Check Your Shelf

Reproductive Health at the Reference Desk

I don’t have a funny or pithy intro for this newsletter because I am so fucking angry. Once again, innocent children have paid the ultimate price for our elected officials’ negligence. I am not exaggerating to say that I’m so angry that I’m shaking. I’ve contacted my representatives. I’ve donated. I’ve signed up for a postcard mailing campaign for swing states for November. But it’s not enough. And the fact that this newsletter is once again packed with links about people continuing to ban LGBTQ books and books about racism, as if that’s the real danger in these children’s lives, is almost unbearable.

If you haven’t contacted your representatives, do so now. Phone, email, mail them a letter…doesn’t matter. Contact them directly and ask them what they are planning to do to keep our kids safe at school. Keep contacting them. Ask them why protecting guns is more important than protecting children. Ask the pro-life people why it’s more important to legislate a person’s uterus than it is to protect children who have already been born. Don’t let up.

I feel like I’m overstepping an enormous professional boundary right now to be so openly political, but fuck that. We’re going to talk about libraries now because that’s what this newsletter is supposed to do, but do not let your elected officials off the hook. Let them know how badly they’ve failed us.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Rhode Island advances its library eBook bill.

Representative Jamie Raskin (MD) headlined the Libraries Are Essential program at the US Book Show.

Cool Library Updates

Huntsville-Madison County (AL) Public Library is going fine free.

The Summers County Public Library (WV) shines a light on rural food deserts.

Worth Reading

Reproductive health at the reference desk, or how to answer common patron questions about the leaked SCOTUS document.

Enhancing accessibility in makerspaces.

What makes the Library of Congress a monument to democracy.

Advice for universities looking to partner with public libraries.

Book Adaptations in the News

Bridgerton Season 3 will jump ahead in the book series to focus on Colin and Penelope’s story.

The Lincoln Lawyer is now the top show on Netflix, overtaking Ozark.

Eric Bana has started filming Force of Nature, the follow up to The Dry.

Amy Adams will be starring in the upcoming adaptation of Nightbitch.

Young President Snow has been cast for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Jenni Fagan’s Luckenbooth and The Panopticon will be adapted for TV.

Here’s the trailer for the third and final season of Love, Victor.

Banned & Challenged Books

School Library Journal has released an anonymous Controversial Books Survey. If you’re a school librarian, consider filling it out.

Book challenges could affect AP course designation.

You need to talk about the sex parts in banned books.

Congress holds its second hearing on banned books and censorship happening in classrooms. More than 1300 children’s authors have also petitioned Congress to condemn book banning.

State Farm has dropped its support of the GenderCool Project, which provides LGBTQ-themed children’s books to teachers and libraries. State Farm now says that “Conversations about gender and identity should happen at home with parents.” How much do you want to bet they’re still going to have some sort of Pride presence on social media next month?

The purpose of book bans is to make queer kids scared.

The hypocrisy of Disney+ content ratings and its treatment of Love, Victor.

The Texas librarian who was fired for “insubordination” was just trying to do right by readers.

Westlake (TX) schools move to restrict YouTube access on middle school devices to only show pre-approved videos.

More people are challenging books in the Eanes ISD (TX), including Being Jazz, How to Be an Antiracist, and the Bible.

A Texas librarian talks about the struggles of ordering new books for the school: “Should I play it safe or push the envelope?”

Virginia Beach School Board removes Gender Queer from libraries, calling it “pervasively vulgar.” Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble is being sued in Virginia Beach over Gender Queer and A Court of Mist and Fury.

A Virginia Beach delegate has submitted a FOIA request looking for the names of library staff who ordered controversial books for their school libraries.

Florida high school activist Jack Petocz has been awarded a PEN award in recognition of his efforts to organize a statewide student walkout in protest of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

A Florida student who is suing over the “Don’t Say Gay” law says that his school is trying to censor his graduation speech.

Pasco (FL) braces for book challenges with ideas for new school library rules. As the superintendent says, “I don’t want this district to be in the book-banning business.”

After parents read rape scenes at a Sarasota County (FL) school board meeting, the district has decided to restrict access to The Bluest Eye and Sold.

The Citrus County (FL) Library Governing Board ignored a request that Councilwoman Jacquie Hepfer be removed from the board. This request came after the library board refused to ban LGBTQ books from display in the library.

The overwhelming majority of textbook reviewers in Florida found no evidence of objectionable content. Three reviewers did, however, and one of the reviewers has ties to Moms for Liberty, while the other two have ties to Hillsdale College in Michigan, which has become influential in conservative politics.

After Polk County Schools (FL) returned 16 challenged books to library shelves, an opposing group has threatened to sue the district.

Nixa (MO) school board votes to ban Fun Home and All Boys Aren’t Blue, while restricting several others.

The Wentzville School District (MO) removes another book from school libraries: this time, it’s The Bluest Eye.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl has been challenged for the second time in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. The first time, the challenge came from someone who was believed to have given a false name and address when protesting the book at a school board meeting.

A Lehigh Valley (PA) school board member’s husband has been banned from meetings after allegedly threatening the board president.

Pennsylvania middle school students rally around a teacher who was placed on sudden administrative leave, which many believe is tied to his reputation as an LGBTQ advocate. The student protestors, in turn, have been threatened with truancy by the school administration.

Newtown (PA) students, parents, and members of the public spoke out against proposed policy changes that would ban certain books from school libraries and classrooms.

New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Public Library have created a banned books reading challenge. ]

Yorktown School District (NY) elects to keep Lawn Boy, The Hate U Give, Looking for Alaska, and Gender Queer. Five other books are still under review.

The majority of “parents rights” candidates lost in the Capital Region (NY) school elections thanks to a massive voter turnout.

Tangentially related: two drag queens are suing New Hampshire state representative David Love for defamation after Love made offensive remarks following a 2021 Drag Queen Story Time in Derry, NH.

A mass text message was sent out to Guilford County (NC) parents, asking them to show up to the school board meeting en masse to protest Salvage the Bones being on a high school recommended reading list.

The removal campaign continues in Moore County Schools (NC).

2 of 24 book challenges have been reviewed in Catawba County schools (NC). The Kite Runner is being kept, while The Perks of Being a Wallflower is being moved from the middle school library and will be reviewed for high school students.

A Hillsdale (MI) librarian resigns in the wake of a failed LGBTQIA+ children’s book ban proposal.

Rapid City teachers, students, and parents spoke to the school board regarding the five titles that were almost quietly destroyed after being purchased for the school district.

An Illinois man who has called Lyons Township High School board members “bobbleheads” and “worse than pedophiles” has been banned from both high school campuses.

Harlem School District (IL) votes to remove Gender Queer from school libraries.

Two Vinton (IA) residents attended a library board meeting to ask the library to a) reconsider the books being put on display and b) publish a list of the books being used at future storytime events. The board denied both of these requests.

The Keokuk (IA) school board voted to remove The Scottsboro Boys from the elementary school library and instead keep it in the middle school library.

A Des Moines nonprofit organization gets caught in the book banning controversy.

Shawnee Heights (KS) school board votes against banning 5 challenged books including The The Hate U Give and Gender Queer.​​

Forest Hills (OH) high school students walk out after the school cancels its planned Diversity Day activities.

Tennessee prisons ban a book opposing capital punishment.

Here are a sample of the books being challenged in Kentucky public libraries.

Kentucky’s public libraries are now punching bags and piggy banks for politicians.

When kids ask for books they’re “too young” to read.

A burn-proof edition of The Handmaid’s Tale is up for auction.

Books & Authors in the News

Mercedes Lackey was swiftly removed from the Nebula Conference for using a racial slur while participating on a panel.

Time announces its 100 Most Influential People of 2022, including authors Sally Rooney, Michelle Zauner, Emily Oster, and more.

The legacy of Gone Girl, ten years later.

Amazon starts a monthly book club.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

Numbers & Trends

A new Freckle survey shows where Americans get their books.

Is BookTok changing the way we talk about books?

Award News

The Nebula Awards have been announced.

Alice Zeniter and her translator Frank Wynne have won the Dublin Literary Award for The Art of Losing.

Mohammed Alnaas becomes the youngest writer to win the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

The British Book Awards have been announced.

Why our literary prizes have lost their luster.

Pop Cultured

Riverdale will end with Season 7 in 2023.

HBO Max orders an adult animated Velma Dinkley series, starring Mindy Kaling.

Teaser trailer for Only Murders in the Building, Season 2.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Loganberry Books in Ohio is hosting a retirement party for their resident greeter kitty, Otis.

70-year-old Rita Collins drives cross-country in a bookstore on wheels.

Penguin Random House launches Read Receipts as a way to help people read more and reach their personal reading goals.

Want to read more books? A company will pay you $200 for every novel you finish. (And document in detail.)

On the Riot

School librarians are disappearing: here’s why they shouldn’t.

Algospeak and how it’s used to circumvent censorship and algorithms.

That time Isabel Allende got fired for (re)writing feminist characters.

7 great book subscription boxes for kids.

Kindle Oasis vs. Paperwhite: which is right for you?

black and white cat stretched out on a person's lap, with a hand petting the cat from the right side of the photo

I’m still ending on a cat photo, because sometimes the only things that keep me from screaming into the void are these fuzzy babies. These photos come courtesy of Blaine, who wasn’t feeling well earlier this week, and Dini decided that the best thing to do was flop on Blaine’s stomach like a fish. It didn’t…not…help Blaine feel better, so…success?

If you’re feeling the same rage as I am, try to channel it into something productive this weekend, whether that’s cleaning out a closet or contacting your Senators. Rest. And then come back to fight. I’ll see you on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

The Worst Books of All Time

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m in that frustrating predicament where I want/need to update my wardrobe, but am seemingly unable to find clothes that look good or fit my budget. I love thrift store shopping, but I’ve struck out the last few times I’ve gone, so for now I’m stuck with the same tired shirts.

But I’m supposed to be talking about books, right?

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Okay, Oscar Isaac is speaking at the US Book Show today (Tuesday), so if anyone reading this newsletter is there and able to smuggle him out, I’ll tell you where to find me. ;). PS, if he ends up doing any kind of speaking engagements at a future ALA conference, I will preorder tickets so fast, it’ll break the Internet.

The Atlantic and Zando have partnered to launch a new imprint, Atlantic Editions, which will feature long-form journalism from Atlantic writers devoted to a single topic.

New & Upcoming Titles

Colin Kaepernick is publishing a graphic memoir aimed at young adults.

23 new books by AAPI authors that are perfect for mystery readers.

12 sizzling romance reads perfect for summer beach reading.

10 books by Black authors to read in June.

The 42 best mystery books to read right now.

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

The best debut crime novels for May.

Summer picks from Seattle Times.

24 of the best speculative fiction novels of 2022 (so far).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

This Time Tomorrow – Emma Straub (New York Times, NPR, USA Today, Washington Post)

Mean Baby – Selma Blair (New York Times, Washington Post)

His Name is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice – Robert Samuel and Toluse Olorunnipa (New York Times)

On the Riot

Truth bomb: indie bookstores and indie authors can be friends! For realsies!

13 new LGBTQ books by AAPI authors to read ASAP.

8 recent nonfiction books about the natural world.

New weekly releases to TBR.

The AAPI Reading Challenge for May and beyond.

The best historical fiction in several genres, eras, and styles.

What makes a good biography?

What is prose poetry?

Is it time to retire the term “bodice ripper?”

What are the worst books of all time?

All Things Comics

Heartstopper has been renewed for TWO more seasons on Netflix!

She-Hulk will air on Disney+ in August, and you can see the first trailer here.

Marvel confirms that Conan the Barbarian is leaving.

The value of comics.

A look at the work of Frank Miller.

10 Marvel characters to read for AAPI Heritage Month.

On the Riot

8 of the best May comics to add to your TBR.

8 upcoming graphic novels you don’t want to miss.

8 mandatory multiverse comics to read, no matter what timeline you live in.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


YA thrillers featuring LGBTQIA+ folks getting into trouble.

17 YA books that will have you sobbing uncontrollably on TikTok.


11 historical fiction books exploring royalty around the world.

The 50 best horror books of all time.

7 poetry collections by queer women of color.

26 AAPI cookbooks that should be on your shelf.

5 books that get demon summoning right (although I’m not so sure that’s a good thing…)

5 queer contemporary cozy mysteries.

15 books centered around queer joy.

On the Riot

15 delightful summer books for preschoolers.

Tik-Tok favorite readalikes.

The 24 best romances of all time.

9 books for fitness professionals.

8 great novels about the perils of war.

Books about people living between cultures.

11 trope-tastic books like The Spanish Love Deception.

8 books like Kiki’s Delivery Service.

8 of the best books with a nonlinear timeline.

8 outstanding nonfiction books about music.

8 great novellas in translation.

10 books about Kenya, by Kenyans.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

black cat stretched out on the back of a couch with its left arm hanging off the edge

Here’s today’s cat photo! It’s a picture of Gilbert splooting. And considering this photo was taken during the middle of 2020, I relate very, very strongly to this sentiment. I myself have splooted like that many times…on the couch, on the floor, across my office chair at work…

Well, time to un-sploot myself and face the rest of the week. Catch you on Friday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

A Brief History of Library Cats

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. It’s that wonderful time of year again, where I have to play the game of “Is it allergies or is it COVID?” Will a scratchy throat ever stop feeling like a doomsday proclamation?

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The largest budget in Birmingham history underfunds libraries and may lead to multiple branch closures.

McFarland (CA) City Manager says that he wants to turn the town’s only library (which is currently struggling to stay open more than 2 days a week) into the town’s police headquarters.

The New York Public Library’s temporary Grand Central branch won over the community. Now it might close.

Cool Library Updates

The Bozeman (MT) Public Library starts a mobile food pantry.

Worth Reading

New York City is supposed to have a librarian in every secondary school — so where are they?

What does my library need to know about eBook laws?

A brief history of library cats.

Book Adaptations in the News

Nine Perfect Strangers is close to a Season 2 renewal with Hulu.

Julianne Moore and Sandra Oh are starring in an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s short story, “Stone Mattress.”

Taraji P. Henson is in talks to produce and star in Queenie for BET studios.

Christopher Walken has been cast as the emperor in Dune, Part Two.

Wilder Valderrama is executive producing the YA crime novel Keep This To Yourself for Telemundo.

10 Stephen King remakes, ranked.

15 Stephen King novels that are just screaming to be adapted (or re-adapted).

Banned & Challenged Books

The School Board Project, Round 1.

Conservative parents take aim at library apps meant to expand access to books.

GOP senators urge TV ratings board to warn viewers of “disturbing” LGBTQ content.

Texas librarians face harassment as they navigate book bans.

Constables investigate a book complaint at Granbury High School (TX). The superintendent says this was due to the books containing sexual content, but opponents say that the content is educational, not sexual.

A preliminary injunction request has been filed against Llano County Library System (TX).

Denton ISD (TX) school officials hear complaints about “pornographic” school library materials.

Newly released documents reveal which items were flagged as Critical Race Theory in Florida’s textbook review.

Here’s what DeSantis meant when he accused textbooks of “indoctrination.”

Indian River County School District (FL) officials have officially been cleared of charges related to a lawsuit filed by the Moms for Liberty.

Polk County (FL) retains almost all of the books that were under review, although some of the books have been moved from specific school libraries.

The Brevard (FL) chapter of the Moms of Liberty have added The Kite Runner and Slaughterhouse-Five to their list of targeted books. Meanwhile, the Brevard County School Board will be voting on policies regarding the removal of contested books.

Florida attorney Daniel Uhlfelder is organizing against Walton County’s recent book ban, calling it “government overreach and suppression.” Uhlfelder is one of three Democrats vying to challenge the incumbent Florida Attorney General in November.

A Florida school yearbook is on hold due to images of students holding rainbow flags and protesting the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

St. Johns County (FL) parents are pushing to have 56 books removed from school libraries, including Peanut Goes For the Gold by Jonathan Van Ness.

The Mississippi school district that fired assistant principal Toby Price for reading the book I Need a New Butt! stands by its ridiculous decision.

Another Mississippi school warned a teacher that sharing her LGBTQ identity could be considered a fireable offense.

Are certain books being removed from Arkansas classrooms and libraries?

Milford Schools (OH) will not remove In the Time of the Butterflies from the 10th grade curriculum.

Northwest Allen County School board (IN) approves three math textbooks but rejects one due to “inappropriate content.”

Utah’s Attorney General gives guidance to schools regarding how (and if) they can pull a library book from school shelves.

Kent (WA) middle school librarian Gavin Downing wins the Intellectual Freedom Award from the Washington Library Association for his work fighting against recent censorship in his district.

Enid (OK) city attorney meets with library officials about a possible lawsuit. No action has been taken.

The Newton (KS) school board considers creating a panel to screen library books for objectionable content.

The Oakley Public Library (KS) receives a complaint about the picture book Fred Gets Dressed, which depicts a young boy running through the house naked and dressing up in his mother’s clothes. The complainant said that the book depicts “LGBTQ content.”

Tennessee officially passed a bill that will ban “dangerous” books from public school libraries, but librarians are fighting back.

Hanover (VA) supervisor urges the school board to fast-track book removal decisions.

The Virginia Beach school board elects to remove Gender Queer from library shelves.

Madison County (VA) School Board discusses a potential ban of critical race theory, gender, and sexuality discussions.

Once again, concerned citizens need to be reminded that there is a policy for selecting new school library materials, as well as a policy for requesting the removal of library materials. (This time it’s in Frederick County, Virginia).

Maine Republicans officially adopt a platform to ban sexually-based materials, transgender identity, and critical race theory in public schools.

Letter to the editor: Don’t let Maine Republicans ban books.

RSU 40 Board of Directors (ME) heard additional complaints about Gender Queer and Lawn Boy in the Medomak Valley High School library, although the superintendent said that the books had already been reviewed, and the district’s decision was to keep them in the library.

RSU 56 (ME) reviews whether or not to keep Gender Queer in school libraries.

Canaan Schools (VT) elect to keep three LGBTQ books in school libraries, but the controversy hasn’t ended.

The Westerley (RI) School Committee discusses the future of student representative reports.

Wappingers School District (NY) junior Mandy Zhang continues to petition to get Gender Queer returned to the school library.

New Jersey school board elections become a battleground over diverse, inclusive curriculum.

Teens in Pennsylvania have created a fundraiser to counteract book banning.

A vote to purchase new school library books for PENNCREST (PA) schools has been delayed due to a board member’s concern that some of the books discussed racism.

Central Bucks (PA) parents protest the removal of Pride flags. The superintendent responded that the school needed to be apolitical, saying “I can tell you right now, hanging a flag doesn’t do anything to keep a kid safe.” WOW. Just…WOW.

A top Navy admiral has quietly removed “woke” books from the CNO Professional Reading Program, including How to Be an Antiracist and The New Jim Crow.

Books & Authors in the News

Fantasy author Patricia A. McKillip has died at 74.

An 8 year old published a book about how a turtle got its shell, and he’ll be donating the proceeds to his school for art and music supplies.

Read Bram Stoker’s Dracula in real time with the Dracula Daily.

Numbers & Trends

These are the most and least popular states for book settings.

And these are the states that love reading the most.

Award News

The 2021 Bram Stoker Awards have been announced!

Patricia Lockwood wins the 2022 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize for No One is Talking About This.

The 91st annual California Book Awards have been announced.

The US Selfies shortlist has been announced.

Pop Cultured

These are the 50 most popular podcasts in the US from the first quarter of the year.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

How to survive the post-book blues.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

On the Riot

Read Harder: Library edition!

The best summer reading programs of 2022.

How to have a positive bookish community (even on Twitter).

On book borrowing etiquette.

closeup of black and white cat laying on its side

Have a cat photo! I’m not sure what I was doing on my computer, but I like to think this is a photo of Dini helping me put together the newsletter. He’s very helpful. Always keeping an eye on me.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this week. Stay well, and I’ll catch you on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently listening to The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes.

Check Your Shelf

Elderly Women Are Up to No Good

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m counting down the days until Memorial Day weekend, a) because it means an extra day off, but b) also because that means we won’t have to worry about staffing the library on Sundays until Labor Day. We’re one of the few libraries left without Sunday summer hours, and while I imagine some of our patrons would appreciate us being open another day, it also means we have fewer staffing holes to fill for a few months, which is always appreciated.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

HarperVoyager launches publishing’s first TikTok creator house.

Lerner Publishing and Thomson Reuters partner on children’s nonfiction books written by authors of color.

New & Upcoming Titles

Bono is publishing a memoir.

Henry Winkler is working on a memoir for 2024.

Nicola Yoon will be publishing her first adult novel in 2024.

Jane Harper announces the final Aaron Falk book, to be published in the US in early 2023!! (Why final, though??)

Sarah Ferguson has announces a 22-book deal inspired by her own life. Yes, that number is correct.

A first look at Veronica Roth’s newest upcoming novel, Poster Girl.

Former America’s Next Top Model contestant Nyle DiMarco talks about his new memoir, Deaf Utopia.

Cale Dietrich reveals the cover for a new LGBTQ YA horror/slasher novel: The Pledge. WANT. I WANT THIS RIGHT NOW.

The 12 most addictive books of 2022 (so far).

9 new inspiring (and tea-spilling) celebrity memoirs.

Recent 4-star historical fiction novels to read right now.

15 must-read new books by AAPI authors.

50 great books by Canadian authors to read this spring.

Summer reading picks from Entertainment Weekly.

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

May picks from AV Club, Crime Reads (psychological thrillers), Good Morning America, (horror/genre benders), and Vanity Fair.

Best books of 2022 (so far).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

The Lioness – Chris Bohjalian (LA Times, New York Times, Washington Post)

You Have a Friend in 10A: Stories – Maggie Shipstead (Electric Lit, Guardian, New York Times)

2 AM in Little America – Ken Kalfus (New York Times, Washington Post)

It Was All a Dream: Biggie and the World That Made Him – Justin Tinsley (LA Times, Washington Post)

On the Riot

8 recent diverse YA mysteries to add to your TBR.

10 speculative short story collections to read in 2022.

Book Riot’s most-anticipated summer reads!

Best weekly releases to TBR.

Who reads book reviews?

Why the secret to a good review is kindness.

How book descriptions can ruin a good book.

Why K-Dramas are perfect for romance readers (and vice versa).

Elderly women are up to no good: loving old lady sleuths.

In praise of the overwritten.

What is point of view in literature?

All Things Comics

Beloved superhero comic book artist George Pérez has died at 67.

Comic retailers rebuild and restock.

The best comics to read right now.

On the Riot

15 unmissable upcoming manga adaptations.

Middle grade graphic novels to lose yourself in.

Why graphic novels are great for learning history.

Why this reader won’t be reading any “manga-inspired” comics.


On the Riot

11 of the best headphones for audiobooks.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


The best kids books for summer reading.

18 YA books about life-changing summers.

14 sex positive YA books.

5 LGBTQ YA novels about plagues.

91 YA books that will take you on an adventure.


15 of the best mental health books.

A Paris reading list for your TBR.

8 books about women’s rage.

25 books to celebrate Asian Heritage Month in Canada.

30 books to read this AAPI Heritage Month.

More of the best books to read during AAPI Heritage Month.

The best books to read for Jewish American Heritage Month.

6 creepy books involving child care.

8 psychological thrillers set in New England.

8 thrilling books about mountaineering.

7 short story collections that feel psychedelic.

5 SFF books about warring families.

5 small books packed with big ideas.

8 nature books to change your life.

7 books inspired by the dictionary.

On the Riot

Blast off with these space books for babies.

8 swoon-worthy queer YA romcoms you’ll love.

20 must-read YA historical fiction novels.

Marching band teens in YA.

8 books that expose the failings of the true crime genre.

All that glitters: books about fame, stardom, and Hollywood.

12 Latine SFF books you definitely need to read.

Short sci-fi novellas.

10 sign language books for beginners.

Fall in love with these 12 books like The Love Hypothesis.

11 books based in AAPI folklore.

14 must-read Chinese books in English translation.

10 works of queer and Two-Spirit Indigenous fiction.

20 must-read genre-blending historical fiction novels.

10 Pacific Islander and Pasifika authors you should know about.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

brown tabby cat curled up on a kitchen chair

Penny makes another guest appearance in the newsletter! I drove up to my parents’ house this afternoon and actually got to see Penny out and about, which is unusual since she usually hides when new people come over. But this time, I got to pick her up and snuggle her (she loves perching on your shoulder while you walk her around like a baby), and after I left, my mom texted me this photo and said “Penny sits here when she’s waiting for us to come back from somewhere – I think she misses you!” Brb, on my way back to my parents’ house to kidnap their cat!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

When You Plagiarize Your Essay About Plagiarism

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. On a positive note amidst the chaos and stress of life, I got to watch my mother-in-law receive her PhD in nursing yesterday afternoon! As someone who plans to never pursue a PhD in anything, it was pretty cool to watch her hooding ceremony and hear her referred to as Dr. Horner! Of course, my husband’s family being who they are, they immediately started in with the Dr. Evil jokes. (“I didn’t spend six years in evil medical school to be called ‘Mrs.,’ thank you!”) My in-laws are fun. 🙂

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The Kansas City Public Library reported that two vinyl records were returned to the library 61 years after their initial check out.

An authentic etching by Pablo Picasso sells for $4000 to benefit the Jerseyville Public Library (IL).

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library will be expanding to all 77 counties in Oklahoma.

A tiny bible resurfaces at a Leeds library during lockdown.

Cool Library Updates

Prince George’s County (MD) Library System is partnering with the county Health Department to offer a program called “Community Health Worker in the Library.” Five branches will offer free Covid tests and masks, as well as a free bag of groceries. They hope to give away 100 bags of groceries each day to residents!

Wisconsin libraries discover creative uses for federal relief funds.

The Redwood City Public Library (CA) is selling its first batch of Library-made honey.

Inclusive birding through the library.

Worth Reading

How First Amendment auditors target public servants for viral videos.

Banish the library police.

Snapchat releases a “friendly” selfie drone called Pixy. Possibly a new addition to your Libraries of Things?

Teach yourself (or others) how to shelve.

Suggestions for when patrons contact the library with questions about their router.

Quick & easy ways to remove image backgrounds. (We’ve all been there…)

How J. Edgar Hoover used the power of libraries for evil.

Book Adaptations in the News

Rick Riordan speaks out against the racist complaints over the casting of 12-year-old Black actress Leah Jeffries as Annabeth Chase.

HBO is adapting a limited series version of Toni Morrison’s Sula.

A series adaptation of Never Let Me Go is in the works at FX.

Sarah Paulson will be portraying Glennon Doyle in the series adaptation of Untamed.

Cathay Park Hong’s Minor Feelings is being turned into a TV series.

The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery is getting its first ever movie adaptation.

Sony has acquired the rights to the Reddit short story “I Think My Mother-in-Law is Trying to Kill Me” by Nick Moorefox, which will be directed by best-selling author Jessical Knoll. If this is the story I’m thinking of, it showed up as a question in a Dear Prudence column. If it’s NOT the story I’m thinking of, then…we either have two short story writers, or there are some really scary mother-in-laws lurking out there.

Casting update for The Last Thing He Told Me.

A look at the film adaptation of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.

Here’s the new trailer for House of the Dragon.

Banned & Challenged Books

The next book ban: States aim to limit titles that students can search for in library databases.

How to update your book challenge forms (with a provided template).

More than 25 organizations join forces with ALA to Unite Against Book Bans.

North East ISD (TX) will replace some of the banned books featuring LGBTQ+ characters with straight characters. Here’s how that will impact students.

A group of Prosper ISD (TX) parents have formed a reading and review group in opposition to a local PAC that has called for the removal of 82 books from school libraries.

El Paso Public Library unveils Banned Books sections at each of their branch locations.

In a Houston suburb, book bans fuel a bitter school board race.

Over 100 books have been challenged in Eanes, TX in less than two months.

A look at the ongoing book challenges happening at RISD (TX).

Enid (OK) city council discusses a possible lawsuit over their altered library policy.

A parent has challenged the book Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe at the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District (WI).

The Wausau School Board (WI) removes “sensitive topics” for grade school students amid concerns over political influence.

An unprecedented number of Minnesota school board members are resigning.

Hudson (OH) Board of Education elects to keep Gender Queer on library shelves.

Wake County Schools (NC) vote to keep Out of Darkness in the Cary High School library.

23 Virginia school districts have taken books off of shelves in the last two years.

School library books are called into question at a recent Frederick County (VA) school board meeting.

A Henrico County (VA) parent withdrew their formal challenge to the book A Good Kind of Trouble after it was reported on in the local paper.

Williamsburg-James City Council School Board (VA) reversed its recent decision not to purchase new social studies textbooks.

Baldwinsville (NY) parents, teachers, and board members contend with the nationwide book banning debate.

A Pennsylvania school district’s proposed book challenge policy is plagiarized from the Texas Education Agency’s recent proposed policy.

Wilson County (TN) school officials elected to keep four challenged books in high school libraries, but remove them from middle school libraries. The books in question are: Crank, Monday’s Not Coming, Clockwork Princess, and A Court of Mist and Fury.

Governor Lee (TN) plans to sign the controversial school library book scrutiny bill, despite the fact that a new poll shows that most Tennesseans actually oppose book banning.

The Nashville Public Library is now selling “I Read Banned Books” merchandise as a library fundraiser.

Madison County School District (MI) compiles a list of restricted books.

Administrators at Grain Valley High School in Kansas City has banned LGBTQ-support cards and stickers, particularly cards that teachers may display in order to indicate that their classrooms are “safe spaces for all.”

Nixa High School (MO) has fielded 17 requests to remove books from the library since February. None have been fully removed, but six will have restricted access.

Once again, the Salina (KS) school board has decided to keep All Boys Aren’t Blue on library shelves.

Bossier Parish (LA) School District has removed access to the Epic app due to LGBTQ-themed content made available on the app.

Brevard Public Schools (FL) have also removed access to Epic, along with an online math game.

The Florida Department of Education reinstated nine challenged math textbooks after publishers removed references to prohibited topics. The Department issued a statement saying “Publishers are aligning their instructional materials to state standards and removing woke content.” The fact that legitimate educational and governmental agencies are adopting language reminiscent of Internet trolls is kind of beside the point, but, like, “woke content” ISN’T A THING.

A look at some of the comments made by Florida textbook reviewers as they determine what makes these math textbooks acceptable. One textbook referred to racism being “embedded in American society,” so it was out. Another textbook used pictures of Black people primarily portrayed as athletes, so it was in. Like…what?

Polk County (FL) book review panels approve three LGBTQ books for school libraries: I Am Jazz, Almost Perfect, and Two Boys Kissing.

Rapid City (SD) School Board will vote on whether or not to destroy five newly purchased titles, a total of 185 copies. The books in question are How Beautiful We Were, Fun Home, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Girl, Woman, Other, and The Circle, and critics worry that this decision could set a disturbing precedent.

In response, Dave Eggers has told Rapid City high school seniors that they can receive free copies of any of the five books by emailing a request, and he will have the books shipped to the students from various indie bookstores.

Nampa, Idaho schools permanently remove 24 books from their libraries.

Liberty Lake City Council (WA) elects to keep Gender Queer on city library shelves.

Ok, no indoctrination in public schools…wait, unless it’s pro-Christian?

Books & Authors in the News

The Andrew Cuomo saga continues, with the New York ethics oversight commission filing a counter lawsuit in order to force a repayment of the $5.1 million in book proceeds paid to Cuomo.

On May 9th, LitHub published an essay from author Jumi Bello, which talked about her experience writing a debut novel and the plagiarism found in that novel. The essay was retracted later that day after LitHub discovered a further incident of plagiarism in the essay.

Numbers & Trends

The most popular in-demand books in US libraries: January – March 2022.

The most popular YA books on TikTok.

Award News

The 2022 Pulitzer Prizes have been announced!

The Locus Awards Top 10 finalists have been announced, including the anthology Sword Stone Table: Old Legends, New Voices, which was co-edited by Book Riot’s very own Jenn Northington!

Lea Ypi wins the 2022 Ondaatje Prize for her memoir, Free.

Pop Cultured

Dolly Parton has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Sex Education actor Ncuti Gatwa is the new Doctor Who, and will be the first Black actor to star in the iconic role!

11 shows if you loved The Flight Attendant.

What to read and watch after Netflix’s The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

We Need Diverse Books is launching a campaign to send care packages to LGBTQIA kids — here’s how you can help.

An unofficial Bridgerton Ball is happening in Melbourne in September.

Here’s a look at Copper, the new app that’s touting itself as “the Instagram for book lovers.”

The Bookshelf in Thomasville, GA is partnering with Paulie’s Pizza for Summer Reading By the Slice, where kids can earn free pizza for reading. (Remember those good old days?)

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

On the Riot

How to make a literary escape room in your school or public library.

15 excellent summer reading ideas for young readers.

Who was bell hooks?

The bookish life of LeVar Burton.

How your eReader can help you get back into reading.

black and white cat yawning in front of a window

I don’t know if Dini is yawning or yelling, but either way…same, Dini. Same.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this week. Rest up this weekend and prepare to fight the good fight next week.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

A Literary Guide to Reproductive Rights

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. It’s been a week (and it’s been A WEEK), and I’m still emotionally in the basement after everything that’s happened. I’ve written to my representatives, and I’m trying to limit my time on social media and the interwebs, but there’s still a giant weight on me. If you’re someone who processes things better by reading, here are some resources to help:

5 recently reviewed books that address the topic of legal abortion.

A reading list as the Supreme Court weighs Roe v. Wade.

A literary guide to reproductive rights.

10 books to understand the abortion debate happening in the US.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Baker & Taylor launches a new publishing program: Paw Prints Publishing.

HarperCollins editorial director Phoebe Morgan warns that someone has been impersonating her online and using a fake HarperCollins email to scam unsuspecting authors.

How one book influencer championing Black authors is changing the publishing industry.

More bookstore workers are forming unions.

Meet Cute Bookshop is launching an auction to support the National Network of Abortion Funds’ Collective Power Fund.

New & Upcoming Titles

Zoraida Cordova will be writing the third book in the Meant to Be romance series, which will be a modern retelling of The Little Mermaid. I am SO excited about this!

P. Djèlí Clark announced his debut middle grade novel, Abeni’s Song.

A second book by J.D. Vance has fallen through.

The first major English language biography of Volodymyr Zelensky will be published in July.

Walter Isaacson is writing a biography of Elon Musk.

Here’s an excerpt from Maureen Johnson’s upcoming YA mystery novel, Nine Liars.

Here’s an excerpt and cover reveal for Rachel Hawkins’s upcoming thriller, The Villa.

Here’s the cover reveal for Ian McEwan’s upcoming novel, Lessons.

11 new books to read for AAPI Heritage Month.

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

May picks from Bustle, CBC, Crime Reads, Gizmodo (SFF), LA Times, LitHub (SFF), The Millions, (SF), and Washington Post.

Spring picks from Autostraddle, OprahDaily, and Shondaland.

The best comedy books of 2022 (so far).

The most anticipated LGBTQ+ books for the summer.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

The Premonitions Bureau: A True Account of Death Foretold – Sam Knight (Guardian, New York Times, NPR)

My Old Kentucky Home: The Astonishing Life and Reckoning of an Iconic American Song – Emily Bingham (New York Times, Washington Post)

Managing Expectations: A Memoir in Essays – Minnie Driver (NPR, USA Today)

Anna: The Biography – Amy Odell (Entertainment Weekly, New York Times)

Companion Piece – Ali Smith (NPR, Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

A look at the literary boom happening in Trinidad.

This site helps you find books set where you live.

10 YA BookTokers to have on your radar.

On the Riot

What goes into a book’s appearance?

New YA books featuring dragons.

May picks for mysteries/thrillers/true crime, SFF, romances, queer books, and children’s books.

Why aren’t there more fat men in romance novels?

All Things Comics

Blake Lively will make her feature directorial debut with an adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel, Seconds.

Sweet Valley Twins are getting a graphic novel adaptation.

Take a peek at the new queer YA graphic novel from Shannon Waters, who co-created Lumberjanes.


The AudioFile May 2022 Earphone Award winners have been announced.

What qualities make an audiobook good?

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

On the Riot

Free audiobooks for teens that are available to download from SYNC.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


27 YA books about mental health and mental illness.


32 books that celebrate diversity.

16 historical romance novels for fans of Bridgerton.

Delightful books featuring home renovations.

50 AAPI authors to TBR.

7 books that will change the way you think about the road trip story.

6 technothrillers about digital surveillance and voyeurism.

7 books that deliver unexpected mystery.

11 memoirs that shine the spotlight on mothers.

Readalikes for popular BookTok titles.

22 books for Mother’s Day.

5 queer main characters with asthma.

5 SFF books about not-so-dark lords.

87 romance novels to give you all the feelings.

5 nonfiction titles that read like fiction.

On the Riot

12 of the best Filipino YA books from the Philippines.

Illustrated YA books (that aren’t comics).

10 books for Mental Health Awareness Month.

20 of the most influential memoirs of all time.

The best memoirs to read for AAPI Heritage Month.

8 of the best Greek mythology retellings.

Women of Star Wars: books and comics to read for Star Wars Day (or any day).

Books about moms who regret having children.

Some of the most influential Asian American literature of all time.

9 books for beginning wine drinkers.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

black cat laying on the back of a couch with its paw stretched out and resting on a basket

Here’s this issue’s cat photo! This isn’t the best photo I’ve ever taken of Gilbert in terms of quality, but it is one of the best photos of his “fancy paw.” He loves sticking his paw out and resting it on something – a pillow, a basket, the back of the couch, my leg…and he’s happy to stay like that for hours. I don’t remember when he first started doing it, but it’s become an ingrained part of his cat personality. I tell him he’s very dapper and quite the sir when he sticks out his fancy paw.

Let’s muscle through this week and see where we are on Friday. I’ll catch you then.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

The Librarians Are Not Okay

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m not going to sugar coat any of my feelings this week. I’m furious, nauseous, overwhelmed, depressed, incoherent, unsurprised, and wondering if there’s a word in any language to describe this feeling. Or if there’s a way to describe the relentless effort to control and criminalize millions of people, and the way these efforts are being sanctioned by the government. I don’t have words or answers right now.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Lafayette (LA) Parish Library board member Doug Palombo has resigned his seat. During his board tenure, Palombo rejected a grant that would support programming and discussion around voting rights and the Black community, and eventually pressured the former director to retire.

Baltimore County library employees ratify their first union contract.

Cool Library Updates

The Boston Public Library will be offering 1 hour wedding ceremonies on-site for $200.

Worth Reading

The librarians are not okay.

How libraries have revamped their summer reading programs by offering greater choices in books and where to participate.

Book Adaptations in the News

It’s Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans in The Gray Man, based on Mark Greaney’s books.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes film will be released in November 2023.

Chris Bohjalian’s newest book, The Lioness, will be adapted for TV.

LAIKA’s next stop-motion film is based on a fantasy novel by the lead singer of The Decemberists.

Andy Serkis will direct an adaptation of Elizabeth McCracken’s The Giant’s House.

The new film adaptation of ‘Salem’s Lot gets a release date of September 9th.

Saint X recasts its lead role.

Casting updates for the Anne Rice projects in production at AMC.

14 book-to-screen adaptations to catch in 2022.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

Banned & Challenged Books

You can’t solve book bans by banning more books.

Why should we care about freedom of the press.

Biden says Americans should stop targeting teachers and banning books. (Yeah, that’ll take care of it.)

The power and freedom to publish and curate.

Texas librarians say book bans are a political power play, and your kids are the pawns.

Latino authors and activists lead a caravan and march against banned books in Texas.

The ACLU demands that San Antonio’s North East ISD end its ban on 110 books from school libraries.

Leander ISD (TX) students and parents gather to support freedom of choice in school libraries.

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD (TX) school leaders confront a controversial proposal on teaching critical race theory and gender, which could mean punishment for any educator who violates a wide-ranging list of prohibitions.

Canyon ISD (TX) hears public comments on library materials. Worth noting that the school district has a proposed policy that would require ALL future library materials to be reviewed by a panel and made available for public comment before any new purchases could be made. What an absolute waste of time, money, resources, and staff expertise.

Enid (OK) residents feel “censored” by the new library policy that has led to the cancellation of a romance book club and a program on sexual assault awareness.

The Nashville Public Library has issued a limited edition library card with Banned Books artwork.

Meanwhile, after Tennessee representative Jerry Sexton said that he would burn inappropriate school books, lawmakers have voted to let the state veto school library materials.

Gender Queer is under review in the Connetquot School District (NY).

The Ottumwa Community School District (IA) suspends its use of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.

Indianola (IA) community members argue for “challenged books” at a recent school board meeting.

The ROWVA (IL) Board has been accused of not hiring a teacher because of her statements supporting The Hate U Give, which was challenged in the district earlier in the year.

Ohio House Bill 616 (aka Ohio’s version of “Don’t Say Gay”) says that it backs “free and fair discussion” in schools, but let’s be real here. It doesn’t.

Remember the rainbow unicorn controversy in Ohio? Emails from Buckeye Valley school board members shed more light on the situation, namely that the board members believed the book and the author were going to push “LGBTQ ideas on our most vulnerable students,” even though that’s not even what the book is about!

The Littlestown Area School District (PA) has revamped their book challenge policy, including a key detail that I think is extremely important: using an established standard to evaluate a book for obscene content — in this case, the “Miller Test” established by the US Supreme Court in Miller v. California. But the words “pornographic” and “obscene” are being thrown around so frequently, I’m turning into Inigo Montoya, saying “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

An anonymous email and a library book ban are at the forefront of a Ramsey (NJ) High School board meeting.

Williamsburg-James City County School Board (VA) elects not to order new textbooks after complaints about “divisive teachings.” So, I guess using outdated information is better for students’ education then? ​​

Isle of Wight County Schools (VA) updated their material challenging policy to say that materials “shall not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”

Wake County (NC) School Board has rejected a parent’s request to remove Out of Darkness from library shelves.

A proposed amendment in South Carolina could mean the loss of $1 million in state funding for the Richmond Public Library, and could be devastating for small, rural libraries in the state. The amendment would require county libraries to certify that they “do not offer any books or materials that appeal to the prurient interest of children under the age of thirteen in children’s book sections of libraries and are only made available with explicit parental consent.” If a library is found to not be in compliance with this vaguely-worded amendment, they could lose state funding.

Banning books from children’s sections in South Carolina public libraries is a bad idea.

Governor Kemp (GA) signed a new book ban bill into law, which would take away the power of book reviews from trained professionals and give them to school boards.

Hall County (GA) parents argue over the appropriateness of books in the district. But read the article…after one parent complained about the possibility that Eleanor and Park could have been “slipped” to their child without her knowing, another parent stood up and said, “That’s your fault.” THANK YOU, SOMEONE FINALLY SAID IT!!

A look at the nine school library books that have been labeled as “obscene” by Savannah (GA) citizens.

DeSantis has signed an “Intellectual Freedom” measure into law, which is also known as the “Stop WOKE” Act. It restricts conversations about race and gender in schools AND workplaces, and a lot of critics say that it is blatantly unconstitutional.

Related: the inanity of DeSantis’ book banning.

Polk School Board (FL) continues to discuss challenged books, but two more have been approved for high school shelves: The Bluest Eye and Tricks.

The Florida Freedom to Read Project weighs in on Department of Education textbook rejections.

Walton County School District (FL) banned the picture book Everywhere Babies, which the author speculates is because there’s an illustration of two men hugging in the book. They’ve also pulled 24 books from shelves because they’ve been deemed “extremely age-inappropriate” and “harmful.”

Diana Gabaldon hits back after her books were pulled from Walton County Schools.

The Ridgeland (MS) mayor and other similarly-minded community members are taking pains to distance themselves from MassResistance, a group that has been involved in the ongoing fight against LGBTQ materials in the Ridgeland Public Library, and has also been designated as an LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Madison County School District (MS) places restrictions on more than 20 books after parents raise concerns. The full list is included in the article, but includes books such as American Born Chinese, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, Dear Martin, and Queer, There, and Everywhere.

Rapid City Area Schools (SD) withheld 350+ new books and attempted to quietly destroy them.

Idaho State Representative Heather Scott co-sponsored a workshop with Parents for Freedom and Liberty founder, Amy Henry. The workshop was titled: “How to remove inappropriate materials from our schools/libraries.” The breakdown of this workshop and this group’s talking points are bonkers, and yet horrifyingly common amongst similar groups in the country.

The graphic novel adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale has been removed from North Medford High School in Oregon.

Liberty Lake City Council (WA) votes to keep Gender Queer in the city library.

The Durham District School Board in Ontario has reinstated The Great Bear and two other removed books to their collection, and issued a statement.

London Catholic school teachers strike over a canceled LGBTQ book talk.

Juno Dawson wrote the ninth-most banned book in the country (This Book is Gay), and says that the homophobic agenda is very obvious.

Banning books to save kids? Please. Bullets are more dangerous.

The right’s LGBTQ books ban, and the fight to stop them.

What are book bans really about? Fear.

Books & Authors in the News

Acclaimed author Rolando Hinojosa-Smith has died at 93.

Reese Witherspoon picks The Dictionary of Lost Words for her May book club pick.

Oprah defends keeping American Dirt in her book club despite the controversy.

Trump-backed author J.D. Vance wins the Ohio GOP Senate primary.

The ethics of reporters sitting on important scoops in order to sell their own books.

A look at the legacy of Fifty Shades of Grey after 10 years.

Numbers & Trends

Children’s books need to watch their (skin) tone: Checking for diversity and bias in images must start with gatekeepers who decide which kids’ books count.

Award News

The 2022 Edgar Allan Poe Award Winners have been announced!

LeVar Burton will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2022 Emmy’s!

Here are the shortlists for the 2022 Crime Writers of Canada Awards.

Evelyn Araluen wins the 2022 Stella Prize for Dropbear.

Pop Cultured

There’s a new trailer out for Obi-Wan Kenobi in honor of May the 4th.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

A rare copy of the “Wicked Bible” has been discovered in New Zealand.

On the Riot

Traveling library lessons: tips for teaching on a cart.

How to start a book club for seniors.

8 of the best non-movie adaptations of Agatha Christie’s works.

Who was Ida B. Wells?

7 of the best eReaders of 2022.

Why do we keep putting down books that we’re actively enjoying? (It me.)

Peanuts stamps are coming this fall!!

Deconstructing Little House on the Prairie.

12 BookTok accounts to follow in 2022.

Writes about murder, does a murder: weird bookish stories edition.

A review of Bookly, the app for building reading habits.

black cat and black and white cat sitting under a chair

This is a common sight in our house, usually about a half hour before mealtime. They’re trying to tell us something…but I just can’t figure out what it is…

Do something nice for yourselves this weekend, friends. I’ll see you on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Lizzo-Based Book Recommendations

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. Our new fiscal year has finally started, which means that I have a giant cart of adult fiction books ready to order through Baker & Taylor the moment I come into work this week. I’ve already preemptively apologized to our cataloger for the havoc I’m about to wreak, but not much I can do about it at this point.

Let’s library.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

The political book in a political world.

#BooksGiveRefuge and Ukrainian relief efforts continue.

BookTok is revitalizing the publishing industry, and creators of color are leading the charge.

New & Upcoming Titles

Nicola Yoon will be publishing her first book for adults.

Keep your eyes peeled for the mystery novel Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson, which is described as “Knives Out and Clue meet Agatha Christie and The Thursday Murder Club.”

82 new mystery and thriller books to sink your teeth into.

The most anticipated LGBTQ+ books for the summer.

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

The best book covers of April.

April’s best debut crime novels.

May picks from Barnes & Noble, Epic Reads, Kirkus, and New York Times.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor–the Truth and the Turmoil – Tina Brown (The Guardian, New York Times, Time, USA Today, Washington Post)

Finding Me – Viola Davis (Ebony, USA Today, Washington Post)

The Puzzler: One Man’s Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, From Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life – AJ Jacobs (Entertainment Weekly, New York Times, Washington Post)

City on Fire – Don Winslow (USA Today, Washington Post)

Kaikeyi – Vaishnavi Patel (Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

A reading list based on your favorite Lizzo song. Because is there really any other way to recommend books?

On the Riot

New weekly releases to TBR.

What happened to the #OwnVoices label?

Romance set in the book world: is it a new trend?

Why reading Holocaust books from a Jewish perspective matters.

What makes a book historical fiction?

Books for fans of Ken Follett.

All Things Comics

Frank Miller is starting his own comics publishing imprint.

Freemantle and AWA Studios have struck a deal to collaborate and co-develop a slate of TV projects.

NPR talks to Brian K. Vaughn about the return of Saga.

Manga sales are booming.

On the Riot

Marvel Comics are making cool character changes this year.

The supreme guide to Doctor Strange comics.

No more evil Superman stories, please.


The 30 best audiobooks of all time.

5 audiobook picks from intersectional environmentalist, Leah Thomas.

April audiobook picks from AudioFile and Vulture.

What qualities make an audiobook good?

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

On the Riot

Why are audiobooks so daggum expensive?

Are fiction podcasts adapted from books a thing we want?

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


6 great kids books to read for Arab American Heritage Month.

Relatable teen books for anyone who’s gone through a friendship breakup.


10 books about the conflicts in South Sudan and Ethiopia.

14 romance novels set in small towns.

10 books to help you get over a reading slump.

12 moving memoirs by Black celebrities.

A Gilded Age reading list.

Reading list representing chronic illness in literature.

Books to read during Mental Health Awareness Month.

On the Riot

15 of the best Filipino children’s books from the Philippines.

15 middle grade book series to delight young readers.

Heartwarming queer YA books like Netflix’s Heartstopper.

The most f*cked up books we’ve ever read. (I will wholeheartedly second The Hike and Perfect Days — those books were BONKERS.)

The best fantasy books you’ve never heard of.

11 of the best Swedish books available in English.

Post-cyberpunk books to add to your TBR.

15 of the best books on Roman history.

Queer pirate books.

10 poetry books by LGBTQ Asian authors to read right now.

8 books for first-time dog parents.

15 of the best Nigerian books.

10 books for fans of telenovelas.

20 must-read queer novels set outside the US, UK, and Canada.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

blurry close-up photo of a black cat's face

I’ve posted enough adorable photos of my cats over the last few weeks…now here’s a doofy one. This is Gilbert’s true essence, and often the first thing I see when I wake up.

Stay cool, all you cats and kittens. I’ll see you on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Mystery Library Origami

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. These last couple of weeks have been absolute hell on my to-do list at work. I don’t know what happened, or why the universe suddenly decided to spring a bunch of time-consuming and time-sensitive projects on me all at once, but here I am. Today, I found myself putting my head in my hands every couple of hours as I realized that I had yet another super important project/meeting coming up that I needed to juggle with all the rest of my work responsibilities. Normally I enjoy wearing a bunch of different hats at work, but sometimes you reach a point of just TOO MANY HATS. I think I’m at that point now. NO MORE HATS.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The eBook service Hoopla brings anti-vax, Holocaust denial, and pro-LGBTQ conversion books to libraries.

EveryLibrary and PEN America sound the alarm over Kentucky’s new library law.

Cool Library Updates

The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, the Nevada Homeless Alliance, and the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth are collaborating to create a Cell Phone Library Program to provide smartphones to low-income residents and people experiencing homelessness.

Barcelona honors Gabriel Garcia Marquez with a new library.

Someone at Western University in London, Ontario, is leaving origami animals around the campus libraries!

Worth Reading

The World Health Organization warns about the dangers of health misinformation spreading as Elon Musk takes over Twitter.

5 things this person learned as a first-time manager in a predominantly white academic library.

Why libraries will never stop being people places.

The weirdest things people have left behind in books.

Book Adaptations in the News

Jenny Han has signed an overall television and film deal with Amazon Studios.

Yep, The Batman is getting a sequel.

Dave Eggers’ The Every is in development at HBO.

The film adaptation of Wicked will be split into two movies.

Netflix will adapt Mockingbird by Walter Tevis.

The Dracula spinoff movie, Mina Harker, has been scrapped.

The Aurora Teagarden Mystery movies are also likely finished.

Fellow Travelers by Thomas Mallon is being adapted as a limited Showtime series starring Matt Bomer.

The Netflix adaptation of Persuasion has a release date.

A look at the adaptation of Turtles All the Way Down.

Casting update for Leave the World Behind.

Here’s the first trailer for The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Banned & Challenged Books

How one district is pushing back against book banning. (This is quite good: if you haven’t followed the formal complaint process, including reading the entire book, you don’t get any allotted time to speak at board meetings.)

The ACLU demands that Houston-area schools stop removing books and apologize to their students.

Seven Llano County (TX) residents are suing the library board, county judge, commissioners, and library systems director for violating their First Amendment rights by banning books, blocking access to digital titles, and making these decisions behind closed doors.

Denton ISD (TX) school board candidates clash over whether certain books should be allowed in school libraries.

Frisco ISD (TX) updated their library website with information about the district’s book selection and complaint process.

McKinney (TX) mayor pushes back against efforts to ban books, saying that “It’s just a battle cry to turn out votes in November.”

Canyon ISD (TX) sent out a letter to parents and staff discussing the Texas Education Association’s new guidance regarding evaluating and potentially removing books that had been deemed “inappropriate.” The assistant superintendent, Cameron Rosser, said that the district goes through the list of newly purchased library books one by one, and remove anything that could be potentially harmful to students. But who’s deciding what’s harmful, and to which students?

A local YWCA is collecting banned books to donate to El Paso public libraries.

The Missouri House passed a bill restricting discussions of race in schools and creating a Parents’ Bill of Rights in regards to their children’s education.

The library book selection discussion continues at the Kirkwood School District (MO).

Kansas state senator Rick Kloos has called upon school districts to remove Gender Queer from school libraries.

A parent in the Keokuk School District (IA) has challenged the book Scottsboro Boys.

Parents in Rochester, MI have challenged several books in school libraries, including The Handmaid’s Tale, Fun Home, Check Please!, and All Boys Aren’t Blue.

Tennessee state representative Jerry Sexton said that he would burn inappropriate books in school libraries.

Wilson County Schools (TN) are implementing a “Mature Reading List” policy that would require parental permission for a student to check out a book included on the list.

Madison County Schools (MS) placed more than 20 books in restricted circulation, which means that students must have a parent’s permission to check the books out.

Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools (VA) voted against the purchase of new social studies textbooks and materials due to controversy that the proposed AP Government textbook would promote critical race theory.

The Isle of Wight County School Board (VA) has (for the moment) denied a second parent’s request to remove two apps from all school-issued iPads, saying that the apps are providing “partisan” content to students.

The Suffolk (VA) School Board debates the use of the book Walk Two Moons in a middle school literature class. One parent brought up concerns that it was too depressing, but read from a review of the book, which makes me think she didn’t actually read the book herself. (Shocking.)

The Washington County (VA) Commissioner of Revenue, Mark Matney, is trying to get Lawn Boy removed from the Glade Spring Public Library, even though the library has already reviewed the book and elected to keep it on library shelves.

The latest Forsyth County School Board (GA) meeting continued to center around the issues of book banning. A choice quote from one of the students who spoke: “These voices represent a right wing mob. When it suits them, they ask for free speech. When they don’t like it, they wish to suppress it.”

Walton County (FL) schools have removed 58 books from school libraries, including the picture book, Everywhere Babies.

Alachua County (FL) schools approved 4 of 11 math textbooks after DeSantis’ crackdown on critical race theory.

Here’s a deeper dive into the rejected textbook controversy.

Florida man asks schools to ban the Bible following the wave of statewide book challenges.

Anonymous anti-LGBTQ flyers are being distributed throughout the West Chester Area School District (PA). This is also the same area where parents were alarmingly calling for data on LGBTQ students in the district.

The Connetquot School District (NY) has pulled Gender Queer from high school shelves for review.

Some New Jersey schools are under siege from people trying to get books on race and LGBTQ+ topics pulled from library shelves.

Salem-Keizer Public Schools (OR) denies the request to ban Stamped (For Kids).

Oregon actually used to be one of the leaders in the number of book challenges. (Not that that’s a bragging right a state would want to have.)

The Solana Beach School District (CA) approved a new plan that “delegates the authority to principals and school curriculum resource teachers to select library books,” but also states that “books that “take a particular position on a debatable topic” will be placed on a “professional bookshelf in the library rather than in general circulation,” without indicating who decides what constitutes a “debatable topic” or a “particular position.”

Why did Durham (ON) District School Board remove the Indigenous children’s book, The Great Bear, from its libraries?

The Authors Guild is launching a Banned Books Club.

Stop telling authors that having a banned book is a good thing.

How to start your own banned book club.

Sex education books aren’t grooming kids…they’re protecting them.

Books & Authors in the News

Oprah selects Viola Davis’ memoir, Finding Me, as her next book club pick.

Don Winslow announces his retirement from writing.

Oxford University Press will no longer publish a particular title in the Biff, Chip, and Kipper series due to Islamophobia.

Numbers & Trends

How apps have changed the way we read.

An AI study found that there are four times as many male characters as female characters in a sample of 3,000 English language books available via Project Gutenberg.

Award News

Andrea Ellis wins the Gotham Book Prize for Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City.

The Women’s Prize shortlist has been announced.

The LA Times Book Prize winners have been announced.

The Horror Writers Association announce the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Awards.

The 2022 CWA Dagger Award longlists have been announced.

Board books finally get their own award!

Pop Cultured

Jason Momoa is in talks to star in the upcoming Minecraft movie.

The best crime dramas to watch on Netflix.

The best shows and movies to get your Nordic noir-jam on.

The Netflix nightmare.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

LeVar Burton will host the National Spelling Bee!

On the Riot

When you’re the librarian who reads romance.

Bookstores with adoptable cats?? I want to go to there!

How to sketchnote a book.

Bookish ways to get outside more.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

black and white cat standing between a tub and the shower curtain black and white cat sitting on a white toilet seat

Cat photos! These may look like two pictures of Dini exploring the bathroom, but they’re actually photographic evidence of the two near-heart attacks that my husband had when he got out of the shower and found Dini waiting for him. I told him he needed to shut the bathroom door when he showered and he said, “But then the bathroom gets all steamy!” So I said, “Well, would you rather have a steamy bathroom or a heart attack?? This is an easy problem to solve!”

That’s it for me, friends. Have a good weekend and keep your bathroom doors shut when you shower!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

The Dark Side of Female Desire

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. A quick note about my current reading: I’m in the middle of the audio version of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Hunting Vampires by Grady Hendrix. I expected a darkly humorous horror novel. I was not prepared for how deeply I would despise the male characters. I can’t remember the last time I’ve wished for such a gory, painful fate towards a fictional character. The writing is fantastic and extremely well crafted, but let’s just say the real horror isn’t with the vampires. Hoo boy.

So while I collect my feelings, let’s talk about other books!

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

The oldest children’s bookstore in the Boston area is closing at the end of April.

25 years of changes to book publicity.

Book sales in the US are stronger than ever.

A look at the state of the Big 5 publishers today.

How the Russian invasion has impacted Ukraine’s publishing industry.

How the book industry turns its own racism into a marketable product.

New & Upcoming Titles

Reba McEntire is coming out with a new nonfiction book in Fall 2023, which will contain lifestyle tips, recipes, and career stories.

E.J. Koh, author of The Magical Language of Others, announces her debut novel, The Liberators, which will be published in 2023.

Alan Moore is publishing his first ever short story collection in October.

Ling Ma, author of Severance, has a short story collection coming in September.

Sandra Cisneros has sold her first poetry collection in almost 30 years.

Betty Gilpin, who you may know from Nurse Jackie and GLOW, is releasing her first book on September 6th: All the Women in My Brain: And Other Concerns.

Lucy A. Snyder is releasing a cosmic horror novel next February: Sister, Maiden, Monster.

Speaking of Grady Hendrix…here’s the cover reveal for Grady Hendrix’s upcoming horror novel, How to Sell a Haunted House.

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

April picks from Crime Reads (true crime, international thrillers), The Guardian (thrillers), and USA Today (rom-coms).

Spring picks from Buzzfeed (LGBTQ YA), and USA Today.

9 books by Black authors to read in May.

Barnes & Noble picks their most anticipated books for kids and teens in May.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer – Janelle Monae (New York Times, Shondaland, USA Today, Washington Post)

Stepping Back From the Ledge: A Daughter’s Search For Truth and Renewal – Laura Trujillo (New York Times, USA Today)

Lessons in Chemistry – Bonnie Garmus (The Guardian)

City on Fire – Don Winslow (LA Times)

RA/Genre Resources

Reading pathway for Nicola Griffith.

On the Riot

3 new YA books about debate.

The best weekly new releases to TBR.

10 new book genres and subgenres for your TBR.

The “dark side” of female desire in recent literary fiction.

Dear historical fiction: Stop romanticizing World War I.

All Things Comics

Comic book creators are collaborating on the Sunflower Seed anthology to benefit the Ukraine relief effort.

The best comics to read right now: 4/20 edition.

On the Riot

Reboots, retcons, and more: a comics explainer.

8 of the best Korean graphic novels.


14 enthralling audiobooks by trans authors to check out immediately.

22 audiobooks to listen to with your family on long car trips.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

On the Riot

8 of the best audiobook adaptations of graphic novels.

Fulfill your bookish dream job: how to become an audiobook narrator.

Making space for audiobooks: an exercise in mindfulness.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


17 must-read coming-of-age YA novels.

17 incredible YA books about found families.


5 darkly comic SFF novels.

10 must-read nonfiction serial killer books.

5 atmospheric, setting-driven novels.

7 books centered around people of color and technology.

7 books about Black women returning home.

8 books on social change.

7 crime novels that are also about coming of age.

10 of the best books on gardening.

12 books about mermaids, sirens, and sea gods.

Modern horror books written by contemporary Black creators.

5 historical murder mysteries that will consume you.

On the Riot

10 fantastically sweet middle school romance books.

Badass female heroines in YA fantasy.

10 of the best romance novels where there’s only one bed…

Here are the great millennial novels (so far).

Reading suggestions for fans of The Lost City.

20 of the best genre-blending horror novels.

10 books that feel like a Wes Anderson movie.

8 fictional books that are critical of the art world.

10 feel-good nonfiction books about animals.

8 of the best queer Arthurian retellings.

15 of the best books about Egyptian mythology.

10 books about deadly games.

Books that will scratch your Resident Alien itch.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

cat sitting on counter watching a video on an iPad

Our guest kitty in this newsletter is my parents’ new cat, Penny, who enjoys watching her shows on my mom’s iPad. Her shows are just YouTube videos of birds and squirrels, but she loves them, and my parents are willing to give up their iPad for her. The baking sheet is covering the keyboard so she doesn’t accidentally turn off the iPad or delete a bunch of apps or something. It must be nice to be so spoiled.

Well, let’s all take a deep breath and muscle through this week. (My to-do list is already crying.) Catch you on Friday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.