Today In Books

Twin Cities Bookstores Weather Riots: Today in Books

Riots Continue To Affect Twin Cities Shops And Bookstores

Bookstores in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN have been affected by the ongoing riots protesting police brutality and injustice. At least two bookstores have burned down, one has been broken into, and two more have been boarded up and have suspended in-person operations until it’s safe to return on site. Although video footage shows protestors urging others to keep bookstores and libraries safe, Moon Palace Books tweeted, “Things that may be lost or damaged in our building are just things. But your life is precious, just like George Floyd’s life was precious.”

New Line Acquires Sarah Knight Bestseller ‘The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F*ck’

The satirical, no-nonsense guide The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight has been picked up by New Line, with Sarah Hirons set to adapt it. Hirons has previously adapted A Court of Thrones and Roses, and served as a producer for Bird Box and Let It Snow at Netflix, so she’s no stranger to book to screen adaptations. No word on what a feature film of Knight’s bestseller about getting your life in order might actually look like, but we’re excited to hear more!

Will China’s Entry Into U.S. Publishing Lead To Censorship?

The L.A. Times reports that a new, Chinese-backed publishing house is setting up shop in the U.S. Astra Publishing is a Beijing-based publishing house that is launching its first season of books in 2021, which include a Chinese memoir, a book about art world controversies, and a collection of short stories about the Latinx trans community in New York City. Although the publisher has insisted they are completely independent to publish whatever they like, the Chinese government’s track record of censoring publishers has some questioning whether or not that’s really true.

What's Up in YA

Fall YA to Add To Your To-Read List

Hey YA Readers!

It seems so early to think about fall, especially given how many of us have shifted our summer plans, knowing that we don’t know what summer might look like. But, fall will come, and with it, a crop of excellent new YA books.

I love showcasing upcoming titles as a means of getting them on your minds.

Open up your Goodreads or other means of tracking what you want to read and prepare to add so many good books to it. Descriptions are from the ‘Zon, as I have yet to read any of these (but you better believe I will be!).

Obviously this isn’t comprehensive. I’ve just pulled a few titles, and I’ll showcase more throughout the summer.

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro (September 15)

Xochitl is destined to wander the desert alone, speaking her troubled village’s stories into its arid winds. Her only companions are the blessed stars above and enigmatic lines of poetry magically strewn across dusty dunes.

Her one desire: to share her heart with a kindred spirit.

One night, Xo’s wish is granted—in the form of Emilia, the cold and beautiful daughter of the town’s murderous conqueror. But when the two set out on a magical journey across the desert, they find their hearts could be a match… if only they can survive the nightmare-like terrors that arise when the sun goes down.

Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp (September 15)

FIVE friends go to a cabin.
FOUR of them are hiding secrets.
THREE years of history bind them.
TWO are doomed from the start.
ONE person wants to end this.

Are you ready to play?

Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kaye Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore (September 23)

There hasn’t been a winner of the Miss Meteor beauty pageant who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla in all its history.

But that’s not the only reason Lita wants to enter the contest, or her ex-best friend Chicky wants to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn’t about being perfect; it’s about sharing who you are with the world—and loving the parts of yourself no one else understands.

So to pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough—they are everything.

Skyhunter by Marie Lu (September 29)

In a world broken by war, a team of young warriors is willing to sacrifice everything to save what they love.

The Karensa Federation has conquered a dozen countries, leaving Mara as one of the last free nations in the world. Refugees flee to its borders to escape a fate worse than death—transformation into mutant war beasts known as Ghosts, creatures the Federation then sends to attack Mara.

The legendary Strikers, Mara’s elite fighting force, are trained to stop them. But as the number of Ghosts grows and Karensa closes in, defeat seems inevitable.

Still, one Striker refuses to give up hope.

Robbed of her voice and home, Talin Kanami knows firsthand the brutality of the Federation. Their cruelty forced her and her mother to seek asylum in a country that considers their people repugnant. She finds comfort only with a handful of fellow Strikers who have pledged their lives to one another and who are determined to push Karensa back at all costs.

But when a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front, Talin senses there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is he a spy from the Federation? Or could he be the weapon that will save them all?

Surrender Your Sons by Adam Sass (September 15)

Connor Major’s summer break is turning into a nightmare.

His SAT scores bombed, the old man he delivers meals to died, and when he came out to his religious zealot mother, she had him kidnapped and shipped off to a secluded island. His final destination: Nightlight Ministries, a conversion therapy camp that will be his new home until he “changes.”

But Connor’s troubles are only beginning. At Nightlight, everyone has something to hide—from the campers to the “converted” staff and cagey camp director—and it quickly becomes clear that no one is safe. Connor plans to escape and bring the other kidnapped teens with him. But first, he’s exposing the camp’s horrible truths for what they are—and taking this place down.

Vampires Never Get Old edited by Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker (September 22)

Eleven fresh vampire stories from young adult fiction’s leading voices!

In this delicious new collection, you’ll find stories about lurking vampires of social media, rebellious vampires hungry for more than just blood, eager vampires coming out—and going out for their first kill—and other bold, breathtaking, dangerous, dreamy, eerie, iconic, powerful creatures of the night.

Welcome to the evolution of the vampire—and a revolution on the page.

Vampires Never Get Old includes stories by authors both bestselling and acclaimed, including Samira Ahmed, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker, Tessa Gratton, Heidi Heilig, Julie Murphy, Mark Oshiro, Rebecca Roanhorse, Laura Ruby, Victoria “V. E.” Schwab, and Kayla Whaley.

Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour (September 15)

Mila is used to being alone. Maybe that’s why she said yes to the opportunity: living in this remote place, among the flowers and the fog and the crash of waves far below.

But she hadn’t known about the ghosts.

Newly graduated from high school, Mila has aged out of the foster care system. So when she’s offered a job and a place to stay at a farm on an isolated part of the Northern California Coast, she immediately accepts. Maybe she will finally find a new home, a real home. The farm is a refuge, but also haunted by the past traumas its young residents have come to escape. And Mila’s own terrible memories are starting to rise to the surface.

The Woods Are Always Watching by Stephanie Perkins (October 27)

A traditional backwoods horror story set–first page to last–in the woods of the Pisgah National Forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Two girls go backpacking in the woods. Things go very wrong.

And, then, their paths collide with a serial killer.

So much good reading is coming. So, so much.

See you again later this week for a look at this week’s YA book news and new YA books.

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

Today In Books

$60 Million Funding For New Zealand Libraries: Today In Books

$60 Million Funding For New Zealand Libraries

A $60 million funding package for libraries was announced on May 29th, as part of Budget 2020, by New Zealand’s Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. The money is intended to protect 170 librarian jobs, train them to help coronavirus-affected patron jobseekers, and keep free internet access in every New Zealand library.

The School For Good And Evil Adaptation

Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil is being adapted  into a Netflix film and Paul Feig (Spy, Bridesmaids, A Simple Favor, Ghostbusters) has signed on to direct! And The School of Good and Evil: One True King, the sixth and final book in the series, will release next week.

Lisbeth Salander Getting Her Own Show

Lisbeth Salander, from Steig Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, will be the focus of an upcoming Amazon series that is now in production. Salander will be living in today’s world and the series will be a standalone that introduces new characters, story, and setting.

Riot Rundown


Today In Books

Library Creates eReading Rooms: Today In Books

Library Creates eReading Rooms

To give patrons the feeling of entering a library room to pick out their next ebook or audiobook, the Pierce County Library System created eReading rooms with librarian selections. And the digital rooms are also made with specific age ranges in mind, making them safe spaces for kids to browse.

What A Lineup!

BookCon 2020 is virtual and if you’re a fan of superheroes here’s an excellent panel to watch tomorrow, May 30, 2020, 11:00 AM – 11:40 AM: The New Age Of Heroes. It’ll be moderated by Gabby Rivera (Juliet Takes a Breath), with panelists Zoraida Córdova (Labyrinth Lost), Preeti Chhibber (Spider-Man: Far From Home: Peter and Ned’s Ultimate Travel Journal), Nic Stone (Dear Martin), and Nicky Drayden (The Prey of Gods). It’s going to be so good–seriously, if you haven’t read their books get on that!

Hunger Games Still Has A Hungry Audience

Suzanne Collins is certainly celebrating this week as her return to Hunger Games a decade later with the release of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has proven to be a wise decision: 500,000+ copies sold last week. And that’s during the pandemic with all the libraries and bookstores that are closed.

The Fright Stuff

The Uncanny House

After my freshman year of college, I went to my then-boyfriend’s hometown to visit, up in the corner of Georgia where time on any automatic programming clock shifted between eastern and central at random. We stayed the night with one of his friends and his sister, who also ran a daycare of 10-20 small children out of her home, which could not have been newer than 100 years old. It was hot and humid, and the ceiling fans were running so high that their blades were blurred circles around their fixtures. Really, that whole experience is kind of a blur. Even the photos from my old digital camera are streaked. All the doorknobs kept falling off, and we could hear the kids running on all three floors.

Y’all, I’m FROM the south, and I’ve never heard or seen anything more southern gothic since then–or, you know what, just regular Gothic.

But not all horror about houses has to do with hauntings or ancestral manors, though of course we can’t forget those classics like We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson or The Amityville Horror by Jay Hanson. I mean, just look at one of the most famous weird-horror YA (kind of?) books, Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews.

If you haven’t guessed yet, you’re in The Fright Stuff, Book Riot’s weekly newsletter about the latest and greatest in horror. I’m Mary Kay McBrayer, and I’ll be your Virgil through today’s realm of hell, the Uncanny House.

Earworm: “You Only Live Twice” by Nancy Sinatra.

Fresh Hells (FKA New Releases):

We Need to Do Something by Max Booth III

Though all the books in this list will deal with the house, this novella takes place entirely in a bathroom. A family on the verge of self-destruction has barricaded itself in the bathroom during a tornado, debating and arguing about whether the tornado exists and its severity.



mexican gothicMexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

As the title suggests, this novel invokes many of the traditional Gothic tropes, like, for example, the newlywed cousin in an Englishman’s mansion who sends a letter begging vaguely to be rescued. Noemi, the rescuer, is a debutante and unlikely savior, but she heads to the house in the Mexican countryside, where the house itself begins to invade her dreams. (This title releases on June 30, so be sure you pre-order!)

Are You Afraid of the Dark? by Seth C. Adams

Fourteen-year-old Reggie finds a new father figure while he is mourning his own father. The stranger in distress wanders out of the woods, where Reggie gives him shelter in his tree house and nurses him back to health before learning that his new semi-role model is a killer for hire.



the unsuitableThe Unsuitable by Molly Pohlig

A Victorian woman on the cusp of spinsterhood believes her dead mother’s spirit lives in the scar on her neck. As the date of her wedding with a medical experimenting suitor (that her father arranged) approaches, her father’s and mother’s wills grow increasingly at odds.



Harbingers (FKA news):

Author of horror-memoir In the Dream House and collection of short stories, Her Body and Other PartiesCarmen Maria Machado talks about her first graphic novel, The Low, Low Woods at Book Expo 2020. The compendium will release in September. You can hear more about it on the Book Expo’s 2020 Adult Book & Author Dinner Facebook livestream.

AMC bought the rights to Anne Rice’s vampire novels.

How dark books and essays help during coronavirus: “We don’t read or write to be reassured — at least I don’t. We read and write to reckon with all the things we cannot know.”

Remember Little: A Novel, the book I recommended back when it released about Madame Tussaud? Its author, Edward Carey, is staving off the quarantine with an illustration a day. If you don’t already follow him on social media, go ahead on and do it!

Part two of Maya Alexandri’s “Being an EMT during a Pandemic” is now live… it’s a truly intense read.

I loooove weird fiction author Etgar Keret, and if you want to hear how he uses humor to “cope with the indignities of everyday life,” which… I mean, how else can we cope? Check out this link.

Here’s a take from one author who states that serial killers are usually NOT geniuses.

Have you ever remembered every detail of an engrossing horror book… except for its title? There’s an app for that.

Want to read some books in which the apocalypse sneaks up on you? Check out these eerie books.

Florence is trying to get back the body of Inferno author, Dante Alighieri.

Did you know that the Gates of Hell are in Turkmenistan?

Until next week, follow me @mkmcbrayer for minute-to-minute horrors or if you want to ask for a particular theme to a newsletter. I’m also on IG @marykaymcbrayer. Talk to you soon!

Your Virgil,


Mary Kay McBrayer
Co-host of Book Riot’s literary fiction podcast, Novel Gazing (be sure to check out tomorrow’s episode for a very special interview!)

The Kids Are All Right

Children’s Books About Sustainable Energy

Hi Kid Lit Friends,

I have been thinking about sustainable energy these days, and generally when I don’t know anything about a topic I turn to children’s books. Here are some great ones if you’re looking to learn more about how the world is running on sustainable energy. This list reflects the dearth of books about sustainable energy by authors of color.

Green Machine: The Slightly Gross Truth about Turning Your Food Scraps into Green Energy by Rebecca Donnelly, illustrated by Christophe Jacques, is an informative and funny book about food scraps. See how food scraps are composted, collected, and processed, transforming trash into biogas and electricity. It’s a green machine! It’s a celebration of sustainability and the important role we humans play in the energy cycle.

Allan Drummund has a great picture book about solar energy: Solar Story: How One Community Harnessed the Wind and Changed Their World. As we see on a class field trip, the plant is not only bringing reliable power to the village and far beyond, but is providing jobs, changing lives, and upending the old ways of doing things–starting within the girl’s own family. Blending detail-filled watercolors, engaging cartoon-style narration, sidebars, and an afterword, the author showcases another community going green in amazing ways.

And finally, a middle grade book: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Wheeler. When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba’s tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season’s crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family’s life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land.


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!*

Check Your Shelf

Retiring the RITAS

Welcome to Check Your Shelf.

Do we all need to collectively scream into the void together? You have my permission to do so.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Cool Library Updates

Worth Reading

Book Adaptations in the News

Books & Authors in the News

Numbers & Trends

Award News

On the Riot

Enjoy the weekend, everyone. You deserve it.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships for May 29: Respect Your Elders

Happy Friday to all my favorite space pirates! I hope everyone has had an excellent and safe week, with lots of reading time in a sunny place. Hard to believe that May is almost over… it’s only been about seven years long. It’s Alex with some genre-rific news and an assortment of books with older characters!

It’s not sci-fi but it’s still on theme for the week: Lucky Grandma. It’s out for rent on several streaming services now, and I cannot wait.

Also, if you’re in the mood for a slow-motion train wreck, dear god, there’s an article about the omegaverse lawsuit in the New York Times.

News and Views

There’s an African Speculative Fiction story bundle available!

Naomi Novik’s upcoming fantasy series has already had its film rights snapped up.

An interview with author Marko Kloos about his Frontlines books, among other things.’s socially distant read-along is continuing with The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin.

George RR Martin is now part of a group that owns Santa Fe Southern Railway. (Guess that RR stands for RailRoad now amirite.) He talks about it over on his Not A Blog.

Nalo Hopkinson and stem cell research

A look at how Picard explores disability through the xBs.

An ansolutely gorgeous walk through all of the Star Trek opening themes.

Labyrinth is finally getting a sequel. Jaenelle Monae for Goblin King.

Someone with some serious lockdown jitters did a scene by scene chronology of the MCU.

On Book Riot

3 on a YA Theme: Standalone YA Fantasy Novels

20 Completed YA Fantasy Series to Revisit or Pick Up for the First Time

You can enter to win $50 at your favorite indie book store and/or a 1-year subscription to Kindle Unlimited.

Free Association Friday: Respect Your Elders

It’s National Elderly Day if you’re in Indonesia. And that got me thinking… the vast majority of books tend to focus on young (or at the most, middle-aged) protagonists. How about some love for the silver-haired badasses out there?

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames is about a band of mercenaries that have long since retired… but now they need to get back together for one last, impossible mission. Classic heist movie story trope, but make it epic fantasy.

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed has a POV character that’s a 70-year-old exorcist who would really just like to retire… and marry the widow who runs his favorite tea house.

The Dream-Quest of Villett Boe by Kij Johnson has a sixty-year-old protagonist, who is a professor at a prestigious women’s college in the dreamlands, and she has to go chasing after one of her students who foolishly elopes with a dreamer from the waking world.

Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon has an elderly woman named Ofelia who has spent most of her life on the world that houses Colony 3245.12… but then the corporation that owns the place decides to abandon the colony, and thus pack up all the colonists and ship them elsewhere. Ofelia, wanting to finish her life in peaceful solitude, stays behind. Until a reconnaissance ship shows up… and the crew gets murdered by someone who is definitely not her.

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro has an elderly couple in post-Arthurian Britain set off to visit their son now that the Saxons and the Britons have finally stopped murdering each other. But a strange mist descends on ther land, causing mass amnesia, and they can barely remember anything about him now…

Silver Moon by Catherine Lundoff is about that special change in a woman’s life, when menopause comes with a side of lycanthropy. A post-menopausal divorcee finds a new home with an all-female (and all gray) wolf pack.

gods monsters and the lucky peachGods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson has an old, female ecologist who has been working to reclaim Earth from its long series of human-caused ecological disasters. She’s given the opportunity to time travel and see how the world was before humanity really screwed it up.

Dendera by Yuya Sato, translated by Edwin Hawkes, is about an old woman who has been left out on the mountain as a traditional sacrifice. Instead of perishing quietly as is traditional, she ends up in a utopian village of all the other old women who were abandoned. Then the bear attacks.

See you, space pirates. You can find all of the books recommended in this newsletter on a handy Goodreads shelf. If you’d like to know more about my secret plans to dominate the seas and skies, you can catch me over at my personal site.



We’re giving away a 1-year Kindle Unlimited subscription to 5 lucky winners, courtesy of Macmillan’s eDeals Newsletter.

Enter here for a chance to win, or click the cover image below!

Here’s a little more about the Macmillan eDeals: The Macmillan eDeals newsletter includes an array of e-book bargains. Every month, the newsletter offers discounts on a diverse selection of fiction and nonfiction titles spanning every genre and subject imaginable, including bestsellers and award-winners.