Sorry, books…

…but when I am on vacation, I read magazines. Top of the pile is Bon Appetit and next up is often This Old House and maybe a Scientific American I’ve saved to consume slowly over a leisurely vacation morning sitting quietly by the lake. When vacation ends, with my magazine stack depleted, I revel in the excitement of making my own watermelon mint salad, the knowledge that I can build my own Adirondack chair and profound insight of the long shadow the use of DDT will have on multiple generations. Magazines bring me quick and compressed insights I look forward to on a vacation. I open a magazine and I fall in, adding to the pleasure of my change of pace and place from the regular routines of home and books.

My recent vacation sparked this realization that I am a “reader” no matter the platform and reminded me of an email I received from James, a JTRB recipient. He wrote, “If you want to read fluff, read fluff.” And that is the brilliant part of JTRB; I meet readers where they are. You want to read a romance novel with a bulky guy in a tartan kilt on the front cover? I will find that book. You want to explore beat poetry and its cultural impact on America, I’ve got you covered.

So even though I forgo a hard thick spine for a loose slim read while on vacation, know that JTRB is brought to you by a reader of no judgment, and like you, a reader seeking information, exploration, and entertainment.

It’s time to start holiday shopping! Think about gifting someone in your life with this custom subscription! Consider subscribing yourself to a year’s worth of great reads hand-selected by yours truly. Plus, RJ Julia Booksellers, our brick-and-mortar location, is hosting their annual Fall Members’ Sale. Shop in-store and online at Not a member? You can join today and take advantage of the 20% store-wide discount.

Let me know what’s on your mind,


Britt Selects

Jennifer from Washington enjoys Fantasy with strong characters, twists on history, ancient gods and magical worlds, according to her JTRB reader survey. Jennifer also indicated that she loves a series that immerses her in another world.

Britt selected:

  1. Ariadne by Jennifer Saint to showcase fierce female-centered mythology.
  2. Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman, a new take on a quest full of goblins, giants, and dark forests.
  3. The Library of the Dead by Tendai Huchu, which follows a young clairvoyant as she attempts to save the bewitched children of a magically dark but modern Edinburgh.
JTRB Staff Pick

A feral and satirical parable about motherhood, Yoder’s debut novel is equal parts bizarre, charming, and smart. Two years into her tenure being a stay-at-home parent, our unnamed protagonist begins to notice certain canine features in the mirror: sharper teeth, a dense patch of hair on the back of her neck…eventually, a tail. In her quest to make sense of her newfound affliction and to find a cure for her canine qualities, readers are brought along on a wild romp involving multi-level marketing, a mommy-dog pack, and performative art.

This highly original and darkly funny book might not be for everyone, but I think it would be a super interesting, discussion-worthy read for a cool Mom group, as well young women with a taste for the weird. And fathers, too. A better understanding of a mother’s soul-sapping everyday experience of dealing with toddlers would go far in fostering parental empathy. —Britt

Want to start your subscription with our JTRB staff pick Nightbitch? Start your JTRB subscription and mention in your reader survey that you read our writeup. We’ll hook you up.

Subscriptions to Just the Right Book begin at just $74 for four books picked for you, by us. Get started by telling us what you’re into. We’ll handle the rest!

A custom-tailored book subscription makes a great gift! Get started on giving the gift of great books.

P.S. Nacho Watch 2021 Update:

Folks, it was A TOSTITOS SCOOP!  A SCOOP!  Sure, it had cheese, guac, sour cream and one pickled jalapeno but just because you have the elements of nachos doesn’t mean you HAVE nachos.  Nachos are meant to be messy, piled high and wide, and shared (or selfishly consumed by one—we’ve all been there).  In my opinion, this was not a nacho, it was a chip.

What side of Nacho Gate do you stand on?

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