ALA Introduces “Book Résumés” to Help Fight Book Bans

Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Chief of Staff

Rebecca Joines Schinsky is the executive director of product and ecommerce at Riot New Media Group. She co-hosts All the Books! and the Book Riot Podcast. Follow her on Twitter: @rebeccaschinsky.

Welcome to Today in Books, where we report on literary headlines at the intersection of politics, culture, media, and more.

ALA Issues Résumés for Banned Books

In just the latest reminder that not all heroes wear capes—and librarians are some of our greatest heroes now and always—the American Library Association’s Unite Against Book Bans coalition has issued “résumés” for hundreds of frequently banned and challenged books. The documents are intended to support efforts to keep books on shelves by providing information about “a banned book’s significance and educational value, including a synopsis, reviews from professional journals, awards, accolades, and more” in addition to details about how challenges to the titles have been successfully defeated. Hundreds more will be released during National Library Week, April 7-13. May these efforts succeed. 

Libby Announces Finalists for Inaugural Book Awards

Libby, the digital reading app for public libraries, has announced the finalists for its inaugural Libby Book Awards. Chosen by a panel of professional librarians, the awards highlight the best books from familiar categories like fiction, nonfiction, and YA, but Libby didn’t stop there. There are also awards for best debut author, best cookbook, and best romantasy. There’s also “best diverse author,” which gets the inaugural Rebecca Schinsky Award for good intent with poor execution. 

  1. A person is not “diverse.” 
  2. Libby doesn’t specify how they’ve defined diversity, so looking at the finalists, which include people of color and LGBTQ+ folks, it appears that what they mean is “anyone who isn’t cis, straight, and/or white.” A catch-all category is counter to the spirit—which I do believe Libby is genuinely pursuing—of acknowledging that marginalized people are not monolithic.
  3. If you can take the time to separate mysteries from thrillers and romances and fantasies from romantasies, you can certainly create spaces for Black writers, queer writers, disabled writers, and so on. 

And listen, I know there’s no perfect version of this. We’re not after perfection. We’re after progress, and I hope to see Libby do better next time. 

How Well Do You Know International Thrillers? 

If the Hunger Games included in this word puzzle with 10 international thrillers hidden it, I would have been toast. May the odds be ever in your favor. 

Dune 2: Electric Boogaloo

With just about a week to go until Dune: Part Two (or as I call it, Tremors in Space) hits theaters, now is a good time for a refresher on what happened in part one. Hop in the wayback machine as we revisit an episode of Adaptation Nation.

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