Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that should absolutely be put at the top of your TBR pile. Recommended books will vary across genre and age category and include shiny new books, older books you may have missed, and some classics I suggest finally getting around to. Make space for another pile of books on your floor because here we go!

Today’s pick is a gorgeous and chilling example of everything I love about speculative fiction.

Book cover of The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin

The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin

This is the first book in N. K. Jemisin’s Great Cities Duology and it picks up right at the end of the author’s short story titled “The City Born Great,” which is in Jemisin’s short story collection titled How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? In “The City Born Great,” the city of New York is born. Not settled, colonized, or created but born in that it becomes alive as a living, breathing thing. There is an avatar for the city who themself is New York.

But some evil is trying to kill the city before it fully comes to life and there is a battle where the avatar wins but is badly injured. When the avatar is injured, the city itself is injured. Buildings crumble and bridges collapse. The city of São Paolo — that is, the avatar and person São Paolo — was supposed to be helping New York be born and it goes wrong. That is the story of “The City Born Great.” This novel includes it as a prologue and the rest of the story begins there.

New York’s primary avatar (the injured one) is not the only avatar out there. Each of the five boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island, also have avatars. Do they know what they are? Eventually. Do they know what they’re doing? Not really, but that’s some of the fun. Each of the avatars for the boroughs has a really strong personality and I love them all so much. Well, almost all of them.

The evil that is trying to kill New York is personified in a number of ways but it is a clear metaphor for gentrification. As a person who lives in a city that has many pockets of gentrification myself, some of the scenes were horrifying. This is not just because of everything awful about gentrification, but in the book there are tentacled creatures taking over bodies, paintings that drive onlookers insane, and really triggering racism from outright aggressive to microaggressions.

All of the boroughs are going to have to find each other and work together to save the city and there are so many times when it seems utterly impossible. This book is incredibly fun and the second book in the duology, The World We Make, just came out in November!

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That’s it for now, booklovers!


Find me on Book Riot, the All the Books podcast, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Bookish Goods

Bookish Good of the Week: December 4, 2022

Japanese Sakura Bookmark

Japanese Sakura Bookmark by KanMandlandshop

This beautiful bookmark is made of metal, long-lasting, and sure to make an awesome gift. $29

Today In Books

LeVar Burton to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Inaugural Children’s & Family Emmys: Today in Books

House of the Dragon Deleted Scene Reveals Top-Secret Kingsguard Ceremony

Entertainment Weekly has an exclusive sneak peek at House of the Dragon: Inside the Creation of a Targaryen Dynasty, which includes information about a deleted scene from Episode 2, “A Rogue Prince.” The book includes images from the scrapped scene which depicts the top-secret Kingsguard induction ceremony. “Choosing your Kingsguard, your bodyguard, is very important, but it’s indicative of this time period — where they haven’t seen a war in over half a century — that Viserys just fobs off this really important choice to his daughter to try to give her something to do to make her feel like she has weight and significance,” showrunner Ryan Condal says in EW’s exclusive book excerpt. “It’s a story of small choices that lead to big things. She picks Criston Cole, who later becomes the reason she nearly gets disinherited, and becomes one of her worst enemies.” The new book will be released from Simon & Schuster on January 31, 2023, and is available for preorder now.

LeVar Burton to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Inaugural Children’s & Family Emmys

Emmy-winning actor, director, educator, and all-around bookish icon LeVar Burton has been announced as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the first-ever Children’s and Family Emmys. The ceremony takes place on December 11 at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles. Burton will be presented the award by acclaimed Emmy- and Tony-winning actor, director, writer, and producer Laurence Fishburne.

Community Rallies to Save Jackson Bookstore from Closing

The Jackson, Michigan community is rallying around The Book Cottage bookstore to help save it from closing. Nancy and Mark Oakley have been the owners of the Book Cottage for nearly 10 years, but in recent years the store has been struggling to stay open. The store was forced to move locations twice within two years, and this was all before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Now a GoFundMe, created by Justin Fairchild and Christine MacIntyre, is aiming to raise more than $18,000 to help the store catch up on bills and winterize the building. So far, almost $3,000 has been raised. Those interested in helping the Book Cottage can either donate at their GoFundMe or visit the store in person.

December 2022 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations

Check out our December 2022 horoscopes for a sneak peek at the month ahead and a new book recommendation perfect for your sign.

Today In Books

Here’s the Trailer for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3: Today in Books

Winnie the Pooh Joins Chinese Covid Lockdown Protests

Disney stores in Japan are selling a line of Winnie the Pooh merchandise featuring a frowning Pooh looking at a blank sheet of white paper. This is a symbol of ongoing protests in China against censorship and Covid-19 restrictions. The range of Winnie the Pooh merchandise was designed by Japanese illustrator Kannahei and was taken from a scene in a 2011 film. Winnie the Pooh first made waves in China when citizens used his image to mock the Chinese president, Xi Jinping. Pooh became such a symbol of resistance in the country that China refused to screen the film Christopher Robin when it was released in 2018.

Here’s the Trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Marvel has released the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the final installment in James Gunn’s franchise. The film will trace the origins of Rocket Raccoon, played by Bradley Cooper. The film also sees the return of many familiar faces, including Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel as Groot, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, and Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha. Also joining the film is Maria Balakova, who will play Cosmo the Space Dog. James Gunn will write and direct the third film before leaving the MCU to head DC Studios as its co-CEO. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will hit theaters on May 5, 2023.

Read an Excerpt and See the Cover of Chloe Gong’s Upcoming Adult Fantasy Novel

Gizmodo has shared an excerpt and the cover of the upcoming adult fantasy novel by Chloe Gong. Immortal Longings is the first book in a new trilogy. The novel is a riff on Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, with a setting inspired by Hong Kong’s historic Kowloon Walled City. Immortal Longings will be released on July 25, 2023.

The Best Books of the Year, According to Oprah Daily

Oprah Daily has released their list of 45 of the best books of the year, which includes fiction and nonfiction and a wide range of topics and genres.

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,


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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.