Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Harry Potter Meets Lord Of The Rings Meets Pokemon

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Amanda and Jenn discuss classic retellings, post-Hamilton reads, small town stories, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Penguin Random House Audio and Doubleday, publishers The Clockwork Dynasty, the new novel by Daniel Wilson.

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The show can also be found on Stitcher here.



1. We are a group of girlfriends from high school (28 years out!) and we’re getting together in the fall for a reunion, something we’ve been doing every two years. We’d like to read a book in advance to discuss. Maybe it will be the beginning of a long-distance book club that meets in person every two years. What recommendations do you have? I’m thinking themes relating to family, friends, women’s issues, current issues… Thanks so much!


2. My 1st grade daughter is a precocious reader and is currently reading at about a middle school level. Do you have book recommendations for her that are more advanced reading, yet not advanced topics? She’s already read all the Little House on the Prairie books, The Penderwicks, The Mysterious Benedict Society, Roald Dahl, and a bunch others. I’m really looking for new series or newer books since she’s read most of the books I read as a child!

Thank you!


3. Recently I read Rebecca and it is now one of my favorite novels. This is the second book I’ve read based on Jane Eyre- the other being Wide Sargasso Sea, another favorite of mine. Then recently Jenn recommended Longbourn, and I’ve started reading that. Now I want to read other books based off of classics. I tried looking into it a bit, but all I really found were Pride and Prejudice continuations that, quite honestly, didn’t look like they were very well written. Any suggestions?
Thanks guys!


4. Okay, ladies. It’s happened. I caught the Hamilton hype and nothing else matters anymore. I’m already listening to the Chernow bio on audio and loving it, but I just need more! Any suggestions for worthy biographies on prominent American figures? I’m particularly interested in presidential biographies or biographies of noteworthy women during the period. Thank you both so much! Love the show! 🙂


5. HELP! I’m in the middle of a terrible reading slump, and I’ve never been in one quite so extreme before. I’m in the middle of getting my masters degree in Classics at the moment, and between all the ancient greek, and dead white philosophers I just don’t have the head space to read as much as I usually do, or even read the kind of books I usually read. Some of my favorite books are the Song of Ice and Fire series, The Secret History (which may or may not have made me want to become a classics major, and thus sealed my fate and slow decent into insanity), Frankenstein, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’m open to any genre, as long as it’s well written. I just need something that I can read for a little bit at night and clear my mind.
Thank you!


6. For some reason I seem to really love books that take place in small towns. I think it’s because I enjoy when the location in a book becomes something like a living breathing character, and (as bias as this may sound?) I like exploring the close mindedness, and hatred that often manifests in small towns where everything is the same, and everyone knows each other.
Do you guys know of any books that explore those kind of themes, and where the location is very much a character in the novel?


7. HELP HELP HELP! My whole life I’ve been trying to convince my mother to read, but she’s always told me she’s not interested. She endless makes fun of my “snooty” literature (I read mainly classic literature, and a lot of ancient philosophy), and says books are boring. I gave up trying to convince her to read, but a few days ago so told me she’d be interested in reading something! The only problem is I don’t know what she’ll like. We have such different taste, and I know she’d hate all my favorite books.
She watches a lot of reality tv like The Housewives of Some Rich Neighborhood or Whatever, and The Kardashians. Is there a book equivalent to trashy reality TV? She also really likes shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and Revenge. So I think she’d like a book that’s over the top like a soap opera kind of?
Please help!


Books Discussed

Dreadnought by April Daniels

The Novice by Taran Matharu

The Secret Son by Laila Lalami

Native Believer by Ali Eteraz

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

The Mothers by Brit Bennet

All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Frazzled by Booki Vivat

Princess Academy series by Shannon Hale

Rick Riordan’s new imprint

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

Re Jane by Patricia Park

John Adams by David McCullough

Also please watch this video: the John Adams rap cut from Hamilton

Lafayette In the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell

The Quick by Lauren Owen

Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (trigger warning: transphobia)

Not Without Laughter by Langston Hughes

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Blood Defense by Marcia Clark, recommended by Jamie Canaves