Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Peek Over Our Shoulders: What Rioters Are Reading March 29, 2018

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María Cristina García lives in New York with her favorite spouse, her favorite toddler, her favorite cat, and her second-favorite cat. When not ranking members of her household, she's catching up on Supergirl, strumming her mandolin, or trying to beat the clock on her library loans. Twitter: @MeowyCristina Blog:

In this regular feature, we give you a glimpse of what we are reading this very moment.

Here is what the Rioters are reading today (as in literally today). This is what’s on their bedside table (or the floor, work bag, desk, whatevskis). Your TBR list is about to get some new additions.

We’ve shown you ours, now show us yours; let us know what you’re reading (right this very moment) in the comment section below!

Jamie Canaves

A Necessary Evil (Sam Wyndham #2) by Abir Mukherjee: I loved A Rising Man which introduced Sam Wyndham: a former Scotland Yard detective now working as a Captain in British ruled Calcutta (1919). Since finishing the first in the series I’ve been anticipating the sequel and so far there’s more of Sergeant Banerjee which is all I was hoping for! (egalley)

Grace Lapointe

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan: I recently watched the Netflix movie and loved the story, performances, characters, and themes. (paperback)

Claire Handscombe

I Love You Too Much by Alicia Drake: my publicist friend at Little, Brown sent this Paris-set book to me ages ago and it sounded right up my street—a short melancholic novel by a British author who lived in France for a long time, which feels, in a charming way, almost like a translation. Really like it so far. (ARC)

Liberty Hardy

Temper by Nicky Drayden (Harper Voyager, August 7): By the author of the bananapants novel Prey of the Godshow could I not read this??? This one is promising to be a blend of scifi, horror, magic, and dark humor. My body is ready. (egalley)

Rebecca Hussey

Feel Free by Zadie Smith: I am loving these essays. Smith is a master of the essay form. These pieces are wide-ranging, smart, and worth lingering over. I’m reading a library copy, but I’m going to buy this to have it on my shelves. (library hardcover)

Katherine Marciniak

The Ghost Engine by Theresa Fuller: I got to beta read this book a while ago and now it’s out for real! (paperback)

Tiffani Willis

Royally Screwed by Emma Chase: I am so excited to start this trilogy! I can’t resist a royal love story.

Anthony Karcz

Infinity by Various: I’m rereading the entire collected crossover saga on Marvel Unlimited. I thought it was because I wanted to prepare myself for the upcoming Infinity War movie, but apparently it’s because I’m a masochist.

Erin McCoy

Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook: I have taken a deep dive into the world of steampunk romances lately and if one thing is certain, it’s a good place to be! On my journey through steampunk romancelandia there is no book that I’ve encountered thus far that I like more than Heart of Steel. Yasmeen and Archimedes are completely delightful together and Brook’s writing coupled with Faye Adele’s narration is pretty close to perfection. (audiobook)

exo by fonda leeS.W. Sondheimer

Exo by Fonda Lee: I enjoyed Lee’s newest “adult” novel, Jade City, quite a bit so I decided to delve into her back catalog. Exo is one of her YA books, set after the alien conquest of Earth and during the revolution that follows. I have great expectations; after hearing her speak on several panels at ECCC, I can assure you this lady knows how to write a revolution.

Susie Dumond

Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker: My dad recommended this to me in preparation for an upcoming trip to California wine country. Bosker is a journalist and wine enthusiast who delved into the world of sommeliers and other wine professionals to learn more about what makes wine so unique. I’m always looking for ways to be a more educated wine drinker! (paperback)

Elizabeth Allen

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara: In 2016, Michelle McNamara died unexpectedly at the age of 46. She had a long career as a crime writer and creator of the successful blog True Crime Diary and was in the midst of writing what would come to be her final true crime account. Her husband, actor and comedian Patton Oswalt, has said that he suspected the long nights, insomnia, and anxiety as a result of writing this book caused her to take the lethal combination of Xanax, fentanyl, and Adderall that led to her untimely death. As Oswalt learned to be a widower and a single parent, he also made sure that his beloved wife’s life’s work would not be lost to time. And I’m glad it wasn’t. Her tale of the history of the Golden State Killer is a master class in research and a dogged obsession with something most people find distasteful (something I completely relate to). Not only is she an excellent narrative writer, but her details are impeccable. If you are interested in true crime, I suggest you pick up this book immediately. (audiobook)

Katie McLain

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris: I started reading this graphic novel for an episode of Read or Dead, and I’m in the last half now because it is first of all an ENORMOUS book, but it is also gorgeous and dark and haunting and whimsical and Emil Ferris’s cross-hatched illustrations are so detailed and mesmerizing! I love the way the story feels like it was composed in a giant notebook, and as a bonus, every time I have to turn the book sideways to see something, I get in a mini arm workout! (paperback graphic novel)

Christina Vortia

Halsey Street by Naima Coster: I was very excited that this book was voted on as The Blerd Book Club book of the month. This book has been on my to read list, so I’m very happy to have moved it up my to read list. (audio CD)

Adiba Jaigirdar

Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin: When I first heard of this book it was described as a Pride and Prejudice reboot with Muslim and South Asian protagonists. Obviously, I was totally hooked. But so far Ayesha At Last is so much more than a Pride and Prejudice reboot. It takes on its own identity that, while sometimes borrowing from the classic book, is totally its own! It also has such varied perspectives on Islam and being a Muslim, along with arranged marriages. Plus, both the protagonists—Ayesha and Khalid—are lovable, relatable, and infuriating in their own way. (egalley)

Heather Bottoms

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman: I am a bit late in life getting introduced to fantasy novels, but I am trying to stretch a bit and enjoy new genres. It seems crazy that I’ve never read a Neil Gaiman book. Several friends suggested that Neverwhere is a great place to start. So I checked out the audiobook from my local library and am about halfway through. It is just a rollicking good time and I am enjoying it tremendously. I’m not usually a fan of fiction authors narrating their own books, but he does a marvelous job on this one. Looking forward to seeing how it ends! (audiobook)

Rachel Brittain

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton: I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump the past few weeks, so I knew I needed something really great to pull me out. As soon as I saw that my library had this book on Hoopla I knew I had to read it. I’ve heard a lot of good things (and seen it showing up all over Book Riot), so I’m really hoping this book will be exactly what I need to get back into my reading groove. (library ebook)

Christina Orlando

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi: I love Oyeyemi’s other work (What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours is a masterpiece) and so I’m finally getting around to reading Boy, Snow, Bird. Anything written by her feels like a masterclass in craft and so I’m soaking in the complexities of the story. This novel follows protagonist Boy Novak as she deals with issues of race, family, and finding herself. So far it’s incredible.

Alison Doherty

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: I am a big A Court of Thorns and Roses fan (team Rhys forever!!!) so it’s surprising that it’s taken me so long to pick up Maas’s first series, especially because it’s beloved by so many friends. This story featuring a teenage assassin trying to win her freedom in a royal killing competition is compulsively readable. With short chapters, loads of action, and so much romantic angst, I’m having to remind myself to put it down so I can enjoy my spring break vacation.

Katisha Smith

Kirsten and Ally (Part 1 of 2) by Shelby Lamb: The author submitted a review request, and I happily accepted. I am almost finished with the book, and it seems like a setup of all the main characters. I think all of the real action will occur in the second book. What I am enjoying most are the different points of view and the unique layout and format of the book. (ebook)

Margaret Kingsbury   

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert: It seems like everyone is talking about this book, and it’s exactly the kind of book I gravitate toward—fairy tales, a story within a story, a creepy forest. The synopsis kind of reminds me of Holly Black’s books (which I love). (library ebook)

Laura Sackton

The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst: A multigenerational epic beginning with the friendship of two young men at Oxford in the 1940s and spanning several decades into the present day? Sign me up. I live for books like this. I also loved The Line of Beauty, so I put this one on hold as soon as I heard about it. (library hardcover)

Priya Sridhar

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull: I’m reading this book to reconcile my disappointment at Pixar, Inc, with my admiration for its dedication to story. Kindle also had a good deal on it. For all the contentions with how the company has handled John Lasseter’s misdeeds, Pixar raised the bar for animation and heart. (Kindle ebook)

Patricia Elzie-Tuttle

Tough Mothers by Jason Porath: This is the newest book from the author of Rejected Princesses, a book I absolutely love. I met him at a party and he bestowed me with an advanced copy of Tough Mothers and I’ve been happy to dive right in. Loving it so far. (hardcover)

Derek Attig

State Tectonics by Malka Older: The first book in this series (Infomocracy) was my pick for the best book of 2016, and the second (Null States) was just as awesome. So of course I leapt at the chance to read State Tectonics, the series conclusion out in September from Tor. And so far it’s really damn delightful. Older’s ideas still crackle with electricity as she spins out a future for democracy that only gets more fascinating—and tantalizing—as time goes on.

Alysia Stevenson

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: Yaa’s debut novel came out in 2016 and I feel like a dope for not discovering it sooner. It tells the stories of the descendants of two half-sisters from Ghana in the 18th century. Neither knows that the other exists; one sister stays in Ghana while the other is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Each chapter follows a different descendent leading up to the 1990s. It’s such a beautiful novel and I can’t wait to read more for Gyasi. My brother suggested the book to me after seeing a picture of Alicia Keys reading it on a plane. And boy am I glad he did.

Emily Polson   

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah: This book came recommended by numerous Rioters, and as I already like Trevor Noah from the Daily Show, I dutifully waited out my time on the library holds list. It’s both a hilarious memoir and an introduction to South African culture during and after apartheid. I’m learning (and laughing) a lot. (library hardcover)