Check Your Shelf

What COVID Did to Fiction



Always books. Never boring.

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I knew this last weekend that I was in my mid-30s because I was partially relieved when my friend had to cancel our plans for Friday evening…we had tickets to a drag show in the city, but the show didn’t start until 10 p.m., and both of us agreed that 10 o’clock was probably too late for us to be out anyway. What thrilling lives we lead!

Attention librarians, booksellers, and book nerds! You can apply to become a Bibliologist for Tailored Book Recommendations and get paid for your bookish knowledge! TBR is a subscription-based book recommendation service where customers receive three hand-picked recommendations per quarter that are tailored to their specific reading likes and dislikes. Of special interest: bibliologists who can recommend across a variety of genres. Click here to read more and fill out an application.

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Now you can read the classics with AI-powered expert guides.

The rise of bookstores with a social mission.

New & Upcoming Titles

V.E. Schwab just signed a 7-figure book deal, with her next book being released in 2025.

Trump’s nephew Fred C. Trump III is releasing a memoir, out in July.

Sylvester Stallone has a memoir coming out in 2025.

3 new nonfiction books to commemorate Juneteenth.

The Ultimate Summer 2024 reading list.

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

June picks from The Guardian (thrillers), People, Reactor (YA SFF).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

Consent: A Memoir – Jill Ciment (New York Times, NPR)

Parade – Rachel Cusk (New York Times, Washington Post)

When the Clock Broke: Con Men, Conspiracists, and How America Cracked Up in the Early 1990s – John Ganz (New York Times, Washington Post)

The Uptown Local: Joy, Death, and Joan Didion: A Memoir – Cory Leadbeater (New York Times, Washington Post)

Just Add Water: My Swimming Life – Katie Ledecky (New York Times, People)

Hip-Hop is History – Questlove (The Guardian, Washington Post)

Beautiful Days: Stories – Zach Williams (Esquire, Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

Why the Pacific Northwest is the perfect setting for murder.

The lure of faraway places in crime fiction.

In defense of queer villains in stories.

Queering crime stories: establishing a new order in mysteries and thrillers.

What COVID did to fiction.

The American Novel has a major problem with fat people.

On the Riot

The best new weekly releases to TBR, plus the best weekly BIPOC and LGBTQ+ releases.

June 2024 book club selections.

The best book club books to read for Pride Month.

What books are being called the best of the year so far? Well, here are the best books according to Amazon.

What is a why choose romance?

All Things Comics

5 of this year’s best graphic novels make for perfect summer reading.

Excellent graphic novels for kids to read this summer.


On the Riot’s most pre-ordered audiobooks of summer 2024.

Audible’s top audiobooks of 2024 so far.

11 compelling nonfiction audiobooks for kids.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists


30 great LGBTQ+ picture books.

Kids’ books about sisters and sisterhood.

LGBTQ+ books for tweens.

What to read while you wait for Sunrise on the Reaping.

14 YA suggestions to help you manifest bravery.

16 YA books to inspire your main character energy this summer.

Will reading these 12 YA books make you smarter?


Pride reading lists from Barnes & Noble, Kirkus, USA Today, Washington Post.

The best Father’s Day books for fiction & nonfiction-loving dads.

10 feminist crime novels subverting the “dead girl” trope.

5 of the best fashion memoirs.

15 enchanting romances with a touch of magic.

Short story recommendations when you only have a half hour.

Books with intense “Yes, Chef” vibes to get ready for Season 3 of The Bear.

Vintage VHS-inspired horror thrills and chills.

On the Riot

Pretty queer in pink: LGBTQ+ YA books with pink covers.

LGBTQ romantasy books that you probably aren’t hearing about on TikTok.

10 STEM-themed romances.

5 books about longevity to help you live a longer life.

Trans historical fiction books.

If you like that popular queer book, try this under-the-radar pairing.

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 Edelweiss has a new catalog dedicated to diverse titles, which is managed by Early Word Galley Chatter Vicki Nesting. Check it out!

a brown tabby cat hugging a woman's leg

I was trying to roll out a sore spot on my back, but Jonesy had other ideas.

All right, friends. Back on Friday!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.