Check Your Shelf

150 Of the Most Anticipated Books For Fall 2021

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. In this latest iteration of weird pandemic interests, my husband sent me down a rabbit hole of watching Adam Driver’s SNL skits, and now I think I’m mildly obsessed. Can’t explain it, and I’m not going to try.

So let’s talk about books!

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Hachette Books will acquire Workman Publishing.

The police officer involved in Breonna Taylor’s shooting returned his book advance and is now looking for a new publisher.

New & Upcoming Titles

Here’s a look at Seanan McGuire’s Seasonal Fears, the follow-up to Middlegame.

Scholastic is releasing a set of illustrated children’s books based on the characters from Friends.

Barbra Streisand is working on a memoir.

George Floyd’s aunt, Angela Harrelson, will be coming out with a book in 2022.

150 of the most-anticipated books for Fall 2021.

Canadian fiction and nonfiction books to look for this fall.

5 gripping new thrillers to get lost in.

9 dazzling new debut novels.

The best books of 2021 so far.

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

August picks from Crime Reads (psychological thrillers, international crime), and (YA SFF).

September picks from Barnes & Noble (adult, children/teens), Chicago Tribune.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You – Maurice Carlos Ruffin (Entertainment Weekly, L.A. Times, New York Times)

The Reckoning: Our Nation’s Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal – Mary L. Trump (The Guardian, USA Today, Washington Post)

Silent Winds, Dry Seas – Vinod Busjeet (New York Times, NPR)

Velvet Was the Night – Silvia Moreno-Garcia (USA Today, Washington Post)

Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America – Eyal Press (New York Times, NPR)

The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War – Craig Whitlock (New York Times, Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

NPR readers’ 50 favorite SFF books from the last decade.

Why we need ADHD representation in fiction.

How to diversify your reading, and why it’s so important.

On the Riot

New releases by women in translation.

New and forthcoming YA disability nonfiction.

New weekly picks to TBR.

Horror books for beginners.

What makes a book an absorbing read?

Mystery series you can read out of order.

How you know the mystery genre is still leaving out marginalized voices.

This reader’s point of view about POV in romance.

All Things Comics

Walter Mosley is writing a six-issue series featuring The Thing, which will debut in November.

New DC comics are coming to Webtoon, the South Korean webcomics publisher.

Cixin Liu’s short stories are being adapted into graphic novels.

It’s actually almost impossible for most writers and artists to make money in comics.

8 must-read modern Superman comics.

On the Riot

Where to read comics online for free.

What is a light novel?

The impact of crowdfunding on indie comics.

8 of the scariest manga to keep you up at night.

10 manga like Jujutsu Kaisen for monster lovers.

Exactly how big is the Marvel Comics Universe?


After 46 years, Judy Blume’s Forever is finally becoming an audiobook.

Your audiobook guide to book awards.

17 audiobooks to make your next road trip that much more fun.

On the Riot

6 myth retellings on audio.

7 audiobooks under 7 hours to help tune out the world.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


30 books about consent and bodily autonomy for toddlers and kids.


A reading list for the 20th anniversary of September 11th.

The best books about Western intervention in Afghanistan, past and present.

15 books that reimagine fairy tales and classic literature.

11 modern classics every book collection needs.

5 tense books that blend sci-fi and horror.

33 tales about campus life.

7 thrillers about the dark side of academia.

8 SFF heist novels. ​​

6 books about reincarnation.

On the Riot

11 thoughtful divorce books for kids.

5 YA books about being the new kid.

What to read after Get a Life, Chloe Brown.

15 more books about Appalachia to read instead of Hillbilly Elegy.

15 Argentinian books in translation.

16 of the best contemporary romance novels since 2016.

10 genre-defying memoirs you need to read.

8 thought-provoking books about adults going back to school.

10 thrilling books that take place at an amusement park.

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.

I hope your own pandemic obsessions continue to bring you entertainment. Catch you on Friday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

What is an ISBN, Anyway?

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. My husband went in for planned surgery this week and is resting at home (doing fine), and somehow I thought I was going to get work done from home during all this. I stand seriously corrected. We’ll try again next week. Meanwhile, hubby and I are re-watching The IT Crowd to get our Noel Fielding fix now that we’ve mostly caught up on Great British Baking Show.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The Craighead County (AR) Library board voted “no” on two key policy changes that would have created board oversight on the creation of library displays, as well as all materials added to the children’s collection.

If the library tax renewal fails in Lafayette Parish, only one or two libraries may be able to remain open in the entire parish.

Hawaii’s public libraries are enforcing temporary closures due to high COVID rates.

Worth Reading

The critical role that Black librarians play.

During the height of segregation, Indiana’s first Black librarian changed lives.

Can Maryland’s new eBook law help change the marketplace?

Book Adaptations in the News

Jodie Comer talks about Killing Eve’s bittersweet end. (My husband and I became similarly obsessed with Killing Eve this year, as well as with Jodie Comer. She is magnificent.)

Mindy Kaling is adapting Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin for Amazon Studios.

Carol Leonnig’s Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service is being adapted for TV.

Vince Vaughn is starring in the Apple TV+ series Bad Monkey, based on the Carl Hiaasen book of the same name.

Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches series is being developed for TV at AMC.

The graphic novel Gun Honey is reportedly being adapted for TV.

John Lithgow joins the cast of Killers of the Flower Moon.

