Peek Over Our Shoulders: What Rioters are Reading on June 22, 2017

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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). 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!

Wallace Yovetich

Ghostland by Colin Dickey: Was just in New Orleans for the first time and went to the Garden District Book Shop and found this book on a special shelf with some others that feature NoLa. I saw Liberty Hardy’s blurb on the back and, because I’d been wanting to read it anyway, that sealed the deal. I read it all the way home on the plane the next day (which was unexpected as I thought I’d nap or watch a movie since I was sans child)… that’s how delicious it is.


Liberty Hardy

The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani Dasgupta (Scholastic, Feb. 27, 2018): Interdimensional demonslayer. That’s all I needed to know. (e-galley)

Gather the Daughters by Jennie Malamed (Little, Brown & Company, July 25): A cult on an isolated island with “ancestor worship, controlled breeding, and the strict rationing of knowledge and history.” I’m totes in. (galley)

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan Mcguire (, Jan. 9, 2018): The third book in the Wayward Children series!!! Have you read the first two? HAVE YOU?!? (e-galley)

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen (Oct. 17, 2017): Horrible historical deaths and nonsense medical advice? Hello, wheelhouse. (e-galley)


Claire Handscombe

The Burning Girl by Claire Messud (W M Norton, 29th August): I loved The Emperor’s Children and have more in common with Claire Messud than just her first name. She was lovely to me when I got my copy of The Woman Upstairs signed, so I was excited to find this newest novel of hers among the ARCs at BookExpo. I love the cover, too. (galley)

Check Me Out by Becca Wilhite (Proper Romance Contemporary, 6th February): I heard people a BookExpo signing queue talk about this library-set romance, so I headed to pick it up afterwards. I needed something fluffy and light to alternate with the darker Messud novel.


Deya Bhattacharya

Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler (Kindle ebook) (edited by Alexandra Pierce and Mimi Mondal): This is an advance reader copy of an edited volume of curated essays and letters to Butler on the impact her writing has had done on them and their identities.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (signed hardback): Roy’s written fiction after 20 years! I’m curious and excited.


Christine Ro

Oreo by Fran Ross: for an upcoming 100 must-reads list. (paperback)


Nicole Froio

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson: I’m super excited to finally read this book. I made my university library purchase it because I need to read it for my PhD project on masculinity and violence.

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays by Samantha Irby: I’ve been reading Irby’s blog for years and I always cackle with laughter for hours afterwards! I expect nothing less from this collection of essays.


Eric Smith

The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana: This one comes out in July from Razorbill, and oh my goodness, I cannot wait to have the actual hardcover on my shelf. Khorana wrote one of my favorite YA books last year, MIrror in the Sky, and her second book, The Library of Fates, is easily one of my most anticipated reads of the year.

In it she dives from her slightly sci-fi first novel into total fantasy, with a teen on a quest to find a magical library that has the power to change the fate of whoever steps inside and reverse time. I’m about a quarter in, and the worldbuilding is lush and the characters are just wonderful. Will likely finish it before this post goes up.  (ARC)

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera: Using an app called Last Friend, two teenagers meetup to spend their final day alive together. It’s a YA contemporary novel with a sci-fi splash, that right away pulls you in with… well, the way that Adam Silvera only can. With tears. (ARC)


Sarah Nicolas

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein: This was recommended to me by a fellow Book Riot contributor in my quest to read more nonfiction. It has me feeling a bit depressed and insignificant, but it is a good read. (library audiobook)

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig: I adored the first book in this series, and was happy to find the audiobook available. (library audiobook)


Casey Stepaniuk

Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez: This ARC was sent to me to review for my queer Canadian book blog and I just started it. It’s about a diverse low-income neighborhood close to Toronto. (Paperback)

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson: I have her books constantly recommended to me but haven’t really connected with either of the ones I’ve read. So far I am liking this third book the best! (Audiobook)


Jamie Canaves

Yesterday by Felicia Yap (Mulholland Books, Aug 1): I’m almost finished and have loved it as not only a mystery but the fascinating element that Yap left our society as is except one major change: humans are either Mono or Duo, meaning when you become a young adult your short term memory starts to reset after one day or two. (egalley)

