In honor of BSR Book Week, find out if your favorite BSR writer is an author, too.

Discover books by BSR authors (2024 edition)!

9 minute read
Close-up on two black square bookshelf cubbies crammed with different books by local authors.
A collection of Philly-centric books on the editor's bookshelf. (Photo by Alaina Johns.)

BSR subscribers had first access to this list, but now it's public! Books by BSR writers range from feminist creative nonfiction to nature guides, alongside romance, poetry, historical fiction, biography, memoir, science fiction, and more. Dive in! And if you want more local books goodness, register for our June 6 BSR Book Week publishing panel, featuring Philly literary luminaries ready to answer your questions about the business.

On to the books!

Born Blind: The Traumas and the Triumphs
David Y. Block

Born Blind: The Traumas and the Triumphs consists of five stories that deal with unusual and disturbing problems certain blind and visually impaired people face every day.

Walk Me Through Your Resume
Martha Cooney

At what point does a resume go from well-rounded to bizarre? Martha Cooney has spent her life trying to make ends meet in the gig economy, but each job seems to end in calamity. The used napkin she steals from an NFL player during a waitress shift comes back to haunt her. Her run-down sedan is overtaken by phone books when—surprise—nobody wants them in the 21st century. And when Irish immigration catches her trying to skirt their labor laws, her outfit is all wrong. A pawn shop experience goes south, a date turns into a knife fight, and a pet duck’s virginity hangs in the balance. How wild is her resume going to get?

This collection of laugh-out-loud true stories follows Martha as she battles nanny cams, Ivy Leaguers, and the IRS, while holding up a mirror to everyone dreaming of bigger things while on the daily grind. From Philadelphia to New York to Los Angeles and back again, will the search for answers lead to success—or into a dead end in IKEA?

(Martha's book is a bonus pick: she's a friend of the BSR team, and we highly recommend this collection!)

More than Enough
Maria Thompson Corley

More Than Enough is a romance/coming of age story about flawed people trying to navigate the myriad challenges of being passionate artists. Set in the late 1990's, it's a Cinderella story with a lot of twists, at times breezily humorous and at times deeply emotional.

Syreeta Evans has given up on her dream of being an artist when she meets Michael Barrington III, a man so gorgeous he inspires her to draw again. But inspiration is only half the battle; the reality of building a relationship with the man of her dreams is complicated, sending Syreeta on a journey of self-discovery from Toronto to Florida and back. Syreeta finds out who she is and what she needs, with the help of fellow travelers she will never forget.

Covers for the books Born Blind, Walk Me Through your Resume, and More Than Enough

Birdsongs: Poems 2020-2023
C.M. Crockford

A gritty, funny, sad poetry collection about autistic life, letting go, or grabbing even tighter. Very much for neurodivergent weirdos and punks alike.

The New Red Book: A Guide to 50 of Houston's Black Historical and Cultural Sites
Dr. Lindsay Gary

The New Red Book by Lindsay Gary highlights the history of Houston through the perspective of place - 50 cultural organizations and sites created and sustained by African Americans. It documents little-known histories of the Almeda Post Office, the site of the first non-violent civil rights demonstration in the city, as well as pop culture destinations such as Frenchy's Creole Kitchen and Screwed Up Records and Tapes. The title pays tribute to the original 1915 publication The Red Book of Houston: A Compendium of Social, Professional, Religious, Education and Industrial Interests of Houston's Colored Population, recognized by researchers as one of a kind for its detailed description of African American success in the South during a time of social and political upheaval. Gary's devotion to her hometown and commitment to community shines through her accessible writing. She takes readers on a rich and compelling journey through the histories of Houston, the region, and African American culture.

For the Future of Girls
Lisa Grunberger

“For the Future of Girls is at once family album, inventory of memories, a reckoning with time, and a plea for love to last. Lisa Grunberger’s vibrant and meticulously detailed poems lay bare Jewish histories where trauma, loss, and misogyny take both intimate and collective shape. These poems refuse to forget, and their refusal offers a light for our daughters.” -- Maya Pindyck, American poet and visual artist, director of writing and a professor at Moore College of Art and Design.

Book covers for Birdsongs, the New Red Book, and For the Future of Girls

Everyday Acts & Small Subversions: Women Reinventing Family, Community and Home
Anndee Hochman

In probing personal essays woven with interviews, Anndee Hochman explores and expands the possibilities of "family," looking at varieties of kinship that include ex-lovers, workmates, intentional communities, and a range of ways to bring children into a life.

L.L. Holt (Linda Holt)

In late 18th-century Germany, Luis grows up in an impoverished dysfunctional family. His violent, alcoholic father refuses to believe that the dark-skinned child is really his own. The child’s only advocate is his grandfather—a respected court musician—who dies early on, leaving Luis to be bullied, beaten, and exploited in a world with no tolerance for difference. Based on a true story, Invictus (which means “unconquerable”) tells the story of how that child, with all strikes against him, overcame the odds and became a brilliant success. How he did this, despite personal tragedy and affliction as a young man, is revealed in the novel’s sequel, The Black Spaniard by L.L. Holt.

This Terrible True Thing

Jenny Laden

Winner of the 2024 Audie Award for Best Young Adult Audiobook! THIS TERRIBLE TRUE THING tells the story of Danielle Silver, a Philadelphia high school senior at the dawn of the '90s. Ever since her parents split up, she has known her father was gay, but she never expected to be hit with the bombshell that he is HIV positive. As he sickens, and AIDS starts to claim the lives of his friends, Danielle searches for silver linings while trying to balance paralyzing fear, grief, her social life, and schoolwork--capturing all the feelings as adolescence and some hard facts collide. Filled with 59 illustrations by the author, this visual novel is for readers of all ages.

Book covers for Everyday Acts, Invictus, and This Terrible True Thing

Yoga Cocaine
Daralyse Lyons

Jessica Needs a Fix. Vacillating between a desire to get high and a yearning for a substance-free life, she finds herself alternating between cocaine and yoga, dependence and freedom. Will she be able to let go of her self-abuse and find sobriety one day, and one breath, at a time? An addict who once disappeared into crack dens, she now seeks solace at yoga studios. As Jessica attempts to create a path to recovery "on the mat" and in Alcoholics Anonymous, she grapples with one unanswerable question: "Is recovery worth it?" Yoga Cocaine traces one addict's journey from the unknown of addiction to the unknown of recovery.

Lovers & Fighters, Starships & Dragons
Tom Purdom

Life spans that encompass centuries. Biohacking. Personality modification technology. Interstellar contact. For BSR readers, Tom Purdom is primarily known as a music critic. He’s also a veteran science fiction writer noted for novelettes and short stories that combine interesting pictures of the future with characters faced with emotional and moral conflicts. This collection binds twelve of his best stories into a book reviewers have called “a fun, cosmic look into human emotion” and “a perfect blend of really cool ideas and believable, sympathetic characters."

The Education of a Journalist: My Seventy Years on the Frontiers of Free Speech

Dan Rottenberg

Amid 70 years of media turmoil, BSR founding editor Dan Rottenberg carved a rewarding life as editor of seven groundbreaking publications, author of eleven books, press critic, business writer, film critic, arts critic, and dining critic. As a champion of free speech, he successfully defended seven libel suits, protest demonstrations, and death threats. Along the way, he helped launch the alternative media movement, the modern Jewish genealogy movement, and the "Forbes 400" list of wealthiest Americans. He covered the Chicago Seven trial for the Wall Street Journal and chronicled billionaires for Town & Country Magazine. In this memoir, he records his firsthand impressions of the notable people he encountered. He recalls how journalists practiced their craft during the last decades of the printing press. And he suggests how—even in a digital age—others might follow in his footsteps.

Book covers for Yoga Cocaine, Lovers & Fighters, and The Education of a Journalist

Catherine Littlefield: A Life in Dance
Sharon Skeel

A biography of Philadelphia dancer/choreographer Catherine Littlefield (1905-1951), founder and director of The Philadelphia Ballet Company, the first thoroughly American ballet company in the U.S. Littlefield trained dancers for George Balanchine's first American company and the original American Ballet Theatre. Littlefield also choreographed Broadway musicals and Sonja Henie's professional ice skating shows. She was friends with Zelda Fitzgerald, Leopold Stokowski, Kurt Weill, and many other artistic notables of the period.

Burnout and Self-Care in Social Work: A Guide for Students and Those in Mental Health and Related Professions
SaraKay Smullens

My book was written to explain how to stay sane in a world gone mad. It explains the differences between depression and burnout, and addresses the five arenas where burnout is found and interacts, the psychological reasons for its roots (helpful to writers), and ways to banish and avoid it. It has moved to a second edition because it is being bought by those not in the mental health field.

American Lit Remixed: Music in Twenty-First-Century American Literature

Melissa Strong

This book identifies a new sound emerging in digital age-literature by reading it through the lens of remix theory, a term that describes the remix as a form of artistic and cultural discourse. American Lit Remixed interprets fiction, drama, and poetry as offering new modes of connecting to self, others, and place through remixing the music and technology of the past.

Wild Philly: Explore the Amazing Nature in and Around Philadelphia
Mike Weilbacher

Lushly illustrated, Wild Philly provides tons of background on the wild nature of the Philly region, plus mini-biographies of 101 local plants and animals, 25 field trips in the region to see the best of nature, and four extra-credit trips outside the area.

Book covers for Catherine Littlefield, Burnout and Self-Care in Social Work, American Lit Remixed, and Wild Philly

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