for yourself or for the readers in your life at bookriot.com/readharderjournal
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).
In the famous words of Groucho Marx, “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” Let’s do this!
Collection Development Corner
- Random House will publish the just-released impeachment report, including print, eBook, and digital audio versions.
New & Upcoming Titles
- Anna-Marie McLemore is publishing a YA fairy tale novel in 2021.
- YA author Ellen Hopkins is publishing her debut middle grade novel in verse.
- Notable December releases from Amazon, Barnes & Noble (mystery/thrillers, SFF), Bustle, Crime Reads, The Millions, New York Times, Paste, PopSugar, Refinery29, and Tor.com (YA SFF & genre-benders).
- Amazon picks books to look forward to in 2020.
- Two swoony queer romances to keep your eye on in 2020.
- 31 LGBTQ books that will change the literary landscape in 2020.
Best of 2019
- Cue the trumpets! The NPR 2019 Book Concierge is here!!
- Best books of the year from Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly, GQ, The Guardian, LitHub, New Yorker, Shelf Awareness, Slate, Vulture, and Waterstones.
- Best YA novels from Barnes & Noble, Kirkus, and Paste.
- Best children’s books from Barnes & Noble (picture books & young reader books) and the New York Times.
- Best thrillers from Barnes & Noble and The Guardian.
- Barnes & Noble also picks its favorite romance and sci-fi/fantasy novels.
- 55 of the best queer books of 2019.
Best Books of the Decade
- Best books from Essence and LitHub.
- Entertainment Weekly: Best nonfiction books of the decade.
- Esquire: The best books of the 2010s nudged the world in a new, better direction.
- Book Marks: 10 SFF must-reads from the last decade.
- Stylist: 15 best books of the decade by female authors.
What Your Patrons Are Hearing About
- Dead Astronauts – Jeff VanderMeer (Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post)
- The Sacrament – Olaf Olafsson (Entertainment Weekly, New York Times, USA Today)
- Why is the romance industry still overlooked?
- The young adult industry has become a literary juggernaut.
- Passive reader’s advisory techniques for school libraries.
- How Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series developed a cult following.
- Popsugar releases their 2020 reading challenge.
On the Riot
- The 2020 Read Harder Challenge is here, plus the 2020 Reading Log spreadsheet!
- 3 romance book apps designed for romance readers.
All Things Comics
- DC removes a Batman image after some claimed it supported Hong Kong unrest.
- Locke and Key, based on the graphic novels by Joe Hill, is coming to Netflix on February 7th, 2020.
- 10 gift ideas for comics lovers.
- 5 comics to read this December.
- Barnes & Noble’s favorite graphic novels and comics for 2019, plus their favorite graphic novels for young readers.
- First trailer for Black Widow.
On the Riot
- 25 best comics according to Goodreads.
- 4 Shakespearean graphic novel adaptations.
- 5 graphic novels for kids that tackle tough issues.
- Why we’re seeing more adaptations between graphic and prose mediums.
- AudioFile picks their best audiobooks of 2019.
Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists
- New York Times launches a new column with reading recommendations for kids of all ages, from infant to teenager.
- 11 books if you loved The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.
- 19 Christmas romances for the holiday season.
- Books and essays by Native authors.
- 15 queer books you might have missed this year.
- 12 romantic comedy novels that will give you all the warm fuzzies.
- 16 must-read books by celebrities you know and love.
- 7 London novels by authors of color.
On the Riot
- 10 of the best genre-blending YA novels of the year.
- 5 books like Trust Exercise that mess with narrative.
- Read Harder: Read a mystery where the victim(s) is not a woman, read a fairy tale retelling by an author of color, read a YA nonfiction book.
- Romance books that will restore your hope in modern dating.
- 8 awesome second books.
- 14 spooky reads to close out fall.
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.
Thanks for hanging! See y’all on Friday!
–Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe