Today In Books

Pentagon Accused Of Holding Up Book For Other Book: Today In Books

Pentagon Accused Of Holding Up Book For Other Book

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis’ former communications director and chief speechwriter is accusing the Defense Department of stalling reviewing his memoir’s manuscript (for final approval) in favor of Mattis’ memoir release. “The government is only permitted ‘to safeguard classified information,’ said Mark Zaid, Snodgrass’s attorney. ‘The reality appears to be that [Pentagon] officials were deliberately slow-rolling the process in order to ensure Mattis’ book is published first.'” I vote take it to Judge Judy!

How To Get Run Over By A Truck To Be Adapted

That’s a hell of a title even before you find out it’s a true story based on Katie McKenna‘s experience of being hit by an eighteen-wheeler and being “taken to the best trauma hospital in New York — the prison hospital at Rikers Island.” I know! Now the memoir will be adapted into a CW series thanks to Ellen DeGeneres and the team behind the Come From Away musical.

Social Media Blocks The Vagina Bible Ads

US publisher Kensington claims that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter blocked promotions of The Vagina Bible if they contained the words ‘vaginal’ or ‘vagina.’ Twitter claims it was not the use of the words: “The rejection of some of the promoted content was due to a combination of human error and violations, including the use of profanity and adult products.” Not better, my dude.



We have 50(!!) digital audio downloads of The Flight Girls Audiobook by Noelle Salazar to give away to 50 Riot readers!

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

Here’s what it’s all about:

50 audio downloads of THE FLIGHT GIRLS by Noelle Salazar are up for grabs! For fans of The Lost Girls of Paris and Hidden Figures comes THE FLIGHT GIRLS by Noelle Salazar – an outstanding historical women’s fiction debut about the little-known Women’ Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program and the heroic role women played in training military pilots who were being deployed to fight during World War II. Flawlessly performed by Xe Sands, don’t miss this chance to win the audio edition of a book #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber called “unputdownable.” Download codes for the winners supplied by

Today In Books

Paranormal Bookstore 👻: Today In Books

Paranormal Bookstore!

It is never too early to start celebrating Halloween if spooky season is your thing. And with that in mind there are psychic readings, ghost hunts and tours, and 200 artifacts dedicated to the paranormal for your entertainment at Paranormal Books & Curiosities in Asbury Park, NJ. Check out a video tour here.

Author Under Attack

White supremacists have been targeting So You Want to Talk About Race author Ijeoma Oluo, including a terrifying swatting incident–callers called the police pretending to be her teenage son claiming to have murdered two people. Oluo has written a piece talking about the harassment, how she’s been advised to be quiet for a while, and how she won’t be silenced.

Emily St John Mandel’s Upcoming Novel To Be Adapted

Emily St John Mandel, author of Station Eleven, hasn’t even had her upcoming novel release yet (March 2020) but that hasn’t stopped NBCUniversal International Studios from acquiring the rights to The Glass Hotel. It’s a mystery about a missing woman, a huge ponzi scheme, greed, and pasts coming back. It sounds amazing and you can learn more about it and the adaptation here.

The Kids Are All Right

Children’s Books Based on Songs + Cover Reveal for Christina Soontornvat’s A WISH IN THE DARK

Hi Kid Lit friends!

I am SO EXCITED because we are doing a cover reveal today! The lovely Christina Soontornvat is here to chat about her new middle grade fantasy novel (gorgeous cover illustration by Ji-Hyuk Kim).

Here’s a little bit about A Wish in the Dark:

All light in Chattana is created by one man — the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. The wealthy dine and dance under bright orb light, while the poor toil away in darkness. Worst of all, Pong’s prison tattoo marks him as a fugitive who can never be truly free.

Nok, the prison warden’s perfect daughter, is bent on tracking Pong down and restoring her family’s good name. But as Nok hunts Pong through the alleys and canals of Chattana, she uncovers secrets that make her question the truths she has always held dear. Set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world, Christina Soontornvat’s twist on Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables is a dazzling, fast-paced adventure that explores the difference between law and justice — and asks whether one child can shine a light in the dark.

Are you ready for the cover?




Isn’t it wonderful? I got to chat with Christina about her book. My questions are in bold.

I love this cover! Tell me your reaction when you first saw it.

Absolute delight! Light and shadow are so important to the book’s setting and themes so I was floored when I saw Ji-Hyuk Kim’s illustration. I love how he depicted the city in the background – it seems to actually glow!

(Author Photo by Sam Bond)

Readers who love fantasies like The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill or The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman will love A Wish in the Dark because this is a magical story that also poses big questions about our own world.

What are three things you would like readers to know about A Wish in the Dark?

  • This is a fast-paced adventure story—a cat-and-mouse chase that takes you down rivers, up mountains, through temples, and into the heart of a magical city made of light.
  • The book is a twist on Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, which is one of my favorite novels because it asks really big questions, such as “What is the difference between law and justice?” and “What happens when you show people compassion instead of judgment?” I truly believe middle grade readers are up for tackling these big questions. In fact, I think they know the answers better than grownups do.
  • The ending is epic. I can’t say much more without giving the whole thing away, but I definitely want readers to know that I did not hold back on the ending!

What are three things you would like readers to know about you?

  • Eating is my favorite thing to do, and Thailand is my very favorite place to eat! My favorite fruit is mango, and A Wish in the Dark both starts and ends with mangoes.
  • Unlike the book’s main character, Pong, I am a pretty good swimmer. I live in Texas, where it’s usually so hot that if I’m going to be outside I have to be in the water!
  • Right now I’m finishing up edits for a nonfiction book about the Thai Cave Rescue (coming Fall 2020). It’s such a joy to have two books out in one year that celebrate my Thai heritage.

Thank you, Christina! A Wish in the Dark will be released on March 24, 2020.

All right! Let me bring you to our book list today, which is about children’s books based on songs and anthems. There have been a lot of beautiful ones cropping up lately, and I wanted to share them with you! *Please note that all descriptions come from the publisher.*

Sing a Song by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Keith Mallett

In 1900, in Jacksonville, Florida, two brothers, one of them the principal of a segregated, all-black school, wrote the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” so his students could sing it for a tribute to Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. From that moment on, the song has provided inspiration and solace for generations of Black families. Mothers and fathers passed it on to their children who sang it to their children and grandchildren. It has been sung during major moments of the Civil Rights Movement and at family gatherings and college graduations.

Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson

A cornerstone hymn chronicling the black experience, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was declared the official African American National Anthem by the NAACP in 1919. First published in 1993, this picture book featuring linocuts by Harlem Renaissance artist Catlett is back in print, with a new Foreword by Newbery and Coretta Scott King Honoree Byran.

One Love by Cedella Marley, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Adapted from one of Bob Marley’s most beloved songs, One Love brings the joyful spirit and unforgettable lyrics to life for a new generation. Readers will delight in dancing to the beat and feeling the positive groove of change when one girl enlists her community to help transform her neighborhood for the better. It’s a testament to the amazing things that can happen when we all get together with one love in our hearts.

Imagine by John Lennon, illustrated by Jean Jullien

Join one little pigeon as she sets out on a journey to spread a message of tolerance around the world. Featuring the lyrics of John Lennon’s iconic song and illustrations by the award-winning artist Jean Jullien, this poignant and timely picture book dares to imagine a world at peace.

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson

What began as a spiritual has developed into one of America’s best-known songs, and now for the first time it appears as a picture book, masterfully created by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson.Through sublime landscapes and warm images of a boy and his family, Kadir has created a dazzling, intimate interpretation, one that rejoices in the connectedness of people and nature.

A Song for China: How My Father Wrote Yellow River Cantata by Ange Zhang (9/3/19, Groundwood)

The story of how a young Chinese author, Guang Weiran, a passionate militant from the age of twelve, fought, using art, theater, poetry and song, especially the famous Yellow River Cantata― the anthem of Chinese national spirit ― to create a socially just China. Set during the period of the struggle against the Japanese and the war against the Kuomintang in the 1920s and ’30s, this book, written and illustrated by Guang Weiran’s award-winning artist son, Ange Zhang, illuminates a key period in China’s history.

Star-Spangled: The Story of a Flag, a Battle, and the American Anthem by Tim Grove (5/26/20, Abrams)

“O say can you see” begins one of the most recognizable songs in the US. Originally a poem by Francis Scott Key, the national anthem tells the story of the American flag rising high above a fort after a night of intense battle during the War of 1812. But there is much more to the story than what is sung at ball games. What was this battle about? Whose bombs were bursting, and why were rockets glaring? Who sewed those broad stripes and bright stars? Why were free black soldiers fighting on both sides? Who was Francis Scott Key anyway, and how did he end up with such a close view? Star-Spangled tells the whole story from the perspectives of different real players—both American and British—of this obscure but important battle from American history.


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!

*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!*



We have 5 copies of Caraval Trilogy by Stephanie Garber to give away to 5 Riot readers!

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

Here’s what it’s all about:

Welcome to Finale, the final book in Stephanie Garber’s #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series! It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist. Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend. After uncovering a secret, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change him. Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun.

Riot Rundown


Check Your Shelf

A Ray Bradbury Statue and Exciting News for CHECK YOUR SHELF!

Two announcements before we dive in! First: I am going to be on vacation for the next week and a half in Seattle, so Liberty Hardy will be filling in as honorary librarian/newsletter author for the next 2 issues!

Second: Starting September 17th, you’ll be getting TWO doses of Check Your Shelf in your inboxes each week on Tuesdays and Fridays! Tuesdays will focus on collection development and book lists, while Fridays will be more about news-y items. Thank you to all you readers who have made this newsletter such a success!!

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Cool Library Updates

Worth Reading

Book Adaptations in the News

Collection Development Corner

New & Upcoming Titles

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

RA/Genre Resources

Books & Authors in the News

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, and I’ll see you when I come back! Seattle, ahoy!

–Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.



We have 5 copies of Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford to give away to 5 Riot readers!

Here’s what it’s all about:

For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine . . .

For fans of Three Dark Crowns and Ash Princess comes a new YA fantasy series intertwining politics, forbidden romance, and the power of sisterhood.

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

Unusual Suspects

5 Campus Crime Novels For Back-To-School

Hi mystery fans! I don’t know where August went but it just means that fall books are coming to get us! Also, fall TV/films which are bound to have a bunch of adaptations because everything gets adapted now–or so it feels. Anyhoo, here are your links and Kindle deals for the week! Hope you’re reading something awesome!

From Book Riot And Around The Internet

Wonton Terror cover imageLiberty and Tirzah talk about a couple mysteries that released this week on All The Books!

The United States of Wrongdoing: 50 Great Books About True Crimes

Women Have Always Loved Reading Thrillers—Just Ask the Victorians

Lisbeth Salander is back — and angrier than ever

5 Campus Crime Novels For Back-To-School

Has DISCLOSURE Aged Well in a MeToo Era?

15 Romantic Suspense Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down

Adaptations And News

I'll Be Gone In The Dark cover image7 of the Best Books for MINDHUNTER Fans

‘Bond 25’ Title Revealed

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN – Official Trailer (Adaptation of Jonathan Lethem novel: “a lonely private detective living with Tourette Syndrome, ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend.”)

Briarpatch | Official Trailer – Starring Rosario Dawson | on USA Network (Adaptation of Ross Thomas novel: The sibling of a murdered homicide detective decides to search for the killer.)

The 11 Books You Need to Read to Keep Up With Fall Movie Season

Kindle Deals

Smaller and Smaller Circles by FH Batacan cover imageSmaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan is $1.99 if you’re looking for 2 Jesuit priests solving crimes! (Review) (TW I don’t remember but children are the victims.)

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson is $2.99 if you’re looking for a double mystery and great start to a trilogy–Full review.


A Bit Of My Week In Reading

Leaving Atlanta cover imageReading: Tayari Jones wrote one of my favorite novels ever–Silver Sparrow –and I realized that I still hadn’t read her novel Leaving Atlanta so that is getting rectified. I was gifted The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death by Corinne May Botz because I am fascinated by Frances Glessner Lee who in the 1930s made true crime dollhouse scenes and founded the Department of Legal Medicine at Harvard. And I’ve been listening to Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia as my crime break which mixes Mexican mythology and sci-fi for an awesome adventure story.

The Vanished Bride cover imageFinished: The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis is an utterly delightful, smart, and great fun mystery. It reimagines the Brontë sisters as detectors who set out to solve a missing woman case. I loved it! And you don’t have to know, or care, about the classic works to thoroughly enjoy this book, especially if you enjoy historical mysteries.

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.

True Story

Nonfiction for Women in Translation Month

Hello, nonfiction friends! It’s the last Friday in August, which means I can sneak in one newsletter in honor of Women in Translation month, an annual celebration that’s been happening around the book world since 2014.

Given my personal interest, this list of nonfiction in translation is heavy on memoirs and books by journalists, but I did manage to get a pretty decent geographic spread in titles. Let’s go!

Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich – This book is an account of the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, told through the personal stories of people affected by the meltdown. As a collection of monologues, the book was the first to truly give voice to that experience. As a result, parts of this book were the basis for the HBO miniseries Chernobyl. Journalist Svetlana Alexievich is the winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature, so any of her books would make a great read.


In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri – Twenty years after studying in Italy and falling in love with the country, novelist Jhumpa Lahiri returned to Rome where she began to read and write exclusively in Italian. This book is a “meditation on the process of learning to express herself in another language – and the stunning journey of a writer seeking a new voice.”



I’m Writing You from Tehran: A Granddaughter’s Search for Her Family’s Past and Their Country’s Future by Delphine Minoui – After losing her grandfather in 1998, journalist Delphine Minoui decided to go to Iran, her first visit since the Iranian Revolution. She ended up staying a decade, immersing herself in the country, growing as a writer, falling in love, and learning more about her family history.


Oriana Fallaci: The Journalist, the Agitator, the Legend by Cristina De Stefano – This biography tells the story of one of Italy’s most famous and controversial journalists. During her career, she conducted blockbuster interviews with leaders like Henry Kissinger, Muammar Gaddafi, Indira Gandhi, and more. She also caused her own share of controversies, “leaving behind epic collateral damage in her wake.”


A Massacre in Mexico: The True Story Behind the Missing Forty-Three Students by Anabel Hernández – In 2014, 43 students went missing from a teaching college in Mexico. The young men boarded buses to travel to Mexico City, but disappeared after a confrontation with local police. This book is a definitive account of this mystery that shows the official version of the story from Mexican officials is largely false.

And that’s a wrap! You can find me on Twitter @kimthedork, via email at, and co-hosting the For Real podcast here at Book Riot. Happy reading! – Kim