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In The Club

The Best Books of the Year According to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Amazon

Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met, well-read, and well-fed.

Welp! I’m officially in December mode, which for me means I want to lounge around, cuddled up with a hot chocolate, a book, the remote, and the latest thing I’m spending too much time on: video games. It’s not like I had time to spare, but the games have been super fun (although I have to admit it sometimes seems like I’m hustling backwards).

We’re also now in the time of best-of lists, or we have been since October, if you’re Barnes & Noble. Sometimes book clubs want to keep abreast of the best of the most talked about books, and the picks seem pretty solid, so I decided to speak on them a bit today. I highlighted the ones that were in at least two lists, and the longer lists are at the end.

Nibbles and Sips

Cranberry and Orange Buttermilk Loaf

I saw this recipe (by Georgina Hayden) for this loaf and it seemed to basically be like an orange and cranberry muffin in loaf form. The thought of this warmed up seemed so comforting and perfect for the time (especially as someone who lives in the colder parts of North America), I had to share.

The Best of the Best

DEMON COPPERHEAD BARBARA KINGSOLVER cover

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

This is one that The New York Times, The Washing Post, and Amazon all say was one of the bests of the year. It’s also an Oprah Book Club pick and a book I already mentioned as a most-anticipated read for this fall. Well, I still haven’t read it, but I just might need to bump it up the list a bit.

It’s a retelling of David Copperfield, but with its critique of poverty, it feels like more somehow? Charles Dickens’ inspiration for David Copperfield was his own experiences with poverty as a child in England, and here, Kingsolver writes about a boy who grows up in the United States’ Appalachia. He’s the son of a single mother and survives foster care, bad schools, addictions, and other traumas endemic in poor, forgotten areas.

cover of An Immense World

An Immense World by Ed Yong

The NYT and Barnes & Noble both have this book on their lists. In it, science journalist Yong paints a vivid picture of all that can be sensed in the world. Turtles can outline the Earth’s magnetic fields, giant squids see sparkling whales, plants hold the songs of courting insects, and there are even humans who use sonar like bats. I love books that show how rewarding it is to step outside of our own, singular experiences as humans. This is definitely on my list.

Trust by Hernon Diaz cover

Trust by Hernan Diaz

Trust appears on The NYT’s, The Washington Post’s, and was even long listed for this year’s Booker Prize. Diaz was also a finalist for the Pulitzer for fiction and other awards. Suffice to say, my mans can write, and his latest is a layered story. There’s a book titled Bonds that tells a seemingly fictionalized story of a couple rising to wealth and status in the ’20s. But the main character of the novel has a lot in common with the real world (real world in the book, that is. Layers!) investor Andrew Bevel. If the novel was based off of a real person, are the rumors of how they got their money true? And did the mental health of the tycoon’s wife really decline? Now, one woman sets out to discern fact from fiction.

A graphic of the cover of Stay True by Hua Hsu

Stay True by Hua Hsu

The NYT and WaPo both have this one on their lists. Hsu writes of the friendship he had in college with Japanese American Ken. He and Ken became close friends despite their seemingly immense differences — Ken was mainstream while Hsu was more of a rebel. Their friendship came to an abrupt end when Ken was killed during a carjacking only a couple years after they met. Stay True is a tribute to this relationship — it’s about coming of age as an outsider and finding where you belong.

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

If you’d like to read the rest of the lists:

Suggestion Section

Read about Sci-fi Plots

The best tablets for reading

Here are the best writer epitaphs

Dungeons & Dragons gifts!


I hope this newsletter found you well, and as always, thanks for hanging out! If you have any comments or just want to connect, send an email to erica@riotnewmedia.com or holla at me on Twitter @erica_eze_. You can also catch me talking more mess in the new In Reading Color newsletter as well as chattin’ with my new co-host Tirzah Price on the Hey YA podcast.

Until next week,

Erica

Categories
In Reading Color

Black Friday Regret, New Releases, and More Nonfiction

Welcome to In Reading Color, a space where we focus on literature by and about people of color.

Reading Color friends! I hope your Thanksgiving was peaceful if you celebrate it. Mine was cool but busy. I was driving around a bit for last minute things, and then later as I went to a couple houses.

For the rest of the weekend, the Nintendo Switch — and the Pokémon game — I gifted myself for early Christmas/Black Friday barely left my hands. And the time I wasn’t playing was spent looking up games I should get before sales end. I felt like I was 10 again making lists of video games I wanted. The only (dangerous) thing that is different is that I can actually buy them all now. *sweats*

As I ponder the ramifications of this recent decision, let’s get into some books!

Bookish Goods

Brown Girls Read Puzzle

Brown Girls Read Puzzle by thetrinigee

I’ve been meaning to get into puzzles — I’ve heard great things about doing them while listening to an audiobook — and this one’s art is pretty. $21+

New Releases

A Coastline Is an Immeasurable Thing: A Memoir Across Three Continents cover

A Coastline Is an Immeasurable Thing: A Memoir Across Three Continents by Mary-Alice Daniel

Daniel’s young world got a sudden shock when her family moved from Nigeria to the cold suburbs of England. She got another shock when they uprooted again, this time relocating to the Southern U.S. With each move and each effort to adjust to her changing environments, she lost a little of her mother culture. In this poetic memoir, she wrestles with this upbringing and all the differences in religion, race, and class that converged upon it.

We Deserve Monuments  cover

We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds

This one is also about a move, but not as big of one. Here, 17 year old Avery’s mother moves them from D.C. to Georgia because her grandmother is dying. Her grandmother isn’t very welcoming, and neither is the town, but Avery is still able to find friends in Simone and Jade. Turns out the Avery’s new home is also riddled with secrets — from Jade’s mother’s unsolved murder case to Avery’s family’s history within the town — and finding them out will come at a cost.

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

Riot Recommendations

Here’s just a little more recent nonfiction to close out Nonfiction November.

Conversations with Birds cover

Conversations with Birds by Priyanka Kumar

Kumar is a filmmaker and novelist, and grew up in the beautiful Himalayas, whose beauty she took for granted, before she moved to North America. After the move, she felt disconnected from the natural world until her 20s, when she met birders on the beach and her eyes were opened to the lifestyle. In this memoir, she tells of how the beauty and majesty of birds helped her to not only appreciate her natural surroundings more, but also to realize her place in the universe.

We Refuse to Forget cover

We Refuse to Forget: A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power by Caleb Gayle

Gayle tells the complicated history of Black Creek identity, starting with how some Creek people owned enslaved Black people. They also accepted free Black people fully into their nation as citizens — with some even becoming Chiefs, like Cow Tom. But this was undone in the ’70s by tribal leaders. This book tells why this came to be, how the U.S. government was involved, and how it still affects Black Creek people to this day.

File this “under interesting things in U.S. history that I know next to nothing about.”

Thanks for reading; it’s been cute! If you want to reach out and connect, email me at erica@riotnewmedia.com or tweet at me @erica_eze_. You can find me on the Hey YA podcast with the fab Tirzah Price, as well as in the In The Club newsletter.

Until next time,

Erica

Categories
Bookish Goods

Bookish Good of the Week: November 27, 2022

Custom Book Box for Book Lovers

Custom Book Box for Book Lovers by TheCustomLibraryCo

This book box has three different size options, which, depending on your selection, include one book, themed goodies, a book plate, a candle, snacks, and more. You can also link the gift receiver’s Goodreads and the sellers guarantee delivery by December 20th. $30+

Categories
In The Club

Gifts for the Book Club!

Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met, well-read, and well-fed.

Book Club Besties! I’m in a holiday sort of mood and trying to figure out what to get people (as well as myself, ha!). Thought I’d help you all out in case you were trying to find a gift for someone in your book club or some other bookish person.

Now to the gifts!

fruit salad with coconut whip cream

Fruit salad with coconut whip cream

I know this is pretty simple, but I also thought it was a really good idea when I first saw it. I’ve already tried it and it really is a simple, delicious thing to have, and of course, you can use whatever fruit you like! You just need fruit, honey/agave, and coconut whip cream (I bought mine premade, but I’m sure fresh is even better). I also think it would be a good idea to let the fruit sit for at least 30 minutes with the honey/agave to let the flavors meld (but of course not if you use fruit that browns). It’s pretty straight forward — you just finely chop fruit and add it to coconut whip cream — but here’s the original video, anyway.

Gift Club

book club tote with an Art Deco design

You can never have too many totes! And this one has a cute Art Deco design. $22

off white book club t shirt

I love the minimalist design of this shirt. Plus, if everyone in your book club gets one, you can look like a cute, bookish unit. $25

book club candle

Make the vibes immaculate with this book club candle. $7

Christmas themed  Blind Date with a Book

Here’s a blind date with a book that has holiday-themed goodies. Although the book is a surprise, you can still list the recipient’s preferred genre. $20

Book Ornament

I see these ornaments as more of a self gift. $22+

Custom book quote necklace

This would make such a special gift (again, or self gift!). You can get just the pendent or turn it into a necklace. $42+

TBR Tarot Cards

These TBR Tarot Cards will definitely come in handy when it’s time to pick the next book club book. $20

Support Your Local Book Gang Coffee Mug

I believe there is no such thing as too many coffee mugs, only not enough cabinet space, and this one is too cute not to add to the collection. $18

Book Socks

I am officially at the age where I would love to receive socks as a gift, and these look really cozy. $13+

Novel Teas

These Novel Teas have literary quotes on each tea bag. Ahhh $14

Suggestion Section

The New York Times has released its most notable books of 2022.

Bestselling books of the week

9 of the Best Christmas Novels to Sleigh Your TBR

The History of Fanny Hill and The Censoring of Women’s Pleasure

7 Signs You Might Be Stuck In a Cozy Mystery Series | Book Riot

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


I hope this newsletter found you well, and as always, thanks for hanging out! If you have any comments or just want to connect, send an email to erica@riotnewmedia.com or holla at me on Twitter @erica_eze_. You can also catch me talking more mess in the new In Reading Color newsletter as well as chattin’ with my new co-host Tirzah Price on the Hey YA podcast.

Until next week,

Erica

Categories
In Reading Color

New Releases and a Mini Book List Inspired by Black Panther 2!

Welcome to In Reading Color, a space where we focus on literature by and about people of color.

Success! I watched Black Panther 2 this weekend! It was kind of what I expected from what I had heard — there was, of course, lots of action, but also a lot of sorrow, especially when Chadwick Boseman was referenced. I know the character he played in the movie was T’Challa, but how he and his character both died seemed to be similar. I was definitely sniffling at the end.

Its happier elements were more of the same from the first movie: gorgeous depictions of African culture, but with some cool aspects of Mesoamerican culture by way of the new antagonist Namor. In addition to a couple new releases, I thought I’d highlight a couple SFF books that show off African and Mesoamerican lore just as brilliantly as Black Panther did.

Bookish Goods

Xochiquetzal Peachy Pink Aztec Goddess poster

Xochiquetzal Pink Aztec Goddess Poster by NalgonaPositiveShop

This isn’t entirely bookish, but it fits today’s theme and is so cute to me. Xochiquetzal was the Aztec goddess of beauty, love, art, and music. $13

New Releases

Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction; painting of a young Black woman in a yellow astronaut suit holding little white flowers

Africa Risen, edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, and Zelda Knight

This collections’ award-winning editors have assembled a breathtaking anthology of science fiction and fantasy from Africa and its diaspora. Among the 32 original stories are a tale of a supercomputer that stores the minds of the country’s ancestors, and another in which the daughter of a rain goddess inherits her powers, which are needed to save the world. There are some familiar names among the list of contributors, like Tananarive Due, and many other ones that are new to me, but who I’m excited to discover.

other side of the tracks book cover

Other Side of the Tracks by Charity Alyse

In this YA novel, the towns of Bayside and Hamilton are separated — both racially and physically — by train tracks. When Zach, a white kid from Philly, crosses the tracks to meet his musical idol, a famous jazz musician, he also meets Capri. Capri, like her brother Justin, plans to escape her city, which has become complacent in racial segregation. Her meeting Zach gives her hope that she can make it on Broadway as a dancer. But then Zach’s friend is murdered by a police officer and the teens suddenly find themselves in the middle of a racial feud between the two towns.

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

Riot Recommendations

gods of jade and shadow

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I really loved this when I read it about three years ago. It follows Casiopea Tun, a girl who dreams of a life that will release her from cleaning her wealthy grandfather’s house. When she finds a weird wooden box in her grandfather’s room, she opens it, freeing the Mayan god of death. He tasks her with helping him regain his throne from his trifling brother, which will lead to her attaining her dreams if she succeeds, but her death if she doesn’t. So Casiopea sets out with the oddly intriguing death god, the two of them traveling from the glittering Jazz Age Mexico City to the depths of the Mayan Underworld.

Moreno-Garcia also dabbles in a little Aztec lore (there is some overlap between Mayan and Aztec culture) with Certain Dark Things. In it, lonely street kid Domingo and Atl, a descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, team up to escape a dangerous vampire clan.

Book cover of Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

Tarisai was raised in isolation, and, with a number of rotating tutors, also raised to be the perfect companion to the Crown Prince. When the time comes for her to fulfill the purpose her absent mother, known as The Lady, has set out for her, she travels to Amritsar. In the capital, she is to compete with other children to become one of 11 chosen to be the Prince’s most trusted companions who will share a profoundly deep bond with him. A family like this is all she’s ever wanted, but The Lady wants her to kill the prince. I loved, loved this one and am still planning to read the sequel. One of the best things about it is the world building that’s rooted in the lore of different African cultures — there are drums that spread messages magically, fantastical creatures, and vibrant descriptions of food, clothing, and dance. There are also magic tattoos, demon children, and an underworld that takes children sacrifices. Y’all need to read this asap if you haven’t already.

Thanks for reading; it’s been cute! If you want to reach out and connect, email me at erica@riotnewmedia.com or tweet at me @erica_eze_. You can find me on the Hey YA podcast with the fab Tirzah Price, as well as in the In The Club newsletter.

Until next time,

Erica

Categories
Bookish Goods

Bookish Good of the Week: November 20, 2022

Custom BOOK QUOTE - HARPER Pendant Medium | 14k Gold Fill Sterling Silver, Bookish Necklace,

Custom 14k Gold Fill Book Quote Pendant/Necklace by Amoorella

This is a very unique and personal potential gift for someone else (or yourself!). You pick the quote and can customize the pendant in other ways. $42+

Categories
In The Club

Native Nonfiction November

Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met, well-read, and well-fed.

Because we like alliteration, November is, in addition to a few other things, a month to beef up your nonfiction reads. I’m definitely guilty of being more of a fiction girlie, so I see things like Nonfiction November as a great reminder to diversify my reading and step outside of my comfort zone.

To help us meet our nonfiction goals this month, I’ve decided to highlight some nonfiction by Indigenous authors.

Now, for the club!

Three Sisters Stew with Corn Dumplings

Three Sisters Stew with Corn Dumplings by Chef Loretta Barrett Oden

I already love soup, especially around this time of year. The addition of corn dumplings makes my southern heart sing. The history of the three sisters — corn, beans, and squash — also holds a special place in Indigenous histories. I haven’t made this yet, but judging by the ingredients, it seems like it’ll have a slight chili taste. Well, actually just judging by the cumin because cumin very easily makes everything taste like chili to me. Follow the recipe here.

Native Histories, Both Personal and Collective

Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults cover

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, adapted by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt

You may have heard of the botanist/author Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass, a book in which she extols the virtues of looking to plants and animals as teachers, a traditionally Potawatomi Nation perspective. This young adult version does the same thing, just in a way that is more accessible to younger readers (plus there are illustrations!).

cover of heartberries by Terese Marie Mailhot

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

Whew, what an intense story Terese packed into a mere 143 pages! After reading this memoir, I almost feel like I can call the author by her first name. Her writing was so personal and raw, after finishing the book, I felt like we needed to go get drinks somewhere and decompress. She talks about growing up on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the PNW, her PTSD and bipolar II diagnoses, her problematic relationship, and childhood abuse. Her writing was poetic, fluid, and pulled no punches. Y’all aren’t ready.

Our History Is the Future cover

Our History Is the Future by Nick Estes

The encampment at Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota grew into the largest Indigenous protest movement of the century. In Our History Is the Future, Estes chronicles the history of Indigenous protest that led to standing Rock, and what it might lead to in the future.

A graphic of the cover of Why Indigenous Literatures Matter by Daniel Heath Justice

Why Indigenous Literatures Matter by Daniel Heath Justice

Justice speaks on the states of Indigenous literature and Indigenous literature studies, and how necessary they are in dismantling a culture of colonialism. Indigenous writers do this by asking existential and interpersonal questions, and by doing so, challenge colonialist policies that have driven wedges between Indigenous people and their connections to each other and the land.

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

Suggestion Section

Barnes & Noble’s Best book of the year

Amazon’s 10 best books of the year

The Bestselling Books of the Week

Books to Make You Ugly Cry

Signs You Might Be Stuck in a Cozy Mystery Series

A Roman Noir Sub-Genre Primer


I hope this newsletter found you well, and as always, thanks for hanging out! If you have any comments or just want to connect, send an email to erica@riotnewmedia.com or holla at me on Twitter @erica_eze_. You can also catch me talking more mess in the new In Reading Color newsletter as well as chattin’ with my new co-host Tirzah Price on the Hey YA podcast.

Until next week,

Erica

Categories
In Reading Color

New Michelle Obama, Angels & Demons, and Indigenous Poetry

Welcome to In Reading Color, a space where we focus on literature by and about people of color.

Friends! Somehow I have not seen Black Panther 2, and I am justifiably ashamed. To my credit, I also feel like I haven’t been seeing much advertisement for it, which made its release date totally slip my mind. I also feel like I saw more ads for the first movie, but I understand how the release of this one is bittersweet since the passing of Chadwick Boseman. I’m going to see it this weekend, but I know I will be ugly crying in the theater.

Welp! Now for some books…

Bookish Goods

bat book holder

Bat Book Holder by DeannaMarieCreations

This page holder totally looks like one Batman would have (RIP Kevin Conroy!). If you’re not feeling the bat, there’s a kitty, whale, doggo, and fox. $10+

New Releases

The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times cover

The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama

After Michelle Obama’s Becoming became (ha) one of the best selling books ever, she’s back with some tips on making it through the muck. She tackles issues like building healthy relationships — both at the personal and community-level — realizing your inherent worth, and dealing with self-doubt with a refreshing brand of optimism. I have to say I’m a little surprised that I haven’t been hearing a lot about this release, but it’s bound to be popular!

Cover of Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse

Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse

The new element known as Divinity is the power source for the most innovative technologies and a key to progress. But it can only be seen by the descendants of those who rebelled during Heaven’s War, now known as the Fallen. Although they have sole access to this valuable commodity, they are deemed as second-class citizens because of their having lost the war. When one of the Fallen, Mariel, is accused of murdering an upperclass Elect, her half sister Celeste will risk her life of privilege and take on the role of Advocatus Diaboli (Devil’s Advocate) to defend her sister. But of course, there are secrets that come to light, revealing things the powers that be don’t want coming out.

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

Riot Recommendations

Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz cover

Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz

“Let me call my anxiety, desire, then.

Let me call it, a garden.”

In this award-winning collection, Diaz writes of bodies — from Indigenous, Black, and Brown bodies to bodies of land and water — that have had violence done against them, but have also transformed that violence into something beautiful.

An American Sunrise cover

An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo was the first First Nations person to be named Poet Laureate of the United States, a title she held from 2019-2022 (also a title that is currently held by Mexican and Indigenous poet Ada Limón). Harjo has released many books of poetry, kids’ books, memoirs, and most recently a book on writing poetry, Catching the Light. In An American Sunrise, she travels to her family’s land, what is now known as Oklahoma. There, the violent removal of the Mvskoke people leaves a stain on the land, a fracture that Harjo intertwines her own personal history with First Nations’ history to contend with.

Thanks for reading; it’s been cute! If you want to reach out and connect, email me at erica@riotnewmedia.com or tweet at me @erica_eze_. You can find me on the Hey YA podcast with the fab Tirzah Price, as well as in the In The Club newsletter.

Until next time,

Erica

Categories
Bookish Goods

Bookish Good of the Week: November 13, 2022

Christmas tree book sweatshirt

Christmas tree book sweatshirt by UStrendyshirt

If you celebrate Christmas and want a festive sweater that reps your bookishness, this one should do the trick. $14+

Categories
In The Club

Books With Out-There Plots

Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met, well-read, and well-fed.

What’s something that makes you commit to reading a book? For me, it tends to be if it has some kind of outlandish factor. I love an extra-ass plot, with tastefully done world building or even a book that takes place in a world like our own with just that lil sprinkle of magic. It’s probably the reason I read so much science fiction and fantasy: I’m extra in my everyday and I would like the books I read to be, too. This is why I’ve decided to highlight a few books that I think will be super fun to read, or at the very least, excellent discussion starters.

pine nut catfish

Nibbles and SipsNative American Catfish with Pine Nuts by Food.com

I am a simple creature. You fry a fish and I’ll eat it. Seriously, it may be a circumstance of my Nashvillian upbringing, but I love a good fish fry. This recipe does something new that I find super intriguing. It uses corn meal (which I’m used to for frying fish), but also ground up roasted pine nuts. You follow the usual steps for frying fish, you just add pine nuts that you’ve roasted and ground for five minutes to the dry fish fry before you coat the fish and fry it in oil at 350 degrees.

Extra, Extra Read All About It

the cover of Patricia Wants to Cuddle

Patricia Wants to Cuddle by Samantha Allen

Reading the title and looking at the cover had me thinking “Is that…Patricia? With the rather large hand and dripping nail polish??”

Let’s just say it might be because once the weary contestants of a heterosexual dating show make it to the top of an island’s tallest peak and meet her, they have to start fighting for their lives. This is a comedy that’s also a queer love story that I’ve seen compared to X-Files and The Bachelor.

cover of The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka; colorful illustration of a Sri Lankan god

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka

This book won this year’s 2022 Booker Award, proving that extra plots are where it’s at. In this satire, it’s 1990 in Colombo when queer photographer Maali Almeida wakes up in the celestial visa office. Well, his consciousness wakes up, while the rest of him — his actual body — is rotting in the Beira Lake. He has no idea who killed him, and the widespread, varied violence of the time makes the suspect list long. To add to the drama of it all, he has only seven moons to lead two loved ones to photos that will change the course of Sri Lanka.

cover of that time I got drunk and saved a demon by kimberly lemming

That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon by Kimberly Lemming

Tell me you wouldn’t read this cover in a bookstore or at a library and have to pick it up. And the title is pretty spot on. Cinnamon is drunk when she saves the shifter demon Fallon, and after he follows her home and tells her of the evil goddess that has reduced demons to zombie-like states, she accompanies him to free his people. She helps him free some other things, too, if you know what I mean. This is a fun, funny, steamy monster romance with a Black female lead (in other words, you should read it ASAP). Bonus points for Cinnamon’s siblings being named Chili and Cumin.

The Passenger cover

The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy

I’m a plebeian and have never read any McCarthy books, but I’ve heard they can be pretty out there as a general rule. This one seems to have core elements that tickle my fancy. It follows Bobby Western, a salvage diver, who, in 1980 Mississippi, has found a sunken jet. Among the wreckage are nine bodies, but what isn’t there is more where the story lies. The black box is missing and so is the 10th passenger, and people are thinking Bobby had something to do with it. This may sound like a kind of so-so set up so far, intriguing but not quite out there, but what made me do a double take with this one was that 1) both Bobby and his sister are mathematical geniuses who are descendants of a scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project, and 2) he’s in love with his sister who spends her last days in an asylum.

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

Suggestion Section

Winner of the Ursula K. Le Guin Prize Is Revealed

New Tings!

Learn about Forgotbusters — The Blockbuster Books That Time Forgot

Book Clubs:


I hope this newsletter found you well, and as always, thanks for hanging out! If you have any comments or just want to connect, send an email to erica@riotnewmedia.com or holla at me on Twitter @erica_eze_. You can also catch me talking more mess in the new In Reading Color newsletter as well as chattin’ with my new co-host Tirzah Price on the Hey YA podcast.

Until next week,

Erica