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Today In Books

Books in Classrooms Ignite Fierce Debates: Today in Books

Debate Over Teaching Books By Black Authors Has Roots In Violent 1974 Clash In West Virginia

Virginia’s gubernatorial election is quickly approaching, and recently Republican Glenn Youngkin’s strategy has been to throw his support behind book banners who have tried to remove books by Black authors from the classroom. Although this strategy seems to be a bit random, the Washington Post draws some eerie parallels to the events occurring today and a 1974 case about textbooks that incited violence in West Virginia.

How N.K. Jemisin’s Green Lantern Comic Taught Her To Think Visually

Entertainment Weekly spoke with N.K. Jemisin, author of the Broken Earth trilogy, about her Green Lantern comic Far Sector, which just finished its run and is now available in one nice volume. Jemisin worked with artist Jamal Campbell to tell a new Green Lantern story set apart from the man DC universe, and in this interview she speaks about what she learned working with Campbell, and how it helped her on the screenplay adaptation for the The Fifth Season.

Texas Schools Asked To Investigate Their Libraries. Will They? And Do They Have To?

Earlier this week, Rep. Matt Krause of Texas sent a letter to many school superintendents across the state with a list of over 800 books that school libraries might have that deal with race, sexuality, and identity. His purpose was to target books that might make students feel discomfort or guilt, although his next steps are unclear. While many authors have pushed back against this highly unusual probe, schools are struggling with how to respond to the request. While it is not a subpoena, the request is an official communication from a government body that has authority to investigate any state entity. Teachers and librarians are left uncertain with how to respond and how to interpret Krause’s request that they share any other titles that might end up targeted.

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Riot Rundown

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Uncategorized

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We’re giving away one copy of Louise Erdrich’s new book The Sentence to one lucky reader!

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

From National Book Award winner Louise Erdrich: Revolving around a small independent bookstore in contemporary Minneapolis, The Sentence follows a turbulent year in the life of a strong though vulnerable Ojibwe woman named Tookie.
After serving part of an outrageously long sentence, Tookie, who “learned to read with murderous attention” while in prison, naturally gravitates toward working at a bookstore. There she joins a dedicated community of artists and book lovers and begins to build a new life for herself.

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Riot Rundown

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Giveaways

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We’re giving away five copies of Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson to five lucky Riot readers!

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

The eagerly awaited sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling Oathbringer, from an epic fantasy writer at the top of his game, Rhythm of War is the latest volume in the acclaimed Stormlight Archive—now in paperback. After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Now, as new technological discoveries begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold operation that could shatter more than just fragile allegiances.

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Today In Books

Emma Straub Has Written A New Novel About Time Travel: Today in Books

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Signal to Noise Gets A Reissue

Author Silvia Moreno-Garcia announced on Twitter on Friday that her 2015 novel Signal to Noise is getting a reissue with corrections and a new cover by Jim Tierney. Tierney has also designed covers for authors like Stephen King, Veronica Roth, Octavia E. Butler, and more. If you haven’t read the book yet, Moreno-Garcia describes the story as “1980s teens casting spells with vinyl records and their reunion years after.”

Emma Straub Has Written A New Novel About Time Travel

Surprise! Emma Straub has been secretly writing, and she’s coming out with a new novel about time travel. Straub’s new novel This Time Tomorrow will publish on May 17, 2022. Her publishers are describing it as “a mix of 13 Going on 30Big, and Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings, with plenty of Stranger Things-esque pop culture references thrown in for good measure.” The story follows Alice who is just turning 40 and is content with her life overall, and yet something is missing. Then, after the night of her 40th birthday, Alice wakes up back in her 16 year-old body. Now she must ask herself if there’s anything she’ll do differently, now that she’s been given a second chance.

The New York Times Will Announce the 10 Best Books of 2021 in a Virtual Event

On November 30th, the New York Times will announce its list of the 10 best books of 2021. But it will only be available to subscribers at first. Before the list of books is published for the general public, the Book Review will go live on the morning of the 30th to announce this year’s 10 Best Books. Editors Gal Beckerman, Lauren Christensen, Greg Cowles, Emily Eakin, Elisabeth Egan, MJ Franklin, Tina Jordan, Dave Kim and John Williams will announce and discuss this year’s selections, and they’ll also share their personal favorites that didn’t make the list. Subscribers will also be invited to join Book Review editors for a Zoom after party to share their own favorite books of the year. This event is part of the New York Times’ virtual event series.

The Free Book Bus, A Death Positive Library, and Other Good Bookish Things That Happened This Week

Not all book news is bad news. Here’s a roundup of all of the good bookish things that have happened over the last week.

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Today In Books

Alex Gino Gets New Title and Cover for Groundbreaking Trans Novel: Today in Books

Friends Star Matthew Perry Writing a Memoir

Flatiron Books, a division of Macmillan, has won the rights to Friends star Matthew Perry’s yet-to-be-titled memoir, which will be published in fall 2022. The book will take readers behind the scenes of Perry’s time on the hit sitcom Friends, and the actor will open up about his struggles with addiction. Megan Lynch, the publisher of Flatiron Books who will edit the project, said, “We need humor, we need catharsis, and we need to agree on something–and Matthew’s extraordinary story, told in his inimitable voice, is that thing. Matthew’s book has unrivaled potential to bring people together, which feels especially galvanizing right now, a time of isolation and division.”

Alex Gino Gets New Title and Cover for Groundbreaking Trans Novel

Alex Gino’s acclaimed trans middle grade novel, which originally came out in 2015, is receiving an update in the form of a new name and a brand-new cover. While the novel was originally entitled George, this was not a name Gino themself would have chosen for the book. And as the years passed, Gino realized, “That’s not the name I want everyone calling her [the titular character] if she were real.” The character in the novel chooses the name Melissa by the end of her journey, and so the new title for the novel will be Melissa.

MTV Books Relaunches with My Life: Growing Up Asian in America

MTV Books is relaunching, and it has announced that its first title will be My Life: Growing Up Asian in America, featuring an introduction by former MTV correspondent SuChin Pak. The book is a collection of essays, poetry, and illustrations edited by the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in America (CAPE). It will be published on May 10, 2022, during AAPI Heritage Month. Nina L. Diaz, the CCO/president of content at MTV Entertainment Group said, “We are thrilled to have SuChin, who is an integral part of MTV’s brand history, bravely share her own story alongside so many talented essayists to help us shine a light on these powerful and important coming of age stories.”

2021 Kirkus Prize Winners Announced

The eighth annual Kirkus Prize winners were announced last night in a virtual ceremony. Here are the three winners.

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Kissing Books

Welcome November

Welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. Hope your spirit is doing well. I’m P.N. Hinton, your companion through the world of romance. Whether or not this is your first time or you’re a regular, I’m glad to have y’all here. 

We’ve officially entered what I think of as the busy season of the year. There are two major holidays back to back and this year, they’re also exactly one month apart. It can be kind of hectic, even in a non-pandemic world . And I feel the pandemic only served to increase this. As you move along in the hustle and bustle of the next two months, remember to give yourself grace and time to breathe. You’re only human after all and you need air to stay alive. If you can put something off until tomorrow, do it. Whether it’s laundry, dishes, or other things, most times it will keep. So just breathe. 

I recently started Love, Comment, Subscribe and so far, I am loving this frenemy to lovers romance.

We have some podcast news! Be sure to check out Book Riot’s newest podcast, Adaptation Nation and listen to discussions about the adaptations of your favorite books. Whether it is the big or small screen, there is always room for discussion about these. Up first is Dune, which is currently on everybody’s lips. 

Romance Reflection

November is Indigenous People month, an observation that was established back in 2019. I’ve talked before about the problematic history of romance novels and how they portrayed Indigenous people in the past. But it’s still something that we need to be conscious of, all year but especially this month. And a lot of this has to do with the false narrative we’re given about the first Thanksgiving. 

It may feel odd celebrating this holiday now because of those troublesome roots, which is fair. As I’ve gotten older, the holiday hasn’t been about this fairy tale; it’s been about spending time with family. It’s also been about being thankful, something we sometimes forget to be. It doesn’t help that Black Friday is the day after and now even seeps into the evening hours of Thanksgiving, which is a whole other discussion. 

But I love Thanksgiving. I really do. I love spending time with my family and eating good food and just relaxing. Even if it’s back to the grindstone the next day, that one day off to reflect and relax is always good for me. That said, I have noticed that there is not a lot of love paid to that holiday even in the romance genre. While there are Thanksgiving romances out there, there’s not nearly as much as there is for Halloween, Christmas, New Years, or Valentine’s Day. Stores start putting up both Halloween and Christmas decorations in September, completely ignoring the holiday that comes in between. 

Maybe if we start having more romances surrounding Thanksgiving, then it will help it to be given its proper respect. And then we can really reshape and form it for our own, rather than what we were raised with. Either way, I’d be interested to see these types of romance novels displayed between ones that showcase the holidays that surround it. We’re romance readers after all; there’s room for all the holiday love in our hearts. 

Oh and as an aside, there will be recommendations this month for both Indigenous and Thanksgiving romances. So keep an eye out!

Around the Web in Romance

You may have seen this news floating around and the division that it has caused. I don’t want to expand too much on this because it’s all been said. What’s really upsetting here is that there are other books that romance readers have actively been asking to be adapted. Beverly Jenkin is always a front runner there as is Brenda Jackson. But you also have Alyssa Cole, Talia Hibbert, KJ Charles, Cat Sebastian…the list could literally go on. You could practically go into any book store and blindly throw a dart in the romance section and hit a book that most of Romancelandia would prefer to see adapted. So, this is quite the bitter pill to choke down.

Here are some of the best M/M romances that you may have missed last month.

In the latest edition of “Romance Covers as [Blank]” we have them as libraries!

Check out this throwback photo with some of the pioneering Black women of romance. speaking of authors who deserve adaptations.

What would your end result be in this ‘can only keep one trope’ game? For me, it would be enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, fake dating, next-door neighbor, and fated mates.

Curl up with some second-chance romances.

Build a bakery, get a rom-com that mirrors your own potential romance. Because I had options for a few questions I took it twice and ended up with Notting Hill and then Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

New Releases & Deals:

Here are some of the new releases that you can snag this week. Quick call-out! I jumped the gun last week as Tasha L. Harrison’s With Her Own Two Hands comes out this week. Apologies for any disappointment I caused!

Cover of Fall Into You

Unexpected Goals by Kelly Farmer

Mr. Jingle Bells by Leta Blake

Fall Into You by Georgina Kiersten

New Year’s Kiss by B.K. Wiggins

Off Limits by Riley Hart

How to Marry Keanu Reeves in 90 Days by K.M. Jackson

The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams

A Not So Meet Cute by Meghan Quinn

And here are some of the deals that you can pick up. Remember, these were the prices that were reflected as of the writing of this newsletter.

Cover of Awaken the Dragon

All Dressed in White by Charis Michaels ($1.99)

High Country Bride by Linda Lael Miller ($1.99)

Awaken the Dragon by A.C. Arthur ($1.99)

Cold Hearted Bastard by Jennifer Dawson ($0.99)

Savannah’s Secrets by Reese Ryan ($1.99)

Dirty Little Midlife Mess by Lilian Monroe ($1.99)


And that’s all I have for you this Monday. I’ll be back Thursday with another edition. Give me a follow over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then.

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The Fright Stuff

Goodbye Halloween, Hello New Releases!

Hey‌ ‌there‌ horror fans, ‌I’m‌ ‌Jessica‌ ‌Avery‌ ‌and‌ ‌I’ll‌ ‌be‌ ‌delivering‌ ‌your‌ ‌weekly‌ ‌brief‌ ‌of‌ ‌all‌ ‌that’s‌ ‌ghastly‌ ‌and‌ ‌grim‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌world‌ ‌of‌ ‌Horror.‌ ‌Whether‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌looking‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌backlist‌ ‌book‌ ‌that‌ ‌will‌ ‌give‌‌ you‌ ‌the‌ ‌willies,‌ ‌a‌ ‌terrifying‌ ‌new‌ ‌release,‌ ‌or‌ ‌the‌ ‌latest‌ ‌in‌ ‌horror‌ ‌community‌ ‌news,‌ ‌you’ll‌ ‌find‌ ‌it‌ ‌here‌ in‌ ‌The‌ ‌Fright‌ ‌Stuff.

Welcome to November, friends! While another Halloween may be behind us, we all know that our favorite creepy season lives in our hearts year round. How else do you explain all those Christmas horror movies and books? Still, it’s the start of another month which means it’s new releases day! As you might expect, following October’s veritable flood of amazing new horror titles, November is shaping up to be a quieter month for the genre, but there are still some amazing titles being released. Including three anthologies of dark and/or horror short fiction that I’m really excited about!

Cover for the A Conjuring of All Seasons anthology

A Conjuring for All Seasons ed. by Brhel & Sullivan (November 2)

Oh my sweet decaying jack-’o-lanterns, this is going to be the perfect post Halloween read. I could not be more excited. As opposed to the other anthologies on this list which are short and fiction based, A Conjuring for All Seasons is a collection of novelettes from five practicing witches and talented horror authors. Hailey Piper leads the way with “Magic Loves the Hungry” about a woman being haunted by an unknown entity that seems to feed on her anxieties and her hunger to belong. Stephanie M. Wytovich’s “Drawing Down the Sun” is about Anne, the first Clement daughter in over 200 years, who sets out to discover the truth behind the curse that was placed on her family. “Milk Kin” by K.P. Kulski is about a young woman called Ruby who is haunted by the memory of her mother’s abduction by a long-fingered woman from the forest, who returns every year to pierce Ruby’s heel with a long silver needle. Donyae Cole’s “The House of the Heart” is a story about the living practice of hoodoo, family, and knowing when things have gotten too out of hand and it’s time to call in the ancestors. And last but certainly not least, “Longest Night” by Gaby Triana is about two witches “recently out of the broom closet” who decided to throw a Yuletide party that takes an unexpected and deadly turn when it’s crashed by some uninvited guests.

Cover of the Chlorophobia anthology

Chlorophobia: An Eco-Horror Anthology ed. by A.R. Ward (November 24)

Oh look, Jessica is talking about eco-horror again. But in my defense, this forthcoming anthology from Ghost Orchid Press looks like it’s going to be absolutely amazing. There are a few horror authors that I recognize, like Nico Bell and Sonora Taylor (and Stephanie M. Wytovich, making her second appearance on this list), but there are a lot of new to me authors as well, which is exciting! Chlorophobia explores the many ways in which the earth can turn against us in its attempt to destroy us or drive us off the planet. Everything from killer plants, to dangerous viruses and obliterating fogs!

My only complaint about the Chlorophobia anthology is that the TOC is very white. A lot of horror anthologies have this problem, so I’m not picking on just this one, but lack of diversity in horror anthologies is an ongoing issue, genre wide, and it should be kept in the spotlight. However, to give credit where credit is due, Chlorophobia features a number of queer horror authors!

Cover of the Shadow Atlas anthology

Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas ed. by Carina Bissett, Hillary Dodge, and Joshua Viola (November 30)

Shadow Atlas is more heavily dark fiction inclined than strictly horror, but take a look at the list of contributors and you’ll find a lot of familiar horror names! It includes fiction and poetry by, among others, Kay Chronister, Gwendolyn Kiste, Owl Goingback, Josh Malerman, Lee Murray, Christina Sng, Betty Rocksteady, and E. Lily Yu! The premise for the anthology is that a secret organization call the Umbra Arca Society was created to discover the truths the ancients knew about the haunted places of the world that have long since been relegated to myth and superstition. A private league of explorers, the Society dedicated itself to the secret mysteries of the Americas, and each story in the collection represents the work of one of these intrepid adventurers as they set out to explore the dark and dangerous landscapes long forgotten by the modern world.

Just as a note, since I pointed out a similar problem with Chlorophobia, Shadow Atlas does feature work by several authors of color, which I’m really excited about, but we’re still talking about maybe 20% of the total authors featured in the collection. Of course, editors work with both time constraints and, in the case of an indie publisher like Hex Publishers or Ghost Orchid Press, somewhat limited resources, so again I’m definitely not assigning blame to a single anthology. And every TOC that includes authors of color, as Shadow Atlas’ does, helps to promote their work and increase the likelihood that future anthologies will become even more diverse!

Fresh From the Skeleton’s Mouth

Obviously these three fantastic anthologies are not the only books coming out this month! So if you’re looking for more new releases be sure to check out Nightfire’s list of 2021 new horror releases!

The Chicago Public Library hosted a Feel the Fear Panel on October 27 that is now available to stream on Youtube! It featured authors Stephen Graham Jones, Alma Katsu, and Hailey Piper, and was moderated by Becky Spratford (@RAforAll).

Over at Book Riot, we’ve got a brand new podcast, Adaptation Nation, all about TV and film adaptations of your favorite books! Given how many amazing horror adaptations are in the works right now, you should definitely keep your eye on Adaptation Nation for all the latest news.


As always, you can catch me on twitter at @JtheBookworm (https://twitter.com/JtheBookworm), where I try to keep up on all that’s new and frightening.

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Book Radar

Matthew Perry is Writing a Memoir and More Book Radar!

Hi, Book Friends!

New Monday, new month. And here’s my question to you as we enter November: how long do we wait to put out the holiday decorations? To me, Thanksgiving is part of the holiday season. In other words, I’m ready to watch Home Alone, like, today. But I know some people are horrified at the thought of anything even the slightest bit holiday-themed this early in the month. Where do you land on this debate? Maybe we should do a poll or something.

Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that you’re ready to dive back into the world of books! I’ve got some exciting book things to share with you.

❤️ Emily

Book Deals and Reveals

the agathas book cover

Oh, this one looks good. Here’s the cover reveal for Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson’s upcoming YA novel The Agathas. Think Riverdale meets One of Us is Lying.

We’ve also got a cover reveal for the next Blood and Ash novel, The War of Two Queens by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Friends star Matthew Perry is writing a memoir! The as-of-now untitled book is coming out with Flatiron Books in fall 2022.

Stacey Abram’s novel Never Tell is in development with CBS Studios and writer Barbara Hall.

Reese’s Book Club has revealed the cover to the new Megan Miranda book, The Last to Vanish.

Speaking of Reese’s Book Club, Reese’s Fall YA pick is Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood.

Here’s the cover reveal of Becky Dean’s debut YA contemporary romance novel Love & Other Great Expectations, coming out June 14, 2022!

An adaptation of Wendy Wunder’s novel The Probability of Miracles is in the works at HBO Max.

Riverhead Books has acquired the U.S. rights to three books by novelist and winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature Abdulrazak Gurnah

Barnes & Noble has named the finalists for its third annual “Book of the Year” awards.

Book Riot Recommends

I’m a Contributing Editor at Book Riot, I write the Today in Books newsletter, and I’m a Bibliologist for Book Riot’s Tailored Book Recommendations subscription service. I also have a PhD in English, so I’m basically a doctor of books. Books are my life, in other words, so in this section of the newsletter, let me share with you some upcoming books I’m super excited about. And I think you will be too!

Prepare Your Shelves!

win me something book cover

Win Me Something by Kyle Lucia Wu (Tin House, November 2, 2021)

Hey Book Radar readers! This one comes out tomorrow, so clear some space on your shelves right… now. Win Me Something is Kyle Lucia Wu’s debut novel. It’s an examination of the biracial experience in America. It’s story of identity, family, coming-of-age, and of self-acceptance.

Willa Chen is a bi-racial Chinese American girl who grew up in New Jersey, struggling to figure out where she fits among her peers and in her family. At school, she felt too white for the Asian kids and too Asian to fit in with the white kids. Willa’s parents divorced when she was very young, and now they have both moved on to new families, so Willa is also unsure of where she fits in with their lives.

Then she starts working as a nanny for the Adriens, a wealthy white family in Tribeca. The Adriens are everything Willa imagines a family should be. as she grows closer to this family—eventually she moves in with them—she finds herself confronted by all of the things that she’s been missing in her own life. All of the things that have left her feeling very, very alone.

Willa’s life experiences are specific and carefully rendered, but there’s not a single person who won’t be able to identify with at least some part of Willa’s journey of self-discovery and her search for belonging. Win Me Something is a promising debut novel that you should definitely read before finalizing any year-end best-of lists.

What I’m Reading This Week

ophie's ghost book cover

Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

Rock, Paper, Scissors by Alice Feeney

Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood

The Last Checkmate by Gabriella Saab

Monday Memes

I just spent the past 45 minutes lying in bed scrolling through Instagram and sharing memes with my friends rather than getting up and getting on with my day. And you know what that means. It’s time for more Monday memes.

Are you tired of your favorite meme creators not being able to keep up for your insatiable need for memes? Have you tried an AI meme generator? These bookish memes created from an AI generator made me die with laughter. You are now talking to a ghost.

Other Things That Make Me Happy

I know everyone’s still talking about Dune right now, and I’m going to watch it very, very soon. But in the meantime, have you seen the adaptation of Samanta Schweblin’s Fever Dream? It’s on Netflix, and I thought it was very good! If you thought Fever Dream couldn’t be made into a movie, think again. I think they did it.

Oh, and hey, that reminds me… are you on Letterboxd? I’ve only written reviews for one movie ever, but if you want, you can follow me there! And if you’re not on Letterboxd but you love movies, you should check it out!

This section of this newsletter is brought to you by Purrli. It’s a cat in your computer!

And Here’s A Cat Picture!

and orange cat licking a black cat

I hope you enjoy this action shot of Murray giving Phantom a bath. After all, how can you prepare for the week ahead without cleaning up a bit first? They both say hello and they hope you have a wonderful week.

Thanks, Murray and Phantom.


We did it! We made it through another Book Radar! I hope you had fun. I hope you learned something new. And I hope you enjoyed the cats. See you soon!

❤️ Emily