Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Bad Choices All Over the Place

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Amanda and Jenn recommend witchy fiction, books for Downton Abbey fans, and more on this week’s Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina and the Start Here Giveaway.

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


1. Hello! I’ve just watched “Practical Magic” (1998) with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman and I sort of have a witchy hangover. I plan on reading the book the movie was based on and a couple cozy witchy mysteries, but I was wondering if y’all could recommend me some other witchy themed books? Open to any genre, time period, and format (novella, short story collection, graphic novel, etc.).  Hope y’all can help a witchy girl find some magic 🙂

from Joanna


2. Recently, you recommended Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (by Tom Franklin) to a reader in search of literary mysteries.  I read it immediately and couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed everything about the book, but most of all, I loved that, just as you mentioned, the South itself was a character. I also really appreciated how Franklin made me feel like I was a part of the community; the characters were so vivid and real.  Could you please recommend books where the setting and local community is as immersive as in Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter?  I’m open to reading a book set anywhere, so long as the scenery and characters draw me in.  I should probably mention that I really enjoy historical fiction and psychological thrillers (strong female characters are a bonus).  I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi or fantasy.  

(As a side note, thank you for this podcast.  It’s helping me expand my ever-growing TBR list and it’s so much fun to listen to!)

from Nicole


3. I’m a little obsessed with Downton Abbey and was wondering if you knew of any books that are similar? I’ve just finished reading Remains of the Day which I thought had a similar feel and really enjoyed, do you have any other suggestions?
I would really like a book with a good dose of romance in it but I’m not fond of the Romance genre.
Thanks guys!
from Nina


4. I recently read The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck and just finished A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I’m beginning to realize that I really love curmudgeons! Can you recommend any books with curmudgeonly characters? Bonus points for genre fiction!

Thanks so much!


5. Hello Amanda,

Help help help! I need help with some recommendations for my dad. He is a fire fighter and has started reading at the fire station in his down time. He is reading at a fast pace and my mom and I need some new directions to go in so he does not need to work without a book. He has read all of the Robert B. Parker series, as well as Ted Bell’s Alex Hawke series and Vince Flynn. I have suggested Lee Child’s Jack Reacher Series and Robert Crais’s Elvis Cole. What other authors and series should he read? I think he might try non fiction, but he likes fast paced fiction with military, spy or police angles. Thank you so much!!! You rock!

from Juli Cruciotti


Books Discussed!

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Coffin Hill Vol 1 by Caitlin Kittredge, Iñaki Miranda

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Deborah Harkness’s All Souls series

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes 

Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Longbourn by Jo Baker

Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

Anything by Bill Bryson

Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine by Alina Bronsky, translated by Tim Mohr

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan

The Ice Queen by Nele Neuhaus

Chimera by David Wellington

Beating Back the Devil, Maryn McKenna

Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith