Today In Books

The Bram Stoker Awards Announces Its 2020 Nominees: Today in Books

The Bram Stoker Awards Announces Its 2020 Nominees

The Horror Writers Association has announced the finalists for the 2020 Bram Stoker Awards. Members of the association will be able to vote from March 1st through March 15th. The winner of the award will be announced during this year’s virtual StockerCon 2021, which will be held May 20th through May 23rd.

Victor LaValle Coming Out With New Comic Book Series

Novelist Victor LaValle is publishing a new comic series with artist Jo Mi-Gyeong. The five-issue series, published by Boom Comics, will be released in May. LaValle said, “This a story, inspired by young folks like Mari Copeny, Elsa Mengistu, Greta Thunberg and so many more, of how an eleven-year-old girl, EVE, and her android teddy bear try to do the seemingly impossible: save the planet, save us.”

Anthony Bourdain’s Crime Novel Gone Bamboo Becoming a TV Series

Anthony Bourdain’s 1997 thriller novel Gone Bamboo is now slated to become a television series. Producers Webster Stone and Robert Stone have acquired the rights to the novel, which is set on the island of St. Martin and follows an assassin named Henry Denard.

Black, Latinx, and Millennial Readers Are The Backbone of The Book World

New research shows Black, Latinx, and Millennial readers are buying and engaging with books more than other groups.

What's Up in YA

Your YA Book News and New Books: February 25, 2021

Hey YA Readers!

We’re rounding out the second month of 2021 already, if you can believe it. The YA world has some great news and, of course, some great books for your shelves this week.

YA Book News

New YA Books This Week

Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus (paperback)

Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie (paperback, series)

A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

The Desolation of Devil’s Acre by Ransom Riggs (series)

Destination Anywhere by Sara Barnard

Dragonfly Girl by Marti Leimbach

Girls With Razor Hearts by Suzanne Young (series, paperback)

How To Change Everything by Naomi Klein and Rebecca Stefoff (nonfiction)

The How and The Why by Cynthia Hand (paperback)

The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju (paperback)

Like Home by Louisa Onome

Mazie by Melanie Crowder — if you like historical fiction, this is an utter GEM.

The Missing Passenger by Jack Heath

Prepped by Bethany Mangle

Rebelwing by Andrea Tang (paperback)

The Shadow War by Lindsay Smith

Some Other Now by Sarah Everett

The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina (paperback)

The Truth App by Jack Heath (paperback)

The Valley and The Flood by Rebecca Mahoney

YA Talk at Book Riot

Wear your love for all things young adult with this fun keychain. $15.

Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you again on Monday!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram and editor of Body Talk(Don’t) Call Me Crazy, and Here We Are.

Thanks again to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Some Other Now for making today’s newsletter possible!



Book Riot is teaming up with the Happily Ever After newsletter from St. Martin’s Press Romance for a chance to win an ARC of ONE LAST STOP by Casey McQuiston! Five winners will receive an ARC of this highly anticipated title. Click here or the picture below to enter!

Here’s a little bit more about the Happily Ever After newsletter: Stay up to date on the latest romance buzz by signing up for our weekly newsletter as we ship the hottest couples and celebrate all things romance. Your next romantic obsession awaits!

Riot Rundown


The Stack


Check Your Shelf

Recommend Some Maternity Leave Noir

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. It’s snowing again. Please make it stahhhhhhp!!

Collection Development Corner

Publishing News

Baen’s Bar, the private forum run by SFF publishing company Baen’s Books, has been put on hiatus for allegedly being used to advocate for extremist political violence. (TW for political violence and racist commentary)

Literary agent Brooks Sherman leaves his agency and is dropped by a number of prominent authors, including Angie Thomas, following allegations of unprofessional conduct.

In not unsurprising news, fake Amazon reviews are apparently being sold in bulk.

Rick Riordan Presents moves into YA territory with Daniel José Older.

We Need Diverse Books partners with Penguin Random House to launch the Black Creatives Fund initiative.

Latinx in Publishing launches two new fellowships.

New & Upcoming Titles

Benjamin Alire Saenz announces a sequel to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.

Sally from A Nightmare Before Christmas gets the YA novel treatment from Shea Ernshaw.

US Navy Admiral William McRaven is adapting Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World into a children’s book called Make Your Bed With Skipper the Seal.

Actress Evanna Lynch is publishing a memoir on September 14th.

Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey (aka Pam and Angela from The Office) are publishing a book next year called Office BFFs: Tales of The Office From Two Best Friends Who Were There.

Here’s a preview of Amor Towles’ next novel, The Lincoln Highway, which comes out in October.

Recent and forthcoming dark academia thrillers.

25 new books written by women of color coming out this year.

24 YA books coming out before spring that you’ll want to pick up ASAP.

11 anticipated YA books by trans/nonbinary authors.

Every book you’ll want to read in 2021.

Weekly book picks from Bustle, Buzzfeed, Crime Reads, LitHub, The Millions, New York Times, Shelf Awareness, and USA Today.

5 books you may have missed in January.

February book picks from BookPage (SFF) and Crime Reads (international crime fiction).

What Your Patrons Are Hearing About

No One is Talking About This – Patricia Lockwood (The Atlantic, New York Times, NPR, USA Today)

True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee – Abraham Riesman (LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post)

Vibrate Higher: A Rap Story – Talib Kweli (USA Today, Washington Post)

RA/Genre Resources

I can’t believe people are still questioning if romance novels are “real books.”

Black romance authors who center Black love and joy on the page.

Crime Reads has a panel discussion with espionage authors Lara Prescott, Lauren Wilkinson, Rosalie Knecht, and Tracy O’Neill.

Where to start with Toni Morrison’s books.

Here’s a new crime subgenre for you: maternity leave noir.

On the Riot

25 must-read 2021 picture books for your child’s bookshelves.

5 recent essay collections you won’t want to miss.

20+ of the best book newsletters for readers.

Reading pathways for Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.

All Things Comics

Cypress Hill are telling their story in a graphic novel.

First look at V.E. Schwab’s new superhero comic, ExtraOrdinary.

On the Riot

DC’s Infinite Frontier is still a boy’s club.

Recent and upcoming nonfiction comic releases.

10 of the best fantasy comics fit to print.


AudioFile launches a new podcast called Audiobook Break, which presents an individual audiobook chapter by chapter.

Best audiobooks in February.

6 romance audiobooks with a second chance at love.

Can there be too many narrators for an audiobook?

On the Riot

AudioFile SYNC is bringing more free audiobooks to teens this summer.

How to choose audiobooks with varying versions, narrators, and content.

5 of the best audiobooks about food and cuisine.

7 audiobooks for times when being an adult is too much.

Audiobooks to make your chores more interesting.

Book Lists, Book Lists, Book List


Children’s books that feature characters with disabilities.

Picture books that make great gifts for adults.

21 YA books set abroad that will let you live vicariously.

25 YA romance novels to read after watching To All the Boys: Always and Forever.

YA books to read if food is your love language.


Anti-racism reading list for children and adults.

Angie Thomas and Henry Louis Gates Jr. recommend books for Black History Month.

25 notable books by Black Canadian authors.

The best books about Billie Holiday.

18 epic fantasy books starring magical Black leads.

7 books to read for President’s Day.

8 books featuring big queer families, found and otherwise.

10 Australian women writers you should be reading.

48 romance recommendations by trope.

A belated Galentine’s Day reading list.

8 mesmerizing gothic books to read this winter.

On taking kink seriously: a reading list.

Fall in love with some of SFF’s hottest royals.

On the Riot

10 children’s books about snow.

11 books about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

21 Chinese history books by #OwnVoices authors.

5 shorter novels from around the world.

50 must-read love stories.

9 books that were made to be reread.

12 great workplace fantasy novels to maintain a magical outlook.

Level Up (Library Reads)

Do you take part in Library Reads, the monthly list of best books selected by librarians only? We’ve made it easy for you to find eligible diverse titles to nominate. Kelly Jensen created a database of upcoming diverse books that anyone can edit, and Nora Rawlins of Early Word is doing the same, as well as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.

Waaake me up…when this winter ends…

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond.

Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships for February 23

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! We’re already at the last Tuesday of this short month, and it’s Alex with new releases and some genre news for your day. When I went out to pick up dinner (in a safe, socially distanced way) it was actually light out, which is a welcome change. It’s a sign that we’re getting through the winter at least. And I have to tell you, last night I stayed up until an absolutely unholy hour reading Soulstar, the third book of CL Polk’s Kingston Cycle, and I cannot recommend it enough. Stay safe out there, shipmates, and I’ll see you on Friday!

The worst has passed in Texas, but they’re going to be feeling the effects of the winter storm for a while. If you want to help, you can check this Texas mutual aid directory.

New Releases

Note: The new releases lists I have access too were not as diverse as I would have liked this week.

Symbiosis by Nicky Drayden

In the far future, humanity survives inside giant space animals, which they have driven nearly to extinction with this exploitation. But after attaining the throne, Doka has crafted life inside his living ship into something that is almost utopian. But his rivals are trying to push him into failure, and when they must open their home to thousands of refugees, external clashes join the internal. It is up to Doka and the one woman he is forbidden to love, his wife, to work to keep and expand the peace.

Calculated Risks by Seanan McGuire

Telepathic ambush predator Sarah Zellaby has been kidnapped and manipulated by her birth family and undergone a transformation into greater power, though she’s still externally the same. Now stranded in another dimension with a few familiar faces who do not recognize her at all, Sarah must figure out who and what she is–and if that’s someone she can live with.

Glow by Tim Jordan

After Earth’s civilization has been shattered and partially rebuilt by corporations, the factions left behind are vying for control and power. And in that world is Glow, a nanotech drug that jumps through multiple people and cuts and pastes memories and personas. A confused junkie, a corporate founder living on a satellite, and an unstoppable robotic assassin are tied together by the Glow and trying to survive.

The Heritage of Michael Martiniere by Joyce Reynolds-Ward

Michael Martiniere is a clone of an old man who does not want to die; his life was always intended to end so that Philip Martiniere could live. He’s rescued from that fate at the age of five, but he still must struggle against his own body and the mind control used against him if he wants to be free of Philip’s legacy.

The Valley and the Flood by Rebecca Mahoney

After her car breaks down in the Nevada desert, Rose hears a radio broadcast of the voicemail her best friend Gaby left just before she died a year ago. She follows the radio broadcast to a small town called Lotus Valley, a place filled with prophets who claim they have been waiting for her, because Rose’s arrival heralds a flood that will come in three days and destroy the town.

The Russian Cage by Charlaine Harris

Klementia and Eli, wizards from the Holy Russian Empire, have come to Ciudad Juarez with the mission of finding descendants of Rasputin. But they’re not the only ones on the hunt, and they’re all after the same person: Felicia, Rasputin’s granddaughter.

News and Views

Reminder: Symphony Space has a Celebration of Octavia E. Butler tomorrow!

Neon Hemlock has picked up a novella by Brent Lambert, to be published in 2022

Big congrats to Sascha Stronach; Saga Press has picked up The Dawnhounds!

Nerds of a Feather has an author roundtable with many of the writers (and the editor) of Recognize Fascism

Interview with Namina Forna, author of The Gilded Ones

We Hunt the Flame is being developed into a TV series

Next SyFy short for Black History Month: Jeremy Kowsoleea’s Realisation of Excellence

Spoiler warning, but this is a really good read on WandaVision: How WandaVision is Rewriting Our Understanding of Wanda Maximoff’s Story

What Fandom Racism Looks Like: All the Pieces of Heroes of Color

40 times science fiction was wrong about predicted future events

WorldCon 2021 (aka DisCon III) has removed Toni Weisskopf as Guest of Honor after the reporting on violent rhetoric in the Baen forums


Perserverance touched down on Mars. The rover sent its first and second image of the Martian landscape shortly after. And a delightful XKCD comic.

On Book Riot

Ernest Frankenstein: in search of a missing character

12 books like The Selection to read after the series

This month you can enter to win $100 at a bookstore of your choice, a bundle of YA books plus a $250 Visa gift card, and/or a Kindle Paperwhite. And only for Canadian Rioters, a $100 Indigo gift card.

See you, space pirates. If you’d like to know more about my secret plans to dominate the seas and skies, you can catch me over at my personal site.

New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Hello, Tuesday friends, it’s time to get excited about new books! Can you believe February is practically over already. THAT was fast. 2021 has been flat-out amazing when it comes to new book releases. Two of my favorites of the year have already been released—The Rib King by Ladee Hubbard and We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen—and next week another of my favorites is out—In the Quick by Kate Hope Day. You’re going to love them! Also, I’ve been pretty active on Twitter lately and I’m always around on Instagram, and I love to hear from people who have loved a book I’ve recommended. 😍

I’m looking forward to a lot of today’s new releases and I hope that very soon I’ll be able to get my hands on Escaping Exodus: Symbiosis by Nicky Drayden, Love Is for Losers by Wibke Brueggemann, and Nubia: Real One by L. L. McKinney and Robyn Smith.

And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as The City of Good Death, Raceless, The Blizzard Party, and more. (Also, last week I didn’t notice the typo in Tirzah’s name—sorry, Tirzah! Related: Check out her upcoming book, Pride and Premeditation.)

And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite gameshow: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

The Upstairs House by Julia Fine

Megan, a writer working on a book about children’s literature, has been anticipating the birth of her first child. But from the very beginning, it is not quite what she was expecting. She is sore and tired all the time, and worried that she doesn’t feel an attachment with her new daughter.

This worry only grows when Megan comes home from the hospital and her husband leaves almost immediately for a business trip. But help arrives in the form of a kind upstairs neighbor, who offers to help out with the baby. But the weird thing is that the neighbor is living in a part of the house that didn’t used to exist and the neighbor herself is children’s book writer Margaret Wise Brown—who has been dead for quite some time. (Yes, the Margaret Wise Brown, author of many books including Goodnight Moon.)

But tired and despondent as she is, Megan is grateful for the assistance, until it turns out that Margaret has unfinished business and Megan and the baby are pulled further and further into her plans. As events turn more chaotic and dangerous, Megan must decide how to free herself and her baby from the situation.

This is a great, intense story of the unrealistic expectations women are fed around giving birth and having children, and the need for further understanding and compassion around postpartum depression. (Also, this is a bit ghoulish, but did you know Margaret Wise Brown died from complications from doing a high kick while she was still recovering from surgery? I learned that in high school and it still haunts me.)

Backlist bump: The Need by Helen Phillips

Smoke by Joe Ide

This is the fifth book in the IQ series now, which seems impossible. I wanted to point it out because it’s a great series (which is being made into a television series by Snoop Dogg!)

The main character is Isaiah Quintabe, also known as IQ, a resident of one of LA’s toughest neighborhoods who uses his Sherlock Holmes-like abilities of observation and deduction to help solve cases that are written off or ignored by the police. His past cases include the death threats against a rap mogul, dangerous loan sharks and stalkers, a missing mother, and arms dealers.

In his fifth book, IQ will have to decide if he wants to break cover to help a man on the hunt for the state’s most prolific serial killer, while his partner, Dodson, has some difficult decisions to make. Some series you can read out of order, but I highly recommend starting at the beginning with this one, because a lot of plot hinges on past events. But don’t worry, it’s worth it. IQ is the great contemporary Sherlock the 21st century needs.

Backlist bump: IQ by Joe Ide

The Lost Soul by Olga Tokarczuk, Joanna Concejo (Illustrator), Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Translator)

This is a beautiful, contemplative story by Nobel Pirize winner Tokarczuk, author of Flights and Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, with unbelievably outstanding illustrations by Concejo.

The story is about a man who is sad and unhappy and so he goes to the doctor, who tells him he has lost his soul. The doctor explains the nature of souls and tells the man he needs to slow his life down. The story is set in the middle of the book, with the illustrations leading up to the story in black-and-white, and the images after the story bursting with color. It’s a gorgeous book about taking time to appreciate what you have and what is around you. Remember this one when it’s time to give a graduation gift!

Backlist bump: The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins

Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. – XO, Liberty

Today In Books

ARE YOU THERE, GOD? IT’S ME MARGARET Movie Casts Rachel McAdams and Abby Ryder Fortson: Today in Books

ARE YOU THERE, GOD? IT’S ME MARGARET Movie Casts Rachel McAdams and Abby Ryder Fortson

The film adaptation of Judy Blume’s iconic novel Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret has cast Abby Ryder Fortson as Margaret Simon. You might recognize Fortson from the Ant-Man movies or from HBO’s Togetherness, but this will be her first starring role. Rachel McAdams will play Margaret’s mother, Barbara. More details about the film are forthcoming.

Montreal’s Black Girls Gather Book Club Brings Attention to Underappreciated Literature

A Montreal book club called Black Girls Gather is doing its part to bring attention to underappreciated Black and African authors. The club met online on Sunday to discuss African literature. They were joined by authors Rebecca Fisseha and Sarah Raughly, among others. Young book club members said they found the meeting very empowering. “I know more about myself,” said 19-year-old Jessica Williams Daley. “I feel stronger, I feel like I’m not alone.”

Brian Stelter’s HOAX Getting Major Update for June Paperback Release

For the upcoming paperback release of Brian Stelter’s Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth, the author felt like his book needed a major update. For the paperback version, which will be published in June, Stelter will be adding around 20,000 words to the 95,000-word hardcover edition to reflect the end of Trump’s presidency.

8 of the Best Libraries to Visit Post-Pandemic

Dreaming of future travels? Here are 8 wonderful libraries to visit post-pandemic.

The Kids Are All Right

New Children’s Book Releases for February 23, 2021

Hey readers! I’m back with another batch of new releases.

G My Name is Girl by Dawn Masi

For alphabet lovers out there, this fun picture book takes readers on a journey across the globe and introduces them to a different girl from every country.

Home Is In-Between by Mitali Perkins and Lavanya Naidu

This is a sweet picture book about finding oneself across two cultures. Shanti misses India, and is trying to adjust to life in America. At home, it feels just like being back in India, even if everything outside is different, and Shanti begins to wonder what her home really is.

JD and the Great Barber Battle by J. Dillard and Akeem S. Roberts

For chapter book readers, this is a fun new series following third grader J.D. When his mom gives him a home haircut, J.D is the target of all kinds of teasing from his classmates. So J.D decides to cut his own hair and finds he’s pretty good at it, even good enough to start his own barbershop. But J.D’s drawing away clients from the only other barbershop in town, and the owner intends to shut J.D down so they compete in a great barber battle to determine who’s the best.

Latinitas by Juliet Menendez

This is a colorful collection of biographies of inspiring Latina women. This includes handpainted artwork and biographies of famous women such as singer Selena Quintanilla, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and author Isabel Allende to educate and inspire.

How to Change Everything by Naomi Klein and Rebecca Stefoff

This guide for young readers introduces kids to ways to get involved in the preservation and protection of our planet. This both shows where we are in the fight for climate justice and also how other kids are leading the charge in the climate movement.

Until next week! – Chelsea