One of the vendors at the Book Riot Live was the Brooklyn Library. They had librarians on had to do what librarians do best.  Suggest books.  They invited con goers to fill out sheets about books, genres and authors they are looking for and then they play book match.  In the spirit of our Diverse Lives, Diverse Stacks Reading Challenge that I’m failing about horribly, I decided to try them out. I asked for.

YA books with diverse voices, especially POC, LGBTQ or disabled folks. I’m looking for authors like Maggie Stiefvater, genres like fantasy and Historical Fiction.

Here are the books I was matched up with.

1.Girls Mans Up by M-E Girard

All Pen wants is to be the kind of girl she’s always been. So why does everyone have a problem with it? They think the way she looks and acts means she’s trying to be a boy—that she should quit trying to be something she’s not. If she dresses like a girl, and does what her folks want, it will show respect. If she takes orders and does what her friend Colby wants, it will show her loyalty. But respect and loyalty, Pen discovers, are empty words. Old-world parents, disintegrating friendships, and strong feelings for other girls drive Pen to see the truth–that in order to be who she truly wants to be, she’ll have to man up.

2. Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

Amara is never alone. Not when she’s protecting the cursed princess she unwillingly serves. Not when they’re fleeing across dunes and islands and seas to stay alive. Not when she’s punished, ordered around, or neglected.

She can’t be alone, because a boy from another world experiences all that alongside her, looking through her eyes.

Nolan longs for a life uninterrupted. Every time he blinks, he’s yanked from his Arizona town into Amara’s mind, a world away, which makes even simple things like hobbies and homework impossible. He’s spent years as a powerless observer of Amara’s life. Amara has no idea . . . until he learns to control her, and they communicate for the first time. Amara is terrified. Then, she’s furious.

All Amara and Nolan want is to be free of each other. But Nolan’s breakthrough has dangerous consequences. Now, they’ll have to work together to survive–and discover the truth about their connection

3. Pinned by Sharon Flake

Autumn and Adonis have nothing in common and everything in common. Autumn is outgoing and has lots of friends. Adonis is shy and not so eager to connect with people. But even with their differences, the two have one thing in common–they’re each dealing with a handicap. For Autumn, who has a learning disability, reading is a painful struggle that makes it hard to focus in class. But as her school’s most aggressive team wrestler, Autumn can take down any problem. Adonis is confined to a wheelchair. He has no legs. He can’t walk or dance. But he’s a strong reader who loves books. Even so, Adonis has a secret he knows someone like Autumn can heal.

In time, Autumn and Adonis are forced to see that our greatest weaknesses can turn into the assets that forever change us and those we love.

Told in alternating voices, Pinned explores issues of self-discovery, friendship, and what it means to be different

4. The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

Dolssa is a young gentlewoman with uncanny gifts, on the run from an obsessed friar determined to burn her as a heretic for the passion she refuses to tame.

Botille is a wily and charismatic peasant, a matchmaker running a tavern with her two sisters in a tiny seaside town.

The year is 1241; the place, Provensa, what we now call Provence, France—a land still reeling from the bloody crusades waged there by the Catholic Church and its northern French armies.

When the matchmaker finds the mystic near death by a riverside, Botille takes Dolssa in and discovers the girl’s extraordinary healing power. But as the vengeful Friar Lucien hunts down his heretic, the two girls find themselves putting an entire village at the mercy of murderers.

So I am going to add these to the my to-read list and for anyone else who are looking for books to complete their own reading challenge, check them out for yourselves.  Any great books you’ve read for the Diverse Stacks, Diverse Lives Challenge?


Book Riot Live Day 2

Day two of Book Riot Live started off with a bang. Rebecca Joines Schinsky and Liberty Hardy did a live recording of their podcast All the Books. Discussing all the best books released this week. Including Born a Crime  by Trevor Noah and Anna Kendricks new book whose title escapes me. The two are friends and their chemistry is undeniable.

I decided that after this week I needed some levity and light so I went to the Bookish Broadway Sing-along. All songs were loosely based on books one way of another. Classics like Phantom of the Opera to Annie to Les Mis and of course Hamilton. They did a request and we all sang the Circle of Life from The Lion King. I really wish I took better photos and a video.

Next was Live Pictionary with Sarah Anderson and Valentine De Landro. Sarah writes Sarah’s scribbles and Valentine draws for Marvel, DC and cocreator of Bitch Planet. I’m amazed both at the drawing and people able to guess.

After a little donut break. I checked out Slash Live with a Alyssa Cole, Michael Strother and Zoraida Córdova. Slash is sort of like apples to apples and cards against humanity in which everyone had a set of cards with a name and description of a pop culture character. Each person takes turns picking a character and making a situation and everyone else must pick a character from their own stack and create story based on the situation. Like Xander from Buffy falling for Big foot. It’s very fun to play.

The final panel of the night was Nerd Jeopardy with Mara Wilson, Mark Osborn and Sara Farizan. It was like real jeopardy but without Alex Trebeck and all clues were about shoes. Book nerds are the best. If the panelist didn’t know the answer someone in the audience did. It was very amusing and for those who are curious, Mara won.

So that’s it for this year. I’m looking forward to what Book Riot will do next year.

Book Riot Live Day 1

Famed book website Book Riot is hosting their second Book Riot this weekend in New York. Like the website the panels are diverse and talk about books, authors and genres that are often overlooked in the mainstream media. 

The first panel I attended was Nobody Asked Us with Amanda Nelson, Jeff O’Neal and Rebecca Joines Schinsky. Basically it was them talking about everything about how the website is run. The stories they write and the how they go about bringing different voices to their site. 

The second panel was a live recording of their podcast Get Booked wth Nelson, Jenn Worthington and author Jade Chang. If you are not familiar with the podcast is personalized book recommendations. Readers write in to ask for ideas for their next books. It’s was super fun and very informative. For one I didn’t realize Meg Abbott had a new book about gymnasts. Yes please! The podcast goes live next week. 

The last panel was with Schinsky interviewed author Walter Mosley. I confess I haven’t read any of his book and the only I could name was A Devil in a Blue Dress and mostly because Denzel is in the movie. Mr. Mosley is one funny funny man. He made many good points about the relationship between literary and genre authors. We praise literary authors as great novelist and score genre but let’s be honest. We all read more genre then anything else. I’ll be adding his books to my to-read list. 

More tomorrow. 

Book Riot Live!!

I’m guessing that if you have found our blog that you are probably a book reader.  And if you are a book reader that uses the internet to find new books to read then you have probably visited Book Riot.  Book Riot is famous for it’s posts about the most bookish places in the world and a lot of podcasts. Last weekend, they hosted their first get together, Book Riot Live in New York City.  My friend Melissa decided that she wanted to come and since she was going I thought I would go with her.  I’ve never been to a convention of any kind before so I didn’t really know what to expect. It was held in the Metropolitan West in Hells Kitchen and not a big center so that was comforting.  Also nice that it would be all about books. My people! It felt good to be surrounded by like minded people.  I read a lot but I could tell I was with people who were much more well read that I was and it was inspiring.  Panels ranged from the serious like “How to write what you don’t know” featuring Margaret Atwood and N.K. Jemisin and fun panels like a live playing of the game Slash.  A truly nerdy game of one person pick a character from a set of cards, setting up a scenario and then have the other players pick characters from their set of cards on why they would be in the situation. Like matching Chewbucca with Marie Antoinette.  I’m not sure where you find this game but it’s a must for your nerdy friend.  Also live recordings of their podcasts.  It was nice to get a face to the voice you’ve been listening too.  I should written this review last week when it was all still fresh in my mind but I had so much fun it left me exhausted.  Things I did learn, that Book Riot staff rarely wears pants.  Understandable they mostly work from home.  Margaret Atwood is badass but that I already know.  It’s possible to hold a convention where all different points of views, race, gender, and sexuality can be represented and included.  Book people are really cool people. (also something I already knew) It’s also time for a new tattoo.

Can’t wait to again next year to Book Riot Live.  Here again are some of photos they I took from last week.