Novel Gazing is your destination for all things literary fiction, bringing you news from the world of fiction, and recommendations for under the radar reads, works in translation, buzzy books, and more. Stay in the know, expand your TBR and your view of literary fiction, and, of course, have some laughs with hosts Mary Kay McBrayer and Louise Johnson. Novel Gazing is a biweekly show available wherever you get your podcasts–go listen to episode one now!
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).
Don’t forget that Book Riot has a new literary fiction podcast called Novel Gazing! Put some lit fic in your ears!
Libraries & Librarians
- I missed this update previously, but the Seattle Public Library has decided to move forward with the program sponsored by the Women’s Liberation Front, despite the group’s history of transphobic beliefs.
- ALA responds to the proposed Missouri legislation that proposes punishment for public libraries that provide children access to “sexually inappropriate” materials.
- Reese Witherspoon’s company, HelloSunshine, is looking for a Librarian-in-Residence, so if you have experience as a librarian and don’t mind being on camera, you might be interested in this! (Note that this originally appeared to be a contest rather than a paid employment position, but new information suggests this might not actually be the case. Stay tuned!)
- The National Archives digitally altered historic photographs of the 2017 Women’s March, then later apologized after the news broke.
- The Cleveland Public Library has been criticized for its social media postings about an ongoing union dispute.
- The Columbus Metropolitan Library was hit with a massive data breach.
- US states move to stop prisons from charging inmates for reading.
- Nike donates $5 million to create an athletic facility at the Obama Center Presidential Library.
- Veronica Vichit-Vadakan, a reference librarian at Washington State University Vancouver, won big on Jeopardy!
Cool Library Updates
- Many libraries are seeing their circulation numbers rise with “binge boxes”: sets of movies and TV shows with related themes and titles to spark long viewing sessions. I personally have some qualms with the use of the word “binge” here, but the overall idea is great.
- Is the Macmillan eBook boycott working?
- Creating a space for important conversations about race.
- 3 reasons to love self-checkout in elementary school libraries.
- Way beyond books: how libraries have changed.
- One library takes a neglected, unborrowed book out for a magical day outside the library. This is adorable!
Book Adaptations in the News
- Binti is getting a Hulu adaptation, and Nnedi Okorafor will co-write the script!
- Starz is in talks for a second season of Dublin Murders, and is also keen to continue the Outlander story with spinoffs and story extensions.
- A look at the casting for Naomi Alderman’s The Power.
- AMC is adapting Stephen King’s Sleeping Beauties, but Amazon will not be moving forward with the previously planned Dark Tower series.
- Amazon orders a Jack Reacher series.
- The Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, will air in 2022, and George R.R. Martin will write the scripts.
- Epix is adapting A Column of Fire by Ken Follett, as well as The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell.
- Mindhunter Season 3 has been put on indefinite hold.
- Netflix renews You for a third season.
- Trailers for Little Fires Everywhere, The Ghost Bride, and Stargirl.
- Here’s some reverse adaptation news: thanks to the success of Netflix’s Witcher series, the original book series is getting a massive reprint.
Books & Authors in the News
- Oprah selected American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins as her next book club pick, but there has been a lot of sharp criticism about the book from the Latinx community. Also, the book release party featured centerpieces wrapped in barbed wire, so needless to say there are some problematic issues that need to be addressed.
- Christopher Tolkien, son of J.R.R. Tolkien, has died at age 95.
- Florida parents are protesting the book Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart, which was approved for classroom use by the Palm Beach County School District.
- After launching a somewhat successful campaign to remove LGBTQ literature from elementary school libraries and classrooms in Loudon County (VA), a subcommittee of the Loudon County School Board voted in favor of keeping two challenged titles: Prince & Knight and Heather Has Two Mommies.
- Melissa de la Cruz has signed a writing/producing deal for two Hallmark Channel movies.
Numbers & Trends
- Where the Crawdads Sing officially takes the “triple crown” of publishing sales, as it was also the top-selling eBook and audiobook of 2019, selling more than one million units in each format.
- Check out the nominees for the Edgar Awards and the National Book Critics Circle Awards.
- The preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards has been released.
- National Jewish Book Award winners announced.
- Longlist for the Dublin Literary Award.
- YALSA announces its 2020 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers.
Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous
- Dane Pratt, a cardiovascular profusionist at MercyOne hospital in Des Moines, spends time reading to critically sick children, and the hospital is now flooded with book donations.
- A Lord Byron poem has been banned from a Church of England gravestone because the words offer no “Christian hope for resurrection.” Ooookay then…
- Take “bathroom reading” to the next level with this 18th century toilet that was disguised as a giant book.
On the Riot
- Kelly Jensen provides an in-depth look at the proposed Missouri legislation to censor public library materials.
- Celebrating awards season in the library.
- The history and debunking of librarian stereotypes.
- The history (or herstory) of Drag Queen Story Time.
- Are Amazon’s book algorithms sexist?
- Ever wonder why self-help books feature the authors on the cover?
- This writer returns to the childhood best-sellers that she originally missed when she was a kid.
- Why this reader can’t quit the Goodreads yearly book challenge.
Catch you later, library friends!