Check Your Shelf

The Guilt of Rereading

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

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

Scariest horror movie: Hereditary

Favorite horror movie: Poltergeist

Favorite lesser-known horror movie: Ready or Not

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

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

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

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

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

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

New & Upcoming Titles

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

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

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

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

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

Peloton instructor Emma Lovewell is publishing a memoir.

13 recent unsettling gothic horror tales.

21 recent horror books to read before Halloween.

14 new and upcoming books about witches.

7 new spooky and spirited Halloween reads.

The best new paranormal romances for Halloween.

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

Fall Canadian picks.

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

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

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RA/Genre Resources

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

Plus-sized representation in fantasy fiction.

The essential Philip K. Dick.

On the Riot

UK publishers predict a rise in book prices.

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

The best new weekly releases to TBR.

Reading pathways for Alex Segura.

Why horror books just aren’t that scary.

Nonsense fantasy recommendations.

12 romance sub-genres we’ll love forever.

The guilt of rereading and a hopeful solution.

All Things Comics

On the Riot

12 stellar Star Wars comics.

The best Wolverine comics.

Your reading life needs more manga.


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

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

7 great audiobooks for October.

On the Riot

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

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


16 must-read authors for younger readers.

14 classic YA retellings reimagined with BIPOC characters.

10 YA books to get you in the holiday spirit.


5 spooky books to put you in the Halloween mood.

5 chilling horror novellas to read this fall.

7 books about being stuck in purgatory.

Scary stories to chill your blood during spooky season.

9 works of dark humor perfect for Halloween.

4 suspenseful novels for true crime fans.

Works of horror movie criticism perfect for scary movie fans.

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

8 astounding horror novels written by women.

7 Halloween reads ranked by fear factor.

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

On the Riot

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

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

8 enchanting YA fairy tales.

YA books about teens and seniors.

20 must-read Halloween nonfiction books.

25 must-read horror collections and anthologies.

8 page-turning mysteries and thrillers about sisters.

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

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

The top 25 TikTok book recommendations from 2022.

Books like Taylor Swift’s Midnights.

14 great Japanese historical fiction books.

8 cozy romance books to curl up with.

Books about fictional Hollywood.

8 books about the literati.

8 books that are surprisingly and delightfully queer.

The best horror novels from around the world.

9 of the best books about grief.

Look at the birdy: 8 books about birding.

The 9 best Rebecca retellings.

20 must-read asexual books for Ace Week.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

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

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

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

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

The Mystery of the Special Salad Dressing…SOLVED

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

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

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

Book Adaptations in the News

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

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

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

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

Never Let Me Go is also coming to Hulu.

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

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

Banned & Challenged Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Books & Authors in the News

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

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

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

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

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

Numbers & Trends

Here are the best-selling books of the week.

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

Award News

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

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

Pop Cultured

Actor Leslie Jordan has died at 67.

A new Star Wars movie is reportedly in the works.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

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

On the Riot

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

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

Renaming “reluctant readers.”

How to create an extraordinary reading experience.

close up of a black cat sleeping on a blue blanket

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

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

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Giant Insects That Ruin Everyone’s Day

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I spent this last weekend determinedly not thinking about work, and by Sunday evening, I was forced to think about work again. I guess it was a nice little break while it lasted?

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

HarperCollins union votes for its second strike.

New & Upcoming Titles

Publishers Weekly releases its Best of 2022 list!

Rick Riordan is returning to the Percy Jackson series!

Volodymyr Zelensky will publish a collection of his war speeches.

The middle grade novel The Crooked Door was first revised, and then withdrawn from publication, following evidence of misconduct from one of the book’s co-authors, Louis Sylvester.

Geri Halliwell-Horner (aka Ginger Spice), has signed a two-book deal with Scholastic for her children’s adventure story Rosie Frost and the Falcon Queen.

Megan Collins has a cover reveal for her upcoming book Thicker Than Water.

Oprah Daily has the cover reveal for The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese.

The best new fall books about classic Hollywood.

New romance novels perfect for Halloween season.

Best international crime fiction for fall 2022.

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

October true crime picks from Crime Reads.

November picks from Barnes & Noble (adults, teens, children).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Demon Copperhead — Barbara Kingsolver (Datebook, LA Times, New York Times, Star Tribune, USA Today)

The Passenger / Stella Maris — Cormac McCarthy (Datebook, New York Times, Oprah Daily, Washington Post)

The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man — Paul Newman (AARP, LA Times, New York Times, Washington Post)

The Last Chairlift — John Irvin (The Guardian, LA Times, New York Times)

Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me — Ralph Macchio (Hollywood Reporter, New York Times, USA Today)

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing — Matthew Perry (Deadline, Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter)

Ejaculate Responsibly: A Whole New Way to Think About Abortion — Gabrielle Stanley Blair (NPR, USA Today)

README.txt: A Memoir — Chelsea Manning (New York Times, Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

Technically this is in regard to TV and not books, but I think it’s worth putting here as a consideration for true crime as a whole: The ethics of true crime TV.

How to read the Game of Thrones books in order.

On the Riot

The best witchy romances for autumn 2022.

Fall 2022 new releases in translation.

3 new YA horror novels.

New and recent gothic horror.

The best new weekly releases to TBR.

More than Hillbilly Elegy: the vast wealth of Appalachian literature.

The 10 best slipstream books for readers new to the genre.

28 of the best western books to add to your TBR.

Exploring the Best American series.

Why this reader chooses not to read the book descriptions.

All Things Comics

Harrison Ford joins the MCU with Captain America: New World Order.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is tracking for a $175 million opening weekend.

The Geiger comic series is getting a TV adaptation.

9 new graphic novels to put on your list.

23 chilling horror graphic novels.

On the Riot

The best Spider-Man comics.

Paranormal YA comics and graphic novels.

10 of the best witch manga.

Creepy, scary Halloween comics and graphic novels to read this season.


Simon & Schuster Audio will release The Trump Tapes by Bob Woodward: an eight-hour audio archive of Woodward’s 20 interviews with Donald Trump.

All ears: how to evaluate audiobooks.

19 true crime audiobooks and podcasts to listen to.

Black romance audio picks.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


14 spooky picture books for Halloween.

31 must-read YA fairy tale mashups.

13 YA books to read in honor of Taylor Swift’s Midnights album.


10 award-winning short story collections worth reading.

13 magical realism and horror books by Latina writers.

Halloween cozy mysteries for scaredy cats.

5 haunting tales about love and death.

15 scary-ass books by Black authors that are perfect for Halloween.

34 Halloween books to get you in a spooky mood.

8 must-read romance novels.

7 books featuring characters with rare abilities.

66 spellbinding books about witches.

5 books in which giant insects ruin everyone’s day.

5 queer adult horror novels.

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

On the Riot

Standalone YA fantasy novels.

Halloween books for adults.

8 Jewish contemporary fiction novels.

8 autumnal (but not scary!) Halloween reads.

50 scariest books of all time.

8 horror books based on urban legends by Asian authors.

11 books like The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

10 books in translation from modern Greek.

Books that hit different the second time around.

Recent adult books with reality TV elements.

8 of the best nonfiction books about the senses.

10 humorous horror novels.

10 books with magical towns.

Recommended reading about Aztec mythology.

9 cozy fiction books set in libraries.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

black and white cat sitting behind an acoustic guitar

Dini has been in helper mode recently, and here he is helping my husband tune and play his guitar. Look how carefully he’s inspecting those strings!

All right, folks. Let’s check in again on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

The Case of the Rogue Ingram Employee

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. By the time you read this newsletter, it will be Friday, and hopefully that will be something to celebrate. Take a deep breath, because there’s a lot of not-so-happy news items in this issue.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

This news is in regards to schools, but given the recent bomb threats called in to public libraries, I wanted to put this up front: A swatting spree is happening to schools across the country and some say this is likely part of a coordinated effort.

So, this news item didn’t happen to libraries specifically, but it does involve Ingram, so worth noting: A “rogue” Ingram employee was replacing book orders for the pro-choice book Ejaculate Responsibly with books from Focus on the Family.

Cool Library Updates

A community rallies around the new Superior Township Library in Michigan by forming a book train to help move books from the old location to the new one.

Dolly Parton was awarded the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy for her work with her Imagination Library.

Book Adaptations in the News

All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris is getting a limited series at Showtime.

Hulu orders a series adaptation of Interior Chinatown, with Jimmy O. Yang starring and Taika Waititi directing.

Kenneth Branagh is making a third Poirot mystery, which will be based on the novel Hallowe’en Party.

Ali Hazelwood’s The Love Hypothesis is being adapted for film.

There’s a film sequel to The Joy Luck Club in the works.

A Wrinkle in Time is set for a stage musical adaptation.

Hulu’s Hardy Boys is ending after Season 3.

Casting update for Blackwater Lane, which is based on BA Paris’ The Breakdown.

Everything we know about the new Three Pines series.

New trailer for William Gibson’s The Peripheral.

A character guide for House of the Dragon.

Banned & Challenged Books

What exactly is a book sanctuary?

Conservative PACs are injecting millions into local school races.

The growing religious alliance to ban LGBTQ books.

This is an important read: Notes from an Awake IL/Moms for Liberty school board training meeting.

The right-wing money and influence behind Moms for Liberty.

Here’s a biased article: Decatur Public Library (TX) keeps explicit books despite parents’ requests for removal. Yeah…just because someone wants a book removed doesn’t mean that libraries are suddenly obligated to remove it. That’s not how any of this works! Or at least it’s not supposed to be how any of this works.

The Arlington Library Board (TX) may bar LGBTQ displays from youth sections as the Pride Month debate continues.

Escambia County (FL) School District restricts access to over 100 books prior to completing a formal review, although the superintendent says that the Bible is educational and allowed in schools.

RSU 40 (ME) Board of Directors will vote on whether or not to retain Gender Queer in the high school library.

LGBTQ advocates and a teacher are taking legal action against the Connetquot Central School District (NY) after a teacher was directed to remove Pride flags from her classroom.

Fairfield Public Library (CT) trustees unanimously voted to retain Let’s Talk About It.

A banned books display sparks debate in Westport, Connecticut.

Old Rochester Regional High School (MA) is reviewing a group of challenged books, and although the school has not officially confirmed the titles, students say the books are all centered around gender, sexuality, or race.

The book battle continues in the Pennsylvania state legislature.

Pennsylvania state representative Chris Rabb announces legislation to rein in book bans.

A Maryland school board candidate is calling for the removal of dozens of books from the Frederick County Public School libraries.

About 20 masked Proud Boys showed up to protest a Drag Queen Story Hour at Brookside Gardens in Maryland.

Loudoun County (VA) school board is drafting a new policy establishing guidelines for “sensitive and controversial” topics in the curriculum, without defining what either of those terms mean.

A group of parents say that the Madison County School Board (VA) violated policy by removing more than two dozen books from the library before there could be a public comment hearing.

The deadline to file an appeal against the overturned obscenity lawsuit in Virginia Beach has passed, so Gender Queer will continue to be seen in bookstores.

Cabarrus County (NC) schools debate who gets to initiate book removals.

The Catawba County School board race has a lot of candidates eager to make it easier to remove books from the school.

Moms for Liberty are exerting influence on Lexington County (SC) school board races.

Conway School Board (AR) voted to remove two challenged transgender books despite a committee’s recommendation to keep them.

The Arkansas group Craighead Citizens Taxed Enough has filed paperwork to defund the Jonesboro Public Library over its LGBTQ Pride display.

A North Alabama drag show was canceled in the wake of violent threats.

Sumner County (TN) debates banning A Place Inside of Me from schools. The book is about a Black boy who lost a friend after a police shooting.

Pleasant Valley School District (TN) returns a group of books that Moms for Liberty had challenged to the shelves.

Centralia Public Library (MO) board votes against restricting access to books.

Potential Missouri governmental candidate, Jay Ashcroft, floats a library book ban policy.

“Access equals equity:” Anti-censorship advocates fear the impact of Missouri’s new book ban legislation.

Elmbrook (WI) schools are reviewing their policy on censored books, which appears to be part of a coordinated statewide effort to remove books from schools and libraries.

A Kenosha (WI) County Board supervisor is complaining that Kenosha’s 2023 Big Read selection is Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. (I grew up very close to Kenosha, and this is…disappointing.)

A Springfield (IL) school librarian is facing backlash online for promoting Gender Queer.

The Carroll Community School District Board of Education discusses their reconsideration policies.

The Dearborn (MI) school board meeting on Monday devolved into absolute chaos, with hundreds of protestors calling for LGBTQ books to be removed and the fire marshal having to shut down the meeting due to the number of people in the building.

A Michigan police officer is running for a school board position on the basis that more books should be removed from the schools.

Parents object to Spring Lakes (MI) schools deciding to keep Gender Queer in libraries.

Hundreds turn out for public comment at the Bartholomew County Public Library board meeting (IN), where the debate continues about moving “inappropriate” materials out of the teen section.

A group of state legislators are calling for an investigation into the Nebraska Department of Education for “left wing agenda items” on the Launch Nebraska website.

Here’s another biased-as-hell article: Dickinson Public Library (ND) to offer controversial teen sex book.

Bozeman Public Schools (MT) are revising their review policy for challenged materials.

So after all the hoopla over the Montana State Library’s redesigned library looking too much like a Pride flag, this is the updated version. Someone, please tell me how the second logo is significantly different.

Casper City (WY) Council candidate called a teacher a pedophile after the teacher spoke out against banning Gender Queer.

The former Boundary County Library (ID) director talks more about what led up to her resignation.

An Idaho student won a school board seat, and he has a message for students everywhere.

Washington County School District (UT) officials faced questions from the Washington County Republican Women’s group about returning “porn” to libraries.

Conservatives are waging a war for control over California school boards.

Granite Bay High School (CA) approves a list of “controversial” materials for use in classrooms.

Another example of people not being able to back up their ridiculous claims. (CA)

Chilliwack (BC) students shoot a video to counter the homophobia and bigotry of the upcoming school board election.

Defunding a library is a symptom of blind populism.

Today’s book bans echo a panic against comic books in the 1950s.

Should you care if your teen wants to read a banned book? (Spoiler: No.)

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

Books & Authors in the News

Celeste Ng has been named the first official Indie Bookstore Ambassador by IndieBound!

A Trump political committee bought $158,000 worth of books shortly after Jared Kushner released his memoir.

Numbers & Trends

A letter from John Steinbeck written to his son has sold for over $32,000 at auction.

Award News

Shehan Karunatilaka has won the 2022 Booker Prize for The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida.

The 2022 MacArthur fellows have been announced — here are the literary selections.

Pop Cultured

If you have any true crime aficionados who use the library, they’ll appreciate this tidbit: Anna Delvey has been released from jail, but barred from social media.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Crown Publishing and We Need Diverse Books have launched the Michelle Obama Award for Memoir, which will provide scholarships for public high school students.

Amazon has been quietly making changes to their Kindle policies.

On the Riot

How dynamic shelving can change your library.

This Rioter didn’t become a reader until they were 16, and that’s totally fine.

black and white cat blocking a computer monitor

Blaine sent me this photo right before I was about to start a meeting, so when everyone sat down, I held out my phone and said, “I’d like to start this meeting with a cat photo.” Dini decided that Blaine had spent enough time on the computer, and it was time to pay attention to Mr. Dini Doodles.

All right. It’s the weekend. Deep breaths, and I’ll see you next Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Centuries of Spooky

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. Once again, spooky season is moving by too fast for my liking. I always feel like I should be loading up on new horror movies and tearing through a stack of the scariest novels, but of course, other things (namely life) get in the way. However, we have a giant bag of candy in the staff office that we’re tearing through at record pace…

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Hallmark Publishing is closing its doors.

Can Black literature escape the representation trap?

What counts as a bestseller?

New & Upcoming Titles

Jennette McCurdy signs a seven-figure deal for a debut novel.

Curtis Sittenfeld has a new book coming this spring!

Zoraida Cordova has a cover reveal for Kiss the Girl.

10 new horror books to get you into the Halloween season.

20 new horror novels you’ll love.

45 dishy new memoirs.

Barnes & Noble has their picks for the Best Books of 2022, and there are a ton of smaller lists to jump into as well. Your TBRs will hate you.

Actually, no, your TBRs will hate you more when you take a peek at NPR’s Books We Loved for 2022! Over three THOUSAND titles to dive into, with mix-and-match filters!

BBC also has a list of their best books of the year.

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

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Liberation Day: Stories — George Saunders (LA Times, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle)

The Hero of This Book — Elizabeth McCracken (Slate, Washington Post)

Dinosaurs — Lydia Millet (LA Times, New York Times)

Signal Fires — Dani Shapiro (LA Times, Washington Post)

Illuminations — Alan Moore (New York Times)

Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman — Alan Rickman (The Guardian)

RA/Genre Resources

A look at several Latin American women authors writing horror and fantasy.

Where to start with Nora Roberts.

On the Riot

The best weekly new releases to TBR.

Crime sub-genres to add to your TBR.

The best of both worlds: space western novels.

The portrait in the attic: how horror mirrors society.

All Things Comics

The 2022 Harvey Awards announce the best comics of the year.

Watchmen creator Alan Moore is “definitely done with comics.”

Here’s a first look at the TV adaptation of Essex County by Jeff Lemire.

On the Riot

3 new YA graphic novels perfect for Halloween.

Pairing popular books with manga recommendations.

The best action manhwa.

The best Beatles cameos in comics.

How to read comics and graphic novels with kids.


On the Riot

10 audiobooks perfect for spooky season.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


16 witchy YA reads to get you ready for Halloween.


Top 10 road novels.

10 best Star Wars novels, ranked.

5 scary novels that use setting to embody horror.

5 queer Indigenous novels.

18 books that prove we’re living in a golden age of horror.

The best fiction about the theater.

Fun Halloween reads for scaredy cats.

8 books that wrestle with the complexities of religion.

5 uniquely Chicanx/Latinx representations in crime fiction.

8 spicy historical romance novels.

19 enchanting books about witches.

8 ghostly historical fiction reads that cover centuries of spooky.

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

On the Riot

The best children’s books of all time.

8 great UK middle grade books students will love.

13 gloriously queer witch YA fantasy novels.

The best intergenerational YA novels.

8 Celtic mythology books for all ages.

20 must-read queer millennial novels.

8 contemporary romance novels by Asian authors.

The best Black poets to read (and listen to!) right now.

12 great mysteries about mother-child relationships.

Cookbooks that will teach you to be more intuitive in the kitchen.

8 beautiful Black, queer, coming of age stories.

10 haunting found-footage horror novels. (SIGN ME UP!)

8 essential Filipino cookbooks to read after devouring Arsenic and Adobo.

10 astrology books for all types of readers.

10 books that are positively dripping with fall vibes.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

orange and white cat curled up on a red white and blue blanket

We’ve got a guest for this issue’s cat photo. Meet Wrigley, the last remaining cat from the days when I still lived at home. He’s the epitome of a crusty old coot, but he still gets around well, and he loves to rub up against people’s legs, and snuggle up against my mom before bedtime. Occasionally if he’s feeling spicy, he’ll reach out and bop you on the head, but he’s been doing that since the first day we brought him home. It’s how he welcomes people into the house.

Well, I think the full moon is waning, so hopefully this week is less stressful than the last. I’ll check in again on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Down With the Blobby Book Cover

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. Y’all, it’s been a WEEK, and it’s only Wednesday as I write this letter. This week has tested the limits of my abilities as interim director, and I’ve been dealing with a random bout of insomnia to boot, so my mental faculties are really drained at exactly the worst time. Send positive thoughts and some sleepy time vibes.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Senator Jack Reed (RI) and Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva (AZ) introduced the Right to Read Act, which would ensure all U.S. students have access to a school library staffed by a certified school librarian.

Cool Library Updates

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has expanded to California!

Book Adaptations in the News

Devil in the White City loses its director and Keanu Reeves in the same week.

A Myron Bolitar series is in the works at Netflix.

People We Meet on Vacation gets a film adaptation.

Stephen King’s latest novel, Fairy Tale, will be adapted for film.

John Waters will direct the adaptation of his novel, Liarmouth.

Jessica Simpson’s memoir Open Book has gotten a pilot order for Freevee.

Kindred gets a December 13th release date on Hulu.

The Summer I Turned Pretty has been renewed for a second season.

Here’s a first look at The People We Hate At the Wedding.

Banned & Challenged Books

Book banners insist they don’t ban books.

Katy ISD (TX) trustees voted to remove students from a book removal committee charged with determining whether challenged books should remain in school libraries. Great, remove the perspective of the people most deeply affected by removing school library books.

Manufactured controversy over a Banned Books Display in Kerr County, Texas.

Perry High School (TX) elects to keep The Hate U Give in the school library.

Book bans take center stage in the Leander ISD (TX) school board race.

How a Christian cellphone company became a rising force in Texas politics.

100+ (!!!) questionable books have been placed in a restricted section while awaiting review in Escambia County (FL) public schools.

Book ban disputes roiled these Oklahoma communities. Here’s what happened.

RSU1 (ME) debates about whether or not to retain Beyond Magenta: Trans Teens Speak Out.

Medomak Valley High School (ME) senior circulates a petition to keep Gender Queer on the library shelf.

Abington (MA) school officials pulled This Book is Gay from the Middle/High School library while the book is reviewed.

Westport (CT) Board of Education trustees refused to publicly discuss a banned books display during a recent meeting.

Westfield (NJ) Library takes a stance against book bans by passing a new resolution.

The Pennridge School District (PA) tells teachers to remove LGBTQ pride flags, crosses, and other “advocacy materials” as part of a new policy.

The Pennsylvania ACLU files a federal complaint against the Central Bucks School District after LGBTQ students reported being “severely” harassed.

Bedford County (VA) parents are upset over new policy for challenging books in the school library, which is technically a five step process, but also allows the library media specialist or school principal to permanently remove a book at step one if they deem necessary.

Madison County (VA) school board proposes banning library books as part of a new state policy.

Wilkes County (NC) superintendent has been given temporary authority to immediately remove any challenged books or other educational materials that he deems inappropriate.

Pickens County (SC) School Board votes to ban Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Carroll (IA) Community School District trustees discuss three books that parents want removed from the high school library.

The ACLU of Illinois has written letters to the homophobic and transphobic group Awake Illinois, which sent letters to two IL residents, threatening them with defamation lawsuits after they spoke out against a Congressional candidate with ties to Awake Illinois.

Drag Story Hour events bring joy — and protests — to St. Paul libraries.

A look at the formal challenges filed at the Kent District Library (MI) to remove 13 different titles.

Michigan GOP gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon has called for “pornographic” books to be removed from schools and libraries, as well as legislation to prevent “grooming,” but not surprisingly, has been short on details about what this would actually look like.

Sumner County (TN) school board member has filed an official challenge against the picture book A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart because it references the Black Lives Matter movement.

Kirwood and Webster school districts (MO) each remove multiple library books in response to the new state law that restricts “explicit sexual material” in schools.

A measure to defund the Jonesboro (AR) Library is likely to be on the November ballot.

A Bryan County (GA) substitute teacher says she was fired after objecting to the book All Are Welcome being read during a library read-aloud program.

The surplus books that were previously slated to be destroyed in the Rapid City Area Schools District (SD) are now being sold…which doesn’t really solve anything except a storage problem, because they’re still not available for students to use.

Cherry Creek School District (CO) removed Let’s Talk About It from school libraries after receiving a parental complaint.

Academy District 20 superintendent in Colorado Springs resigns, which comes just a few months after a Colorado Springs school board president urged parents to search school libraries for “objectionable materials.”

Once again, another article that centers the parents who are trying to have books removed. This time in Utah.

Natrona County (WY) School District elects to keep Gender Queer and Trans Bodies, Trans Selves in school libraries.

Fifteen months later, the library battle rages on in Campbell County, Wyoming.

Several parents expressed outrage over the book This Book is Gay at a Walla Walla Public School District (WA) board meeting, except it doesn’t sound like the school library even owns a copy of the book…

The South Central Regional Library in Manitoba decides to keep three sex ed books on library shelves.

Rapidly accelerating book bans are a part of a coordinated assault on public education.

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

Books & Authors in the News

Renowned country star and author Loretta Lynn has passed away at 90.

Peter Robinson, author of the Inspector Banks novels, has died at 72.

Numbers & Trends

The bestselling books of the week.

Let’s get rid of the blobby book cover.

The most expensive Jane Austen novel has sold for £375,000.

Award News

French writer Annie Ernaux has been awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature. Here’s a reading guide for Ernaux’s work.

The longlists for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medals have been announced.

15 books getting major awards buzz.

Pop Cultured

Angela Lansbury, who played Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote, has died at 96.

On the Riot

Why animals belong in the library.

An argument for watching the movie first.

The scientific benefits of reading to children.

Coming to terms with reading less.

two dark cats sleeping on an unmade bed with their backs touching

My boys were caught snuggling! I feel a little like the principal from Mean Girls: “Rumor has it that Gilbert and Houdini like each other. The two were seen canoodling on the bed two weeks ago, and have been inseparable ever since.”

All right, I’m off to bed to see if there’s any sleep in store for me. I hope everyone has some restful nights, and a restful weekend!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Everyone’s Writing a Memoir

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. As much as I love spooky stuff for spooky season, I also have to make time for the funny spooky stuff, which is why I’m watching Young Frankenstein while I type this newsletter, and my co-workers are probably going to get really irritated with me going “SEDA-GIVE?!?!” all week. Oh well!

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Where is all the book data?

Publishing wants to cash in on BookTok, but creators say no.

New & Upcoming Titles

Publisher’s Weekly releases its annual holiday gift guide.

Fall Out Boy guitarist Joe Trohman has a memoir coming out.

So do Pamela Anderson, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Al Pacino.

Oprah Daily has the cover reveal for Brandon Taylor’s next novel, The Late Americans.

Here’s the cover reveal for Cassandra Khaw’s novella, The Salt Grows Heavy.

21 recent horror novels to read before Halloween.

The best horror novels of 2022 (so far).

New dark and twisty YA reads for fall.

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

October picks from Crime Reads (general picks, debuts, psychological thrillers), Good Morning America, Goodreads, The Guardian (thrillers), The Millions, Riveted Lit, and Shondaland.

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Our Missing Hearts — Celeste Ng (LA Times, NPR, USA Today, Vox)

Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America — Maggie Haberman (LA Times, Slate, Washington Post)

The Hero of This Book — Elizabeth McCracken (New York Times, NPR, Shondaland)

On the Riot

New cookbooks for Fall 2022.

The best weekly new releases to TBR.

October picks for mystery/thriller/true crime, romance, SFF, horror, nonfiction, YA, and children.

A fantasy sub-genres primer.

Why you should read horror all year ’round.

Reading pathway for Alisha Rai.

A guide to U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón’s poems.

All Things Comics

Keanu Reeves may be directing the film adaptation of his BRZRKR comic.

Here’s the first look at the new Black Panther.

Every Marvel Studios movie and Disney+ project in 2022 and beyond.

On the Riot

New comic releases for October 2022.

What are YA webtoons?

8 perfectly cool graphic novels for fall.

10 fascinating graphic nonfiction books for curious minds.


The October 2022 Earphones Award winners have been announced.

The best thriller audiobooks to listen to for thrills and chills.

On the Riot

20 must-listen audio mysteries.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


16 YA books that deal with domestic violence.

14 LGBTQ+ historical fiction YA novels.

16 YA books if you loved Squid Game.

7 horror novels perfect for teens.


7 novels that blend romance and body horror.

5 LGBTQ novels set in the ’90s.

These books are so fetch — books to celebrate Mean Girls Day.

12 books by Latinas on mental health for all ages.

A reading list for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The best vampire books to read beyond Twilight.

5 SFF tales of immortality.

9 novels of art and seduction.

Books in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

8 novels about humans eating humans.

A multi-perspective novel reading list.

8 best-selling trans romance books you don’t want to miss.

8 cozy books that will make you think.

10 spooky modern horror books to read this fall.

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

On the Riot

8 exhilarating novels about real people.

8 mysteries and thrillers by Asian authors.

11 of the best horror short story collections.

Best space opera books of all time.

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

black and white cat laying on its back in a gray computer chair

Dini took over Blaine’s computer chair, and when Blaine called him on it, Dini rolled over and did this. Is he being cute? Is he taunting us? Is he asking for extra snacks?

Have a spooky week, everyone! I’ll check in again on Friday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Hot Girl Books and Lizzo in the Library

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. This newsletter is brought to you on a wave of inexplicable insomnia from the last two nights. My brain has just…refused to fall asleep, and I’ve had a full week of big projects, meetings, and emails. Plus a shift as a #SundayLibrarian. I know there’s never a good time to deal with insomnia, but I’m like, “Why the heck is my brain picking NOW as a good time to act up??”

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Over 300 authors, including Neil Gaiman, Hanif Abdurraqib, and Chuck Wendig have teamed up with the advocacy group Fight for the Future to urge publishers to better support libraries and digital lending practices.

The William Hall Library (RI) has suspended use of its meeting spaces pending a policy review. This comes after the library allowed the Independent Women’s Network to host an event on gender ideology at the library, which many considered anti-transgender.

Here are the results of Library Journal’s Fines and Fees survey.

Cool Library Updates

Lizzo at the library!

Worth Reading

How to intervene when you witness a microaggression.

Book Adaptations in the News

Hulu will be adapting the true crime book Under the Bridge by Rebecca Godfrey as a limited true crime series.

Interview With the Vampire has already been renewed for a second season.

Casting update for Dark Matter.

Here’s the first trailer for Knock at the Cabin, which is based on Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World.

And here’s the latest trailer for Enola Holmes 2.

First trailer for The Wonder.

Teaser trailer for The Mayfair Witches.

Banned & Challenged Books

The strain of censorship on public libraries.

Libraries across the US are receiving violent threats.

Who parental rights groups leave out.

A group of angry citizens has filed a First Amendment lawsuit against Llano, Texas county officials for removing or restricting book access in the public library.

Armed protesters showed up to a Texas church’s drag bingo event.

Eanes ISD (TX) postpones its annual Banned Books Week lesson following parent concerns. I just…I have no response to this.

Escambia County School Board (FL) superintendent implements a restricted section in school libraries that will house 116 books that a teacher and school board member have deemed “obscene.”

The book ban debate reignites in the Central York School District (PA) over claims that the book Girls Who Code had been banned from the district.

During Banned Books Week, a New Hampshire school district wrestles with how to allow book challenges.

The Ferguson Library (CT) receives threats following a Drag Queen Story Time program.

ParentsUnitedRI is pushing a slate of conservative extremists for local office.

Spotsylvania (VA) school district removes multiple books without review.

Debate sparked after Gender Queer was removed from Western High School (NC) shelves.

South Carolina library board chair publicly bullies a librarian over LGBTQ books.

Stamped has been removed from Pickens County Schools (SC). No one in attendance at the board meeting spoke in favor of retaining the book.

Dearborn Public Schools (MI) temporarily restricts access to seven books while setting up a review committee. The books that have been restricted are Push, All Boys Aren’t Blue, And They Lived, The Lovely Bones, Eleanor & Park, Red, White, and Royal Blue, and This Book is Gay. A Dearborn high school mother also reportedly filed a police report over the presence of This Book is Gay in the school library.

Tensions grow amid challenged book discussions at the Phillips Public Library (WI).

Wausau (WI) parents are pushing the Marathon County Public Library to restrict children’s access to materials that discuss LGBTQ+ themes and gender identity.

Downer’s Grove Public Library (IL) reports that they received a threatening letter with a bullet inside, which prompted them to cancel their planned Drag Queen bingo event for teens.

Kansas City-area schools remove The Handmaid’s Tale, Slaughterhouse-Five, and more books from shelves. And suburban school districts in the St. Louis area are more likely to ban books under the state’s new law.

Nixa Public Schools (MO) restricts access to 10 books, including The Bluest Eye.

Anti-censorship advocates fear the impact of Missouri’s new book ban law.

Seaman High School (KS) bans Me and Earl and the Dying Girl during a special board meeting.

Arkansas state senator Dan Sullivan signs a petition to decrease funding for the Jonesboro library.

Jefferson County Public Schools (KY) will keep Gender Queer on library shelves.

A Sumner County (TN) school board member calls for a review of the district’s collection policy after a parent complained that their six-year-old found a book with an illustration relating to Black Lives Matter.

Sequatchie County (TN) parent wants to remove Looking for Alaska from high school shelves.

Book ban efforts in Colorado see little success, despite the national surge.

Dozens speak out against banning LGBTQ books at a Natrona County (WY) School Board meeting.

A book challenge at ImagineIF Libraries (MT) prompts the creation of a “parent resources” section, which will house books that have been deemed inappropriate for children to read without parental permission.

The Park City Board of Education (UT) postpones a book ban policy decision…again.

A ban on sexually explicit materials in Arizona schools is set to take effect.

A Chandler (AZ) parent is upset over the book Melissa.

LGBTQ+ books are under review in the Poway Unified School District (CA).

Conservative parents seek power on San Diego school boards.

British Columbia school board candidates are pushing for policy changes to allow trustees to make decisions about school curriculum and book selections. Related: Canadian right-wing book banning groups don’t know how school boards work.

Parents find an anti-SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) pamphlet being distributed in a Kelowna (BC) school parking lot.

A group of Winkler (MB) citizens are pushing for the South Central Regional Library to remove multiple books that they have deemed to be “pornographic.”

Okay, I call BS on this opinion piece: “But if we don’t let parents prevent their children from taking out allegedly dangerous books, they’re more likely to demand that the books be removed altogether.” It’s not about individual family choices for these people. The author even acknowledges this in the article. This whole issue is a concerted effort to control information and terrorize large groups of people for existing, and compromise doesn’t help. Also, do students not have any rights anymore?

The rising tide of censorship and scrutiny has schools scrambling to avoid the backlash.

Disinvestment poses as great a threat to libraries as book bans.

Why are book ban efforts working?

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

Books & Authors in the News

Charles Leerhsen responds to criticism from Anthony Bourdain’s family over his unauthorized biography, No Reservations.

Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga was found guilty of inciting violence after staging a peaceful protest calling for political reform.

New York Times rediscovers several early interviews with Cormac McCarthy.

Romance authors are mobilizing for reproductive rights.

Look for Carmen Maria Machado in Shudder’s new documentary Queer for Fear.

Numbers & Trends

What is a “hot girl book” and why is everyone talking about them?

The bestselling books of the week.

Award News

The finalists for the 2022 National Book Awards have been announced.

The 2022 Diverse Book Awards shortlist has been announced.

Here are the nominees for the Shirley Jackson Awards.

Here’s the shortlist for the Center for Fiction’s 2022 First Novel Prize.

On the Riot

A day in the life of an elementary school librarian.

What it’s like being a medical librarian.

How to play Dungeons & Dragons.

Adaptation trends and predictions.

Building your bookish mental health tool kit.

An abbreviated history of American Girl publishing in the 90’s.

black cat resting its head on the corner of a laptop

I had a couple of really cute photos of Dini that I was going to put in this newsletter, but then Gilbert decided he was going to use my laptop as a pillow and help me finish the newsletter. What a helpful boy!

Okay, I’m going to go to bed. Everyone, make sure you get some good rest this weekend!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Check Your Shelf

Lots of Firsts in 2023

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


Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

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

HarperCollins Union files an unfair labor practice charge against HarperCollins.

New & Upcoming Titles

Tom Hanks will publish his debut novel next year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The best new true crime books out now.

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

September picks from Amazon, Vanity Fair.

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

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

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Missing Hearts – Celeste Ng (SF Chronicle)

RA/Genre Resources

Where to start with the work of Langston Hughes.

On the Riot

The best weekly new releases to TBR.

10 new queer horror novels to read this fall.

From monsters to mayhem: 9 types of horror plots.

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

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

All Things Comics

Blade loses its director two months ahead of production.

10 of the most underrated manga for romance fans.

On the Riot

On rereading and slowing down with YA graphic novels.

Comics for goths and goth wannabes.

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

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


17 slightly scary Halloween picture books for kids.

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

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

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


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

15 romantic suspense books to send chills down your spine.

5 genderbent SFF retellings and reimaginings.

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

A ballet reading list.

A reading list of fictional diaries.

5 SFF books about the aftermath of the apocalypse.

8 novels about monstrous mothers.

9 books to make you cry, every time.

7 essential books about Marilyn Monroe.

25 essential fantasy novels.

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

On the Riot

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

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

15 must-read YA novels that center Black boys.

YA books about teens working in indie bookstores.

20 must-read witchy mysteries and thrillers.

8 authors that make you feel taken care of.

9 books for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Books for art fans.

20 must-read genre-blending literary fiction books.

12 awesome books translated from Arabic.

15 of the best small-town romance books.

8 of the best horror books by Latine authors.

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

Readalikes for Only Murders in the Building.

12 sad romance novels.

Unique nonfiction to add to your TBR.

12 short horror novels under 300 pages.

9 literary fiction novels similar to Transcendent Kingdom.

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

Level Up (Library Reads)

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

black and white cat laying in a person's lap with its front paw stretched out

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

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

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

Check Your Shelf

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

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

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

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

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

Same at the Fort Worth Public Library.

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

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

Cool Library Updates

Cataloging a bicycle gear library.

Worth Reading

How libraries became refuges for people with mental illness.

Fighting misinformation in the school library.

How to run a successful book club.

Book Adaptations in the News

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

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

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

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

Banned & Challenged Books

Who are the groups banning books near you?

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

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

Banned Book Week ideas for rural libraries.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Utah libraries standing against censorship and book banning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Books & Authors in the News

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

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

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

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Numbers & Trends

2021 was a stellar year for publishing.

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

A consolidated list of this week’s bestselling books.

Award News

The Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction longlist has been announced.

The Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist has been announced.

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

Pop Cultured

The Latinx culture guide for Hispanic Heritage Month.

8 true crime podcasts for fall.

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

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

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

On the Riot

How to help teens become great Dungeons & Dragons masters.

8 fun reading activities for middle school students.

30 days of streaming horror adaptations.

Authors who made the Time100 Next list this year.

A review of the new book discovery app Tertulia.

10 of the best Goodreads reviewers to follow.

Literary Twitter bots.

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

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

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

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

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

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