Kissing Books

Teachers In Love

Happy Thursday, folks. I hope, if you live in the States that you had a meaningful holiday weekend, and also maybe got some reading done. Let’s have a quick rundown of what’s been going on.

Sponsored by Rebel by Beverly Jenkins

Valinda Lacey’s mission in New Orleans is to help the newly emancipated community survive and flourish. But when thugs destroy the school she has set up and then target her, Valinda runs for her life—and straight into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq. As an architect from an old New Orleans family, Drake has a personal interest in rebuilding the city. Raised by strong women, he recognizes Valinda’s determination. And he can’t stop admiring—or wanting—her. But when Valinda’s father demands she return home to marry a man she doesn’t love, her daring rebellion draws Drake in closer.

Links and BR Stuff

Trisha and I recorded Not Live From New Orleans, and you’ll be surprised at how long this episode is.

Cat Sebastian revealed the cover for her upcoming “Agatha Christie, But Gay” mystery, Hither, Page.

Looking to join a new online reading group? Check out the Polyam Book Club!

It’s almost the end of #RomBkLove and ho man. So many great conversations, so many more books to read.

Jackie Lau wrote about being biracial and writing biracial characters for SBTB.

Speaking of Rebel, we’re hosting a giveaway!


Cover of Riven by Roan Parrish. Black background with black haired bearded man in titleYou know how much I love Roan Parrish’s books. The first book I read of hers was Riven, which had actual healing powers when I was home on a sick day, and I won’t let anyone else tell me anything different. It’s on sale for the first time in its existence, so you can devour that one, and its sequel Rend before the third book, Raze, comes out in July. If you like rockstar romances and people figuring out their shit, this one is definitely for you. It also has some of the most amazing writing I’ve experienced in contemporary romance, so get ready for some words.

Have you read the Loyal League series yet? If not, Alyssa Cole’s An Unconditional Freedom is 2.99. This one came out in late February, and is (as far as I know) the wrap of the whole thing. Daniel’s story is hard, and so so good.

New and Upcoming Books

This is a good week for books! I can’t tell you how many I want to read, but yeah, per usual, I have not gotten through as many as I wanted to. Teachers, though, are always attractive protagonists for me, and I love reading about people who want to help people learn, who can also fall in love.

cover of teach me by olivia dadeTeach Me
Olivia Dade

This is the first Olivia Dade I’ve read, even though I think I own almost all of her Lovestruck Librarians books. But something about this one—two protagonists in their forties, both divorced, with established careers and healthy sex drives—drew me in from the start. (I dunno, maybe it was this image, because yeah.) Rose is a history teacher who is getting screwed over by the arrival of a new, just as seasoned teacher. Martin is immediately struck stupid by his attractive, cold as ice new colleague, but doesn’t know why she regularly gives him the cold shoulder. But the two of them each have their own issues to get over before they can open up to each other, and the way they go about it is both fun and frustrating. This book is full of well-rounded, amazing people who are so good at their jobs. Competence porn? This is completely it. They have relationships with each other, with their students, with family who want to be part of their lives. Every beat is just right, and I love these (im)perfect people. (Also, not gonna lie: I cackled like a hyena for the last ten percent of the book. It’s perfect.)

I’m also excited about Beverly Jenkins’ Rebel, our sponsor for the day. It also stars a teacher, and while I’m only part of the way through, I love Val already. And Drake LeVeq, of course. I read Through The Storm. I know how those LeVeqs can be.

Others I’m down for soon:

cover of rogue of fifth avenue by joanna shupeThe Rogue of Fifth Avenue by Joanna Shupe
The Rival Bid by Reese Ryan
Puppy Love by Lucy Gilmore
Bridal Boot Camp by Meg Cabot
New Ink On Life by Jennie Davids
The Demigod’s Legacy by Holley Trent (revised and republished)
Our Perfect Fantasy by Sadie Fox (pen name of a fellow Rioter!)
Black Tattoo by Cole McCade (he just like…dropped it on us!)

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

Book Radar

The First Trailer for THE GOLDFINCH Has Landed and More Book Radar!

Hellooooooo! We haven’t seen each other in so long. I completely forgot last week that Monday was a holiday. But we’re back on track now! I have some fun things to tell you about today. I hope whatever you’re doing, you have a great rest of your week, and remember to be kind to yourself and others.  I’ll see you again on Monday. – xoxo, Liberty

Sponsored by William Morrow Books

Emily Dawson travels to Barbados in 1854 to claim an unexpected inheritance from her grandfather – Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados that her grandfather never told anyone he owned. Emily discovers that Peverills is a burned out shell, destroyed in 1816, when an uprising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Why would her grandfather leave her a property in ruins? Why are the neighboring plantation owners so eager to acquire Peverillsw? The answers lie in the past–a tangled history of deception, greed, clandestine love, betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom.

Trivia question time! What writer published a poem in the Mississippi literary review when she was just thirteen years old?(Scroll to the bottom for the answer.)

Deals, Reals, and Squeals!

freshwaterExciting adaptation news: Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi is going to be a film!

Kathleen Rooney has a new book coming in the fall of 2020.

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez is going to be a musical.

Gentleman Jack has been renewed for a second season.

Hulu has ordered an anthology series based on Nathan Ballingrud’s North American Lake Monsters.

The Jonas Brothers are releasing a memoir in the fall.

French Exit by Patrick deWitt is going to be a film with Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges.

Caleb Roerhig announced his new novel, The Fell of Dark, coming in January 2020.

Marsai Martin may star in the adaptation of Amari and the Night Brothers.

Cover Reveals 

Here’s the first look at How to Speak Boy by Tiana Smith. (Swoon Reads, January 7th, 2020)

And the first peek at the cover of The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters. (Crooked Lane Books, December 10)

Sneak Peeks

the goldfinchHere’s the first trailer for the adaptation of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt!

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! (It will now be books I loved on Mondays and books I’m excited to read on Thursdays. YAY, BOOKS!)

Excited to read:

the king of crowsThe King of Crows by Libba Bray (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, February 4, 2020)

It’s the final book in the Diviners series, eeeeeeeeee! I have enjoyed this spooky YA series SO MUCH, and can’t wait for this one. Everything Libba Bray does is amazing, so if you’ve never read this series, or any of her books, I highly recommend correcting that.

What I’m reading this week.

natalie tan's book of luckNatalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky (Yes, still. Little bits at a time.)

Bunny: A Novel by Mona Awad

And this is funny.

Poor kitty.

Trivia answer: Donna Tartt.

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

Today In Books

Is Your Copy Of HARRY POTTER Worth A Fortune? Today In Books

This edition of Today in Books is sponsored by Page Chaser Deals.

Page Chaser ad

Is Your Copy Of Harry Potter Worth A Fortune?

There’s been some news lately of Harry Potter books selling for quite some money so naturally one would wonder: Do I have a rare copy that could have money raining down on me too? Click here to check the details in each book that you’d be looking for to find out if you have a rare, valuable copy.

Scottish Castle Library? No, Thank You!

At least that’s what residents around an exclusive all-boys school in Bellevue Hill, Australia are saying of plans to build a Scottish castle style library. Why? Because it’ll block their view of the harbor. Check out here what the library upgrade would look like and all the plans for the opulent space.

Have You Been Waiting For a Jonas Brothers’ Memoir?

You’re getting one! Blood will release November 12th and detail the rise, fall, and comeback of the brothers’ band. You can check out the cover, and Instagram announcement, here. And yes, it’s already up for pre-orders.

Canada Giveaways


We have 5 copies of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman to give away to 5 Riot readers!

Here’s what it’s all about:

Nina Hill has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies leaving behind innumerable family members, all with an interest in getting to meet Nina, she is horrified. She’ll have to speak! To strangers! The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is a charming and quirky novel about one confirmed introvert doing her best to fly under everyone’s radar.

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

Check Your Shelf

200 Unusual Items For Your Library to Lend, Plus All the Banned Books News From Prison

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

“Check Your Shelf” is sponsored by Lion Forge.

In Gender Queer, Maia Kobabe has crafted an intensely cathartic autobiography about eir path to identifying as nonbinary and asexual, and coming out to eir family and society. By addressing questions about gender identity—what it means and how to think about it—the story also doubles as a much-needed, useful, and touching guide. Find the graphic novel memoir in stores now from Lion Forge!

A correction from last week’s newsletter: I mistakenly said that San Francisco city officials were naming a teen space after Amber Clark, when it was actually Sacramento. You can read the original article here, and I apologize for the error!

And now, on with the newsletter!

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Cool Library Updates

Worth Reading

Book Adaptations in the News

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

New & Upcoming Titles

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

RA/Genre Resources

Books & Authors In the News

News & Trends

Award News

Pop Cultured

All Things Comics


Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists



Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Level Up (Library Reads)

Do you take part in LibraryReads, 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 created a database of upcoming diverse books that anyone can edit, and Nora Rawlins of Early Word is doing the same, as well as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.

Thanks for hanging out and I’ll see you again next week!

–Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading all of my half-finished books from the last few weeks!

Riot Rundown


Today’s Riot Rundown is sponsored by The Plus One from HarperCollins 360.

Polly Spencer is single and turning thirty, but seriously, she’s fine. Even if she’s still stuck at Posh! magazine writing about royal babies and the chances of finding a plus one to her best friend’s summer wedding are looking worryingly slim. But it’s a new year, and Polly’s determined that over the next 365 days she’ll remember to shave her legs, drink less wine, and get her s**t together. Her latest piece is on the infamous Jasper, Marquess of Milton, undoubtedly neither a plus one nor ‘the one.’ She’s heard the stories—there’s no way she’ll succumb to his charms…

True Story

Generalists, Introverts, and Anthony Bourdain

Hello and happy end of May, nonfiction nerds! I spent Memorial Day weekend up at my parents’ cabin and managed to read a ton. We had one day of truly beautiful weather, then a couple days where it was cold or rainy, which is a bummer for outdoor activities but great for reading.

Sponsored by Oxford University Press

On Streisand begins with a broad year-by-year outline of the landmark achievements which is followed by a long essay on how Streisand’s idiosyncratic self-realization marks her as a unique talent. Then, the major part of the book is a work-by-work analysis broken down into separate chapters, each organized chronologically: the stage shows, the television shows and concerts, the recordings, and, finally, the movies. Barbra Streisand said, “I became a singer because I couldn’t get work as an actress,” but she not only became both but revolutionized the two professions forever.

Before we dive into a few exciting new releases for this week, I wanted to let you know I was a guest on this week’s episode of the All the Books podcast where I got to talk about a couple of nonfiction books you should check out – Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark and Wordslut by Amanda Montell.

And now… more books!

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein – Many experts argue that the best way to become an expert is to start early and specialize, getting in Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours as soon as possible. In this book, David Epstein argues that the opposite is true – the most successful athletes, thinkers, artists and more are actually generalists. He suggests generalists find their path late, juggle many interests, and are more creative and agile thinkers. I’m really interested in the ideas of this one!

Further Watching: Epstein appeared on CBS This Morning on Monday talking about the book, and shared that he even managed to convince Malcolm Gladwell just a little bit.

Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come: One Introvert’s Year of Saying Yes by Jessica Pan – What might happen if a shy introvert spent a year trying to live like an extrovert? As an introvert myself, this seems horrifying… but that’s exactly the experiment Jessica Pan writes about in this memoir. She turns to extrovert mentors to set her challenges, then tries to explore what she might learn. This one seems like it’ll be like Quiet by Susan Cain meets A.J. Jacobs, and I’m totally here for it.

Further Reading: Pan was interviewed for the Los Angeles Review of Books blog where she talked about gender, self-care versus self-coddling, and more.

Anthony Bourdain Remembered from CNN – If you were a fan of the late Anthony Bourdain, then this is a book you will want to pick up. After his death in 2018, there was an outpouring of love from fans and friends around the world. This book brings together memories and anecdotes from fans like Barack Obama, Ken Burns, Questlove and more, to show his impact around the world.

Further Reading: Travel and Leisure shared seven quotes from the book that “highlight his lasting legacy.” I think it’s going to be a beautiful book.

And finally, a few more titles of the week that might be of interest:

That’s all for this week! You can find me on Twitter @kimthedork, on email at, and co-hosting the For Real podcast here at Book Riot. Happy reading! – Kim

Unusual Suspects

One Of The Best Mysteries Of The Year!

Hello mystery fans! This week I have for you a great P.I. series, frenemies, and a super good mystery I am surprised isn’t getting more attention.

Sponsored by Forge Books.

stay sexy and don't get murdered cover imageThe highly anticipated first book by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the voices behind the #1 hit podcast My Favorite Murder! Sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia irreverently recount their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the nation. In Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, Karen and Georgia focus on the importance of self-advocating and valuing personal safety over being “nice” or “helpful.” They delve into their own pasts, true crime stories, and beyond to discuss meaningful cultural and societal issues with fierce empathy and unapologetic frankness.

Great Recent P.I. Series (TW suicide/ peeping Tom)

Borrowed Time cover imageBorrowed Time (A Chicago Mystery #2) by Tracy Clark: I really like this series as it has a lot of nods to P.I. novels while being modern and fresh. Cass Raines is an ex-cop turned P.I. in Chicago who tries to survive as an island due to past trauma but has a soft gooey heart at her core. That gooey heart is how she ends up taking on the most annoying client ever. Jung swears his friend was murdered, but the police have already closed the case believing it was either suicide or an accident that led to his drowning. Jung refuses to accept this and ends up getting Raines to investigate. Of course that pisses off the cops. But more so it pisses off Raines who doesn’t want to keep getting sucked into this case because Jung is clearly holding back information and lying. I love that this one follows Raines’ steps through the investigation from clue to clue and has character growth as her ex-partner, nun friend (who is awesome), and possible romantic partner keep orbiting her, trying to be let in. If you like solid mysteries with explosive endings and funny no-nonsense leads, you’ll really enjoy this series.

Frenemies Suspense

Necessary People cover imageNecessary People by Anna Pitoniak: I wasn’t sure what I was going to get with this one, and honestly I picked it up because I was obsessed with the cover. I found myself sneaking away to read more and more as the story just kept building, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the tension and lives of Stella and Violet. Stella has always been wealthy and done as she wants. Violet was poor and fled her upbringing first chance she got. Stella took in Violet, giving her a taste of the wealth she’d never belong to. Now Stella has returned from partying around the world as Violet has been working hard in a TV news studio. And that’s when the balance of their tug-and-push friendship begins to unravel. While I knew what was going to happen in the story, it didn’t matter as the writing and ride still made this a page-turner. If you like writers like Megan Abbott and novels like Paulina & Fran this should be right in your wheelhouse. I found myself highlighting a few sentences and sitting with a few.

Super Good Mystery (TW past suicide mentioned/ anxiety attacks)

Alice's Island cover imageAlice’s Island by Daniel Sánchez Arévalo: I think this one is flying under the radar and it should not be, it’s one of the best mysteries this year–I inhaled the audiobook. The mystery surrounds Alice Dupont, who is pregnant and a mother of a six-year-old, when she gets a call that her husband was in a horrible car accident and is being rushed to the hospital. What snaps her out of the shock of the call is that the hospital, or area, being mentioned makes no sense because her husband is nowhere near there. He’s supposed to be hours away in a different direction. Alice ends up uprooting her life, and her children, as her grief manifests itself into her deciding to figure out why her husband was not where he said he’d be. This took so many surprising turns, never veered into ridiculous, and had one of my favorite child characters. I’m still thinking about Alice and her daughter Olivia. Highly recommend this one! And it’s not like a few other novels I’ve read with this premise, that are billed as mysteries, but the character never actually investigates. Alice is like a dog with a bone.

Recent Releases

Keep This To Yourself cover imageKeep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan (YA serial killer mystery I really enjoyed.)

Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea (Serial killer mystery)

The Sentence is Death (Hawthorne #2) by Anthony Horowitz (The Word Is Murder sequel–author of Magpie Murders)

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide by Karen Kilgariff, Georgia Hardstark (Just got this true crime memoir on audiobook and am excited to start it!)

Into the Jungle cover imageInto the Jungle by Erica Ferencik (Thriller)

Murder, She Wrote: Murder in Red (Murder, She Wrote #49) by Jessica Fletcher, Jon Land

The Disappearing by Lori Roy (Paperback) (Return to small-town mystery–Full review) (TW physical child abuse/ stalking)

Bimini Twist (Jane Bunker Mystery #4) by Linda Greenlaw (Paperback) (P.I.)

Last Woman Standing by Amy Gentry (Paperback) (Thriller)

Shell Game (V.I. Warshawski #19) by Sara Paretsky (Paperback) (Procedural)

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 Canavés.

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


New June Audiobooks!

Hola Audiophiles!

Guess what guess what guess what? June is Audiobook Month! And not just in my head either, but in real life. Because we’re friends, I will confess that I did a super awkward cha-cha dance when I realized this earlier that involved pointing at my ears and then miming the opening of a book. It was… well, strange.

Back to Audiobook Month! Various audiobook outlets are sure to have fun promos going so make sure to check those out. I’ll include any I hear about in the newsletter all month long. For now, you know what’s up: a new month around the corner means new audiobooks! Here’s a batch of new listens coming at you in June.

Let’s audio.

Sponsored by Whatbook, the first app for social readia

You’ve heard of social media, but Whatbook is the first app for social readia. Whatbook offers users a new platform to share and discover book recommendations from people- just like we do in real life! Choose to follow friends, family, and colleagues for reliable recommendations, while discovering new users with similar reading interests for a more varied, yet human
recommendation experience. Whatbook has also introduced podcasts onto the platform, so now users can find their next favorite podcast series alongside their next read. Now available for free in the app store. So, What book next?

New Audiobooks (publisher descriptions in quotes)

I’m sticking to the two-part breakdown again this month for new books. Does this work for you all, or are you like “Give them to us all at once, you fool!!”? Let me know what you prefer.

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey, narrated by Xe Sands (June 4)

If you don’t already know Sarah Gailey, they are the genius behind the American Hippos novellas, a fictional take on a very real moment in history when our government tried to breed hippos and make them our new meat source. Did these nutters never watch the nature channel??!

Magic for Liars is Gailey’s fantasy debut, wherein detective Ivy Gamble has a little Petunia Dursley thing going on. She was born without magic while her estranged twin Tabitha possesses the gift, and phew because Ivy don’t want it! Except, ya know, she does. When a grizzly murder goes down at the school where Tabitha teaches theoretical magic, Ivy gets pulled into a world of danger and secrets. Magic school + noir thriller? I’m so there.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, narrated by Blair Brown (June 4)

Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a book that’s a little less Eat, Pray, Love and a lot more Sex & the City. Set in the 1940s New York theatre scene, this sexy adventure is the story of an older woman looking back on her youth with a few regrets and a lot of pleasure. It’s nice to see more books exploring female sexuality and promiscuity without the slut shaming. What a concept: a woman can partake in casual sex and still be a good person who lives a fulfilling and meaningful life!

on earth we're briefly gorgeousOn Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong, narrated by the author (June 4)

Every last person I know who’s read it has given me that “This will crack you open, prepare thyself!” look. It’s a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read told from the 20-something son’s perspective. It’s an exploration of class, race, and masculinity, of the importance of preserving our histories and the crippling effects of feeling we’ve gone unheard. “Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness,” it promises to be a truly powerful testament to the healing we find in storytelling.

Mostly Dead Things by Kristin Arnett, narrated by Jesse Vilinsky (June 4)

You know when a book is described as darkly funny? This is what you call a title that features a grieving widow with a habit of making lewd art with stuffed animal corpses, n’est-ce pas?

Jessa-Lynn Morton discovers her father’s dead body in the family taxidermy shop. In the thick of her grief, she steps up to take over the failing business while the rest of her family falls apart. Some of them go completely withdrawn, others walk away; then there’s the aforementioned mother’s own illicit taxidermy activity, a hobby that only escalates in its absurdity over time. Jessa must find a way to keep the business above water and figure out what her place is in her motley crew of a family.

Underland by Robert Macfarlane, narrated by Roy Mcmillan (June 4)

Robert Macfarlane is the award-winning author of books like The Old Ways and The Lost Words, a nature writer whose insatiable curiosity and endless respect for the natural world is evident with every word he puts to page. Underland is all about the worlds beneath our feet, a journey that takes us everywhere from Bronze Age burial chambers and Arctic sea caves to the Paris catacombs. It’s compelling and haunting in its implications as so much of his writing is, and beautiful to boot. This is shaping up to be one of my favorite books of the year.

We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir by Samra Habib, narrated by Parmida Vand (June 4)

Whether as an Ahmadi Muslim in Pakistan or a refugee in Canada, there was never a time in Samra Habib’s life when it was safe to be her authentic self. Every aspect of her identity and physicality was policed by men and women insisting she fit a certain model of pious obedience, all while she navigated religious persecution, bullying, racism, and even an arranged marriage. “So begins an exploration of faith, art, love, and queer sexuality, a journey that takes her to the far reaches of the globe to uncover a truth that was within her all along.”

Bunny by Mona Awad, narrated by Sophie Amoss (June 11)

I saw this described as The Vegetarian meets Heathers, and that’s not wrong. But also: maybe Mean Girls meets The Craft??

Samantha Mackey is a student in a bougie New England MFA program who can’t stand the rest of the girls in her cohort. They’re rich, entitled, and extra AF, plus they call each other “Bunny.” Then she gets an invite from the Bunnies to join their clique and get into some weird ritual sh*t that makes the Burn Book look like a bedtime story, and dear Sam is all too quick to ditch her only friend Ava to get in with the Bunny crew. I’m making light of things here to keep an ominous sense of dread at bay; things get pretty dark and twisty before they come to a deadly and explosive end.

Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera, narrated by Robin Miles, Adenrele Ojo, and Brittany Pressley  (June 11)

Told from each of their perspectives, this is the story of three Southern women in South Carolina in the years leading up to the Great Depression. Gertrude lives under the daily threat of death at the hands of her abusive husband and does the unthinkable to ensure her daughters’ survival. Retta, a freed slave employed by the Coles family that once enslaved her family, is learning that for some, freedom isn’t all the way free. Annie is the Coles family matriarch grappling with a terrible truth that has ripped her family apart. “These three women seemingly have nothing in common, yet as they unite to stand up to the terrible injustices that have long plagued the small town, they find strength in the bond that ties women together.”

The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason, narrated by Derek Perkins (June 11)

London, June 1860: moments after an assassination attempt against Queen Victoria, a low-level thief is found gruesomely murdered a block away. Something about the crimes makes Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field think the incidents are not only related but all a part of a grander, more sinister plot. He soon learns that Charles Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species is at the core of a string of murders, arson, and kidnapping; his pursuit of the culprit takes him on a high-stakes journey from London to the halls of Oxford that made me blow right through this book in a day.

P.S. the black-eyed villain Chorister is soooo creepy.

Recursion by Blake Crouch, narrated by Jon Lindstrom, Abby Craden (June 11)

I’ve been trying to write a brief description for this book for a half hour that isn’t just “This is like Inception with the WTF factor turned up high.” Barry is a New York cop investigating what’s known as False Memory Syndrome, a condition that drives its victims mad with memories of things that never actually happened. Helena is a neuroscientist working on a technology that would allow a person to preserve and re-experience their most cherished memories. Together they’re up against a dark and terrifying force that “attacks not just our minds, but the very fabric of the past.” It asks the mind-boggling question: what if someone had the power to implant a memory?

From the Internets

I somehow missed that the audiobook reviews I’ve seen from The Washington Post are a regular feature. Whoops! In any case, May’s roundup of recs from WaPo are titles that are the sounds of spring. got the ball rolling early on Audiobook Month! They have a blog post up now previewing the fun stuff they’ve got planned in June.

Audiofile Magazine posted a blog entry earlier this month on audiobooks for kids that highlight STEM skills.  I couldn’t love this more! I recommend the Ada Twist books to kids all the time at the bookstore and now have a whole batch of other titles to suggest to young readers.

Over at the Riot

Working on some thangs here ok STOP LOOKING AT ME WITH JUDGEMENT IN YOUR EYES!

That’s all I got today! Shoot me an email at with audiobook feedback & questions or find me on Twitter and the gram @buenosdiazsd. Sign up for the In The Club newsletter, peep the Read Harder podcast, and watch me booktube every Friday too!

Stay bad & bookish, my friends.

Today In Books

No Current Living Adult Will Get To Read Han Kang’s New Manuscript: Today In Books

Sponsored by Amazon Publishing

Have You Seen Luis Velez cover image

No Current Living Adult Will Get To Read Han Kang’s New Manuscript

Katie Paterson’s Future Library art project continued with Han Kang’s manuscript being locked away for 95 years. At that time 1,000 Norwegian spruces, which were planted in 2014 at the start of this project, will be cut down to print the manuscript–along with the other participating author’s works. Check out the ceremony, and other authors, here.

Public Libraries + Affordable-Housing Projects

Chicago has new affordable-housing for seniors that is co-located with a new library branch: Northtown Branch. The project was designed through a competition in 2016 and the picture is gorgeous. Read on here for more on the architecture firm and the amazing project. Here’s hoping this combination catches on.

Jessica Jones Final Season Is Almost Here

If you’ve been waiting for the third, and final season, of Jessica Jones to premiere on Netflix your wait is almost over: The entire season, 13 episodes, will be streaming on June 14th.