New year, new books to get excited about! Please join us as we explode our TBRs, make grabby hands, and preorder Book Riot’s most anticipated books of 2021.
Need some last-minute ideas for bookish gifts? We’ve got you covered, with these favorite items from our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide!
I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf by Grant Snider
Book lovers are a wonderful if not slightly judgmental bunch—at least when it comes to other people’s bookshelves. This is a delightful and humorous collection of comics about the joys of being a book lover, from collecting large amounts of books to (sometimes) getting around to reading them. ($16.99)
If you’re looking for a small gift for a gift exchange or just something really cute to slip into a book for someone, this adorable bookmark is just the thing! It depicts a snowy, cozy winter scene and is printed on heavy linen cardstock. It reads, “Let it snow, I’ll be inside reading.” You can buy individual bookmarks, or sets so that you can gift one to all your friends or book club members. ($4.75)
If you know someone who has an ereader or is getting one this holiday season, these classic Kindle covers make a fantastic gift. They transform your reading tech into a classic leather-bound look-alike book. You can pick from classic titles or choose something a little more anonymous, and you can even personalize the inside! ($37)
For the person on your list who loves poetry, gift this white and gold enamel pin set featuring lines of poetry from some famous female poets, from Maya Angelou, Sappho, Qiu Jin, Anne Brontë, and Sylvia Plath. These pins make striking accessories for any feminist poetry lover! ($42)
For someone on your list with space concerns, this multipurpose bookend/planter is so clever and stylish! It’s made out of ceramic and comes in a variety of colors, and it’s sturdy enough to hold up your books while also containing a plant—or utensils, if you want to use it in the kitchen with cookbooks! Really, it’s so versatile that you might want one for yourself, too. ($46)
Welcome, readers, to our guide to the best books of 2020. Whether they were buzzy or lost in the shuffle, prize-winners or under the radar, we’ve assembled the books from 2020 you must not miss. Dive on in!
Need help figuring out what to get for your family this year, or inspiration to treat yo’self? Never fear, we are here, and we’ve got puzzles and LEGOs and gift books and more. On a budget or going all out? We’ve got lots of price points as well. Happy browsing!
Sponsored by HQN Books
Bring home the magic of Christmas with stories to warm your heart by Sarah Morgan, RaeAnne Thayne and Susan Mallery!
One More for Christmas is an uplifting tale following businesswoman Gail as she summons her estranged family to spend a snowbound Christmas together in Scotland.
Christmas at Holiday House is a heartwarming story about young mother searching for an unforgettable Christmas for her son.
Happily This Christmas is the heartfelt story of two neighbors in Happily Inc who become close friends, supporting one another through the ups and downs of single parenthood at Christmas.
Pick up your copies today!
Whatever the weather is where you are, be it sunny and balmy or full-on Fall, we’re here to get cozy and chilly by turns and hunker down with some great Winter Reading. We’ve got mysteries, cookbooks, reads for the young’uns, magical fantasy, comics and romance, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! (Sorry, not sorry.)
Grab your favorite warm beverage, snuggle up, and read on.
Sponsored by DC
Joe Hill—the mastermind behind N0S4A2 and Locke & Key—has arrived at DC, curating his own cutting-edge horror comics pop-up! Hill House Comics will terrify readers with a smart, subversive and scary lineup of five original limited series. Hill House Comics debuted with Basketful of Heads, written by Hill and illustrated by Leomacs. The chills continued in the following months with The Low, Low Woods; The Dollhouse Family; Daphne Byrne and Plunge, from some of the biggest names in horror storytelling. Watch the Hill House Comics trailer…if you dare!
:Cue organ music: Got your garlic and talismans in hand? Or perhaps you are the thing that goes bump in the night? Come in, come in, and enjoy our Big Creepy Crawly Mood! We’ve got horror podcasts, gothic novels, picture books, cursed objects — we’ve even got a post for those of you who would prefer all this Halloween nonsense be over, thanks very much. And, of course, that’s just the start.
Cast your protection circle and read on!
Sponsored by The End of the Day by Bill Clegg
Bill Clegg returns with a deeply moving, emotionally resonant second novel about the complicated bonds and breaking points of friendship, the corrosive forces of secrets, the heartbeat of longing, and the redemption found in forgiveness.
It’s Literary Friendship Day here at Book Riot, and we are celebrating all things friendly and bookish! From queer friendships to murder-friends to manga friends, book clubs with friends and friends in space, we’ve got platonic-soulmate stories for everyone from the littles to the grown-ups. You can even take a quiz and find out which Literary Friendship you and your bestie(s) match up with.
Ready to celebrate your current friends and maybe make some new fictional ones? Let’s go!
A dark past. An impossible journey. The will to survive. For fans of Flight Behavior and Station Eleven, a novel set on the brink of catastrophe, as a young woman chases the world’s last birds―and her own final chance for redemption. Migrations has been named a “most anticipated” book by Entertainment Weekly, Vulture, Elle, and more. Emily St. John Mandel calls this powerful novel “extraordinary.” Start reading Migrations now.
Hello readers, and welcome to Environmental Lit Day!
We’re celebrating the world around us and the books written about it with a smorgasbord of posts, exploring everything from eco-poetry, to environmental manga, to hopeful cli-fi and beyond. Let’s green up our TBRs!
Sponsored by Sourcebooks
Women’s heroes are everyone’s heroes! In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote, we read books that are by, for, and about powerful women of all ages. A pre-teen who helped discover the world’s first dinosaur bone, a young women in the early 20th century who braved the illness and death of the radium factories and fought a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights, or teens—one black, one white—who rely on each other to survive a night of violent race riots in their city—these are the stories of remarkable women of history and resourceful everyday girls.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, and we’re celebrating over at Book Riot! Join us for a day dedicated to exploring voting rights in everything from YA novels to poetry, a deep dive into the history of pockets, international suffrage efforts, and more.
Sponsored by Tor Books.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets Joe Hill in S. A. Hunt’s I Come with Knives, a horror-tinged action-adventure about a punk YouTuber on a mission to hunt witches, one vid at a time. Robin—armed with knowledge about mysterious demons, the support of her friends and her old witch-hunter mentor—plots to confront the Lazenbury coven and destroy them once and for all. Robin must handle new threats on top of the menace from the Lazenbury coven, but a secret about Robin’s past may throw all of her plans into jeopardy.
Hello, spook-pals! You’re in The Fright Stuff, Book Riot’s weekly horror newsletter about the latest and greatest in horror. I’m Jenn Northington, and I’m here to share some of the Get Booked podcast‘s favorite horror favorites from over the years.
Over at Get Booked, we take reading recommendation requests from across genres and do our best to come up with the right next read for each asker. We’ve had more than a few horror questions over the years, and Amanda and I both have our own (sometimes fraught) relationship with the genre — we tend to be a little squeamish, albeit about different things — but we’ve also managed to find books perfect for both us and our listeners. So I thought I’d give y’all a tour of some of our picks!
Bonus: You’re actually getting an advance peek at next week’s show, on which we have two askers looking for indie horror reads to help them finish the 2020 Read Harder Challenge.
Indie horror (tune in on Thursday, 7/30, to hear us talk about these):
Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix, illustrated by Michael Rogalski, published by Quirk
This is a horror novel inspired by an Ikea catalog, and I honestly feel like that should be enough? But if you need more, it’s set in a furniture superstore in Cleveland, OH, in which things are mysteriously being broken after closing, and three employees volunteer to stay overnight to figure out what’s happening. It’s a haunted house story but also a product catalog, and it’s funny and weird and creepy all at once.
Elegy for the Undead by Matthew Vesely (publishing October 13, 2020) from Lanternfish Press
I’m so excited to crack into this book, which is a queer zombie tragedy from a publisher local to me here in Philadelphia. This tweet thread from Seanan McGuire (you might also know her as Mira Grant) really sells the heck out of it.
Read-alikes for Bloodborne (gothic, dark urban fantasy, cosmic horror):
From the Wreck by Jane Rawson
Another Amanda pick, this is one I’ve got on my own TBR. It follows the survivor of a shipwreck, plagued by PTSD, and a woman from another dimension and it’s a twisty, weird, head-scratcher of a gothic historical novel.
Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeanette Ng
Dark fae and colonialism are the subject of this incredibly intense, extremely strange gaslamp fantasy, from one of my current favorite genre-busting authos. Ng’s work is always complex and unexpected, and you’ve never seen Queen Mab like this before.
Sci-fi + Horror:
The Outside by Ada Hoffmann
Speaking of genre-busting! Hoffmann has created a space opera with an autistic, queer scientist heroine that busts up Lovecraftian horror with modern-day sensibilities. Sentient AI gods, interdimensional eldritch horrors, and some truly weird body-horror all come together in this vibrantly imagined novel that, for my money, is a must-read.
Horror that will scare the living hell out of you:
The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher
This one came recommended by Rioter Jessica Woodbury, who has a stronger constitution than myself by a whole lot. Our heroine Mouse is asked to clean out her grandmother’s home in rural North Carolina, and she has to deal with hoarding, her step-grandfather’s strange journal, AND terrifying encounters in the woods. Tread carefully and maybe sleep with the lights on??
Horror read-alikes for Stephen King, but with less racism, sexism, and homophobia:
Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones
Graham Jones is a perennial Get Booked favorite, and this haunted house story is a great introduction to his work if you haven’t already been exposed. Amanda picked it as a comp for The Shining, in case that’s a thing you’re looking for.
The Book of M by Peng Shepherd
While it’s not an exact comp for The Stand, it comes close in the ways that matter to me. It’s got a pandemic, it’s got elements of horror and the supernatural, but it’s also deeply about the relationships you build at the end of the world, traveling across America when everything is going to hell, and what it means to fight for good. It’s also got an absolute heart-breaker of an ending, so consider yourself warned!
Spooky reads that don’t rely on gore or body horror:
The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein
This claustrophobic, deeply overlooked YA novel is a favorite of both mine and Amanda’s. A 16-year old girl attending boarding school becomes obsessed with a fellow student, Ernessa, who may or may not be a vampire?! Told through journal entries, it’s got one of my favorite unreliable narrators; do yourself a favor and make sure you’ve got some time when you pick this up, because you won’t want to stop.
His Hideous Heart, edited by Dahlia Adler
Speaking of YA! I L-O-V-E, love this collection of stories, all riffs on Edgar Allen Poe, by 13 truly excellent YA authors. Creepy, gothic, horrifying, supernatural, understated, gory — the range is huge, the talent is breathtaking, AND the original stories that the authors were retelling are included so you can do comparisons if you are so inclined. This is a solid choice even if you’re not a Poe fan; you don’t need to know the originals to appreciate the stories, and there are some killer (heh) ones just waiting for you.
A horror graphic novel:
Hexed Vol. 1: The Harlot and the Thief by Michael Alan Nelson, Emma Rios, and Dan Mora
There are so many great horror GNs, but this is a personal favorite that I just can’t resist gushing about whenever I get the chance. Our main character, Luci (a.k.a. Lucifer, obviously!) is a con-artist and thief for hire with supernatural skills. When she accidentally unleashes the evil in a painting, she sets herself on a journey that also reveals the layers to her own journey, and some unanswered questions about her past. Sort of like if Coraline was about a young adult who stayed on the other side and made friends with Other Mother without losing her soul, is one way to describe it. Utterly awesome, is another way.
And this concludes our tour into the Get Booked horror rec archives! I hope you’ve found something for yourself; swing by the show anytime, and happy hauntings.