Categories
Check Your Shelf

When Is a Book Ban Not a Book Ban?

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. We’ve got snow on the ground in Chicago land. It’s less than an inch, and a lot of it melted today, but the cold weather is definitely here, and no one’s happy about it.

Are you looking for the perfect gift for that bookish special someone in your life this holiday season? Tailored Book Recommendations is here to help! Here at TBR, we pair our customers with a professional book nerd (aka bibliologist) who just gets them. They fill out a survey and then sit back and relax as we pick books just for them. We’ve got three levels — recs-only, paperback, and hardcover — and you can gift a full year or one time, so there are options for every budget! Get all the details at mybtro.com/gift

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Partisan bickering amongst Pennsylvania legislators has led to a delay in already-approved funds for public libraries.

The New York Public Library is facing significant graffiti cleanup costs following several weeks of protests in the city.

A new bylaw will allow some Montreal libraries to fine and remove patrons with poor personal hygiene. “People will be fined between $350 and $1,000 for a first offense, $2,000 for a second offense, and $3,000 for subsequent violations.” This is absolutely horrendous.

Gaza authorities say that the Gaza Public Library has been destroyed by Israeli strikes.

Cool Library Updates

The Houston Public Library has launched a self-service book kiosk at Hobby Airport.

Book Adaptations in the News

Talia Hibbert’s Ravenwood series has been optioned for TV.

Paul Greengrass is adapting and directing TJ Newman’s Drowning: The Rescue Of Flight 1421 for Warner Brothers.

Censorship News

When is a book ban not a book ban? The rebrand of a national pastime.

Most parents rank librarians as trustworthy in the latest survey from Book Riot and the EveryLibrary Institute.

What is SkyTree Book Fairs? A “new” Scholastic competitor.

In the battle over books, who gets to decide what’s “age-appropriate” in libraries? Who indeed…

Moms for Liberty reported more than $2 million in revenue in 2022.

Across the US, Catholic groups are often behind LGBTQ book banning efforts.

PEN America joins 16 other organizations in filing an amicus brief over the Texas READER Act.

(May be paywalled): Conroe ISD (TX) is modeling its book policy after the controversial policy approved by Katy ISD.

More out of Conroe ISD, and this one is bonkers: This “mystery” 20-year-old woman spoke at a recent board meeting about how her exposure to a “single kiss” in a Scholastic book led to a debilitating addiction to porn, which she cited as a reason for the district to ban Drama, get rid of Scholastic books, and end their participation in the Scholastic book fairs. Turns out that this woman is an employee of Brave Books, which, if you read the previous link about SkyTree Book Fairs, you’d know that there is a strong connection between the two, so there’s a very obvious monetary motivation here to push the district away from Scholastic.

The Alachua County School District (FL) has removed Gender Queer from library shelves, despite questions about the complaint’s validity — there are some who believe that the woman who submitted the challenge is not a legal resident of the county.

Hernando County School Board (FL) removed three of the six books that were recently challenged. They are keeping And Tango Makes Three, The Family Book, and Julian Is a Mermaid, and removing Thirteen Reasons Why, The Handmaid’s Tale, and This Day in June.

Pasco County (FL) residents are demanding that the schools sever ties with the American Library Association because the affiliation goes against their Christian beliefs.

The Rockwell Public Library (NY) has been closed since September when the director and all but one staff member resigned simultaneously in response to public harassment over a drag queen story hour. Three other board members quit, which left the board without a quorum and unable to function. At the board’s most recent meeting, the Sheriff had to be called after the meeting turned violent and punches were thrown.

Heartstopper is being challenged in front of the Ocean City School Board (NJ) because it was available for purchase at a school book fair.

The Fluvana County High School (VA) received two dozen book challenges from a would-be school board candidate back in October, and they’ve finally begun the review process. The problem is that these books were removed from the shelves shortly after receiving the challenges, meaning they’ve been out of circulation for over a month.

Spotsylvania School District (VA) has decided to use Kirk Cameron’s new book fair.

Here is the full 75-title list of books removed by the Hanover School District (VA) — paywall broken courtesy of Kelly Jensen.

What happened after the Yancey County Public Library (NC) put up a Pride display in June. (I’ll summarize — most of the initial comments they got were supportive, but a few bigoted residents and politicians got involved and raised an enormous stink.)

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools’s (NC) superintendent has decided to ban Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) despite the review committee’s decision to keep it. Why even bother having a review committee if you’re just going to override their decisions?

Catawba County Schools (NC) are requiring students to have parental permission in order to borrow Lolita or Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

Despite parents’ efforts to get Flamer returned to school library shelves, the Marietta School District (GA) has permanently banned the book

“More than 11,000 Pulaski County (AR) students are unable to access online educational materials through their local public library as a legal precaution, according to school district administrators, in light of the statewide debate over what content children should be able to access in libraries.”

Former Arkansas Senator Jason Rapert has been appointed to the state’s library board by Sarah Huckabee-Sanders. The article doesn’t give much information about his thoughts regarding library policy and governance, but if he was appointed by Huckabee-Sanders, then I think that gives all of us an idea of what he’ll be in favor of.

Conservative issues stall after backlash in St. Charles County (MO), including a proposal to remove a requirement for diverse materials and classroom libraries in the Wentzville School District.

Meanwhile, in St. Charles County, “an internal review committee has determined that the controversial book Bang Like a Porn Star: Sex Tips From the Pros should be removed from the St. Charles City-County Library system — just not right away.” They’re waiting until the holds list clears out. The library CEO said that the book was purchased because “‘it was the only item readily available at the time about sexuality and sexual health for gay men.’” Also worth noting that this book was purchased five years ago, but the controversy is only showing up now.

“New restrictions could be coming to the Rutherford County Library System [TN]. County officials are looking to pass stricter rules on funds provided to their local libraries, along with an age-restrictive checkout policy. The new policy debate comes as the county and city of Murfreesboro have been embroiled in controversy and legal wrangling over what constitutes community decency.”

Maryville High School (TN) will retain The Perks of Being a Wallflower, even after the decision to keep the book was appealed.

The right-wing group “Save My America” is fighting to remove Making a Baby from the children’s section at the Pickaway County Public Library (OH).

The Hamilton East Public Library (IN) has thankfully agreed to end their book review and relocation policy after wasting an inordinate amount of staff time and tax dollars.

A proposed Republican bill in Wisconsin would require libraries to notify parents about the books their kids check out.

A Menomonee Falls School Board (WI) member doesn’t believe the district followed its own book banning policy, and she wants all 33 books put back on the shelves.

This newspaper’s editorial board published a piece criticizing the Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial School District’s (MN) practice of removing challenged books from library shelves before they’ve undergone an official review.

Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Iowa have filed a federal lawsuit to block key provisions of the state’s recent book banning legislation.

Oklahoma Moms for Liberty are continuing to challenge elementary school textbooks — now they claim that the math textbooks contain inappropriate “social-emotional learning concepts.”

Garfield County (CO) commissioners suggest that the library’s refusal to ban books could have consequences. Know what that sounds like? Intimidation and fascism.

A Billings (MT) parent is criticizing the school district for having Assassination Classroom on the library shelves.

The Community Library Network in Idaho discussed a policy modification that would allow the library to evaluate books “in part” rather than in their entirety, which goes against all professional and legal standards for evaluating materials for content. This will give book banners free rein to continue cherry-picking passages from books they don’t like as evidence for why these books should be banned.

The Chino Valley School District (CA) has enacted a book-banning policy that would allow books and teaching materials to be pulled due to “‘sexually obscene’ content, or even political material.”

A quirk in Washington state law may give the Liberty Lake City Council an opportunity to try and have city trustees take over library governance again after the proposal was defeated earlier.

Tracking banned books in Canada.

Books & Authors in the News

A 2017 state law in Arkansas requires academics and writers to sign a pledge that they will not participate in anti-Israel boycotts in order to receive a speaker’s fee for their presentations and engagements. Author Nathan Thrall recently refused.

A group of nonfiction authors have filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and OpenAI for copyright infringement.

Numbers & Trends

The best-selling books of the week.

The best-selling indie books of the year.

Almost one million children in the UK don’t own a book.

Award News

The 2023 Booker Prize winner has been announced.

Related: A Booker judge admits that it’s nearly impossible to read ALL the books.

1700 Canadian writers are asking the Scotiabank Giller Prize to drop charges against a group of pro-Palestinian protestors who disrupted the recent awards ceremony.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

In the age of AI, Merriam-Webster’s word of the year is “authentic.”

Anthony Burgess, author of A Clockwork Orange, was also a composer, and now a newly-discovered string quartet composition from Burgess will have a premiere.

On the Riot

10 reading volunteer opportunities.

What to do when you hate your own book club pick.

How to cure a reading slump.

A beginner’s guide to Tolkien studies and commentary.

A dive into pop culture cookbooks.

two black cats laying back-to-back on an unmade bed

Nothing but brotherly love in the Horner household! Look at these snurgly boys!!

Okay, friends. I’m going to grab a warm pair of slippers and hiss at the freezing temperatures outside. I hope you have warmer weather or at least can tolerate cold weather better than me. See you on Tuesday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Categories
True Story

Backlist Award Winners for Your TBR

We’re wrapping up the fall book season with so many incredible new books on the shelf. Plus, It’s been a wild award season this year. It seems like every other day, there’s a new winner or new “best books of the year” list. My TBR keeps growing and growing! Isn’t that the best kind of problem to have? So, this week, I’m talking about two previous award winners that I enjoyed reading this year. But first, new books!

Are you looking for the perfect gift for that bookish special someone in your life this holiday season? Tailored Book Recommendations is here to help! Here at TBR, we pair our customers with a professional book nerd (aka bibliologist) who just gets them. They fill out a survey and then sit back and relax as we pick books just for them. We’ve got three levels — recs-only, paperback, and hardcover — and you can gift a full year or one time, so there are options for every budget! Get all the details at mybtro.com/gift

Bookish Goods

a photo of a custom of a row of books on a clear ornament

Personalized Christmas Book Club Ornament by TonyshopArts

This is the perfect gift for folks in your book club! I love that this is such a personal touch to a holiday gift. $20

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of Airplane Mode: An Irreverent History of Travel by Shahnaz Habib

Airplane Mode: An Irreverent History of Travel by Shahnaz Habib

Shahnaz Habib writes about how traveling — how easy it is, where you can go, for how long — is often determined by the color of your passport and the color of your skin. Habib describes how traveling as a woman of color has changed her perspective on travel, inspiring her to research and write more on the topic.

a graphic of the cover of Into Siberia: George Kennan's Epic Journey Through the Brutal, Frozen Heart of Russia by Gregory J. Wallance

Into Siberia: George Kennan’s Epic Journey Through the Brutal, Frozen Heart of Russia by Gregory J. Wallance

George J. Wallance details the system that Russia used to send people into exile, often without much proof of wrongdoing. In the late 19th century, George Kennan went to Siberia to investigate Siberia, changing the diplomatic relationship between Russia and the USA forever.

Looking for more new releases? Check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek won the Pulitzer Prize back in 1975. Dillard, a master prose stylist, describes her life at Tinker Creek. She chronicles the changing of the seasons and shares the comings and goings of the other living creatures around her. There’s just something beautiful about the calm her writing creates. I love her ability to see the tiniest things and communicate their vast importance to the reader. She has an obsession with parasites and the way they exist in the world. Admittedly, I don’t share this fascination, but I respect the way she loves them.

a graphic of the cover of The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broome

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

In 2019, Sarah M. Broom won the National Book Award for The Yellow House, which follows the story of her family and their connection to New Orleans. She describes her family’s history through the Yellow House, the childhood home that her mother owned for decades. We learn about Broom’s family history and the history of New Orleans. Her writing is vibrant and engrossing. You come to love her family and the Yellow House. This book is such a beautiful work of nonfiction, and I can’t recommend it enough.

a photo of Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting on a multi-colored rug.

That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave, over on Instagram @kdwinchester, or on my podcast Read Appalachia. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy Reading, Friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
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!

Today’s pick definitely falls in the category of fun and swoon-inducing if you’re looking for a great novel to curl up with as the weather gets colder. It has banter and humor for days, and it’s tropey as all get out!

Betting on You cover

Betting on You by Lynn Painter

Bailey first meets Charlie while on a plane, flying solo to her new life in Omaha, where her mom has resettled after her parents’ divorce. He’s a fellow solo traveler and child of divorce, but the two do not hit it off — in fact, they spend the entire flight bickering and annoying each other. Bailey is happy to never see him again…but then they reconnect three years later as coworkers. Charlie is obnoxious and adamant that boys and girls can’t be friends. Bailey finds him annoying and wants to prove him wrong. When they bet on it — and make a few ill-advised wagers on friends and fellow coworkers — they inadvertently become conspirators as they set out to prove their points…but end up falling for each other along the way.

This is a rom-com that will genuinely make you laugh, and what I appreciate so much about Lynn Painter’s YA romances is that the characters feel believably like teens. They’re awkward and vulnerable at times; they wear glasses and braces, but they’re also very witty, and they get some really great swoony love stories. I enjoyed the dynamic between Bailey and Charlie a lot — Charlie is contrary but not obnoxious, and Bailey is uptight but able to let loose every now and then. They bring out the best in each other, and they have so much fun together they don’t realize that they’re falling until it’s already happened. They both have parental divorce trauma, and they find common ground in navigating life between households despite their apparent dislike for each other. I felt like this element really gave their characters a serious way to connect, and it will also be a lifeline to readers also dealing with that awkward dynamic. Sometimes the plot feels a little over the top, but always in a very good, fun way — moments feel like Taylor Swift verses come to life, and it’s easy for readers to get swept up in the fantasy of it all — but Painter doesn’t really push the bounds of believability, making for a fun escapist read that doesn’t require too much suspension of disbelief.

Pick this one up if you want to laugh and if you enjoy enemies to lovers! Bonus: The Do-Over by Painter is also excellent!

Are you looking for the perfect gift for that bookish special someone in your life this holiday season? Tailored Book Recommendations is here to help! Here at TBR, we pair our customers with a professional book nerd (aka bibliologist) who just gets them. They fill out a survey and then sit back and relax as we pick books just for them. We’ve got three levels — recs-only, paperback, and hardcover — and you can gift a full year or one time, so there are options for every budget! Get all the details at mybtro.com/gift

Happy reading!
Tirzah


Find me on Book Riot, Hey YA, All the Books, and Instagram. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, click here to subscribe.

Categories
Unusual Suspects

7 Heart-Pounding Heist Novels

Hi, mystery fans! The third season of Slow Horses has started on Apple TV+! It’s fun because it’s a twist on the spy genre — these spies have all been kicked out of MI5 for various reasons.

Are you looking for the perfect gift for that bookish special someone in your life this holiday season? Tailored Book Recommendations is here to help! Here at TBR, we pair our customers with a professional book nerd (aka bibliologist) who just gets them. They fill out a survey and then sit back and relax as we pick books just for them. We’ve got three levels — recs-only, paperback, and hardcover — and you can gift a full year or one time, so there are options for every budget! Get all the details at mybtro.com/gift

Bookish Goods

vinyl sticker of illustrated books holding hands and a banner that says "let's all go the library"

Let’s all go to the library vinyl sticker by CTKRStudio

I’ll forgive this sticker for giving me an earworm because it’s so cute! ($3)

New Releases

cover of The Owl Cries by Hye-young Pyun

The Owl Cries by Hye-Young Pyun, Sora Kim-Russell (Translator)

For fans of noir, anxiety-inducing genre blends, atmospheric and slow-burn reads, and translated crime!

Bak Insu is a forester living nearby with his family and a recovering alcoholic. The forester prior to him mysteriously disappeared, but Bak Insu—and those living in the small village dependent on the forest—claim no knowledge of the previous forester. Then an accident, death, attempted break-in, and mysterious note occur, and Bak Insu must question what exactly may be happening in this forest…

cover image for Starkweather

Starkweather: The Untold Story of the Killing Spree that Changed America by Harry N. MacLean

For readers of true crime and history!

Over the course of two years, in the late 1950s, Charles Starkweather (19) and his girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate (14) traveled across Nebraska and Wyoming. Starkweather killed 11 people, including Fugate’s family. It’s the case behind Natural Born Killers and Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. Many questions have remained, including Fugate’s involvement, which MacLean sought out to answer not only with existing research but also by interviewing Fugate.

Looking for more new releases? Check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

In the previous two newsletters, I highlighted graphic novels for mystery fans (Lady Killer, Volume 1 and Goldie Vance Vol. 1) and middle grade mysteries (Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland and Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce) that you should absolutely read since Goodreads dropped those categories from its awards. So this time, I’m focusing on poets writing true crime memoir and mysteries.

a graphic of the cover of Pulling the Chariot of the Sun: A Memoir of a Kidnapping by Shane McCrae

Pulling the Chariot of the Sun: A Memoir of a Kidnapping by Shane McCrae

For true crime memoir readers!

Shane McCrae’s maternal grandparents kidnapped him when he was a toddler in order to hide him from his Black father and have him raised by a white family. Shane was tricked into participating to keep his father from him until Shane’s false memories made him question his life and identity, ultimately sending him looking for the truth and his father.

Shane McCrae’s poetry collections: In the Language of My Captor; Sometimes I Never Suffered; The Gilded Auction Block; Cain Named the Animal

The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani cover image

The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani

For fans of dark crime novels!

Sunli, a doctor who specializes in sociopathy, is to evaluate conjoined twins Fire and Water because they were found bathing near a barrel that was filled with blood. The detective on the case needs to solve this case and is certain Fire and Water must be responsible, thus wanting Sunli to prove him correct. But Sunli has his doubts…

Chris Abani‘s poetry collections: Smoking the Bible; Sanctificum; Kalakuta Republic; Hands Washing Water

I had also previously — in an October newsletter — highlighted two poets who’d written excellent true crime memoirs: Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir by Natasha Trethewey and The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson.

News and Roundups

7 Heart-Pounding Heist Novels

Aussie Crime Series Troppo Sells Across Europe

Without a Cue spins A Christmas Carol into interactive murder mystery

It’s the Perfect Time to Curl Up with a Cozy Book

Kay Scarpetta confronts Bigfoot clue in excerpt from Patricia Cornwell’s Unnatural Death

James Bond’s namesake was a Philadelphia bird expert

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 2023 releases and upcoming 2024 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 Bluesky, 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.

Categories
Swords and Spaceships

Snow SFF to Read in December

Happy December! Today, I have some snowy SFF new releases for you, plus some speculative short story collections to put on your TBR.

Are you looking for the perfect gift for that bookish special someone in your life this holiday season? Tailored Book Recommendations is here to help! Here at TBR, we pair our customers with a professional book nerd (aka bibliologist) who just gets them. They fill out a survey and then sit back and relax as we pick books just for them. We’ve got three levels — recs-only, paperback, and hardcover — and you can gift a full year or one-time, so there are options for every budget! Get all the details at mybtro.com/gift

Let’s make the world a better place, together. Here are two places to start: Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund, which provides medical and humanitarian relief to children in the Middle East regardless of nationality, religion, or political affiliation; and Entertainment Community Fund, which supports entertainment workers who are striking for living wages and a future where humans can continue to create art for each other.

Bookish Goods

Swan ornament

Cloisonné Swan Ornament by ValueArtsByKeming

I was looking for swan things thanks to one of our new novels this week, and this gorgeous cloisonné ornament caught my eye immediately. $36

New Releases

Cover of Shards of Glass by Michelle Sagara

Shards of Glass by Michelle Sagara

After being frozen for centuries, the Academia has come back to life…and its new Chancellor, a literal dragon, is looking for new students to fill its dorms once more. One of the new students, Robin, recruits his friend Raven as well; both grew up in poverty in the Warrens, and Robin knows Raven will be safe at the school where she can use her unusual gifts and be praised for it. But then students start turning up dead, and Robin and Raven must solve the mystery if they want to survive in this place that once promised safety.

Cover of Upon a Frosted Star by M.A. Kuzniar

Upon a Frosted Star by M.A. Kuzniar

Once each year, on the night of the first snowfall, mysterious invitations arrive around the city. All they say is, “Tonight.” Forster, a struggling artist, finds one of the invitations and is eager to sink into the glamor of it — and solve the mystery of the party’s host. But it takes him to an abandoned manor house where he finds a woman cursed…not at all what he might have expected.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

I had a friend ask for recommendations of collections after she read Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang. So, I thought I’d share three of the books I came up with!

the water that falls on you from nowhere by John Chu

The Water That Falls on You From Nowhere by John Chu

I’m already breaking what I said I was going to do. This isn’t a collection but rather a single story. But I have to recommend it because John Chu is the only short story writer, other than Ted Chiang, who has managed to make me cry.

Cover of Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia Butler

Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler

I adore Octavia Butler’s novels, but her short stories are challenging in their own way. She tends to go to far darker places than Ted Chiang, but I feel she still shares his compassion for her characters, even if she is often pessimistic about their circumstances.

Cover of Changing Planes by Ursula K. Le Guin

Changing Planes by Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin tends to focus on societies, but she does so through intense character work. This is more of a mosaic than a collection as such; the stories are interlinked as Sita Dulip hops from plane to plane and visits societies and touches cultures very alien to our own.

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.

Categories
Giveaways

113023-Nov.EACPushes-2023-Giveaway

We’re teaming up with HTP Books to give away a pair of AirPods Pro to one lucky winner!

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

Here’s a bit more about our partner: HTP Books newsletter celebrates books and popular culture, connecting readers, booksellers, librarians, and book clubs with relevant content and resources.

Categories
What's Up in YA

A Sapphic Jewish Christmas & More YA Book Talk and News: November 30, 2023

Hey YA Readers!

Can you believe we’re done with November already? This month has really felt like it’s gone by in a blink. Impressive, given that 2023 has itself been five years long.

I’ve been deep in a reading slump this month. Part of it is being burned out by grad school. Part of it is being burned out from book censorship coverage. It is so much easier in my downtime to scroll TikTok than to read. I’ve gotten a few audiobooks in, but for the most part, I’m also not pushing myself. Here’s your reminder that not reading is normal; it’s okay, and you don’t need to feel bad about it. Guess what? It’ll come back. It always does.

With that out there, let’s talk paperback releases and YA book news for the week.

Power up your reading life with thoughtful writing on books and publishing, courtesy of The Deep Dive. Over at our Substack publication, you’ll find timely stories, informed takes, and useful advice from our in-house experts. We’re here to share our expertise and perspective, drawing from our backgrounds as booksellers, librarians, educators, authors, editors, and publishing professionals. Find out why the bestseller list is broken, analyze some anticipated books, and then get a free subscription for weekly content delivered to your inbox. You can also upgrade to paid-for bonus content and community features connecting you to like-minded readers.

Bookish Goods

support your local library tote baag

Bookish Canvas Tote by AscendantFireDesigns

‘Tis the season to remember the value of your local public library, whether or not you use them for your books, for programming and events, for research, or for a chill place to hang. This tote bag is all about love for the library, and its bright, fun design is hard not to smile about. $24.

New Releases

It’s time to highlight some great paperback YA books that hit shelves this week. We’ve got a bunch of fun titles out, so make sure you check out the entire list over here.

cover of house of yesterday by deeba zargarpur

House of Yesterday by Deeba Zargarpur

Sara comes from a large Afghani-Uzbeck family, but she’s feeling alone after the divorce of her parents. Her dad’s started dating someone new, and making things more awkward is the fact that her dad and mom still work together in their house flipping business. Sara’s recruited as part of their work to take photos of the before and after.

The newest project, Sumner, is not giving great vibes. Sara begins to see the ghost of her grandmother and then the ghost of a strange little girl. No one else is seeing this, and she can’t capture it on camera. Her grandmother, who struggles with memory, has been having strange conversations about having another child that none of her family seems to know about. Are these comments and what Sara’s seeing related?

This is an immersive story about family, about history, and about the stories and choices immigrants sometimes have to make in order to build a new life.

how to excavate a heart book cover

How To Excavate a Heart by Jake Maia Arlow

A Sapphic Jewish romance at Christmas? Count me 500% in.

Shari runs into May with her Subaru, and that is not the plan. Shari’s got a month-long internship she’s excited about, but in addition to dealing with the accident, she’s also struggling to get over the big breakup she just experienced.

Then Shari’s taken up a dog walking gig. And guess who is there? It’s May. Now, the two of them are thrown together again, and it might upend everything. Especially as they’re snowed in together on Christmas Eve…

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

YA Book News

Thanks, as always, for hanging out. We’ll see you again on Saturday for a fresh batch of YA book deals.

Until then, happy reading…or, if you’re in my position, happy not reading until it comes again.

–Kelly Jensen

Categories
The Stack

November is History, and So Are These Comics

The end of the year is speeding towards us, nerd friends. Why not take a little breather from the holiday rush with a graphic novel?

Power up your reading life with thoughtful writing on books and publishing, courtesy of The Deep Dive. Over at our Substack publication, you’ll find timely stories, informed takes, and useful advice from our in-house experts. We’re here to share our expertise and perspective, drawing from our backgrounds as booksellers, librarians, educators, authors, editors, and publishing professionals. Find out why the bestseller list is broken, analyze some anticipated books, and then get a free subscription for weekly content delivered to your inbox. You can also upgrade to paid-for bonus content and community features connecting you to like-minded readers.

Bookish Goods

An ornament shaped like the skull and crossbones from One Piece. It's wearing a straw hat

Strawhat Skull Holiday Ornament by StarFallFox

No manga fan’s tree will be complete without this cute One Piece-inspired ornament! $18

New Releases

Wonder Woman Omnibus cover

Wonder Woman by Gail Simone Omnibus by Gail Simone, Bernard Chang, and Aaron Lopresti

This new edition collects Simone’s beloved run in one convenient volume. Watch the Amazing Amazon take on a bevy of hard-hitting foes — including one who actually manages to steal her lasso and defeat her — alongside plenty of familiar, friendly faces!

Silence, Full Stop. cover

Silence, Full Stop. by Karina Shor

Shor’s childhood was anything but easy. As both an immigrant and a survivor of sexual abuse, she found that she really couldn’t fit in anywhere and turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with the pain. Through it all, she was able to retain a tight grip on her compassion for others — and eventually found a way to appreciate herself as well.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Today’s Riot Rec theme is: historical nonfiction! Watch history unfold before your eyes with these informative graphic novels. The fact that their covers have matching color schemes is just an interesting coincidence.

Citizen 13660 cover

Citizen 13660 by Miné Okubo

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government rounded up tens of thousands of its own citizens and placed them in camps just for the “crime” of being of Japanese descent. Okubo was one of those people, and she tells her story in this classic graphic memoir.

Red Harvest cover

Red Harvest by Michael Cherkas

In the 1930s, Josef Stalin engineered a devastating famine in Ukraine, killing millions and (so he hoped) eradicating Ukrainian culture. This vast story is made personal by focusing on the experience of a single Ukrainian immigrant, Mykola, and his family, who managed to survive and tell the world about these terrible events.

A white Havanese in a red-and-blue sweater sits in the middle of a pile of sheets on the floor, staring at the camera with big round eyes.

