Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m writing this newsletter prior to Super Bowl Sunday, although considering I am not a huge fan of the NFL, Usher, or Taylor Swift (don’t hurt me!), I am mostly getting excited for the food. And, of course, being able to meet the Superb Owl. Hopefully, he makes an appearance this year. (My husband and I also have money on a couple spots on my MIL’s charity Super Bowl Square sheet, so fingers crossed!)
2024 is the tenth year of the Read Harder Challenge! Join us as we make our way through 24 tasks meant to expand our reading horizons and diversify our TBRs. To get book recommendations for each task, sign up for the Read Harder newsletter. We’ll also keep you informed about other cool reading challenges, readathons, and more across the bookish internet. If you become a paid subscriber, you get even more recommendations plus community features, where you can connect with a community of passionate, like-minded readers in a cozy and supportive corner of the internet. Sign up today!
Collection Development Corner
The Lambda Literary Review has announced a hiatus.
Soho Press announces a new horror imprint: Hell’s Hundred.
New & Upcoming Titles
Brittney Griner is publishing a memoir about her incarceration in Russia and her subsequent release, which will be published on May 7.
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s memoir will be published in September this year.
Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Emily Nussbaum has a cover reveal for her latest book, Cue the Sun: The Invention of Reality TV.
Attica Locke shared that the third book in her Darren Matthews trilogy will be coming out this year! The other two books are Bluebird, Bluebird and Heaven, My Home, and they’re both amazing.
Paula Hawkins has a new thriller coming out.
Anthony Fauci is publishing a memoir.
Ina Garten (a.k .a. the Barefoot Contessa) is also publishing a memoir.
We’re getting a posthumous picture book from Maurice Sendak 12 years after his death.
Emma Heming Willis is publishing a book about caregiving following her husband Bruce Willis’ dementia diagnosis.
Rioter Tirzah Price shares the cover for her next Lizzie & Darcy mystery, In Want of a Suspect.
Cover reveal for Richard Chizmar’s upcoming horror novel, Memorials.
Cover reveal for Stephanie Wrobel’s upcoming thriller, The Hitchcock Hotel.
Book club picks for February.
5 of the best recent book picks from Ukraine.
Most anticipated debuts of 2024.
Weekly picks from Crime Reads, LitHub, New York Times.
February picks from AARP, Amazon, Gizmodo (SFF/H).
What Your Patrons Are Hearing About
Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions: My Fortysomething Years in Hollywood – Ed Zwick (Entertainment Weekly, People, Washington Post)
Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here: The United States, Central America, and the Making of a Crisis – Jonathan Blitzer (New York Times, Washington Post)
The Secret History of Bigfoot: Field Notes on a North American Monster – John O’Connor (New York Times, Washington Post)
A crime reader’s guide to Laurie R. King.
A look at several recent books featuring elderly protagonists.
On the Riot
11 of the best new cookbooks to look for in 2024.
The best weekly releases to TBR.
February 2024 picks for horror, romance, nonfiction.
Black historical fiction to read with your book club.
All Things Comics
On the Riot
February picks for comics & graphic novels.
1 in 4 books sold in France are comics.
Michelle Obama won her second Grammy for her narration on The Light We Carry.
Spotify reports “exponential” audiobook growth and is introducing more listeners to audiobooks.
Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem gets a new audiobook recording narrated by Rosalind Chao, who also appears in the Netflix adaptation.
Cognitive Books has launched a series for and by people living with dementia and other cognitive difficulties, in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society, featuring narration from Bill Nighy. The first title, Looking Back at… The Beatles will be published in April.
AudioFile’s February 2024 Earphones Award winners have been announced.
Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists
Books and activities for teaching kids about Black history and culture.
10 kids’ books for snowy days.
19 Canadian books to check out for Black History Month.
11 impactful books about Black history.
7 books about the triumphs and tragedies of mountain climbing.
Murder on the Dancefloor: 9 novels if you loved Saltburn.
Taylor Swift song-to-book pairings.
5 SFF works that explore the (sometimes perilous) power of libraries.
Literary works in which crimes are a means to understanding complexity.
Seven SFF stories about artists and the creative struggle.
Football fiction to get you through your figurative (or literal!) Super Bowl hangover.
7 Texas novels about mother-daughter relationships.
Emily Henry’s top 5 books about love.
6 books about winter as it once was.
On the Riot
The best middle grade fiction that sneaks in sex ed.
The best fantasy series to fill your life with magic.
8 inspirational books on finding your purpose.
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 Edelweiss has a new catalog dedicated to diverse titles, which is managed by Early Word Galley Chatter Vicki Nesting. Check it out!
I call this photo “Dini smells Portillo’s.” That’s a glass-topped coffee table and our primary defense against Dini stealing our food.
Well, that’s all I have for this newsletter. I hope both Super Bowl teams had fun this year. Catch you on Friday!
—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.