Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Asking for Audiobooks

Welcome to Episode 5! This episode is about a mish-mash of genres, so I brought on a hella knowledgable bookseller who can handsell anything to help me! Hannah Oliver Depp is a bookseller and the Merchandise Display Manager at Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, DC. as well as a contributor to Book Riot and LitHub. She teaches classes at Politics & Prose on re-imaginings of archetypal characters, from King Arthur to Sherlock Holmes. Her job allows her to combine her two passions: psychoanalyzing dead white guys and putting diverse stories into their bewildered descendants hands. If you’re in the DC area come to the Read Harder book club at Upshur St Books where she and fellow rioters gather once a month to drink wine and talk all things bookish. She can be found everywhere online as @oliverdepp.

hannah depp (1)

This episode is sponsored by Penguin Random House Audio and ROOM the movie.


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


I’m looking for something awesome for my husband for our upcoming anniversary. He’s a chef, and I’ve done the cookbook thing, perhaps to death. I’m always on the lookout for the best sort of cookbooks, and I’m not adverse to getting another one, but it has to be the RIGHT one. He’s very particular.

Professional cookbooks are great, as are food memoirs, food history and similar sort of books. For example, He has ‘A History of Food’, ‘Salt: A World History” by Mark Kurlansky, and ‘The Professional Chef”. ..and maybe 50 or so more cookbooks, etc. in that vein.
Help, send me in the right direction for something extraordinary that will renew his second love (I’m his first, of course), food.
Thanks for being awesome!



Hi Amanda

Congratulations on the new podcast!

I loved listening to Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things earlier this year and it made me realise that the audio format works really well for me when it’s a book in bite-sized chunks. Could you recommend anything else in a similar vein? Fiction or non, but good books, well read, in short instalments? I imagine epistolary novels might work well for this (though I’ve already read the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, 84 Charing Cross Road, and Frances and Bernard), or memoirs in letters (though I think Mary-Louise Parker’s might be one of a kind?) or books of short short stories like BJ Novak’s One More Thing (which I’ve also already read).

Thanks! I’m looking forward to your suggestions.



I just finished reading Suite Francaise, and was intrigued by the differing, native perspectives pre/during Nazi occupation in WW2.  Are there other books (non/fiction) out there like Suite Francaise?   Also, where might I begin with other Nemirovsky works?  Thanks! -Running Bassett



I have discovered a new-found love for essay collections. In the past year I have read and loved both Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay and The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamieson. I would love to get your recommendations for other smart and snarky essay collections. They don’t have to to be about feminism or empathy particularly, any theme is fine as long as the writing is engaging.

Thanks so much! Love the new podcast idea!
Heidi in Maine



Hi Amanda,

Love the work of everyone there at Book Riot, and very excited for your new podcast!

I have a recommendation request for myself that I’m hoping you could help me with on the Get Booked show. For the last few months, I’ve been feeling restless in my working life and craving a complete change of direction. I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching, and researching how I can turn my dreams into reality. But I’m not a natural risk-taker, and I’m also a tired parent, so I find as quick as motivation and momentum come to me, they are gone again.

I’m looking for stories about people who have made great changes in their lives, especially in their careers, to help me push through the fear of failure and the feeling of overwhelm, and to keep me inspired to pursue my goals. Bonus points if the career move was towards the world of books and publishing!

Thanks so much Amanda, I look forward to hearing what you recommend!

Best wishes,


Canberra, Australia




Long time listener of Book Riot podcast, super excited about this new show as my favourite episodes are usually the recommendation ones.

Was wanting to request a recommendation mainly because I am having a lot of issues with finding a book similar to my request.

I was wondering if you had any recommendations for books similar to The Royal Tenenbaums. This is i guess a little peculiar as it isn’t a book but the themes from the movie that most connect with me are:

  1. the eccentric family, every member having such established personalities and characteristics,
  2. the relationships between the rather large ensemble of completely unique characters
  3. the concept that not everyone/everything is fixed in the end. But there is some redemption, healing, closure.


I read The Interestings not long ago which I enjoyed greatly which i thought had some aspects of Tenenbaum in it. But was smaller and not eccentric enough.

Hoping you can help

Good luck with the show. Cant wait to start listening.




Books Discussed on the Show!

Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach

Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl

Blood Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton

Make the Bread, Buy The Butter by Jennifer Reese

When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams

Diving Belles by Lucy Wood

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

Assassination Vacation or Lafeyette in the Semi-United States by Sarah Vowell

Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows

The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy

A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead

Lovers at the Chamelion Club by Fancine Prose  

And the Show Went On by Alan Riding

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

On Immunity by Eula Biss

Unspeakable by Meghan Daum

We Should All Be Feminist by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Informed Air by Muriel Spark

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying by Carol Leifer

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott 

The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson

Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Oreo by Fran Ross