Finally, please look at my dog Poppy as she “helps” with the laundry. Such a good girl!

~Eileen

Categories
Kissing Books

Still On the Petty Goodreads Train

Greetings and salutations! Welcome, or welcome back, to the Kissing Books newsletter. I’m PN Hinton, here to give you the rundown on the world of romance, including new releases, recommendations, and other entertaining ways to pass your time.

Power up your reading life with thoughtful writing on books and publishing, courtesy of The Deep Dive. Over at our Substack publication, you’ll find timely stories, informed takes, and useful advice from our in-house experts. We’re here to share our expertise and perspective, drawing from our backgrounds as booksellers, librarians, educators, authors, editors, and publishing professionals. Find out why the bestseller list is broken, analyze some anticipated books, and then get a free subscription for weekly content delivered to your inbox. You can also upgrade to paid-for bonus content and community features connecting you to like-minded readers.

We made it through the last week of November y’all! I hope that whatever you do this coming weekend is super restful, especially if there was a lot of hustling and bustling last week. As for me, I’m going to see one of my closest and longtime friends tie the knot. I’m beyond happy for her and that she finally found her person and that come Monday, she and her fiancée will officially be Mrs. and Mrs. Big hearts all around.

Bookish Goods

picture of plot twist bookmark

Plot Twist Magnetic Bookmark by AllMyQueensShop

I am more than fairly confident I’ve made this exact face multiple times in my reading life. Because sometimes those plot twists really do catch you by surprise. Or the unexpected super spicy scenes. $6

New Releases

cover of Soul Searching in Scotland

Soul Searching in Scotland by Shyla Colt

One year after being left at the altar, Zenaida journeys to Scotland with a to-do list, determined to find herself and return to the strong woman she was before. There, she meets Fraser, a handsome and charming Scotsman who seems to be the perfect candidate for a travel fling. However, Fraser knows he wants more than just a handful of memories with her and resolves to convince her to give him a second chance.

cover of Coming Down Her Chimney

Coming Down Her Chimney by Imani Jay

When Amy lets her best friend convince her to accompany her to visit the latter’s parents, she isn’t expecting Kareem, her friend’s brother and lifelong crush, to be in attendance as well. Kareem also wasn’t expecting Amy to be there either, having harbored his own crush for more than a few years. Both are determined to ignore it as they have been, but when Amy is the highest bidder on Kareem for a bachelor auction, both quickly realize it will be harder to hold their feelings back.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

Keeping with the semi-petty train (at least I’m honest) I have two more recommendations today for books that could have been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards. Today’s recommendations are two that actually really shocked me with being overlooked, considering how highly anticipated both were in Romancelandia. While it could be argued that this was just in my wing, I still stand by the statement and they could have at the very least gotten a nod.

cover of Mickey Chambers Shakes It Up

Mickey Chambers Shakes It Up by Charish Reid

Between being an adjunct professor with a small summer schedule and living with a chronic illness that results in multiple medical bills, Mickey has more than quite a bit on her plate. She figures that taking the part-time bartender gig at Diego’s bar will help with money troubles and get a break from academia. Diego, who also happens to be one of Mickey’s students, hires her even though he is worried about the way the power dynamics will shift on a regular basis. However, he also cannot deny the sunny optimism that Mickey brings to his bar and his life, and soon, they’re both wondering if a relationship will be worth the risk.

cover of The Fiancée Farce

The Fiancée Farce by Alexendria Bellefleur

When Tansy invented a fake girlfriend in romance cover model Gemma, she didn’t expect their paths to cross. However, when it turns out she is the cousin of her stepsister’s fiancé, she finds herself in lurch. However, Gemma is also in need of a fake romantic partner and quickly steps into the role. When they discover that this faux relationship would be beneficial in multiple ways, they quickly step into the roles of lovers. But of course, as often happens, real feelings soon develop.

If y’all are hungering for bodyguard romances, then this list is for you.

Here is a list courtesy of EW full of holiday romances to pick up this season. A few of these are already on my TBR!

And Publisher’s Weekly recently put out this article showcasing Black romance authors and their love of the genre.

And that’s all she wrote for today. I’ll see y’all next time and in the meantime you can still find me over on the bird app under @PScribe801. Until we meet again, happy reading and stay hydrated!

Categories
Book Radar

Froot Loops Offers Free Children’s Books Online and More Book Radar!

Dear Book Friends,

Welcome to the final day of November, and as always, it’s a tough one for me. This day marks six years since I lost my brother to cancer. I know reading about grief and loss is uncomfortable, but it’s important for me to remember him on this day and every day and to honor him in some way. So we will go one with Book Radar as usual, but first, I just have to say: I love you, Adam. I’ll miss you forever. Everyone go watch The Lion King today in honor of my brother. He used to listen to that soundtrack every night before bed.

Book Deals and Reveals

love and other conspiracies book cover

Here’s the amazing cover of Mallory Marlowe’s debut romantic comedy, Love and Other Conspiracies, designed by Vikki Chu. It’s out from Berkley Romance on August 20, 2024.

Conservatives are currently boycotting Froot Loops and its parent company, Kellogg’s. And that’s because, in Canada, Froot Loops boxes are including access to an online repository of “free diversity and inclusion content” for children, according to a website dedicated to the initiative.

Rebecca Yarros signed a deal with Montlake to write two standalone contemporary romance novels. The first book is set to publish in 2025.

Ebony LaDelle, author of Love Radio, will be releasing her first adult novel, You’ve Got a Place Here Too, with Ballantine. The book is set for a 2025 release.

The Nerd Daily has shared the cover of M.J. Rose’s upcoming time-travel adventure novel Forgetting to Remember. This one is out on March 26, 2024.

Read an excerpt of Tessa Bailey’s new rom-com The Au Pair Affair, and check out the cover over at Cosmopolitan! It’s out from Avon on July 16, 2024.

Apple Books has launched its 2023 year in review, now available on iPhone and iPad within the Read Now tab under Top Picks.

Matt Smith has signed on to star as the title character in the television adaptation of Nick Cave’s 2009 novel The Death of Bunny Munro.

Meanwhile, Paul Greengrass has been hired to adapt the film adaptation of T.J. Newman’s novel Drowning.

After releasing their 100 Notable Books of 2023, The New York Times has narrowed it down to their top 10 Best Books of 2023.

Here are the sci-fi and fantasy titles getting the most recognition in best-of-the-year lists and award shortlists!

Book Riot Recommends

Hi, welcome to everyone’s favorite segment of Book Radar called Book Riot Recommends. This is where I’ll talk to you about all the books I’m reading, the books I’m loving, and the books I can’t wait to read and love in the near future. I think you’re going to love them too!

Power up your reading life with thoughtful writing on books and publishing, courtesy of The Deep Dive. Over at our Substack publication, you’ll find timely stories, informed takes, and useful advice from our in-house experts. We’re here to share our expertise and perspective, drawing from our backgrounds as booksellers, librarians, educators, authors, editors, and publishing professionals. Find out why the bestseller list is broken, analyze some anticipated books, and then get a free subscription for weekly content delivered to your inbox. You can also upgrade to paid-for bonus content and community features connecting you to like-minded readers.

Can’t Wait for This One!

come and get it book cover

Come and Get It by Kiley Reid (January 30, 2024)

It’s time to finally shout out my most anticipated novel of 2024, and I feel so lucky because I don’t have to wait that much longer! This one, being at the end of January, is just almost right around the corner, which means it’s almost time to prepare our shelves. If you read Kiley Reid’s debut novel Such A Fun Age, then you’re probably just as excited about Come and Get It as I am. Such A Fun Age was a wild page-turner, but not in the way you’d expect. I could not put the book down because I was so nervous and weirdly excited to find out what cringey thing the characters would do next. And just like Reid’s first one, Come and Get It is a novel focused on social commentary, dynamic characters, and a story you won’t be able to pull yourself away from.

Set in 2017 at the University of Arkansas, Come and Get It is about senior resident assistant Millie Cousins. Millie is trying to graduate and save up enough money to buy a house. When visiting professor Agatha Paul offers Millie an interesting opportunity to help conduct research about weddings for her new book, Millie thinks it sounds like an easy way to make a little bit more cash. But after a student prank turns sinister, Millie finds herself on the brink of losing everything she’s worked so hard for.

Words of Literary Wisdom

“As I get older I see more and more how fluid a thing time is. There are so many ways to slip in and out of it. The wonder is that we ever stick in the now.”

Looking Glass Sound by Catriona Ward

What I’m Watching This Weekend

Here’s a fun thing I do every Christmas. I watch twelve new Christmas movies and rate them using my patented (not really) Christmas scale. How Christmassy are this year’s offerings? Time will tell! But here’s a list of some of the new holiday movies coming out this year that I might be watching this weekend.

And Here’s A Cat Picture!

calico cat with toy bird

Here’s sweet little Cersei Anne with a toy bird. I know you are probably thinking about booping her cute little pink nose right now. But it’s a trap. You should know with cats it’s always a trap.

And that’s all I have for you today, friends. I hope you have a wonderful day and a beautiful weekend. Sending you all love!

Emily