Kissing Books

Accidental Marriages and Festive Foxes

Salutations to you all! Welcome, or welcome back, to the Kissing Books newsletter. I’m PN and I’ll be your guide through the rollercoaster world of romance. Because believe me when I say that there’s rarely ever a dull moment here.

As mentioned last time, I’ve decided to embrace the season in an attempt to not be grumpy. I added my “get jolly” mix to my daily music rotation. I’ve started watching the movies and shows that are streaming everywhere. I ordered some white chocolate peppermint bark coffee that should be getting here soon. And I’m eagerly waiting for my copy of Kiss Her Once for Me to come in so I can get started on that one. Look at me in all my merriment!

In other reading news, I finished Calling the Shots and adored it. While I loved and recommend the entire series overall, this is undoubtedly my favorite out of the three. I felt such a kinship with Tierney that just made it resonate more with me. I also started reading The Rewind, a second chance romance that is perfect for this time of year since it starts on New Year’s Eve.

Bookish Goods

picture of Festive Fox Book Sleeve

Festive Fox Book Sleeve by CPickeringCo

Okay, this is just flat out adorable. Look at this cute little holiday fox in his antlers and hat! I love everything about this book sleeve which, honestly, I would use any day of the year. The price for this sleeve ranges from $14 to $27, depending on size.

New Releases

cover of A Dash of Salt and Pepper

A Dash of Salt and Pepper by Kosoko Jackson

Prep chef Xavier is currently having a rough time at life. These challenges landed him back in Harper’s Cove and working at hip new restaurant, The Wharf. Logan, head chef and owner of the establishment, doesn’t appreciate Xavier’s acidic nature and attitude but also knows that when it comes to help, he can’t afford to be choosy. As the two men work closely together, more than just the kitchen heats up, leaving them to wonder what comes next for both of them.

cover of Five Kisses at Midnight

Five Kisses at Midnight by Abby Crofton

Life in Hawaii seems like a dream come true for Bell. That is, until she gets stuck in a time loop and starts repeating New Year’s Eve over and over again. The only person who believes she is stuck in this loop is surfer Lola who is there over and over again, ready to help break this repeating day. As they learn more about each other, Bell becomes more determined than ever to break this curse and finally start the new year, hopefully with Lola by her side.

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

Riot Recommendations

I’m not very far into The Rewind, so I don’t yet know the circumstances of how these ex-lovers got accidentally married. However, it did get me to thinking about that specific trope and how it kind of goes hand in hand with marriage of convenience.

Think about it; if you wake up accidentally married because you were under the influence of something, then you can get it purposefully annulled the next day, or at least get the process started for it. So, when the couple chooses to stay married, it is usually for one reason or another.

With that thought process running through my head, I decided to do another round of marriages of conveniences. The set up isn’t exactly like it is in the aforementioned book, but the unexpected marriage aspect is still present in both.

Waking Up Married book cover

Waking Up Married by Reese Ryan

When lifelong friends Zora and Dallas wake up married after a night in Vegas, the initial plan is to quietly get the marriage annulled. However, they forgot that they were high profile people which means their nuptials go viral very quickly. Not wanting to admit to their family that it was all a mistake, they decide to stay married and end up realizing this was the best mistake of their lives.

cover of Accidental Honeymoon

Accidental Honeymoon by Miranda MacLeod

Monica and Ray have a chance to inherit a rural New England vineyard and a lot of cash, provided they get married. The only snag? They can’t stand one another. However, this is one of those “the ends will justify the means” situations so they try to make the best of it. As they work to plan a very real wedding for their very fake relationship, the tension builds between them and they wonder if this is actually the prefect opportunity for love.

And that’s all I have for you this fine Monday morning. I hope that the rest of the day treats you well. And if there are/were hiccups and challenges, I hope that they are easily surmountable. Make sure to take time for yourself in this busy season and do one thing that brings you joy each day. I’ll be back on Thursday with another edition and in the meantime I can be found over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading and stay warm and hydrated.

What's Up in YA

A Bloodthirsty Forest, Fat Girls on Book Covers, and More YA Book Talk: December 5, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

I’m in the thick of cramming in horror reads for the upcoming discussions for the 2023 Summer Scares slate. It’s been fun to dive into all things scary as we stare down the end of another year. One is less frightening than the other, and I’ll let you choose which is which.

Let’s dive into this week’s new books and talk about a few cool book covers featuring body diversity coming in 2023.

Bookish Goods

Image of a black and white sticker. It reads "team whoever the villain is."

Team Whoever The Villain Is sticker by MeaggieMoos

I love rooting for a villain sometimes, don’t you? That’s especially true in an enemies to lovers romance. $3.50.

New Releases

Let’s look at two hardcover books hitting shelves this week. You can find the rest of this week’s new releases in the fall roundup of new hardcovers.

Note that we are really at the end of publishing season, so there are few titles to highlight…meaning the diverse options are also sparse this time of year.

lumara book cover

Lumara by Melissa Landers

Nathaniel is a Mystic, and no mortal has ever been allowed inside his secret magical community. But the wedding of his cousin is primed to be the event of the year, and he’s asked Talia, his girlfriend, to join him. It will be the first time a mortal has been allowed inside.

Talia, who does not believe in the world of the Mystic, almost didn’t date Nathaniel at all after learning about his heritage. She doesn’t want to go to the wedding, but ultimately, decides to do it. Immediately, she regrets all her ill thoughts when she sees what a wonderful world it is.

That is, until a wedding guest falls into a coma and she’s pointed to as the one responsible. How does she prove her innocence while also helping find the culprit?

the poison season book cover

The Poison Season by Mara Rutherford

Leelo has always lived in Endla, a community circled by a bloodthirsty forest and poisonous lake, both meant to deter outsiders. While Leelo has loved and appreciated her community, she’s disheartened to know if her little brother does not gain the ability of enchanted song — a key magical power — he’ll be exiled.

As Leelo walks along the lake, she finds an outsider nearly drowning. And even though she knows she is not supposed to save him, she does. Now, Leelo is questioning everything she thought she knew about Endla as she begins to fall more and more in love with this off-limits outsider.

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

Riot Recommendations

In my 15 or so years of writing about YA books, there have been so many leaps made in terms of representation. It is still deeply behind reality, but it is much better than it once was…which I know is hard for a lot of people to imagine.

One area where this is especially true is in representation of body size on YA book covers. Specifically, fat female-presenting characters have been more prominent in the last five or so years. In 2023, this is only going to continue to be true. Here are a few of the upcoming year’s fat girls on YA book covers for your own TBR needs.

There will be many who disagree with these bodies being fat. That’s fine. The reality is the “average” body type on YA is in and of itself rare, as lithe and thin ideals are the cover standard. Know that “fat” in some of these examples may simply mean average size. Interestingly, some of the average bodies presented here are for stories about self-described fat characters.

It’s also worth noting that male-presenting fat bodies on YA covers continue to be extremely rare. Where representation of female-presenting bodies on YA covers has improved, there’s still a major gap in being more body inclusive all around.

I’ve simply linked to the book descriptions via Amazon here, so you can explore. There’s something cool about seeing all of these covers with little text that hammers home the point. I’ve credited designers where possible (here’s my regular plea: publishers, put your cover designer and artist info on the pages where you put info about the books).

daughters of oduma book cover

Daughters of Oduma by Moses Ose Utomi (February 7)

firebird book cover

Firebird by Sunmi (June 6); Cover art by Sunmi

her good side book cover

Her Good Side by Rebekah Weatherspoon (May 30); Design by Theresa Evangelista, Illustrations by Poppy Magda

highly suspicious and unfairly cute book cover

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert (January 3)

love letters for joy book cover

Love Letters for Joy by Melissa See (June 6); Cover art by reendoodles

no boy summer book cover

No Boy Summer by Amy Spalding (April 25); Cover Art by Jeff Ostbergt

out of character book cover

Out of Character by Jenna Miller (February 7); Cover design by David DeWitt and art by Nicole Rifkin

then everything happens at once book cover

Then Everything Happens at Once by M-E Girard (January 31); Cover illustrated by Adams Carvalho and designed by Joel Tippie

As always, thanks for hanging out. We’ll see you on Thursday for your (scant, ngl!) paperback releases and your YA book news.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, reading all of the horror YA right now from years past.

The Fright Stuff

2022 Horror Must-Reads

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.

Hello all, and welcome to the last month of 2022! It’s been a long (long, long, loooooong) year, on the tail of two other really long (long, long, loooooong) years, and I don’t know about you but I’m feeling a bit burnt around the edges.

But! There is one thing I love about December, and it’s having the chance to share with you some of the books from this year that I loved. Now obviously this was an amazing year for horror, and even with two month’s worth of newsletters I couldn’t tell you about all the incredible horror books I read. But we’ve got three newsletters this month, so I’m going to do my best to highlight a few of the of my favorite horror reads of 2022.

Bookish Goods

seasons creepings holiday greeting decorative block by drewdropsdandelionsus

Seasons Creepings Decorative Block by DewdropsDandelionsUS

Okay so listen. Have you ever seen something that’s just so cute that you go: oh dammit. Use it as a book end, or just to decorate your shelves. All I know is that, wherever you put it, this decorative block with its cutesy holly berry skulls is so adorable that I think it’s literally melting my brain. Why am I so obsessed with a little block of painted wood? The world may never know. But — once again — it’s been a hell of a year, so let’s practice a little unquestioning joy. $20.

New Releases

out of aztlan by v castro cover

Out of Aztlan by V. Castro

V. Castro is back with another short story collection that sounds like a must have! She had me at mutant jellyfish fueled by garbage, personally. I never say no to sea creatures terrorizing humanity. But Out of Aztlan also offers readers mermaids, pirates, vengeance, revolution, an ancient goddess on the rise intent on purifying the planet, and more! You’d be hard-pressed to have missed Castro’s work in recent years. Not only is she an incredible author, she’s also a prolific writer, which is a boon to her fans. So if you’ve been meaning to add one of Castro’s books to your TBR, consider grabbing Out of Aztlan, out this week!

cover of a history of fear by luke dumas

A History of Fear by Luke Dumas

What do you do with a murderer who insists that the Devil made him do it? That’s what Grayson Hale claims about the violent death of his grad school classmate Liam Stewart: it wasn’t really Hale who killed him; it was the devil. When Hale is found dead in his prison cell years later, he leaves behind an account of the murder that, rather than finally providing a disturbed public with answers about Hale’s heinous crime, only raises more terrible questions. Was Hale legally insane after all, poisoned by a family legacy of hate and religious mania? Or did the devil really make him do it?

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

Riot Recommendations

Cover of Echo by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Echo by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

I don’t even know that I have the words to describe how much I love Echo. I mean, not only is it scary, gorgeous, and queer, but it’s also (a bit ironically, considering the subject matter!) the book that got me hiking and rock climbing again. It reminded me of what it feels like to stand on a summit and see the world laid out at your feet. It’s also a terrifying Gothic wonderland of a novel about an evil mountain that possesses those who manage to escape its grasp. I mean, what else could you want? And I love Sam. Poor Sam who, by some miracle, got his boyfriend Nick back alive from the accident that killed Nick’s climbing partner. Only to realize that Nick didn’t come home alone. What follows is a harrowing and at times heartbreaking examination of how we learn to let go of those we’ve lost and carry the grief of that loss.

the cover of Crema

Crema by Johnnie Christmas, illustrated by Dante Luiz with Ryan Ferrier & Atla Hrafney

So technically Crema came out before 2022 as a digital comic, but 2022 marked the publication of the paperback edition and brought this gorgeous, ghostly little comic into my life. Crema is about two women falling in love: a barista, Esme, who sees ghosts when she drinks coffee, and Yara whose family has just sold the café that Esme works at. When a strange ghost man beseeches Esme to deliver a message to help reunite him with his lost love, Esme finds herself following Yara to her family’s coffee plantation in Brazil where an old love story has become a curse, blighting the land. But the older the story, the further from the truth.

Cover of Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes

Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes

Hello, do you have time to talk about what is probably the scariest book I read all year? Honestly, sometimes I think about the scenes in this book and still get creeped out. It’s enough to have you eyeing every under bed space and darkened doorway with distrust. A communications crew on their last repair mission finds themselves at the end of known space, picking up an impossible signal from a legendary lost ship. The Aurora, the luxury spaceliner that disappeared on its maiden voyage, gone without a trace. It’s been 20 years, but if it really is the Aurora they’re picking up, the salvage rights could set the soon to be unemployed crew up for life. Provided they can survive what the ghost ship has in store for anyone who dares to board her.

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

Book Radar

May Cobb’s Latest Thriller is About Likeable (and Unlikeable) Women and More Book Radar!

Dear Book Friends,

Happy first Monday of the last month of the year! Let’s finish out this year strong, yes? How many books are we going to read to round out the year? My goal is…12. But I have a lot happening this month, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it if I don’t get there. Because while you can finish out the year strong if you want to, it’s also totally okay to just relax and do what you want. Up to you! And now let’s talk books.

Book Deals and Reveals

a likeable woman book cover

Here’s the cover reveal of A Likeable Woman, the upcoming thriller from May Cobb, author of The Hunting Wives and My Summer Darlings. You can preorder this July release here.

And here’s the cover reveal of historical horror novel The Others of Edenwell by Verity M. Holloway. This one’s out from Titan Books in July 2023.

And how about a sapphic fantasy novel cover reveal next? Here’s the cover of Faithless, C. L. Clark’s follow up to The Unbroken. Gizmodo also has an exclusive excerpt.

In support of the HarperCollins strike, more than 150 literary agents have signed an open letter pledging not to submit new projects to the publishing company.

St. Martin’s Press purchased the world English rights to Rachel Kapelke-Dale’s The Fortune Seller, which was pitched as “Yellowjackets meets The Talented Mr. Ripley.” The novel is set for a winter 2024 release.

ABC has released a teaser for the upcoming Beauty and the Beast 30th Anniversary Celebration. Tune in on December 15.

Disney+ has set a release date for the anticipated upcoming Japanese horror-thriller series Gannibal, based on the best-selling manga by Masaaki Ninomiya.

Disney has also expanded its partnership with Kodansha to release more anime series based on manga produced by Kodansha.

The Penguin Hotline is partnering with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). For every request the Penguin Hotline receives between November 30 and December 14, they will donate $2 to NCTE (for a max of $10K).

The New York Times just released their Best Books of 2022. How much does it overlap with the bestselling books of 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!

Prepare Your Shelves!

the things we do to our friends book cover

The Things We Do To Our Friends by Heather Darwent (January 10)

If you’ve been patiently waiting for your next great dark academia read, the wait is (almost) over! This one hits shelves in January, which is already right around the corner and…it’s set in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is such a huge bonus to me.

Clare comes to Edinburgh alone, yearning for a new life and for a chance to reinvent herself. Then she meets Tabitha, a charismatic, beautiful, and intimidatingly rich girl in Clare’s art history class. Immediately, Clare knows she wants to be friends with Tabitha and become a part of Tabitha’s inner circle. After all, when she thought of starting over, Tabitha’s fabulous life was the life she had always envisioned for herself.

But then Tabitha lets Clare in on a little secret, a project she’s been working on. Now she needs Clare’s help. And even though it goes against everything Clare believes to be right, she can’t help but say yes to anything her new friend wants from her. By the time Clare realizes just how far Tabitha will go, it will be far too late.

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

What I’m Reading This Week

cover of a sliver of darkness by c.j. tudor

A Sliver of Darkness by C.J. Tudor

Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun

The Family Game by Catherine Steadman

White Horse by Erika T. Wurth

Don’t Fear the Reaper by Stephen Graham Jones

Monday Memes

What’s on your Christmas list this year? Because for me, it’s definitely this.

And Here’s A Cat Picture!

tabby cat snuggled with a white blanket on a grey upholstered chair

Squish-in-the-blankets-on-the-chair season is still in full swing here in our home. Just look at Murray! Doesn’t it just make you want to wrap yourself in blankets and never leave home?

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for you today, friends. Here’s to a wonderful week, and I’ll see you on Thursday!


The Kids Are All Right

City Stories, New Releases, a Bookish Ornament, and More!

Hi Kid Lit Friends,

Happy December! I hope this month is filled with beautiful and cozy days for you. I’m looking forward to celebrating my kiddo’s birthday next weekend and visiting friends over the holiday break. I can’t wait to pick out our tree and make marshmallows to eat with hot chocolate!

Bookish Goods

Stack of tiny books made into a holiday ornament

Stacked Books Glass Ornament by HolidayShopbyFandF

I love this delicate ornament that will look perfect on any tree. A sweet gift for any booklover. $20

New Releases

Little Red Riding Hood and the Dragon cover

Little Red Riding Hood and the Dragon by Ying Chang Compestine, illustrated by Joy Ang

In a village by the Great Wall of China, a young kung fu fighter heads off with nourishing food for her sick grandmother. When she is led astray by a dragon, she finds herself swallowed whole when she reaches her grandmother’s house. Thankfully, she uses all of her ingenuity to rescue both her and grandmother.

A Story is to Share cover

A Story is to Share: How Ruth Krauss Found Another Way to Tell a Tale by Carter Higgins, illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault

I am always in awe of Carter Higgins’s writing. She is truly a master of words, and she is the perfect person to tell the story of the legendary author/illustrator Ruth Krauss. The illustrations are charming, and I love the green cloth spine!

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

Riot Recommendations

As a city dweller, I always find myself drawn to stories of city living. These new picture books celebrate city life!

City Under the City cover

City Under the City by Dan Yaccarino

In this sci-fi-ish (or realistic?) picture book, Bix lives in a city where no one talks to each other or reads books. They just stare at portable devices all monitored by the Big Eye. In an attempt to escape from the intrusive Eye, Bix finds a way under the city where he discovers an abandoned city…one that has a library! Can Bix find a way to bring back books, and defeat the Big Eye for good?

If You Were a City cover

If You Were a City by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Francesca Sanna

Cities are known for diversity, and this picture book perfectly captures how people can all be unique and add different gifts to a place. The illustrations are vibrant and full of energy!

Cycle City cover

Cycle City by Alison Farrell

I love so many things about this book! Farrell’s humor and illustrative style remind me of Richard Scarry. Etta the Elephant is off to her aunt’s house, and along the way she encounters a bicycle parade! Check out all the funny and silly bikes Etta sees in this delightful picture book.

Everybody in the Red Brick Building cover

Everybody in the Red Brick Building by Anne Wynter, illustrations by Oge Mora

Living in a big building has its challenges, especially when noise wakes up residents one by one, setting off a chain reaction so no neighbor is unaffected! But calm and quiet return to the city, and slowly the residents of the red brick building find rest again. Are you tired of me recommending books by Oge Mora yet??? I just love her illustrations!

Tri-color corgi wearing a red plaid bow

What are you reading these days?

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

Until next time,


*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

Today In Books

HEARTSTOPPER Season 2 Has Wrapped: Today in Books

Stacy Reid’s Sinful Wallflowers Series Being Adapted for TV

Stacy Reid’s Sinful Wallflowers historical romance series is being adapted for television. The series is being adapted by Sologne Angelique Productions, and CEO Sologne Schumacher said she plans to work with Reid on the adaptation. “Our company’s mission is amplifying the voices of historically excluded creators, and given Stacy Reid’s gifts as a storyteller, we knew she was someone we wanted to work with,” Schumacher said. “When I read the Sinful Wallflowers series, I knew these were characters the world needed to see.”

Heartstopper Season 2 Has Wrapped

Netflix announced on Twitter that the second season of Heartstopper has officially wrapped. The series is based on Alice Oseman’s bestselling graphic novels. The streaming service has yet to announce a release date for its second season. But we do know that the series is already renewed for season 3, so there’s plenty of Heartstopper to come.

AudioFile Names Its Best Audiobooks of 2022

AudioFile has named its best audiobooks of 2022. The list recognizes audiobooks in nine categories: fiction, nonfiction and culture, mystery and suspense, memoir, biography and history, science fiction and fantasy, romance, young adult, and children and family listening. “AudioFile’s list might share many of the same categories as other ‘best’ lists, but our list is all about audio performance and listening experiences,” AudioFile founder and editor Robin Whitten said. “We look at the narrators as the ones who make the magic of an audiobook, so they are celebrated in our lists.” Whitten also noted that “variety of style in the audio program is also an important criterion.” You can see the full list of winners at the AudioFile website.

The “Culture War” Designation is Journalistic Negligence: This Week’s Book Censorship News

A look at this week’s book censorship news and why using the phrase “culture war” with book bans is factually inaccurate.



We’re giving away one waterproof Kindle Oasis to one lucky reader!

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


Author Promo Newsletter Test

I’m Kelly Jensen, Editor at Book Riot. We’re getting ready to launch a series of author spotlights to help readers get to know the people behind the books and this is a sneak peek of what that looks like. 

I am a former public librarian-turned-editor who has been with Book Riot for close to 10 years. Much of my work is on young adult literature and covering censorship, and once I left libraries, I knew I wanted to continue reaching teens through writing. I’ve been able to do just that with books like Body Talk.

In my hours not working, I’m a mom to a toddler, caretaker to four cats and a bunny, a graduate student in mental health counseling, a volunteer and associate board member for a senior pet rescue, and I teach yoga. 

What Are You Reading?

cover of Suburban Hell by Maureen Kilmer

Suburban Hell by Maureen Kilmer

I just finished a hilarious suburban horror novel called, aptly, Suburban Hell. It’s about a group of four moms who accidentally conjure a demon from the space where one of them was planning to build a She Shed. It explored friendship, was a thoughtful critique of suburbia, and gave space for moms–too often seen as a one-dimensional thing–to be dynamic, fully formed people. 

Books That Shaped Me

cover of Year of the Tiger: An Activist's Life by Alice Wong; illustration of a red tiger on a yellow background

What I love about my books is that they fill a hole in YA for thoughtful essays packaged in an extremely accessible, inviting way. I can’t point to a lot of other books that inspired that style as inspirational, BUT I read a lot of essay collections and was inspired to offer such books for YA readers because of that. Among my top essay collections are Alice Wong’s Year of the Tiger (Alice has a phenomenal essay in Body Talk!), Jia Tolentino’s Trick Mirror, Alida Nugent’s You Don’t Have to Like Me (immediately after finishing this book I begged her to take part in my feminism anthology, to which she said yes), and though she does not have a book of essays, Anne Theriault’s online work has absolutely shaped me as a writer and thinker (her essay in Here We Are helped inspir my second anthology on mental health, (Don’t) Call Me Crazy)

More Good Stuff

I did a lot of cool promotions and events for Body Talk. Here are some of them I think you might enjoy:

One of the best events I’ve ever done was this launch event for Body Talk with Charis Books. It’s a discussion of boobs with a range of incredible authors, activists, and performers. You can catch that here.

The above panel was kind of my dream experience. Nic Stone, who was part of the event, was signed on to be in Body Talk; her career took off by leaps and bounds by the time her essay deadline was nearing and she had to pull out of the anthology to focus. We’d talked back and forth about doing something together, and somewhere along the way, had an unrelated conversation about breasts. From there, the event was born! 

You can find all of my Book Riot work here.

I’ve also written extensively for School Library Journal.

More of my clips from across the media landscape are here.

Today In Books

It’s Time to Vote in the Inaugural Black Book Awards (BBA): Today in Books

ABC Releases Teaser for Upcoming Beauty and the Beast 30th Anniversary Celebration

ABC has released a teaser for the upcoming Beauty and the Beast 30th Anniversary Celebration. Tune in on December 15 to see H.E.R. as Belle, Josh Groban as The Beast, Joshua Henry as Gaston, Martin Short as Lumíère, Shania Twain as Mrs. Potts, David Alan Grier as Cogsworth, and Rita Moreno as the narrator. The television special will mix animation and live-action to celebrate one of Disney’s most beloved films.

The Penguin Hotline is Partnering with the National Council of Teachers of English

The Penguin Hotline is partnering with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). With Penguin Hotline, you can visit their website, answer questions about everyone on your holiday shopping list, and receive a personal note along with customized book recommendations. For every request the Penguin Hotline receives between November 30 and December 14, they will donate $2 to NCTE (for a max of $10K).

It’s Time to Vote in the Inaugural Black Book Awards

It’s time to vote in the inaugural Black Book Awards (BBA)! Right now, voting is open for nearly 50 categories, including unique ones like “Superior Best Friend” and “Best Found Family.” The BBA is an opportunity to celebrate Black literature from the past year. On the website, the BBA writes, “This is our space to share our love and support to our Black authors, and for us to have some fun representing our favorite reads.” You can vote in all categories at the BBA website.

The New York Times Best Sellers List vs. Their Best Books of 2022

The New York Times just released their Best Books of 2022. How much does it overlap with the bestselling books of the year?

True Story

Holiday Gift Ideas for the True Crime Lover in Your Life!

Hello, bookish friends! We just made it back home from Sunny California to chilly South Carolina. The Corgis are exhausted from playing with their canine cousins for a week, so today the whole family has been huddled on the couch recovering from so much excitement. Is there anything better than a Netflix fire playing in the background while you enjoy a warm cup of tea on a cold evening? This week, we have more gift options for the nonfiction lovers on your list. Plus, I share some true crime books — let’s jump right in!

Bookish Goods

an ornament featuring books and text that says "Merry Bookmas"

2022 Merry Bookmas Ornament by Gift Goddess Co

I love giving ornaments to family and friends during the holidays. It’s like capturing a memory and hanging it on a tree. This one is especially cute and perfect for booklovers. $11

New Releases

A graphic of the color of Sister Novelists: The Trailblazing Porter Sisters, Who Paved the Way for Austen and the Brontës by Devoney Looser

Sister Novelists: The Trailblazing Porter Sisters, Who Paved the Way for Austen and the Brontës by Devoney Looser

For the classic literature lovers in your life, Sister Novelists examines the lives of the Porter sisters, two novelists who began publishing their novels at the end of the 18th century. They reached international fame only to have their reputation dragged through the mud by men taking credit for their writing. Now Looser is reintroducing readers to these two talented women.

a graphic of the cover of The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Science lovers abound, and who is better at fascinating science books than Siddhartha Mukherjee? This time Mukherjee is giving us a tribute to the cell: its discovery, and what scientists are investing in it next. I love Mukherjee’s clear and direct writing, and even though I haven’t had a science class since high school, I can understand Mukherjee’s scientific explanations.

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

Riot Recommendations

This week on Read or Dead, the podcast I co-host with Katie McLain Horner, we’re talking about true crime! I love this crossover of my work here at True Story and on the podcast. So let’s briefly chat about my picks. You can find the complete episode on Book Riot’s main website, or wherever you get your podcasts!

A graphic of the cover of Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga

Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga

Journalist Tanya Talaga investigates the deaths of seven Indigenous high school students  in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Each one of these students moved from rural locations in the northern part of the province to attend school. Talaga pieces together the students’ lives, trying to better understand why each student died. Woven throughout is the dark history of the residential school system across Canada and its lasting effects on Indigenous communities across the country.

a graphic of the cover of The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg

The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg

Eisenberg volunteered to work for a nonprofit in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. She ended up living there for years, falling in love with the region and its people. But while there, she learned of two middle-class, white women who were murdered as they were traveling through the area. The Third Rainbow Girl combines Eisenberg’s own story of working in West Virginia, the case of the two “Rainbow Girls,” and the history of Pocahontas County. Even with its many moving parts, Eisenberg deftly weaves a story together to create something wholly unique.

That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave or over on Instagram @kdwinchester. As always, feel free to drop me a line at For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy reading, Friends!

~ Kendra