In The Club

In The Club – 1/2

Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met and well-read.

Go, go, go, go go, go, go, shawty
It’s a new year
We gon’ read up like it’s a new year
We so gon’ read harder like it’s a new year
And we gon’ blow this TBR up in the new year!!

You can find us in the club… of books so there’s no snubs
Look buddy we got the blurbs if you’re into bookish plugs
We’re into reading ARCs from the big and the indie pubs…
So you wanna join this club? Well bring it in for a hug!

Feliz Año Nuevo and welcome to our first club newsletter of 2019! I’m back in action and here to remind you all that 50 Cent ain’t got nothin’ on us. Nothin’, I say!! If you haven’t abandoned me yet for that extended remix of our club anthem, you’re a true friend. I’m excited for all that this year has to bring and to get all up in the club with you fine people.

So: leeeeeet’s gooooo!

Album droppin’ in 2019.

This newsletter is sponsored by Strangers in Budapest by Jessica Keener, new in paperback from Algonquin Books.

a woman stands on a stone balcony looking out over the city of BudapestFrom celebrated novelist Jessica Keener comes the stirring, suspenseful novel Strangers in Budapest. When a young American couple, Annie and Will, move to Budapest shortly after the fall of the Communist regime, they have high hopes for their future in the enigmatic city. But Annie soon finds herself enmeshed in a stranger’s plan to avenge his daughter’s death. What Annie does not anticipate is that in helping him she will become enmeshed in a dark and deadly conflict that will end in tragedy and a stunning loss of innocence.

New Year, New Goals

In the spirit of new beginnings, I’d like to start us off with a quick list of resolutions for the new year. Don’t worry, nothing too heavy here. Just some stuff to keep in mind to help us all lead our best reading lives.

1. Have fun in the club – We read for many reasons: entertainment, education, self-improvement, to master the witchcraft and spells for removing calories from cheese and making hair impervious to frizz. Whatever your inspiration, let’s all agree that book club should be fun and reading a thing of joy.

  • Tip: Ignore the pressure to only read just what you feel you “should.” For example, I often talk to people whose book clubs always pick “serious,” highbrow literary fiction because they feel like they sort of have to, and… that’s pure crap! Life is short and there are too many books! If it sounds like a bore or isn’t bringing you any happy (whatever it is), skip it.

2. Read with intent – Read the types of books you feel like, but don’t forget to be thoughtful with your selections. Read books by marginalized voices, even if it means doing a bit o’ research.

  • Tip: Use our Read Harder challenge as a guide! It will help ensure that your reading is diverse and inclusive, and you may just discover the book(s) you didn’t know you needed.
  • Tip 2.0: The first episode of the 2019 Read Harder podcast will air on January 8th! Every couple of weeks, my co-host Tirzah Price and I will provide recommendations to fulfill each of the 24 tasks. The pod is available exclusively to Book Riot Insiders, so join up if you haven’t already. Start your free two week trial here.

3. If It Ain’t Working, Bounce – Sometimes the book group you’re in just doesn’t feel right. Susan never reads the book, your group only picks stuff by straight white men, or no one can ever get their sh*t together to meet up on time. Whatever the reason, ditch the club if it’s no longer serving you.

  • Tip: Find another book group – check your local library or indie bookstore to see if they have any going, or check apps like MeetUp. You could also just be a badass and make your own.

That’s it for resolutions. Now go forth, read, and be well.

Real Life Bad Bitches – “A few of my new friends in L.A. have this little book club they call The Bad Bitches Book Club, where we read books written by bad ass authors. I loved this idea and the book they were reading was The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, so you know I’m in that club.” A. Where do I sign up for the Bad Bitchery? B. Read all about one Rioter’s recent return to IRL book clubs.

What the Club Taught Me – Many a life lesson is often learned in book club. Rioter Laura shares what she learned – the good, the bad, and the bookish – in her club experience.

New Year, New Books – 2019 is already set to bring so many fantastic books into the world! We’re getting new Angie Thomas, Elizabeth Acevedo AND an anthology edited by Ibi Zoboi… we are not worthy! Check out Bustle’s list of titles to plan around for book club. I’m super pumped for Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal. Boricua mythology + murder mystery = so much OMG (oh my gatos, obviously).

Thanks for hanging with me today! Shoot me an email at with your burning book club questions or find me on Twitter and the gram @buenosdiazsd. Sign up for the Audiobooks newsletter, get it on the Read Harder podcast, and watch me booktube every Friday too.

Stay bad & bookish, my friends.

More Resources: 
– Our Book Group In A Box guide
– List your group on the Book Group Resources page

The Goods

15% Off

Go ahead and treat yourself. 

Today In Books

Iceland Has A Perfect Bookish Holiday Tradition: Today In Books

This edition of Today in Books is sponsored by Book Riot’s 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2018 Giveaway.

Iceland With The Holiday Win

Jólabókaflóð is the Icelandic holiday tradition where, basically, you gift and receive books and then immediately go read said books. I am declaring that this tradition needs to be adopted everywhere ASAP. To read more about the details of the tradition–starting with the Iceland Publishers Association sending a catalogue of new books to every home–read here and be jealous.

An Imaginative Coloring Book That Donates Proceeds

So there are some awful things happening right now, and finding ways to help when you feel helpless is always the way to go, so we found this: Coloring Without Borders. It’s a bilingual children’s book illustrated by more than 80 artists that lets kids finish the drawings by using their imagination. And the proceeds go to Families Belong Together coalition. Go here for all the info and to see some gorgeous pages. (PS: perfect for adults to use their imagination and color too!)

Katherine Johnson Releasing Autobiography In 2019

Reaching for the Moon by Katherine Johnson will be out next year for young readers. Johnson, who is a hundred years old, was one of NASA’s pioneering mathematicians and a huge reason Apollo 11 got to the moon. If you saw the film Hidden Figures she was played by Taraji P Henson. I’m gonna be first in line for this book!

Today In Books

Second-Grader’s Book Accepted Into the Library of Congress: Today In Books

This edition of Today In Books is sponsored by Inspirational Books Publishing.

Look For More Outlander In 2019

Author Diana Gabaldon revealed on Twitter that she’s got two more Outlander books in the pipeline. Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone will bring the total volumes to nine in 2019, and book ten will follow sometime after.

Alice Walker Doubles Down

Remember that time a beloved author praised an antisemitic crackpot in the pages of a major newspaper? If you were expecting any apologies or promises to reexamine thinking, Alice Walker would like you to know that you are asking too much from 2018. She published a statement reiterating her admiration for the recommended author. Ick(e) indeed.

Second-Grader’s Book Accepted Into the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress does not accept every single book ever published in America. But it has acknowledged Kayla & Kyle The Walking Dictionaries: Election Day, a vocabulary-building book by seven-year-old Nicholas Buamah. Way to go, Nicholas!


Win the 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2018!


You could read year-end best-of lists, or you could WIN year-end best-of lists! We’ve asked Kim Ukura, the writer of our nonfiction newsletter True Story, to pick her ten favorite works of nonfiction of the year—and we’re giving them away to one lucky reader. Here’s the list:

Educated by Tara Westover

All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung

Call Them By Their True Names by Rebecca Solnit

One Person No Vote by Carol Anderson

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil

Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston

Dopesick by Beth Macy

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

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

Today In Books

Charles Dickens’ Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter Reads A CHRISTMAS CAROL: Today In Books

This edition of Today in Books is sponsored by Book Riot’s 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2018 Giveaway. Click here to enter.

A Holiday Treat

If you’re a fan of A Christmas Carol, here is Charles Dickens’ great-great-great-granddaughter reading an excerpt from a signed, first edition copy. You know it’s old and rare when the gloves come out!

NOS4A2 Adaptation Is Clearly Here To Give Nightmares

The first-look photo from AMC’s adaptation of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2 is here and I’m scared. Zachary Quinto plays Charlie Manx, the evil dude who steals children because he’s evil, dude, and you won’t even recognize Quinto! I loved this book and I’m already terrified of the adaptation, coming the summer of 2019. Hold me!

Looking For What To Watch On Christmas?

The Guardian has rounded up book-to-TV adaptations for you to watch.

Book Radar

Reese Witherspoon Moves Ahead with ELEANOR OLIPHANT and More Book Radar!

Happy last newsletter of 2018! Thank you so much for hanging out with me every week. And I have some BIG NEWS: Book Radar is going to be coming at you twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, starting January 3, 2019! I couldn’t be more excited if I swallowed a cat and broke out in kittens. I can’t wait to get started! I’m going to add a couple of new sections and keep on with the general bookish enthusiasm. Enjoy your upcoming week, be kind to yourself as well as others, and remember that I love you and I like you. – xoxo, Liberty

Sponsored by Book Riot’s 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2018 Giveaway.

We’re giving away ten of our favorite works of nonfiction of the year! Click here to enter.

Here’s this week’s trivia question: What was the original title of Fahrenheit 451? (Scroll to the bottom for the answer.)

Deals, Reals, and Squeals!

NOS4A2Here’s the first look at Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx in the upcoming NOS4A2 series. (Spoiler: He looks like someone destroyed the painting in Ted Danson’s attic.)

Marie-Helene Bertino announced two new novels!

Ashley C. Ford will host Buzzfeed’s new show.

Hidden Figures‘ NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson will release an autobiography next year.

GLOW comic book coming in March.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina gets another 16 episodes.

Brian K. Vaughan sets overall film and TV deal.

29 Dates by Melissa de la Cruz will air on Disney’s new streaming service.

MGM moves ahead with Reese Witherspoon’s adaptation of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series is being adapted for television.

Cover Reveals

Here’s the first look at The World Doesn’t Require You: Stories by Rion Amilcar Scott. (Liveright, August 20, 2019)

So in love with the cover of Biloxi by Mary Miller. (Liveright, May 21, 2019)

Tillie Walden shared a peek of her upcoming graphic novel Are You Listening? (First Second, September 10, 2019)

Sneak Peeks

where'd you go posterIt’s here! It’s the first official trailer for Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

And the first trailer for the Hellboy reboot.

And here’s the first image of George Clooney and Kyle Chandler in Hulu’s Catch-22 adaptation.

And here’s the first look at Julianna Margulies in the upcoming adaptation of The Hot Zone.

And you can watch the first Deadly Class episode online ahead of its January 16 release.

Book Riot Recommends 

At Book Riot, I work on the New Books! email, the All the Books! podcast about new releases, and the Book Riot Insiders New Release Index. I am very fortunate to get to read a lot of upcoming titles, and learn about a lot of upcoming titles, and I’m delighted to share a couple with you each week so you can add them to your TBR!

Loved, loved, loved:

kingdom of needle and boneKingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant (Subterranean Press, December 31)

Nothing says “Happy holidays!” like a terrible pandemic, right? In this novella, most diseases have been eradicated, so the world doesn’t know what to do when a deadly new virus spreads quickly among the US population. The aunt of the first victim thinks she knows how to stop it – but it might be an unforgivable act. (Note: Subterranean Press makes limited editions for collectors, so if you know a big Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire fan, this would make a great gift!)

Excited to read:

question markWicked Fox by Kat Cho (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, June 25, 2019)

I just heard about this book about ten minutes before I sat down to write this and WOWWWWWW does it sound exciting. Set in modern-day Seoul, it’s about a Gumiho, a nine-tailed fox, who must eat the souls of men to survive. I would buy a book with just the description in it, tbh. MY BODY IS READY.

What I’m reading this week.

speaking of summerSpeaking of Summer: A Novel by Kalisha Buckhanon

Elsey Come Home by Susan Conley

The Good Detective by John McMahon

All Summer Long by Hope Larson

What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan

And this is funny.

I feel the same, kitty. (And the responses to this hilarity are amazing.)

Trivia answer: The Fireman.

You made it to the bottom! Thanks for reading! – xo, L

Today In Books

Is Instagram Saving Indie Bookstores? Today In Books

This edition of Today in Books is sponsored by Inspirational Books Publishing.

According To Vox:

People’s need to share their life and love of books is helping independent book stores thrive. So, while they don’t have actual data proving this, they make a compelling case that the hashtags we all use on Instagram–like #bookstagram–are at least part of the reason that physical book sales have increased every year since 2013. I guess keep up those selfie picks inside indie book stores.

Watch Now

SYFY has gifted us this holiday season with the ability to watch the first episode of Deadly Class ahead of its January 16th premiere. I am certainly excited to watch Lara Jean–er, Lana Condor kick some ass in this graphic novel adaptation about a teen recruited to a high school for assassins.

House Passes Library Funding

And we all cheer! It was a bit close but the Museum and Library Services Act (MLSA) passed with a 331-28 margin. What does this mean exactly? The Institute of Museum and Library Services will be able to continue distributing federal funding to library programs through grants to states through 2025.

The Kids Are All Right

The Top 100 Children’s Books I Read in 2018

Hi friends!

I discovered the other day that I have now written over one-hundred newsletters for The Kids Are All Right. I love writing these newsletters, and I’m grateful for all of you subscribers for reading these emails twice a week and for your many notes and book suggestions.

Sponsored by P Is for Pterodactyl by Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter

P Is For Pterodactyl cover imageTurning the traditional idea of an alphabet book on its head, P is for Pterodactyl is perfect for anyone who has ever been stumped by silent letters or confused by absurd homophones. This whimsical, unique book takes silent letter entries like “K is for Knight” a step further with “The noble knight’s knife nicked the knave’s knee.” Lively illustrations provide context clues, and alliterative words help readers navigate text like “a bright white gnat is gnawing on my gnocchi” with ease. Everyone from early learners to grown-up grammarians will love this wacky book where “A is for Aisle” but “Y is definitely not for Why.”

I have read a lot of books this year. So many books! And in honor of my one-hundredth post, I thought I would give you a list of the top 100 children’s books I read in 2018. Most of these books published in 2018, but some of them did not (like, when I went on a Mildred D. Taylor reading spree).

You might be wondering how I decided on this list. I tried to pick books based on whether my heart gave a squeeze when I thought about the story. All of these books made my heart happy in some way, whether it be that it opened my eyes to something I didn’t know about before, or because the author’s language was so beautiful, or because the illustrations left me breathless.

There were so many books that I wanted to read that I didn’t get to… I will hopefully get to some of the books on my TBR stack over the holidays!

This list in not in any type of order, but I have grouped them into four categories: picture books, chapter books/early middle grade, older middle grade, and graphic novels. Happy reading!

Picture Books

  1. Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
  2. Everything You Need for a Treehouse by Carter Higgins, illustrated by Emily Hughes
  3. Drawn Together by Minh Le, illustrated by Dan Santat
  4. Polka Dot Parade: A Book About Bill Cummingham by Deborah Blumenthal, illustrated by Masha D’yans
  5. Llamaphones by Janik Coat
  6. Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse by Marcy Campbell, illustrated by Corinna Luyken
  7. The Dress and the Girl by Camille Andros, illustrated by Julie Morstad
  8. Aquarium by Cynthia Alonso
  9. Business Pig by Andrea Zuill
  10. Zola’s Elephant by Randall de Seve, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
  11. The Very Last Castle by Travis Jonker, illustrated by Mark Pett
  12. We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
  13. I Hate My Cats (A Love Story) by Davide Cali, illustrated by Anna Pirolli
  14. Great Dog by Davide Cali, illustrated by Miguel Tanco
  15. Florette by Anna Walker
  16. Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail by Jennifer Thermes
  17. Hawk Rising by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Brian Floca
  18. The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs by Kate Messner, illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
  19. Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot’s World War II Story by Marc Tyler Nobleman, illustrated by Melissa Iwai
  20. Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
  21. Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
  22. Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World by Vashti Harrison
  23. They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki
  24. Forever or a Day by Sarah Jacoby
  25. All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky
  26. Imagine by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Lauren Castillo
  27. The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
  28. The Rough Patch by Brian Lies
  29. Whales: An Illustrated Celebration by Kelsey Oseid
  30. Adventures to School by Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul, illustrated by Isabel Munoz
  31. Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel
  32. Lucy and the String by Vanessa Roeder
  33. My Heart by Corinna Luyken (Dial Books, 1/8/19)
  34. A Tower of Giraffes: Animals in Groups by Anna Wright
  35. Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper
  36. A Greyhound, a Groundhog by Emily Jenkins
  37. Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Bryan Collier
  38. Look by Fiona Woodcock


Chapter Books/Lower Middle Grade Books

  1. Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School by Julie Falatko, illustrated by Colin Jack
  2. Upside Down Magic: Weather or Not by Sarah Mylnowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins
  3. Jasmine Toguchi, Drummer Girl by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic
  4. Power Forward: Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream by Hena Khan
  5. Cilla Lee-Jenkins: This Book Is A Classic by Susan Tan
  6. Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker, Book 2: Incognito
  7. Meet Yasmin! By Saadia Faruqi
  8. Stella Diaz Has Something to Say By Angela Dominquez
  9. Bat and the Waiting Game by Elana K. Arnold
  10. I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris, illustrated by Lane Smith


Upper Middle Grade Books

  1. Nowhere Boy by Katharine Marsh
  2. Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  3. Sweep by Jonathan Auxier
  4. Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
  5. Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
  6. Tight by Torrey Maldonado
  7. The Night Diary by Veera Hirandani
  8. Inkling by Kenneth Oppel
  9. The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis
  10. Out of Left Field by Ellen Klages
  11. Louisana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo
  12. The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty
  13. Checked by Cynthia Kadohata
  14. Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen
  15. Just Like Jackie by Lindsay Stoddard
  16. So Done by Paula Chase
  17. Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
  18. Blended by Sharon Draper
  19. Enginerds by Jarrett Lerner
  20. Stanley Will Probably Be Fine by Sally J. Pla, illustrated by Steve Wolfhard
  21. Knock Out by K.A. Holt
  22. Rebound by Kwame Alexander
  23. Class Action by Steven B. Frank
  24. Takedown by Laura Shovan
  25. Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya
  26. Mascot by Antony John
  27. The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor
  28. The Heart and Mind of Frances Pauley by April Stevens
  29. Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo
  30. The Girl Who Drew Butterflies by Joyce Sidman
  31. The Alcatraz Escape by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
  32. The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
  33. The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta
  34. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
  35. The Assasination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson
  36. Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred D. Taylor
  37. Winnie’s Great War by Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
  38. Restart by Gordon Korman
  39. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (3rd time rereading)
  40. The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt (4th time rereading)
  41. Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt (4th time rereading)
  42. The Land by Mildred D. Taylor
  43. The Not-So-Boring Letters of Private Nobody by Matthew Landis
  44. The Well by Mildred D. Taylor
  45. The Unteachables by Gordon Korman (Balzer + Bray, 1/8/19)
  46. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  47. Tru and Nelle: A Christmas Tale by G. Neri


Graphic Novels

96. The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell

97. New Kid by Jerry Craft (HarperCollins, 2/5/19)

98. All Summer Long by Hope Larson

99. Amulet 8: Supernova by Kazu Kibuishi

100. Narwhal’s Otter Friend by Ben Clanton (Tundra Books, 2/5/19)


Well, that’s a wrap on 2018! As I mentioned before, Book Riot is taking a break from December 25 to January 1, so I’ll see you again on January 6. As always, I’m reachable on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email at

Wishing you a very happy holiday season and a joyful new year!

See you in 2019!

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The Goods

30% Off E-Gift Cards

No time like the last minute! Get 30% off e-gift cards through Tuesday 12/25.