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October 2017

Citizen Reading: 30 October 2017.

A weekly selection of reading and book news, sometimes with completely inappropriate commentary.

First things first: this post marks my last for a while. I am taking the month of November off to write, read for fun, and generally look at the Internet less. (I made the mistake of looking at some comments attached to an article about Harvey Weinstein the other day. SHUDDER.) I will still be posting at The Great British TV Site, so please do consider visiting me there.

I also leave you in great nonfiction hands: do check out the group book-blogger effort that is Nonfiction November!

As ever: thanks for reading, and I very much look forward to being back with you, post-December 1.

Library Journal offers a new way to keep up with book news, written by Neal Wyatt: Book Pulse! It looks to be a great new resource, and thanks, Neal, for the shout-out to (our sadly now defunct) Reader's Advisor Online.

Best Books of the Year season begins!

Journalist Mark Halperin is facing accusations of sexual harassment. (Penguin Press has canceled his forthcoming book.)

Bill O'Reilly has also been dropped by his literary agent.

Roy Price (former head of Amazon Studios) has left Amazon due to harassment allegations.

The state of sexual harassment in the library.

8 ways to make your (school) library more visible right now.

Kirkus Reviews and the "plight of the 'problematic' book review." That's not an eye-catching headline, really, but this is an interesting article about what all goes on behind the scenes of book reviews.

Amazon's new Kindle app is "inspired by books."

When British authors write American dialogue, or "try to."

Literary life outside London.

Donald Bain (who wrote a LOT of Murder, She Wrote novels): Obituary.

"Checking in on J.D. Salinger's unpublished works."

A whole bunch of Marcel Proust's letters are about to be published online.

Must an author's wishes be honored after death?

Hurston/Wright Literary Fiction Award winner: Colson Whitehead.

Jane Addams Awards: Winners.

Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence: Shortlists.

My Friend Dahmer (based on the graphic novel with the same title): Film clip.

Dora the Explorer: Now a live-action film!

Warner Bros. is bringing its recent release of Stephen King's It back to theaters for Halloween. (Wow. Was it gone already? Movies come and go in a blink these days, don't they?)


"Stellar nonfiction featuring women."

Matt Taibbi has a new book out about police brutality.

A new book about rising water levels (that I happen to be reading right now!). It's good. Scary, but good.

There's a new biography out about Joni Mitchell.

Have you seen this new career guide for misfits?

Looking for a guide to how to train your kitty? (Excuse me while I go laugh about the very idea of training your kitty.)

New York Times: the best new true crime; here's the Times's review of Sarah Perry's After the Eclipse; Calvin Klein's new 400+-page coffee table book; a closer look at "our cheating hearts"'; about a photographer of ghosts, by Peter Manseau; the Caitlin Doughty book on death rituals worldwide; the story of a man wrongfully accused of a crime (and who served prison time for it).


5 new books you don't want to miss this week.

GQ: Best Books of October.

Brightly: Best Grown-Up Reads of November.

HarpersBazaar: 8 new books to read in November.

Spiritual and self-help books of 2017-2018.

The Week Magazine: 10 terrifying horror books you've never read.

Adult Books 4 Teens: 7 nightmarish reads.

3 books on monsters, ghosts, and fear.

Teen books about anxiety.


I am in the middle of Jeff Goodell's The Water Will Come, about sea-level rise, and am finding it about as horrifying as you would guess someone who can't swim would find it.

The eldest CRjr continues to consume football books at an alarming pace. Football is interesting, and all, but I must say I do kind of miss the shark fixation.


Have you ever heard of "impostor syndrome"? Evidently Neil Gaiman has struggled with it.

Trying to figure out doctors: the start of a reading list.

I hate doctors.

I mean I really, REALLY hate doctors. You know those people who have to go to "no-fear dentistry" and "sedation dentistry" because they can't stand going to the dentist?* I'm like that with doctors. I want EVERY appointment I have with a doctor to be "sedation doctoring." Alas: no one seems to offer this.

Because I have often thought of doctors as a foreign species, I tend to read a lot of books about and by them to try and understand them better. So I've read a lot of Atul Gawande, and I read that big memoir by the doctor who was dying (When Breath Becomes Air), and I also like to read investigative works about healthcare. This month I picked up two very different books: What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear,** by Danielle Ofri, and Rachel Arneson's No Apparent Distress: A Doctor's Coming-of-Age on the Front Lines of American Medicine.

The two books were very different: the first was a bit more academic in tone, citing studies on patient-doctor communication (or lack thereof), mixed in with the doctor author's personal experiences. The second was full-on memoir about Pearson's experiences in medical school and her early jobs as a resident and doctor. As such they provided quite different reading experiences. I found the Ofri super-interesting, and enjoyed that the prose was straightforward and that she provided a lot of examples of patients who she knew, had worked with, or interviewed for her book. It was quite dense, though; as a matter of fact, I had to return it to the library because I'd had it for several months and still hadn't finished reading it. (I want to get it back.) There was a lot of information in it about the difficulties doctors sometimes have deciphering what it is patients really want, especially because language is not a perfect tool, and patients often display behavior that is confounding to their doctors...but which usually has a (at least somewhat) logical reason behind it.

The Pearson memoir was actually a very good read, and it reminded me a lot of Victoria Sweet's God's Hotel, in that Pearson is both working to provide good service as a doctor, but also has a talent for explaining the behind-the-scenes education and work of doctoring. It was an easier read and a more narrative one that I enjoyed while reading it, but looking back now, I can already hardly remember any of it. But it was good. A particular point of hers was how much medical students learn by doing--and by doing primarily on the poor and uninsured. Which gave me pause. Not that there's anything wrong with being helped by a medical student, particularly if seeing that student is your only choice (other than seeing nobody at all), but geez, imagine being on the receiving end of the first pelvic exam (or any kind of physical exam, really) that someone has given. Just the idea of that makes me shudder.

They were both quite good books, actually. I'll suggest the Pearson to anyone looking for a good thoughtful memoir, but I'm going to go back and try and read and learn from more from the Ofri.

*Ironically I have no problem going to the dentist. I have been known to fall asleep in the chair while getting my teeth cleaned.

**Please follow this link to the Washington Post review of this book; it's an excellent review. I particularly like the takeaway: "modern medicine could benefit from a better understanding of how human beings like to be treated when they’re at their most vulnerable — sick and confused and naked save for a thin paper gown. If only doctors could bill for listening."

Citizen Reading: 23 October 2017.

A weekly selection of reading and book news, sometimes with completely inappropriate commentary.

VIDA has published its annual study of how well women are represented in literature.

Here's how diversity in publishing might actually work. Disclaimer: I didn't actually read this one yet (ran short of time this week), and I know "diversity" can set off some, ahem, discussions. But I do still want to read it, so I thought I'd include it here.

I had no idea The Guardian has a romance books blog. Did you?

Hearst to acquire Rodale.

"Little Rock says 'no' to Amazon. Other cities should follow suit." (Related: God love the Australians. They're not falling all over themselves to welcome Amazon.)

Rolling Stone magazine pioneer Jann Wenner has fallen out with his biographer.

John Green on his new YA novel and on his own struggles with OCD.

Dan Brown has a new novel out. Are people still reading Dan Brown?

Sam Shepard's last work of fiction to be published posthumously.

People were very excited about Philip Pullman's first new work in 17 years. (Wow, it's been 17 years since Pullman wrote a book? The His Dark Materials series was first published in the 1990s? Time is getting on.)

How did SF writers of the 1960s pave the way for today's SF authors?

Irish author Roddy Doyle has a new novel out.

Becky at RA for All reminds you about Electric Literature.

Look out! All the Magic Tree Houses have been renumbered!

Booklist is publishing a "starred reviews" edition.

New York City libraries are offering fines amnesty for those under 17.

How's the Librarian of Congress doing, one year in to her job?

A new program from public librarians, called "Take back your digital footprint." (Although the part of this article that talk about Google also "tackling digital citizenship," with a program called "Be Internet Awesome," makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Like Google cares at all about your digital citizenship other than stealing and monetizing every last piece of your personal information online. Don't Be Evil my ass.)

Related: The Library Freedom project aims to teach librarians the basics of digital surveillance.

Poet Richard Wilbur: Obituary.

George Saunders has won the 2017 Man Booker Prize.

A Nancy Drew television reboot is planned.

EarlyWord provides an update on planned literary adaptations.

(TV headline, not books, but still interesting.) This is how we watch TV now: "binge racing."


I absolutely must read this history of surgery titled The Butchering Art.

A review of Walter Isaacson's new book about Leonardo da Vinci.

John McCain will publish a new memoir next April.

Have you heard of this? Smog and poisonous gases combined over London in 1952 (and caused more than 12,000 deaths)?

I must see this book about modern one-room schoolhouses across Montana.

Actor Gabrielle Union has a new memoir out. So does novelist Amy Tan.

The father of microfinance has a plan to "fix capitalism."

New York Times: A review of Anne Applebaum's new book about Russia; a graphic novelist's "majestic portrait" of New York City (I must have it); a prison memoir by one of the members of the Russian band Pussy Riot; on the second volume of a massive Stalin biography; and here's a biography of Lenin; the military father who spoke against Trump at the 2016 Democratic convention has written a memoir.


IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of Oct. 19.

USA Today: 5 books you won't want to miss this week.

Paste magazine: 10 Best New Young Adult Books for October.

Thirteen Halloween themed anthologies.

What are some of the best books about the Beatles?


For some reason, I thought it would be funny to re-read Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, and see if I hated it as much as I did when I read it first as a kid. Begging God for her period? Yeah, I hated it."Please help me grow God. You know where." HA HA HA HA.

I read some of Jeanne Marie Laskas's Growing Girls: The Mother of All Adventures, because I love Jeanne Marie Laskas, and I'm always interested in what it's like to raise girls (since the CRjrs are both boys). I'm not in the mood right now, but I'm going to get it back.

It's that time of year! "So there they go, Jim running slower to stay with Will, Will running faster to stay with Jim, Jim breaking two windows in a haunted house because Will's along, Will breaking one window instead of none, because Jim's watching. God, how we get our fingers in each other's clay. That's friendship, each playing the potter to see what shapes we can make of the other." Something Wicked This Way Comes time!


Gaiman appears in his second Simpsons Treehouse of Horror.

Sarah Perry's After the Eclipse: A Mother's Murder, a Daughter's Search.


This is a very, very good book.

After the eclipseI started After the Eclipse thinking it was going to be another pretty standard true crime memoir. I didn't mind; even when true crime is standard I usually learn something when I read it. But after reading parts of The Hot One (which seemed to me to get a lot more press than this book got), I thought, huh, I've got to give the true crime a rest for a while. So I thought I'd skim this one and return it to the library.

So then I read the first 100 pages and it was stupendous. But then I got antsy because this month I had the goal of doing less reading and more writing,* and here I was ignoring everything else to read this book. So I read the last few chapters to see if they caught the murderer of Perry's mother, and then I thought, okay, I can just take this book back now, I got what I need.

And then I promptly just read the rest of it.

And I'm so glad I did. The main story here is Perry's narrative of the night her mother Crystal was killed in their house, when the author was 12 years old and sleeping just down the hall. She also provides details from her mother's childhood, the relationships between her many extended family members, and the subsequent details of how the crime was investigated by the police and spoken about in the community. In a later part of the book she relates the story of the rest of her "growing up"--with whom she had to live, how she fought to keep depression and despair at bay, and a growing realization of how anger and violence make their presence felt in communities and in families (as well as within individuals).

This is also, bar none, the most quietly clearsighted and horrifying take on the unequal power dynamics between men and women that I have read this year. I stuck a bookmark in the book every time the author made an obviously heartfelt and (to my mind) right-on observation about women and men, and when I was done there were a LOT of bookmarks. Here's one part I marked:

"From this distance, I can look back and see, objectively, that Mom was not model-perfect. She was thin, with flaming hair and pretty eyes, but she also had pale eyebrows and crowded teeth. It takes my sharpest concentration to see these imperfections; like many daughters, I will always consider my mother to be the pinnacle of beauty. And she was truly striking. In the small town of Bridgton, many people agreed.

After Mom's death, when the police interviewed Earl Gagnon--a friend of Tom's who worked at the Shop--he said, 'A lot of guys looked at her--pleasing to the eye, you know.' The full record of interviews, and the stories of other townspeople, back him up. There are too many to detail in full, but here is a partial list of men who, in the days and weeks and years following Mom's death, were known by police or rumored by others to have been attracted to her..."

And then there is a list of SIXTEEN men. And this is a partial list. In a small Maine community. Not that there is anything wrong with attraction, really, or finding a person attractive. But the list includes items like this:

"Lloyd Poulin: who mentioned Mom's death from the back of a Bridgton police car after being picked up for drunk and disorderly. He asked the cop, 'How old is her little girl now, sixteen or seventeen? Crystal was a slut, wasn't she? That daughter is a sweet little thing." (pp. 196-197.)


But even after immersing herself in this story, in her story, in her mother's story, in that kind of quote, Perry still concludes the book with a gentle touch, and at the same time explains one of the biggest reasons I read true crime (I'm leaving out the name she gives here in case you read the book and would rather not have me tell you the killer's name):

"It would be easier to think he was just a monster, an aberration; it would make us all feel a lot safer, now that he's locked away. But I think it's a lot more likely that [he] was born with a natural tendency to violence, which worsened in a violent home, and easily found a target in a world where many men are trained to exert power over women. Punishing him should not prevent us from trying to understand how he was made. I'm glad [he] is in jail. But I'll be more glad when there are no more [of him]." (p. 327.)

True crime is not about monsters. It is about our communities, our neighbors, our families. I for one am staggered at Sarah Perry's book, and her subtle but very strong call for us to try and start figuring this stuff out.

This is a very good book.

*I use books as an anti-anxiety drug, along with Zebra Cakes, reading them when I'm down and don't feel like doing anything else, although I should really pull my act together and do something else.

Citizen Reading: 16 October 2017.

A weekly selection of reading and book news, sometimes with completely inappropriate commentary.

Sisters in Crime turns 30.

Do romance novels have a diversity problem?

On the "allure of self-help books."'s the next installment of the Fifty Shades novels, as told from Christian Grey's point of view.

Gordon Burn Prize winner: Denise Mina.

"OverDrive is enabling Google to display library ebooks prominently in open web search results."

"Let's commit to making library webinars better." If you do any web presenting at all, do check this article out; it's very straightforward and helpful.

The Weinstein Company's publishing imprint has been shut down.

Huh...they're still publishing Jeeves and Wooster novels (new ones). Not sure how I feel about that.

The New York Times lists some of the latest crime novels. there's a 90-minute documentary about Joan Didion out, directed by Griffin Dunne (her nephew by marriage).

New trailers are out for a whole bunch of adaptations!

Stephen King's Castle Rock: Trailer.

Ooh, here's balm for my nerdy librarian soul: there's a new documentary out about the New York Public Library, "Ex Libris."

This year's MacArthur's "genius grant" winners.

Whiting Creative Nonfiction grant winners. I am so excited to see Philip Gourevitch and George Packer on this list, and that Gourevitch title? You Hide That You Hate Me And I Hide That I Know? I can't WAIT for that book.


Hey, Victoria Sweet (author of the fantastic God's Hotel) has a new book out, about "slow medicine."

Mortician/author Caitlin Doughty "explores cultures' many paths" toward death rituals.

A new history of medical "quackery."

What was it like to be Che Guevara's kid brother?

Heard about this book on the radio: The Year I was Peter the Great.

Roz Chast has a new graphic novel/nonfiction book out...on New York City!

This book just in from a Fox News host: Women, use your good looks to your advantage!

New York Times: A new biography of Ulysses S. Grant, written by Ron Chernow, and reviewed by Bill Clinton; is globalization bringing us together or driving us apart?; where do the super-rich go to play?; a history of Biltmore House; on the importance of sleep; a history of New York City in the first days of the twentieth century; here's the Times review of the memoir Cuz (an NPR story about which I linked to a while back).


IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of Oct. 12.

LibraryReads November 2017. Thank God, there's a nonfiction title on it, in addition to the regular Elizabeth Bergesque fare. And the nonfiction title is about Laura Ingalls Wilder. Double score!

Bustle: 11 new essay collections for fall. Here's that Tales of Two Americas book again.

25 terrifying horror novels for kids and teens.

How to be lonely: a booklist.

Wisconsin Public Radio: New Fall Books (audio).


"Eight unusual books to read before Halloween." Neil Gaiman is all over this list.

Moving on from True Crime.

I was just working on a review of Carolyn Murnick's true crime memoir The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder, and no matter what I typed, it wasn't coming out right. So here's all I really have to say:

I didn't like it.

There. If you want to know what the book is about (beyond the title), this NPR blurb/interview with the author should tell you what you need to know. But I didn't really enjoy reading it and I don't want to think about it anymore and there you go: we're done here.*

*Sorry; I know this makes for not-very-exciting reading. I feel like DULLSVILLE this week so it makes sense my writing would be DULLSVILLE too.


Citizen Reading: 9 October 2017.

A weekly selection of reading and book news, sometimes with completely inappropriate commentary.

November/December Book Buzz Monthly.

Yes, a lot of great authors were published in Playboy. I still think Hefner was a pig.

Great Book Group Reads 2017.

What eras are dominating in historical fiction?

"An ode to reading on public transit."

Romance readers are not in love with the New York Times. Please note: alert CR reader Lynne told us about the Times's sloppy genre reporting last week in the comments. It's such a pleasure to know people who really know their genres!

Actress and author Anne Wiazemsky: Obituary.

Bill O'Reilly isn't selling quite as many books as he used to!

The New York Times takes a closer look at fantasy author Needi Okorafor, and diversity in the SF/Fantasy genre. (Related: How is SF evolving?)

A one-day "choose your own RA adventure"!

At a Library Writer's Blog: 2017 Best book proposal contest for the Beta Phi Mu Scholars series.

The Nobel Prize for Literature winner: Kazuo Ishiguro.

Dayton Literary Peace Prize: Winners.

Thurber Prize Winner: Trevor Noah.

National Book Award: Finalists.

Food memoir Sweetbitter being adapted for television.

Okay, this has nothing to do with books, but did you know another season of the X-Files is coming? Of course Gillian Anderson is still beautiful, but geez, I wish she would just let her hair be its natural color, even if it is grey by now. I think she would be even more beautiful.


Are you a fan of Muhammad Ali? There's a new biography of him out.

Russell Brand has a new book out (about our addictions)! I'm a total sucker for Russell Brand so I will probably have to look at that.

Leonard Cohen will publish a new book (of poetry, song lyrics, illustrations, etc.) in 2018. Well, "will publish, posthumously," I should say.

“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski announced that she “can’t go forward” with her three-book deal with The Weinstein Company unless Harvey Weinstein resigns.

Ta-Nehesi Coates has a new book out.

Tech veteran Ellen Ullman: "There's no hope for gender equality."

The lessons of a botched book review?

Oh good Lord, so now we have to keep hearing about Milo Yiannopoulos and his ongoing lawsuit against Simon & Schuster.

New York Times: Yet another book about being a doctor; three books on guns in America (including Sue Klebold's memoir A Mother's Reckoning); the year that set the course for US-China relationships (1949); learning about women by examining the foods they ate; what's it really like living in post-Communist Russia?; the book source for the new movie Victoria and Abdul; a new cultural history of Adam and Eve and the book of Genesis, by Stephen Greenblatt; a memoir of the author's book club experience (The Futilitarians, which I started, but was not in the mood for at the time); a memoir by a survivor of Auschwitz.


IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of Oct. 5.

Paste Magazine: 10 most anticipated books of October.

Amazon: Best Books of October.

PopCrush: 10 most anticipated YA books of October.

13 new nonfiction titles for kids and teens.

Top 10 human-animal relationships in literature.


I finished Michael Lewis's Boomerang (thanks, Vivian, excellent choice) and was both confused and amused by it. More to come.

Am in the middle of Rachel Pearson's memoir of becoming a doctor, No Apparent Distress, and it is very interesting, although I can't quite decide how I feel about it so far. I hate doctors, and I don't think I hate her, so that's an odd sensation.

I just requested a chapter book titled Raccoon Rampage to read to the CRjrs, and with a title like that, I think it's going to be awesome.

I continue to try and (re-learn) Spanish, so I keep checking out kids' books in Spanish, and every week my tutor tells me, "Um, yeah, I think you need to get an easier one." I'm in picture books now so let's see what she has to say about that!


A beetle species has been named after Neil Gaiman.

Environmental writing is the scariest writing out there.

All through the month of September I read one True Crime book after another. Finally Mr. CR said, you have got to stop reading this stuff. (I think the subtext was: "you're freaking me out," but who knows? I've never been very good with subtext which is, let's face it, one of the reasons I prefer reading nonfiction.)

So then I took a little break and read the 2016 edition of The Best American Science and Nature Writing, edited by Amy Stewart (a writer who I love, and whose book Flower Confidential I once raved about at Bookslut).

And it was a really great collection. (As promised.) But I kept finding little tidbits like this, about the retreat of Arctic ice and other climatic changes:

"We talked about future scenarios of what we began to call, simply, bad weather. Parts of the world will get much hotter, with no rain or snow at all. In western North America, trees will keep dying from insect and fungal invasions, uncovering more land that in turn will soak up more heat...the Arctic is shouldering the wounds of the world, wounds that aren't healing." (pp. 41-42.)

And this, about the possibility of a massive earthquake in the Pacific Northwest:

"The shaking from the Cascadia quake will set off landslides throughout the region--up to 30,000 of them in Seattle alone, the city's emergency-management office estimates. It will also induce a process called liquefaction, whereby seemingly solid ground starts behaving like a liquid, to the detriment  of anything on top of it...Then the wave will arrive, and the real destruction will begin.

Among natural disasters, tsunamis may be the closest to being completely unsurvivable. The only likely way to outlive one is not to be there when it happens: to steer clear of the vulnerable area in the first place, or get yourself to high ground as fast as possible. For the 71,000 people who live in Cascadia's inundation zone, that will mean evacuating in the narrow window after one disaster ends and before another begins..." (p. 254.)

Holy crap. Everyone's keeping that pretty quiet. I had never heard of the Cascadia subduction zone.

Now, all is not doom and gloom here. There is a wide variety of topics and styles, from straightforward reporting to memoir and even some humor. By all means you should read this collection--I count it among my best reads of the year.*

*Mr. CR read it and enjoyed it too, and that's saying something.

Citizen Reading: 2 October 2017.

A weekly selection of reading and book news, sometimes with completely inappropriate commentary.

October is National Reading Group Month!

Happy 10th Birthday, Goodreads, although I have no use for you personally, and know you are just an Amazon stooge.

Shocker: reading online still just isn't like reading a book. But: Are ebooks better for babies?

"People are reading 2016 campaign books like crazy." You'll notice I'm not commenting on this one this time.

Why writing nonfiction demands "a certain vulnerability."

Booklist: Spotlight on food and series nonfiction.

Illustrated books were the most challenged in 2016.

A shout out this week to Maphead, not only because he said nice things about me, but also because he's going to try and start providing some links to bookish stories as well. (I loved his last link to the story about "Silent Book Groups.") His list of Ten Great Sites for Book Lovers was good too. My favorite thing about Maphead is that he reads almost entirely different nonfiction and fiction than I do, so I can read his reviews and feel caught up without reading the books. I mean, I WANT to read the books, but one only has so much time.

Ask a Librarian: How does library presenting work?

A lot of people aren't happy that a librarian returned a book donation that was sent by Melania Trump, but the whole story is kind of amusing. God help me, but I enjoy people who return free stuff in exchange for a chance to say "screw you."

Hemingway's first short story found in Key West.

Has anyone here read Karl Ove Knausgaard? Should I bother? Because his book Autumn sounds kind of interesting.

Kate Millett and her feminist literary criticism.

Author Kit Reed: Obituary.

Conde Nast powerhouse SI Newhouse, Jr., has died.

Digby Diehl (who co-wrote a lot of celebrity memoirs): Obituary.

War correspondent Richard Pyle: Obituary.

Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy, has died. I'm not crying. I find it hilariously appropriate that he started his magazine with photos of Marilyn Monroe that he used without her permission. Sounds a lot like Mark Zuckerberg starting Facebook by hacking his way into Harvard's computers and stealing women's "facebook" photos. I enjoyed this article: "Hugh Hefner damaged countless women's lives: Let's not pretend otherwise." If you don't have time to read it I can provide a quote from the end to nutshell it for you: "Hugh Hefner was a gross, powerful, white man who was bad for women."

"The Mind of John McPhee."

The National Book Foundation has announced its annual "5 under 35" authors list.

Andrew Carnegie Medals for Fiction and Nonfiction: Longlists.

"Honoring Christian fiction's best."

Are there more Stephen King adaptations in the works?


Six new books exploring "a new European narrative."

Excerpt from a new book called Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism.

A new book about the Vietnam War Memorial, which I'd love to read. When I visited Washington D.C. the city didn't do much for me (shocker, I know) but that memorial is awesome. Quiet, simple, stark, sad. The Korean War monument is pretty cool too.

A new book on pop-up form!

New York Times: a new book about having those "hard conversations"; a new guide to "graveside tourism"; tracking the "hyper-gentrification" of New York City; Vivian Gornick reviews a New York memoir by Adam Gopnik; on the "transcontinental life of an 18th-century woman of letters," Lady Anne Barnard; like dogs? You're going to love these memoirs.


IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of Sept. 28.

18 must-read books for fall 2017. This is actually a very interesting list, and from a Toronto publication, so it's nicely Canada-centric. I really should have been born a Canadian.

Entertainment Tonight: Fall's most buzzworthy books.

Paste Magazine: The Best Audiobooks of 2017 (so far).

A roundup of the season's romance novels.

Town and Country: The 6 books you need to read this October.

Fifteen spooky Halloween titles for young readers.

"Education experts" share the best books they've read about teaching.

13 books becoming movies in 2018.

Looking for a good podcast about the history of art? Here's 14 options for you!


So get this story; I just remembered it when I got ready to take Sue Klebold's memoir A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy (about the Columbine shootings) to the library. When I had first picked the book up, the CRjrs were both with me. What we tend to do at the library is pick up our holds, and then we proceed to the kids' nonfiction, where they browse and read and I loiter nearby, pawing through the books I've put on hold and will be checking out. On that day I was paging through the Klebold memoir (looking for pictures--always the first thing I do with biographies and memoirs) when I heard this shouting from the kids' computers play area: "Hey, shoot shoot shoot, you've got to kill them there." "Oh, you missed, you're a terrible shot." "Kill 'em!" "Oh geez, move over and let me try, you're a terrible shot." When I looked over I saw four tweeny little boys playing what must have been some multi-player video game, although no gore was showing up on screen. It was just so weird. What were the chances I'd be hearing young boys yelling "shoot 'em!" WHILE I read the memoir of the mother of a murderer? It was surreal.

I am giving up on Sarah Menkedick's Homing Instincts: Early Motherhood on a Midwestern Farm. I want to like it, she seems like a good writer, but all the same. I am not in the mood. Yes, yes, you're a world traveler, you actually run for exercise WHILE you're pregnant, then you had a baby (with a midwife and a birth story that is neatly told in a few pages), your baby was naturally a pretty good breast-feeder, now you're a published memoirist. She's doing everything I want to do only better. Who wouldn't be jealous?

Re-reading Stacy's Horn's The Restless Sleep gave me an urge to also re-read her earlier memoir Waiting for My Cats to Die. Totally satisfying even on the second read. I do so love Stacy Horn. The bit about where she's invited to give a talk at a media conference, tells the organizer she's going to talk about her midlife crisis, the organizer begs her not to, and Stacy ends up...talking about her midlife crisis? So good.


"Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett superfans, prepare to be unbelievably excited."