Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Dallas Meets Gossip Girl

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Amanda and guest Rincey recommend New York novels, biographies of people of color, and more on this week’s Get Booked!

This episode is sponsored by The Call by Peadar O’Guilin and The Unseen World by Liz Moore.

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The show can also be found on Stitcher here.





I love your podcast!

I am in need of some help. I am a relatively new stepmom of two great, young kids. My husband is loving and supportive. While their bio mom and I luckily get along fine for the most part, I still find myself struggling with the role.

I always learn best from books and would like to see stepmom I can relate to. I find so many books are negative or bitchy or alternately have a very Disneyesque feel. I’ve read the package deal, A career girls guide to becoming a stepmom and the single girls guide to marrying a man, his kids and his ex-wife. I’m stuck. I would prefer fiction, even if it just has an interesting stepmom as a character but am open to non-fiction.

Thank you so much,



2.Hello both,

I love your podcast and your recommendations! I am travelling to New York from Europe in mid-September and would love a plane read to get me in the NYC mood. I mostly read literary fiction, but I’m very open to suggestions. I have already read The New York Trilogy, Kavalier & Clay, A Little Life and loved all these.

Many thanks,


3. Hi Amanda and Jenn,

I am writing in to request biographies of people of color that are off the beaten path. I am participating in the Read Harder challenge and the “read a biography” task has been the most difficult for me personally.

I am currently listening to The Black Count by Tom Reiss on audio but am really struggling with the military stuff. Thus, I’m on the hunt for something else that will hook me. I’d like to read about people of color that should be more famous than they actually are. Brownie points if you can recommend biographies of people from Africa, Asia, South America, or the Middle East, as I’ve trying to expand the borders of my reading beyond the US and Europe.  

Lastly, I’d love to receive recommendations by September 30th so that I can request the books from my library and still have time to read them before the year is over.

Hope this isn’t too difficult! Also, thanks for doing the show every week – it’s one of my all-time favorite podcasts and I love listening! 



4. I have devoured all of jane Austen’s novels, & I have recently discovered Amanda Grange, who rewrites Austen’s novels from a different character’s perspective. Can you recommend other novels that are well-known stories told from another character’s point of view?
Thank you!



5. Recently I had to take my grandma in for wrist surgery which was 6 hours of hanging around the hospital, followed by staying with her for 24 hours. Needless to say, this made for a lot of reading time, but also a lot of anxiety time. I spent a few of the hours reading the thriller, Night Film by Marisha Pessl and though that was a good choice as it kept my mind busy with the story. I am looking for other suggestions should I or any other listeners find themselves with down time during a stressful situation like a surgery. Thanks so much in advance.  I love listening to all your recommendations!



Books Discussed

Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

I Don’t Know What You Know Me From by Judy Greer

The Stepmothers’ Support Group by Sam Baker

100 Must Read NYC Novels

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

Sophia by Anita Anand

Frida by Hayden Herrera

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Ida: A Sword Among Lions by Paula J. Giddings

Longbourn by Jo Baker

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Wicked by Gregory Macguire

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina