Check Your Shelf


Welcome to Check Your Shelf. Just when I was thinking this might be an uneventful week, I realize that I’ve likely broken one of my back teeth, and now I need to see if I can get an emergency dentist appointment sometime this week. Thank goodness it doesn’t hurt, but teeth stuff wigs me out, and the sooner I can get this taken care of, the better. Blech.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

The Penguin Random House/Simon & Schuster merger is dead in the water. Plus, what happens when publishing houses merge?

Inside Amazon’s struggle to deal with an antisemitic film.

BookTok’s racial bias.

New & Upcoming Titles

Joe Ide’s IQ series is set to continue in 2023.

Tor Teen announces a new YA horror anthology called The White Guy Dies First, featuring a collection of stories where…you guessed it…the white guy dies first.

Miranda Lambert is publishing a cookbook.

Tananarive Due did a cover reveal for her upcoming horror novel, The Reformatory. WANT WANT WANT WANT OMG WANT.

Paul Tremblay shares the cover reveal of his upcoming story collection, The Beast You Are.

Here’s the cover reveal and an exclusive excerpt for Samantha Downing’s upcoming thriller, A Twisted Love Story.

Take a look at the cover reveal for Britney S. Lewis’ YA novel The Dark Place, which combines the “emotional resonance of John Green and the surrealist horror imagery of Jordan Peele.”

New York Times100 Notable Books for 2022.

Kirkus shares their best nonfiction picks for 2022, including biographies, memoirs, U.S. history, world history, nature & environment, current affairs, science & medicine, and more!

Best books of 2022 from the New York Public Library.

10 best romance novels of 2022.

Best music books of 2022.

Most anticipated YA books to read in December.

RA/Genre Resources

How romance novels saved this reader who was going through intense emotional struggles.

On the Riot

2023 YA book title earworms. (Click through with caution!)

New holiday romcom books to warm your heart.

The best new weekly releases to TBR.

9 classic types of sci-fi plots.

What makes a good mystery series?

Why are magic users often oppressed in fantasy novels?

All Things Comics

Blade finds a new director and a new writer.

On the Riot

15 short graphic novels for when you just don’t have time to read.

Cozy graphic novels to snuggle up with.

9 iyashikei manga to heal weary hearts.


The 18 best audiobooks and podcasts of 2022.

On the Riot

20 must-listen audiobooks with Indigenous narrators.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


Forest-set YA fantasy novels.


Quick reads to help you reach your reading goals.

6 haunting Native American horror novels.

5 of the best contemporary mystery books.

Turn up the heat with spicy romances!

8 closed door romance novels to make you swoon.

16 delightful holiday romances to make you feel merry and bright.

42 cold weather mysteries and snowy suspense novels.

6 immersive historical fiction sagas.

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

On the Riot

The best unexpected board books to gift.

The best baby Christmas books.

YA books that take place in a single day.

The most popular UK YA books, as chosen by students.

8 traveling horror novels.

8 queer vampire books.

8 enchanting books about Hades and Persephone.

A reading list about coffee.

9 macabre medical mystery books.

25+ of the best craft books.

8 human migration books to broaden your horizons.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

black cat with food crumbs below its eye and caught in its whiskers

I texted this photo to my husband and said “Good grief.” He texted back, “Why good grief? He has an eye goober.” To which I responded, “That’s not an eye goober. That’s food.” And if I was able to share a larger version of the photo, you would see that he also has food caught in his whiskers. We can’t take this old fart anywhere!

All right friends, hopefully by the time Friday’s newsletter comes out, I’ll have a whole tooth again. Chew carefully this week, and I’ll catch you later!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently listening to The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing by Sonia Faleiro.

Check Your Shelf

The Worst Books Written by Celebrities

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. This newsletter, like this week, is a little shorter than usual due to the holidays, but that’s okay with me! (Sadly the book banning news is not shorter than usual, though.) I hope everyone had a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday with good people and minimal contentious arguments.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Librarians worry that eBook pricing might affect people’s ability to borrow books.

A record $52 million will be going to public school libraries in Wisconsin next year.

Cool Library Updates

Nashville Public Library unveils a limited edition library card featuring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library! I want one!!

Worth Reading

Meet the longtime librarian being honored at the National Book Awards.

Book Adaptations in the News

Kristen Stewart is making her directorial debut with the adaptation of Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir The Chronology of Water.

Big Little Lies, Season 3 will not be moving forward in the wake of director and executive producer Jean-Marc Vallée’s death.

Here’s the trailer for the new Netflix animated adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

Banned & Challenged Books

No, books should not have content ratings.

Kelly Jensen’s book Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy, is one of over 300 books that have been banned in Missouri since August. PEN America has issued a statement rejecting this alarming development.

Freedom to Read advocates warn of the proposed “book rating” bill in Texas and rising book bans in Missouri.

The New York Times wrote about school librarian Amanda Jones’s ongoing struggle against censorship.

Frisco ISD (TX) has released a list of books banned or restricted in school libraries, including Game of Thrones and several books written by Neil Gaiman.

Huntsville (TX) residents are concerned about potential censorship at the library, especially after one patron witnessed a police officer behind the circulation desk telling a staff member “that when the rest of the books they put on reserve come in, he’s going to come back pick them all up and then someone is going to make a decision about whether they can remain in circulation or not.”

An update on the ongoing lawsuit against Llano County (TX) Library System.

In Concord, New Hampshire, a crowd gathers to say “All Are Welcome” to counter a scheduled protest against Drag Queen Story Hour.

The controversial book conversation heats up again at Old Rochester Regional schools in Massachusetts.

The Cheshire (CT) Board of Education heard concerns from parents about certain books being used in the middle school to discuss social justice, including Ghost Boys and Boy21.

The Enfield Congregational, United Church of Christ (CT) held a giveaway of LGBTQ books after a school board member asked the curriculum committee to consider marking these books as “obscene.”

A teacher in Hollidaysburg School District (PA) is being called out for having Gender Queer visible on her desk. Not part of her classroom library. Not being handed out to a student. It was just visible on her desk. Apparently this is considered indoctrination as well.

Chesterfield County (VA) School Board heard from a number of angry parents over allegedly inappropriate materials used in the classrooms.

Sumner County (TN) Commission passed a resolution that says the books A Place Inside of Me and Dragonwings violate state law and should be removed from all libraries in the county. The school board voted to retain A Place Inside of Me, but have not yet scheduled a hearing about Dragonwings.

Onslow County (NC) board members and parents grapple with the school district’s “graphic books” policy.

Notes from a school board takeover — this is what’s happening to the Berkeley County School Board in South Carolina.

South Carolina lawmakers are suing schools over allegations of teaching critical race theory.

Beaufort County (SC) committees will start reviewing 97 challenged books that have been pulled from shelves.

Residents of Greenville County, South Carolina, have formed a coalition to fight ongoing book bans and challenges.

Horry County (SC) parents and teachers sound off about the new increased scrutiny over library books.

Rochester (MN) Public Library takes a stand on the freedom to read.

Angry parents crowd the Hamtramck (MI) school board meeting with complaints over books, many of which the school board says aren’t even being made available to students in the first place.

Ottawa County (MI) resident John Mast said “We’ll pay for this library completely, but we’re not going to pay for it as long as they got them kind of books in there,” in response to the Patmos Library being defunded over LGBTQ books.

St. Joseph Public Schools (MI) elect to keep all 13 formally challenged books in the high school media center.

Dearborn (MI) School District is keeping some of the formally challenged books, but they’ve elected to remove Push and Red, White, and Royal Blue.

Daughters of Smoke and Bone has been moved from Western Middle School (IN) to the high school following a formal complaint.

A Bartholomew County (IN) church congregation is pressuring the public library to remove multiple titles that initially caused a 19 year-old member of their congregation “discomfort.” But of course it’s not related to LGBTQ-issues or banning books, because it never is.

Amidst death threats and ongoing harassment, a University of Chicago professor reschedules her course titled “The Problem of Whiteness.”

Nearly two-thirds of Madison County (IL) voters said that the library shouldn’t advertise drag queen events to minors, in response to two exceptionally popular drag-themed events at the library. However, this measure doesn’t represent any sort of legal standard that the library has to follow.

A Marathon County (WI) budget hearing turned heated after some residents spoke in favor of cutting the public libraries budgets, saying that they’re concerned that their children have been exposed to harmful materials at the library.

Missouri is seeking feedback for their proposed rule, which would require libraries to put policies in place to keep “non-age appropriate books and materials” out of the hands of students, or lose funding.

The St. Mary’s City Commission (KS) is debating whether to renew the Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library’s lease after the library refused to accept a clause asking it to remove socially, racially or sexually divisive material, including all LGBTQ content.

Natrona County (WY) School District is possibly moving towards a wide-ranging ban on any books with “sexually explicit” imagery.

Cody (WY) School Board voted unanimously to uphold an earlier decision to retain If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo in the high school library.

Owasso (ID) Public Schools’ Board of Education voted in favor of a new requirement that will require every graphic novel to be reviewed by at least three faculty members for “sexually graphic content and extreme vulgarity” before it’s allowed on the shelves. Yet another example of time and resources being wasted on a non-existent problem.

Meridian Public Library (ID) faces backlash for their book collection. The director, in a refreshingly honest response, said, “Shouting out that these things you disagree with are obscene, is patently false. You have the right to object to an item. You have the right to recommend a reconsideration of an item you don’t like. You do not have the right to ban books or segregate access to books you don’t like.”

The conservative book ban movement roils the Millard County (UT) School District.

A Utah mom is upset that 23 “pornographic” books have been returned to Washington County (UT) School District libraries. The article also mentions that all 23 books are featured on the Rated Books website, without mentioning that this website is created directly by Moms for Liberty.

The Homer Library (AK) Advisory Board seeks public input regarding LGBTQ-themed children’s books.

Books & Authors in the News

Award-winning children’s author Marcus Sedgwick has passed away unexpectedly at 54.

A list of 100 Canadian citizens, including Margaret Atwood, have been banned from Russia, in retaliation for Prime Minister Trudeau’s new and ongoing sanctions.

Barnes & Noble has pulled the controversial book Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America from its shelves.

Numbers & Trends

The best-selling books of the week.

Award News

The 2022 National Book Award winners have been announced!

Dolly Parton receives a whopping $100 million award for The Bezos Award for Courage and Civility. She said, “I try to put my money where my heart is. I will do my best to do good things with this money.”

Katherine Rundell wins the 2022 Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction for Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne.

The 2023 Grammy nominations have been announced.

The shortlist for the 2022 First Novel Prize has been announced.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

500 new words are officially allowed in Scrabble, including Jedi, spork, hangry, and fauxhawk.

On the Riot

After 125 years, this is the most-borrowed book from the Brooklyn Public Library.

A rundown of this Rioter’s first library conference.

Pulling back the curtain: reading the journals of someone you admire.

The worst books written by celebrities.

Reading is this Rioter’s coping mechanism at family gatherings.

How do visual readers read nonfiction?

black cat sitting on a gray plaid pillow with a Wii remote between its front paws

About a month ago, I dug out my old Wii U (yes, I still have my Wii U, don’t judge), and last night, Gilbert decided he wanted in on the fun! My husband is away at the moment, and when I sent him this photo, he said, “Oh no. I have to come back home right now, because y’all are clearly having too much fun.”

Okay, friends. I’ll pop into your inboxes again on Tuesday. Enjoy your weekend!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

The Blank Men of Horror and Thrillers

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. This week as I dive into the week’s banned book news, each headline is a reminder of the pervasiveness of the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric that emboldened the shooter in Colorado Springs. The book bans, the anti-trans legislation, the attack on public education, the threats against Drag Queen Story Times…it’s all linked, and it all led to last weekend’s shooting. I am so angry and so sad, and I know that whatever I’m feeling is nothing compared to those of you who have to actively navigate this danger. Friends, I am so sorry that this keeps happening, and I’m so sorry that you have to face it in your personal as well as your professional lives.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

The FBI shut down Z-Library, one of the world’s largest online pirated libraries, and BookTok experienced a significant clash between reader and authors.

Amazon makes cuts to its Books business.

TikTok will sell books directly to users via its marketplace.

How publishing is raising money for Georgia’s Senate runoff election.

How to support the HarperCollins union during their strike.

New & Upcoming Titles

Bernie Sanders is publishing a new book, It’s Okay to Be Angry About Capitalism.

Michael Lewis’ next book will focus on crypto exchange FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, as well as the recent FTX collapse.

Caroline Kepnes announces a fourth Joe Goldberg novel for April 2023.

Mary J. Blige is publishing a picture book in 2023 called Mary Can!

First look at Emily Henry’s upcoming romance novel, Happy Place.

Andrea Bartz has the cover reveal for her next book, The Spare Room.

And here’s the cover for Riley Sager’s upcoming Gothic thriller, The Only One Left!

7 of the best romance novels for the fall.

The best books of the year from Amazon, Esquire (nonfiction), Kirkus (fiction, mysteries/thrillers, book club fiction, historical fiction, romance, SFF, debut fiction, fiction in translation), Time, Washington Post (general, fiction, mysteries/thrillers, nonfiction).

30 most-anticipated books for Winter 2022.

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

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Terms – Michelle Obama (New York Times, OprahDaily, People, Time, USA Today, Washington Post).

