Win a $250 Barnes & Noble Shopping Spree!

Get all the books that weren’t in your stocking or get a jump on your 2017 reading wish list with our $250 Barnes & Noble gift card giveaway.

Entries will be accepted until December 31st at midnight, so be sure you are signed up before the calendar turns to 2017. The winner will be selected randomly and notified by email. One entry per email address, and don’t worry about repeating sign-ups. Our system knows not to hit you with multiple copies of the same email. Open internationally.

Go here to enter, or just click the image of the Union Square Barnes & Noble below. Good luck!


New Books

Reading Recommendations for Life, Getting Happy, and More New Books!

The last newsletter of 2016. I can hardly believe it! Did everyone get books for the holidays? Well, you can still use more! There are a couple of wonderful books out today, for those of you looking to use your gift certificate and don’t know what to get. And you can hear Rebecca and I discuss some of our highly anticipated releases of 2017 on this week’s new episode of the All the Books! We talked about awesome books such as Fever Dream, Always Happy Hour, and Salt Houses.

We’re giving away a $250 Barnes & Noble shopping spree. Go here to enter.



books for livingBooks for Living by Will Schwalbe

The author of The End of Your Life Book Club returns with an informative, charming book packed full of great reading recommendations for all different situations that life throws at you, as well as stories behind his own life as a reader and interesting observations about how rich and fulfilling it is to live a life filled with a love of books. It’s an epic nerdpurr for readers.

Backlist bump: Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live by Peter Orner

get your shit togetherGet Your Sh*t Together: How to Stop Worrying About What You Should Do So You Can Finish What You Need to Do and Start Doing What You Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide) by Sarah Knight

Knight is back with the smart, mildly profane advice she is known for from her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, and delivers lessons on how to stop engaging in self-sabotage and teach yourself to be happy and stay that way. And after the year we’ve had, who couldn’t stand to be a little happier?

Backlist bump: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide) by Sarah Knight

civilianizedCivilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir by Michael Anthony

When Anthony was twenty-one years old, he returned from twelve months of military service in Iraq feeling no different than when he left. Two weeks later he was hooked on pain killers, drunk most of the day, and picking fights with large strangers. Realizing he was suicidal, he came to the decision to end his life if things didn’t improve in three months. This is his raw memoir of trying to come to terms with a wildly unstable world, how his military sevice changed him more than he originally realized, and how he found solid ground once again.

Backlist bump: Redeployment by Phil Klay

I’m so excited to turn my reading count back to zero on Sunday! I think it’s going to be another amazing year for books. And if you want to learn more about all kinds of books or what I’m reading (and see lots of pictures of my cats, Millay and Steinbeck), or tell me about books you’re reading, you can find me on Twitter at MissLiberty, on Instagram at FranzenComesAlive, or Litsy under ‘Liberty’!

Stay rad!


This Week In Books

Authors We Lost in 2016: This Week in Books

12 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2016

2016 feels like a garbage fire for a lot of people, in large part because we lost so many amazing artists, musicians, and writers (David Bowie and Prince in one year? What were you thinking, 2016?). I doubt 2017 or many of the coming years will be much better–the baby boomer generation is getting older, and those are the artists many of us grew up with. But before we hold our noses and see what 2017 brings, let’s remember Umberto Eco, Katherine Dunn, Anna Dewdney, Natalie Babbitt, and of course, Harper Lee.


Nancy Drew Re-imagined as Femme Fatale

In what is an almost offensively bad idea, Nancy Drew is being re-imagined as a femme fatale who “aids” the Hardy Boys in their crime solving in a new comic from Dynamite Entertainment. First of all, re-imagining a teenager as a sexy noir femme fatale is gross. Objectively, that’s icky. Secondly, way to take one of the few characters girls my age grew up with who had her own series and possessed agency and make her a side-kick to a bunch of dudes. And while I am at it, can we please find new ways to re-imagine things that isn’t just “take this light-hearted thing and make it gritty“?


Pantsuit Nation Gets a Book Deal

Libby Chamberlain, founder of Pantsuit Nation, the “secret” Hillary Clinton-supporting Facebook page with millions of members, has gotten a book deal for the page. Not everyone is happy about it–people who have posted on a private group are concerned that their stories will now be published for literally the whole world to see, probably with no compensation. Until more details about how the page’s members will be paid (if at all) and their permission obtained (if at all), criticism will likely continue.

Riot Rundown


We’re giving away a $250 Barnes & Noble shopping spree.
Go here to enter.



December Giveaway #2

It’s our last mailbag giveaway of the year. We’ve got mysteries, romance, fantasy, and the new Zadie Smith! One winner will get the whole pile (this giveaway is open internationally).

Go here to enter for your chance to win, or just click on the image below.


The Goods

30% Off E-Gift Cards


Avoid that awkward moment when you realize you don’t have a gift for someone who has a gift for you. Get 30% off e-gift cards to the Book Riot Store, and give more bang for the buck! Use code EGIFT30.



Riot Rundown


We’re giving away a $250 Barnes & Noble shopping spree.
Go here to enter.


The Stack


We’re giving away a $250 Barnes & Noble shopping spree.
Go here to enter.



Audiobooks!: December 29, 2016

This week’s Audiobooks! Newsletter is sponsored by Penguin Random House Audio.

Start off the new year with some inspiring audiobooks! From personal improvement, to spiritual listens, to health and fitness advice, audiobooks are a great way to digest this useful content while on the go! Visit for listening suggestions.

It’s Lin-Manuel Miranda! Lin-Manuel freaking Miranda narrates The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, you guys!!

brief-wondrous-life-of-oscar-wao-audio-lin-manuel-mirandaFirst published in 2007, Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao won a Pulitzer in 2008 and is now finally here on audio, read by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo.

Díaz’s classic novel tells the story of Oscar, a sweet lovesick nerd with Dominican roots who lives in New Jersey. He dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and finding love someday, but his family is haunted by a curse that dooms them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and ill-starred love.

I just started listening to my copy, and there’s no better team than Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo to bring out the book’s warmth, humor, shenanigans, and insight. Miranda narrated Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe before he was the most super duper famous person on the planet, and it’s objectively one of the best audiobooks of this century. This is the first novel he’s narrated since he created Hamilton, and I’m so excited about what this could mean for the future. Will Lin-Manuel Miranda continue to use his platform to amplify marginalized stories through audiobooks? A girl can dream! Do yourself a solid and listen to a clip here.

Problems Only Audiobook Listeners Understand

“#1: You realize the audiobook isn’t postmodern, you’ve just been listening to it on shuffle by accident.” (Ahem, please tell me I’m not the only one.) Book Riot contributor Sonja Palmer compiled this (hilarious) list of all the problems we’ve encountered while trying to enjoy our audiobook habit. What would you add?

Only 2 Days Left to Get Invisible Man for Free

Invisible ManWe talked about this last month, but enough of you are new here (hi! welcome!) that I think we’re due for another PSA: go download Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man for free, right now. It’s been free through Audible since November, and will continue to be free for just 2 more days thru Saturday, December 31.

Invisible Man is a 1952 classic about an unnamed narrator whose black skin makes him invisible in a segregated society, and it’s universally beloved as one of the greatest American novels of all time. The founder of Audible, who was Ralph Ellison’s student at NYU, says Ellison’s love of oral tradition and spoken word are what inspired him to create Audible in the first place. Now go download Invisible Man for real if you haven’t yet!

I Got Lost in London and I Blame Audiobooks

Woman runner running in fall autumn forestYou know that feeling when an audiobook is SO great that you miss your exit, or worse, get completely and utterly lost in a city you know like the back of your hand? When Book Riot contributor Aisling Twomey picked up an audiobook subscription to help her break out of her running rut, she found herself in exactly this situation. Read on to find out which audiobook is to blame!

What's Up in YA

Your Favorite 2016 YA Books & Under-The-Radar Picks

Hey YA Fans!


We’re giving away a $250 gift card to Barnes & Noble for a shopping spree. Go here to enter.  


One of my favorite things is hearing about your favorite reads and the reads you think deserve more attention. It’s interesting not just because it means hearing about the books that you loved, but it’s interesting because what I see or have seen as a “big book” isn’t always the case with readers. I saw this play out a couple of times in your lists which is neat to see.

Since many of us are in a holiday seasonal quiet time, let’s get in and get out with this one. Here are your top 16 books from 2016. They are in no particular order, since I didn’t bother ranking and counting; the clear favorites were very clear. I’m linking straight to the Amazon descriptions so you can see what the books are about if you want more details — I don’t want to spoil any of the details for the books here that aren’t first in a series.

I hope some of these are surprise favorites, like they were to me! As much as I love seeing your top picks, it’s interesting to see what titles that did really well this last year didn’t end up on this list.


the-girl-from-everywhere-by-heidi-heiligA Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Exit, Pursued By A Bear by EK Johnston (also scored high on the “deserves more attention” list)

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (also scored high on the “deserves more attention” list)

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

The Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

The Reader by Traci Chee

Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

summer-days-and-summer-nightsSummer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (also scored high on the “deserves more attention” list — this one was and continues to be a big New York Times Bestseller, so that was surprising to see!)

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir

When The Moon Was Ours by Anne Marie McLemore


I noted above some of the titles that also scored high on the “needs more attention” list. I’m keeping those titles above and not replicating them here, since we should see 16 fresh titles on this list. And, like above, links go to Amazon for description purposes.

This list is fascinating, from both the perspective of what titles made it, which titles I saw so many readers rave about over the last year, and more, how this list features more inclusive titles than the favorites list. That doesn’t surprise me, given how we know about publicity and marketing and how often it’s the diverse titles which fall under the radar.

But alas, this is a great reading list! Again, not in any order except alphabetical by title.


art-of-holding-on-and-letting-goThe Art of Holding On and Letting Go by Kristin Bartley Lenz

The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume 2 by Daniel Kraus

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter

The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

The Last True Love Story by Brendan Kiely

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

the-smaller-evilMy Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

The Smaller Evil by Stephanie Kuehn

The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters

Still A Work in Progress by Jo Knowles

Up To This Pointe by Jennifer Longo

We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
A few more under-the-radar picks from your newsletter editor: Emily Hainsworth’s Take The Fall (super Twin Peaks-like!), Meet Me Here by Bryan Bliss, Break Me Like A Promise by Tiffany Schmidt (start with the first book in the duology, Hold Me Like A Breath), Cherry by Lindsey Rosin, and A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry.


Thanks for hanging out this year with “What’s Up in YA.” Hopefully, you’ve found some really great reading, and more, that you spend your next week curled up with a book that ends the year in the best way possible. We’ll be back next week with a special edition of the newsletter, featuring the most anticipated 2017 books from a variety of awesome YA authors (prepare your TBR, for real!).