Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Also, Some Camels

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Amanda and Jenn recommend books about space, modern Westerns, and more on this week’s Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie and A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro.


Need a book recommendation? Fill out the form at the bottom of the post, or email and we’ll help!


1. Hi Amanda,
I listen to all the Book Riot podcasts, and I follow many Rioters in Twitter, but I’ve never felt the need to write in until now, abs I blame y’all! In a good way. I recently took advantage of the Audible sale in Mary Roach’s books, and after having heard Rebecca rave about them in several venues, I thought I should dive in. So I tweeted at her for recommendations, and one of the ones she mentioned was Packing For Mars. I blew through it. I LOVED it. And afterward, as I listened to other Mary Roach books I realized there was a Space-shaped hole in my heart. So I read The Martian. I’ve been meaning to get to it for awhile, and I needed to read it before the movie came out anyway, and oh my cats! It was so good! But now I’m stuck. I’m currently reading Randall Munroe’s What If? and loving it; it’s scratching the right itches. But, I need more space – fiction or nonfiction; I just need more. Can you help?
Lost In Space

2. I’m trying to find LGBTQ literature with a happy ending for my best friend. She is extremely annoyed with not only lack of representation in the LGBTQ community, but also annoyed that almost every time there is an LGBTQ story is has a sad ending. I’ve recommended her Maurice (she doesn’t like classic literature because she doesn’t like to work to understand the text), and gave her Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (she thought the writing style was to simplistic and didn’t like- SPOILER ALERT- that “he wasn’t gay till the end of the book). I’ve thought about giving her Carry On, but honestly we seem to have such different taste in literature I’m afraid to suggest anything. I thought of suggesting Sarah Waters but I only know of her so I can’t suggest a specific title. My friend is a bisexual woman so if you know of any titles with bi woman that would be a major bonus but not a must. If it helps in high school she loved Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey (though she doesn’t like them anymore because she realized how problematic they are), and also loved Philippa Gregory (I think her favorite was Wideacre). Basically all the books she loves I hate and vice versa (though she did come around on Twilight and 50 Shades). We only agree on our love of Shakespeare. I’m so lost but I’ve made it my mission in life to find her gay books with happy endings she’ll enjoy. Please help! I’m so lost, and frankly getting a little annoyed because she hates everything I love.   –Helen

3. I’m in search of post apocalyptic novels. The only I have read was A Boy and His Dog and I loved it. Looking to read more in this genre as well as something that has some good talking points for my book club.

Thank you very much for your time and suggestions. –Christina

4. Hi! I enjoy listening to your podcast each week and have added several books to my never-ending-to-read list. My fiance and I are going on our honeymoon in April to Japan and I’d love some good fiction recommendations or memoirs to get me in the mood for Japan. Do you have any suggestions?


5. My dad loves westerns – either watching John Wayne on T.V. or reading about cowboys in any Louie L’Amour novel (I’m sure he’s read most, if not all, of them). I find it difficult to find newer western books, especially ones that are reminiscent of the old western movies my dear old dad loves. Do you have any titles or authors that I can explore and pick out for dad?? I appreciate any help you can offer!



6. First of all I wanna say that I really like your podcast! I live in Brazil, but I always listen to the show to get book recommendations 🙂 So, I have a problem: I love Rainbow Rowell and I read all of her books on this time of the year (I think I spent one new year’s eve with Eleanor & Park and other with Landline) but… This year I’ve already read (and loved) Carry On and I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO! Could you please recommend me books that are as heartwarming as hers? Usually I’m not a YA reader (I don’t like John Green, for example) but I really enjoy Rainbow’s style of writing. Right now I’m reading “Signal to Noise”, that was recommended by Rincey Reads and I’m enjoying, but not as much as Rainbow 🙁

Thank you for the help!




Books Discussed!

Death by Black Hole by Neil deGrasse Tyson

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Commander Hadfield

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

The Mercury 13 by Martha Ackmann

Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour

The Superheroes Union: Dynama by Ruth Diaz (rec’d by Amanda Diehl)

My Real Children by Jo Walton

Safe Harbor by Radclyffe

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

Mort(e) by Robert Repino

The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Hiroshima in the Morning by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto (rec’d by Alison)

Hanzai Japan edited by Haikasoru  (rec’d by Rachel Cordasco)

An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro

Memories of Silk and Straw by Junichi Saga

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

The Son by Phillip Meyer

Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart

True Grit by Charles Portis

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko by Leslie Marmon Silko

Jenny Han

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

Howl’s Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Preeti’s YA recs