Check Your Shelf

Lots of Firsts in 2023

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I am relieved to report that the cough I’ve had since testing positive for COVID is apparently nothing to worry about. However, there is a small part of me that’s a little cheesed off whenever I go to the doctor and they’re like “Yeah, you’re totally fine.” I’m like, “I’M NOT MAKING IT UP, I SWEAR.” But now I get to spend this week reassuring all of my coworkers that I’m not about to keel over from coughing, I swear.


Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Court dismisses “implausible” price-fixing suits against Amazon and the Big 5 publishers.

HarperCollins Union files an unfair labor practice charge against HarperCollins.

New & Upcoming Titles

Tom Hanks will publish his debut novel next year.

Ali Hazelwood is publishing her first YA novel, Check & Mate, next year.

Rachel Howzell Hall is publishing her first fantasy novel next fall.

Former US Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund has a book coming out in January about the January 6th insurrection.

Here’s a look at Kelly Ripa’s Live Wire: Long Winded Short Stories.

And here’s a look at the upcoming Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman.

First look at White House photographer Pete Souza’s new book The West Wing and Beyond.

The best new true crime books out now.

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

September picks from Amazon, Vanity Fair.

October picks from Barnes & Noble, Epic Reads, New York Time, The Root, and

Fall 2022 picks from Buzzfeed (memoirs), OprahDaily (fiction, nonfiction)

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

The Furrows: An Elegy – Namwali Serpell (LA Times, New York Times, Shondaland)

Making a Scene – Constance Wu (People, Today, Vanity Fair)

When McKinsey Comes to Town – The Hidden Influence of the World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm – Walt Bogadanich & Michael Forsyth (New York Times, Washington Post)

Less is Lost – Andrew Greer (NPR, Washington Post)

Stay True: A Memoir – Hua Hsu (LA Times, Shondaland)

Best of Friends – Kamila Shamsie (Electric Lit, LA Times)

Our Missing Hearts – Celeste Ng (SF Chronicle)

RA/Genre Resources

Where to start with the work of Langston Hughes.

On the Riot

The best weekly new releases to TBR.

10 new queer horror novels to read this fall.

From monsters to mayhem: 9 types of horror plots.

How Vivien Chien’s Noodle Shop series made this reader love cozy mysteries again.

If you liked this book, you DEFINITELY shouldn’t read…

All Things Comics

Blade loses its director two months ahead of production.

10 of the most underrated manga for romance fans.

On the Riot

On rereading and slowing down with YA graphic novels.

Comics for goths and goth wannabes.

I don’t usually feature quizzes, but I love Peanuts so much…which Peanuts character are you? (I’m Marcie, although some days I feel like Sally… “YOU OWE ME RESTITUTION!!”)

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


17 slightly scary Halloween picture books for kids.

15 books to bridge the gap between middle grade and YA.

13 YA books that don’t make you choose between romance and scifi.

8 YA books with Afro-Latinx representation you’ll love.


Barnes & Noble booksellers pick their favorite horror reads for October.

15 romantic suspense books to send chills down your spine.

5 genderbent SFF retellings and reimaginings.

Psychological thrillers with gobsmacking twists. (I love being gobsmacked.)

A ballet reading list.

A reading list of fictional diaries.

5 SFF books about the aftermath of the apocalypse.

8 novels about monstrous mothers.

9 books to make you cry, every time.

7 essential books about Marilyn Monroe.

25 essential fantasy novels.

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 of the best Halloween read-alouds for elementary school kids.

11 of the best picture books for social-emotional learning.

15 must-read YA novels that center Black boys.

YA books about teens working in indie bookstores.

20 must-read witchy mysteries and thrillers.

8 authors that make you feel taken care of.

9 books for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Books for art fans.

20 must-read genre-blending literary fiction books.

12 awesome books translated from Arabic.

15 of the best small-town romance books.

8 of the best horror books by Latine authors.

The most popular horror novels of the last 5 years, according to Goodreads.

Readalikes for Only Murders in the Building.

12 sad romance novels.

Unique nonfiction to add to your TBR.

12 short horror novels under 300 pages.

9 literary fiction novels similar to Transcendent Kingdom.

10 compelling series where Book 2 is even better than Book 1.

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 laying in a person's lap with its front paw stretched out

Here’s the part where I complain about how Dini has been extra snuggly with Blaine, and not with me. I mean, look at that little Doodle face! And those toe beans! Unlike Gilbert, he’s very particular with his snuggles, so you have to be prepared for when the mood strikes.

All right. I’ll check in again on Friday. Peace out, peeps.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

Check Your Shelf

Don’t Send a Librarian to Do a Parent’s Job

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. As usual, this newsletter has way too much banned books news for anyone’s liking, but there’s also been a lot of news about libraries being targeted with violent threats in the last week, and I am just so angry and sad. We’re watching these threats escalate like clockwork, and I’m afraid of how far it will go. I know I’m preaching to the choir, but it’s like watching the worst bullies from middle school become exponentially more dangerous. Be safe, and be strong, everyone. I can’t believe library employees are being put in this position.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

All branches of the Denver Public Library closed due to an “unspecified threat.” Law enforcement officials believe that the threat came from out of state, and may be part of a nationwide surge in false threats being made towards schools and libraries.

Hawaii public libraries reopened this week after receiving “unspecified threats.”

Same at the Fort Worth Public Library.

The American Library Association even sent a letter of concern to the FBI regarding threats of violence in libraries.

The Mid-Continent Public Library (MO) faces $1.3 million in budget cuts.

Cool Library Updates

Cataloging a bicycle gear library.

Worth Reading

How libraries became refuges for people with mental illness.

Fighting misinformation in the school library.

How to run a successful book club.

Book Adaptations in the News

Oprah and Apple TV+ end their multi-year agreement, although Apple will still collaborate with Oprah’s Book Club.

Malala Yousafazi is producing a film adaptation of Elaine Hsieh Cho’s novel Disorientation.

Disney+ greenlights a series adaptation of Melissa de la Cruz’s YA novel, The Ring and the Crown.

Here’s the first look at Season 3 of His Dark Materials.

Banned & Challenged Books

Who are the groups banning books near you?

House and Senate Democrats prepare resolutions to oppose local book bans.

We’ve moved backwards: US librarians face unprecedented attacks amid right wing book bans.

Banned Book Week ideas for rural libraries.

Katy ISD (TX) reverses course and allows access to LGBTQ+ internet resources that were previously restricted.

The removal of an LGBTQ+ book display at the Huntsville Public Library (TX) draws a crowd to a recent city council meeting.

Belton ISD (TX) board revises an old policy, and now requires parental involvement as part of the process.

City of Keller (TX) asks the public library to remove its banned books social media post out of fear of controversy. Apparently no one working for the city of Keller has any sense of irony.

Miami-Dade School Board (FL) capitulates to right-wing groups in a debate over a sex-ed textbook.

Collier County Schools (FL) now require parental permission to check out three books from the school library: Sloppy Firsts, Nineteen Minutes, and The Bluest Eye.

After filing a lawsuit against the Sarasota County School Board (FL) and the judge who eventually dismissed said lawsuit, the complainant has decided to drop all suits.

The Livingston Parish Library Board of Council (LA) will maintain its current policies for challenging books, despite a letter from the parish president asking them to move certain materials from the children’s section.

Knox County school district (ME) re-evaluates whether or not to remove Gender Queer from libraries.

Politico looks at Brooklyn Public Library’s free banned book eBook service for teens, but I absolutely have to call out their framing on Twitter: “New York libraries have waded into America’s culture wars by directly lending 25,000 books to non-residents since spring.” This type of “both sides-ing” coverage is NOT how you report responsibly on book banning.

Disturbing threats made against a NYC teen drag star prompted NYPL to cancel two of their planned events.

A New Jersey school district has rejected the state-mandated sexual education program after pushback from parents.

The Elizabethtown Area school board (PA) will vote on whether or not to remove Me and Earl and the Dying Girl from school libraries.

A rally was held at the Harrisburg, PA capitol building in favor of a newly-introduced bill “to protect our children from gender ideology and sexual orientation being taught in our schools.”

Founder of the Neo Nazi group NSC-131 has appeared in court to face charges of violence while protesting a Drag Queen Story Event in Massachusetts.

A Connecticut library director said that they received numerous ugly complaints on Banned Books Week.

A Crystal Lake (IL) resident is using FOIA requests to request information that they could easily obtain for themselves by using the school’s online library catalog.

Chicago Public Libraries have declared themselves “book sanctuaries” to battle book banning.

Members of a local church have made complaints about inappropriate materials in the teen section at the Bartholomew County Public Library (IN).

Three parents protest All American Boys being used in 10th grade English classes at Homer-Center School District (IN).

Hundreds of people rallied in Dearborn, Michigan over the school district’s decision to remove seven LGBTQ books from libraries. Supporters of LGBTQ books rallied in the morning, and counter protestors gathered in the afternoon. Of particular note is the fact that a) the counter protestors drew a bigger crowd, and b) protestors lashed out at a transgender person, who sat on the steps of the library with a trans pride flag. Also worth noting is that the article devotes way more space to the counter protestors who are trying to ban LGBTQ books.

GOP Michigan governor candidate Tudor Dixon says she would support a statewide ban on “pornographic books” in schools.

Bowling Green City Schools (OH) received a FOIA request for a list of all of the books in the district libraries. Again, another ridiculous request designed to waste school officials’ time.

Lorain County (OH) libraries brace for book-banning battles.

The Gardner Edgerton School District (KS) is receiving complaints against The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Here’s a recurring theme with these stories: “Though he hasn’t read the full novel, he didn’t approve of the excerpts he had read.”

An in-depth look at the arguments to keep, or remove, the book Let’s Talk About It from the Valley City Barnes County Public Library (ND).

Loudoun County (VA) is drafting a policy to identify sexually explicit materials in schools, in order to comply with a new law that requires schools to notify parents any time materials with sexually explicit content will be used in schools.

Moms for Liberty pauses all 17 challenges in Fauquier County (VA) schools while the district updates its policies.

Cabarrus County (NC) school officials are considering a new policy that would give the school board the sole authority in removing objectionable books. The current policy requires the formation of a committee that reviews the material and makes a recommendation to the board, but the proposed policy removes the committee from the process.

The Greenville (SC) GOP wants LGBTQ library books blocked from kids’ sections.

Williamson County (TN) Public Library backs Banned Books Week, where less than a mile away, Williamson County school officials voted to remove the book Walk Two Moons from the elementary school curriculum.

The Memphis Museum of Science & History cancels a planned drag event as armed protesters showed up.

The Nixa (MO) School Board reportedly made multiple changes to their library policies over the summer, and many residents are upset over a lack of transparency.

A Missouri school librarian recalls two separate occasions when book banners contacted the police to have them investigate the school libraries for distributing child pornography.

The Park City School Board (UT) has challenged the constitutionality of the new state book ban policy.

Utah libraries standing against censorship and book banning.

Hart High School (CA) votes to remove This Book is Gay from schools.

A look at the vicious school board election at Monte Vista Elementary School (CA), where opposition against Gender Queer is being used to drum up support for the right wing candidates.

A Kamloops (BC) school trustee candidate wants to ban books from school libraries and shared social media content saying that Satan created multiple genders.

Crusading for parental rights may cloak other motives. Gee, ya think?

Don’t send a librarian to do a parent’s job.

51 banned books to read now, plus the banned books you haven’t heard about.

What happens if you don’t teach social justice books.

Who do we trust to define whether or not books are considered “acceptable?”

Books & Authors in the News

Hilary Mantel, acclaimed author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, has died at 70.

James Patterson donates $5.3 million to Howard University and PEN America.

USA Today is starting a book club, with Stephen King’s Fairy Tale as their first pick.

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!

Numbers & Trends

2021 was a stellar year for publishing.

How will the overturning of Roe v. Wade affect book trends?

A consolidated list of this week’s bestselling books.

Award News

The Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction longlist has been announced.

The Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist has been announced.

The shortlist for Barnes & Noble’s 2022 Discover Prize has been announced.

Pop Cultured

The Latinx culture guide for Hispanic Heritage Month.

8 true crime podcasts for fall.

More true crime news: Anna Kendrick makes her directorial debut with the true crime thriller The Dating Game, which looks at the crimes of serial killer Rodney Alcala, who appeared as a contestant on The Dating Game in the 70’s before being arrested.

Another true crime update: The family of one of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims has spoken out against Netflix for retraumatizing them with the extremely disturbing new series, Monster.

Throwing this in for my SIL, who’s a huge fan of the Nancy Drew PC games: Nancy Drew games by season.

On the Riot

How to help teens become great Dungeons & Dragons masters.

8 fun reading activities for middle school students.

30 days of streaming horror adaptations.

Authors who made the Time100 Next list this year.

A review of the new book discovery app Tertulia.

10 of the best Goodreads reviewers to follow.

Literary Twitter bots.

Liberty Hardy talks about her experiences with rereading Donna Tartt’s The Secret History every year, for the last 30 years.

An ode of gratitude to all of the books this reader doesn’t want to read.

black and white cat laying on its back and showing off its tummy

Dini’s tummy is so soft and luxurious, he’s hoping it’ll distract you from the mess hiding behind the couch! (Or maybe that’s just me…) At any rate, he is 100% a sassy ham and I love when he shows off that fluffy belly of his.

Do something fun this weekend, okay? Or eat something tasty, or read a good book, or sleep in later than you originally planned.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently listening to What’s Done in Darkness by Laura McHugh.

Check Your Shelf

Queer Disaster Magicians and Lovecraft Without the Racism

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I realized how strongly the pandemic has affected my work wardrobe when I realized that I have a fancy in-person networking breakfast this week, and I had NOTHING TO WEAR. Thankfully, a small part the fashion industry has read the room over the last couple years, and I was able to purchase a pair of dress pants that fit like leggings…elastic waist and everything! I know I’m getting older when I realize how much I appreciate a good pair of elastic-waisted pants.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Amazon is changing its eBook return policy after major pushback from the Authors Guild.

This is interesting…France sets a minimum delivery fee for online book sales to help bookstores compete with Amazon.

Penguin Random House partners with TikTok on a new in-app feature.

Lindsey Lohan settles with HarperCollins over a $365K book deal lawsuit.

New & Upcoming Titles

The Digital Public Library of America announces a free eBook titled January 6th On the Record: The Investigation into the Attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Former FBI director James Comey is writing a series of mystery novels.

Here’s the (AWESOME) cover reveal for S.A. Cosby’s upcoming 2023 novel, All the Sinners Bleed.

The best memoirs of 2022, so far.

2022 is the year of the Bisexual Book.

Best Fall 2022 fiction preview.

103 queer and feminist books for Fall 2022.

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

The best September debut crime fiction.

October picks from Barnes & Noble (adults, teens, kids)

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

The Book of Goose – Yiyun Li (Electric Lit, LA Times, New York Times)

Less is Lost – Andrew Greer (Esquire, New York Times)

Drunk on Love – Jasmine Guillory (New York Times, USA Today)

Lucy By the Sea – Elizabeth Strout (NPR, Washington Post)

Lessons – Ian McEwan (Washington Post)

Our Missing Hearts – Celeste Ng (New York Times)

The Bullet That Missed – Richard Osman (Washington Post)

Nights of Plague – Orhan Pamuk (The Guardian)

On the Riot

A guide to all of the YA books being published from October – December, 2022.

10 of the most-anticipated sequels and series releases this fall.

The best weekly releases to TBR.

All Things Comics

The longest single-volume book (21,450 page volume of One Piece) has gone on sale, and it’s physically impossible to read.

5 comics to read after watching Andor.

On the Riot

Is Marvel Unlimited worth it?

8 of the best comic books for toddlers.


Spotify launches its audiobook feature in the US.

The best audiobooks to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

7 great audiobooks for September from New York Times and Vulture.

5 queer YA sports fiction on audio.

On the Riot

Inside the narrator’s booth: things you never knew about audiobook narrators.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


4 witchy SFF books.

The best dystopian novels of all time.

18 books by Latine authors for Hispanic Heritage Month.

9 books featuring queer disaster magicians.

5 relationship-driven mysteries.

10 cozy detective stories you need in your life.

7 books set in Pakistan.

Books that embody the punk ethos.

8 memoirs about becoming a classical musician.

10 stories that blend horror and crime.

10 heartrending reads for fans of Jodi Picoult.

The best and worst Agatha Christie mysteries.

7 books about matchmakers.

Slow burn romances.

42 charming, heartwarming, and quirky books.

5 SFF books about strange houses.

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

Helpful books to teach sex and anatomy to kids of all ages.

Ghostly middle grade books perfect for fall.

Spine-chilling horror novels for middle schoolers.

8 translated works of fiction for children.

12 standout YA standalone sci-fi books.

8 cooking memoirs.

8 books that look at masculinity through a refreshing new lens.

Lovecraft minus Lovecraft: the best cosmic horror novels that reject Lovecraft’s racism.

Retellings in the romance genre.

Travel the world with these place-based memoirs.

12 wellness retreat thrillers to make you think twice about booking a spa day.

20 of the most fascinating mythological creatures across literature.

20 must-read novels inspired by video games.

10 of the best Norse mythology books.

8 books featuring characters who have considered suicide, but find their rainbows.

8 fantasy books with magical systems based on art.

10 of the best antiheroes in literature.

10 books if you loved Hanya Yanigahara’s To Paradise.

Some of the best Dungeons & Dragons books.

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.

grumpy-looking black cat sitting on a person's leg

Blaine sent me this photo of Gilbert, taken about five minutes after Blaine got back home from avoiding my COVID cooties for a week. You may think Gilbert looks really cheesed off, but this is actually him at his happiest. Blaine said Gilbert settled in, and absolutely refused to move. I think he missed his daddy…

Welp, that’s all I’ve got. I’ll check in again on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

The Author Behind the Pseudonym

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. Any suggestions for combatting COVID brain fog? I had to leave work early on my first day back in the building because I could barely string two sentences together in an email after the first few hours. I know there isn’t much to do other than rest, but I don’t care much for this part of the recovery.

However, today is also the day I discovered Trombone Champ, which kinda sounds like the inside of my head at the moment.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Republican residents are angry about being barred from an event held at the Grayslake Public Library (IL).

The library sitcom Shelved could be the laugh we all need right now.

Book Adaptations in the News

Sony snags the rights to Geraldine Brooks’ latest novel, Horse.

Steven Rowley’s The Guncle will be adapted for film.

Karen Kingsbury creates her own production company to adapt her novels for TV and film.

Amazon greenlights a Blade Runner 2099 limited series.

A first look at the adaptation of American Born Chinese.

Trailer for the remake of Let the Right One In.

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

In the first 8 months of 2022, ALA has received 681 documented reports to ban or restrict library resources. For comparison, ALA tracked 729 reports in 2021, which was about double the number of reports from 2019.

PEN America’s sobering new report indicates that book bans impact over 4 million students. They also provide tips for librarians facing harassment and threats over banned books.

A Banned Books Week action list.

The overwhelming majority of American voters strongly oppose book banning, according to a national poll.

Texas has banned more books than any other state.

The Victoria Public Library (TX) Advisory Board adopted a new policy that will allow them to review whether books should be added or removed to the collection based on community input.

A Katy ISD (TX) parent reports that her daughter’s junior high English teacher removed every YA book in her classroom library to avoid controversy, even though the district says that their teachers were under no official orders to do so.

Orange County (FL) school board candidate complains about “sexually explicit” books being made available in schools. Not surprisingly, this board candidate is a member of Moms for Liberty.

A Polk County (FL) member of Citizens Defending Freedom petitions the school board to change its “opt out” policy to an “opt in” policy, where parents would need to “opt in” to having their children have access to particular books.

Four books were challenged and reviewed in Osceola Public Schools (FL), even though there were no formal complaints made. Stop making book banners’ jobs easier!

In Forsyth County (GA), parents can get notification of the books that their children check out of school libraries.

Alamance-Burlington (NC) superintendent removes Gender Queer from the high school library.

Guilford County Schools (NC) will keep Salvage the Bones on school shelves.

Fauquier County (VA) School Board plans to revise their policies around books containing “sexually explicit content,” possibly in response to pressure from Moms for Liberty.

Banned books have become a focal point for the governor race in Maine.

Meanwhile, Gender Queer and White Fragility are being challenged at Spruce Mountain High School (ME).

Brooklyn Public Library may run their digital banned book library card program indefinitely. They’ve issued 5100 free library cards thus far.

A federal judge denied a request from a Great Valley School District (PA) parent to issue an injunction to remove sexually-explicit books from the school libraries.

Pennsylvania state legislators have introduced legislation that would allow officials to remove material deemed “highly sexual” from school libraries, although of course there’s no indication of who gets to make that decision and what metric would be used.

A parent in Amity, Connecticut brought a list of over 80 books to a recent school board meeting, calling for their removal.

Ashland Public Library (OH) votes to retain three age-appropriate books about puberty and sex education.

“Anita Hill would have to agree with me:” Let’s Talk About It has been removed from the Oak Brook Public Library (IL).

Gender Queer and Patience and Esther are back on the shelves at Dixon Public Library, although the same library is drafting new display policies after community members continue to complain about LGBTQ books that were put on display.

Illinois mayor and Republican Congressional candidate Keith Pekau says that the Downers Grove Library’s drag queen event was an inappropriate use of taxpayer funds.

The St. Joseph School Board (IN) clarifies its book review policy after a parent thanks the school for removing a book that she had previously claimed was pornographic. Except…the school hadn’t removed the book.

The East Central Regional Library (MN) elects to keep It’s Perfectly Normal on shelves, and declines to move it from the children’s section to the adult section.

Seven books have been pulled from the Dearborn School District (MI) after a parent filed a police report, and eBook access has also been limited.

The Perry School District (IA) is reviewing an unnamed book that has been used for years in high school English classes after a parent complained.

Kearney (NE) Public Schools heard complaints at a school board meeting about the presence of LGBTQ books in school libraries.

Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library (AR) will keep l8r g8r off library shelves.

Conway Public Schools (AR) have to contend with a newly elected board member, who very openly campaigned in support of book banning and censorship.

The National Coalition Against Censorship calls on the Norman, Oklahoma school district to clarify the new state law, which limits discussion of critical race theory in the curriculum. Some parents believe that the teacher who provided QR code access to the Brooklyn Public Library’s banned books collection should be held accountable for breaking the law.

The Wellington (CO) library board has voted to ban book bans.

Greeley-Evans School District 6 Board of Education (CO) is evaluating whether or not it will continue to allow public participation at their board meetings. The Salem-Keizer School Board (OR) instituted a similar policy recently, for similar reasons.

Natrona (WY) parents take issue with the school board’s decision to retain Gender Queer and another unnamed book.

How an Idaho high school student won a school board seat by standing up to extremists.

The Mead School Board (WA) struck down proposals that would have banned critical race theory and gender studies.

Today’s book bans might be more dangerous than those from the past.

Banning LGBTQ books isn’t just stupid and ineffective – it’s cruel beyond measure.

The human costs of LGBTQ book bans.

Anti-drag harassment continues across the country.

What parents can do when schools ban books.

LeVar Burton: people who ban books are “dirtbags.”

Numbers & Trends

Colleen Hoover has topped 7 million units in print sales in 2022.

Award News

The Poetry Foundation has selected Elizabeth Acevedo as the newest Young People’s Poet Laureate.

Here are all the longlists for the 2022 National Book Awards.

The winners of the 2022 Ignyte Awards have been announced.

Pop Cultured

I hesitate to call this “pop culture,” but I’m not sure what other section to put this under: A judge has vacated Adnan Syed’s murder conviction, which was the focus of the immensely popular podcast, Serial.

Idris Elba says that the Luther film has finished filming.

On the Riot

How to create a school library podcast.

How to find the author behind the pseudonym.

The best book cataloging apps for managing your overflowing TBR.

Why this reader isn’t impressed with how many books you’ve read.

black and white cat with long whiskers looking at camera

Dini took a pause from his busy schedule to show off his magnificent whiskers. The photo is a little blurry, but that’s just because I couldn’t get him to hold still for longer than .6 seconds.

Time to try and sleep off some of this brain fog. Hoping to fare better next weekend.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Colleen Hoover Readalikes and Body Possession

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. Remember last newsletter when I said I was playing a game of cold or COVID? Well…it wasn’t a cold. I tested positive on Friday, and then spent 90% of the weekend camped out in a haze on the couch. I slept for 13 hours on Saturday to the point where I think I entered an alternate dimension, and then I still felt like I needed another nap. As of this newsletter writing (Sunday), I seem to be on the upswing, but I can tell it’s going to be a while before my energy comes back. 0/10, do NOT recommend. (And here’s your reminder to go get a booster if you’re eligible!)

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

In their post-trial briefs, the DoJ reiterated its belief that the PRH/S&S deal must be blocked.

Alex Aster used her TikTok platform to help find a publisher for her new book, Lightlark.

New & Upcoming Titles

St. Martins will publish Angela Merkel’s memoirs in 2024.

Angela Flournoy signed a two-book deal with Mariner Books, which will include a fictional title and a memoir.

Samantha Irby has a new essay collection coming out, and I am very much vibing with that cover…

Anne Heche’s memoir, Call Me Anne, has been scheduled for publication in January.

John Stamos has a memoir slated for a Fall 2023 release.

James Han Mattson has sold his second novel, The Grand Imposters, and it sounds REALLY interesting!

Christopher Pike’s The Midnight Club gets a new tie-in release for the Netflix series.

Take a peek at the cover reveal for Momfluenced: Inside the Maddening, Picture-Perfect World of Mommy Influencer Culture by Sara Petersen. This is a topic that horrifies and fascinates me in equal measure.

15 nonfiction books to read this fall.

66 new books to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

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

September picks from Buzzfeed, Crime Reads (psychological thrillers), Riveted Lit, and (science fiction).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Bliss Montage – Ling Ma (Electric Lit, LA Times, NPR,, Washington Post)

The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021 – Peter Baker & Susan Glasser (New York Times, People, Washington Post)

Lessons – Ian McEwan (Atlantic, LA Times, USA Today)

Less is Lost – Andrew Sean Greer (New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle)

Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships – Nina Totenberg (New York Times, NPR)

RA/Genre Resources

Why do kids love thrillers?

51 books for the four hottest new mystery & thriller trends: getaways gone wrong, Agatha Christie homages, senior sleuths and villains, and gothic thrillers.

The essential Judy Blume.

On the Riot

3 queer historical YA novels hitting shelves this fall.

The best new weekly releases to TBR.

20 must-read sci-fi books for readers who don’t like sci-fi.

10 authors like Colleen Hoover.

All Things Comics

On the Riot

8 stunning YA sci-fi comics and graphic novels.

10 of the best comics on Marvel Unlimited.

Why is boys love manga so popular with women?


On the Riot

Back to school with audiobooks.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


6 YA love stories recommended by Nicola Yoon.

14 whodunnit YA books if you love Knives Out.

Get in your back-to-school feelings with these 10 queer YA books.


8 romance authors for fans of Lisa Kleypas.

30 erotic romances trending on TikTok.

8 books that investigate family history with imagination.

Books with insight into heartbreak.

12 books to read in honor of National Translation Month.

19 indie books worth discovering.

18 under-the-radar books that deserve more hype.

On the Riot

8 picture books about pirates.

The 25 best YA books of all time.

9 YA books for fans of Netflix’s Sex Education.

8 Hispanic and Latine YA authors you should definitely read.

Let’s talk about sex…or at least these 20 must-read books about sex.

Books to read for #ScienceSeptember.

10 fantasy book series for Final Fantasy fans.

6 of the best Japanese mythology books.

What to read when the world feels hopeless.

12 exciting books about women over 50.

Romances by Latine authors.

8 horror novels about body possession.

8 horror novels about grief.

Summertime sadness: 12 sad girl summer books for your ennui mood.

Books to read for the high holidays and other fall Jewish holidays.

10 epistolary novels for literary letter lovers.

8 great novels about gymnastics.

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 photo of a black cat sleeping on a teal pillow

This was my view Friday night. I was trying to rest on the couch, but Gilbert had taken my pillow. I didn’t want to breathe on him too much, as COVID can potentially spread to cats, but…I mean…how the heck was I supposed to move such a comfy boy?

That’s all I’ve got for right now. Go get your boosters, people, and I’m going to try and slowly recharge.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading Monday’s Not Coming – Tiffany D. Jackson

Check Your Shelf

Stop Upsetting John Green’s Mother

Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where it’s time to play everyone’s favorite game: Is it a cold, or is it COVID? My COVID test this evening says “Negative,” but my headache and scratchy throat have me saying “Ugh…” I’m going to bust through this newsletter real quick, and then take a hot shower.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

How libraries in Jackson, Mississippi are supporting their community during the water crisis.

Cool Library Updates

Enhanced library cards allow some Texas patrons to establish identification.

Worth Reading

United we stand: suggestions for negotiating your first union contract.

Show and tell: library signage and wayfinding design.

Benjamin Franklin’s literary legacy lives on in the country’s longest-running lending library.

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!

Book Adaptations in the News

Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar literary universe will be getting a TV adaptation.

Sophia Coppola will be adapting Priscilla Beaulieu Presley’s memoir, Elvis and Me.

On the Come Up gets a limited theatrical release date.

Paper Girls has been canceled at Amazon after just one season, despite getting largely positive reviews.

The Pretty Little Liars reboot has been renewed at HBO Max for a second season.

Attica Locke offers a preview of the show she created with her sister Tembi Locke, based on Tembi’s best-selling memoir, From Scratch.

Comparing the book and TV adaptations of Carola Lovering’s Tell Me Lies.

Here’s a first look at Netflix’s upcoming film adaptation of The School For Good and Evil.

First trailer for The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and the new Percy Jackson series.

What happened to the golden age of big-screen YA book adaptations?

Banned & Challenged Books

How to run for school board.

How librarians can counter lies from book banners.

How conservative Facebook groups are changing what books children read in school.

Celebrating Banned Books Week.

In 2022, there’s a new urgency behind Banned Books Week.

School Library Journal’s survey shows that censorship will have a long-term effect on school libraries.

Censorship wars: why have several communities voted to defund their public libraries?

Public libraries face threats to funding and collections as book bans surge.

How book bans turned a Texas town upside down.

Belton ISD (TX) is working to address challenged books and increase parent access to their kid’s school library accounts.

Abilene (TX) City Manager removes the book Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human from the Abilene Public Library.

Tarrant County (TX) schools have passed wide-ranging policies restricting school library books based on content.

Huntsville (TX) residents are pushing back after the city orders the library to remove all displays until officials can respond to concerns and review existing policies. The outcry is related to a Read with Pride display that caused the library to temporarily close last week to remove displays.

The city of Austin voted unanimously to adopt the ALA’s Freedom to Read resolution and expressed support of the library’s material selection process and overall work to protect intellectual freedom.

After librarian Amanda Jones filed a defamation lawsuit against Citizens for a New Louisiana for their comments about librarians promoting and teaching pornography to children, CNL filed a counter lawsuit saying that their First Amendment Rights were being unfairly restricted. Yeah…that’s not how that works.

Georgia teen organizers fight back against school censorship.

DeSantis leads a nationwide shift towards politicizing school board races in his push to censor school libraries.

John Green’s first novel may be banned at his old school in Orange County (FL). Said Green: “Please don’t ban my books in my hometown. It’s really upsetting for my mom.”

A committee formed by the Osceola County School District (FL) voted to keep four books in middle and high school libraries, but the books were pulled from school libraries last year. The school was set to make a final decision in a recent meeting, but the item was removed from the agenda.

Broward County (FL) elementary schools will start publishing a list of books held in school libraries, and some books that are deemed objectionable may be removed. This is an enormous amount of staff effort to go through, especially when so few parents have followed up on opting their students out of book access.

Blount County Schools (TN) hears book concerns from the community, including from a representative of a group of local religious leaders.

Virginia Beach’s obscenity suit revealed an outdated law and a society too reliant on government to raise children.

Spotsylvania (VA) will remove five books from high school libraries, including Red, White, and Royal Blue, Anatomy of a Boyfriend, Anatomy of a Single Girl, Red Hood, and Boy Toy.

Virginia Republicans push for “parental advisory warning” labels on school library books.

Bonny Eagle School District (ME) voted not to ban It’s Perfectly Normal.

SAD 6 in Maine are facing challenges to Gender Queer and It’s Perfectly Normal.

Rochester (NH) council and community reject a bid to ban four LGBTQ+ books.

Rocky Point (NY) Board of Education faces backlash from their decision to no longer accept book donations from parents, saying that the Board is not an expert on book selection, and the decision should be left to the librarians. But this decision doesn’t make sense, since the librarians would presumably review the donated books before adding any to the collection, and this decision also suspiciously comes after a parent donated several LGBTQ books for Pride Month.

A letter to the editor from a New York parent who is upset that there are book options in the Young Adult section at their local library that aren’t suitable for a 13 year-old reader.

A website aimed at Central Bucks parents in Pennsylvania, called “Woke Pennsylvania” has a page designed to help parents make sure their children are opted-out from learning about critical race theory, LGBTQ+ topics, and more.

The Columbia County (OH) Rural Library Board of Trustees heard complaints against materials in the children’s department, including from a local pastor, who said “patrons are entrusting their kids to the library and use it in good faith.”

School libraries in Waukesha, Wisconsin have been maintaining a detailed library “book concern” spreadsheet in order to track challenges across the district. They have also had conversations with several lawmakers about “inappropriate” books being available in schools.

Maus is the latest pick for One Book, One Chicago, but it feels like a provocation.

Des Moines Library launches a new “banned books” library card.

Another news article centering a book banning group…this time it’s Protect Nebraska Children, which is responsible for many of the book challenges happening across the state.

What are some of the notable books that have been banned in Oklahoma schools?

A group of angry mothers in Oklahoma who are upset about the Norman High School teacher being disciplined for giving her students QR-code access to banned books have started making signs with giant QR codes to these same banned books.

Oklahoma school districts respond to PEN America’s list of banned books that indicate several books have been banned in state schools. Administrators say “We don’t ban books,” although their schools have opted to restrict, relocate, or remove multiple books in libraries.

Despite a bit of spitting and name calling, parents will keep bringing their children to Drag Queen Story Hours in Billings, Montana. (Is anyone surprised that the spitting and name calling was NOT from the children attending the event?

Conservatives join liberals in a “quiet and polite” protest to save their Idaho library from book banners.

Another op-ed about “sexually explicit” titles being made available to middle schoolers in Nevada.

Battle lines have been drawn in the Santa Barbara (CA) school board wars.

Drag Queen Story Hour reads on.

A history of book bans – and their changing targets – in the US.

There’s no time to despair over book bans – just to fight them.

Books & Authors in the News

Oprah selects That Bird Has My Wings by Jarvis Jay Masters for her latest book club pick.

Award News

Art Spiegelman will be receiving an honorary National Book Award for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

The 2022 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature nominees have been announced.

The 2022 Anthony Award winners have been announced.

Tracie D. Hall, ALA executive director, will receive the 2022 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community from the National Book Foundation.

The Kirkus Prize finalists have been announced.

Pop Cultured

23 of the best true-crime TV shows.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

In a secret Kabul book club, teen girls find comfort in the diary of Anne Frank.

11 juicy literary scandals.

The enduring allure of choose-your-own-adventure books.

On the Riot

What makes a good book club question?

black cat and black and white cat laying in a basket with their heads pressed together

My snuggly buggly boys have taken to sharing the basket under our coffee table! Or rather, Dini gets in the basket first, and then while he’s asleep, Gilbert crams himself into the basket until he’s laying on top of Dini. But seeing them with their sleepy heads pressed together is just too much cuteness for me to handle!

Okay. Shower time as I try to sweat out whatever cold or allergen has taken root. Fingers crossed that I’m feeling better by tomorrow.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Apron Tuggers and Feral Women

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I have officially kicked off spooky season by dragging my husband to see Barbarian, and I don’t think he’s going to let me pick the movie again any time soon. I think the best word I can use to describe this movie is “unhinged,” and my husband is like “Why do you keep doing this to yourself??”

So, spooky season celebrations aside…let’s talk books.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Is the publishing industry broken?

Debunking that astonishing claim heard during the PRH/SS merger trial: “No, most books don’t only sell a dozen copies.”

Angry Robot, a publisher known for its science fiction titles, is launching a new crime fiction imprint.

New & Upcoming Titles

NPR got ahold of a copy of Dinesh D’Souza’s abruptly recalled book, based on the so-called documentary 2,000 Mules. Here’s what they found.

Emma Donoghue has a new historical fiction novel currently slated for August 2023.

10 chilling new crime reads.

A roundup of the best recent crime writing.

The best comedy books of 2022, so far.

10 of the best cookbooks of 2022, so far.

New and upcoming SFF books written by women.

39 of the most anticipated YA books for the rest of the year.

Fall picks from AARP, Autostraddle, Kirkus, LitHub, New York Times, (fiction/poetry, memoirs/biographies, nonfiction), Seattle Times (general, debut authors), Washington Post (thrillers).

Weekly book picks from BookPage (romance, mysteries, inspirational fiction), Bustle, Crime Reads, The Millions, USA Today.

September picks from CBC, Good Morning America, Shondaland, Vulture, Washington Post.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

If I Survive You – Jonathan Escoffery (LA Times, The Rumpus, Shondaland)

Fairy Tale – Stephen King (Entertainment Weekly, USA Today)

The Marriage Portrait – Maggie O’Farrell (New York Times, Oprah Daily)

People Person – Candice Carty-Williams (Washington Post)

Lessons – Ian McEwan (The Guardian)

On the Riot

30 of the buzziest fall books of 2022.

New nonfiction books from indie presses.

The best new weekly releases to TBR.

September picks for SFF, romance, YA, nonfiction, children’s books

How TikTok gave Colleen Hoover a resurgence. (I swear, the amount of money I’ve had to spend on additional backlist copies of her books is making my adult fiction budget cry.)

10 authors readalikes for Taylor Jenkins Reid.

The words “I wanted” do not belong in book reviews.

If you loved that novel, try this nonfiction book.

Why we keep retelling the Hades and Persephone myth.

Why are “apron tuggers” the newest romance trend?

All Things Comics

Titan Comics expands into manga.

On the Riot

Most anticipated middle grade comics for Fall 2022.

8 of the best new comics coming out in September.

Comixology vs. Marvel Unlimited – which one is better?


A look at the audiobook version of Nick Cave’s upcoming memoir Faith, Hope and Carnage.

AudioFile’s best audiobooks for August 2022.

On the Riot

8 of’s most wished for audiobooks.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


8 of the best YA books for K-Drama fans.

14 YA picks for fans of Lord of the Rings.

YA time loop books you’ll want to read again and again (and again).

16 YA books with unique formats that will hook you.


6 modern books destined to become classics.

Romance novels set in major cities.

14 books to better understand our Latin history.

5 SFF books about strange houses.

5 stories featuring mutant protagonists.

Reading lists about Queen Elizabeth from Barnes & Noble, New York Times, NYPL.

9 books about monstrous transformations.

10 queer books for Dungeons & Dragons fans.

5 queer books set in Argentina.

25 books featuring the “marriage of convenience” trope.

On the Riot

8 fun and friendly nursery rhyme books.

9 feel-good middle grade books.

8 essential middle grade books about immigrants.

Middle grade and YA novels by your favorite authors of adult fiction.

19 of the best award-winning mystery novels, plus 1 true crime book.

10 spicy TikTok books. (Is anyone else hearing Bill Hader as Stefan saying “SPICY” when they read that?)

Women gone feral: werewolves and other angry creatures.

8 fantasy books set in the UK.

Books to help you find the wonder in home schooling.

8 of the best mysteries and thrillers about vengeful mothers.

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.

brown and white tabby cat with a bright green bandage wrap on its front paw

Here’s my parents’ cat, Penny. Her foot is bandaged because she keeps tormenting another cat in the house, and the other cat isn’t afraid to use her claws. Penny throws herself a pity party when she walks around on her bandaged foot, but if she hears something interesting on the other side of the house, she takes off running with ZERO problems. As I keep telling her, it’s a good thing she’s so gosh-darned cute. (And yes, my parents are working on a behavioral plan to get her to stop tormenting the other cat.)

All right, friends. I’m off, but I’ll check back in on Friday. Stay groovy.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

We Didn’t Sign Up For This

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I swear, y’all, this week is short but it’s been trying my patience. As interim director, I have nowhere to pass the buck when nonsense arrives, and the universe has been gifting me with a whole bunch of nonsense.

So let’s talk about library stuff.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The ImagineIF Library in Montana has seen multiple resignations over safety concerns after several bullet-riddled books were returned to the library in August.

Philadelphia libraries are drastically understaffed by about 350 people, and many libraries are currently open only a few days a week for a few hours a day.

The Lakes Country Public Library (WI) is looking for donations to nearly double the library’s existing space.

Cool Library Updates

The Hartford Public Library (CT) received a $14K grant toward a new program: Barriers Can’t Stop Us: Building Immigrant Women’s Success. The program will help 30 women who immigrated to the US complete their college degrees, and is open to both cisgender and transgender women.

Worth Reading

Libraries are losing directors over controversies.

Librarianship as resistance.

What would a kid-friendly Internet look like?

Book Adaptations in the News

Inventing Anna ignites a defamation lawsuit against Netflix.

Meanwhile, Netflix settles its Queen’s Gambit defamation suit.

Timothy Chalamet’s sexy bisexual cannibal film adaptation got a 8.5 minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival. The book is based on Camille DeAngelis’ novel, Bones and All.

The Lord of the Rings prequel is Amazon Prime’s biggest premiere ever.

R.O. Kwon’s The Incendiaries is being adapted as a limited series.

A look at the upcoming adaptation of The Luckiest Girl Alive, starring Mila Kunis.

Casting update for The Summer I Turned Pretty.

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

How a far-right Christian cell phone company “took over” four Texas school boards.

How to create a good Banned Books Week display.

The Victoria Public Library (TX) stands by two LGBTQ books that were unanimously retained by the board, but also creates a new juvenile library card with parental restrictions.

Some Texas districts are allowing parents to opt out of their students attending the Scholastic Book Fair.

One million books are being reviewed in Frisco ISD (TX).

Paywalled: 17 books are being challenged in the Corpus Christi (TX) school district.

A Belton ISD (TX) parent complains about a school’s Banned Books Week display, saying “I think we can go about it in a better way than trying to celebrate controversy.” Way to totally miss the point of the display.

How a book is challenged, reviewed, and potentially removed at Bryan ISD (TX).

The Huntsville (TX) Public Library closed for two hours to remove all displays after a group called for the removal of a “Read with Pride” display.

Grapevine High School (TX) students walk out over the school’s new policy on critical race theory, books, and pronouns. “These rules are taking away our rights to feel safe and to express ourselves and to be honest about who we are.”

A preliminary hearing injunction has been set in the Llano County (TX) Library lawsuit.

Conservative Christian groups are targeting Louisiana libraries.

Florida parents ask a federal judge to block Florida schools from carrying out the new “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The leader of the County Citizens Defending Freedom has turned to law enforcement and the governor’s office, after Polk County (FL) schools refuse to alter their “opt-out” policy that allows parents to to restrict their children from reading particular books in school libraries.

In this article about Volusia County Schools (FL), there’s a mention of an instance where the media specialists found that a book hadn’t circulated for 2.5 years and decided to pull it right then and there. That’s…not how this is supposed to work, especially for books that students may only use in-house because they don’t feel safe bringing the book home with them.

St. John’s County (FL) school district keeps 8 challenged books, although some will have checkout restrictions on them.

Sanibel Public Library (FL) voted to keep LGBTQ books in the children’s section.

The Oklahoma State Board affirms the decision to downgrade the accreditation for two school districts over violations regarding discussions of race and gender in the classroom.

The Oklahoma school teacher who gave her kids access to the Brooklyn Public Library’s universal teen library card program is under scrutiny by the state Secretary of Education, who is calling on the state board to revoke her teaching license. A parent has also said that criminal charges should be brought against the teacher because the QR code provided digital access to Gender Queer.

The Morse Institute Library in Natick, Massachusetts is marketing itself as a safe haven for banned books.

Fairfax County (VA) Public Library board stands by its materials selection policy.

Shenandoah County (VA) School Board member Brandi Rutz says, “she doesn’t believe in banning books, but that they should be open for review for the school libraries.” That’s…part of banning books.

Moms for Liberty submits 14 more books for removal in Fauquier County Public Schools (VA).

Critical race theory controversy makes Michigan teachers tiptoe around topics of slavery and racism.

The Patmos Library (MI) has raised more than $245,000 after voters rejected its millage due to LGBTQ books in the library.

The Germantown Library (WI) is reconsidering its community display case policy after a teen put up a Pride-themed display in July and residents complained.

An anonymous donor has covered the cost of Downers Grove Public Library’s (IL) upcoming Drag Queen Bingo event for teens. Plus, check out the excellent statement from the director.

Johnston (IA) mothers have formed a nonprofit to get banned books into the hands of students.

And here’s an overview of the book banning happening across the Des Moines area.

St. Louis-area schools remove books under a new law that is unlikely to be enforced.

The Central York School District in Pennsylvania was going to restrict teachers’ reading lists, so the students fought back.

Paywalled: A New Hampshire State Senator wants to ban four books, including Gender Queer.

The Boundary County (ID) Library Director has announced her resignation effective September 10th. Her statement said, “Nothing in my background could have prepared me for the political atmosphere of extremism, militant Christian fundamentalism, intimidation tactics, and threatening behavior currently being employed in the community.” This is the same library that was given a list of 400 titles that members of the community wanted to remove, even though the library didn’t own any of the books. Let that sink in. The director of the library feels forced to resign over challenges to books that the LIBRARY DOESN’T EVEN OWN.

The same director said that due to armed protestors showing up at the library and at the director’s home, the library’s insurer decided not to renew due to “increased risk exposures.” Again, all in response to books THAT THE LIBRARY DOESN’T OWN. This isn’t about parental choice. This is about control and intimidation and a lack of consequences.

The Elko (NV) School District revises its book challenge policy, which hasn’t been updated in over 30 years.

Protesters interrupted a Drag Queen Story Hour event in the Bay Area, although they were ultimately forced to leave the event, to the cheers of audience members.

An overview of the book banning happening in California.

Librarians in the UK indicate serious concerns over requests to censor material.

Local libraries have become a major political and cultural battleground.

A teacher writes: “I don’t want to choose between job security and teaching the truth.”

Books & Authors in the News

Esteemed journalist and author Barbara Ehrenreich has died at 81.

Horror author Peter Straub has died at 79.

(TW: transphobia) JK Rowling defends her latest Robert Galbraith book, which features a character who is murdered after being accused of transphobia. She claims she wrote the book before her own backlash began.

Here are the big book club picks for September.

Mary Pope Osborne celebrates 30 years of the Magic Tree House series.

Numbers & Trends

When is a best-seller not necessarily a best seller?

Award News

The Hugo Award winners have been announced!

The 2022 Booker Prize shortlist has been announced.

On the Riot

How community food pantries can support readers.

20 book-to-screen adaptations to look for this fall and winter.

Every state’s favorite Stephen King movies.

Who was Ursula K. LeGuin?

A bookish history of fandom.

brown-haired woman laying down with a black cat laying across her neck like a scarf

I call this work of art “Gilbert as scarf.” He started out laying on my shoulder, and migrated across my collarbone. He’s not as heavy as he was when he was younger, but it’s still not super comfortable to have a nine-pound cat draped across your throat. But he was so comfy and so cute that I let him stay there for awhile.

No nonsense this weekend, okay? Let’s keep everything nonsense free. I’ll check in on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Weird Facts and Readalikes For RENAISSANCE

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. Since I’ve been keeping everyone updated on the toilet saga at work up to this point, I am happy to report that two brand new toilets were installed as of last Friday. I’m not naive enough to think that this will fix the inherent plumbing problems with this building, but it’s an improvement.

Here’s to more book updates in this newsletter, and fewer toilet updates.

Collection Development Corner

New & Upcoming Titles

The big indie books published this fall.

8 best romance novels of the summer.

250+ new books published in 2022.

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

Entertainment Weekly’s best books of August.

September picks from Barnes & Noble, Brightly (childrens/YA), Epic Reads, Kirkus, New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Washington Post.

Fall picks from Brightly (picture books, middle grade, YA), LA Times, USA Today, and Vulture.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

The Marriage Portrait – Maggie O’Farrell (Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post)

Fairy Tale – Stephen King (New York Times, Slate)

Carrie Soto is Back – Taylor Jenkins Reid (Entertainment Weekly, USA Today)

On the Rooftop – Margaret Wilkerson (New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle)

RA/Genre Resources

What to read based on the fall TV shows you love.

M.T. Anderson’s Feed remains frustratingly prescient, even 20 years later.

The queer horror of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

On the Riot

The best new weekly releases to TBR.

Goodreads announces the most popular horror books of 2022, so far.

This is fun: recommending books based on their weirdest facts.

A history of the beach read.

How to find good self-published books.

Why this reader only reads romance novels on their phone.

All Things Comics

The Harley Quinn animated series has been renewed for a fourth season at HBO Max.

Megan Thee Stallion makes a cameo appearance on She-Hulk.

Netflix greenlights a Parasyte: The Grey series, based on the manga series Parasyte.

On the Riot

Speaking truth to power: a history of political cartoons.

Why are DC’s Hispanic Heritage Month covers so awful?

The best Daredevil comics.

9 slice-of-life webcomics you can read right now.


16 of the best audiobooks for September.

5 YA audiobooks with nonbinary main characters.

On the Riot

8 audiobooks for Agatha Christie lovers.

8 must-listen audiobooks about food.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


11 picture book biographies about prominent change makers.

Middle grade books for young inventors.

100 of the most popular YA books of the past 5 years.

YA books to read while listening to Beyonce’s Renaissance on repeat.


Fiona Davis recommends 10 works of historical fiction.

Gothic novels featuring non-human love interests.

Historical fiction that lives in the space between history and myth.

5 SFF books about deadly magical games.

23 wonderful short books under 200 pages.

Alice Feeney’s favorite locked room mysteries.

6 books about Princess Diana.

13 witchy books to read this fall.

5 translated books from Japan.

12 self-published LGBTQ books to bring to the beach this summer.

On the Riot

10 inspiring stories of young rebels.

Sweet YA friends-to-lovers romance novels.

11 thrilling YA survival stories.

YA thrillers about fame and influencers.

8 high-stakes YA novels set in the ballet world.

Stay right where (and when) you are: books about timeline managers.

10 of the best sleuths in cozy mysteries.

10 romance recs for Barack Obama.

12 culinary romances to leave you hungry for more.

12 novels with recipes in them.

Escapist SFF to help you avoid the dumpster fires of reality.

Best books set in Australia.

Books about the Appalachian Trail.

Demonic horror books to steal your heart.

The best historical fiction books you’ve never heard of.

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 resting its head on a person's thigh

Gilbert is very tired and very happy to use his hoomans as a makeshift pillow. It takes a lot of work holding his head up by himself!

That’s all I’ve got for today folks. I’ll check in again on Friday. And remember, it’s a short week this week!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

“They Can Choose Not to Come”

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m sad to say that the toilet situation at my library has not improved, and in fact has gotten worse. An excellent way to knock me down a couple pegs and remind me I still have a LOT to learn about this director business.

Also, brace yourselves, because this is one of the longest banned books sections I’ve ever had to compile.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Baker & Taylor has been almost completely inoperable for a week and a half due to a ransomware attack.

The Biden administration announces a historic open-access policy for taxpayer-funded research.

Book Adaptations in the News

Production of Lady in the Lake has been paused after several unnamed people approached members of the crew, allegedly saying that they would shoot someone if production didn’t shut down or pay them $50,000.

Ewan McGregor is starring in the adaptation of A Gentleman in Moscow.

Elin Hilderbrand’s The Perfect Couple is being adapted into a limited series.

Neve Campbell is headlining the ABC series adaptation of Avalon by Michael Connelly.

Casting update for Dark Matter.

Take a peek at the trailer for My Best Friend’s Exorcism!

Trailer for White Noise, based on the book by Don DeLillo. Or as I’m now referring to it, “What the hell did they do to Adam Driver’s hair?!”

A guide to all of the Taylor Jenkins Reid film and TV adaptations.

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Banned & Challenged Books

Fox News is providing a primer for parents on how to fight their school and library boards and have books removed.

Here’s a look at the states that have enacted book ban laws.

Listen to Kelly Jensen speak to PBS NewsHour about how the censorship wars and debates around parental rights are affecting local school board races.

The majority of efforts to ban books in Texas schools have come from one politician and GOP pressure – not parents.

“I won’t be silenced:” North Texans testify in Congress about censorship in education.

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the Conroe ISD (TX) regarding recent policies that remove “obscene” materials from libraries.

Dawson Middle School (TX), which is named after George Dawson, the grandson of an enslaved person, has deemed Dawson’s autobiography inappropriate for 7th grade students.

Belton Middle School (TX) students explain their support for their school librarian, who is being pressured to remove her banned book display. You can see the librarian’s viral TikTok video here.

A Pearland ISD (TX) trustee expressed concerns about specific library materials, stating “There are books that I would like to see removed, and I’d like to see a policy in which we don’t have a road that we go down where we have to have this conversation again.”

Fort Bend ISD (TX) has removed Gender Queer from school libraries and is reviewing several others after receiving complaints from parents.

Keller ISD (TX) backtracks its initial decision to remove the graphic novel adaptation of Anne Frank’s Diary from school libraries, as well as the Bible. However, there are still around 40 books that need to be reviewed, and the school board president says that 10-15 of those titles will probably never be put back on library shelves.

Humble ISD (TX) parents form a group to remove “dirty books” from school libraries.

A Katy ISD (TX) police officer temporarily removed the book Flamer from a high school library after a woman filed a criminal complaint against the school. Meanwhile, some Katy ISD parents think that more should be done to restrict which books are available to students.

The punishment given to Tulsa (OK) Public Schools for allegedly violating a critical race theory restriction is being used to challenge the law.

This Oklahoma teacher provided her students with a QR code to the Brooklyn Public Library’s “Books Unbanned” site, and was then almost immediately put on administrative leave.

Stillwater, Oklahoma parents are demanding that the district remove specific books with sexual material, including The Truth About Alice, and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

A judge blocks DeSantis’ “Stop WOKE Act,” saying Florida feels like a “First Amendment Upside Down.” Yes, the Upside Down. Like in Stranger Things.

Duval County Public Schools (FL) bought dozens of new books that are now sitting indefinitely in storage.

For all the hoopla in Polk County (FL) around letting parents opt out of letting their children have access to controversial materials, less than 1% of parents have used this option.

A Pensacola (FL) teacher resigned after pictures of Black leaders were allegedly removed from his bulletin board by a school employee.

Collier County Public Schools (FL) have placed warning labels on books that discuss race and LGBTQ issues. Meanwhile, the superintendent has halted book purchases to keep media specialists “safe.”

A judge has dismissed the lawsuit against the Sarasota School Board (FL) over alleged sexual content in libraries.

Livingston Parish Council (LA) passes a resolution to ask libraries to restrict access to some books.

Paywall: A virtual LGBTQ+ lecture has been rescheduled at the University of Louisiana after a cyber attack of racial and homophobic slurs.

A Louisiana librarian is being threatened for creating LGBTQ book displays.

Book disputes land a suburban Atlanta school district in court. I’m paywalled from this article but I have some MAJOR problems with the lead photo for this article – it positions the people who are pushing to remove books as some kind of educational superheroes.

Mothers behind a Georgia book-banning campaign claim their First Amendment rights are being violated. The cognitive dissonance and mental gymnastics here…I just can’t.

Seven of the eight books initially removed from Forsyth County (GA) school libraries have been approved for return. The seven books include Looking for Alaska, L8r, g8r, Me Earl and the Dying Girl, Nineteen Minutes, Out of Darkness, The Bluest Eye, and The Infinite Moment of Us. All Boys Aren’t Blue will stay off library shelves.

A Maryland judge has thrown out a lawsuit against the Montgomery County Board of Education’s policy to not out trans children to their families.

Newly elected Tennessee attorney general suggests prosecuting librarians for “inappropriate” books.

Collierville Schools (TN) is under scrutiny for pulling over 300 books from school libraries. Here is a list of the books pulled and ranked based on their LGBTQ+ content.

An LGBTQ+ back-to-school festival at the Fayetteville Public Library (AR) has been canceled due to safety concerns.

Missouri schools are pulling books from libraries after a new law criminalizing “sexually explicit” material goes into effect.

Kearney Public Schools (NE) issued a public statement in response to comments made by former Senate candidate Matt Innis, saying that the school has a responsibility to serve its LGBTQ students.

A new policy would give the North Platte (NE) school superintendent the last word on pulling library items.

A letter addressed to the Logan, Iowa library board asked them not to put any books on display in the children’s section that “portray homosexuality and LGBTQ in a positive manner.”

The Iowa State Board of Education has rejected a request to remove Gender Queer from Southwoods Freshman High School in West Des Moines.

The books that the Rapid City (SD) School Board had originally slated for destruction are now sitting in limbo, and two of the titles are now missing.

Hancock (MI) Public Schools is still discussing the removal of a Pride Month book display in June.

The Davison (MI) school board unanimously elects to remove eight books from the middle and high school media centers.

Nora Roberts donates $50K to the Patmos Library (MI) which was defunded for its refusal to remove LGBTQ books.

LGBTQ+ books at the center of library controversies in Michigan and Iowa.

“They can choose not to come:” Downer’s Grove Library (IL) responds to criticism of drag-themed bingo night. Another choice quote from the article: “We have spent significantly more taxpayer money in staff time responding to feedback about the event than we will be spending on the event itself.”

The Cadott (WI) School District elected to return several previously banned books to library shelves.

This Ohio librarian is seeking to defeat a book banner where it counts – at the ballot box.

Dayton (OH) library director shares information about how the library selects books for the collection.

Buxton-based School Board (ME) is considering whether or not to remove books about sexuality and gender identity from the school libraries.

School board elects to remove Gender Queer from the Dirigo High School library (ME).

Several members of Congress have written a letter to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty about their concerns over school library materials.

The Pennridge (PA) school board could limit student expression, employee “advocacy,” and books.

Central Bucks School District (PA) passes another policy targeting inappropriate content in textbooks and supplemental instructional materials.

A Neo-Nazi gathering causes Boston drag queen Patty Bourrée to cancel a planned story hour in Seaport.

An op-ed about how the culture wars will affect the coming school year in Connecticut.

“My brain, my books, my choice:” Advocates in Catawba County (NC) say the campaign to ban books from the school district is a campaign of exclusion.

One couple describes their process to have LGBTQ books removed from the Alamance-Burlington School System (NC), saying it’s part of a larger goal to have LGBTQ books removed from schools in the entire state.

South Carolina State Senator Josh Kimbrell called on Spartanburg County Public Libraries to move books about sexual identity from the children’s section to the adult section, saying that the books are inappropriate for children. He has also threatened to defund the libraries that do not remove these books.

Horry County (SC) School Board bans CRT despite it not being taught in classrooms.

A judge has tossed both Virginia obscenity cases and struck down the existing state law that made the cases possible, calling the law “unconstitutional.”

Policies that notify Virginia parents of sexually explicit content in school materials are on the way.

Virginia Beach School Board fielded comments on “pornographic” materials being made available in school libraries and classrooms.

Chesterfield County Public Schools (VA) elect to keep Beyond Magenta on school shelves.

Madison County Schools (MS) remove 10 books from general library circulation.

A member of the St. Mary’s (KS) city council has proposed that the city prevent the library from providing “explicit sexual, racially or socially divisive material,” and supporting anything that promotes “the LGBTQ+ ideology or practice” or critical race theory in any form.”

With book bans surging nationwide, Eagle County (CO) is not untouched.

The ACLU of Idaho is demanding documents that were excluded from their initial public records request.

Meridian (ID) residents overwhelmingly testify in support of their library.

Conservative activists want to remove 400 books from the Boundary County Library in Idaho, but the library doesn’t even own the books.

Mead School Board (WA) Director Michael Cannon says that he was surprised that his proposals to limit the discussion of critical race theory and gender identity in schools generated so much controversy. Seriously?

British Columbia trustees call for police reports against their fellow trustees who support LGBTQ+ books.

The backlash against Drag Queen Story Hour in the UK.

Researchers did a deep dive into efforts to restrict critical race theory in schools. Here’s what they found.

A public school librarian on book bans.

How to stand up against book challenges.

Here are the most banned and challenged comics since 2000.

Books & Authors in the News

Val McDermid has received a legal threat for using the phrase “Queen of Crime,” which has been trademarked by Agatha Christie’s estate.

Taylor Swift is being sued by poet and author Teresa La Dart, who claims that Swift stole the design of La Dart’s 2010 book Lover for the book accompanying Swift’s 2019 album of the same name.

Dinesh D’Souza’s upcoming book 2000 Mules, has been abruptly postponed due to an undisclosed “publishing error.” The book is based on a film that makes widely debunked claims regarding 2020 election fraud.


(phew) Need something funny? This Twitter thread of suggested Jeopardy topics for librarians is hilarious.

Numbers & Trends

Gen Z is driving romance sales to the top of the bestseller lists.

Award News

Tess Gunty’s The Rabbit Hutch is the winner of Waterstone’s inaugural debut fiction prize.

The Children’s Book Council of Australia has created a new set of awards judged by 2,000 children around the country.

The Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize longlist has been announced.

Pop Cultured

A first look at Glass Onion, the sequel to Knives Out.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Pass this along to your Louise Penny fans…there’s an upcoming fan e-newsletter called Notes From Three Pines that will examine all things Louise Penny and Inspector Gamache!

On the Riot

Star Wars books and series that deserve their own adaptations.

Some of the most controversial book opinions.

black and white cat laying on its back getting its stomach brushed

Please enjoy this photo of a Very Good Boi getting his tummy brushed. Dini doesn’t always sit still when we brush him, but when he does, it’s cuteness overload!

Please enjoy the long weekend, and again, don’t take your functioning toilets for granted. I’ll see you next week.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.