Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Human Vs. Algorithm: August 11, 2022

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Jenn and Erica dive into the first-ever Human vs. Algorithm, looking for recs for romance, comfort reads, Queen’s Gambit read-alikes, and more.

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1. Hi,

This summer I loved watching The Summer I Turned Pretty. It was so fun to jump back into Cousins Beach, a world I loved when I first read the books back in high-school and all the romance and family drama. I always loved how well Jeremiah, Conrad and Belly knew each other from years of spending summers together and think it added a depth to the story. 

Being older now I went on a search for books that had a similar feel but written for a slightly older audience. I found Sorrow and Bliss, Every Summer After and Ask Again, Yes. All of these books were so great and I’m looking for more like them. They were told from the perspective of an adult reflecting on a childhood or adolescent friendship that became a romance and how those relationships shifted and changed throughout time. The romantic interest was usually a family friend or neighbor, and I love the friendship to romance plot line. Looking for more like it. Thanks!

2. Hi!

I’m a mom to an amazing 15m old. She was born during the height of the pandemic so my anxiety is always high about her getting sick. Then Roe v Wade makes me terrified she won’t have rights over her own body when she grows up. Now with the latest elementary shooting, I basically never want to leave the house. I need some comforting books to help ease my mind. Some favorites that I’ve loved are The Guncle, House on the cerulean sea, Under the whispering Door, The switch, and Midnight at the blackbird cafe.

I’m not a big romance reader but I will take a lesbian love story if it has a really good plot. I’m also open to magical and/or fantasy that feels nothing like our world. Dropping my goodreads below. Thanks for helping this anxious mom.


3. The summer heat has killed my energy and attention span. I recently had some luck with rereading The Queen’s Gambit, so I’d like to request a book similar to this. And by similar I mean: short, fast paced, tense but detached – technical or sparse, rather than emotional. (I’m aware of Trevis’s other works.)


4. I am looking for books for my 5 year old. She’s a pretty advanced reader and wants chapter books but nothing too long, as she usually starts reading a chapter out loud for me and then I take over when she gets tired. So far she has liked Captain Underpants, and the novelizations of Disney movies. She wasn’t a huge fan of the Boxcar Children or the Bailey School kids. She is into unicorns and princesses, but also learning about space and nature.

Books Discussed

A Lot Like Adiós by Alexis Daria

The Lucky Escape by Laura Jane Williams

Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki (cw: mention of child abuse, assault, transphobia, and racism)

Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper

A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet

The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya

Jada Jones: Rock Star by Kelly Starling Lyons and Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Wedgie & Gizmo by Suzanne Selfors, illustrated by Barbara Fisinger

The Dawnhounds by Sascha Stronach (he/him) (cw: gore, body horror, institutionalized homophobia)

Stolen Focus by Johann Hari

Murderbot by Martha Wells

Other Terrors: An Inclusive Anthology by Vince A. Liaguno, Rena Mason