Leah Rachel von Essen

By day, Leah Rachel von Essen is the editor-in-chief of Chicago Booth Magazine at the University of Chicago. By night, she reviews genre-bending fiction for Booklist, and writes regularly as a senior contributor at Book Riot. Her blog While Reading and Walking has over 10,000 dedicated followers over several social media outlets, including Instagram. She writes passionately about books in translation, chronic illness and bias in healthcare, queer books, twisty SFF, and magical realism and folklore. She was one of a select few bookstagrammers named to NewCity’s Chicago Lit50 in 2022. She is an avid traveler, a passionate fan of women’s basketball and soccer, and a lifelong learner. Twitter: @reading_while

5 Music Essayists You Should Be Following in 2018

Here are five music essayists to follow now in order to better understand the art, and how shows and albums reflect our culture and lives.

Reading Pathway: Zadie Smith Books

Here's where to begin with the writing of iconic novelist and essayist Zadie Smith. Dig into Zadie Smith books from WHITE TEETH to NW to FEEL FREE.

22 Upcoming Releases by Authors of Color Featured at BEA

New and upcoming releases that got attention at this year's Book Expo America!

Literary Tourism: A Legacy of Poetry in Buffalo, New York

Reading Pathway: Where to Start with Toni Morrison Books

Do you want to get started reading Toni Morrison books? Here are recommendations on where to begin, and where to go from there, to introduce yourself to her works.

6 Books to Read if You Fell in Love with Janelle Monáe’s DIRTY COMPUTER

Here are six book recommendations for anyone who saw themselves in Janelle Monáe's DIRTY COMPUTER, and wants similar science fiction and fantasy content.

The Magic of Investing in a New Library

One Rioter describes how seeing the renovation of her hometown childhood library inspired her for the future, and reminded her how much libraries matter.

42 Oscar Wilde Quotes on Identity, Inspiration, and Art

If you don't already know the Irish playwright and poet, here's a crash course, you've likely seen Oscar Wilde quotes, both misattributed and accurate, all over your Pinterest boards. Here's what the brilliant author actually said and wrote.

Why I’m Cautiously Excited About the FAHRENHEIT 451 Adaptation

HBO is adapting FAHRENHEIT 451 into a film, starring Michael B. Jordan. One reader is cautiously excited for an adaptation of a book that reflects on the media's threat to free thinking in 2018.

NYT Sues to Have Harper Lee’s Will Unsealed, and Wins

On Tuesday, Harper Lee's will was unsealed, raising new questions and continuing old debates about the author's legacy and what she would have wished for her books going forward.