Check Your Shelf

Erotic Manga, Woke Baby Books, and CLOWN IN A CORNFIELD Part 2

Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where I’ve made the very silly decision to start reading a book that I KNEW was going to be a one-sitting book, and now I don’t have any choice except to finish it before I go to bed. After I finish this newsletter, of course.

So, let’s library, and I’ll get back to reading!

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Lincoln Center Poet-in-Residence Mahogany L. Browne is launching the first Woke Baby Book Fair, which will be free and open to the public.

Testing the in-person book show waters.

New & Upcoming Titles

Random House just announced a forthcoming memoir from Prince Harry, which will be published in late 2022.

Winnie-the-Pooh is getting an official prequel.

Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen are publishing a book developed from their podcast conversations.

We’re also getting a young adult edition of Obama’s Dreams From My Father this fall.

Stacey Abrams is publishing her first children’s book, Stacey’s Extraordinary Words, which will be out in late December.

Viola Davis and Kelly Ripa are each publishing nonfiction books in 2022.

Here’s a first look at Emily St. John Mandel’s new book, Sea of Tranquility, that she wrote during quarantine.

Ocean Vuong announces a new poetry collection, Time Is a Mother.

Adam Cesare is writing a sequel to Clown in a Cornfield, called Clown in a Cornfield 2: Frendo Lives.

Weekly book picks from Crime Reads and USA Today.

Barnes & Noble has their most anticipated August releases for adults and children/teens.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Intimacies – Katie Kitamura (Bustle, LA Times, New York Times, NPR)

The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion – Eliot Brown & Maureen Farrell (New York Times, Washington Post)

Better to Have Gone: Love, Death, and the Quest for Utopia in Auroville – Akash Kapur (New York Times, NPR)

Nightbitch – Rachel Yoder (Esquire, The Guardian)

RA/Genre Resources

The space to exist: the other kind of diversity in storytelling.

The many shades of gatekeeping: how the term “emerging author” hurts more than it helps.

Asexual romance readers are finally getting their happily ever afters.

The international authors to read this summer.

On the Riot

2021 must-read beach reads.

9 gripping new summer thrillers to add to your beach bag.

Weekly new releases to add to your TBR.

Your guide to techno thrillers.

An introduction to literary nonfiction.

When a “romantic” read is really about grooming. (TW: grooming, sexual abuse)

All Things Comics

These were the buzziest panels at ComicCon At Home.

Michael B. Jordan is bringing Black Superman Val-Zod to HBO Max. (If anyone’s keeping track, this is separate from Ta-Nehisi Coates’ and JJ Abrams’ plans to bring a Black Superman to the big screen.)

Black Panther gets a new origin story with the launch of Black Panther Legends.

Mel Valentine Vargas is adapting Meg Medina’s YA novel, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass into a graphic novel.

Michaela Cole has joined the cast for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Leslie Grace is going to be the new Barbara Gordon in the upcoming Batgirl movie.

Plans are in the works to turn The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina into new comics.

The greatest seinen manga of the decade, according to Goodreads.

On the Riot

9 new and upcoming comics and graphic memoirs that embody queer joy.

6 manhwa and manga like The Beginning After the End.

Books you never knew had manga adaptations.

Manga erotica: a beginner’s guide to ecchi and hentai.

Can you read manga on a Kindle?

This Barbie comic is really, really weird.


The Panoramic Project looks at audiobook use in 2020 and context around reading and other entertainment media.

Regé-Jean Page joins the cast of The Sandman on Audible.

7 great audiobooks to listen to this month.

13 summer activities to pair with audiobooks.

Audiobooks for every attention span.

7 kids’ audiobooks for a summer road trip.

On the Riot

Who listens to audiobooks?

5 audiobooks for your next road trip.

30 of the best Audible books for kids.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


10 new children’s books in translation to read this summer.

12 of the best books for three-year-olds.

17 YA books about starting over.

16 YA fairy-tale retellings that live up to the hype.


A reading list for Disability Pride Month.

7 novels about scandalous small towns.

For fans of Sherlock Holmes: 15 recommendations for detective book lovers.

6 books for nature lovers.

Reader-recommended climate fiction.

5 must-read books about the invisible borders between culture and identity.

9 books with plots pulled from real life.

Thrillers set in the great outdoors.

9 books to transport you around the world.

15 Pulitzer Prize book winners and finalists that deserve a spot on your TBR.

11 books recommended by TikTokers.

On the Riot

9 funny chapter book series that will keep kids giggling.

15 books about going off to college.

“It’s gay and it slaps:” TikTok’s favorite LGBTQ books.

9 LGBTQ+ memoirs to read this summer.

8 notable queer contemporary fiction novels by Asian authors.

8 books about Japanese culture to read before the Olympics.

10 books about cryptids and cryptozoology.

Horror reads for summer.

10 recent magical realism novels.

8 unconventional romantic reads like Netflix’s Sexy Beasts.

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.

All right, I’m off to continue reading. Have a good week, everyone!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading Survive the Night by Riley Sager. (Yeah, this is the book determined to keep me up past my bedtime.)

Check Your Shelf

Niles Public Library Is a Warning

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. It feels like there’s been a lot of recent news about far-right groups trying to gut libraries and schools from the inside out, and while I am jaded and cynical by nature, it still boggles my mind to see such a coordinated attack. I don’t have anything to add to the discourse that’s already happening, but the whole situation is absolutely infuriating.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

(TW: transphobia, violence against trans people) Magician Mikayla Oz, a trans woman, canceled her series of performances at the Campbell County Public Library in Gillette, Wyoming after the library started receiving threats of violence from community members.

The Norwalk Public Library (CT) is considering the removal of a children’s book with illustrations of a Sikh leader after a resident said the depictions were insulting to the religion.

Cool Library Updates

A look at the growing practice of library gardens.

Worth Reading

Demolishing public libraries from the inside: Niles Public Library is a warning.

Here’s another article about how right-wing groups are trying to keep libraries from promoting racial justice.

The importance of counting people in public libraries.

Book Adaptations in the News

Robert Downey Jr. is co-starring in the series adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer.

Bridgerton director Julie Anne Robinson and star Adjoa Andoh are teaming up for a series adaptation of Island Queen by Vanessa Riley.

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu is now a serialized podcast.

Charlize Theron and the Muschiettis are developing The Final Girl for HBO, which is based on Grady Hendrix’s recent novel The Final Girl Support Group.

HBO is developing two more animated Game of Thrones shows.

David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s novel Winter Counts has been optioned for the big screen.

She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey will be turned into a film adaptation starring Carey Mulligan.

The horror comic Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill will be turned into a TV series.

Oscar “Zeta” Acosta’s novels will be adapted for a TV series.

British director Prano Bailey-Bond is directing an adaptation of Mariana Enriquez’s short story “Things We Lost in the Fire.”

Marjan Kamali’s novel The Stationery Shop is getting a series on HBO.

FX has ordered a pilot based on Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred.

The Wheel of Time is getting a movie trilogy.

There’s going to be a Pet Sematary prequel. (Did I know this? I can’t remember…)

Jennifer Carpenter is returning for the Dexter revival.

Here’s the teaser trailer for One of Us is Lying.

Books & Authors in the News

Award-winning YA author and journalist Ann Rinaldi has passed away at 86.

(TW: transphobia) The American Booksellers Association has apologized for including “an anti-trans book” in a recent promotional shipment to members.

The book Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) by L.C. Rosen is under fire by a Christian right group in Irving, Texas.

President Biden has nominated author Atul Gawande as assistant administrator of the Bureau for Global Health.

Liveright Publishing will be publishing Patricia Highsmith’s diaries for the first time.

Is Sylvia Plath literature’s most misunderstood icon?

Numbers & Trends

A new study shows a 20% decline in school librarians over the past decade.

These are the best-selling books of 2021, so far.

How our streaming habits are changing contemporary fiction.

Fear Street is leading a revival of 90’s YA horror adaptations.

Publishing can’t stop (won’t stop?) making Trump books.

Award News

Emmy nominations have been announced.

The Center for Fiction has announced the 2021 First Novel Prize longlist.

Pop Cultured

Here’s the trailer for season 3 of What We Do in the Shadows.

On the Riot

Summer reading programs for kids made this reader feel invincible.

Real and fictional librarians leading resistance.

Indigenous books Netflix needs to adapt.

5 author pseudonyms that have never been revealed.

If you joined all the book clubs, here’s what you’d be reading.

A look at the Goodreads bot problem.

A compelling reason to only read one book at a time.

This 5th grade teacher set one reading rule, which forever changed this reader’s life.

School summer reading lists: a brief and nerdy history.

How to learn a new language by reading slightly beyond your scope (and other tips).

Oral history through the ages.

Well I’m out, friends. Remember to vote in your local elections, and keep fighting the good fight against censorship. Have a peaceful weekend!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

How to Find a Book Using a Vague Description

Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where I am still nursing a pair of very sore knees after all that wedding dancing last week. YIKES. If I ever needed a wake up call that I am no longer in my 20’s…that was it.

So, let’s talk about something much more low-impact and that won’t destroy your cartilage: books!

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Penguin Random House is reopening offices to vaccinated staff on September 13th.

If you’re following the latest eBook price-fixing lawsuit against Amazon and the Big 5, here’s an update.

New & Upcoming Titles

Colin Kaepernick is publishing a new children’s book about the beauty of being different.

Amber Tamblyn has a new essay collection coming out.

Jamie Lynn Spears is writing a memoir.

Dawn Kurtagich is writing a sequel to her YA horror novel Teeth in the Mist.

The Millions posted their Most Anticipated list for the second half of 2021.

60 horror titles to thrill readers in 2021.

35 new and upcoming scifi thrillers you won’t want to put down.

7 new books perfect for summer beach reads.

11 new releases that would make great summer book club picks.

June picks you may have missed from LitHub and The Millions.

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

July picks from Nightfire (horror), Parade, and Seattle Times (crime fiction).

The best books of 2021, so far from USA Today and Vulture (romance).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Intimacies – Katie Kitamura (New York Times, Vulture, Washington Post)

I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year – Carol Leonnig & Philip Rucker (New York Times, NPR, Washington Post)

A Passage North – Anuk Arudpragasam (New York Times, NPR)

Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light: Essays – Helen Ellis (Entertainment Weekly, NPR)

The Letters of Shirley Jackson – Shirley Jackson (LA Times, New York Times)

Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency – Michael Wolff (New York Times, Slate)

The Final Girl Support Group – Grady Hendrix (USA Today)

Sword Stone Table: Old Legends, New Voices – Swapna Krishna & our very own Jenn Northington (eds.) (NPR)

RA/Genre Resources

Beyond Goodreads: 4 tools that help readers track their books.

Readalikes for Daniel Silva’s The Cellist.

LitHub and Tor Books have partnered to create a new podcast: Voyage into Genre!.

The rise of African speculative fiction.

Why are there so many children’s books written about the Holocaust?

On the Riot

Our best books of 2021 so far!

12 new releases with Asian representation on the cover.

15 LGBTQ reads for mid and late 2021.

3 new diverse YA classic retellings.

New weekly releases for your TBR.

9 new books to pick up at the airport.

How we sell stories: a brief history of paratext.

White gatekeeping in YA harms teen readers.

Does solving the mystery make a difference?

The rise and fall of the western.

How to find a book using a vague description.

All Things Comics

DC is publishing a follow-up to Joe Hill’s Basketful of Heads, called Refrigerator Full of Heads.

On the Riot

9 LGBTQ+ comic book characters that give us hope for more representation.

The best new manga and light novels to pick up in 2021.

9 queer adventure comics.

Classics that this reader would love to see as comics.

We want more Indigenous superheroes!


Rosamund Pike is narrating Paula Hawkins’ new audiobook, A Slow Fire Burning.

Anne of Green Gables star Megan Follows is narrating the Emily of New Moon audiobooks.

The July 2021 Earphones Award winners have been announced.

This quiz will pair you with an audiobook written by an author with a disability.

7 great audiobooks for long drives.

5 new audio series to love.

10 SFF audiobooks to listen to in July.

On the Riot

5 audiobooks to help you explore nature.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


12 nonfiction books for teens that are total page turners.

24 YA books that open up an honest conversation about depression.


22 books by LGBTQ+ authors you need to add to your reading list.

10 books with moral dilemmas you’ll contemplate for days.

Fascinating reads featuring characters with mundane jobs.

SFF books about ecology and climate change.

7 books about the search for intimacy.

Cozy mysteries featuring crime-fighting pets.

5 speculative visions of a future America.

22 books about Manhattan jet-setters that will make you feel like one.

7 books about the heartbreak of losing a sibling.

On the Riot

12 Korean children’s books.

8 children’s books with Indigenous main characters in Latin America.

15 magical books like Legendborn.

Vintage ‘90s teen horror to enjoy.

10 impactful books about public health.

8 spectacular books by non-binary authors.

Incredibly epic fantasy journeys for every reader.

9 fantasy books about spies.

The best paranormal romances to read right now.

The joy of reading about cooking: non-cookbook books by chefs.

9 books about prohibition.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

Catch you on Friday. Have a good week, everyone!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Well, At Least Your Books Aren’t 300 Years Overdue

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. With the return of socializing in-person comes the return of illnesses. Thankfully, I am not the one who is sick, but several people in my circles are, and yeah…it stinks.

Let’s library.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

With its acquisition complete, HarperCollins is changing the library eBook terms for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt titles.

This may be one for the record books: a library book 300 years overdue has been returned to the Sheffield Cathedral in England.

Cool Library Updates

This New Jersey library hosted an adorable pet parade to encourage reading.

NYPL is offering free book kits to help keep kids engaged over the summer.

Worth Reading

Makerspaces in libraries: On challenges to our democratic values.

How to confront challenges to other library resources.

Recruit, retain, and engage: how to cultivate younger library advocates.

Book Adaptations in the News

The Obamas’ production company is developing Blackout, a film and TV “event” that is being adapted from six different love stories, each one written by a different author, including Dhonielle Clayton, Nicola Yoon, Tiffany D. Jackson, and more.

Defending Jacob becomes the first Apple TV+ show to get a DVD/Blu-ray release.

AMC is developing a thriller series called Dark Winds, which will be based on the Leaphorn & Chee mysteries by Tony Hillerman.

Ruth Ware’s The Turn of the Key is getting an adaptation.

Kumail Nanjiani is starring in the limited series adaptation of Homeland Elegies.

C. Pam Zhang’s novel How Much of These Hills is Gold is being adapted for TV.

Netflix has ordered a YA drama based on Ali Novak’s YA novel, My Life With the Walter Boys.

Javier Bardem is starring in the adaptation of the classic children’s book, Lyle, Lyle Crocodile, proving once again that reality is just a giant Mad-Lib.

Here’s a look at the upcoming Pretty Little Liars reboot on HBO.

Here’s the trailer for The Witcher, season 2.

Books & Authors in the News

A look at why the short story “Cat Person” is going viral again.

(TW: transphobia) Zeiger Elementary (WA) faces backlash for putting the book Felix Ever After, which features a transgender hero, on display.

Loudoun County Public School review committees have recommended that the school keep the novels Monday’s Not Coming and #MurderTrending on the shelves after parents complained about the books back in May.

(TW: transphobia) Amazon employees are petitioning (and in some cases quitting) over the company’s decision to continue selling Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters by Abigail Shrier.

Award News

The 2020 Aurealis Awards have been announced.

The nominees for the Ladies of Horror Fiction Awards have been announced.

Pop Cultured

Loki has been renewed for a second season with Disney+.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Sylvia Plath’s family album, wedding ring, and letters to Ted Hughes are being sold at auction.

5 rules that this reader lives by to finish as many books as possible.

On the Riot

6 ways libraries support communities during the summer.

New LGBTQ laws in Hungary land a bookshop with fines.

This reader hasn’t read any books by cis-het white men for years…and they’re not missing anything.

How falling in love with an indie press changed this reader.

On letting go of childhood favorites and what we outgrow.

Beyond the straight gaze: the complexity of queer suffering in literature.

Authors belong on Goodreads too.

Yep, there’s going to be a Pride and Prejudice-themed dating show.

Everything we know about the Ursula K. LeGuin stamp.

Scripp’s new Spelling Bee winner makes history.

Summer reading supplies for every reader.

Stay cool, friends. I’ll catch you next week!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Are Email Newsletters a New Literary Genre? Is THIS Newsletter a Literary Genre?

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m gearing up for a hectic week on my end that surprisingly doesn’t have anything to do with work! I’m getting dolled up as one of the bridesmaids in my sister-in-law’s wedding this week, so hopefully I’ll remember how to walk in heels by the time Thursday rolls around.

But for now, let’s library.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

High costs and service disruptions plague the book business’s supply chain. (Or, in other words: Why my Baker & Taylor orders are perpetually delayed).

Hanif Abdurraqib has been named a Tin House Editor-at-Large.

New & Upcoming Titles

Here’s a first look at the cover for Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead by Elle Cosimano.

Take a gander at Rebecca Roanhorse’s upcoming novel, Fevered Star.

LitHub’s most anticipated books of 2021, part 2.

9 irresistible gay romances coming in July.

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

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Razorblade Tears – S.A. Cosby (NPR, Washington Post)

An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination – Sheera Frenkel & Cecilia Kang (New York Times, Washington Post)

Wayward – Dana Spiotta (LA Times, New York Times)

The Personal Librarian – Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray (NPR)

Dear Miss Metropolitan – Carolyn Ferrell (USA Today)

RA/Genre Resources

Are email newsletters a new literary genre?

Did Twitter break YA?

What is Africanjujuism?

On the Riot

Black bookstores a year after a summer of protests.

Publishing jobs: 4 hard truths about working in the book business.

An ode to the mass max paperback.

Under-the-radar Spring 2021 books you may have missed.

A 2021 summer reading list for adults.

Books out this week that you need to have on your TBR.

Why is Twitter so bad at book recommendations?

8 female authors like Sarah J. Maas.

What is queerbaiting vs. queer coding in books?

What is digital literature?

A guide to pastoral poetry.

All Things Comics

Disney trademarked Loki, the Marvel movie character, sparking controversy and backlash over whether or not you can copyright a deity.

Here’s a preview of this year’s San Diego Comic Con, which will once again be virtual.

Manga sales soar to an all-time high in 2020.

Batman: The Long Halloween is getting a new follow-up comic just in time for Halloween.

On the Riot

LGBTQIA+ comics and characters you should know.

Which came first, the anime or the manga?


Andy Serkis is recording the Lord of the Rings audiobooks.

Audio royalties come under scrutiny as audiobook sales continue to soar.

On the Riot

7 more of the best audiobooks to celebrate Disability Pride Month.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


Classic literature board books for babies.

12 books for kids who only want to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid.


Barack Obama’s summer reading list.

9 novels about being a queer person of color in the UK.

4 books to remind you that immigration doesn’t just mean coming to America.

15 must-read books with biracial and multiracial characters.

10 of the best American history books.

12 books that break the rules of point of view.

11 essay collections for when a novel just feels like too much.

On the Riot

12 of the best camping books for kids.

9 drawing books for kids.

3 YA books about love and dance.

Critical race theory books to help you make sense of all the hubbub.

10 books on the history and legacy of slavery.

9 essential books about healthy masculinities.

10 humorous murder mysteries like Knives Out.

8 books about Broadway and theater history.

11 books like Beach Read for beach reading and beyond.

Books with a quirky cast of characters.

12 Catalan books available in English translation.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

Catch you on Friday. Have a good week, everyone!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Forget The Alamo

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I am officially a year older (although perhaps not wiser), and I am also fast approaching my 10 year library career anniversary! My career may have started at a different library, but 10 years in libraries is a pretty cool achievement regardless, so I definitely plan on bringing donuts to celebrate!

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

ALA’s Committee on Diversity has released a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion scorecard for library and information organizations.

This Minneapolis-area police department got trolled after they reported thefts from a Little Free Library. While it’s nice that they donated books to refill the LFL, isn’t the point of a LFL is for people to…take the books? Anyway, if you run a LFL and notice the books disappearing, maybe ask for book donations instead of calling the police? Just a thought…

A Massachusetts man recently returned books from the 1920’s and 30’s to the local library.

Cool Library Updates

The Horror Writers Association has established the Young Adults Write Now fund, which will provide up to 5 endowments of $250 to selected libraries to create new, or support ongoing, writing programs.

The Stanwood (WA) Library got the city’s help to rescue ducklings. (I had a very similar duckling rescue experience a few weeks ago in a parking lot, where I had to gently scoop up a duckling and bring him back to his mama and siblings to make sure he didn’t get hurt. They’re so tiny!!!) Hopefully they’re all swimming peacefully in a nearby pond.

Worth Reading

Libraries and telehealth tackle healthcare gap full force.

Libraries and the curse of knowledge.

Take a look behind the spine of these books.

Book Adaptations in the News

Netflix is adapting the Ivy & Bean children’s series.

Blumhouse Productions is planning a sequel to The Exorcist.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren will be adapted by BCDF Pictures.

The Stephen King-inspired series Chapelwaite (set in Salem’s Lot) gets an August release date.

Casting updates for The Monster of Florence and No Exit.

5 great movies based on Patricia Highsmith books (that aren’t the Ripley adaptations).

9 of the best LGBTQ+ books that deserve a movie or TV series adaptation.

Books & Authors in the News

The Putnam County (FL) School District is under fire for removing three books from its summer reading list after receiving pushback from parents. One of the books was Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime.

A promotional event for the book Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth, which examines the role of slavery in the Battle for the Alamo and Texas’ push for independence from Mexico, was canceled by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who called the book “fact free” and said it was a rewriting of Texas history.

Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates have joined the faculty at Howard University.

Numbers & Trends

TikTok is taking the book industry by storm.

Award News

Elle McNicoll wins the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for her debut, A Kind of Spark.

The 2021 CWA Dagger Winners are announced.

The nominees for the Shirley Jackson Awards have been announced.

Joy Williams wins the 2021 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.

Here are the winners and runners-up for the inaugural Good Sex Awards.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

These heckin good doggos were kept calm on the 4th of July, thanks to these volunteers who came to the Kentucky Humane Society animal shelter and read children’s books to the dogs.

On the Riot

10 book adaptations you can watch this summer.

What the Literati reviews don’t tell you.

What this writer has learned after a decade of book blogging.

On Wednesdays we read Tolkien: Lord of the Rings fandom in 2021.

A case against assigned summer reading.

The most bookish cities in the world.

Stay cool, friends. I’ll catch you next week!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris.

Check Your Shelf

How to Keep Track of New Releases, Plus Watch Batman Punch Nazis

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. Last night, I defied my introverted nature and hung out a friend’s backyard party, where I only knew a few people. However, there was another librarian sitting at my table, and we quickly bonded by sharing our worst tales from the trenches, gossiping about local library drama, and comparing collection budget lines. You know, typical 4th of July conversation. Still, it was fun to meet someone new and see friends I hadn’t seen in person in at least a year. And now my introverted self is taking a bit of a breather…

So, anyway, buckle up because this newsletter is LONG. Like, full-to-bursting with new books and book list resources. Like, you don’t even know.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

People of Color in Publishing and Latinx in Publishing collaborated on an online survey in 2018 to study reports of racism experienced in the publishing industry. The results have just now been released, and (spoiler alert): there’s a LOT of work to do.

Simon & Schuster launches a Black celebrity imprint, 13A, which is a reference to the Constitutional amendment that abolished slavery.

New & Upcoming Titles

Scribner purchases Jennifer Egan’s new book, The Candy House, which is billed as a sister novel to A Visit From the Good Squad.

Harper Voyager picks up Janelle Monáe’s debut Afrofuturistic short story collection.

Justina Ireland and Tessa Gratton are co-authoring a new YA fantasy duology!

Morgan Jerkins announces her next novel.

Saeed Jones announces an upcoming poetry collection.

Linda Holmes (author of Evie Drake Starts Over) teases a new book on Twitter.

USA Today’s Susan Page is writing a biography of Barbara Walters.

Indie speculative fiction picks for June.

June 2021 romance picks

10 new LGBTQ books to celebrate Pride.

27 LGBTQ+ YA books to preorder.

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

July picks from AV Club, Barnes & Noble, Brightly (children’s/YA), Bustle, Crime Reads, Entertainment Weekly, Gizmodo (SFF), Good Morning America, Kirkus Reviews, NPR, Oprah Daily, Popsugar (general, mystery/thriller, romance), and Washington Post.

Summer book picks from BookBub (romance), CBC, and USA Today.

The best books of 2021 (so far) from Chicago Tribune and Entertainment Weekly.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Falling – T.J. Newman (Entertainment Weekly, New York Times, Popsugar)

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Quentin Tarantino (The Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post)

Objects of Desire – Claire Sestanovich (Electric Lit, NPR)

Blackout – Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon (NPR)

Survive the Night – Riley Sager (USA Today)

RA/Genre Resources

The first wave of post-Trump books fight to make sense of the chaos.

Readalikes for Survive the Night by Riley Sager.

On the Riot

5 more 2021 LGBTQ+ horror books for Pride.

The best books out this week for your TBR.

15 must-read July children’s book releases, 10 July YA releases, and 5 July 2021 horror novels.

5 new books to transport you to the beach.

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

15 adult fiction books from BookFest that go straight to the TBR pile.

Must-read YA romances releasing July – December 2021.

5 captivating new books that reimagine classic stories.

How to keep track of new releases.

Short story collections as portals to literary magazines and other writings.

In defense of a messy queer book: because “good representation” is exhausting.

All Things Comics

2020 North American comic sales grow to $1.28 billion.

The century of Captain America: a brief history of a beloved comic.

On the Riot

Celebrate the fourth by watching Batman punch Nazis.

Manhwa vs. manga: what’s the difference?

15 LGBTQ graphic novels for middle graders.

Pride-ful webtoons comics.


Publishers Weekly lists its Fall 2021 audio announcements.

The best LGBTQIA+ listens by queer authors.

Mystery audiobooks narrated by the 2021 Golden Voices narrators.

June’s bookseller-recommended audiobooks.

AudioFile’s best audiobooks of June.

3 ways to become a better reader with audiobooks.

Self-published audiobooks are the next great entrepreneurial side hustle.

On the Riot

Where to find free audiobooks.

6 of the best Appalachian audiobooks.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


10 books that preschoolers love to read over and over again.

Books to show kids how to be a friend.

18 LGBTQ+ YA novels by BIPOC authors.


10 notable LGBTQ novels to educate and entertain.

An essential Pride reading list.

40 LGBTQ+ books to read now and always.

13 books with bisexual leads.

7 must-read books written by Latin-American immigrants.

9 novels about women fighting for a more just society.

9 larger-than-life books that will remind you of musicals.

12 LGBTQ+ characters in crime fiction.

Cozy mysteries for gardeners.

7 mystery novels where the crimes are motivated by books.

8 books about dark desires that will crush you.

9 books about being unemployed or underemployed.

Light reads for any time of the year.

5 dark SFF novels that will make you laugh out loud.

6 stories that find drama in utopian settings.

8 SFF books that reimagine literary classics.

On the Riot

8 books for kids with big goals.

Crime & mystery books by Latinx authors.

4 great LGBTQ+ nonfiction books for Pride.

18 of the best trans fantasy and sci-fi books.

6 SFF books with genderfluid characters.

9 contemporary romances starring visual artists.

10 of the best revenge novels.

4 mystery & thriller books that blend genres.

4 adult fiction books that are perfect for rereading.

20 of the best books about video games.

6 books about different kinds of relationships and their impact.

6 books about nuclear energy.

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.

Whew. Did you make it through? Well, if so, I’ll catch you all on Friday. If not…well, hopefully you’ll make it through before the next newsletter comes out! Stay literally and figuratively cool, everyone!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently listening to The Ninja Daughter by Tori Eldridge.

Check Your Shelf

Barack Obama Says Librarians Are Important. Thanks, Obama!

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. It looks like the book world took a little bit of a break before the holiday weekend, so here’s a slightly abridged newsletter. Read, and then go forth and celebrate safely with fireworks!

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The Indianapolis Public Library is under fire after a former employee raised allegations of racism, discrimination, and a lack of transparency in the work environment.

Anoka County (MN) tells libraries not to use Pride or Black Lives Matter in any of their messaging.

Montreal looks to eliminate late fees for good.

Barack Obama tells librarians their work is more important than ever.

Cool Library Updates

This improvised library in South Africa brings books to kids living in gang territory.

Worth Reading

#MeToo in the academic library.

Life in the stacks: a love letter to browsing.

Andrew Carnegie’s first library lives on.

Book Adaptations in the News

Paramount options Richard Wright’s rediscovered novel The Man Who Lived Underground for seven figures.

A film adaptation of Hamnet is in the works.

Interview With the Vampire gets a series order with AMC. (I can only hope it’s better than the 1994 movie…)

A Most Agreeable Murder, an upcoming mystery from debut novelist Julia Seales, has already been optioned by TriStar Pictures.

Robert Downey Jr. and Greg Berlanti are developing Samantha Downing’s upcoming novel For Your Own Good.

Anne Hathaway’s starring in the adaptation of the romance novel, The Idea of You by Robinne Lee.

Otto Bathurst is adapting the upcoming Frankenstein TV series.

Good Omens has been renewed for a second season.

Dune’s release date has been pushed back to October 2021.

Trailers for Dexter, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Foundation.

Award News

The Locus Awards, Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, Indigenous Voice Awards, and Selfies Awards have all been announced.

Ali Smith wins the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction for Summer.

On the Riot

Are Little Free Libraries better in wealthy neighborhoods?

The value of the book cover: this reader’s favorite way to discover books in libraries.

Take Book Riot’s pandemic reading habits survey.

7 fiction podcasts for fans of epistolary novels.

Why this reader decided to read 52 books in 52 weeks.

Stay cool this weekend, be careful with firecrackers, and come back next week with all your digits intact!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Cottagegore and SFF Novels Full of Ennui

Welcome to Check Your Shelf, where I have one work week left before my extended birthday weekend! Every year, I give myself the gift of PTO to ensure that I never have to work on my birthday, and I intend to continue this tradition for as long as I possibly can.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

HarperCollins has acquired the world publishing rights to Martin Luther King Jr.’s archives.

New & Upcoming Titles

Here’s Publishers Weekly’s adult book announcements for Fall 2021.

People has a look at two upcoming books about the Trump administration’s response to COVID and the murder of George Floyd: Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History and Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost.

Will Smith is releasing a memoir.

Valerie Biden Owens, sister of Joe Biden, has a book deal.

A sneak peek at Victoria Schwab’s new YA novel, Gallant, which is like Crimson Peak meets The Secret Garden.

Take a look at John Cho’s debut middle-grade book, Troublemaker.

9 recent books featuring LGBTQ characters.

28 new LGBTQ+ YA novels that will add sunshine to your summer.

Weekly book picks from Bustle, Crime Reads, and USA Today.

June picks from Crime Reads (debut novels, true crime, international crime).

July picks from Barnes & Noble (adult, kids/YA), Epic Reads, and New York Times.

Summer picks from Buzzfeed (historical fiction) and Goodreads.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Filthy Animals – Brandon Taylor (LA Times, New York Times, USA Today)

Widespread Panic – James Ellroy (NPR, Washington Post)

Questland – Carrie Vaughn (NPR,

RA/Genre Resources

NPR’s summer reader poll asks respondents for their favorite new science fiction and fantasy books.

Readalikes for Laura Lippman’s Dream Girl.

Looking for summer reading recommendations? Fall in love with romance.

Queer crime fiction, a roundtable discussion.

True crime is one of TV’s top genres, but critics say it’s failing us.

(TW: psychological abuse) How gaslighting in fiction can reflect the realities of psychological abuse.

On the Riot

5 feel-good books of 2021 that will brighten your summer.

21 favorite new LGBTQ books.

8 anticipated 2021 nonfiction books.

New weekly book picks.

All Things Comics

10 amazing queer manga from the last decade.

On the Riot

20 must-read LGBTQ comics for teens and young adults.


The audiobook industry is collectively squirming through the cultural debate on representation and casting.

Here’s a list of popular personal finance influencers you can listen to.

On the Riot

How to cancel Audible.

6 epic listens for your summer reading list.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


Books to help start conversations around body autonomy and consent.

Dynamic duos in YA books that will capture your heart.


LGBTQ+ fiction to read for Pride Month.

21 LGBTQ+ authors recommend books for Pride Month.

Great books by queer authors from the last 5 years.

The best LGBTQ+ books to read this Pride Month.

18 Canadian books to read for Pride Month.

10 books about geopolitics that will change how you see the world.

NYPL’s Summer 2021 staff picks for all ages.

10 historical fiction gems for a perfect for a summer day.

10 flight-themed crime novels that Clare Mackintosh read while writing her latest book, Hostage.

10 thrillers that revolve around grief.

Crack the case with 5 SFF detectives.

12 best psychological suspense novels.

On the Riot

18 of the best baby books of 2021.

8 of the best boredom-busting activity books for kids.

10 great middle grade superhero books.

YA books about parallel universes.

5 great YA books about weddings.

15 books like A Court of Thorns and Roses.

30 must-read queer fairytale retellings for Pride Month.

25 of the best queer historical fiction books.

5 of the best LGBTQ+ horror novels for Pride.

A reading list to learn about colonialism and racism in Canada.

Pairing books with Bo Burnham’s Inside.

20 must-read Japanese books by women in translation.

17 enchanting witch romance books.

6 speculative novels full of ennui.

7 of the best books about writing.

6 books with cottagegore vibes.

7 memoirs on learning a new language.

5 recent books about losing a parent.

7 romantic beach reads that celebrate Black joy.

8 of the most empowering nonfiction books.

8 of the best oral histories for your shelf.

15 of the best books about wellness.

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.

May you all have a peaceful, uneventful week. Catch you on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Abraham Lincoln, True Crime Writer

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m writing this newsletter on a Wednesday, and I’m starting a petition to end this week early. Anyone else with me?

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Pride Month book displays at Lafayette (LA) public libraries draw concern from the board vice president.

Cool Library Updates

StoryWalks bring young readers outdoors during the pandemic.

The Evansville Vanderburgh (IN) Public Library has partnered with Legacy Taste of the Garden and Urban Seeds to offer a series of free summer classes for third through fifth graders.

Librarians look to sustain the pandemic surge in graphic novel interest.

Worth Reading

Libraries find success in peer collaboration.

Book Adaptations in the News

Miriam Toews’ Women Talking is being adapted for film, and will star Rooney Mara and Frances McDorman.

Indigenous producer Stories First is adapting Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead.

Netflix is adapting Maureen Goo’s YA novel Somewhere Only We Know.

Kim Johnson’s This is My America is being adapted for TV by HBO.

Casting update for The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.

Teaser trailer for The Chestnut Man.

Books & Authors in the News

The Department of Justice drops its case against John Bolton.

(TW: transphobia) Akwaeke Emezi responds to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s recent viral essay, saying that the essay was intended to incite transphobic attacks towards them.

Persepolis has been removed from the Commack High School required reading list.

Hungary’s vague anti-LGBTQ+ law may see Shakespeare and Sappho banned from classrooms and restricted in bookstores.

Award News

The 2021 Hugo Administration Team has resigned and released a statement on Twitter.

Jason Reynolds wins the Carnegie Medal for Look Both Ways.

Catherine Lacey wins the 2021 Young Lions Fiction Award for Pew.

Hilary Mantel has won the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction for a second time.

The longlist for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish crime writing has been announced.

Pop Cultured

Disney+ orders a Beauty and the Beast prequel starring Luke Evans and Josh Gad.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

When Abraham Lincoln tried his hand at being a true crime writer.

On the Riot

7 Instagram accounts to follow if you’re a school librarian.

Busting the Model Minority Myth: Let’s see Indian Americans fail in literature.

Decolonizing your bookshelf.

A case for being kind to tired booksellers.

How to buy books for people who don’t read.

Books don’t have to explain themselves to you.

The surprising joy of the slow read.

All right, everyone, stay literally and figuratively cool this weekend. I’ll catch you on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.