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia: I’ve been dying to read this for a while and don’t know how it keeps getting put to the side but no more I am reading this now! Murder mystery, a hotel, and nods to pop-culture classics is everything I need and want. (ebook)

Leona: The Die is Cast by Jenny Rogneby (Other Press, Aug 1): I will never say no to a Scandinavian crime thriller! And I’m almost done reading my way through the upcoming inclusive mystery/thrillers. (egalley)

The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker: I’m at the very, very end of this one which has been scratching that itch for procedural TV shows with a serial killer story arc. (egalley)


Steph Auteri

The Living Infinite by Chantel Acevedo: The fine folks at Europa sent me a galley for this one, and the story sounds intriguing. (Paperback)

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar: I got Stephen King’s latest through the Nocturnal Reader’s Box. It’s the special edition from Cemetery Dance Publications. (Hardcover)


Derek Attig

Grace Period: A Memoir in Pieces by Kelly J. Baker: Baker is one of my favorite writers thinking about higher education today, and it turns out she’s a gifted personal essayist as well. In Grace Period, Baker combines higher ed commentary and personal storytelling in this beautiful reflection on what happens when the future you planned for doesn’t happen and you have to build something new in its place. (ebook)

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty: I’ve been hearing more and more good things about this book, so I had to give it a try. It’s utterly captivating so far. (e-galley)

The Amber Shadows by Lucy Ribchester: I’m a sucker for UK-set World War Two fiction, and if you add in Bletchley Park? Well, I’m 1000% there. (ebook)


Elizabeth Allen

Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression by David Leite: It’s rare that you come across a book about the destruction that comes with bipolar disorder and coming to terms with one’s sexuality that succeeds in being absolutely laugh-out-loud funny. Leite’s warmth, snark, and forays into his fantasy life lend a voice to this memoir that is rare and refreshing. He paints the “characters” of his life in a way that makes you feel that they’re also a part of your family and you find yourself rooting for them, even in their less-than-perfect moments. The writing is masterful and I can’t wait to see more from David Leite in the future. (hardcover)

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay: The big buzzy book of the moment, there is a reason that Hunger has been much anticipated. Gay strips herself bare and although some of us clearly don’t deserve that insight into her deepest secrets (looking at you,  certain interviewers), her laying down of her burdens will be so important for other people still struggling with the aftermath of physical assault and body image. Thank you, Roxane. (eARC)


Priya Sridhar

A Horse Named Funny Cide by Funny Cide Team: I adore horse stories, and this audiobook is most definitely feel-good and educational about the economics of horse racing. It’s all about gambling on which horse will perform the best. The narrator for the audiobook has a great sense of humor (Audiobook)

Writing Okinawa: Narrative Acts of Identity and Resistance by Davinder Bhowmik: Often one can judge a region by its art; finding the art is another story. I started reading this for research about a novel set in Okinawa, a series of islands that Japan has claimed to own. So far it’s a worthwhile academic read. (ebook)


Leah von Essen

Tornado Weather by Deborah E. Kennedy : This one comes out July 11. A novel made up of interconnected short stories, Kennedy’s book about a disabled girl who goes missing in a rural working-class town is pretty good so far, and I’m speeding through it. (ARC)

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy : I’m seeing Roy in person this Friday to get my copy of her newest, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness signed. I seem to have lost my original copy of her first novel, which is tragic because a favorite English teacher gave it to me, but I managed to score a used first edition from one of my local bookstores and decided to give it a re-read. (First edition hardcover)

Our Dark Duet by VE Schwab : I became a Schwab superfan when I saw how well she brought the Shades of Magic series together earlier this year. She’s making a surprise visit to Chicago this Saturday, so I ordered both volumes of the Monsters of Verity series and am trying to zip through them before the signing! (First edition hardcover)


Rebecca Hussey

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson: This book came highly recommended from fellow Book Rioter Teresa Preston, and so I snatched up a cheap ebook copy when I got the chance. I’m a couple chapters in, and it’s difficult and powerful reading. (ebook)


Alex Mansfield

The Ends of the World by Peter Brannen: The author is a friend of mine from college, so while I’m obviously very happy to support his first book, I’d be reading this regardless due to its elegant and engaging perspective. Given the current political crisis surrounding climate change, Brannen’s approach to framing the Earth’s almost incomprehensible history of mass extinctions isn’t just fascinating, it’s essential.  


Jessica Yang  

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate: I had a lot of fun reading Redgate’s previous book, and I’m all about Pitch Perfect movies – minus all the weird problematic stuff and racist jokes, ugh – so queer a capella goodness was like a siren call for me. Just started reading! (hardcover)


Megan Cavitt

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan: My version of beach reading: Riordan’s YA titan about a twelve-year-old boy who learns that he’s the son of Poseidon. I’m mostly excited about this series because I’ve heard it does a great job of including healthy queer relationships. (library paperback)

The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, A Rún by Nagabe: A gentle and fascinating manga about a little girl being raised by a smartly-dressed monster that she must never, ever touch. The art, the art! It breaks my heart. (paperback)


Peter Damien

The Great Detective: The Amazing Rise and Immortal Life of Sherlock Holmes by Zach Dundas: an interesting light read that offers exactly what it says in the title, a look at the rise of Holmes, and an exploration into why he’s been so enduringly popular. A great topic allows for a fascinating book, but the author often can’t seem to remove himself from his own writing long enough to really talk about the topic. Chapters in, and it still feels like he’s writing an Introduction to another book. Quite good when it works, though. (hardcover)

Bog Bodies Uncovered: Solving Europe’s Ancient Mystery by Miranda Aldhouse-Green: Bog bodies are fascinating. Insanely — sometimes alarmingly — well preserved bodies, mummies made by the natural environment in which they were left. Sometimes thousands of years old, but so preserved that they’ve been mistaken for recent deaths. And always, they’re a profound mystery, with so many questions we’ll never be able to answer about them. I find them a riveting topic, and while I’m only a short way into this book, it’s excellent. The perfect book to really get into the topic. And it has a lot of potentially-alarming photos in the middle, if you want to chase off someone annoying! (if it doesn’t chase them off, you’re doomed, sorry). Enthusiastically recommend this one. (hardcover)


Beth O’Brien

White Fur by Jardine Libaire: I didn’t really know what to think starting this book. All I really knew about it was that it involved “star-crossed lovers.” That could go any number of ways. I’ve heard good things, so I just decided to dive right in. I’m about 100 pages in and I’m completely enthralled. These two messy kids from opposite sides of the tracks fall obsessively, frantically, dangerously in love. Told somehow with both eloquence and grit, Jardine Libaire has immediately made a fan of me. (hardcover)

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, narrated by Claire Danes: I’ve been taking my time with this one, slowly savouring it chapter by chapter. As both a Canadian and a feminist, I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get to this one. It’s frightening and dark, compelling and alarming. Claire Danes was the perfect choice for this one and I’m immensely enjoying being disturbed by it. (audiobook)


Adiba Jaigirdar   

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen: I’ve heard so many great things about The Refugees, but also about Viet Thanh Nguyen. I haven’t been disappointed so far. Not only are the stories beautifully written, but they totally draw you in (ebook)


Ilana Masad

Hunger by Roxane Gay: I’ve been wanting to read this book since last summer when I first heard about it. I got the copy I have in a very fun way: a friend with big eyes who looks like a gorgeous pixie reached into a closet and handed it to me while saying loudly for the benefit of her bosses, “Yeah, I wish we had copies we could give you, but you know, the publisher sent us very few.” This was months ago but now I’m finally reading it and… well. Read it. You’ll see. (ARC)

What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons: I’ve technically just finished this, but I have to just… I have to include this. Because Clemmons’ debut novel snuck up on me even though I saw it coming; it tackled me to the ground in an embrace I didn’t know I needed; it rippled my skin; it fed me; it liquored me up and sobered me down; it made sense of pieces of me I didn’t know existed; and it let me be myself, bilingual and bi-national and all. (ARC)

American Fire by Monica Hess: I’m reading this for review as well. It’s a fascinating story of a crime wave of a very particular type – an arson wave that carried a county, countless fire engines, and two oddballs come together through the long months of winter, until they were caught. It’s a whydunit, not a whodunit, and it feels as if Serial or S-Town was written down in book form (though books came before podcasts of course… ). (ARC)


Rachel Manwill

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen: I listened to the first two books in this amazing fantasy trilogy when they first were released, and I’m not sure why I’ve been putting off finishing up the series (except maybe that I just don’t want it to end). But I’m going through a major life change right now and I just need some serious escapist fiction that’s got some badass female protagonist noise. Johansen’s finale is everything I need and more. I’m only about a third of the way in, but already I love it (and I definitely didn’t need to go back and read the first two to get all caught up even though it’s been a few years since I finished them). (audiobook)

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood: I just started this memoir, and having never read anything by Lockwood before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I’m loving the language in this, which isn’t surprising considering her life as a poet, but it’s not excessive or flowery and I’m loving where it’s going so far. (hardcover)


Matt Grant

Ulysses by James Joyce: Because it’s there! (paperback)

The Boys of My Youth by Jo Ann Beard: A writing instructor told me it is deeply inspiring to writers. (ebook, library loan)


Ashley Bowen-Murphy

Leaves of Grass, 1860: The 150th Anniversary Facsimile Edition by Walt Whitman, edited by Jason Stacy: I went to a fascinating lecture about Walt Whitman in Washington, DC last week. Much to my shame as an Americanist, I’ve never actually read Leaves of Grass all the way through– I’ve only ever read sections here and there. So, I’ve decided to remedy that with the 1860 edition (it has the sexy poems, y’all). (ebook).


Tasha Brandstatter

For Deader or Worse by Sheri Cobb South: The latest novel in one of my favorite historical mystery series. (ebook)

Miss Tonks Turns to Crime by MC Beaton: Another series I am thoroughly enjoying, set in Regency England. (audiobook)


Karina Glaser

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez (Viking, August 22): I am loving this book so much! The main character, twelve-year-old Malú, is endearing, creative, and a diehard punk fan. The book is sprinkled with zine illustrations, which brings dimension to this wonderful story. (ARC)

Greetings from Witness Protection by Jake Burt (Feiwel and Friends, October 3): Nicki Demere is an orphan and a pickpocket, and when she gets placed with a family in witness protection Nicki pulls out all the lessons she’s learned about surviving in a tough world. Funny, clever, and sure to please the middle grade crowd. (ARC)


Natalya Muncuff

I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart: Superstar Kevin Hart is both hilarious and inspiring and everything he’s touched lately seems to turn to gold. I’m interested in Hart’s backstory and the motivation behind his insane work ethic. (Hardcover)

Silver Screen Romance by Altonya Washington: I’m a long time fan of Altonya Washington, and this is one of the few books of hers that I haven’t read. (ebook)


Katie McLain

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton: Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars…what more do you need??? (Audiobook)

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (Soho, January 2018): Heard about this book at Book Expo and the premise hooked me completely. It’s a new historical mystery series set in 1920’s Bombay, and the main character, Perveen, is a female lawyer/sleuth who’s based in part on the first woman to practice law in India. It’s a fascinating, thought-provoking read so far!”  (ARC)


Margaret Kingsbury

Mama Day by Gloria Naylor: This month’s theme for a Goodreads group I participate in is ‘Magical Shakespeare,’ and this is the adult pick. It’s supposed to be based on The Tempest, and takes place in Georgia. (Library Paperback)

Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn (John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books, July 11th): I’ve read several of Carrie Vaughn’s short stories over the years, so when I saw she had a dystopian coming out — one of my favorite subgenres — I requested it on Netgalley. (Egalley)


Jaime Herndon

Morningstar: Growing up with Books by Ann Hood: I love books about books, or “bibliomemoirs,” and just started this. (ARC, WWNorton, August 2017)

By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from the NYT Book Review by Pamela Paul: I do a lot of author interviews, and am always looking to get better. I love reading the answers to Paul’s questions; a good interview can tell you so much about the subject. (Paperback)

Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel: This is coming out in paperback (was published last year in hardback). It’s an interesting story about money and how it affects relationships. (Paperback)

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: Other Rioters loved this, and although I’ve never read Ng before, I decided to give it a try. (ARC, Penguin Random House, September 2017)


Dana Staves

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. This book has been causing all kinds of flurry among the contributors, and once I read the synopsis, I was intrigued. And now, a few chapters in, I’m just utterly charmed.

Woman Walk the Line:  How the Women in Country Music Changed Our Lives. Edited by Holly Gleason. When I was a little girl, I used to pretend that Reba McEntire would show up in her tour bus and take me to live in Nashville with her and make me small versions of all her concert costumes and we would ride horses and, obviously, duet. This book is my “women of country” dream, distilled into book form. (ARC, University of Texas Press, September 2017)


Kate Krug

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent. Stephen King called it a “masterpiece,” and it’s about a young girl finding her way out of an emotionally abusive relationship with her father–becoming her own hero in the process. Aka everything I want in a book.  (ARC, Riverhead Books, August 29, 2017).

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. I rarely like historical fiction, but this had me hooked from the dedication: “For everyone who knows there was enough room for Leonardo DiCaprio on that door.” (eBook)


Cecilia Lyra

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (ebook): I have a goddaughter and it is my responsibility to expose her to feminist ideals through example. Also, I’ve read Adichie’s other books and she is a genius!

The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon (ebook): This was recommended to me by a family member, someone who is strong and beautiful and comes off as being confident and put together. So when I found out that she has struggled with depression for most of her life, I was shocked. After my shock wore off, I told her that I wanted to know more about what she has been going through and, in between confidences, she recommended that I read this book because, according to her, “Solomon put exactly what I was feeling into words.”


Emma Allmann

Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi: This book has been sitting on my shelf for far too long! I got it at a conference two years ago and am finally getting to it now! (Paperback)


Tiffani Willis

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey: About a month before The Expanse aired on the SyFy network in 2015 I decided to read the series on which the television show is based, at least the first book. The plan was to read the book before the show aired or as I watched the show, but neither of those plan came to pass. Two years later and I am finally getting around to reading Leviathan Wakes, book one in The Expanse series. I’m glad I watched the show before reading the book. Sometimes I find science fiction and fantasy novels hard to follow between the numerous characters and trying to keep track of the science and fantastical elements. Having seen the show makes it all a little easier. (Paperback)


Christina Vortia

The Leavers by Lisa Ko: A very timely read about a boy whose mother, a nail technician from China, abruptly leaves her son in New York. This story is complex, heartbreaking, and stunning.  This is a great read tackling race, identity, and the web of immigration in the US and the painful effects it can have on a family. I am borrowing this audiobook from my library Hoopla account. (Audiobook)


Sophia Khan

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma: Set in Nigeria, The Fishermen follows four brothers who stumble into an encounter with a local madman who prophesies a future that may shake their relationship to the core. I’m reading this novel for an online book club, and think it will be one which conjures a lot of interesting discussion. (Hardback)


Katie McGuire

The Night She Won Miss America by Michael Callahan: Betty Jane Welch enters the Miss Delaware pageant at the behest of her mother, who desperately wants to get in good with the society ladies in town. But a few weeks later, Betty is surprised to find herself crowned and competing for the title of Miss America in Atlantic City. Though the outcome of that contest is spoiled in the title, Betty’s life only gets far more complicated after her triumph. I picked this one up on vacation because of the gorgeous cover and an aspirational interest in beauty queens, and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. (Hardcover)

Marvel First: The 1970s, Volume 1 by assorted creators: I found this gem in a half-off bin at Awesome Con in DC and I had to have it. The variety of stories is great, delving into horror (Man-Thing!) and western comics alongside the first appearances of heroes like Black Widow, Luke Cage, and the Inhumans. (Paperback)


Connie Pan

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi: Obsessed with fairy tales, I added this author to my TBR list years ago. Present-me is furious at past-me for not reading her sooner. (Hardcover)

Love Poems by Pablo Neruda: After a week of listening to the radio, I wanted poetry for the drive to work—passion on repeat. (Audiobook)


Ardo Omer

The Study Quran by Seyyed Hossein Nasr et al: It’s Ramadan and I wanted a scholarly look at the Quran (eBook/Hardcover)

Men Walking on Water by Emily Schultzr: This is a book I’m reading for work (Paperback)

Adua by Igiaba Scego: I had to get this book because it was written by a Somali and I need to read more works by my people (eGalley)

Monstress Vol 1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda: I’ve wanted to read this for a very long time and I’m finally doing it (eBook)