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Read This Book

Read This Book…

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

This week’s pick is a heartfelt and charming YA novel that also happens to fulfill a Read Harder challenge, if you’re looking for ways to tick books off that list as we approach the end of the year!

Now That I've Found You cover

Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest

Evie is on the cusp of achieving her wildest dreams: She’s just graduated from high school and been cast in a major movie, following in the footsteps of her legendary grandmother, the actress Evelyn Conaway. But when she puts her trust in the wrong person, Evie’s acting career is sabotaged and she finds herself fleeing LA to visit Gigi in New York, where her grandmother has been living rather reclusively for the past ten years, hoping that her famous grandmother can help her get back on track.

But Evie gets a shock when she discovers that Gigi isn’t living alone—she’s taken in a young man Evie’s age named Milo, who does her grocery shopping and keeps her company. Evie suspects that Milo is out to take advantage of her grandmother’s wealth, but before she can prove it, Gigi takes off and vanishes, leaving a note that says she’ll be back “soon.” With the clock ticking down on Evie’s last chance at acting success, she turns to Milo to help find Gigi…and learns some surprising truths about herself and her family along the way.

First off, I loved that this book is about Hollywood without being about the shallow trappings of Hollywood. Even though Evie is on the outs and desperate for a way back in, the story is far more grounded than you would expect. Gigi taking off and not lending a hand forces Evie to confront herself and her own ambition, and decide just how far she’ll go to achieve her goals. She must also reckon with how the world perceives her, and how the people who matter to her perceive her. That makes this book especially impactful as she and Milo go on a whirlwind scavenger hunt across NYC and through her grandmother’s past to find her. Evie’s goals shift throughout the story, taking you to unexpected and unexpectedly wonderful places, and there’s just enough romance to keep you satisfied and swooning. This is a book about staying true to yourself while chasing your dreams, and tending to your relationships, all told in a really relatable way…although most of us probably aren’t likely related to movie stars or Hollywood hopefuls ourselves. I was thoroughly charmed by the story and the characters and I’m actually sad that none of the fictitious movies and actors that Forest filled this story with are real! I highly recommend this is you’re looking for a funny and romantic book that has some hefty family issues, but isn’t dark!

Happy reading!
Tirzah


Find me on Book Riot, the Insiders Read Harder podcast, All the Books, and Twitter. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, click here to subscribe.

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Today In Books

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Received Library of Congress Honor: Today in Books

Amazon’s Algorithms Are Promoting ‘Unethical, Unacceptable’ Books About Hoax COVID-19 Cures And Anti-Vaccination Claims, Warn Top Democrats

This past week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Adam Schiff of California expressed concern over Amazon’s algorithms, with routinely rank books about COVID hoaxes at the top of the search results on the retailer’s site. The lawmakers sent a letter to Amazon admonishing them for promoting “unethical, unacceptable” misinformation about the pandemic, and demanding they look into the issue immediately.

MASTERPIECE, ITV And Mammoth Screen Team Up For Tom Jones

Calling all fans of period dramas! The producers and networks behind some of your favorite period pieces are teaming up to bring the classic story of Tom Jones to screen. The adaptation is based on The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding, which was originally published in 1749 and is widely credited for being one of the original romantic comedies—and one of the very first written works in English to be classified as a novel.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Receives $150K Award From Library Of Congress

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a foundation dedicated to providing children with free books each month, and promoting a lifelong love of literacy. Since its founding, they’ve mailed out 16 million books to children all over the world. The Library of Congress awarded the foundation with the David M. Rubenstein Prize, which comes with $150,000 to continue to fund Parton’s mission to get books in the hands of kids.

Categories
Read This Book

Read This Book…

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

This week’s pick is a standalone mystery by one of my newer favorite authors, Jane Harper. Harper is really skilled at creating a nice atmospheric setting, which is one of my favorite things in books, particularly mysteries. Content warning for natural disaster, Alzheimer’s, suicide, murder, discussion of assault.

The Survivors cover

The Survivors by Jane Harper

When Kieran was a teenager, a horrific storm hit his small coastal town in Tasmania and as a result of a mistake he made, they lost his older brother Finn and Finn’s business partner. Another life was lost that day as well, but no one really knows what happened to the teenage girl who was presumably swept out to sea. Now an adult with a new baby of his own, Kieran and his partner head back for a visit for the first time in years. It’s clear that some wounds run deep, but Kieran is unprepared for how the past gets stirred up when the body of a young woman is found on the beach.

I think one of the things that Jane Harper does really well (aside from really vivid settings!) is balancing dramatic or impactful moments in her characters’ pasts with a contemporary mystery. We’ve seen her pull it off in The Dry and The Lost Man (both excellent books and worth checking out, too) and here in The Survivors she really makes you feel the tension in this small town as a result of the painful past and the storm years earlier. It’s something that touched everyone’s lives, and all of the characters are living with the consequences of it still, albeit to varying extents. The details she drops are expertly planted and everything comes together in a really smart, surprising way, interspersed with memories and flashbacks that really give you a lot of insight to the characters and their motivations.

I also really enjoyed the Tasmanian setting! I’ve read a fair number of books set in Australia but I’d never really explored Tasmania through fiction, and I appreciate that the small town, the beach, and the rugged wilderness of the area really leapt off the page and added to the unsettling vibe of the book. The depictions of the storm were also really chilling. What’s scarier than being at the mercy of Mother Nature when she’s in a rage?

Overall, if you like a moody mystery that doesn’t get too dark or graphic, you can’t go wrong with Jane Harper’s work and her newest book is certainly a winner!

Happy reading!
Tirzah

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Find me on Book Riot, the Insiders Read Harder podcast, All the Books, and Twitter. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, click here to subscribe.

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Today In Books

What You Didn’t Know About Library Ebooks: Today in Books

The Surprisingly Big Business of Library E-books

The New Yorker did a deep dive into the ins and outs of library ebooks and how the business is different from print books that libraries acquire and lend out. Covering the history of OverDrive, the biggest ebook lending company in the country, The New Yorker exposes the business model behind library ebooks, its history, and how things have shifted since the COVID pandemic.

Susanna Clarke: ‘Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman Taught Me To Be Courageous In Writing’

In a rare interview, Susanna Clarke, author of Piranesi and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, opened up about some of her reading influences and favorite books. Her stories include what she wants to read more of, a holiday book gifting anecdote, and her favorite underrated C.S. Lewis novel.

‘Unreal’: Samaritans Volunteer Has Life Turned Around By Six-Figure Book Deal

After James Norbury had his work declined by countless literary agents, he decided to self-publish his illustrated book Big Panda and Tiny Dragon, a story about two unlikely friends and misfits who find each other and discover that life off the beaten path is full of many wonders. Now, the book has been picked up in a six-figure publishing deal by Penguin, and will be re-released later this month. The book has the “charm of Winnie the Pooh” with the “depth of ancient proverbs.” Norbury goes on to explain how life-changing this experience has been, and how he drew inspiration for the book from his extensive volunteer work.

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Read This Book

Read This Book…

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

This week’s pick is a book I read earlier this year that I still think about every now and then, which is always the mark of a good book, I think! It’s technically YA but I think it has excellent crossover appeal. Content warning for an unhealthy and emotionally abusive relationship, with some verbal abuse and scenes of intimidation, and some sexual harassment.

cover of This Will Be Funny Someday

This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry

Izzy is a sixteen-year-old high school student who has a running monologue of what she really thinks going on in her head at all times. She doesn’t dare actually voice her opinions, though. Between a busy and high-powered family always overlooking her and a boyfriend who always talks over her, Izzy knows its better to keep her true feelings to herself. Until one day she accidentally crashes a stand up comedy open mic, and finds herself on the stage. In her panic, she bursts forth with all her real opinions, and to her shock, she gets a few laughs. Suddenly, Izzy is hooked on comedy, and she even has some new friends who are helping her tighten her routines and encourage her to go out for a showcase. The only problem? They all think Izzy is in college.

I really loved this book because, and this might sound super obvious here, it’s really funny! Comedy is hard to pull off, and humor is very subjective, but I was laughing aloud multiple times throughout this book, especially as Izzy had to balance the awkwardness of accidentally lying about her age and trying to pass herself off as a college junior rather than a high school junior. These comedic moments are countered with some much more serious stuff, such as Izzy’s unhealthy relationship with her controlling boyfriend, and her sense of not quite belonging in her family. Henry understands that humor isn’t used to write off the bigger, scarier, more complex realities, but it can be used to help explore them and more sense of them. Izzy uses humor to find her voice and her courage, and to connect with the people she’s struggled to talk to, for better or worse. This is such a funny, charming, and really heartfelt coming-of-age story with a quiet but realistic plot!

Happy reading!
Tirzah


Find me on Book Riot, the Insiders Read Harder podcast, All the Books, and Twitter. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, click here to subscribe.

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The Kids Are All Right

Kidlit Deals for September 1, 2021

Happy first day of September, kidlit pals! I hope that your pencils are sharp for this new school year! If you’re looking to stock up on some great kidlit deals, then I’ve got you covered! Make sure you grab them ASAP if you see something you like, because these deals won’t last long!

cover image of The Moon Within

The Moon Within by Aida Salazar is a lovely middle grade book about change, and it’s just $2.

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart is just $3.

For a book about a Guatemalan-American girl, pick up The Other Half of Happy by Rebecca Balcárcel by $3.

Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love is a must-read picture book for just $2.

Lupe Wong Won’t Dance by Donna Barba Higuera is about a girl determined to be the first female pitcher in the Major League, for $3.

A reminder that Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri, this year’s Prtinz Award winner, is still on sale for $3.

Suki’s Kimono by Chieri Uegaki is just $5!

Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away by Meg Medina and Sonia Sánchez is a picture book about change, for just $2.


Happy reading!
Tirzah

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Today In Books

COWBOY BEBOP To Be a Comic Series: Today in Books

Titan To Publish Cowboy Bebop Comic By Dan Watters & Lamar Mathurin

Excited for Cowboy Bebop starring John Cho to hit Netflix this November? Then get ready to be even more excited because Titan has inked a deal with Amazon for some new books based on the Netflix version of the series, including a four issue comic series by Dan Watters and Lamar Mathurin. The deal also includes the right to publish any other fiction and nonfiction based on the series.

Residents Rally To Save Bulgwang Bookstore

When Bulgwang Bookstore, a bookstore in northwestern Seoul, posted a closing notice, residents were quick to take action. Within a day, a petition collected 500 signatures to submit to a local district office demanding that the government help revitalize the area and save the bookshop, which has been in business since 1996. At the time of its opening, it was the only bookstore in the neighborhood, making it a beacon for literacy. The petition swelled to over 1,500 signatures, and now the Korean literary community is showing their support as well.

‘It Was Like I’d Never Done It Before’: How Sally Rooney Wrote Again

Sally Rooney, the author behind the mega-bestsellers Normal People and Conversations with Friends, has a new novel coming out called Beautiful World, Where Are You. In it, she deconstructs her complicated feelings surrounding her fame and the pressure she felt after the success of her first two books and their adaptations. Here, she goes into detail about how difficult she found it to write another novel and how she questioned every element.

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Read This Book

Read This Book: An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

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

This week’s pick is one that is a must-read if you love sci-fi, but be aware that it does come with a lot of content warnings: racism, sexism, homophobia, violence (some of it graphic), sexual assault (some of it graphic), systemic discrimination, enslavement, depictions of gore and surgical procedures, and death, including death of a child.

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

In Solomon’s debut novel, a generation ship full of thousands of people is hurtling through space, destined for a planet that can sustain life. They’re only in the middle of their journey, and passengers can’t quite remember how many generations have been born on the ship. Aster lives on the lower decks of the HSS Matilda, where the people are pressed into backbreaking and cruel labor for the comfort of those who reside on the upper decks. Aster is an unusual person, preoccupied with the journal her mother left behind before she disappeared years ago, and while most people are content to let Aster be, when she attracts the unwelcome attention of a cruel overseer, life becomes even harder than it already is. Aster is swept up in the politics of the upper decks while trying to survive and decode the mysteries of her mother’s journal. When she finally cracks a piece of it, it could change her fate—and that of everyone on the Matilda—forever.

This is an intense and harrowing book that looks at how cruel people can be to one another when sealed in a vacuum, hurtling through space without any accountability. Aster’s life is beyond rough, and is at times difficult to read about, and it’s not difficult to see the parallels between how she and her people are treated to the ways of the Antebellum South. But at the same time, Solomon provides such a rich and interesting culture to Aster’s life on the lower decks, and the world-building is always fascinating, especially when it becomes apparent there is a darker history on the ship that has been deliberately obscured. While there is lots of violence, I was sustained through this book by Aster’s mission to find out what her mother knew, how she documented it, and where exactly she ended up before she disappeared. It’s a fascinating puzzle that is cleverly put together, and left me wanting to re-read it just to see how Solomon pulled it off! It’s part social commentary, part space exploration, and part mystery as Aster navigates a brutal life with hope she barely allows herself to feel. I highly recommend it if you love sci-fi and you like futuristic books that speak to the very real social issues we face here and now.

Happy reading!
Tirzah


Find me on Book Riot, the Insiders Read Harder podcast, All the Books, and Twitter. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, click here to subscribe.

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The Kids Are All Right

Kidlit Deals for August 25, 2021

Hey kidlit pals! I hope your pencils are sharpened and you’ve got plenty of hand sanitizer on hand, no matter what your school year looks like! I’ve got a pile of great new book deals that will hopefully take the sting out of having to return to school! As always, grab them before they expire!

cover of From the Desk of Zoe Washington

Have you heard the news? From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks is in development at Disney…and it’s just $2!

Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan is a great school-set novel for just $2!

Lety Out Loud by Angela Cervantes is a great novel for any animal-loving kid, and it’s $5.

Looking for a new lovable character that’s a cross between Pippi Longstocking and Anne of Green Gables? Look no further than Astrid the Unstoppable by Maria Parr for $1!

The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle is a great series-starter for just under $5!

Love historical fiction? Penny From Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm is one of my faves, and it’s just $5.

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson is a must-read middle grade family mystery for just $2. Plus, grab Johnson’s The Great Greene Heist for $3!

The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen is a great series starter for just $2!

Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park, a great historical MG novel, is still on sale for $3!


Happy reading!
Tirzah

Categories
Today In Books

Romance Novel Sales Are Booming: Today in Books

Officials Tear Out Yearbook Pages, Prompt Censorship Claims

School officials at an Arkansas high school have seized and torn out pages in the school’s 2020-2021 yearbook, citing “community backlash” as the reason for removing spreads that reference George Floyd’s murder, COVID-19, and the U.S. Capitol riot. The school’s journalism and English teacher resigned in protest, and the SPLC requested documentation of the so-called “community backlash,” which the school could not provide.

Jill Murphy, Children’s Author And Illustrator, Dies Aged 72

Jill Murphy, the author and illustrator best known for her book series which launched with The Worst Witch and her picture book Peace at Last, has passed away at age 72. During her long career, she published over 30 books and won numerous awards.

The Romance Novel Sales Boom Continues

While book sales have fluctuated since the onset of COVID-19, one constant appears to be the increase in romance book sales. There are many reasons for this, but most notably is that romance novels provide great escape and stress relief, and the genre has been finding new readership in the last year. From March 2020-March 2021, romance novels sold approximately 47 million copies in all formats, and increase of 24%.