The Queen: Her Life – Andrew Morton (New York Times, Time, Vanity Fair, Washington Post)

No Filter: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful – Paulina Porizkova (New York Times, Shondaland)

How to Survive Everything – Ewan Morrison (New York Times)

Flight – Lynn Steger Strong (USA Today)

Now is Not the Time to Panic – Kevin Wilson (Washington Post)

On the Riot

New and recent YA romances to get you in the holiday spirit.

9 great new queer middle grade books.

The best weekly new releases to TBR.

Reading pathways for Jesse Q. Sutanto.

All Things Comics

On the Riot

YA and middle grade native and Indigenous graphic novels and comics.

7 female superheroes who were better than their male counterparts.


LeVar Burton will be narrating a new audiobook version of A Christmas Carol, available exclusively on Apple Books.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


11 YA books without romance.

9 YA books with fierce women leaders like Black Panther.


10 long-running series to last you through the winter.

4 romance books where the heroine makes the first move.

Cookbooks with recipes that come together in a snap.

9 vegetarian cookbooks that even meat lovers will adore.

8 books about the reality of living with chronic illness.

Books about Princess Margaret, Princess Diana, and Queen Elizabeth II.

11 historical novels about women misbehaving and making history.

5 SFF books about spies and espionage.

7 nautical thrillers above, below, and around the seven seas.

Picks for Jewish Book Month.

10 coffee table books perfect for pop culture fans.

8 romance novels featuring trans women, by trans authors.

What to read during the World Cup.

On the Riot

9 inventive robot books for kids.

10 picture book biographies of authors to show kids how to use their words.

Books about ocean life for all ages.

8 books about drugs, from science to politics.

21 books that went viral on TikTok.

10 of the most popular mystery books on TikTok.

8 amazing works of SFF in translation.

10 of the best sci-fi/horror novels.

42 of the best fantasy novels from the last 10 years.

The blank men of horror and thrillers.

9 of the best Christmas novels.

Twisty romantic duologies to devour.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

black and white cat lying on its back, looking up at a person out of frame

Blaine sent me this photo while I was at work…apparently Dini was being very needy and making sure everyone could see how adorable he is!

Okay, friends, I’ll check in again on Friday. Please be kind to yourselves, and I hope you all get to spend time this holiday week with people who make you feel happy and loved and safe.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Goat Yoga, Libraries, and You

Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where I am watching the Twitter meltdown with a mix of fascination and horror. As much as I hate seeing a workplace driven into the ground in real time, I have to say that reading about Elon Musk has done wonders for my own impostor syndrome.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Concerns linger for libraries after mixed election results.

Arkansas voters have opted to cut the Craighead County/Jonesboro Public Library’s millage in half. The article claims that this measure was added at the 11th hour in response to negative feedback over an LGBTQ pride display in January.

Helena Bonham Carter has been named the first female president of the London Library, the city’s first established lending library.

Cool Library Updates

Goat yoga at the library!

Worth Reading

Resources for helping unhoused patrons.

Libraries vs. the cost of living crisis.

Simple ways to be more inclusive of autistic families.

Creating accessibility in libraries.

How libraries are using TikTok for programming and outreach.

Book Adaptations in the News

Disney is adapting Roshani Chokshi’s A Crown of Wishes into a live-action series.

A new Princess Diaries movie is in the works.

After optioning Maggie Haberman’s Confidence Man months before its publication, Apple has decided not to pick up the adaptation for development.

Amanda Montell’s book Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism is being adapted as a docuseries.

Ewan Morrison’s thriller How to Survive Everything has been optioned for TV.

Shuggie Bain is getting a TV adaptation.

Netflix orders an adaptation of Judy Blume’s Forever.

Universal Pictures has acquired film adaptation rights to Susanna Hoff’s debut novel, This Bird Has Flown. (If you recognize that name, Susanna Hoff was one of the co-founders of The Bangles.)

Casting update for The Sympathizer.

Banned & Challenged Books

There aren’t two sides to the Holocaust debate.

Texas Republicans against critical race theory win seats on the State Board of Education, strengthening the GOP majority. ​​

Keller ISD (TX) has banned books about trans and nonbinary people.

Abilene Public Library (TX) tables a request to move, reclassify, or remove 30 books.

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD (TX) parents held their own book fair after the district refused to work with Scholastic Books, saying that Scholastic wouldn’t give them an inventory of every item being sold ahead of time.

Kerrville (TX) City Council is scheduled to hear a request about disputed library materials which allegedly violate Texas obscenity laws.

Why read a book when you can ban it instead? Inside Florida’s Clay County school district.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower has been removed from the Escambia County (FL) School curriculum.

Over 20 books challenged at Thomas County Public Library (GA).

An anti-critical race theory supporter wins a seat on the Augusta County (VA) School Board.

Virginia governor shuts down a critical race theory complaint hotline because it didn’t get enough complaints. Shocker.

Prince William School Board (VA) is considering parental consent for school-wide book readings.

Madison County (NC) school officials attempt to clear confusion, saying that All American Boys has not been banned from the district, even though a school board candidate said that she felt the book SHOULD be banned.

Wake County (NC) Library system is under scrutiny after adding multiple copies of the transphobic picture book Johnny the Walrus to their collections.

The first sentence of this article from Catawba County (NC) says it all: “Michelle Teague, the grandparent who challenged 24 public school library books this year while admitting she had not read them, is now on the board that sets policy for the system.”

The Wilkes County School Board (NC) has given county school superintendents the authority to immediately remove a book or other educational materials from all schools after it is challenged by a parent, thereby completely bypassing their existing review policy.

Horry County (SC) school board adds committee positions to review possible “inappropriate materials” in the libraries.

Spruce Mountain (ME) school board votes to keep Gender Queer, despite parents appealing the initial decision.

Henrietta Public Library and other upstate New York libraries grapple with efforts to censor children’s books.

Brooklyn Public Library president says “now is a time to act” in the fight against book bans.

A 10th grade lesson at Somers High School (NY) was halted after parents complained about the teacher using the book Me and White Supremacy to teach about racism.

Princeton Public Library (NJ) hosts a panel addressing book banning.

In a heated New Jersey school board race, things get physical.

Hollidaysburg Area School District (PA) discusses adding new language concerning gender identity and preferred pronouns to a school policy, which would prevent teachers from “prominently” displaying materials of a religious, sexual, or political nature in their classrooms, which includes teachers who previously had Pride flags up in their classroom.

The Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County (OH) issued a statement in response to patrons asking the library to remove LGBTQ book displays and materials.

Hilliard City School (OH) parents are pushing for school officials to remove multiple books from libraries.

Wood County Commission (WV) hears complaints about the book Julián is a Mermaid being read during storytime at the South Parkersburg Library.

Conservative politics drive the fight for control of Indiana’s school boards. In Hamilton County, several anti-critical race theory candidates win seats on multiple school boards.

The Michigan Library Association defends the Patmos Library, which was defunded over LGBTQ books.

7 books have been removed from Elmbrook (WI) school libraries.

Carroll Community School District’s (IA) material reconsideration committee recommends that Sold by Patricia McCormick should remain in libraries.

Nixa (MO) parents push for nine more books to be removed from the high school library. Six of the titles are by Sarah J. Maas.

The Daniel Boone Regional Library (MO) is preparing to discuss a proposed book challenge rule in the state, which would require libraries receiving state funds to determine what material is “age-appropriate” for children, and restrict minors from accessing some books.

Not book related, but it’s all linked in a horrible circle. Republicans introduce a bill to make it a felony to perform drag shows in Tennessee.

Faulkner County Coalition for Social Justice (AR) held a student walkout at Conway High School over recent policy changes that negatively affect transgender students and critical race theory.

Rapid City Area Schools (SD) are planning to sell the books that were once earmarked to be destroyed.

Wyoming teachers are dismayed by the recent state-sponsored “sexualization of children in schools” event.

A Boise man who was arrested for aggravated assault had also assaulted a transgender employee at the Boise Downtown Public Library prior to his arrest.

Months after the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District banned critical race theory from classrooms, Cal State Fullerton has told officials that it’s pausing its student teacher placement in the district because the restriction conflicts with the university’s goals of equity and inclusion.

Australian senator Alex Antic accuses the Australian Broadcast Corporation of “grooming” children after Australian drag queen Courtney Act appeared on the Play School program.

Republicans are using attacks on queer people and libraries to rally voters.

Why book bans and voter suppression go hand in hand.

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

Books & Authors in the News

Hilary Duff slams Ballast Books for announcing plans to release Aaron Carter’s unfinished memoir only 10 days after his death. Since then, the publisher has delayed the publication date indefinitely.

Numbers & Trends

Can BookTok be taken at face value?

The best-selling books of the week.

Award News

Barnes & Noble names Lessons in Chemistry as its best book of 2022.

Voting for the Goodreads Choice Awards has begun!

The Andrew Carnegie Medal shortlist has been announced.

On the Riot

Ideas for running a comic book club in your school library.

How and why this Rioter schedules their reading.

How many books does the average person read?

On bonding with damaged books.

black and white cat sitting on a desk next to a recording microphone

Okay, the cat photo for this issue is a no-brainer. I got set up to record a couple ad spots for the latest episode of Read or Dead, and Dini decided he was going to be the new co-host. I have informed all relevant parties of this change, so if you’re a listener, be prepared for less mystery & suspense discussion, and more demands for treats and Fancy Feast.

All right friends. Please take time to recharge your batteries this weekend. I desperately need to, and my guess is a lot of you need to as well.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Roman Noir and Thanksgiving Romances

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. This weekend, I actually managed to spend time with not one, but TWO groups of friends! I can’t remember the last time I engaged in this much socialization, and I’m still slightly confused that I spent so much time doing something that wasn’t work or sleeping. I should probably try this “socialization” thing more frequently!

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Judge Florence Pan releases her written opinion on the decision to block Penguin Random House’s merger with Simon & Schuster.

HarperCollins union workers go on indefinite strike over pay disputes.

The American Booksellers Association charts the negative impact that Amazon’s expansion has had on retailers.

New & Upcoming Titles

Karin Smirnoff’s entry in the Millennium series, The Girl in the Eagle’s Talons, will be out in August 2023.

Jake Gyllenhaal announces his debut children’s book, The Secret Society of Aunts and Uncles.

Not surprisingly, Riley Sager has another book coming out next summer!

And so is Megan Abbott!

Here’s the cover reveal for Sian Gilbert’s debut novel, She Started It, which is getting comparisons to Liane Moriarty and Lucy Foley.

16 historical romances new to shelves this fall.

51 new books to read for Native American Heritage Month.

The best books of 2022 so far.

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

November picks from Goodreads, Lambda Literary, (fantasy).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Flight — Lynn Steger (LA Times, New York Times, Washington Post)

Dr. No — Percival Everett (LA Times, Washington Post)

The Stories We Tell: Every Piece of Your Story Matters — Joanna Gaines (People, USA Today)

Novelist as a Vocation — Haruki Murakami (Guardian, New York Times)

Now is Not the Time to Panic — Kevin Wilson (New York Times, USA Today)

RA/Genre Resources

Some of the trends that Harlequin editors are noticing in romance novels.

Why New Mexico is a great place for sci-fi.

On the Riot

New LGBTQ holiday romances for 2022.

Best biographies of 2022.

New weekly releases to TBR.

Amazon is adding Goodreads ratings to book listings.

What is roman noir?

Why we need more Thanksgiving romances.

All Things Comics

Kevin Conroy, the iconic voice of the animated Batman series, has died at 66.

Kevin O’Neill, British comics artist and co-creator of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, has died at 69.

On the Riot

Romantic YA comics and graphic novels.

10 grimdark comics for gloomy nights.


Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions is launching its first horror audio series on Spotify. SIGN ME UP.

Barnes & Noble picks their best audiobooks for 2022.

7 audiobooks to help you find perspective and create peace.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


Children’s books about Thanksgiving without the myth.

5 demisexual YA SFF novels.

16 YA books if you’re a fan of Colleen Hoover.


14 books to read for your Fifty Shades of Grey fix.

The best robots in science fiction.

9 books that tackle the myth of the American hero.

12 inclusive histories for Veterans’ Day.

10 books that celebrate feral girls.

5 scary novels that use setting to embody horror.

15 memoirs about chronic illness and disability that might change the way you see the world.

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

On the Riot

Timely books about young people making a difference.

The best middle grade fantasy series to discover.

YA books about social media and online fame.

22 must-read Indigenous authors.

8 captivating World War II books about books and libraries.

The 25 best books about climate change to add to your TBR.

9 books like God of War: Ragnarok.

8 plant-based horror novels.

12 books to make you ugly cry.

8 mystery novels with non-detective main characters.

8 fictional books about philanthropy, nonprofits, and wealth.

8 books about perfumery.

8 of the best books about ceramics to pique your interest.

9 gloriously feral goblincore books for winter reading.

Queer space adventures that are out of this world.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

Woman wearing gray jacket holding a white cat

This issue’s cat photo was taken at a local animal shelter over the weekend. My husband and I sometimes visit to love on the cats, and we got to meet this GORGEOUS blue-eyed boy, who’s super chill and loves being held! Honestly, if we didn’t have a limit on the number of pets we can have in our apartment, we probably would have left with him — he was such a sweetheart!

All right friends — I’m out. I’ll see you all on Friday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently listening to Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York — Elon Green

Check Your Shelf

Michigan Residents Vote to Defund Jamestown Library a Second Time

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. How are we all feeling after midterm elections? Maybe it was because I’ve had so much other stuff going on at work, but I felt like I hardly had time to feel stressed out about the elections, and thankfully the results have so far helped with that. On a separate note, I learned that I was not selected for the permanent director position that I interviewed for, but I’m honestly okay with the decision. I received glowing reviews for my performance as interim, I get to return to my previous role as department manager, and I’m excited to work with the candidate who was hired for the position. And now that the waiting and the ambiguity is gone, I feel like a weight has been lifted.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Here’s an initial report on the midterm library ballot measures.

Cool Library Updates

LibraryPass and Image Comics team up to add digital comics to libraries and schools.

Worth Reading

Love your library? Vote with your feet.

The value of a DEI audit.

Book Adaptations in the News

The Sandman gets renewed for a second season with Netflix.

Sam Miller has been hired to direct A Gentleman in Moscow.

Naomi Novik’s A Deadly Education is being adapted for film by Universal Pictures.

Frederick Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal is getting a TV adaptation from Sky and Peacock.

Clown in a Cornfield is getting an adaptation!

Helen Fielding teases a possible fourth Bridget Jones movie.

Here is the official trailer for Lady Chatterly’s Lover.

And here’s the official trailer for Kindred.

Banned & Challenged Books

The biased online book ratings systems that are undermining professional review sources.

Paywalled: An update on the Llano County Library (TX) lawsuit.

The classroom culture war comes to Round Rock (TX), where far-right religious candidates are “swamping school boards with book bans and sex panic.”

Arlington Public Library (TX) advisory board “compromises” on Pride Month displays.

Longview ISD (TX) superintendent discusses how library books in the district are regulated. From the article: “If it deals expressly with alternative lifestyles or sexual preference, then that’s not something that we want our students reading on our watch. Their parents can provide them with any kind of material that they want, but if it’s coming through us, we want to make sure it’s appropriate.”

North Lamar ISD (TX) ruled against a book grievance complaint made against In Cold Blood and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

In some Texas school districts, parent complaints were more bark than bite.

Anti-LGBTQ groups are helping enforce a book ban law in Florida.

A Seminole County (FL) school board member raises concerns over several books in school libraries, including Lucky, Push, and Let’s Talk About It. However, this article also mentions that the school is using BookLooks, a Moms for Liberty-created review site as an authoritative resource, which is extremely concerning.

Flagler County (FL) school district has been quietly removing multiple books since the summer in a bow to Moms for Liberty.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower has been removed from Escambia County (FL) schools for sexual content.

Slidell (LA) residents push for the library to remove books they claim are explicit and promote pedophilia. One of the unnamed books is in the adult section, but several people are pushing for it to be removed entirely. But I bet if you asked these people, none of them would say that they’re advocating for book banning.

The Owasso School Board (OK) upheld a ban against a parent who has disrupted previous board meetings. However, the courts have ruled that the school cannot ban him from the property, although he can be removed if he disrupts any future school functions.

Half of the 18 Southern gubernatorial candidates support classroom censorship policies.

A Tennessee woman goes viral for defending the LGBTQ+ community, following the resignation of the Maury County library director.

Williamson County (TN) school board will only hear potential complaints over board-approved educational materials if they are made by a current WCS parent/guardian, employee, or student.

Two Hendersonville (TN) high schools have removed Lawn Boy after they decided the book violated the school board’s obscene materials policy.

Lexington-Richland 5 (SC) school district has removed the book Black is a Rainbow Color, although the specifics of the complaint have not yet been released.

Right-wing legislators admit editing audio used in a Fox News report attacking South Carolina schools.

Parkersburg (WV) City Council withdraws its resolution to censure the Parkersburg & Wood County Public Library over the placement of Gender Queer in a Banned Books Week display, but the situation is still drawing debate.

The 1776 Project PAC has backed several Bentonville (AR) School Board candidates, saying that these candidates are fighting “progressive activists” seeking to indoctrinate children.

RSU1 (ME) votes to retain Beyond Magenta in the school libraries.

Another Maine school district has requests to remove books from the library; this time the books are Gender Queer and White Fragility.

Enfield (CT) Board of Education member says that she’s not trying to ban books — she’s just trying to set guidelines that will protect students. But they’re never trying to ban books, are they?

A teacher with the Hollidaysburg Area School District (PA) is facing public scrutiny after she reportedly brought a copy of Gender Queer to her classroom.

Two dozen books have been challenged at Big Walnut High School in Delaware.

Book banning resonates as an issue in Maryland school board races.

Michigan GOP candidate Tudor Dixon wants schools and libraries to remove books that feature divorced characters. Now, while she (thankfully) was not elected, we definitely need to be viewing this as a preview for how these bans are going to shift…no books that contain anything other than white, cisgender, heterosexual Christian characters.

The Jamestown (MI) library has been defunded a second time over LGBTQ books, and will likely close.

Bay City Public Schools (MI) deny a parent’s request to ban a list of books from school libraries.

The ACLU sent a letter to public school districts in Michigan: support LGBTQ+ students and the First Amendment, not censorship and book banning.

Anti-LGBTQ rhetoric roils Wisconsin, providing political fuel for the right.

What the Missouri Senate Bill 1224 looks like in the Rockwood and Parkway school districts.

An article that looks at the book bans happening across Nebraska as if these are fair and reasonable requests.

Pierre Library (SD) Board votes unanimously to keep Push in the library; however, they did ask the director to move the book from the teen section to the adult section.

Facing another book challenge, the ImagineIF (MT) library board votes to retain the title.

Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder sponsored an event advertised as a “discussion of the sexualization of children in Wyoming’s schools,” and included misinformation, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, and this alarming statement: “You have now been recruited. You are a part of the army.”

After a controversy over “sexualized” books, the Gillette (WY) Public Library votes to cut ties with the American Library Association. They also added the words “while reflecting community standards” to their mission statement, which feels like an extremely slippery slope.

Mount Shasta (CA) parents are outraged over The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, saying that it includes “inappropriate racial slurs, sexual content, profanity, and vulgar jokes about sex with an animal,” and “teaches students about masturbation and sexual experiences.”

Orange County (CA) Education Board considers banning communist indoctrination, “despite trustees not providing clear cases of indoctrination happening in local schools.”

The school library used to be a sanctuary. Now it’s a battleground.

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

Books & Authors in the News

JD Vance has won his Ohio Senate race.

Numbers & Trends

The best-selling books of the week.

Award News

The 2022 World Fantasy Awards have been announced.

Suzette Mayr has won the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize for The Sleeping Car Porter.

The Southern Book Prize finalists have been announced.

On the Riot

3 tools for teaching digital citizenship to kids.

An unexpected compendium of Lord of the Rings adaptations.

The best places to donate kids’ books.

black cat standing in a doorway watching a man fix a water heater

This may look like an ordinary cat photo, but this is actually a picture of Dini hard at work, supervising the maintenance worker who came by our apartment to install a new water heater. Dini stayed by the door, checked the guy’s work when he left to grab something from the van, and sat at the bottom of the stairs waiting for him to return. Thankfully, the guy found it amusing rather than annoying.

It’s the weekend. Let’s all get some rest, shall we? I’ll see you on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Remembering the Forgotbusters

Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where we have entered the dark days of winter. I’m going to grouse about the lack of sunlight in the afternoons until next March, but at least we only have about a month and a half left of the days officially getting shorter…once December 21st rolls around, I try to keep my spirits up by reminding myself that I’m getting a couple extra minutes of sunlight each day. (Honestly, it kind of works.)

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

A federal court has blocked the merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.

Kwame Mbalia is heading up a new imprint for Disney.

New & Upcoming Titles

Here are the Top 50 Children’s and YA books of 2022, as chosen by Publisher’s Weekly.

For your reference collections: Emily Post’s descendants are publishing an updated etiquette book.

Iceland’s prime minister releases her first crime novel, co-written with Ragnar Jónasson!

Anna-Marie McLemore is publishing their first adult novel.

10 upcoming YA books by Latinx authors you can preorder.

22 books to immerse yourself in this fall.

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

November picks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bustle, Crime Reads, Good Morning America, LitHub (general, SFF), Shondaland, Town & Country.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story — Bono (LA Times, New York Times, USA Today, Vulture, Washington Post)

The Philosophy of Modern Song — Bob Dylan (USA Today, Washington Post)

Foster — Claire Keegan (LA Times, New York Times, NPR)

The World We Make — N.K. Jemisin (USA Today, Washington Post)

White Horse — Erika T. Wurth (New York Times)

RA/Genre Resources

The rise of Black YA horror, and the thrill of queer YA horror.

On the Riot

New YA books perfect for winter holiday reading.

20 new must-read short story collections.

The best new weekly releases to TBR.

November picks for mystery/thriller/true crime, horror, romance, nonfiction, YA, children.

Summer Scares is back for 2023!

How to celebrate Nonfiction November.

Why are so many M/M romances written by cis women?

What’s hopepunk, and where should you get started?

Should most self-help books be pamphlets?

Remembering the “forgotbusters:” the blockbuster books that time forgot.

A YA lover’s journey into adult literature.

“Good rep,” “bad rep,” and other phrases this reader could do without.

All Things Comics

William Jackson Harper has been added to the cast of Ant Man 3, although his role is being kept secret for now.

Aubrey Plaza joins the cast of the WandaVision spinoff, Agatha: Coven of Chaos.

Chris Farley’s early life will be chronicled in a new graphic novel co-written by his brother, Kevin.

On the Riot

11 new comics to devour in November.

Horror comics to carry you through the end of the year.

The best graphic novels you’ve never heard of.


Is listening to audiobooks really considered reading? (Yes, you knuckleheads.)

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


6 books to keep that Halloween spirit going.

The best books to read for Indigenous Peoples Month.

7 memoirs about unearthing ancestral magic.

8 books to read about the decline of democracy.

7 books about Agatha Christie and her characters.

A list of mysteries that feature animal rescue.

4 books to try and understand why children kill.

10 books about women’s plight in Iran.

15 “smutty” holiday romances to keep you warm. (Their words, not mine!)

8 seriously steamy Regency romance novels.

20 werewolf romance books to sink your teeth into.

10 queer haunted house books.

Adult M/F romances starring trans women.

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

On the Riot

More children’s books by Native American authors.

9 books about Black joy.

10 marvelous books about mushrooms.

30 great books about astronauts.

Cookbooks from Great British Bake Off alums.

8 fantastic debut novels by Indigenous authors.

Books about quitting your job.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

close up of black and white cat with long white whiskers laying on staircase

Dini would like everyone to marvel at his whiskers. Meanwhile, I was marveling at his uncanny ability to choose the most inconvenient spot in the apartment to take a nap.

Okay friends, that’s all I’ve got for today. Let’s trudge through this week and get to Friday, kay?

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Leave It To the Librarians

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. There’s such an overwhelming number of negative, angry, hateful news items in regards to libraries that I need to hear something more positive. If your library is doing something great and exciting, hit me up on Twitter. It’s easy to forget about the positive things in times like this, and quite frankly, my last several months at work have been tarnished by all sorts of conflicts.

So, let’s dive in.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Not exactly library news, but it’s important and I couldn’t think of a better section to put this in: Elon Musk officially owns Twitter. Stephen King has also indicated that he won’t pay to keep his official Twitter-verified status, compelling Musk to bargain with him via tweet replies. What a world.

Cool Library Updates

Bike libraries are boosting cycling access across the country.

Worth Reading

Libraries can unite a lonely, divided nation.

How to use the holidays to build library brand awareness and affinity.

19 of the best social media management tools.

Book Adaptations in the News

From Scratch, based on Tembi Locke’s memoir, was Netflix’s most-viewed title for the last week of October!

Amazon orders a new Alex Cross series, based on the James Patterson books.

Casting update for Interior Chinatown.

Here’s a first look at The Pale Blue Eye, featuring Christian Bale, Harry Melling, and Gillian Anderson.

First trailer for Fleishman is in Trouble.

9 highly anticipated book adaptations coming to big and small screens.

Banned & Challenged Books

Book banners are weaponizing legitimate resources.

From the New Yorker: The right-wing mothers fueling school board wars.

When book challenges happen at YOUR school or library.

A new panel explores the surge in book bans and policies targeting the LGBTQ community.

How should educators respond to parents who criticize what’s being taught?

These PACs are funding “parents rights advocates” running for local school board positions.

The Christian Nationalist group Mama Bears Rising have taken their book-banning frenzy to Tomball, Texas.

Battles over race and gender inflame the Texas school board vote.

Keri Blakinger’s memoir, Corrections in Ink, which is about her time spent in prison and her subsequent rehabilitation, has ironically been banned from Florida prisons.

Orlando LGBTQ Center cancels its own Drag Queen Story Hour after receiving threats from neo Nazis.

Seminole County (FL) school board Chairwoman Amy Pennock has filed to pull eight books for review.

Thomas County Public Library System (GA) is reviewing four challenged books. What’s particularly concerning is the complaints issued by members of the community towards the director: “I personally don’t have time to come to the library to read every new book you shelve and fill out your form. As I am a taxpayer, paying your salary, I say that the responsibility is yours to keep unacceptable materials off the shelves.”

Slidell (LA) residents are pushing for the St. Tammany Parish Library System to remove “explicit” books.

A conservative PAC has announced a $600,000 TV ad campaign that connects the controversy surrounding Gender Queer directly to the policies of Maine governor Janet Mills.

A Maine parent is appealing the Woolwich Central School board’s decision to retain the book Beyond Magenta.

Old Rochester Regional (MA) superintendent’s statement on controversial books: “Leave those decisions to the school librarians.”

(Paywalled) Elizabethtown Area School Board (PA) votes to keep Me and Earl and the Dying Girl on library shelves.

Ephrata Area School District (PA) has established a new policy and content-tagging system that allows parents to opt their children out of access to specific topics.

In Westmoreland, PA, a school board member is complaining that the book All Are Welcome was read to a group of second graders, saying “the book is about inclusivity, including immigrants, but it neglects to differentiate between legal immigration and foreign invaders.” The school is not investigating the claims.

Hempfield Area School District’s (PA) book challenge policy could mirror one already used to identify and filter out inappropriate websites.

Parents call for the removal of sexually explicit books from Frederick County Public Schools (MD), vowing to fight for this in upcoming board meetings until the books are removed.

Advocates launch the Freedom to Read SC coalition to fight book bans across South Carolina.

Greenville City Council (SC) voted to reject a recent proposal to remove books “promoting sexuality” from all children’s sections of the public library.

Nearly 100 books have been pulled from Beaufort County (SC) school libraries for review of allegedly “adult content.”

Black is a Rainbow Color has been removed from school libraries and classrooms in Lexington County, South Carolina, pending a review.

Batesburg-Leesville Middle and High schools (SC) have temporarily pulled Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You from libraries, and the National Coalition Against Censorship has sent a letter urging the schools to return the book.

The debate over children’s books continues at Spartanburg County Public Libraries (SC), although several books have already been relocated from the children’s section to the adult section.

A resident of Sumner County (TN) is pushing for the removal of Lawn Boy, saying that its presence in school libraries violates state law.

Maury County (TN) library director resigns from public pressure in response to a Pride display from earlier in the year.

16 books are being challenged at the Salem-South Lyon District Library (MI), most of which deal with LGBTQ themes in some capacity.

Three Portage (MI) school board candidates are running to stop critical race theory and the “sexualization of children.”

The Spring Lake School Board (MI) voted to significantly restrict student access to Gender Queer after a parent appealed the initial decision to keep the book, and the meeting ended up being abruptly adjourned after the public comments got out of control.

In Kiel, Wisconsin, the attack on “critical race theory” ignores the bullying of a Black student.

Following a common pattern, a group of parents asked the Lincolnwood Library (IL) to cancel its Drag Queen Story Time, except the library had never scheduled one.

The national battle over LGBTQ and sex ed books reaches Bartholomew County (IN).

Homer-Center school district (IN) announced that All American Boys would remain a part of the 10th grade English curriculum.

An Indiana school board candidate says “Haters gonna hate” in response to people upset over his comments that not all Nazis were bad.

Ankeny Kirkendall Public Library (IA) votes to retain Let’s Talk About It after a resident asked the library to place restrictions on the book.

A Willard (MO) parent has called for a full audit of the school library for sexually explicit materials.

The Nixa (MO) school board stands firm on policy changes as parents and students debate ongoing book bans.

USD 231 (KS) school board votes to keep The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian on 10th grade reading lists.

All Souls Unitarian Church (OK) holds a sermon opposing book bans and encouraging the freedom to read. (This is an uplifting read.)

The Valley City Public Library board (ND) refuses public comment over their decision to retain several challenged books.

Wyoming nominee for state superintendent of public instruction Megan Degenfelder says that there are a number of unsuitable books currently in school libraries, but that the decision should remain with school boards.

The battle over library books reaches Natrona’s school board election.

Eugene, Oregon pub staff and drag queen performers received death threats from AROUND THE WORLD in response to a planned Drag Queen Story Time. Gun-carrying protestors also made an appearance.

In British Columbia, most of the anti-sexual orientation & gender identity school board candidates lost their races.

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

Books & Authors in the News

Julia Powell, food writer and author of Julie and Julia, has died at 49.

Anna Pasternak, descendant of Doctor Zhivago author Boris Pasternak, has lost her copyright infringement claim against author Lara Prescott, who Pasternak claims copied elements from her own memoir.

PEN America and the National Coalition Against Censorship have both issued statements rejecting the recent call to cancel Amy Coney Barrett’s upcoming memoir.

A lost John Steinbeck essay about American democracy has been found and published.

Toni Morrison will be featured on U.S. postage stamps in 2023.

Numbers & Trends

The best-selling books of the week.

The most popular in-demand books in U.S. libraries from July – September.

Award News

The 2022 Kirkus Prize winners have been announced.

The 2021 Shirley Jackson Award winners have been announced.

Harry Josephine Giles wins the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Deep Wheel Orcadia.

The Waterstones Book of the Year shortlist has been announced.

On the Riot

How to increase your information literacy.

black cat looking at the camera with canned food on its nose and a sassy expression

I don’t know how well you can see this photo now that it’s been trimmed down to newsletter size, but that’s a spot of Fancy Feast on Gilbert’s nose, and that is the sassiest expression I’ve ever seen on his face! “Yeah, I’ve got food on my nose. SO WHAT?”

Okay, friends, that’s all I’ve got for today. I’ll catch you on the flip side.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

The Guilt of Rereading

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. Halloween may be over, but I honestly consider November to be the tail end of spooky season as I gradually transition towards the winter holidays. And with that, I hope you’ll forgive me a little self-indulgence as I relay some of my horror favorites that you can recommend to your favorite spooky patrons!

Favorite horror novels: The Troop, A Head Full of Ghosts, The Good House, The Hunger, The Dead Path, Final Girls

Scariest horror movie: Hereditary

Favorite horror movie: Poltergeist

Favorite lesser-known horror movie: Ready or Not

Favorite recent horror movies: Invisible Man, Malignant, Nope, Black Phone, Barbarian

The spooky continues below, with lots of horror reading lists!

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

George Orwell’s classic works are going to be published on Substack.

An open letter from publishing professionals condemns the recent Amy Coney Barrett book deal.

Reading between the lines: race, equity, and book publishing.

New & Upcoming Titles

Book Riot’s own Tirzah Price announces additional stories in her Lizzie and Darcy YA mystery series!

Here’s a look at Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, which will come out in early January.

Once again, in “I’ll believe it when I see it” news, George R.R. Martin says he’s three-quarters of the way through Winds of Winter.

Take a look at Joelle Wellington’s upcoming YA novel, Their Vicious Games, which is billed as Gossip Girl meets The Hunger Games.

Here’s the cover reveal for Colson Whitehead’s Crook Manifesto, which is the second book in the Harlem Shuffle trilogy.

Peloton instructor Emma Lovewell is publishing a memoir.

13 recent unsettling gothic horror tales.

21 recent horror books to read before Halloween.

14 new and upcoming books about witches.

7 new spooky and spirited Halloween reads.

The best new paranormal romances for Halloween.

Barnes & Noble selects 11 books that booksellers were most excited to recommend to readers in 2022.

Fall Canadian picks.

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

November picks from Epic Reads, New York Times, The Root.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

The Passenger / Stella Maris — Cormac McCarthy (Esquire, NPR, USA Today)

The Philosophy of Modern Song — Bob Dylan (Atlantic, LA Times)

Ted Kennedy: A Life — John A. Farrell (LA Times, New York Times)

Inciting Joy — Ross Gay (The Rumpus, Washington Post)

The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams — Stacy Schiff (New York Times, Time)

Token Black Girl: A Memoir — Danielle Prescod (Washington Post)

The White Mosque: A Memoir — Sofia Samatar (LA Times)

RA/Genre Resources

It came from Stephen King!: How horror lit crawled out of the swamp and into a golden age.

Plus-sized representation in fantasy fiction.

The essential Philip K. Dick.

On the Riot

UK publishers predict a rise in book prices.

The Top 10 YA books of the year, according to teens.

The best new weekly releases to TBR.

Reading pathways for Alex Segura.

Why horror books just aren’t that scary.

Nonsense fantasy recommendations.

12 romance sub-genres we’ll love forever.

The guilt of rereading and a hopeful solution.

All Things Comics

On the Riot

12 stellar Star Wars comics.

The best Wolverine comics.

Your reading life needs more manga.


Spotify wants to get into audiobooks, but says that Apple has rejected Spotify’s new app three times from the Apple Store.

The best Stephen King audiobooks, read by Stephen King actors.

7 great audiobooks for October.

On the Riot

Books this reader has reread on audio (and why you should reread them too).

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


16 must-read authors for younger readers.

14 classic YA retellings reimagined with BIPOC characters.

10 YA books to get you in the holiday spirit.


5 spooky books to put you in the Halloween mood.

5 chilling horror novellas to read this fall.

7 books about being stuck in purgatory.

Scary stories to chill your blood during spooky season.

9 works of dark humor perfect for Halloween.

4 suspenseful novels for true crime fans.

Works of horror movie criticism perfect for scary movie fans.

10 best-selling horror novels to read for Halloween, if you haven’t gotten to them already.

8 astounding horror novels written by women.

7 Halloween reads ranked by fear factor.

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

On the Riot

10 picture books you’ve probably never heard of by creators of color.

10 new children’s books by Native American and Indigenous authors.

8 enchanting YA fairy tales.

YA books about teens and seniors.

20 must-read Halloween nonfiction books.

25 must-read horror collections and anthologies.

8 page-turning mysteries and thrillers about sisters.

8 books like Atomic Habits to supersize your habit-making powers.

We’re here too: 9 queer memoirs from red areas.

The top 25 TikTok book recommendations from 2022.

Books like Taylor Swift’s Midnights.

14 great Japanese historical fiction books.

8 cozy romance books to curl up with.

Books about fictional Hollywood.

8 books about the literati.

8 books that are surprisingly and delightfully queer.

The best horror novels from around the world.

9 of the best books about grief.

Look at the birdy: 8 books about birding.

The 9 best Rebecca retellings.

20 must-read asexual books for Ace Week.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

orange cat and brown tabby sitting on a kitchen island watching videos on two separate computers

This issue’s photo is courtesy of my parents. Apparently Penny (sitting on the computer on the right) was watching cat TV on YouTube, but didn’t want to share with Wrigley, so my mom pulled out my dad’s old iPad for Wrigley to have his own screen. I have never known cats to actively ask for screentime, but my parents started putting bird videos on the computer for the cats a few years ago, and now they’re addicted.

That’s all I’ve got for today. See you again on Friday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

The Mystery of the Special Salad Dressing…SOLVED

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. This newsletter, specifically the Banned Books section, is going to be a little shorter than usual so that I can do some prep before my second round of director’s interviews tomorrow. Eeep! Sadly though, the banned books news continues rolling on, and we’ll just have to pick up where we left off next week.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Libraries in Peterborough (UK) are offering fine amnesty to try and recover 22,000 missing books.

Book Adaptations in the News

Samantha Allen’s queer Bigfoot novel, (yes, you read that correctly) Patricia Wants to Cuddle, has been picked up for a TV adaptation.

Jeneva Rose’s marriage thriller, The Perfect Marriage, is getting a film adaptation.

Carol Mendelsohn, former CSI showrunner, is attempting a series adaptation of Thomas Perry’s The Bomb Maker for the second time.

Octavia Butler’s Kindred is coming to Hulu in December.

Never Let Me Go is also coming to Hulu.

Elena Ferrante’s The Lying Life of Adults will release on Netflix in January.

Here’s a first look at Tom Hanks in A Man Called Otto, which is based on the book A Man Called Ove.

Banned & Challenged Books

Republicans propose a federal “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Because it’s never been about the actual books.

Do people who fill out a Request for Reconsideration form have a right to privacy?

What’s happening at the Arlington Public Library in Texas?

Florida’s Education Department has quietly selected several anti-gay and anti-mask conspiracy theorists to serve on a book-banning council to retrain public school librarians.

Louisiana school librarian Amanda Jones is asking for a new trial after her defamation lawsuit was dismissed.

Nora Roberts has pitched in $25,000 to the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library (AR) to assist in their fight for public funding.

Utah parents have filed hundreds of requests to remove books from school libraries since the state passed a law in May banning “pornographic or indecent” books in schools.

Books & Authors in the News

Salman Rushdie has lost sight in one eye and the use of one hand following his brutal attack in August. This is devastating.

Oprah selects Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver as her next book club pick.

Here’s what changed in Dinesh D’Souza’s book 2000 Mules after it was recalled.

Olivia Wilde may have answered the salad dressing mystery with a reference to Nora Ephron’s 1983 novel, Heartburn.

Here’s an attendee’s account of the recent 8-day Gone Girl-themed cruise down the Danube.

Numbers & Trends

Here are the best-selling books of the week.

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Award News

Khadija Abdalla Bajaber has won the inaugural Ursula K. LeGuin Prize for Fiction for The House of Rust.

Thomas Keneally shares the $50,000 prize from the ARA Historical Novel award with his fellow nominees.

Pop Cultured

Actor Leslie Jordan has died at 67.

A new Star Wars movie is reportedly in the works.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Butcher Cabin Books, a horror bookstore in Lousiville, Kentucky, opens its doors just in time for Halloween.

On the Riot

The neglected tale of the Tougaloo Nine and their 1961 read-in.

There’s lots of cool stuff at the Library of Congress.

Renaming “reluctant readers.”

How to create an extraordinary reading experience.

close up of a black cat sleeping on a blue blanket

Look at this sweet sleeping Gilbert! I wish I could sleep as peacefully as this snuggly boy, but alas, I’ve been cursed with a human brain and periodic insomnia.

All right, folks. Time to prep. I’ll talk to you next week!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.