Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Peek Over Our Shoulders: What Rioters Are Reading on December 22, 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!

Jamie Canaves

Auschwitz #34207: The Joe Rubinstein Story by Nancy Sprowell Geise: A devastating story, beautifully narrated, that should forever be told, known, and remembered. (audiobook)

Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?: Stories by Kathleen Collins: I saw this a few months ago listed for ARC request but I passed so I could buy it when it published since I had a feeling I’d want this on my bookshelf. (Hardcover)

Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia: I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t see the cover for this book somehow so maybe the Universe is telling me to read it? It promises a twist so I’m in! (egalley)


Liberty Hardy 

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer (MCD, April 25): Omg, this book has broken my brain. Sentient green blobs, bears as tall as skyscrapers… VanderMeer’s brain is a thing of beauty. (e-galley)

Selection Day by Aravind Adiga (Scribner, Jan. 3): Confession: I have never read The White Tiger, Adiga’s prize-winning novel. (e-galley)

South and West: From a Notebook by Joan Didion (Knopf, March 7): I mean, how can I not read this, right? (e-galley)


Rebecca Hussey

Hammer Head by Nina MacLaughlin: I’ve heard many raves about this memoir, which tells the story of how MacLaughlin trained to become a carpenter after years working as a journalist. (Hardcover)

The Clothing of Books by Jhumpa Lahiri: I loved Lahiri’s previous book In Other Words and so jumped at the chance to read this short book — really a long essay — about the meaning and significance of book covers. (ebook)

The Best American Essays 2015 by Ariel Levy, editor: I read the Best American Essays series every year, although I’ve fallen behind a bit. So far I’ve read essays by Zadie Smith and Cheryl Strayed, both superb. (Paperback)


Molly Wetta

The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire: Last December I binged a ton of this series about the Fae set in San Francisco, and I felt like finishing up the last few installments in this fun urban fantasy series.  (library paperback)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: I’ve heard nothing but good things about this YA novel inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. (galley)


Tasha Brandstatter

Black Ice by Anne Stuart: A birthday present. (ebook)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: Was in the mood to listen to the Harry Potter books on audio, but didn’t have the time. This seemed like a good alternative. (audiobook)


Sarah Nicolas 

Witchling by Yasmine Galenorn: I’ve read so much YA lately (which I love) but wanted to get some sexy paranormal simmering, so I went to Overdrive and downloaded the first thing that caught my attention. (Though it caught my attention because I have a friend who is a huge fan of Galenorn and I’ve never read anything by her.) (library audiobook)


Jessica Yang 

March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell: I picked up a preview of the series on Free Comic Book Day and knew I had to get the full thing! This definitely feels like it should be required reading in history class. (paperback comic)


Ashlie Swicker 

Revenge of the Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen: I adore the first in this (series, duology?) about high school theater, best friends, crushes, and demonic teachers. I’m so excited to see Cynthia’s story continued! THEY’RE AT THEATER CAMP, FRIENDS! (paperback galley)


Jessi Lewis 

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout: It’s holiday break and I promised myself I’d go head first into some older TBR. Three pages in and counting… (ebook)

LaRose by Louise Erdrich: I’ve been nursing this one because Erdrich’s writing takes some digesting for me. It’s lovely though in its harsh realities. (ebook)


Casey Stepaniuk 

Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa: So technically I just finished this book, but I loooooved it, so I wanna talk about it here. Halfway through the book I realized I had never read a YA book that reminded me so powerfully of being a teenager myself. I first found out about it because a classmate in library school did a wonderful book trailer about it for our YA services class. (audiobook)


Kim Ukura 

It’s Ok to Laugh (Crying is Cool, Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort: Nora is the host of a new podcast, “Terrible, Thanks for Asking,” that has been giving all the feels over the last week. This book of essays is sad and funny and has made me felt less alone as I’m struggling with grief over the holiday season. (Hardcover)


Erin Burba 

Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear… And Why by Sady Doyle: I’ve followed Doyle on Twitter for a while and stumbled across this audiobook on Scribd. Only about twenty minutes in and I already have the “amazing book” tingles. (audiobook)

Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson: I loved Jefferson’s interview on Fresh Air a while back. When this book was recommended on one of my favorite podcasts recently, I knew I needed to read it. (library hardcover)


Katie McLain 

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. I keep hearing amazing things about this super weird book, and it was available to download on audio through my library’s website. (digital audio)

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova.  This has been sitting in a stack of YA books I checked out from the library over a month ago and I’ve been meaning to read it for awhile.  Really interesting take on YA fantasy with a lot of cultural flavor.  (library hardcover)


Ashley Bowen-Murphy

Conviction by Julia Dahl: The third book in the Rebekah Roberts series. When  started it, I didn’t know Conviction was part of a series. Although there’s a few things I’d probably appreciate more if I’d read the first two, this book certainly stands on its own. Enjoying it so far! (e-galley)

The English Agent by Phillip DePoy: Picked this up because I’m obsessed with the Voynich manuscript. A fellow Book Rioter said this new book in the series makes use of it as a plot device! (e-galley)

Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson: I actually started this book a few weeks ago and keep making my way through it. The book is important and the prose is approachable, I’m just struggling to process the content and the conditions that lead to the Attica uprising. (hardback)


Megan Cavitt 

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow: My husband loves Hamilton (the musical), but he thinks I’m nuts for attempting a seven-hundred-some-page biography of the eponymous Founding Father. I think it’s my duty and my pleasure as a historian. (library hardcover)


Christy Childers 

Between Heaven and the Real World by Steven Curtis Chapman: Because I grew up listening to Steven Curtis Chapman, and his album Beauty Will Rise has helped me through some really tough times. (galley)


Elizabeth Allen 

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexandre.  I purchased this as part of my Fuck Donald Trump Starter Kit a few days after the election.  It’s not light reading, but it’s important reading.  (paperback)


Jan Rosenberg 

The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets by Kathleen Alcott. I finally got a library card. Don’t tell anyone. This is my first legit library book in far too long. (Paperback)

NOS4A2e by Joe Hill. I wanted to listen to something scary on audiobook. Lots of Rioters have recommended this one. And Kate Mulgrew narrates this one…I cannot tell you how terrifying her voice can be. Also, it’s technically a holiday book! A disturbing one, at that, but it’s about a place called Christmasland! (Audiobook)


Kristen McQuinn 

All the Rage by Courtney Summers. I’m not quite finished with this but it’s making me want to burn everything to the ground while sobbing and then give all the girls a big hug.

A Prisoner in Malta by Phillip DePoy. I’m the Rioter Ashley mentioned above who recommended The English Agent. I reviewed that book for the Historical Novel Society, fucking LOVED it, and went back to read the first in the series, which is this one.

Grayling’s Song by Karen Cushman. I discovered this while Festivus shopping for my daughter. I bought it for a friend, and since I’m an only child and not that selfless, got a copy for myself as well, and now we’re going to do a tandem reading of this delightful fantasy.

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier. I have universally loved everything Marillier has ever written and even though I’m like 3 pages into this one, so far that’s holding true.


Lucas Maxwell 

Follow Me Back by Nicci Cloke. Lizzie Summersall is missing. Just before her disappearance, she’d been talking to strangers on Facebook. When Aiden Kendrick hears about it, the police are already at his door, asking questions. What was his relationship with Lizzie? Were they friends? More than friends? Did they argue? Those kinds of questions. They assure Aiden he’s not a suspect, but despite that, her disappearance is going to change him forever. This book has been really popular with the students I work with so I wanted to see what the fuss was all about, I’m really enjoying it so far.


Katie McGuire 

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. I’ve had this one on my to-read list since I heard about it a few months back, and after seeing it pop up on so many best-of lists, I decided to buy myself an early Christmas present! (Hardcover)

The Moneypenny Diaries by Kate Westbrook. After years of an unhealthy obsession with Sean Connery, I officially became a hardcore Bond fan just last year. And after reading a number of the Fleming novels, I’ll jump at any chance to read more about the women in Bond’s world. (Hardcover)


Danika Ellis 

The Impossible Will Take a Little While: Perseverance and Hope in Troubled Times edited by Paul Loeb: When the living-in-a-post-Trump-world reading lists starting coming out on Book Riot, I requested two books from the library that both bowled me over in their relevance: Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (already read and adored this) and The Impossible Will Take a Little While from Steph’s A Social Justice Reading List for Those Who Want To Rise Up. Each excerpt/essay is only a few pages, so despite the intensity of the subject matter, it’s not hard to read, and although it’s a decade old, it holds up very well. There are occasional references to the “current” Bush administration, but it doesn’t feel dated as a whole, and it really has given me hope–partially because it defines hope more as an all-weather, durable motivating force. (Library book)

The Twelve Deaths Of Christmas by Marian Babson: I searched Hoopla for short Christmas audiobooks, and this came up, so I’m giving a shot! Only a few chapters in, and mystery isn’t a usual genre for me, so I’m reserving judgement. (Audiobook)

It Had To Be You by Clare Lydon: This is a Christmas-themed lesbian novella that the author is giving away for free on her website. It has a great romantic comedy-style premise: Georgia is meeting her girlfriend’s mom for the first time on Christmas–but Georgia is the same age as Milly’s mother! How will the mom react? And then it gets delightfully dramatastic from there. As you can tell, I’m trying to squeeze in a little holiday-themed reading while I can. (eBook)


Thomas Maluck 

Cross Game by Mitsuru Adachi: I recently visited the Manga Museum in Kyoto, which includes a vast collection of manga in multiple languages for in-house reading. This baseball series has been on the shelf at my local library for a while, as well as my mental TBR pile. Well, now I’m hooked. What seemed on the surface to be a late ’80s/early ’90s era shonen sports manga is actually a tender-hearted coming-of-age story that ran from 2005-2010. (paperback)

The Drifting Classroom by Kazuo Umezu: This is another long-TBR series that Kyoto’s Manga Museum spurred me into finally reading. I bought the whole series for Nook during a digital Viz sale a couple years ago and am only now coming around to Umezu’s otherworldly terrors and the middle school forced to endure them. Umezu is adept at turning his plots on a dime, so I’m prepared for something freaky to happen with every page turn. (ebook)


Amanda Kay Oaks 

Superfandom by Zoe Fraade-Blanar: I saw this book up for request on NetGalley and it sounded interesting. It’s a Nonfiction study of fandom and what it means, how it develops, etc. I am learning a lot of interesting stuff so far from this one! (eGalley)

Junkette by Sarah Shotland: This is a novel written by one of my graduate professors, so I thought I would check it out. It’s about a drug addict living in New Orleans but aspiring to escape. I’m not too far in yet, but am enjoying being sad so far.


Maddie Rodriguez 

This Wicked Gift by Courtney Milan: Because you can never have too many holiday romances to get you in the Christmas spirit …. (ebook)

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake: … but also because sometimes you need a little darkness (murderous rival queens, poisoning, anyone?) to balance all that sweetness and light. I have heard great things about this one and I’m excited to dig in. (ebook)


Chelsea Hensley 

Caraval by Stephanie Garner: This is one of the books I’ve been most excited about for 2017 so imagine my surprise when an ARC showed up at work and my boss said I could read it. I’ve only just started but I love everything about it. (ARC)

Derek Attig

Anicllary Justice by Ann Leckie: I saw Leckie tweet about the relationship between politics and storytelling, and it inspired me to pick this one up off the TBR pile. (ebook)

The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit: What we need right now is more Solnit. Much, much more Solnit. (galley)