Today In Books

Today in Books for September 6, 2021

20 Years of Literature after 9/11

In The New York Times, Dwight Garner and Jennifer Szalai look back at how literature has grappled with 9/11 over the last 20 years. It is an on-going reckoning that has both included more historically marginalized voices and at the same time embraced/defaulted to/acquiesced to moral ambivalence.

Amanda Gorman Inks Deal with Estée Lauder

Amanda Gorman continues her unprecedented cultural rise with what one can only assume is a massive contract to be the new face of Estée Lauder. As the only public figure offered was that the deal included $3 million in grants to support young writers, we don’t know what the deal includes. I think it is safe to say that is the largest every modeling contract for a poet.

Supply Chain Problems Are Coming for Your Holiday Book-Buying

If you’ve been in the market for a car or house or boat or RV or lumber or any number of products, you know that supplies are tight. Books, which had their own precursor to these shortages and delays last holiday season, are buckling up for another tight season. From shortages of truck drivers to international shipping delays, the word is to order early. And while is advice for bookstores, individual readers would do well to heed it as well: don’t wait until Christmas Eve and assume to book you want to buy is going to be on the shelf.

Today In Books

Book Riot’s Deals of the Day for September 6th, 2021

Book Riot’s Deals of the Day for September 6th, 2021

Such a Fun Age

$2.99 Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid


$2.99 Libertie by Kaitlyn Grennidge

The Namesake

$2.99 The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

In Case You Missed Yesterday’s Most Popular Deals

The Proposal

$4.99 The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

The House is a Body

$1.99 The House is a Body by Shruti Swamy

Today In Books

Did Twitter Break YA?: Today in Books for July 5, 2021

Did Twitter Break YA?

In a lengthy retro/perspective on the incredible influence Twitter has had on YA publishing and readers, Nicole Brinkley takes stock of the bargain: increased access across the board. Of readers to authors, of publishing professionals to reader reactions, of readers access to each other: a mind-boggling collapse of distance in all areas. It’s worth a read if you are interested in think about how social media has changed publishing–in the area where it has probably had the greatest impact.

Texas Bookstore Shares Letter from Unmasked Patron

Ryan Holiday, owner of The Painted Porch bookstore in Bastrop County, Texas, shared a letter from a disgruntled patron who had been turned away for not wearing a mask. Holiday, who has two children too young to receive a vaccine, has decided to keep his store’s mask requirement in place, while the broader mask mandate for the county has been lifted.

“Sister” Novel to A Visit from the Goon Squad Coming in 2022

Jennifer Egan has sold a “sister” novel to her smash A Visit from The Goon Squad. The Candy House will be published by Scribner on April 5, 2022.

Today In Books

Release John Steinbeck’s Werewolf Novel You Cowards

Release John Steinbeck’s Werewolf Novel You Cowards

Apparently, deep in the archives at the University of Texas, there is an unpublished John Steinbeck novel about werewolves. Murder at Full Moon (yes that really is the title) was one of three early Steinbeck novels that have never been published (the other two Steinbeck himself destroyed). The Steinbeck estate doesn’t seem interested in publishing it. Still, despair not: we only have to wait 22 more years for it to enter the public domain. Until then, you could always freak yourself out reading horror books set deep in the woods.

Bookselling and White Supremacy

At LitHub, Josh Cook reckons with how bookselling can be complicit in promoting white supremacy. How much political power do bookstores have? And what is the best way to use it?

If You Can’t Find a Book Club, Your Answer Might Be at the Library

At Electric Literature, Christina Simon says that while she wished for a book club to invite her in, eventually she found what she was looking for at the library. How many readers like her are out there who, but for the want of a small group of like-minded readers, would be thrilled to join a book club? Another option would be to join an online book club.

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:


Win a Blind Date with a Book!

We’re giving away 5 blind dates with a book to 5 lucky Riot readers (one book per winner)!We send you a surprise title, you read and love it (hopefully)!

To win a blind date with a book, just sign up for Read This Book, our upcoming newsletter that will give you one book recommendation per week.

This sweepstakes is open to residents of the United States (excluding Puerto Rico and all other U.S. territories). Entries will be accepted until 11:45pm, October 31, 2019. Winner will be randomly selected. Complete rules and eligibility requirements available here.

Go here to enter for a chance to win, or just click the image below. Good luck!


Win the Best Mystery/Thrillers of the Year So Far!

We’re giving away the ten best mysteries and thrillers of the year to one Riot reader!  Check out the prize list below:

Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig

The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin Kwaymullina, Ezekiel Kwaymullina

As Long as We Both Shall Live by JoAnn Chaney

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

A Prayer for Travelers by Ruchika Tomar

Furious Hours by Casey Cep

Flowers over the Inferno by Ilaria Tuti

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger

Go here to enter, or just click the image below. Good luck!


Win $100 to Spend at the only Romance-Only Bookstore in the U.S!

We’re giving away a $100 gift card to The Ripped Bodice, the U.S.’s only romance-exclusive bookstore!

Go here to enter for a chance to win, or just click the image below!


Win THE LIBRARY BOOK by Susan Orlean!


We have 5 copies of The Library Book by Susan Orlean to give away. To enter, sign up for the Annotated newsletter. And here’s what that is: a newsletter for people who are interesting in stories about books, reading, and language. It’s a new companion newsletter to our Annotated podcast, which is sort of like This American Life, but for books. Each episode explores an interesting bookish story–the kind of story we think you’ll like if you are interested in The Library Book.

If you haven’t tried Annotated before, a great place to start is The World’s Most Glamorous Librarian. It tells the story of Belle de Costa Greene, who became one of the most influential librarians in America, and lived her entire adult life with a secret that could have ruined her career.

You can find Annotated on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever else you like to get your podcasts.

Ok, now we’re ready. Click here to enter the giveaway, or just click the image below. Good luck!