Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Peek Over Our Shoulders: What Rioters Are Reading on April 15, 2016

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Wallace Yovetich

Staff Writer

Wallace Yovetich grew up in a home where reading was preferred to TV, playing outside was actually fun, and she was thrilled when her older brothers weren’t home so she could have a turn on the Atari. Now-a-days she watches a bit more TV, and considers sitting on the porch swing (with her laptop) “playing outside”. She still thinks reading is preferable to most things, though she’d really like to find out where her mom put that old Atari (Frogger addicts die hard). She runs a series of Read-a-Longs throughout the year (as well as posting fun bookish tidbits throughout the week) on her blog, Unputdownables. After teaching for seven years, Wallace is now an aspiring writer. Blog: Unputdownables Twitter: @WallaceYovetich

In this feature at Book Riot, 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). See a Rioter who is reading your favorite book? I’ve included the link that will take you to their author archives (meaning, that magical place that organizes what they’ve written for the site). Gird your loins – this list combined with all of those archived posts will make your TBR list EXPLODE.

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!

Kate Scott 

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai: Overdrive find. It’s been on my to-read list for a while. (Audiobook)

Brenna Clarke Gray 

Mary Wept over the Feet of Jesus by Chester Brown: I read every comic Brown creates, even when he drives me crazy (which is often). (Hardcover)

Red: A Haida Manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas: a reread for a project I’m working on. Such an important, formally exciting comic. (Paperback)

Jessica Woodbury 

Delicious Foods by James Hannaham: I kept hearing about this book and I am so glad I finally got to it. The author reads the audiobook and if you’re into audio, I HIGHLY recommend it. A really brilliant and different book. (Audiobook)

Negroland by Margo Jefferson: Hooray for finally getting this book, which I’ve had on hold from the library for approximately a million years! (Hardcover)

All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister: So I’m a single lady, and thus the target audience here. But I am just eating it up. (e-book)

Swapna Krishna 

Smoke by Catherine McKenzie: I’ve read a few of McKenzie’s books, and I’m intrigued by this novel. It’s about a woman who’s spent most of her adult life fighting forest fires, only to find the tables turned as a wildfire threatens her home and her marriage is in shambles. So far, so good! (Paperback galley)

The Laws of Medicine: Field Notes from an Uncertain Science by Siddhartha Mukherjee: This short book consists of Mukherjee’s TEDx talk about the principles of medicine, though it’s easy to apply his insights to any profession. (E-galley)

Rebecca Hussey 

Violation: Collected Essays by Sallie Tisdale: I’m reading this essay collection for a review. I’m four pieces in, and so far it’s fabulous. The essays cover several decades and a wide range of subjects. Her essay from the 1980s on working in an abortion clinic is outstanding. (Paperback galley)

Liberty Hardy 

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner, Aug. 2): Ward used Baldwin’s Fire Next Time as inspiration to gather this collection of essays from an astounding group of writers. (e-galley)

The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott: This is a seriously weird gross, violent, effed up book. About clowns. I’m loving it. (paperback)

Known and Strange Things: Essays by Teju Cole (Random House, Aug. 9): OH YES. This is Cole’s first book of essays, with more than fifty pieces on politics, photography, travel, history, and literature. (e-galley)

Vow of Celibacy by Erin Judge (Rare Bird Books, Aug. 9): This novel is a freaking delight so far, about a woman who decides to take a vow of celibacy, swearing off getting involved with anyone until she can get herself straightened out. (galley)

A.J. O’Connell  

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle: Super-excited to listen to this twist on H.P. Lovecraft’s bigoted story The Horror at Red Hook. Also, bonus! It’s narrated by Kevin Free, who narrated Sorcerer of the Wildeeps like a goddamn slam poet. (audiobook)

It Happened One Doomsday by Laurence MacNaughton: A reluctant sorceress. Her Kesha-esque shapeshifting warrior BFF. Her wisecracking employee. A hunky mechanic who is being transformed into one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Possessed cars. Oh, and a dentist. This book has pretty much everything in it. (egalley)

Derek Attig 

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: I love-love-loved Whitehead’s Zone One and The Intuitionist, which was more than enough reason to pick this up. (That I’m trained as a historian and fascinated/challenged by fiction about slavery doesn’t hurt, either.) (egalley)

The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Change: A big story about a big, messy, Asian American family written with verve and rhythm? Sign me up. (egalley)

The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz: The pitch for this book is fascinating, and it seems likely to hit notes and themes from books as different (and as beloved by me) as China Mieville’s The City and the City and Saleem Haddad’s excellent new novel, Guapa. (egalley)

The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis: I’m a sucker for historical fiction about women, careers, and urban life. So this was a natural. (egalley)

Rachel Weber 

The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund: Swedish crime doesn’t come much heavier than this. I’ve just started this thriller and I feel like I’m reading it from under a pile of thick black blankets that smell like bleach and murder. But in a good way. (egalley)

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes And Other Lessons From The Crematorium by Caitlin Doughty: Did you know they blend the bits of bone left over after a body is burned? They Nutribullet you. Facts like these are why this book is aces. (Hardcover)

How I Became a North Korean: A Novel by Krys Lee. I have a fascination with non-fiction about North Korea so I’m excited to extend my obsession to novels. (egalley)

The Twelve by Justin Cronin: I’m so excited about the upcoming The City Of Mirrors that I’m returning to The Twelve to be properly prepared. Welcome back to my wheelhouse, virals. (ebook)

Sarah S. Davis 

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney: The Nest was billed as a buzz book of the spring, and I am indeed enjoying it. The dynamics among the Plumb siblings remind me a little bit of Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections. This novel is highly readable, hysterical, and hard to put down.

A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin: I finished the second book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series last month, so I’m continuing on with the third book, A Storm of Swords. Many fans say it’s the best one, and with the much-anticipated sixth season of Game of Thrones arriving in a matter of weeks, my GOT/ASOIAF obsession is at an all-time high.

Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday by Christine Reilly: Another domestic drama, Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday is a Royal Tenenbaums-esque look at a family plagued by mental illness and the artistic need to create.

When We Collided by Emery Lord: This was my pick earlier in the year here at Book Riot for my most anticipated read of 2016. This novel explores a relationship between a bipolar young woman and a grieving young man. It is a subject close to my heart, so my expectations are high. So far, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed.

Aram Mrjoian 

New American Stories edited by Ben Marcus: Assigned reading for my current writing workshop, but I’m pretty stoked about it because I’m on a huge short story kick.

Susie Rodarme 

The Hospital Always Wins by Issa Ibrahim: I am just about to finish this up and it might be one of the best books of the year so far for me. I picked it up because I’m always down to read mental health memoirs; the prose is fantastic. (egalley)

Not a Self-Help Book: The Misadventures of Marty Wu by Yi Shun Lai: Rosalie from Shade Mountain Press asked if I wanted to read this and I was basically like “oh hell yes” because it looks great. Dat cover art, too. (egalley)

Skeleton Crew by Stephen King: I had the urge to revisit some of his short work because it’s pretty boss. Also possibly working on a King-related project. (ebook)

Deepali Agarwal 

The Loving Spirit by Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca is one of those books for me which if someone brings up, they better be prepared to hear an hour-long extempore monologue on why it’s amazing. Recently picked this one up at a thrift shop for ₹ 100 (roughly $1.50) and can’t wait to see how du Maurier’s debut novel fares. (paperback)

Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean (ed. Kirsty Murray, Payal Dhar, and Anita Roy): I can’t believe this book has escaped me for so long. Speculative fiction and graphic stories from 20 women authors (!!) from Australia and India. So far I’ve mostly just flipped through the artwork, but I just *creepy book-spine stroking*. (paperback)

Tasha Brandstatter 

Young Teacher by Bobbi Ruggiero: Recommended by a friend on Facebook. (ebook)

The Art Forger by BA Shapiro: Came across the audiobook on Hoopla and it’s read by Xe Sands. (audiobook)

The Witch’s Market by Mingmei Yip: I love books about witches. (paperback)

How to Steal the Mona Lisa and Six Other World-Famous Treasures by Taylor Bayouth: I’m also a sucker for books about art crime. (paperback) 

S. Zainab Williams

Before the Feast by Saša Stanišić, translated by Anthea Bell: I randomly found this one while searching for fairy tales and decided to pick it up because I’ve been wanting to read more books in translation. (egalley)

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi: I loved Boy, Snow, Bird and can’t wait to get into my next Oyeyemi read. (Paperback)

Embassytown by China Miéville: Miéville came highly recommended at the L.A. Read Harder book group and I’ve been hearing so much praise for him…and then I realized I’ve had Embassytown in my Scribd library for who knows how long. (audiobook)

E.H. Kern

The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin: I have been curious about Jemisin for a while and so far she is really living up to her reputation as one the finest science fiction authors of today. The Broken Kingdoms is the second part of The Inheritance Trilogy. I already read the first part, The Hundred Thousand Kingdom, and I loved it. I have read about one third of The Broken Kingdoms and I love it even more. (Paperback)

Danika Ellis 

The Broken Kingdoms by Lillian Faderman: I’ve had this massive book on my shelf for years, but I’ve been craving some lesbian lit crit, so I think now is the time to tackle it. (Hardcover)

The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss: After making my boyfriend read several of my recommendations, he’s insisted it’s time I read one of his. This is basically Oscar Wilde as a secret agent, so I can’t complain. (Paperback)

Jamie Canaves 

Out by Natsuo Kirino, Stephen Snyder (Translation): Japanese crime fiction is the only selling point I need. (paperback)

French Concession by Xiao Bai, Chenxin Jiang (Translation): This was in one of Liberty’s many, many, MANY book lists, so I dove in as soon as I bought it. (ebook)

Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn: Picked it up because it’s set in Jamaica—I’m on the last chapter and it’s fantastic!  (egalley)

The Prince of Los Cocuyos by Richard Blanco: Trying to read more non-celeb memoirs. Plus, the title reminded me of catching cocuyos (glowing click beetles) as a child. (ebook)

Claire Handscombe 

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee. I’ve heard so, so much about this one (mostly from the Book Riot folk), and I’m delighted my Book Club took up my suggestion of reading it this month. Got some power reading ahead of me in the next week…