Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Read Harder

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Amanda and Jenn recommend books for the Read Harder and other book challenges!

This episode is sponsored by Book of the Month Club and Pinhole Press.

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Need a book recommendation? Fill out the form at the bottom of the post, or email and we’ll help!


1. Hi!

I am going to try to do the BookRiot Read Harder Challenge this year, and one category that I’m super interested in, but do not know where to start, is feminist non-fiction. I have read Bad Feminist, and loved it, but I don’t know where to go next.

Thank you!



2. Hey gals! First of all I love this podcast and I look forward to it every week! I am doing the read harder challenge (and even get a chance to participate in the group in LA) , but I was wondering if you know of any books where the main character or supporting character has to deal with the mental illness of being bipolar, bonus points for bipolar II. If not than maybe characters who have have to deal with rage issues. These are things I struggle with myself. The characters don’t have to be ladies, but since i am one, that would be extra cool. Thanks again ladies, you are the best, hope to see you live in New York in November if finances allow it!



3. I’m a huge fan of the show and have received so many great recommendations from listening! I’m doing the 2016 read harder challenge and could really use some suggestions for the book about politics. I’m open to either fiction or non-fiction and have a very definite preference for something progressive (not that I think you would try to sell me on Ann Coulter or her ilk).
Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!


4. Hi guys! I’m doing an Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge (overlapping with the Read Harder Challenge, I’m trying to finish a book a week or close to it.) One item is to read a book about an anti-hero, and I was hoping for some recommendations? I love the Dresden Files, which is the major one I’ve read that fits the prompt (although I love the trope in general). Some of my other favorite books are Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Frankenstein, Good Omens, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, The Poisonwood Bible, and classic mysteries (Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Dashiell Hammett, etc.) In general I like most genres: fantasy, literary fiction, sci-fi, historical fiction, mystery…and I’m willing to try anything! Bonus points for things available/good on audio, I’m an art education student and knock out a lot of books while I’m painting/making stuff (although not a necessity)



5. Hi Jenn and Amanda,

I just discovered the Popsugar reading challenge, which seems like a fun complement to the Read Harder! challenge. I think I’ve mapped out what I want to read for all of the challenges, except for one: read a romance set in the future. I’m a total novice when it comes to romance novels–the only one I’ve really read is The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev, which I loved–so I’m not really sure where to start with finding a book (or books!) for this challenge. Any suggestions?




Books Mentioned

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Sex Object by Jessica Valenti

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

A House of My Own by Sandra Cisneros

Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel

The Hours by Michael Cunningham

100 Books About Mental Illness post

Marbles by Ellen Forney

Rat Girl by Kristin Hersh

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

The Making of Asian America: A History by Erika Lee

The Second Amendment: A Biography by Michael Waldman

The Son by Philipp Meyer

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

Stoner by John Williams

The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine by Alina Bronsky

Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole

Ascension (Tangled Axon #1) by Jacqueline Koyanagi