Jack Kerouac’s estate is working to produce new podcasts based on his work.

24 book-to-screen adaptations that didn’t disappoint.

Books & Authors in the News

Anthony Horowitz has become Japan’s most-decorated foreign crime author.

Janet Dailey and the curious case of the missing author. This is a really interesting read…

The picture book fighting back against Russia’s LGBTQ propaganda law.

Award News

The Shirley Jackson Award winners have been announced.

The 2021 Arthur C. Clarke Awards have been announced.

Bouchercon has been canceled due to COVID concerns.

Penguin Random House and Amanda Gorman launch a new creative writing award for poetry.

“Romance Writers of America was doing better with race – until a recent award choice.” Was it, though?…

Pop Cultured

The best true crime documentaries streaming on Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO Max. (Brb, adding all of these to my watch list.)

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Megan Rapinoe has a new book club with Literati.

Our connection to physical books during the pandemic.

On the Riot

The ethics of selling advanced reader copies.

Bookish hotels and BnBs for your next getaway.

How to enter a flow state while reading.

How to remember more of what you read.

What is an ISBN?

Catch you next week, and we’ll see what TV shows we’ve moved on to by then.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Murder Books 101 and Rage-Filled Women

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m sure by now most of you have heard about the big weeding debate happening on Twitter, and it’s almost like clockwork, the way people discover images of weeded books and then lose their collective minds. Meanwhile, I finally started weeding the Adult Fiction collection after nearly a year and a half’s delay, and it is so satisfying to finally free up space on the shelves. (And yes, we do have a local organization that picks up our weeded books for donation, but I don’t begrudge anyone for doing what they have to do.) You keep on weeding, bad ass librarians.

Collection Development Corner

New & Upcoming Titles

Dolly Parton and James Patterson are co-writing a suspense novel called Run, Rose, Run.

Chelsea Clinton is planning a full series of She Persisted children’s books.

Fans of queer suspense should take a look at this upcoming book from Kelly J. Ford.

John Darnielle announces his third novel.

Jasmine Guillory is writing a Disney princess book, focused on a retelling of Belle’s story.

Rin Chupeco announces a new queer gothic fantasy with vampires!

Vanessa Hua announces her next novel.

Jean Hanff Korelitz has already announced her next novel, The Latecomer.

Sarah Ferguson confirms a second book deal after the release of Her Heart for a Compass.

Walter Isaacson is writing an authorized biography of Elon Musk.

Here’s a first look at Huma Abedin’s upcoming memoir, Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds.

A first look at Harvey Fierstein’s upcoming memoir, I Was Better Last Night.

Stephen King talks about wanting to write a novel set in 2020 during the pandemic. (Talk about terrifying.)

Don Winslow’s City on Fire has been postponed until 2022.

Best books of 2021 so far from Amazon (YA), BBC, The Guardian (thrillers), and Vulture (comedy).

2021 YA nonfiction for the second half of 2021.

Writers to watch this fall.

The best books to read this fall.

14 Canadian SFF books and 18 Canadian mysteries & thrillers to check out this summer.

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

August book picks from Autostraddle.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

This Will All Be Over Soon – Cecily Strong (Bustle, NPR, USA Today, Washington Post)

Mrs. March – Virginia Feito (New York Times, Vogue, Vox)

Run: Book One – John Lewis & Andrew Aydin (The Millions, New York Times)

In the Country of Others – Leila Slimani (Guardian, New York Times)

Savage Tongues – Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi (NPR, Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

The uncomfortable rise of the Instagram novel.

The rise of Welsh crime fiction.

Three queer women of color writers talk crime fiction.

Murder Books 101: The rise of true crime, from highbrow to cash cow.

On the Riot

10 of the most anticipated 2021 Fall middle grade releases.

Weekly book releases to add to your TBR.

What is Star Wars: The High Republic, and where to start reading.

Mood-boosting cozy mysteries are becoming increasingly diverse.

What is Indian American literature?

The history and future of “new adult.”

Why adults should read middle grade books.

The books that almost got away.

All Things Comics

Comics creators are struggling for fair payment for DC and Marvel adaptations.

A new Batman ‘89 comic will be coming out in July 2022, which will be based on the Tim Burton movie.

Robin’s bisexuality is now Batman canon.

5 comic books that celebrate the LGBTQ community.

15 best martial arts manga.

On the Riot

Your guide to new Marvel movies and TV in 2021 and 2022.

12 terrifying YA graphic novels.

A look at today’s North American manga market.


10 free audiobook sites for discovering your next obsession.

7 kids’ audiobooks for going back to school.

Audio mysteries that take on the COVID pandemic.

On the Riot

10 more audiobooks for Women in Translation Month.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


The 100 best YA books of all time.

15 books like The Kissing Booth.

15 YA books with fat female protagonists.

10 YA retellings of Little Red Riding Hood.

Sci-fi books for teens you should read ASAP.


11 translated books by Asian women writers to read for Women in Translation Month.

Women’s memoirs at the intersection of chronic illness, mental illness, addiction, and trauma.

13 books to celebrate National Book Lovers Day.

7 books about women in purgatory.

8 thrillers to feed your true crime addiction.

6 terrifying reimagined fairy tales.

Beyond Camp Crystal Lake: Horror books for summer reading.

6 crime novels based on real cases.

The perfect beers to pair with your favorite crime novels.

15 of the best travel books to inspire your next big trip.

Books about L.A. and the movie industry.

8 books that illuminate the hidden histories of Hollywood.

30 steamy romance novels to read right now.

Books about fictional sisters.

Top 10 bookworms in fiction.

On the Riot

The most popular children’s books from every country in the world.

20 of the best read-aloud books for kids.

17 Star Wars books for kids.

The 90’s teen book series you loved and probably forgot.

4 YA books about races.

Top 20 books like Six of Crows.

12 books about AAPI athletes for kids, teens, and adults.

Flirty before 30: 9 sweet new adult romance books.

9 mysteries with environmental and conservation themes.

20 must-read Southern Gothic novels.

10 bookstore romances to get lost in.

10 books on disability justice.

World War II books for your next book club meeting.

Favorite (fictional) rage-filled women.

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.

Catch you later, friends!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Dinosaurs At the Library!

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. This week has been just a continuous streak of bad thunderstorms, and the power has gone out multiple times at the library. Today (Wednesday) was the worst — we ended up closing for the entire day because it took over 6 hours to get the power, Internet, and phones back online, just in time for another round of severe storms tonight.

And now on to the newsletter, which (fair warning) contains a lot of news items about parents and “concerned citizens” getting upset over books with diverse representation.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The Campbell County (WY) library board receives both support and calls for resignation after the library promoted its LGBTQ teen collection on social media and also booked a magician to perform at the library, who the community later learned was a transgender woman. (This article has me pretty steamed, but if you click on the link, scroll through for a choice comment made by a library-supporting member of the public.)

A city foundation announced that it will be withholding funds from the Indianapolis Public Library until it acts on the recent reports of racial inequity in the workplace.

Critical race theory controversy hits the quiet public library in Attleboro, Massachusetts.

Citrus County (FL) director defends the library’s use of displays, particularly an LGBTQ Pride display that sparked recent controversy.

After a so-called YouTube “auditor” came to Danbury, nearby towns evaluate their video policies for public buildings.

Overdrive announces a plan and timeline to sunset the OverDrive app in order to focus on Libby.

Kansas City Public Library hires the first-ever “Wikipedian-In-Residence” appointed by a public library in the US.

A 50-years-overdue book gets returned to the Plymouth (PA) Public Library, along with a note and a $20 donation. Same thing happened at the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library too.

Cool Library Updates

There’s a dinosaur at the library!

LA County Libraries have eliminated overdue fines.

Baltimore County Public Library debuts the first mobile library law center.

Worth Reading

Baltimore bets on a new type of first responder: the librarian. (Ooooh, I have so many thoughts about mission creep and how incredibly willing local governments are to push social service responsibilities onto libraries, instead of…properly funding libraries or the agencies that would be much better suited to providing these services in the first place…Actually, those are my thoughts right there.)

Getting police out of libraries.

How hiring managers can help to increase diversity and battle hiring biases.

Drag Queen Storytime continues to stir up excitement and controversy with library patrons.

Add antiracism to your web usability work.

Book Adaptations in the News

Laurence Fishburne is producing an adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor.

Margaret Cho joins the cast for Fire Island, described as a modern gay take on Pride and Prejudice.

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes is being adapted for film.

The first trailer for House of Gucci has been released, which is based on the book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden. (I am obsessed with everything about this trailer.)

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will start filming next year.

Here’s the trailer for Cinderella, starring Camila Cabello and Billy Porter.

Books & Authors in the News

The American Booksellers Association apologizes for accidentally promoting Candace Owens’ book, Blackout, rather than Dhonielle Clayton’s Blackout.

A Commack (NY) schools English director has filed a lawsuit against the district, saying that he was reassigned to a new position without union representation in retaliation for his protest over the removal of Persepolis from school shelves.

Anti-critical race theory parents are now fighting The Hate U Give.

Book controversy invades the Hamilton Southeastern School Board (IN) meeting.

The Leander, Texas School District pulls more books from student reading lists.

In the wake of Andrew Cuomo’s resignation, the New York Times looks at “how Cuomo’s book became a cautionary tale” for publishers backing political books.

Kate Clanchy is rewriting parts of her memoir, Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me, after backlash over racialized stereotypes and problematic language.

Sixth-grade author Simeon Hudson wrote a children’s book to help combat bullying.

21 commonly banned books in 2021, and the reasons why.

Numbers & Trends

How much do ratings and reviews on Goodreads affect book sales?

Award News

The RWA has rescinded the award for At Love’s Command by Karen Witemeyer.

Every Child a Reader revamps its book awards.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

A look at the extortion scams and review bombing that are plaguing Goodreads.

This Scottish guy built a hobbit house workshop in his backyard.

How to make time to read for pleasure in college.

Maybe you CAN have too many books in your TBR?

On the Riot

7 US libraries and collections named after trailblazing women.

How to start a bookmobile.

5 ways working in a bookstore changed this reader forever.

Why you should break up with 3-star reads.

A mathematical formula for packing books for vacation.

Why you should start keeping a reading journal.

This reader has terrible reading comprehension, but they still love reading.

Learning to let go of reading books at the “right time.”

Death and the TBR.

Okay, hopefully all of you have power this weekend! I’ll catch you next week.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently listening to The Witch Elm by Tana French.

Check Your Shelf

What We Talk About When We Talk About Our Favorite Books

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. Blaine has asked me to mention the fact that J.W. Rinzler, author of multiple best-selling “making of” books about Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Alien has passed away at 58. He asked me to mention this because he had been thinking about how J.W. Rinzler would be a great author to do a making-of book about The Shining, and when he went to check if there were any updates about Rinzler’s work, he learned that a) Rinzler had passed away and b) that Rinzler had indeed been working on a making-of book about The Shining, so he demanded asked nicely that I mention his telepathic incident in the newsletter. On a serious note, though, Rinzler’s books are gorgeous keepsakes for pop culture/movie buffs, and if you haven’t looked at one yet, make sure to do so.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Reese Witherspoon’s media business, Hello Sunshine, has been sold to an unnamed-media venture run by two former Disney executives for an estimated $900,000.

TikTok users launch a free virtual BookTalk conference.

New & Upcoming Titles

Lisa Berne is writing a Regency-era romantic comedy that’s billed as Bridgerton meets Groundhog Day.

Kacen Callender is writing a middle-grade book about a 12-year-old who struggles with depression and suicidal ideation.

Mel Brooks is publishing a new memoir, All About Me!, which will come out in November 2021.

Here’s a first look at Emily Henry’s upcoming book, Book Lovers.

And here’s everything we know about Sally Rooney’s upcoming book, Beautiful World, Where Are You.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer gets a YA sequel trilogy from Disney Books.

Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and Midnight Sun books will be reissued with new covers in 2022.

6 new debut novelists for the last days of summer.

12 Canadian books about love and romance to read this summer.

The 50 hottest new books everyone should be reading this summer.

48 new YA books that are extremely on-trend.

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

July 2021 romances graded on a flame scale.

August picks from Bitch Media, Book Marks (SFF), Brightly (children’s & YA), Bustle, Crime Reads, Entertainment Weekly, Good Morning America, The Millions, OprahDaily, Shondaland, (SF), and Washington Post (general picks, mysteries/thrillers).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Billy Summers – Stephen King (Esquire, The Guardian, New York Times, USA Today)

Afterparties – Anthony Veasna So (New York Times, NPR, USA Today, Vulture)

The Turnout – Megan Abbott (Entertainment Weekly, Today, Washington Post)

Her Heart For a Compass – Sarah Ferguson (Good Morning America, The Guardian, USA Today)

Ghosts – Dolly Alderton (Entertainment Weekly, Washington Post)

The Husbands – Chandler Baker (Entertainment Weekly, Good Morning America)

Ladyparts – Deborah Copaken (New York Times, Washington Post)

The Quiet Zone: Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence – Stephen Kurczy (New York Times, USA Today)

We Are the Brennans – Tracey Lange (Entertainment Weekly, New York Times)

RA/Genre Resources

Readalikes for Billy Summer by Stephen King.

Playing favorites with favorites, or what we talk about when we talk about our favorite books.

On the Riot

New YA books featuring female athletes.

New adult, YA, and children’s releases to TBR.

Where are the fat children in picture books?

There’s no environmental literature without Indigenous authors.

A brief guide to ecofiction by BIPOC authors.

A beginner’s guide to Mississippi writers.

Reading pathway for Mary Roach.

The way back to reading joy may be through the backlist.

What is silkpunk, and what is it definitely not?

Your guide to blackout poetry.

What murder mysteries get wrong about forensics.

All Things Comics

Korean comics gain popularity in North America.

Top DC executives speak out about DC Comics being in rebuilding mode, and “future-proofing” publishing.

The best comics published in July 2021.

10 shonen manga to read if you love magic schools.

On the Riot

A starter guide to the Loki comics.

A look into the history of the Comics Code Authority.


The August 2021 Earphones Award winners have been announced.

9 audiobooks recommended by Chandler Baker.

The 3 best new audiobooks to listen to in August.

On the Riot

10 of’s most pre-ordered audiobooks for Fall 2021.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


Epic dragon books for teens and tweens.

21 joyful YA books about queer women.

21 YA books that have actually broken Team Epic Reads out of their reading slumps.


All 91 books in Oprah’s Book Club. (Now there’s a ready-made display idea if I’ve ever seen one.)

Great books by queer authors from the last 5 years.

8 books about queer people dealing with cancer.

Books about sports and leadership, as recommended by Abby Wambach.

A list of ultra-dark thrillers.

4 books featuring cutthroat female characters.

7 thrillers about vacations gone wrong.

7 books about women in purgatory.

7 music novels to shape your summer soundtrack.

15 cookbooks everyone should own.

On the Riot

Energizing high-contrast board books.

Rioters’ favorite picture books.

9 of the best read-aloud books about starting school.

Middle grade fiction about the environment.

Coming-of-age in space books for teens.

8 fantastic romance novels by Indigenous authors.

9 books that feel like Pushing Daisies.

8 queer books that explore place, nature, and the environment.

Novels with an ecofeminist bent.

Hopepunk featuring creative solutions to the climate crisis.

9 mysteries with environment and conservation themes.

Books about sustainability and nature.

10 books at the intersection of climate change and capitalism.

9 eye-opening memoirs about nature and the environment.

8 historical suspense novels.

22 of the best love scenes in books.

9 great camping horror novels.

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.

Catch you later, friends. Have a good week!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading The Bombay Prince by Sujata Massey.

