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

On My In-Class Rebellion About Woolf’s ORLANDO

A reader recounts an in-class rebellion to fight for space to discuss queerness in Woolf's ORLANDO, and how that rebellion encouraged her as a reader.

Reading Pathways: Virginia Woolf Books

Here's a small guide to help you ease into this formidable author's fiction, and to show you where to start with Virginia Woolf books.

My Literary Adventure Through Barcelona

Escape with a bit of virtual tourism as one traveler takes you around literary Barcelona, from a Hemingway haunt to bookstores and hideaways.

Back to Borrowing: Regaining a Love for the Library

How one reader who thought she had grown out of borrowing books regained a passion for using the local library.

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.