Check Your Shelf

The Best Books of 2023 (So Far)

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. Like the rest of the world, I am preparing for the release of Barbenheimer this weekend, although I won’t have a chance to see either movie until the weekend after. If you’re planning to try, however, I definitely agree with the advice to start with Oppenheimer and finish on a high note with Barbie!

Don’t forget to check out Book Riot’s newest podcast, First Edition where co-founder Jeff O’Neal explores the wide bookish world, and interviews authors such as S.A. Cosby, Khaled Hosseini, Sarah Bakewell, and Yahdon Israel. Subscribe to hear them and stay to hear Book Riot’s editors pick the “it” book of the month.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

How scammers are using Amazon and Amazon trademarks to rip off writers.

Maureen Johnson tweeted about an unnamed “Very Famous” author who is held up in contract negotiation with a major publisher because the publisher wants to train AI using their work.

Related: AP strikes a news-sharing and tech deal with OpenAI.

The anti-ownership ebook economy: how publishers and platforms have reshaped the way we read in the digital age.

The art of translation.

The “merch-ification” of book publishing.

How a TikTok video made this author’s book an Amazon best-seller.

New & Upcoming Titles

Tommy Orange has a new book coming out in 2024.

Nnedi Okorafor just sold her latest novel, The Africanfuturist, to HarperCollins for a whopping SEVEN FIGURE deal.

Monkeypaw Productions (AKA Jordan Peele’s production company) is releasing its first anthology: Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror, edited by Jordan Peele himself! It comes out in October.

Former Trump aide and January 6th witness Cassidy Hutchinson announces a book deal.

Barbara Kingsolver is publishing her first children’s book.

Britney Spears announces an October 2023 release date for her memoir, The Woman in Me.

There’s a new biography of The Eagles, which the band reportedly did not approve: Life in the Fast Lane: The Eagles’ Reckless Ride Down the Rock & Roll Highway by Mick Wall.

LitHub and The Millions both released their Most Anticipated lists for the second half of 2023.

The best books of 2023 (so far) from Town & Country (celeb memoirs) and Vox.

Weekly picks from Crime Reads, LitHub, New York Times, USA Today.

July picks from Amazon, Ebony, The Guardian (crime thrillers), Kirkus, (fantasy, sci-fi, horror/genre-bending)

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

After the Funeral and Other Stories – Tessa Hadley (The Guardian, Washington Post)

Nothing Special – Nicole Flattery (New York Times, Washington Post)

The Parrot and the Igloo: Climate and the Science of Denial – David Lipsky (LA Times, New York Times)

The Vegan – Andrew Lipstein (NPR, Washington Post)

The Militia House – John Milas (LA Times, New York Times)

When Crack Was King: A People’s History of a Misunderstood Era – Donovan X. Ramsey (New York Times, NPR)

Crook Manifesto – Colson Whitehead (The Guardian, New York Times)

RA/Genre Resources

Armed to the teeth: healing through horror.

A brief history of New England noir.

Why adults should read children’s books.

On the Riot

On posthumous editing: should books be edited for contemporary audiences?

Anatomy of a book cover.

Dear romance publishers: please give us more hardcovers.

The best books of 2023 so far.

10 of the best mysteries and thrillers of 2023 so far.

The best weekly new releases.

12 book club picks for July 2023.

Why it’s worth diving into old-school romances.

All Things Comics

The upcoming animated film, The White Tower, is based on the graphic novel adaptation of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series.

14 books if you loved Nimona.

On the Riot

12 comics and graphic novels with great disability representation.

8 manga like Tokyo Revengers.

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 trial today.


The July 2023 Earphones Award winners are announced.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


YA romances and SFF novels featuring disabled protagonists.

Diverse YA romance novels.


7 books by veterans that depict the bleak truth of serving in the U.S. military.

Books that go beyond a “beach read.”

The 8 best gothic books of all time.

The 56 most erotic books you will ever read.

5 books that honor self-truth and identity.

10 of the best horror novels to read in the summer sun.

5 masterpieces of the uncanny, marvelous, and strange.

5 books that capture 40 years of high finance culture.

5 tales of aquatic horror.

Books to read while you wait for the Barbie movie.

5 books with bad guys you love to root for.

10 brilliantly unexpected Jane Austen homages.

7 thrillers featuring threatened friendships.

24 mansion-style mysteries you’ll love if you’re a fan of Clue.

On the Riot

9 children’s biography books for budding historians.

8 YA books with summer vibes.

20 must-read works of historical fiction set in Mexico.

8 fantasy books where magic is deadly.

9 anti-hustle books for when you’ve changed your mind about the grind.

12 of the best hidden-identity romance novels.

9 sci-fi and fantasy books with disabled main characters.

20 of the best vampire books of all time.

Award-winning memoirs you probably have never heard of.

The best 100 books of all time, according to Reader’s Digest.

9 great books about Queen.

The best werewolves in books.

20 books about how to live your best life.

12 queer fake dating books to fall for.

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 has a guide to discovering upcoming diverse books, and Nora Rawlins of Early Word has created a database of upcoming diverse titles to nominate as well that includes information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.

a portrait-style photo of a black and white cat sitting in a window

Dini has a bright future as a kitty model. Such a pretty boy!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today. Let’s check in again on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.