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Insiders

Epic Update: July 25, 2022

Good morning and good Monday, Insiders! I hope your week is off to a good start — and it help it along, I thought I’d share this amazing conversation between Ed Yong and Alice Wong about perspective, nature, and science. A friend texted it to me this morning, and it was the best way to kick my day off.

No announcements, on to the good stuff!

-Jenn

What Are You Reading?

Hey Insiders!

Can I tell you something? I’m still reading the same lone book from last week. I am really enjoying True Biz by Sara Nović, and I’ve been chipping away at it slowly not because it’s not great but because my time to just read is….well, it’s there but my motivation and energy are not. I’ve done a lot of solo parenting this week, as my (wonderful) nanny takes a much-needed vacation and my partner has been working 12+ hour days.

photo of a young child holding open a book

Despite not reading, I have done a number of fun bookish things. The best one? My kiddo got her first book prize for summer reading club at the library. Though they did not have board books for her to choose from, she did get a really neat National Geographic Kids paperback about safaris. She picked it from a few, and you’ll see she quite enjoys it!

Hopefully next week I’ll have more to report on the reading front. But if not, here’s your reminder it’s okay to go through periods where you read and periods where you simply do not. It doesn’t make you any less of a book person.

So, what are you reading?

-Kelly Jensen

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The Goods

Accessorize your summer reading with Book Riot’s printable bookmark sets!

It’s time for summer reading, which means it’s BYOBookmarks season! At Book Riot, we’ve designed a few printable sets we think you’ll love, including bookmarks for plant parents, some bookish animal puns, and habit trackers to keep up with your reading goals. At $2 each, you can collect all six sets. Check them out at Book Riot’s Etsy shop!

a collage of the various bookmarks with text saying B. Y. O. Bookmarks!, set up look like a picnic
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Insiders

Epic Update: July 18, 2022

Hello Epic folks, and happy Monday! Here’s your reminder that you can still vote on the Book Riot Podcast’s next theme for their Bonus episode of Q3, until Sunday 7/24. And now, let’s talk about books!

What Are You Reading?

Hey Insiders!

cover of Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty

You may recall that last week I said I’d pick up a romance for my mini vacation. I…did not read anything on that trip at all. Instead, I ate a lot of cherries, hung out in a lavender field, and visited my favorite beach. I may not have read, but I did stop at two different bookstores and in addition to picking up a pile of board books for my daughter, I bought myself two books. The first is Diary of a Naturalist by Dara McAnulty, a nonfiction book about the environment and nature–fitting to buy it on an island that is mostly undisturbed–and the second is The Sturgeon’s Heart by Amy E. Casey, a contemporary monster story set on the shore of Lake Superior. The two bookstores, for those curious, were Fair Isle and Novel Bay.

I did finish up two books when I got home, though. I blew through the rest of Jumper by Melanie Crowder, which I was super into until one Big Moment which felt…disappointing/frustrating. I also finished listening to Written in Bone by Sue Black, which was fascinating. I also picked up a number of books from the library for the coming weeks, including Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda.

What are you reading right now? Chime in in the comments!

– Kelly

Categories
Events

Get Your Sleuth On With Us: It’s Thrillers and Mysteries Week!

We’re exploring the wide-ranging world of thrillers and mysteries this week, and you’re invited to join the adventure! From “gentle thrill” cozies to the best procedural series, mystery books about dogs to those involving treasure hunts, BookTube channels to TikTok creators to follow, and much more. Or perhaps you’re new to thrillers and mysteries? We got you. We’ll have posts going live each day this week that are sure to explode your TBR. The game is afoot!

a brown hand holding a magnifying glass over a page of cipher symbols
Categories
The Goods 2

Best Books of 2022 So Far

Somehow, we’re already more than halfway through 2022, and it’s a fantastic year for books. We’re sharing our favorites published between January 1 and June 30, and you’ll find reads across genres — from psychological horror to a memoir about disability and motherhood and a historical fantasy full of feminist rage (plus dragons!). Happy browsing!

our Best Books of 2022 So Far graphic, which has a lot of fun layers of triangles and lasers and bright colors
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Insiders

Epic Update: July 11, 2022

Hello and happy Monday, Epic folx! I alternated gardening, reading, chores, and crafting this weekend, and I am learning to hand-quilt and am Pretty Excited About It. (It’s coping mechanisms all the way down, y’all.)

-Jenn

Announcements

Time to vote for the Book Riot Podcast’s next Bonus Episode! Make your feelings known.

What Are You Reading?

Howdy, Insiders!

cover of Year of the Tiger- An Activist's Life by Alice Wong

I spent my long weekend indoors reading, so I was able to get through a number of books recently. I blew through Alice Wong’s incredible forthcoming memoir, Year of the Tiger. It’s about her life as an Asian American disability activist and the format for this one is so great: it’s a scrapbook! You’ll see interviews, essays, art, and more, and it’s so great at capturing Alice’s voice and her powerful work.

I also blew through Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado. I wanted to like it more than I did, but I see why others have fallen for this Sapphic horror/thriller novel about the Bronx and a creepypasta-type legend.

Currently, I’m reading Jumper by Melanie Crowder, a queer wildnerness adventure YA novel about smokejumpers. As I write this quick update, it’s prior to a long weekend up north (is that a thing anyone but those of us in the Midwest say?) and I plan on bringing a romance with me to read. By the time you read this update, I’ll already be back and preparing to tell you which one ended up making the trip with me.

Tell me what you’ve got on your stack right now!

— Kelly

Categories
Insiders

Epic Update: July 5, 2022

Hello Epic Insiders, and happy July! While patriotism is a complicated thing for a lot of us right now, as a gardener I did enjoy learning that many of the different kinds of fireworks are named for flowers.

No announcements today, just book chat!

-Jenn

What Are You Reading?

Welcome to the mid-point of 2022! I hope even if this year hasn’t or isn’t going as you hoped–it sure isn’t for me–that at least you’re doing some good reading.

burn down rise up book cover

Right now, I’m blowing through Vincent Tirado’s Burn Down, Rise Up, a Sapphic YA horror novel pitched as Stranger Things meets Get Out. I don’t get the Stranger Things vibe, but I do get the Get Out vibes as it’s a social horror novel and I cannot put it down.

In audio, I’m working my way very slowly through Written In Bone: Hidden Stories in What We Leave Behind by Sue Black. Black performs the audio and has a really thick British accent, which for me, means I need to take it really slow because it’s not as easy to consume. That’s not a bad thing!

I am gearing up to begin my fifth class in my second master’s program this month, and so I’ll also be reading a lot about ethics in mental health counseling. In between that and the above, I’m also reading piles of board books with my kiddo. Among her favorites right now are Katrine Crow’s “Who’s Is It?” series featuring animal feet, scales, noses, and more, as well as Curious Critters: Illinois.

What’re you reading? It was a long weekend here in the US, so I used the extra day off to read. Click through to add your reading list to the comments!

— Kelly Jensen

Categories
Insiders

Epic Update: June 27, 2022

Hello, Epic folks! It’s been a rough few days in the world — sending everyone all the good vibes for balance in rest, restoration, and action.

Announcements

Just one reminder to fill out our survey about (if and) how you use the New Release Index if you haven’t already! There’s a giveaway involved if you need more of a reason than telling us your opinions 😉 .

What Are You Reading?

Hellloooooooo everyone. I am having the weirdest time again trying to finish things. I honestly don’t know what’s up — probably related to :waves hands at everything in the world:? So we’re going to talk about the one book I’ve read, that I actually finished, that wasn’t required reading for a podcast, and then some … wait for it … TV.

cover of Partners in Crime by Alisha Rai

I inhaled Alisha Rai’s newest romance, Partners in Crime, which from where I’m sitting is whole new territory for her! It’s a heist-kidnapping-caper-thriller-style second-chance romance, and because it’s so heavy on the action (KIDNAPPING I SAY), it’s lighter on the angst than I’m used to from her characters. Which will be good news to some and less good news to others (I know I’m not alone in loving the angst) but regardless, it is a blast. Loved the characters, was VERY into the plot, am really hoping this is gonna be a series. I love it when an author branches into a new sub-genre and surprises me!

And then there’s my TV diet, which is what’s getting me through right now. My beloved So You Think You Can Dance is back and I am high-key obsessed with this number featuring Alexis and Keaton (I watched it four times in a row and then several more times since). Also I am predicting right now that either Alexis or Essence wins, you heard it here first! (I’m never right about these things.) American Ninja Warrior is also back and I could not be more excited to see Najee Richardson repping for Philly. And then my partner and I have fallen into the weird world of We Are The Champions on Netflix. Competitive cheese-rolling, hair-styling, and yo-yo-ing? Put it in my eyeballs.

What are you reading (or watching)? Click through to comment!

-Jenn

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Insiders

Epic Update: June 20, 2022

Hello, Epic Insiders! One of my favorite reality shows, So You Think You Can Dance, is back and I’m trying to move into the week with this Big Luther Brown-choreo Energy. If I can channel even a teaspoon of it, it will be an upgrade.

Announcements

Two quick reminders — we’ve got some super cute printable bookmarks up on Etsy if puns and plants are a thing you need in your life, and we’d love to hear your thoughts about the New Release Index.

And now, onto my musings on everyone’s favorite topic:

What Are You Reading?

I’m recently returned from a week of vacation, which sometimes means I’ve read a ton and sometimes means I’ve read almost nothing at all.

cover of Woodswoman by Anne LaBastille

This is one of the latter times — I finished two books while we were camping. One of them was for Read Harder, so you’ll hear about that on a future episode (teasers!). The other was singularly appropriate for a camping read, which is why I brought it with me! Earlier this year, Megan Mayhew Bergman put together a list of 14 women nature writers, and it inspired me to put Woodswoman by Anne Labastille into my next used-book-ordering cart. I am here to tell you that while it’s far from a perfect read, it was very soothing.

Labastille is clearly in love with the Adirondacks, and is frank and pretty funny when talking about both the challenges and the rewards of living in a cabin in the woods without electricity, roads, or many basic resources most of us take for granted. I personally have zero desire to replicate that lifestyle, but I love reading about it, especially from the perspective of a woman who was figuring out her own life and relationships in the context of this lifestyle.

My biggest problem with the book is that, like so many writers both in her own time and now, she completely erases Native Americans from the narrative, and even goes so far as to use the word “native” to describe white settlers who had been there for their own personal lifetimes. I both cringed and yelled at the book a few times on that score (c’mon, Anne!); something to keep in mind if you pick it up! Thankfully we have writers like Robin Wall Kimmerer and David Treuer out here educating us.

What are you reading these days? Click through to add your reading list to the comments!

-Jenn

Categories
Insiders

Epic Updates: June 6, 2022

Happy Monday! No announcements this week, so we’ll get straight to our weekly question.

What Are You Reading?

Hellooooo, Epic friends! Tis I, Jenn, and I’m excited to be in conversation with y’all about your reads! Especially because I am, tbqh, sort of a reading disaster at the moment.

I knew that Get Booked going dark for the moment would change how I approached my reading list, but I didn’t realize the extent to which that would be true. I’m still reading for other podcasts — I’m going to be joining the Read Harder team, so I will be in your earholes soon for that, and of course there’s SFF Yeah! — but Get Booked reading was always so highly specific. I thought for sure that having a break from that would mean I would be able to dive into the backlog of things that are just not useful for podcasts, but instead I find myself unable to pick and unable to stick with books when I do.

cover of Stolen Focus

All of which is to say, brains are weird!? The only thing I’m actually managing to stick with right now is, perhaps appropriately, Johann Hari’s Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention – and How to Think Deeply Again. Rebecca read it and recommended it to Staff a while back and my library hold came in recently, so this is now my bedtime book. And it’s so compelling, and also kind of terrifying; telling me all about how multi-tasking is ruining my brain when I spend 90% of my work time multi-tasking is deeply HOW DARE. And then last night I got to the chapter on sleep, and how your brain LITRULLY washes itself (!!!!) during a certain sleep phase, and if it doesn’t get to do that wash then there’s all kinds of crud built up in there. What! Are! Bodies!

So yeah, it’s deeply horrifying but also feels very helpful in giving me some priorities about how I set myself up during my workdays, and considering what I can mute/set aside/turn off in order to give myself more focus periods and also better sleep. (No one wants brain-crud, am I right?) I’m sure I’ll have horrifying new factoids to share with you next week as well, so you have that to look forward to, sorry in advance.

Enough about me and my brain — what are y’all reading? Click through to add your reading list to the comments!

-Jenn