Check Your Shelf

Powerful Aliens and Puny Humans

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I saw the Foo Fighters in concert last Friday, so naturally, my back and my knees are still in significant pain. But it was #WorthIt — Dave Grohl tore through two hours of greatest hits, and brought down the house at the end with “Everlong.” So if you need me, I’ll be rotating through all of their albums on repeat for the next few weeks.

Don’t forget — there’s still time in September for all new free Deep Dive subscribers to be entered to win Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, plus 5 mystery books from The Deep Dive. To enter, simply start a free subscription to The Deep Dive. No payment method required!

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Book publishing has a Toys ‘R’ Us problem: or, what the private equity acquisition of Simon & Schuster could mean for publishing.

The Internet Archive has filed an appeal in the Hachette v. Internet Archive case.

Millie Bobby Brown’s debut novel reignites the debate over ghostwritten celebrity books.

How teens have been priced out of the YA market.

New & Upcoming Titles

Kazuo Ishiguro is publishing a collection of his song lyrics.

Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, has just signed a seven-figure deal for her next two books.

Michael Cunningham has a new book coming out for the first time in over a decade. Day will be released on November 14th.

Christine Blasey Ford, who testified during Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing, is releasing a memoir.

Cedric the Entertainer pays tribute to his grandfather in his first fictional crime novel, Flipping Boxcars.

Bachelorette star Hannah Brown has signed a two-book deal for a pair of romance novels.

Here are all of the big September book club picks.

Cover reveal for Baby X by Kira Peikoff, a thriller for fans of Gattaca and Black Mirror.

Cover reveal for Emma Lord’s first adult rom-com, The Break-Up Pact.

And here’s the cover reveal for Olivia Dade’s At First Spite.

Here’s an excerpt from Omar Epps’ dystopian novel Nubia: The Reckoning.

Here’s an excerpt from Iron Flame, the sequel to Rebecca Yarros’ Fourth Wing.

And here’s an excerpt from Ross Gay’s upcoming The Book of (More) Delights.

8 new crime novels to keep you up at night.

Weekly book picks from Crime Reads, LitHub, New York Times, Wall Street Journal.

September YA SFF releases.

Fall books from Chicago Tribune, EW.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Elon Musk – Walter Isaacson (AARP, Atlantic, CBS, Datebook, Guardian, LA Times, New York Times, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, Vox. Washington Post)

Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier – Arthur C. Brooks & Oprah Winfrey (AARP, Atlantic, People)

The Vaster Wilds – Lauren Groff (New York Times, Slate, Vox)

Exit Interview: The Life and Death of My Ambitious Career – Kristi Coulter (New York Times, Slate)

A House for Alice – Diana Evans (New York Times, Washington Post)

Glossy: Ambition, Beauty, and the Inside Story of Emily Weiss’s Glossier – Marisa Meltzer (LA Times, Vogue)

Nineteen Steps – Millie Bobby Brown (New York Times)

The Death of Public School: How Conservatives Won the War Over Education in America – Cara Fitzpatrick (New York Times)

RA/Genre Resources

Stephen King reveals his approach to writing a mystery novel, and it’s way more Alfred Hitchcock than Agatha Christie.

Black final girls are (literally) killing it.

A reading list of reimagined fantasy tropes.

The dark humor of millennial crime capers.

It’s time to bring back the ’90s legal thriller.

The iconic suspense of Lois Duncan.

The influence of Golden Age detective fiction on YA mysteries.

On the Riot

13 book clubs’ September 2023 picks.

The best new weekly releases to TBR.

8 unputdownable authors like Ali Hazelwood.

What is mythpunk?

Now here’s an interesting display idea: book recommendations for every toxic trait (sort of).

All Things Comics

The post-apocalyptic graphic novel Heart Attack by Shawn Kittelsen and Eric Zawadzki is being adapted as a TV series.

On the Riot

13 manga and graphic novels for fans of Hayao Miyazaki.

9 great graphic novels for preteens.

8 graphic novels about undocumented immigrants.

Book Riot has podcasts to keep your ears listening for days! Check them out and subscribe.


Liev Schrieber will narrate the audio version of Marty Baron’s new book, Collision of Power: Trump, Bezos, and the Washington Post. Schrieber portrayed Baron in the 2015 film Spotlight.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


22 YA books that inspire main character energy.


The 20 best fantasy books to read for ultimate escapism.

20 books to read after finishing Fourth Wing.

10 books about climate change to read right now.

9 books with fabulist worlds that push boundaries.

5 of the best books to read to get smart about AI.

Cozy mysteries with furry sidekicks.

5 SF classics about powerful aliens and puny humans.

7 crime novels set in Las Vegas.

Celebrating Latin & Hispanic culture through food.

New and classic works by authors of Mexican descent.

Books about working while Black, if you liked The Other Black Girl.

4 great indie books about the Jewish experience.

5 international thrillers from Afghanistan to Shanghai.

Thrillers set in remote island locations.

11 essential hip-hop books.

10 awe-inspiring memoirs for book club.

12 modern classics of the thriller genre.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with these award-winning authors.

On the Riot

15 delightful interactive books for toddlers.

8 picture books featuring multicultural and mixed-race families.

Spooky YA reads to set the proper fall vibe.

8 magical libraries in fiction.

8 inclusive romance novels to light your fire.

8 parody horror novels to scare you silly.

The room(s) where it happened: the best political memoirs.

20 of the most thought-provoking philosophical science fiction books of all time.

A room of one’s pwn: 10 fun books like World of Warcraft.

10 mysteries and thrillers based around games.

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 brown haired woman making faces behind two cats sitting next to each other

When my boys start snuggling like symmetrical loaves of bread, I have to jump in. They’re so damn cute!

All right friends, that’s it for me. I’ll check in again on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Stephen King and “MAMBO NO. 5”

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’ve been in desperate need of some heartwarming escapism, and Netflix has delivered with a new season of Glow Up! In the words of Val Garland, “Ding dong, darling!”

Don’t forget, during the month of September, all new free subscribers to The Deep Dive will be entered to win Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler plus 5 mystery books from The Deep Dive. To enter, simply start a free subscription to The Deep Dive. No payment method required!

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The entities that support 13 presidential libraries have issued a statement calling for “a recommitment to the country’s bedrock principles, including the rule of law and respecting a diversity of beliefs.”

EBSCO has unveiled a new tool to help libraries build Spanish collections.

Book Adaptations in the News

Murder, She Wrote is getting a film adaptation.

Here is the trailer for Origin, based on Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.

Teaser trailer for the new Goosebumps series premiering on Disney+.

Censorship News

The US Senate held a recent committee hearing on book bans, and included Illinois’s new Secretary of State and State Librarian Alexi Giannoulias, who spoke about the unprecedented levels of violence and harassment that library employees are facing. Giannoulias also appeared on Good Morning America to talk about book bans.

Harper’s Bazaar has a list of every book currently banned in the US.

Maia Kobabe created a webcomic titled “I Made the Most Banned Book in America.”

Championing inclusivity in library collection policies.

Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma have all integrated PragerU’s right-wing misinformation into classroom lessons.

Ron DeSantis just appointed one of the founders of Moms for Liberty to Florida’s state ethics commission.

A Florida Jewish community center canceled a slavery-focused talk with Jewish author Rachel Beanland, citing “the current political climate.”

Flamer, Blankets, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and Gender Queer have been removed from Fulton County Schools (GA).

A Darien (CT) school board member took it upon himself to craft policies for curriculum and book challenges, which would have removed challenged books for up to six months, and then tried to submit them for legal review. The board chair was NOT happy.

This sums it up: “A PAC vilifying Central Bucks [PA] Dems is warning voters about sexually explicit images by mailing out explicit images.” In the article: “The illustrations are meant for ‘our oldest students,’ said Smith, a Democrat on the board seeking reelection. But the PAC ‘has done more to expose younger students to age-inappropriate material with this mailing than hundreds of library books could ever have done.’” IT HAS NEVER BEEN ABOUT PROTECTING CHILDREN.

“​​More than 46,000 books in the Elizabethtown Area School District’s [PA] four libraries are being reviewed and rated following an update to the district’s policy on library materials.” This is ri-goddamn-diculous.

A look at the state of book banning in New Jersey.

Hoboken, New Jersey, is declaring itself a book sanctuary city.

New Hanover County Schools (NC) have removed Stamped from the curriculum, although it will remain in the school library.

Davie County Public Library (NC) says that Flamer has gone missing after a patron complained to county officials about the book.

Berkeley County Schools (SC) denies the existence of a banned book list, although SOMEONE sent a list of 93 books that are listed for “objections center on graphic sexual content and profanity” as part of a FOIA request from the ACLU. So does this book list exist or not?

Alabama governor Kay Ivey lodged threats against the Foley Public Library in a letter to the Alabama Public Library Service director because the Foley Library refused to get rid of certain “inappropriate” books.

Meanwhile: “A week after Gov. Kay Ivey sent a letter to the state’s library agency raising concerns about whether certain books are appropriate for children, the executive director of the Alabama Public Library Service said decisions about content must be made at the local level…Pack said it’s important for libraries to strike a balance and allow children from all backgrounds to see their families and experiences represented in books too.”

“After expiring all youth library cards at the end of July, Washington Public Library [MO] Director Nelson Appell reported most parents have been ‘very understanding,’ but others are not happy.”

Parents in the Little Miami School District (OH) are in a tizzy because the Scholastic Book Fair had copies of Heartstoppers for purchase. But I thought everything was okay if books were still available to purchase, even if they were removed from schools and libraries! You mean to say these people want to remove ALL access to these books? Can we call it a book ban at that point?

“‘Books are not banned and remain available for purchase if excluded from the curriculum due to inappropriate content. Those who use the word ‘banning’ to describe exclusion from curriculum should be ashamed for perpetuating propagandistic lies.’” Sure, Jan. (IN)

More bomb threats in Chicago and the nearby suburbs, including Aurora, Schaumburg, Libertyville, Addison, and Evanston. One of my friends works at one of the targeted libraries.

An update on book-banning efforts in Wisconsin.

Carver County Library Board (MN) voted unanimously to retain Gender Queer.

Marshalltown School District (IA) presents 20 books to ban from school libraries, thanks to the new state legislation.

Two librarians were fired from the Sterling Free Public Library (KS) over images used for a display, specifically a rainbow infinity symbol that represents neurodiversity and autism awareness, but was mistaken for a Pride symbol. The librarians and two patrons are now suing the town of Sterling. “The lawsuit argues that Sterling library patrons ‘are entitled to a library that embraces a range of viewpoints, not just the viewpoints of those with an aversion to rainbow colors and a disdain for LGBTQ citizens.” Obviously, this is a ridiculous situation, but I’m cackling at the phrase “not just the viewpoints of those with an aversion to rainbow colors.” Call it like it is!

After firing the director of the Campbell County Public Library (WY) for refusing to remove books, the board is now trying to figure out how to handle book challenges.

A letter to the editor in Garfield County (CO) that uses the same tiresome “grooming” language, and also tries to draw a line connecting schools and libraries to child trafficking. Meanwhile, a small group of book crisis actors want to restrict the manga collections in the county libraries.

California is on the verge of passing new legislation that would prohibit school boards from censoring or banning books, curriculum, or instructional materials.

Oakland (CA) librarians say that they feel “more unsafe than ever,” according to an internal report.

Parents are pushing for new children’s department policies after the Coronado Library (CA) used The Rainbow Parade for a Pride-themed storytime.

The Clovis City Council (CA) unanimously voted to not take any action in response to a letter complaining about LGBTQ books in the library.

The California megachurch pushing public schools to the far right.

A new lawsuit aims to block a proposed ballot measure to dissolve the Columbia County Library in Dayton, Washington.

“While libraries tend to remove books if they are damaged or outdated, Peel [ON] district schools have reportedly removed all titles published before 2008.” I’m sorry…what??

Books & Authors in the News

I should have posted this last week, but beloved musician and author Jimmy Buffett died over Labor Day weekend at 76. Florida author Carl Hiassen also wrote about the life of his friend. I grew up listening to Jimmy Buffett’s greatest hits, and his CD always made it into the music rotation for our summer road trips.

Walter Isaacson has walked back a major claim from his new biography of Elon Musk.

Reese Witherspoon chooses Nina Simon’s Mother-Daughter Murder Night as her next book club pick.

Stephen King says he once played “Mambo No. 5” so much his wife threatened to divorce him. More headlines like this, please!

Revisiting Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way.

Numbers & Trends

A letter from Ernest Hemingway about a plane crash he survived just sold at auction for $237,055.

The best-selling books of the week.

Award News

Drew Barrymore has been dropped as the host for the National Book Awards after she announced her decision to bring her talk show back during the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

The US National Book Foundation will be honoring Rita Dove as the 2023 Distinguished Contribution medal winner.

The 2023 Ned Kelly Awards for Australian crime fiction have been announced.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Is BookTok sucking the joy out of reading? has added 566 new words this fall.

On the Riot

How to introduce Dungeons & Dragons in your library.

Authors who work as booksellers.

The best online book clubs, 2023 edition.

True crime: rare book theft edition.

The conflicting ideas that readers must be able to hold.

How to build a book collection.

A history of book curses.

Book Riot has podcasts to keep your ears listening for days! Check them out and subscribe.

a multi-colored tabby cat laying on a marble counter

Another guest kitty photo from my parents’ house! Penny is apparently very camera-shy, but my husband managed to get a great photo of this sassy girl! She loves being held, and loves pestering the other cats in the house. But how can you be mad at that face??

All right, friends. I’ll see you again on Tuesday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

“Mulder, It’s Me.”

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. This is my last full work week before I go on vacation for a week and a half, and as always, I find myself astonished at how quickly that snuck up on me. Send lots of productive thoughts for me!

During the month of September, all new free subscribers to The Deep Dive will be entered to win Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler plus 5 mystery books from The Deep Dive. To enter, simply start a free subscription to The Deep Dive. No payment method required!

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Books about Biden’s presidency are not selling well, mainly because his term has not been marked by nearly the same chaos as Trump’s. (And quite frankly, I don’t think that’s a bad thing)

Amazon issues new AI guidance for its Kindle Direct Publishing platform.

Another follow-up post to the oft-debunked claim that most books sell less than 12 copies.

The New York Times writes about how Utah has become an unexpected hotbed of YA authors.

“A plague on the industry”: book publishing’s broken blurb system.

New & Upcoming Titles

Ada Limón is editing an anthology of nature poems, and working on an initiative with the National Park Service and the Poetry Society of America.

Matt Haig announces a new book: The Life Impossible. It comes out August 2024.

14 new books by Latinx authors to read for Latinx Heritage Month.

8 big new fiction titles from small presses.

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

September picks from Amazon, The Guardian (thrillers), Shondaland, (fantasy, science fiction, SFF crossovers).

Fall picks from Crime Reads, LitHub, New York Times (fiction & nonfiction).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

The Vaster Wilds – Lauren Groff (LA Times, New York Times, Washington Post)

Holly – Stephen King (NPR, USA Today)

Glossy: Ambition, Beauty, and the Inside Story of Emily Weiss’s Glossier – Marisa Meltzer (New York Times, Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

13 mystery authors who are transforming the genre.

Why John le Carré’s The Spy Who Came In From the Cold is the ultimate spy novel.

How to read all 23 Dune books in order.

On the Riot

The best weekly releases to TBR.

September picks for mysteries/thrillers/true crime, romance, SFF, horror, nonfiction, children’s, YA.

8 upcoming nonfiction books to get you excited for fall.

Must-have new poetry for Fall 2023.

5 authors who coined their own subgenres.

Why do authors use different pen names for different genres?

What is the millennial genre?

Book Riot has podcasts to keep your ears listening for days! Check them out and subscribe.

All Things Comics

Celebrity chef ​​José Andrés has written a graphic novel: Feeding Dangerously: On the Ground with José Andrés and World Central Kitchen.

10 of the best detective-based anime.

On the Riot

September picks for comics/graphic novels and manga.

20 trailblazing comic strips that changed the game.

Retro comic rewind: weird horrors.


The September 2023 Earphones Award winners have been announced.

Three new memorable memoirs on audio.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


23 books like the Three Dark Crowns series.

17 Mercury retrograde-worthy YA books with miscommunication tropes.


8 books about the dark history of banana plantations in Latin America.

Thrillers about mother-in-laws from hell.

5 books with devilishly dangerous fairy tales.

Books with pick-me-up power.

5 thrillers with island settings.

The 25 best cookbooks from Great British Baking Show contestants.

10 books that show the lives of school teachers.

20 mystery books to read for your inner sleuth.

8 social thrillers with hard-hitting themes.

6 jaw-dropping thrillers recommended by Gillian Flynn.

Mysteries and thrillers set in the wellness industry.

Thrillers where best friends are the biggest threat.

We have great expectations for these books inspired by Charles Dickens.

On the Riot

Books for Bluey fans of all ages.

Recent YA releases set in the 1990’s.

8 YA book club books to spark great discussions.

9 thought-provoking books like Yellowface.

Quirky new takes on the multiverse.

Mulder, it’s 30: 8 great books for the 30th anniversary of The X-Files.

20 marvelous modern poets.

Short, snacky fantasy for busy readers.

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 black and white cat laying on a hardwood floor

A guest appearance by my parents’ cat, Groucho! You may remember Groucho from about 6 months ago, when he was a shy kitten hiding under the bed. Well, I visited my parents’ house over the weekend for the first time in a while, and not only has Groucho tripled in size, but he was out the entire time! He loved being in the middle of everything, and LOVED getting pets from everyone! What a sweet, brave boy!

All right friends, that’s it for me. I’ll check in again on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Horse Girls in Fiction

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m writing this newsletter on a Wednesday, but I’m already looking forward to the weekend when we’ll be going out for my sister’s birthday…can you say tacos and margaritas??

Don’t forget, during the month of September, all new free subscribers to The Deep Dive will be entered to win Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler plus 5 mystery books from The Deep Dive. To enter, simply start a free subscription to The Deep Dive. No payment method required!

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Under a new initiative, free Narcan will be available at all St. Louis County (MO) libraries – “no questions asked.”

Cool Library Updates

A year after the Vancouver Public Library eliminated fines, here’s how many books are overdue.

The Biblioteca Gabriel García Márquez in Barcelona has been named the best new public library in the world.

16 libraries that managed to be cooler, smarter, and more interesting than any library this writer had ever been to.

Worth Reading

A book is a book is a book, except when it’s an eBook.

Book Adaptations in the News

Denis Villeneuve teases a possible Dune: Part Three.

Amazon and Netflix are competing for the rights to Crime 101, based on a Don Winslow novella.

Book Riot has podcasts to keep your ears listening for days! Check them out and subscribe.

Censorship News

How to alert your school board to right-wing bad actors.

The far-right book ban push has fueled a library exodus from ALA — the Montana, Missouri, and Texas state libraries have already withdrawn, and right-wing legislators in Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming are pushing for similar action.

The new, uneven landscape of public schools.

School Library Journal posts the results from their recent Controversial Books Survey, showing how book challenges have had a marked chilling effect on school librarians nationwide.

A federal judge has blocked HB 900 from taking effect in Texas. This is the bill that would have required book vendors to provide ratings for all of their materials.

Amarillo ISD (TX) is withdrawing from the Harrington Library Consortium: “Because of increasing state requirements to report and track library books, AISD’s Electronic catalogue system through the Harrington Library Consortium is no longer able to service the needs of the district.”

“A group of 10 women volunteers perused the children’s section of the Midland County Public Library’s Centennial branch [TX] on Wednesday morning, taking note of titles they deemed inappropriate for youths.” Yeah, that’s not how library volunteering works.

The authors of And Tango Makes Three have added Escambia County Schools (FL) to their ongoing censorship lawsuit.

The Indian River County School Board (FL) decided to ignore their own policies and removed at least two dozen books based solely on complaints made by Moms for Liberty members at a recent meeting.

The St. Tammany Parish sheriff’s office is investigating an incident where a woman claims she was assaulted at a recent board meeting.

Cumberland (ME) police have concluded that having Gender Queer in the high school library does not violate state obscenity laws. It’s been a little while since I posted an article about the police getting involved with library book matters…apparently this is still a primary strategy used by book crisis actors. (This is sarcastic, of course — I know these strategies will continue, and will likely increase.)

(Paywalled) Exeter Public Library (PA) will not be restricting books from young readers, despite the efforts of township officials.

A Maryland judge has ruled against religious parents who want to pull their children from lessons where books about LGBTQ+ characters are read aloud.

The Worcester County School Board heard from a book crisis actor at a recent meeting, who was upset that she had submitted a challenge for three books, but her request was denied because she didn’t have a student in the district. Quelle surprise.

Members of the “Clean Up Samuels” book-banning campaign may force the closure of the Samuels Public Library (VA) on October 1st.

The teachers union for Prince William County Schools (VA) talks about the list of “sexually explicit” books that the district recently released, and how it’s left staff feeling “overwhelmed and underappreciated.”

Students at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (NC) have been temporarily denied school library access while a parental rights bill is being evaluated.

Alamance County’s [NC] commissioners have bumped an incumbent member of the county’s library committee to make room for a new appointee, who rose to prominence about a year ago when she publicly criticized an LGBTQ-themed book display at the flagship branch of the county’s library system.

The South Carolina Department of Education said it is ending a 50-year partnership with the South Carolina Association of School Librarians over concerns about materials in school libraries.

Hardline conservatives in Lexington County (SC) have suggested creating a morality police force school district commission to screen classroom materials.

One parent was responsible for the removal of 12 books from Horry County Schools (SC). Or another way to report it, one parent was allowed to make parenting and educational decisions for every student in the district.

“On Monday morning, WDHN got an e-mail from the chairman of the Houston County [AL] Commission, Brandon Shoupe, saying public institutions like our libraries are being “infiltrated by political extremists,” something he calls a deeply disturbing trend.” Political extremists, huh? YOU DON’T SAY.

Missouri prisons have banned friends and family members from sending ANY books to incarcerated people.

Book banners in Kentucky get to work distracting librarians and hurting democracy.

(Paywalled) St. Joseph County Public Library (IN) will not be removing two LGBTQ+ books from the teen section.

Hamilton East Library Board (IN) suspends its book reviewing policy following community pushback.

At a recent Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp (IN) board meeting, 14 BCSC librarians and library assistants submitted a letter to the board about how their recent decisions have undermined their professionalism and shown a sincere lack of trust in their abilities to perform their jobs. Also, parents continue to hammer the “groomer” and “pedophile” narrative being pushed against educators and librarians…one parent spoke against “teachers forming close, personal relationships with students,” and discussed statistics on the prevalence of pedophiles working in public schools. Thankfully, the superintendent said that he “cannot tolerate the continued statement about pedophiles.”

For John Green, the battle over access to books has gotten personal.

Bridgette Exmanthe, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for public schools in Mason City, Iowa, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about how she became the “book-banning monster of Iowa” for using AI to identify and remove books containing sexual content. I don’t deny that school leaders are in a very difficult place here, but I’d really like to see more genuine pushback in the face of censorship and fewer op-eds about why AI was the best tool to remove hundreds of books.

I wish I could highlight all of the excellent points made in this op-ed from an Iowa teacher on the nonsensical new state laws, but here are a couple: “Yet here we are, sitting through a district meeting in which our superintendent reads out what SF 496 states is a sex act in incredibly graphic detail. Ironically, it is a thousand times more graphic than any of the material students have available in school libraries and assigned coursework.” And, “Yet, this law and its proponents boil down entire narratives — real or fictional — into two categories: sex or no sex. It’s honestly perverted to think in such a way.”

The Papillion La Vista (NE) school board affirms the decision to keep All Boys Aren’t Blue in the school libraries.

Natrona County School District (WY) is implementing an “opt-in” system for specific books. “Instead of requiring disapproving parents to block books for their children, the [book-banning] parents wanted certain books to be off limits to all students, allowing them access only if their parents approved.”

Pima County Library (AZ) faces a surge of recent book complaints. “‘We’ve been receiving more complaints than usual about LGBTQ material and BIPOC experiences. These are the lived experiences of Black, Indigenous people of color,’ said librarian Kate Demeester-Lane.”

Oregon libraries received the most content challenges since 1992 this year.

“A new proposal from the Matanuska-Susitna [AK] school board would significantly weaken the role of the board’s student representative…Student representative Ben Kolendo asked several pointed questions about the selection process for members of the committee and about the ongoing contract negotiations with the teachers’ union. Two months later, a three-member board policy committee proposed weakening the student member’s role.” WOW. Student exhibits critical thinking skills and asks questions directly related to his student rights, and the district’s response is to punish him.

A Brandon School Division (Manitoba) trustee put forward two motions at a recent meeting: 1) to create a review committee for materials in school libraries and classrooms, and to remove books that contain “adult content,” and 2) make sure that parents are informed “about all activities involving their kids, and about what kids are learning, seeing, and hearing at school.” Neither motion passed.

Numbers & Trends

The best-selling books of the week.

How much have book prices increased since 2019?

Award News

The 2023 Anthony Awards have been announced.

The longlist for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction has been announced.

Here’s a Twitter thread about what it’s like to serve on the Pulitzer jury for fiction.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Is that unread book making you feel guilty? You’re not alone.

On the Riot

How to get students back into reading after summer break.

Who was Cormac McCarthy?

Who gets to be a horse girl in fiction?

a black cat wrapped in an orange blanket, with a stuffed cat toy resting by its head

Gilbert has been dealing with a bad case of suspected allergies, so Blaine tucked him in for a nice little nap and gave him a stuffed animal to snuggle with. Hopefully his sneezes wind down soon!

All right, friends. I’ll see you again on Tuesday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Adam Driver, Romance Hero Inspiration

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m writing this newsletter before the long weekend, so I am eagerly anticipating a chill weekend of doing nothing. Except maybe some reading! I just discovered that digital scrapbooking is an excellent activity to pair with audiobooks, and my free time productivity has increased exponentially.

Attention librarians, booksellers, and book nerds! You can apply to become a Bibliologist for Tailored Book Recommendations and get paid for your bookish knowledge! TBR is a subscription-based book recommendation service where customers receive three hand-picked recommendations per quarter that are tailored to their specific reading likes and dislikes. Of special interest: bibliologists who can recommend across several genres, and mystery expertise is a plus. Click here to read more and fill out an application.

And don’t forget during the month of September, all new free subscribers to The Deep Dive will be entered to win Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler plus 5 mystery books from The Deep Dive. To enter, simply start a free subscription to The Deep Dive. No payment method required!

Collection Development Corner

New & Upcoming Titles

Publishers Weekly has a bunch of big indie titles for Fall 2023.

20 indie books to read this fall.

New indie books recommended by booksellers.

Melissa de la Cruz has a cover reveal for Beyond the Isle of the Lost, a prequel adventure to the Descendants series.

The best and most anticipated books of 2023 (so far).

Weekly book picks from Crime Reads, LitHub.

September picks from Kirkus, The Millions, New York Times.

Fall picks from AARP, Associated Press, CBC (nonfiction), Kirkus (nonfiction), LA Times, Parade (celebrity titles), (indie speculative fiction), The Week.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

The Fraud – Zadie Smith (Guardian, LA Times, New York Times, Washington Post)

Happiness Falls – Angie Kim (Good Morning America, LA Times)

Terrace Story – Hilary Leichter (New York Times, Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

The fanfic-to-romance pipeline goes mainstream.

Related: How Adam Driver ended up as the inspiration for many new romance novel heroes. I will happily jump on this bandwagon!

The strange, secretive world of North Korean science fiction.

In praise of the short novel.

On the Riot

If you want to work in publishing, consider an indie press.

8 upcoming nonfiction books to get you excited about fall.

New weekly releases to TBR.

How this reader became a horror convert.

All Things Comics

On the Riot

9 magic school graphic novels for kids and teens.

The most unique comic book stores across the US.


The best audiobooks for August.

Book Riot has podcasts to keep your ears listening for days! Check them out and subscribe.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


Children’s books that promote a growth mindset.


9 books about women’s loneliness.

10 books for Taylor Swift’s ten eras.

11 books about misunderstood women in history and mythology.

10 books about solitary living.

Legal thrillers for fans of Suits.

On the Riot

The best picture books for building classroom community.

The best YA books for back-to-school.

Must-read historical romance set in the 20th century.

9 historical romance novels for newbies.

10 of the best horror and mystery novels set in the woods.

8 fantasy novels with “no rules, just vibes” magic systems.

Compulsively consumable short story and essay collections.

The 20 most influential fantasy books of the last 10 years.

8 of the best fantasy royalty.

9 great Dutch books in translation.

20 must-read paranormal 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 that includes information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.

a black cat wrapped in a gray sweatshirt with just its head sticking out of th top

This is Gilbert in his happiest environment – wrapped in a blanket so that only his head is visible. He looks rather nonchalant here, but I assure you he was purring up a storm. A happier kitty I’ve never seen!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. See you on Friday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter

Check Your Shelf

“A Small Number of People Who Are Very Loud”

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. This last week, my husband and I went to see Jurassic Park for its 30th anniversary, with the score performed live by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. HOLY CATS, it was incredible! I’ve seen that movie over 50 times, and yet I was so engrossed that I forgot at times there was an entire symphony playing.

Attention librarians, booksellers, and book nerds! You can apply to become a Bibliologist for Tailored Book Recommendations and get paid for your bookish knowledge! TBR is a subscription-based book recommendation service where customers receive three hand-picked recommendations per quarter that are tailored to their specific reading likes and dislikes. Of special interest: bibliologists who can recommend across several genres, and mystery expertise is a plus. Click here to read more and fill out an application.

Plus, a Deep Dive update! During the month of September, all new free subscribers to The Deep Dive will be entered to win Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler plus 5 mystery books from The Deep Dive. To enter, simply start a free subscription to The Deep Dive. No payment method required!

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

ALA is encouraging libraries to participate in National Voter Registration Day on September 19, 2023.

The Allen County Public Library (IN) reported an unprecedented (positive!) response to their recent community-wide strategic planning survey.

Cool Library Updates

Sal McCloskey, daughter of beloved children’s author Robert McCloskey, drew a crowd of 225 people at the Curtis Memorial Library in Maine as she read her father’s book, Blueberries for Sal.

Worth Reading

A buying guide to current eReaders.

Book Adaptations in the News

Jana Monroe, a former FBI agent and author of the upcoming memoir Hearts of Darkness: Serial Killers, The Behavioral Science Unit and My Life as a Woman in the FBI, will have her latest book packaged for TV.

Dune: Part 2 has been delayed until 2024 amidst the ongoing strikes.

Trailer for The Marsh King’s Daughter.

Trailer for Love at First Sight, which is based on the book The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith.

Censorship News

Library bomb threats continue to increase.

More about the string of bomb threats that have happened to libraries across the country in the last couple of weeks.

The first app to “help” libraries and schools with book bans has arrived, but it’s not what it seems.

“Don’t stand by as books are banned; stand up for libraries.”

In the age of book bans, how independent bookstores can change the world for the better. has launched a fundraiser to purchase a Rainbow Book Bus, “a loud, proud, and very queer bookmobile, bringing queer joy, stories, and community to the towns that need it the most.” They’re almost at 90% of their $150,000 goal!

A banned books bingo card for book clubs.

Texas is leaving the American Library Association.

Book debate gets heated at a Fort Worth ISD (TX) board meeting. Plus, what are the 100+ books that have been removed from Fort Worth ISD? (Paywalled)

“The national debate over books has come to West Texas. And librarians are stuck in the middle.”

Starting this year, Katy ISD (TX) parents will be notified whenever their child checks out a library book.

“It’s an irony of the book banning movement that the people who want to remove books from school libraries can’t stop themselves from reading aloud what they describe as “pornography” in crowded school board meetings, often with children present.” This is in Round Rock ISD (TX).

Paywalled: The Granbury ISD (TX) board has censured the trustee accused of sneaking into the school library to review books.

“In images taken from school district videos, parent Bruce Friedman, left, addresses the Clay County School Board on Aug. 4, 2022, and teacher Vicki Baggett, right, speaks to the Escambia County School Board on May 16, 2023. Together, the two advocates submitted more than 600 book complaints over the last year, accounting for more than half the statewide total.” TWO PEOPLE. TWO.

“The Escambia County School Board on Monday urged a federal judge to toss out a lawsuit filed by authors, a publishing company, parents and a non-profit organization challenging the removal or restriction of books in school libraries.” I bet they have.

How Florida’s Clay County became the book ban heartland of the US.

Paywalled: Some of the next titles Moms for Liberty will be targeting next. (A really bad article to be paywalled, honestly.)

These are the 43 books that have been removed from Manatee County (FL) schools this year.

Cobb County Schools (GA) have removed Flamer and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

Paywalled: “Book ban hits Louisiana libraries with This Book is Gay.”

“Frustrated with the slow pace that has kept dozens of books — mostly those with LGBTQ+ themes — sequestered from the rest of the collection, one patron submitted three more book challenges to titles she described as anti-transgender.” This is at the St. Tammany Parish Library (LA), where the board is also discussing policy changes that would allow them to toss challenges submitted under false names, or challenges from patrons who had not read the material in question.

22 challenges to Maine school library books have been filed since 2022. Some of the noteworthy points in the article: about a third of the people who filed challenges admitted to not reading the book in its entirety, at least two people reported using the M4L website BookLooks to support their challenge, and only the RSU 56 district has actually removed a challenged book. (It was Gender Queer.)

Galway (NY) school board overwhelmingly voted against banning The 57 Bus and Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience.

Two teenagers in Orchard Park (NY) have created a group known as Students Protecting Education, which will help teach other students how to speak out on educational issues, such as book banning.

Librarian Sharon Coronado, who works at the Ligonier Valley Library (PA), says that when it comes to book bans, “It’s a small number of people who are very loud.”

Hempfield Area School Board (PA) is establishing new guidelines that require schools to post lists of books to be purchased, and then parents have up to 30 days to submit a form and potentially challenge any of the books from being purchased.

The Oxford Area High School board (PA) voted to override a committee’s recommendation to keep four challenged books in the high school library. The Hate U Give will stay, but the other three books (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Lucky, and The Bluest Eye) will either be entirely removed, or relocated to a restricted area. Why have an advisory committee if you’re going to ignore their recommendations??

The Erie County Council (PA) unanimously passed a resolution against library censorship.

“More than 110 novels and plays – a mix of classic and contemporary literature including several best-sellers and award-winners – are included in Prince William County Schools’ [VA] division-wide “sexually explicit” list of library books and instructional materials.”

An update on the situation at the Samuels Public Library (VA), where the Clean Up Samuels group asked county supervisors to cut funding to the library until it removed books that they found objectionable.

Paywalled: How North Carolina’s new Parents’ Bill of Rights will lead to more book bans across the state.

“‘We already have a district policy to vet books,’ Jean Foster, one of the 28 people who spoke out Monday, said. ‘Trust our educators and administrators to do their jobs. Stop wasting the limited time and resources we have, and get on with the business that our district needs from this board instead of pandering to the agenda of a small minority comprised mostly of the members of a known hate group.’” MORE. OF. THIS.

After a five-hour board meeting, the Catawba County School Board (NC) has removed Out of Darkness from high school libraries. This happened after a sitting board member challenged Out of Darkness and Beyond Magenta, a review committee recommended that the board retain both books, the board member appealed that decision, and the board ultimately decided to remove Out of Darkness. (Beyond Magenta was allowed to stay.)

Inside the 44 books challenged at the Prattville Public Library (AL).

Children under 15 need parental permission to check out anything from the Foley Public Library (AL), and there are 24 books currently under review. Also, this is yet another article that centers its reporting around the book banners – can we stop pretending that their platforms are valid?

Dothan Houston County Library (AL) confirms that there is no “sexually explicit” content in the children’s section. Now what I really want to see is a second part to that statement, saying that libraries have NEVER put sexually explicit content in the children’s collections, and that this entire argument is nonsense and not worth engaging with.

“The Ozark Dale County Library [AL] pulled all young adult LGBTQ+ books from the shelves to review them after a complaint from Ozark Mayor Mark Blankenship. The books have been returned to the shelves, but the library is now planning a community meeting to hear from the public and discuss what actions will be taken in the future.”

A group of people who filed book challenges at the Mobile Public Library [AL] have withdrawn the challenges after admitting they had not actually read the books in question.

Columbia-Marion County Public Library (MS) have removed the Heartstopper series for review, with all available copies currently being stored in the director’s office. The article also includes this line about a board meeting on August 9th, which we need to see more of. “During the Aug. 9 hearing, the residents who showed up to speak against the books described them as “pornography”—a claim the Columbian-Progress report did not correct.”

Paywalled: Wilson County Schools (TN) have removed six books since April 2022. Almost two dozen books have been selected for review.

The Rutherford County Board (TN), which oversees all public libraries in the county, voted to remove four books from shelves.

The Anderson County Library Board (TN) approved a tiered library card system to restrict checkouts for minors.

The Knox County Schools Policy Committee (TN) is considering revisions to their book challenge policy.

The Williamson County School Board (TN) is being sued by a group of parents over the decision to keep “obscene” materials on school library shelves.

“Daviess County Public Library Director Erin Waller has reviewed nearly 70 of the 248 titles deemed “inappropriate for developing minds” by the Daviess County Citizens for Decency (DCC4D) group. Waller said she recommends the ones she’s reviewed so far remain in their respective sections” This is in response to the Daviess County Citizens for Decency conducting and releasing an audit of the library’s teen and children’s collections. Waller has also altered the status of all 248 titles to “In repair” or “Being reviewed” so they can’t be checked out during the review process. But WHY is the library engaging with this group?? Have the Citizens for Decency filed official challenges on these books, or is it standard procedure to just let anyone demand on a whim that the library review hundreds of books?

Troy (OH) school board members remove Beyond Magenta from all school libraries, and move Magical Boy from the middle school to the high school.

“Until the full school board votes on this specific topic, there will continue to be a hold on adding any sexually explicit material, but many asked for the definition of what is sexually explicit.” This is at the Brandywine School District (MI), where the board has not yet figured out how to handle books that may be considered “inappropriate.”

“A group of anonymous Iron River [WI] residents is trying to build support in the community to ban what it calls books “promoting gender ideology” from the local library.” Look, if you’re going to ban books, you should have the guts to identify yourself.

Paywalled: Book banners in Marathon County, Wisconsin want the public library to rate the books available to minors.

The Vernon Area Library (IL) received a bomb threat. This is the latest in a string of bomb threats sent to public libraries in northeastern Illinois. I live about 15 minutes from this library.

Paywalled: Empire of Storms is being reviewed by the board at Brainerd Public Schools (MN).

Friday Night Lights has been returned to school libraries in Mason City, Iowa, where the school district had used AI to remove books that may have violated the new state law.

It cost the Grand Forks School Board (ND) almost $11,000 to review six books that were challenged in the district.

Keene Memorial Library (NE) has approved a tiered library card system “of age-specific library cards that allow parents to control what their children can check out.”

A Tulsa elementary school has been targeted by bomb threats twice because of a librarian’s social media post, and the state superintendent has made the situation worse by labeling the video “an example of a ‘woke agenda,’” except he used a modified version of the video created by Libs of TikTok. A state superintendent who doesn’t care that an elementary school has been targeted by bomb threats, and actively spreads the message of a social media account known for targeting teachers and librarians with violence.

Douglas County Libraries (CO) elects to keep all four challenged books on the shelf.

“Library books explained to county commission after complaints by a small group of far-right activists.” This is in Washoe County (NV) and I feel like the headline, intentionally or unintentionally, conveys the ridiculousness of these discussions.

“Pahrump [NV] library trustees declined to make any changes to the public’s book collection on Monday after its director reported that none of the libraries she had surveyed over the past month had censored or banned any youth books about race, gender or sexuality.” Yay?

The FBI is investigating a series of bomb threats made against the Yolo County Library (CA). “Investigators believe there is a connection between the bomb threats and a controversial meeting held at the Mary L. Stephens Library, the Davis branch, days before the first threat.”

After canceling their Social Justice Book Club, the Klamath County Library (OR) has replaced the program with a book club called Real Reads, which will cover similar topics. The primary difference is that a library staff member will not lead the discussion, as commissioners “have expressed concern about taxpayer-funded staff being involved in political discussions in the role of moderators.”

“Did you read the editorial and think that could never happen here? Think again.” A resident of Fort Vancouver (WA) wrote a letter to the editor reporting on what’s happening at the local board meetings. We need more people (and letters) like this.

The Anchorage Assembly (AK) has rejected the mayor’s latest library board picks. One of the assembly members said, “‘They’re essentially pushing the same agenda: to attack our public libraries and schools, and to further a hateful and discriminatory agenda, specifically against LGBTQ youth and adults…But also more broadly against freedom of speech … such as book banning, banning programming such as the drag queen story hour from the public library.’”

Books & Authors in the News

Stephen King, Zadie Smith, and Michael Pollan are among thousands of writers whose copyrighted works are being used to train large language models.

Michael Oher talks about his new book and the controversy surrounding The Blind Side.

The author of the American Girl book The Care and Keeping of You looks back at the book on its 25th anniversary. “I wrote [this book] for girls. This wasn’t the future I imagined for them.”

Numbers & Trends

“Girl” trends and the repackaging of womanhood.

The bestselling books of the week.

Plus, which authors have tried to buy their way onto the New York Times Bestsellers list?

Join Rebecca & Jeff in the First Edition podcast to consider the 10 finalists for the “It Book” of August and pick a winner.

Award News

The Pulitzers look to open books and arts prizes to noncitizens.

In Memoriam by Alice Winn wins the 2023 Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize.

The winners of the inaugural TikTok Book Awards have been announced.

The 2023 Kirkus Prize finalists have been announced.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

This literature clock publishes a quote every minute, but each quote directly references that specific time.

On the Riot

The 10 best librarian characters in TV and film.

A brief history of book dedications.

What this Rioter wishes they could tell their younger reading self.

How reading books about books helped this Rioter bust out of their reading slump.

Why Shakespeare isn’t fancy.

a black, brown, and white dog with a red bandanna laying on the floor

Is that…a dog picture?? Yep. In recognition of all the stress our staff have been dealing with, from nearby bomb threats to massive changes at work, our director brought in a couple therapy dogs as a surprise for staff. Sadie (pictured here) was just the most chill dog I’ve ever met, and she LOVED being able to nap on the floor and get belly rubs for an hour!

All right, friends. I’m done for the week. Enjoy the holiday weekend if you’re in the US, and I’ll check in again on Tuesday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

What’s Happening With Books and AI?

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’ve realized over the last week or so that we’ve received a lot of positive comments from our patrons – not just casual “I love the library!” statements, but patrons seeking us out to tell us how much they’ve enjoyed a particular initiative or program. Our fall newsletter has a Banned Books Week theme, and a patron called to tell us how much they appreciated it, and how much the right to read means to them. Another patron came to the desk to tell us that our summer story times at the local farmer’s market were fantastic. I know not every library is in a supportive community, but I hope all of you are on the receiving end of a nice compliment from a parent or a patron this week.

Make sure to check out Book Riot’s New Release Index, which has been keeping velocireaders in the know about all the latest books since 2017! Subscribe today!

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

How some marketing execs use well-placed ellipses to turn critical rants into apparently rave reviews.

Related: book publicity – what works and what doesn’t.

Understanding AI and how it works.

How AI’s carbon emissions are about to become a problem.

New & Upcoming Titles

Stacey Abrams is re-releasing her espionage romantic thriller, The Art of Desire, which was originally written under her Selena Montgomery pseudonym.

Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury, is publishing a book about Fox News this fall, called The Fall: The End of Fox News and the Murdoch Dynasty.

Cover reveal for Noah Medlock’s debut horror novel, A Botanical Daughter, described as “Mexican Gothic meets The Lie Tree by way of Oscar Wilde and Mary Shelley.”

Here’s a first look at the upcoming book Amy Winehouse: In Her Own Words.

The 6 best romance novels of the summer.

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

The best debut crime novels of August.

September picks from Barnes & Noble (adults, teens, kids), The Root.

Fall picks from AARP (celebrity memoirs), CBC (poetry), Kirkus (fiction), Vulture.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Happiness Falls – Angie Kim (New York Times, Washington Post)

The Bee Sting – Paul Murray (New Yorker, Washington Post)

Join Rebecca & Jeff in the First Edition podcast to consider the 10 finalists for the “It Book” of August and pick a winner.

RA/Genre Resources

Why queer adults love (and need) queer YA media.

Plus: “Heartstopper, Red, White & Royal Blue, and Bottoms lead a new surge of LGBTQ content.”

Why readers are hungry for Colleen Hoover.

Understanding Elon Musk through romance novel tropes. (I’m not kidding. That’s what the headline says.)

A crime thriller author talks about the big serial killer myth they’d like to debunk.

On the Riot

What is happening with books and AI?

“AI will never be good enough to replace real authors” is the wrong conversation.

Why the hockey BookTok controversy screams toxicity.

The best new weekly releases to TBR.

What is a “dad book?”

What does it mean if a character is “morally gray?”

What murder mysteries get wrong about bail.

Attention librarians, book sellers, and book nerds! Apply to become a Bibliologist for Tailored Book Recommendations and get paid for your bookish knowledge! TBR is a subscription based book recommendation service where customers receive three hand-picked recommendations per quarter that are tailored to their specific reading likes and dislikes. Our bibliologists pull on collected decades of experience to find the right books to surprise and delight our customers.

Think you have what it takes to recommend books with the best of them? We’re especially interested in those good at recommending across several genres; mystery expertise is a plus. Click here to read more and fill out an application.

All Things Comics

Jeff Smith, creator of the Bone series, cancels his book tour following a cardiac event.

10 page-to-screen graphic novels & comics to enjoy.

On the Riot

What we (don’t) talk about when we talk about adult graphic nonfiction books.

Reading pathways for Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon.


Hear actor Adam Scott read a short story from the anthology, From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi.

Disney’s Frozen podcast marks the company’s first foray into audio-first storytelling.

10 must-listen audiobooks for September.

Where do audiobooks come from?

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


Evocative books by Afro-Latine authors to read with your child.

15 book recs for fans of We Were Liars.


A climate change reading list.

5 SFF books with superpowered characters.

7 books about reckoning with intergenerational trauma.

The top 10 female spies in fiction. and USA Today have reading recommendations for fans of Heartstopper.

5 fast-paced African urban fantasy books.

Powerful female characters in crime fiction.

A reading list of comeback stories.

5 book recommendations from Harlan Coben.

6 book club reads with themes tied to current events.

On the Riot

12 books to encourage kids to go outside.

Young adult authors who made their adult fiction debuts.

The best quietly sad, contemplative books for when you’re trying to feel something.

11 romance novels featuring romances between celebrities and regular people.

10 terrific transhumanist sci-fi books.

12 of the best opposites attract romance novels.

9 terrifying road trip horror novels

23 must-read military historical fiction novels.

20 award-winning historical fiction books.

10 fever dream books that will have you checking your temperature.

10 books on healthcare inequity and misogyny in medicine.

A back-to-school-inspired reading list for adults.

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 black and white cat sitting in front of an open window with its tail curled over a stack of books

Dini keeps watch on the outside and stands guard over our books.

Well, that’s all I have for today. By the time I check in again, it will be September! *insert shocked emoji here* Have a great week!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

AI and Educational Intimidation

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. All of my co-workers and I are trying to get through the week without worrying about bomb threats. I’ll have a link in the Censorship News section, but five libraries in the Chicago area and northern suburbs received false bomb threats within the last week. No culprit or motive has been determined yet, but at this point, all of the censorship news and violence towards libraries feels very intertwined.

Need a distraction from the news? Check out Book Riot’s New Release Index, which has been keeping velocireaders in the know about all the latest books since 2017! Subscribe today!

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association issued a statement in support of the recent wildfires in Maui.

The Lafayette Parish Library board just voted to terminate director Danny Gillane, although there are now reports that the board may have violated open meetings law in their executive session.

A judge approved the final injunction in the copyright case between publishers and the Internet Archive. Meanwhile, music labels have sued the Internet Archive for copyright infringement over digitized vinyl records.

A federal judge has ruled that AI art can’t be copyrighted.

Book Adaptations in the News

Here’s the trailer for The Other Black Girl.

And here’s the first teaser for the new Percy Jackson series.

10 books you didn’t know were getting adapted.

Censorship News

Districts are turning to AI to ban books.

A new PEN America report shows a surge in “educational intimidation” bills.

Who, or what, is fueling conflict at the public school board level?

Here’s a look at the 400+ books that banners are eager to pull in Texas.

Fort Worth ISD (TX) libraries will be closed to students for two weeks as over 100 books are reviewed.

San Antonio ISD (TX) budget cuts have left 30 certified librarians in a district of 45,000 students.

Midland County Library (TX) commissioners voted to relocate “obscene” library books, and have terminated their ALA membership.

(Paywalled) A Taylor Public Library (TX) advisory board has recommended moving Gender Queer from the teen section.

Katy ISD (TX) is reviewing dozens of books, including Captain Underpants, which is the most eye-rolling controversial book. I can’t think of a book MORE appropriate for kids than Captain Underpants. And don’t forget, last week, Katy ISD school board members voted to give themselves more power to ban books.

Klein ISD (TX) has been removing contentious books through “weeding,” which, as we all know, is not the purpose of actual weeding.

Miami-Dade School District (FL) removed the book Daddy’s Roommate, even though no formal challenge was made.

Books banned in other states fuel Vermont lieutenant governor’s reading tour.

People Kill People, It Ends With Us, All Boys Aren’t Blue, Jesus Land: A Memoir, and Red Hood will be removed from the Clyde-Savannah Central School District (NY).

“‘We’re not infringing on any freedom of speech,’ said Garman. ‘They have access to these books. These books are not banned. A banned book is a book that you cannot have access to and can’t find it anywhere. You can find these books anywhere.’” I don’t need to explain why this is a load of horse shit, but I’m going to anyway: 1) This definition is just flat-out incorrect. 2) There are plenty of First Amendment laws and court cases that absolutely disagree with this statement. And 3) This person is just ignoring the fact that the goal is to remove these titles from schools, public libraries, AND commercial booksellers in some cases. Will this person consider themselves a book banner at that point? [PA]

The Pennridge (PA) school board is forced to answer questions about the district’s recent “weeding” project.

Telford (PA) residents voice support for the Indian Valley Public Library, where two council members have attempted to defund the library over allegedly inappropriate books.

Carroll County Schools (MD) have removed 53 books while they undergo review, which, of course, is still censorship.

Spotsylvania Schools (VA) are accepting book donations from Brave Books for school libraries. Brave Books is the conservative, Christian-based company that sponsored Kirk Cameron’s nationwide push to offer Christian storytimes at public libraries.

As the situation at the Samuels Public Library (VA) continues to unfold, it looks as though one of the county supervisors submitted multiple complaints and book challenges on behalf of the “Clean Up Samuels” campaign. Also, this is a good example of a reporter digging into the hypocrisy, lies, and misdirection of a local official who absolutely wants to ban books but doesn’t want to be publicly labeled a “book banner.”

Teens will be able to continue using the Botetourt Public Library (VA) without parental supervision.

The Charlotte (NC) school board could approve a plan that gives parents the power to review all textbooks in person.

New Hanover County Schools (NC) will make a final decision about Stamped next month.

13 books that are banned in North Carolina prisons.

A panel of retired educators has rejected an Atlanta school district’s recommendation to fire an elementary school teacher who read My Shadow is Purple to her 5th grade class.

Georgia has made it easier for parents to challenge school library books, but almost no one has done so. Again, this is proof that it’s only a tiny group of people calling for book bans. The majority of citizens don’t want this!

Level funding of the Autauga-Prattville Public Library (AL) enrages book banners.

Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library (AR) is making it so that only library cardholders can submit a book challenge.

Amid a months-long fight over censorship, the Saline County (AR) board voted 11-2 to cut the power of the library board and give County Judge Matt Brumley the power to hire and fire librarians. If this sounds like a fascist takeover, that’s because it is.

A Catholic school outside of Kansas City, Missouri, has expelled a straight-A student after his mother opposed the school’s LGBTQ book ban.

The director of the Anderson Public Library (KY) says she started carrying a gun after receiving threatening phone calls about the library’s Pride display.

“The Daviess County Citizens for Decency (DCC4D) group said it completed an audit of books in the teen and juvenile sections of the Daviess County Public Library [KY] and “uncovered a combined 248 titles that are inappropriate for developing minds.” The DCPL board told Owensboro Times it is reviewing the list, and we will follow that process.” Maybe I’m reading this incorrectly, but it sure sounds like a community group is dictating the actions of a public library, and folks, that’s not how this game is played.

“Noblesville [IN] school board members voted Tuesday to appoint an English teacher to the Hamilton East Public Library Board, removing a fellow school board member from the library board: the president who was behind a push to remove “inappropriate” books from young adult sections.”

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is asking for an opinion from the attorney general on whether banning LGBTQ books constitutes a form of discrimination.

The West Bend (WI) superintendent is recommending that The 57 Bus and The Kite Runner be removed as optional reading selections from the curriculum.

5 libraries in Lake County (IL) and the northern Chicago suburbs received bomb threats via their ChatReference services. My library was not one of them, but we are smack dab in the middle of that area, and pretty much every library district around us is on high alert. Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias condemned the recent threats.

St. Charles County (MN) passed a resolution scolding the public library for promoting “political agendas” and seeking to limit employees’ online political speech. The uproar started back in May “after a mother saw a [library] worker with a goatee, makeup, nail polish and earrings.”

The Alta Library (IA) is still struggling with how to comply with the state’s new book banning law, as the law only applies to school libraries, but Alta serves as the local school library and the local public library.

Although not directly tied to banned books or schools and libraries, this news item is definitely still relevant: “A police raid on a rural Kansas newspaper is unconscionable and un-American.” The raid may also have directly contributed to the death of 98-year-old newspaper co-owner Joan Meyer.

North Dakota librarians breathe a sigh of relief as the new state legislation against “obscene” materials has little effect on public libraries.

“Gov. Mark Gordon, State Library Division Director Patricia Bach and State Librarian Jamie Markus sent a letter to the American Library Association on Aug. 14 expressing worry that the organization “has become politicized” and calling on the group to open discussions with Wyoming to address the concern.”

More about the firing of former Campbell County Public Library (WY) director Terri Lesley.

The Douglas County (CO) library board is considering banning four LGBTQ+ books.

The Utah Parents United group is sharing videos on how to pressure your child’s teachers over book bans.

Calls for an LGBTQ book ban at the Rio Rancho Public Library (NM) seemingly backfire.

As book bans rage nationwide, a Washington library could be the first in the nation to close.

Books & Authors in the News

Stephen King writes in The Atlantic about how his books were used to train AI.

Dead authors like Stieg Larsson, Agatha Christie, and Vince Flynn keep churning out books. Shouldn’t they be allowed to rest in peace?

Hank Green says that he is in complete remission after receiving a cancer diagnosis three months ago.

Numbers & Trends

BookTok helped book sales soar, but how long will that last?

The best-selling books of the week.

Join Rebecca & Jeff in the First Edition podcast to consider the 10 finalists for the “It Book” of August and pick a winner.

Award News

The 2023 American Book Award winners have been announced.

Venomous Lumpsucker by Ned Beauman wins the 2023 Arthur C. Clarke Award.

The 2023 Splatterpunk Awards have been announced.

On the Riot

Join the Maui relief effort readathon!

What are story windows?

This Rioter reflects on how well their old favorites hold up.

a black and white cat enjoying scritches around its ear

Dini just wants you to know how much he enjoys his head scritches.

All right, friends. Stay safe, and hopefully you don’t have too hot of a weekend. I’ll see you on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter

Check Your Shelf

The Proliferation of AI

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. Over the weekend, my husband and I got to partake in a new tradition with his parents known as Vinyl Night. They invite people over for dinner and drinks, everyone brings a few favorite records, and we each pick a side to play. It was a really chill evening, and a lot of fun if you have family or friends who are into vinyl! We had Ray Charles, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, the Isley Brothers, and the Foo Fighters going that night, and we’re already strategizing about which vinyl we want to bring next time!

Now to bring it back to books, make sure to check out Book Riot’s New Release Index, which has been keeping velocireaders in the know about all the latest books since 2017! Subscribe today!

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Authors and booksellers urge the Justice Department to investigate Amazon’s domination of the book market.

Fiction authors fear the rise of AI, but also see it as a story to tell. Novelists also remain fascinated by the pandemic, unsurprisingly.

Publishing scammers are using AI to scale their grifts.

A discussion of abridged books.

New & Upcoming Titles

Stephen King says he may continue the Talisman series following the death of his co-author Peter Straub.

Tana French answers questions about her next book, The Hunter.

Kate DiCamillo reveals the cover of her upcoming middle grade novel, Ferris.

Emily Henry has the cover reveal for her upcoming book, Funny Story.

Kellye Garrett has the cover reveal for her upcoming thriller, Missing White Woman.

Another cover reveal! This time for Abby Jimenez’s Just For the Summer.

Copies of the published Oppenheimer screenplay are selling out on Amazon.

Here’s a first look at Karan Feder’s upcoming book, Barbie Takes the Catwalk: A Style Icon’s History in Fashion.

150 of the most anticipated books for fall.

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

August picks from Crime Reads (international crime fiction).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Wifedom: Mrs. Orwell’s Invisible Life – Anna Funder (Guardian, Washington Post)

The Invisible Hour – Alice Hoffman (Shondaland, Washington Post)

Thin Skin: Essays – Jenn Shapland (LA Times, Shondaland)

The Fraud – Zadie Smith (Guardian, Vogue)

Learned by Heart – Emma Donoghue (Washington Post)

Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury – Drew Gilpin Faust (New York Times)

Evergreen – Naomi Hirahara (NPR)

RA/Genre Resources

How women authors are redefining the hip-hop books canon.

Influencer noir and the dark side of fame.

The essential Ursula K. Le Guin.

On the Riot

New summer releases for Women in Translation Month.

Goodreads users’ most anticipated books for fall.

12 queer books from the first half of 2023 you may have missed.

The best new weekly releases to TBR.

How accurate is climate fiction?

All Things Comics

Aubrey Plaza may be playing the role of Kathryn Hahn’s ex in Agatha: Coven of Chaos. (And my husband’s interest in the show just suddenly rose!)

A look at the spike in video game/graphic novel tie-ins.

Why Marjane Satrapi is done with comics, but never with art or the revolution.

13 YA scifi graphic novels.

On the Riot

Middle grade graphic novels that dive deep.

Join Rebecca & Jeff in the First Edition podcast to consider the 10 finalists for the “It Book” of August and pick a winner.


A new role for Werner Herzog: the voice of AI poetry.

AI is coming for your audiobooks. You’re right to be worried.

3 gritty new crime fiction audiobooks.

16 mystery audiobook listens for every mystery lover.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


Spanish and bilingual board books.


5 books about vampires.

10 books about the search for truth.

5 mysteries for performing arts lovers.

27 of the best beach reads.

Picks for Women in Translation Month.

10 novels about mad scientists.

5 fascinating retellings of Norse mythology.

7 books about how marriage really works.

8 unforgettable books about missing persons.

The best books to help you find work-life balance.

Feel-good readalikes for fans of Red, White, and Royal Blue.

A reading list to prepare you for the alien invasion.

20 books like The Only Murders in the Building.

6 eye-opening books about AI.

6 lovely books recommended by Emily Henry.

On the Riot

The 20 most influential picture books of all time.

9 of the most unique magic systems in YA fantasy.

20 must-read books about books.

10 pen pal romance novels.

8 nonfiction books about feelings and emotions to help you process.

Books where ghosts help solve a mystery.

Sci-fi books about a dying Earth.

Feminist sci-fi dystopian novels.

20th century books and movies retold.

4 books per season for all you seasonal readers out there.

A year of books: one book for each month.

8 psychopomps across mythology and literature. (You’ll have to click on the link to find out what a “psychopomp” is.)

8 queer baking and cooking romance novels for foodies.

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 black cat asleep with its head thrown back into the corner of a couch

Gilbert is either the sassiest sleeping cat I’ve ever seen, or he’s just DONE with the week. Either way, I’m feeling it.

Well, that’s it for me. Back again on Friday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

I Got 99 Problems, But a Library Card Ain’t One

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I am currently riding the high of a fantastic walk-off win by the Chicago Cubs, and it’s a good thing, because that’s what’s currently getting me through the slog of book banning updates in this newsletter. You have been warned.

In better news, make sure to check out Book Riot’s New Release Index, which has been keeping velocireaders in the know about all the latest books since 2017! It’s new books for days! Subscribe today — you won’t be able to read them all, but it’s fun to try. 

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

EveryLibrary and Book Riot are partnering to launch a Parent Perceptions Survey on public libraries and current issues.

Lahaina Public Library stands damaged among the wreckage of Maui’s fires.

Cool Library Updates

How library cards became the hottest Jay-Z merch.

C-Span and the Library of Congress are teaming up for a new series called Books That Shaped America.

Book Adaptations in the News

Prince Harry and Meghan’s production company will be adapting Meet Me By the Lake for film.

Here’s a first look at The Fall of the House of Usher.

Trailer for The Changeling.

Censorship News

Was Brave Books’ storytime takeover even successful?

Emily Drabinski talks about the backlash surrounding her tweet about being a “Marxist lesbian.”

The battle over books comes at a steep cost for librarians and teachers.

We Need Diverse Books will award up to $5,000 in diverse titles to schools and libraries in battleground states where book banning is raging. (Three of them are in Florida.)

Penguin Random House announces a new resource to combat banned books.

In self-censorship news, PEN America released a report on literary backlash, online outrage, and the language of harm.

Here’s an interview with Democracy Forward and their strategies for combatting future book bans.

I’m paywalled from this article, but Katy ISD (TX) school board members now have even more power to decide what students can and can’t read.

Citizens Defending Freedom is challenging over 100 books in Fort Worth ISD (TX).

Former Texas state lawmaker Matt Krause who released that 850 title list of inappropriate books “never thought [his] effort would grow so large.” Why are we giving article space to someone who sees book banning as a career highlight?

“A high school assistant principal and a school board president of a rural Texas town have blasted a far-right, anti-LGBTQ+ board trustee for lying her way into a school library in order to pursue her never-ending “crusade against supposed smut in school libraries.” This is at Gransbury ISD.

A look at how the book banning target is expanding from schools to public libraries in Florida.

The libraries in Escambia County (FL) public schools are not closed…they’re just more empty. Meanwhile, in Orange County, school librarians have to inspect “over a million books” to comply with state law.

Experts warn more AP classes could be banned in Florida.

Lee County Schools (FL) aren’t sure what to do if a parent doesn’t make a decision about their student’s library access.

Clay County School District (FL) has pulled 22 books from shelves in response to the challenges filed by Bruce Friedman, who has made it his life’s mission to ban as many books as possible from the district.

Martin County Schools (FL) have removed 90 books prior to the beginning of the new school year.

Confusion over the new state law leads to the alleged closure of Escambia County (FL) school libraries.

(Paywalled) Concerns over sexual content in Shakespeare have led some Florida schools to pull Shakespeare from the curriculum, or only teach excerpts, which are by their nature devoid of context.

New York legislators are introducing several anti-book ban bills in their next legislative session.

Punxsutawney (PA) School Board Director Deneen “Didi” Evans responds to a proposed policy giving parents expanded power to opt their children out of library books: “’I think this form is great, a step in the right direction, but I really think we as a board should go vote to remove these books that aren’t age-appropriate, and books with sexually explicit material.'”

A small group of Wood County (WV) patrons are raising a fuss about Let’s Talk About It and This Book is Gay.

Why Montgomery County (MD) parents are clashing with schools over the book Pride Puppy and other LGBTQ+ titles. (I’m not a betting person, but I bet I can guess why without even reading the article.)

Parents in Spotsylvania County (VA) want the choice to opt their children out of sexually explicit content in school library books, and then get upset when the school asks them to make that choice.

Hanover County (VA) teachers “will soon have to provide a list of all books in their classrooms and research backing those choices up, according to a revised version of the school division’s new book policy.” They have a list of approved sources that their research has to come from, and Book Looks is on that list. Plus, in the original version of the policy, teachers weren’t given an opportunity to argue their case for keeping “sexually explicit” material in their classroom, to give you an idea of how little the board values the expertise of teachers. `

Fauquier County’s (VA) high schools have posted lists of “sexually explicit” books in response to a recent state law and school policy change.

“Supervisor, who requested 2 books be removed from library, says no one wants to ban books.” It’s always the book banners who say “No one wants to ban books, isn’t it?” I appreciate this headline very much. It’s referring to the Samuels Public Library in Virginia, where the director has recently resigned in response to all of this book banning nonsense.

A New Hanover County (NC) resident quoted the Bible and invoked Jesus in order to explain why Stamped should not remain on library shelves.

The Iredell-Statesville School District (NC) continues to be a hot mess. A couple choice quotes from this article: “Why does a committee have to read a 300-page book and then discuss whether it is appropriate, [Vice Chairman Mike Kubiniec] asked, when the highlighted passages that describe sexually explicit behaviors could be reviewed and a decision made?” and “Board member Brian Sloan offered a simple suggestion. ‘If there is one word that a kid can’t speak, then I don’t think it should be inside a school library.’” Y’all, I can’t even.

The Fixer will be returned to Beaufort County (SC) School District shelves.

Alabama is trying to cut ties with ALA.

The Marion County (MS) public library has removed Heartstopper while it addresses a pending challenge.

(Paywalled) In Arkansas, Jennifer Meeks, the wife of a state representative, went on Facebook to talk about how she removed LGBTQ+ and Pride-related titles from Little Free Libraries in Conway and replaced them with other “less objectionable” materials. But according to the headline, her husband has denied these claims, despite his wife’s Facebook post.

Michigan legislators are working on their own set of anti-book ban bills.

The Patmos Library (MI) is going to try to get their funding approved a third time. Their compromise to the bigots who were willing to defund the library over only four books is to add “content descriptions” to the covers of all 90,000 books in their collection. “The labels would be copied from book descriptions from the Library of Congress or book-selling websites like Amazon. The labels won’t include anything written by the staff or the library board. While not offering warnings, those descriptions could provide clues to parents about content some may find objectionable for their children.” AKA information that parents could look up ON THEIR OWN. Or just read the back of the damn book! What a spectacular waste of library time and resources!

John Green calls Hamilton County’s (IN) decision to remove The Fault in Our Stars from the teen section at Hamilton East Public Library “ludicrous.” “It is about teenagers and I wrote it for teenagers. Teenagers are not harmed by reading TFIOS.”

Paywalled: One of the Hamilton East trustees may lose his seat, and while there aren’t any specific details, he has not agreed with the board’s book banning efforts.

“A group protesting “inappropriate” books in Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. libraries [IN] took over the public comment section of Monday night’s school board meeting, taking advantage of a new policy that allows the public to talk about any subject, whether or not it is on the agenda.”

Talcott Library (IL) patrons are arguing that This Book is Gay is emotionally damaging to young children. One person said, “If I came across this at that age, it would be emotionally terrible for young children. These types of books make easy targets for young predators.” You know what’s damaging? Active shooter drills and our elected leaders not giving a flying crap about children dying at school. You know what’s not damaging? Reading about LGBTQ+ people.

The Illinois book ban legislation is great for schools and libraries but overlooks censorship in prisons.

Urbandale schools (IA) allegedly have hit pause on removing books referencing gender identity and sexual orientation.

Legislators aren’t telling you what the Iowa book ban law really says.

Mason City Community School District (IA) is using ChatGPT to help them remove sexually explicit titles.

Grand Forks School Board (ND) will not be removing six challenged books.

“After 130 days of waiting on an open records request regarding alleged pornography in schools, the Oklahoma State Department of Education said they do not maintain such a list.” Quelle surprise.

Academy School District 20 in Colorado Springs has returned Push and Identical to library shelves, primarily because the school removed them without receiving an official challenge or following any established protocol.

There’s a legal case happening in Colorado, where the law is currently being interpreted to provide anonymity for people who submit book challenges, under the guise of patron privacy. This article explains why that’s a bad interpretation for democracy, and you can bet that the results of this case will have implications in other states as well.

Lander Valley High School (WY) lost a librarian “due to what he described as a climate of discrimination against LGBTQ+ students and the censorship of educators.”

Natrona County School District (WY) implements an opt in/opt out policy for library materials,

The Campbell County Public Library (WY) board showed cowardice in firing the director.

Vancouver Public Library has fielded 17 book challenges and one challenge to a CD in the last year and a half, although none of the items were removed.

“The Australian Christian Lobby has launched a new initiative encouraging their followers to scour their local libraries for books that they think might be suitable for complaints to authorities. Those who are quick to submit suggestions on books to be banned can win prizes.” Y’all………

Books & Authors in the News

Revisiting Michael Lewis’ The Blind Side in the wake of Michael Oher’s lawsuit that says he was never legally adopted by the Tuohy family, and was cheated out of millions of dollars from the movie.

Robbie Robertson’s 2017 memoir hits the best-seller lists following his death last week.

Meanwhile, Jennette McCurdy’s memoir has spent the last year on the NYT’s Bestseller list.

Viola Fletcher, survivor of the Tulsa Massacre, is the oldest woman to release a memoir at 109.

Numbers & Trends

Reports find that YouTube is more popular for book discovery purposes than TikTok for readers between 14 and 25 years old.

Germany’s new KulturPass gave €200 to registered 18-year-olds to spend on “cultural products, events, and services.” In the last two months, books have overwhelmingly made up the majority of purchases.

The books that lost publishers the most money.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

A reading guide for adults who don’t read.

Why reading books can improve your brain health.

On learning to read generously.

Join Rebecca & Jeff in the First Edition podcast to consider the 10 finalists for the “It Book” of August and pick a winner.

On the Riot

The importance of book-centered spaces as third places.

How well does How to Eat Fried Worms hold up on its 50th birthday?

Bookstores with fantastic websites for browsing.

A history of chain letters.

How and where to learn bookbinding.

a black and white cat sitting on a round table

Dini supervising my husband while he makes dinner. Blaine texted me saying Dini kept chirping at his feet while he got dinner in the Crock Pot, and then said “He’s so excited for this dinner…I almost feel bad he can’t eat any of it!”

Well, that’s all folks. I’ll pop back in on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter