Peek Over Our Shoulders: What Rioters are Reading on August 3, 2017

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Jessica Pryde

Contributing Editor

Jessica Pryde is a member of that (some might call) rare breed that grew up in Washington, DC, but is happily enjoying the warmer weather of the desert Southwest. While she is still working on what she wants to be when she grows up, she’s enjoying dabbling in librarianship and writing all the things. She can be found drowning in her ever-growing TBR and exclaiming about romance in the Book Riot podcast (When in Romance), as well as on social media. Find her exclamations about books and pho on twitter (JessIsReading) and instagram (jess_is_reading).

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!

Jamie Canaves

The Weight of the Night (Glaciers Mysteries #3) by Christine Carbo

A crime scene investigator, a park police officer, and a recently found skeleton that can’t be treated the way a proper crime scene should because a forest fire is literally about to engulf them! Everything about this procedural is great so far and it’s a nice break from all the violence towards women in most mysteries.  (egalley)


Tracy Shapley

Hunger by Roxanne Gay

I’ve heard so much about Hunger and I wanted so badly to read it but I’m doing a challenge this year in which I only read books from subscription boxes. Thankfully, My Lit Box sent it in their July box and I’m finally getting to check it out! Gay refers to his as a memoir of her body and it is certainly that, and a whole lot more. As a fellow zaftig woman, it is both devastating and oddly uplifting to read so many things I’ve dealt with written in such a raw, powerful way. This book is teaching me things. It so hard to read and yet so important. I can’t recommend it enough. (hardcover)

Liberty Hardy

Provenance by Ann Leckie (Orbit, Sept. 26)

The author of the Ancillary trilogy has a new book coming! I REPEAT: The author of the Ancillary trilogy has a new book coming! I don’t even know what it’s about but I’m going to start it in 3…2…1… (e-galley)

Susan Rodarme

Chapter and Verse by Bernard Sumner

I’m kind of completely obsessed with New Order for ages, and I’ve been saving this biography of their leader singer for a time when I needed to indulge my special interest. Today turned out to be that day and I’m so into this book; Sumner is an incredibly private person, so getting this insight is incredible. (hardcover)

Casey Stepaniuk

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

I’m reading this in anticipation of the third and final book in this series coming out in August. I broke my reading resolution of not buying any new books this year in order to get my hands on it! (Paperback)

Jess Carbert

Ten Dead Comedians by Fred Van Lente

This novel is savagely funny, proof that laughter (especially when tailored around a multi-murder mystery) really is the best medicine. (Hardcover)

Christina Vortia

Made for Love: A Novel by Alissa Nutting

I just started reading this book as a potential book club pick. I’ve started a new book club in my city, and thought it’d be pretty cool to support a local author. (Audiobook)

Kristen McQuinn

Down the Common by Ann Baer

I missed reading medieval historical fiction since, for various reasons, I haven’t had much chance to do do lately. This has been on my TBR since I got it at a library sale ages ago so I thought it would be perfect. I’m about halfway through and so far it’s a lovely, quiet book about a medieval peasant woman, Marion, and her life over the course of a year. She lives a simple life but throughout hardships and daily struggle, she sees beauty and magic in the world and people around her. She embodies women as the heart of the family and community and fills a sort of Everywoman role. I am in love with this book. (Hardcover)

Claire Handscombe

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

This week is my beach week, aka mega reading week, so it’s time to dig into a book I’ve been wanting to read for a while and which is longer than I normally get through in a week. (egalley)

Rabeea Saleem

Persons, Unknown by Susie Steiner

I loved the first book in the DS Manon series, Missing, Presumed so I was really excited to read the second book in the series. It is just as riveting as the previous one, if not more. I love how this book has the taut suspense of a crime drama with a relatable clever female detective at its helm. (Paperback ARC)

Christine Ro

How to Be a Kosovan Bride by Naomi Hamill

Because I know next to nothing about Kosovo. (Paperback)

Rebecca Hussey

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

I’m attempting to read my way through the just-released Man Booker longlist, and this is my first book up. (ebook)

Deepali Agarwal

The Mothers of Manipur by Teresa Rehman

I’m reading this because I am trying to make a deliberate effort to pick up more Indian narratives of heroic women. The book tells the story of twelve women in Manipur, India, who carried out a radical, naked protest to bring to attention the Indian Army’s rape and murder of a 32-year-old Manipuri woman, and discusses the ongoing strife in North-East India, focussing on the nature of female resistance. (hardcover)

Steph Auteri

Found Audio by N.J. Campbell

This title caught my eye last week in a Book Riot post about recent small press books. In reading its premise (which described a story within a story within a story), I immediately thought of Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves, which I enjoyed so much I read it twice. (paperback)

Hannah Engler

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

For a book club I’m hoping to eventually join but am currently just stalking their picks.


Katie McLain

Sweet Lamb of Heaven by Lydia Millet

I heard Liberty talking about this book on an old episode of All the Books, and it’s been hovering on my radar ever since.  (digital audiobook)

Leah Rachel von Essen

The Waves by Virginia Woolf

I’ve been on a Woolf kick lately, because I adored her Orlando and of course Mrs. Dalloway. I was disappointed with Jacob’s Room, but I am not disappointed now. The Waves is strange, sensual, and gorgeous. I’m obsessed. (60’s edition paperback)

Sarah Nicolas

When I Am Through with You by Stephanie Kuehn

I was offered a review copy by the publisher and can never turn down a YA thriller with a dubious protagonist. (audiobook review copy)

Christy Childers

Dream With Me: Race, Love, and the Struggle We Must Win by John Perkins

Because I got to hear him speak at a conference and his story is amazing. (hardcover)

Kate Scott

Dark Money by Jane Mayer

Since the election, I’ve been a little obsessed with trying to understand exactly how the right/far right works and so far, this book has been extremely enlightening. (Library Hardcover)

Emma Allmann

27 Wagons Full of Cotton by Tennessee Williams

I am trying to get back into playwriting and I figured there is no better way to get back into the swing of things than to familiarize myself with Tennessee Williams! (Paperback)

Jennifer Marer

My Glory Was I Had Such Friends by Amy Silverstein

She’s a California author near my hometown and I went to one of her readings at our local bookstore! It’s all about sisterhood and the growth of empathy (hardcover)

Carina Pereira

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

I read a lot of good reviews about this book and even though I was a bit sceptical of the story in the first chapters, I must say it turned out to be quite different from what I expected. (ebook)

Tasha Brandstatter

House of Spies by Daniel Silva

Silva is an auto-buy for me, and this is his latest release. (hardcover)

Connie Pan

Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

Because magical realism and islands. (Hardcover)

Adiba Jaigirdar

A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam

I’m on holidays in Bangladesh so it only seemed apt to be reading a book about the Bangladeshi war of independence. (paperback)

Margaret Kingsbury

The New Voices of Fantasy edited by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman

The publisher auto approved me for this short story collection, but I would’ve read it anyway because it collects some of my favorite short story writers. (egalley)

Ilana Masad

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

I’m reading this book for review, and it’s already a lovely change from recent books I’ve read that have been quiet strenuous or tiring. Which isn’t to say it isn’t a serious book – it is. But so far, it’s also very much a narrative with a character, and I’m enjoying the hell out of while also being extremely angry at xenophobia and Islamophobia. (ARC)

Karina Glaser

You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie

I love everything he writes and was touched by his letter to his fans about why he had to cancel his book tour. A beautiful, haunting memoir. (Hardcover)

Kim Ukura

We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge

Books about families participating in science experiments fascinate me, and I’ve been curious about this one since it came out last year. (Paperback)

Angel Cruz

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

I’ve heard a lot of high praise for this space novel and its sequel, and I’m really looking forward to following Captain Kel Cheris on her adventures through the galaxies (Paperback)

Elizabeth Allen

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

I have been doing a reading challenge for the past six years or so where I read all of the books referenced in all 7 seasons (well, now kind of 8) of the series. I was actually doing pretty well for awhile there. I wont lie, books like Ulysses (for obvious reasons) and Don Quixote (for less obvious reasons) were quite the slog for me. But I got through them. However, The Sound and the Fury has become my Everest. I read this book in high school and remembered hating it then. In fact, it’s the only book in my AP English courses that I remembered unapologetically despising. So I can’t honestly say I was going into this with a positive attitude. It’s been over a year since I started reading The Sound and the Fury for my challenge… and I am officially stuck. My husband has been giving me “friendly” reminders over the past 8 months or so to put down whatever I’m reading and just power through the Faulkner. And I usually ignore him. But I really need to just get through this book and move on with my life. It’s been hanging over my head for way too long and there is a little bit of me that isn’t able to fully enjoy any other book I’m reading because The Sound and the Fury nags at the back of my mind the entire time. Therefore, this is it. I’m not allowing myself to read any other books until I finish this beast.  Wish me luck! (Audiobook and ebook, depending on my mood)

Teresa Preston

The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope

I’ve been working my way through Trollope’s Palliser series. This is the fifth book, and I’m really enjoying it. Once I’m done, I’ll only have one book left! (ebook)

Maureen Stinger

The Stone Sky by NK Jemisin

Because this series has awakened something in me like nothing else. The third book in her Broken Earth trilogy, Jemisin once again shows her gift for storytelling. Though the series takes place thousands of years in the future, the main themes and Jemisin’s characters are well developed and completely relatable, even the ones who aren’t necessarily human… (audiobook)

Derek Attig

Paradox Bound by Peter Clines

I’m a sucker for a clever, immersive time travel story. And this one is fitting that bill quite nicely. (ARC)

Dana Staves

The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao by Martha Batalha

I fell for the cover art on this one, but the story is really wonderful. I love stories about scrappy women, and Euridice is 100% scrappy. Batalha’s writing is funny, personable, and quick-paced. (ARC)

Priya Sridhar

What It Means When A Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah

Levar Burton read aloud the titular story on his podcast. I got bitten by the “this is my new favorite!” bug. Arimah writes unsettling tales where science can save the world, but harm individuals that try to help, where political unrest and domestic abuse haunt women in circles, and where family can harm and help. We’ve been asking for dystopia and horror stories written by POC, and Arimah has delivered. (Kindle eBook)

Alice Burton

Bombay Anna: The Real Story and Remarkable Adventures of the King and I Governess by Susan Morgan

HOT DAMN, what a story. Morgan takes the tack that some people say Anna was a saint, some say she was a damned liar, and the story is unsurprisingly in between. From what I can tell so far, Anna Leonowens was a fascinating survivor sort of woman who traveled much more than I probably ever will and did more than most people. (hardcover)

Kathleen Keenan

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

This book has been popping up all over Twitter and #bookstagram and I’ve been (im)patiently waiting for it to arrive at my library. The story of a mysterious serpent that may or may not be responsible for a host of deaths along the Essex shoreline, and the science-minded widow and faith-minded minister who form an unlikely friendship as they investigate, this novel is like the best of Dickens plus Darwin plus Hilary Mantel. The 19th-century setting feels lived in and real, and the characters are fascinating. (hardcover)

Jess Plummer

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Because everyone said it was a delight and everyone was correct. (eBook)

Ashlie Swicker

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

This book was recc’d at Book Expo and it caught my eye because of the pink and black cover and the blurb by Amy Poehler. I had been putting it off in favor of others on my TBR, and when I finally cracked it open, it caught me like nothing else in awhile. The story is rich with zines, intersectional feminism, female friendships, and high school badassery- I’m swooning. (paperback ARC)

And as for me…

Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy by Sheryll Cashin

I have been drawn to most of the tracts surrounding Loving v. Virginia recently, but this one is particularly interesting, as the first half is about the entire history of interracial relationships in what would become the United States up to 1967. Did you know that before the nineteenth century, when it was realized that chattel slavery was going to be the thing of the day, it was much easier to have an interracial relationship in the colonies? This book is so frickin interesting. (Library Hardcover.)