Check Your Shelf


Welcome to Check Your Shelf. For those of you following along with the saga of my injured finger from Tuesday’s newsletter, I’m happy to report that it’s healing quite nicely and I no longer need to wear a bandage 24/7. The cut itself looks quite small, and there’s a part of me that wants to insist that no, really, I swear it was bleeding all over the place, I’m not just being a big baby for nothing!

Anyway, let’s library.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

ALA asks the Biden administration to include specific funding for libraries in the American Jobs Plan.

Tennessee state legislators have introduced a bill that would ban any books that “promote, normalize, support, or address lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender issues or lifestyles” from Tennesse schools. The bill passed out of committee last week, so if you live in Tennessee, now is a good time to contact your state representatives.

Georgia school librarians are alarmed by proposed legislation that seeks to remove them from decisions about which books students can (or can’t) read at school.

The most frequently banned books of 2020 include a lot more titles focused on racial inequality.

Cool Library Updates

Public programming with virtual murder mysteries.

“Whispering libraries” are coming to Brooklyn this summer.

Worth Reading

7 library changes that this librarian hopes will stick around after the pandemic.

Banned books in Florida prisons.

You don’t have to be cool to promote your library to teens!

Book Adaptations in the News

Tessa Thompson launches a production company and is set to executive produce adaptations of Who Fears Death and The Secret Lives of Church Ladies.

Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page will not return for season two.

A To All the Boys spinoff series is in the works.

Ken Follett’s The Evening and the Morning is being developed as a TV series.

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen is also being developed as a TV series.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is starring in the upcoming Amazon series, Hot Pink, which is based on the book What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold.

Amanda Seyfriend has replaced Kate McKinnon to play Elizabeth Holmes in the Hulu series The Dropout.

Casting update for Station Eleven, The Good Nurse, and Matilda.

Vanity Fair has a piece about “The failure of American Gods and the trouble with Neil Gaiman,” in response to the news that American Gods has been canceled.

Books & Authors in the News

A Cincinnati firefighter wrote a children’s book to inspire and empower young girls.

The many faces of Ramona Quimby.

Numbers & Trends

A rare 1938 Superman comic book has sold for a record $3.5 million at auction.

Award News

The winners of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Awards have been announced.

Deesha Philyaw wins the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for The Secret Lives of Church Ladies.

James McBride wins the inaugural Gotham Book Prize.

The British Science Fiction Association Award winners have been announced.

The winners of the Windham-Campbell Prize have been announced.

Here are the shortlists for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction and the 2020 Aurealis Awards.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

NPR wants your mini poems to celebrate National Poetry Month!

On the Riot

Visiting the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore.

An English professor’s perspective on hating poetry.

Beginner mistakes to avoid during a 24-hour readathon.

A guide to Lord of the Rings special edition sets.

All right. Everyone’s fingers still attached? Good. Let’s keep it that way. Have a safe weekend, everyone!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

The Five Finger Fantasy Rule

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m currently typing this without the use of my right pointer finger because I accidentally stabbed it with my husband’s razor while cleaning the bathroom. No stitches needed, but I’ve got two gauze pads taped around my finger, so typing is very annoying at the moment.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

HarperCollins is set to acquire Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

A Seattle firm is suing Amazon for fixing book prices.

Macmillan Children’s is adding a nonfiction imprint called Neon Squid. (“Neon Squid” would also make a great band name…)

New & Upcoming Titles

Activist Tarana Burke will publish her debut memoir, Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement, in September.

Actress Mena Suvari is publishing a memoir on July 27th.

Kate Middleton’s pandemic photography project Hold Still is becoming a book.

Diana Gabaldon has finished the ninth Outlander novel: Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.

Here’s an early look at Lauren Groff’s upcoming novel, Matrix.

The best romance novels from March.

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

Monthly book picks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bustle, Crime Reads, Entertainment Weekly, Gizmodo (SFF), LitHub (SFF), Shondaland, Time, Town & Country, and Washington Post.

USA Today’s spring book guide.

Must-read spring romance novels.

The most buzzed-about debuts of 2021 (so far).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Beautiful Things – Hunter Biden (Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Washington Post)

Girlhood – Melissa Febos (New York Times, NPR, Washington Post)

The Final Revival of Opal and Nev – Dawnie Walton (Entertainment Weekly, New York Times, Washington Post)

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance – Hanif Abdurraqib (New York Times, USA Today)

Of Women and Salt – Gabriela Garcia (New York Times, Washington Post)

Libertie – Kaitlyn Greenidge (New York Times, USA Today)

RA/Genre Resources

An essential reading list for Larry McMurtry.

From Sula to Luster: fiction’s new school of black women heroines.

A conversation with Sarah Pinborough about the controversial twist from Behind Her Eyes. This is good to keep in mind, because readers either LOVED it (me) or HATED it with the passion of a thousand fiery suns (my friend I recommended the book to).

On the Riot

The 5 finger fantasy rule: a plea for mercy from SFF authors. (I relate to just about everything in this article.)

If you haven’t met the New Release Index from Book Riot Insiders, you definitely need to check this out.

Cottagecore essential reading.

All Things Comics

John Lewis’ posthumous graphic novel Run: Book One will be released this summer.

On the Riot

A beginner’s guide to shonen manga.

10 dark, broody, and fun (!) comics for goths.

Where to start with Green Arrow comics.

5 of the best comics that tackle difficult topics.


5 reasons to listen to fantasy on audio.

11 diverse audiobooks in verse.

On the Riot

How proof listeners make sure the audiobook matches the print.

8 epic family sagas on audio.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


Diverse YA fantasy books teens will obsess over.

17 YA plot twists you’ll never see coming.

These YA authors’ second novels are just as good as their firsts.


Women in STEM reading list.

8 nonfiction books about women trailblazers in male-dominated fields.

A reading list to close out Women’s History Month.

13 must read books for Trans Day of Visibility.

9 books about mental health and wellbeing that are actually helpful.

The 9 books that changed this reader’s relationship with their body.

13 thrillers that should be movies.

9 of the best campus novels.

SFF books with powerful women protagonists.

10 thrillers based on real-life events.

Travel to the Roaring Twenties with these historical mysteries.

25 historical fiction books to take you back in time.

7 autobiographies and memoirs that remind us of the messiness of memory.

15 BookTok recommendations you’ll read in a single sitting…then sob for days.

10 books about New York.

29 of the best poetry books, as recommended by acclaimed writers.

The best novels in verse to read right now.

On the Riot

14 LGBTQ board books to diversify your baby’s bookshelves.

20 public domain children’s books.

7 great children’s books about courage and bravery.

20 children’s books to read by AAPI writers and illustrators.

15 great middle grade books about friendship.

14 queer and BIPOC books from Arsenal Pulp Press to read right now.

12 essential books about Black identity and history.

Stories of Cubans and Cuban Americans.

6 books about American labor and the minimum wage.

6 insightful books about addiction.

8 of the best nonfiction books about girls from around the world.

4 of the best deep-dive nonfiction books.

5 favorite under-the-radar gems.

10 fascinating books like The Flight Attendant.

7 hopeful SFF books.

15 fangtastic vampire romance and romantic fiction books.

4 great romance books about Persephone and Hades.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

Don’t cut your fingertips this week, friends. See you on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Bookmobiles For Justice

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. Someone I was talking to recently said something along the lines of “The days are too long, and the weeks are too short,” and boy, ain’t that the truth? I feel like I spend half my time wondering how the heck it’s not Friday yet, and then panicking that there’s only a couple days left to get stuff done. But as we all know, time is a flat circle, and pandemic time is just completely messed up.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

(TW: violence towards library staff) Six people were injured and one woman was killed at the Lynn Valley public library in North Vancouver after a man started stabbing people. This is just horrifying on so many levels.

A Pennsylvania representative introduces the GRINCH Bill to “safeguard” kids books from the “woke horde.” (I hope the sarcasm is coming through in my quotation marks.)

As Louisville’s public libraries welcome patrons back inside, staff worry about safety.

A man was arrested for assault after refusing to wear a mask in a Salt Lake City library.

Recent funding cuts to accessible books for Canadians with print disabilities will be devastating.

Cool Library Updates

How libraries are expanding internet access.

The Association for Library Service to Children launched their Book & Media Awards Shelf, listing almost 2,000 titles that have won ALSC awards over the last century.

The Free Black Women’s Library in Brooklyn, New York has found a permanent home.

Worth Reading

Building staff morale during a pandemic.

Libraries are key tools for people getting out of prison, even during a pandemic.

Bookmobiles for justice.

Book Adaptations in the News

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is being adapted as a TV series for Hulu.

David Duchovny is planning a series adaptation of his latest book, Truly Like Lightning, with himself in the leading role.

Liane Moriarty’s forthcoming Apples Never Fall has already sold adaptation rights.

American Gods has been canceled after three seasons, but it could return as a TV movie.

George R.R. Martin is extremely busy not writing the latest book in the Game of Thrones series: he’s working on a stage version of Game of Thrones for Broadway, and he signed an enormous deal with HBO to develop more Game of Thrones-adjacent content.

Casting updates for The Good Nurse, The Terminal List, and The Lincoln Lawyer.

The trailer for Shadow and Bone just dropped, and readers have some questions.

Books & Authors in the News

Beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary has died at the incredible age of 104.

Larry McMurtry, author of Lonesome Dove, has died at 84.

This is a devastating article about author Sara Gruen’s fight to free an incarcerated man, which left her broke and critically ill.

Award News

The winners of the National Book Critics Circle Award have been announced.

Shortlists for the Agatha Awards, the Dublin Literary Award, and the Dylan Thomas Prize.

Carmen Maria Machado wins the Rathbones Folio Prize for In the Dream House.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is the first writer to be nominated for the International Booker Prize as both author and translator of the same book. He’s also the first nominee writing in an indigenous African language. Here’s a look at the rest of the longlist.

Pop Cultured

Jessica Walter, iconic actress and star of Arrested Development and Archer, has died at 80. (Yes I know I posted about this in the last newsletter, but I’m still sad about it!)

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

BookClub, a virtual book club platform driven by author-led book discussions, is planning on a spring launch.

All the questions about Book TikTok you wanted to know, but felt too old to ask.

On the Riot

Are you a library power user?

8 books about mobile libraries.

How I learned to be less productive and feel okay about it.

Our pettiest bookish nitpicks.

Have a good weekend, everyone. I’ll see you on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas.

Check Your Shelf

“It Was Self Defense, But Can You Help Me Hide the Body?”

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. We’ll get into library stuff, but first I have to say that the world got a lot less funny on Thursday when Jessica Walter passed away. My husband was so distraught by the news that he literally interrupted me mid-sentence while I was in the middle of a Zoom meeting for work, so my coworkers got to see my reaction in real-time as I went from talking about reopening plans to “OH MY GOD LUCILLE BLUTH DIED!!” I’ve watched a lot of Arrested Development and Archer during the pandemic, so Jessica Walter’s deadpan sense of humor has really helped me feel a little more sane over the last year. May we all live our lives according to the Tao of Lucille Bluth.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Amazon and the Big 5 are facing another lawsuit.

Literary agent Beth Phelan announces the creation of DiverseVoice, Inc., a nonprofit promoting authors and illustrators from underrepresented communities of books.

How books can address economic inequality.

The controversy surrounding translations of Amanda Gorman’s poetry sparks a discussion about the role of diversity in publishing translations. Also, who should translate Amanda Gorman’s work?

New & Upcoming Titles

Dav Pilkey and Scholastic have decided they will no longer publish The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung Fu Cavemen From the Future due to “harmful racial stereotypes and passively racist imagery.” Pilkey also plans to donate his advance and royalties from the series to multiple charities.

Ijeoma Oluo has a new book coming out.

Here’s a first look at Phoebe Robinson’s upcoming book, Please Don’t Sit on My Bed In Your Outside Clothes.

A children’s book about Dr. Fauci is set for June.

Sarah Moss has a new book in the works.

A new book by Laurence Leamer, Capote’s Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song For an Era, looks at the later years of Truman Capote’s life and the socialite “swans” he befriended.

For the first time, a new edition of the Lord of the Rings will include Tolkien’s original artwork.

42 great books to read this spring, recommended by indie booksellers.

25 new spring releases for your TBR.

9 LGBTQ+ books to look forward to this spring.

17 of the best cookbooks for spring.

13 must-read books by Latinx authors in 2021.

5 new children’s books written by Latinos.

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

International crime fiction and debut crime novels for March.

April picks from Barnes & Noble (adults and children), Epic Reads, New York Times, and Oprah Daily.

10 best books of 2021 so far.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Red Island House – Andrea Lea (USA Today, Washington Post)

Fire Keeper’s Daughter – Angeline Boulley (NPR)

Libertie – Kaitlyn Greenidge (New York Times)

RA/Genre Resources

“White people, black authors are not your medicine.”

A discussion of Indian science fiction and fantasy novels.

We need to translate more Armenian literature.

On the Riot

A beginner’s guide to SFF novelettes.

An introduction to the solarpunk genre.

5 books to get you started with Jhumpa Lahiri.

All Things Comics

Penguin Random House will be the new distributor for Marvel Comics.

Director Cary Fukunaga (True Detective Season 1, No Time to Die) is directing the upcoming adaptation of Tokyo Ghost.

On the Riot

10 of the best gay comic books.

9 sapphic graphic memoirs that highlight lesbian and bi women’s lives.

Your guide to BL manga.

A beginner’s guide to seinen manga.


Mysteries in honor of Women’s History Month.

16 excellent new books that deserve to be listened to.

6 great audiobooks to listen to this month.

On the Riot

8 audiobooks for the Disability Readathon.

5 great audiobooks narrated by Soneela Nankani.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


11 delightful books for kids who love Elephant and Piggie.

36 books for kids about dealing with emotions.

10 of the best rivalries in YA books.


15 books to learn about the Asian American experience.

A reading list to celebrate Asian authors.

13 books to better understand anti-Asian racism.

7 books to understand the Arab Spring.

Stories of women who refused to give up the struggle.

15 amazing books about friendship.

10 novels about cults to keep you up at night.

5 books by Irish authors.

M/F romances featuring bi+ women whose queer identities and communities are front and center.

40 of runners’ favorite books right now.

15 books inspired by Shakespeare.

10 famous literary characters based on real people.

5 SFF genre-jumping masterpieces.

Read by the seaside with these 8 coastal stories.

Also: 7 of the best mystery novels set by the sea.

On the Riot

YA thrillers starring marginalized teens.

YA books about beauty pageants.

Teen girls of color in YA historical fiction.

A reading list for the 10-year anniversary of the Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster.

9 of the best fantasy maps in books.

The 10 best political thrillers to TBR.

35 authors every thriller reader should know.

1990’s-adjacent books to read after you’ve watched Moxie, My So-Called Life, or Felicity.

8 books for when you’re learning how to adult.

6 works of space horror.

“It was self-defense, but can you help me hide the body?”

The best romance novels featuring older couples.

Romance novels featuring aspiring and brainy women.

Books about lost cities and lost civilizations.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

See you on Friday! May no more beloved celebrities pass away between now and then.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Can Someone Be Too Bookish? (Asking For a Friend)

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. There is yet another mass shooting to mourn this week, and as more libraries move towards a fuller reopening, I can’t help but feel afraid. I hope all of you are keeping yourselves safe, library friends.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The Ithaka library director survey on EDI and antiracism reveals some significant disconnects between ideals and what’s actually being done in libraries.

Free Library of Philadelphia employees are extremely upset over a recent diversity training program for staff, which told staff to “avoid terms like white supremacy.”

(TW: toxic workplace) The Tempe Public Library quietly fires its library director after years of complaints.

Baltimore County lawmakers advance a bill that would allow library employees to unionize.

Cool Library Updates

Toronto Public Library staff assist with the city’s plan to vaccinate its oldest residents against COVID.

Worth Reading

An interview with the woman who returned a library book to the New York Public Library sixty-three years overdue.

10 adorable Little Free Libraries across the US.

Book Adaptations in the News

George Tillman Jr., the director of The Hate U Give, is directing The Crossover for Disney+, based on the book by Kwame Alexander.

Hulu is adapting Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, along with Beth Macy’s best-selling Dopesick.

A Spanish-language spinoff of Bird Box is in the works at Netflix.

Rebekah Weatherspoon’s Cowboys of California trilogy has been optioned for TV.

Let the Right One In is being developed as a TV series.

Apple is adapting The Greatest Beer Run Ever, with Zac Efron and Russel Crowe slated to star.

Matthew McConaughey is reprising his role from A Time to Kill in the upcoming sequel series A Time for Mercy.

Spectrum Originals has ordered a 10-episode series for Joe Pickett, which is based on the CJ Box novels.

HBO is developing…three?…more Game of Thrones spinoff series? Look, if you’re as lost as I am about all of this GoT spinoff series news, here’s a roundup of what’s currently in the works.

Killing Eve is ending with Season 4.

Trailer for the new adaptation of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Books & Authors in the News

AAPI authors and Bookstagrammers organize a support campaign for AAPI communities.

(TW: transphobia) Parents in Texas objected to the book Call Me Max by Kyle Lukoff being read to a fourth-grade class (the book is about an elementary-age transgender boy). In response, the school brought in counselors for the students, because yeah, that’s a totally acceptable response when asked to acknowledge the existence of transgender people.

Oprah Winfrey selected Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead novels for her latest book club picks.

The Library of America is publishing a never-before-seen novel by Richard Wright.

There’s going to be a crowdfunded book of Douglas Adams’ notes, letters, poems, and lists left in his archive.

Step inside this immersive New York exhibit based on the book Goodnight Moon.

Numbers & Trends

There have been several critiques of the Ripped Bodice’s most recent Diversity Report (including this one), and the Ripped Bodice has responded. (Unfortunately, if you read the comments, the RB’s response fell flat with a lot of readers.

A look at book sales following adaptations released on streaming services.

Award News

The 2021 Audie Award winners have been announced.

Here are the NAACP Image Award nominees and winners for the Literary categories.

Sandra Cisneros wins the prestigious Fuller Award.

Nominees for the British Book Awards.

The Rona Jaffe Awards have been discontinued.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

This seven-year-old boy goes viral for his Amanda Gorman costume at school.

The celebrity-backed campaign to buy J.R.R. Tolkien’s Oxford home falls short.

Jeni’s Ice Cream is teaming up with Dolly Parton to benefit Dolly’s Imagination Library. SIGN ME UP.

How crying on TikTok sells books.

On the Riot

Read for the job you want: books that connect this writer to the elementary library.

Rating the books that Sawyer read on Lost.

7 tips for how to post poetry on Instagram.

Do queer books still need happy endings?

Is it possible to be too bookish?

Have a good weekend, everyone. I’ll see you on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Holiday Cheer In a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. This week, Illinois has opened up vaccine eligibility to include government workers, which happily includes library employees, and I have an appointment for my first vaccine dose on Friday! I also have a masked appointment for my first haircut in 8 months, so I’m hoping this will truly be a transformative week.

Supporting the AAPI Community

Statements from the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association, the ALA Executive Board, and the Asian American Writer’s Workshop.

The impact that the pandemic has had on discrimination against Asian Americans.

Steph Cha writes for the LA Times about police violence against Asian communities.

“It requires an enormous act of will to force others not even to care but merely to see your reality.”

Library Journal shared their COVID-19 anti-xenophobia and anti-racist information resources, along with their COVID anti-Asian racism resources for K-12 students.

Reading lists to understand anti-Asian racism in America from Feminist Press and Vox.

AAPI-owned bookstores to support.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Not surprisingly, university presses are overwhelmingly white.

New & Upcoming Titles

Take a peek at Phoebe Robinson’s next essay collection, coming this fall.

Margaret Atwood is editing a collaborative novel about the pandemic, featuring authors such as John Grisham, Celeste Ng, Dave Eggers, and Emma Donoghue.

Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie, is writing a YA novel called Empress and Aniya.

Jesmyn Ward is also writing a YA novel.

Idris Elba signs a multi-book deal with HarperCollins Children’s Books.

Comedian and actress Iliza Shlesinger is working on an essay collection, which is due out next year.

Linda Rondstadt is working on a memoir, which will likely come out in the fall of next year.

The next Star Wars anthology will explore holiday cheer in a galaxy far, far away.

12 new books to make you smarter.

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

20 books out this spring.

27 spring books we couldn’t put down.

The best SFF books coming out this spring.

The best books of 2021 so far.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic – Glenn Frankel (NPR, USA Today)

Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America – Alec MacGillis (NPR, Washington Post)

Creatures of Passage – Morowa Yejidé (New York Times, Washington Post)

Men Who Hate Women: From Incels to Pickup Artists: The Truth about Extreme Misogyny and How it Affects Us All – Laura Bates (NPR)

How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession With Rights Is Tearing America Apart – Jamal Greene (Washington Post)

The Jigsaw Man – Nadine Matheson (NPR)

Hooked: Food, Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploit Our Addictions – Michael Moss (New York Times)

The Lost Apothecary – Sarah Penner (NPR)

RA/Genre Resources

Readalikes for Harlan Coben’s Win, which is at the top of the best-seller lists this week.

Our autofiction fixation.

On the Riot

18 great 2021 YA books by AAPI authors to watch for.

8 of the best new & upcoming 2021 SFF books by Black authors.

13 great 2021 short story collections by Asian authors.

3 new YA historical fiction novels by women of color.

Reading pathways for Sherry Thomas.

Brown for no reason: finding books when Brandy Cinderella is your lodestar.

Will people still want to read pandemic books in the future?

All Things Comics

Dolly Parton is going to star in her own comic book.

Tiffany Haddish is starring in a film adaptation of the Mystery Girl comic book series.

Marvel introduces the first gay Captain America to the comics.

Dreamer, TV’s first transgender superhero, is making her debut in the DC Pride anthology.

Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki are collaborating on a yet-untitled graphic novel, due out in 2023.

On the Riot

5 graphic novels for kids that tackle tough issues.

Graphic novels to read if you liked The Ghost Bride.


Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth by Rachel Maddow won the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album.

Benedict Cumberbatch will narrate the audio version of Edward St. Aubyn’s Double Blind. is also going to be giving away audiobooks to anyone who spends $15 or more at a local bookstore for Indie Bookstore Day next month.

6 audiobooks to listen to in March.

On the Riot

7 of the best middle grade audiobooks.

10 of the best Audible originals to put in your ears.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


21 children’s books about dogs.

Must-read children’s books written by celebrities.

22 YA books about Asian Americans, past and present.


25 of the best true crime books of all time to unleash your inner Sherlock.

100 speculative fiction books to add to your TBR.

11 Asian-American love stories.

14 fabulous contemporary women nature writers.

15 of the best books about TV comedies.

10 thrillers based on real-life events.

20 new and classic books about feminism to get you thinking and talking.

Stephen King recommends 10 pulp crime authors.

15 books inspired by Shakespeare.

The best historical fiction books to read right now.

12 genre-bending books to read after watching Behind Her Eyes.

6 deliciously duplicitous female characters in thrillers.

7 books that show the full breadth of the adoption experience.

12 of the best Indian novels that everyone needs to read.

A reading list about unrequited love and unmet obsession.

On the Riot

5 excellent children’s books about flowers.

5 children’s books about writers.

6 of the best children’s books about hero pets.

4 YA books about survival.

18 books by Asian American and Pacific Islander authors.

20 of the best world history books.

The best books about grief.

4 books about sleep worth staying awake to read.

15 mystery book club recommendations.

8 great small town thrillers.

20 must-read free online stories.

13 great swashbuckling fantasy reads.

5 of the best Sylvia Plath biographies.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

See you on Friday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading Overkill by Vanda Symon.

Check Your Shelf

Libraries Get BILLIONS in Funding!

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. An unfortunate reality of living in America is that we’re probably going to see more mass shootings as more places around the country reopen, and Tuesday night in Atlanta was sad proof of this. If you’re looking for a way to support Asian communities, here is a list of AAPI organizations looking for donations and resources.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Congress allocated billions (yes, billions!) of dollars to libraries in their COVID relief package.

Librarians are debating how to handle the Dr. Seuss controversy, but a lot of them say that the books will stay on the shelves for now.

The Chicago Public Library, however, is electing to remove the six Dr. Seuss titles from circulation.

But don’t worry about “cancel culture,” people. The discontinued Dr. Seuss books topped the bestseller lists last week.

Maryland state legislature passed a bill that ensures “ libraries can license e-books and other digital “literary’ content that is available to consumers.”

Cool Library Updates

Libraries and butterfly gardens.

Librarians turn to a Japanese form of storytelling during the pandemic.

Nap pods in the academic library.

Worth Reading

Tweens revolutionize online activism.

Meet the badass librarians of the NYPL.

Book Adaptations in the News

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison is in talks to be adapted as a limited series.

The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin has been optioned for series development.

Natalie Portman and Lupita Nyong’o are starring in the upcoming Lady in the Lake series.

Toni Collette is making her directorial debut with Writers and Lovers by Lily King.

The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor is being turned into a series.

City of Ghosts by V.E. Schwab is getting a series adaptation.

Not exactly a book adaptation, but we’re going to get a series based on Agatha Christie’s teenage years.

Taffy Brodesser-Akner will write the limited series adaptation of her novel Fleishman is in Trouble for FX.

Lady Chatterly’s Lover is getting a new movie adaptation.

Harlan Coben’s thriller The Innocent will be hitting Netflix next month.

The new Game of Thrones spinoff show will not feature “egregious” violence towards women.

Casting updates for The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Essex Serpent, and Killers of the Flower Moon.

If you ever wanted a comprehensive look at all of the Hugo-winning and shortlisted works that have been adapted, here’s a handy dandy chart for you.

And here are all of the current Oscar-nominated films based on books.

Books & Authors in the News

Octavia Butler will be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, along with NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson.

The American Academy of Arts and Letters has added thirty three new members to its roster, including Joy Harjo, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Sigrid Nunez.

Numbers & Trends

Racial diversity in children’s books grows, but slowly.

Princess Diana’s biography returns to bestseller lists after the groundbreaking Oprah interview with Harry and Meghan.

7 New York Times fiction and nonfiction best-sellers from ten years ago.

Award News

Deesha Philyaw has won the 2020 Story Prize for her story collection The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, making this the first book published by a small or university press to win the award, and making Deesha Philyaw only the fourth debut author to win.

Finalists for the 2021 Lambda Literary Awards and the 2021 Nebula Awards.

Indigiqueer author Joshua Whitehead’s Jonny Appleseed wins the CBC’s Canada Reads contest.

Shortlist for the 2021 Joyce Carol Oates Prize.

Pop Cultured

CBS has renewed The Equalizer with Queen Latifah for a second season.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

The Harlem community rallies behind a beloved book and toy store, raising $46,000 to help the store during the pandemic.

On the Riot

5 unique school library programs.

Let me ruin your childhood: the inequality of school book fairs.

By the numbers: Fabio romance novel covers.

Gamify your reading with a readathon board game!

What’s your favorite book? And other dreaded questions.

A brief history of the word of the year.

An A-to-Z guide to literary devices.

Have a good weekend everyone, and stay safe.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

An Endangered Species Conspiracy Novel, Royal Intrigue, and Origami

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. As I write this newsletter, the Chicago area is preparing to see how much snow we’re supposed to get on Monday. Right now, predictions are pretty small, but of course, it’s not really winter until we get at least one late-season snowfall. (Please save me, I’m so terribly sick of snow.)

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Amazon announced that it will not sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness.

A second translator has been removed from working on Amanda Gorman’s The Hill We Climb.

New & Upcoming Titles

E.L. James’ final Fifty Shades of Grey book, as told by Christian Grey, is coming out in June.

First look at Jeff Vandermeer’s new endangered species conspiracy novel, and honestly I’m mainly including this link so I could share the phrase “endangered species conspiracy novel.”

Recent books that reflect diverse Jewish experiences.

50 best fiction books to read this year.

Best books of 2021 so far.

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

March picks from Bitch Media, Bookmarks (SFF), Book Page (mysteries), Crime Reads, (psychological thrillers), Nightfire (horror), (sci-fi, fantasy, horror/genre-bending novels, YA SFF)

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race – Walter Isaacson (New York Times, NPR, Washington Post)

Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York – Elon Green (New York Times, NPR)

Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America – Alec MacGillis (LA Times, New York Times)

How Beautiful We Were – Imbolo Mbue (NPR, USA Today)

Mr. Humble and Dr. Butcher: A Monkey’s Head, the Pope’s Neuroscientist, and the Quest to Transplant the Soul – Brandy Shillace (New York Times, Washington Post)

The Girls Are All So Nice Here – Laurie Elizabeth Flynn (USA Today)

RA/Genre Resources

Murder, but gentler: cozy mysteries are a pandemic-era balm.

Hard science fiction is still overwhelmingly white, but it’s getting better.

Surviving childhood by reading science fiction.

On the Riot

The best books you’ve never heard of (Winter 2021).

6 stunning LGBTQ+ books by debut authors to read in 2021.

6 great 2021 YA books about teens who write.

6 brand new and upcoming Jane Austen retellings.

3 current and upcoming YA releases inspired by dance.

13 gothic romance titles to introduce you to the genre.

COVID turned realistic fiction into fantasy.

A defense of guilty pleasure reading across time.

A brief history of dime novels.

All Things Comics

Zoraida Cordova is making her Marvel comics debut.

Here’s a preview of the upcoming Sandman/Locke & Key comic crossover.

The best comics coming out in March.

On the Riot

The best comics to read after Wandavision.

4 little but fierce characters in manga.


Breaking Bad alums Aaron Paul and Krysten Ritter reunite to voice characters in a new James Patterson audio drama.

Daveed Diggs and Lena Waithe lend their voices to Scribd’s audiobook version of Black Imagination. Want more? Here’s a look at the other 40 titles being launched with Scribd Audio.

Audiobook narrator Abby Craden talks about her experience recording almost 400 audiobooks.

The best audiobooks to listen to right now.

Audiobooks that recount American history as written and voiced by Black women.

27 nonfiction audiobooks to listen to on long walks.

On the Riot

7 of the best audiobooks written by Australian women writers.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


Stories of girls and women who made history.

17 great LGBTQ middle grade novels.

25 best YA murder mysteries of all time.

YA books featuring powerful BIPOC female characters.

12 mythology-inspired YA novels.


What to read for Women’s History Month.

A reading list from the Asian American Writer’s Workshop for abolitionist imagination and practice.

Books about the Internet as we know it.

9 books about royal intrigue after Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview.

Read these writers to understand Native American comedy.

7 full-bodied reads from the literary vineyard. (AKA books about wine)

10 historical romances that feature sports.

5 underrated costume dramas for romance lovers.

8 dark novels about love and obsession set in the Mediterranean.

7 novels about women who reject expectations.

5 SFF books with middle-aged and elderly heroes who still kick ass.

On the Riot

8 fascinating kids books like Terrible Things That Can Happen to You.

5 YA books to pick up after Moxie.

20 must-read queer essay collections.

5 translated works of fiction about life and culture.

8 great feminist microhistories.

10 great novellas by authors of color.

5 unusually-structured speculative fiction novels.

8 romantic sci-fi and fantasy reads.

A beginner’s guide to occult books.

Crime novels about family.

9 nature novels to get lost in.

12 of the best romance novels about writers.

11 stories featuring origami.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

Be nice to yourselves, and I’ll see you on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Weed the Racist Books, Librarians

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. This is a sad evening for me – my parents had to say goodbye to one of their kitties very suddenly this afternoon, and it was a tremendous shock to everyone. Lovebug and her two kittens came to live with my grandpa in 2009, and my parents took the three cats in after my grandpa passed away in 2012. Lovebug more than lived up to her name – she adored everyone she met, and had one of the sweetest kitty faces I’ve ever seen. We’re going to miss this fluffy lady.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Local public libraries in Portsmouth, Virginia have begun removal of the six Dr. Seuss books that were pulled from publication last week.

The New York Public Library has elected to keep the six Dr. Seuss books in its collections.

Cool Library Updates

Health librarians quell pandemic panic with webinars.

The road to normal: bookmobiles and outreach during COVID.

Worth Reading

A history of racism in American public libraries.

The Dr. Seuss controversy: what educators need to know.

The New York Times provided a summary of the Dr. Seuss news and surrounding controversy, if you need a catch-up or a refresher on what’s happened.

Cancel culture and “classics:” EDI and readers advisory implications. Or in other words, weed the racist books, librarians.

Want to borrow that ebook from the library? Sorry, Amazon won’t let you.

How a year without the library changed this writer.

Book Adaptations in the News

Kindred is being turned into a TV series.

Sarah Gailey’s latest book The Echo Wife is getting a film adaptation already.

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters is being turned into a TV series.

David Simon and George Pelecanos from The Wire are turning We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops and Corruption by Justin Fenton into a limited series.

Amazon Studios is developing a series adaptation of The Wives by Tarryn Fisher.

Peacock is developing a series based on The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.

Disney’s 20th Television grabbed the rights to Chris Whitaker’s new novel We Begin at the End.

Armando Lucas Correa’s The German Girl is being turned into an international TV series.

Stephen King’s 2018 novella Elevation will be getting a film adaptation. Also, the creators of Stranger Things are adapting The Talisman.

The Queen’s Gambit is becoming a stage musical.

There’s a Bosch spin-off series set at IMDB TV.

Update on the new Goosebumps TV series.

Trailers for Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse and Made for Love by Alissa Nutting.

Books & Authors in the News

Norton Juster, author of The Phantom Tollbooth, has died at 91.

The kid lit community rallies against anti-Asian racism.

Carmen Maria Machado defends her memoir In the Dream House, which was one of several books pulled from Texas high school shelves for review following parent complaints.

Amanda Gorman reported being tailed by a security guard on her way home, who questioned whether or not she actually lived in her building. As Amanda said, “This is the reality of black girls: One day you’re called an icon, the next day, a threat.”

Mariah Carey’s brother sues for emotional distress caused by her recently-published memoir.

In much better news, NASA has named the Mars landing site of Perseverance “Octavia E. Butler Landing.”

Numbers & Trends

The most popular in-demand books in US libraries from October – December 2020.

Award News

The longlist for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction has been released.

C.J. Cherryh wins the 2021 Robert A. Heinlein Award.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Some writers aim to smuggle what Iran censors.

The artists dismantling the barriers between rap and poetry.

The Book Lady of Danville, VA wants to give away 1 million books to her community – so far, she’s given away over 63,000 books since 2017.

On the Riot

The ever-growing challenges of getting books into prisons.

A media studies perspective on canceling books.

15 online book clubs to boost your reading in 2021.

Your ultimate guide on where to buy ebooks.

A case for reading multiple books at a time.

Reflections on rereading and the self.

A brief history of the exclamation mark (!)

Have a good weekend, everyone. Give your fur babies some extra treats.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently listening to Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir by Natasha Trethewey.

Check Your Shelf

10 of the Most Confusing Books of All Time

Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter. Let’s do this.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

E.L. James is launching a new imprint with Sourcebooks, and she’s taking her entire catalog with her.

Union booksellers protest at The Strand in New York City.

Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, the original Dutch translator for Amanda Gorman’s poetry, has stepped down after criticism that a white author was selected for the task.

These sisters formed a publishing house to launch a novel about a Black Muslim teenager.

New & Upcoming Titles

Kal Penn is writing a memoir.

Billie Jean King’s autobiography All In: An Autobiography will be released in August.

Henry Thomas (E.T., The Haunting of Hill House) has a debut fantasy novel coming out.

Joe Exotic of Tiger King infamy is working on a tell-all memoir that’s slated for November.

5 new books that engage with the climate change crisis.

5 romance novels from February to add to your TBR.

Weekly book picks from Buzzfeed, Crime Reads, LitHub, The Millions, New York Times, People, Publishers Weekly, The Root, Shelf Awareness, and USA Today.

March picks from Amazon, A/V Club, Barnes & Noble, Bustle, Crime Reads, Entertainment Weekly, io9, Lambda Literary, The Millions (general, poetry), O: Oprah Magazine, PopSugar (general, mystery/thriller, romance, YA), Shondaland, Time, (YA SFF), and Washington Post.

20 new novels for spring.

42 LGBTQ books coming soon.

11 YA books featuring South Asian characters to read in 2021.

A running list of the best books of 2021.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Infinite Country – Patricia Engel (New York Times, NPR, Washington Post)

Klara and the Sun – Kazuo Ishiguro (NPR, USA Today, Washington Post)

The Committed – Viet Thanh Nguyen (NPR, USA Today)

The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto – Charles M. Blow (New York Times)

What’s Mine and Yours – Naima Coster (New York Times)

RA/Genre Resources

The delicate relationship between grief and fanfiction.

On the Riot

2021 LGBTQ books by Black authors.

6 of the darkest SFF reads coming in 2021.

10 riveting thriller novels to read in 2021.

10 great March 2021 YA releases.

5 great 2021 UK middle grade novels to check out.

Reading pathway for Roxane Gay.

Kids need queer books.

All Things Comics

Comic-Con International announced that WonderCon and San Diego Comic Con will be virtual events this year, but that they’re also hoping to hold a special in-person pop culture event in November.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing a new Superman film for DC and Warner Brothers.

Alyssa Cole is collaborating on a Sleeping Beauty-inspired YA graphic novel.

Stephen Graham Jones has a graphic novel coming out as well.

On the Riot

7 of the best comedy manga.

Sports manga and anime to make you smile.


All of the audiobooks you can listen to for free, without a subscription.

The March 2021 Earphones Award winners.

Check out this new Indigenous lit audio book club/podcast!

What to listen to in 2021, based on what you loved in 2020.

7 kids’ audiobooks celebrating African American heritage.

21 audiobooks and podcasts by Black Canadians.

On the Riot

6 great audiobooks by trans authors.

Where to find audio dramas and audiobooks with sound effects.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


13 books with resilient role models for tweens.

YA books by Asian and Pacific Islander authors you should read ASAP.

19 YA books fueled by revenge in the best way.

Books to read if you love Shadow and Bone.

35 YA books with a strong female lead to celebrate Women’s History Month (all year long).


A literary guide to combat anti-Asian racism in America.

Jacqueline Woodson’s Black History Month reading recommendations.

Nonfiction books that celebrate Women’s History Month.

4 books to read for Women’s History Month.

8 great books about Black boyhood.

7 poetry books by BIPOC women to add to your TBR.

8 books by and about Afghan women.

A reading list of obsessive female relationships.

10 most confusing books of all time.

5 books that will make you think twice about walking in the woods.

On the Riot

7 science board books in English and/or Spanish.

7 books for kids that fight COVID-19-inspired racism.

13 picture books to read instead of Dr. Seuss for Read Across America.

6 great YA authors writing romance novels.

10 books about Black women activists during the Civil Rights Movement.

6 books that give voices to forgotten women in our stories.

8 essential diasporic novels.

7 witchy reads for fans of WandaVision.

10 innovative sci-fi novels about robots and AI.

18 books about Mars to celebrate the Perseverance landing.

10 books if you loved Gideon the Ninth.

20 must-read queer books in translation from around the world.

8 romantic fantasy books to make your heart swoon.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

Be nice to yourselves, and I’ll see you on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading They Never Learn by Layne Fargo.