Today In Books

Surprising Items Stolen From Libraries: Today In Books

Surprising Items Stolen From Libraries

We hear library theft and assume book, maybe map or important documents. But here’s a fun list (for curious readers, not for the libraries) that shows surprising things stolen from libraries like skeletons, swords, and even a presidential rocking chair. I’d like to propose that maybe the skeleton grabbed his favorite weapon and seat and peaced out–someone write this book!

Edwidge Danticat For The Double-Win

Edwidge Danticat won the Story Prize in 2005 for The Dew Breaker and now, fifteen years later, she’s once again taking home the Story Prize. This time for her story collection, Everything Inside. Double congrats!

Judy Blume Adaptation

Judy Blume’s coming-of-age novel Summer Sisters will be coming to television. The 1998 novel will be adapted into a limited series at Hulu with Liz Tigelaar (Little Fires Everywhere adaptation) set to write, executive produce, and be the showrunner–“Sources say she sent the author a fan letter 20 years ago in which she asked to adapt it for TV.”

Riot Rundown


The Goods

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Take 29% off all your favorite bookish tees, totes, and more at Out of Print this Leap Day. Sale ends 3/1.

Book Radar

The BIRD BOX Sequel Cover and More Book Radar!

It’s Monnnnnnnnnnday! Welcome to March and another fantastic month of reading. Strap on your hardhat and safety goggles, because I have a LOT of cover reveals to share with you today, as well as some other bookish tidbits. It’s going to be an awesome spring!

Whether you’re reading a book or watching a movie or tap dancing to death metal, I hope you’re having a great time, too. Please enjoy the rest of your week, and remember to be excellent to each other! I’ll see you again on Thursday. – xoxo, Liberty

Here’s Monday’s trivia question: How much did a copy of The Great Gatsby cost when it was first published in 1925? (Scroll to the bottom for the answer.)

Deals, Reels, and Squeals! 

My Lovely Wife cover imageNicole Kidman’s production company is adapting My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing.

Here’s the first look at Aisha Saeed’s middle grade series about Wonder Woman.

And the first look at Alex North’s follow-up to The Whisper Man.

Here’s the cover reveal for Malorie, Josh Malerman’s sequel to Bird Box.

Edwidge Danticat is the first two-time winner of the $20,000 Story Prize.

Here’s the cover reveal of Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh.

Here’s the trailer for the big screen adaptation of Noël Coward’s comedy Blithe Spirits.

Here’s the cover reveal of Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe.

Jillian Cantor announced her upcoming Great Gatsby-related novel.

Here’s the cover reveal of Stormbreak: A Seafire Novel by Natalie C. Parker.

Killing Eve actor Kim Bodnia has joined the cast of The Witcher for season 2.

Here’s the reveal of the bloody cover of They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman.

Here’s the first look at Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp.

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:

camping with unicornsCamping with Unicorns: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure by Dana Simpson (Andrews McMeel Publishing, April 7)

It’s been a hot minute since I talked about my love for the Phoebe and Her Unicorn series, so I thought I would remind you that it exists and is excellent! I cannot believe that its already time for the eleventh book, but here we are. Phoebe and her vain unicorn BFF, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, are a delightful pair, and the illustrations are adorable.

In this edition, school is out and the two besties spend the summer camping and wandering outside, where they meet Alabaster, another unicorn. The humor and cute factor are so high in these books that kids won’t even realize they’re also learning important lessons about things like popularity, friendship, and being true to yourself. 11/10, would read over and over.

What I’m reading this week:

baddest bitchThe Baddest Bitch in the Room: A Memoir by Sophia Chang

Empire of Wild: A Novel by Cherie Dimaline

These Violent Delights: A Novel by Micah Nemerever

Alice Knott by Blake Butler

Wow, No Thank You.: Essays by Samantha Irby

Pun of the week: 

Did you hear about those new reversible jackets? I’m excited to see how they turn out.

Here’s a cat picture: 

King Derp of Derpland. (Also, it’s making me giggle how it kind of matches the book cover above the pun.)

And this is funny.

It’s an understandable mistake.

Trivia answer: Two dollars.

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

The Kids Are All Right

Children’s Books for Women’s History Month

Hi Kid Lit Friends,

It’s March, and in two days it’s Super Tuesday for America (eep!). I hope that all of you who get to vote on Tuesday enjoy engaging in the American democratic process. Meanwhile, I would love to talk about incredible women for Women’s History Month today! There are a lot of wonderful anthologies of fantastic women out there, but here are some of my favorites:

In Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World, author/illustrator Vashti Harrison selects 35 women creators, ranging from writers to inventors, artists to scientists. Readers will meet trailblazing women like Mary Blair, an American modernist painter who had a major influence on how color was used in early animated films, actor/inventor Hedy Lamarr, environmental activist Wangari Maathai, architect Zaha Hadid, filmmaker Maya Deren, and physicist Chien-Shiung Wu. I love Vashti’s illustrations, which infuse each of the stories with hope.

What I love about Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World by Susan Hood is that it’s illustrated by various women illustrators, from Melissa Sweet to Sophie Blackall to Oge Mora and more. In this book of poems, you will find Mary Anning, who was just 13 when she unearthed a prehistoric fossil. You’ll meet Ruby Bridges, the brave six-year-old who helped end segregation in the South. And Maya Lin, who at 21 won a competition to create a war memorial, and then had to appear before Congress to defend her right to create.

I’m a big fan of Chelsea Clinton’s picture books, and one of my favorites is She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. Throughout American history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what’s right, even when they have to fight to be heard. In early 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s refusal to be silenced in the Senate inspired a spontaneous celebration of women who persevered in the face of adversity. In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates 13 American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted.

Author Jamia Wilson and illustrator Andrea Pippins create a marvelous collection in Young, Gifted, and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present. Written in the spirit of Nina Simone’s song “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black,” this vibrant book is a perfect introduction to both historic and present-day icons and heroes. Meet figureheads, leaders, and pioneers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Rosa Parks, as well as cultural trailblazers and athletes like Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey, and Serena Williams.

And finally, Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World by Katherine Halligan, illustrated by Sarah Walsh, follow the stories of fifty powerhouse women from around the world and across time who each managed to change the world as they knew it forever. Telling the stories of their childhood, the challenges they faced, and the impact of their achievements, each illustrated spread is a celebration of girl power in its many forms. From astronauts to activists, musicians to mathematicians, these women are sure to motivate young readers of all backgrounds to focus not on the can’ts and shouldn’ts, but on what they can do: anything!


Around the web…

Witches, Robots, and Sea Sirens: New Middle Grade Graphic Novels and Comics, via Book Riot

When They Got the Call: PW Speaks with Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz Winners, via Publisher’s Weekly


What are you reading these days? Let me know! 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!*

The Fright Stuff

Science and Surveillance– The Fright Stuff

Look me in the eye and admit to me if you weren’t freaked out when your Furby started talking from deep within your closet where you thought you’d safely stashed it after it learned to speak.

If that didn’t freak you out, I don’t know what to tell you. The idea of being constantly surveilled, or influenced by technology beyond our control is one of the freakiest things about our contemporary world–I mean, just this past weekend when I was narrating my audiobook, the technician said that another author’s phone kept coming on until they realized it was listening, and every time she said the word “Syria,” it was ready to take orders. Don’t get me wrong, I put plenty of my business out in the street/on the internet, which is why I don’t need to be wondering if not having a band-aid over my webcam means someone is watching me from the other side of the world. And although fame would make this hair justifiable, and all press is good press, et cetera, I just DO NOT NEED A SWIMFAN.

In case you didn’t realize it yet, you’re in The Fright Stuff, Book Riot’s weekly newsletter featuring the latest and greatest in horror. I’m Mary Kay McBrayer, and I’ll be your Virgil through this realm of hell, science and surveillance–but, a big thanks goes out to the Book Riot community, who recommended a LOT of these books to us.

Ear worm: “She Blinded Me with Science” by Thomas Dolby

little eyesLittle Eyes by Samanta Schweblin

This new novel from the inimitable Samanta Schweblin will be released in its English translation this May, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pre-order it immediately, like I did. If you’re not familiar with her other novel, Fever Dream, or her collection of short stories, Mouthful of Birdsthis book is a great one to start with: it’s a true work of horror focusing on what happens when you let strangers (in the forms of robots) into your home.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

In this retelling of the Henry James classic, The Turn of the Screw, Ruth Ware tells of a governess accused of murder awaiting trial. Her letters inform her lawyer of the strange goings-on at the house, the lack of any adults nearby, the odd behavior of the children, and the constant surveillance of the “smart” house.


Follow Me by Kathleen Barber

Just the web copy of this description will have you rushing to erase your digital footprint: when the it-girl with the broken apartment lock and hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers gets ONE follower who is SUPER interested in following her… it turns into a creepy stalker situation. Even in 2020, y’all got to remember to be careful what you put on the internet.

Cryptkeepers (FKA the backlist):

“The TV People” by Haruki Murakami, in the book The Elephant Vanishes

This story creeped out both me and my world literature class A LOT. When people–regular people, but all dressed alike, and just slightly smaller than most people–show up to deliver TVs unannounced, it’s not the last uncanny thing that happens. Also, why are they here? And WHAT IS GOING ON?


cover of The Changeling by Victor LaValleThe Changeling by Victor LaValle

In plot, the synopses are correct, but in practice, according to one reviewer, the book is a changeling itself. It says, “It plays with memory, fairy tale, and the stories we tell each other about ourselves; it walks around the walls we build of our stories — whether out of family memorabilia or photos on Facebook — and probes them for holes.”


I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison

Aside from having the immediately most horrifying title ever, this classic science fiction horror novel demonstrates one instance of what happens when artificial intelligence gains sentience. In this version, the AMs obliterate nearly all of humanity, and, out of the spite of not having its own agency, entertains itself by torturing the species who made it.


Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk

You likely are familiar with this author from his cult classic, Fight Clubbut this book made my brain loud in such a way that even a near decade after reading it, I still remember details of its plot: when time travel overlaps with the technology of sensory experiences that can be LITERALLY recorded and inserted into someone else for them to experience, what IS authentic?

cover of The Dark Net by Benjamin PercyThe Dark Net by Benjamin Percy

You’ve probably heard of the mysterious dark web where anything goes, from criminal trade to bitcoin exchange, but in this novel, an “ancient darkness” gathers there as well, and a group of unlikely heroes has to band together to stop it.



The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick

This YA novel is a great one for any fan of Stranger Things who is nostalgic for the 1990s. When Trish notices a familiar face in the crowd around her work at the mall, she can’t unsee him. If you can stomach a stalker plot line, you’ll love this read.





Want to know how the famous painter, Peter Brueghel, interpreted the census as a Doomsday book? Check out this article.

Want to know why absolutism is almost always a horrorshow? Of course you do.

Book Riot’s own Zoe Robertson writes about what Eco-Horror teaches us about ourselves.

If you’re looking for horror reviewers and horror reviews, this list seems to be the truest utopia.

Women in Horror Month has just wound to a close, but the Women in Horror Film Festival in Atlanta is still riding that wave. Though it’s literature-adjacent, there’s a ton of literary stuff written ABOUT these films.

And if you missed Women in Horror Month–or, who do I think I’m talking to?–if you just MISS Women in Horror Month, here’s a great list of women authors of horror whom you may have missed!

Check out this article about Queer Characters in Horror from Book Riot’s own S.F. Whitaker, too!

Time to turn off all my electronics forever! JUST KIDDING. But seriously, that’s all the horror I can stand for this week. Until next time, I’m Mary Kay McBrayer, and you can FOLLOW ME (see what I did there?) on Twitter or Instagram, as long as you’re not the dreaded SwimFan.

Your Virgil,


Mary Kay McBrayer
Co-host of Book Riot’s literary fiction podcast, Novel Gazing

Today In Books

Book Scandal Leads To Jail Time: Today In Books

Book Scandal Leads To Jail Time

Last year, The Baltimore Sun published an article accusing then Mayor Catherine Pugh of having the medical system pay her for her self-published kids’ health book, Healthy Holly, when she was on the board of the University of Maryland Medical System. She has since resigned as mayor and yesterday was sentenced to three years in prison, three years probation, and ordered to pay around $412,000 in restitution while also forfeiting almost $670,000 worth of property.

The Reading Machine

Here’s an interesting article looking at the future of reading and books by looking at a machine designed to read and then create its own book of poetry. “Once every page in the book has been read, interpreted, and illustrated, the system publishes the results using an online printing service. The resulting volume is then added to a growing archive we call The Library of Nonhuman Books.” More like the no-humans-needed machine, am I right?

Merger Time

The 150+ year-old Brooklyn Historical Society is planning to merge with the Brooklyn Public Library, which will combine their impressive collections at BHS’ 1881 Brooklyn Heights headquarters. Bonus: “Admission to Brooklyn Historical’s exhibitions and collections will be free to the public.”

Riot Rundown


What's Up in YA

Girls Make History in These Amazing YA Novels

Hey YA Fans!

Before getting into the books, I’ll be out of office for a little over a week and this here newsletter will be lovingly tended to by fellow YA fans and devotees. Get excited to hear from some new voices for the next few inbox treats.

As you likely know, March is Women’s History Month. It’s the perfect opportunity to share some amazing YA historical fictions that center girls. Here are a handful of favorites, all of which are worth picking up ASAP (and all of them are out and available now!).

Audacity by Melanie Crowder

This novel in verse is set in the early 20th century, at the beginning of the Labor Rights Movement in the US. It’s a fictionalized spin on the real life story of Clara Lemlich, whose family immigrated to the US from Russia. She becomes a leader in the movement, speaking up and out about terrible working conditions in factories, with a keen eye to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. Clara is a daring, badass girl who disobeys her family’s wishes in order to better the lives of those around her, as well as to better her own education and English skills.

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

It’s the historical summer of 1977 when New York City is burning and a serial killer named Son of Sam is on the loose. Nora, our narrator, is Latina, and her best friend is a white girl. Both of them are deeply invested in feminism, but what Medina does is offer a look at the ways feminism isn’t necessarily inclusive, either in the late 70s or now. The setting is compelling, and the challenges that Nora experiences with her family are realistic and heartening — and she, as a budding feminist, comes to understand better where her experiences are in her world, as well as how far she can push herself.

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

It’s 1890 Atlanta. Jo, who is unafraid to speak her mind, lives with Old Gin — a man who took her in after she was “abandoned” by her parents — under the house of a local publisher who is unaware that they live there. When Jo overhears the folks upstairs talking about how agony aunt columns have led to newspaper sales soaring, she takes it upon herself to suggest a column and does so through a pen name “Miss Sweetie.” They’re game for it, and she begins to write these regular columns under the name and under strict anonymity. Sales are up . . . and so is interest in finding out who she really is. Immersive, with a really fascinating look at Chinese American history and the ways in which white feminism actively harms people of color.

Pulp by Robin Talley

This is a little less traditional when it comes to YA historical fiction, in that it’s primarily about a contemporary teen girl named Abby with the voice of a girl named Janet from the early 50s included alongside it. But what Abby finds is what makes it worth including on this list: pulp lesbian fiction that leads her down a road of understanding the history of queer people in America.  I knew nothing about the Lavender Scare, and vis a vis Janet and Abby, it becomes palpable and terrifying. I also absolutely loved that lesbian pulp — which I did know about — was woven in as the thread binding both Abby in 2017 and Janet in 1955 together.

Saving Savannah by Tonya Bolden

Bolden, who is a long-time writer for young people, brings readers to 1919 Washington DC in this story about an upper class Black girl who wants nothing more than to make something interesting of her life. Savannah knows she’s privileged in her wealth. But she’s worried she’ll never do something important or powerful in her life. Her brother has moved to New York City and has a photography shop, and she’s bored by her long-time friend and neighbor Yolande. When the housekeeper’s daughter steps in to clean the Riddle’s home, Savannah forms a quick bond with her, and it’s through her she finds her way to a school on the other side of town that helps less-privileged girls gain a solid education. Here she volunteers, but more, it’s here she meets someone who introduces her to the concepts of radicalism, socialism, and anarchy. At this pivotal time in history, Savannah finds herself with a few close calls to trouble, but when it gets too close, she and her mother connect over a history her mother never had shared with Savannah before. A great read about a Black girl who is privileged — far too rare in YA and rarer still in YA historical fiction.

A Tyranny of Petticoats and The Radical Element, both edited by Jessica Spotswood

Want to immerse yourself across a wide range of historical time periods and settings, filled with girls written by female and nonbinary YA writers? These two anthologies will be an utter treat. Each story is about a non-celebrity girl, though some are based on real people in history, and the details about setting and era are fantastic. Like all anthologies, these collections are made for reading either cover to cover or picking and choosing stories that call out to you and leaving others behind.

Whether you pick up one of these books or all of them, you’re in for a world of great stories about teen girls through history.

Thanks for hanging out, and I’ll see you again soon!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram and editor of (Don’t) Call Me Crazy and Here We Are.

Today In Books

International Booker Dozen: Today In Books

International Booker Dozen

The 2020 International Booker Prize Longlist (the Booker Dozen) has been announced, celebrating translated fiction from around the world. Looking to read more translated work? You can’t go wrong picking any of these books–I for one am currently reading, and loving, The Memory Police.

Ava DuVernay And Victoria Mahoney To The Rescue

After previous attempts to adapt Octavia Butler’s Dawn fell through, Ava DuVernay and Victoria Mahoney have stepped in to get the job done! Mahoney (first woman to direct a Star Wars movie) will write and direct the first episode, and DuVernay (A Wrinkle In Time; When They See Us) will be executive producer for the Amazon Studios ordered series.

Talmud Accepted Into US’s National Library of Congress

For the first time ever, the book of Talmud will be in the National Library of Congress. The work took Rabbi Adin Even Israel Steinsaltz 8 years to translate from Hebrew to English and will be celebrated tonight with an event. “‘It’s a great honor for the both Diaspora and Israeli Jews to receive such honor from a great institution as important as the US National Library of Congress. For all the Talmud’s thousands of years of existence, it is very exciting and meaningful for us, especially during times like these, when Judaism suffers from antisemitism,’ announced Mani Even Israel, the head of the Steinsaltz center.”