Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Ladies and Their Feels

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Amanda and Jenn recommend feminist literature, summer reads, surprising nonfiction, and more in this week’s Get Booked!

This episode is sponsored by After Anna by Alex Lake and To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey.

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The show can also be found on Stitcher here.



1. Hi Amanda,

I am so excited about this new podcast you are doing. I have never written in for recommendations before because my TBR is big enough as it is, however I realized as I was buying a book today that there might be a request anyway. I am also cheating and want to make 2 separate request. If you want to only address one or split them up for different shows due to the nature of the requests I can understand.

So here goes:
1) my friend asked me for a rec which I am excited about since I have now become the friend to go to for book questions, however this woman doesn’t read a lot and her reading taste isn’t quite like mine. I want to make sure I give her a book she really likes because I think it’s amazing she wants to read and don’t want to discourage her. She is looking for a book to read on the plane/in the airport for Christmas. She loves Sophie Kinsella books. I gifted her a girly Kinsella type book set in NYC before which was YA and the names escapes me now. I am recommending Dumplin’ since I read it and loved it and I think she might too, but I want to give her choice. Any ideas?

2) This one is for myself 🙂
I just bought Villa Triste by Lucretia Grindle and I was reminded how much I love a book that spans the ages. Years ago I read The forgotten garden by Kate Morton and The Rosetti letter by Christi Phillips. These types of stories have had something happen a long time ago and due to circumstances someone in the current day stumbles upon this mystery from long ago and wants to solve it. I love the Europe setting but am not averse to a change of scenery. Are there more books out there like this.

My apologies for the long request. I hope you’ll be able to address one or both of these in one of your upcoming shows.


Annemarie Davelaar


2. Hey Amanda and guest!

I’m going through a bad breakup and just read “You Don’t Have to Like Me”. I’m finding the feminist literature is really helping me get through it. I’ve read books in the past like Yes Please and Bossypants but I’m interested in reading more books specifically about modern feminism. I’m open to essay collections, memoirs, short stories and fiction. Any ideas?


3. Hi Amanda and Jenn!
I love you guys and this week’s podcast was particularly weird and great! I totally never thought I needed a book recommendation podcast, but your recommendations have been great and I really enjoy listening to them!

Ok, here’s my question:
Every summer, I get a moody craving for summer beach reads. I want something sun-soaked, usually with all sorts of family drama. I often go for books that tend toward rich white people problems with some sort of literary heft, although I’m certainly open to more diverse options, though I prefer books written by women and featuring female characters. In the past, I’ve scratched this itch with The Beautiful Ruins, Seating Arrangements, the Vacationers, and A Hundred Summers. What should I check out this summer? I just finished Where’d You Go, Bernadette and I loved it, but it was too icy to fulfill my summery craving.



4. Hello, I’m writing to ask about books I can send to my mother. I’ve always been different in her eyes, as everything from my spiritual beliefs to sexual preference have gone against everything she stands for. I’ve tried for years to keep the peace between us, but as a woman now in my 30s, I no longer have the patience to lie to her or skirt the issues. I am who I am, and if she can’t accept me, then I at least want to expose her to some stories outside of our own of acceptance and understanding. I can only hope that our mutual love for reading will allow me to engage her in a different type of discourse, one that will allow us to meet in the middle and at least agree on respecting one another.

Thanks in advance –



5. I just finished listening to the audiobook of Unbroken and I absolutely loved it. I loved the combination of a fast paced story with learning about a part of history I knew nothing about. I’m looking for suggestions for more audiobooks with a great story and a little history lesson, preferably about something I may not have learned in high school. I have also recently listened to and enjoyed The Devil in the White City, Seabiscuit, The Boys in the Boat, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
I love the show, thanks in advance for your help!


6. Dear Jen and Amanda,
First, thank you so much for this Podcast. I truly cannot tell you how much it has helped me find new interests and new coves of the library that I had no idea I would find myself hiding in. HA! So thank you!

Now down to my question-

I want to start a mini, mother/daughter book-club with my mom and maybe my best friend and her mom on occasion. My mom is second gen Italian and all about family and yet was able to become the successful business woman and bread winner for the household. I really want something that will challenge us intellectually and yet bring us closer as mother and daughter. Do you both have any suggestions on some great reads that my mom and I could read on our own time, but then get together and talk about?

PS-any genre we would love, just like life we like to mix it up!

Sincerely yours,
Hannah (daughter) and Beth (mother) from Denver


Books Discussed

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

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit

Shrill by Lindy West

Unspeakable Things by Laurie Penny

Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

Carry the One by Carol Anshaw

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

We Were Liars by E Lockhart

Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam

The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Bloodline by Claudia Gray

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott

Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams

K Blows Top by Peter Carlson

A Covert Affair by Jennet Conant

Shelter by Jung Yun

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain

The Lady Matador’s Hotel by Cristina Garcia

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi