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Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where I’m writing this newsletter a little bit earlier than usual because IT’S THE WEEKEND and I have plans on Sunday! (First Cubs game at Wrigley Field in two years!!) Blaine and I are fully vaccinated and preparing to cheer on the Cubs with 20,000 other people, which is both exciting and extremely overwhelming after the last year. Fingers crossed for a win, and I hope that all of you readers had (have?) a lovely holiday weekend!
Collection Development Corner
Roxane Gay starts her own imprint with Grove Atlantic.
Checking in with Black bookstores nearly a year after 2020’s book boom on racism.
How booksellers were complicit in the resurgence of white supremacy and the rise of Donald Trump.
New & Upcoming Titles
4 chilling debut thrillers for your summer reading list.
The best new LGBTQ+ rom-coms to read this summer.
What Your Patrons Are Hearing About
King Richard: Nixon and Watergate: An American Tragedy – Michael Dobbs (New York Times, USA Today)
Romancing the Discourse is a new monthly online romance lecture and Q&A series hosted by author Ali Williams.
Feminist science fiction in all of its gritty glory.
The gay royal romance novel is having a moment. (USA Today)
On the Riot
Preorder these queer books coming out in June!
19 true crime books coming out in 2021.
5 new books for AAPI Heritage Month 2021.
A beginner’s guide to reading fan fiction.
Cyberpunk: everything you did (and maybe didn’t) want to know.
All Things Comics
Marvel confirms Oscar Isaac as the star of the upcoming Moon Knight series on Disney+. I’ve never had much interest in Marvel, but I may find myself watching a few episodes of this…
The CW has greenlit Ava DuVernay’s comic adaptation of DC’s Naomi.
Keanu Reeves discussed his comic book debut at the inaugural US Book Show.
We’re getting a graphic novel about the life of Freddie Mercury!
On the Riot
Simply complicated: why comics aren’t always what they seem.
Celebrating the 2021 Edgar Award winners on audio.
On the Riot
8 of the best audiobooks by Black southern writers.
Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists
The best picture books for growing emotional intelligence.
11 enchanting mermaid books for kids.
15 of the best books to help you understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
An essential reading list on police and Pride.
10 translated books from Haiti to read right now.
10 of the best post-apocalyptic novels.
8 mindbending books you’ll be thinking about for days.
Horror, scifi, and fantasy books that make the most of circus settings.
7 stories on the absurdity of love.
12 books featuring the New York underworld.
Nonfiction about crime, corruption, and fraud in Silicon Valley.
11 of the best mental health books.
Literary recommendations for each character on Friends.
On the Riot
10 fish books for kids: they don’t get betta than this! (Puns usually make me roll my eyes, but I have to tip my hat to this one…that’s pretty good.)
6 soothing bedtime books for kids.
Dark fiction in YA literature: the horror of coming of age.
4 great YA novels set in the 1950’s.
16 nonfiction books you may have missed because of the pandemic.
5 contemporary, game-changing literary fiction novels.
6 books for submitting to the mortifying ordeal of being known. Ouch.
5 of the best horror novels about small towns.
5 of the best horror novels about mothers.
7 books about the attention economy.
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Books like Mamma Mia!
5 recent and upcoming cocktail books to whet your appetite.
Level Up (Library Reads)
Do you take part in Library Reads, 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.
That’s it for me! I’m off to Wrigley Field, where I sincerely hope the rest of the team can stay off of the Injured List. Go Cubs go, and I’ll catch you all on Friday!
—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.