Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Super Cool Boat Stuff

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Amanda and Jenn discuss desert reads, boat stories, Muslim feminist reads, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by I Got There by JT McCormick and Afrofuture Books.

Subscribe to the podcast via RSS here, or via Apple Podcast here.
The show can also be found on Stitcher here.




1. Hi ladies!!

I am moving to Arizona this fall and would love some good atmospheric books about the desert. I am open to reading fiction (any genre), YA, or non-fiction. Bonus points for women authors!

Thank you!


2. I recently read Daughter of the Pirate King, and it got me in the mood for other books featuring tough ladies on ships. I’m going to the Outer Banks in the end of July, so I’m looking for some books like this to take with me. Similar books I’ve read and enjoyed are Magonia, Passenger, The Girl From Everywhere, and Ahab’s Wife. I’m open to all genres, but I’d prefer YA. Thanks so much!


3. Hi there, Amanda and Jenn,

I am looking for a book for my brother-in-law for his birthday. I usually get him non-fiction social psychology books like Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, Freakonomics, or anything by Malcolm Gladwell, which he really enjoys. After many years, though, I think my gifts might be a little too easy to foresee. Could you please recommend any works of fiction that would complement this type of book? I appreciate your help!



4. Hi!
I enjoy the show! Your recommendations for others have helped me in two ways by adding to my tbr list or eliminating books I’ve heard of, but now know wouldn’t be for me. That’s a huge timesaver when considering all the books I want to read!
I’m a devotee of Agatha Christie and Dickens, but I struggle to find a plentiful supply of well-written nonfiction on areas of my interest – Christian history, theology, religious practice, monasticism, apologetics, and biography. I recently read Rod Dreher’s book, The Benedict Option. I really enjoyed his writing style and the subject was fascinating! If this helps, I’ve also read and reread these authors: Karen Armstrong, Timothy Keller, Huston Smith, C.S. Lewis, and, specifically Eric Metaxas’s biography on Bonhoeffer. When I ask for suggestions from booksellers I’m often directed to authors (Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, etc.) who, while well-intentioned, aren’t my cup of tea. I need something meatier. I prefer an educated author and/or one who engages in scholarly research. I’d be so pleased to hear your recommendations and I thank you, in advance!
–Tammy from Virginia


5. Hello! Do you have any recommendations for non-fiction (ideally narrative non-fiction) focused on England or Europe during the early 19th century?

I’m not looking for a detailed description of the Napoleonic wars or the War of 1812, but something that touches on the effect those wars had on society would be fascinating.

I’ve been reading and re-reading Jane Austen and contemporaries for years, and realized that what I know about the period comes mostly from fiction and those Lucy Worsley docu-shows made by the BBC.

I already have “What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew” on my list, but other books covering similar topics would be great!

Many thanks!


6. Hi! I am just getting into reading romance novels and for the most part I’m enjoying them more than I thought I would. There is just always one stumbling block for me – I hate the getting together part. Meet-cutes are nice and all but the awkward encounters, boundaries to being together, or denying feelings I just can’t stand. Do you have any recommendations for books that start with an established relationship? I’m not sure if this makes it harder but I love poly or queer relationships as opposed to the typical cishet couple. I do not mind if the book contains smut or kink.


7. Hi, All –

I’m working through Book Riot’s 2017 Read Harder challenge. I’m planning to complete the requirements by reading only books written by women. I was wondering if you would be able to give suggestions for these requirements:

A non-fiction book about technology
Read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love

Both of these requirements are far outside my normal reading choices.


8. Hi! Recently, one of my cousins has been posting a lot of misinformed and Islamaphobic memes of “oppressed” Muslim women. She is trying to claim that she is “so grateful for women’s rights”. While I know that a burqa is no more oppressive than a bikini, I don’t know enough about Islam and Muslim culture in the Middle East (my cousin conveniently forgets that Muslims live literally everywhere else as well) to respond with more than anecdotes. Do you know of any books that critique the western perception of women’s rights in the Middle East? #OwnVoices is definitely preferred. Thanks!


Books Discussed

The Rise and Fall of DODO by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Red by Terry Tempest Williams

Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

The Guns Above by Robyn Dennis

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Wild Seed by Octavia Butler

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Bellwether by Connie Willis

Wearing God by Lauren Winner

Henri Nouwen (Life of the Beloved)

Meeting Faith by Faith Adiele (The Nigerian-Nordic Girl’s Guide to Lady Problems)

How to Be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman

The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England by Kristine Hughes

Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas

Pansies by Alexis Hall

The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova translated by Judith Hemschemeyer

See also: /read-harder-2017-poetry-collections-in-translation-not-above-love/

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember by Annalee Newitz

Muslim Girl by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

Daring to Drive by Manal al-Sharif