Riffle Editor's Choice: Essential Nonfiction Books for April, 2016  ›

The importance of sleep, the future of the internet, our expectations as parents, and the intelligence of birds are just a few of the topics covered by April's selection box of fabulous nonfiction.
by Riffle Nonfiction
8 books
  • see all 8 →
  • April 12. Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical Hamilton is as revolutionary as its subject, the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British and defended the Constitution. HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from Miranda himself along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages.

  • April 12. “[A] gloriously provocative and highly entertaining book. Jennifer Ackerman provides a masterly survey of research in the last two decades that has produced a revolution in our understanding of bird cognition. The Genius of Birds [is] important not only for what it says about birds, but also about the human ingenuity entailed in unraveling the mysteries of the avian brain." —Wall Street Journal

  • April 5. "This thought-provoking portrait of a murder implicates the community at large and forces the reader to grapple with the death penalty, which Rubio is sentenced to. Tillman’s book exemplifies provocative long-form journalism that does not settle for easy answers." — Publishers Weekly, starred review

  • April 5. We are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis, writes Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post. And this has profound consequences – on our health, our job performance, our relationships and our happiness. What is needed, she boldly asserts, is nothing short of a sleep revolution. Only by renewing our relationship with sleep can we take back control of our lives.

  • April 5. The Third Wave is part memoir, part manifesto, and part playbook for the future from co-founder of AOL, Steve Case. We are entering, as Case explains, a new paradigm called the “Third Wave” of the Internet: a period in which entrepreneurs will vastly transform major “real world” sectors like health, education, transportation, energy, and food—and in the process change the way we live our daily lives.


Which of these May Middle Grade releases have you read?
by Riffle Middle Grade
10 books

Riffle Editor's Choice: Essential Nonfiction Books for March, 2016  ›

Volcanic eruptions, cyber warfare, and – it's an action-packed month for nonfiction releases. Here we share our favorites!
by Riffle Nonfiction
6 books
  • see all 6 →
  • March 8. From one of our most perceptive and provocative voices comes a deeply researched account of the last days of Susan Sontag, Sigmund Freud, John Updike, Dylan Thomas, Maurice Sendak, and James Salter—an arresting and wholly original meditation on mortality.

  • March 29. The author of the New York Times bestseller Cinderella Ate My Daughter offers a clear-eyed picture of the new sexual landscape girls face in the post-princess stage—high school through college—and reveals how they are negotiating it. "Buy two copies: One for yourself, and one for the teenager in your life." – Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon

  • March 7. Survival narrative meets scientific, natural, and social history in the riveting story of a volcanic disaster. “Olson brings cinematic structure to descriptions of the events surrounding the eruption of Mount St. Helens….[A] detailed and human-centered look at a terrible disaster.” – Publisher's Weekly

  • March 1. As cyber-attacks dominate front-page news, as hackers join terrorists on the list of global threats, and as top generals warn of a coming cyber war, few books are more timely and enlightening than Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War, by Slate columnist and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Fred Kaplan. "A book that grips, informs and alarms, finely researched and lucidly related.” – John le Carré

  • March 1. The international bestseller that reveals all the beauty of modern physics in seven short and enlightening lessons. “Rovelli's enthusiasm for his subject is evident throughout, and his conversational tone brings an often dry subject to vibrant life. . . Rovelli's explanations will intrigue and delight.” – Shelf Awareness

Riffle Editor's Choice: Essential Children's Books for April 2016  ›

This month's children's book releases feature tales of music, fathers, friendship, and even fairies, as well as a stellar baseball book for sports fans from Derek Jeter. Don't miss these!
by Riffle Children's
10 books

Riffle Editor's Choice: Essential Fiction Books for March 2016  ›

Here are a few fiction books that caught my attention this month!
by Riffle Fiction
5 books
  • Like much of her previous work, Oyeyemi's new collection of short stories draws its themes from fairy tales and folk stories. In WHAT IS NOT YOURS IS NOT YOURS, Oyeyemi links the stories together with the theme of keys, locked doors, and secrets, but what exactly these keys represent varies between the tales. This collection looks delightfully strange and wonderful and I personally can't wait to read it.

  • Basing its plot off of Kafka's classic THE METAMORPHOSIS, Barrett's BLACKASS is a satire examining modern attitudes toward race and class. Furo Wariboko goes to sleep as a black man, and inexplicably wakes up in the morning as a white man. As he navigates the city of Lagos and begins a new career, Furo learns of all the many ways his life has changed--both for better and for worse. BLACKASS looks like it will be both funny, thoughtful, and most of all, a biting satire.

  • Set during the height of the suffragette movement in Edwardian London, THE HOURGLASS FACTORY follows an inspector and a reporter who are sucked into a riveting mystery. When famous trapeze artist Ebony Diamond disappears in the midst of her act, the two of them must figure out where she went, who is responsible, and what the mysterious Hourglass Factory has to do with it all. This one looks like a fun and compelling mystery set in a fascinating time period.

  • Known as one of the foremost postmodern writers, Mark Leyner returns to fiction writing with GONE WITH THE MIND. A semi-fictional, surreal, and absurdist take on his own life, the book focuses on a fictional Leyner giving a reading of his autobiography in the food court of a New Jersey mall, attended only by his mother and a few Panda Express employees. This one looks absolutely wild, and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

  • A collection of short stories, Jackson's PRODIGALS explores modern, privileged people searching for authenticity. Many of the stories involve people traveling--whether toward or away from something--and finding something they perhaps did not expect when they arrive. The characters are restless, searching, and longing, and this collection looks like a intriguing and fascinating read.

Riffle Editor's Choice: Essential Children's Books for March 2016  ›

March goes in like a lion and out like a lamb. This month's best new releases feature lions, as well as tigers, bears, dogs, and owls, along with the latest interactive feature from "Press Here" and "Mix It Up" author Herve Tullet.
by Riffle Children's
5 books
  • "Little sisters have their own owly wisdom." Hoot takes his little sister Peep out into the Parisian night. While Hoot is trying to impart his "owly wisdom" in that imperious big brother way, Peep is singing of the wonder of the night. This sweet tale of siblings trying to understand each other is highlighted by the swirly, sparkly, blue and gold illustrations that capture Paris through Peep's eyes.

  • "We make a strange menagerie/As we pile out two be two./ We're not so much a family - / More a family zoo!" A family gathers together from all parts of the world, each bringing along his or her animal friend... or should I say *stuffed* animal friend, which range in size from bunnies and monkeys to elephants! This bright, cartoonish book shows you're never too old for your stuffed animal, and the more the merrier!

  • A hungry lion is gathered with his little animal friends. But as the narrator starts to tell the story... (s)he keeps having to alter the guest list. The animals dwindle from page to page, yet the narrator insists there was never any others there. A smart, but dark, picture book that's more hilarious when read aloud, reminding us that storytelling is fluid, and stories aren't always what we expect.

  • From the author of the acclaimed 'Press Here' and 'Mix It Up' comes another colorful, interactive children's book following a yellow dot through playtime. Encouraging reader and children to spin around, play hide and seek, and all sorts of fun things, not only gives kids a good laugh during story time, but helps them learn and develop skills through action.

  • "Every day after school, Mrs. P asked Hannah if she wanted to pet Sugar. And every after school, Hannah said, 'No, thank you.'" This one takes me back to childhood, to my own skittishness around other peoples' dogs, and my friends' to my dog. This is a great story to help acknowledge children's fears, while also showing it's possible to get through fear with empathy, courage, and kindness.


Don't be an April Fool and miss out on these new books in MG!
by Riffle Middle Grade
10 books


You don't need luck to find an awesome read from this set of March Middle Grade Releases!
by Riffle Middle Grade
10 books

Riffle Editor's Choice: Essential Children's Books for February 2016  ›

Check out my picks of new releases from February! Featuring stories of humor, sensitivity, and unlikely heroes, you don't want to miss these!
by Riffle Children's
6 books
  • see all 6 →
  • "I don't think you're taking this very seriously. You ought to, you know. Bears can be VERY dangerous... NOW are you paying attention?" A brightly-colored, cartoonish picture book that is reminiscent of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, just imagine a snarky British narrator "guiding" the young hiker as he tries to survive a bear encounter. The solutions are creative and humorous (but not to be used in a real life).

  • "The wise owl had appeared overnight, as if by magic." A quiet story drawn in pencil, a small town comes alive due to the work of the Night Gardener, who creates magnificent tree sculptures during the night. As the work gains fans, orphan William seeks out the mysterious magician. The contrast between the colorless, ordinary day, and the deep greens and blues of the night and the tree sculptures is lovely to see.

  • "[E]very morning, when keys clicked and shoes clacked, Gus crawled out of his cave and spent his days with Ida. Ida was right there. Always." "Inspired by two ­real-life polar bears, Gus and Ida, who were residents of New York City’s Central Park Zoo, this wonderful story about the loss of a loved one is beautifully told. It’s an example of children’s books at their best." Dan Yaccarino, NYT Book Review.

  • With old-fashioned storybook illustrations, this is a fairly simple, yet refreshing original fairytale. I enjoyed the way this book played with different text sizes and styles to lend characterization and emphasis. Good for beginning readers.

  • “[She played tackle] football with the boys…over rough and rocky ground…and of course, she was the quarterback.” The true story of Mary Garber, the pioneering female sportswriter, who faced the odds to cover the games she loved with thoughtfulness and fairness. The illustrations do a good job emphasizing Mary's tiny, distinctive frame amidst tall, burly players and stoic male peers. An inspirational story for all.

Riffle Editor's Choice: Essential Nonfiction Books for February 2016  ›

Our favorite nonfiction releases for February!
by Riffle Nonfiction
7 books
  • see all 7 →
  • February 9. From the best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winner, a powerful nonfiction debut—an “honest, engaging, and very moving account of a writer searching for herself in words.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred)

  • February 2. The New York Times bestselling author of 'Give and Take' examines how people can champion new ideas—and how leaders can encourage originality in their organizations. “Originals is one of the most important and captivating books I have ever read... it might just change the way you live your life." – Sheryl Sandberg

  • February 2. “Part memoir, part scientific exploration, 'Into the Magic Shop' is a powerful work of emotion and discovery, showing that we all have within us our own small magic shop, a place of calm and beauty we can return to whenever we need it. As James Doty compellingly shows, we simply have to open the door, and let ourselves in.” – Arianna Huffington

  • February 9. In her pathbreaking book, Christakis explains what it’s like to be a young child in America today where we have confused schooling with learning. She offers real-life solutions to real-life issues, with nuance and direction that takes us far beyond the usual prescriptions for fewer tests, more play. “A deep, provocative analysis of the current modes of teaching preschoolers." – Kirkus Reviews

  • February 2. A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s gripping account of one young man’s path to murder—and a wake-up call for mental health care in America.