True Story

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Like a lot of people around the holidays, I’ll be traveling back home to see my parents. I grew up in Southern Ohio, a corner of Appalachia with a unique culture all its own. I still remember afternoons spent staring out at the Ohio River, or days spent driving around Chillicothe, going back and forth across the Scioto River. So today, I’m featuring two Ohio authors, each with their own story to tell. But first, we have new books AND bookish goods!

The holidays have arrived, and so has our new paperback level at TBR! If you (or a reader you know) are just over-carrying around bulky hardcovers or are looking for a more budget-friendly option, we’ve got you. Check out all the offerings at, and give personalized reading recommendations customized for any and every reader.

Bookish Goods

a photo of two earring made of clear plastic in the shape of two cats. Illustrations of colorful books run across each cat-shaped earring.

Cat Book Earrings by ClaireCreatesDecor 

I first saw these earrings in a tear-drop shape. But then I saw these cat-shaped ones and knew I HAD to share them. Oh my goodness, these are perfect for all of my bookish cat lady dreams. $17

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of The Black Joy Project by Kleaver Cruz

The Black Joy Project by Kleaver Cruz

Celebrate Black joy with this new book from Kleaver Cruz. Their Black Joy Project, which proclaims that Black joy is resistance, has been featured in British Vogue,, the Huffington Post, and various other publications.

a graphic of the cover of Thrifty Vegan: 150 Budget-Friendly Recipes That Take Just 15 Minutes by Katy Beskow

Thrifty Vegan: 150 Budget-Friendly Recipes That Take Just 15 Minutes by Katy Beskow

Busy vegans rejoice! If you’ve been looking for a way to spice up your vegan meals in a limited amount of time, here is the perfect book for you.

Looking for more new releases? Check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

I’m always on the hunt for stories from different regions across the United States. This week, let’s talk about Ohio memoirs!

a graphic of the cover of Rust Belt Femme by Raechel Anne Jolie

Rust Belt Femme by Raechel Anne Jolie

Raechel Anne Jolie grew up as a working-class kid on the outskirts of Cleveland. When she was just a girl, her father was hit by a drunk driver, which ended their way of life forever. From there, her childhood was spent moving from home to home, never seeming to stay for long. She finds the alt scene downtown and begins to discover a whole new world that she feels irrevocably drawn to. This tiny memoir is a shining testament to a love of working-class people, the Midwest, and queer culture.

a graphic of the cover of Punch Me Up to the Gods by Brian Broome

Punch Me Up to the Gods by Brian Broome

Brian Broome couldn’t wait to leave northeast Ohio. He spent his childhood as a queer, Black kid, never fitting in. But no matter where he moved, he still faced racism and homophobia. He describes how he coped with sex and drugs, always trying to forget the trauma he’s experienced while searching for belonging. Broome’s prose is incredible; every word is there for a reason. His memoir is full of heart and a deep sense of longing.

Dylan in his festive collar, waiting to eat his (cored) apple

That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave, over on Instagram @kdwinchester, or on my podcast Read Appalachia. As always, feel free to drop me a line at For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy Reading, Friends!

~ Kendra