So many happenings the last two weeks! I have updates from Sarah J. Maas (we finally have a Throne of Glass title!!), Harry Potter, Eloisa James, Jenny Han, and more, so keep reading!
We have the title for the final Throne of Glass book! And the publication date has been moved up a week! Kingdom of Ash is now scheduled to be released on October 23, and I’m so excited!!
Scholastic has dropped the covers of the American 20th anniversary editions of Harry Potter! To be honest, I’m not that into them. I love color, which these don’t have, and the illustration style just isn’t my thing. They’re beautifully done and I love how they create one overarching image when they’re lined up next to each other, but I don’t think I’ll be adding this set to my Harry Potter collection.
In other Harry Potter news, Bloomsbury has released some illustrations from the upcoming illustrated edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. I actually don’t really like the art style for this one, either, and haven’t decided just yet if I’m going to buy it or not. I wound up buying Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the art, but I’m not sure I want to do it again with this one.
Abrams just released the cover for Run Book One, the continuation of Rep. John Lewis’ graphic memoir that started with the March trilogy. I’ve been really enjoying the March books, so I’m excited we’ll have more to read with this new series!
We have a cover for Jasmine Guillory’s new book, The Proposal! And it’s pretty great! I’ll admit, I wasn’t as in love with The Wedding Date as most of the internet, but I did enjoy it and I’m excited to see what Guillory does next. Plus I’ve always been baffled as to why people propose on such public stages as sporting events, so I’m excited to see what happens when the heroine in this book says no to one of those proposals!
Eloisa James has a book coming out in May called Too Wilde to Wed, so you can imagine my shock when I saw that she’s coming out with the next Wilde book this July! I was really excited to see that Born to be Wilde will feature a hero of half Indian descent, the first time that James has featured a person of color as one of her protagonists, but some of that excitement has been seriously checked by Suleikha Snyder pointing out on Twitter some really questionable comments that James made in an interview with EW announcing the book. Then again, an Indian professor in my book club mentioned that she read the book early and doesn’t think it’s problematic. So we’ll see how this book winds up going. I’m still excited for a new Eloisa James book, but I hope Avon has taken steps (including hiring sensitivity readers) to ensure that the book includes respectful representation.
I have yet to read anything by Rebecca Roanhouse (though her forthcoming book, Trail of Lightning, sounds pretty awesome), but I saw this announcement on Twitter, and I think this sounds like an amazing premise for a fantasy series! I’m really excited for this to come out!!
Nicola Yoon’s husband David just announced that he has a two-book deal! I actually really wasn’t a fan of The Sun Is Also a Star and have no interest in reading Everything, Everything, but I still wanted to mention this because I was lucky enough to hear Nicola Yoon speak on a panel, and I really liked her and what she had to stay. So even though her stories don’t jive with me (at least so far), I’m still excited for her and her husband!
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is officially coming to Netflix on August 17! Prepare your cookie dough is right!
I also have a bit of book community news for this post. I promise, I follow a lot of different book people on Twitter, but romance Twitter seems to be one of the most active, which is why you see so many updates on the community in these news posts. And this update applies to more than just the romance community.
Anyways, Romance Writers of America, the trade association for romance writers, issued a statement at the end of March saying that it is committed to diversity and working to improve the organization, noting that according to the data they’ve collected so far, no black authors have won RITA awards.
Unsurprisingly, this sparked a lot of conversation on Twitter, some of it good and some of it really, really bad. Following some of these conversations, Courtney Milan posted a long thread sharing events that happened at the 2016 RWA Conference, illustrating the overt and subtle racism that women of color face at these conventions and how a racially problematic book won an award. It’s well worth a read, even if you’re not a romance reader.
This thread sparked a lot of further threads that I think I really important reads, like this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one, among so many more. Seriously, just poke around Courtney Milan’s Twitter, and you’ll find all kinds of great discussion.
Milan’s thread also called out Harlequin for a lot of questionable practices when it comes to diversity, including the fact that less than five percent of its books are written by women of color, that the publisher closed its “African American” line without inviting those authors to publish for other lines, that an editor at Harlequin told an award-winning black author that they didn’t want her books but wanted her to help develop a guide for white authors writing diversely, and more.
A number of people are understandably upset with Harlequin’s actions, which led to the publisher putting out this statement about its commitment to diversity. The skepticism expressed in the comments is not surprising.
And as if that weren’t enough, the website All About Romance recently announced that they’re launching the latest installment of their Top 100 Romance Poll. And as a number of people pointed out, the list to pick from is pretty white and included no black authors. They’ve since withdrawn that poll and put together a new one, though the new one had a number of misspellings for authors of color.
It’s heartbreaking to hear about some of these experiences, but it’s also important to be aware of them so we can recognize and call out racism and change our own internal biases. I’m hopeful that this discussion will help the romance community do better and be more inclusive in the future.
Last but not least, time for a few bonus links! Jen Reads Romance kept popping up in my Twitter feed, so I finally started following her, and she just created a website to help recommend romance novels for people who are new to the genre! I think this is such a great resource, and I definitely plan to point people in this direction when they ask where to start!
I already mentioned this in my post about mental health rep, but it’s important so I want to mention against how much I enjoyed Cait at Paper Fury’s blog post, How to Tell If a Book Has Good Autism Rep (Ft. Lists Because We Love That). While I think the YA community is doing a good job pushing for more diverse books, it’s easy to get caught up only focusing on racial or sexual diversity and let disabilities and mental health rep fall to the wayside. So this is a really good guide to autism rep with a list of some great recommendations!
I also really liked Sarah from Sarah’s Book Shelves’ post about her go-to recommendation sources. While I get recommendations from all over the place, her post got me thinking about the fact that I don’t necessarily pay attention to the sources of some of the best recommendations I’ve received, so that’s something I’d like to do a bit better on.
I also wanted to give a shoutout to this Book Riot article about women reading more than men that I thought was worth a read.
Alright, that’s it for this book news installment. What news are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments! Personally, I’m pretty hyped for the Sarah J. Maas title. Now we just need the cover!