Citizen Reading

Citizen Reading: 14 August 2017.

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

The "boom" in books about boredom.

RA for All: Book Display Ideas. In general, check out Becky's RA for All posts from the last couple of weeks. There's tons of good info and news there, including news about Rebecca Vnuk's new book review magazine IndiePicks Magazine!

Free webinar: Engaging Reluctant Readers in Your Library.

Cultivate your readers' advisory superpower!

The Library of Congress opened its catalogs to the world. "Here's why it matters."

A new app from OverDrive aims to make signing up for a library card easier. and signing up for a library card.

Nine student needs academic librarians need to know.

Bless EarlyWord, they're still updating their list of book/movie adaptations.

How to talk to kids about death, according to picture books.

John Green has a new book out!

Novelist Maggie O'Farrell has a new memoir out--even though she wasn't quite comfortable writing about real people (herself and others).

Interview with Jeannette Walls, about her memoir The Glass Castle being made into a movie.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Recommending the best of Stephen King.

Ken Baker's novel How I Got Skinny, Famous and Fell Madly In Love to be adapted as a movie.

The fall TV outlook for the networks doesn't look good.

In a British bookshop, and looking for some V. C. Andrews? Look for Virginia Andrews instead!

The winners of the 2017 Hugo Award.


Ann Hood's new book Morningstar is about growing up with books.

I'd like to see this new book of essays: what has and hasn't changed for women in five decades of pop culture.

New comic book: The illustrated tweets of President Trump.

A physician has written a book about the ethics of "using medical assistance to hasten death."

OOOoooohhh...this one looks like fun...The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books.

There's a new biography of Edwin Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary of War, now available.

There's a new book out about the Kellogg brothers and their cereal beginnings.

New York Times: A biography of Washington Roebling, the man who built the Brooklyn Bridge; novelist Jami Attenberg reviews a new memoir about an unhappy marriage; "assessing the value of Buddhism"; a study of 1922, the "year that transformed literature"; what is it really like to die (new nonfiction from Edwidge Danticat). 


IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of August 10.

September's LibraryReads list. There's only one nonfiction title on it, but at least it's one that looks interesting.

School Library Journal: Best new math books.

True Crime for young adults.

The Guardian: The best recent thrillers.

Librarians have voted on their top 100 must-have YA titles. (And 42 diverse must-have YA titles as well.)

Adult Books 4 Teens: 8 coming-of-age tales.

Best business books to read for those starting a small business.

Ten business books to read to understand how capitalism works now.

Twelve of Bill Clinton's favorite titles.


I hammered through a new Elinor Lipman novel, On Turpentine Lane, that I actually liked better than anything else I've ever read by Elinor Lipman. Some of it was genuinely funny and it was a nice light book for summer reading, but I think I still prefer a novelist like Anne Tyler.

Last week I wrote about D. Watkins's The Beast Side, about Baltimore, and this week I see he's written an article about how many murders have taken place in Baltimore already this year.

I read a lot of depressing nonfiction last week (reviews to come) and it was AWESOME. Autumn must be coming...I'm starting to feel more like myself, and myself likes my depressing nonfiction!

The eldest CRjr completed his first Summer Library Program. He was entered in a prize drawing and got a free book and pass to a local swim club. We had to go home and recover from all the excitement. I'm not kidding. My definition of "over-scheduled" around here is when we have more than one place to be per week (ah, parenting while introverted, it's not for pansies), so two prizes and a sweepstakes entry blew his mind. In the best possible way.


Starz plans to keep "American Gods" going "for years."

Citizen Reading: 7 August 2017.

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

Buzz Books Monthly for September (from Publishers' Lunch) now available.

Trend watch: Have you heard of "up lit"?

Looking to develop your maker spaces? Tips for makers on a budget.

Penn State Libraries: now dispensing short stories!

This was my favorite surreal article of the week. USA Today makes suggestions for what President Trump should read on vacation. Anybody else here remember when USA Today was called "McPaper" and was derided for being news lite? And now it's suggesting books for Trump? Very odd books. I'm crying. I'm laughing. I'm cry-laughing. Craughing. Is that a thing?

Now THIS is why tech moguls keep buying media outlets.

Stop letting your children play with apps.

A new literary journal gives all story writers the same first line to work with.

This is not a nice trend: Game of Thrones fans are buying (and abandoning) a lot of husky dogs.

5 reasons audiobook sales are booming.

Sales are up for the Cambridge University Press.

Not the Booker Prize 2017: Here's the very long, long, longlist.

Women's fiction author Isabelle Broom has signed a contract for two new books with Michael Joseph.

There's a new novel out based on the Lizzie Borden story.

E.B. White's farm, where he wrote Charlotte's Web, is up for sale.

Sam Shepard, author and playwright, has died at the age of 73. I'll always like him for his role in the movie "Baby Boom," although I've never read or seen any of his plays.

The editor who saved Anne Frank's diary from the rejection pile, and also gave the world Julia Child's cookbooks, has died.

Author Ariel Levy on feeling guilt over her miscarriage.

A new PBS program will explore Americans' favorite books.

The film adaptation of "The Dark Tower" is not getting good reviews.

"Game of Thrones": Episode leaks.

More and more books are being adapted for TV and film.

Arab American Book Awards: Winners.

Winner of the 2017 Diagram Prize for Oddest Title: Winner.

The Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize 2017: shortlist.


Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona, and also known at one time as the least-liked Senator in America) has a new book out.

James Comey has gotten his book deal.

A new memoir by a woman who cut herself off from her abusive parents: Estranged: Leaving Family, and Finding Home.

Bustle: 13 best nonfiction books of August.

New York Times: A collection of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg's lectures on his contemporaries; a new biography of poet John Ashbery; a book on how poetry works.


IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of August 3.

Amazon: Best Books of August.

GQ: Best new books of August. The best 10 fiction titles of August.

Vulture: 8 books you need to read this August. This is like the third or fourth list I've seen Tom Perrotta's novel Mrs. Fletcher on. Fine. I am no Perrotta fan, but I will give it a try.

School Library Journal: 44 terrific titles for August.

Publishers' Weekly: The most anticipated books for fall.

Booklist: Spotlight on SF/Fantasy and Horror.

Ten "highbrow books for the beach." 26 favorite books of high achievers.

"In Search of Lost Words": Novels on dementia.


GardensI really wanted to spend a lot of time with Gardens of the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes, by Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke, about New York's High Line park, but I have been too busy actually going outside with the CRjrs. I will get this one back in the winter.

I've had David Sedaris's new book Theft by Finding, Diaries: 1977-2002, for the full four weeks my library allows, and I have to take it back now. I've never been a yuuge Sedaris fan, although I have enjoyed some of his writings, but I am enthralled by the idea of diaries and thought I would take a look. I read the first hundred pages, largely because I was just dumbfounded by the events in his life, and then I skimmed the next 200 pages, and then I stopped. This is just TOO MUCH David Sedaris. Still, if you're a fan, you might find this an interesting look "behind the curtain." It is interesting to see how certain events in his life eventually ended up in the stories and essays of his you know...


Neil Gaiman is starting a book yoga challenge for his readers.

Citizen Reading: 31 July 2017.

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

Well, this is going to smack of shameless self-promotion, but I can't help myself. I got an essay published at The Millions last week! It's about my Dad, who was, among many other things, a reader. A reader I miss very much.

Now: back to the books!

So: are you finding your perfect summer reads?

The New York Times's chief book critic, Michiko Kakutani, "is stepping down."

Jesus Christ, Steve Jobs's widow just bought a controlling interest in The Atlantic magazine. I weary of tech types and their spouses and their endless money and their buying media companies. Oh, incidentally? Jeff Bezos has officially passed Bill Gates to become the world's richest man.

What's the hot trend in cover colors this summer? Evidently, it's millennial pink.

8 simple ways to "instill a love of reading in your kids."

13 tips for teaching news and information literacy.

"Rumors of the death of libraries have been greatly exaggerated."

"Why are opioid users overdosing in libraries, and how should librarians respond?"

First Book to increase digital resources with tablets.

Yeah, mainly I'm going to have to agree with the headline of this piece: "No, Richard Dawkins is not the most influential science writer of all time." (Related: Dawkins just lost himself an author event at Berkeley.)

Historian Thomas Fleming: Obituary.

The Bodleian Library is planning to publish a collection of Jane Austen's letters this fall.

What is Philippa Gregory (she of the Tudor-era novels) working on next?

George R. R. Martin teases a release date for the next book in his Song of Ice and Fire series.

Margaret Atwood is hot hot hot: here's a trailer for the Netflix adaptation of her Alias Grace.

Starz to adapt Stephenie Meyer's supernatural spy thriller The Rook.

Leonardo DiCaprio is working on adapting Tom Wolfe's 1979 nonfiction classic The Right Stuff (about test pilots and astronauts) for the National Geographic network.

The 2017 Romance Writers of America Rita Awards: Winners.

Arthur C. Clarke Award winner: Colson Whitehead.

Man Booker Prize: Longlist.


I'm biased, because I love almost all nonfiction, but wow, there were a lot of interesting new nonfiction titles in the news this week.

Edward VII really liked the ladies, according to this new biography.

A book about how the white working class "resents professionals but admires the rich." I'm not in the mood for political reading lately but I might have to check this one out.

New True Crime (kind of): The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder.

New TV programs about Princess Diana (marking the 20th anniversary of her death) and a list of nonfiction about her.

Dying: A Memoir, is one woman's story of life after her terminal cancer diagnosis.

New nonfiction about what causes "the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and above all the Department of Justice to flounder in their efforts to hold not only the government, but America's financial institutions, accountable for their crimes."

New history: The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers.

Have you read the New York City/shopkeeper/restaurateur memoir Eat Me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin? Oh, it's so great. And now his daughter has written a memoir as well!

School Library Journal: New nonfiction for kids.

New York Times: Is the tradition of liberty "under mortal threat"?; a memoir on a woman's struggle with self-harming;three new books on how to "confront and reform racist policing"; "new details from Hillary Clinton's forthcoming memoir revealed"; why has English poet A.E. Housman never gone out of print?


IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of July 22.

Christian Science Monitor: Best Books of July. I MUST have Jane Austen at Home. When the English Fall looks good too; a post-apocalyptic novel featuring an Amish character. But then, my favorite thing to say to Mr. CR when he leaves the house is, "You be careful out among the English." (If you don't get that reference, then you have not seen the movie Witness. Stop reading this and GO WATCH IT NOW. A Harrison Ford classic.)

Booklist: Best new books the week of July 31.

Harpers Bazaar: 7 new books to read in August. God helped me, I placed three books from this list on hold at the library. I will NEVER get all those books read.

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

The Millions: "In praise of short books."

Entertainment Weekly: 11 novels you can read in a day. LOVE the Shirley Jackson and S. E. Hinton suggestions here!

YA books that "take place in a day."

7 memoirs by young authors.

What to read this summer, a list compiled by "radio's biggest bookworms" (in the UK).

A look at some of the best out-of-print genre books.


Not much else got done around here last week as I got involved re-reading the Poldark series. I am helpless against the saga of Ross and Demelza Poldark.

I also spent a lot of time with a book titled Raw Deal: How the "Uber Economy" and Runaway Capitalism Are Screwing American Workers, by Steven Hill. It's good but it's taking me a long time to read.


Guess who's on board to help Neil deGrasse Tyson create his new video game "Space Odyssey"?

Citizen Reading: 24 July 2017.

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

Libraries provide teens with important life skills.

GoodReads is adding WorldCat to its book records.

Why do so many indie presses fail?

The story behind the newly discovered Maurice Sendak manuscript.

Alan Moore is planning a big send-off for his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic.

A bookseller on his complicated relationship with J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy.

Two new Harry Potter books are set for publication this October.

A posthumous collection of short stories from mystery master P.D. James is expected this fall.

Persuasion: Jane Austen's "kung fu novel"? (Also: Jane Austen is now on the ten-pound note.)

Next from novelist Junot Diaz: a picture book.

Sherman Alexie cancels his current book tour, citing his struggles with depression.

Jason Segel is not only an actor, he's a YA Sci-Fi writer.

2017 ITW Thriller Awards: Winners.

2017 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize: Longlist.

Outlander, season three: Trailer.

Amazon is now adapting Agatha Christie books too.

My Friend Dahmer graphic novel: now a movie.


I don't know that I will get this new history of the showdown between President Truman and General MacArthur read, but WOW, this is a hell of a review of it by Andrew Bacevich. (Full disclosure: I love Andrew Bacevich. I love him because he writes things like this: "The result is a nation that today finds itself more or less permanently at war. At no time during the sixty-plus years since MacArthur’s downfall have existing civil-military arrangements worked as advertised. That is to say, never has the interaction of military and civilian leaders, conducted in an atmosphere of honesty and mutual respect, privileging the national interest rather than personal ambition and institutional agendas, yielded consistently enlightened policies.")

A new book is predicting Putin's downfall.

Comedian Kevin Hart: has a new memoir out.

A new science book about the "history of our atmosphere." (And it's been called funny! Love my science with a bit of funny.)

James Comey is shopping a book proposal.

New York Times: On American radicals; Joe Biden's new book is due out in November; how Steve Bannon and Donald Trump got into the White House; oh, my, I'm just so sad that it happens, but I am not up for a new memoir on what it was like to endure incest; two testimonials to the Syrian refugee crisis; on the birth of the modern Middle East; on human equality; a new biography of singer Sarah Vaughan; a new book about "affluence without abundance."

One of my favorite essayists, Meghan Daum, reviews three books on marriage.


IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of July 18.

10 contemporary novels for fans of Jane Austen.

School Library Journal: 10 graphic novels that are not quite of this world.

Paste magazine: Best new YA books of July.

The Telegraph: 28 best books for your summer holiday.


You too can enter for a chance to win merchandise from Neil Gaiman's American Gods TV show...ends Tuesday!

Citizen Reading: 17 July 2017.

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

Still bereft over the loss of EarlyWord? This very handy list at The Millions of some of the biggest books coming in the second half of 2017 should help ease your pain just a bit.

This is a thoughtful article about how libraries and librarians are dealing with people suffering from the opioid epidemic--among other issues--and all librarians and library patrons should go read it.

Want your library's audiobooks, magazines, and ebooks all available in one place? There's an app for that!

Okay, the last time I read that a man "writes women as fully realized," the critics were talking about this shit book by Nickolas Butler. Maybe this Matthew Klam guy will be better. I certainly hope so. I can't believe it's 2017 and people can't stop falling all over themselves when a man seems somewhat able to write about women as--for Christ's sake--"fully realized" PEOPLE.

Oh, I'm sorry, was that out loud? I must have taken one of my angry pills this morning.

Buzz Books 2017: Romance Edition (from PublishersLunch).

Which country reads the most? This is a super-interesting infographic; go check it out. Then go read a book to help our numbers in the U.S.

Is Dr. Who the greatest superhero of all space and time? (Plus: the thirteenth doctor, just chosen, is a woman.)

How did the beloved children's book character Eloise come to be?

Coming this autumn (to the UK): Mr. Men books for grownups!

It's the bicentennial of Jane Austen's death this week (Tuesday the 18th, to be exact), so there are Austen Articles everywhere. Here's one on "the fifty shades of Mr. Darcy."

Related: This month's Jane Austen book group read (at the Guardian): Persuasion. Also: Will we ever get tired of Jane Austen? Seems not--here's three new books about her.

Biographer Kenneth Silverman: Obituary. Chinese author and Nobel peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo: Obituary.

Denis Johnson to be posthumously awarded the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.

James Grippando wins the Harper Lee Legal Fiction Award.

Dayton Literary Peace Prize 2017 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award winner (wow, that's a mouthful): Colm Toibin.

Even Dave Eggers is getting in on writing books for middle-schoolers!

Neil Patrick Harris is writing a children's book series.

Happy 200th birthday, Henry David Thoreau! (And here's a review of a new biography of the man in question.)

George R. R. Martin to adapt a different author's fantasy novel for HBO.

Zadie Smith is under contract to write her first historical fiction novel.

27 female authors who own SF and fantasy right now.

Netflix to make an adaptation of the cult graphic novel series The Umbrella Academy.

Middlemarch, the web series: Middlemarch "through a LGBTQ lens."

The "A Wrinkle in Time" adaptation: first still photographs. And: first trailer.

Starz has set a premiere date for season three of Outlander.

Game of Thrones: Ratings.


A book of photographs of Michelle Obama will be published this fall.

"Political books and biographies are hot in 2017 so far."

Oh, good Lord, the story refuses to die. Milo Yiannopoulos's self-published book Dangerous has reached #3 on the USA Today bestseller list. (Although he may be inflating the sales figures. Huh. I'm shocked.) And: tee hee, here's the Digested Read of the book from The Guardian.

"A teacher, a student, a life-changing friendship"...and reading.

A new memoir about history and one journalist's search for the roots of her Latvian family.

Three books to help you take a deeper look at opioid addiction.

Attention all lovers of Brit TV: comedian Dawn French will publish her diary this fall (in the UK).

New York Times: a book of conversations with Bob Marley;a true crime procedural about an arsonist in Virginia; travel nonfiction from a British expat in Norway; on Jane Austen at home; a memoir by a woman whose family sold their Martha's Vineyard home to the new rich.


Amazon: Best books of July. Best books of 2017 (so far). I have a weak spot for this list because Jami Attenberg's book All Grown Up is on it, and I love people who love Jami Attenberg.

School Library Journal: Popular picks for July 2017.

3 romance heroines who "want it all."

Six baseball books for midseason reading.

What politicos are reading this summer.

Ten shows like Game of Thrones, only for teens.


I was all over the place this week. I'll post about that on Wednesday.


Enter the Book Riot/Annotated podcast American Gods (Folio Society Edition) giveaway!

Reading notes: July 2017.

On Monday I was so busy whining about the demise of EarlyWord that I forgot to include my usual weekly reading notes in the Citizen Reading report, so I thought I'd put them here.

I forget exactly why I got Peter Coughter's The Art of the Pitch: Persuasion and Presentation Skills that Win Business from the library, but I suspect it is because I am always interested in books about how to give presentations (enough so that I wrote one) and how to sell, because I am a terrible salesperson. I only skimmed this one, but I have to say I think it is one of the best and most succinct books on good public speaking that I've seen. You wouldn't even have to read the whole book; just read the first chapter: "Everything Is a Presentation." I particularly liked the list of characteristics of great presenters and their presentations, things like "It's a conversation, only you're doing most of the talking."* That does not mean you get to be boring or pontificate, it means, as Coughter explains, "We've all been there. Sitting in a meeting, praying for it to end while the speaker drones on about something that is apparently important to him, but of no interest to us. It might have been okay if he wasn't so stiff, so stilted, so 'professional.' Caught up in his own world. Lecturing us.

Don't be that guy. I can't say this strongly enough. Just talk with us. The best presenters know this, and that's how they present." (p. 16.)

That last line is the beginning, middle, and end of good public speaking. Coughter adds more bullet points, of course ("be yourself," "tell stories," "know your stuff," etc.) but I think his suggestion to just TALK with the people you present to is never given enough emphasis in other public speaking books.

Sharon Weinberger, The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency that Changed the World. I'm about thirty pages in to this one, and it's interesting, but I'm just not in the mood right now. Already I've learned that DARPA really began with the mission to move America ahead in the space race, and when they lost that mandate shortly after they were formed, they turned to investigating anti-insurgency during the Vietnam War. I'll definitely want to get this one back someday.

Nick Westergaard, Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. I am interested in digital marketing, even though I really have no idea how to do anything digital. I've also always been weirdly interested in marketing from a completely detached viewpoint. I don't really want to DO marketing but I find it a fascinating subject--how do people market and sell to us? How do we sell to others? So I snap up marketing books like I used to snap up dating books--I wasn't any good at dating either but found the whole process interesting from a sociological standpoint. But this book doesn't really seem to offer anything new, and it takes too long to get there. And ever since my eye went wonky this spring, I find myself asking, is this book worth wasting my waning vision on? No? Moving on.

Sophie Kinsella, I've Got Your Number. Total chick-lit fluff, but AWESOME chick-lit fluff, and set in London to boot.  A million times better than her Shopaholic series; many, many thanks to my friend who suggested I read this one.

*Full disclosure: In my experience, this is spot-on. I try to be a good listener, but let's face it, I like to hold forth. For an introverted control freak like myself giving talks and presentations is the most fun thing ever, because I get to interact with people for a useful purpose, and I get to mostly direct the conversation. Ah, that's the sweet spot.

Citizen Reading: 10 July 2017.

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

So the big news this week is that EarlyWord is giving up the ghost. If you spend any time here, clicking on these links, chances are good you have clicked on a link to an EarlyWord story, because I link to them a lot. Or, I should say, I used to link to them a lot. This news that they will no longer be publishing their site depresses me on so many levels. Firstly, because they have just been such a handy site for news about fiction bestsellers and under-the-radar hits, as well as a great source about literary/movie adaptations. Where am I going to go for that kind of news now?

Secondly, they were a fantastic, team-written, professionally polished site. I'm not sure how they paid for themselves--only through advertising?--but if that is the case, then I am crushed that even they could not make it, financially. It happened at the Reader's Advisor Online (of which I was co-editor), of course, so this should all be familiar to me. But there seem to be so many resources and so much money in this world and NONE OF IT IS GOING TO PEOPLE WHO READ, WRITE, OR WRITE ABOUT BOOKS AND READING. Really. I know doctors and people who own cell phone stores are important. But are they really the only ones who can make any money these days? I guess the answer is yes.

On a related note I wish EarlyWord could post an entirely honest message about why they are stopping. In this age of tons of information and too much sharing we never really seem to hear the true reasons for anything.

Thirdly, this certainly seems to throw into sharp relief how the writing is on the wall for me too. Not like this will be a big loss for the Internet, but everyone gets to a point where they can't keep doing something--even something they love to do--for free. There is just not enough time in the world. The time came for RAO, the time came for Bookslut, the time has come for EarlyWord, the time is most likely coming for me. This makes me sad.

But anyway. Becky over at RA for All is still doing her part, and writing rousing calls for action for more title-awareness blogs/labors of love. God love her. Also, Jessica commented last week asking if I could suggest any sources to replace EarlyWord. Well, I'll look into it, but the best thing I can think of to do is to re-link to posts we did when RAO ceased publication: posts about how to keep up with reading news, and how to put together a database of titles that are coming soon. Many thanks, as always, to Cindy Orr for writing the lion's share of those posts.

EarlyWord is dead. Long live EarlyWord.

And now, onward:

"Toward a more diverse LibraryReads." (See? My very first link is to an EarlyWord story.)

"The campus novels (and movies) that get it right (and wrong)."

Earlier in the week I was very disturbed by reports that the TSA was going to start looking through travelers' books and papers. It looks, thank God, like they are backing off that policy for now.

A look at how storytimes have evolved.

A previously unpublished Maurice Sendak picture book has been discovered.

Happy 110th birthday, Robert Heinlein!

Good lord, Warner Bros. and J.R.R. Tolkien's estate are still fighting over royalties. (For more actual money details on the deal, try this related story at The Wrap.)

Spencer Johnson, author of the business classic Who Moved My Cheese?, has died, aged 78.

Crime writer Helen Cadbury: Obituary.

British poet Heathcote Williams: has died.

Patricia Lockwood's memoir Priestdaddy has been optioned by Imagine Television.

Okay, not really book-related, but God how I agree with this: "Mr. Zuckerberg, please don't run for president."


A book about "being delighted to be British." I MUST HAVE IT.

A new memoir titled Drone Warrior, by a person who killed alleged terrorists using drones.

Do we all still really just want to be popular?

Well, you know I'm totally going to have to read a book about why it's awesome to be awkward.

J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy is still going strong, and just made it to the #1 on the USA Today bestseller list.

In the Days of Rain: a new memoir about growing up in a conservative, separatist cult in England.

An excerpt from a memoir about a "journey to confront my rapist."

On "the radical origins of Christianity."

Okay, I know. I am sick to death of Milo Yiannopoulos news too, all right? But I feel I have to report on the continuing story. Now he is suing Simon & Schuster for canceling publication of his right-wing political dross.

New York Times: nonfiction about the author's abiding love affair with Africa; a history of the London Zoo; for all you car nuts, a look at Ford's entry into racing;a memoir of a Texas childhood; Mark Bowden's new book about the Vietnam War; why was virtually no one prosecuted for the 2008 financial crisis?; a new Robert Sapolsky book on psychology and neurobiology (described as "quirky," it looks like it could be interesting...but 790 pages?!?!?); a new book on Jane Austen as a radical.


IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of July 4.

Christian Science Monitor: 6 picture books for summer reading.

The Telegraph: 70 best books to read this summer.

GQ: The Best books of July.

School Library Journal: 36 stellar kids' books.

Three books that delve into the immigration debate.

"8 juicy Hollywood memoirs."


Yeah, I won't be watching American Gods, and this is one of the reasons why: "American Gods' Slow-Motion Shots Turn Blood and Gore Into Stunning Works of Art." I weary of blood and gore.

Citizen Reading: 3 July 2017.

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

HarperCollins celebrates 200 years in the biz.

Costco's new "Pennie's Pick:" Adriana Trigiani's novel Kiss Carlo.

"These powerful ladies want you to read these powerful books by ladies."

10 things you never knew about Harry Potter.

Thank God for MobyLives, reminding us of all the ways Jeff Bezos is evil.

Wow, Facebook and Google pull in 50% of all online ad dollars.

Dan Brown's new thriller to be set in Spain. John Grisham also has a new novel out.

I'm not a big Philip Pullman fan, so this news doesn't mean a whole lot to me, but wow, this story is like the only big literary story this week: the cover of his new book has been revealed.

Oh, the creator of Paddington Bear (Michael Bond): has died. We just checked out a Paddington book from the library, but didn't get it read yet.

J.D. Vance embarks on a "different kind of author tour."

Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy to be adapted for TV.

Podcasts from librarians.

News from ALA Annual's show floor.

Here's an interesting discussion topic for librarians: when helping them with tech, do you ever touch a patron's device?

How a teen librarian addressed 13 Reasons Why in her community.

What Becky at RA for All picked up at ALA Annual. Also: the Read 'n Rave picks program summary.

Pew Report: Millennials are stellar at using the library!


Milo Yiannopoulos's book "sells 65k in pre-orders."

New professional development titles on young adult reading, reluctant readers, and diverse populations.

Is there really a formula to fall in love with anyone?

A "memoir and a tribute to" Martha's Vineyard.

A new history of the Donner Party.

Bustle: Best new nonfiction books coming in July. Okay, you know I'm going to have to look at the Regretting Motherhood title; can you call that a "parenting" title?

New York Times: On increasing economic segregation in American cities;on the origins of the New York Police Department; a history/examination of flags; the story of DARPA (the military agency responsible for, among other things, the Internet) in Imagineers of War (which I have home right now).


IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of June 22.

Christian Science Monitor: Best Books of June. You know I'm totally going to have to get The Essex Serpent, right?

Harpers Bazaar: Best new books of July.

Forbes: 10 business books every freelancer should read.

Entertainment Weekly: Patriotic books to read for the 4th of July.

Five nonfiction books to "stave off the summer slide."

Nancy Pearl's summer reading list.

Cuba, Then and Now: Collection Development.

Funny YA favorites.


I've been re-reading Debra Ginsberg's memoir Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress, which, for my money, is one of the best memoirs ever written AND one of the best insider looks at restaurant work to boot. Go read it. (Incidentally, only 3.5 stars at GoodReads? I don't know why I linked there. I think GoodReads blows.) I also read and reviewed a great book about British TV over at my Great British TV site.

The eldest CRjr has already discovered sports statistics books. Sigh. I'm no sports fan, but he loves them SO MUCH. So I'm listening to sports statistics.


He shows up in this article that asks, "Can science fiction really, realistically help build better futures?"

Happy 4th of July, all, and have a good week.


Citizen Reading: 26 June 2017.

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

Pottermore's "Wizarding World Book Club" launches.

When "fan fiction and reality collide." I read that whole article and I didn't really understand one single, solitary bit of it. Pop culture has clearly moved on without me.

Melville House is running a contest to give away some of their books!

Now people are crunching the data on who the most important character will be in the next season of "Game of Thrones." I am officially tired of "Game of Thrones."

John Green: has a new novel coming out.

Nancy Pearl has written a novel!

Why James Baldwin still matters (and why you should still be reading him).

Anne Frank's Diary is 75 years old.

Shelving zen: Watch this time-lapse video of books getting re-shelved in the NYPL's Rose Reading Room.

Sarah Jessica Parker is picking the book for the national Book Club Central book club.

Amazon to adapt Jay McInerney's "Brightness Falls" series.

HBO is set to adapt Alan Moore's "Watchmen" series...but perhaps they shouldn't?

AWESOME: There's going to be a movie adaptation of the thoroughly creepy classic The House with a Clock In Its Walls, by John Bellairs.

"Game of Thrones" season 7: New trailer. (Yes. Still tired of "Game of Thrones." But no one else seems to be.)

"Thank You For Your Service" (based on David Finkel's nonfiction book): Trailer.

"American Assassin" (based on the Vince Flynn novel): Trailer.

A Downton Abbey movie is in the works.

This is not related to reading, but oh my God, the movie "Spaceballs" is now 30 years old. It's official: I'm old. To celebrate, here's a list of ten other SciFi comedies.

BookRiot: "LibraryReads So White, or Why Librarians Need to Do Better."

Going to ALA Annual? Becky at RA for All has some good advice to make your conference a better one.

I had never heard of this one before, but I like the Swiss Army Librarian's "Work Like a Patron" day suggestion.

How one library is using tech to engage and inspire.

Walter Scott Prize winner: Sebastian Barry (for the second time!).

OOooohhh so pretty: Lofty Libraries.


David Sedaris has a new book out, based on his diaries.

Roxane Gay has a new memoir out; so does novelist Sherman Alexie.

A new book about the "secret history" of the iPhone.

A new book explores racial disparities in organ transplantation.

New York Times: New books about the "sharing economy"; two new books offer advice for the "socially awkward"; a history of "residential segregation in America"; Helene Stapinski investigates her family's "criminal genes"; did Lincoln move so slowly on slavery because he was racist, as this new book contends?; a book examining the history of examining how babies are made; a book examining a condition which makes its sufferers meet the world with "unshakeable affection".


IndieBound: bestselling books the week of June 22.

Amazon's best 20 books of 2017, so far. This list includes nonfiction by Douglas Preston, about a lost city and civilization in Honduras, with a disease subplot? I MUST HAVE IT.

June 2017: Best new young adult books.

Summer Books of 2017 (as listed in The Financial Times): History, Science, Travel, Crime.

Forbes: Best books for summer 2017. Actually, I kind of want to read everything on this list. A super-interesting list of nonfiction, chock full of titles I haven't seen anywhere else. Well played, Forbes.

Ten more suspense-drenched tales for fans of Paula Hawkins.

The Guardian: "Top ten books about lies."

Standout STEM reads.

20 years of LGBTQ lit.


He will read the Cheesecake Factory menu aloud; the charity met its goal!

Citizen Reading: 19 June 2017.

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

Another slightly truncated list...please bear with as things (hopefully) get back to normal soon. Thanks!

June is Audiobook Month!

What academic librarians can learn from retail's meltdown.

Philip Pullman has published a graphic novel.

Oh, my God, Harry Potter is twenty. Here's a fun story about how an early, uncorrected proof of the first book in series just sold for big bucks.

"How to read aloud to children."

I simply must see a movie that stars British actress Sally Hawkins and "is already a hit in Canada."

David Levithan's YA novel Every Day to become a movie.

Three books to read after you read The Handmaid's Tale.

Author (and Middle East expert) David Fromkin: Obituary.

So here's an interesting profile of Maurice Nat Hentoff...from 1966. I thought, why is The New Yorker running this (online) now? So I went to look up Sendak's birthday: June 10. Huh. Maybe for his birthday. Then I looked up Hentoff's (Hentoff was also a writer and journalist): also June 10. Weird, right?

Man Booker International Prize: Winner.


Well, I can't not tell you the Milo Yiannopoulos news, it's a continuing story in the book world. He's self-publishing his title Dangerous in July; EarlyWord reports that the draft Simon and Schuster was set to publish in January has been leaked. Okay, I've done my duty reporting on this story. Let's move on to happier subjects.

Kim of Sophisticated Dorkiness dishes on nonfiction she found at BookExpo 2017!

Now here's a specific topic: how fast food places were easier to open in the inner cities than grocery stores.

Well, this just sounds like a heartbreaking book, but what else could a book about "early-onset dementia" be?

A new book about Vietnam, by Mark Bowden (author of the war/adventure classic Black Hawk Down).

New York Times: Was Machiavelli a good guy or a bad guy?; a new "history of the Cold War"; a biography of Johann Wolfgang van Goethe that also examines his career as a public official (as well as a writer); America's "collision course with China".


Popular Mechanics: The best science fiction books of 2017 (so far). 12 books that will "help you change the world." Wow, I haven't read any of those. That would probably help explain why I am not, at all, changing the world.

PBS Newshour: the 7 best books from indie publishers right now.


What will happen next in American Gods, season two?

Citizen Reading: 12 June 2017 (truncated version).

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

Welcome to another truncated version of Citizen Reading, while I give my eyes a rest. The good news is, my retina guy (I have an issue with my right eye that I have to monitor--I almost said "keep an eye on," but I won't, woops, just did--so I have the pleasure of getting to see a specialized "retina guy") says my issue is not causing the problem, and the eye looks good. So what is the problem? Who knows. It is improving, and we're going to hope for the best, although that sort of thing doesn't come naturally to me.

In the meantime, I've been cleaning, getting ready to host a family party, gardening, doing other work, and watching the boys--in other words, living like a non-reader. And let me tell you...WHO CAN STAND TO LIVE LIKE THIS? I am making an effort to take it easy for a bit, but I am so hungry for text that anything that passes through my hands gets hungrily read by both my eyes--the backs of cereal boxes; the box the Miracle-Gro fertilizer came in; my credit card bill. I don't know how people live without reading.

So, this week, just a bit of news and some book lists. Hope your summer is starting off well.


Is the personal essay boom over? Long live the personal essay!

I don't really want to watch the Netflix adaptation of "A Series of Unfortunate Events"...but if they put Nathan Fillion in the cast, they're just not playing fair.

Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction: Winner.


A new book from novelist Teju Cole that is a mix of text and photography.

A new memoir about death...and "handling it with humor."

New York Times: A book predicting doom for the advertising agency?; the Times's take on the memoir Priestdaddy, by a woman whose father was a Catholic priest (this book wasn't for me, but I knew I wasn't in the mood before I even started it); history about Russia and how Lenin came to power; about al Qaeda and the Islamic State by counterterrorism expert Ali Soufan.


Best Books of 2017 So Far.

19 of the funniest books coming out this summer.

PopSugar: Books for Dads.

Vulture: Seven books you need to read this June.

8 fascinating books about the Salem witch trials.

Pride Month 2017: 5 LGBTQ+ Books.

AND...that's it for me today. Have a great week, everyone.

Citizen Reading 5 June 2017: Wonky Eye Vacation Edition.

Hi! So sorry to report that one of my eyes is acting wonky and is completely bothered when I try to read or look at the Internet. (Evidently God is telling me to find some new hobbies.) No worries; I'm getting it looked at this week.

But in the meantime I am not really reading anything. And, let me tell you, that IS DRIVING ME NUTS. I never realized how much time I spend reading in a day, mostly in two- to three-minute increments, but still. So: I could not look at my Feedly list to find links for Citizen Reading this week; but I do have some reading notes. Hope you all have a great week and hope to see you with Citizen Reading links next week.


I've been reading some writing "craft" books--books meant to help you hone your writing craft. The last two I looked at were by Roy Peter Clark; a new one titled The Art of X-Ray Reading: How the Secrets of 25 Great Works of Literature Will Improve Your Writing, and an older book of his titled How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times.

I actually liked the latter rather than the former. Especially if you have any kind of job writing or doing social media, this could be a good read for you. It's full of short chapters, each explaining one "write short" tip, like changing your pace, hitting your target, grouping concepts in twos and threes, etc. There's some good stuff there, but I wasn't really in the mood to read it. Same deal for The Art of X-Ray Reading book, in which Clark examines 25 classics to see what he can learn about good writing. I read the first three chapters on The Great Gatsby (learn "the power of the parts"); Lolita (wordplay); and Ernest Hemingway and Joan Didion ("words left out"), and they were okay, but I didn't really feel like continuing.

Weeks ago now I read Lindy West's Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman. Then I had to take it back to the library before I could write about it, but I actually requested it back so I could write about it more clearly. And now my damn eye won't permit me the luxury of re-skimming this one to tell you what I thought. (Here's a review of it instead.) It was okay; I thought West was funny, and some of her essays here are very good (particularly the one about dealing with online trolls, which was so appalling on so many levels). Take, for example, this paragraph, when she talks about a particularly nasty (and targeting) troll who actually took the trouble to set up a Twitter account purporting to be her dead dad*: "It was well into the Rape Joke Summer and my armor was thick. I was eating thirty rape threats for breakfast at that point (or, more accurately, 'you're fatter than the girls I usually rape' threats), and I felt fortified and righteous. No one could touch me anymore." (p. 241.)

That's so sad, but I give her points for keeping on keeping on in the face of such vicious idiocy.

*I know, it's so stupid it defies belief. Where do these people get all the time?

Citizen Reading: 29 May 2017.

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

NPR's summer reading poll is about comics and graphic novels this year.

What next, after coloring books for adults?

Manchester-based publishers respond to the terrorist attack on their city.

Is even Anne of Green Gables becoming politicized?

Libraries: As if they didn't have enough to do, now they are helping with the opioids epidemic too.

"Wonder": Trailer.

New BBC America adaptation: "Fever," based on a novel by Mary Beth Keane.

"Game of Thrones": are there only 13 new episodes left? (And here's the trailer for season 7.)

The film version of Kristin Hannah's Nightingale will be released in August 2018.

Will the next hot calendar for 2018 feature...librarians?

Nebula Award Winner: All the Birds in the Sky.

Author Denis Johnson: has died.

Historian Michael Bliss: Obituary.

Scott Turow's new novel is about The Hague.

Nine "rediscovered" Ruth Rendell stories to be published this fall.


Going to the dentist doesn't particularly bother me, but I don't know that I'm up for this new history of dentistry.

Another book about books, this time from the editor of the New York Times Book Review.

I've linked to this book about one man's experience of schizophrenia in his family before, but I'm linking to it again to remind myself I really need to read it.

New York Times: On the Colorado River and its "unnatural world"; new memoirs on our bodies and our relationships to them; on "the murky future of the Great Lakes"; a dual biography of Winston Churchill and George Orwell; on the Gulf of Mexico in the "age of petrochemicals"; three new books that "make sense of cyberwar" (as if anything could).


IndieBound: bestselling books the week of May 25.

NPR: 6 books for a "summer escape."

Entertainment Weekly: Must-read books of the summer.

10 Mysteries with women in the lead.

Summer book recommendations from Bill Gates.


Well, it's Memorial Day, and I still think these are the books you should read on the subject of wars. Oh, and also go watch this documentary about drone warfare. It's terrible (and inaccurate) that we call ourselves civilized.


Neil Gaiman may do a reading of a Cheesecake Factory menu...for charity.

Citizen Reading: 22 May 2017.

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

Amazon's new bestseller lists "track what people actually read"--as long as what they're actually reading are Kindle books. I'm so tired of this up-to-the-minute fixation on what people are reading. And I'm really tired of Amazon knowing every last little thing about what, when, how much, and (soon, I'm sure) why I read. I forgot they owned GoodReads too. I weary of you, Bezos.

How real books have trumped ebooks.

What is bookselling going to look like in the future? I asked a friend this week if he thought bookstores would be around in twenty years and he said, simply, no. He's probably right but I'm considering not being his friend any more.

On publishing's "digital transformation."

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: 13 must-read titles.

Christian mommy blogger Glennon Doyle Melton is now married to Abby Wambach.

Have you ever heard of the author Kathryn Croft? She's moving a lot of ebooks.

Children's nonfiction author Jean Fritz: Obituary.

Roger Ailes "built the silos we all live in." (The Fox News founder died last week, at the age of 77.) I actually feel kind of bad for any women already in hell. They didn't need this too.

Oh, good on you, Helen Fielding: you've won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize.

The £40,000 Wolfson History Prize winner: Christopher de Hamel, for the book Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts.

"The Glass Castle": First trailer.


Martin Luther books commemorate the 500th anniversary of the posting of his ninety-five theses in 1517.

A new microhistory: about boredom.

Now you can get poetry inspired by Dr. Who!

A new book about anxiety by someone who suffers from anxiety.

A memoir of "loss and life in motion"--about mourning and running.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar has written a book about his 50-year relationship with his coach.

There's a new biography of Papa Hemingway out.

Even conservative, religious authors sometimes can't go home again.

A new memoir by the bestselling neurosurgeon author of Do No Harm. I kind of want to see it.

Oh god, three new memoirs about marriage. It's one of my catnip subject areas; where am I going to find time to read all three? (Although, yeah, Love and Trouble doesn't sound like something I want to read at all. Down to two!)

Star chef Tommy Banks to publish a cookbook.

New York Times: a new book by Senator Ben Sasse about raising them kids up right (God, I'm already sick of hearing about this title; it's been all over this week--evidently the answer is to make them do chores. Thanks, Captain Obvious.);the Revolutionary War was not a pretty war; civil rights stories we need to remember; a closer look at three 18th-Century revolutions and why they matter now.


Publishers Lunch: Is offering their Complete Fall/Winter 2017 Buzz Books list.

IndieBound: bestselling books the week of May 18.

Bookbub: Ultimate Summer Reading List. Oh, joy. The summer reading lists are starting to come in. Another reason I hate summer. I think all "summer books" are so boring. For example? The very first author on this list: James Patterson. BORING.

Coastal Living: 50 Best Books for the Beach this Summer. Okay, this list is mostly boring. But I will confess to being interested in the Jimmy Buffett biography.

Popsugar: Best books for women this summer.

Christian Science Monitor: Best Books of May.

10 best books for entrepreneurs in 2017.

Entrepreneur Magazine: Top 10 books every leader should read.

Booklist: Best new books the week of May 15. You know, Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America sounds interesting, but I've never been a big Michael Ruhlman fan. (Here's a New York Times article about this book.)


Me and the printed word and the Internet have been having a tough week. I haven't been feeling very well, so looking at the computer and reading still makes me a bit wonky. I'm getting better, no worries, but I also continue to be in a mood. So I am very fitfully starting and stopping books at will.

RadishI don't even remember why I got The Wisdom of the Radish: And Other Lessons Learned on a Small Farm, by Lynda Hopkins, from the library. One look at the cover was enough to make me think, I can't get any more books by millennial hipsters about going back to the land. And it didn't get better on the first page: "It's 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday: the start of my workweek, if a week without an end can be said to have a start. As usual, I'm awake--having opened my eyes ten minutes before the alarm's shrill beeps--but wakefulness does not correspond to readiness. At the moment, I'm firmly fixed in a state of denial. It isn't 4:30 in the morning, I'm not going to work, I didn't spend another Friday night harvesting instead of drinking, I'm not about to sprint around a field brandishing scissors and a buck knife in the predawn gloom." (p. 1.) Blah blah blah: I followed a dude who wanted to farm for love, I'm growing organic greens, it's hard work, it's hard to make a living...I've heard this all before. I've lived this all before, circa my years on the farm from 0 to 18.

I was really enjoying bits of Peter Orner's essay collection Am I Alone Here? Notes on Living to Read, Reading to Live, but it is overdue, so I've got to take it back.

So then I started Priestdaddy: A Memoir, by Patricia Lockwood. Memoir about growing up the daughter of a married--yes, married--Catholic priest. Evidently you can become a priest if you convert to Catholicism after marriage? And, get this, her father, the priest, was also a difficult man with whom to live? Huh. This is what it comes down to: I AM SO NOT IN THE MOOD FOR THIS RIGHT NOW.


Teaser trailers for "How to Talk to Girls at Parties," a new movie starring Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning (and based on a story by Gaiman).

Citizen Reading: 15 May 2017.

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

A bit shorter post than usual this week; sorry about that. Internet outages and Mother's Day and other unforeseen issues, oh my!

What's the hot new category for kids? Religious books, evidently.

Top audiobook titles for summer and fall.

People who read books are nicer, study finds. Is just the same study that everyone keeps reporting on, or are these all new studies? It seems like I see this headline every week.

"Dear book club: It's you, not me."

"Young adult fiction uses myths to keep storytelling alive."

Tor to start publishing "experimental stuff."

The rights to Peanuts cartoons and Strawberry Shortcake just sold...for $345 million dollars.

Historian Hugh Thomas has died, at age 85.

Mary Gaitskill: "as we get older, we become more ourselves." I have been saying that for years! With fear, because frankly, I'm already more than I can handle.

Author and chef Vivian Howard on how to make a sandwich.

Kidnapping survivor Michelle Knight writing second book.

J.K. Rowling: STILL good for sales surges. Honestly, that's incredible.

James Patterson: never-ending juggernaut (and now he's got his son in on the action too). He's everywhere! Also he's writing a book with Bill Clinton.

Now Curtis Sittenfeld is going to imagine Hillary Clinton's life without Bill.

Andy Weir (author of The Martian) has a new book coming out.

How can you learn tech skills in a fun and interesting way?

Happy: TV adaptation (based on a comic by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson).


An excerpt from the new book Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and what the Internet Can Tell Us about Who We Really Are

I was listening to NPR the other night when they talked about this book Generation Wealth. I think I'm going to have to look at that. (And: new nonfiction on inequality that I'd like to read.)

Sigh. The story that won't go away: Milo Yiannopoulos to self-publish, and sue Simon & Schuster for dumping him. Whatever else happens I'm sure Milo will end up just fine, money- and career-wise. It always seems to, for his loud and unpleasant type, doesn't it?

New York Times: Examining the lives of three generations of African-American residents in a Harlem home; on the "rise of Asian powers"; hey! here's the NYT take on the new Prince Charles biography I just read; a new biography of Barack Obama.


LibraryReads: June 2017.

IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of May 11.

NPR: Four romances to kick off your summer.

Stellar speculative fiction.

Top ten books on storytelling.

Flavorwire's Summer TV Preview.


Book Trailer Thursday featured Cinnamon, by Neil Gaiman.

American Gods has been renewed for a second season.

Citizen Reading: 8 May 2017.

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

"Confessions of a lifelong audiobook addict."

"Book readers make the best lovers, reveals survey." I think this is supposed to be a reading-positive article, but this tidbit made me snort with derision: "In fact, the data revealed that men who list it [reading] as an interest receive 19 per cent more messages, and women three per cent more."

Becky Spratford of RA for All on volunteering in her child's school library.

Question: Can male writers avoid misogyny?

The Dark Tower: Trailer.

Netflix has added a "warning card" to its "13 Reasons Why" program.

Now Netflix is adapting Anne of Green Gables...but will she be a "grittier" Anne?

HBO is, of course, developing Game of Thrones spinoffs.

Shattered, the new book about the Hillary Clinton campaign, might also become a TV show.

"The Handmaid's Tale" will have a second season.

The BBC/PBS to adapt the classic "Little Women."

TV is "rewriting the book" on how to adapt novels.

Children's book illustrator Peter Spier: Obituary. Author Jean Stein: Obituary.

What year is this? J.K. Rowling launches a Harry Potter Book or re-read your favorite Harry Potter.

Does George R. R. Martin actually need to finish the Song of Ice and Fire series?

Cory Doctorow and Edward Snowden talk SF and reality.

School Library Journal webinar: Hottest Graphic Novels of Spring 2017.

School Library Journal webinar: 60 tools in 60 minutes (for literacy, STEM, and maker spaces).

Collection development: reflecting our communities.

Chicago Tribune YA Book Prize winner: David Levithan.

Best Translated Book Awards: Winners.


A new chapter for Devil in the White City. I was not a fan of this book but I was pretty much the only reader who felt that way, I think.

Ivanka Trump has a new book out, titled Women Who Work.

A look at Neil DeGrasse Tyson's new book on astrophysics.

"Should the giving styles of the rich and famous alarm us all?" I haven't even read this book yet but I have a feeling the short answer is yes.

New York Times: Cheryl Strayed reviews Richard Ford's new memoir about his parents; Rob Sheffield on The Beatles; Condoleezza Rice has written a book about democracy; Britain as a port in the storm during World War II; on fast-tracked evolution; how did the fiscal crisis of the 1970s affect the New York City of today?; how "four powerful rulers decided the fate of a continent"; how the "ideas industry" now caters to the prejudices of the rich (although this book is presented as being "in the style of Thomas Friedman..." Ugh.).


IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of May 4.

Entertainment Weekly: 19 best books to read in May.

GQ: Best Books of May.

Amazon editors: Best books of May.

Booklist: The year's best crime books.

Christian Science Monitor: 10 great new sports books.

School Library Journal: 32 stellar picture book titles.

Barnes & Noble: May's best books for teens.

Books about chemicals and foul play.

New York Times: The latest in crime fiction.

The Independent: 32 books that will make you a more well-rounded person. Okay, I want to like this list. I want to take this list seriously. But any book list that refers to Randy Pausch's and Jeffrey Zaslow's awful book The Last Lecture as a book about "philosophy" that you should read, well, that's a book list you have to chuckle at and then disregard.

Book-to-film adaptations coming in 2017.

Flavorwire's Summer Movie Preview.


Yes, I got the new biography of Prince Charles, and plowed through it in a few days. Review to come. One point to make early and often? It's got a ton of great pictures, both throughout the text AND set apart in two color-photo sections. Well played, Random House.

Still can't find much that is really wowing me. I take it back. I re-read Helene Hanff's book of BBC radio addresses about living in New York City, titled Letter from New York. Helene Hanff always wows me.


13 facts you need to know about Neil Gaiman.

Citizen Reading: 1 May 2017.

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

Booklist: May is Mystery Month.

April 29 is Independent Bookstore Day. Yeah, I missed it, but you know what? Let's all try harder to make EVERY day Independent Bookstore Day. And yes, frankly, at this point I'll consider Barnes & Noble independent too. Yes, it's cheaper at Amazon. But please buy a book, every now and then, NOT from Amazon.

Well, here's the story we never wanted to hear more about: Milo Yiannopoulos has raised $12 million to make sure we have to keep hearing about him.

SLJ Webinar: technology to aid the struggling reader.

RA for Genre Readers (link via RA for All).

Next GalleyChat at EarlyWord will focus on New Crime and Nonfiction.

Benjamin Barber, author of Jihad vs. McWorld, has died.

Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance, has died. Not the author's fault, but I was never able to finish that book. I don't think I was ever able to get past page 10 of that book.

Any article that picks on New York Times commentator David Brooks is an article I want to read.

Junie B. Jones: first musical edition!

In William Gibson's new novel, due in 2018, Hillary Clinton is president.

There's a new YA novel based on the life of Lucy Maud Montgomery (author of the Anne of Green Gables series).

2017 Edgar Awards: Winners.

James Beard Media Award winners.

Wellcome Book Prize (with a very rich purse indeed): Winner.

LA Times Book Prize: Winners. I've still got to read that Svetlana Alexievich book.

International Prize for Arabic Fiction: Winner.

Locke & Key MIGHT become a movie.

Mindy Kaling has optioned the behind-the-scenes political memoir Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

Anne Rice has a TV deal for her Vampire Chronicles.

Glen Cook's The Black Company series has been optioned for film.

Because you all know your collections needed one: a new reference book on UFO sightings.

Librarians: taking a leadership role on literacy.


I am addicted to books about cities/regions enduring tough times. Here's another one, telling the story of a "Refinery Town."

A new history of the Nez Perce War. In grade school we had to do reports on various Native American tribes, and I was assigned the Nez Perce. I thought they were so boring, and now, that I am no longer a shallow grade-schooler (now I'm a shallow adult), I feel kind of bad about that. I should read this book.

Joely Fisher to write a memoir about her half-sister, Carrie Fisher.

Speaking of celebrity memoirs, Kelly Osbourne has written a memoir.

James Patterson is planning a True Crime book on Aaron Hernandez.

New York Times: Oh, joy, talks with Sheryl Sandberg about her new book in their book review podcast.

Speaking of book review podcasts: here's a new one called Just the Right Book! (Hosted by the owner of a Connecticut indie bookstore.)

New York Times: Thanks, Harvard, for fucking up the economy; new nonfiction by David Grann about yet another group of Native Americans enduring a "reign of terror"; a closer look at America's new "megadonors"; encounters with undocumented migrant children; two new books about living life with genetic disorders.


5 new reference books that all look SO COOL. On a whim I picked up a 2010 Guinness Book of World Records book for CRjr at a library sale, and he LOVES it. He carries it around reading out of it to us, and showing us pictures. He was reading it at breakfast the other day and finally I had to take it away from him so he would eat his Cheerios. Reading at the table is fine with me, as long as you read AND eat.

IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of April 27.

Harpers Bazaar: 12 new books to read in May. I suppose I'm going to have to read the memoir Priestdaddy. But do I really want to? No, not really. Full props to Harpers Bazaar, by the way, this is one of the more interesting booklists I've seen in a long time. LibraryReads? Take notes on how it's done.

8 books to read before you get married: a list from the Business Insider, of all places. It's probably too late for me (as Mr. CR would tell you) but I'm going to read some of these.

Publishers Weekly: Religion and spirituality books spring preview.

Adult Books 4 Teens: Love is in the air!

Six modern books inspired by Jane Eyre.

The Netflix series "13 Reasons Why," about a teen committing suicide, was the big news on the Internet this week. Here's a list of YA books to read after you watch it (or perhaps instead of watching it?) If you haven't heard of the Netflix series, here's what Jenny over at Reading the End had to say: "I’m furious at 13 Reasons Why, and this post and this post are two (YES I’M DOING THIS) reasons why. My brother-in-law, who teaches high schoolers, reports that all his students are watching and loving it, and I want to protect all those babies from this harmful nonsense. Ugh."

Granta: Best young American novelists.


I am all over the place with reading. A novel here, some nonfiction about the horrors of technology there (Mr. CR: "How many of these 'all your data has already been stolen' books can you read?"), a re-read of a really old novel here, some kids' nonfiction there. I didn't know where to settle.

I was without my laptop/Internet for much of the week, and it was both soothing and completely unnerving. Weirdly I had more time for reading but couldn't find what I wanted to read. An odd week. But the eldest CRjr continues to pound shark books like there's no tomorrow, so at least he knows what he wants.


American Gods: Why was Neil Gaiman "deeply concerned" when he watched the first Starz episode?

Citizen Reading: 17 April 2017

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

The X-Files and its stars will be back in an audiobook based on an X-Files graphic novel series. I have no idea why this excites me. I didn't even watch the latest season of The X-Files on TV (although I still mean to), and I really don't get the time to read any graphic novels. But somehow whenever I see the names "David Duchovny" and "Gillian Anderson" together I still get the warm fuzzies.

"How Google Book Search got lost."

Fast-growing independent publishers.

Well, shit, I totally missed National Library Week. I do every year. Can we get Neil Gaiman's publicist, who seems to place about eighty stories about Neil Gaiman on the Internet every week, to do some pro bono work drumming up interest in National Library Week?

Dear Reader: Meet Your Match.

In praise of Agatha Christie's accidental sleuths.

Shared collections: taking your book budget further.

The New York Times is broadening its book coverage.

Audiobook webinars abound!

How a former police officer reached out to a minority population in Appleton, WI.

American Library Association: has revealed the books that Americans most wanted banned in 2016. That reminds me, I still need to read Eleanor & Park.

Children's author Patricia McKissack: Obituary.

Bill Nye the Science Guy: publishing two books this summer.

George R.R. Martin wins Twitter with this one.

International Dublin Literary Award: Shortlist.

This year's Pulitzer Prizes: Winners.

PEN/Faulkner Fiction Award: Winner.

The BBC will adapt The Miniaturist. (And: China Mieville's The City & The City.)

Oh God, now we're going to have Hillbilly Elegy, the movie. I am officially tired of Hillbilly Elegy.


Oh my God, I totally must see this book RIGHT NOW. Except I must also get this book about New York City and its near-bankruptcy in the 1970s RIGHT NOW. There are literally not enough hours in the day. Except wait...True Crime as written by Calvin Trillin? I must have it RIGHT NOW. This is not fair, Nonfiction Publishing World. Too many awesome-looking books, too little time.

The graduation books are starting to come in. If there's anything I hate, it's a horrible graduation book.

Oh Christ, now we are supposed to treat happiness as a math equation. As if making something mathy makes it at all easier for me to understand.

A new book on Isaac Newton.

Joe Biden and his wife have signed a book deal.

Series nonfiction for kids, on sustainability.

Finally understand the Danish concept of Hygge? Good, now you can learn about the Swedish equivalent.

I really want to look at this memoir of a marriage, by novelist Dani Shapiro. Although a part of me suspects it is going to bug the shit out of me.

New York Times: A Prince fan looks back at the iconic singer; a new book on Adam and Eve by Bruce Feiler; America and Russia, post-1990s: where did we go wrong?; on the legacy of David Letterman;a list of food-related memoirs; a book by Anne-Marie Slaughter on "strategies of connection in a networked world"; two new books about race and crime; a new biography of Martin Luther; and the threat of crop devastation.


IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of April 13.

School Library Journal: 37 superb new titles.

LibraryReads: May 2017. Well, at least there's some nonfiction on it this time.

Poetry picks: new books for young readers.

Notable nonfiction for teen readers on the transgender experience (and other topics).

Top ten books about the Russian Revolution.


My inability to finish anything continues. Weirdly enough the only thing I have been returning to is David Shields's Other People: Takes and Mistakes. This is weird because I do not really enjoy David Shields.

CRjr continues to sound out words like a champ. The Easter Bunny brought him a new book on sharks so he's motivated.


A review of Neil Gaiman's The View from the Cheap Seats that I quite enjoyed. The review, that is. Haven't read The View from the Cheap Seats yet.

Citizen Reading: 10 April 2017.

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

On "the rise of social reading." I found this article super depressing. Anyone else? (Or am I proving this author's point that reading and sharing online is taking away from the time we have available to read something in a more solitary and detailed way?)

Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness is back...and she'll be BACK with a new book per day for 100 days! (That link is to her blog; her 100 books for 100 days are at her Instagram account.)

Marvel's vice president of sales suggests the comic book company's sales are slumping due to their increased attention to diversity. Or, I don't know, could it be that Marvel is now simply pumping out more superhero product than even the most dedicated of comics fans can possibly have money to buy and time to read? Nothing against comics (although they're not really my thing), but honestly, trying to keep up with comics news is unbelievably hard. They seem to create like twenty new characters and storylines per day. (Yeah, I'll admit. I'm totally sick of superheroes. They're so BORING. It's right in their name. They're super. Is it really that hard to be a hero when you're super?)

Are you up for the Reading without Walls challenge?

Trend alert: Novellas are hot!

Amazon bookstores: Creepy. This should come as no surprise. Jeff Bezos is creepy, and so is his company.

Call for papers: The future academic librarian's toolkit.

Some reasons you can use if you're applying for audiobook grant money for your library.

On library fines and fees.

Library Journal webcast on Sleeper Hits for Summer 2017. It's free, and it's tomorrow (Tuesday, April 11).

Results of a reading survey, courtesy of Publishing Perspectives. I expected them to find that women read more than men, but I did not expect to learn that The Netherlands harbors the largest group of non-readers (in a tie with South Korea).

Joanne Kyger, "Beat generation poet": Obituary.

Like Eric Jerome Dickey? USA TODAY is hosting a live chat with him on April 18.

Netflix has ordered a third season of Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events."

Remember: Before "Boss Baby" was a movie, it was a picture book.

Society of Midland Authors: Awards for best books by Midwestern authors.


An interview with Jessa Crispin about her new book, Why I Am Not a Feminist.

Rebecca Solnit has a new book of essays out.

I'd like to read this new history about Lenin, but my TBR list is out of control.

Oh gosh, when they get a little older, my boys are going to eat this book up with a spoon.

News about this book was all over my Yahoo page last week, because the only Internet links I click on are about the Royal family and most entertainment news. With enough frothy clicks I hope never to be served up actual real or political news again.

Naomi Klein will publish a book about Trump's politics.

Even news of sexual harassment case settlements can't dent Bill O'Reilly's stellar book sales.

"Telling Trump's story to children."

On the other hand, if you're interested in the inner workings of the White House, this might be the book for you.

A collection of stories/essays first told on the radio program The Moth is now being published as a book.

New York Times: Mary Gaitskill has published a collection of essays; Ron Powers has written a book about his sons' struggles with schizophrenia (I'll probably get this one even though it seems like it could be heartbreaking); a book how about how American health care became big business that I'd really like to read; a journalist spends a year celebrating all of the Jewish holidays; a history of "America's involvement in Asia and China"; two new books explore the furor over rape on campuses and how it can be a dangerous time for those wrongly accused of sexual assault (and here's another review of one of these books, the one by Laura Kipnis). Yeah. I don't even know what to comment there. I still rather feel that until all men have to stay in for one night per week on every campus and in every city in America, just so women could go out in peace (and yes, that would include a moratorium on dates), I'm not overly outraged about the "rape furor" on campus. That said, it is not good to be falsely accused in these days of the Internet keeping every single piece of your personal information alive for ever and ever. It's a tough one. I will probably have to read that Kipnis book just to better understand the subject.


EarlyWord highlights some new Spring Book Lists.

GQ Magazine: Best Books of April. Actually, I want to read all of the books on this list. I really like GQ's books coverage.

"15 best books on fundamental analysis of stocks." Wow. Only for the most hardcore of business/investing readers. This list might be of interest to the more generalist business reader: 9 business books of 2017 that will change how America does business.

IndieBound: bestselling books the week of April 6.

PopCrush: Most anticipated YA books of April.

"Dishing up spring cookbooks."

Celebrate April as Poetry Month with these YA books.

The "best second novels of all time."

Amazon: Best Books of April.

Wow, who knew there were enough novels about phone sex to make a booklist of them? There are! (And, because I can't resist throwing this in there: Do you really need a wi-fi connected sex toy?)


I started seemingly a million books this week and nothing stuck. I tried the novel Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse, by Faith Sullivan, and the essay collection, Things That Are, by Amy Leach, because I wanted to read a book published by Milkweed Editions, but neither of them were for me. Likewise, I started Kathleen McAuliffe's This Is Your Brain On Parasites: How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society. I think it's an okay science book but I'm not in the mood right now.

I am sticking with Joan Didion's very short new collection South and West, but I think that's because it won't take me long and I do so love Joan Didion. It's not really setting me on fire but even at her most disjointed I am always interested in what Didion observes about the world.

CRjr is actually learning to read, and it is thrilling. He went from fighting it (I suspect he thought if he learned to read we would stop reading to him) to being pretty good at it, and this week he spent some time teaching CRjr the Littlest to read also. Which went fine until Littlest decided he was done learning for the time being and showed that by clocking his brother with the book. He is definitely related to me on the "lack of subtlety" scale.


11 things you need to know about Neil Gaiman's "American Gods."