Check Your Shelf

Fewer Sequels! More Cozy Mysteries!

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. We had our first real COVID scare this weekend, although thankfully it appears to have just been a scare. My husband woke up on Friday with a cough, a nasty sore throat, other respiratory issues, and body aches, although thankfully he and I both tested negative all weekend. Which with this new variant isn’t necessarily a foolproof indicator, but he started making a significant recovery after only two days, so I think he picked up a cold somewhere. But it was enough to knock him out of a couple big events we had planned this weekend, and even though he likely did not have COVID, I just have to say that COVID really sucks.

On a more positive note, don’t forget that Book Riot is hiring an Editorial Operations Associate! This person will be heavily involved with the back-end stuff that makes Book Riot run like a well-oiled machine, so if that sounds like you, you can apply here! Women, individuals with disabilities, and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

The HarperCollins union sets a July 20th strike date.

The “great publishing resignation” exposes the failings of the industry.

Finding a place for disability in publishing.

A rare book dealer has been charged for conspiring to sell Don Henley’s songwriting notes, including the words to “Hotel California.”

Alleged book thief Filippo Bernardini may avoid trial in the US.

New & Upcoming Titles

Model Jeremy Meeks, otherwise known as “Prison Bae” has signed a book deal for his memoir. (I can’t believe I just wrote a sentence that included the phrase “Prison Bae.”)

July book club picks from Read With Jenna, Reese Witherspoon, Barnes & Noble, and Good Morning America.

Weekly book picks from Bustle, Crime Reads, New York Times, and USA Today.

Most anticipated July picks from Bustle, CBC.

The most anticipated books for the second half of 2022.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Hollywood Ending: Harvey Weinstein and the Culture of Silence – Ken Auletta (Deadline, LA Times, New York Times, Vanity Fair, Washington Post)

Normal Family: On Truth, Love, and How I Met My 35 Siblings – Chrysta Bilton (LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post)

The Great Man Theory – Teddy Wayne (The Millions, New York Times, Washington Post)

Upgrade – Blake Crouch (Entertainment Weekly, Time)

Thank You for Your Servitude: Donald Trump’s Washington and the Price of Submission – Mark Leibovich (New York Times, NPR)

Tanqueray – Brandon Stanton & Stephanie Johnson (New York Times, Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

How SFF books can be used to critique power structures.

On the Riot

Essential indie presses for queer book lovers.

2022 YA books set in New England.

The best new weekly releases to TBR.

Rioters pick their favorite books of 2022 so far.

Your guide to Summer 2022 YA books: July – September.

Great board books publishing in the second half of 2022.

A non-disabled reader’s guide to disability literature.

Make room for the new cozy mysteries — we want more!

First person plural POV books.

Please, keep your sequels.

All Things Comics

Comic book sales had their best year in 2021, and 2022 is on pace to be even better.

Daniel Kaluuya will not be reprising his role as W’Kabi in the next Black Panther movie.

20 queer graphic novels.

On the Riot

Riot Roundup: the best comics Rioters read in the first half of 2022.

11 books that started as webcomics.

10 comics and books like The Sandman series.

Marvel Unlimited and DC Extended Universe: are they worth it?


Listens on the history and future of reproductive justice. has an app for the Apple Watch now.

The July 2022 Earphone Award Winners have been listed.

On the Riot

Audiobook recordings of three key Supreme Court abortion rulings have been released.

7 nonfiction audiobooks for Disability Pride Month.

The best places to find audiobook narrator jobs for beginners.

How romance audiobooks saved this reader’s bedtime routine.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


26 YA royal romance books to swoon over.

20 sizzling YA thrillers.


8 #BookTok sensations to love.

9 of Julia Quinn’s romance recommendations.

5 brilliantly plotted mysteries recommended by Louise Penny.

80 books every man should read. (Side note: I was understandably skeptical when I saw this headline, but it’s actually a really solid list.

12 self-published LGBTQ books to bring to the beach this summer.

8 books about the gig economy.

The history of reproductive rights in the U.S., as told through 20 books.

Top 10 thrillers to put you off traveling.

10 locked room mysteries.

5 must-read autobiographies by Black comedians.

7 novels about wealthy people behaving badly.

7 great novels about young female friendships.

5 novels about the perils and pitfalls of fictional fame.

7 historical fiction novels set in the Pacific Northwest.

10 novels and memoirs with recipes that you can cook along to.

100 years of popular books on Goodreads.

5 novels rooted in West African folklore and magic.

On the Riot

Bug books for preschoolers.

10 fantastic kids’ baseball books.

13 of the best rivals-to-lovers YA romance books.

Riot Roundup: the best books we read January – June 2022.

18 of the best romance book club books.

9 breathtaking books like Princess Mononoke.

8 suburban horror novels that prove monsters live right next door.

8 mystery and thriller novels featuring libraries and bookstores.

The best history books for the biggest historical eras.

SF books like Murderbot that feature robots and AI.

Books for the extremely online reader.

Edgar Allan Poe retellings and read-alikes.

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 as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.

calico cat sitting on a cat tree with a large protective cone collar that's shaped like a piece of bread

Okay, this issue’s cat photo spot has to go to my parents’ cat, Penny. My mom’s been telling me about how Penny likes to torment the only other female cat in the house, and finally the other cat had had ENOUGH and scratched Penny’s paw to the point where it needed vet attention. Well, Penny decided to go after the other cat again, her paw started bleeding again, and although she didn’t need another trip to the vet, my mom decided to put a cone collar on Penny in the hopes that it might deter her from going after the other cat, and she decided to have a little fun with it. My mom now calls her “Toasty.” Also, I would just like to point out that that is NOT the face of a cat who has learned its lesson about anything.

Peace out everyone. May all your pets be well behaved enough to avoid wearing a giant collar that looks like bread.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

On Your Mark, Get Set…WRITE!

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. The last week or so at work has been an exercise in “Fix this important problem that you only have the vaguest understanding of.” In other words, I have to troubleshoot an update to our online payment portal with not one but TWO different online help representatives, and the tech jargon is like a completely foreign language to me. I very much miss the days when I worked somewhere that had its own IT department staffed with trained professionals, but for right now, this problem has somehow ended up in my lap. I may yeet my computer through a window by week’s end.

Oy. Let’s talk about library stuff that I understand better.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

For West Virginia’s libraries, a proposed constitutional amendment could mean yet another budget cut.

Pasadena Public Library officials say that without an extension of a special real estate tax that’s been in effect since 1993, the library system will have to cut its budget by about 20%.

Denver Public Library is looking for a $30 million tax increase to fund maintenance and better accessibility.

Residents of the San Francisco Castro District are petitioning the library to turn off Wi-Fi at night in order to discourage people experiencing homelessness from congregating around the building.

Cool Library Updates

San Joaquin County (CA) libraries have eliminated late fines for books and print materials.

Worth Reading

A groundbreaking study explores trauma and stress in frontline library workers.

ALA 2022: libraries are not neutral. Also, if you missed it (which I did), here is Nancy Pearl’s statement about her Holocaust-denial comments at ALA.

Public libraries are still about books.

Library Journal has published the results of their 2022 Materials Survey.

The problem with library discovery systems.

Book Adaptations in the News

Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio are returning as Daredevil and The Kingpin for the upcoming Marvel series, Echo.

Casting update for Black Cake.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

Banned & Challenged Books

How to protect your privacy and social media activity. Take a close look at this…I’m probably going to start locking things down on my end.

How to contact your legislators about book bans (and why it matters).

The correlation between sundown towns and book bans: Forsyth County, Georgia.

For Pride Month, Penguin Random House installed billboards in book-banning states featuring quotes from LGBTQ books.

Signature-gathering will begin soon for the initiative to defund the Ketchikan (AK) Library over its Drag Queen Story Time event.

The Abilene, TX library board heard concerns from parents who wanted LGBTQ materials placed in a restricted area away from children. Meanwhile, a librarian presented a brief overview of a drafted policy that would inform parents and legal guardians of their responsibilities regarding their children’s use of the library.

Despite protests, the Red Bank Public Library (NJ) has hosted two successful Drag Queen Story Time programs.

The Forest Hills School District in Ohio is being sued by students and parents for banning anti-racism curriculum in schools, saying that the decision encroaches on the First and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as the Civil Rights Act.

What Kansas City librarians have learned since 1995’s book-banning effort in Olathe.

The Three Rivers Library in Michigan is updating its controversial materials policy to include more specific language about the steps involved for a reconsideration of materials request.

Dickinson County (MI) Library elects to keep the graphic novel Patience & Esther in their collection, but the conversation has expanded as to whether or not LGBTQ materials are appropriate for children.

What Drag Queen Story Time is, and what it isn’t.

What should a queer children’s book do?

With rising book bans, librarians have come under attack.

Reuters reports an “overwhelming” demand for banned books.

When parents feel shut out of decision-making by school boards, petitions and lawsuits follow.

The Proud Boys are waging war on Pride Month, and Drag Queen Story Times are a primary target.

Summer reading as an act of resistance.

Books & Authors in the News

Ada Limón has been named the 24th US Poet Laureate. Plus, a guide to Ada Limón’s poetry.

The Atlantic reports on Delia Owens’s connection to the televised murder of an alleged poacher in 1996 Zambia.

Kwame Alexander is hosting a new reality show called America’s Next Great Author, where aspiring writers will pitch their book idea to a panel of judges, and then work to finish their books in a month while doing “live-wire challenges.”

Crime author Susie Steiner has died at 51 from a brain tumor.

George R.R. Martin says that the next Song of Ice and Fire novel will be quite different from the TV series. To which I say, “Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it.”

​​Ritaj Hussain Alhazmi from Saudi Arabia is the youngest female author to publish a book series at 12 years and 295 days old.

Numbers & Trends

A sad publishing trend: why are there so many children’s books being published about anxiety?

The best-selling books of 2022 so far.

Award News

The 2022 Emmy nominations have been announced, and I stand with all of the viewers who were outraged that Midnight Mass was almost completely snubbed.

Pop Cultured

Everything we know so far about the Knives Out sequel, Glass Onion.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

14 ways to get out of a reading slump.

On the Riot

A book lover’s guide to Disability Pride Month.

Literary movements you’ve never heard of.

How many fictional languages are there?

How do books become valuable?

black and white cat laying on its side with a stuffed toy that looks like lamb chop

Well, Dini decided to go all-out today…Blaine sent me so many cute photos while I was at work, I could barely decide which one to feature in the newsletter! And Dini was even kind enough to pause in his play time so that Blaine could get a non-blurry picture.

All right, that’s all I’ve got in me for this week. Peace out, stay away from the Covids, and stay hydrated. I’ll see you on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

80’s Nostalgia and George Clooney’s Batman Suit

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. In the midst of everything that has happened over the last few weeks, one bright spot is that my husband and I started using a meal kit subscription for our dinners, and I now suddenly have a desire to cook! Maybe it’s just the relief at not having to actively plan meals or grocery shop, or maybe it’s the fact that the recipes are way tastier than I expected, but I found myself over the weekend actually asking if I could cook dinner! And not in a “Well, if you don’t feel like cooking, I guess I’ll need to do it” way but in a “Hey, I’m looking forward to 6:00 because I want to start chopping veggies” way. Fingers crossed that this success continues, because I’m kinda loving it.

Oh, and before I forget, Book Riot has an opening for an Editorial Operations Associate! This person will have the opportunity to dive into the nitty gritty, behind-the-scenes work at Book Riot and help support the editors and writers! We’re committed to building an inclusive workforce and strongly encourage applications from women, individuals with disabilities, and people of color. Application deadline is August 8th.

And now onto the books. (Worth mentioning that this newsletter is going to be a bit shorter than usual, since we’re coming off of a holiday week/end.)

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Publishers and the Internet Archive have filed dueling summary judgment motions in what is set to be a landmark lawsuit over the scanning and lending of books.

The HarperCollins union has voted to strike, citing wages that have not kept up with cost-of-living expenses and wanting to create meaningful change towards an equitable workplace.

Brandon Taylor has joined Unnamed Press as its acquiring editor.

Paul Tremblay announced that the Kindle version of The Pallbearers Club has been pulled due to formatting errors, but should be available to readers by July 19th.

How TikTok became a best-seller machine.

What it’s been like as a writer of color trying to sell a book that isn’t all about trauma.

New & Upcoming Titles

Julia Quinn and Shonda Rhimes are co-writing a new Bridgerton prequel novel centered around Queen Charlotte.

Publishers Weekly picks 10 writers to watch this fall.

12 new historical romance novels out this summer.

36 of the most popular historical fiction titles of 2022, so far.

101 romance novels to spice up your summer.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Thank You For Your Servitude: Donald Trump’s Washington and the Price of Submission – Mark Leibovich (NPR, Washington Post)

The Displacements – Bruce Holsinger (USA Today)

Acts of Violet – Margarita Montimore (USA Today)

Florida Woman – Deb Rogers (Washington Post)

The Pallbearers Club – Paul Tremblay (Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

A question of character: on James Patterson and diversity in crime fiction.

On the Riot

15 buzzy books to pack in your beach bag.

The best new short story collections.

8 new nonfiction books to read this summer.

18 horror novels that will chill you to the bone this summer.

11 new books about WWII.

20 must-read under the radar queer books from the first half of 2022.

New weekly releases to TBR.

July picks for SFF, romance, mysteries/thrillers, children’s books, and queer books.

Why are so many fantasy series about war?

All Things Comics

Kazuki Takahashi, creator of Yu-Gi-Oh!, was found dead at sea. He was 60 years old.

San Diego Comic-Con is returning for its first in-person event in three years.

The Duffer Brothers are making a new live-action adaptation of the manga series Death Note for Netflix.

Have you ever wanted to own George Clooney’s Batman suit? You know, the one with the inexplicable nipples? Well, here’s your chance! The suit is going up for auction starting at $40,000!

On the Riot

YA comics and graphic novels out July-September 2022.


On the Riot

How to listen to audiobooks.

7 fictional audiobooks to listen to for Disability Pride Month.

10 of the best fantasy series to listen to on audio.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


The best books to prep your little one for school.

10 of the best scary stories for young readers.

12 of the best horror novels for teens.

YA book suggestions based off your favorite female superheroes.

25 YA books with bisexual characters.


7 locked room mysteries to keep you in suspense.

5 books about fragile worlds.

Top 5 dragon fantasy adventure book series.

On the Riot

10 touch-and-feel books for babies like Pat the Bunny.

3 YA novels about bucket lists.

What to read if you loved The Summer I Turned Pretty.

Modern short stories to read for high school English class.

8 feminist cozy mysteries to read right away.

Read these books if you like the show Arcane.

15 legendary books about King Arthur.

20 must-read books about musicians.

Books that bring the 80’s nostalgia.

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 as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.

black and white cat laying on its back with its white stomach showing black and white cat laying on its back showing its stomach while someone off screen scratches its head

Dini just wanted to show everyone his glorious tummy. And if you look closely in the second photo, you can see two of his little toofs sticking out. I’m a sucker for cats who show off their toofies. And Dini’s a sucker for head scritches and belly rubs! Everyone wins!

All right, let’s see how this week goes. Might be a good time to send a message to your representatives and check in on them. I’ll see you all on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

No One Felt Safe

(TW: gun violence, mass shooting) On Monday morning, a shooter opened fire onto the 4th of July parade spectators in Highland Park, Illinois. I was walking in a different 4th of July parade for my library, but we were in such close proximity to Highland Park that our parade ended early and everyone was told to evacuate the downtown area. I knew there had been a shooting close by, but I didn’t know anything else as I hurried a quarter mile back to my car, texting my husband about what was happening and why I was coming home early. We’ve read so many news reports of mass shootings, but nothing prepares you for when it happens in your own backyard. I don’t know how to process it. I came home and cried, but since then I’ve been in a daze trying to avoid the news. I had already taken a couple days off from work for my birthday, but how the hell do you celebrate your birthday when it takes place the day after a mass shooting 20 minutes away from your home? I had friends at that parade, one of whom was literally across the street from the first shots. But as one of my coworkers said, this could just as easily have been the town we work in. I have never felt less safe in my life, and as I write this, I’m about to go back to work tomorrow and face patrons who are undoubtedly going to want to talk about what happened. I feel like I’m in a state of half shock, half denial at a time when it feels like every element of my well-being has been upended. I don’t have any kind of a conclusion to this intro, other than I don’t have any idea how I’m supposed to concentrate at work tomorrow.

If any of you readers live or work in the area, I’m sending all the virtual hugs I can, and I’m taking any virtual hugs people may want to send.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

More updates from the Anchorage Public Library’s wrongful termination lawsuit.

Worth Reading

Supporting your team’s mental health after a violent news event. (This is a good article.)

How to “cheat” at professional development.

Canva tips and tricks.

Book Adaptations in the News

The Duffer Brothers are working with Netflix on several new projects, including an adaptation of Stephen King and Peter Straub’s novel, The Talisman.

The CW has canceled the Nancy Drew spinoff series, Tom Swift, after one season.

Neil Gaiman defends the “color-blind casting” for the Netflix adaptation of The Sandman.

The Time Traveler’s Wife has been canceled after only one season.

Peacock cancels the adaptation of Jade City, which had been in development for years.

A Beauty & the Beast hybrid live-action/animated special is set to air on ABC.

The best Jane Austen adaptations to watch before the release of Persuasion.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

Banned & Challenged Books

How to directly impact democracy: a look at the process of being an election judge.

A roundup of library censorship stories from Pride Month.

Stand up to bullies and put your (collection) money where your mouth is.

The Austin Public Library has partnered with local bookseller BookPeople to offer a summer-long event series called Banned Camp.

A group of right wing citizens in Prosper, Texas contacted police and demanded that the Prosper ISD remove 82 books. The article though takes a longer look at the contentious board elections happening across the country, as well as the way these debates affect the schools and the communities.

This is an oddly positive article about the Granbury ISD (TX) hiring a district-level librarian supervisor, which yeah, is good, but buried in the article is a description of the new selection policy, where the supervisor can recommend new materials to be purchased, but then the recommendations have to go through the school board, which will have at least 30 days to review the titles, PLUS the books have to meet a set of criteria, and then the books are posted online for public review. Not to mention that there’s also an online “opt out” form that parents can fill out if they don’t want their kids reading specific books. I’m exhausted just summarizing this.

The Greenvile ISD (TX) is considering updating the district’s policy regarding student access to books.

The Proud Boys set out to disrupt a Pride Month library event in McKinney, Texas, but were outnumbered by a huge “human shield” of LGBTQ supporters.

The Freedom to Read fight continues as Florida library media specialists face a summer of fears and unknowns.

“No one felt safe:” Florida schools and students feel the effects of the Don’t Say Gay bill.

The Leon County (FL) School Board approves their LGBTQ Inclusive School Guide after hours of fierce debate.

A Walker County (GA) parent is protesting several books in the school libraries, including The Hate U Give, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and Slaughterhouse-Five.

The Lafayette community and library leaders debate the ban of book displays that highlight diversity.

Three women appeal Dirigo High School’s (ME) decision to keep Gender Queer in school libraries.

A group of mothers upset over a Pride display at the Booth & Dimock Memorial Library in Coventry, CT told library staffers that the books should be burned.

The Haters by Jesse Andrews is now being challenged in the Elizabethtown Area School District (PA), where Andrews’s other book Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was also recently challenged.

The Greenvile (NC) school board considers changes in the way book selections and objections are handled.

Meanwhile in Greenville, South Carolina, a local LGBTQ+ advocacy group seeks change after the library took down its Pride displays.

The 24 book challenge in the Catawba (NC) School District will extend into the next school year. Also, the headline uses an increasingly common phrase from book banners: “I’m not trying to ban books, but…”

Washington County (VA) residents debate removing Lawn Boy from the Glade Spring Public Library.

“America First” proponents attack Loudoun County (VA) schools with a new lawsuit over the district’s inclusion and equity policies.

Virginia Beach’s obscenity hearing against Gender Queer and A Court of Mist and Fury is set for the end of August.

The Frederick School Board (VA) retains a challenged reading textbook for elementary schoolers. The problem appears to be that the textbook contains stories about non-white people, which at least one board member said borders on CRT.

Conservative culture warriors take aim at Kansas City’s Mid-Continent Public Library — in this case, the issues stemmed from conservative board members refusing to approve the proposed annual budget.

Gender Queer’s inclusion on the 2023 Illinois Lincoln Award List is going to lead to a lot of hoopla in Illinois schools and libraries in the coming months. Right now, the Barrington Area School District is facing complaints from parents.

The Jennings County Public Library (IN) removed its Pride display.

The Chippewa Falls School Board (WI) decides not to ban Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe from the high school curriculum, but does require parental permission before students can be assigned the book.

A parent accused Oconomowoc (WI) schools of teaching age-inappropriate material, so the district threatened a defamation lawsuit.

The Portsmouth (OH) Public Library hears complaints and votes of support for its Pride Month display.

An LGBTQ display at Jackson Madison County Library (TN) leads to controversy.

Well, the Montana State Library Commission voted down the proposed logo because it was too similar to a Pride flag.

Community members rally against a proposed school library book review policy from the Utah State Board of Education.

Thankfully, the Orem (UT) Public Library’s Pride displays drew far less negative attention this year than last year.

Albany County (WY) Public Library held a well-attended Drag Queen Story Time, despite concern from certain residents that these events “short-circuit a young person’s opportunity to have a non-sexualized youth.” (Yes that is an actual quote from the article.)

A group of Proud Boys gathered outside the Sparks (NV) Public Library, including one man who approached the library while carrying a gun, causing everyone to run inside for safety.

Arizona teachers will not face new limits on teaching subjects related to race or ethnicity next year.

So an addition to last week’s post about Payson (AZ) Councilor Jim Ferris, who wanted the library to remove the book Sex is a Funny Word even though he admitted to never actually reading the book: he also tried to get the council to deny a $250,000 grant to the library because they wouldn’t remove the book.

The campaign to remove LGBTQ+ books from public libraries reaches Sonoma County (CA).

The Medford (OR) superintendent and deputy superintendent ordered the removal of the graphic novel adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale after a smaller committee could not come to a consensus about how to handle the book.

Crook County (OR) schools adopt a new reading curriculum based around social-emotional learning, which of course, is concerning to certain parents in the district.

The Kennewick (WA) School Board wants to take a stand against CRT — but will their policy actually do anything?

The Kent (WA) School Board elects not to remove Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) from school libraries.

Five Hong Kong unionists have pleaded not guilty to publishing “seditious” material in a children’s book about sheep.

Beijing is blacklisting more Taiwanese books as standards for book imports become stricter.

Are schools too inclusive? Some people think so.

Safe space clubs for LGBTQ students are being increasingly targeted by right-wing protestors.

How libraries came to be sanctuaries for LGBTQ kids.

Commentary: Republicans are banning books about historical truths that their own leaders have apologized for.

This Buzzfeed writer read the 5 most challenged LGBTQ books from 2021 and shared their thoughts.

Simon & Schuster launches a banned book promotion for bookstores.

Numbers & Trends

Why are women’s stories with dark themes growing in popularity?

A definitive ranking of the sexiest book covers.

Award News

Jesmyn Ward wins the 2022 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.

The 2022 CWA Dagger Awards have been announced.

The 2021 Ladies of Horror Fiction Awards have been announced.

Pop Cultured

The best true-crime dramas of 2022, ranked.

A first look at True Detective, Season 4.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

This Tasmanian “book detective” reunites customers with long-lost books and beloved childhood titles.

On the Riot

This Rioter reflects on their first year as a high school librarian.

How much time and money does it take to maintain a Little Free Library?

How to create a virtual book club, or revive one that’s languishing.

Dubai opens a new book-shaped library.

Not to be confused: book title edition.

Books where the hardcover has a clever design beneath the dust jacket.

How to achieve the ideal beach reading day.

black cat sitting on a couch with a plush catnip pickle between its paws and a plush lamb next to its side

This issue’s cat photo is dedicated to Gilbert, who had to go to the vet today. He’s been sneezing and coughing on and off for the last few months, and we wanted to make sure it wasn’t anything serious. Turns out the respiratory stuff is probably either a sinus infection or kitty asthma, and aside from that and a few bad teeth, the crusty old coot is remarkably healthy. Fingers crossed for continued health.

I looked back at my sign off from a couple newsletters ago, which mentioned that I had a long weekend coming up, and that “I hope the world doesn’t get drastically worse between now and then.” Apparently the universe said, “Challenge accepted.” Take care of yourselves, friends. I’ll see you on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

A Post-Roe Booklist

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m writing this newsletter on Sunday, but by the time you read it on Tuesday, it will be my BIRTHDAY, which I honestly keep forgetting about. Birthdays are a lot less dramatic as an adult, but I always try to make time for myself to do whatever the hell I want, which this year probably means taking a couple days of PTO, ordering donuts, and playing Lego Star Wars. But I’m also going to try and carve out some reading time, because I absolutely hate that the last few years have managed to steal that joy away from me. So maybe it’s time to start taking it back.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Macmillan is slowly bringing systems back after a widespread electronic security breach last week.

New & Upcoming Titles

Former Disney CEO Bob Iger is writing a book about leadership in times of crisis, which is scheduled for publication in 2024.

200 titles published in 2022.

9 new short story collections that leave you wanting more.

Weekly book picks from Bustle, Crime Reads, LitHub, The Millions, New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today.

July picks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Page (editor picks, mysteries), Epic Reads, Kirkus, LA Times, New York Times, and Time.

Summer reading picks from Buzzfeed, The Guardian, New York Times, and NPR.

Best books of 2022 (so far) from Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly, Goodreads, and NPR.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Thrust – Lidia Yuknavitch (LA Times, New York Times, Shondaland)

Honey and Spice – Bolu Babalola (Elle, Time)

Lapvona – Ottessa Moshfegh (NPR, Washington Post)

Elsewhere – Alexis Schaitkin (New York Times, Washington Post)

Life Ceremonies: Stories – Sayaka Murata (New York Times)

Dele Weds Destiny – Tomi Obaro (New York Times)

Night of the Living Rez – Morgan Talty (New York Times)

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow – Gabrielle Zevin (Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

The judges for the Sisters in Crime Pride Award talk about LGBTQIA+ issues in crime publishing.

The dangers of conspiracy fiction.

Is this the Golden Era of queer literature?

On the Riot

New weekly releases to TBR.

22 more great books to read in 2022.

The 50 best book covers of 2021.

6 kinds of mystery plots that don’t center around murder.

Why the miscommunication trope is here to stay.

How does fiction capture the frustrations of being a twentysomething woman?

All Things Comics

Comics/graphic novel sales jumped 62% in 2021.

Seven Seas voluntarily recognizes the United Workers of Seven Seas as the union representative of its workers, making it the first unionized manga and light novel publishing house in North America.

The Uzumaki anime adaptation gets another delay.

A graphic novel reading list inspired by Lore Olympus.

15 LGBTQ+ comics, graphic novels, and manga to read after watching Heartstopper.

On the Riot

8 comics about loneliness to make you feel less alone.

15 of the best coming-of-age manga.


The Top 20 most-recommended fiction and nonfiction audiobooks of all time.

The best audiobooks of 2022 (so far). ​

5 audiobooks with queer Nigerian protagonists.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

On the Riot

True crime audiobooks to keep you up all night.

8 of the best audiobooks narrated by Frankie Corzo.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


21 YA books that prove there’s no one way to come out.

98 YA books that will take you on an adventure.


Books about sex that every family should read.

10 books to understand the abortion debate in the US.

A post Roe v. Wade booklist.

Titles for the queer canon.

An updated “Queer Books Across America” list.

A reading list for the grieving.

5 books that reckon with not belonging.

10 books to travel the world without leaving your home.

Disability Pride Month suggestions from Barnes & Noble and NYPL.

Beach reads to immerse yourself in someone else’s story.

5 horror books that will change how you look at everyday objects.

7 books to help resist productivity culture.

Top 5 books about Mexico.

On the Riot

Educational books for kids that will make them love learning.

YA and middle grade novels that teach big lessons.

10 of the best mysteries with a twist.

32 of the best books about cults.

8 beautiful memoirs written by nonbinary authors.

10 romances about magical librarian love.

A “That Girl” reading list for your hot girl summer.

11 amazing books about trees.

Essay collections that make you necessarily uncomfortable.

10 sapphic dark fantasy books.

8 fascinating nonfiction deep dives into the ordinary.

Retellings of Indian epics.

9 books with odd plots.

12 amazing queer short story collections.

14 books in translation from Western Africa.

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 as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.

two mostly black cats asleep on their sides, with the rightmost cat's head pressed against the leftmost cat's chest

It’s getting to the point now where Blaine or I will take a photo of the cats, and I go, “Oh, that’s definitely a newsletter photo!” (It’s like “Do it for the gram,” except it’s “Do it for the Shelf!”) So here’s the latest instant classic: Gilbert and Dini fast asleep, with Gilbert full-on face planting into Dini’s tummy. I’m adding this to the towering pile of evidence that these two chuckleheads do, in fact, love each other.

That’s all I’ve got for today. In honor of my birthday, write or call your elected representatives and tell them exactly what you think about things. I’ll check in again on Friday. Peace out!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Proud Boys and Libraries Do Not Mix

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. On top of everything else going on in the world, I suddenly found my Twitter feed full of reactions to Nancy Pearl’s comments at ALA. If you somehow missed what happened, she made this statement on a panel about book banning and censorship: “What did I not want to add in the collection? Personally, I did not want to add Holocaust-denying books. That was offensive to me. Did I think we needed them? Sad to say, yes.” I don’t have a ton of articles to link to, as most of the discourse is happening on Twitter, but needless to say it’s a mess, especially because Jason Reynolds, who was also on the panel, received a disproportionate amount of negative attention for Nancy Pearl’s remarks. I will link to articles as I see them, because I think this controversy is highly representative of the old guard’s desire to cling to this outdated, inaccurate, and harmful notion of libraries as neutral. As always, LIBRARIES. AREN’T. NEUTRAL.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

ALA released a statement condemning threats of violence in libraries. No commitments, no actionable steps, just another crew member on the Titanic writing a strongly-worded letter to the iceberg.

Due to COVID-related staffing shortages, the Seattle Public Library will be temporarily reducing its hours.

Cool Library Updates

The Boise Library has hired its first mental-health coordinator.

NYPL opens a “virtual branch” on Instagram and launches a reading recommendation project using augmented reality technology.

Book Adaptations in the News

Lionsgate scores film adaptation rights for Kayvion Lewis’ upcoming YA novel, Thieves Gambit.

Kate Winslet is executive producing and starring in the HBO limited series adaptation of Trust by Hernan Diaz.

Former San Francisco Chronicle reporter Lizzie Johnson is partnering with Jamie Lee Curtis’ production company to develop Johnson’s book, Paradise: One Town’s Struggle to Survive an American Wildfire, for film.

Jason Schwartzman joins the cast of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Paula Hawkins’ novella, Blind Spot, gets picked up for a TV adaptation.

Here’s the official trailer for Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between.

And here’s the teaser trailer for On the Come Up.

The 10 best TV crime dramas that were adapted from books.

Banned & Challenged Books

A look at the long line of hatred and intimidation of queer people in schools and libraries just within the last MONTH.

This is an older article, but one worth revisiting: how faith-based, right-wing money is waging war through book challenges.

Dixfield (ME) school district elects to keep Gender Queer on high school shelves.

Gorham (ME) educators defend controversial posters and books about sexuality.

The Smithtown Library on Long Island has reversed its decision to remove all Pride-related displays from the children’s sections. Meanwhile, Governor Kathy Hochul is planning to investigate the libraries that removed the LGBTQ displays in the first place.

Parents are complaining about a RuPaul biography geared towards children at the Cragin Memorial Library in Colchester, CT.

A divided Pennsylvania Senate panel advances two bills limiting sexual content in public schools. (Pennsylvania people, call your representatives.)

The Council Rock (PA) School Board elects to include The Giver and In the Time of the Butterflies in next year’s curriculum, despite opposition from several board members.

A Maryland librarian is being charged with hate crimes after admitting to vandalizing two libraries in Prince George’s County last week. He spray painted the word “Groomer” across the front entrances of both libraries.

The Central Rappahannock Regional Library (VA) board is holding a special meeting to discuss concerns over content displayed on the library system’s mobile app.

The Roanoke (VA) County School Board unanimously approved a new media review policy which requires multiple librarians to read and meet to discuss which books belong in school libraries. In other words, this is a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars and staff time/expertise.

Lawyers say that the “defective” Virginia obscenity claims should be tossed. However, a pair of Virginia politicians have now sued Maia Kobabe and Oni-Loin Forge over Gender Queer, saying that the graphic memoir violates Virginia’s obscenity laws.

“I felt very unsafe.” Parents speak out after the Proud Boys show up at a Pride Story Time at the Pine Valley Library in Wilmington, NC.

And not surprisingly, officials and advocates are offering differing versions of what happened when the Proud Boys disrupted the event.

Wilkes County (NC) School admins have decided to end the school’s participation in the Battle of the Books program, likely from local criticism about the books included on the elementary and middle school reading lists.

The CatholicVote “Hide the Pride” movement takes credit for the disappearance of Columbia (SC)’s library Pride display and subsequent threatening letter to library staff.

A Walker County (GA) mother addresses the school board over “vulgar” books, except her kids are currently homeschooled and don’t actually attend that school district.

The Frisco ISD (TX) is changing two policies regarding library book objections. Particularly noteworthy is their use of the Texas Penal Code’s definition of “obscenity,” instead of looking at a contested passage within the context of the book as a whole, which means that even one paragraph may be enough to deem a book “obscene,” according to Daniel Stockton, the Executive Director of Government and Legal Affairs.

A conservative pastor is the latest appointee to the Lafayette (LA) Parish Library Board.

Pride Month displays at the Mandeville library in Louisiana draw complaints from patrons.

A Hillsborough County (FL) school board candidate defends book bans and CRT attacks, despite offering little evidence for either.

A secret Moms for Liberty audio recording captures threatening rhetoric targeting a school librarian in Arkansas.

The Madison County (TN) “culture war” is a fight worth having.

A StoryWalk book (It’s Okay to Be a Unicorn) was removed by an unknown citizen in DeWitt, Iowa.

The Oconomowoc Area School District (WI) is involved in a dispute and potential lawsuit over several books related to sex and gender, including It’s Perfectly Normal and The 57 Bus.

The threat of GOP-led book bans looms over the 2022 Wisconsin elections.

The St. Joseph County Public Library (IN) released a statement regarding the Proud Boys disrupting a Rainbow Storytime event on Monday.

Independence, Missouri removes the book Cats vs. Robots from elementary school libraries because it includes a non-binary character.

Nixa (MO) high school students write about how censorship of books fosters ignorance. The paper also elected to grant the students anonymity to protect them from retaliation.

A Forest Hills (OH) school board meeting ends with a resolution against critical race theory.

The Portsmouth (OH) Public Library board hears public comments about their so-called “controversial” Pride display, and is now seeking legal counsel about how to proceed.

The 22 books that the Nampa (ID) School Board voted to remove last month will continue to remain in storage until the board comes up with a more formal book challenging process.

Some Montana State Library commissioners are concerned because the new logo’s color scheme is “too LGBTQ,” which means that it contains the colors red, yellow, green, and blue. I am reminded of a patron at my last library who had used a permanent marker to cover the entire front of his library card because the colors were “too gay.” THEY ARE COLORS. THEY ARE THE RESULT OF DIFFERENT WAVELENGTHS OF LIGHT HITTING THE CONES IN OUR EYES AND THESE SIGNALS BEING INTERPRETED BY OUR BRAINS. THERE IS NO SECRET AGENDA HERE.

Payson (AZ) Town Councilor Jim Ferris suggested that the town drop out of the library district and lose hundreds of thousands in funding, all so the library didn’t have to carry the book Sex is a Funny Word. When questioned further, Ferris admitted he hadn’t actually read the book he so strongly objected to.

How Milken Community Schools (CA) “marginalized a marginalized voice.”

Drag Queen Vanilla Meringue skips the Drag Queen Story Time at the Berkeley (CA) Public Library due to safety concerns.

A Canadian librarian responded to threats against her Drag Queen Story Hour by adding a second event. THIS is what I want to see more libraries doing!

Canadian libraries in general are being hit by a wave of hate, threats, and right-wing groups protesting all-age drag events.

Drag story hour hosts, under attack, dig in their heels. (I dislike this headline because “dig in their heels” suggests unwarranted stubbornness, but the article looks at the ways in which queer people have been under increased attack during Pride Month festivities at schools and libraries.)

Related: drag queens are not the ones sexualizing Drag Story Hour.

And yet, some lawmakers are looking to crack down on parents who bring their children to drag shows, even suggesting the termination of parental rights in some cases.

Consultants and activists share meaningful ways employers can help their workers with the recent wave of anti-LGBTQ bills and hate crimes.

Books & Authors in the News

Essential reading: literary voices respond to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

Authors are protesting Amazon’s eBook policy that allows users to read and return titles.

Philip Pullman leads an outcry after Sheffield Hallam University withdraws its English Literature degree.

The troubling legacy of the Lolita story, 60 years on.

Numbers & Trends

Post-Roe, publishers scramble to meet the political moment.

Have we reached peak celebrity memoir?

We may finally have reached the saturation point for tell-all books from Trump aides.

Best-selling self help books and the missing women phenomenon.

TikTok and Barnes & Noble have teamed up for the #BookTokChallenge.

Award News

Congrats to the 2022 Locus Award winners!

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Taylor Swift debuts her folksy soundtrack song for Where the Crawdads Sing.

The Strand now has its own in-house coffee shop.

On the Riot

The subversive verse of Shel Silverstein.

How to start a BookTok.

How does Goodreads make money? (Hint: it’s your personal data.)

What the heck is Twitterature?

How reading changed for this Rioter after their ADHD diagnosis.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

close up of a black and white cat looking out a window

Here is Dini looking sassy and regal as he surveys his kingdom, and says “Hi” to his kitty friends who live in the apartment across from us.

I have a longer-than-usual weekend coming up, because Tuesday is my birthday and I always treat myself to a couple days off. But not surprisingly I’m feeling far from festive this year…so for Independence Day, I’m going to contact my reps, make a donation, and wear my “Nevertheless She Persisted” t-shirt. I hope the world doesn’t get drastically worse between now and then.

Peace out, y’all.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Ace of Capes and Stomach Wanderlust

I don’t have words. Or at least, I’ve used all my words up, and don’t have anything left to say that hasn’t already been said. None of this was a surprise, and yet I don’t know how we’re supposed to function under the crushing weight of everything. I’m so angry at politicians who fundraise on the fear of losing access to abortion, and yet do absolutely nothing to protect that access once they’re in office. I’m not going to lie — I cried at my desk on Friday. And I’m facing another long week of public service, with more desk shifts, more late nights, and more face time the public when I barely feel like I’m getting by. I’m alternating between rage and extreme sadness, and I’m trying to productively channel the rage when it comes, and ride out the sadness when I can’t avoid it. This Twitter thread has some really great scripts for contacting your representatives, so I’m passing it along for you all to use as well. Push. Yell. Call. Email. Send carrier pigeons. Do whatever you can to keep yourself above water.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Publishers discriminate against women and Black authors — but readers don’t.

Publishers defend sensitivity readers as a vital tool following author criticism.

The push to diversify the book business.

New & Upcoming Titles

Publishers Weekly announces their adult titles for Fall 2022.

We’re getting a new collection of Tolkien’s writings, this time centered around Middle Earth’s Second Age.

Cover reveal for Malka Older’s upcoming cozy gaslamp mystery + sapphic romance novel, The Mimicking of Known Successes.

11 recent guaranteed page-turners.

23 horror novels to look out for in 2022.

13 of the best YA books in 2022 (so far).

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

June picks from Crime Reads (debuts), Entertainment Weekly.

9 books by Black authors to read in July.

Barnes & Noble’s July picks for adults, teens, and kids.

Summer book picks from Parade and USA Today.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Lapvona – Ottessa Moshvegh (Bustle, New York Times)

Rough Draft – Katy Tur (Oprah Daily, Washington Post)

Thrust – Lidia Yuknavitch (New York Times, Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

What to read, watch, and listen to if you like stories about female con artists.

On the Riot

Neon Hemlock Press: a small press in a big world of speculative fiction.

New weekly releases to TBR.

27 of the best children’s books of 2022.

New book club picks to read this summer and fall.

15 cozy mysteries coming out in the second half of 2022.

Why do reviewers include disclaimers about ARCs?

What is NRN and why should you give it a try?

All Things Comics

Marvel is facing backlash for its Miles Morales Thor comic, which features racist stereotypes.

The CW is developing the Archie comic Jake Chang into a TV series.

The best comics to read right now.

On the Riot

Ace of Capes: asexual superheroes, villains, and more.

Why DC Pride is more than virtue signaling.

How comics discuss mental health.

Nonfiction manga to teach you something new.

8 fiction books about comics and the comic book industry.


Lake Bell’s first audiobook explores her obsession with the human voice.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

On the Riot

10 of the most innovative audiobooks to listen to.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


Picture books to celebrate Pride.


111 queer books recommended by librarians, booksellers, and authors.

20 must-read Harlequin books.

12 romances set at the beach.

The best LGBTQIA+ romances.

LGBTQ+ romances by Asian authors.

Queer nonfiction reading list.

6 works of historical fiction that highlight resilience amid war.

Juneteenth picks.

7 thrilling books by Black authors.

Top 10 books about terrible jobs.

A reading list for the 50th anniversary of Title IX.

The 25 most significant New York City novels from the last 100 years.

6 books that embrace the 1970’s.

5 sci-fi stories that look like fantasy.

10 unexpected beach reads.

Books that reimagine classic tales of magic.

13 relatable books for millennials.

10 of the best cookbooks to cure your stomach’s wanderlust.

On the Riot

8 of the best picture books about creepy crawlies.

Kids books about the outdoors to celebrate Great Outdoors Month.

Forbidden romances in contemporary YA.

18 fiction books about cultural traditions.

10 contemporary authors writing under more than one name.

8 queer dystopian books.

12 books like The House of the Spirits.

Books for parents of substance abusers and addicts.

Sci-fi books about space travel.

19 of the best Ethiopian books.

15 of the best books to learn about real estate.

12 queer monster romances.

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 as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.

black and white cat and a black cat sitting next to each other on the floor, staring intently at the camera

Dini and Gilbert are trying to tell you something. They’re trying to tell you it’s food time. Now, you may ask yourself, how are you supposed to know when it’s actually food time? Irrelevant. To these knuckleheads, all time is food time. And this is what they do to us when they’re done waiting. They stare at us, hoping that their adorable solidarity will convince us to feed them a little early.

Keep going, friends. We have to keep going. I’ll check in again on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

When I Think “Emily Dickinson,” I Think “Video Games!”

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. The return of in-person conferences means the return of conference FOMO, and even though the thought of spending time in a convention center with hundreds of other people doesn’t exactly do it for me right now, I’m always sad to miss big library gatherings. However, my shelves (and my shoulders) are glad I’m not carrying around four bulging tote bags filled with ARCs.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Why states are changing the laws that govern public libraries.

A funding dispute leads to drastic hourly cuts for King William (VA) libraries.

Cool Library Updates

The Detroit Public Library is reopening 10 branches that have been closed for the past two years.

Worth Reading

Weeding in the academic library.

Supporting patrons with legal information needs.

Book Adaptations in the News

Emma Straub is adapting her latest novel, This Time Tomorrow for film.

Netflix is developing a four part series based on Michael Pollan’s book on psychedelics, How to Change Your Mind.

Zoe Kazan is developing a limited series adaptation of East of Eden, 70 years after her grandfather Elia Kazan directed the film adaptation of the same book.

Jon Snow is returning in the upcoming Game of Thrones sequel series.

PBS Masterpiece is adapting a four-part series based on Gill Hornby’s historical fiction novel, Miss Austen.

Casting update for the Percy Jackson TV series and Dune 2.

A third Paddington Bear movie is in the works.

Here’s the teaser trailer for Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin.

Banned & Challenged Books

As state and local elections continue across the country, I wanted to share a link to the School Board Project, which is a volunteer-created searchable Excel spreadsheet of every school board and school board election in the country. States with upcoming school board elections are being prioritized, but the plan is to get through every state, and hopefully then move on to library board elections. The second round of updates has just been announced, so take a look for yourself.

George M. Johnson has been named the honorary chair for Banned Books Week.

The Proud Boys who stormed the Drag Queen Story Time at the San Lorenzo Library (CA) are being investigated for hate crimes.

After weeks of heated debate, Ketchikan’s (AK) public library hosts its first Drag Queen Story Time. However, a former assembly member is asking the borough to cut more than $500,000 in funding for the library in retaliation for the event, saying that defunding the library “the only avenue left to force a community discussion on the library’s activities.”

Texas AG Ken Paxton wants to help defend Llano County officials who are being sued for removing and banning books from the public library.

The Texas Education Board is bracing for a showdown over social studies curriculums.

An Abilene (TX) resident expressed concerns about the people serving on the Library Advisory Board and their “agendas.” This comment, however, appears to be directed at Jason Hernandez-Marshall, who is openly gay and has been serving on the board since 2021.

The Pulaski County (KY) Public Library is facing questions about the removal of a Juneteenth display.

Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf has vowed to veto any legislation that restricts access or discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in schools.

Pittsburgh parents are suing the Mt. Lebanon School District for allegedly teaching students about gender identity without parental consent.

The Littlestown Area School District (PA) was once again bombarded with questions about “contentious” library books during a recent meeting.

The Central Bucks School Board (PA) approves a first reading of its controversial new book policy, which multiple people say contains too many vague terms and is likely to be in violation of First Amendment rights if put into place.

The Aaron Cutler Library (NH) has had to deal with recent “Hide the Pride” activities, particularly when a patron asked a librarian to remove the books from the Pride display, and when the librarian refused, they checked out all of the books instead.

How one book (Out of Darkness) quietly disappeared from Dare (NC) school libraries.

Drag Queen Story Time is officially a go at the Apex (NC) Pride Festival.

However, the Union County Library (NC) abruptly backed out of plans to participate in local Pride events. Organizers said that the decision came from county government leaders.

Hanover County (VA) School District elects to keep A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart by Zetta Elliott in school libraries, but moves it from the picture book section to the poetry section to decrease the likelihood of younger readers checking out the book.

A Pride Month display was taken down at the Forest Library (VA) after receiving complaints.

In response to the Lafayette Public Library’s decision to remove books about specific “ethnic or social groups” from display areas, a local advocacy group responded, “The Library’s current policy of showcasing book displays organized around “classic” texts and traditional genres and themes claims to be neutral; yet, in reality, it privileges the stories of certain races, classes, ethnicities, genders, and cultures over others.” YUP. LIBRARIES ARE NOT NEUTRAL. Never have been, never will be.

Another advocacy group, Lafayette Citizens Against Censorship, made a similar statement in regards to the new display policy.

Palm Beach County (FL) teachers are being told to go through their classrooms and preemptively remove any books that might violate Florida’s new laws, including the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which go into effect on July 1st.

The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association sent a letter to Edina Public Schools, criticizing an elementary school’s use of the book Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice.

Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville (IL) has discovered dozens of books pertaining to LGBTQ people or people of color have been hidden in the bookstore, most likely part of the recent “Hide the Pride” movement, or something similar.

Illinois librarians brace for book banning efforts “to get a lot worse” as challenges grow.

These Indiana schools made racial equity their mission. Now they face hostile legislation.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has been returned to the Evans Middle School (IA) curriculum.

A number of Gillette (WY) librarians protest the budget cuts made by Campbell County Commissioners. Specifically, the county is electing to eliminate the Optional 1-Percent Sales Tax funding that has annually been spent on children’s books and programs, believing that the library hasn’t been transparent in the way it purchases new books and discards old ones.

An opinion piece regarding the book banning situation in Nampa, ID: First ban the books, then decide how to justify it.

The Utah Library Association and LGBTQ+ advocacy groups criticize the Orem City Council for its censorship of the library’s child-oriented Pride Month display.

Kent and Tahoma (WA) parents speak in separate interviews about their concerns with books found in their children’s middle school libraries.

In the understatement of the century, school librarians are under pressure.

The book business ecosystem is under attack.

Comics librarians are up for the fight.

Where does a sex ed book belong in the public library?

Books & Authors in the News

Upswell publisher Terri-ann White talks about how trust has been breached by the author John Hughes, whose novel The Dogs uses identical and nearly identical extracts from books such as The Great Gatsby, Anna Karenina, and The Unwomanly Face of War by Nobel laureate author Svetlana Alexievich.

Simon & Schuster is reportedly distributing a Skyhorse edition of the January 6 report, but with a foreword by Darren Beattie, who is a former Trump speechwriter with white supremacist ties and a known conspiracy theorist. S&S has commented, saying that they don’t have control over Skyhorses’s publication decisions, but the question remains whether S&S will be responsible for disseminating false information about January 6th.

Celebrating 100 years of Ulysses.

Numbers & Trends

Over 50% of adults have not finished a book in the last year.

Award News

Ruth Ozeki wins the Women’s Prize for Fiction for The Book of Form and Emptiness.

The 2022 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners have been announced.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Why do we forget books that we’ve read?

There’s a new video game that’s based on the poems of Emily Dickinson.

On the Riot

Don’t make it a monster: this reader talks about overcoming their toxic relationship with the library.

Alternatives to the Dewey Decimal System.

6 times lost library books found their way home.

Current bookish trends, as observed by a very online bookseller.

Why do books make us feel things?

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

black and white cat on its back with its front claws caught in a green blanket

Here’s a picture from Dini’s life this last week. If you look closely, you may notice that he’s chewing on a toy mouse, but you’ll definitely notice his claws caught in the blanket. He’s a very busy boy and needs to multitask with his playing!

It’s the weekend. Stay cool, stay hydrated, and take a nap. I’ll check in on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Best Audiobooks, Unusual Hauntings, and CAWPILE Reviews

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. It was an emotional weekend as I said goodbye to my sister-in-law, who is on the road to her new life in Los Angeles. Basically since I’ve known her, she’s lived within a 30 minute radius of Blaine and me, and she was often at our place to watch movies, play Mario Party, or do laundry. And when Covid hit, she and her husband joined forces with us to form our own little pod group, which was an honest-to-God sanity saver. She’s been a great friend, and although Blaine mumbles about her being his little sister, I know it’s like losing a best friend for him, too. Obviously there are holidays and texts and Face Time and online video games, but it’s going to be really sad not to have her around anymore.

So now I’m going to distract myself with books.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

One of the country’s oldest Black-owned bookstores, Eso Won Books, is closing.

The relaunched MTV Books unveils its slate of 2023 authors.

HarperCollins teams up with the Trevor Project for a year-long partnership.

A Kickstarter to fund dyslexic-friendly books for adults has just been launched.

New & Upcoming Titles

Jesse Q. Sutanto announces a new book, Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, which she describes as Knives Out meets Kim’s Convenience.

Marvel Studios executive Victoria Alonso is publishing a memoir.

Actor Rob Delaney is also publishing a memoir.

And Chelsea Handler has a new, untitled memoir coming out.

Reese Witherspoon announces the release of her new picture book, Busy Betty.

Rioter Tirzah Price reveals the cover of the third book in her Jane Austen Murder Mystery series, Manslaughter Park.

Anna-Marie McLemore reveals the cover of her Great Gatsby-themed retelling, Self-Made Boys.

12 new queer books to read this summer.

The best recent science fiction and fantasy.

Weekly book picks from Bustle, Crime Reads, LitHub, and USA Today.

5 psychological thrillers to read in June.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Lapvona – Ottessa Moshfegh (Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, New York Times)

Jackie and Me – Louis Bayard (New York Times, Washington Post)

Flying Solo – Linda Holmes (USA Today)

We Carry Their Bones: The Search for Justice at the Dozier School For Boys – Erin Kimmerle (New York Times)

Nightcrawling – Leila Mottley (Washington Post)

Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter – Lizzie Pook (New York Times)

RA/Genre Resources

Alien and other works that blend science fiction and horror.

On the Riot

New witchy YA reads releasing in 2022.

The best new queer SFF for your TBR.

The best weekly new releases to TBR.

Netflix for book discovery and other problems.

What is the CAWPILE review system?

How are smartphones used in mystery novels?

All Things Comics

Iconic comics artist Tim Sale has died at 66.

Milestone Media looks to bring creators of color into comics.

Lady Gaga is in talks to play Harley Quinn opposite Joaquin Phoenix in the next Joker movie, which is also confirmed to be a musical.

Marvel is developing a Wonder-Man live-action series.

The best manga for kids to marathon over the summer.

On the Riot

How comics discuss mental health.

The most popular middle grade comics, as chosen by students.


Spotify is bringing its freemium model to audiobooks.

Stephen Graham Jones is releasing an audio-exclusive story: The Babysitter Lives.

8 audiobooks to listen to right now.

3 audiobooks with distinct narration.

On the Riot

What makes a great audiobook?

Why this reader can’t do nonfiction in print.

10 of the best audiobook narrators.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


5 picture books to honor Black Music Appreciation Month.

11 YA books to read if you’re yearning for more Heartstopper.

YA queer retellings that might be even better than the classics.


5 cozy mysteries for HGTV fans and DIY’ers.

8 recommended Kentucky authors.

25 books that highlight the beauty of Indigenous literature.

Summer books for slow days.

17 books about the British Royal Family.

Must-read celebrity memoirs.

The best LGBTQIA+ romances.

On the Riot

Summer picture books to make you smile.

15 wildly interesting historical fiction chapter books.

10 queer historical YA novels that reclaim LGBTQ history.

12 books by up-and-coming trans and nonbinary authors.

8 memoirs by LGBTQ elders you need to read.

10 2SLGBTQ+ disabled authors to read this Pride Month.

Books about Juneteenth.

8 missing people thrillers that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Outer sights: the best science fiction books you’ve never heard of.

16 books set on the Korean peninsula.

8 immersive historical fantasy books.

11 must-read Filipino sci-fi books.

8 great books with unusual hauntings.

10 sapphic new adult books to read in your 20’s.

8 books about chosen ones who refuse the call.

15 books with pets on the cover.

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 as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.

black cat wrapped in colorful blanket with only the head visible

I found one photos of Gilbert engaging in one of his favorite activities: being burritoed. I wish my life were that simple sometimes.

Catch you all on Friday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Absurdly Successful White Male Author Cries Racial Discrimination Against White Male Authors

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m beginning this newsletter with a PSA of sorts. If you weren’t already aware, the Proud Boys disrupted a Drag Queen Story Time event at the San Lorenzo Public Library last Saturday. This is bad enough on its own, but some believe this may have been related to a recent post by the far-right, anti-LGBTQIA+ Twitter account, Libs of TikTok, which posted about the event on Twitter the week prior. If your library isn’t aware of this account, please take note. “Libs of TikTok” has been going after schools and public libraries that are offering LGBTQ+ programming, and even posted false information about a couple libraries very near where I work (including my former workplace) for their involvement with local Pride celebrations. Their goal appears to be to incite people to contact or otherwise protest these organizations, and some may choose to protest more violently and disruptively than others. So, please be aware and consider talking with your library about security measures your library can take preemptively.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Maryland’s library eBook law has officially been ruled as “unconstitutional.”

Cool Library Updates

NYPL is giving away 500,000 books for free to help people build their at-home libraries.

The Johnson City (TN) Public Library offers a 14 week Librarian-in-Training program for up to a dozen kids, ages 9-12.

Branching out: a look at library plant swap programs.

Worth Reading

Libraries. Are. Not. Neutral.

Book Adaptations in the News

Tessa Bailey’s It Happened One Summer is being adapted for film.

Matthew López is adapting Eric Cervini’s The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. The United States of America as a limited series.

Renegade Entertainment is developing a series based on Candice Fox’s best-seller, Gathering Dark.

Erin Young’s thriller The Fields is being adapted for TV.

The Lincoln Lawyer has been renewed for a second season with Netflix, and will be based on Michael Connelly’s book The Fifth Witness.

The trailer for the upcoming adaptation of Persuasion has been released.

Banned & Challenged Books

How Moms for Liberty’s book ratings system is entering school districts.

Who’s afraid of a rainbow flag? The censorship of library Pride displays.

Llano County (TX) approves allocating $150,000 to fight a lawsuit filed against the library for violating the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights.

I hate this headline: Abilene (TX) City Council hears arguments pro and con on LGBTQ materials in libraries. This isn’t a topic where both sides are on an equal playing field. “I don’t support or care about LGBTQ people” is not a stance that should be given any legitimacy.

Cy-Fair ISD (TX) sees an increase in requests to remove contentious books.

BookPeople and the Austin Public Library are holding a summer camp for banned books.

Tyler (TX) Public Library moves a PFLAG display to what some say is a less prominent and less visible spot.

Here is the problem with libraries aspiring towards “neutrality:” An interview with Lafayette (LA) Library Director Danny Gillane on book display censorship: “Anything that singles out a portion of the population, we are not going to do a display.”

Osceola (FL) library supervisor explains the process behind book selection to school board members as four books are currently being reviewed.

The Vonnegut Museum wants a meeting with the Brevard County (FL) Moms for Liberty chapter after MfL pushed for Bayside High School to remove Slaughterhouse-Five from the library and English curriculums. Meanwhile, the museum is offering to send up to 1,000 free copies of Slaughterhouse-Five to any students or parents who request one.

Ketchikan City Council (AR) declines to cancel a Drag Queen Storytime event planned by the public library, saying that doing so would step beyond the established role of the City Council.

The Missouri Library Association writes again to the Wentzville school board, where they have voted to remove Fun Home from school libraries.

The Chattanooga (TN) City Council wants more oversight of the public library to “ensure accountability.”

Emails show that the Rapid City Area School (SD) board members were aware of the decision to remove controversial books as early as August of 2021, despite statements to the contrary.

Nearly 100 people attended the Vinton (IA) Library meeting to discuss the director’s recent resignation. One member of the public said “This community has now run out two highly qualified highly credentialed library directors in one year. This library is indeed going to suffer but not because of diverse books or staff members that identify as LGBTQ+.”

This is in my neck of the woods, so I’m happy to report that the Downer’s Grove (IL) school board elected to keep Gender Queer in the high school library. You may remember this particular issue because the Proud Boys showed up at a school board meeting a few months ago to push for the book’s removal.

Ashland (OH) Public Library rejects a request to remove five books from the library, saying, “Censorship is a slippery slope.”

Hillsdale (MI) residents go to the City Council asking that the Hillsdale Library Board member calling for restrictions on library materials be removed.

After emotional testimony, Carroll County (MD) school board bans Pride flags. (Not a book ban, but very much related in terms of harming the LGBTQIA community.)

Greensboro (NC) teacher Holly Weaver fights for the right to teach Salvage the Bones in her AP English class.

Citing threats of violence, Apex (NC) has canceled its Drag Queen Storytime during its Pride Festival.

A Pride Month display at the Macon County (NC) Library has drawn criticism from the community.

Catawba County (NC) Schools have reviewed 8 of the 24 challenged books so far. None are being removed, but three will be moved out of middle school libraries: Monday’s Not Coming, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Looking for Alaska.

Marshall Elementary School (VA) administrators are standing behind their librarian who recently read Prince & Knight to the school in honor of Pride Month.

Elizabethtown (PA) Area School District elects to keep Me and Earl and the Dying Girl in the library.

Erie County (PA) school district appears to have removed Gender Queer, although the motivation and discussion behind the decision remains unclear.

The Peekskill and Cortlandt (NY) communities rally to help replace 30 LGBTQIA children’s books that went missing recently from The Field Library.

A Massachusetts Secretary of State candidate is building her campaign by targeting queer books and Pride-themed displays.

The ongoing saga between an angry parent and the Gorham (ME) school board continues, with the Committee chairperson recusing herself from an upcoming hearing.

The Flathead (MT) Library Board doesn’t understand constitutional rights.

Nampa (ID) librarian tells the school board that fewer books are not the answer.

Book banning is a “lazy response” to ideas that scare us.

ACLU threatens legal action if the Kent School District (WA) removes Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts).

The drag queen who was reading at the San Lorenzo Library when the Proud Boys stormed in speaks about the experience.

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (CA) officials are reviewing their library book policies after parents complain about the graphic novel Flamer being in an elementary school library.

Newbury Park Elementary School (CA) reported graffiti on its front wall, reading “Pervs wk here,” which came shortly after a parent complained that their third grader was shown a video discussing transgender identity.

Chilliwack (BC) school trustee suggests that some within the school district are “grooming” children, and references All Boys Aren’t Blue to make her point.

5 ways to access books after they’ve been removed from your library.

13 banned LGBTQ+ books to read right now.

How librarians are supporting students amid anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation and book challenges.

“It’s embarrassing.” LeVar Burton fires back at the rise in banned books.

Across the country, educational equity was in vogue. Then it wasn’t.

Books & Authors in the News

James Patterson says that older white male authors experience “another form of racism.” James. Patterson. The most prolific author in the world who consistently takes up multiple shelving ranges in public libraries by himself thinks that older white men are being discriminated against. Not surprisingly, there was a pretty quick backlash to his remarks, and he has since apologized. Sort of.

Roundup of book club picks for June.

A roundup of the books that colleges are assigning their incoming students.

Numbers & Trends

LGBTQ fiction sales are surging in the US, doubling from 2020 to 2021, and increasing 39% from January to May of this year.

A copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio is estimated to reach $2.5 million at auction in New York.

The weirdly specific title trend that’s taken over a lot of literary fiction geared towards women readers.

Award News

The 2022 Lambda Literary Awards were announced.

The James Beard Awards have been announced.

The Ladies of Horror Fiction nominees were announced.

The Costa Book Awards have come to an end after 50 years.

Pop Cultured

Amazon renews The Boys for Season 4.

What to read, watch, and listen to after Gaslit.

On the Riot

How local libraries help welcome refugees.

How to run a successful ComiCon in your library.

On enjoying book adaptations for what they are.

Why your favorite author wants to connect with you.

Patricia Highsmith and her snails.

Small fun ideas for how to read like a kid again.

closeup photo of the underside of a black and white cat's chin

Here’s Dini telling me how snuggle-deprived he’s been. My husband is staying at his parents’ house this week while his older sister and his nephew are in town, so it’s been quieter than usual in the Horner household. This also means that the cats aren’t getting their usual snuggles while I’m at work, so now when I get home, they fling themselves into my lap and tell me just how neglected and deprived they’ve been.

Hopefully everyone gets a chance to enjoy some nice weather this weekend. I’ll check in again on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.