Today In Books

The Most Checked Out Ebooks and Audiobooks of 2020: Today in Books

Overdrive Announces Most Checked-Out Ebooks and Audiobooks of 2020

In what was a banner year for digital lending at public libraries, the actual lists of what people where checking out the most look pretty predictable. Outside of the expected big titles, it is the appearance of social justice books like White Fragility and So You Want to Talk About Race that stand out. In terms of perhaps more under-the-radar hits, I think In Five Years and Wow, No Thank You lead the way.

Publishing Employees Feel That Diversity Efforts Are Taking Hold

Publishers Weekly has surveyed employees in the book business and has found that most seem to think things are starting to move. Three-quarters of them say that diversity efforts have increased in the last year at their houses, and that percentage is higher among the larger publishers. Still a long way to go, but this suggests that all the talk about diversity initiatives is just talk. For now.

NBA-winner Barry Lopez has died

Best known as a travel and environmental writer, Barry Lopez died Christmas day after an extended battle with prostate cancer. His most well-known book, Arctic Dreams, is the kind of book that doesn’t come around often. Travel, philosophy, literature, and memoir all rolled into one. Michiko Kakutani said of it, “Arctic Dreams is a book about the Arctic North in the way that Moby-Dick is a book about whales.”

Before you head off for your (socially-distanced) New Year’s plans, check out the kinds of bookish facemasks out there. If we need them, might as well have some fun with them.

Today In Books

2020 Was ACTUALLY a Good Year for the Book Business: Today in Books’s Releases List of Their 50 Best-Selling Books, which was founded to provide a superior off-the-shelf digital storefront for independent bookstores, announced their 50 best-selling titles of the year. It is sort of the list you might expect, but the most interesting item isn’t a book: it’s the running count of the amount of money has funneled to independent bookstores since launching in January—more than $10 million.

Books by the Foot provides…well, that.

Check out this fascinating profile of Books by the Foot, a Washington-DC area supplier of whole collections/decorations/sets/zoom backgrounds of books. From politicians to celebrities to movie sets, clients come to Books by the Foot to buy in bult that thing that comes with an interesting bookshelf (or at least a stocked bookshelf at all).

What Does it Mean that, on the whole, 2020 was a pretty good year for book sales?

If you’ve been paying attention (and since you are reading a newsletter about book news, I am guessing you have), it won’t come as a huge surprise that book sales have been darn strong this year. Audio, YA, gardening were all big winners, and as you might expect travel was down big. Probably it doesn’t mean much other than if you were a thing that people could do at home, you held up sort of ok.

Thanks to Hachette for sponsoring today’s edition of Today in Books. Go here to enter for a chance to win one of their best-selling books of the year, or just click the image below:

The Kids Are All Right

The Best Children’s Books of 2020

This post by Kelly Jensen was originally published on Book Riot.

What a wonderful year for children’s books. Once again, a roster of standout titles became the stories we could turn to as adults looking for great reading for ourselves, in addition to being the books we are eager to hand to the young readers in our lives. If you were perusing our Best Books of 2020 list and wondering where the books for middle grade readers and younger may have been, never fret. They’re here!

Find below an incredible treasure trove of the best children’s books of 2020. There’s something here for every kind of reader.

The Best Children’s Books of 2020

Anya and the Nightingale by Sofiya Pasternack

I loved the first book about Anya, Ivan, and their dragon friend Håkon—and I might love this sequel even more.The characters are wonderful and endearing, and on top of that there is a male bisexual character who actually gets to have a male love interest and it’s reciprocal. The adventure itself is engaging and described perfectly: vivid, imaginative, and almost cinematic. I also appreciate that Anya is Jewish, as I still find it rare to see my own holidays and traditions represented in books. This adventure tale deftly balances its screwball humor with darker moments.

—Rachel Rosenberg

The Arabic Quilt by Aya Khalil and Anait Semirdzhyan

This beautifully illustrated picture book follows Egyptian Kanzi at her new school, where she worries about fitting in. She finds comfort in Teita’s Arabic quilt, and with the help of her teacher, she shares her love for her language and culture with fellow classmates. A powerful and moving story with stunning illustrations that highlights the importance of all languages. 

—Adiba Jaigirdar

Boy, Everywhere by A.M. Dassu

Sami is a boy who has his life torn apart by the civil war in Syria. Now he and his family find themselves on the run in a desperate attempt to make it to the UK. On the way he witnesses trauma, heartache, madness and also hope and love. Essential reading for middle grade students and anyone hoping to gain insight into the plight of refugees. 

—Lucas Maxwell

Class Act by Jerry Craft

I absolutely inhaled this companion graphic novel to Craft’s Newbery-winning New Kid. Class Act digs even deeper into what it’s like to be one of the handful of nonwhite kids at a fancy school—not just the micro- and macroaggressions those students are hit with on the daily, but also the ways they have to decide whom to trust and reserve judgment about. This time, instead of just visiting the McMansions of their classmates, Jordan and Drew cautiously invite their white friend Liam back to their neighborhood. While careful not to draw a false equivalence between racism and assuming the worst about wealthy people, Craft does make a great point about giving sincere and kind friends the benefit of the doubt. 

—Sarah Hannah Gómez

Diana and the Island of No Return by Aisha Saeed

This middle grade novel packs a powerful punch as it explores Wonder Woman as a tween. In the book, Diana wishes to train with the rest of the Amazons in Themiscyra, as she truly looks up to them and their powers. Diana also hopes her mother, Queen Hippolyta, will let her learn how to fight in the festival in Themiscyra, one that discovers and explores their diverse cultures. But, when a visitor—a boy—arrives in the area to warn them of some imminent danger, it’s up to Diana to help save the day with her best friend, Princess Sakina. This book is perfect for those seeking pure girl power and a touching story. And the good news? It’s the first in a series of Diana middle grade novels to come.

—Aurora Lydia Dominguez

Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe

This middle grade fantasy was pitched to me as a read-alike for Kiki’s Delivery Service, and I’m happy to report that assessment is accurate. I imagine most children can identify with Eva, on the cusp of turning 13 and constantly fretting about her spotty magical powers. She’s determined to earn the rank of Novice Witch but constantly doubtful she’ll pass the test. But Eva is one of the most determined young witches out there and hatches a plan to help the town of Auteri through “semi-magical fixes.” I loved her, and I loved the charming, whimsical world Abe has sketched for this planned series. It’s a feel-good read for just about any age, truth be told. 

—Nicole Hill

From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks

In this middle grade novel, Zoe Washington has just turned 12 and inadvertently started a penpal relationship with the biological father she’s never met, Marcus. Marcus is in prison for murder, but as Zoe gets to know him for the first time (under the supervision of her grandma, but unbeknownst to her mother), she begins to learn about the inequalities of the justice system and she becomes determined to clear his name. This is a timely and age-appropriate novel that deftly tackles big issues, and it never wavers from Zoe’s big-hearted perspective.

—Tirzah Price

Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega

This adorably spooky book about best friends Lucely and Syd who accidentally awaken a graveyard full of dangerous spirits is the perfect mixture of ghosts, magic, friendship, and fun. As if that wasn’t enough, Lucely has to save the firefly spirits of her family’s ancestors AND rustle up more tourists for her dad’s ghost tour before they lose their house. This book is just the right amount of spooky for middle grade readers and mixes supernatural shenanigans with so much heart and humor that you just can’t help but love it. 

—Rachel Brittain

Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago

As the title suggests, Gustavo is a shy ghost, but he desperately wants to make friends. Only there’s another problem: no one can see him! This whimsical, heartfelt picture book follows our translucent hero as he tries to overcome his struggles in time to plan a party for the Day of the Dead. Each page is vibrantly illustrated and full of color, with plenty of charming details for readers to discover on a second, third, or 15th read.

—Emily Polson

I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott and Sydney Smith

In this #OwnVoices picture book, a child with a stutter struggles to respond to a teacher’s prompt in class to describe his favorite place. His father picks him up early from school, and takes him to the river, where the two explore the riverbank, and his father tells him he talks like a river. When the child returns to school, he explains that his favorite place is the river, and describes how his voice is like the river. This picture book is stunning. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the prose is lyrical and beautiful. I wish I’d had a book like this as a child.

—Margaret Kingsbury

If You Come by Earth by Sophie Blackall

Sophie Blackall’s picture books are always gorgeous to look at—my favorite spread in this book is the library, which has diverse representation, and contains multiple wordless stories within. There is no real narrative, other than a child named Quinn pens a letter to visitors from space. Through it, we are given basic facts about the world (types of animals and homes, for instance, and what makes people unique). Enjoy the lovely art and the overall message about kindness.

—Rachel Rosenberg

A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll

Addie is autistic in a world where many people don’t understand or care to understand her challenges. Living in Scotland, she discovers that the village she lives in executed witches many hundreds of years ago. She embarks on a mission to get the local government to build a memorial for them, a task that will test her patience and will. A Kind of Spark is an #OwnVoices novel that will change the way you view those on the autism spectrum. It’s a powerful story about being yourself and standing unflinching in the face of adversity. 

—Lucas Maxwell

Magic on the Map: Escape from Camp California by Courtney Sheinmel & Bianca Turetsky and Steve Lewis

With many young readers stuck at home this year, it’s the perfect time to dive into this chapter book series about the twins Finn and Molly and their magical RV camper. In this book, the twins are magically transported to California where they must help refugees from the wildfires before the camper lets them return to their home in Ohio. This is one of the less glamorous state stories in the series. But Finn and Molly’s humorous sibling dynamic lightens the mood. And it felt like a great way to begin discussions about the environment and current events with young readers, while potentially learning about a new state. 

—Alison Doherty

Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron

Maya and the Rising Dark is a thrilling middle grade read! Maya lives in the South Side of Chicago, where strange occurrences take place in her modern world. Together, Maya and her companions set out to rescue her father when he disappears. In her adventures, she discovers a world where she witnesses sinister shadows and negative energy in dreams. It’s indeed a riveting story for both young and older readers.

—Cathleen Perez Brenycz

The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert

You know an author has immense talent when they can dip in and out of writing for different ages without missing a beat. Colbert’s debut middle grade follows 13-year-old Alberta, who has been the only Black girl in her seaside town for years. When the bed and breakfast across the street is purchase by new owners and one of the inhabitants will be a 12-year-old Black girl, she’s eager to make fast friends with Edie. But it won’t be that easy, as the girls are very different. Thanks to a discovery of old journals in the attic of the bed and breakfast, though, the girls uncover a wealth of secrets from the past that bring them together.

—Kelly Jensen

Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park

Thirteen-year-old Hanna loses her Chinese mother and must grow into a young woman amidst the adversity she faces in De Smet, where her white father has decided to set up a textiles shop. The story takes place in Dakota Territory in the 1880s contemporaneous with Laura Ingalls Wilder. In this version of Little House on the Prairie, however, the protagonist confronts prejudice in school and in her town, an unfortunate situation which she meets with courage, kindness, and resourcefulness. Great historical fiction from an untold and unusual perspective.

—Jean Kuo Lee

Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley

Jen is not at all thrilled when her mom moves her from the city to a farm in the country in order to live with her new boyfriend. Jen’s assigned chores and has to learn how to acclimate with a new family, which include two step-sisters who only visit on weekends. Knisley’s artwork captures the excitement, angst, and humor of farm living, and beautifully portrays the small moments that turn strangers into family.

—Tirzah Price

Sugar in Milk by Thrity Umrigar and Khoa Le

This gorgeous picture book layers two stories in one. The first is contemporary: a young girl moves to a new country to live with her aunt and uncle, but she doesn’t speak the language and struggles to make friends. Her aunt tells her a story she was told as a child about a group of refugees who come to a new country’s shore seeking to settle. The country’s king doesn’t want them to settle there, and since they speak different languages and can’t understand one another, he shows his refusal by filling a cup with milk. The refugees respond by adding sugar to the milk, which dissolves and makes the milk sweeter, symbolizing that accepting people into the country can only make the country sweeter. Emboldened by the story, the girl makes more of an effort to communicate. She smiles at people, makes eye contact, and soon she makes friends. The folktale comes from the author’s Zoroastrian upbringing as a Parsi child in India. Not only is the story beautiful, and the illustrations gorgeous, but the design of the book is amazing too. The thickness and slightly grainy texture of the pages, the sturdiness of the cover, the layers of color in the art, all make it a luxurious reading experience. I wish more picture books were this well made!

—Margaret Kingsbury

Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru

This was my most anticipated book of 2020 and it absolutely lived up to my expectations. Set in 1946, the story—inspired by a similar plot line from the 1940s Adventures of Superman radio show—centers around Chinese American siblings Roberta and Tommy Lee, whose family has been targeted by the bigoted Klan of the Fiery Cross. Superman is there to help, of course, but he’s also busy coming to grips with his own extraterrestrial origins. This action-packed, thoughtful, gorgeously illustrated comic tackles complex and scary issues in a way kids can understand without talking down to them, gives the Lee kids a chance to shine and be heroes without disappearing in Superman’s shadow, and reinforces the too-often-forgotten fact that the world’s most iconic superhero is an immigrant and a refugee—something just as relevant now as it was in 1946.

—Jess Plummer

Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry and Juana Martinez-Neal

I picked up Swashby and the Sea because I will read anything Juana Martinez-Neal has had her hands on, and I was not disappointed. Curmudgeonly Swashby can’t stand his new neighbors, an active little girl and her grandmother, but every time he tries to draw a note in the sand asking them to quiet down or go away, the sea comes in and erases bits and pieces of the messages until they look inviting and friendly instead (for example, NO TRESPASSING becomes SING). And his little neighbor is only too happy to oblige. Not only is it a lovely story about bonding and a great chance to practice your letters, but what makes the little girl inside me happiest is that Swashby’s neighbor has rich, brown skin, wild curls, and huge glasses. No Big Racial Issues, no stereotypes, just a regular book about a regular girl who happens to be brown that everybody will love to read.

—Sarah Hannah Gómez

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade

In this #OwnVoices picture book inspired by Standing Rock, a young girl learns from her elders about the black snake that threatens to come to their land and poison their water. She has been taught that water is sacred and is an integral part of life, and takes a stand to be a water protector, fighting for the Earth, the animals, and her people. The prose of the book is artfully crafted and the gorgeous artwork, with its watercolor-like brushstrokes, complements it perfectly. It is a favorite of mine (and my son’s), and is a great way to introduce topics like Standing Rock, Indigenous-led movements, and the issue of clean water. 

—Jaime Herndon

We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly

This moving book follows a family in January 1986 on the precipice of so much—siblings Bird, Fitch, and Cash are all in the same grade, and Mom and Dad have a rocky relationship, which comes out again and again in unsettling ways. It impacts each of the kids, and the only way that the siblings are hanging on is through their shared science teacher who applied for the Teacher in Space program but didn’t get accepted. This slice-of-life book is aching and hard, and when the Challenger launches, all of the pain built up in each of the siblings explodes. Readers who want feelings-heavy books will be enraptured with this one. All of the characters are compelling, complex, and sympathetic, and they all experience those really painful moments of what it is to be in 7th grade.

—Kelly Jensen

When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten

Thanks to the stunning cover, this was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020, and it absolutely lived up to my expectations. It actually surpassed them! When Life Gives You Mangos follows 12-year-old Clara, who has lost her memories of the previous summer. When this summer, a new girl arrives in her village, Clara knows that things are about to change. This is a beautiful novel about friendship, family, community, and grief. 

—Adiba Jaigirdar

Today In Books

Wonder Woman TV Series Streaming on HBO Max Now: Today in Books

Producer Working With Game Of Thrones Team OnThree-Body Problem Poisoned In Alleged Murder Plot

Lin Qi, a producer with Yoozoo Group, which is working on an adaptation of The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, has been hospitalized in Shanghai following an alleged attempt on his life by poisoning. Shanghai police already have a suspect in custody, an executive at Yoozoo Group who has been involved in disputes with Qi in the past.

Netgalley Has Been Hacked

Netgalley, the popular site that distributes digital review copies to publishing professionals, reviewers, librarians, and booksellers, has been hacked, according to an email they sent out to members on Wednesday night. The breach occurred on Monday, December 21, and Netgalley is prompting all members to change their password when they sign in. Some personal information may have been compromised, including log in information, mailing address, and Kindle email address.

HBO Max Streaming Lynda Carter’s ‘Wonder Woman’ 1970s TV Series Ahead Of ‘WW84’ Premiere

Who here is excited for Wonder Woman 1984? If you’ve gotten an HBO subscription to watch the movie’s worldwide release in Christmas Day, then you can pre-game by watching the 1970s Lynda Carter Wonder Woman TV series on HBO Max! Access is included with the subscription. No word on how long the TV series will remain on the streaming service, but Wonder Woman 1984 will only be available for a month!

12 of the Best Literary Quotes for the Holidays

‘Tis the season for some literary holiday quotes to get you in the holiday spirit! Save these for holiday cards and holiday proclamations.

The Stack


Riot Rundown


The Goods

Last-Minute TBR

Give your favorite reader the gift of tailored book recommendations! No one needs to know it happened at the last minute.

Today In Books

Enola Holmes And Conan Doyle Estate Settle Lawsuit: Today In Books

Enola Holmes And Conan Doyle Estate Settle Lawsuit

Over the summer, the Conan Doyle Estate sued over Enola Holmes, Nancy Springer’s series, which reimagined Sherlock having a teenage sister, that Netflix adapted into a film, even though most of Holmes canon is in the public domain. The Conan Doyle Estate argued that the difference between what is and isn’t in public domain was Holmes having empathy. But, rather than us getting to watch emotions be argued in court, all parties have now settled.

Film Adaptation Of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous In Works

Poet Ocean Vuong’s debut epistolary novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, is being adapted by A24. Written as a letter from a son to his illiterate mother, the novel recounts three generations of stories, from the grandmother escaping an arranged marriage to the Vietnamese family’s move to Connecticut.

Milwaukee Book Fairy Keeps LFLs Stocked

Two of the area codes in Milwaukee’s south side have had eight of their Little Free Libraries replenished with 6,000 books this year thanks to Barbara Cerda AKA Barby The Book Fairy. What started out as her donating books after cleaning out her home has turned into a website and Facebook page where she collects donations to continue stocking the Little Free Libraries.

10 Queer Comics and Manga That Made 2020 Bearable

Get through the rest of the year with some sweet, queer comics and manga, including I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up by Kodama Naoko.

Kissing Books

Peace, Love, and Romance Novels (In 2021)

This is it, folks! I hope everyone who celebrates is having the kind of Christmas Eve they wanted and those who don’t are having a good Thursday (and that whatever weirdness that’s been happening because of the planets is finally subsiding). Next time you get a Kissing Books email from Book Riot Romance, it’ll be in the hands of the awesome PN Hinton, and I am so looking forward to seeing what she does with the place.

Let’s do this.

Over on Book Riot

You probably already know about the romances that are included in this list, but it’s always nice to see awesome romance included on lists of great historical fiction.

What does your Goodreads say about you

I wrote about fat positivity and offered up some recommendations for that task on next year’s Read Harder Challenge.  

Do you need reading prompts for 2021? Here are some to start with.

Have you read Brigid Kemmerer?

Check out this list of playlists to listen to while reading! I might have to try a few of these.   


The Worth Saga Box Set 1: In the West by Courtney Milan

If you haven’t yet read The Worth Saga, or just want a digital collection of all of them, you can get two full length books and three amazing novellas (plus a bonus short story!) for 4.99! This set is subtitled “In the West” and includes six stories about the Worth family and their extended family and friends: Once Upon a Marquess and After The Wedding are the full-length novels directly about the Worths, then you get Judith’s friend Daisy in Her Every Wish, Adrian’s ancestor in The Pursuit Of… and the delightful Mrs. Martin from After the Wedding on her own adventures. (And young Theresa Worth gets some page time, too.) Over a thousand pages for less than five bucks. You definitely want this. 

Bonus deal: If you haven’t read Rebekah Weatherspoon’s Wrapped you are definitely in for something wonderful. That holiday novella and the books in the Fit trilogy are all 99 cents through the rest of the year. 

New Books

It’s a quiet week, but we’ve still got some books to talk about, whether they’ve dropped out of nowhere or I missed them the first time around. 

The Longest Night by EE Ottoman

After years of regularly writing to each other, two men find themselves together at Yuletide. But even though they know almost everything about each other, their new situation is awkward at best. Their attraction, however, is pushing them towards each other as their time together continues.

Say Hello, Kiss Goodbye by Jacqueline Middleton

After a messy divorce, Leia leaves New York for London. Ready to dive into a fashion career and avoid love at all costs, she isn’t ready for Tarquin Balfour to show up. A man looking for love and commitment, he just wants someone to see past his money and into his heart. And you know how it goes from there.

Falling For You by Té Russ

Harrison is grieving for the loss of a grandfather he’d only recently gotten to know. When he visits the family orchard to be with the family, Fallon literally falls into his arms. The second-in-command at the orchard, and the man’s protege, Fallon is grieving hard for the man who helped her realize her own path. The pair find some solace in each other, and in the orchard during the beautiful Massachusetts Autumn.

The Christmas Chevalier by Meg Mardell

Alvy Lexington has moved far, far away (at last as far as one can be and live in the same city). As a member of a wealthy London family, he would prefer to be able to live in an area where he wouldn’t be recognized and called a name he’d prefer not to be called. But when he meets an old friend who needs a place to stay and work to do, all of that work and caution go out of the window.

And there are a few more new releases I look forward to checking out, too!

Holiday Wish by Leila E. Hart

The Office Party by Whitney G.

To Marry a Madden by Sherelle Green

All I Want for Christmas: An Anthology by Lucy Eden and friends

Christmas Nibbles: A Steamy Paranormal Romance Christmas Anthology

While I won’t be writing Kissing Books anymore, you can still find me Twitter @jessisreading or Instagram @jess_is_reading, and you can still reach me at! It has been an amazing pleasure writing this little newsletter for romance readers over the past four years, and I look forward to reading it on Mondays and Thursdays alongside the rest of you 😀

May 2021 bring us what we all want: rest and sanity. And romance. Novels.

Book Radar

ON EARTH WE’RE BRIEFLY GORGEOUS To Be a Film and More Book Radar!

WARNING: MUSH AHEAD. Happy Thursday, friends! For this, my last Book Radar of 2020, I just want to say this: We made it. We have had a terrible, heartbreaking year, but this isn’t going to last forever. And there have been some bright spots. I am so lucky to get to “hang out” with such wonderful people like you each week, people who love and appreciate books as much as I do. I love all you meeps and I am wishing wonderful things for you in the new year. OKAY, MUSH OVER.

For today, I have exciting adaptation news, cover reveals, and book talk for you. Plus a cat picture! Whatever you are celebrating or doing or watching or reading this week, I am sending you EXTRA love and hugs. I’ll see you in 2021. – xoxo, Liberty, Your Friendly Neighborhood Velocireader™

Trivia question time! Which two poets co-wrote the Lyrical Ballads? (Scroll to the bottom for the answer.)

Deals, Reals, and Squeals!

on earth we're briefly gorgeous

Ocean Vuong’s novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is being made into a film.

The Flight Attendant has been renewed for a second season.

Roxane Gay is starting a book club in 2021.

Netflix settled the Enola Holmes lawsuit with the Conan Doyle estate.

Keith Powers will join Gabrielle Union in the romantic comedy The Perfect Find, based on the book of the same name by Tia S. Williams.

PEN America announced the longlists for the 2021 PEN America Literary Awards.

Melissa de la Cruz’s The Thirteenth Fairy is being developed for television.

Here are 25 book-to-movie adaptations to look for in 2021.

Here’s the cover reveal of A Dark and Starless Forest by Sarah Hollowell.

His Dark Materials has been renewed for a third and final season at HBO.

Sofia Wylie and Sophia Anne Caruso will star in Paul Feig’s The School For Good and Evil adaptation.

Blumhouse Productions is planning an Exorcist sequel.

Netflix’s The Witcher series’ official Twitter account has just revealed the new logo for their upcoming Witcher anime spin-off film Nightmare of the Wolf.

And speaking of Netflix, they just signed Locke & Key up for two more seasons.

Bassem Youssef is developing The Magical Reality Of Nadia as an animated series.

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: 

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday, September 14, 2021)

If you have been following Book Riot for a while, you know that I am a HUGE fan of Colson Whitehead’s work. And have had several embarrassing moments when I am at his events. (Tooth knocked out, soda in my hair, etc.) But I would let someone knock out another tooth to get my hands on his latest novel! (But I would prefer not to.)

This one is about a Black salesman named Ray Carney in NYC in the 1960s, who has worked hard to make a decent life for his wife and children. But when they fall on hard times, he seeks help from his relatives, a group of small-time grifters and petty thieves whose existence he has kept hidden as an adult.

I love everything about this book already! Please, Santa, put it under my tree. (Okay, I don’t actually have a tree, because of the two destructive orange goats who live with me, but you know what I mean.)

What I’m reading this week.

My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

Arsenic and Adobo (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery #1) by Mia P. Manansala

Tender Is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica, Sarah Moses (translator)

The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. 

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré

Song stuck in my head:

Kill of the Night by Gin Wigmore. I first heard this on the Umbrella Academy soundtrack. I have still not seen the show, but if it is half as good as its soundtrack, it must be amazing. (Also, I’m still really into listening to songs I loved when I was young. You can listen to a lot of them in this playlist I made!)

And this is funny:


Happy things:

Here are a few things I enjoy that I thought you might like as well:

  • Shudder, the streaming service for horror, thriller, and suspense genres. I treated myself to a subscription this week as my Christmas present and it’s already amazing.
  • Jigsaw puzzles!
  • Numberzilla.
  • Purrli: This website makes the relaxing sounds of a cat purring.

And here’s a cat picture!

“We wrestled this creature off your desk and broke its spine!” – Zevon and Farrokh

Trivia answer: William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

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