Riot Rundown


Check Your Shelf

The Two Certainties of Life: Death and Book Bans

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. We have some…erm…interesting news items in this issue, specifically in regards to a board member who claims she received something odd in the mail. I have my doubts, quite frankly, but you can read the article and judge for yourself.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The Campbell County Public Library has received 22 challenges to materials over the last two weeks.

The Hawaii State Public Library is requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID tests for all visitors.

A Craigshead County Jonesboro Public Library board member claimed that she had received a sack of…excrement in the mail after she argued that the library board should first approve titles with sensitive content, such as sexual or romantic attraction, gender theory, and family planning.

Cool Library Updates

How libraries are using Twitch to engage with teens and emerging adults.

A special education teacher created a handmade bookmobile to ride around his Chicago neighborhood.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library receives a $150K grant from the Library of Congress.

Worth Reading

The legacy of 9/11 and how it affected the library world.

Why investing in libraries is a climate justice issue.

Calculating the hidden costs of collecting fines. Plus, why libraries have gone fine-free over the past few years.

When this new mom was struggling, libraries gave her a place to belong.

8 creative ways to use your library card.

Book Adaptations in the News

Stephen Curry is producing an adaptation of Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes for Netflix.

Michael B. Jordan’s production company is teaming with Amazon Studios to adapt Charlie Jane Anders’s novel Victories Greater Than Death.

Mahershala Ali is starring in the adaptation of Leave the World Behind.

Netflix’s adaptation of the Danish crime thriller The Chestnut Man is coming out on September 29th.

Netflix is also adapting Andrea Bartz’s thriller We Were Never Here.

Netflix is also also adapting the Dark Horse comic series Grendel.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh will receive an updated TV adaptation.

The Gossip Girl reboot has been renewed for a second season at HBO.

Why turning books into movies is such a challenge.

Books & Authors in the News

Students protest book bans at the Central York High School, while the school board declines to reverse their ban.

A Glen Ellyn (IL) third grade teacher teacher has been removed from the classroom after she showcased her queer- and activist-themed classroom books on TikTok.

Stephen King and Humble Bundle have teamed up to release a new, unpublished short story, which will be used to raise funds for the ACLU.

Numbers & Trends

The first Spider-Man comic sells for a record $3.6 million at auction.

Award News

Karen Tei Yamashita has been awarded the 2021 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi has won the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction. Here is the shortlist.

The 2021 Booker Prize shortlist is here.

The National Book Award longlists for translated books and young people’s literature have been announced.

The 2021 Kirkus Prize finalists have been announced.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Do you think eBooks are an abomination?

On the Riot

A history of library hand.

8 TikTok book challenges and trends to join.

Book clubbing during a pandemic. Plus, how to keep the peace at book club.

Creative ways to pick your TBR.

On being a reader: before and after social media.

Raising my standards in books scared me off reading.

Another weekend coming up, folks. Be good to yourselves!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that I think you absolutely must read. The books will vary across genre and age category to include new releases, backlist titles, and classics. If you’re ready to explode your TBR, buckle up!

This week’s pick is a heartfelt and charming YA novel that also happens to fulfill a Read Harder challenge, if you’re looking for ways to tick books off that list as we approach the end of the year!

Now That I've Found You cover

Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest

Evie is on the cusp of achieving her wildest dreams: She’s just graduated from high school and been cast in a major movie, following in the footsteps of her legendary grandmother, the actress Evelyn Conaway. But when she puts her trust in the wrong person, Evie’s acting career is sabotaged and she finds herself fleeing LA to visit Gigi in New York, where her grandmother has been living rather reclusively for the past ten years, hoping that her famous grandmother can help her get back on track.

But Evie gets a shock when she discovers that Gigi isn’t living alone—she’s taken in a young man Evie’s age named Milo, who does her grocery shopping and keeps her company. Evie suspects that Milo is out to take advantage of her grandmother’s wealth, but before she can prove it, Gigi takes off and vanishes, leaving a note that says she’ll be back “soon.” With the clock ticking down on Evie’s last chance at acting success, she turns to Milo to help find Gigi…and learns some surprising truths about herself and her family along the way.

First off, I loved that this book is about Hollywood without being about the shallow trappings of Hollywood. Even though Evie is on the outs and desperate for a way back in, the story is far more grounded than you would expect. Gigi taking off and not lending a hand forces Evie to confront herself and her own ambition, and decide just how far she’ll go to achieve her goals. She must also reckon with how the world perceives her, and how the people who matter to her perceive her. That makes this book especially impactful as she and Milo go on a whirlwind scavenger hunt across NYC and through her grandmother’s past to find her. Evie’s goals shift throughout the story, taking you to unexpected and unexpectedly wonderful places, and there’s just enough romance to keep you satisfied and swooning. This is a book about staying true to yourself while chasing your dreams, and tending to your relationships, all told in a really relatable way…although most of us probably aren’t likely related to movie stars or Hollywood hopefuls ourselves. I was thoroughly charmed by the story and the characters and I’m actually sad that none of the fictitious movies and actors that Forest filled this story with are real! I highly recommend this is you’re looking for a funny and romantic book that has some hefty family issues, but isn’t dark!

Happy reading!

Find me on Book Riot, the Insiders Read Harder podcast, All the Books, and Twitter. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, click here to subscribe.

Swords and Spaceships

Read These Hispanic SFF Books for Hispanic Heritage Month!

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, with some news links for you to click, and some books to check out now that National Hispanic Heritage Month has gotten going. We’ve had a week of clear air where I can see all the way to the mountains in Colorado, and I didn’t know how oppressive and small the world felt from all the wildfire smoke until it had gone away. By the way, I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Meet Me in Another Life by Catriona Silvey, and I’m enjoying the heck out of it. Kristin Atherton is doing a great narration–so check it out if that sounds interesting. Stay safe out there, space pirates, and I’ll see you on Tuesday!

Let’s make the world a better place, together. Here’s somewhere to start:,, and Jane’s Due Process

News and Views

N.K. Jemisin is one of Time’s 100 most influential people of 2021!

JMS seems to be teasing us about something…

Amazon is adapting Charlie Jane Anders’s Victories Greater Than Death. It’s also working on a live-action She-Ra series?

Murderbot cosplay!

Einstein’s Dreams: Physicist Alan Lightman’s Poetic Exploration of Time and the Antidote to the Anxiety of Aliveness

The Incredible Shrinking Man Saw Beyond the Material Façade of Post-War Prosperity

Trailer for the Hawkeye Disney+ show

Becoming a Saint in Shadow and Bone

SFF eBook Deals

Bacchanal by Veronica G. Henry for $1.99

The First Protectors by Victor Godinez for $1.99

The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith for $1.99

On Book Riot

This week’s SFF Yeah! was about some serendipitous reads.

20 Must-Read Space Fantasy Books

Top 18 Books Like Shatter Me to Obsess Over

It’s the Twilight Renaissance, and We’re Just Living in It

Enter to win a copy of Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson.

This month you can enter to win a QWERKY keyboard.

Free Association Friday: Hispanic SFF

September is a lot of different kinds of national months, but my favorite is National Hispanic Heritage Month, which has no time for your petty calendars and takes half of September and half of October in a National Month power move that no one before or since has dared attempt. So let’s check out some SFF by Hispanic authors!

The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina Cover

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova

This one may look very familiar to you, because it only came out a week and a half ago, but it is on this list because you bet your butt it is good. The Montoya family is one surrounded by inexplicable magic and mysteries they know better than to ask about. But when Orquídea Divina, the matriarch who refused to ever leave their home, even for weddings and baptisms, invites them to her own funeral, rather than answers or a direct inheritance, her transformation leaves them only with more questions. After seven years, this inheritance has manifested differently for each of her descendants… and put them in the line of fire of a mysterious enemy that seems determined to pick them off, one by one.

Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias

In a near-future America that labors under ever-more draconian border policies, immigrants and their children, whether documented or not, naturalized citizen or not, are tattooed to mark their status and tracked relentlessly by the machine of the state. In desperation, the “inked” form their own alliances and try to claim their home with ingenuity and resilience.

When The Moon Was Ours cover

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

I love everything I’ve ever read that Anna-Marie McLemore has written, so it was hard to pick one book to put on this list. But ultimately, I picked this multi-award-winning book about two best friends who each have a strange magic to them and the four beautiful sisters even odder than them who are rumored to be witches who want their magic for themselves.

The Merry Maids by Stefanie Contreras

The Merry Maids are an elite black-ops team who work undercover to clean up the messes created by the Order all across the galaxy. With her newly honed abilities in telekinesis and movement, Alyvia has only just joined the team when her crew is sent to pick up the pieces of a dangerous artifact, scattered across the stars. But the person who hid them is still around, and they’ll do anything to destroy the artifact before Alyvia can complete it.

Cover of the Death Song of the Dragón Chicxulub by Randy H. Garcia

Death Song of the Dragón Chicxulub by R. Ch. Garcia

La Muerta Blanca is a mysterious dragon-like ghostly creature that’s been stalking Central America since the days of the Aztecs, eating hearts and spreading terror. Now, Miguel Reilly comes to modern-day New Mexico and falls in with a shaman named Tomás, who shows him that he’s not “pure” Irish-American while trying to train this innocent nerd into a dragonslayer. Along his journey, Miguel meets a Maya med student named Maritza who has survived a brush with the spectral monster and come away with her own ambitions to slay it. Náhuatl codices lead the two to Chichén Itzá for a final, fantastical battle to slay a dragon and find themselves.

