Check Your Shelf

The Philosophies of Eloise

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. All anyone’s been able to talk about for the last week is The Batman. My husband and I went to see it last week, and though the runtime was long, the movie was excellent. Everyone I’ve talked to has also flipped out over how impossibly gorgeous Zoe Kravitz is as Catwoman, and yeah, she really nails it. I’m guessing many of your patrons are talking about the movie right now too.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The Hanover (PA) YWCA hosted a Drag Queen Story Time, which drew a crowd of protestors.

Zoombombers disrupt the Brookings Public Library’s (SD) Black History Month program.

Michigan libraries are being targeted by First Amendment auditors and book challenges.

The Parkland (FL) Public Library will name its children’s wing after Gina Montalto, a 14-year-old freshman who was killed in the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Ukraine’s libraries are offering bomb shelters and camouflage classes for patrons.

Cool Library Updates

The Toledo Lucas County Public Library in Ohio is partnering with the nonprofit organization So All May Eat to offer a library cafe that will serve anyone, regardless of their ability to pay.

Worth Reading

Librarians are feeling the burnout.

Regulating the public square when it’s at the library’s front door.

Critical race theory and the banning of Black authors in schools, libraries, and prisons.

How to avoid sharing bad information about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Book Adaptations in the News

Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block is in development at Peacock.

Netflix orders a White House murder mystery drama based on the book The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower.

There’s going to be a third Poirot movie, but it will be significantly different from Death on the Nile.

The BBC is developing the upcoming adaptation of Shuggie Bain.

Sony picks up the film rights to Lucy Foley’s latest novel, The Paris Apartment.

Claire Foy has been cast as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in the HBO adaptation of An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination.

Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer break down the Killing Eve final season premiere.

Margaret Atwood and Ken Steacy’s graphic novel War Bears is becoming an animated TV series.

Under the Banner of Heaven will premiere on Hulu on April 28th.

Walking Dead gets another spinoff series.

The first trailer for Bullet Train has been released.

Banned & Challenged Books

How much does a book challenge cost?

The Texas Library Association has formed a coalition to battle ongoing book bans.

Texas Republicans ask schools to pledge not to buy from vendors that sell Gender Queer, which is…most of them.

Katy ISD (TX) students raise concerns about censorship and intellectual freedom.

Granbury ISD (TX) has given an update on their review of 131 challenged books: 103 have been returned to library shelves, 1 book has been designated for removal due to “sexually explicit content” (the book is not named in the article), 2 books are confirmed lost and not on library shelves in the first place, and 25 are waiting to be reviewed.

Conservative websites are fueling book bans in Texas and across the country.

Texas students push back against book bans for censoring LGBTQ content and racial justice issues.

The Lafayette (LA) library board grants itself the power to ban books.

Bless Me, Ultima is under review in Oklahoma due to “obscene” content.

An Oklahoma legislative committee advances a school library book ban bill.

Campbell County Public Library (WY) rejects two more book challenges: Be Amazing and Sex Plus: Learning, Loving, and Enjoying Your Body.

These Pennsylvania students helped overturn a book ban. Now they’re pushing for a more inclusive education.

The Central Bucks (PA) school board reviews its book removal policy.

The Elizabethtown Area (PA) school board continues its discussion of book bans.

Country star John Rich (of Big & Rich fame) compares teachers to pedophiles in a speech supporting the book bans happening in Tennessee.

Tennessee Republicans back a bill to criminally charge educators and ban books with alleged “obscene” materials.

GOP leaders in Tennessee shy from librarian attacks in book scrutiny push.

Arizona Senate Republicans advance bills to increase the scrutiny of school library books and access to classrooms.

Students sued the Wentzville School District (MO) when they voted to restrict several books. The school board reinstated one: The Bluest Eye.

Dolly Parton fans slam Kentucky State Senator Stephen Meredith for questioning whether or not Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program is “appropriate.” SIR. You have made a grievous mistake.

The Marlboro School Board (NY) has banned two YA books: Dear Martin and The Poet X, and the statement issued by the Board president prompts more questions than answers.

The process to file book complaints is changing at Wake County (NC) Public Libraries.

A group of North Carolina moms staged a “read-in” before a recent Union County school board meeting in protest of proposed changes to the school’s book review policy. The proposed changes would make it easier for the district to censor materials.

Salina (KS) Public Schools decides not to ban All Boys Aren’t Blue from the school library.

Amid an outcry over “pornographic” material, Canyons School District (UT) revamps its book review policy.

A bill banning “pornographic” or “indecent” books at Utah schools passes committee.

An Iowa Senate panel increases proposed criminal penalties for “obscene” school books.

Proposed Iowa legislation defames the work of school librarians.

Sexually explicit books offend Northwest Arkansas parents.

Idaho librarians could face jail time for lending “harmful” books.

The Coeur d’Alene Public Library (ID) denied a request to remove or relocate two books from the children’s department: Prince and Knight and The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish. One trustee gave a great, succinct statement as to why: “Our function is to provide everybody with access to these books, and it’s the parents’ responsibility to limit their children, not our responsibility.” SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK!

Indian River County (FL) refuses to ban most of the 156 challenged books, although 5 will be removed: Blankets, Triangles, Girl 2 Girl, Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda, and Gone Girl.

16 “inappropriate” books are set to be reviewed by Polk County (FL) school officials.

Virginia governor releases a report on “inherently divisive” school policies. Meanwhile, the Virginia Education Department rescinds diversity and equity programs in response to the governor’s order.

Virginia students are passing out books that they fear will be banned if a proposed “sexually explicit content” bill is passed.

Ridgeland (MS) residents voice concerns with library issues, and the mayor had the audacity to say that he’s not trying to ban books. To refresh everyone’s memories, this is the mayor who withheld $110,000 in funding for the library if they didn’t remove all LGBTQ books from their collection. Sure sounds like book banning to me.

Ohio County schools will be making changes to the books used in their curriculum, but say that their choices don’t amount to censorship. In one instance, they have elected not to use the book Seahorse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea, saying that it doesn’t do a good job of teaching the word “shy,” so they will be using a different title. Which, fine, okay, but this is also the “sexy seahorse book” that parents protested in a different district last year, and I just can’t understand why this book has garnered so much negative attention.

A parent group in Elmhurst, IL claimed victory for getting the book It’s Perfectly Normal moved from the children’s section to the adult section, but library officials said, “Um…actually…we didn’t move it anywhere.” (I am paraphrasing.)

Lake Forest High School (IL) has elected to place an age restriction on Gender Queer in the school library, meaning that students younger than 18 have to get a parent’s permission to check out the book.

Floyd County (GA) schools are going to start marking books as “mature” and letting parents sign an “opt out” form if they don’t want their children checking out those books.

Savannah-Chatham County (GA) school board discusses the library book selection process.

Georgia high school students speak out against “classroom censorship” bills.

Over 300 people attended the Hunterdon Central Regional High School (NJ) board meeting on February 28th in support of keeping LGBTQ materials on library shelves.

California school districts are caught in the middle of the culture wars as the right tries to gain control.

Amid the push to ban books, library commissioners brush up on the basics.

Some Barnes & Noble stores have added “Banned Book” displays amid recent controversy.

History professors discuss the effects of book banning in schools.

First the book banners came for Critical Race Theory and LGBTQ people. Now they’re censoring women’s history.

Sex in young adult books is age appropriate.

Books & Authors in the News

Brandon Sanderson raised $15 million on Kickstarter in a single day to independently release a series of four books that he wrote during the pandemic.

More than 1,000 authors have publicly condemned Russia’s invasion in an open letter.

A middle school in Pasadena, California has been renamed after Octavia E. Butler.

USPS is releasing a Shel Silverstein stamp.

Numbers & Trends

Books that are popular in other countries, but not necessarily in the United States.

Award News

The 2022 Women’s Prize longlist has been announced.

The final 2021 Nebula Awards ballot and 2021 Bram Stoker ballot have been released.

The 2022 Ezra Jack Keats Award winners have been announced.

The 2022 Joyce Carol Oates Prize finalists have been announced.

On the Riot

Why librarians should read at their desks.

Who are the librarians of Jeopardy!?

This reader talks about their latest reading obsession: books nominated for major awards.

Is Goodreads actually a good thing?

The sadness of disliking books that everyone else seems to love.

In praise of in-person bookish events.

Footnotes vs. endnotes.

The philosophies of Eloise. (“You have to eat oatmeal or you’ll dry up. Anybody knows that.”)

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

two black cats snuggling on a gray blanket with their paws stretched out

Today’s cat photo is of Gilbert and Dini snuggling, but it’s also a representation of a photo I WISH I had been able to take earlier this week…I walked into our home office to find Gilbert and Dini in the same basket, facing each other, and Gilbert had his front paw squarely planted on Dini’s forehead. Unfortunately, Gilbert moved before I was able to get a picture, but it was exactly as adorable as it sounds.

Okay, all you cool cats and kittens, that’s it for me for this week. I’ll catch you on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

March Picks and a Ton of Publishing Industry Updates

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m taking a four day weekend from my day job, and to celebrate, I’m taking myself out for some good quality second-hand shopping! My wardrobe needed a refresh pre-pandemic, and over the last couple years, I haven’t done much in-person shopping aside from groceries, so I think it’s time. Here’s hoping for some fun patterned shirts and some new cardigans!

Now, let’s talk books.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

The Central European Press is providing free access to ten of its titles on Ukraine.

Russia’s war of words with Ukraine.

Several hundred Russian publishing professionals have issued their own public condemnation of the war, and trade publisher Eksmo issued an open letter saying that publishers could have done more in the leadup to the Ukrainian invasion.

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair has blocked Russia from participating. Other trade shows have also issued statements.

ESPN’s Andscape is launching a book imprint with Disney that will focus on narrative nonfiction and memoir, along with YA and children’s titles.

Seuss Studios will shed new light on vintage art and new voices.

Shawanda Williams launches Black Odyssey Media.

Sarah Jessica Parker launches SJP Lit with Zando.

Chip & Joanna Gaines launch Magnolia Imprint with HarperCollins.

Amazon is closing all of its physical bookstores, and a lot of people are saying “Good riddance!”

New & Upcoming Titles

Eric Holder and Sam Koppelman, a former staffer on the Biden/Harris campaign, are publishing a book about the state of voting rights in the US, coming out on May 10th.

Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator under trump, is publishing a book in April called Silent Invasion: The Untold Story of the Trump Administration, Covid-19, and Preventing the Next Pandemic Before It’s Too Late.

Stephen King’s next novel, Holly, focuses exclusively on his recurring character, Holly Gibney. (You may remember Holly Gibney from The Outsider and the Bill Hodges trilogy.)

Victor LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom is getting a special hardcover edition in September. ​​

And speaking of special hardcover editions, check out this new edition of The Haunting of Hill House!

Jennifer Lopez and Jimmy Fallon are teaming up for a bilingual children’s book, coming out in October.

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

Indie speculative fiction picks for February.

March picks from Barnes & Noble, Bustle, CBC, Crime Reads, Entertainment Weekly, Good Morning America, Goodreads, LA Times, The Millions, New York Times, Shondaland, Time, (fantasy, science fiction, indie speculative fiction), USA Today (rom-coms), Vanity Fair, and Washington Post.

The best nonfiction of 2022, so far.

130 of the best new releases, so far.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Burning Questions – Margaret Atwood (The Guardian, Shondaland, Washington Post)

Checkout 19 – Claire-Louise Bennett (LA Times, New York Times, NPR)

One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General – William P. Barr (New York Times, Washington Post)

In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss – Amy Bloom (New York Times, People)

The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found – Frank Bruni (New York Times, Washington Post)

Aurelia, Aurélia – Kathryn Davis (LA Times, New York Times)

I Was Better Last Night – Harvey Fierstein (LA Times, New York Times)

Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness – Meghan O’Rourke (Esquire, New York Times)

RA/Genre Resources

The continuing appeal of Sylvia Plath.

The coming of age of Black social horror.

A primer on the Jack Reacher series for new readers.

On the Riot

Publishing predictions that never came true.

15 of the most anticipated cookbooks of 2022.

12 exciting memoirs coming in 2022.

12+ 2022 short story collections by Asian authors.

Weekly new releases to TBR.

12 must-read March children’s book releases.

24 must-read LGBTQ books out in March.

Reading pathways for Taylor Jenkins Reid.

What makes a YA book “the best of all time?”

Mystery authors with deep genre backlists.

On reading pandemic fiction during a pandemic.

What is historical fiction, really?

The different types of unreliable narrators.

All Things Comics

AMC Networks Publishing launches with graphic novels, a partnership with Stephen King, and more.

Here’s a closer look at Oscar Isaac’s upcoming graphic novel, Head Wounds: Sparrow.

And here’s a first look at Jamie Lee Curtis’ eco-horror graphic novel, Mother Nature.

On the Riot

Training my brain to read comics and graphic novels.

8 talented multi-genre comics writers.

Celebrate Women’s History Month with these comics and graphic novels.

10 stories of heroes breaking bad.


In praise of running to audiobooks.

Audible has recommendations for Women’s History Month.

If you like Euphoria, you’ll love these audiobooks!

15 audiobooks to listen to right now.

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

On the Riot

How audiobooks helped this reader get over their fear of long books.

8 nonfiction audiobooks to listen to for Women’s History Month.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


16 Gothic YA books to creep you out in the best way.


Ukrainian/Russian reading lists from Barnes & Noble, Electric Lit, New York Times, NYPL, and Oprah Daily.

The 75 best psychological thrillers of all time, from Gone Girl to The Lost Daughter.

Romances about roommates who accidentally fall in love. ​​

Horror novels and novellas written by Black women.

Contemporary fantasy romances.

A queer rom-com reading list.

11 must-read books by Latinas in honor of Women’s History Month.

6 crime novels set in public school classrooms. ​​

6 thrillers that will make even the steeliest readers a little squeamish.

Multi-generational family mysteries.

6 wintery SFF romances to melt your heart.

8 Jamaican women writers you should be reading.

On the Riot

8 picture books about dog sledding.

12 of the best spring books for preschoolers.

8 books for kids featuring entrepreneurs.

8 of the best mental health nonfiction books for teens.

Books for understanding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Historical fiction books with a hint of magic.

Monstrous alien stories to invade your shelves.

Books written by the authors of your favorite TV shows.

Books to read if you love Studio Ghibli.

15 of the best angsty romance novels.

10 queer dark academia novels to obsess over.

20 must-read nonfiction books by women.

11 Ukrainian books available in English translation.

Level Up (Library Reads)

Do you take part in Library Reads, the monthly list of best books selected by librarians only? We’ve made it easy for you to find eligible diverse titles to nominate. Kelly Jensen created a database of upcoming diverse books that anyone can edit, and Nora Rawlins of Early Word is doing the same, as well as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.

black and white cat sitting in a cardboard box looking up at camera

This may be the cutest picture of Houdini we’ve ever taken. Look at those eyes! Those little toofs! That deceptive innocence! He sure knows how to turn the charm on when the camera’s around.

Welp, that’s all I have for right now. I’ll catch you on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently listening to Red Widow by Alma Katsu.

