Check Your Shelf

How to Find Weirdly Specific Books

Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where the day I am writing (7/5) is my 34th birthday! This has actually been my most existential birthday so far, probably because it feels like COVID erased years 31-33 for me, so now I’m staring my mid-30s in the face, wondering what the hell happened with all that missing time.

So while I go figure that out, please enjoy this slightly shorter newsletter.

What do S.A. Cosby, Khaled Hosseini, Sarah Bakewell, and Yahdon Israel have in common? They’ve been guests on Book Riot’s newest podcast, First Edition where co-founder Jeff O’Neal explores the wide bookish world. Subscribe to hear them and stay to hear Book Riot’s editors pick the “it” book of the month.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

NYC libraries appear to have been spared from the proposed $36 million budget cuts.

OCLC is introducing AI-generated book recommendations in World Cat.

Worth Reading

Why kids deserve queer-friendly libraries.

How libraries have evolved to serve remote workers.

Book Adaptations in the News

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has a director.

Here are trailers for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Dune, Part 2, and The Summer I Turned Pretty, Season 2.

Censorship News

Library Journal published this editorial regarding ongoing legal action against censorship, but it includes this quote at the very end from Nate Coulter, the director of the Central Arkansas Library System: “Libraries need to be doing the work of advocacy,…inviting the most vocal critics in to see the difference between the children’s and young adult collections, introducing them to the people who work there, asking them to explain what they don’t like and what they consider a threat to their values.” Maybe there are people who could be swayed by reason, but the most vocal critics are not operating based on reason and have shown no interest in basic facts, let alone reasonable discussion. And introducing these people to library employees is going to put a target on your most vulnerable staff…don’t forget that these “vocal critics” have harassed staff and sent death threats. This isn’t the high school debate team.

A censorship language primer.

First Amendment advocates are weighing in and asking the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a 2022 lower court decision blocking Florida’s controversial Stop W.O.K.E. Act from taking effect.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signs a controversial law, which restricts minors’ access to “sexually explicit” material in libraries.

How Christian groups helped parents pull books from multiple Pennsylvania school libraries.

Historians criticize the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia for renting out space to Moms for Liberty; however, PEN America says that we can’t allow ourselves to use censorious tactics against censors, no matter how repugnant their actions are.

The Central Arkansas Library System has collected $25,000 in private donations to fund their lawsuit against the state.

North Dakota public libraries are still figuring out next steps after the passage of House Bill 1205, which requires libraries to remove or relocate “explicit sexual material” from children’s collections.

How did librarians become such improbable targets?

Numbers & Trends

Childhood reading habits can boost brain and mental health in teens.

The best-selling books of the week.

Award News

The 2023 Locus Awards have been announced.

NK Jemisin and John Carpenter have been inducted into the Museum of Pop Culture’s SFF Hall of Fame. (Side note: if you get a chance to visit MoPop in Seattle, I highly recommend it!)

Pop Cultured

40 of the best psychological thrillers to stream now.

Delighting velocireaders since 2017, Book Riot’s New Release Index will keep you in the know about all the latest books. Start your 14-day free trail today.

On the Riot

The bookish life of Idris Elba.

How to find weirdly specific books online.

black cat standing on the hem of a dark green formal dress

Here’s Dini inspecting a dress I just bought for a friend’s wedding. I now have to store the dress on the top shelf of my closet because he was having way too much fun playing with the fabric.

All right friends, that’s all I have for this week. Let’s see what this 34th trip around the sun brings! Have a good weekend!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.