Check Your Shelf

Lizzo-Based Book Recommendations

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. Our new fiscal year has finally started, which means that I have a giant cart of adult fiction books ready to order through Baker & Taylor the moment I come into work this week. I’ve already preemptively apologized to our cataloger for the havoc I’m about to wreak, but not much I can do about it at this point.

Let’s library.

Bookish Goods

Lizzo T-shirt by DAtaiskaraStore

We love this Lizzo shirt on Etsy!

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

I just finished listening to Ocean Vuong narrate his latest poetry collection on audio. Ugh, it’s so incredibly beautiful, and there’s nothing like listening to a poet narrate his work. Time Is a Mother was written after Vuong’s mother passed away, and it’s full of longing for the person he loved most.

A graphic of the cover of An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X. R. Pan

An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X. R. Pan

I ADORED The Astonishing Color of After, so I’ve been waiting SO LONG to listen to this one. An Arrow to the Moon is Romeo and Juliet meets Chinese mythology, which is 100% in my wheelhouse.

Riot Recommendations

15 of the best Filipino children’s books from the Philippines.

15 middle grade book series to delight young readers.

Heartwarming queer YA books like Netflix’s Heartstopper.

The most f*cked up books we’ve ever read. (I will wholeheartedly second The Hike and Perfect Days — those books were BONKERS.)

The best fantasy books you’ve never heard of.

11 of the best Swedish books available in English.

Post-cyberpunk books to add to your TBR.

15 of the best books on Roman history.

Queer pirate books.

10 poetry books by LGBTQ Asian authors to read right now.

8 books for first-time dog parents.

15 of the best Nigerian books.

10 books for fans of telenovelas.

20 must-read queer novels set outside the US, UK, and Canada.

I’ve posted enough adorable photos of my cats over the last few weeks…now here’s a doofy one. This is Gilbert’s true essence, and often the first thing I see when I wake up.

Stay cool, all you cats and kittens. I’ll see you on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

1,586 Book Bans in 9 Months

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. As I put together this newsletter, my husband and I are recovering from what we think was food poisoning. Thankfully, the worst of it only lasted 24 hours and I didn’t have it as bad as Blaine did, but yesterday was not great.

So while I try to rehydrate myself, let’s talk about libraries.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Blackstone Audio ends its 3 month library embargo on newly published digital titles.

Maryland gives up on its library eBook law.

After losing state funding, Kalispell’s ImagineIF Library (MT) faces a lack of donor confidence.

Multnomah County librarians say that they’re no longer willing to work as de facto security guards.

Cool Library Updates

The Medford Library in Oregon has started offering special morning hours for people experiencing homelessness, where they can get food, hygiene kits, clean socks and outerwear, and time to clean up in the bathrooms.

The Linda Lindas return to the LA Public Library for an NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert.

How to host your own cardboard carnival.

Worth Reading

Activities for National Poetry Month.

Book Adaptations in the News

Tom Hiddleston will be starring in the adaptation of David Grann’s The White Darkness.

Nimona by NB Stevenson is being made into a Netflix movie!

Walker Scobell has been cast as Percy Jackson in the upcoming Disney+ series.

Ragnar Jónasson’s Outside will be adapted as a feature film.

Whoopi Goldberg will play Bird Woman in the upcoming Amazon adaptation of Anansi Boys.

Locke and Key will end with its third season on Netflix.

Casting updates for Truth Be Told, Saint X, and The Lincoln Lawyer.

Hulu released an extended trailer and a premiere date for Conversations With Friends.

Here’s a teaser trailer for Interview With the Vampire.

Banned & Challenged Books

ALA has not offered any meaningful support to librarians dealing with book bans. Here’s a look at their 2022 State of America’s Libraries report, but honestly, if you want a more accurate recap, you’ll be better off checking out this Twitter thread.

PEN America released a statement, a new Index of School Book Bans, and an accompanying report, Banned in the USA, which documents the book bans that have occurred over the last 9 months. They discovered 1,586 book bans in 86 school districts, and 1,154 unique titles being challenged.

What it feels like to be a librarian during an attempt to ban books.

Banning books makes for bad parenting. Well, I’m glad someone said it.

Brooklyn Library is offering access to banned ebooks to teens across the country.

Three Pennsylvania students and one librarian were invited to testify at last week’s banned book hearing in front of Congress. Here are a couple more complete updates.

Ballotpedia’s guide to understanding school board politics.

LGBTQ groups sue Florida over its “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Two books about transgender kids, I Am Jazz and Call Me Max, have been removed from Palm Beach (FL) schools in response to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Polk County (FL) schools decide to keep Nineteen Minutes and Beloved on high school shelves.

The Texas Educational Association has encouraged parental input on library materials.

The National Coalition Against Censorship has issued a statement in response to the removal of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and The Perks of Being a Wallflower from Fredricksburg ISD (TX).

Parents in the Keller ISD (TX) are still upset over “pornogragraphic” books being allowed to stay in the library, and say that the school board isn’t removing enough of them.

Katy ISD (TX) elects to keep Maus and Maus II available in their middle school and high school libraries. ​​

Cherokee County (GA) Board of Education continues to hear from upset parents about “inappropriate books” in school libraries.

Forsyth County (GA) parents are outraged by the presence of Call Me By Your Name and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close on library shelves, and one mom has been banned from board meetings after a particularly noteworthy outburst.

Gender Queer is back on library shelves at Antioch (IL) High School as the board re-evaluates its decision to remove the book.

Here’s an update on the ROWVA (IL) School Board openings, after two board members resigned last month. There are now ELEVEN candidates in the race.

The city of Pella (IA) will not pursue exclusive governmental control of the Pella Public Library, which several citizens have called for after the library refused to remove Gender Queer from library shelves.

Johnson County (IA) librarians share their opposition to book banning.

Arlington Public Library (DC) takes a stand against banning books in schools with their “Wake Up and Read” event.

The Missoula (MT) library board wrote a letter emphasizing their stance against censorship.

This letter to the editor from a Rhode Island parent is alarming, specifically because it outlines their retaliatory efforts that a lot of people are resorting to when the school board/public library refuses to remove the requested materials. ​​

Heather Ann Thompson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising and Its Legacy, has sued the state of New York for its ban on her book being made available to incarcerated people.

Williamson County Schools (TN) temporarily removed access to its digital library on Epic! in response to concerns about the book An ABC of Equality being made available on the app.

Wilson County School Board (TN) elected to keep Eleanor and Park and The Bluest Eye in their high school libraries.

A reading list on CRT and book bans happening in Tennessee schools.

Tennessee students say that CRT laws promote bias in schools and hurt students’ mental health.

The Madison County Library System and the city of Ridgeland (MS) have yet to come to an agreement that would ensure continued funding for the library.

Francis Howell School Board (MO) candidates discuss controversial books and critical race theory ahead of upcoming elections.

Voters cite CRT, book bans, and teacher pay in the Springfield (MO) school board election.

After the Derby School District (KS) removed The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian from a list of approved classroom materials, a former member of the Derby City Council asked the district to review and remove the Bible from its approved classroom materials as well, in an effort to highlight the consequences of censorship. She cited references to murder, masturbation, genocide, incest, and other “mature topics.” The Board refused to remove it, but other committee members have questioned the decision to remove The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.

One mom in Broomfield, Colorado is upset over Gender Queer and Lawn Boy being available to high school students, even though Gender Queer isn’t held at any of the district school libraries.

Monte Vista School District ( CO) unanimously approved the use of The Hate U Give in its high school curriculum after a parent complained.

Montgomery High School (NJ) heard complaints against The 57 Bus and Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir being made available to teenagers.

Librarians and parents weigh in on the Hempfield Area School District’s (PA) library book policies.

The Hudson City School Board (OH) is preparing to vote on whether or not Gender Queer can be returned to the school library.

The impact of censorship is discussed at an online event at the Bexley Public Library (OH).

It’s Okay to Be a Unicorn is under fire in the Buckeye Valley School District (OH).

Speak up for school librarians in Ohio.

The Burke County Public School Board of Education (NC) heard proposals on centralizing the district’s material selection and giving an additional set of reviews on purchased materials.

Protestors accuse the Wake County (NC) school system of promoting pornography in their schools.

Warren County High School (VA) principal Kenneth Knesh said that a parent contacted the school administration and asked them to pull a book from the shelves for the parent to review, which the administration did. Once the parent is finished looking at the book, he says that the book will be returned to the library, but in the meantime, students don’t have access to the book because someone outside of the school requested that it be pulled.

These kids’ authors are telling the stories of trans youth. Book bans won’t stop them.

Nikole Hannah-Jones calls the wave of book bans an inevitable backlash to the racial protests of 2020.

Republicans are now moving to defund libraries.

A book list for teens who refuse to be told what they can’t read.

Books & Authors in the News

Here are all of the April 2022 book club picks.

Jack Higgins, author of The Eagle Has Landed, has died at 92.

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

Numbers & Trends

Millennial and Gen Z nostalgia is bringing back book sales, indie bookstores, and Barnes & Noble.

5 of the biggest upcoming publishing trends from the London Book Fair.

A rare first edition of The Great Gatsby lists at $360,000.

Award News

The 2022 Whiting Award winners have been announced.

The 2022 International Booker Prize and Hugo Award shortlists have been announced.

YALSA’s Teen Top 10 nominees for 2022 have been announced.

On the Riot

6 databases offered by public libraries to know and try.

The history of bookmobiles.

Why this reader deleted their Goodreads TBR, and why they recommend you should too.

Please start reading books for what they are.

The most boring book opinions.

This reader learned more about science from books than they ever did in their college science classes.

Take an anti-burnout reading vacation.

How video games helped this reader fall back in love with reading. (Wow, I wish that was how it worked for me. Video games are keeping me from reading right now.)

black and white cat resting its head on a person's feet

Remember Gilbert’s resting head portrait from the last newsletter? Well, here’s Dini’s version. Those are my feet he’s resting on, and he stayed that way just long enough for Blaine to take the picture.

It’s the weekend, thank goodness. I’m going to be pretty careful about where we get takeout from for awhile…hopefully all of your culinary adventures will be satisfying and not illness-inducing.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

First Looks and Cover Reveals

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I seem to have two operating modes in life: mostly engaged (usually at work) and completely switched off (usually at home, sometimes at work). There’s no in-between where I can come home and take care of basic household stuff without feeling like the weight of the world is going to crush me. Sometimes I’ll have a couple good days, and then I’m right back to staring at the garbage, wondering how long I can let it sit before I absolutely have to take it out. It’s maddening! I need to figure out a better way to divvy up my mental spoons, I think…

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

“Unlivable and untenable:” the punishing life of junior publishing employees.

New & Upcoming Titles

Britney Spears confirmed she is working on a memoir.

Karin Smirnoff will be taking over Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series from David Lagercrantz.

Robert Downey Jr. is teaming up with environmentalist author Thomas Kostigen to write a new book about making climate-friendly food choices.

Gisele Bündchen just sold her still-untitled cookbook to Clarkson Potter.

Celeste Ng revealed the cover of her upcoming book, Our Missing Hearts!

And Wanda M. Morris revealed the cover of her upcoming thriller, Anywhere You Run! Super excited about this one — I loved All Her Little Secrets!

Colin Kaepernick shared a first look at his upcoming children’s book I Color Myself Different.

Alexis Henderson revealed the cover of her upcoming gothic horror novel, House of Hunger.

And here’s the cover reveal for Clay McLeod Chapman’s upcoming horror novel, Ghost Eaters.

Former Nickelodeon child star Jennette McCurdy is writing a memoir.

Here’s a first look at Trixie Mattel and Katya’s latest book, Working Girls: Trixie & Katya’s Guide to Professional Womanhood.

A look at some of the latest, buzziest thrillers written by women.

Publishers Weekly highlighted some of the upcoming horror and gothic fiction for the year.

Top Spring/Summer debut novels.

76 thrillers and mysteries for 2022.

150+ new releases to watch in 2022.

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

April picks from Bustle, (fantasy, science fiction), Town & Country, and USA Today (rom-coms)

22 of 2022’s top new books (so far).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

The Candy House – Jennifer Egan (Entertainment Weekly, LA Times, New York Times, NPR, Slate, USA Today)

Sea of Tranquility – Emily St. John Mandel (LA Times, The Millions, NPR)

Young Mungo – Douglas Stuart (The Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post)

Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole – Susan Cain (New York Times, Washington Post)

Let’s Not Do That Again – Grant Ginder (USA Today, Washington Post)

Portrait of a Thief – Grace D. Li (LA Times, USA Today)

RA/Genre Resources

What to read when you feel uprooted.

Hollywood’s influence on great fantasy fiction

Confessions of an occasional science fiction fan.

On the Riot

8 of the best new YA vampire books to sink your teeth into.

The best weekly releases to TBR.

12 must-read children’s book releases this April.

12 of the most anticipated SFF books for April.

10 of the best romance novels out in April.

April mystery/thriller/true crime releases.

Queer titles to TBR this spring.

This season’s most anticipated horror books.

Your guide to Spring 2022 YA books: April – June.

New nonfiction for Spring 2022.

There’s room for both dark and fluffy queer media.

All Things Comics

DC and Webtoon announce new Vixen, Red Hood, and Zatanna titles.

The banning of Persepolis is being turned into its own graphic novel.

Wesley Snipes is writing a sci fi murder mystery graphic novel.

11 of the best new graphic novels and comics.

The first comic book featuring Captain America sold for over $3 million at auction.

How to catch up on the X-Men.

On the Riot

11 comics to add to your April pull list.

YA comics and graphic novels hitting shelves April – June 2022.

8 paranormal comics for teens.

Why is whitewashing still happening in comics?

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


Cozy teen mysteries to curl up with any day of the year.


8 books to read during Autism Acceptance Month.

15 must-read poetry collections by Latinas in honor of National Poetry Month.

7 dreamy novels set in Italy.

100 mystery and thriller recommendations by setting.

Recommended queer crime series.

15 enemies-to-lovers romance novels.

10 must-read books by Maya Angelou.

7 books that show a different side of Appalachia.

Top 10 difficult marriages in fiction.

9 historical fiction novels featuring real people as main characters.

7 books about the Chinese Exclusion Act.

The 15 most essential music biographies and autobiographies so far this century.

Coming-of-age mysteries and thrillers.

On the Riot

10 Easter books for kids.

17 stunning picture books by debut illustrators.

The most popular fantasy books on TikTok.

15 books about lesser-known women who made history.

15 of the best books for seniors.

20 must-read memoirs of the last decade.

Books to read about the National Parks.

18 of the best Asian American books to read this year.

The best short stories of all time.

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

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

man holding a black cat that is resting its head on the man's arm

This issue’s cat photo was a no-brainer! My husband was holding Gilbert the other night, and I wanted to play around with the Portrait setting on my iPhone. The result was this angelic and slightly dramatic photo of Gilbert looking at me for extra snuggles, even though Blaine was already holding him like a baby. But how can you say no to those eyes?! I’m a complete sucker for Gilbert’s wide-eyed over-the-shoulder look, and he knows it.

That’s all I’ve got for this issue. I’m going to try and muster up the motivation to unload the dishwasher. It may take all week.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Easter Bunny Brings Back Darwin’s Stolen Notebooks

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I know this newsletter is supposed to be about books and stuff, but I’m just SO EXCITED about the new Lego Star Wars game finally being released this week! I’m a sucker for kid-friendly video games, especially the Lego series, so I made sure that game was preordered and downloaded by the time I came home from work on Tuesday! I also saw this shared on the Twitters today, and I’m wondering how it came to be that the main menu of a video game gave us better Finn/Poe relationship content than Disney.

Anyway, back to library stuff!

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Mixed results for libraries in Biden’s 2023 budget proposal.

Here’s a recap of PLA 2022 coverage.

Library workers seek to form Missouri’s first librarians’ union.

Twenty years ago, Cambridge University reported that two of Darwin’s notebooks had been stolen. The notebooks were recently returned with a note that said, “Happy Easter.” Look, I’m glad the notebooks have been returned, but I HAVE QUESTIONS.

Cool Library Updates

NYC libraries reported seeing a dramatic increase in returned books after they eliminated late fees.

The city of Cambridge, MA will launch five mini free libraries in partnership with My Brother’s Keeper Cambridge to advance literacy and community.

The Ann Arbor Library (MI) is offering a free vending machine that provides naloxone kits to prevent opioid overdoses.

Stephen and Ayesha Curry unveil the first of 150 Little Town Libraries in Oakland.

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts has recently acquired a machine that can digitize wax cylinders, meaning that in a couple years we will be able to hear sound recordings that haven’t been played or heard in over a century!

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

Book Adaptations in the News

HBO Max is planning a Sherlock Holmes TV universe, with Robert Downey Jr. set to executive produce.

Kathryn Bigelow will direct the adaptation of David Koepp’s upcoming thriller, Aurora, for Netflix.

Get a first look at the TV adaptation of Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty.

You Season 4 has started filming.

Not exactly an adaptation, but Hocus Pocus 2 has cast three former contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race to appear as drag versions of the original three witches, and I am SO excited to see Ginger Minj listed!

Here’s the latest trailer for The Shining Girls, and have I mentioned I’m SO EXCITED for this show??

Here’s the cast for the Bridgerton prequel about Queen Charlotte.

Casting update for City on Fire.

Banned & Challenged Books

Congress will be holding a hearing on book bans in schools and libraries on Thursday, April 7th. (Unfortunately, not in time for me to update this newsletter by the time you read it.)

The history of Nazi book burning.

Book challenges quadrupled in 2021, which still likely only represents 10% of the actual number of challenges. And here are the Top 10 books challenged in 2021.

An open letter to library trustees: your job is not to review challenged books yourselves, and you need to support and trust your staff, who have the appropriate knowledge, context, and perspective of what’s happening in their community and their profession.

Follett changes course on its proposed changes to their Destiny software, after getting very strong (and very necessary) pushback from librarians.

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick wants to replicate Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill in 2023.

Angry Keller ISD (TX) parents have challenged 33 books, including the Bible, since October.

The Prosper ISD (TX) has removed 30 books from school libraries in violation of the district’s established procedure.

Dallas ISD superintendent Michael Hinojosa has gone on record saying that the furor over book banning and critical race theory is a “manufactured crisis.” HEAR HEAR!

The National Coalition Against Censorship has sent a letter to Texas State Representative Jared Patterson, criticizing his attempts to bully Texas educators into censoring school materials.

Flagler County Schools (FL) roll out a new circulation policy that allows parents to restrict books for their own kids on a broad scale. Level 1 represents open access (although not really, because middle school students still need a parent’s permission to request a high school book), Level 2 access allows 5 titles to be blocked from a student’s account, and Level 3 access only allows students to check out books on a parent’s pre-approved list. I can’t begin to tell you how much I hate this policy. It is NOT the library’s place to implement or enforce such a policy, and it tramples all over students’ rights.

The Georgia House has approved a bill that would pave the way for the state to ban certain books from public schools if certain boards deemed these books “inappropriate.” Here’s an opinion piece on exactly why this bill is a bad idea that undermines the expertise of teachers and librarians.

High school students in Antioch (IL) have started a petition to put Gender Queer back on library shelves. A particularly noteworthy quote: “You came up with a ‘compromise’ that pleased only one group. … That is caving, and all of your LGBTQ students can feel it.”

After a Cadott (WI) parent appealed a school committee’s decision to keep six titles on library shelves, the school board made a different decision. Three titles will remain on library shelves: Melissa, The Deepest Breath, and Hurricane Child. A fourth book will only be available to students in fourth grade or older: Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag. A fifth book, The Baby Tree, will be removed from libraries, but will be available in the guidance counselor’s office. A sixth book, Protest Movements: Then and Now, will be removed completely.

A Littlestown Area School District (PA) parent claims she has “legitimate concern” to ban books.

West Chester school district (PA) elects to keep Gender Queer on high school shelves.

The Sharpsburg Community Library (PA) has reported that multiple books have been hidden or removed from displays over the last couple months, which they believe is related to ongoing censorship efforts.

Controversial books continue to be a topic of public comment at Rockingham County (VA) school board meetings.

Virginia is about to enact a Florida-style law censoring LGBTQ education in elementary schools.

Nottingham (MD) citizens are concerned that Gender Queer is available in two high school libraries.

Montgomery County Public Schools (MD) have removed Redeployment by Phil Klay from school libraries for “many instances of violence, drugs, and language.”

Ridgeland (MS) leaders are withholding library funds until the library signs a memorandum saying that the library will be required to appear before the board of aldermen before they adopt a budget, and that they will develop a system in writing for addressing complaints by the public. Which, okay, fine, but then the last line of the article says, “City leaders said it is not their intentions to ban or remove any content but they do want the library to use more discretion about what types of books that are openly displayed.” Yep, that’s still censorship.

A Lafayette (LA) resident has been removed from a library construction committee for an opinion column she wrote about the board’s move towards censorship.

Onekama (CA) parents have voiced concerns about the book Copper Sun by Sharon Draper being available to 8th graders.

Book bans move to center stage in the red-state education wars.

“Grooming:” The ubiquitous buzzword in the LGBTQ school debate.

Books & Authors in the News

Patricia MacLachlan, author of Sarah, Plain and Tall, has died at 84.

The Authors for Ukraine auction is raising money for the Ukraine Crisis Fund.

Brandon Sanderson’s record-breaking Kickstarter campaign closes at $41.7 million.

Celebrate Gone Girl’s 10th anniversary with this never-before-seen chapter! (Also, Gillian Flynn, PLEASE write another book!!)

Numbers & Trends

Tupak Shakur’s unpublished childhood poetry is up for auction, and is estimated to sell for around $300,000.

A miniature book made by Charlotte Brontë when she was 13 resurfaces and is set to go on sale next month for $1.25 million.

Award News

Rabih Alameddine wins the 2022 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for The Wrong End of the Telescope.

Waterstones launches a £5,000 debut fiction prize.

The 2022 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize shortlist has been released.

Pop Cultured

The 2022 GLAAD Media Awards have been announced.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Check out this gorgeous wearable book bracelet, featuring 1400 pages of Rembrandt’s hand drawings!

On the Riot

Free library collections and archives to check out online.

Enough Sherlock Holmes! Adapt these detective novels already!

Who was Joan Didion?

The history of the book of the month club.

How to use podcasts to help you become a better reader.

When does Lord of the Rings get interesting? (Oooh, I feel this from the bottom of my soul. Full disclosure: love the movies, can’t get through the books.)

black cat wrapped in a dark blue blanket with its front paws outstretched

Here’s your biweekly cat photo! I know I’ve shared pictures of Gilbert wrapped up in a blanket before, but I can’t overstate how much he loves being burritoed. When you see him with those fancy paws outstretched, that’s how you know he’s fully relaxed. It must feel like a weighted blanket or a thunder shirt for him.

All right, Imma fire up the ol’ PS5 and start doing Lego battles in a galaxy far far away. Do something fun for yourself this weekend, and I’ll catch you on Tuesday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Reliable Narrators and Sunshine Noir

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. This week is very exciting because Thursday is OPENING DAY for baseball, and after a three month lockout, I wasn’t even sure if baseball would be happening this month. I’m still not over the Cubs trading their Big 3 last year, but I am looking forward to baseball. Baseball also means the end of sports that I’m not interested in watching, specifically football and college basketball.

So…books, anyone?

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Former chief White House photographer Shealah Craighead planned to publish a book of photos she took during Trump’s presidency, but Trump allegedly interfered in order to cash in on the profits.

Publishing community updates on Ukraine.

New & Upcoming Titles

Princeton historian Julian Zelizer is publishing an in-depth look at Trump’s presidency, along with contributions from 18 American academics and historians. The book will be released later in April. ​​

Roxane Gay announces the first three books from her publishing imprint.

Leigh Bardugo’s upcoming novel, Hell Bent (the sequel to Ninth House), is coming in January 2023!

Greta Thunberg is publishing a “go-to source” book on the climate crisis.

Marie Kondo announces her forthcoming release, Marie Kondo’s Kurashi at Home, which will be out in November.

Nana Kwame Adjej-Brenyah, author of the acclaimed story collection Friday Black, announces his debut novel.

Kacen Callender announces their first adult romance novel, Stars In Your Eyes.

CJ Connor announces a new queer cozy mystery series, featuring “board games, silly puns, family in all its forms, and queer joy (y’know, as joyful as a murder mystery can be)!”

I think this book was literally written just for me…Johnny Compton’s The Spite House is being marketed as a Black Southern Gothic novel in the vein of The Others meets A Head Full of Ghosts. It comes out in February 2023, which is far too long to wait.

Kevin and Danielle Jonas talk about their new children’s book, There’s a Rock Concert in My Bedroom.

Julia Fox’s upcoming book is not a memoir.

Here’s a first look at Jasmine Guillory’s upcoming novel, Drunk on Love.

And here’s the cover reveal for Pride and Protest, Nikki Payne’s multicultural retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

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

The best new crime nonfiction from February and March.

The best-reviewed rom-coms for March.

Indie speculative fiction for March.

April picks from Barnes & Noble, Epic Reads, Kirkus, LA Times, New York Times, The Root, Time, USA Today (rom-coms), and Washington Post.

10 enticing debut novels for Spring 2022.

Spring picks from Autostraddle and New York Times (fiction, nonfiction)

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and a Reconciliation – Maud Newton (New York Times, NPR, The Rumpus, Shondaland, Washington Post)

The Candy House – Jennifer Egan (Datebook, The Millions, New York Times, Washington Post)

Out There – Kate Folk (Datebook, LA Times, New York Times)

A House Between the Earth and the Moon – Rebecca Scherm (New York Times, Wired)

Young Mungo – Douglas Stuart (LA Times, NPR)

RA/Genre Resources

LGBTQ romance is booming.

On the Riot

Indie presses publishing works in translation in the US.

The best weekly new releases to TBR.

15 LGBTQ books released in April you need to read.

This reader asks if they’ll ever read SFF again.

What the heck is sunshine noir?

Is there even such a thing as a “reliable narrator?”

Indigenous authors are held to higher standards.

Reading authentically: the current state of diversity in picture books.

All Things Comics

The comic book series Black will be adapted for the big screen.

On the Riot

11 of the best Isekai manga.

14 of the best action manga.


A new report shows a link between adult audiobook habits and mental wellbeing.

Audiofile’s best audiobooks for March.

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

On the Riot

Audiobooks and ADHD.

9 of the best audiobook subscription services.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


10 YA books that will have music lovers singing.

16 YA BookTok recommendations.

26 standalone YA novels you can read in one sitting.


18 LGBTQ+ books to give you a whole new perspective.

Historical romances to entice Bridgerton fans.

7 medieval horror novels for when you need a break from Elden Ring.

What to read when you feel uprooted.

10 novels about art and artists.

Books on the history of America’s National Parks.

5 labyrinthian SFF books.

7 contemporary horror novels that push boundaries.

7 gothic novels with creepy estates.

Top 5 books to help people grow their business.

5 queer reality TV romances.

5 books that feel like a trippy haunted house.

10 must-read alternate history thrillers.

On the Riot

30 of the best books for toddlers.

Scratch-n-sniff books for kids.

Book recs 9-year-olds are begging for.

The best YA books with a second chance romance.

10 YA books like We Were Liars.

20 of the best adult memoirs for teens.

9 nonfiction books about disability by people of marginalized genders.

8 books about eugenics in the US.

8 of the best Southern mysteries.

The best historical fantasy books.

Novels about chilling near-future worlds.

24 of the best award-winning poetry books.

8 books for fans of historical K-dramas.

16 best friend romance novels you can’t miss.

8 books like the mountain climbing documentary 14 Peaks.

10 queer rom-coms to make you swoon.

12 books about BIPOC pop stars and musicians.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

woman in a blue shirt crocheting with a black cat in her lap

Here’s a bit of a throwback – if you look closely, you can see Gilbert splooted in my lap while I’m crocheting a baby blanket. If the blanket had been farther along, Gilbert would 100% have been napping on it. Which is why if you ever get a blanket from me, it will have a non-zero amount of Gilbert fur.

All right, friends. I’ll catch you on Friday. (And PLAY BALL!)

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

No Excuse For Bad Book Covers

Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where we’re not going to discuss the Oscars (although you can find a complete list of winners here). Cool? Cool.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Maryland’s library eBook law faces a permanent injunction.

(TW: racism) The Sonoma Valley Regional Library recently issued a statement regarding racist graffiti that was found back in November, and only because a second incident involving racist graffiti occurred.

Some Vancouver Island regional libraries are closed due to a labor strike.

Book Adaptations in the News

Netflix selects Liz Tigelaar to adapt The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

HBO Max is developing a prequel series to It. (Don’t mind me, I’m just mildly hyperventilating over here!!)

Blake Crouch’s scifi thriller, Dark Matter, is getting a series adaptation starring Joel Edgerton.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is getting a horror adaptation.

Anna May Wong, Hollywood’s first Chinese American movie star, is getting a biopic based on the book Anna May Wong: From Laundryman’s Daughter to Hollywood Legend by Graham Russell Gao Hodges.

Amazon is developing Harlan Coben’s YA thriller, Shelter, for TV, with Jaden Michael to star.

