Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Sex and Drugs and the Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Amanda and Jenn recommend horror, Nancy Drew read-a-likes for grownups, and more on this week’s Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie and A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro.

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The show can also be found on Stitcher here.

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


1. I need a newbie recommendation because though I think it’s a super fun theme I’ve never actually read any horror novels ’cause I’m too chicken! Lol!!! But I really want to dip my toes in this bloody water. So, where should I start? Horror essentials we may call it.

Thanks a million!



2. I’m a children’s minister who loves books, and as such have parents asking me for recommendations for their kids elementary and middle grade ages.  One type of book I’ve struggled finding is books with multi racial families especially that have foster or adopted children.  These do not need to be specifically religious, just showing diverse families to show more modern day familes with fun and positive stories.

Thanks in advance



3. I’m looking for some fantasy recommendations that don’t include The Most Special Person Ever Who Has No Idea They Actually Had the Power Inside Them All Along trope. That’s getting boring. I think I might like a hero who has to work hard to learn whatever skills they need or for whom their gifts are hard won and isn’t quite so naive. Basically something a little grittier but I have no idea where to start. Help please!

Love the podcast. Y’all are awesome!



4. My best friend recently came to me looking for a good recommendation. She’s in her mid-twenties, and coming back to reading fiction after almost a decade of solid non-fiction or only school assigned reading.

Her favorite books growing up were all of the Nancy Drew books. She loved the exploration piece of Nancy’s adventures and the classy, curious nature of Nancy and her friends. Do you have any recommendations for adult mystery series that would scratch this itch? Like I said, she hasn’t read almost any fiction in a decade, so backlist titles are welcome!

One other caveat: my friend works with a lot of special circumstance children, so mysteries that are excessively sexually graphic or violent are hard reads for her after a long day of dealing with the real life versions.

Hope you can help! -Jessica


5. Hey Amanda and guest! I’m participating in the 2016 Read Harder challenge and thought of books for most categories but I’m struggling with the category of a book by an author from Southeast Asia.  I usually read fantasy/science fiction or YA novels and was wondering if you knew of any books in these categories by an author from Southeast Asia. Thanks for the help! –Jackie


6. I am in a YA book club for adults. I’ve loved many of the “1st in a series” books we’ve read, but the number of sequels on our TBR lists keep adding up as we move onto other selections. Can you recommend some stand-alone YA books for the group? We’ve already read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, The Darkest Part of the Forest, Ready Player One, We Were Liars, Paper Towns, and Imaginary Girls. Bonus points for male main character or POV. Thanks! –Christine


Books Discussed!

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Ghost Summer by Tananarive Due

Horror episode!

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Hexed by Michael Alan Nelson

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown and Sara Palacios

Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex

Mexican WhiteBoy by Matt de la Pena

Sabriel by Garth Nix

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson

Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley

Ausma Zehanat Khan’s mystery series

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

Read Harder Video

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Beauty is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan, Annie Tucker

The Sea Is Our: Tales of Southeast Asia Steampunk

On a Red Station Drifting by Aliette de Bodard

Diversity in YA

Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

All American Boys by Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds