Today In Books

A Human Chain Moved A Bookstore: Today In Books

Sponsored by Devil’s Day by Andrew Michael Hurley

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Moving A Bookstore?

A human chain of course! October Books in Southampton, England, cleverly put out a call for volunteers in order to move its bookstore down the street. Two hundred people showed up, lined up, and created a 500-foot long human chain that passed books like a conveyor belt from the old store to the new store.

Awesome Celebrities Joining Michelle Obama’s Book Tour!

If you were looking forward to seeing Michelle Obama on her book tour for her memoir Becoming, you’re now going to probably do double the squealing as moderators for the tour have been announced. Some of the names you’ve probably heard of: Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Valerie Jarrett, poet Elizabeth Alexander, Phoebe Robinson, journalist Michele Norris, and Tracee Ellis Ross! What a time to be alive!

Disney’s Upcoming Streaming Service Is Making Moves

Malcolm Spellman, executive producer/writer for Empire, has been hired to write a limited series that would team Marvel’s Falcon and Winter Soldier. We’ll have to wait until the end of 2019 for the service launch but sounds like exciting things are coming.

The Kids Are All Right

Children’s Books Featuring Octopuses

Hi Kid Lit friends,

On our way home from a family vacation in Maine last July, we listened to an audiobook called The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery. This is a book for adults but still appropriate for my eight-year-old and ten-year-old; they were enthralled. We learned something within the first minute of listening: the plural of octopus is not octopi; it is octopuses. Because octopus is a Greek word, you cannot place a Latin plural ending on it.

Sponsored by Graphix Books, an Imprint of Scholastic

From the creator of the acclaimed graphic novel The Witch Boy comes a new adventure set in the world of magic and shapeshifting — and ordinary kids just trying to make friends.

Since listening to this book, my kids have been fascinated by all things octopus-related. They went to the Baltimore Aquarium with their grandmother and spent a long time watching the giant Pacific octopus. They have been reading books about octopuses. We have watched YouTube videos of octopuses in the wild.

Octopuses are fascinating. They have three hearts! They have blue blood! The suction cups on their arms contain two-thirds of their neurons! Check out more about this amazing animal species with the books below.

Picture Books

Inky’s Great Escape by Casey Lyall, illustrated by Sebastià Serra

In April 2016, The New York Times published an article about an octopus named Inky who escaped from the National Aquarium of New Zealand through a drainpipe and into the sea. In this charming fictionalized account, Inky, worn out from his exciting life in the ocean, has retired to the aquarium. There he quietly plays cards, makes faces at the visitors, and regales his tankmate Blotchy with tales of his past adventures. Then Blotchy dares Inky to make one more great escape: out of their tank. Will Inky succeed?

Octopus Alone by Divya Srinivasan

From the author of Little Owl’s Night comes a new book about shy Octopus who lives on a lively reef, and what happens when she finds herself in a new place far from home, wonderfully, peacefully alone. As she did in Little Owl’s Night, Divya Srinivasan shows children a wonderful part of the natural world in a very warm-hearted way.

Love, Agnes by Irene Latham, illustrated by Thea Baker

Agnes has a beak that can crush bones and arms and stretch wide as a car— but that doesn’t make her a monster! After she comes across a postcard, Agnes, a giant Pacific octopus, strikes up a correspondence with various other creatures below— and above— the waves. Readers will delight in this unlikely introduction to the octopus life cycle.

Inky’s Amazing Escape by Sy Montgomery, illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford

Inky had been at the New Zealand aquarium since 2014 after being taken in by a fisherman who found him at sea. Inky had been getting used to his new environment, but the staff quickly figured out that he had to be kept amused or he would get bored. Then one night in 2016 Inky, about the size of a basketball, decided he’d had enough. He slithered eight feet across the floor and down a drainpipe more than 160 feet long to his home in the sea.

Octopus Escapes Again! by Laurie Ellen Angus

While searching for a meal, a hungry octopus encounters hazards and opportunities, and displays a dazzling array of defensive devices including jet propulsion, clouds of ink, extreme camouflage and mimicry, even sacrificing a limb if necessary. “Explore More” sections for kids and adults offer information and activities on the adaptive behavior of these very intelligent creatures.

How to Hide an Octopus & Other Sea Creatures by Ruth Heller

Go on a fascinating nature hunt to find the camouflaged octopus, crabs, brilliantly-painted tropical fish, and other wonderful sea creatures hidden in the pages of this book.

An Octopus is Amazing by Patricia Lauber, illustrated by Holly Keller

“[Here is] a charming introduction to the truly amazing octopus [from its intelligence to its ability to change colors to the camouflaging black ink it squirts to escape predators]. Lauber’s chatty, fact-filled text makes the book a good read-aloud, and Keller’s amusing and colorful drawings enhance it—a perfect match of text and illustration.” —SLJ

Also An Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, illustrated by Benji Davies

It begins with an octopus who plays the ukulele. Since this is a story, the octopus has to want something—maybe to travel to faraway galaxies in a totally awesome purple spaceship. Then the octopus sets out to build a spaceship out of soda cans, glue, umbrellas, glitter, and waffles. OK, maybe the octopus needs some help, like from an adorable bunny friend, and maybe that bunny turns out to be . . . a rocket scientist? (Probably not.) But could something even more amazing come to pass? Debut author Maggie Tokuda-Hall, with the help of illustrator Benji Davies, sets up an endearingly funny story, then hands the baton to readers, who will be more than primed to take it away.


For Middle Grade Readers

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, popular naturalist Sy Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism. From New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities—gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma. Each creature shows her cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures like an orangutan; jetting water to bounce balls; and endlessly tricking companions with multiple “sleights of hand” to get food.

The Octopus Scientists by Sy Montgomery, photographs by Keith Ellenbogen

With three hearts and blue blood, its gelatinous body unconstrained by jointed limbs or gravity, the octopus seems to be an alien, an inhabitant of another world. It’s baggy, boneless body sprouts eight arms covered with thousands of suckers—suckers that can taste as well as feel. The octopus also has the powers of a superhero: it can shape-shift, change color, squirt ink, pour itself through the tiniest of openings, or jet away through the sea faster than a swimmer can follow. But most intriguing of all, octopuses—classed as mollusks, like clams—are remarkably intelligent with quirky personalities.

Blended by Sharon M. Draper is a beautiful middle grade book about a girl living in two worlds. Eleven-year-old Isabella’s parents are divorced, so she has to switch lives every week: One week she’s Isabella with her dad, his girlfriend Anastasia, and her son, Darren, living in a fancy house where they are one of the only black families in the neighborhood. The next week she’s Izzy with her mom and her boyfriend, John-Mark, in a small, not-so-fancy house that she loves.

The Eye That Never Sleeps: How Detective Pinkerton Saved President Lincoln by Marissa Moss, illustrated by Jeremy Holmes is a fascinating nonfiction picture book about one of America’s greatest detectives. Allan Pinkerton’s life changed when he helped the Chicago Police Department track down a group of counterfeiters. From there, he became the first police detective in Chicago and established the country’s most successful detective agency. He went on to solve more than 300 murders and recover millions of dollars in stolen money. However, his greatest contribution was protecting Abraham Lincoln on the way to his 1861 inauguration.

Revenge of the Flower Girls by Jennifer Ziegler is a hilarious middle grade book about the Brewster twins. Set in summer, they are not looking forward to upending their typical summer fun to help their older sister Lily plan her wedding. Burton, Lily’s groom-to-be, is not nice or fun, and he looks like an armadillo. The triplets can’t stand to see Lily marry someone so wrong for her, so they’ll stop at nothing to delay Lily’s big day. But will sprinklers, a photo slideshow, a muddy dog, and some unexpected allies be enough to prevent their sister and the whole Brewster family from living unhappily ever after?


Around the web…

Best Children’s Books 2018, via Publisher’s Weekly

Best Middle Grade & Children’s Books 2018, via Goodreads

Best Picture Books 2018, via Goodreads


I would love to know what you are reading this week! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at

Until next time!

Nala keeping me company as I work.

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships 11/2

Happy Friday, vampires and Venusians! As we recover from our candy-overload doldrums, let’s talk about horror short stories, D&D monsters, magical reads, sci-fi and fantasy art, and more.

This newsletter is sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

In a palace of illusions, nothing is what it seems. One girl must compete to become the next empress while keeping her keeping her identity and forbidden magic a secret in this Ancient Japan-inspired standalone fantasy.

It is too early for this yet in my opinion — we’ve still got two whole months to go! — but PW has released their Best of 2018 and here’s the SF/F/Horror list.

It’s aliiiiiiiiiiive! Our SFF Yeah! book club on Rosewater by Tade Thompson was a blast to record, and I hope it’s at least half as much fun to listen to.

Here’s hoping you had the exact right level of spooky for your Halloween! If you’re still craving more, we’ve got nine short horror stories for you.

Calling all photoshop wizards: here’s a chance to design your own D&D monster, sanctioned by Wizards of the Coast!

I have finally finished watching Netflix’s The Dragon Prince and as such extremely cosign this wish for expanded universe options.

Just want to get away from it all? This list of magical reads from Frolic is a good start.

Feeeeeeelingggssss: This personal essay on A Wizard of Earthsea gave me some.

If you’re trying to convince a reader to give fantasy a shot, Sharifah and I recommend two gateway novels in particular.

I’m not sure how long this deal is good for, but the entirety of Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis series, a.k.a. Lilith’s Brood, is available for $3.99!

Spotlight: SF/F Artists

Many of us judge books by their covers, and I think we can all agree that pictures are indeed worth (at least) a thousand words. So when a feature about Killian Eng’s work showed up in my feed, it sent me down a wonderful SF/F art rabbithole that I am delighted to share with you.

Killian Eng: Whether he’s doing Star Wars, commissioned, or original work, his attention to detail and eye for composition slay me. And those colors!! A+ would plaster half a room in my apartment with these.

Fiona Staples: You may know her as the artist behind Saga, but you should also know she draws a mean elf. Staples is one of my all-time favorite working artists, and I live for the day when she has a print shop.

The Poppy War by RF KuangRola Jungshan Chang: Chang is newly on my radar, thanks to the gorgeous covers she’s doing for R.F. Kuang’s The Poppy War series. The brush work, the spare use of color, all of it rings all my visual bells. But it works for more than badass warriors — for example, this Deep Space 9 piece!

Wendy Xu: I first came across Xu’s work on the comic Mooncakes and then fell in love with Pigeon Boyfriend. (In point of fact, I have a Pigeon Boyfriend postcard taped to my monitor as I type this.) The whimsy! The blend of realism and the fantastical! I love it.

ninefox gambit by yoon ha leeChris Moore: I love the cover art for Yoon Ha Lee’s Ninefox Gambit as much as I love the book, which is saying something. Moore’s style is much more realistic than the other artists I’ve been featuring; some of them look like they could be photographs! I’m not sure whether or not I want to go to those worlds, but I deeply enjoy looking at them.

Afua Richardson: If you haven’t heard of Afua Richardson, you’re not paying attention to comics. She’s a rising star, and her work on World of Wakanda influenced the CG team on Black Panther. I’m over here in love with her mermaids.

a woman with long flowing black hair looks up at another woman's face, coming from the top of the image through ripples of water. there's a full planet behind them, and the colors are primarily greens and browns.Victo Ngai: I found Ngai’s work through her cover for J.Y. Yang’s Waiting on a Bright Moon ( novella mention, take a shot), only to discover she’d also done the cover for Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, as well as stamps for the UN.  The flowing lines of her work and the layering of colors and textures leave me in absolute awe. I mean. Just LOOK at these!

I’ll stop there (for now), but if you’re inclined to share your own favorite SF/F artists with me, hit reply and I’ll do a round-up in a future newsletter.

That’s a wrap! You can find all of the books recommended in this newsletter on a handy Goodreads shelf. If you’re interested in more science fiction and fantasy talk, you can catch me and my co-host Sharifah on the SFF Yeah! podcast. For many many more book recommendations you can find me on the Get Booked podcast with the inimitable Amanda, or on Twitter as jennIRL.

May the Force be with you,


Win a Copy of BE THE PERSON YOUR DOG THINKS YOU ARE by C. J. Frick with drawings by Liza Donnelly!


We have 10 copies of Be The Person Your Dog Thinks You Are by C. J. Frick with drawings by Liza Donnelly to give away to 10 Riot readers!

Here’s what it’s all about:

With full-color illustrations by The New Yorker’s Liza Donnelly, a humorous and heartfelt book that shows us that even when we’re at our worst, our dog thinks we’re the best!

Go here to enter for a chance to win, or just click the cover image below!

Riot Rundown TestRiotRundown


Today’s Riot Rundown is sponsored by The Fall of Gondolin by J.R.R. Tolkien

Don’t miss the final work of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth fiction, THE FALL OF GONDOLIN, edited by Christopher Tolkien and with illustrations by Alan Lee.


Latest Listens and New Audiobooks

Hola, audiophiles! Welcome to November! It’s Dia de los Muertos which means I *will* be watching Coco through my tears at some point. It also means it’s time for new audiobook releases! Let’s not waste any time. To the books!

Just for Book Riot readers: sign up for an Audible account, and get two audiobooks free!

Latest Listen

I’m about 75% through with The Library Book by Susan Orlean and have so many library loving feelings. Seriously: the fact that the most devastating library fire in U.S. history isn’t more widely known about is bananas! That is of course what happens when your library fire happens at the same time as Chernobyl.

In April 1986, an arson caused the Central Library branch of the Los Angeles Public Library to burn for over seven hours. Hundreds of thousands of books were either damaged or destroyed. Yep, I said it: hundreds… of thousands… of books. I’d have been one of the hysterical crying people on the sidewalk, yelling “MURDERER!” in my most dramatic telenovela Spanish at anyone who even looked like they might enjoy a cigarette.

This lovely listen is not only a riveting history lesson but also a love letter to libraries. Written and narrated by the acclaimed author of The Orchid Thief, it’s a perfect read for history buffs, true crime lovers, and anyone with a serious case of bibliophilia.

Listens on Deck

odd one outEek! My audiobook queue is getting un poquito out of hand. I’m still trying to decide what to listen to next, but the two top contenders are Nic Stone’s Odd One Out and How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England: A Guide for Knaves, Fools, Harlots, Cuckolds, Drunkards, Liars, Thieves, and Braggarts by Ruth Goodman. One is YA fiction about friendship, love, and self-discovery told from three perspectives and one is a history of the “offensive language, insolent behavior, slights, brawls, and scandals” of Elizabethan England. Super different, super interesting. Will report back.

New Audiobooks: November

Gah, so many new books! Here are just five new releases to check out now.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty, narrated by Caroline Lee, release date 11/6/18

“Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amid all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these 10 days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next 10 days are going to be.” The bestselling author of Big Little Lies is back with another twisty, turny, and smart piece of fiction.

Becoming by Michelle Obama, narrated by author, release date 11/13/18

“In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites listeners into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her – from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.” What else is there to say? We heart you, Michelle.

Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom i Howard Hughes’s Hollywood by Karina Longworth, narrated by the author, release date 11/13/18

“In this riveting popular history, the creator of You Must Remember This probes the inner workings of Hollywood’s glamorous Golden Age through the stories of some of the dozens of actresses pursued by Howard Hughes, to reveal how the millionaire mogul’s obsessions with sex, power, and publicity trapped, abused, or benefited women who dreamt of screen stardom.”

Fire & Blood: 300 Years Before A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, narrated by Simon Vance, release dat 11/20/18

Brace yourselves. In this 26+ hour listen, “the thrilling history of the Targaryens comes to life in this masterly work by the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the inspiration for HBO’s Game of Thrones. With all the fire and fury fans have come to expect from internationally best-selling author George R. R. Martin, this is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros.”

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny, narrated by Robert Bathhurst, release date 11/27/18

In Louise Penny’s latest Chief Inspector Gamache audiobook, a cryptic letter arrives inviting Armand Gamache to an abandoned farmhouse – totally normal, right?! “The former head of the Sûreté du Québec discovers that a complete stranger has named him one of the executors of her will. Still on suspension, and frankly curious, Gamache accepts and soon learns that the other two executors are Myrna Landers, the bookseller from Three Pines, and a young builder.” The will’s bequests are bizarre so the woman must have been delusional… or was she? When a dead body turns up, the will starts to make unsettling sense.

Over at the Riot

21 Incredible and Prolific Audiobook Narrators – My hardcore audiophiles know all too well that even the most beautifully written stories can lose their luster is their narration is off. Here are some narrators who got their narration game on lock.

6 Romances Coming to Audiobook in November – I know what you’re thinking: how the %#*^ is it November already?! Know what’ll make you feel better about the whirlwind passage of time? This list of romance audiobooks to get cozy/sexy/cool with this month.

10 Canadian Audiobooks – I had no idea that a lot of Canadian books aren’t available in audio format! Look on the brightside, Canadian friends: you have Justin Trudeau, healthcare that doesn’t suck AND these 10 audiobooks by Canadian authors out now.

Thanks for hanging with me today! For tips and tricks for all of your book club needs, make sure to subscribe to the In The Club newsletter edited by yours truly. You can find me on the Twitter and the gram @buenosdiazsd or by email at Say hola and give me your feedback and questions!

Stay bad & bookish, my friends,

Kissing Books

The Kiss Quotient Movie Is Happening!

Happy November, folks! (If you live in the US and haven’t voted yet, you know what to do.)

Before we get into the good stuff, I need to note my foul-up from last week. There I was declaring people’s pronouns and went right ahead and misgendered Anna Zabo. Thanks to the amazing Angela James for reaching out to me early enough that I was able to fix it for the folks who receive Kissing Books later in the day. I think. I hope. Biggest apologies to Anna. (And if you want to support them while I grovel for forgiveness, Close Quarter, which is one of Anna’s books I haven’t yet touted, might be worth checking out. (A fae vampire hunter on a Transatlantic cruise? Yes, please.)

Sponsored by As Good As The First Time by K.M. Jackson.

When Olivia Gale gets fired and dumped all in the same day she jumps at the chance to get out of New York City to help her aunt at the family bakery, Goode n’ Sweet, back down south in Sugar Lake, and a little indulgence in her pie-making hobby is exactly the pick-me-up Olivia needs to get her life back on track. She can’t afford to be distracted, Clayton Morris, firefighter, single dad, and the boy next door who once broke Liv’s heart—but Sugar Lake might be a sweet place for a second chance.

News and Useful Links

THE KISS QUOTIENT IS GONNA BE A MOVIE! I mean, the rights had already been purchased, but now Lionsgate’s got them, and we could be looking at a hot new film version of The Kiss Quotient in the next couple of years!

There’s a new Rogue anthology coming out soon! Rogue Nights is the sixth one coming out next week, and OMAGAH the author lineup!

Yes, Girl, yes! Tell us about that anger!

And then talk some more about consent, because that’s important, too.

I am not completely certain why best books lists start at this time of year, but Publishers Weekly has put theirs out, and the Goodreads Choice Awards are also open for voting. The romance section for this round is pretty good; let’s see what the next round looks like. I’m actually having a hard time voting between my favorites! But I will of course suck it up and vote because not voting means something I wasn’t as fond of might make it to the next round. You never know!

Read more about a few October romances Maureen at EW dove into!

And of course your regular reminder that WOC in Romance is magic and you should follow.


cover of Small Town Secrets by Katrina JacksonLooking for a f/f romance set in a lovely town? Small Town Secrets by Katrina Jackson is 99 cents! It’s the third book in a series, but they stand alone. Also, if you read the first in the series, From Scratch, and haven’t caught up, boy have you got some fun reading ahead of you!

How about something to really fog up your glasses? Naima Simone’s Only For a Night is 99 cents right now, too! Second chances, aphrodisiac clubs, former Mob grunts? I’ll take all of those for 500, Alex.

Still haven’t satisfied your curiosity about Selena Montgomery, gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’ romance alter ego? Reckless is $3.99. You know you wanna.

Over on Book Riot

Because you don’t yet have enough on your TBR, Sil pulled together 50—that’s right, fifty, five-zero—romances by Latinx authors for you to check out. I’ve read some of these, but there are tons more I haven’t; there are some authors I’ve never even heard of! I’m so excited to discover them.

Ready for a new quiz? Date, marry, or dump some Shakespeare characters and get a romance rec. The one I ended up with, The Courtesan Duchess, hadn’t been on my radar, so I’m glad I did more dumping than dating 😉

Do you listen to audiobooks? Here are some romance ones coming out this month.


With everything that’s going on, I haven’t really felt like dealing with strife and angst. So I’ve been feeling all kinds of friends-to-lovers romances. Y’all know I love some enemies/rivals-to-lovers, but the friends thing just has this certain kind of joy that I can’t resist, especially right now. Let’s talk a couple I’ve really enjoyed recently.

Cover of Not Another Family WeddingNot Another Family Wedding
Jackie Lau

Natalie is going to her hometown for her younger sister’s wedding and doesn’t want to go alone. There’s always something that happens at family functions, especially if both her white and Chinese grandmothers are there. So she enlists her best friend, Connor, to come with her as a buffer with her family, who would definitely ask her why she wasn’t married and when she was having kids.


The two have only had the most friend-like feelings for each other; well, Connor’d had a crush when they first met, but he’d gotten over it. Somehow, though, being in Natalie’s hometown, seeing her with her family, and just spending this kind of time with her has brought on new feelings. And Natalie might be feeling the same.

Y’all. You know how I feel about fake relationships, and I will tell you I favor this one compared to Jackie’s Grumpy Fake Boyfriend, which you know I really enjoyed. Apples and oranges, whatever. I really liked this book and it was a great, happy, lightly-angsted way to spend an afternoon.

Cover of dr strange beard by penny reidDr. Strange Beard
Penny Reid

Okay, so this is pushing the friends-to-lovers boundary a little bit because these two friends are estranged, but I’ll allow it. Roscoe Winston comes home to visit his family regularly, since he doesn’t live that far away, but has made a skill of avoiding Simone Payton, the girl who broke his heart a long time ago. She usually only comes to visit on the weekends, so he’s surprised to encounter her and his lowlife father at the diner where Simone works—usually when Roscoe isn’t there. The two can’t seem to stop running into each other, and eventually try to be civil, but Simone doesn’t understand why Roscoe ghosted her in high school. There are enough misunderstandings to fill a composition book and secrets galore, but eventually, they find their way. So yeah, this one, much like any other Penny Reid book, is going to have some strong, angsty content, but will also make you cackle with glee. So be prepared do be dropped into the lives of the Winstons again.

cover of geek outI’ve also recently started reading Geek Out, a collection of trans and genderqueer romances. The first one, Defying Convention, by Cecil Wilde, is available as a standalone novella, and is just the most precious thing so far. Two friends who have known each other online for years decide to meet in person for a convention. The rest, as they say, is history. Adorable, hair-braiding history.

Also, I don’t know if it counts, but I’m totally including Intercepted here. She and Gavin might start out having already slept together, but they build a pretty genuine friendship before they slide back into the lovers category. Kind of. I dunno. Read it and tell me what you think.

New and Upcoming Releases

the proposalThe Proposal by Jasmine Guillory (YAY!!! FINALLY!)
Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh
Kiss Me at Christmas by Valerie Bowman (One of the other BR Jessicas really loved it, so I’m excited!)
The Omega Objection by GL Carriger (Nov 4) (it’s SO GOOD, y’all!)
Siren in Bloom by Lexi Blake (Nov 6)
Misadventures with a Professor by Sierra Simone (Nov 6)
Rogue Nights by Talia Hibbert et al (Nov 8) (Because I can’t just say it once)

As usual, catch me on Twitter @jessisreading or Instagram @jess_is_reading, or send me an email at if you’ve got feedback or just want to say hi!

Unusual Suspects

Japanese Crime And Dinosaur Hunters Is What’s Up This Week!

Hi mystery fans!

Sponsored by Vesuvian Books

Sixteen-year-old Jamie McGuiness’s sister is dead. Sinking into a deep depression, he frequents the lighthouse where her body was discovered, unaware of the sinister forces surrounding him. When an angry spirit latches onto Jamie, he’s led down a dark and twisted path, one that uncovers old family secrets, destroying everything Jamie ever believed in. Caught between the world of the living and the vengeful dead, Jamie fights the pull of the other side. It’s up to Jamie to settle old scores or no one will rest in peace — but, first, he has to survive.

Japanese Crime! (TW suicide/ child death/ attempted rape/ eating disorder)

The Lady Killer cover imageThe Lady Killer by Masako Togawa, Simon Grove (Translation): Another great Japanese crime novel! First, I’ll say that if you enjoy Japanese crime novels pick this one up without knowing anything. If you need to know what you’re getting into: It’s set in Tokyo in the ’60s and is written almost in three parts. The beginning is following a cad, Ichiro Honda, who “hunts” women. That’s his term for going out at night to find a woman he can “finesse” into sleeping with him. He even keeps a diary of his “hunts.” If you’re not already rolling your eyes let me just drop the nugget that he’s married and his wife has no idea about this. The second part of the novel follows Honda’s appeal lawyer, after Honda is convicted of murdering women he had one night stands with, as he tries to piece together if the police have the right man. And then the third part, well that shows you how all the puzzle pieces of this mystery go together. This was interesting, and a bit banana pants, and a great read. I could tell you a lot more but what would be the fun in that?!

Another Great Nonviolent True Crime

The Dinosaur Artist by Paige Williams cover imageThe Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth’s Ultimate Trophy by Paige Williams: I keep accidentally calling this book the “dinosaur hunter” because in a way it feels that way. People go hunting for dinosaur bones, unearth them, put them together and sell them. The problem is, who do the dinosaur bones really belong to? The book starts with an auction for a Tyrannosaurus skeleton that sells for a million dollars. A million! That NY sale, by a Florida man, alerts the Mongolian government. And so the question is who do dinosaur bones (fossils) belong to, who gets to keep them, and should anyone be allowed to sell them? Like The Feather Thief and Bad Blood this is another super interesting nonfiction book that is a serious page-turner. It follows a bunch of really interesting people, all somehow connected with “dinosaur hunting,” the community of scientist trying to stop this, and it also takes mini history tours through Mongolia. I really hope this trend of nonviolent true crime, and narrative nonfiction, continues because I need more!

Recently Released

The Truth About Aaron cover imageThe Truth About Aaron: My Journey to Understand My Brother by Jonathan Hernández (TBR: true crime memoir) (TW suicide)

Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink (TBR: The horror mystery podcast is now a book. A truck driver is searching across the US for her missing wife.)

Find Me Gone by Sarah Meuleman (TBR: Past and present mystery.)

Dark Sacred Night (Renée Ballard #2) by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch and Connelly’s new Detective Ballard team up.) (Don’t know the TW)

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen (Paperback) (Psychological thriller) (TW gaslighting/ suicide / domestic abuse)

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney (Paperback) (Psychological thriller) (Don’t know the TW)

And don’t forget we have a custom book stamp giveaway because who doesn’t want to stamp all their books?!

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. And here’s an Unusual Suspects Pinterest board.

Until next time, keep investigating! And in the meantime, come talk books with me on Twitter, Instagram, and Litsy–you can find me under Jamie Canaves.

If a mystery fan forwarded this newsletter to you and you’d like your very own you can sign up here.

Today In Books

Scientist Stabbed For Ruining The Ending Of Books: Today In Books

Sponsored by Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost

In “Don’t Be Either Of These Guys” News

Russian scientific engineer Sergey Savitsky stabbed his colleague Oleg Beloguzov while working in an isolated station in Antarctica. The reason apparently is Beloguzov kept ruining the ending of books. Beloguzov was taken to a hospital in Chile and it is said he will recover. Savitsky was deported and arrested in Russia. The incident is now being investigated.

Zoë Kravitz’s New Video PSAs For The ALA

Zoë Kravitz is awesome. And libraries are awesome. So this is a perfect match, really. See her beautiful new READ® poster (which is also available for purchase) and check out her Books Are Magical video!

Do You Like To Vote For Best Books?

Goodreads Best Books of 2018 Choice Awards is now open and ready for voting! I squealed when I saw The Widows of Malabar Hill made it for mysteries! I was going to start naming other amazing books in different categories–like An American Marriage–but then I saw there’s a new category this year: Best of the Best. And there’s so many good choices! *Waves at Cravings by Chrissy Teigen, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng–Oh, this is going to be impossible to vote on!

Remember we’re giving away a custom book stamp for your personal library! Stamp all the things!

Check Your Shelf

📚📚Best of 2018 Lists Are Already Coming (& More Library News!)

Welcome to Check Your Shelf! This is your guide to all things book talk worth knowing to help librarians like you up your game when it comes to doing your job (& rocking it).

“Check Your Shelf” is sponsored by Julie Berry’s The Lovely War.

New York City, 1942. World War II is at its zenith. A stunningly attractive couple meets in a Manhattan hotel room for a forbidden tryst. But these are no ordinary lovers. When immortals Ares and Aphrodite are caught by the latter’s jealous husband, the goddess of passion must justify her actions, or face judgment on Mount Olympus. To plead her case, she spins a tale that took place in Europe some twenty-five years earlier: the story of four mortals whose lives entwined in the crucible of World War I. They are Hazel, James, Aubrey, and Colette. A classical pianist from London, a British would-be architect-turned-soldier, a Harlem-born ragtime genius in the U.S. Army, and a Belgian orphan with a gorgeous voice and a devastating past. Their story—filled with hope and heartbreak, prejudice and passion—reveals that, though War is a formidable force, it’s no match for the transcendent power of Love.

Libraries & Librarians

Book Adaptations in the News

Books in the News

By the Numbers

Award News

All Things Comics


Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

  • What does your favorite Shakespeare play say about you? Mine check out.
  • Did you know there’s an award for weirdest book titles? There is, and all I can think about is how great a display of these would be (or others selected from your own collections).
  • Get to know the Summer Scares program, hosted in collaboration with United for Libraries, Library Journal, Book Riot, and the Horror Writers Association, to bring more horror talk and resources into the library.
  • How writers map their literary worlds.
  • Shannon Hale’s regular reminder that books don’t have genders, and there are real issues when we suggest boys don’t read books about girls and vice versa.
  • Does your home library need a book cart?
  • Here are 18 book cover designs that didn’t make the cut but that are worth enjoying anyway.


What a great readerly love enamel pin. $10.


Thanks for hanging out and we’ll see you again in two weeks. That’s when Check Your Shelf will go weekly and Katie will be taking over (I said that last time, but this time, it’s for real!). See you soon.

— Kelly Jensen, @veronikellymars on Twitter and Instagram