House of the Dragon will premiere on HBO in August.

Casting update for Dear Edward.

The Flight Attendant, Season 2 gets a premiere date and a trailer.

Nicole Kidman shared the first look trailer for her anthology series, Roar, based on the book by Cecilia Ahern.

Here’s the trailer for All the Old Knives, based on the espionage thriller by Olen Steinhauer.

22 fictional books from movies and TV shows we would actually like to read.

Banned & Challenged Books

The censorship story in Anchorage, Alaska, that we can’t tell you about.

A recent ALA poll finds that the public is broadly opposed to the recent book banning efforts.

The Grandbury ISD (TX) superintendent’s leaked comments, telling librarians to pull books on sexuality and transgender people, raise constitutional concerns.

Texas is going after LGBTQ library books and Pride Week.

Meet the Texas librarians uniting to battle school book ban laws.

An Oklahoma lawmaker compared librarians to cockroaches, and yeah, it’s about as bad as it sounds, if not worse.

Idaho House Republicans fast-tracked a resolution that creates a working group to study children’s access to “harmful” materials in libraries.

A “super secret folder” in regards to the now dead HB 666 legislation in Idaho has been revealed.

Idaho House Republicans killed the budget for the Idaho Commission for Libraries over unfounded concerns about inappropriate materials.

Boundary County (ID) residents in support of the now-defunct HB666 are bringing the debate to the public library.

Johnson County (IA) librarians oppose several state bills that would make challenging library materials easier and would create punishments for librarians and educators who “distribute obscene materials.”

The debate around teaching Persepolis at Franklin Regional Schools (PA) continues.

Some Charlotte-Mecklenburg (SC) parents were upset over the high school assigning The Girl Who Fell From the Sky to freshmen, but the students had a hand in selecting the title.

A woman running for the Southwest Allen County Schools Board (IL) is organizing a group of “book investigators” to monitor and document “harmful” titles at all four Allen County public school systems.

The book banning debate struck the Park Ridge Public Library (IL), although most of the attendees spoke in favor of keeping diverse materials on the shelves.

The Shawnee Heights School District in Tecumseh, Kansas, has twice rejected challenges to the books The Hate U Give, All Boys Aren’t Blue, Beyond the Gender Binary, and Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness.

The Derby Board of Education (KS) has heard two separate challenges recently: We Are Not From Here and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.

The Blue Valley school board (KS) voted to keep both Gender Queer and Fun Home on library shelves.

Challenged books and materials are at a record high in the Cherokee County School District (GA).

Forsyth County Schools (GA) is taking a second look at its material reconsideration policies. On another terrifying level, school administrators have contacted Follett about tools to give parents more involvement in what their children are reading, and Follett said that they’re already considering an automatic email notification to parents every time their child checks out a book from the school library.

DeSantis signs a bill targeting explicit books in Florida schools.

Polk County Schools (FL) voted overwhelmingly to keep The Vincent Boys and Melissa (formerly George) on school shelves.

Tennessee legislators advance a bill that would bolster school library book banning efforts.

Henrico County (VA) schools returned Out of Darkness and I’m a Gay Wizard to school shelves after review.

Regional School Unit 34 in Maine keeps Milk and Honey on school shelves.

The Matinicus Island Library (ME) is fighting the trend of book banning by seeking out controversial titles for its collection.

Book challenges led by far-right groups are surging in Michigan schools.

The Wappingers Central School District (NY) has elected to remove Gender Queer from the high school library.

Iredell-Statesville Schools (NC) take a common-sense approach to book challenges by refusing to meet privately with the Moms of Liberty, who have requested that 33 books be removed from the district’s libraries.

The Wicomico School District (MD) pulled All Boys Aren’t Blue from library shelves. The district superintendent even said “I went so far as to check on how many students had checked the books out because I was concerned. One, since it’s been here. One too many.”

However, Worcester County Schools (MD) have refused to pull the same book from their shelves.

Lafayette (LA) citizens are pushing back against book banning, following a policy change that says library board members, not librarians, get the deciding vote on when books are challenged at a library.

The Silver Lake Regional School District (MA) has elected to keep So Far From the Bamboo Grove as part of the middle school curriculum.

North Smithfield (RI) schools unveiled an official policy to support their existing procedures for challenging materials.

A group of citizens in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, are advocating for a more diverse and inclusive curriculum, at a time when book challenges are on the rise.

Censorship moves from libraries and schools to stores: Target has recently removed multiple LGBTQ books from its website. (Most have now been returned.)

Culture wars could be coming to a school board near you.

Reading a book is a choice.

Books & Authors in the News

Dutch publisher Ambo Anthos has recalled the book The Betrayal of Anne Frank over concerns of inaccurate information.

Camila Sosa Villada’s novel Bad Girls and the fight for transgender rights in Argentina.

Booker winner Ben Okri is rewriting his published novel, Starbook, to better drive home the message of slavery.

Philip Pullman steps down as the President of the Society of Authors after he expressed support for Kate Clanchy’s controversial memoir, Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me.

Numbers & Trends

Ted Cruz accidentally makes two anti-racist books bestsellers.

Award News

The 42nd Razzie Awards have been announced, and I’m pleased to see that Jared Leto won Worst Supporting Actor for his role in House of Gucci. I liked the movie, but his performance was astonishingly bad.

Oprah Winfrey will be receiving an honorary PEN/Faulkner award.

The 2022 CrimeFest Award and British Book Award shortlists have been announced.

On the Riot

How to incorporate play in the elementary school library.

Why teachers should assign more contemporary books and fewer classics.

Authors’ answers to their most common question.

Why authors love when you leave a book review online.

There’s no excuse for bad book covers anymore.

A history of the advice column. (I’m not ashamed to say that I’m an advice column addict.)

It’s never too late to become a reader.

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

black and white cat laying on its side and pushing its paws on a person's leg

Here’s a cat picture! This photo is actually doing double duty, since Blaine asked if I could put him in the newsletter. So you see that sliver of white t-shirt on the side? That’s my husband. (And fun fact…that white t-shirt is actually a Book Riot t-shirt! He’s a wonderful supporter.) And Dini of course is being ridiculously cute and extra, as always!

It’s Friday! I’m feeling hungry right now, so let’s all vow to eat something tasty this weekend!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently listening to The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix.

Check Your Shelf

It’s a Giant Insect Out to Ruin Everyone’s Day

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I know social media stuff differs, but if your timeline is anything like mine, it’s probably been flooded with memorials to Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. My husband and I dealt with our shock in the only way we knew how — buying books. But we did listen to the Foo Fighters the whole way to the bookstore, and we did try to find one of their albums on vinyl to add to our collection (alas, no success). What I’m trying to say is that buying books can heal a lot of what ails us.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Examining paper shortages and publishing worker unrest.

New & Upcoming Titles

Tiffany Haddish’s next book, I Curse You With Joy, is being released in November.

Patti Smith has a new book, A Book of Days, also slated for a November release.

V. Castro is writing the backstory of Private Vasquez from Aliens in a new prequel novel.

John le Carré’s letters will be published in a single volume in November.

Here’s the cover reveal for Katherine Dunn’s previously unpublished novel, Toad.

And here’s the cover reveal for Elizabeth Strout’s latest novel, Lucy by the Sea.

14 new books to revive your reading life.

New horror of the American west.

75 new historical romances — from dukes to cowboys.

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

The best psychological thrillers and debut crime novels for March.

Barnes & Noble has their April picks for adults, teens, and children.

Spring 2022 picks from Parade and Vulture.

The best memoirs of 2022 (so far).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

French Braid – Anne Tyler (New York Times, People, Washington Post)

Truly, Madly: Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, and the Romance of the Century – Stephen Galloway (New York Times, USA Today)

Vagabonds! – Eloghosa Osunde (LA Times, Shondaland)

Don’t Know Tough – Eli Cranor (Crime Reads, USA Today)

RA/Genre Resources

The appeal of heist novels.

On the Riot

The best weekly releases to TBR.

Spring 2022 new releases in translation.

Book Riot contributors pick their top must-read authors. (Happy to see that Tana French made the list!)

What is science fiction?

How to choose your next book to read in the most chaotic way possible.

Why this reader has started reading investigative journalism.

All Things Comics

Roxane Gay is bringing her feminist heist graphic novel series, The Banks, to the screen.

Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda are developing a new horror/fantasy graphic novel series called The Night Eaters.

A rare copy of the first Marvel comic has sold at auction for $2.4 million.

On the Riot

Slice of life comics.

The weird world of celebrity comics.

10 of the best historical romance manga and webcomics.

Indie comics to put on your radar for 2022.

8 weird, twisty, and dark comics.


Talking up synthetic narration for audiobooks.

Confessions of a reluctant audiobook listener.

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

On the Riot

10 of’s most preordered audiobooks of Spring 2022.

26 of the best audiobooks for road trips.

Audiobooks and ADHD.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


5 adrenaline-pumping YA SFF survival books.

15 books for teens if your comfort show is Schitt’s Creek.

14 YA books filled with feminist fury.

15 dark fantasy YA books that will enthrall you.

9 YA books with the best love triangles.


An anti-racist reading list.

Books about Putin and the forces that shaped him.

Essential reading for understanding US-Russia intelligence warfare.

12 books that shaped readers as feminists.

Romances featuring single parents.

10 books about chance encounters with strangers.

19 fiction books written by celebrities, ranked.

8 examples of epistolary horror.

7 books about multiple timelines and blurred realities.

5 books where giant insects ruin everyone’s day.

6 novels set in abandoned places.

The best books for true crime aficionados.

8 Jamaican women writers you should be reading.

20 books for readers who want more fantasy romances in their lives.

Queer historical fiction set in Paris.

66 mysteries and thrillers to give you goosebumps.

14 books about con artists to feed your obsession with scam stories.

6 thrillers that will leave even the most hard-core readers a little squeamish.

On the Riot

13 of the best pop-up books for kids.

12 of the best fairy tale books for kids.

Middle grade books about escaping Nazis.

Middle grade books to cook along with.

Middle grade books about friendships between boys.

12 books for gay teens who have just come out.

YA books about grief and loss.

YA romance with a trans main character and love interest.

10 YA books centered around sister relationships.

10 more alien books.

25 of the best murder mystery books.

12 books that read like podcasts.

The 25 most influential horror novels of all time.

10 terrific nonfiction books about music.

10 books like They Both Die at the End.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

black and white cat and black cat laying on a bed holding paws

They say they’re not friends, but I beg to differ…

I’ll leave you with a song from my favorite Foo Fighters album to get you through the rest of the week. Rock on, friends. I’ll see you on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading Road of Bones by Christopher Golden.

Check Your Shelf

Misadventures With Library Holds

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. This week really did not start out on a good note, but things seem to be on an upswing. I’m writing this newsletter on a Wednesday and don’t yet have the ability to see the future, but hopefully we’ll be doing all right by the time you read this on Friday. (If not, just know I’m going to have a stiff drink with my name on it as soon as the work week ends.)

Libraries & Librarians

Cool Library Updates

New Hampshire librarians learn how to lead community conversations that go beyond the book.

VR job training has been launched at the Clayton County Library System in Georgia.

Libraries launch a VR tool designed to support teen mental health.

Worth Reading

Significant policy differences were on display at the ImagineIF (MT) library board retreat. This is an illustration of the types of fundamental philosophy differences we’re seeing in general between library staff and library boards, and it’s troubling.

When to say yes (or no) to new work projects.

Book Adaptations in the News

Osprey Productions signs a first-look deal with Sourcebooks.

Dolly Parton will star in the upcoming adaptation of Run, Rose, Run.

Mike Flanagan’s The Midnight Club (based on works by Christopher Pike) will debut on Netflix some time this year.

Meg Ryan will direct Netflix’s adaptation of A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out by Sally Franson.

Ben Stiller is in talks to star as Jack Torrance in the stage adaptation of The Shining.

Casting updates for The Changeling, Mayfair Witches, and The Man in My Basement.

HBO released the first teaser trailer for The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Take a look at the first trailer for Where the Crawdads Sing.

17 hot books headed to the screen.

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

Banned & Challenged Books

What are obscenity laws?

Hero syndrome in book banning efforts.

PEN America receives $500,000 to fight book bans.

Texas students protest proposed book bans at the state capitol.

A Llano County (TX) librarian loses her job after refusing to comply with orders to remove books from the shelves.

Granbury ISD (TX) announced that they are permanently removing 8 books, including Out of Darkness, This Book is Gay, and We Are the Ants.

The North East ISD (TX) released a list of books updated or replaced after the governor’s call to review materials for “age appropriate” content.

After being questioned about the content of 17 books in the Kerrville ISD (TX) libraries, the superintendent issued a statement saying that they had immediately removed the requested books for review.

How Texas’s school censorship law is impacting classrooms.

All of the graphic novels Texas representative Matt Krause doesn’t want students to read.

Here’s what Texas Republicans had to say when asked to define “pornography.”

A committee denied the request to remove a documentary about a gay man from the Lafayette Parish Library (LA).

Is the Lafayette Parish Library self-censoring books and movies, or keeping them on the shelves?

How censorship came to Lafayette.

A bill banning “obscene” books from public school libraries passes the Oklahoma Senate.

Hamilton County (TN) book review committee members make recommendations for potential policy changes for the selection of instructional materials. One committee member cited their Christian religious views as a reason for removing multiple titles from the curriculum.

An “age appropriate” school library bill heads to the Tennessee governor’s desk.

The Kentucky Senate has taken action to give local county governments more control over community library boards.

An upcoming Family Literacy Night at Huntington East Middle School (WV) will explore banned books.

Ohio County Schools has decided to keep all of its challenged curriculum materials, but with some modifications, such as shelving some of the books on higher shelves that only the teacher can reach. (Spoiler alert…that’s still censorship.)

A controversial Ohio education bill goes beyond the classroom.

The Hempfield school board (PA) has decided not to move forward with any changes to its existing review policy.

Request for information on West Chester (PA) LGBTQ students raises concerns. I simply don’t have words to describe how awful this type of request is.

The Elizabethtown (PA) school board discussed an “opt-in” system for controversial books at their latest meeting.

The Keystone School District (PA) has been asked to remove 17 books from its libraries.

The Central Bucks School District (PA) received pushback from a small group of parents who said that the school libraries are distributing “pornographic” materials, such as The Bluest Eye.

Book defenders and detractors take the floor as the Delaware County High School board (PA) grapples with the lack of a high school librarian.

The smallest library in Maine is on a mission to bring banned books to its community.

It’s not just schools and public libraries: New England prisons ban thousands of books.

Should banning books be up to Stamford (CT) school board members?

The Bedford County School Board (VA) has decided not to remove any of the 12 previously challenged titles.

The Rockingham County School Board (VA) discussed the district’s review policy, although no changes were voted on.

The Oley Valley School Board (VA) heard pushback from parents regarding The Perks of Being a Wallflower being assigned to freshmen. Community members speaking out against school materials have also reported being harassed, so the School Board will now have a police officer stationed at each future meeting.

Forsyth County Schools (GA) are planning to change their book challenge policy in the upcoming school year.

Florida’s recent bill makes it easier to ban school books, although the GOP swears it’s “transparency.”

The book banning Wentzville (MO) mob gets uglier.

Book banning was a hot topic at the Iredell-Statesville School Board (NC) meeting.

A North Carolina school board voted to keep Melissa (formerly George) on library shelves, although opponents say that they will challenge the decision.

The Wake County (NC) Public Library makes it harder to ban books.

The Ridgeland Public Library (MS) is closer to restoring its library services contract after the mayor withheld crucial funding.

A group of about a dozen people prayed for the Jonesboro Craighead County Public Library (AR), in the hopes that the library would move contested materials from the children’s section to the adult section.

The Arizona GOP wants books like The Canterbury Tales banned from schools.

The superintendent, two board members, and a teacher resigned from the ROWVA school district (IL). The two board members were the only ones who voted against removing The Hate U Give from classrooms earlier in the year.

The Cadott school district (WI) considers removing several books from the shelves, including Melissa (formerly George) and Protest Movements: Then and Now.

The Cedarburg School District (WI) reconsiders its use of The Kite Runner as an assigned text in high school classrooms.

Mein Kampf was challenged at the Haliburton County Public Library in Ontario, with the suggestion that the library replace it with a recently published annotated version. However, the library was unable to find a copy of the annotated version in English, and so the book remains off the shelf.

The insidious rise of soft censorship.

How social media is shaping book ban debates.

Book bans are the new front in the culture wars. What’s really going on?

The endless struggle between censorship and free speech.

The political benefit of book bans.

Book bans and the threat of censorship rev up political activism in the suburbs.

Books & Authors in the News

A Judy Blume documentary is in the works at Amazon.

Dr. Seuss made more money than ever before after pulling racist books. Here’s how the CEO did it.

Award News

The National Book Critics Circle Award winners have been announced.

Colm Tóibín wins the Rathbones Folio Prize for The Magician.

The Carnegie Medal Prize, the Dublin Literary Award, and the International Prize for Arabic Fiction shortlists have been announced.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Has COVID changed how kids read?

On the Riot

A mood reader’s misadventures with library holds.

The unimportance of BookTwitter.

To club or not to club? The benefits of reading alone.

How to choose your favorite books when choosing favorites feels unnatural.

When it becomes work: reading for review isn’t reading for pleasure.

Are novelizations worth reading?

6 tips for reading about tough topics.

This Rioter didn’t read for week. (Well, almost.) Here’s what happened.

An in-depth guide to book sizes.

10 creative band names that reference literature.

a photo of a black and white cat on its side with front paws extended

Dini loves you THIS much! (Actually, you wouldn’t want to hug him when he gets like this…he has sharp claws and likes to grab onto anything within paw’s reach.) But he’s so damn cute!

All right, let’s take a breather this weekend. I’ll see you all on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh.

Check Your Shelf

Pop-Up Books For Everyone!

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. As I write this on my laptop, Gilbert is determinedly trying to crawl into my lap, even though I have my legs crossed and the laptop hoisted up higher than normal. He’s splooted right over my wrist, thinking that this will get me to stop typing and start snuggling him. Anyway, the point of this is to let you know that I will keep my eyes out for typos, but if you do see one, just know that it was Gilbert’s fault.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

The general director of Eksmo asks the world to rethink its boycott of Russian publishing.

New & Upcoming Titles

Whether you’ll be at PLA or not (I won’t, sadly…), here’s Library Journal’s 2022 galley guide to get an idea of what books are going to be promoted.

Publishers Weekly takes a look at the nuanced true crime being published in 2022.

Comedian George Lopez is coming out with a “fantastical” middle grade book series.

Here’s a first look at Kevin Wilson’s upcoming book Now is Not the Time to Panic.

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

20 must-read books for Spring.

The best books of 2022 (so far) from Bustle, Vogue, and Washington Post (SFF).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative – Melissa Febos (Electric Lit, LA Times, Vulture)

In the Margins: On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing – Elena Ferrante (Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post)

A Ballad of Love and Glory – Reyna Grande (LA Times, USA Today)

Secret Identity – Alex Segura (Entertainment Weekly, LA Times)

Lessons From the Edge: A Memoir – Marie Yovanovitch (New York Times, NPR)

Manhunt – Gretchen Felker-Martin (NPR)

RA/Genre Resources

Disability and crime fiction.

On the Riot

The best new dark academia YA novels hitting shelves in 2022. ​​

8 highly anticipated diverse YA reads for late Spring 2022.

The best new weekly releases to TBR.

Are mysteries and thrillers less enjoyable the more you read in the genre?

Why this reader loves reading memoirs by poets.

An introduction to the social horror genre.

How is literary fiction redefining romance?

Why we drink in medieval fantasy.

All Things Comics

DC Comics is releasing a new Poison Ivy series in conjunction with Pride Month.

10 indie comics that deserve a sequel.

On the Riot

Take a peek at the first trailer for Ms. Marvel!

Exactly who is Moon Knight?

Read the novel? You should read the graphic novel.

10 slice-of-life romance manga to make you smile.


2022 Odyssey and Newbery Winners

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

On the Riot

7 of the best middle grade audiobooks.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


5 children’s books to spark conversation about mental health.

30 of the best pop-up books for kids of all ages.

YA books every K-Pop fan should read.

27 YA feminist retellings.

90 (!!) YA books with a strong female main character.

12 YA books featuring powerful BIPOC characters.


Reading lists to understand the war in Ukraine from The Atlantic and USA Today.

7 books about the complex relationship between Africa and China.

20 fantasy romance suggestions.

Doctor, doctor, give me the news…11 romances featuring irresistible doctors.

And here’s a list of billionaire romances, if that’s your jam.

5 vampire novels with a classic bite.

21 classic and contemporary Gothic novels.

5 queer historical mysteries.

6 crime novels set in public school classrooms.

On the Riot

8 heartfelt and powerful children’s books about negative emotions.

15 delightful bird books for kids.

Wholesomely horny: 6 romance authors like Talia Hibbert.

8 epic romances set in New York City.

Reading to understand the maternal mental health crisis.

Books with a Greek chorus.

8 books that blend languages.

9 thrilling stories about first contact with aliens.

10 horror novels set underground.

14 books that take you behind the scenes of your favorite TV shows.

13 of the best steamy historical romances.

10 fantastic books with anonymous narrators.

14 Brazilian books available in English translations.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

black and white cat playing with a cat toy that looks like a banana black and white cat playing with a cat toy that looks like a banana

If it looks like Dini is chewing on a banana, that’s because he is. My mom found these banana-shaped cat toys made of some type of material that’s supposed to be good for their teeth, so she got a single banana for Dini and Gilbert to share. As you can tell from the photos, Dini’s not great with sharing. We put the banana between the two of them, they both sniffed it, and then Dini smacked his paw down and went to town on the banana.

I’ve been exercising my reading muscles a lot over the last few days, and it really feels good, so I’m going to try and keep the momentum going! Let’s all try to read something good this week, shall we?

Catch you on Friday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently gushing about Her Name is Knight by Yasmin Angoe.

Check Your Shelf

This Is Not Progress

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I don’t know about you all, but Daylight Savings Time is kicking my butt this week. I greatly appreciate the extra daylight later in the day, but the disruption to my sleep is no bueno. I’m staying up too late because it doesn’t feel like it’s time to go to bed, and I’m waking up too early because what do you mean my alarm just went off?? Hopefully I’ll be more accustomed by this time next week, but in the meantime, my caffeine intake is going wayyy up.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The Seattle council floats the idea of using a public library building as an emergency homeless shelter when the building is not otherwise in use.

San Jose libraries request an additional $2 million in funding in order to return to pre-pandemic service levels.

Cool Library Updates

Abbott Elementary and ABC partner with Scholastic to provide free book fairs at underfunded schools.

The Lillian Goldman Law Library launches a book-to-prison project.

Libraries get strategic about chess.

Worth Reading

How to spot disinformation and propaganda coming out of the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

The NYPL put together a resource guide to credible organizations providing aid in Ukraine.

A look at the recent increase in libraries hiring social workers as mental health issues and housing crises soar.

A response to the recent NYT op-ed, “The Battle for the Soul of the Library,” which challenges the idea that libraries are inherently neutral.

3 tips to thoughtfully address world events with your library promotions.

“Nothing was stolen.” New Zealanders carry on borrowing from a closed, unstaffed library.

Book Adaptations in the News

Not exactly adaptation news, but Cinedigm has picked up North American rights for the documentary Pennywise: The Story of IT, and let me just say I have never been so damn excited for a documentary in my life!

Netflix will premiere five new animated series based on Dr. Seuss books.

Netflix cancels The Baby-Sitters Club after two seasons.

The first official trailer for Bridgerton Season 2 has been released.

Here’s a preview for the HBO show Brené Brown: Atlas of the Heart, based on Brown’s book by the same name.

Casting rumors for Dune 2.

When will Hollywood discover Georgette Heyer?

Banned & Challenged Books

Penguin Random House has launched a Banned Books Hub on their website.

Library Journal has a list of resources for libraries facing book challenges.

High schools could lose AP classes if they’re banned from teaching certain required topics.

An assistant principal in Mississippi was fired for reading I Need a New Butt! to a second grade classroom. And here’s the kicker…no parents ever complained about the book.

The New York State Education Department ran a tweet featuring New York State Librarian Lauren Moore promoting Gender Queer, then silently deleted the tweet after receiving pushback. So why didn’t the NY State Education Department defend its state librarian? ​​

Yorktown (NY) is evaluating nine books in its school libraries that were recently challenged, including Lawn Boy, Out of Darkness, Gender Queer, and The Bluest Eye.

Auburn (NY) elects to keep All Boys Aren’t Blue in the high school library.

A group of Lower Township, NJ parents is pushing to remove Black and White by Paul Volponi from the school library. As a side note, I hate that the featured photo for this article is a smiling photo of all the parents (and their children) who are pushing to have the book removed.

A former Missouri teacher is helping to lead a coalition that’s pushing back on local book bans.

A Savannah (GA) English teacher created a Little Free Library filled with banned books.

Hudson City School District (OH) elects to keep Gender Queer on its high school library shelves.

Book bans accelerate in Ohio as a new bill aims to prohibit “controversial” topics.

A new bill headed to the Utah governor’s desk would ban “indecent materials in schools, including books and teaching materials deemed as pornographic.” (Although I haven’t read the bill, I’m going to take a guess and say that the definition of what is considered “pornographic” under the terms of this bill is pretty wide.)

Idaho’s book ban bill will likely not be heard in the Senate.

Indiana legislators abandon a bill that would prohibit “harmful” library materials.

How New Hampshire librarians are preparing to respond to a recent uptick in book challenges.

Here’s a resource for Texas voters: The Book-Loving Texan’s Guide to May 7th School Board Elections. (And if you’re not in Texas, you can still use this as a resource for donating or advocating.)

Bolstered by critical race theory protests and book challenges, conservative PACs aim to “take back” Texas school boards.

The Llano County Library Advisory Board (TX) has closed its meetings to the public. Meanwhile, an anti-censorship group has formed to oppose the board.

A request to ban the documentary of a gay man from Lafayette (LA) libraries will be heard at a public meeting.

Book banning discussed at a recent Edmond Public School (OK) meeting.

Library book bans were discussed recently at a Brevard (FL) School Board meeting.

The Williamson County School Board (TN) policy committee discusses its book removal and reconsideration policy.

“This is not progress:” Memphis students oppose bills banning “obscene” and LGBTQ books.

The Dedham Public Library (MA) refuted a claim on social media that the library had removed diverse books from its children’s section.

A Little Free Library offering LGBTQ+ books in Waltham, Massachusetts has had its entire stock removed three times in a month. This is happening alongside an ongoing debate of whether or not LGBTQ+ books should be removed from the Waltham School District, and they believe the two issues are related.

The Peoria (IL) Public Library tackles controversial issues and banned books in a new book club for youths.

The Leavenworth (KS) School District has responded to comments made by a former board member, who said that the book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian was inappropriate for high schoolers because it mentions masturbation.

Another Kansas school district has removed The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian from the high school curriculum after receiving an anonymous complaint from a grandparent.

A Kansas high school English teacher who was fired for using the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower in her class, read the following pointed statement at a board meeting.

The Wake County (NC) School Board upholds the Cary High School decision to keep Lawn Boy on library shelves.

An Arizona bill gives parents the ability to review books purchased for school libraries.

The Ely School Board (MN) appointed a new board member who had previously pushed for the removal of the book I Am Still Here: Black Dignity In a World Made for Whiteness from the high school curriculum.

The Worcester County Public School District (MD) is reviewing All Boys Aren’t Blue after receiving two complaints from community members.

The Hempfield Area School District (PA) is reviewing its book reevaluation process after a local high school “paused” its use of Persepolis in response to parental complaints.

The Keystone School District in Pennsylvania has been asked to remove 17 books from their library.

Hanover (VA) students and residents speak out after the school board voted to allow a faith-based legal organization to weigh in on its equal educational opportunities policy.

Book bans and antisemitism go hand in hand.

Books & Authors in the News

The Ukrainian children’s book Maya and Her Friends is being published in the UK as a charity fundraiser.

After being called out for ableist language and tropes in her most recent book blurb, author Cora Reilly has chosen to postpone her book’s publication.

George R.R. Martin gives updates on his GoT projects, including Winds of Winter.

Numbers & Trends

The effect of the Book of the Month Club on book sales.

The best books, according to Reddit.

Award News

Zadie Smith has been chosen for the PEN/Audible Literary Service Award! Previous recipients include Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, and Stephen Sondheim.

The International Booker Prize longlist has been announced.

The 2022 Lambda Literary Award finalists have been announced.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Reese Witherspoon partners with SIMI Winery to create a new rosé inspired by her book club. (And it goes well with snacks, too!)

On the Riot

Exploring automated library vending machines.

The life cycle of a library book.

Bookish newsletters are a throwback to book blogging.

How books helped this parent figure out how their child learns.

On unlearning to read compulsively.

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

black cat meowing at camera

Have a cat photo! This is one of my favorite pictures of Gilbert. If he’s not being snuggled enough, he will let you know. Loudly.

Well friends, another weekend is upon us. Hopefully the weather is improving where you live. (It is in Chicago-land!) See you next week!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.