Check Your Shelf

Is it Worth Your 2500?

Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where it’s been a bit of a week, and I’m very much looking ahead to the weekend. By the time you read this newsletter, I’ll be at Wrigley Field watching the Cubs play the White Sox, and even though my heart is still shattered into a million Bryant/Rizzo/Baez-less pieces, it’ll be good to enjoy some live baseball.

Okay, let’s talk about libraries now.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

New York Public Library’s staff members are speaking out about their growing concerns around COVID-19.

Whitefish Bay (WI) residents and a social justice group protest the library’s removal of a sign addressing systemic racism.

A Drag Queen Story Hour program was canceled in Nebraska after receiving numerous threats.

Carmel (IN) parents share outrage over “sexually explicit” content in library books.

Shelly Millender Jr., who helped desegregate the Birmingham Public Library, dies at age 86.

For all your patrons who still use their old Kindles: certain older models will start losing internet access beginning in December.

Cool Library Updates

This sixth-grade author helped launch a pop-up library in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Bay Area librarians bring information to inmates, one letter at a time.

Libraries across the United States are eliminating late fees.

Worth Reading

A new study reveals that the majority of academic librarians have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.

Connecticut libraries see a lot more book removal requests, but few actually get pulled from the shelves.

Why other libraries should be paying attention to the #SaveNilesLibrary Campaign.

Book Adaptations in the News

Paramount has acquired the rights to Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children fantasy series, with the plan to create a franchise around this series and its characters.

We’re getting two new Octavia Butler adaptations: one for Fledgling and one for Parable of the Sower.

A Jaws-themed musical (yes, MUSICAL) is in the works for 2022. SIGN. ME. UP.

A TV series based on the life of Malcolm X is in the works at Sony, which will be based on the novels X, by Kekla Magoon and Ilyasah Shabazz and The Awakening of Malcolm X by Tiffany D. Jackson and Ilyasah Shabazz.

Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline is being adapted as a series.

Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar universe is being adapted for TV.

Garth Greenwell’s novel What Belongs to You is being adapted as an opera.

Love, Victor has been renewed for a third season on Hulu.

Natalie Portman’s adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s Days of Abandonment is no longer moving forward at HBO.

Casting updates for Killers of the Flower Moon and the new Exorcist trilogy.

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series teases a release date.

Trailers for the Dexter revival series and the last season of The Walking Dead.

Books & Authors in the News

Crime author Mo Hayder has died at age 59. (This woman wrote some of the most horrifying crime fiction I’ve EVER read, and if you know me, that’s meant as the highest possible compliment.)

A new wave of “concerned citizens” discover and challenge the classic book It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health.

A fake Cormac McCarthy account is causing a stir on Twitter.

Numbers & Trends

Is it worth your 2500? (Don’t worry if this puts you into a temporary existential crisis…that’s what it did for me.)

Americans read nearly 25% more during the pandemic, according to new research.

Award News

The RWA has stepped in it again by presenting a VIVIAN Award to a book with a genocidal “hero.”

The National Book Foundation plans to hold a limited, in-person ceremony for the National Book Awards in November.

Awkwafina is hosting the 2021 PEN America Literary Gala.

The 2021 Comedy Women in Print Award longlists have been announced.

The Newberry Library announces a $25,000 Chicago-specific book award.

Pop Cultured

Mystery, mayhem, and nostalgia: inside the intense world of Nancy Drew computer game fans.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Hemingway “wannabes” celebrate the author with a lookalike contest held in Key West.

A brief history of summer reading.

On the Riot

Why this reader values their trips to the library with their son.

Diversifying Little Free Libraries: learn, support, and get inspired.

5 lessons learned from working at your childhood library.

The most popular in-demand books in US libraries from April – July, 2021.

Book pirates buy more books, and other unintuitive book piracy facts.

Investigating punny mystery titles.

The legacy of Jane Eyre.

Where to buy signed books.

15 amazing Indigenous Bookstagram accounts to follow.

Okay, that’s it for me, everyone. Mask up, stay safe, and remember to hydrate and moisturize! Catch you all next week!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading The Happiest Girl in the World by Alena Dillon.

Check Your Shelf


Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’ve spent the weekend in a fugue, trying to move past the fact that the Cubs front office traded away all of their best players in the span of 24 hours last week. If you have any coworkers who are Cubs fans, be gentle with them this week. If you’re a Cubs fan, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Okay. Let’s distract ourselves with some book talk.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

An Authors Guild diversity webinar asks: can book publishing actually change?

New & Upcoming Titles

Tamsyn Muir announces the next book in the Locked Tomb series: Nona the Ninth, which will publish in Fall 2022.

Here’s a sneak peek at John le Carré’s posthumous novel, Silverview, which will be published in October.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly working on a book about leadership and philanthropy.

Amanda Gorman is publishing a new book in December, called Call Us What We Carry.

A new Zora Neale Hurston essay collection will be published in 2022.

Random House will be releasing previously unpublished novellas in 2022 by Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby.

Self-published fantasy author Scarlett St. Clair (and former librarian!) has signed on with Sourcebooks/Bloom Books.

Molly Shannon is releasing a memoir in April 2022.

115+ picture, middle grade, and YA books coming out in 2021.

Spring 2022 sneak preview for children’s and YA titles.

Take a look at this new Publishers Weekly feature: Pandemic Missed Connections, which will talk about children’s and YA titles that may have gotten lost in the pandemic shuffle.

45 LGBTQ books that will heat up the literary landscape this fall.

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

Best debut crime novels and international crime novels for July.

August picks from AVClub, Barnes & Noble, Epic Reads (YA), Gizmodo (SFF), New York Times, NPR, Popsugar (romance), Time, and Washington Post (mysteries/thrillers).

37 best books of 2021 (so far).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

The Great Peace – Mena Suvari (LA Times, New York Times, Time, USA Today)

What Strange Paradise – Omar El Akkad (NPR, Washington Post)

A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes: A Son’s Memoir of Gabriel Garcia Márquez and Mercedes Barcha – Rodrigo Garcia (New York Times, Oprah Daily)

Big Vape: The Incendiary Rise of Juul – Jamie Ducharme (Washington Post)

In the Country of Others – Leila Slimani (The Guardian)

The Heartbeat of Trees: Embracing Our Ancient Bond With Forests and Nature – Peter Wohlleben (Washington Post)

Nightbitch – Rachel Yoder (Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

Readalikes for Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas.

Historical fiction is headed in new directions.

“New-wave westerns” rewrite the cliched narrative of the Old West.

It’s okay to just say you enjoy romance novels! (Also, a personal plea for all library workers to stop disparaging romance as a genre. If you don’t read it, you don’t read it, but we’ve got to move past the belief that romance novels are trashy, worthy of scorn, or a waste of collection dollars.)

Also: why men are reading romance novels.

Militaries plunder science fiction for technology ideas, but fail to recognize the genre’s social commentary.

On the Riot

#TheNewLatinoBoom: The rise of literature published in Spanish in the US.

What is the COVID-19 canon going to be?

New weekly releases to add to your TBR.

Fall releases you’ll want to put on hold at the library right now.

The best new poets you may not have heard of.

“I don’t know you: don’t ask me for book recommendations!” Okay, library staff really shouldn’t say this to patrons, but I think we’ve all felt this way before.

The ultimate guide to best books for teens by age.

The appeal of unlikeable female characters.

What’s the difference between WLW books, lesbian fiction, sapphic books, and F/F romance?

All Things Comics

Scarlett Johansson sues Disney for breach of contract over the release of Black Widow.

Nightmare Before Christmas gets a sequel in a new Disney manga.

18 Canadian comic books to read this summer.

France gave teens $350 to spend on “culture.” They bought comic books. 🙂

Graphic novelists who show us what loneliness means.

On the Riot

10 comic books about immigrants and immigration.

Everything you need to know about Harlequin manga.

12 must-read stories on DC Universe Infinite.

8 manga about school life.


Tracey Ullman will be narrating the audio version of David Sedaris’ latest book, Carnival of Snackery.

Erik Larson is releasing a fiction audiobook about ghost hunting called No One Goes Alone, which will ONLY be released on audio. Um, sign me up now.

Midsummer mysteries & thrillers to put in your ears.

On the Riot

5 rising stars in audiobook narration.

12 LGBTQIA YA audiobooks to listen to in the second half of 2021.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


BIPOC children’s book authors that kids will love.

18 YA books set in dreamy California.

21 YA books featuring disabled and chronically ill characters.


The best books by Latinx writers to devour this summer.

11 Afro-Latinx writers whose work traverses the Americas.

A compendium of horror novels by state.

Books that explore the dark side of athletic perfection.

9 reads you won’t be able to get out of your head.

15 books if you like Haruki Murakami.

25 books by TED Speakers that will expand your mind.

13 laugh-out-loud mysteries.

5 thrillers to make you delete your social media accounts forever.

4 books for another brutal fire season.

4 books for ballet lovers.

5 books that capture the essence of coming of age.

15 books like Bridgerton, if you can’t get enough regency romance.

8 uplifting, feel-good reads.

On the Riot

Saddle up with these 15 horse books for kids.

YA books about plant magic and family secrets.

16 books like Red Queen.

9 spooky books set in high school.

Books about the Soviet Union.

9 fantasy books with epic political intrigue.

10 romances featuring smooth-talking podcasters and radio hosts.

9 books about being alone in space.

9 funny mysteries that will make you die of laughter.

16 Jane Eyre retellings.

10 enchanting bookstore mysteries.

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.

Have a good week, everyone. I’ll see you on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

How Much Are YOUR Tarot Cards Worth?

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. You ever have one of those days where your brain just refuses to do things like remember schedule changes, do basic math, or print the correct documents? Yeah, that’s been my day today. I’ll try to get through this newsletter in one piece.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The Niles-Maine Public Library (IL) board has agreed to a compromise budget that doesn’t cut staff hours or building improvements, but does make significant cuts to collections, librarian outreach efforts, and more.

Two library workers have filed a lawsuit against the city of New Orleans, saying that a recently-issued social media policy for city employees is censoring their right to free speech on their own private social media accounts.

The Whitefish Bay Public Library (WI) removed a sign addressing systemic racism after community members complained.

Cool Library Updates

A new Little Free Library program will bring thousands of diverse books to Detroit neighborhoods.

Worth Reading

The rescue of the New York Public Library.

Book Adaptations in the News

Shailene Woodley will star in the upcoming adaptation of Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women.

Apple has tapped Siân Heder to write and direct an adaptation of Judy Heumann’s bestselling memoir, Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist.

Netflix will adapt The Night Agent by Matthew Quirk as a series.

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman is getting a series adaptation from Amazon.

Arthur is ending its 25-year run in 2022.

The Stephen King short story “Strawberry Spring” is being adapted as a podcast.

Casting update for The Shining Girls.

Here’s the latest trailer for Dune.

Books & Authors in the News

Controversy continues at the Columbia County school district, where a local parent is pushing back on the school’s decision to include Raina Telgemeier’s Drama on library shelves.

Parents of Northampton Area School District students expressed concern over book donations from the Conscious Kids Foundation, claiming that the foundation uses “Marxist critical race theory.” Don’t mind me, my head is just exploded in fury.

Five authors have been arrested in Hong Kong for sedition for publishing children’s book that tries to explain the pro-democracy movement and portrays supporters as sheep surrounded by wolves.

Numbers & Trends

San Francisco public libraries loan the most books per capita, per year worldwide.

What are the fastest selling books in US publishing history?

Take a peek at the results of Book Riot’s pandemic reading habits survey.

Award News

The winners of the Eisner Awards, Agatha Awards, and Kitschie Awards have been announced.

The 2021 World Fantasy Award finalists have been announced.

The 2021 Booker Prize longlist has been announced.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Sylvia Plath’s tarot cards just sold for $207,000.

Are book clubs better on Zoom?

On the Riot

How do rural libraries serve patrons?

The best places to find library jobs.

Great library displays and how effective they are.

Meet the Wind River Reservation Little Free Library.

Little Free Diverse Libraries: what they are and how you can help.

How to get into BookTok.

Forging more mindful connections to books.

How reading Lord of the Rings helped this reader cope with their OCD.

The history of book blurbing.

Have a peaceful weekend, friends. I’ll see you on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Erotic Manga, Woke Baby Books, and CLOWN IN A CORNFIELD Part 2

Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where I’ve made the very silly decision to start reading a book that I KNEW was going to be a one-sitting book, and now I don’t have any choice except to finish it before I go to bed. After I finish this newsletter, of course.

So, let’s library, and I’ll get back to reading!

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Lincoln Center Poet-in-Residence Mahogany L. Browne is launching the first Woke Baby Book Fair, which will be free and open to the public.

Testing the in-person book show waters.

New & Upcoming Titles

Random House just announced a forthcoming memoir from Prince Harry, which will be published in late 2022.

Winnie-the-Pooh is getting an official prequel.

Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen are publishing a book developed from their podcast conversations.

We’re also getting a young adult edition of Obama’s Dreams From My Father this fall.

Stacey Abrams is publishing her first children’s book, Stacey’s Extraordinary Words, which will be out in late December.

Viola Davis and Kelly Ripa are each publishing nonfiction books in 2022.

Here’s a first look at Emily St. John Mandel’s new book, Sea of Tranquility, that she wrote during quarantine.

Ocean Vuong announces a new poetry collection, Time Is a Mother.

Adam Cesare is writing a sequel to Clown in a Cornfield, called Clown in a Cornfield 2: Frendo Lives.

Weekly book picks from Crime Reads and USA Today.

Barnes & Noble has their most anticipated August releases for adults and children/teens.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Intimacies – Katie Kitamura (Bustle, LA Times, New York Times, NPR)

The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion – Eliot Brown & Maureen Farrell (New York Times, Washington Post)

Better to Have Gone: Love, Death, and the Quest for Utopia in Auroville – Akash Kapur (New York Times, NPR)

Nightbitch – Rachel Yoder (Esquire, The Guardian)

RA/Genre Resources

The space to exist: the other kind of diversity in storytelling.

The many shades of gatekeeping: how the term “emerging author” hurts more than it helps.

Asexual romance readers are finally getting their happily ever afters.

The international authors to read this summer.

On the Riot

2021 must-read beach reads.

9 gripping new summer thrillers to add to your beach bag.

Weekly new releases to add to your TBR.

Your guide to techno thrillers.

An introduction to literary nonfiction.

When a “romantic” read is really about grooming. (TW: grooming, sexual abuse)

All Things Comics

These were the buzziest panels at ComicCon At Home.

Michael B. Jordan is bringing Black Superman Val-Zod to HBO Max. (If anyone’s keeping track, this is separate from Ta-Nehisi Coates’ and JJ Abrams’ plans to bring a Black Superman to the big screen.)

Black Panther gets a new origin story with the launch of Black Panther Legends.

Mel Valentine Vargas is adapting Meg Medina’s YA novel, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass into a graphic novel.

Michaela Cole has joined the cast for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Leslie Grace is going to be the new Barbara Gordon in the upcoming Batgirl movie.

Plans are in the works to turn The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina into new comics.

The greatest seinen manga of the decade, according to Goodreads.

On the Riot

9 new and upcoming comics and graphic memoirs that embody queer joy.

6 manhwa and manga like The Beginning After the End.

Books you never knew had manga adaptations.

Manga erotica: a beginner’s guide to ecchi and hentai.

Can you read manga on a Kindle?

This Barbie comic is really, really weird.


The Panoramic Project looks at audiobook use in 2020 and context around reading and other entertainment media.

Regé-Jean Page joins the cast of The Sandman on Audible.

7 great audiobooks to listen to this month.

13 summer activities to pair with audiobooks.

Audiobooks for every attention span.

7 kids’ audiobooks for a summer road trip.

On the Riot

Who listens to audiobooks?

5 audiobooks for your next road trip.

30 of the best Audible books for kids.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


10 new children’s books in translation to read this summer.

12 of the best books for three-year-olds.

17 YA books about starting over.

16 YA fairy-tale retellings that live up to the hype.


A reading list for Disability Pride Month.

7 novels about scandalous small towns.

For fans of Sherlock Holmes: 15 recommendations for detective book lovers.

6 books for nature lovers.

Reader-recommended climate fiction.

5 must-read books about the invisible borders between culture and identity.

9 books with plots pulled from real life.

Thrillers set in the great outdoors.

9 books to transport you around the world.

15 Pulitzer Prize book winners and finalists that deserve a spot on your TBR.

11 books recommended by TikTokers.

On the Riot

9 funny chapter book series that will keep kids giggling.

15 books about going off to college.

“It’s gay and it slaps:” TikTok’s favorite LGBTQ books.

9 LGBTQ+ memoirs to read this summer.

8 notable queer contemporary fiction novels by Asian authors.

8 books about Japanese culture to read before the Olympics.

10 books about cryptids and cryptozoology.

Horror reads for summer.

10 recent magical realism novels.

8 unconventional romantic reads like Netflix’s Sexy Beasts.

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.

All right, I’m off to continue reading. Have a good week, everyone!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading Survive the Night by Riley Sager. (Yeah, this is the book determined to keep me up past my bedtime.)

Check Your Shelf

Niles Public Library Is a Warning

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. It feels like there’s been a lot of recent news about far-right groups trying to gut libraries and schools from the inside out, and while I am jaded and cynical by nature, it still boggles my mind to see such a coordinated attack. I don’t have anything to add to the discourse that’s already happening, but the whole situation is absolutely infuriating.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

(TW: transphobia, violence against trans people) Magician Mikayla Oz, a trans woman, canceled her series of performances at the Campbell County Public Library in Gillette, Wyoming after the library started receiving threats of violence from community members.

The Norwalk Public Library (CT) is considering the removal of a children’s book with illustrations of a Sikh leader after a resident said the depictions were insulting to the religion.

Cool Library Updates

A look at the growing practice of library gardens.

Worth Reading

Demolishing public libraries from the inside: Niles Public Library is a warning.

Here’s another article about how right-wing groups are trying to keep libraries from promoting racial justice.

The importance of counting people in public libraries.

Book Adaptations in the News

Robert Downey Jr. is co-starring in the series adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer.

Bridgerton director Julie Anne Robinson and star Adjoa Andoh are teaming up for a series adaptation of Island Queen by Vanessa Riley.

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu is now a serialized podcast.

Charlize Theron and the Muschiettis are developing The Final Girl for HBO, which is based on Grady Hendrix’s recent novel The Final Girl Support Group.

HBO is developing two more animated Game of Thrones shows.

David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s novel Winter Counts has been optioned for the big screen.

She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey will be turned into a film adaptation starring Carey Mulligan.

The horror comic Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill will be turned into a TV series.

Oscar “Zeta” Acosta’s novels will be adapted for a TV series.

British director Prano Bailey-Bond is directing an adaptation of Mariana Enriquez’s short story “Things We Lost in the Fire.”

Marjan Kamali’s novel The Stationery Shop is getting a series on HBO.

FX has ordered a pilot based on Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred.

The Wheel of Time is getting a movie trilogy.

There’s going to be a Pet Sematary prequel. (Did I know this? I can’t remember…)

Jennifer Carpenter is returning for the Dexter revival.

Here’s the teaser trailer for One of Us is Lying.

Books & Authors in the News

Award-winning YA author and journalist Ann Rinaldi has passed away at 86.

(TW: transphobia) The American Booksellers Association has apologized for including “an anti-trans book” in a recent promotional shipment to members.

The book Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) by L.C. Rosen is under fire by a Christian right group in Irving, Texas.

President Biden has nominated author Atul Gawande as assistant administrator of the Bureau for Global Health.

Liveright Publishing will be publishing Patricia Highsmith’s diaries for the first time.

Is Sylvia Plath literature’s most misunderstood icon?

Numbers & Trends

A new study shows a 20% decline in school librarians over the past decade.

These are the best-selling books of 2021, so far.

How our streaming habits are changing contemporary fiction.

Fear Street is leading a revival of 90’s YA horror adaptations.

Publishing can’t stop (won’t stop?) making Trump books.

Award News

Emmy nominations have been announced.

The Center for Fiction has announced the 2021 First Novel Prize longlist.

Pop Cultured

Here’s the trailer for season 3 of What We Do in the Shadows.

On the Riot

Summer reading programs for kids made this reader feel invincible.

Real and fictional librarians leading resistance.

Indigenous books Netflix needs to adapt.

5 author pseudonyms that have never been revealed.

If you joined all the book clubs, here’s what you’d be reading.

A look at the Goodreads bot problem.

A compelling reason to only read one book at a time.

This 5th grade teacher set one reading rule, which forever changed this reader’s life.

School summer reading lists: a brief and nerdy history.

How to learn a new language by reading slightly beyond your scope (and other tips).

Oral history through the ages.

Well I’m out, friends. Remember to vote in your local elections, and keep fighting the good fight against censorship. Have a peaceful weekend!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.