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My novel Turtles All the Way Down comes out in SEVEN DAYS. More info on the book and our tour:

In which John recommends some of his favorite fiction, poetry, and nonfiction reading of the year. Books discussed in this video include:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz
We Are Okay by Nina Lacour
Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
The King Is Always about the People by Daniel Alarcon
Ordinary Beast by Nicole Sealey
Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar
Counting Descent by Clint Smith
City of Light, City of Poison by Holly Tucker
City of Thorns by Ben Rawlence
The Man Who Couldn't Stop by David Adam
The Water Will Come by Jeff Goddell

Also very excited for E. Lockhart's Genuine Fraud, Maggie Steifvater's All the Crooked Saints, and Nnedi Okorafor's Akata Warrior.

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Preorder John's new book, Turtles All the Way Down, out October 10th 2017! You can find links to both the signed and unsigned editions here: and information on how to (probably) get a signed copy here:
Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday.

My new book "Turtles All the Way Down" comes out in exactly one week. In a related story, the sound my anxiety makes is berr berr berr berr.

But today I want to talk about other books I read this year and want to recommend to you. Let's do this by genre. Okay, we'll start with YA fiction since that's what I write. Aside from "The Hate U Give" which as I said in my blurb I truly believe will be remembered as a classic of our time, there are a few books I want to recommended, all of which made me cry although, to be fair, I am a bit teary of late. First, the "Inexplicable Logic of my Life" by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, whose books are always so tender and generous to the reader as you'll know if you read "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe," but this one might be my favourite.

Secondly, "We Are Okay" by Nina LaCour, a poetic meditation on loss that took me right back to those last days of adolescence with lines like "We were nostalgic for a time that wasn't over yet."

And then there's "Piecing Me Together" by Renée Watson, a book that genuinely changed the way I think about the role art plays in human life. I read this book in two days and I have been thinking about it for six months.

Okay, moving on to regular, grown up literary fiction. My favourite 2017 book in that genre has to be "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng which is just brilliant. I mean, I know lots of people are talking about it, but with good reason; it's amazing. I really think we should be talking about Celeste Ng's books in the context of other great chroniclers of American Suburban fiction, like John Updike.

Secondly, "The King is Always Above the People" by Daniel Alarcón. So full disclosure, I went to high school with Daniel, where he beat me out for the creative writing award three years in a row. And it must be said with good reason his stories still astonish me with their precision and their power. It is no wonder that this book is a finalist for the National Book Award.  

Okay, poetry. I don't know why but I've read a lot of poetry this year and it's been a tremendous consolation to me. Instead of like summarizing these books, I think I'm just gonna quote from them. 

First, Nicole Sealey's "Ordinary Beast" - "'You look just like your mother,' he says, 'who looks just like a fire of suspicious origin.'"

Then there's Kaveh Akbar's brilliant "Calling a Wolf a Wolf" - "Time will break what doesn't bend, even time, even you."

And lastly, Clint Smith's "Counting Descent" - "I have always used words to try to convince the world that I am worth something."

Some nonfiction I enjoyed this year. First, "City of Light, City of Poison," a history book that reads like a thriller about the first police chief of Paris investing a series of poisonings that may have involved aristocrats close to Louis the XIV. It is bonkers and I especially enjoyed the portrayals of what life was like for regular people in 17th century Paris.

I also loved "City of Thorns" by Ben Rawlence which follows a handful of refugees over the course of many years living in Dadaab refugee camp which was once home to over 500,000 people. It's a difficult book that doesn't offer easy answers but it shows us that refugee stories are human stories.

Speaking of important topics, "The Water Will Come," a book about climate change and the future of humanity. Hank, I like science books but I don't usually find them, like page turny; This one really is. It's a thriller in which the hero in peril is us.

I also loved "The Man Who Couldn't Stop" by David Adam. Some readers of "Turtles All the Way Down" may want to learn more about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and this is a good place to start. 

I also want to say I'm looking forward to a few books that come out this month that I haven't read yet including Nnedi Okorafor's "Akata Warrior," E. Lockhart's "Genuine Fraud", and Maggie Stiefvater's "All the Crooked Saints," so my tour reading is sorted, I think.

But I am interested in finding out what your reading and enjoying in the comment section below. Hank! In one week “Turtles All the Way Down” will be out in the world and we will be on tour!

Nerdfighters, you can find out more about both those things at, link in the dooblydoo below.

I really, really hope you enjoy the book, thank for reading and DFTBA. Hank, I will see you on Friday.