Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

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Amanda and Jenn discuss Finnish literature, mental illness, enemies-to-lovers stories, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Your One and Only by Adrianne Finlay and Comic Bento.

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




1. I’m heading on a trip to Finland at the end of February and I’d love to read some Finnish fiction, translated to English please! I’d love something with a strong sense of place to familiarize me with the environment/culture/weather etc. My favourite books are easy enough to fall into and ones where the characters stay with you long after the story ends. I’m generally a literary fiction reader but happily read other things except for romance and scific/fantasy (as a rule). If it helps, some of my favourite authors are Heather O’Neill, Miriam Toews, Peter Heller, A.M. Homes, Wally Lamb, David Benioff and Willy Vlautin.

Thanks for the help!


2. Hi! I love your podcast and listen to your show every week!

I just finished Turtles All the Way Down by John Green and loved Aza’s perspective. I live with mental illness as does she, and I really enjoyed reading a story where the character accepts her mental illness and still struggles even though she is in recovery. I really like the non-linear way the book looks at her condition. Do you know of any other books where the main character has a mental illness, but does not exactly “defeat” it and instead learns to accept themselves? I have read I Can’t Promise You a Rose Garden and enjoyed that. (Sidenote, I have read many books about people with eating disorders and I would prefer recommendations that do not include that topic.)



3. I love fiction by what I like to think of as provocative and sometimes offensive people of faith. I love books where the author writes about his or her faith tradition from a place of love, but aren’t afraid to ask the messy questions, air the dirty laundry, and treat belief like the complicated, untidy, yet deeply meaningful thing that it is. Some of my favorite authors that I’d put in this category are Chaim Potok, Fyodor Dostoevksy, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh & Levi S. Peterson. I love would to read more fiction like this. I read widely and would be comfortable with any genre except horror.



4. Recently I read Michelle Moran’s The Heretic Queen. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it, but it did leave me wanting to find a good historical romance or fiction in a similar vein. The main reason I did not enjoy the book was because I felt the relationship in the book was not strong enough. I have two requests, and I hope they aren’t too much. I’d like the book to be set in the ancient world (Greece, Egypt, Rome), and I want a strong relationship (F/M M/M and F/F are all fine). I don’t want instant love, or an undeveloped relationship- I really want to be able to root for the relationship. And before you mention it, I have read (and loved) The Song of Achilles.
Thanks for the awesome show guys! I can’t wait to hear your recommendations.


5. Hello:

I am not a big romance reader. I very rarely pick up a romance. I struggle with historical fiction, so historical romance is really not my thing. However, I recently read The Hating Game by Sally Thorn and loved the contemporary romance. It was an “enemy to lovers” type books, so I enjoyed the banter and the humor.

Disclaimer: some portions were problematic, so I do not mean to say that it was perfect. But, it did keep me reading.

I would like some similar recommendations. I would prefer contemporary romance, but I’ll take anything I can get that explores the “enemy to lovers” theme.

–Awful at Romance Reading


6. Thank you for an awesome podcast. I suffer from depression and considering the world’s political climate, I will continue to suffer for some time. I study humanitarian action in crisis and I love to read books that are topic heavy, such as Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie or The color Purple by Alice Walker or an anthology about racism in Sweden (I’m from Stockholm). Although the books are so good and I can’t get enough (I also have ADHD which makes me unable to give up on these books but at the same time considering my depression they also make me sadder and unable to heal right now). I feel like I need something to break this habit while trying to get better and read book that’ll make me laugh or not think. I love novels about dance (favourites include Mao’s last dancer by Li Cunxin, A time to dance by Padma Venkatraman and Taking flight by Michaela DePrince) and novels from comedians like Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres or How to Make White People Laugh by Negin Farsad. I’m giving you free hands, just remember – depressed, cannot stop reading awesome heavy novels, need something else though. And also, if you HAPPEN BY CHANCE to know a book about or featuring a person (not cis-gender white male) with ADHD, I’d love to hear about it.


7. Hi Amanda and Jenn!

Thanks for a wonderful podcast!

One of my favorite books is Sweetland by Michael Crummey. I enjoyed that it was set on an island, was very atmospheric, and beautifully dealt with loss and isolation. I also liked how nature was a large part of the book. I’m wondering if you have suggestions for something similar?

Thanks so much for your time!


Books Discussed

The Other Lands (Acacia #2) by David Anthony Durham

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi

The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erica L Sanchez (trigger warning: self-harm)

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali (trigger warning: sexual assault)

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

The Captive Prince trilogy by CS Pacat (all the trigger warnings)

Fire from Heaven (Alexander the Great #1) by Mary Renault, recommended by Alexander Chee (Reading My Way Out of the Closet)

Hold Me by Courtney Milan

Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett

Galore by Michael Crummey

All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld