Audiobooks 4/01/21

Hola Audiophiles! Don’t hate me: I don’t have a Latest Listen like I said I would because I’m still not done with my current book. I have an excuse though, and that’s that I was babysitting my adorable nephew for a few days while his equally adorable baby sister came into the world! I’m so in love with both of these tiny humans and gladly put my reading on hold to be part of this big moment in their lives. I’ll be back next week with a review, for reals this time. I do have some awesome new releases and newsy bits to tide you over in the meantime.

Ready? Let’s audio.

New Releases – Week of March 30th

publisher descriptions in quotes

audiobook cover image of A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib

Borrowing its title from a speech by Josephine Baker at the March on Washington in 1963, Hanif Abdurraqib’s latest is a reflection on how Black performance is inextricably woven into the fabric of American culture. “With care and generosity, he explains the poignancy of performances big and small, each one feeling intensely familiar and vital, both timeless and desperately urgent.” If you’re a fan of Go Ahead in the Rain, Abdurraqib’s love letter to A Tribe Called Quest like I am, this is a must read/listen. (music, US history)

Read by JD Jackson (The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead)

audiobook Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

Rule of Wolves (King of Scars #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Facing down an invasion by Fjerda, King Nikolai Lantsov must summon every tool at his disposal if he wants to win, including the monster within. Standing with him is Zoya the stormwitch who has lost too much to war and refuses to bury another friend; but duty demands she embrace her powers and become a weapon for the king, no matter the cost. Nina is working deep undercover as a spy in Fjerda, but her deep desire for revenge may cost her country its freedom—and the chance to heal her broken heart. (YA fantasy)

Read by Lauren Fortgang (Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo)

audiobook cover image of She's Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard

She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard

I love Wendy Heard and Frankie Corzo; put ’em both together in a YA thriller inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray set in my hometown and you get an instant addition to my TBR. Summer is winding down in San Diego; Veronica is bored and uninspired in her photography. Her best friend Nico is insatiable and obsessed with chaotic performance art. Then lonely, magnetic Mick changes everything between them, the perfect artistic subject and Veronica’s dream girl. As the days get hotter and longer, they soon find themselves falling in love. They’re so deep in all these feelings that they never see it coming: “One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect . . . one stalker. This is a summer they won’t survive.” (YA thriller)

Read by Frankie Corzo (Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro, Bailey Carr (The Night Swim by Megan Goldin), Stephen Dexter (To Good to be True by Carola Lovering)

audiobooks cover image of The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton

This book sounds! so! good! Opal is a fierce, independent Black woman coming of age in Detroit pushing the envelope with her music and style. She’s discovered by aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles at a bar’s amateur night, and off they go making rock music together. Then in 1970’s New York, just as she’s finding her place in it’s funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a concert. “Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially Black women, who dare to speak their truth.” (historical fiction)

Check out this ridiculous full cast: Janina Edwards, Bahni Turpin, James Langton, André De Shields, Dennis Boutsikaris, Steve West, and Gabra Zackman. Give it to me!

From the Internets

at Audiofile: 5 Questions with Narrator Adenrele Ojo

at 5 Reasons to Listen to Fantasy on Audio

Costco launches new Audiobook Store and iOS App

Eleven Diverse Audiobooks in Verse

Over at the Riot

8 Epic Family Sagas on Audio

Thanks for hanging with me today! Shoot me an email at with with all things audiobook or find me on Twitter and the gram @buenosdiazsd. Sign up for the In The Club newsletter and catch me once a month on the All the Books podcast.

Stay bad & bookish, my friends.

Book Radar

Snow-tunes: Game of Thrones Is Headed for Broadway and More Book Radar!

Happy Thursday, book lovers. I hope you’re all having a decent week and have a lot of good things to read. I am hip-deep in the new 700-page Led Zeppelin biography, which makes me happy, and I also discovered a new season of Nailed It!, so it was like a bonus happy surprise! I also recently heard that there’s a new season of The Great Pottery Throw Down just around the corner. Hooray for gentle television!

Moving on to today’s newsletter: I have exciting adaptation news and book talk, plus I’ve included a picture of one of my ridiculous orange monsters, some trivia, and more! Whatever you are doing or watching or reading this week, I hope you good bob and we same place again very now. I’ll see you again on Monday. – xoxo, Liberty, Your Friendly Neighborhood Velocireader™

Trivia question time! In The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, what costume is worn by the enigmatic figure that offers Aiden advice and guidance? (Scroll to the bottom for the answer.)

Deals, Reals, and Squeals!

The full Shadow and Bone trailer has dropped.

Tiffany D. Jackson announced her new YA novel, White Smoke, which is releasing in September.

Randall Park will make his directorial debut with an adaptation of Adrian Tomine’s graphic novel Shortcomings.

Game of Thrones is headed to Broadway.

The International Booker Prize has announced its 2021 longlist.

Ken Follett’s The Evening And The Morning is being developed as a show.

Here’s the first trailer for The Irregulars on Netflix.

Amanda Seyfried is replacing Kate McKinnon as Elizabeth Holmes in the limited Hulu series.

Of Women and Salt is the GMA April 2021 Book Club pick.

Here’s the cover reveal of Dragonblood Ring by Amparo Ortiz.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is going to be a Hulu series.

American Gods has been canceled after three seasons, but it may return as a TV movie.

Here’s the cover reveal of Dear Diaspora (The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry) by Susan Nguyen.

The adaptation of Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class from Lee Daniels and Karen Gist has been ordered to 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: 

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, September 7)

I am really excited about this sequel, but also mentioning it here to bring your attention to the first book. Because it’s so much fun and I think more people need to know about it! The first book is called The Inheritance Games and it’s available now. It’s about a high school student named Avery Grambs, who doesn’t foresee anything remarkable happening in her future—and then she finds out that billionaire Tobias Hawthorne has died and left her his fortune. And Avery is like “Tobias who? Inheritance what now?”

Because, you see, Avery has never met Tobias Hawthorne, so she has no idea why he’d leave her everything. HIs family has never heard of Avery, and they are Not Pleased™ that the fortune they assumed was theirs is going to a stranger. And there’s a catch (there’s always a catch): Avery must move into the Hawthorne mansion with the Hawthorne family in order to collect the money. Avery agrees to this, because billions, but the Hawthorne family sees this as an opportunity to solve Avery like she’s a puzzle. They think that maybe she’s just another puzzle that game-loving Tobias Hawthorne has left for them to solve.

This book is a delight! If you love The Westing Game, like I do (but not as much as I do, because no one else can love it that much, I will fight you) then The Inheritance Games is a perfect read for you, and you should marl this second one down now.

What I’m reading this week.

The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade

The Collective by Alison Gaylin

Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

Because of You by Dawn French

Moon and the Mars by Kia Corthron

Song stuck in my head:

Song for Zola by Phosphorescent. This was the last song of the very last episode of Superstore. Goodbye, Superstore. You were only funny once in a while, but you had a great soundtrack. (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:

I laughed at this for a long time.

Happy things:

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

  • Nailed It! The fifth season of this baking competition show is up on Netflix now and I can feel my blood pressure dropping just writing about it.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: My love of all things Alan Tudyk right now has led me to another rewatch of this fabulous cartoon.
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun: This show is dumb and certainly problematic at times, like most old shows, but it is just the right of mindless silly my brain needs right now. I’m not big on reality these days. And everyone in it is fantastic. It’s streaming for free on Peacock. Also, I still want Harry’s coat.
  • Purrli: This website makes the relaxing sounds of a cat purring.

And here’s a cat picture!

Same, tbh.

Trivia answer: A plague doctor.

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

Today In Books

John Lewis’ Posthumous Graphic Novel to be Published this Summer: Today in Books

American Gods TV Series is Canceled, but May Return as TV Movie

The Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods just finished its third and final season. It was just announced that the show has been canceled due to a 65% decline in ratings since the first season. However, fans of the show who are looking for closure need not despair. The network is in discussion with the producers about how to complete the story through a TV movie.

John Lewis’ Posthumous Graphic Novel to be Published This Summer

Late civl rights leader John Lewis has a posthumous graphic novel set to be released this summer. Lewis’s Run: Book One, which is a sequel to March, comes at a time where voting rights in his home state of Georgia are being heavily restricted, and more than 40 other states are also seeing similar restrictive efforts. In a statement released by the book’s publisher Abrams ComicArts, Lewis said, “In sharing my story, it is my hope that a new generation will be inspired by Run to actively participate in the democratic process and help build a more perfect Union here in America.”

Game of Thrones Becoming a Stage Show on Broadway and the West End

George R.R. Martin’s latest project that isn’t writing the next novel in the Song of Ice and Fire series? The author is developing a stage version of Game of Thrones for Broadway, the West End, and Australia. The story of the stage play will revolve around the Great Tourney at Harrenhal, and it will bring back many of the well-known characters from the Game of Thrones books and television series.

The Shadow and Bone Trailer Dropped, and We Have Questions

Netflix dropped the latest Shadow and Bone trailer yesterday, and the fans have questions.

Kissing Books

All the Fun And Laughter

Welcome to April! Today is the start of a new month and the next quarter of the year. While I typically view the new year as the big slate cleaner, I also appreciate the mini-start overs we get at the beginning of each month. Even though it’s a smaller refresh, it’s still a chance to wipe away any missteps that were made in the last x-amount of days and try again.

Cue the Aliyah song. 

I know that I am going to view this day as a new opportunity to start over on some of my goals, both work and personal. I hope that you do as well. I know that March was a mixed bag for a lot of people for numerous reasons. March 2022 already has a lot of pressure on it to not be so terrible although, to be fair, the bar for that is going to be really, really low. 

And, if the rhyme most of us grew up hearing holds true, April brings showers. And by showers, I mean catastrophes. But even if that is true, let’s hope that it’s not all gloom, doom, and rainy days. And that May will hold up its end of the bargain by being full of flowers. 

Today is also April Fool’s Day, a holiday which I am not fond of. I dislike jokes or pranks. They make me feel awkward and uncomfortable. If someone wants a surefire way to get me out of their lives, have a DJ play an on-air joke on me. There’s also always a bit of a malicious undertone to those, and you can’t convince me otherwise. 

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I love laughing; just not at the expense of someone else. Even better if you add romance to that comedy. I know that others feel similarly, since romantic comedies have been a thing for a very long time. While they had their heyday in the ’80s/’90s, the term was coined back in 1971. Furthermore, movies that could fit this description go back as far as the 1920s. So, it’s not a new thing.  

Unfortunately these movies also have a history of being mocked. Which is more than a bit unfair. To have such disdain for romantic comedy to the point of being dismissive or condescending is beyond rude. I am sure this is because it has the word “romantic” in front of it. We all know that romance gets a bad rep for many reasons, but it’s still standing after all these years. 

So, it’s doing something right. 

Rom-Com Recommendations

If you’re wanting a bit more romcom with no pranks in your life, here are my recommendations for you this week: 

Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton 

I was almost tempted to put Wallbanger here since that is also full of romcom shenanigans. But, if I’m being honest, this is my favorite out of the series. And one reason for that is that it has one of my favorite types of heroes: nerds. As an added bonus, both the hero and heroine here are nerds. Viv is a kick-ass designer by day and secret lover of romance novels at night. When she inherits a house from a long-lost aunt in Mendocino, California that comes complete with cowboy Hank as the caregiver, she feels like she’s been swept into her own personal romance novel. If only she could keep her mind off Clark, the local librarian, which is another one my favorite heroes. 

cover of get a life chloe brown

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

The first in the Brown sisters series is full of romantic and comedic hijinks. Secretly looking through a window at the hot property manager. Getting stuck in a tree trying to save a stray cat. Having an almost kiss with said aforementioned property manager while in a onesie. All while dealing with a bucket list that was created after a near-death experience. Not only will you get to meet Chloe and Red for the first time; you’ll get to meet Dani and Eve as well. Which should increase your desire to pick up the other books in the series. 

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Min and Cal meet when he asks her out to dinner based on a bet. Their evening ends in disaster though and they agree to cut their losses. Fate, however, has other plans. Add in some jealous exes, a freakishly intelligent cat, and chicken marsala and you have the recipe for a good laugh. There are no pranks here, but there is a bit of deception by omission, which I know a lot of people don’t like. Also, Min is plus sized and while she’s happy with herself, she has to deal with passive aggressive comments from her mother. So be forewarned. 

Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon

Bookstore worker Jordan is a die-hard romance lover who is trying to think of ways to keep his romance book club alive since it is slowly dying. However, this doesn’t mean he wants his new co-worker, Rex, to help him. Especially since Rex makes fun of him for reading these types of books. Ultimately, he decides the ends may justify the means to keep his club alive and agrees to work with Rex to resurrect the club. Along the way he realizes maybe he was too quick to judge Rex and should give him a second chance. 

Hopefully one of these strikes your fancy and helps to bring a smile to your face.

Fun From Book Riot and Around the Web

If you’re looking for even more recommendations for romcoms, check out this post from the Book Riot archives.

Speaking of romcoms, here’s a fun quiz to test your love of the genre. It’s all in good fun though so don’t put much too much stock into it.

Do you like role reversal in your romances? If so, some of those may strike your fancy.

If you’ve ever wanted to recommend romance books to your friends based on their interest, here’s your chance to shine!

That’s all for today but, if you want snippets of my bookish life, follow me on Twitter @PScribe801. Until next time.

The Kids Are All Right

Kidlit Deals for March 31, 2021

Hey there, kidlit pals! It’s the last day of March already, and I hope it’s “out like a lamb” for you! I have another great bunch of deals, with plenty of delightful picture book deals in the mix! As always, snag them while they’re hot, because these deals won’t last long!

Pete the Cat: Big Easter Adventure by James Dean is $2, the perfect buy for anyone celebrating Easter this weekend!

Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jonathan Stutzman and Jay Fleck is just $2!

Some Places More Than Others by the one and only Renée Watson can be yours for under $5.

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel is a Caldecott Honor book, and it’s only $2.

Speaking of picture books perfect for spring, Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal is $4.

Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and David Litchfield is a lovely book about hard times for $1.

Happy reading!

Riot Rundown

0303121-Firekeeper’s Daughter-RR

Kid Lit Giveaways


Book Riot is teaming up with The Current to give away a current affairs non-fiction book bundle featuring one of each title:
– Controlling Women: What We Must Do Now to Save Reproductive Freedom by Kathryn Kolbert & Julie F. Kay
– America for Americans by Erika Lee
– Better Not Bitter: Living on Purpose in the Pursuit of Racial Justice by Yusef Salaam
– How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith
– Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment by Daniel Kahneman
 Plus a $100 Visa gift card!
Fill out the form here and subscribe to The Current newsletter for a chance to win!

Here’s a little more about The Current newsletter: Big authors, Big topics. A current events newsletter where America’s best nonfiction writers explain a nation in turmoil.

Today In Books

New Grant Program Will Aid Indie Bookstores: Today in Books

Nominees for the Agatha Awards Announced

The mystery fan convention Malice Domestic has announced the shortlist for its annual Agatha Awards, which honor outstanding achievements in the cozy mystery genre. The awards have been given out since 1988. This year, the winners will be honored virtually during the More than Malice festival on July 17.

New Grant Program Will Aid Indie Bookstores

A new fundraising initiative has been launched today to help independent bookstores and comic shops that have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Survive to Thrive Grant Program, created by Ingram Content Group chairman John Ingram, is looking to raise a total of $2 million by the end of May to support indie booksellers. 

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Novel The Perfect Nine Makes History As International Booker Nominee

Kenyan novelist Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is making history as the first writer to be nominated for the International Booker Prize as both the writer and translator of the same book. Additionally, Thiong’o’s nominated novel The Perfect Nine is the first work written in an indigenous African language to be longlisted. The author is among 13 authors nominated for the award for best translated fiction.

The Full List of International Booker Prize Nominees Is Here!

Head here to learn more and see the full list of nominees for the International Booker Prize.

In The Club

In the Club 03/31/21

Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met, well-read, and well-fed. This week I’m awash in the warm light of happy optimism. It’s warm and sunny in San Diego, I got my first dose of the vaccine, I’ve been subsisting on a diet of tacos and avocado everything, and my beautiful baby niece was born on Sunday. I got to babysit her big brother all weekend and can confirm that toddlers are the shadiest age group. I’d be all, “Hey, I love you!” and he’d respond by my picking up a piece of my hair, shaking his head, and saying, “Ay ay ay, Nana.” Well damn.

But let’s talk about books. To the club!!

Nibbles and Sips

Either a few weeks or a few months ago (because what is time?), I talked about this awesome roundup of Black mixologists by Food & Wine. This gorgeous weather has me in the mood to whip up some tasty cocktails, so I’m making this beautiful Rosemary Paloma by featured mixologist Camille Wilson, creator of The Cocktail Snob. Not only do I get to push my Herbal Simple Syrup agenda, but I also found a beautiful soul who understands that the paloma, not the margarita, is Mexico’s most popular tequila-based drink. Salud!

Pero that’s not all. Warm weather pairs so well with one of my absolutely favorite cocktails: the Caipirinha! Here’s a super easy recipe for this Brazilian classic from Lucas Assis, a creator I recently discovered on el Tiki Toki.

So Misunderstood

I absolutely love this Miss Havisham character analysis written by D.R. Baker for Book Riot. I don’t know about you, but I am 100% guilty of picturing a dusty old crone knock-knock-knocking on heaven’s door whenever I think of Miss Havisham, not a woman in her 40s! This got me thinking that it might be fun to do a book club theme on misunderstood women. Let’s dive in, shall we?


Circe book cover

Circe by Madeline Miller

How any of you read that theme and immediately thought, “Here goes Vanessa pushing that Circe stuff again!” Congrats, friend, you know my heart. I will never stop singing the praises of this absolute gem of a book wherein the sea witch you probably first came across in The Odyssey tells us her story from her perspective. There’s nothing I don’t love about this lyrical, powerful reclaiming of Circe’s narrative.

Book Club Bonus: Discuss the ways in which women have been vilified in lit (and movies, tv, etc) since the dawn of time. I know I talked about this book earlier this month, but Jess Zimmerman’s Women and Other Monsters would be an amazing companion read for an exploration of this trend in mythology.

Bertha Rochester

cover image of  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Ooooookay bro: so you marry me when I’m just a rich hottie to you, but then your ass locks me in an upstairs closet for the rest of my life when you realize I’m battling addiction and mental illness? Then you have the nerve to be all, “I’m so sorry, she’s just so crazy” to the woman you now want to replace me with and wonder why I had the audacity to tear up her veil? Kick rocks, Rochester!

Book Club Bonus: I’d like to point out that I absolutely love Jane Eyre but the older I get, the more I realize that Bertha kinda got a raw deal. Was Eddie Rotch really acting in her best interest, or was his solution really more about his own convenience? Or is it both? How we do still push aside people dealing with mental illness today for the sake of not having to inconvenience ourselves? Discuss!

Iranian Women in Post-Revolutionary Iran

cover image of embroideries by Marjane Satrapi

Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi

Writer and cartoonist Marjane Satrapi is more widely known for her bestselling graphic memoir Persepolis. Embroideries is often slept on though and I’m here to tell you it’s both poignant and absolutely hilarious. This honest, intimate, and revelatory peek into the lives of six Iranian women is a blend of graphic memoir and graphic novel. In 1990s Tehran, Satrapi’s mother, grandmother, aunts, and their friends are all gathered for their regular afternoon tradition of sipping—and spilling—tea. Their chat includes talk of love, sex, and each of the women’s various dealings with men. It’s like if the Golden Girls were Iranian and swapped cheesecake for piping hot tea.

Book Club Bonus: This book should inspire some good chat on the social and cultural stereotypes that are shattered in these women’s candid conversations on sexual politics. This should also lead to an examination of women’s sexual agency and related stereotypes in modern society here in the U.S. of A.

Suggestion Section

at The Washington Post: How women invented book clubs, revolutionizing reading and their own lives

GMA announces it’s April book club pick

Barnes & Noble Selects Kirstin Valdez Quade’s The Five Wounds as April 2021 National Book Club Selection

Thanks for hanging with me today! Shoot me an email at with your burning book club questions or find me on Twitter and the gram @buenosdiazsd. Sign up for the Audiobooks newsletter and catch me once a month on the All the Books podcast.

Stay bad & bookish, my friends. 

What's Up in YA

YA Book News and New YA Books for April 1, 2021

Hey, YA friends!

Happy April to you all! No fooling, I’ve got some amazing news, some sad news, and lots of great new releases, so let’s dive in!

YA Book News

First the sad news: Beverly Cleary has died at age 104. She’s best known for her children’s literature, of course, but she also wrote Fifteen and a handful of younger YA books.

Sarah J. Maas shared the news that her A Court of Thorns and Roses series is being adapted into a TV show for Hulu!

Get excited because the full Shadow and Bone trailer is here! I am so ready to eat waffles and marathon this show.

YA adjacent but, have you heard of The Irregulars on Netflix? It’s not based on a YA novel, but it’s about a group of teens who team up with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to solve supernatural mysteries. Check out the trailer! It’s streaming on Netflix now.

New YA Books

With You All the Way by Cynthia Hand (I read and loved an early copy of this one!)

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoughue

She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard

Bone Crier’s Dawn by Kathryn Purdie

Tigers, Not Daughter by Samantha Mabry (paperback)

Seven Endless Forests by April Genevieve Tucholke

Down World by Rebecca Phelps

Prom Theory by Ann LaBar

A Time of Fear: America in the Era of Red Scares and Cold War by Albert Marrin

On Book Riot This Week

Hannah writes about the dearth of YA lit in translation and not seeing American experiences reflected in YA from abroad.

YA books about beauty pageants beyond Dumplin‘!

This week we celebrated Trans Day of Visibility with five new YA books starring trans teens you should have on your radar.

Thanks for hanging out! I’ll be back this weekend with some great YA book deals!

Tirzah Price

Find me on Book Riot and Instagram!

Thanks to Wattpad Books, publisher of Down World for making this newsletter possible!