Riot Rundown


Today In Books

Finalists for the 41st Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Announced: Today in Books

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo to Star in HBO Max’s Adaptation of The Girl Before

Today it was announced that Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo have been cast to star in the upcoming HBO Max adaptation of J.P. Delaney’s novel The Girl Before. Mbatha-Raw will play Jane, a woman who moves into a house designed by an architect played by Oyelowo, who allows her to live in the house under one condition: she must abide by his rules. The BBC is co-producing the project.

The Finalists for the 41st Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Announced

The finalists for the 41st Los Angeles Times Book Prizes have been announced. The nominees include Akwaeke Emezi, N.K. Jemisin, Isabel Wilkerson, and many others. Special category winners were also announced, including the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement to Native American writer Leslie Marmon Silko. Winners will be announced in a live-streamed virtual ceremony on April 16, the day before the 26th Los Angeles Times Festival of Books kicks off its virtual event. Special category winners will also be celebrated that day.

Ben West Palm Hotel Launches Book Butler Program

The Ben West Palm Hotel in Florida has launched a Book Butler program. All hotel guests need do is dial 0, and the Book Butler will arrive at their door with a copy of their selected book. There’s even an option to request meals specially paired with your book of choice.

6 Dr. Seuss Books Will Stop Being Published Due to Racist Images

Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the company responsible for preserving and protecting the legacy of Theodor Geisel, has announced that six Dr. Seuss books will no longer be published due to damaging depictions of race.

One correction from yesterday’s Today in Books: We mistakenly misgendered Marieke Lucas Rijneveld. The author’s pronouns are they/them.

Read This Book

[3/3] Read This Book: SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL by Patricia MacLachlan

Welcome to Read This Book, the newsletter where I recommend a book you should add to your TBR, STAT! I stan variety in all things, and my book recommendations will be no exception. These must-read books will span genres and age groups. There will be new releases, oldie but goldies from the backlist, and the classics you may have missed in high school. Oh my! If you’re ready to diversify your books, then LEGGO!!

Hey fellow book nerd, it’s time to celebrate another literary birthday! Today, we are wishing a very happy 83rd birthday to Patricia MacLachlan! She is the American children’s writer best known for Sarah, Plain and Tall, which won the 1986 Newbery Medal along with the 1986 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and the 1986 Golden Kite Award. 

Sarah Plain and Tall Book Coer

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

Told through the point of view of Anna Witting, Sarah, Plain and Tall tells the story of how Sarah Wheaton moved from Maine to the American Midwest in response to an ad for a wife and mother. Anna’s younger brother Caleb is excited about the prospect of a new mother, but memories of their mother who died giving birth to Caleb make Anna apprehensive.

What I enjoyed most about Sarah, Plain and Tall was not only the plain, straightforward story, but also how it touched upon the death of a parent at a young age and the introduction of a stepparent. It was understandable to a young reader while not being too simplified for an adult reader. I also liked reading a story where there wasn’t overt hostility between Sarah and the children. Yes, Anna still has memories of her mother who died while giving birth to her brother Caleb, but she still seems somewhat open to the possibility of a new mother in Sarah. I also enjoyed Sarah as a whole. Although she eagerly answered the call for a mail-order bride, which on its face seems anti-feminist, Sarah gave me feminist hero vibes through her many interactions with Jacob from insisting on wearing overalls to riding horses. I loved to see hear it.

If you are looking for a heartwarming, but short comfort read, then Sarah, Plain and Tall is a good choice. In just a few short chapters, not only will you fall in love with the Witting family, you will absolutely adore this current version of the family. By the end of the book, you’ll be wishing for more. Lucky for us, MacLachlan was kind enough to add four more books to the series. 

Until next time bookish friends,


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Unusual Suspects

February Releases Roundup 🔪

Hello mystery fans! Here’s a roundup of a bunch of new releases from February now that they are all available for your crime loving hearts.

The Obsession (The Obsession #1) by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Sutanto is the author of the upcoming Dial A For Aunties (Review), which has been getting a lot of attention (it’s a great crime/romcom and should!) but I’m not sure many readers realize that The Obsession is her debut. It started with You vibes and then went in its own surprising way and I really enjoyed this novel. Delilah is having a hard time after her father’s death with an abusive stepfather. And after an incident she ends up being blackmailed by her stalker classmate into having to date him. Cornered, and fed up, Delilah is going to have to figure a way out… (TW stalker/ domestic abuse/ past suicide attempt and suicide, detail/ drugging without consent)

Blood Grove (Easy Rawlins #15) by Walter Mosley

Mosley is an extremely prolific writer, writing in most genres, and has a few well known detective series. Easy Rawlins is probably the most known since Devil in a Blue Dress starred Denzel Washington in the adaptation. And the detective is back again! The series, having aged from the ’40s, finds Rawlings in 1969, Southern California with a Vietnam veteran wanting to hire him. You can count on trouble from cases to personal life to follow our detective.

A Stranger in Town (Rockton #6) by Kelley Armstrong

I love this series! It has a fun, unique, remote setting where basically victims to criminals have found themselves a safe place to hide, which makes for an interesting community since no one knows who is which. The lead is Detective Casey Duncan who was a homicide detective who ran with a friend to hide here, and has stayed and ended up partnering romantically and professionally with the sheriff. This time around, the mystery concerns the actual town makeup, meaning its existence may be in danger…

The Project by Courtney Summers

Summers, who wrote the 2018 hit Sadie (Review), is back with another YA crime novel! We have separated sisters again but this time it’s because of a cult. And one sister is determined to prove The Unity Project is a cult in order to get her sister back.

Smoke (IQ #5) by Joe Ide

If you want a modern, dark take on Sherlock, IQ is the detective and series for you. Set in East Long Beach, Isaiah Quintabe, IQ, takes on the cases the police don’t/can’t, and he always ends up in danger but uses his deduction skills to survive. While I am a fan of jumping randomly into series, the progression of IQ as a character and his personal relationships (Dodson–rhymes with Watson!) are really worth starting at the beginning to watch them unfold.

The Survivors by Jane Harper

If you like atmospheric crime novels, all of Jane Harper’s novels are for you. Her recent standalone is all about a past incident that a small community ocean town is trying to forget, but this is a mystery novel so it’s all going to come out. Especially after someone is murdered! (Review)

Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan

I am currently listening to the audiobook–which has an exceptional narrator, Nicole Lewis–and I can’t put it down! It follows a suburban community with a new family that doesn’t “fit in,” and after a sinkhole opens up it’s only a matter of time before something even worse happens… This literally starts with the question of how a community could conspire to kill an entire family and also asks “what if they had it coming”? And I literally said out loud “Oh really!” So, yes, I am racing through writing this so I can get back to reading–sorry, not sorry.

The Princess Spy: The True Story of World War II Spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones by Larry Loftis

I am a huge fan of narrative nonfiction and Loftis wrote Code Name: Lise, which I loved (Review), so this is at the top of my TBR. Aline Griffith was “an ordinary American girl who became one of the OSS’s most daring spies in World War II before marrying into European nobility”. Sold! I love these amazing stories that are finally getting recognition.

Noir Is The New Black

Here’s an awesome graphic novel collection of 16 Noir stories by 40 Black creators which got funded on Kickstarter. You can check out all the creators and some awesome pages here!

The Water Rituals (White City Trilogy #2) by Eva García Sáenz

This is a police procedural, fictional serial killer translation that takes you to Northern Spain. This is the sequel in the trilogy and the book starts where the first one ends so if you haven’t yet read The Silence of the White City (Review), start there! If you did, then, like me, you’ve probably been highly anticipating the continuation and it’s now here! A note that Eva García Sáenz is the name used for English publication, but her full name is Eva García Sáenz de Urturi, and so there are two Goodreads pages etc.

The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing by Sonia Faleiro

For true crime readers, here is a look into two girls murdered in a small community. Faleiro looks into Padma and Lalli’s 2014 disappearances and murders in a village in western Uttar Pradesh, India–which leads to a look at “political maneuvering, caste systems and codes of honor”.

Nighthawking (Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler #2) by Russ Thomas

If you’re looking to start a police procedural starring a detective, meet Detective Adam Tyler who in the first book Firewatching is the sole member of the South Yorkshire Cold Case Unit. The first book deals with arson cases and now Tyler finds himself with a newly promoted DC trying to solve a murder as they’re pulled away from Cold Cases–except for the personal cold case in Tyler’s life involving his father’s death, which Tyler keeps investigating…

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2021 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.

True Story

New Releases: Women’s History + Sheep

Welcome to the third day of the third month! That’s kinda fun. We’ve got women’s history, we’ve got self-help, and we’ve got sheep. That pretty much encompasses it.

Emma Goldman, “Mother Earth,” and the Anarchist Awakening by Rachel Hui-Chi Hsu

Revolutionary and political anarchist Emma Goldman worked on a magazine called Mother Earth during the Progressive Era. Mother Earth “stirred an unprecedented anarchist awakening, inspiring an antiauthoritarian spirit across social, ethnic, and cultural divides and transforming U.S. radicalism.” I love the list of who they say this book should appeal to: readers interested in early twentieth-century history, transnational radicalism, and cosmopolitan print culture, as well as those interested in anarchism, anti-militarism, labor activism, feminism, and Emma Goldman. I LOVE Emma Goldman and am so psyched there’s another book out about her and the work she contributed to.

Follow the Flock: How Sheep Shaped Human Civilization by Sally Coulthard

SHEEP. Can’t live with ’em. But have to bring them into the home in winter so they stay alive. If you’re familiar with the Bible or most stories from The Ancient Past, you know that sheep are all over those things and have been with us since the early days of human civilization. So what’s their history! How did we use them? What’s up with sheep. All these questions and more can be answered by Follow the Flock, a title that every time I see it gets a song from the musical Guys and Dolls stuck in my head.

I’m So Effing Tired: A Proven Plan to Beat Burnout, Boost Your Energy, and Reclaim Your Life by Amy Shah

Are you feeling perhaps especially exhausted? Doctor/nutritionist Shah has some ideas for you. The part of this book I’m most interested in, aside from the tip to eat more fiber (I’M GONNA) is the “energy booster” facts, because I kind of just eat hummus day in and day out, and it’s possible that is not max’ing out the ol’ energy possibilities. Huzzah for health ideas!

Come Fly the World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am by Julia Cooke

Does this woman on the cover remind anyone else of Ruth Wilson? Anyway, you might have heard of Pan Am, the airline renowned in the ’60s and ’70s and then slowly declining until its end in the early ’90s. Did you know only 3-5% of women applying to be flight attendants got hired? It was extremely competitive! This history gets into why and traces the stories of three women who flew Pan Am during its glory days.

For more nonfiction new releases, check out the For Real podcast which I co-host with the excellent Kim here at Book Riot. If you have any questions/comments/book suggestions, you can find me on social media @itsalicetime. Until next time, enjoy those facts, fellow nerds.

Giveaways Uncategorized

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Riot Rundown


The Stack


The Kids Are All Right

New Children’s Book Releases for March 2, 2021

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

My Monster and Me by Nadiya Hussain, illustrated by Ella Bailey

In this book about panic disorders, a little boy is followed around by his monster. Though the monster has always been there, he hasn’t told anyone about them or the worries that come along with their appearance even though it keeps him from playing with his friends. But when he finally opens up to his grandmother about it, the monster starts to get smaller.

Wanda by Sihle Nontshokweni and Mathabo Tlali, illustrated by Chantelle Thorne and Burgen Thorne

This South African picture book follows Wanda, a girl struggling to find pride in her big hair. Though her mom combs her hair into a big afro every morning, Wanda puts it into a new style when she gets to school so that other kids won’t tease her and her teacher won’t declare her out of uniform. But when Wanda turns to her grandma, she learns about all the amazing women with hair just like hers.

Laxmi’s Mooch by Shelly Anand, illustrated by Nabi H. Ali

This sweet and funny picture book follows Laxmi, who’s distressed when her friends point out her mooch (the Indian word for mustache). When she tells her parents, they explain lots of women in Laxmi’s family have had a mooch, and Laxmi is able to find pride in herself and her appearance.

Definitely Dominguita: Knight of the Cape by Terry Catasús Jennings illustrated by Fátima Anaya

In this series-starter of a new chapter book series, Dominguita takes on a school bully who says girls can’t be knights. To prove said bully wrong, Dominguita and her friends go out into their community to help people in need.

Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd, illustrated by Michelle Mee

This charming graphic novel follows Maggie, who just wants something of her own. Her parents are busy preparing for the arrival of a new baby, and her younger brothers are off in their own world. So when Maggie is given the chance to choose a puppy on her birthday, it’s a dream come true. Until she breaks out in hives and learns she’s allergic. Now the search is on to find Maggie the perfect pet.

Dawn Raid by Pauline Vaeluaga Smith, illustrated by Mat Hunkin

This historical fiction novel is set in the 1970s in Wellington, New Zealand where Sofia, a biracial girl, is drawn into political activism. As police carry out 4 AM raids, Sofia’s family is introduced to the work of the Polynesian Panthers, a group that fights for the rights of Indigenous people and Pacific Islanders. This is written in Sofia’s diary entries and includes charming illustrations of her journey to standing up for what’s right.

Until next week! – Chelsea

New Books

First Tuesday of March Megalist!

Hello, Tuesday friends—it’s another beautiful day in the book neighborhood! Earlier this morning, I was thinking about how I have written over 1000 intros for Book Riot newsletters now. That is a lot of salutations. And just like those 1000+ other newsletters, I have so many books to tell you about today!

It’s a huge day in the new book world, and it includes new releases from big names such as Isabel Allende, Kazuo Ishiguro, Victoria Schwab, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Russell Banks, and Stephen King. I did get to read several of today’s books, but there are still soooo many more on this list that I can’t wait to read, like Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira, The Lowering Days by Gregory Brown, Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer by Jamie Figueroa, and The Northern Reach by W.S. Winslow.

As with each first Tuesday megalist, I am putting a ❤️ next to the books that I have had the chance to read and loved. You can also hear about several new releases on this week’s episode of the All the Books! Danika and I discussed In the Quick, Infinity Reaper, Infinite Country, and more. Okay—everyone buckled in? Get ready to click your little hearts out, because here come the books! – XO, Liberty

In the Quick by Kate Hope Day ❤️

I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre

The Kitchen without Borders: Recipes and Stories from Refugee and Immigrant Chefs by The Eat Offbeat Chefs, Siobhan Wallace Penny De Los Santos (Photographer)

The Lowering Days by Gregory Brown

The Speed of Light by Elissa Grossell Dickey

Rice (Savor the South Cookbooks) by Michael W. Twitty

The Snatch Racket: The Kidnapping Epidemic That Terrorized 1930s America by Carolyn Cox

Black Boy Out of Time: A Memoir by Hari Ziyad

Catalogue Baby: A Memoir of (In)fertility by Myriam Steinberg, Christache

Fans: How Watching Sports Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Understanding by Larry Olmsted 

Wedding Station by David Downing 

Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi ❤️

Follow Your Arrow by Jessica Verdi 

Vera by Carol Edgarian  

The Queen’s Secret by Melissa de la Cruz

The Empathy Diaries: A Memoir by Sherry Turkle 

Abundance by Jakob Guanzon

What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster ❤️

Too Small by Tola Atinuke, Onyinye Iwu

Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again: Women and Desire in the Age of Consent by Katherine Angel

One Step to You by Federico Moccia, Antony Shugaar (translator) 

Mirror Lake by Andrée A. Michaud, J. C. Sutcliffe (translator)

Infinite Country by Patricia Engel ❤️

Infinity Reaper (Infinity Cycle) by Adam Silvera

A Window to Heaven: The Daring First Ascent of Denali: America’s Wildest Peak by Patrick Dean

Bring Back Our Girls: The Untold Story of the Global Search for Nigeria’s Missing Schoolgirls by Joe Parkinson, Drew Hinshaw

An Unexpected Peril (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery ) by Deanna Raybourn

Spilt Milk by Courtney Zoffness

Men Who Hate Women: From Incels to Pickup Artists: The Truth about Extreme Misogyny and How it Affects Us All by Laura Bates

Who is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews ❤️

Women in White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine by Olivia Campbell 

Winterborne Home for Mayhem and Mystery by Ally Carter

Decoding “Despacito”: An Oral History of Latin Music by Leila Cobo 

gory details

Gory Details: Adventures From the Dark Side of Science by Erika Engelhaupt ❤️

Come Fly the World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am by Julia Cook

frank: sonnets by Diane Seuss

Windhall by Ava Barry

The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer by Liza Rodman, Jennifer Jordan

The Bright and the Pale by Jessica Rubinkowski 

Bridge of Souls (City of Ghosts #3) by Victoria Schwab ❤️

The Life of the Mind by Christine Smallwoo

Home is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo

Covet (Crave 3) by Tracy Wolff 

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Later by Stephen King 

Machinehood by S.B. Divya

Burning Girls and Other Stories by Veronica Schanoes ❤️

The Girl Explorers: The Untold Story of the Globetrotting Women Who Trekked, Flew, and Fought Their Way Around the World by Jayne Zanglein

The Scapegoat by Sara Davis

A History of Scars: A Memoir by Laura Lee

The Salt in Our Blood by Ava Morgyn

Flight: A Novel of a Daring Escape During World War II by Vanessa Harbour

The Nightland Express by J. M. Lee

A Boob’s Life: How America’s Obsession Shaped Me―and You by Leslie Lehr

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker ❤️

Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay 

Float Plan by Trish Doller  

Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft 

The Barbizon: The Hotel That Set Women Free by Paulina Bren

Foregone by Russell Banks

Justine by Forsyth Harmon

Red Rover by Christopher Krovatin

Oslo, Maine by Marcia Butler

More Than You Can Handle: A Rare Disease, A Family in Crisis, and the Cutting-Edge Medicine That Cured the Incurable by Miguel Sancho

Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig

Endpapers: A Family Story of Books, War, Escape, and Home by Alexander Wolff

The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen ❤️

The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean Dietrich 

The Castle School (for Troubled Girls) by Alyssa Sheinmel

The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme

The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths ❤️

Antonio by Beatriz Bracher, Adam Morris (translator)

The High-Rise Diver by Julia von Lucadou, Sharmila Cohen (translator)

The Northern Reach by W.S. Winslow

You’re Leaving When?: Adventures in Downward Mobility by Annabelle Gurwitch

Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer by Jamie Figueroa

A Desolation Called Peace (Teixcalaan Book 2) by Arkady Martine ❤️

Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner ❤️

The Gentle Barbarian by Bohumil Hrabal, Paul Wilson (translator)

The Conductors by Nicole Glover ❤️

Dead Space by Kali Wallace

Lightseekers by Femi Kayode

The Restoration of Celia Fairchild by Marie Bostwick 

Feelings: A Story in Seasons by Manjit Thapp 

A Game of Cones (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery) by Abby Collette ❤️

Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi 

Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman

The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende

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