Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Peek Over Our Shoulders: What Rioters Are Reading on May 11, 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). See a Rioter who is reading your favorite book? Gird your loins – this list 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!

Liberty Hardy

Sourdough by Robin Sloan (Sept. 5, MCD/FSG): The author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is back! (galley)

The Mountain: Stories by Paul Yoon (Aug. 15, Simon & Schuster): If you are not reading Yoon’s short stories, you should correct that. (galley)

Fresh Complaint: Stories by Jeffrey Eugenides (Oct. 3, FSG): The Virgin Suicides came out when I was in high school (I attended high school as a toddler), and it cemented Eugenides in my heart forevs. (galley)

A Good Country by Laleh Khadivi (May 23, Bloomsbury): Sometimes you can just tell a publicist has a favorite book out of all the books they’re promoting, and I got that impression with this one, so I had to read it. So far, it’s amazing. (galley)


Casey Stepaniuk

Breadfruit by Celestine Vaite: I picked this up on Kauai while there for a trip for my mom’s 60th birthday at Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe. Apparently it is the Western-most bookstore in the US! They had a lot of cool local and other Polynesian authors and I thought Breadfruit looked especially fun. Now that my school semester is over, I’m getting the chance to read it! (Paperback)


Rachel Weber

Monstress Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda: Stolen from a colleague’s desk because I’ve been wanting to get my hands on this forever. (Paperback)

Mapping The Interior by Stephen Graham Jones: I fell in love with Graham Jones after Mongrels and now I’m on a mission to read every word he’s ever written. I would creep on his shopping lists if I could. This is his latest novella. (eGalley)

Startup by Doree Shafir: I love her journalism and my job in San Francisco means I’ve often got a front seat to tech startup madness, so I can’t wait to see what Shafir does with her novel about the people that live in that world. (eGalley)


Jessica Yang  

The Takedown by Corrie Wang: The synopsis hooked me, and I’m all about Asian protagonists in YA, so I had to get it! (hardcover)


Molly Wetta

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han: I fell hard for this YA series, and am so glad it became a trilogy. The Song sisters are delightful, and Lara Jean’s trials and tribulations are just so relatable. Bonus: the audiobook is fantastic! (audiobook)

A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab: I was pretty pissed off at the terrible cliffhanger ending of A Gathering of Shadows, and to be honest, I lost all momentum in reading the series waiting for the final edition (I read the previous installments as ARCs, so it has been a long time). But my partner really loved the stories and implored me to finish so we can discuss, so I’m hoping to get through all 624 books before my express copy is due back at the library in 6 days. (hardcover)


Kay Taylor Rea

The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert (Gallery, May 16) : I was a huge fan of Reichert’s first two books, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love, & Lemon Pie, so I jumped at the chance to read The Simplicity of Cider. Once again, I’m impressed with her immersive worldbuilding and richly drawn characters. The heroine, Sanna Lund, is a breath of fresh air: a cider maker from the fifth-generation of apple orchard owners, too tall to slip into the background and too anxious and introverted to venture comfortably outside of the safe bubble of her home. Although there’s a compelling romance between Sanna and single dad seasonal hire Isaac, I fell hard for the complex family dynamics, the Lund family’s financial and health struggles, Sanna’s maybe-magical gift for cider-making, and the mystery of an apple tree saboteur. (e-galley)

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo (BYR, May 30): I’m only halfway through this charming YA, but it’s already been hilarious and heart wrenching, which is a strong start. Desi Lee has worked hard to be a good student and never step one toe out of line. Now, she’s determined to snag herself a boyfriend before leaving for college. Her guide to romance? Her “K Drama Rules for True Love.” (eGalley)


Annika Barranti Klein

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein: Sort of a cheat, as I read this in one sitting the day it came out and am re-reading it because I loved it. Code Name Verity is one of my favorite books, and I love mysteries, so this is a slam dunk for me. (hardcover)


Rebecca Hussey

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay: This is going to be one of the big important books of the year. Just a little way into it, I’m difficult and moving and powerful. (egalley)

Sunshine State by Sarah Gerard: I started reading this book on a vacation in Florida (lucky me!). It’s an essay collection on a range of topics, but (so far) all are about or at least set in the sunshine state. (egalley)


Kate Krug

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust: A feminist retelling of Snow White? I’m in. (NetGalley eBook)


Sarah Nicolas

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh: I was so excited to be offered a review copy of the first book in a new series from the author of The Wrath & the Dawn. Fuedal Japan + magic + a girl masquerading as a boy? Yes, please. (digital audiobook)

Real Friends by Shannon Hale: I read this one real quick before interviewing the author and was happy to see its representation of OCD and anxiety in childhood. (digital ARC)


Sophia Khan

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach: I’ve been loving books about space travel lately and there might not be anyone better to cover the subject than Mary Roach. Roach diligently covers the things we’re all secretly wondering about what goes on when humans leave the Earth’s atmosphere. (Paperback)


Katie McLain

What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan: I’ve been a little underwhelmed with some of the psychological suspense I’ve read recently, but this one has proven to be quite interesting and emotional so far.  (Digital audiobook)

The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone: The apocalypse brought on by an ancient, terrifying species of spiders.  Satisfyingly creepy and disgusting, but not recommended for arachnophobes!! (ARC)


Emma Nichols

Evicted by Matthew Desmond: I wasn’t planning on reading Evicted, but my book group picked it for May, and I am so glad they did. This books is such an important examination of poverty in America. And, while much of it feels quite hopeless, Desmond wants us to realize that change is not only necessary but attainable. America needs to look its flaws squarely in the face and commit to the idea that safe, affordable housing is a human right and should be provided to all. This should be required reading for all Americans. ( audiobook)


Jaime Herndon

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent: I heard about this on Facebook, and Stephen King blurbed it – I’m still in the early pages, but so far the writing is exquisite. (ARC)

A Stitch of Time by Lauren Marks: Having done an internship in neuropsych, this book piqued my interest, and so far, it hasn’t let me down. (ARC)

After the Eclipse: A Mother’s Murder, a Daughter’s Search by Sarah Perry: Full disclosure, I went to grad school with the author – but that doesn’t change the vivid, arresting prose. (ARC)


Steph Auteri

The Secret Loves of Geek Girls edited by Hope Nicholson: TBH, I assumed this was about the secret passions of geek girls, and I thought that sounded like fun. It is, however, literally about love. Enjoying it nonetheless. (Paperback)

When Sex Goes to School by Kristin Luker: Reading it as research for a personal project, but it’s also a fantastic piece of narrative journalism, which is a genre I enjoy. (Paperback)


Danika Ellis

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman: Queer YA with Night Vale references? Sold. (Hardcover)


Ilana Masad

Radiate by C. A. Higgins: I’ve been following Higgins (not literallly, that’d be creepy) since her first book, and am gobbling this final book in the Lightless Trilogy with gusto.


Alison Doherty

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han: Lara Jean is one of my favorite YA characters of all time. I’m so excited to finally have the final book of her trilogy in my hand. Bring on the baking, hair braiding, and cute boys! (ebook)

Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman: The author is an alum of my MFA program. I heard the beginning of this at a student reading two years ago. So far I’m loving Anise’s story and the breathtaking setting descriptions in this book. (Paperback)


Jamie Canaves

A Rising Man (Sam Wyndham #1) by Abir Mukherjee: A Scotland Yard detective working in Calcutta in the early 1900s is trying to solve the murder of a British official and I am loving everything about this novel so far—especially the characters and the historical look at British ruled Calcutta. (egalley)

I Know A Secret by Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine Books, Aug 22): I am always here for some Rizzoli and Isles in my life. (ARC)

The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (Harper, June 6): A mystery novel inside of a mystery novel and I’ve heard Agatha Christie comps so basically it was written for me. (egalley)


Dana Staves

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller:  A missing woman (presumed dead) may or may not have surfaced twelve years after she was last seen, and the clues to her whereabouts, it seems, may lie in the letters she left behind, each one tucked into her husband’s massive book collection. I’m on the edge of my seat, wondering if this woman is alive, and how I’ll recover (along with the other characters) if she is… or if she isn’t! (Hardcover)


Priya Sridhar

The Fix by Liam Vaugham and Gavin Finch: A nonfiction work explaining how bankers fixed Libor. I picked this up because I enjoyed The Big Short movie and wanted to brush up on my business knowledge. (Hardcover.)

Fledgling by Octavia Butler: A man finds an amnesiac vampire who appears to be a small child. Shori doesn’t remember who she is, but she remembers to feed, and to hide. So far the prose is dense, but I want to enjoy Octavia Butler’s work and read it through the end. (Paperback.)


Derek Attig

Infomocracy by Malka Older: Rereading this to get ready to read the follow-up, Null States. (ebook)

Sri Lanka: The Cookbook by Prakash K. Sivanathan and Niranjala M. Ellawala: I’m scouting new titles for a cookbook club I’m part of, and this book is gorgeous. (hardcover)


Kathleen Keenan

Solitude: A Singular Life in a Crowded World by Michael Harris: There have been a number of books published in the past few years about living life alone (whether by choice or by accident), and I’m intrigued by Harris’s argument that knowing how to be alone is an increasingly important and valuable skill in our ever-more-connected world.


Rebecca Renner

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander: I have been reading a lot of books about social justice. My research has narrowed in on mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex. I think this book and Stamped from the Beginning are essential for understanding our country today.

The Barrowfields by Phillip Lewis: I didn’t know what to expect with this book. It’s Southern Gothic, which I love reading, plus the narration and small-town appeal really remind me of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Exit West by Moshin Hamid: I keep seeing people talking about this book, so I had to jump on it. I’m about halfway done, and so far, the magic realism is just beginning to unfurl.

Horse Heaven by Jane Smiley: My horse book kick led me through a dozen books this year. The last horse book I read, Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon, was fairly dark. I hope this can act as a counterpoint.


Margaret Kingsbury

House of Names by Colm Tóibín: I love fairy tale and myth retellings, and this one recreates the sacrifice of Iphigenia after the gods demand she die so Agamemnon can sail his fleet to attack Troy. I just have to read about Clytemnestra’s revenge. (Egalley)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: This one’s been recommended numerous times, and I’ve never gotten around to it. After reading some slower books, I decided I wanted to read a fast YA, and this one certainly fits the description. Last night, I read 200 pages in a single sitting! (Hardcover)


James Wallace Harris

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben and Lab Girl by Hope Jahren: are two books that form a synergy of botanical information. I’m listening to the first and reading the second. Both books are by scientists and reveal the lives of plants and trees, lives more bizarre and wondrous than science fiction and fantasy.

Women in the English Novel 1800-1900 by Merry Williams: Is the most engaging book I’m reading. A rather dry academic work I got from the library after watching To Walk Invisible, the PBS film about the Brontë sisters. It’s chock full of great observations about women characters in 19th century English literature. Anyone who loves literature, history, and feminism should find this one a juicy read despite its scholarly nature. Unfortunately, buying this book new is very expensive. I got a used copy from ABEbooks for $3.48.


Megan Cavitt

Otomen by Aya Kanno: A romantic comedy manga about an athletic, popular high-school boy learning not to be ashamed of his feminine hobbies? Sign me up. I’m on volume four of eighteen and can confidently say, in my best Monty Python voice, that the Otomen world is “a rather silly place.” Wacky sitcom hijinks abound, if you’re into that sort of thing; if you’re not, the first volume is still worth a look for anyone who struggles with gender performance. (Library Hardcover)


Tasha Brandstatter

The Name of the Game is a Kidnapping by Keigo Higashino: The latest of Higashino’s books to be translated into English. (Library Hardcover)


Mal Soto

What It Means When a Man Falls From The Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah: I love short stories. I need short stories the way some people need a talisman of some kind in their pocket. The way a vampire needs a dark room. The way Garfield needs a finely baked Italian casserole. You get it. I love short stories on my commutes, and this one’s such a perfect balance. Fairy tales, fables, families, dystopias. Arimah has such a great voice that it’s hard to single out a favorite story in this book. (Hardcover)


Natalya Muncuff

Let Us Dream by Alyssa Cole. I read An Extraordinary Union by this author last month and absolutely loved it. I’m now making my way through all of her other historical romances.

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins. Like many others, I was a huge fan of The Girl On The Train so I knew I had to pick this up. I’ve also recently joined a book club and this is the first book we’re reading.


Trisha Brown

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Yes, I’m late to the party, but Everything, Everything has been on my TBR – and my ereader – for long enough. With the new film coming out, it’s time to carpe diem. (ebook)

Haven by Rebekah Weatherspoon. I like everything I’ve read by Weatherspoon, the cover is great, and the subtitle is “Beards & Bondage.” So all I have to do is wait for the person next to me on the plane to start reading over my shoulder. (ebook)

Beth O’Brien

Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki: For me, this was a case of holy-beautiful-cover! That, and it had “female friendships” in the description. Sold! I’m only a handful of chapters in, but I’m liking it so far. (Hardcover)

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed: This one is a reread for me. Sometimes you just need a little wisdom from Sugar. I’ve been enjoying looking back on quotes I underlined and underlining more. If you haven’t read this one yet, you need to. (Paperback)