...and Other Disasters by Malka Older

A short fiction and poetry collection from the author of Infomocracy, which includes AI, the anthropology of a dying Earth, and a corps of fighting midwives.

Cover of Awakening Arte by Bernie Anés Paz

Awakening Arte by Bernie Anés Paz

A clanless young man hopes to escape life as an outcast by standing before the Eldest Throne so he can become an awakened guardian of humanity. But when he finally achieves that dream, he finds himself only with a fraction of the powers he should have been granted, not yet truly immortal. However, after the life he’s led, he’s used to doing more with less, and he isn’t going to let anything stop his ascension, even if he has to find his own path to do it.

See you, space pirates. If you’d like to know more about my secret plans to dominate the seas and skies, you can catch me over at my personal site.

Kid Lit Giveaways


We’re giving away five copies of Memento Monstrum by Jochen Till and Wiebke Rauers!

Enter here for a chance, or click the image below!

A monstrously funny novel from Arctis Books USA! This book contains Count Dracula’s memoirs. And as you would expect, there are plenty of hideous creatures in it—giant yetis, insidious werewolves, slimy fish monsters—maybe you shouldn’t read it! PS: But if you do read this book, you will be enchanted by the incredibly imaginative full-color illustrations through out, the fabulously appealing cover, and the original wit captured within.

True Story

Animals and Entrepreneurs on Trial

Hello hello, nonfiction friends! If you haven’t already, I urge you to pop into your podcast service of choice to listen to this week’s episode of For Real. Alice and I got to do something we’ve never done for the podcast before – interview Mary Roach! That’s right, Mary Roach!

cover image of Fuzz- When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach showing an iron on patch with a bear, a cougar, and an elephant

If you’re still not convinced, I can tell you she is just as funny to talk with as she is to read. In the interview we covered everything from her use of footnotes to how she almost wrote a chapter about tiger penises, with several great detours along the way. Her latest book, Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law is out this week. It’s a great read about what happens when nature and humans have conflict, and the people who are trying to find ways to improve those interactions. It’s really fun.

This week I’ve got some great news from the world of nonfiction to share – an update on Elizabeth Holmes’s trial, an exciting upcoming adaptation, and an early nonfiction prize list! 

This week in the trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the jury has been selected and testimony has begun:

  • One early witness was Erika Cheung, a former worker in the Theranos lab, who testified she was concerned about the reliability of the lab’s testing equipment.
  • The Daily Beast also shared some of the text messages exchanged between Holmes and her boyfriend/business partner, Sunny Balwani, that have been entered as evidence.
  • But my favorite story of the week is this one, about a “concerned citizen” who attended early parts of the trial, networked with reporters… and then turned out to be Holmes’s father-in-law, hotelier Bill Evans. What kind of a person do you have to be to try and trick reporters at a trial where someone in your family is facing decades in prison for tricking investors? Bananas.

Paramount+ may be planning an adaptation of Yellow Bird by Sierra Crane Murdoch. The series is described as “a true crime show, a family drama and an immersive look at modern Native American life.” The main character, Lissa Yellowbird, returns to her reservation after time in jail, then finds herself investigating the disappearance of a young oil worker. That description is giving me real Mare of Easttown vibes and I am here for it.

The finalists for the Kirkus Prize have been announced! The Kirkus Prize is awarded annually for fiction, nonfiction, and young readers literature and has a prize of $50,000 (yowza!). This year’s nonfiction finalists are: 

The winners will be announced at a virtual ceremony from the Austin Public Library on October 28.

Weekend Reading

book cover of sometimes i trip on how happy we could be by nichole perkins

I’ve had a great few weeks of picking up unexpected read from my local library. My grab from the new releases shelf this week is Sometimes I Trip on How Happy We Could Be by Nichole Perkins. This book is a collection of essays on pop culture and how big issues like “racism, wealth, poverty, beauty, inclusion, exclusion, and hope” are part of the media we consume. I’m just 100 percent in for all of those topics, especially when they’re being explored from a perspective that’s different from my own. I’ve already LOL’d quite a bit at this one, I can’t wait to finish it!

For more nonfiction reads, head over to the podcast service of your choice and download For Real, which I co-host with my dear friend Alice. If you have any questions/comments/book suggestions, you can find me on social media @kimthedork. Happy weekend!

Unusual Suspects

Idris Elba To Return As Luther For Netflix Film

Hello mystery fans! I’ve got something to watch, things to read, so many books for your TBR, and ebook deals!

From Book Riot And Around The Internet

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins cover image

10 Chilling Historical Thrillers

Nusrah and Katie talk about books featuring cults and people who become a part of them on the latest Read Or Dead.

Agatha Christie’s CROOKED HOUSE and The Thrill of Guessing The Killer

Liberty and Vanessa discuss new releases including Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead, Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty, White Smoke by Tiffany D Jackson, and Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson and Jay Cooper on the latest All The Books!

Clue Attitude: Agatha Christie in Contemporary Literature and Pop Culture

Idris Elba To Return As Luther For Netflix Film

The Jigsaw Man cover image

Nadine Matheson—author of The Jigsaw Man—is interviewed by Robert Justice on the latest Crime Writers of Color podcast!

Tiffany D. Jackson on the real-life horror stories that inspired her novel White Smoke

Colson Whitehead on Why He Wrote a Heist Novel to Tell the Story of New York

Rebecca & Lucie in the Case of the Missing Neighbor by Pascal Girard review – postpartum PI

Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s HiddenLight Options Maisie Dobbs Series of Novels

‘We Were Never Here’ Adaptation in the Works at Netflix (Exclusive)

Giveaway: Win a copy of Never Saw me coming plus $100 to!

Giveaway: Enter to Win a QWERKY Keyboard: September, 2021

Watch Now

The Lost Symbol streaming on Peacock: If you’re a fan of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series, most famous for The Da Vinci Code, there is now a new adaptation. Tom Hanks played Langdon in the series of films adapted from the books, but the films never did The Lost Symbol book. Now Peacock is once again bringing us Robert Langdon, a symbologist, helping the police decipher clues in a mystery but this time around Langdon is younger and played by Ashley Zukerman. Check out the trailer.

Recent Interests That May Also Interest You + My Reading Life

As The Wicked Watch cover image

Reading: As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall / Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes by Phoebe Robinson / A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Murder in Ancient Rome by Emma Southon

Streaming: I really like docuseries and things where people can’t stop talking about how bananapants something is so I am running to LuLaRich on Prime Video with the biggest bowl of popcorn.

Laughing: Respect.

Helping: 9 Places to Volunteer Online (And Make a Real Impact)

Upcoming: Vanessa Riley (Island Queen; A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby) announced her upcoming Regency-era mystery Murder in Westminster!

Kindle Deals

Deacon King Kong cover image

Deacon King Kong by James McBride

I loved this book and if you enjoyed Harlem Shuffle, or have it on your TBR list, totally pick this one up too which is currently $2.99! (Review)

Opium and Absinthe cover image

Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang

For the ridiculous price of less than a dolla,r you can read this historical mystery from an author whose entire catalog I’ve enjoyed. (Review)

56 Days cover image

56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

Here’s a great brand new murder mystery release for $5.99! (Review)

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2021 releases. Check out this Unusual Suspects Pinterest board and get Tailored Book Recommendations!

Until next time, keep investigating! In the meantime, come talk books with me on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Litsy–you can find me under Jamie Canavés.

If a mystery fan forwarded this newsletter to you and you’d like your very own, you can sign up here.

Today In Books

Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton to Adapt Maisie Dobbs Series: Today in Books

LeVar Burton and Aja Naomi King to Narrate Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s My Monticello

LeVar Burton and Aja Naomi King will be two of the narrators bringing Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s words to life in the audiobook version of My Monticello. The two actors are among a slate of several narrators who will lend their voice to the audiobook. Others include Ngozi Anyanwu, January LaVoy, Tomiwa Edun, and Landon Woodson. My Monticello will available in bookstores and on Audible on October 5, 2021.

Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton to Adapt Maisie Dobbs Series

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton’s HiddenLight Productions has acquired the film and TV rights to the Maisie Dobbs series—a series of 16 novels that has sold millions of copies worldwide. This marks the first fiction option HiddenLight Productions has acquired. Hillary Clinton announced the news at a Cambridge online event. “One of our favorite books that Chelsea and I have shared over many years is a book about a character called Maisie Dobbs, which is a series about a WWI field nurse who turns into a detective, and we just optioned it,” she said. “It’s an international bestseller by Jacqueline Winspear, and we love the character. It goes from WWI to the Spanish Civil War to WWII. She comes of age in a time of great social upheaval.” No further details about the Clintons’ adaptation plans are known just yet.

Cathy Park Hong Makes TIME’s List of the World’s Most Influential People

Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, has made TIME magazine’s list of the the World’s 100 Most Influential People of 2021. In a piece for TIME about Cathy Park Hong, comedian, writer, and actor Ali Wong wrote, “I annotated the hell out of Minor Feelings—it’s the kind of book you want to dog-ear and underline. Reading it was such a crazy feeling: I felt so seen that I couldn’t believe that this book existed.”

Instead of School Board, Leander Police Investigate Book Challenge

Instead of requesting the school board review a title taught in school, one Leander parent went directly to the police. Now the police are investigating.

Riot Rundown


The Stack