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

12 Stunning German Language Books Available in Translation

Check out a dozen superb German novels about dispossession, dislocation, loss, and love, including several exciting new releases.

20 Must-Read Queer Nonfiction Books from Around The World

These must-read books from around the world tell true stories in the voices of queer writers, from Kenya, India, Jamaica, Cuba, and more.

Why It Matters that Horror Protagonists Make Bad Decisions

We all love to judge horror characters making bad decisions. But could we do any better? And why does it matter?

14 Books in Translation from Western Africa

Get ready to dig into these 14 fantastic books in translation from Mauritania, Senegal, Cote D'Ivoire, Togo, Mali, and more.

11 Amazing Books About the Wonder of Trees

Whether you’re a fellow tree hugger or just starting your tree-loving journey, there’s so much to learn and love in these books about trees, including Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness by Dr. Qing Li.

The 100 Most Influential Queer Books of All Time

From Sappho to Audre Lorde to Rivers Solomon, we track the 100 most influential queer books—fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—of all time, including The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal.

14 Must-Read Chinese Books in English Translation

From lost reindeer in The Last Quarter of the Moon to blood donation in Chronicle of a Blood Merchant, the stories in these books in translation are impossible to put down.

How Book Descriptions Can Ruin a Good Book

From The Tone Liar to The Excessive Tease, I break down how the description on the back cover can ruin a reader's whole experience.

11 of the Best Swedish Books Available in English Translation

Swedish books aren’t just crime novels. Check out these Swedish grim dystopias, exciting thrillers, and emotional contemporary novels, including The Family Clause by Jonas Hassen Khemiri, translated by Alice Menzies.

I Took an Anti-Burnout Reading Vacation (And You Should Too)

By setting up a list of rules that kept me grounded, I pressed the "restart" button on my hyperactive, anxious brain.