Check Your Shelf

Battling For the Soul of the Library

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. In the world of tiny yet meaningful improvements, my coworker introduced me to the benefits of Aquaphor for my embarrassingly dry hands, and it was like the moisturizing gods shined down on me. I immediately went out and bought some for work and home, and I’m going to keep this stuff on me at all times.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Connecticut introduces its own library eBook bill.

Steven Potter, director of the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, Missouri, has resigned, partially due to the majority-conservative library board, which has focused on blocking programs for LGBTQ youth and pushing back against diversity initiatives.

The Pikes Peak Library (CO) CEO resigns after the City Council appoints conservative board members.

Protestors carrying a Nazi flag disrupted a group reading of The Communist Manifesto at the Red Ink Community Library in Rhode Island.

The American Association of School Librarians has signed a letter calling for a halt on the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation progressing in multiple states.

ALA released a statement in support of the Ukrainian library community.

Cool Library Updates

Relief for renters: libraries assist patrons facing eviction.

Worth Reading

How to avoid sharing bad information about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Lies librarians tell.

The battle for the soul of the library.

10 ideas for building a library of things.

Book Adaptations in the News

An Outlander prequel series is coming to Starz.

Danya Kukafka’s Notes on an Execution will be adapted into a TV series.

Paramount+ has snagged the rights to Flatshare by Beth O’Leary.

Ravi Patel joins the live-action adaptation of Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Here’s the first trailer for Pachinko.

Banned & Challenged Books

A large majority of people reject book bans, according to a recent CBS News poll.

At least seven state legislatures are proposing “book ban” legislation.

Take one step this week towards combating censorship.

Here is an inside look at the discourse, strategy, and organization happening within a private Moms for Liberty Facebook group.

Parents complained at the Marshall County Board of Education (KY) that the book Chasing Lincoln’s Killer is too graphic for middle school students.

North Kansas City students are standing up against a proposed book ban.

The Bluest Eye has been reinstated in St. Louis-area schools.

No determination has been made on challenged books in the Yorktown School District (NY).

The Berkeley County (WV) superintendent has suspended use of The Bluest Eye for the rest of the school year.

Two Hastings (MN) school board members are being accused of censorship for pulling books from the shelves of a recent Scholastic Book Fair. The books were labeled as having “mature content,” and the board members say that they were acting as parents, not as representatives of the school in pulling the books.

The Williamson County Board of Education (TN) voted to endorse a committee’s decision on how to handle recently challenged books, which included removing Walk Two Moons from the English curriculum, and leaving several books in the curriculum with the allowance of instructional adjustments. (I would like to point out that one of the books flagged for potential instructional adjustments is the “sexy seahorse” book a parent complained about last year, and I just have…no words.)

A Nebraska school board member says that books are hyper-sexualizing kids.

The Jackson County (NC) branch of the NAACP has pledged support to the Haywood County chapter in regards to recent book challenges.

Education advocates rally after North Carolina’s Lt. Governor calls for banning certain books.

The Oklahoma Attorney General has dropped their obscenity investigation of 51 titles flagged for review.

A book-banning flare-up in Bentonville (AR) raises a question: was it a stand, or a stunt?

The Conway School District (AR) responds to social media backlash that certain books would be removed from the curriculum, including To Kill a Mockingbird.

A proposal to move All Boys Aren’t Blue to the adult section at the Jonesboro Public Library is sparking censorship concerns.

A Silver Lake (MA) parent has requested that the school pull the book So Far From the Bamboo Grove from the seventh grade curriculum.

In a recent poll of registered Texas voters, 47% of respondents indicated that they had little to no confidence in the ability of local librarians and school officials to properly evaluate which books belong in public school libraries.

Denton ISD (TX) students petition the district to keep diverse book titles.

A McKinney ISD (TX) couple has challenged 282 books for removal within the district.

The Granbury ISD (TX) removes 130 books while rewriting the district’s book review process. Although most of the book have been returned by this point, the ACLU has called on the district to apologize.

The Texas statewide debate over books in school libraries has reached Westlake.

The Gunnison County Library District (CO) will not remove or reclassify Gender Queer.

Waltham Public Schools (MA) elect to keep Gender Queer and This Book is Gay on school library shelves.

Parents in North Smithfield (RI) question the presence of “inappropriate” books in public school libraries, including Beloved, Two Boys Kissing, Drama, and This One Summer.

Here is a list of all of the books that have been removed by the Duval County School District (FL) since 1978, along with the reasons for their removal.

The Jeffersonville Library adds an LGBTQ+ section. Here is a case where I understand that the intentions are good, and that the change was requested by a local member of the LGBTQ community, but libraries need to come up with ways for patrons to easily access these books without physically separating or distinguishing them from the rest of the collection.

Some US school systems pause diversity programs amid pushback.

Activism grows nationwide in response to book bans.

From book bans to “Don’t Say Gay” bills, LGBTQ students feel “erased” in the classroom.

The GOP is using “parental rights” to end public education as we know it.

What students are saying about banning books from school libraries.

To those who want to ban books: why are you so afraid of ideas?

Books & Authors in the News

Leonard Kessler, children’s author and illustrator, has died at 101.

Children’s author Shirley Hughes has died at 94.

Willow Smith is being criticized for racist and Islamophobic content in her upcoming book.

Colleen Hoover isn’t sure how she became TikTok’s favorite writer, but she’s enjoying the ride.

Numbers & Trends

Which children’s books have been in print the longest?

And which children’s books are the most popular in each state?

Major book statistics about readers: the pandemic edition.

Award News

Will Smith’s and Cicely Tyson’s memoirs both won NAACP Awards.

Here are the winners of the PEN Literary Awards.

The Ray Bradbury Prize finalists have been announced.

On the Riot

Clara Stanton Jones: Librarian and advocate.

The reading statistic that may change your life.

6 tips to help you find your groove if you’re trying to get back into reading.

Additions to a high school English class reading list that this reader would like to see.

The science and recent history of bookstore design.

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

black cat jumping on a black and white cat black cat and black and white cat wrestling on a gray couch

Gilbert and Dini have their snuggly, friendly moments, but don’t let that fool you. They wrestle more frequently than they snuggle, or rather, Dini jumps on Gilbert and Gilbert has to kick Dini in the head in order to free himself. (However, the first picture shows Gilbert in full-on “ATTACK!” mode, so it’s not always Dini starting the fights.) These tussles usually happens about an hour before mealtime, and the two of them just morph into something resembling a silent, black tumbleweed. But considering Gilbert’s just a couple months shy of his 16th birthday, he holds his own pretty well.

That’s all I’ve got for this week, folks. I have no idea what the world will look like by the time the next newsletter rolls around, so I guess we’ll just take stock when we get to that point. Catch you on Tuesday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Reading Lists For Understanding the Crisis in Ukraine

Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where world events have drastically changed since the last time I put the newsletter together. I’m not quite sure how to process all of this…plus on top of all that, my state’s mask mandate has ended this week. Maybe that’s why my anxiety has been super high recently?

So a few positive things that have happened recently: my library hosted a very positive book club discussion of Gender Queer, I finally got to watch the eye-candy spectacle that is House of Gucci (verdict: not a movie with a ton of depth, but the film is gorgeous, the 80’s soundtrack is banging, Lady Gaga was great, and I still found Adam Driver ridiculously attractive despite the glasses), and I have a couple PTO days next week. So…I’m just going to hang on to that for a little bit.

Let’s talk books, shall we?

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Russia’s war of words with Ukraine.

Indie publishers start to look past the pandemic.

New & Upcoming Titles

The New Yorker teams up with Celadon for a book version of the House Select Committee’s planned report on the January 6th insurrection.

The O.C. actor Ben McKenzie and journalist Jacob Silverman are writing a book about cryptocurrency with a critical perspective.

The publication date for Grady Hendrix’s upcoming novel, How to Sell a Haunted House, has been pushed back until January 2023.

A posthumous novel by Leonard Cohen will be released this fall.

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

February picks from Crime Reads (international crime), and The Guardian (thrillers).

March picks from AV Club, Barnes & Noble (adults, kids/teens), Epic Reads, Kirkus, and New York Times.

Best books of 2022 so far. (Wow, we’re starting early.)

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Life Without Children – Roddy Doyle (LA Times, New York Times, Washington Post)

Burning Questions – Margaret Atwood (The Atlantic, New York Times)

The Paradox Hotel – Rob Hart (NPR,

Vladimir – Julia May Jonas (The Millions, NPR)

RA/Genre Resources

Speculative fiction through a Latin American lens.

On the Riot

What is the literary ecosystem and why does it matter?

The best weekly releases to TBR.

7 of the most anticipated middle grade fantasy retellings.

The best books you’ve never heard of, Winter 2022 version.

10 queer books from indie presses you don’t want to miss this year.

Best thriller books to read in 2022.

Are time traveling books historical fiction or speculative fiction?

Beyond arranged marriages and big fat weddings: romance in Indian literature.

To read or not to read: book recommendations.

9 ableist tropes in fiction we could all do without.

All Things Comics

Hayao Miyazaki’s 40-year-old graphic novel is getting an English translation.

Z2 is publishing Tori Amos’ sequel graphic novel, Little Earthquakes: The Graphic Album.

On the Riot

The best graphic novels for beginners. (Or you can learn from my experiences — the first graphic novel I ever read was From Hell by Alan Moore and YOWZA, that probably wasn’t the best book to start with.)

Amazon’s major ComiXology update sparks anger from users.


8 great audiobooks to listen to this month.

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

On the Riot

Wintering with audiobooks: learning how to slow down.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


A reading list for understanding the crisis in Ukraine.

8 books to shed light on what is happening in Ukraine and Russia.

Angie Thomas, Jason Mott, and more recommend books by other Black authors.

8 books about what it means to be human.

7 books to help you get through your Olympic hangover.

20 books that fans of magical realism will love.

10 books to read while you’re waiting for the next episode of Euphoria.

On the Riot

Best dyslexia-friendly books for kids.

10 heart-racing spy books for teens.

14 excellent social thrillers that will change the way you see the world.

15 funny SFF romance books that put the “punch” in “punchline.”

8 stellar sci-fi books with living spaceships. ​​

23 of the most influential fantasy books of all time.

13 queer Black romances that will give you all the feels.

10 time loop books to make you glad tomorrow’s coming.

Historical fiction, meet true crime.

Party like it’s Prohibition: Historical fiction of the 20’s.

8 powerful queer photo books.

10 of the best books for starting a business.

9 of the funniest fiction books you’ll ever read.

10 books to read in your 30’s.

Level Up (Library Reads)

Do you take part in Library Reads, the monthly list of best books selected by librarians only? We’ve made it easy for you to find eligible diverse titles to nominate. Kelly Jensen created a database of upcoming diverse books that anyone can edit, and Nora Rawlins of Early Word is doing the same, as well as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.

a photo of a black cat laying on top of a brown haired woman in bed

Here’s a cat photo from this morning: My alarm went off and I told Gilbert I had to get out of bed, but Gilbert said “NAY. SHAN’T.” So I stayed like that for about 20 minutes because I’m a sucker who doesn’t know how to tell my cats “No.”

Okay, I’m out. Catch you on Friday, when we’ll re-evaluate the state of the world. Be nice to each other this week.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Solar Powered Camel Libraries

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m sure most of you are aware of the heinous situation that trans people are facing in Texas right now, so instead of my usual newsletter intro, I’m going to link to this updating Twitter thread of transgender organizations in Texas that need your support.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The court blocks Maryland’s library eBook law.

Arizona could ease gun rules for schools, libraries, and other public buildings.

An LGBTQ activist was arrested at the Lafayette Parish Library for interrupting a board meeting.

The Boston Public Library holds a “Fill the Library With Love” rally after dealing with several disruptive anti-mask protests.

Owners of a Little Free Library say that its been targeted over LGBTQ+ books.

Cool Library Updates

The Austin Public Library is eliminating late fees.

Worth Reading

Systematically dismantling the library.

Book Adaptations in the News

Let’s all weep for our vanished childhoods: the final episode of Arthur has aired, with the characters in their 20’s in the year 2042.

Mindy Kaling, Amazon Publishing, and Amazon Studios announce Mindy’s Book Studio and a first-look deal.

Tom Hanks will be starring in the upcoming adaptation of A Man Called Ove.

Hillary Clinton’s production company is taking on the movie adaptation of State of Terror.

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu will be adapted for TV.

White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson is being optioned for TV!

Casting update for The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

Banned & Challenged Books

Here’s a state-by-state guide to anti-CRT bills across the country.

John Oliver addresses the CRT debate in standard John Oliver-fashion.

McKinney ISD (TX) parents challenge 282 “sexually explicit” books in school libraries.

A review of books in the Granbury ISD (TX) is underway.

Ted Cruz says teachers are bringing in “explicit pornography” to schools.

Records show Texas parents’ calls to ban books from schools.

Only 27% of Texans trust politicians’ judgement of school books.

The Lafayette Parish library board reduces librarian input on its book review committee.

A group of parents have successfully petitioned the Hudsonville Public School District (MI) to remove Half of a Yellow Sun from an optional reading list.

Michigan libraries are seeing a rise in book challenges, fueled by social controversies.

After recent attention due to library book removals, the Raymond (WI) school board election looms.

A Salina (KS) Board of Education meeting gets heated during a discussion of banned books.

Valparaison (IN) residents express concern over the possibility of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time being removed from the school curriculum.

North Allen County School (IN) district parents complained about I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings being included on the 10th grade reading list.

Indiana teachers predict a mass exodus if a state bill restricting how educators discuss race is passed.

Gender Queer is under review at the Pella Public Library (IA).

Iowa lawmakers are pushing a bill that would allow parents to sue schools over “obscene” books.

The Liberty (MO) school board voted to keep All Boys Aren’t Blue on school shelves.

Bixby Public Schools (OK) vote to keep Thirteen Reasons Why and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl on library shelves.

A Kentucky bill would make teaching about institutional racism illegal.

The McMinn County Board of Education stands by its decision to ban Maus despite the community uproar.

Union Grove Middle School in Tennessee has pulled the book Dragonwings from sixth grade classrooms, which is about the experiences of Chinese immigrants.

I really don’t like the headline here, but here’s a look at how the Moms for Liberty are pushing to have multiple titles removed from schools across Tennessee.

Tennessee lawmakers take up the governor’s proposed school library bill that school librarians worry could be used to purge books about “uncomfortable” topics.

A proposal to move sexually explicit content from the children’s and teen’s sections at the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library (AR) has failed a second time. The library has also elected to keep All Boys Aren’t Blue on shelves, without relocating the book.

Bentonville parents complain about explicit material in the high school library: A Court of Mist and Fury, The Bluest Eye, The Kite Runner, and The God of Small Things.

Several parents are concerned about books being removed from the curriculum at Bryant Public Schools (AR).

Ridgeland (MS) aldermen propose a new library contract after a raucous meeting.

Book banning battles hit North Carolina schools.

This writer read The Girl Who Fell From the Sky after multiple parents called for its removal from North Carolina schools.

Hayward County (NC) parents complain about the district’s decision to pull Dear Martin from the high school curriculum.

Hanover (VA) residents express concerns over school book banning. Meanwhile, a Hanover County supervisor is pushing the school board to fast-track its book removal decisions.

Virginia Beach will return six challenged books to school shelves: A Lesson Before Dying, The Bluest Eye, Lawn Boy, Good Trouble, Beyond Magenta, and Gender Queer.

The Virginia Senate has passed a bill directing school boards to notify parents about explicit materials.

Georgia lawmakers are advancing two bills meant to limit students’ access to “inappropriate” or “obscene” materials.

The Columbia County School District will keep To Kill a Mockingbird on library shelves, and rejected the claim that the schools are providing “pornographic” materials to students.

Amid fear and censorship, Florida school districts are pulling books off shelves in public schools.

Indian River County schools (FL) admit to pulling 156 books while they await review, even though this goes against the school’s stated policy on book removal.

Support for book bans spreads across Tampa Bay.

Polk County (FL) schools form a review committee to evaluate the 16 books that were removed from school libraries.

The Florida House votes to increase scrutiny of school library books and instructional materials.

The Suffield (CT) Board of Education tweaks its library book review policy.

West Chester (PA) parents are upset over sexual content in certain school books including Melissa (formerly published as George) by Alex Gino.

The Montana ACLU has filed a records request regarding the ImagineIF Library Board’s decision to remove books from library shelves.

A Manhattan Beach (CA) councilperson takes aim at Gender Queer and Lawn Boy.

After deciding to keep four books on library shelves, the Walla Walla School District heard an appeal and decided again to keep the books. The titles in question were The Bluest Eye, All Boys Aren’t Blue, Gender Queer, and The Hate U Give.

Debate continues over a potential book ban in Kent (WA) schools.

How a queer Christian student helped defeat a proposed book ban.

While some banned queer books see a sales bump, others quietly disappear.

How faith-based, right-wing money is waging war through book challenges.

Book bans are a result of white fear of a changing world.

Why book banning is back.

Want to ban a book? Assign it for English class.

Books & Authors in the News

Britney Spears is writing a tell-all book for $15 million.

Coming to grips with authors whose values you don’t share.

Award News

Nicole Krauss wins the 2022 Wingate Prize for her essay collection, To Be a Man.

The LA Times Book Prize finalists have been announced.

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

Pop Cultured

I can’t believe I forgot to mention this last week, but here’s the trailer for Jordan Peele’s upcoming movie, Nope.

Stranger Things has been renewed for a fifth and final season.

The Beauty and the Beast prequel series has been put on hold at Disney+.

On the Riot

How to run a book quiz challenge in your school library.

Lies librarians tell.

Solar powered camel libraries.

Secret and mysterious libraries around the world.

How much does annotating help you remember what you read?

Confessions of a former slow reader.

Why this reader no longer reads physical books.

A definitive ranking of Goosebumps covers.

DIY kits for book lovers.

How literature helped this reader cope with platonic and romantic breakups.

You should always have a book with you.

Don’t forget to check out our new line of bookish, Wordle-inspired merch! There are mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, and more. The campaign is temporary, so order yours now!

black cat laying next to colorful pillow looking at camera black cat sitting on black couch

Today’s featured cat is a memorial to our baby, Star, who crossed the rainbow bridge in July 2020. She and Gilbert were the best of friends, and her default sweetness setting was always set to 11. And if you look hard enough at the second photo, you might be able to see her little toofies sticking out of her mouth. We still miss her every day.

All right, let’s get some sleep this weekend. (This suggestion brought to you by my chronically sleep-deprived brain this week.) I’ll see you on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson.

Check Your Shelf

Cults and Quozies

Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where you are likely reading this on the most magical of days, Tuesday 2/22/22. May you have double the things you love and half of the things you dislike.

Collection Development Corner

New & Upcoming Titles

PREPARE YOUR HOLDS LISTS: Taylor Jenkins Reid just announced a new book coming out in August 2022: Carrie Soto is Back.

Elliot Page’s memoir, Pageboy, will be published in 2023.

Chelsea Clinton is launching a children’s book series this fall that focuses on animal conservation.

It Starts With Us, the sequel to Colleen Hoover’s best-selling novel, It Ends With Us, will be published in September.

Here’s a first look at Maggie O’Farrell’s next novel, The Marriage Portrait.

And here’s a look at Delia Ephron’s upcoming memoir, Left on Tenth.

Romance novelists share their most-anticipated recommendations.

Nine new books about feminism.

2022 fantasy novels recommended by Marlon James.

Weekly book picks from Crime Reads, The Millions, and USA Today.

Crime Reads picks the best debut novels for February.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Moon Witch, Spider King – Marlon James (LA Times, New York Times, NPR, Time, Washington Post)

Pure Colour – Sheila Heti (LA Times, New York Times, NPR, Washington Post)

True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us – Danielle J. Lindemann (New York Times, Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

Inspiring young readers, TikTok is a boon for books.

What romance novels can teach us about attraction.

On the Riot

Why is publishing plagiarism still possible?

Who owns your story? The ethics and legality of memoir.

New weekly releases to TBR.

An introduction to Romance BookTok.

How Amish fiction served as this reader’s gateway to loving romance.

Hunting for podcasts that feel like literary novels.

All Things Comics

50 Cent’s production company has optioned Christopher Priest’s Xerø comic series for development.

George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards anthology series is becoming a Marvel comic.

Amazon’s overhaul of Comixology ignites concern from comic creators and readers.

On the Riot

A history of the Underground Comix movement.

Comics and graphic novels about families.

Shoot, cheer, score: YA sports comics.


SYNC, the program that provides free audiobooks for teens, is back on April 28th!’s most anticipated audiobooks for Spring 2022.

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

On the Riot

8 books narrated by Adam Lazarre-White.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


YA historical fiction with a dark twist.

12 queer boarding school books to devour.


Buzzfeed, Bustle, and Essence have queer romance reads for Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Office thrillers as people transition back to in-person work.

Identity-switching mysteries.

Quozy (queer cozy) mysteries.

10 Latinx romance authors to keep on your radar.

7 books about star-crossed lovers.

Books with deeply flawed mother figures.

8 cookbooks perfect for people who don’t know how to cook.

7 novels told from both members of a couple.

On the Riot

15 of the best books for newborns.

Interactive musical books for toddlers.

12 middle grade Asian historical fiction books by authors of color.

YA books about the Titanic.

Fantastic YA fantasy duologies.

8 Asian American YA romances.

15 laugh-out-loud funny books for teens.

9 queer YA post-apocalyptic books.

9 books with Deaf characters for kids and adults.

The best LGBTQ books of 2021, according to American librarians.

10 bone-chilling horror thrillers.

12 fascinating near-future science fiction novels.

That’s not a friends group, honey. That’s a cult.

Crimes that strike a chord: musical mysteries.

The best books about caring for houseplants.

Must-read books about love that aren’t about romance.

Books about pre-colonial life.

8 enchanting books like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

10 vintage book series from the 90’s to read this year. (Oh god, are the 90’s vintage now??)

Books to read while you wait for Yellowjackets to return.

Don’t forget to check out our new line of bookish, Wordle-inspired merch! There are mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, and more. The campaign is temporary, so order yours now!

Level Up (Library Reads)

Do you take part in Library Reads, the monthly list of best books selected by librarians only? We’ve made it easy for you to find eligible diverse titles to nominate. Kelly Jensen created a database of upcoming diverse books that anyone can edit, and Nora Rawlins of Early Word is doing the same, as well as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.

a photo of a black and white cat sitting on bed looking away from camera

Dini wants you to marvel at his luxurious white whiskers. They are truly a sight to behold.

And with that, I’m off. I’ll check in again on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow.

Check Your Shelf

Stuff Some Adults Don’t Want You To Read

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m writing this newsletter after doing a solid hour and a half of passport appointments, so my brain is Swiss cheese. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Tennessee and Missouri introduce their own library eBook bills, while Illinois’ bill advances.

The former chief of security at Florida State’s Strozier Library has been arrested for the theft of nearly 5,000 comic books from a special collection.

Two controversial Pikes Peak Library District (CO) board members have been appointed, just as the board looks to review the library’s collection development policy.

Cool Library Updates

In celebration of National Library Lover’s Day, the 2022 Summer Scares Horror lists have been announced!

Worth Reading

Libraries providing home COVID test kits are continuing to face supply challenges and upset patrons.

Why aren’t there more Black librarians?

On being a disabled school librarian.

Thinking about tweens.

Book Adaptations in the News

Harper Lee’s estate has been ordered to pay $2.5 million in a dispute over the Broadway adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Jenna Bush Hager’s book club has signed a first-look production deal with Universal Studio Group.

Cynthia Pelayo’s Children of Chicago has been optioned for film!

Frank Ocean, Dua Lipa, and Cardi B will be featured in a musical adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

A Blade Runner 2099 TV series is in the works at Amazon with Ridley Scott.

Joe Hill’s The Fireman is being adapted for TV.

Rachel DeLoache, author of the book My Friend Anna, accuses Netflix of “running a con woman’s PR” with their upcoming show Inventing Anna.

The film adaptation for Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is set for a September release.

The anime feature Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is set for an April 2024 release.

BritBox is producing three Agatha Christie adaptations.

Amazon renewed Reacher for a second season.

Love, Victor will be ending with Season 3 on Hulu.

Here’s the trailer for The Dropout, starring Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes, and airing on Hulu.

Plus, we’ve got first trailers for The Shining Girls, Conversations With Friends, and Bridgerton Season 2.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

Banned & Challenged Books

Is a curriculum update a book ban?

Tracie D. Hall, ALA’s Executive Director, calls book censorship a slippery slope for human rights.

Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle has donated $500,000 to fight book bans.

Author Jack Guinness has said that he’ll fight to overturn any US ban on his book, Queer Bible.

LeVar Burton implores kids to read banned books: “That’s where the good stuff is.”

Scribd is making all of its books free for 30 days in response to recent book bans.

In Hood County (TX), the push to remove LGBTQ books isn’t new, and it could signal rising partisanship on school boards.

Update on the Ridgeland Public Library (MI), which was expected to lose $110,000 in funding from the mayor until they got rid of their LGBTQ books: they have raised over $100,000 as of February 11th!

Several books in the Yorktown High School library (NY) are under review, including Beyond Magenta, Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts), The Hate U Give, and Gender Queer.

Raymond School in Wisconsin recently removed three books from its school library: All American Boys, Speak, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

More books are being challenged across Iowa.

Salina (KS) parents are calling for the removal of All Boys Aren’t Blue from high school libraries.

The ACLU of Missouri is filing suit against the Wentzville School District over its book ban. Meanwhile, two students have already filed a lawsuit against the district in federal court.

Parents have registered complaints against The Bluest Eye being in Berkeley County (WV) schools.

Tennessee’s governor and the GOP push for more scrutiny of school libraries.

The Hamilton County (TN) school system looks at policy changes for school books deemed “obscene.”

The Kent School District (WA) has elected to keep multiple books that were under review, and the district librarian says that he’s ready to defend LGBTQ books “even more now.”

An LA school librarian successfully defends The Undefeated against censors.

Why Polk County (FL) schools are handling these 16 books differently than a “normal complaint.”

A Flagler (FL) high school student fights back against book bans nationwide.

Three parents want the Lee County School Board (FL) to ban three books: Killing Mr. Griffin, Sloppy Firsts and Tricks.

Protestors are still showing up by the dozens to Pitt County School Board (NC) meetings, two weeks after they elected to keep three challenged books on library shelves.

Several Charlotte Middle School (NC) parents are upset over students being required to read The Girl Who Fell From the Sky.

Wake County Public Libraries (NC) is revising its collection and book challenge policies, but some librarians say the administration is less than transparent, and the work culture reprimands and shuts out anyone who questions administrators.

The Langley High School (VA) has taken down a controversial display sign that said “Stuff some adults don’t want you to read.” The sign was on display during a parents’ night event.

What’s behind the right-wing book banning frenzy? Big money and a long-term plan.

The US Supreme Court has consistently sided against banning books.

Book banning is about the illusion of parental control.

This wave of book bans is different from earlier ones.

Ensuring white children’s happiness has long involved racist double standards.

Books & Authors in the News

Satirist P.J. O’Rourke has died at 74.

Oprah selects The Way of Integrity: Finding the Path to Your True Self by Martha Beck for her latest book club pick.

Here are the recent February book club picks.

Apple launches its own book club in the Apple Books app.

Penguin Random House denies claims that it demanded the removal of Maus from the Internet Archive.

Award News

CJ Sansom wins the 2022 Diamond Dagger Award for his debut novel, Dissolution.

The Rathbones Folio Prize shortlist has been announced.

The Story Prize finalists have been announced.

The 2021 Cybils Awards have been announced.

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

Pop Cultured

Futurama is being revived at Hulu.

On the Riot

Not all heroes wear capes: the Fairfield Library introduces work and play stations.

Rereading Fahrenheit 451 in an age of mass censorship.

Soft and quiet: self-censorship in an era of book challenges.

How to start a teen book club.

In defense of slow reading.

When do kids start reading?

Check out our new line of Wordle-inspired merch! (This is a temporary campaign, so make sure to get yours while the gettin’s good!)


Does anyone else’s cat enjoy licking fabric? Sometimes I feel like Gilbert just starts giving himself a bath and doesn’t realize when he starts licking the couch, but other times he just goes to town on my pillow, and I don’t realize it until I put my hand in a damp spot. He’s an odd cat.

Well, I’m out. Time to stagger into the weekend, friends. Let’s try to read something good, shall we?

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

How to Keep Up With Trending Books

Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where I’m probably still digesting all of the food I ate on Super Bowl Sunday. I mean, if football doesn’t interest you, and the commercials are “meh,” what’s left besides the food? (The half time show is usually 50/50, although this year’s was pretty bomb.)

So now that football’s over, let’s talk about books!

Collection Development Corner

New & Upcoming Titles

Here’s a first look at Alison Cochrun’s upcoming rom-com Kiss Her Once For Me.

A list of upcoming novels in verse for younger readers.

Matthew Perry unveils the cover and title for his upcoming memoir.

Music producer Rick Rubin announces his debut book.

The release date for Stephen Graham Jones’ upcoming novel Don’t Fear the Reaper has been pushed back until February 2023.

Clay McLeod Chapman announces his next book, Ghost Eaters, will be out in September 2022.

Fifty Shades of Gray releases a new hardcover edition in honor of its tenth (!!!) anniversary.

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

February picks from Good Morning America, Goodreads, and (YA SFF).

32 books to look forward to in 2022.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Free Love – Tessa Hadley (NPR, Washington Post)

Love in the Time of Contagion: A Diagnosis – Laura Kipnis (LA Times, New York Times)

The Nineties: A Book – Chuck Klosterman (Esquire, Vulture)

Cost of Living – Emily Maloney (NPR, USA Today)

Very Cold People – Sarah Manguso (New York Times, Washington Post)

The Violin Conspiracy – Brendan Slocumb (LitHub, NPR)

On the Riot

The cost of reading: the book industry’s carbon footprint.

The best weekly releases to TBR.

8 new romance novels you’ll fall in love with in 2022.

2022 Black SFF novels to preorder now.

11 popular teen books for 2022.

33 must-read South Asian books out in 2022.

How to find out about trending books.

How this reader fell in love with YA fantasy.

All Things Comics

Warner Brothers releases new footage from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Black Adam, and The Flash.

On the Riot

18 of the best romance manga for a serotonin release.

What’s gained or lost in reading a comic adaptation?


As AI influence on audiobooks grows, so does controversy.

Kevin Hart and Charlamagne Tha God announce five exclusive Audible original series.

Audible and Washington Post list their February 2022 picks.

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

On the Riot

9 romance audiobooks for Valentine’s Day.

Get to know six amazing YA audiobook performers.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


29 YA fantasy romance novels to fall in love with.


Black History Month suggestions from Bustle and Vogue.

10 Afro-Latina writers whose work you need to read.

15 books with noteworthy disabled leads.

The best books of the 1990’s.

Books about living outside the mainstream.

7 novels about all-women households and communities.

6 crime novels with twist endings that will leave your jaw on the floor.

10 books to read out loud with your boo.

On the Riot

Fairy tale board books to amaze your little ones.

18 sign language books for toddlers.

5 books about biting for toddlers.

10 awesome picture book biographies of women.

9 children’s books like The Snowy Day.

8 spooky middle grade paranormal books.

Lesser-known Harlem Renaissance writers.

Books for International Women and Girls in Science Day.

11 books on capitalism.

15 of the best mystery books of all time.

9 books full of dark humor.

Recent haunted house novels by women writers.

Magicians in mysteries.

Celebrate Black History Month with these romance picks.

10 of the best SFF standalone books.

6 guitar books for beginners.

Don’t forget to check out our new line of bookish, Wordle-inspired merch! There are mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, and more. The campaign is temporary, so order yours now!

Level Up (Library Reads)

Do you take part in Library Reads, the monthly list of best books selected by librarians only? We’ve made it easy for you to find eligible diverse titles to nominate. Kelly Jensen created a database of upcoming diverse books that anyone can edit, and Nora Rawlins of Early Word is doing the same, as well as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.


Time for kitty photos! This week, I’m mixing things up a bit and introducing you to my parents’ newest kitty, Penny. Penny is about 2 years old and tends to hide under the blankets when there are a bunch of people over, but once she comes out, she’s the sweetest little girl you could possibly imagine!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll check in again on Wednesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall.

Check Your Shelf

How to Support Libraries Dealing With Book Challenges

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m starting this issue with a couple of important links that I don’t want to get lost in the general newsletter chaos. First off, the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library in Arkansas needs your public support in opposition to the hateful comments they’ve received since refusing to remove certain books from their shelves.

Also, for any libraries who are currently facing active book challenges and wondering how on earth to address the community, you may want to take a look at the statement that the director of the Cozby Library and Community Commons in Coppell, Texas made. It’s clear, direct, and cites library policy as well as state and federal law. It’s an excellent example to reference if you’re trying to draft your own response.

And now, on to the newsletter.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The Saint Charles (IL) library has reopened for in-person visits after receiving threats towards its staff over the library’s mask policy.

Maryland lawyers say that the state’s eBook law is a defense of public libraries. Meanwhile, here’s an update on the nearly three hour hearing that took place on February 7th.

A former High Plains Library District (CO) employee says that she was fired after blowing the whistle on library policy changes that were used to cancel or modify diversity-focused programming. The district denies the claims.

Multiple books in the Bethlehem Public Library (NY) have been defaced with political stickers.

Cool Library Updates

Tulsa City-County Library (OK) has hired its first diversity officer.

Worth Reading

Libraries are more popular than ever, but library workers don’t earn livable wages. (Ain’t that the truth…)

How are libraries recognizing Black History Month?

Avoid library information overload for students with video tutorials.

How to set up a green screen on a budget.

Book Adaptations in the News

The film Drive My Car, which is based on a short story by Haruki Murakami, is officially the first Japanese film to ever score an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

Fantasia Barrino is reprising her role as Celie in the upcoming film musical adaptation of The Color Purple.

Tracy Deonn’s Legendborn is being adapted for TV.

Sarah Vaughan’s book Reputation will be adapted for TV.

Scott Turow’s best-selling legal thriller Presumed Innocent is being reimagined as a TV series from J.J. Abrams.

J.J. Abrams is also adapting Stephen King’s Billy Summers as a limited series.

All the Secrets of the World by Steve Almond is being adapted for TV.

Raymond E. Feist’s Riftwar Cycle is being adapted for TV.

The trailer for Season 4 of Killing Eve is here!!

The first teaser trailer for Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will air during the Super Bowl.

Buzzfeed and Vulture have lists of book-to-screen adaptations coming in 2022.

8 SFF books that deserve a screen adaptation.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

Banned & Challenged Books

The network of suburban moms trying to stop book bans.

Meet the moms of color from Texas fighting book bans at their kids’ schools.

Why the fight against book bans needs more than book donations.

How to use FOIA to uncover book challenges.

We Need Diverse Books has started a grant for educators teaching diverse stories.

The Texas book ban has prompted school librarians to launch the #FReadom Fighters social media campaign.

A push to remove LGBTQ books in one Texas county could signal rising partisanship on school boards.

The Carroll ISD (TX) has officially reversed their reprimand of a fourth grade teacher for carrying the book This Book is Anti-Racist in her classroom library.

How the Granbury ISD (TX) became a focal point in the battle over Texas book censorship.

A Texas parent demanded that the Katy ISD (TX) remove a biography of Michelle Obama, saying that it unfairly depicted Donald Trump as a bully and would make white girls feel “ashamed.” The school district, however, does not plan to remove the biography.

Texas State representative Jared Patterson is single handedly targeting Prosper ISD, demanding that over 80 books be removed from the district.

“If they can ban Maus, no work is safe:” The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund blasts the recent censorship in Tennessee.

Meanwhile, the McMinn County Board of Education defended the ban, saying the work was unsuitable due to profanity and “depictions of nude mice.”

Advocates say that a new Tennessee House bill designed to remove certain “obscene” books from schools unfairly targets LGBTQ+ books.

A right-wing pastor in Tennessee held a literal book burning last week.

The Kent School District (WA) issued a statement about two challenged library books that are currently under review: Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) and If I Was Your Girl.

Books under fire in Walla Walla, Washington: how to support the school board’s decision.

Several Ridgeland (MS) citizens filed complaints about a display of new books at the public library, including The Queer Bible by Jack Guinness and As a Woman: What I Learned About Power, Sex, and the Patriarchy After I Transitioned by Paula Stone Williams. The complaints said that the display amounted to a political statement from the library.

Furries are leading the war against a book-banning Mississippi mayor.

That same Mississippi library raised nearly $80,000 just 8 days after the mayor denied funding.

St. Louis groups launch a “banned book program” to distribute challenged books.

The Indiana State Senate passed a controversial bill regarding “harmful material for minors.”

Carmel Clay Schools (IN) have moved or removed multiple titles from their elementary and middle school libraries.

A Virginia bill mandating parental notice before sexually explicit lessons advanced out of committee.

The move to ban the 1619 Project from South Carolina classrooms will only harm future generations.

Wake County (NC) school librarians defend the LGBTQ books that some parents want removed.

Forsyth (GA) County Schools remove 8 books that they say are inappropriate for children, including The Bluest Eye, All Boys Aren’t Blue, Out of Darkness, and Juliet Takes a Breath.

16 books were removed from Polk County (FL) school libraries after facing objections from a conservative group. The books include Beloved, Two Boys Kissing, The Kite Runner, Nineteen Minutes, and Drama.

Pinellas County (FL) students are petitioning to have Gender Queer returned to two school libraries.

Florida may pass a bill that would ban discussions of all sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.

The Manheim Central (PA) school board hears concerns over book bans.

The Kutztown (PA) school board votes to keep Gender Queer in the high school library.

Some Stamford (CT) parents are protesting the book The Pants Project by Cat Clarke, saying that the book about a transgender child is inappropriate for 3rd graders.

The Auburn (NY) school district will review the book All Boys Aren’t Blue after receiving formal complaints.

Baldwinsville (NY) parents are calling for the removal of books such as The Handmaid’s Tale, All Boys Aren’t Blue, and All American Boys.

All American Boys sparked a debate at a Tiverton School Committee meeting in Rhode Island.

The York (ME) School Board voted unanimously to keep the book It’s Perfectly Normal in the middle school library.

Campbell County (WY) is still working through their list of nearly 50 challenged books, although they recently voted to keep three books in the teen section.

A former member of the Anchorage (AK) Youth Advisory Commission says that the commission is conducting a behind-the-scenes crusade to censor LGBTQ authors from the Anchorage Public Library, under the direction of the extremely conservative administration.

LGBTQ books are being banned, but their authors are fighting back.

“Dangerous and cruel:” YA authors say unprecedented book bans hurt kids the most.

What’s it like to be the target of a book banning effort?

As the right censors public libraries, families are forming banned book clubs.

Students, your school can’t stop you from knowing Black history.

Read the books that schools want to ban.

Which books belong in a school library? All of them, of course.

Efforts to ban critical race theory could restrict teaching for a third of America’s kids.

What book censorship looks like outside of the US.

Books & Authors in the News

Celebrated children’s illustrator and author Ashley Bryan has died.

HarperCollins Children’s Books will publish a newly discovered Paddington story.

Why a sudden interest in Black authors doesn’t feel like a victory.

Numbers & Trends

The most popular in-demand books in US libraries, October – December 2021.

Are diet books becoming less popular in America?

Award News

Oscar nominations are out!

The inaugural winners of the Science + Literature awards have been announced.

The 2022 Dylan Thomas Prize longlist has been announced.

On the Riot

So you want to work in a library: back of house edition.

The world of YA book covers.

Assigned books in high school didn’t discourage this student from reading.

Why you should rearrange your bookshelves.

How to make a junk journal. (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE junk journals!)

Don’t forget to check out our new line of bookish, Wordle-inspired merch! There are mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, and more. The campaign is temporary, so order yours now!

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

black cat laying on his side with his back legs wrapped around a woman's arm

Gilbert has 0 shame. If he’s snuggling next to you, he will wrap his back legs around your arm so that you’re forced to give him tummy rubs. “Behold my lack of shame,” he says as he settles in for a long winter’s snuggle.

That’s all I’ve got for this week. I’m going to go hide under something this weekend and hopefully emerge on Monday somewhat rejuvenated.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Cover Reveals, New Carmen Maria Machado, and More!

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. We’re getting to the point in the year when I start counting down the days until Daylight Savings. I think it’s a ridiculous system that should be abolished, but in the meantime, it’s going to give us more daylight in about a month, and that’s when I can start hoping that better weather will be around the corner.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Publishers and agencies start receiving subpoenas as the DoJ/PRH case heats up.

DK is partnering with The Black Curriculum to publish a series of three books to address the lack of Black British history taught in the UK.

Barnes & Noble’s CEO commends BookTok for giving bookstores an unprecedented boost.

New & Upcoming Titles

Carmen Maria Machado is coming out with a new short story collection!!

Bernardine Evaristo is publishing a new memoir.

Andrew Cuomo’s former Press Secretary Karen Hinton previews her new memoir, Penis Politics. This officially gets my vote for Most Awkward Title Your Patrons Will Have To Ask You For this year.

Here’s the cover reveal for Tamsyn Muir’s upcoming Nona the Ninth.

Here’s a cover reveal for Sophie Gonzales’ sapphic YA rom-com, Never Ever Getting Back Together.

Alice Wong, editor of Disability Visability, has a memoir coming out in September.

PopSugar has the best romances and mysteries/thrillers of 2022.

11 early 2022 picks from Kirkus.

22 new crime releases by Black authors to keep you reading all year long.

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

February picks from Barnes & Noble, Bustle, Crime Reads, Entertainment Weekly, LA Times, LitHub (SFF), The Millions, Time, (horror/genre benders), Town & Country, and Washington Post.

Indie speculative fiction for January 2022.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Vladimir – Julia May Jonas (LA Times, New York Times, Time, USA Today, Washington Post)

The Family Chao – Lan Samantha Chang (NPR, Washington Post)

Free Love – Tessa Hadley (LA Times, NPR)

The Nineties: A Book – Chuck Klosterman (Datebook, New York Times)

The Violin Conspiracy – Brendan Slocumb (New York Times, Washington Post)

The Books of Jacob – Olga Tokarczuk (New York Times, Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

The 110 best thriller, crime, and suspense novels of all time.

Nerds of a Feather has a recommended reading list for the 2022 Hugo Awards. Here’s Part 1 (fiction categories), Part 2 (visual work categories), and Part 3 (individual categories).

Can science fiction wake us up to our climate reality?

On the Riot

Queer retellings coming out in 2022.

The most anticipated historical fiction titles for the first half of 2022.

12 exciting sequels coming in 2022.

All of these books with red covers are being published in the early part of 2022. Do I smell a display?

The best weekly releases to TBR.

15 must-read children’s books for February 2022.

Celebrate Black Children’s Book Week February 27th – March 5th!

Can a translation be better than the original book?

The history of consent in romance.

Is there worth in shock value?

Chaotic neutral: reading short story collections out of order.

All Things Comics

Despite its recent best-seller status, Art Spiegelman says he won’t sell the adaptation rights to Maus.

Dakota Johnson is in talks to star in the upcoming Madame Web movie.

Roxane Gay is adapting her graphic novel The Banks as a TV series.

Take a look at new Substack comics projects from Brian K. Vaughan, Grant Morrison, and more.

On the Riot

The best YA comics and graphic novels about friendship.

On slowing down with graphic memoirs.


YALSA names the 2022 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults.

Here are the finalists for the 2022 Audie Awards.

Synthetic voices want to take over audiobooks.

AudioFile’s February 2022 audiobook picks.

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

On the Riot

10 of the best audiobooks narrated by J.D. Jackson.

Listening pathways for Richard Armitage’s audiobooks.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


20 YA books celebrating Black love.


21 of the best books by Black authors you should read in your lifetime.

6 classics that depict Black girlhood.

15 books by Afro-Latinx writers you won’t want to put down.

8 books for indulging a bad mood.

Books featuring family curses.

9 haunting post-apocalyptic novels.

5 books to read for Groundhog Day.

On the Riot

New children’s books with dance themes.

20 romantic books for teens to read this Valentine’s Day.

25 LGBTQ+ books for teens.

9 books to read if you love Pokemon.

8 of the most fascinating SFF characters.

Getting back to work (ahem) with these workplace romance titles.

Feel-good romances perfect for rereading.

The most popular romantic reads on TikTok.

15 new erotic books to spice up your life.

Wars other than WWII in historical fiction.

Fantasy tiger books to read in the Year of the Tiger.

Cozy horror reads.

20 must-read nonfiction sports stories.

The best journalistic nonfiction.

Books to help you become a better digital citizen.

Level Up (Library Reads)

Do you take part in Library Reads, the monthly list of best books selected by librarians only? We’ve made it easy for you to find eligible diverse titles to nominate. Kelly Jensen created a database of upcoming diverse books that anyone can edit, and Nora Rawlins of Early Word is doing the same, as well as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.

black and white cat playing with plush cat toy that looks like a pickle black and white cat playing with plush cat toy that looks like a pickle

My mom found these catnip-stuffed plush pickle toys at Pet Smart a few years ago, and they quickly became the favorite cat toys in the house. Here’s Houdini going absolutely bug-eyed over his catnip pickle. We always make sure to have more than one pickle so no one gets jealous.

That’s all I’ve got for today, folks. I’ll catch you on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest.