Could You Run a Bookstore Out of Your House?



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Welcome to Today in Books, where we report on literary headlines at the intersection of politics, culture, media, and more.

Saddle Up for LoTR Anime

If you’ve been waiting to see what a modern animated version of Middle Earth looks like, now’s your time. The producers of Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, a LoTR prequel that hits theaters December 13, have revealed a first look at the anime-styled film directed by Kenji Kamiyama. Why anime? It’s cool, popular, and relatively cheap compared to the live-action, CGI-heavy productions of the original LoTR films. As producer Philippa Boyens put it, “There are certain things I don’t think we could have necessarily done — or they would have made it extremely expensive — elements to the storytelling that you could do in anime in a way that was kind of breathtaking, actually.”

Also cool? Brian Cox voices a character named Helm Hammerhand, which would have been a great nickname for his Succession character.

And You Think Your Book Collection is Cool

The world is full of bookish people doing interesting things, and Bill Hall is one of them. Hall has been collecting rare fashion books and magazines for decades. The shelves in his home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn hold more than 50,000 (!) volumes, and if you’re thinking that you wish you could see that, I have good news. Since 1999, Hall has operated High Valley Books out of his living room and basement, and appointments are available via the store’s landline or Instagram DM. Take a peek at the stacks and start planning your next trip to Brooklyn.

Read Your Way Out of Writer’s Block

In the spirit of “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” here’s a list of books that explore creative blocks and how to bust them. Take your pick of novels like Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys or more practical nonfiction like Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson (a house fave here at Book Riot) and keep turning the pages until your creative juices come back.

Crunching the Numbers on the Best Books of the Year So Far

Mid-year check-in lists are in full swing, and some clear winners are emerging. We looked at 10 of the biggest lists, which contained 349 unique titles, and identified the books critics agree are the best of 2024 so far. Did your faves make the cut?

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