Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Gasping Into the Book

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Amanda and Jenn recommend AI sci-fi, funny books, political nonfiction, and more on this week’s Get Booked!

This episode is sponsored by The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood and The A-Z of You and Me by James Hannah.

Subscribe to the podcast via RSS here, or via iTunes here.
The show can also be found on Stitcher here.

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


1. Thanks for your recent comic book episode. I’m currently getting into comic books myself and I found so many that I wanted to read from your and Ardo’s recommendations.

I would love any recommendations for books that feature artificial intelligence or technology in a futuristic setting. I adored Humans (tv show) this summer and am in the process of reading Speak by Louisa Hall.


–Rie Conley

2. My boyfriend does not enjoy reading. I have tried several books to hook him, but all have failed with the exception of The Martian.

When I asked him what was different, he said that the plot drew him in quickly, it centered around action and science (he has a BS in Biology), and the writing was funny. That last reason being the most important.

Do you have any recommendations for other humorous books in a similar style to Andy Weir’s?

Some books he rejected are listed below:

– Never Let Me Go: He found it slow, and confusing
– The Magicians, Jurassic Park, and American Psycho: He liked them, but did not care enough about the story to finish them.
– Mermaids In Paradise: Not funny
– Anything by Christopher Moore: Tries to hard to be funny, but doesn’t have enough plot

He listens to a lot of gay romantic fiction on Audible, so a gay tie-in would be great too (I know that this is getting very specific, sorry). He also loves dystopic movies, and sci fi movies (e.g. Hunger Games, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc.).

Thank you for your help!

–Nate Davis

3. I just finished the Americanah audiobook, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I miss the characters and the wide array of personalities the narrator was able to bring to life. Any recommendations for books that could give me a similar feeling?

–Jenea’ Selassie

4. I need a book for my mom, she’s Brazilian and English is her second language and she still struggles a bit with it. She wants to read and is always looking and asking for recs but rarely finishes books, gets bored easily… I don’t know what to do.

I’ve tried romance, contemporary, YA, one middle grade (Wonder RJ Palaccio) and one audiobook as read along but she got frustrated with the narrator’s voice and quit.

But since she keeps searching for it I feel like she just hasn’t found the right one for her yet.

She loves true stories, survival stories and soulful ones. Also tear jerkers! (based on movies she loves)

Any and all help is welcome! Thank you so much!

5. I’m currently finishing My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor (and loving it) and I have Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsberg queued up next, and possibly Sisters in Law after that one. Obviously, those are all specific to the Supreme Court, but now I’m just itching to read more about kick-ass women who have affected our political landscape. Any advice on the best nonfiction about women who have impacted the justice and political systems of our country? Great biographies, memoirs, autobiographies, micro-histories, and more wide-ranging histories would all be welcome. I would especially love great audiobook recommendations.

Thanks for hosting a great podcast!


6. Firstly, I love all things Book Riot, thank you for all you do.

I’ll preface my request by noting that I’m Australian. Thanks to a report by Rebecca Schinsky, I recently devoured Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. Which has made me wonder – I’ve heard lots about African American writers, but next to nothing about Native American writers. Could you please point me in the right direction towards some other Native American authors who are contemporary? (I’m interested to compare the Native American and Indigenous Australian contemporary writings 🙂 )

Thank you!!

— Sue Dodd (From Brisbane, Australia where I’ve been sweltering and listening with much jealousy about your snow storm)

Books Discussed!

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
Chaos Station by Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James
The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani
The Agency Series by YS Lee (A Spy in the House, #1)
I Am Malala (Young Readers Edition) by Malala Yousafzai
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
Then Comes Marriage by Roberta Kaplan
Forgetting to Be Afraid by Wendy Davis
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein
Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa Harris-Perry
Stephen Graham Jones (Mongrels)
Leslie Marmon Silko (Ceremony)
Louise Erdrich (Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country)
Bojan Louis (“If Nothing, The Land”)