Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I can’t imagine a worse way to start a weekend than to learn that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed away. I still feel gutted. And angry. And terrified. And more determined than ever to vote and help other people vote. I hope that whatever your feelings are right now, they spur you to some eleventh hour action.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

New & Upcoming Titles

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

RA/Genre Resources

On the Riot

All Things Comics

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On the Riot

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists



On the Riot

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

Catch you on the flipside, everyone. Make a voting plan. Tell them Ruth sent you.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Swords and Spaceships for September 22

Happy Tuesday, shipmates. It’s Alex, here for another round of new releases. To be honest, this last weekend, with Ruth Bader Ginsburg passing away on Friday, felt pretty brutal. I guess I’m just saying that if you’re having a hard time with all the everything, you’re not alone. Stay safe and take a minute to breathe, even if breathe might mean something like, “turn off the internet for 48 hours and cry.” Then we keep sailing, together.

Rest in power, RBG.

If you need something that’ll make you smile, here’s a little boy and his best friend, the plastic skeleton.

Looking for non-book things you can do to help in the quest for justice? blacklivesmatter.card.co and The Okra Project.

New Releases

Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore – Ex-best friends Lita and Chicky are both outsiders in their small New Mexico town. Lita wants to enter the Miss Meteor pageant to prove to the world—and herself—that girls who look like her have a place. Chicky decides to help her because it’s a great chance to get revenge on the people who have made them both miserable for most of their lives. (It’s SFF, trust me, but if I tell you how, it’d be a spoiler.)

Sweet Harmony by Claire North – Harmony is tired of everything in her life being as average as she is herself. But she decides to pursue self-improvement in the most modern way possible: upgrading her nanos, something that requires just a few swipes on an app. It seems so easy at first, but there are only so many upgrades a body can take…

Tamora Carter: Goblin Queen by Jim C. Hines – Tamora discovers a couple of goblins digging around in a dumpster one night after roller derby practice—and they’re not the only ones who have come through a magical portal into our world. She quickly realizes that they might be the key to what happened to her best friend, Andre—and that there are things out there much more dangerous than goblins.

The Seventh Perfection by Daniel Polansky – Manet became the God-King’s amanuensis by means of the seven perfections, rendering her body to the peak of physical performance and her mind incapable of forgetting anything she has ever seen. This perfection will ultimately drive her mad, but first she has an unsolvable riddle to unravel, which may destroy the God-King she has crafted herself to serve.

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi – The consequences of thwarting the Fallen House are still haunting Séverin and his crew. In an attempt to assuage his own guilt, Séverin begins pursuing an artifact that, if the stories are true, will grant its holder the power of God. It’s a quest that takes the crew to Russia and threatens to destroy them before they can complete this one last job.

The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez by Rudy Ruiz – In the border town of La Frontera in the 1950s, tensions are high and cultures continually clash between the white and Mexican-American populations. And in that moment, a son of impoverished immigrants named Fulgencio falls in love with Carolina, the pharmacist’s daughter, a romance that is doomed by forces outside their control. Twenty years later, Fulgencio reads the obituary of Carolina’s husband and sees a second chance—though first he has to break his family’s curse.

Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots – Anna is a temp who does office work for some truly terrible people… until an encounter with a “hero” leaves her terribly injured and jobless. With only her fury, the internet, and her office worker ability to collate data left to her, she quickly realizes that she’s not the only person who’s been injured by a so-called hero, and the “good” versus “evil” story being sold is almost entirely marketing. With some careful social media management, she can start pushing her own narrative. Her acumen lands her a new job, with one of the most evil villains remaining, but this time it might be her turn to save the world.

News and Views

Malka Older: The Only People Panicking Are the People in Charge

Let’s Stop With the Realism Versus Science Fiction and Fantasy Debate

You can watch Samuel R. Delany’s 2020 Windham-Campbell lecture

The first real trailer for WandaVision has been released

The 19 coolest starships from Star Trek

Tatiana Maslany will be She-Hulk

Oh my god, Chuck Tingle has made a “select your own timeline” adventure: Trouble in Tinglewood

There’s going to be a Japanese movie adaptation of Heinlein’s The Door into Summer

Terry Goodkind has died

The 2020 Ig Nobel Awards have been announced. You can watch the award ceremony here. It’s well worth your time even if it was virtual this year.

On Book Riot

Explore indigenous futurisms with these SFF books by indigenous authors

Middle Fantasy: a sub-genre for all fantasy lovers

Quiz: Which book of magic and mystery should you read next?

This month, you can enter to win $50 to spend at your favorite indie bookstore and a free 1-year audible subscription.

See you, space pirates. You can find all of the books recommended in this newsletter on a handy Goodreads shelf. 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.

Libraries Turn To Outdoor Services: Today In Books

Libraries Turn To Outdoor Services

With the pandemic feeling like there is no end in sight and libraries needing to continue to service their community, they’ve turned to creative outdoor services: La Grande, Oregon has started setting up tables outside for patrons to be able to browse books for checkout; Montgomery County Public Schools in Christiansburg, Virginia are using drone delivery for book drop off; Lorain (Ohio) Public Library System placed a shipping container by the beach so patrons could check out items for outdoor activities like soccer balls and bikes.

A Collection Of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Lectures And Interviews

You can watch Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a handful of interviews and lectures recorded from the ’80s through last year rounded up here. There’s also a link for 392 C-SPAN videos that she appears in.

Guess How Much I Love You Author Has Passed Away

Sam McBratney, author of the children’s classic Guess How Much I Love You, has passed away at age 77. While he wrote 50+ books he’s most known for Guess How Much I Love You, illustrated by Anita Jeram, and its iconic saying, “I love you to the moon and back”. You can check out the soon-to-be released companion to Guess How Much I Love You, Will You Be My Friend?

Introducing the 2020 National Book Award Longlists!

The 2020 National Book Award longlists have been announced!

New Children’s Book Releases For September 22, 2020

Hey readers!

It’s starting to feel like fall where I am, and I hope you’re enjoying the dip in temperature and are getting in the mood to cozy up with new books, perhaps a few of this week’s new releases.

She Persisted In Sports: American Olympians Who Changed the Game by Chelsea Clinton, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger

The new addition to the She Persisted series, that began with She Persisted, returns with this new one focusing on extraordinary American women in sports. There are lots of great athletes featured, including gymnast Simone Biles, tennis star Serena Williams, and volleyball pair Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings.


The Staring Contest by Nicholas Solis

For kids who like their reading to come with a fun game is this picture book that challenges readers to a staring contest. The “staring master eyes”, a cocky protagonist who loves to taunt, not only asks kids to maintain eye contact but to try lots of ocular gymnastics.



Boys Dance by John Robert Allman, illustrated by Luciano Lozano

This is a colorful and upbeat picture book about a group of boys who dance ballet. Its depiction of dancing, practiced alongside a multitude of other hobbies, makes for a spirited representation of the skill. In the end, there are also statements from real life male ballet dancers who talk about why they dance.


Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki

This delightful book is fun and colorful, telling the story of a group of people who prepare food for their neighbors using produce from their garden and contributions from other people in their community. This is a sweet look at what can happen when people come together to provide for one another.


Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron

From the author of YA fantasy novel Kingdom of Souls comes this new middle grade fantasy. Maya has always seen strange things, but she only discovers why after her father suddenly goes missing. Half-orisha and half-human, Maya is a godling, and her father has been defending the veil between the human world and the Dark. But the veil is falling and the frightening Lord of Shadows is coming to destroy the human world.


Spindlefish and Stars by Christiane M. Andrews

For kids who love mythology is this new fantasy inspired by Greek myth about Clothilde who, trying to cross the sea to reunite with her father, ends up stranded on an island with an old woman who weaves an endless gray tapestry. To get back to her father and leave the island, Clo must uncover the mysteries of the island, the tapestry, and herself.


Student Ambassador: The Missing Dragon by Ryan Estrada, illustrated by Axur Eneas

After Joseph Bazan helps the president resolve a tricky trade issue, he’s made a student ambassador. His first assignment is to talk diplomacy with a young king who’s stumbled into his father’s crown. But Joseph’s diplomatic mission is derailed when bad guys storm the castle, forcing Joseph and the king to flee and somehow solve the mystery of the Missing Dragon.

Until next week!

Chelsea (@Chelseabigbang)

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, book nerds! It’s time for another round up of great new books, and if you thought last week was awesome, wait until you get a load of this week’s releases! I’m also extra excited to get my hands on copies of Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia, Well Played by Jen DeLuca, and White Fox by Sara Faring.

Be sure to catch Liberty and Patricia on today’s episode of All the Books! They discuss the new book by Allie Brosh, Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots, and more!

And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall

This is a novel about a woman gone missing, and the woman tasked with tracking her down. Isabel Lincoln disappears, and it’s up to Grayson to find her. But as Grayson is going to find out, Isabel doesn’t want to be found–she has some dark secrets that have sent her running, and if Grayson continues to look for her, both women are going to have to face the consequences.

Backlist bump: Want to try Rachel Howzell Hall in paperback? Pick up her thriller They All Fall Down, an And Then There Were None style mystery!

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

In an alternate 1983 London, Susan is looking for her missing father. She’s never met him, but she thinks that talking to a crime boss can lead to answers. Instead, it leads her to the booksellers of London, magical beings who protect the Old World ways of magic in addition to selling books. Booksellers Merlin and Vivien are looking for the person responsible for their mother’s murder, and they find their search overlapping with Susan’s.

Backlist bump: I’m also a huge fan of Nix’s lesser known and under appreciated book, Newt’s Emerald! It’s a magical Regency-era mystery!

The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult

This is the story of Dawn, who is on a plane when the flight attendant tells them to prepare for a crash landing. What goes through her mind immediately isn’t thoughts of her family at home, but of Wyatt, a man she loved two decades ago. Dawn survives the crash, and then is given a choice: return to Boston, or head to Egypt where she last saw Wyatt when she was studying archaeology. This is a book that explores both of her choices, and the meaning of life and how the choices we make that can shape our lives in profound ways.

Happy reading!

Drop-In Recs Launch

Great news, bookish friends!

Since TBR’s launch, the question we’ve gotten more than any other is: “How can I get more recommendations?” Today, we’re thrilled to have an answer. Active subscribers can now request a set of drop-in recommendations at any time!

Get a set of recommendations by email for $16, or treat yourself to hardcover books in the mail for $80 plus shipping, regardless of which level of TBR you’re subscribed to.

You must be logged into your TBR account to access the drop-in request. You can also click the link in your dashboard or visit your My Recommendations page at any time.

Read on!


The National Book Awards Longlists and More Book Radar!

Hey there, friends! I hope you all had a good weekend. I know it’s been a rough one, what with the sad news of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing. The NYPL rounded up a list of great books about her life and legacy, and I highly recommend checking it out.

I hope you’re all wearing your masks, staying hydrated, and are well stocked with books for the week ahead!

Trivia question: What’s the name of the literary club that J.R.R. Tolkien founded while at Oxford?

Deals and Squeals

The National Book Awards longlists are here!

ms marvelWe’re one step closer to a Ms. Marvel TV show on Disney+!

Stanley Tucci is releasing a memoir called Taste: My Life Through Food.

Sad news: Fantasy author of The Sword of Truth series Terry Goodkind has died.

Animal Farm and 1984 by George Orwell have new covers to celebrate Animal Farm‘s 75th anniversary!

Tatiana Maslany has been cast in the adaptation of She-Hulk!

All the Old Knives is being adapted with Chris Pine and Thandie Newton!

Riot Recommendations

At Book Riot, I’m a cohost with Liberty on All the Books!, plus I write a handful of newsletters including the weekly Read This Book newsletter, cohost the Insiders Read Harder podcast, and write content for the site. I’m always drowning in books, so here’s what’s on my radar this week!

Recommended Reading: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

If you’re in the mood for something dark and full of suspense, then definitely pick up this book, which I finished on audio over the weekend! It follows four Blackfeet men who participated in an elk hunt a decade earlier that did not go as planned. Now, one of them is dead, one of them has left the reservation, and the two men who stayed have tried to forget. But when it becomes clear that the elk have not forgotten, revenge will be exacted. This was a fast-paced book that kept me literally on edge–it’s beautifully written and it closely examines tradition and how we can be bound to people and places.

What I’m reading this week:

The Cooking GeneA Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty

Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA by Nova Ren Sum and Emily X.R. Pan

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Trivia answer: Inklings

That’s it for me, book nerds! I leave you with this photo of my kitten hanging out in his shark bed. It only seems appropriate, given that he loves to bite and we sing “Baby Shark” at tom approximately three times per day.

Happy reading!


Do We Really Need Another Persuasion?

The weeks go by, time moves on, and commercials for some kind of Zoom sitcom air during Sunday Sportsball. I guess this is our true new normal?

Let’s talk romance novels!

News and Useful Links

You know that Ripped Bodice shirt I mentioned last week? They have masks now!

I’m still not sure we need another Persuasion adaptation, especially if they’re not doing anything new with it. (I might still be holding onto a now-deleted dream casting of Ruth Negga and Idris Elba as Anne/Wentworth and if you’re not going to give me that, don’t give me anything…as much as I love Shiv Roy.)

Check out CCJ’s new merch.

Have you felt like it’s time to break that glass for your emergency read? Join #rainydaytbr for a quiet reading party.

If competence porn is your thing, this thread is magical.

Finally: there was an interesting mishap last week involving a book called The German Officer’s Girl with a certain insignia flapping on the cover. None of us wanted to have the “No more Nazi romance” conversation again, but we did. And according to the publishers, the cover art is misleading, as the protagonists are a resistance fighter and a British officer. So like, in the future, just a recommendation for anyone writing WWII resistance romance: don’t put German officers and swastikas on the cover of your WWII resistance romance? And if you’re working with a publisher and they put Nazis and swastikas on the cover of your WWII resistance romance? Change publishers.


It’s fall! I’m so excited for autumn, even though I don’t live in a place with changing leaves anymore (sadness). The cover I always think of when I think of Fall is Changing Colors by Elyse Springer, the fourth and final book in her Seasons of Love series (YES I KNOW). It can stand alone, but the other two I’ve read, Thaw and Heat Wave, are both delightful and similarly inexpensive at 2.99 each. (I have heard that Whiteout, the first, is pretty spectacular, but I was not into the type of deception at the center of the story. Total case of Your Squick Is Not My Squick, so check it out!)


You’ll be happy to know I finished The Roommate and it was utterly delightful. Very much #romancesowhite, but you know.

As I mentioned, I’m excited about fall. Sure, here in the A-to-the-Z that just means fewer 100-degree days, but the feeling is there. The merchandise. The leggings. The scents. The food I can’t eat. The warm fireplaces and the hot chocolate. …Okay, that’s not for a couple of months. But still. The warm fuzzies are coming, and I’ve got a few books that will work perfectly for that feeling.

Her Halloween Treat
Tiffany Reisz

The only category romances I’ve read by Tiffany Reisz (maybe the only ones she’s written?) are all holiday books. She’s got one for Halloween, one for Thanksgiving, and one set during the December holidays. But Her Halloween Treat is my favorite of the three. Joey has had quite the shock—turns out she’s the woman on the side, say what? So she takes refuge at the family cabin, which is remote enough, except for visits from a family friend. A hot family friend. A hot carpenter family friend. And there’s no weirdness about him being her brother’s best friend or them having lots of rebound sex. It’s a lovely story that doesn’t quite get as raunchy as the books she’s more known for. But it’s got her quality storytelling and that’s all that matters.

sugar butter flour love
Nicole Falls

I love that Nicole Falls has found her place in the land of the novella. This one is about former home ec partners who…don’t get along. But they are corralled into participating in a holiday cooking competition and have to figure out how to work together again. Much like the rest of her holiday-connected stories, this one is fun and funny with a nice dose of sexy and a heavy heaping of title-related competence.

What about you? Do you go for a specific feeling in the fall? Fall books specifically?

As usual, catch me on Twitter @jessisreading or Instagram @jess_is_reading, or send me an email at wheninromance@bookriot.com if you’ve got feedback, bookrecs, or just want to say hi!