Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

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Amanda and Jenn discuss a couple book club options, Ukrainian fiction, books to break a reading slump, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

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The Art of Time Travel: Historians and Their Craft by Tom Griffiths (rec’d by Laura)


1. With everything going on between Russia and Ukraine I want to learn about Ukraine and through fiction. Could you recommend me novels set in Ukraine. Thank you


2. Looking for a contemporary YA book that would provoke a good discussion for a book club full of 40+ aged persons. Trying to do something different and thought we might take a chance and try a YA book. Based on previous choices I think they would prefer something that wasn’t sci-fi/fantasy/romance/poetry verse focused. I was hoping for a title that wasn’t too high school cringey and that even an older adult could appreciate like The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas or Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!


3. I’m not an eloquent writer, so forgive me…I would like to start off by thanking you two for being a constant in my reading life since this show came out.  Seriously, through the ups and downs of the past 7(!) years of being a stay at home mom, single mom, starving student and, finally, a paramedic, I would always look to this podcast to snap myself back into what I love.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used the books I’ve read from this show to bridge a gap between myself and a patient to find a shared interest for them to focus on.  I am so happy with what my reading life has taught me and I most certainly owe it to the books on this show recommended by you both.  So thank you!

I am going on my first ever solo backpacking trip this June.  I am looking for a book that will be my mental hiking partner for the 5 days it will take me to complete the trail.  I would like a book that will keep me thinking about it during the day, challenge me to think differently, and inspire me to keep knocking items off my bucket list (no pressure).

I would prefer books set in the outdoors for obvious reasons and bonus points for medical/survival elements. I’m leaning more towards fiction rather than nonfiction.  Also, anything with a strong female lead is a big plus.

I would prefer a book without children as characters because this will be a long time away from my son and I’d rather not spend my day thinking about how far away I am from him with only one way to get to him (lots and lots of rough hiking).

Thank you for everything you do for all of us readers!


4. I have been listening to show over the year and it has helped my to-read list grow.  Sadly over the last two months I have been in a reading slump.  Everything I pick up just doesn’t hold my attention.  I have picked books from my to-read list, random books, and even buzzy books.  I am thinking that a good novella would help me get back into reading.  I am not picky on genre or topic just a short compelling read that may help me get back into books.  Thank you for continuing with the podcast i truly enjoy listening to both of you.  


5. My book club has been reading a lot of serious but excellent books lately. Do you have any fun suggestions to lighten the mood and still provide some opportunities for discussion?


6. I just finished Will by Will Smith and now have a Will Smith shaped hole in my reading heart. I need something to fill it but I’m not a big nonfiction reader so I don’t really know where to start. Previously I really enjoyed Born a Crime, Dear Girls, Educated, and all of Jenny Lawson. I’m looking for a great story teller with an interesting life. I will be listening to the book so bonus points if the author narrates. 

Here is a link to my goodreads. 

Thank you!


7. i have two requests today.

i’m looking for a literary will-they/won’t-they romance to read this spring. i love reading about people’s relationships and the dynamic between them, but i tend to find more genre-specific romance cheesy and unrealistic. some examples of romantic plot lines i’ve enjoyed in the past are never let me go by kazuo ishiguro, all of sally rooney, sweet bitter by stephanie danler, the marriage plot by jeffery eugenides, and we were liars by e. lockhart. from this list you can see that i’m open to many different styles and settings, just looking for an intriguing romantic duo to read about!

second, i’ve grown more interested in poetry/poetry-prose recently and want to dive deeper into this world. i tend to like being spoon fed by reading more pared-back, straightforward styles like Mary Oliver and Lydia Davis. i’ve also recently enjoyed sabrina benaim. overall i tend to prefer more contemporary styles. would love any ideas you have for more poetry. Thanks!


Books Discussed

Vita Nostra by Marina Dyachenko, Sergey Dyachenko, transl by Julia Meitov Hersey 

Grey Bees by Andrey Kurkov, translated by Boris Dralyuk (also we have several great posts about this)

The Silence of Bones by June Hur

The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He (cw: intimate partner violence, sort of)

Contents May Have Shifted by Pam Houston

Ammonite by Nicola Griffith

Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman

A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson (cw: violent homophobia)

The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

In the Shadow of the Mountain by Silvia Vasquez-Lavado (tw childhood sexual abuse, human trafficking)

Over The Top by Jonathan Van Ness (cw: child abuse, self-destructive behavior, disordered drug use)

Even As We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón