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Called "a stylish and sparkly writer" by the New York Times, Jill Grunenwald is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Reading Behind Bars, which was a finalist for the 2020 Ohioana Book Award and the 2020 In the Margins Social Justice and Advocacy Book Award. Her previous memoir Running with a Police Escort was published in 2017.


Other writing has appeared in Cleveland MagazineFatventure Mag, Bitch, BUSTThe Millions and Tor.com. She is the creator and co-host of the Professional Book Nerds podcast and has been a contributor on NPR's On Point. She lives and works in Cleveland.



What People Are Saying about Reading Behind Bars:

"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. Librarians and library-lovers will cherish this one." Booklist (starred review)

"A compassionate perspective on prison life."

Kirkus Reviews

"In this delightful, earnest memoir ... Grunenwald is an empathetic narrator who, with straightforward prose, easily draws readers in."—Publishers Weekly

"Recommended for those studying library and information science or who are interested in America’s prison system." Library Journal

"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 

“This book makes you laugh while giving you a fresh perspective on why libraries are crucial in society today. ... A vital read for 2019.” — Mallory O’Meara, bestselling author of The Lady from the Black Lagoon

"Reminder: you have the right to remain silent. But with Reading Behind Bars, you won’t want to.

Nope, you’ll want to share and discuss this book, preferably with another book lover because it speaks to people like you in so many ways." Bookworm

"An important, interesting memoir that celebrates the liberating power of literature and the right to the freedom to read."  Alexandra Robbins, bestselling author of FRATERNITY: An Inside Look at a Year of College Boys Becoming Men

Praise for Running With a Police Escort

"Running With a Police Escort made me feel better about my own slow runs." Jennifer Weiner, bestselling author of MRS. EVERYTHING

"Positive and sassy, a fun voice to read with an inspiring tale to tell." Women's Running Magazine

"Grunenwald’s chatty, confessional style will entertain readers." Booklist

"For everyone who's ever said they're too heavy to run, Jill's memoir is here to prove you wrong."

Family Circle​​

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Information related to speaking fees and topics can be found here

© 2020 by Jill Grunenwald

Last updated June 8, 2020