What's Up in YA

And Now We Give Away YA Books

Hello, YA lovers!

dream jumperThis week’s “What’s Up in YA?” newsletter is sponsored by Dream Jumper

Ben’s dreams are all nightmares . . . And his nightmares are real!  He can also jump into other people’s dreams. So when his friends start falling victim to an evil dream-monster that prevents them from waking, Ben knows he has to help them. With help from a talking rabbit-companion who has a mysterious past, Ben might just be able to defeat the monster and save his friends . . . if he can figure out how to harness the power within him against his enemies.

Read a free preview at

Over the last few weeks, we’ve talked some big stuff, haven’t we? We’ve covered YA adaptations at the box office, gender and feminism in YA, sexual assault through YA fiction, and in the last newsletter, we got to see a wonderful collection of YA Pride displays. And on Book Riot proper, we’ve seen pieces on “bad kids,” on queer YA that isn’t tragic, and YA author Benjamin Alire Saenz wrote a piece about the power of books and community that requires a tissue or ten to get through.


But this week . . .

trubama arm selfie

In honor of America’s 4th of July and Canada Day long weekends, let’s take a break from the heavy work of talking YA.

How about a giveaway? This will be open to subscribers only (meaning if you pass along this link, those who enter will also need to sign up for the newsletter) and it’s open world-wide. I’ve curated a collection of brand new YA titles, along with some backlist titles that are worth your reading time. I’m also throwing in a few advanced reader copies for titles I know YA readers will be eager to pick up ASAP.

Here’s what you can win:


(Ignore that my wonderful chalk art reads “Giveawa” and not “Giveaway” — it’s art).

A closeup of the three small piles so you can see the titles:

IMG_6455 IMG_6456

Both of those piles are finished, pristine, beautiful hardcover books.

And here are the four ARCs I’ve got to give, too:


Tempted? Great! All you need to do is fill out the form. Click here to be taken directly to it. I’ll pick a winner and email them on or around July 12.

We’ll be back to regular YA news programming in two weeks. In the mean time, enjoy a little break and kick back with a great YA novel or two. Perhaps in a future newsletter, I’ll be asking you to share your favorite reads from 2016. . . get thinking!


Audiobooks!: June 30, 2016

Picture1This week’s Audiobooks! newsletter is sponsored by

Have you ever taken a road trip with your family that seemed to go on forever? We all have! Audiobooks can solve that problem by providing entertainment for the whole family.  Visit for a free full download and start listening with the whole family on your next car ride.

Hello again, audiobook-loving friends. You know how we were commiserating about how hard it is to find audiobooks that everyone in the family can listen to together? I remember it just like it was a few weeks ago. (Oh wait, it was!)

100 Family-Friendly Audiobooks, You’re Welcome

SabrielLibrarian and Book Riot contributor Molly Wetta has come to the rescue with 100 family-friendly audiobooks that are fun for kids, but are also engaging enough for adults. Many have voices you’ll recognize – like Kate Winslet (Matilda!), Tim Curry (Sabriel and A Series of Unfortunate Events!), and Stephen Fry (a bunch!). Whether you’re in the car with five-year-olds or teenagers, Molly promises something for everyone that will make your trip fly by.

Lindy West’s Shrill is Kind of the Most Fantastic Thing Ever

shrillIf you are a person who appreciates unapologetic feminism, body positivity, and a well-placed poop joke, Lindy West’s Shrill might wind up being the best book of essays you have ever listened to in your life. Sandwiched between HILARIOUS jokes about reading high fantasy by Robert Jordan on the bus, and the situation with deeply disturbing high school choir outfits, Lindy has gifted us a “fat feminist abortion manifesto” (her words), because “people don’t expect to hear from women like that. And I want other women to see me do that and I want women’s voices to get louder.”

I love Lindy West’s amazing comedic timing in her writing for The Stranger, Jezebel, and The Guardian, and listening to her deliver her jokes on audio was kind of the most fantastic thing ever. She confesses that she never wanted to be the poster child for fighting virtual trolls and calling out rape jokes, yet she does it every day for everyone who wants women’s voices to get louder. She’s doing it for me, and she’s doing it for you. Thank you, Lindy West <3

A Brief History of the Audiobook, With Mustache Jokes

Tom-SelleckFrom a 1940s New York Public Library project that recorded textbooks for blind soldiers, to a record company that produced talking books by Dylan Thomas, Eudora Welty, T.S. Eliot, and William Faulkner in the 1950s, Book Riot contributor Aram Mrjoian has turned up some fascinating tidbits about the history of audiobooks (complete with jokes about Tom Selleck’s mustache, because Book Riot).

Maggie Gyllenhaal Reads Anna Karenina and I Can’t Even

annakareninaWhen mermaid unicorn goddess Maggie Gyllenhaal recorded Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar earlier this year, I freaked out a little. How does it get more perfect than that, right?? Here’s how: Gyllenhaal just recorded a brand new edition of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and now I don’t even know what to do with myself. Hold me.

I just watched BBC’s gorgeous new War & Peace mini-series (Gillian Anderson as Anna Pavlovna!), and this recording of Anna Karenina is the best possible follow-up. That smoky voice, reading those famous opening lines… It’s up for pre-order now, and will be officially out from Audible on July 12. Confetti canon!

The Goods

25% Off Storewide

T-shirts and tank tops and tote bags galore! There’s just one day left to get 25% off everything in the Book Riot Store.


*sale excludes Book Mail & themed book boxes


Book Riot Live

1 Day Left To Get $40 Off on Book Riot Live

Tomorrow, June 30, is the last day to get your discounted VIP tickets to Book Riot Live! Get $40 off the weekend pass or $15 off a day pass, plus a complimentary water bottle and early RSVP access to special panels. And for those of you who will be around Friday night, grab tickets to our Books & Booze night with Diane McMartin, Certified Sommelier and author. See you in November!

Party Like a Book Nerd image featuring Walter Mosley, Charlie Jane Anders, and Valentine De Landro

New Books

Space Thrillers, Sheffield on Bowie, and More New Releases!

It’s that time again: Fresh! Hot! Books! Tuesdays are my favorite days. I’ve highlighted a few of the week’s best below, and on this week’s episode of the All the Books! Rebecca and I talked about more great books, such as Chronicle of a Last Summer, All the Missing Girls, and We Could Be Beautiful.

fight club 2This week’s newsletter is sponsored by Fight Club 2 by Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart.

Some imaginary friends never go away . . .

Ten years after starting Project Mayhem, he lives a mundane life. A kid, a wife. Pills to keep his destiny at bay. But it won’t last long—the wife has seen to that. He’s back where he started, but this go-round he’s got more at stake than his own life. The time has arrived . . . Collects issues #1–#10 of the series.

“Cameron Stewart and Chuck Palahniuk are working some twisted magic.”—SCOTT SNYDER

“The book is fantastic, my highest recommendation.”—BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

on bowieOn Bowie by Rob Sheffield

There was no way I wasn’t going to read this book! The death of David Bowie shocked and saddened the world, but his legacy will love on long after we’re gone. Sheffield, one of the most respected music critics of our time, examines Bowie’s catalog of work in a series of essays written in Sheffield’s characteristic cultural astuteness. He explains why Bowie was so important to the world and his influences on music and culture, and why it’s okay to be sad that he’s gone. Because we sure are sad.

Backlist bump: Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut by Rob Sheffield

the bones of graceThe Bones of Grace by Tahmima Anam

Zubaida is a student in Cambridge when she falls for Elijah, but the stars are not aligned for the star-crossed lovers, and she returns to her country to follow her family’s plans for her future. Disheartened and stifled by her decision, she moves to the beaches of Chittagong to work on a documentary and seek the remains of “the walking whale.” The Bones of Grace is a deeply moving novel of love, immigration, and loss, moving from Boston to India and back again, that will sweep you away with its beautiful language and sad, lovely story.

Backlist bump: A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam

tracerTracer by Rob Boffard

It’s the future, and what is left of the now-uninhabitable Earth is orbiting the planet inside a rundown space station. If mankind doesn’t find a new place to live soon, it’s lacy, gently wafting curtains for everyone. And as if the pressure of extinction isn’t enough, there’s also a villain aboard the space station with destruction on his mind. It’s up to Riley Hale to stop the chaos on the ship before it’s too late! I love this books tagline: “In space, every second counts. Who said nobody could hear you scream?”

Backlist bump: Lightless by C.A. Higgins (out in paperback July 26, but sooooooo worth it in hardcover.)

YAY, BOOKS! That’s it for me. If you want to learn more about books (and see lots of pictures of my cats), or tell me about books you’re reading, you can find me on Twitter at MissLiberty, on Instagram at FranzenComesAlive, or Litsy under ‘Liberty’!

Stay rad!



This Week In Books

The Bestselling Books of 2016…so far: This Week in Books

Book Buyers Begin Receiving Price-Fixing Settlement Credits

Credits from the settlement of Apple’s ebook price-fixing lawsuit started hitting reader accounts this week. Amazon was the first out of the gate. (I got $25.67.) Barnes & Noble and Kobo said that their customers’ credits should be coming soon. Basically, if you bought ebooks from any of the major U.S. retailers over the last few years, go check your accounts. You get a credit of $6.73 for every NYT bestseller and $1.57 for all other ebooks. I’m not sure why popular books are so disproportionately reimbursed, but that’s the deal they struck. You have a year to use them up, so get to it.


The Best-Selling Books from the First Half of 2016

Business Insider plumbed Amazon’s depths to find the 20 best-selling books of the first six months of 2016. As is often the case, seeing a list of the books that people are actually buying shows just how scattered (and backlist-heavy) the titles are. Business, cooking, coloring books, children’s: in general, not the books that get talked about in book circles, but the books that provide the money that makes the publishing world go round. Strangely, the best-selling book hasn’t even been released yet. Can you guess? (Check your answer here).


Barnes & Noble: Hanging in There, Just

The still champ of U.S. brick and mortar book sales released its 2015 financial results this week, which are interesting to book lovers for one reason: we want to know if B&N is going to make it. The long and short of it seems to be: probably? Nook continues to be a millstone around B&N’s neck, but the stores themselves are holding up OK. I can’t help but wonder if Amazon’s recent push to try their own physical bookstores in a few affluent suburbs that are B&N’s bread and butter isn’t the corporate version of a vulture circling a struggling wildebeest.

Thanks to Sober Stick Figure by Amber Tozer for sponsoring This Week in Books:


Sober Stick Figure is Amber Tozer’s unflinchingly honest account of her three-decade long romance with alcohol, the eventual end of her addiction, and how booze almost destroyed her – all told with the help of subversively child-like stick figures. Amber writes about (and illustrates) the crazy, harsh, sometimes laughably ridiculous truths regarding addiction, denial, and getting sober. Dubbed by The Chicago Tribune as “a powerful and often hilarious reminder that we’re at our best when we’re not afraid to be ourselves,” Sober Stick Figure is the story of a long road to recovery, at once sweet, tragic, funny, and ultimately inspiring.


Book Riot Live

5 Days Left for Discounted VIP Tickets to Book Riot Live

It’s the final countdown! Join us for the book nerd party of the year at the best rate of the year. Get $40 off your weekend pass, a free water bottle, plus early RSVP access to special panels and events with speakers including Walter Mosley, Sara Farizan, Jeph Jacques, Phoebe Robinson, and more. Run, do not walk — this discount ends on 6/30.

Party Like a Book Nerd at Book Riot Live

The Goods

Don’t Miss Out on the Next Book Mail!

Hot dog, do y’all love bookish mail! The first Book Mail box launched earlier this week and sold out within a day. Sign up now to have first crack at the next round, due out in September!


YA more your flavor? The first YA box is just a few weeks away.

And if you’d rather know what genres you’re getting, you’re in luck! We made some extra Spooky Reads and Steamy Reads boxes, and you can snag them for $10 off.

Happy reading!


Book Riot Live

Get the Best Deal on Book Riot Live Tickets

Haven’t gotten your tickets yet? You’ve got till June 30th to get the best deal you’ll see: $40 off your weekend pass, VIP access to programming, a free water bottle, and first notice on exciting news and additions! Register now and join us at Book Riot Live, sponsored by Bookwitty, on November 12 and 13.

Bonus: they’re going fast, but there are still tickets available for our Friday, November 11 books and wine pairing with Certified Sommelier and author Diane McMartin! Just select “Books and Booze with Diane McMartin” under Add-Ons during registration.

Party Like a Book Nerd image featuring Walter Mosley, Charlie Jane Anders, and Valentine De Landro


This Week In Books

Reading Makes You More Attractive to Online Daters: This Week in Books

Bookstore Sales Gains Outpacing Retail Sector

Like many others, I have been following the rebound in physical bookstore sales with surprise and delight. My optimism has been cautious as I have wondered if the gains could be mostly attributed to the general economic improvement over the last few years. But a new survey says that bookstore sales to this point in 2016 have outperformed the broader retail market. For the first four months of the year, bookstore sales are up 6.8%, significantly outperforming the 3.9% growth for retail in general.

We’re still left with the question of why. Are people really returning in a significant way to physical books? Are people rediscovering their love of physical bookstores? Are coloring books enough of a draw to get people in the door? I suppose the most reasonable response is probably “a little of each.”


A  Syrian Refugee Opens a Bookstore for Refugees

Samer al-Kadri opened the first Arabic language bookstore in the Turkish city of Istanbul with the express purpose of serving the more than 3 million Syrian refugees like him now living in Turkey. A heart-warming and inspiring story about books, community, and outreach.


Expressing an Interest in Reading Might Make You More Attractive in Online Dating

Data released last week from the online dating service MyBae suggests that including reading-related interests in your online dating profile might make you significantly more attractive to other users. MyBae said that 21% of their matches had reading-related interests in common, much higher than the average of 15% for other entertainment categories.

What’s more, users who include reading were also much less likely to engage in problematic usage of the site. And if you are a romance reader (and say so in your profile), you are more likely than other readers to get a match.


This_Calls_For_A_Drink_-_Google_DocsThis Week in Books is sponsored by This Calls for a Drink by Diane McMartin, published by Workman Publishing Co., Inc.

This Calls for a Drink by Diane McMartin is an inspired drinking guide that matches wines and beers to the significant—and not so significant—events in life. Binge-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Try a Riesling, refreshing but with depth. Dumped a jerk? Celebrate with a sparkling rosé. Here are hundreds of unexpected recommendations delivered in a voice that is fresh, hip, full of attitude, and as solidly informative as it is entertaining. It’s everything you need to know to drink like an adult, even if you don’t always behave like one.