Today In Books

White House Announces New Position to Combat Book Bans: Today in Books

Cosmopolitan Reveals Cover for Eli Rallo’s I Didn’t Know I Needed This

TikTok star Eli Rallo is releasing a new book, and Cosmopolitan has revealed the cover. In this collection of personal essays, Rallo gives readers her honest (and often funny) take on dating and romance, including tips, tricks, and survival guides. Rallo tells Cosmopolitan that she always wanted to write a book, but thought it would be fiction. “I always knew that personal essays were my strength, but it just never truly occurred to me,” Rallo said. I Didn’t Know I Needed This will be out on December 12 from Harvest (an imprint of HarperCollins).

White House Announces New Position to Combat Book Bans

In celebration of Pride Month, the White House has announced a set of actions designed to protect LGBTQ+ communities, including the appointment of a new coordinator within the Department of Education to combat to the rising number of book bans. Details are still to come, but the White House says the new position will “work to provide new trainings for schools nationwide on how book bans that target specific communities and create a hostile school environment may violate federal civil rights laws.” In a statement, the White House said, “Across the country, our nation faces a spike in book bans—efforts that disproportionately strip books about LGBTQIA+ communities, communities of color, and other communities off of library and classroom shelves. Book banning erodes our democracy, removes vital resources for student learning, and can contribute to the stigma and isolation that LGBTQIA+ people and other communities face.”

The Boogeyman Director Rob Savage Wants to Adapt Stephen King’s The Langoliers

With the box office success of Rob Savage’s The Boogeyman, the director is already looking towards his next Stephen King adaptation project. And he knows exactly which book he’d like to adapt: The Langoliers. Savage told the Kingcast podcast, “After [Stephen King] saw The Boogeyman, he emailed me saying, ‘We should work together again on something!’ and immediately I was like, ‘I really want to adapt The Langoliers‘ and he was really enthusiastic about that. But I think the rights are all tied up, so we’re trying to untie them.”

Bookworm Reads Review: How Does it Compare to Goodreads and Storygraph?

How does the new app-first reading tracker Bookworm Reads hold up? A full review of Bookworm Reads (+ comparison to Goodreads).

The Fright Stuff

Gays in Spaaaace! (But Make it Scary)

Hey‌ ‌there‌ horror fans, ‌I’m‌ ‌Jessica‌ ‌Avery‌ ‌and‌ ‌I’ll‌ ‌be‌ ‌delivering‌ ‌your‌ ‌weekly‌ ‌brief‌ ‌of‌ ‌all‌ ‌that’s‌ ‌ghastly‌ ‌and‌ ‌grim‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌world‌ ‌of‌ ‌Horror.‌ ‌Whether‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌looking‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌backlist‌ ‌book‌ ‌that‌ ‌will‌ ‌give‌‌ you‌ ‌the‌ ‌willies,‌ ‌a‌ ‌terrifying‌ ‌new‌ ‌release,‌ ‌or‌ ‌the‌ ‌latest‌ ‌in‌ ‌horror‌ ‌community‌ ‌news,‌ ‌you’ll‌ ‌find‌ ‌it‌ ‌here‌ in‌ ‌The‌ ‌Fright‌ ‌Stuff.

Did anyone else have a muppet childhood, and now there are just certain references you can’t unhear? I am completely incapable of hearing the words “in space” without my brain following it up with “Pigs in Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!”. It’s engrained upon the fleshy bits of my brain, so now you have to hear it too. 

Anywho, my delightful ghosts and goblins, I think it’s pretty clear from the title what we’re going to be talking about in this week’s Fright Stuff. Space horror is one of my comfort sub-genres, and we’re having a bit of A Week here at the ol’ Tomb Sweet Tomb. So I hope you’ll indulge me while I indulge myself and revel in the vast emptiness of the void and its many monsters. And since it’s Pride month, and there’s been some really great queer space horror published recently, I thought we’d have some fun!

Before we jump into this week’s unfathomable cosmic terrors: are you looking for fascinating stories, informed takes, useful advice, and more drawn from our collective experience as power readers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and bookish professionals? Subscribe to The Deep Dive, a biweekly newsletter to inform and inspire readers, delivered to your inbox! Your first read (The Power Reader’s Guide to Reading Logs & Trackers) is on the house. Check out all the details and choose your membership level at

Bookish Goods

i love scary stories sticker by chincela

“I Love Scary Stories” Waterproof Vinyl Sticker by Chinchela

Anyone else collect stickers for their book carts, bookshelves, laptops, or just any flat surface in your home that’s looking a bit uninspired? What can I say? I guess I just never grew out of the satisfaction of slapping a sticker on things to fancy them up, especially when the stickers in question are book and/or horror- related. So share your love of scary books with pride!


New Releases

everything the darkness eats book cover

Everything the Darkness Eats by Eric LaRocca

A happy (almost) publication day to Eric LaRocca, whose latest novel Everything the Darkness Eats will be out tomorrow from Clash Books! Set in a small Connecticut town plagued by a series of disappearances, a handful of otherwise unrelated individuals are drawn towards the same dark secret lurking beneath the floors of the big mansion outside of town. Ghost, wracked with guilt and pain after the accident that killed his pregnant wife and their expected child, crosses paths with a strange older man, Heart Crowley, who claims to need Ghost’s apathy towards God to complete an ancient ritual. Malik, the detective assigned to the disappearances, struggles to find answers while fighting the vicious homophobia being directed at he and his husband. And Crowley himself, whose dark secret is the deadly lure, brings all the pieces together. Reader be forewarned: as with most of Eric LaRocca’s books, Everything the Darkness Eats is not for the faint of heart. It’s an extremely violent, macabre study in grief, survival, hatred, and what it means to realize the universe’s indifference to our existence. I highly recommend checking the reviews before reading if you have subject matters you’d prefer to avoid.

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

cover of your mind is a terrible thing by hailey piper

Your Mind is a Terrible Thing by Hailey Piper

Ah. Nothing like the chilling knowledge that the starship you’re literally trapped on has been infiltrated by an unknown threat. I know that’s the premise of most space horror stories, but it just never gets old. Or less creepy. I mean, when the monster’s in the house and the house is floating through space, it’s not like you can just check into a motel! When every crew member on board the starship M.G Yellowjacket suddenly disappears except for communications specialist Alto, what should have been an ordinary shift in an ordinary workday takes a frightening turn. Something has made its way onboard the Yellowjacket, something with the ability to dig into the minds of crewmembers and control what they think and feel. Alto’s only chance is to risk a journey through the now infected passages of the Yellowjacket to reach the bridge and reunite with what remains of the crew before things get even worse.

cover of the scourge between stars by ness brown

The Scourge Between Stars by Ness Brown

Have I convince you to that you definitely want to read The Scourge Between Stars yet? Because I’m happy to keep trying! Set on the starship Calypso, one of a flotilla of ships (possibly the last of a flotilla of ships for all anyone on board knows), is in imminent danger. They’re trying to make the journey home to Earth ever since their colony failed centuries ago, but at the speed they’re traveling, and beset as they are by invisible deep space forces that bat their ship around like a cat with a toy, it seems unlikely that the crew and ex-colonists will ever make it home. Especially when a series of brutal murders on board make it suddenly clear that there’s a dangerous stowaway lurking somewhere within the massive hulk of the Calypso. Jacklyn Albright is acting captain, responsible for the Calypso’s survival in her father’s absence, and if she wants to have any chance of seeing her ship and her people home safely, she and her team will have to hunt the creature down one deck at a time. Get ready to be STRESSED, because this novella had me on my toes.

Cover of The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw

The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw

A found family of queer cyborg clones just trying to deal with their traumas while surviving the heartless void of space and the all-powerful AI who rules the known universe? Don’t mind if I do. In a bid to discover what truly happened on their last, disastrous mission together, this group of soldiers turned criminals reunite in search of their missing comrade and the secret hidden at the heart of a planet that might hold all the answers they’re seeking. But the secret deep inside Dimmuborgir is also the key to controlling the universe, and the AI will do anything to make sure it never falls into human hands. If they want to solve the mystery of their past, our ragtag band of former friends will have to pull together if they want to get to the heart of Dimmuborgir alive with a whole universe full of enemies at their heels.

As always, you can catch me on twitter at @JtheBookworm, where I try to keep up on all that’s new and frightening.

Today In Books

Despite Book Bans, LGBTQ+ Fiction Sales Soar: Today in Books

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Includes Scene Created by 14-Year-Old

After Preston Mutanga recreated the Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse trailer with Legos, the 14-year-old was invited to work on the actual film! According to a new story in the New York Times, the film’s team reached out to Mutanga and invited him to help them work on a Lego scene for the movie, something writer-producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller had already planned for the movie. Mutanga’s parents agreed he could work on the project, but only after finishing his homework on school nights.

Despite Book Bans, LGBTQ+ Fiction Sales Soar

Book bans in the United States are at an all-time high, but so are LGBTQ+ book sales, according to a new study. Earlier this week, a report from Circana, a market research company that analyzes consumer behavior, reported that 6.1 million LGBTQ+ fiction books had been sold between May 2022 and May 2023. This is an 11% from the previous 12-month period and a 173% increase since 2019. “It is important to note that the growth in LGBTQ fiction has outpaced the overall market for fiction sales, including adult, kids’, and young adult fiction combined, which remained relatively flat,” Kristen McLean, books industry analyst at Circana, announced in a press release. “This growth comes at a critical time when reports of book bans have surged, predominantly targeting books written by or about the LGBTQ community and people of color.”

Used Bookstore in St. Petersburg, FL Sparks New Movement for More Access to Banned Books Nationwide

The Book Rescuer, a used bookstore based out of St. Petersburg, FL, is making it their mission to provide access to banned books. The Book Rescuer co-owner George Brooks explained, “We actually take the approach of any book that’s ever been challenged or banned, tried to remove from people’s access, and we want to highlight those books and get them into more people’s hands.” After he and he wife, Sarah, posted their bookshelf for banned books on Facebook, the co-owners received a large amount of support from readers nationwide. The couple told ABC News they actually sold out of several of their books after posting them online.

8 of’s Most Pre-ordered Books of Summer 2023

These are’s most pre-ordered books of summer 2023. What are you eager to listen to?

Book Radar

Fantasy Horror ALICE IN WONDERLAND Retelling Coming Soon and More Book Radar!

And just like that we’re back around to Monday!

Looking for fascinating stories, informed takes, useful advice, and more drawn from our collective experience as power readers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and bookish professionals? Subscribe to The Deep Dive, a biweekly newsletter to inform and inspire readers, delivered to your inbox! Your first read (The Power Reader’s Guide to Reading Logs & Trackers) is on the house. Check out all the details and choose your membership level at

The world just keeps spinning, doesn’t it, Book Friends? Did you have a good weekend? I certainly did. It’s summer now, despite what the calendar might say. You know how I know? Love Island is back on my TV. Will watching Love Island every day all summer affect my reading schedule? Only time will tell. Just know this whole time I’m talking about books, I’m secretly thinking about Love Island. I hope this doesn’t make you think less of me. I have always been honest about who I am. Anyway, here’s the hot book goss.

Book Deals and Reveals

off with their heads book cover

Zoe Hana Mikuta has revealed the cover for her upcoming novel Off With Their Heads, a new fantasy horror Alice in Wonderland retelling. The cover features art from Tran Nguyen and a design from Zareen Johnson. It’s out from Disney Hyperion on April 23, 2024!

A gamer boy and a theater girl fake dating? Yes please! Here’s the cover of Dungeons and Drama by Kristy Boyce. It’s out on January 9, 2024.

Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine has announced his debut novel, Deadly Game, will be published in November

And here’s the beautiful cover of Splinters, a memoir by Leslie Jamison. The book is out from Little, Brown on February 20, 2024.

SJ Sindu has a new short story collection coming out this October! It’s called The Goth House Experiment, and here’s the cover reveal.

Clarkson’s Farm producer Expectation will be adapting comedian Pope Lonergan’s memoir I’ll Die After Bingo for TV.

Crime Reads has the exclusive cover reveal and an excerpt from the upcoming novel The Graveyard Shift by Maria Lewis. It’s coming in September from Datura Books.

The Biden Administration announced it will be appointing a new anti-book ban coordinator to address the rise in censorship across the country.

Book Riot Recommends

Hi, welcome to everyone’s favorite segment of Book Radar called Book Riot Recommends. This is where I’ll talk to you about all the books I’m reading, the books I’m loving, and the books I can’t wait to read and love in the near future. I think you’re going to love them too!

Subscribe to First Edition for interviews, lists, rankings, recommendations, and much more, featuring people who know and love books.

Prepare Your Shelves!

little monsters book covers

Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur (Avid Reader Press, June 27)

This might seem like hyperbole, but I am being 100% real. Adrienne Brodeur’s 2019 memoir Wild Game is one of the best memoirs I have ever read. And so yes, when I found out she had a new novel coming out, I was really, really excited. Well, friends, it lives up to the hype. I’m so excited that this book will soon be out in the world for everyone to read, so prepare your shelves now!

Set in the summer of 2016, Little Monsters is a family saga that follows the story of the Gardners. Ken and Abby lost their mother when they were young and have been haunted by the loss of her ever since. The siblings were raised by their brilliant oceanographer father, Adam, in a remote home on Cape Cod. Now that they’re older, their relationships with their father are complicated and strained, to say the least.

As Adam nears his 70th birthday, he decides to stop taking his bipolar medication in the hopes of making one last scientific discovery before his death. Adam chooses to keep this decision a secret, but he’s not the only member of his family who’s hiding something.

Little Monsters is a beautifully told story full of imagination and heart. Just like with her memoir, Brodeur tackles complicated family dynamics with nuance and compassion. This is the perfect summer book for readers who want something a bit meatier to dig into this season. It’s one you won’t forget.

What I’m Reading This Week

my murder book cover

My Murder by Katie Williams

Everything the Darkness Eats by Eric LaRocca

Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado

The Last Word by Taylor Adams

Orange by Ichigo Takano

The Salt Grows Heavy by Cassandra Khaw

Monday Memes

Books that embrace high culture and low culture? A vibe.

And Here’s A Cat Picture!

sleeping orange tabby cat

Guess who also loves Love Island? Murray. Well, it puts him straight to sleep, but, like, in a good way. Probably. Look how happy he looks.

Aaaand…that’s a wrap on Monday’s Book Radar! I hope your week goes well. See you Thursday!


What's Up in YA

A Magical Cooking School, A Rompy Queer Western, and More YA Book Talk: June 12, 2023

Hey YA Readers!

Another week into June and another week closer to the official start of summer. It’s been hot here now for close to a month–we skipped spring, minus that one rainy week–and though we are not dealing with the smoky air that some of you are, we had it pretty rough in May. I hope you’re staying safe and staying cool.

Looking for fascinating stories, informed takes, useful advice, and more drawn from our collective experience as power readers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and bookish professionals? Subscribe to The Deep Dive, a biweekly newsletter to inform and inspire readers, delivered to your inbox! Your first read (The Power Reader’s Guide to Reading Logs & Trackers) is on the house. Check out all the details and choose your membership level at

Let’s dive into this week’s new YA releases and highlight some queer YA comics.

Bookish Goods

pastel colored "read the rainbow" t-shirt

Read The Rainbow tee by TheBonhomieShop

How fun is this “Read the Rainbow” t-shirt? It plays off the Reading Rainbow logo and also offers up a little bit of uniqueness with its pastel palate. $32 and up, with color options and sizes up to 3XL.

New Releases

There are a ton of great books out this week, including several LGBTQ+ titles that I know are on my TBR. You can catch the entire roundup over here.

I’ve pulled out two books I have seen little talk or promotion around, from two different genres. Let’s dive on in!

kismat connection book cover

Kismat Connection by Ananya Devarajan

Consider Madhuri Iyer doomed. The stars are saying it, her mother is believing what the stars are saying, and a family curse says she’ll be stuck with her first boyfriend for forever.

So she does what anyone would do in this situation: she decides she’s going to make the best of it and devise a relationship with her childhood friend Arjun Meht. She’ll never actually fall for him, so no doom and gloom to come.

You can guess what happens here. Madhuri begins to fall for Arjun and now has to decide whether to break his heart in order to avoid doom or whether to lean into it, knowing that love by the stars might not be the worst fate.

wolfpack book cover

Wolfpack by Amelia Brunskill

Nine teen girls are living in a cult. Then there are eight. What happened to the one who went missing? Did she wander or did something — someone? — take her down.

The remaining girls want answers.

Or do they?

This is a suspenseful thriller, with comparisons to We Were Liars. I know that’s a popular comp to catch the BookTok crowd, but I think the setting and insularity of the story might make it pretty apt.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

Let’s keep on trucking with some more great LGBTQ+ YA recommendations to read this month…and every month. Up this week are queer YA comics.

This is in no way comprehensive. I’ve pulled out a mix of titles I’ve read and loved with titles that may be well-known and lesser-known.

basil and oregano book cover

Basil and Oregano by Melissa Capriglione 

Take one part Great British Bake Off and one part Magic School, and you get this just-published comic. Porta Bella Magiculinary Academy is all about cooking with magic, and Basil plans to be the top student her senior year. But then in walks Arabella Oregano, daughter of a chef. Immediately, the two begin to grow close. Basil suspects Arabella is keeping a secret though, despite how much they’re working together in order to secure the top rank at school.

So when the secret is spilled, Basil is faced with one of the hardest decisions of her life.

belle of the ball book cover

Belle of the Ball by Mari Costa

Belle Hawkins is a wallflower and also the person who prefers to be beneath the mascot costume to keep herself at a distance. But it’s senior year and it’s now or never. She decides to remove the head of her costume and proclaim her long-time crush on head cheerleader Regina Moreno.

Problem? Regina has a girlfriend named Chloe Kitagawa.

Chloe is not doing great in English class, though, and Hawkins thinks this is her opportunity: offer to tutor Chloe in order to get closer to Regina. It seems to be going okay, until the moment that Hawkins and Chloe realize they know each other from their youth, when they were both very different people.

There is love here, but…it might be surprising where it happens.

Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau

As much as Ari loves making bread, he can’t imagine doing it for the rest of his life. He’s interviewing new potential people to take over is job, and that’s when he meets Hector. Ari begins to train Hector and prepares for his escape from the work, except…he’s starting to fall head over heels for the new guy.

Flamer cover

Flamer by Mike Curato

Aiden Navarro is at summer camp before the start of junior high. It’s an intense summer of hanging out with his friends, navigating bullies desperate to make him feel bad about himself as a half Asian boy, and coming to terms with the fact he might be gay.

One night, when Aiden kisses his best friend and campmate, things shift immediately. Has he forever lost the trust of his friend Elias? Did that kiss mean anything romantic? Was it an accident?

This is a moving, heartfelt story and one that will resonate with younger (and older!) teens. It’s about traversing that tricky space between what faith might tell you is right, what it might tell you is a sin, and how you come to accept yourself as you are.

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker cover

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

This graphic novel is about a teen witch who helps out at her grandmother’s bookshop, where she often hands out spell books and assists in looking into supernatural occurrences in her small town. During one of those investigations, she stumbles upon her childhood crush and wants to not only rekindle feelings, but also to help him reclaim his power. It’s about family, about the ways history can tie a family and romantic relationship together, and for readers who don’t usually like “horror,” it’s not especially gory. It’s about super-magical powers and spirits.

Xu’s art is perfectly suited to the story, with a wide color palette.

northranger book cover

Northranger by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo

Sixteen-year-old Cade is in the closet because he has to be; he is a Latino living in rural Texas. His escape is horror movies.

This summer, he’s working at a local ranch to help make ends meet at home. He hates it though, save for the two teens who live on that ranch. Especially the very attractive Henry.

The two start to become closer over the summer, but Henry is dodgy about a lot of things, including his mother’s death. Cade worries there might be more that his crush isn’t telling him.

This is inspired by, as you might guess by the title, Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. It is romantic and gothic and queer as heck.

squad book cover

Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Lisa Sterle

When Becca moves to a new, small, posh town, she’s immediately taken in by the popular crowd and ditches the lone fat girl at school who she had a quick connection with (that girl wasn’t cool enough). Soon, Becca learns this elite girl gang has a secret: under the full moon, they transform into werewolves who set out to destroy boys who are too eager to take advantage of girls. All seems well at first, as they plan their attacks outside of Piedmont, but when Becca accidentally destroys the boyfriend of one of her fellow girl gang members, their days are numbered.

This is Mean Girls meets Heathers meets Teen Wolf, and it will become clear why Becca acts as she does. Revenge is best served by teen girls.

stage dreams book cover

Stage Dreams by Melanie Gilmer

Flor, a Latine outlaw, and Grace, a trans runaway, are at the center of this story set in the wild west, where they must team up to put an end to a Confederate plot in New Mexico territory.

Stagecoach theft and heists ensue in this rollicking, wildly queer read.

As always, thanks for hanging out. We’ll see you later this week for more YA book talk and book news.

Until then, happy reading!

–Kelly Jensen, currently reading You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight by Kalyann Bayron

Kissing Books

Pride Mugs, FWB, and Secret Identities

Hello and welcome (back) to the Kissing Books newsletter. I’m PN Hinton, here to give you the rundown on the world of romance, including new releases, recommendations, and other entertaining ways to pass your time.

After staying stagnate for a bit, I feel like I’m on a book-finishing spree. In the last week I have finished Lone Women, That Summer Feeling, and Her Big City Neighbor. I’ve also been keeping fairly steady with trying to keep my intake and outtake balanced since I am both DNFing and unhauling regularly. Go me on keeping up with the bookish goals!

Are you looking for more in-depth insight into the bookish world from various professionals who are immersed into it. If so, then be sure to check out the Deep Dive. You can currently check out Sharifah’s The Power Reader’s Guide to Reading Logs & Trackers on us to get an idea of the content included and then head here to choose a membership level.

Bookish Goods

picture of Read Queer Books mug

Read Queer Books Mug by BookishlyUK

We’re almost halfway through Pride month, which is why I’ve been trying to boost a lot of that swag lately. However, this sentiment is true all year ’round and genre wide, which means that you can use it for all your preferred beverages no matter what month it is. $17

New Releases

cover of Mr. Play for Keeps

Mr. Play for Keeps by Kimmie Ferrell

When Nathaniel finds himself suddenly in need of a vendor for D.C.’s four-day long Juneteenth celebration, he turns to his FWB Stephanie, owner of her own holistic skin care company. Not only does he think she would make a great addition to the line up, but it will also give him the chance to try to prove to her that their temporary arrangement would be even sweeter as a permanent one.

cover of Love, Theoretically

Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

In addition to her job as an adjunct professor, Elise also has a somewhat lucrative side hustle as posing as the fake girlfriend for people who need it. Her worlds seem destined to collide when Jack, the man who is the head of physics at MIT and who ruined her mentor’s career, also turns out to be the brother of her favorite client. And the professional friction between them seems to run the risk of developing into something more like love.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

Last week I went out to dinner at a local wine bar with one of my friends and, as often happens with us, we got to talking about everything, including romance novels. She’s one of my longest friends and we discovered a love of romance novels together back in middle school, something which has stayed solid since.

Back when we started reading romances, the genre was nowhere near as robust as it is now. Presently, there are so many options out there that there is something practically for everyone, even if it may not be for us personally. One of my personal struggles is the dark romance genre. As I told my friend, I can’t do “dark;” the furthest I can usually go is “dusk,” and even then it’s pushing it.

However, I know that a lot of readers love dark romances and I’ve never been one to yuck someone’s yum. So, with that in mind, I’m going to recommend some dark romances for the readers that love it or want to dip their toe in that.

*Please* be sure to check for the various trigger and content warnings, though since, with it being dark romance, there will be more than usual.

cover of Captive in the Underworld

Captive in the Underworld by Lianyu Tan

This is a dark Sapphic spin on the Hades and Persephone myth. When Persephone, away from her tyrannical mother’s grasp, is pulled into the Underworld, she quickly discovers she has traded one prison for another. However, beneath Hades controlling outer layer is a woman who yearns for romantic love.

cover of Wretched

Wretched by Emily McIntire

Evelina is the brains, brawn, and botanical mind behind her family’s drug empire, which makes her a Jacqueline of all trades. Needing one night off from the pressure of that life style, she engages in a one-night stand. Afterwards, she’s determined to get back to her life but what she doesn’t know was that her one-night stand was undercover DEA agent Nicholas, who is determined to take down her family’s empire no matter the cost.

Here’s one for my Taylor Swift fans.

If you’ve been feeling like romantasy, then this list has you covered.

Match the quote with the rom-com.

And that’s all I have for y’all today. I’ll be back in your inboxes on Thursday with a fresh newsletter. In the meantime you can find me posting over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading and stay hydrated.

The Kids Are All Right

A Road Trip Journal, Books About Stolen Things, and More!

Hi, Kid Lit Friends,

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to judge an annual writing contest for young people at the New York Society Library, the oldest library in New York City. Together with Carol Weston, Dave Johnson, and Edra Ziesk, we read entries from writers ranging from third grade to seniors in high school. It is tough to judge a writing competition, but it is also such a privilege! It’s very wonderful to encourage a new generation of writers, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

Authors Karina Yan Glaser and Carol Weston with trees in the background
Me and fellow judge Carol Weston, walking through Central Park following the ceremony.

Also, make sure to read your first Deep Dive newsletter send on the house (The Power Reader’s Guide to Reading Logs & Trackers). You can subscribe at

Bookish Goods

Page from a road trip journal for children

Road Trip Journal by Fox Chapel Pub

I am a BIG fan of journaling. It’s a big part of what I talk about with young people when I do author visits. I saw this fun one with lots of prompts that would be a nice thing to bring along or take on a road trip or summer vacation. $8

New Releases

Penny and Pip cover

Penny & Pip by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann

In this adorable picture book, a young girl finds a baby brontosaurus at the Natural History Museum. There is no adult dinosaur to take care of him, so naturally Penny must take him home and take care of him herself. Right?

Mother of Sharks cover

Mother of Sharks by Melissa Cristina Márquez, illustrated by Devin Elle Kurtz

When Melissa Cristina Márquez grew up in Puerto Rico, she loved spending her time by the ocean, checking out the tide pools and studying all the creatures. In this picture book that blends her own story with a fictional character, she shares her passion for her work as a globally recognized shark scientist.

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

Everyone knows what it’s like to have something stolen, and these four middle grade books explore all the complicated feelings about looking for something precious.

cover of Maizy Chen's Last Chance

Maizy Chen’s Last Chance by Lisa Yee

When Maizy Chen and her mother move to Last Chance, Minnesota to be closer to Maizy’s grandparents, she has a lot of questions about what they’re doing there. But when a beloved family treasure goes missing, Maizy is determined to find it no matter what it takes.

To Catch a Thief cover

To Catch a Thief by Martha Brockenbrough

For Amelia MacGuffin, life in her little seaside town in unremarkable. That is, until the dragonfly staff, an essential part of the upcoming Dragonfly Day Festival, is stolen. The theft of the dragonfly staff means that the Dragonfly Day Festival might be cancelled, and with that, tourism revenues will plummet. With her parents reliant upon tourists to keep the Pacific General Store open, Amelia must step out of her comfort zone and step into the shoes of a sleuth.

The Takeout cover

The Takeout by Tracy Badua

Sometimes theft isn’t an item, it’s an idea and a recipe. Mila loves her family’s food truck, The Banana Leaf. But when celebrity chefs arrive and open a restaurant nearby, with the same food and the same recipes, Mila knows she needs to do something before her family’s food truck goes out of business.

The New Kid cover

The New Kid by Karen English, illustrated by Laura Freeman

I love the Carver Chronicles series, and this one is great for young readers. When a new kid, Khufu, joins Gavin’s third grade class, no one knows what to make of him. He tells far-fetched stories, and then he shows up at school with a bike in the same model and make as Gavin’s — the day after Gavin’s bike goes missing. The class comes to only one conclusion. Khufu has stolen Gavin’s bike and painted it orange to disguise it. What’s Gavin to do?

Tri-color corgi and two cats

What are you reading these days?

Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at

Happy reading!




We’re giving away three summer reading bundles from Algonquin Books to three lucky Riot readers!

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

Cool off with tasty summer reads from Algonquin Books! We’re giving away three summer book bundles featuring the season’s most refreshing recent releases.

Unusual Suspects

Perry Mason Canceled After Two Seasons on HBO

Hello mystery fans! I finished the second season of With Love (Prime) and feel exactly the same as when I finished Primo (Prime/freevee ): I need more, now! In my reading life this week my internet provider rudely cut everyone’s internet/cable for two days to do work and I used the time to inhale Elliot Page’s memoir Pageboy the second it dropped. Highly recommend the audiobook format and making time for this book — Publishing is especially killing it in the nonfiction/memoir department these last few years.

And have you checked out Book Riot’s newest newsletter? If you’re looking for fascinating stories, informed takes, useful advice, and more drawn from our collective experience as power readers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and bookish professionals, subscribe to The Deep Dive, a biweekly newsletter to inform and inspire readers, delivered to your inbox! Your first read (The Power Reader’s Guide to Reading Logs & Trackers) is on the house. Check out all the details and choose your membership level at

Bookish Goods

a tote bag with colorful text that says "it's a good day to read a murder mystery" on etsy by  JaneeceDesignStudio

Murder Mystery Tote Bag by JaneeceDesignStudio

Whether you like or hate summer, it does seem to be a season where you might lug around more things and why not get a tote bag for that? ($20)

New Releases

cover image for A Disappearance in Fiji

A Disappearance in Fiji by Nilima Rao

For fans of historical mysteries, especially with settings rarely depicted!

This is set in Colonial Fiji (1914), where Akal Singh, a Muslim Sikh British Police officer, has been relocated from Hong Kong as punishment. His new assignment is given to him with instructions to not really investigate but he wants to prove himself, and really there does seem to be something going on at the sugarcane plantation where an indentured Indian woman is missing.

cover image for BeatNikki's Café

BeatNikki’s Café by Renee James

For fans of crime novels!

This is set in the summer of 2017 when violence and hate towards marginalized voices started to increase. Nikki Finch, a transgender woman who owns Beatnik café, felt the impact when her business partner was attacked by a neo-Nazi. With herself, family, and community in danger, Nikki feels like her life has become a choice: kill or be killed. Does she plan and pull off a perfect murder or will that set the wrong example for her daughter?

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

Here are two very different novels with fictional serial killers.

Find You In The Dark cover image

Find You In The Dark by Nathan Ripley

For fans of fun thrillers and shows like Castle and Dexter where it’s just ridiculous enough to make it entertaining and not real or stressful!

Martin Reese has created a really unique profession for himself: he pays a cop to give him unsolved cases and then he solves the case, finds the body, and anonymously calls it into the police. It’s all fun and games until a killer is pissed his bodies are being found and the crooked cop starts to question this arrangement…

(TW child abuse/ stalking/ suicide/ past domestic abuse mentioned)

cover image for My Murder

My Murder by Katie Williams

For fans of twisty mysteries that want something that feels slightly out of the box!

This has a few interesting angles: it is not about catching a serial killer, nor focused on them; it also has a tiny sci-fi blip of people brought back to life.

Lou was the victim of a serial killer. She is dead. Well her first body is. She was brought back to life by a program that grew a new her from a sampling of her murdered self known as Replication Commission. She knows she was murdered by a serial killer but since short term memory and trauma don’t come through in the procedure, she knows everything about her life except her murder. The serial killer has been caught. She’s in a serial killers survivor group, and home with her husband and her baby. But there are questions that are starting to come up about her murder and, well, maybe things didn’t happen exactly as is believed…

This doesn’t focus on any sci-fi stuff, it’s very much our world with this one twist. So if you normally shy away from sci-fi, this could be a good toe-dip-in-water if you’re feeling a bit adventurous.

For audiobook readers: Rebecca Lowman, who has a lot of thrillers under her belt, narrates.

(TW brief recount of past emotional abuse, domestic murder/ mentions stalking/ past postpartum)

News and Roundups

cover of All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby; blood red moon seen through tree branches

Liberty and Danika chat about new releases on All the Books! including All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby and My Murder by Katie Williams.

Book Banners Moms for Liberty Labeled a Hate Group

The Bible Officially Banned in Utah School District

Perry Mason Canceled After Two Seasons on HBO

Two summer suspense novels delight in overturning the ‘woman-in-trouble’ plot

Tiffany Haddish Investigates a Wedding Murder Mystery in The Afterparty Season Two Trailer

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2023 releases. Check out this Unusual Suspects Pinterest board and get Tailored Book Recommendations!

Until next time, keep investigating! In the meantime, come talk books with me on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Litsy — you can find me under Jamie Canavés.

If a mystery fan forwarded this newsletter to you and you’d like your very own, you can sign up here.

Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that I think you absolutely must read. The books will vary across genre and age category to include new releases, backlist titles, and classics. If you’re ready to explode your TBR, buckle up!

Looking for fascinating stories, informed takes, useful advice, and more drawn from our collective experience as power readers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and bookish professionals? Subscribe to The Deep Dive, a biweekly newsletter to inform and inspire readers, delivered to your inbox! Your first read (The Power Reader’s Guide to Reading Logs & Trackers) is on the house. Check out all the details and choose your membership level at

Hey there, friends! I hope your Pride month is treating you well and that your book stacks are plentiful going into the weekend. To celebrate Pride, I am sharing a great recent queer thriller I loved!

cover image for We'll Never Tell

We’ll Never Tell by Wendy Heard

Casey and her three friends are the anonymous creators behind a popular YouTube channel whose videos focus on exploring old and abandoned places throughout L.A., sometimes relying on some light breaking and entering in order to capture the perfect shots. They’re about to graduate and go their separate ways, and they want one last hurrah. When Jacob convinces the others to break into a house that’s been left virtually untouched since a 1970 murder, Casey is reluctant, but allows herself to be convinced. The experience is thrilling and the footage is unreal…until a security alarm is tripped and the four of them make a hasty retreat, only to discover that Jacob has been stabbed. They make the snap decision to leave him behind, but he hangs on by a thread, lingering in a coma. While they try to cover their tracks, Casey is suspicious of why their friend is targeted, and becomes determined to discover who is responsible for his attempted murder…even if the answer leads to one of them.

This is a great twisty mystery with plenty of thrills, set against the backdrop of L.A.’s more mundane places, and where the elements of fame have a darker edge. I liked Casey as a protagonist and could sympathize with her struggle to balance what they do as an interesting hobby (Casey is responsible for the research elements of their show) alongside with the discomfort she feels as a tragedy tourist for their more sensitive locales. Casey’s mom was a victim of an unsolved murder years before the book begins, so she is especially sensitive to how victims of crimes and their relatives are treated after the fact. The mystery aspect of this book takes her right back to the original murder that occurs 50 years earlier, and it’s a compelling journey for a cold case with some surprising developments. The queer representation in this book also feels very casual and natural — Casey and two of her friends are queer, and although this book doesn’t focus in on any of their romantic relationships, their queer identities have a natural progression and are important to the book.

If you like fiction that interrogates the nature of true crime, is inspired by real locations (the Los Feliz Murder Mansion), and has a queer cast, definitely pick this one up!

Subscribe to First Edition for interviews, lists, rankings, recommendations, and much more, featuring people who know and love books.

Happy reading!

Find me on Book Riot, Hey YA, All the Books, and Twitter. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, click here to subscribe.