Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Then You End Up in a Park in Queens

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

Amanda and Jenn discuss Key West reads, Native American authors, WWI novels and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Random House and Book Riot Insiders.

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



1. Hi Jenn and Amanda,

I’m the English Department chair at a private school in South Florida. Our summer reading lists have typically included multiple titles from Sherman Alexie, but in this week’s department meeting, we reached a swift, unilateral decision: we’re taking him off the list. We’re beginning to explore other indigenous authors who we can, in good conscience, include in our list instead. Louise Erdrich immediately comes to mind, but I worry that her prose will be less accessible to our (often reluctant) 9th- and 10th-grade readers. Do you have any recommendations for titles or authors who, like Alexie, will engage our students? Our school has several students who are members of the Seminole Tribe, so bonus points for books that are written by or about Seminoles. (Own voices are preferred.)

We are compiling the list now, so if you could respond in early to mid-March, that would be great. A post on the site might be helpful, too, as I’m sure we’re not the only school wrestling with this issue.

Thank you so much! I love the show and look forward to hearing your response.



2. Hello, I am traveling to Key West Florida in April and would love to read a fiction book set in that area. I’m not too picky about the time frame (when the book is set) but preferably 1940’s or later.
Thank you!


3. Hello my favorite recommenders!

I love your podcast and listen every week, and I have been waiting for an occasion to ask for some recommendations. My husband and I just booked a trip to England and France for two weeks in October. I would like to read some books to familiarize myself with essential information about history and art specifically centered in London and Paris so I can be an educated traveler. Anything goes– travel writing, nonfiction, art books, historical fiction.

Thank you so much,


4. Hi, there!

I absolutely love the podcast and look forward to it every week! I really shouldn’t ask for even more books for my TBR but I am wondering what you would recommend for a lover of romance who has some serious wanderlust. I am in the process of planning my first trip to Europe for a year or two from now and would love a book to transport me there while I wait. I am definitely not opposed to YA but I love a good steamy/adult scene, too. I adore Outlander and really enjoyed Me Before You. I’m also a big fan of Colleen Hoover’s. Any suggestions for general fiction that involves travel would be great as well. I can’t wait to see what you recommend! Thanks!


5. Hey there-

I just started listening to your podcast and am loving it! Its great to get so many varied suggestions and my GoodReads list is expanding like crazy!

My request is a fictional book that takes place during WWI. I’ve been really interested in the era lately, and want something that is fairly historically accurate. I recently read the Maisie Dobbs series, and wanted something that takes place during the era as opposed to after. I recently read “Overseas” and while that was mainly eye-rolling, it made me interested in the era. I’m open to anything, and love weightier novels (i.e. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay) but am also an avid romance reader, and love historicals. The longer the better!

Thanks so much and keep up the podcasts, I look forward to them!


6. Hi!

I saw on the insiders slack that you’re low on questions so I thought I’d throw one out there!

I’m looking for Joe Hill readalikes. I think this is a tough question because all of his books seem very different to me. Even Heart-Shaped Box and Nos4a2 (which I consider more horror-genre than The Fireman) are completely different types of horror, but I loved both of them.

I’ve read the horror books that have been mentioned on the various podcasts (Fever Dream, Bird Box), but I’d love any other chilling horror recommendations that you have!



7. Hi Jenn and Amanda!

Recently I had a bookish epiphany and realized that I really liked books about young people trying to make it in NYC. Do you have any recommendations for less well known books like this or books like this that you enjoyed? Bonus for PoC or LGBTQ+ Main characters.




The City of Brass by SA Chakraborty

What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte

Mongrels by Stephen Graham-Jones

If I Ever Get Out Of Here by Eric Gansworth

YA novels by Native American authors post

Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy

The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

The Cartographer of No Man’s Land by PS Duffy

The Hunger by Alma Katsu

The Changeling by Victor Lavalle (trigger warning: harm to children)

New People by Danzy Senna

Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam