Reading Behind Bars: A True Story of Literature, Law, and Life as a Prison Librarian

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Product Details

$25.99  $23.91
Skyhorse Publishing
Publish Date
6.2 X 1.3 X 8.9 inches | 1.2 pounds
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About the Author

Jill Grunenwald is the blogger behind The Year of the Phoenix, where she talks all things body image, back of the pack, and being your own hero. She is the creator and co-host of the Professional Book Nerds podcast and has been a contributor on NPR's On Point. Her writing has appeared on The Millions and and her first memoir, Running with a Police Escort, was published by Skyhorse in 2017. She lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio.


"A fascinating look into a world many of us never see, and a powerful story about one woman's journey to find her own strength, with a clear message of the importance of books and information for all." --Booklist, starred review

"A compassionate perspective on prison life." --Kirkus

"I stayed up all night to finish Jill Grunenwald's utterly engrossing account of her time working in a prison library. It's funny, fascinating, and often moving, and it shines much-needed light into a world most of us will never experience." --Alison Green, author of Ask a Manager

"In her latest memoir, Reading behind Bars, Jill Grunenwald draws her readers into the unique world of a prison librarian in this compelling read." --Marie Benedict, author of The Only Woman in the Room

"Reading Behind Bars shines a light on an important but often ignored corner of the literary world. This book makes you laugh while giving you a fresh perspective on why libraries are crucial in society today. Grunenwald's story is as entertaining as it is enlightening - it's Susan Orlean's The Library Book meets Orange is the New Black. If you're a book lover, don't miss this one. A vital read for 2019." -- Mallory O'Meara, bestselling author of The Lady from the Black Lagoon

"Fans of Orange Is the New Black will appreciate this alternate view of life behind bars, and those looking for life changes will find lots of inspiring motivation." --Publisher's Weekly

"I loved this book. Grunenwald is a flinty and funny raconteur of life in the stacks with inmates." --Ann Walmsley, author of The Prison Book Club

"There is not enough literature representing librarians--the guardians of books--or the incarcerated, who are under constant guard. Grunenwald amiably gives voice to both in an important, interesting memoir that celebrates the liberating power of literature and the right to the freedom to read." --Alexandra Robbins, New York Times bestselling author of Fraternity: An Inside Look at a Year of College Boys Becoming Men