Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Smorgasbord of Badness

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Amanda and Jenn discuss books that challenge stereotypes, romances with nice guys, extra murdery mysteries, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

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Looking for Group by Alexis Hall (rec’d by S.)

Love and Other Mistakes by Jessica Kate (rec’d by Georgia)


1. Hi Amanda and Jenn,

Love the podcast 🙂

I’ve been in a reading slump for about a month. I think it’s a combination of the pandemic, and work being very busy and need something gripping but not too heavy.

I enjoy family sagas, coming of age stories, romance (my fave romance writers are Meg Cabot, Jasmine Guillory, Sophie Kinsella) and YA. I also enjoy retellings of myth, especially Greek or Roman. 

Some of my favourites are One by One in the Darkness by Deirdre Madden, Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella, The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, Hush by Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series, and Circe by Madeline Miller. 

I don’t like horror or anything creepy or with prominent violence and only read thrillers occasionally but when I do I like there to be a strong hook like Before I go to sleep, or my sister the serial killer. 

Thanks for reading this. 


2. Time Sensitive (need an answer by 15 Sept, or 15 Oct, or 15 Nov, or 5 Dec). I work in an international NGO that focuses on the promotion of responsible and multiperspective history education, where I coordinate professional development for Educators and am in charge of our periodic messages for members. In our periodic messages (hence the multiple deadlines), I would like to start to add “reading suggestions” because I have noticed that we do publish a lot of reviews, but these are all for non fiction books, while I believe that you can learn a lot also from fiction. In the first version of reading suggestions, I have focused on books that will change your perspective of colonial history, and suggested Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, Sea of Poppies by Amirav Ghosh, and The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami. I am now looking for books that I can read and then recommend on new themes. I was thinking something on the fragility of Democracy, something on challenging stereotypes and preconceptions, or something on the dissolution of the ussr. Any genre works, but they have to be fiction. Of course, I am very interested in diverse voices. I know you will recommend only two books, but I also take all the links to lists that you might have (cannot keep on writing here every time I need to send a message to members, can I?) 


3. So after reading Talia Hibbert’s Get A Life Chloe Brown on an impulse pick from my local library, I discovered that I apparently like romances now. In addition to Get A Life Chloe Brown, I’ve also read and like Hibbert’s Ravenswood series. I read the Bromance Bookclub By Lyssa Kay Adams and loved the premise and some of the conversation the guys had about feminism, but I felt like overall the book was just ok.  Alyssa Cole is already on my TBR list, so I’m good there. In Hibbert’s books so far I love the quick-witted sarcastic conversations and tone of her books and the fact that she builds up to sex scenes that are fun and consensual (while still definitely steamy). Also I like nice male characters and don’t really want to read about jerks who are redeemed or healed by the power of love. I prefer modern-day romances, but am open to reading historical if it’s really good. I myself am multiracial (Native American, Black, and White) and so bonus points for a romance novel with a multiracial character or romance and extra bonus points for a book with a main character involved in fandom because I am that kind of nerd. Also I added my Goodreads link, but just FYI I kind of sucked at updating it last year.


4. A book like The Outsider by Stephen King or any murder mystery book that has a thiccc plot with a lot of murder.


5. Hi ladies! My book club and I have chosen travel and adventure as our theme for the year, and we are in search of graphic novels that fit the bill. We lean hard towards historical fiction, and would especially love something featuring women and POC, but otherwise our only request is that the adventure take place on Earth, so we might one day be able to visit the places we’ve read about.


6. Hey there-

I’m hoping to find a great WWI novel. I’ve read the Masie Dobbs series, the hot mess that was Overseas by Beatriz Williams and am slogging through The Guns of August.. I know there are great non-fiction books but I would love a fictional account. I’d love a romance and don’t really enjoy horror, but otherwise am open to anything!



7. I have two possible requests, both fantasy:

1) Fae-like realms in different cultures. For example Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik has Russian-inspired fantasy in wintry wastelands, including an ice realm, which feels similar to the “traditional” Fae, but has its own interesting identity. I’m interested in getting stories of these kinds originating from different parts of the globe.

2) Fantasy with very involved, possibly conflicted versions of folklore. For example, I absolutely love the songs and the tales of yore in the Kingkiller Chronicles. Different societies in this world have different versions of the histories/stories that both overlap and conflict, as well as have pieces which are true, alongside other pieces that are merely legend. The reader isn’t exactly sure where truth starts and legend ends. These are interwoven into the plot to shape the happenings of the book.


Books Discussed

Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Girl With Stars In Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod (cw: drug use)

The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso (tw apartheid)

The Rib King by Ladee Hubbard (challenging stereotypes & preconceptions, cw: violent racism)

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

A Lot Like Adiós by Alexis Daria

The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda, transl Alison Watts

They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall (all the content warnings)

French Milk by Lucy Knisley

Just So Happens by Fumio Obata

Slippery Creatures by KJ Charles

At Night All Blood Is Black by David Diop, transl. by Anna Moschovakis

The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe

When The Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo