10 of the Best Surprisingly Literary Publications From Medium

Believe it or not, Book Riot isn’t the only place on the internet where you can read about books—though some may argue that we’re the best*. When you surf on over to Medium, you can get yourself hip deep in some pretty interesting literary snapshots in surprising spots. Save yourself the time of wading through those muddy waters and check out our spotlight of ten of the best surprisingly literary publications from Medium.

Nightingale: An Illustrated Guide to the Booker Prize

The Booker Prize was particularly interesting in 2019, as Enobong Essien astutely covers in her piece Why This Year’s Booker Prize Has Made Me Lose Faith in Literary Awards. If you’re hungry for more cold hard facts about this long-coveted prize, check out An Illustrated Guide to the Booker Prize by Surasti Puri in Nightingale: The Journal of the Data Visualization Society.

Level: Stephen King Needs More Black Friends

Listen, many of us love a lot of things about Stephen King, and for many of us that even includes his writing! But it’s not exactly breaking news that he’s not quite as woke as he might think he is. As Scott Wood writes for Medium’s Level publication: Stephen King Needs More Black Friends. If you’re looking for the thrills without the Magical Negro tropes, Book Riot’s own Jessica Avery has you covered with 15 Authors Like Stephen King You Need to Add to Your TBR.

Home Sweet Home: 200 of the Best Diverse Children’s Books for Preschoolers

If you need diverse children’s books then all you have to do is read any children’s literature list from Book Riot—we keep it diverse around here. How about 50 Must-Read Preschool Books? Or 30 Children’s Books about Diversity That Celebrate Our Differences? Or one of the billion** other lists we’ve provided? Or, you could check out the epic 200 of the Best Diverse Children’s Books for Preschoolers from Medium’s Home Sweet Home publication.

Books: Why You Should Write in Books

I’m not promoting writing in books—Garrett Werner is, so go read his piece Why You Should Write in Books and then @ him or the Medium publication astutely named Books. If you are still on the fence, learn the ins and outs of When Writing in Books is Okay written by LH Johnson, a real live librarian. And yes, this publication is not “surprisingly literary” but you are quite surprised by what a jerk I am to not follow my own damn title, yes? Surprise!

Age of Awareness: There’s No Such Thing as a Fair Literary Award

Agree or disagree, There’s No Such Thing as a Fair Literary Award in Age of Awareness uses actual data (you know, numbers!) to break down how the major awards have been awarded in recent years—plus it uses astronauts as examples and if there’s one thing I know it’s that every person in the world loves astronauts**. This is a topic near and dear to my heart on account of how I’ve read every Pulitzer Prize winning novel and extremely do not recommend this to a friend.

The Startup: How to Get the Most Out of Reading Self-Help Books

Book Riot contributors have covered a wealth of topics related to self-help books, including a deep dive into the problematic nature of self-help books promising miracles, a fascinating look at Why Self-Help Books Feature Authors on the Cover, and a meditation on why fuck (and other swears) are in so many self-help titles. Andy Lam over at Medium has written some interesting thoughts on How to Get the Most Out of Reading Self-Help Books in The Startup.

The Haven: Library Lost and Found

What book lover doesn’t want to chuckle at Surprises Found in Library Books, Surprises Found in Library Books (Or Libraries): Part Deux, or the Weird Things Librarians Find in Books? Book Riot’s got you covered on those fronts, or you can check out Roz Warren’s The Haven list of weird places library books have turned up in Library Lost and Found.

Marker: Why Leaders Should Read Books with Their Teams

In Why Leaders Should Read Books With Their Teams, Feliks Eyser makes an argument for bosses to read business and development books with their team and brings it to Marker. Personally, I’m self-employed and do not have a boss, but if I did I would like to read books with them. Perhaps we could read 7 Books That Will Make Your Work-Life Better or one of the Business Book Recommendations from our 2019 Reader Harder Challenge.

Forge: How to Remember More of What You Read

Unless the book was truly horrid, most people want to remember what they’ve read, but when you’re a power reader* it can be hard to keep books straight. Even for folks who only get through a few books a year, it can be hard to remember what you’ve read. Why is that? And how can you change it? Emily Underwood uses the Forge publication to explore both questions in How to Remember More of What You Read. Of course Book Riot has some advice too: A Simple Solution for Bookish Forgetfulness and A Reread I Didn’t Know Was a Reread: On Reading Amnesia.

Zora: The Major Built-In Bias of the Publishing World

Zora is described by its creators thusly: “Unapologetic. Ours. A Medium publication for women of color.” In The Major Built-in Bias of the Publishing World, Jennifer Baker talks with people in the field of publishing, utilizes a plethora of stats, and just generally makes an airtight argument that leaves no question in this readers mind that there is indeed major built-in bias of the publishing world. If this frustrates you as much as it should, check out the 5 Black-Owned Publishers You Need to Know About and 4 Ways Readers Can Make Publishing More Equal.

There you have it—ten Medium publications that will forever change the trajectory of your life**.


* Not me, I’m extremely humble.

** Slight exaggeration.