All the links for The Bright Hour

The Bright Hour has had some wonderful press attention. Nina’s publisher has kept a wonderful cache of links and information, which I linked to here. But I thought I would also make all the various media available right here on the blog with direct individual links where available. I hope these all work! And thanks to Sarah Reidy at Simon & Schuster for tirelessly cataloging these!!

— xojd


JUN 29    TODAY SHOW / NBC / Emma Straub Summer Reads pick / LINK



MAR 30    WASHINGTON POST / Roundup / Books We Can’t Wait To Read This Spring / LINK

APR 1    Library Journal / Review / STARRED Review

APR 15    Booklist / Review

APR 24    Publishers Weekly / Review / STARRED Review / LINK

MAY 1    Kirkus Reviews / Review / STARRED Review / LINK

JUN 1    BOOKPAGE / Review

JUN 1    REAL SIMPLE / Review / The Short List

JUN 2    WASHINGTON POST / Feature / Style Section Feature (Interview / Review) / LINK

JUN 7    Wall Street Journal / Review / LINK

JUN 8    WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD / Roundup / 37 Books We’ve Loved So Far in 2017 / LINK

JUN 12    PEOPLE / Review / Book of the Week

JUN 12    New York Magazine / Roundup / Approval Matrix: Highbrow Brilliant / LINK


JUN 19    ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY / Roundup / Best New Books

JUN 23    ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY / Roundup / Best New Books

JUN 24    USA Today / Roundup / Weekend Picks for Book Lovers / LINK

JUN 25    NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW / Roundup / Editor’s Choice / LINK

JUL 1    Glamour / Review / The Six Juiciest Summer Reads

JUL 1    O MAGAZINE / Feature

JUL 1    Redbook / Roundup / Summer Reads



JUN 9    Raleigh-Durham, NC / WUNC-FM / The State of Things / Taped interview with John / LINK



MAY 16    Seattle Times / Roundup / Summer Reading Recommendations from Local Literary Celebrities / LINK

MAY 19    ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION / Roundup / 12 of the best and brightest Southern books for summer 2017 / LINK

JUN 1    Boston Globe / Review / LINK




JUN 11    Detroit Free Press / Roundup / Summer Reads / LINK

JUN 18    NEW YORK POST / Roundup / Required Reading / LINK

JUN 18    Virginian Pilot / Roundup / Books to carry you through the summer / LINK


JUL 2    Dayton Daily News / Review / Book Nook column / LINK

JUL 2    CHARLOTTE OBSERVER / Review / Triangle Reader Recommends / Reader’s Pick / LINK



MAR 16    Publishers Weekly / Round-up / On Sale Calendar: June 2017 / LINK

MAR 21    BOOKPAGE BLOG / THE BOOKCASE / Round-up / 2017 Preview: Most Anticipated Memoirs / LINK

MAR 26    SheKnows / Round-up / “10 Moms Who Embraced Their Passions, Inspired Change and Wrote About It” / LINK

MAR 26    OZY / Round-up / Katie Couric Guest Curated Newsletter / Recommends Book and Modern Love / LINK

MAR 26    ADWEEK / Event Mention / Item on Katie Couric OZY recommendation / LINK

APR 6    DENVER POST / Round-up / Reposted WaPo Spring Books Roundup / LINK

MAY 8    Glamour / Round-up / New Books by Women You’re Guaranteed to Love This Summer / LINK

MAY 8    Huffington Post / Round-up / Picked up Summer Reads / LINK

MAY 9    A Design So Vast / Review / LINK

MAY 12    BOOKRIOT.COM / Round-up / 100 Must-Read Books on Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Parenthood / LINK

MAY 23    Literary Hub ( / Original Piece / Adapted Eulogy by Tita Ramirez / LINK

MAY 23    Lit Hub Daily / Round-up / Link in Daily Newsletter / LINK

MAY 25    Read it Forward / Round-up / Best of May / LINK

MAY 27    Literary Hub ( / Round-up / Link to Tita’s piece in Weekly Newsletter

MAY 30    Bookish / Round-up / Summer Preview / LINK

JUN 1    Washington Post / Interview / Full transcript of Nina’s Interview (online only) / LINK

JUN 1    BUSINESS INSIDER / Round-up / Round up of Amazon Best of Picks / LINK

JUN 2    InStyle / Round-up / June Book Recommendations / LINK

JUN 2    Everything Zoomer / Round-up / LINK

JUN 4    Love in the Time of Cancer / Review / LINK

JUN 5    USA Today / Review / 4 out of 4 Stars / LINK

JUN 5    Brit + Co / Round-up / 10 Hot New Reads to Pick Up in June / LINK


JUN 6    Omnivoracious / Interview / Interview with Marysue Rucci / LINK

JUN 6    Omnivoracious / Round-up / Post of Best of the Month selections / LINK

JUN 8    Vulture / Round-up / 7 New Books You Need to Read This June / LINK

JUN 8 / Review / LINK

JUN 9    Katie Couric / Yahoo / Interview / Interview with John / LINK

JUN 9    WRITER’S BONE / Round-up / 20 Books That Should Be On Your Radar: June 2017/ LINK

JUN 9    Literary Hub ( / Round-up / Best Reviewed Books of the Week / LINK

JUN 9    WLRN Online / Round-up / Friday Reads / LINK

JUN 15    SHELF AWARENESS PRO / Feature / Book Trailer of the Day / LINK

JUN 16 / Mention / Weekly Update Newsletter / Item of “Bookreporter Bets On” Pick / LINK

JUN 16 / Review / “Bookreporter Bets On” / LINK

JUN 16    Omnivoracious / Round-up / Best Biographies and Memoirs of June / LINK

JUN 19 / Round-up / 20 Books That Will Breathe Life Into Your Summer / LINK

JUN 19    Cup of Jo / Original Piece / Piece by John / LINK

JUN 21    STAT NEWS / Round-up / 35 best health and science books to read this summer / LINK

JUN 22    Cup of Jo / Round-up / Link to John’s piece in weekly newsletter

JUN 22    Signature Reads / Review / 3 Rich Reads to Take Into Your Summer / LINK

JUN 22    Greensboro News & Record / Feature Blog Post / LINK

JUN 22 / Round-up / 8 Beach Reads Our Editors Couldn’t Put Down / LINK

JUN 22    Eye Level / Review / Issue Four: Currently Reading / LINK

JUN 23    Sojourners / Feature / “What ‘The Bright Hour’ Can Teach Us About Living and Dying” / LINK

JUN 23    Katie Couric’s FYI Newsletter / Round-up / Link to John’s Yahoo Interview

JUN 26    NBCC’s Critical Mass / Round-up / LINK

JUN 27 / Feature / Piece on success of TBH / LINK

JUN 29    NPR.ORG / Round-up / “A Powerful Intersection: Pairing Memoir And Science Writing” / LINK

JUN 30    The Digest Online / Round-up / Books to Read in Summer ‘17 / LINK

JUN 30    Another Mother Runner Podcast / Round-up / Summer Reads podcast / LINK

JUL 2    Crave / Round-up / 6 Good Books to Buy for the Women in Your Life / LINK

JUL 4    Medium / Round-up / Top Books in 2017 (So Far) / LINK

JUL 5    Slate / Review / LINK

JUL 5    Glitter Guide / Round-up / July’s Must Read List / LINK

JUL 6    Intima / Review / LINK

JUL 6    Intima / Review / LINK

JUL 7    Girls Night In / Round-up / Weekly Newsletter / 4 things to do during a night in


Pull Quotes

“So beautifully written. She really makes you want to live every single day.” [Emma Straub]

“In this memoir, published posthumously, Nina Riggs asks: How do you make life meaningful when you know your time is limited? With humor and honesty, The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying chronicles Riggs’s diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer and the moments shared with her school-age sons and her husband before her death at age 39.”—The Short List: Five Books That Won’t Disappoint

“Profound and poignant…I put down The Bright Hour a slightly different, and better, person – unbearably sad and also feeling, as Riggs did, ‘the hug of the world.'”

“The book will make you feel joy. Riggs writes beautifully about her family, her love of literature and nature, of beach vacations and watching her son learn to ride a bike…“The Bright Hour” is a stunning work, a heart-rending meditation on life — not just how to appreciate it while you’re living it, but how to embrace its end, too. It is this year’s “When Breath Becomes Air”…Riggs barely pauses to pity herself or her family. She trudges forward with the kind of strength and humor that make reading her account a bittersweet pleasure. Her wit is sharp and her observations lyrical.”

“Inspired by the unforgettable New York Times Modern Love column, this memoir by a young mother with terminal cancer is touching and wickedly funny.”

“Riggs is to be admired for candidly sharing the battle she fights, and for her no-holds-barred documentation of all the depleting minutiae of such a fight. Throughout, she sprinkles in the philosophies of life she ponders and the gallows humor that helps her cope…[it] will be appreciated for its raw honesty.”

“The author writes with a seamless flow and an honest, heartfelt tone; the narrative often glides into passages of gorgeous, rhythmic prose leaving no doubt about Riggs’ immense talent for poetic language. She also retains a dry, witty sense of humor throughout despite the sadness of enduring chemotherapy and its side effects, navigating advanced medical and legal directives, a mastectomy, and an incremental decline in her health…Riggs’ indefatigable spirit is the true heroine in this story of life and loss; even in her darkest moments, she writes, “the beautiful, vibrant, living world goes on.” A luminous, heartbreaking symphony of wit, wisdom, pain, parenting, and perseverance against insurmountable odds.” [STARRED]
Kirkus Reviews

“Poet Nina Riggs was only 37, the mother of two young sons, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Within a year she had lost her mother to multiple myeloma—and learned her own cancer was terminal as well. Riggs died last February, leaving behind this deeply affecting memoir, a simultaneously heartbreaking and funny account of living with loss and the specter of death. As she lyrically, unflinchingly details her reality, she finds beauty and truth that comfort even amid the crushing sadness.”

“[Riggs] reminds us that we are all in this world until we leave it; the gallows humor surrounding her mother’s funeral will make readers howl guiltily but appreciatively. Whether confronting disease or not, everyone should read this beautifully crafted book as it imbues life and loved ones with a particularly transcendent glow.” [STARRED]
Library Journal

“Moving and insightful…Despite the profound sadness of her situation, Riggs writes with humor; the memoir is rife with witty one-liners and musings on the joys and challenges of mothering and observations on the importance of loving relationships…n this tender memoir Riggs displays a keen awareness of and reverence for all the moments of life—both the light, and the dark, “the cruel, and the beautiful.””[STARRED]
Publishers Weekly

“With “The Bright Hour,” Riggs leaves behind a literary legacy that captures both her incredible talent and her unwavering love for her family…Her lyrical, honest prose immerses the reader in her world — you feel the fear, the despair, the joy…Riggs perfectly captures the strange, sometimes otherworldly feeling experience of cancer treatment…But though one might expect a tome of sadness and despair from a writer with only months left to live, Riggs fills her memoir with vivid, messy, beautiful life. The book illustrates how Riggs’ sense of humor never falters…Riggs seamlessly integrates both Emerson’s and Montaigne’s thoughts on life, death and health, adding a richness to her own experience.”

“Through this warmhearted memoir, Riggs writes her way to accepting her own death and the uncertainty that follows it. The Bright Hour is an introspective, well-considered tribute to life. As Riggs’ famed ancestor Emerson writes, “That is morning; to cease for a bright hour to be a prisoner of this sickly body and to become as large as the World.””

“Wry and tender.”

“A vivid, immediate dispatch from the front lines of mortality and a record of a life by someone who wasn’t done living yet. But there is nothing maudlin about it…her warm portraits of each of [the members of her closest circle] are a large part of the book’s emotional power. So is something we don’t notice fully until it’s gone: the strength and clarity of Riggs’s voice, which never faded on the page, and which we won’t get to hear again.”
Boston Globe

“The antithesis of grim: an irreverent and poignant Baedeker through the country of illness.”
Wall Street Journal

“Written in the final two years of her life, a mother’s poignant memoir about her life, family and last days.”

“This gorgeous chronicle of the last year of her life – brimming with seemingly mundane details about parenting, buying a couch, getting a puppy – is a gentle reminder to cherish each day.” [Best New Books]

“Moving and often very funny…You can read a multitude of books about how to die, but Riggs, a dying woman, will show you how to live.”

Her observations about cancer are frank and unsentimental…They are also tart and hilarious…Like the bestselling “When Breath Becomes Air,” the work she left behind is a beautiful testament to the quiet magic of everyday life and making the most of the time we are given, whether it’s spent taking last-minute trips to Paris, wallpapering the mudroom, or reveling in a newly purchased couch.”

“That a writer with only months to live could carve out the time and energy to chronicle her experience of terminal cancer is an impressive feat. That a writer could accomplish this with such exuberant prose as Nina Riggs does in her debut memoir is revelatory…captures vivid, dynamic moments, searing truths, bitter ironies and every delicate emotion in between… “The Bright Hour” equals “Breath” in clarity, nuance and artistry…Ultimately, this is Riggs’ magic. She has produced a work about dying that evokes whimsy and joy, one that sublimely affirms that the inevitability of death carries with it its own kind of light and grace.”

“This moving and often very funny memoir of Riggs’s experience with metastatic breast cancer is bromide-free and honest. She died shortly after completing it, but her words will show you how to live.”

“As [Riggs] accepted her fate with magnificent poise, my heart was trembling. A sublime transformation to witness.”
Dayton Daily News

“A beautiful and poetic set of essays about a woman’s life as a young mother with terminal cancer. It could have focused largely on the incredible sadness of a family dealing with terminal cancer, but instead it was uplifting and filled with light, humor and peace, and the joys in everyday living. I want to re-read it to gain more of the wisdom of this incredible woman. I cannot recommend it highly enough, if you love memoirs which I do.”

“An amazing book.”- Katie Couric

“Disarmingly raw and emotionally captivating with every word, The Bright Hour will inspire every mama to reach for the stars today and every day.”


“Author Nina Riggs was 37, the mother of two young sons, and married to her best friend when she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. This is the story of how she faced the unthinkable with humanity and most of all with love.”

“Full of vibrant life and vivid details, written in clear, often-humorous prose…This book is beautiful. Walk, don’t run to order and read it…I urge you to read this gorgeous book, and plead that you not be afraid of it. Nine is a once in a lifetime person, and though I regret not knowing her while she lived, I’m hugely grateful that I read her words, that she put them down, and that I experienced, however briefly, the world through her eyes.”
A Design So Vast

“A beautiful gift…A heartrending reminder of life’s worthiness from the descendent of Ralph Waldo Emerson, this is a beautiful time-capsule of Riggs’ experiences.”
Read it Forward

“There are books that speak to our inner lives and make us feel more human. There are books that draw us out of ourselves and carry us somewhere new. The Bright Hour manages both. Riggs was just 37 when doctors discovered a small spot of cancer. By turns humorous and heartbreaking, she faces the unthinkable with remarkable grace. One might surmise “A Memoir of Living and Dying” will evoke tears. But Riggs’ legacy is a gift for us all: the pervasiveness of light, the preciousness of days, and — as we suspect — how the meaning of life might be love.” [Caroline Donofrio]
Eye Level

“Anyone who read and enjoyed Paul Kalanathi’s When Breath Becomes Air will likely enjoy this (to the extent one can enjoy the story of someone’s demise). This book poses the same unanswerable questions that Kalanathi’s does. Riggs, who passed away in February 2017 from cancer, endeavors to answer those questions with so with so much levity, warmth, honesty, and lyricism that it almost is enjoyable (even when she’s telling her children that she’s dying).”

“Poignant…For anyone looking for wise words on the subject of cancer—this is your book, but it also contains so much more. Riggs was the great-great-great-granddaughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and there is a running theme throughout the book about the huge importance of art and the humanity it can impart.”

“As a poet she composed THE BRIGHT HOUR with delicacy, love of language, full awareness, and a realism that almost hurts to read and absorb…A family history, a personal memoir, and a roadmap for others to follow, THE BRIGHT HOUR is a story to embrace, learn from and recommend to good friends.”

“Fans of Paul Kalanithi’s heart-wrenching memoir will enjoy this poignant story about how a grown woman—who’s also a direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson—spends her last days after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.”

“In the tradition of Paul Kalanithi’s “When Breath Becomes Air,” this memoir, penned by the great-great-great granddaughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson, is about how this wife and mother of two copes with her terminal cancer diagnosis. Not a likely candidate for your beach bag, but its poignant, wise, and surprisingly light moments will keep you turning the pages, and counting your blessings.”

“With this book Riggs raises the bar on how to die, and how to see the world every single day that you are alive. This will be the most uplifting book you read this year.”
Love in the Time of Cancer

“The Bright Hour is a beautifully wrought, at times disarmingly funny, but always courageous book about how to live – and love – every day, even “with death in the room.””
Everything Zoomer

“Beautiful and haunting…a thoughtful and heartbreaking exploration of what makes life meaningful in a person’s remaining days…Buried within this agonizing tale are moments of levity — I laughed out loud many, many times — and flashes of poetry…This book provides a stunning look at that experience and has forever changed my understanding of the illness narrative. It’s a book every doctor and patient should read…It’s hard not to compare The Bright Hour to When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi’s best-selling memoir about his battle with lung cancer. Both were in their late 30s when they discovered they were dying, and both write spare prose with a poignancy that is uncommon. However, Riggs’ book is markedly different in tone and content. It’s more humorous and less philosophical — but equally moving.”
USA Today

“It’s a tearjerker, but if you enjoyed When Breath Becomes Air, this book will hit the same emotional spots.”

“Memoirs of serious illness are haunted by the twin specters of death and self-help; whether ending in remission or posthumous sainthood, they suffer from the soft bigotry of the critic-proof. Riggs, who died at 39, a month after finishing this book, emulated entirely different writers, from Cheryl Strayed to essayists like Michel de Montaigne and her ancestor, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Her story was driven not just by her dark pursuer, breast cancer, but also by lives lived and books read. Read it for its insights, not its subject.”

“A literary legacy of a life cut short by breast cancer.”
Katie Couric / Yahoo

“A lyrical, honest, and unsentimental mediation on living and living with stage 4 cancer…What I can’t turn away from as I sit with Nina’s story is her voice. It is present and unflinching. Its glittering pulse draws me into a narrative that moves towards that Bright Hour of the title, taken from Emerson’s journal: “… to cease for a bright hour to be a prisoner of this sickly body, and to become as large as the World.” It is a voice that keeps me up at night.”
WLRN Online

“A beautiful (and even joyful) memoir on living and dying.”
Cup of Jo

“A beautiful book about how you live when you are dealt a bad hand. For those who would shy away because it may be sad, embrace it for being honest, funny and brave.”

“While living with terminal breast cancer, Riggs’s love of language allowed her to…write with a stunning clarity about the meaning of life when confronted with your own death. In my first year as a doctor, I’ve seen a number of people die. Exhausted by my training and burdened by grief, I catch myself wondering, what’s the point of it all? Riggs artfully taps into this universal curiosity, and her insights are a rare, precious gift. The end of life is a chapter we will all face, and Riggs proves that it can be written beautifully.”

“Full of joy and sweetness. The tears that came to my eyes several times in the reading of this book were not tears of sadness as they were in recognition of the tiny joys that comprise a life, and indicated recognition that…it’s those things that we realize we are going to miss when we are suddenly confronted with a fact that few of us want to face…[Riggs’] deep-rooted skills as a writer allow her to make all of the aspects of what she is going through into a form of art.”
Signature Reads

“This is one of those books that leaves you a little different than you were before…Poignant, vivid, and often funny, her stunning memoir about her last two years will help you relish the beauty in everyday life.”

“Nina Riggs’s The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying, also published this month, isn’t as famous as Gay’s book — but I hope it becomes so…a steady voice that invites us to feel the emotion without becoming swamped by it.”

“This synopsis sounds like a downer, but the book is not; Riggs finds ways to inject humor and wisdom into her experiences as her days among the living dwindle.”

“A courageous and heartfelt book about living and dying with cancer. Riggs does her best to help us?—?her readers?—?imagine the unimaginable…Riggs passed away before this book was published, but she’ll live on through her profound words.”

“Yet The Bright Hour is not a gloomy or brooding book. Perhaps Riggs’ life as a poet taught her to reconcile herself to transience, frustration, and the unlikelihood of achieving renown… Riggs shows us what that life is, bathed in the incandescence of anticipated loss…Riggs is funny and frank…Fear is strangely absent from the most popular books of this kind, and perhaps The Bright Hour is too raw to join their numbers. But Riggs’ willingness to include that darkness is what gives her last work its surpassing radiance.”

“An introspective told in gorgeous prose…truly stunning.”
The Digest Online

“[The Bright Hour is] heartbreaking in its realness, and will make you stop and appreciate every little moment—both good and bad.
Glitter Guide

“This book has a compelling voice that holds us buoyed, even entertained, in its progress to its inevitable conclusion, due to Nina Riggs’s willingness to bring us in close as she “clarifies” the heightened conditions of living with terminal illness…Riggs is a steady soul and a deft writer who is unafraid of reflection and strong emotion.”

“Read this if you enjoyed When Breath Becomes Air.”
Girls Night In

“We brace for the worst, knowing the ending before we even begin, in much the same way we did when starting Dr. Paul Kalanithi’s transcendent When Breath Becomes Air. Yet this book has a compelling voice that holds us buoyed, even entertained, in its progress to its inevitable conclusion…It’s that honest voice, that telling assessment of the truth, that calms us as we read this memoir about mortality…Riggs is a steady soul and a deft writer who is unafraid of reflection and strong emotion.”

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