Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Many Many Kissings

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Amanda and Jenn discuss books for a retired dad who is basically Jimmy Buffett, books never mentioned on the show before, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

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Float Plan by Trish Doller and Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton (rec’d by Amanda)

Ellie Cosimano’s Finlay Donovan is Killing It and the sequel Finlay Donovan Knocks Em Dead (rec’d by Alice)


I just had a sweet small book club meeting with my 10 year old niece and my sister. We discussed Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime. They read the kids version together and I read the adult version. So fun to do with my niece!

We are now looking for another book and want to expand our club to the rest of our family including my 80 year old parents. So our club will include a 10 year old who prefers fiction. She just told me her favorite series is Small Spaces by Katherine Arden. I gave her The Lotterys a while back and she enjoyed it. She did like Born a Crime so I know she can get into memoirs although she says they are not her favorite. I think the humor in the face of horrible situations was one thing she appreciated about the book.

I always gravitate toward fiction. I love sci fi/fantasy, anything with time travel, mysteries. I think my parents also prefer fiction. My mom loved A Gentleman in Moscow. My dad loves Tony Hillerman books.

My other niece is in college so does not have a lot of time for fun reading so I suppose something on the shorter side would be best. We have a mutual love of Casey McQuiston (not appropriate for the entire family!).

Any suggestions for a family friendly book club book would be much appreciated (ie no sex or swears). Covid willing we will all be getting together mid-June for our discussion so a suggestion several weeks before then would be much appreciated.


2. My partner and I have been trying to live more sustainably for a while now (buying less, zero waste, both veggie, buying local produce, etc) but one thing I’ve never been able to do is grow my own food.

I’m looking for a good intro book for someone interested in growing, or at least starting to grow, their own food with limited resources (I don’t have a garden!), and some tips on which plants are best grown where etc, maybe how to keep on top of the planting-watering-fertilising- harvesting cycles.

I have absolutely zero experience on growing fruit & veg or gardening, aside from buying ready grown plants, so something very basic and good for beginners would be best.

I’m thinking of starting small, like maybe re-planting green onion and lettuce ends, or growing cherry tomatoes. I’d appreciate any help you can offer!

(Also, not sure if this changes things but I live in the UK.)


3. I want to apologize because I know this request is going to be all over the place. I really enjoy urban fantasy style books, but I realize I’m always the most interested in a lot of the mundane parts. I like to see werewolves at the bank or witches buying their spell ingredients at Walmart. Something maybe along the lines of the show What We Do in the Shadows would be great! I also really like the vibes of the Beetlejuice waiting room scene, or the movie Wristcutters where the characters have crappy jobs in the afterlife. There can definitely be action, but I would really love a big focus to be on the character’s day to day life. Thank you so much!


4. I recently read The Haunting of Maddy Clare, and I loved the romance mixed in with the ghost story. I’m looking for another horror/supernatural mixed with a romance (my two favorite genres)–but please, no books where the characters get it on with ghosts.


5. I love your show and I listen to every episode.  I read a big variety of books, but I find myself getting into a rut sometimes when I keep reading the next book in a series.  Can you recommend a book for me that is a standalone and has never been recommended on the show before?  Any genre works for me!


6. First, I’ve been listening since y’all started and you have helped my reading life grow in amazing ways over the last 6+ years! Thank you!

For my rec request, I’m always on the lookout for more of my favorite thing: sassy ladies kicking ass and having romantical adventures in old-e times. My platonic ideal for this is Veronica Speedwell, but see also Lady Sherlock, YS Lee’s A Spy in the House, and Pride and Premeditation. I love a historical setting that takes me out of my own day-to-day and a character having agency over her career and romantic decisions. Bonus points for a series – I always want to spend as much time as possible with characters I love. Super bonus points for a setting that’s not Victorian England and/or a main character that’s not a cis-hetero-white lady.


7. Hi Jenn and Amanda! I am looking for a book recommendation for my dad. He doesn’t read frequently, but when he does, he usually re-reads his favorite book: “Don’t Stop the Carnival” by Herman Wouk. It’s about a man who retires from his hectic job in NYC to run a hotel on a remote Caribbean island (naturally, chaos ensues). I think this book speaks to my dad’s aesthetic in general; he’s basically Jimmy Buffett. I’d love for him to find other novels that he loves that have a similar theme/setting. He recently got divorced, so I am also looking for something that is not too romance-heavy. He also reads James Patterson and John Grisham, so crime/thriller novels are definitely up his alley. I appreciate your help!


Books Discussed

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

Tidesong by Wendy Xu 

Apartment Gardening by Amy Pennington and Kate Bingaman-Burt

All New Square Foot Gardening 3rd Edition by Mel Bartholemew et al

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Psalm for the WildBuilt by Becky Chambers

Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline

The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller (cw: domestic abuse)

Waiting for Tomorrow by Natacha Appanah, transl by Geoffrey Strachan

The Memory Librarian by Janelle Monae, Yohanca Delgado, Eve L. Ewing, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Danny Lore, Sheree Renée Thomas (cw: transphobia; unjust incarceration; racism; homophobia) (out April 19)

The Girl Meets Duke series by Tessa Dare (#1 The Duchess Deal)

Jeannie Lin

A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie

The Talented Ribkins by Ladee Hubbard