Today In Books

The Most Anticipated Books of 2022 on Goodreads: Today in Books

Goodreads Members’ Most Anticipated 2022 Titles

It’s the time of the year to start with a clean reading slate. I always look forward to checking out what’s coming out as the calendar turns, and this list of what Goodreads users are looking forward to includes some on my own list, and a few I hadn’t spotted. Olga Dies Dreaming will be my first 2022 read, and I think The Maid will be hard upon. This really only cover books coming out through April/May, but there is something, in fact it always feels more than something, for any kind of reader.

New Zealand’s First Booker Prize Winner Dies

Keri Hulme is a named I only knew from perusing the list of Booker Prize winners over the years. I never picked up The Bone People, her debut novel that won her (and New Zealand’s first) Booker award. I have to say she, and the book, sound fascinating. The novel follows “mysterious relationships between three unorthodox outsiders of mixed Māori and European heritage,” and Hulme was explicity interested in portraying the wide-ranging effects of ethnic violence in New Zealand. Hulme died this week after a long bout with dementia.

2021 Proved No Book is Unfilmable

Citing the adaptations of Dune, The Wheel of Time, and Foundation that came out this year, Ben Lindbergh wonders if this spells the end of the idea of the unfilmable literary work, at least as a business proposition. As we covered on Adaptation Nation for Dune and The Wheel of Time, these adaptations make choices, as all adaptations must, that make them more wieldy–though meaningfully different from the source texts. Does that mean that they have been “filmed”? What seems more concretely to have changed is the amount of money companies are willing to dedicated to the incredible modern film-making tools available these days. For better and for worse.

10 Great Winter Thrillers to Delight and Frighten You

In a couple days, the winter holidays will be behind us, and the long winter really begins. To fill these cold and dark days, consider picking up a great winter thriller to keep you warm. Or at least scared.

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The Best Book of the Last 125 Years (?): Today in Books

New York Times Readers Select the Best Book of the Last 125 Years

In a bit of clever content marketing for their recent retrospective collection, The New York Times asked their readers to pick the best book of the last 125 years. No one who follows these sort of polls will be surprised with the top few (To Kill a Mockingbird, The Fellowship of the Ring, and 1984), though I was pleased to see Beloved clock in at number 5. The full list is paywalled, but Kirkus gave some background on how they structured the voting.

E.O. Wilson, Two-Time Pulitzer Winner for Non-Fiction, Dies at 92

E.O. Wilson, one of the 20th century great science writers, died this week at the age of 92. Starting in the 1960s, Wilson explored ideas of biological diversity, evolution, and human behavior—largely by looking at ants. He won the first of his two Pulitzers for 1979’s On Human Nature, but is probably best known for The Ants, which was awarded the Pulitzer in 1991.

Behind the Bookstore Boom in China

Maybe like me from time to time you stumble across images of spectacular bookstores in China and…well thought they looked cool. But did you know that over the last 5 years, over 40,000 bookstores have opened each year. Not all of these are the showstoppers that breakthrough on U.S. social media, but apparently the centerpiece bookstores are largely subsidized by huge malls to drive foot traffic.

The Most Influential Historical Fiction Books of All Time

Historical fiction has really boomed as of late, so at Book Riot we take a look at the books that have most influenced what the genre has become. I was glad to see The English Patient make the cut, as it is one of my favorite book/movie combos–and the subject of the most recent episode of Adaptation Nation on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the movie’s release.

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The Best Reviewed Books of 2021: Today in Books

What Were The Best Reviewed Books of 2021?

Bookmarks is rounding up its lists of the various best reviewed books of 2021. Now, book reviewing is subjective and trying to translate book reviews into star ratings adds another layer of subjectivity, but still it’s a different angle on trying to get your head around the year in books.

Wild Oklahoma Bill Would Pay Parents If a Book They Challenge Remains on Shelves

A proposed state law in Oklahoma would force schools to proactively remove books that parents have simply challenged through a written request. For each day the book remains on the shelves, the parents would receive $10,000. It is explicitly worded to focus on books about sexuality and gender identity, and even provides for restitution of court and attorney fees. It is rare to see a bill both so bigoted and so self-dealing. May it fail miserably.

How Different Was Season 1 of THE WHEEL OF TIME from the Book?

At ScreenRant, Thomas Bacon walks through the major differences in Amazon’s adaptation of The Wheel of Time (and there are some big ones). To say more would be to walk into spoiler territory, but I will say that I ended up enjoying the season, even though I have only read the first book in the series. If this sort of thing interests you, check out Adaptation Nation’s episode about the book and series, which walks through the history of the book, the adaptation process, and the successes and failures of the show.

Get the Latest Edition of Book Riot’s Reading Log

As the calendar turns, those of us who like to track our reading are busy looking back, but also thinking about reading plans for 2022. If you are that kind of reader, check out our Reading Log. Track you reading across all sort of parameters…and even tweak it a little to suit your own needs.

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Remembering Joan Didion: Today in Books

A Giant Passes

Joan Didion might be the greatest literary multi-hypenate of the last 50 years of American letters. So, it is no surprise that the remembrances and appreciations for the novelist-essayist-journalist-critic-screenwriter-icon were widespread and reverant. From breaking out with Play It As It Lays to her late career emergence as a bestselling chronicler of grief, Didion’s career is hard to get your head around. We will not see her like again.

The Most Important Literary Prize in the World

It might come as a surprise, or at least to Americans, to find that the Booker Prize is the most important literary prize in the world. Interestingly, the Nielsen survey that determined this was sponsored by a “unnamed literary prize.”

The Big List of “Best Books of 2021” Lists

For fourteen years, David Gutowski’s master list of the “best books of the year” lists has been one of my favorite end-of-year internet surfing destinations. As you find time to browse and look at what the year was like in books, you could do worse than to start there.

Book Riot’s Best Books of 2021

And just to pull one list out totally at random, if you missed Book Riot’s own picks for the best books of the year, well don’t say you never got the link.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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: