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Kid Lit Giveaways

012722_SupervilliansGuide_KidLitGiveaway

We’re giving away five copies of The Supervillain’s Guide to Being a Fat Kid by Matt Wallace to five lucky Riot readers!

Enter here for a chance to win, or click the image below!

A personal, humorous, and body-positive middle grade standalone about a fat kid who wants to stop his bullies . . . and enlists the help of the world’s most infamous supervillain. Perfect for fans of Holly Goldberg Sloan, Julie Murphy, and John David Anderson!

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Today In Books

HBO Releases MY BRILLIANT FRIEND Season 3 Teaser Trailer: Today in Books

Al Roker Options The Personal Librarian for Limited Series

Al Roker Entertainment has optioned best-selling novel The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray for a limited series. The novel tells the story of J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, a Black woman with light skin who was forced to pass as white. The Personal Librarian is a favorite in our household, and it demonstrates historical fiction at its best,” said Al Roker. “We are always looking to work on projects with purpose and this story is relevant now more than ever. The female lead lives in secrecy and goes to the ends of the earth to hide her identity and protect her family in a very racist world and we look forward to bringing this story to more households. It also excites me whenever I can work with my wife on a project we both think is important.”

HBO Releases My Brilliant Friend Season 3 Trailer

HBO has released the first teaser trailer for season 3 of My Brilliant Friend, which premieres on HBO Max on February 28th. The third season will be eight episodes and will adapt Elena Ferrante’s novel Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. The series stars Gaia Gerace as Lila and Margherita Mazzucco as Lenù.

Tennessee School District Bans Art Spiegelman’s Graphic Novel Maus

A Tennessee school board has removed the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel Maus from an eighth-grade language arts curriculum due to concerns about profanity, nudity, and Holocaust depictions. In an interview with CNBC, Maus author Art Spiegelman said, “I’m kind of baffled by this,” and described the school board’s actions “Orwellian.” Author Neil Gaiman also spoke out against the ban in a tweet: “There’s only one kind of people who would vote to ban Maus, whatever they are calling themselves these days.”

2022 PEN America Literary Awards Finalists Announced

The 2022 PEN American Literary Award Finalists have been announced! This year’s awards will confer $350,000 to writers and translators in eleven different categories that include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, biography, essay, science writing, literature in translation and more.

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Read Harder 2022

Read Harder Task #19: Read a Horror Novel by a BIPOC Author

Alright. I’m just going to come out and say it. Horror is the best genre out there. Good horror is thought-provoking, emotional, propulsive, and unforgettable. And I just can’t get enough of it. It was hard to narrow it down when it came to choosing which books to share with you for this challenge. But these are some of my personal favorite horror novels for this Read Harder 2022 Challenge: Read a Horror Novel by a BIPOC Author.

What was the first horror novel you read? For me, it was Stephen King’s It. For a lot of readers, King was probably one of their first introductions to the world of horror fiction. And that’s great and all, but there’s so much more horror fiction out there, and so many incredible horror books from BIPOC authors. Here are eight horror books that do all the good things that horror books should—they’re thought-provoking, emotional, propulsive, and unforgettable. Even if you’re a person who normally shies away from horror stories, I promise these are worth the risk of being a little scared.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

the only good indians

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Speaking of unforgettable reads, Stephen Graham Jones’ The Only Good Indians is one that I’ll never be able to get out of my mind, and one I can’t stop recommending to people, which is why it’s #1 on a list that’s otherwise in no particular order. When four Blackfoot Indian men go hunting, they end up doing something that will haunt them forever. Quite literally. Now there’s a supernatural entity that’s hunting them, hellbent on revenge.

White Smoke cover image

White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

If you love YA horror, please do yourself a favor and read White Smoke. When teenager Marigold moves with her family from California to the Midwestern city of Cedarville, everyone thinks it’s a chance for them to start over. But in horror language, we know what moving to a new house for a chance to start over means. It means the house is haunted, right? As soon as Marigold and her family move in, things seem off. The neighborhood is practically deserted, and they keep hearing weird sounds (and smelling weird smells) throughout the house. Is it just Marigold’s mind playing tricks on her, or does the house really want them out?

cover of Sorrowland

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

Sorrowland is horror meets sci-fi meets Afrofuturism meets wilderness survival tale. Vern is seven months pregnant when she escapes from the strict religious compound where she was raised. Now she finds herself alone in the wilderness, caring for her twin children, unable to trust anything in the world around her. But the religious compound she fled from isn’t willing to let her go that easily. And she feels herself going through unsettling changes.

Cover of The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

The Year of the Witching is a dark fantasy/horror novel set in the puritanic lands of Bethel where Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy because she is proof of her mother’s tryst with an outsider of another race. But her mother was hiding even more secrets than Immanuelle could have imagined, and something is calling her out to the woods surrounding Bethel.

cover of empire of the wild by cherie dimaline

Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline

Empire of Wild is inspired by the traditional Métis story of the Rogarou, a legendary werewolf-like creature. Joan’s husband Victor has been missing for over a year, but Joan refused to give up hope and keeps searching for him. Then one day in a Walmart parking lot, there he is. At first she’s relieved to see him, but he insists he is not her husband and that he does not recognize her at all. He says he is the Reverend Wolff and that he only wants to bring people to Jesus. But of course, it turns out that’s not his only mission.

white is for witching by helen oyeyemi

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

Looking for more haunted house-y type stories? Okay, you’ve got it. Here’s White is for Witching, a story about the Silver family, who moves to a mysterious house on the cliffs near Dover in the hopes of starting up a bed-and-breakfast. The matriarch of the family has gone missing, and the daughter, Miranda, feels the spirits within the strange house and the women who haunt the walls. And they are quickly pulling her in.

cover of fledgling by octavia butler

Fledgling by Octavia Butler

What would a horror novel list be without at least one vampire story? Although I guess calling Fledgling a vampire story is oversimplifying things… by a lot. Shori is 53 years old, but on the outside, she looks like a young girl. When we first meet her, she has no memory of who she is and she’s exhausted and hungry. But when she’s picked up by a man named Wright, together the two begin to uncover the secrets of her past and a world of vampire-like creatures that are unlike anything you’ve ever read about before.

Beloved Book Cover

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Beloved is the most haunting ghost story you will ever read. This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is the story of Sethe, who was born into slavery but escaped to Ohio. Still, eighteen years later, living with her daughter Amy, Sethe still does not feel free. She’s haunted by the memories of her past and the horrifying things she had to endure to find freedom. Then a teenaged girl who calls herself Beloved shows up at her doorstep, and all of Sethe’s horrors of the past come to meet her in her present.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

And those are my recommendations! Want even more? Here are 20 horror books by authors of color. I’m so excited to read some good horror with everyone this year. Good luck with the Read Harder challenge!

Click here for the full Read Harder 2022 task list, and for previous recommendations, click here.

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Riot Rundown

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Book Radar

Authors Name Their Most Anticipated Books of 2022 and More Book Radar!

Dear Book Friends,

Not to brag, but… I’m writing this to you with a cat in my lap. I’m really loving the winter weather because it means the cats are getting snugglier. For my cat people out there, I hope you’re getting lots of cat cuddles as well. And for my non-cat people, uh… you should like cats. They’re great. Anyway, as you’re reading this, maybe head over to Purrli and put some cat purrs on in the background so you get the full experience of what I was hearing while I was writing this. And now for books!

❤️ Emily

Book Deals and Reveals

stand up book cover

Last week, Publisher’s Weekly revealed the cover of bestselling author Brittney Cooper’s children’s book Stand Up!

The authors of some of your favorite books of 2021 have picked their most anticipated books of 2022. Check out these recommendations from Zakiya Dalila Harris, Kathy Wang, Katie Kitamura, and others.

Here’s the cover reveal for Rachel Griffin’s YA novel Wild is the Witch, out from Sourcebooks in August.

Entertainment Weekly has an exclusive excerpt and cover reveal of Stephen King’s upcoming fantasy novel Fairy Tale

Amazon Publishing’s Thomas & Mercer imprint acquired Zoje Stage’s Mothered at auction. The psychological horror novel is set for release in February 2023.

Tor.com has announced their first ever guest editor, R.F. Kuang, author of the Poppy War trilogy.

Hulu has given a series order to Saint X, a drama based on Alexis Schaitkin’s 2020 novel of the same name.

Disney+ has given a series order to Percy Jackson and the Olympians, based on author Rick Riordan’s best-selling series of the same name.

Here’s the teaser trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of Pinocchio. The movie will be available on Netflix in December.

Here are the GLAAD Media Awards nominees for fair, accurate and inclusive LGBTQ representation in comic books and graphic novels.

The winners and honors of the 2022 ALA Youth Media Awards have been announced! Here’s who took home the awards and honors.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

Book Riot Recommends

I’m a Contributing Editor at Book Riot, I write the Today in Books newsletter, and I’m a Bibliologist for Book Riot’s Tailored Book Recommendations subscription service. I also have a PhD in English, so I’m basically a doctor of books. Books are my life, in other words, so in this section of the newsletter, let me share with you some upcoming books I’m super excited about. And I think you will be too!

Can’t Wait for This One

the last housewife book cover

The Last Housewife by Ashley Winstead (Sourcebooks, August 16)

First of all, here’s another cover that I’m completely obsessed with. Really, can I hang this on my wall somewhere? Because it’s gorgeous. Second of all, I’ve heard such wonderful things about Ashley Winstead’s 2021 novel In My Dreams I Hold A Knife, but no, I have not read it yet. Should I pick that one up while I wait for this one? Let me know. Oh, and third of all, Ashley Winstead has not one but TWO books coming out this year. I am so jealous of people who can write this much. Teach me your ways, Ashley Winstead.

The first novel coming from Winstead this year is a romance novel, Fool Me Once, which will hit shelves in April. And yes, I have that one on my to-read list as well. But for now, let’s focus on this culty thriller novel we can expect out in August. Because aside from having a stunning cover, this book also sounds really, really phenomenal.

While in college in New York, Shay Evans and her friends got involved in a cult. By her senior year, Shay and her friend Laurel were the only ones who were able to get out. Now eight years have passed, and Shay is trying to live a normal domestic life in a Texas suburb. But when news reaches her that Laurel has died, Shay begins to suspect that she hasn’t been able to leave the cult behind entirely. This suspenseful thriller is going to be perfect for those fascinated by cult stories and true crime podcasts.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Words of Literary Wisdom

content warning: The quote below contains a derogatory queer term. It is not used in a way to cause harm but to point out the dissonance between how things were and how we remember them, but I wanted to point it out.

“Rampant nostalgia has romanticized the nineties, buffing over its rough spots, looking past lingering wounds… After the spirit of the riot grrrl got co-opted by marketing, the slogan “girl power” became plastered on T-shirts and stickers, endorsed by the Spice Girls, sold on billboards and ads. Meanwhile the media routinely described the nation’s First Daughter as “homely” and “ugly,” SNL lampooned Janet Reno as a big ugly dyke, and the entire nation, it seemed, collaborated in slut-shaming and fat-shaming Monica Lewinsky. Lilith Fair was dismissed as an ‘estrogenfest’ of ‘feminazis.’ The few characters of size on television included Roseanne, who was derided as disgusting by mainstream America, and Oprah, who was eternally losing weight.”

Margaret and the Mystery of the Missing Body by Megan Milks

What’s Up in the Book Community?

My iPhone is constantly telling me I spend too much time staring at my screen, which is honestly so rude. But this means I spend a lot of time scrolling around the online book community: BookTube, Bookstagram, BookTok, BookLinkedIn (JK. That’s not a thing… I don’t think). You get the idea. Don’t have the time, energy, or the will to do all of that yourself? No problem. I got you. In this weekly section of Book Radar, we’ll take a look at something cool, interesting, and/or newsy that’s going on in the book community.

If you enjoyed having the opportunity to attend virtual book festivals over the past few years, that’s not going anywhere in 2022. While the Savannah Book Festival will be an in-person event this year, they are including some virtual events that you can attend at home. These events will feature authors David Guterson, Laura Dave, Hala Alyan, and Alice Waters. Check out the festival’s website for a full schedule of virtual and in-person events.

Your Weekend Reading Soundtrack

It’s cold, so now’s the time to read while sitting next to a warm fire. And if you don’t have a fireplace in your house, don’t worry. I don’t either. Instead, how about we listen to these ambient fire sounds and throw on a heated blanket? Hey, we gotta work with what we have.

And Here’s A Cat Picture!

black cat next to a blanket that reads "Books! I Need More Books!"

Phantom has a very special message for you today, and it’s this: Yes, you do need more books. It’s 2022, and we’re not denying ourselves the things we love anymore. Thank you, Phantom. We love you and appreciate you.

And that’s it for today! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you back here next week hopefully!

❤️ Emily

Categories
Today In Books

Chukwudi Iwuji Teases New GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 3 Character: Today in Books

Toni Collette and Bella Heathcote to Star in Upcoming Thriller Series Pieces of Her

Netflix has released the first images of Pieces of Her, an upcoming thriller series based on Karin Slaughter’s novel of the same name. The series stars Toni Collette and Bella Heathcote as mother and daughter. The images Netflix has released show both Collette and Heathcote in their roles. They also feature many members of the supporting cast, which include Jessica Barden, Jacob Scipio, Joe Dempsie, Aaron Jeffery, Omari Hardwick, Gil Birmingham, David Wenham, Calum Worthy, Nicholas Burton, and Terry O’Quinn. Pieces of Her will be released exclusively to Netflix on March 4.

Chukwudi Iwuji Teases New Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Character

Many of our favorite characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy universe will be back for Volume 3, but of course, the third film will introduce new characters as well. And Peacemaker actor Chukwudi Iwuji is teasing some of the details of his character in the new Guardians of the Galaxy film. While the name of the character has not been announced yet, Iwuji says he would describe his character as “Powerful. Extremely powerful. Complex…James and I were talking about it, but he’s certainly one of, if not the most complex characters we’ve seen in the freaking Marvel universe. So he’s deeply complex and deeply powerful, and I hope intriguing. I hope I bring that to it.” Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will hit theaters on May 25, 2023.

Here’s A First Look at The Man Who Fell to Earth Graphic Novel

A graphic novel adaptation of the David Bowie-helmed science fiction movie The Man Who Fell to Earth is coming out this Fall. Here’s a first look at the cover, images from the graphic novel, and some plot details. The book will be written by Dan Watters (Cowboy Bebop) with art by Dev Pramanik (Dune: House Atreides).

United States Artists Announces the 2022 Class of Fellows

Earlier today, the United States Artists (USA) announced its 2022 Class of Fellows. The Class of Fellows is the largest it’s ever been, including six writing fellows who will each receive $50,000 to support their artistic work.

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What's Up in YA

Meet These New Award-Winning YA Books: Your YA Book News and New Books, January 27, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

I hope wherever you’re at, you’re staying warm and well during the deep season of winter (and if you’re in the southern hemisphere, cool for the summer).

Let’s dive into this week’s YA news and new book releases.

YA Book News

New YA Books

Please note that with supply chain issues, paper supply challenges, and the pandemic more broadly, publication dates are changing at a pace I can’t keep up with. Some release dates may be pushed back. If a book catches your attention, the smartest thing to do right now is to preorder it or request it from your library. It’ll be a fun surprise when it arrives.

Hardcover

Loveboat Reunion by Abigail Hing Wen (series)

Into the Midnight Void by Mara Fitzgerald book cover

Anything But Fine by Tobias Madden

Augusta Savage by Marilyn Nelson (nonfiction)

Into the Midnight Void by Mara Fitzgerald (series)

The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle

The Temperature of Me and You by Brian Zepka

Paperback

a vow so bold and deadly book cover

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer (series)

Dark Stars by Danielle Rollins (series)

The Serpent’s Curse by Lisa Maxwell (series)

Blackout by K. Monroe

Dissenter on the Bench by Victoria Ortiz (nonfiction)

Notes From a Young Black Chef Young Reader Edition by Kwame Onwuachi and Joshua David Stein

Soulswift by Megan Bannen

The Girl From Shadow Springs by Ellie Cypher

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

YA Book Talk on Book Riot

Image of a silver mini sword to be used as a bookmark.

How fun is this sword bookmark? Perfect for your latest YA fantasy read. $13.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you on Saturday for some deals, followed by Monday’s fun take on Groundhog Day reads (my favorite holiday!).

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram

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Kissing Books

Romance Has Something for Everyone

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coast of a ride the world of romance can be. If it is your first time here, welcome and if you’re a regular reader welcome back. 

I finished my first big read of 2022! It was a fantasy novel Mother of Learning, a Christmas gift from a friend. And while I did enjoy it overall (I know, it shocked me too) it was a beast, page-count wise (almost 650 pages). If it isn’t my longest book read this year, I will be shocked. In romance related reads, I started the recently released A Song of Secrets by Jayci Lee.

Romance Reflection

I originally saw this retweeted on the Bad Romance Takes page and it didn’t sit right with me because this isn’t a bad romance take at all. It’s simply an observation from someone who isn’t excited for the string of reality show based romances scheduled for release this year. Which is fair since it’s not their preferred sub-genre. 

We all have our preferred tropes and sub-genres. So, logically, we all have the ones that we could do without. There are handfuls of tropes and sub-genres that I don’t enjoy. One example is the modern billionaire/millionaire romances. You can blame that series about the various facets of a monochromatic tone if you’d like; I’m sure that’s a factor. But honestly it’s just never been my bag. I don’t actively go out of my way to pooh-pooh those books; I just don’t seek them out.

I think that sometimes romance readers get so used to being defensive against people who hate the genre that it bleeds into interactions with our fellow readers who prefer different flavors. The popular phrase goes “Let people like what they like” but it should go without saying that the opposite is true. People should also be allowed to dislike what they don’t, both inside and outside the genre. 

Book Riot Romance

Don’t forget to listen to this week’s episode of When in Romance, where Trisha and Jess discuss more romance news, give romance recommendations for the Read Harder Challenge, and discuss various sport romances. They also announced the next WIR book club pick, Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

Around the Web in Romance

And speaking of WIR, be sure to sign up for this event for the release of April Asher’s Not the Witch You Wed, hosted by our very own Trisha.

There’s still time to sign up for this event from Love’s Sweet Arrow to celebrate the release of Electric Idol.

Fancy some second chance romances?

Check out some (or all) of these recommendations of science fiction romances hybrids.

Here are thirty-six of 2022’s most anticipated romances, according to Goodreads.

Recommendations

One of my goals this year is to not spend as much money on new books. I know a lot of people are taking on a ‘no-buy’ rule and I commend them for being that disciplined. I am not, so I’m being more realistic about the person that I am. There is so much that has been weighing me down the last couple of years, as with us all, that I take the joy where I can. For me, book buying bans are not joyful.

That said I am still working on keeping the count between books acquired and books read close. It’s possibly a Sisyphean task but I’m still trying. One way I’m doing this is by enlisting some friends to buddy read with me. Sometimes even just thinking someone is reading along with me is enough for me to buckle down and pick up that book that is collecting dust. 

So, my recommendations today are books that I purchased last year that I still need to read. There’s no real connection between them but that and hopefully thinking someone out there is reading along with me will help light the proverbial fire under me.

cover of something to talk about

Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

When Hollywood star Jo is caught making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, rumors instantly begin to fly about their relationship. While they continue to maintain they are not romantically linked, a ‘source’ keeps telling the media something different. And, as the two women spend more time together, they begin to wonder if the world saw a spark between the two that they had been ignoring all along?

cover of If the Boot Fits

If the Boot Fits by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Amanda is the personal assistant to a well known diva in Hollywood and when a bout with the flu renders the star inaccessible for Oscar night, she decides to use her ticket and go. This leads to a one-night stand with the handsome actor Sam; but when she leaves the next morning she ends up taking his rewards statue as well. Sam is eager to find her and not just to get his reward back; so when happenstance lands her at his family’s farm, he is determined to show her that they shouldn’t limit themselves to just that one night.

cover of He's Not My Boyfriend by Jackie Lau

He’s Not My Boyfriend by Jackie Lau

Iris is the last single granddaughter, a title she is determined to keep. Unfortunately for Iris, her family is equally as determined to see her tie the knot. Things begin to pile on her when her latest one night-stand, Alex, turns out to be her new boss, and she moves in with her grandmother who is constantly setting her up on blind dates. To make matters worse, she begins to develop feelings for Alex.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


And that’s all I have for you today. I hope that your upcoming weekend is full of rest, relaxation, and reading. If you’re already following me on Twitter, I can be found under @Pscribe801, where I post on a semi-regular basis. See y’all Monday with more romance news and some new releases.

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Our Queerest Shelves

An F/F fake wedding romance, a nonbinary time travel picture book, and more LGBTQ new releases

I come to you today freshly boosted! Triple vaxxed! Hooray! I’ve been eagerly anticipating the opportunity. I only got the shot a few hours ago, so I’m still waiting with bated breath to see if I get knocked on my ass by it or not. Fingers crossed I still feel as bright eyed and bushy tailed tomorrow!

Speaking of essential healthcare, today I’d like to highlight the Tegan and Sara Foundation, which funds a number of programs for LGBTQ+ women and girls, including ones that focus on queer healthcare. You can help out at their donation page.


Read Harder: LGBTQ Edition

Today, I am continuing to go through each of the Read Harder 2022 tasks to give queer recommendations for each one. So far, I am 4/4 of having at least 5 valid options for each one! So let’s tackle tasks 5 and 6 now.

5) Read an anthology featuring diverse voices.

the cover of Love After the End

Love after the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction edited by Joshua Whitehead

This book blew me away from the introduction alone. It made me think about how much of both sci fi and fantasy is rooted in colonialism, and how different those same stories are (colonizing another planet, fleeing a dying Earth) from an Indigenous perspective. Plus, there’s a gay love story with a cybernetic rat, so…

the cover of All Out

All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout The Ages edited by Saundra Mitchell

If I could recommend just one book every high school library or teen GSA should have, I think it would be this one. They’re historical fiction short stories with a range of queer identities represented, and they all have happy endings. I found myself thinking about how queer people have to reclaim the past, because so much of our history has been erased. There’s also Out Now: Queer We Go Again!

More recommendations:

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

6) Read a nonfiction YA comic.

There are more queer graphic YA memoirs I could list, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any examples by authors of color in this category. It’s a shame, because YA graphic memoirs are a great way to reach new teen audiences, and I’d love to see something like George M. Johnson’s All Boys Aren’t Blue available in a graphic format as well.

Gender Queer cover

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

If you want to read banned and censored books, this is the book to read this year. I’ve found it puzzling that the book that has drawn the most vitriol from right wing book banners for “sexualizing” children is in fact a memoir partly about Kobabe’s journey to realizing e is asexual. This is a sensitive, thoughtful portrayal of what it’s like to grow up nonbinary, and it’s an important story for teens to have access to, considering how little representation there is for nonbinary (and asexual) people in media. If you have a moment, consider clicking through to the Amazon reviews and marking some of the many positive reviews as helpful, to make that front page a little more accurate.

the cover of Spinning

Spinning by Tillie Walden

This is the story of Walden’s decade of having her life dominated by figure skating. After she switched schools, found a new hobby, and began to fall for a girl, she began questioning what she wanted for her future and whether figure skating fit into it. This is a story about letting go of something once central to your identity, and the simultaneous terror and freedom of that.

More recommendations:

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

All the Links Fit to Click

LGBTQ Book Riot Posts

New Releases This Week

the cover of D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding

D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins (F/F Romance)

Kris Zavala is an aspiring influencer who’s gone on the reality TV show Instant I Do to promote her brand. D’Vaughn is a more unexpected addition to the show, who has decided to come out to her mom with a big (fake) gay wedding. All they have to do is convince their friends and family their relationship is real, and they’ll win the prize money. It should be easy enough, considering they already seem to have convinced themselves…

Cover of Light Years From Home by Mike Chen

Light Years From Home by Mike Chen (F/F Sci Fi)

15 years ago, Evie and Kass’s father and brother disappeared. When their father reappeared days later, he claimed they had been abducted by aliens. Since then, Evie has been immersed in alien conspiracy theories, determined to find their brother Jakob, while Kass is convinced he just skipped town. Then, Jakob comes back into their life, talking about an interstellar war.

(Evie is a lesbian)

the cover of The Magic Shell

The Magic Shell by Jillian Christmas, illustrated by Diana G. A. Mungaray (Nonbinary Picture Book)

Today is the release day of Flamingo Rampant‘s newest batch of books! They are my favorite children’s publisher because all of their books are diverse — not just in terms of LGBTQ content, but also main characters and creators of color as well as diversity of religion and disability represented. The Magic Shell is written by the poet Jillian Christmas and follows a nonbinary kid who is gifted a magic cowrie shell that transports them back in time to learn from their ancestors.

Perpetual West by Mesha Maren (Gay and Bisexual Fiction)

Manywhere: Stories by Morgan Thomas (Queer and Trans Short Stories)

cover of Goliath

A Previous Life by Edmund White (Bisexual Man Fiction)

Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall (M/M Historical Romance)

Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi (M/M Dystopia)

At The End Of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp (Nonbinary YA Dystopia)

The Temperature of Me and You by Brian Zepka (M/M YA Science Fiction)

Metatron’s Children by Chy Ryan Spain, illustrated by Sydney Kuhne (Non-binary Middle Grade Fantasy)

It’s a Hit! by Arin Cole Barth and Marika Barth (Trans Boy Picture Book)

the cover of open

The Light of You by Trystan Reese and Biff Chaplow, illustrated by Van Binfa (Pregnant Trans Guy Picture Book)

Noodin’s Perfect Day by Ansley Simpson, illustrated by Rhael McGregor (Nonbinary Picture Book)

The Girl I Want is So Handsome! – The Complete Manga Collection by Yuama (Yuri Manga)

Open: An Uncensored Memoir of Love, Liberation, and Non-Monogamy by Rachel Krantz (Bisexual Polyamorous Memoir)

And the Category Is…: Inside New York’s Vogue, House, and Ballroom Community by Ricky Tucker (Queer Nonfiction)


That’s it for me this week! Until next time, you can find me at my bi and lesbian book blog, the Lesbrary, as well as on Twitter @danikaellis. You can also hear me on All the Books or you can read my Book Riot posts.

Happy reading!
Danika

Categories
Audiobooks

Love Audiobooks AND Indie Bookstores? Try Libro.fm!

Hello, Audiophiles! I hope you all are holding up well. I’ve been buried beneath a never-ending supply of blankets as we weather the icy rain that is winter here in the Southeast. I’ve pulled out the Corgis’ coats, sweaters, and rain jackets, but they definitely prefer to hibernate until things warm up here in a few weeks (short winters courtesy of the South).

The vet finally gave Gwen the green light to return to running laps around the house and playing with her friends at the dog park. In the warmer parts of the day, I take the Corgis out for a walk around the neighborhood while I listen to my latest audiobook. Everybody wins!

I mentioned a couple newsletters ago that I’ve been redecorating my library. Now that it’s almost finished, I’ve enjoyed reorganizing my library while listening to audiobooks. In fact, I’ve listened to 2,500 pages in just the last week. I haven’t listened to this many audiobooks in one month since 2019. Perhaps I have my groove back?

I’ll be talking about my February listening plans next week, but in the meantime, here’s one of my favorite listens from January.

A photo of Dylan, the red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, sitting on the beach with his tongue out and smiling
Here’s a throwback to a much warmer day on the beach.

Recent Listen

A graphic of the cover of The New York Times Book Review: 125 Years of Literary History edited by Tina Jordan with Noor Qasim

The New York Times Book Review: 125 Years of Literary History edited by Tina Jordan with Noor Qasim

When this book first arrived on my doorstep, I literally jumped around my kitchen. I LOVE nerdy bookish facts, and this book is full of fascinating tidbits from the history of The New York Times Book Review. But then I had to pause: did a gorgeous coffee table-like book like this have an audiobook?

The answer is a resounding YES! Now, the pages are full of sidebars, headers, and illustrations, which could make for a very confusing listening experience. But the producers cleverly hired a range of different narrators to perform the various parts of the book. A single narrator reads the headers and intros to the different sections, giving the audiobook a singular voice that provides structure for the audiobook. Then the different narrators perform the essays and sidebars, signaling to the listener when one essay is ending and another is beginning.

With this clever structure, I could easily follow the different excerpts of past reviews of some of English Literature’s most well-known titles, like Anne of Green Gables, Mrs Dalloway, Native Son and Beloved. There are also sections about what The NYT Book Review got wrong and op-eds full to the brim with personality.

So much thought and effort went into producing this audiobook, which just ten years ago may not have gotten an audio edition at all. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy listening to The New York Times Book Review: 125 Years of Literary History, I was reminded how far audiobooks and accessibility have come in just the last decade.

Narrated by Robert Petkoff, Tina Jordan, Gary Shteyngart, Jodi Picoult, Sloane Crosley, Jenna Wortham, Tayari Jones, Roxane Gay, Sarah Weinman, Jericho Brown, Dominic Hoffman, and more

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

Another Audiobook App I Can’t Live Without

A Libro.fm graphic that says, "Audiobooks through your local bookstore. Get a free audiobook!"

Libro.fm

For our next audiobook app, let’s talk about Libro.fm. For a long time, audiobook lovers didn’t have many alternatives to Audible, which is owned by Amazon. Libro.fm fills that gap, PLUS they give part of their profits from your purchases to the indie bookstore of your choice. This way, you can give back to your favorite indies.

Since it first launched, their app has come a long way. It’s now easier to use, including being able to use your credits directly in the app. The explore page includes dozens of lists full of great audiobook recommendations. But my favorite update has to be the app’s new dark mode!

More so than any other audiobook subscription I’ve seen, Libro.fm engages with bookish media and influencers, often inviting members of the community to write blog posts of recommended titles for them. They also create special features throughout the year to highlight bookstores owned by members of different marginalized communities.

I also appreciate their transparency in working to make the app more accessible for disabled folks. For us, audiobooks are not just a life hack or luxury—they’re an accessibility tool. I haven’t seen similar statements regarding disability from any other audiobook apps, but if you’ve seen one, please feel free to share it with me!

So far, the only downside of Libro.fm is that they only have one subscription option. I go through A LOT of audiobooks, so one audiobook credit a month isn’t enough to keep up with how fast I listen to titles. While you can gift yourself a subscription or buy audiobooks at a reduced rate, I would love to see subscription options for more credits per month or extra credits. 

As Libro.fm has improved their app and general customer experience, they’ve become more than just the #1 alternative option to Audible. They’ve become a great audiobook service in their own right, and I can’t wait to see what they roll out next.

A graphic that has Libro.fm audiobooks in the center with arrows pointing out to the following items: DRM-free (you own your own audiobooks), splits profits with bookstores, free iOS and Android apps, curated playlists, memberships and pay-as-you-go options, real people on support, over 250,000 audiobooks, social purpose corporation, credits never expire, 1,600 bookstore partners.

Over on Book Riot

9 Audiobooks for #JapanJanuary” – I share some audiobooks in translation for your #JanuaryJapan TBRs!

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Around the Web

Audible’s Page Featuring Books by Disabled People – I’ve noticed that Audible has begun to expand their playlist and recommended reading options.

SYNC Returns in 2022 Bigger and Better than Ever” (Audiofile Magazine)

10 Great Audiobooks to Listen to This Month” (Vulture)


That’s it for this week! Feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra