Leah Rachel von Essen

Leah Rachel von Essen is a writer and editor who gets most of her reading done while walking. She works full-time as a magazine assistant editor, while also reviewing for Booklist, writing for Book Riot and other publications, writing her blog, and working on writing and querying her novels. She uses her spare time to watch women's soccer, travel, and sometimes even sleep. Originally from New Jersey, she came to the South Side of Chicago to study magical realism, surrealism, fairy tales, religious studies, and the forms of the novel at the University of Chicago. She, her cat Ms. Nellie Bly, and her two large bookshelves live reading-and-walking distance from Lake Michigan. Leah writes about the books she's reading at While Reading and Walking. Twitter: @reading_while

20 Must-Read Fantasy and Sci-Fi Short Story Collections

Add some of the best fantastic, ambiguous, twisting, mysterious, and world-bending SFF short story collections out there right now to your TBR.

Seeing My Queer, Ill Self in Jenn Shapland’s New Memoir

One Rioter felt deeply seen as Jenn Shapland linked invisibility, queerness, and illness in MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CARSON MCCULLERS.

Characters Shouldn’t Need to Kiss to Be Queer

A reader on the far-reaching, negative effects of the assumption that in order for a character to be queer they have to kiss or "prove" it.

Returning to Childhood Bestsellers I Skipped

A reader on what it took to come around to accepting book recommendations from teachers and adults, and catching up with some children's classics.

8 Long Reads to Commit To in Cold Weather

Here are 8 book recommendations for long books to read during the chilly winter months: long, hefty classics and fast-moving epic fantasy.

7 Amazing Illustrated Editions of Neil Gaiman’s Novels

Seven lushly illustration editions of Neil Gaiman's novels.

An Insomniac’s Anxiety: Why It Hurts to Read About Sleep

As an insomniac, this reader found it painful but ultimately rewarding to read about why we need sleep, both physically and mentally.

A Pledge to Read More Books in Translation in 2020

A reader vows to dedicate 10% of her reads in 2020 to books in translation, and shares eight of the books high on her to-read list.

12 Stunning Christmas Coloring Books and Postcard Sets

Here are 12 stunning Christmas coloring books and postcard sets to gift this Christmas or to buy for yourself, so that you can get into the holiday spirit.

Quiz: Which Pokémon Are You?

All those games, all those pages, all that catching 'em all... Only one thing remains to be discovered: Which Pokémon are you? Take the quiz!

10 Graphic Novel Adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s Work

When the minds of two creatives come together, it's a beautiful thing: here are eight of Neil Gaiman's works that have been adapted by artists.

6 Fantasy Releases to Dig Into this Fall

Six superb fantasy book recommendations and recent releases to pair with your warm cup of tea as we dive further into fall 2019.

It’s Okay to Burn Out on the Things You Love—Reading Included

Creative burnout can make writers and readers alike feel guilty for needing a break for recovery. One Rioter urges readers to let themselves rest.

On Reading, Walking, and Seasonal Depression

Why one Rioter who reads and walks is dreading the advent of late autumn and the dark evenings that come with the shorter days.

5 Fall Book Recommendations For Those First Chilly Days

Find recommendations of books that are perfect for those first cozy, chilly days of changing leaves, warm tea, and comfortable sweaters.