Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Peek Over Our Shoulders: What Rioters Are Reading on November 10, 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 

Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue: A spiritual memoir by “Science Mike,” host of the Ask Science Mike podcast and co-host of the popular Liturgists podcast, which I recently started listening to and absolutely love. (Hardcover)

The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown: A story about two split between the 1920s and 1990s reminiscent of The Dollhouse. I downloaded this on the Volumes app, but so far it’s pretty cliche. (Audiobook)

Unmentionable by Therese Oneill: A humorous feminist look at female sexuality in the Victorian era. I learned about this one when I read an interview the author did with (Hardcover)

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin: A fictional account of the young Queen Victoria’s life by the creator and writer of the Masterpiece miniseries of the same name coming in 2017. I’m part of the advertising campaign for the book’s launch. (ARC)

Rebecca Hussey 

Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty: A mystery novel set in the 1980s in Northern Ireland. It’s the latest pick for my mystery book group. (Paperback)

We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang: An essay collection on race in America. One essay in, it’s great. (egalley)

Liberty Hardy  

Waking Gods: Book 2 of The Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel (Del Rey, April 4, 2017): Sequel to SLEEPING GIANTS??!? Oh, you betcha. Spoiler: It’s just as much fun as the first one. (e-galley)

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: I just read her new book, Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil, and OMFG, it was good. So I immediately bought four more of her books. Litsy tells me this is the best one. (paperback)

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout (Random House, April 25, 2017): Stories about characters mentioned in My Name is Lucy Barton (one of my favorites of 2016.) (e-galley)

Death Going Down by María Angélica Bosco (Author), Lucy Greaves (Translator) (Pushkin Vertigo, February 7, 2017): A crime novel by a woman called the “Argentinian Agatha Christie”? In what world would I NOT read this??? (e-galley)

Zainab Williams 

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab: I’ve been wanting to read another Schwab since A Darker Shade of Magic and something about the cover of this book made me reach for it in the library. (Hardcover)

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: Another book I’ve had on my list for ages. I’m enjoying the audiobook so far. Enviable worldbuilding! (Audiobook)

The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman: I’ve grown accustomed to keeping a memoir written and narrated by a comedian on hand at all times in case I need a laugh (I always need a laugh). I like Silverman’s bluntness so I chose her. (Audiobook)

Priya Sridhar 

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd: Honest to God this audiobook is both fascinating and boring. I’m siding less and less with the protagonist Jessie for her decisions and her husband deserves better. (Audiobook)

Long Hidden: I paid the kickstarter for this so I’m looking forward to this. Representation matters! (Ebook)

Sarah Nicolas 

The Last Star by Rick Yancey – I started reading this series when I found out Yancey would be our keynote speaker at the Orlando Book Festival in 2015 and have enjoyed it. (Library audiobook)

Shiny Broken Pieces by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra – I had to take a break between this book and the first because it’s so hard to read these girls being so hard on each other and themselves, but the writing is so compelling I have to figure out how their stories end. (Audiobook)

Rocks Fall Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar – Just got this one and can’t wait to start it. I met Lindsay at Ascendio a couple years ago and thought she was great, so I know her book will be too! I mean, it’s pitched as Twin Peaks meets Stars Hollow so…

Derek Attig 

Waypoint Kangaroo by Curtis Chen: I wanted to read something fun and weird. This funny, thrilling spy-in-space story fits the bill. (ebook)

Hannah Engler 

The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty by Amanda Filipacchi: I finally let myself set foot in my favorite bookstore after weeks of being too broke and too busy. I was so overwhelmed by the choices that I eventually picked this book off the shelf at random and bought it without knowing anything about it – it’s a weird, surreal little story whose narrator is driving me insane.

Megan Cavitt 

Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley: I’ve developed a terrible habit of nosing through certain friends’ bookshelves and assembling a Borrow stack whenever I come over. Said friends are fans of O’Malley’s famous hipster comic Scott Pilgrim, so I wasn’t surprised to find a pristine copy of O’Malley’s third graphic novel project in their home. Seconds has been a treat so far – an existentially terrifying treat, but that’s what I go for. O’Malley does a wonderful job of depicting an unlikeable protagonist and her quarter-life-crisis without crossing the line into unsympathetic. (hardcover)

March, volume 1, written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell: “Graphic novels about the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement” is the niche my weird interests have led me to. You better show up and show some respect for John Lewis, though. The man’s a legend. I can’t recommend this enough. (paperback)

Melody Schreiber 

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown: I was a little hesitant to pick this up, since I know nothing about rowing. But several trusted readers in my life said it was one of the best books they’d read this year, so I had to give it a shot. (paperback)

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: Thank goodness my book club selected this title. I wouldn’t have gravitated toward it otherwise, but I’m really enjoying it! (ebook)

Nikki VanRy 

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee: I’m only a third into this book, but it is so lush and perfect for Fall. (eBook)

Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen: A space opera with robots. I am so in. (comic)

Steph Auteri 

The Fisherman by John Langan: A fellow Book Rioter recommended this as a must-read, creepy as hell horror, and I am always on the hunt for new horror. So far, about a quarter of the way through, the building sense of quiet terror is absolute perfection. (Ebook)

DIY MFA by Gabriele Pereira: I’m in a writing slump so, when I saw this book on display at an art space that was holding writing classes, the brightly-colored cover caught my eye. (Paperback)

Rah Carter 

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta: I heard lots of good stuff about this book when it came out last year, and as LGBT+ fiction taken place outside of a modern, western, secular context, it falls well with my interests.

Eric Smith 

Geekerella by Ashley Poston: I’ve been a fan of Ashley Poston’s for a while, since her delightful debut, The Sound of Us, came out with Bloomsbury Spark two years ago. She has a serious gift for writing incredibly charming YA contemporary stories, and her latest, Geekerella, is exactly that. A YA romp through the world of Comic Con and geekery, Geekerella is an adorable take on the, you guessed it, Cinderella fairytale… with a cosplay twist. Charming and heartfelt, it reads like a Morgan Matson or Lauren Morrill novel thrown into a bin of comic books, sprinkled with humor, swoons, and fandom. I’m absolutely devouring this one. (ARC, Out March 2017 with Quirk Books)

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke: What took me so long to get to this book? I’m about a third of the way through this really quirky and unique read, which tells the story of three very different and complicated teenagers. There’s sex, betrayal, incredibly toxic friendships, complicated families… oof. I’m having a hard time putting it down. The POV shifts quickly, with the teens sometimes only getting a paragraph here and there, so it reads really fast. Takning my time with this one. The prose is lovely and the characters are incredible. One to be savored. (Hardcover)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber: This book just showed up in my life today and I’m dropping everything to read it. People have been comparing it to The Night Circus, a YA fantasy about sisters, magic, and a mysterious performance that happens once a year. So excited about this book. (ARC, out January 2017 with Flatiron Books)

Thomas Maluck 

Without You, There Is No Us by Suki Kim: Suki Kim spent time teaching at an elite North Korean school with the ulterior motive of writing this book. Reading it is one half teacher confessions, including Kim’s fellow American teacher, an evangelical Christian. The other half demonstrates how the adults in North Korea are just as subject to the country’s rigid, unforgiving system as the students. That kind of nationwide control fascinates and scares me. (ebook)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: My coworkers were all about this book when it first came out, but the format of “compiled variety of documents from an intergalactic YA tale” sounded too much like homework. Well, the peer pressure began anew with the sequel’s recent release, and I’m finally in the thick of this. It’s really good! All the snippets of emails, texts, chatlogs, reports, and interviews quickly add up to an efficient and compelling tale of multiple perspectives trying to make sense of a vast conspiracy in the void of space. (ebook)

Ashley Bowen-Murphy 

His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet: I’ve been itching to read this since I saw int on the Man Booker Prize shortlist. Asylums, documentary evidence, unreliable narrators? Sign me up! Plus, this book has the added distinction of being like my graduate school thesis and yet is not my graduate school thesis. I’ve been reading this in fits and starts lately while I finish up. Somehow, I can justify it by saying it’s “thesis adjacent.” Just go with it. (e-book)

Bitch Planet #8 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro: Yesssssss. I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for the newest edition of this comic book to arrive in my Comixology feed. Despite the wait, I’m really glad it showed up the weekend before the election. This is the comic book I need right now. (e-book)

Learning From the Wounded: The Civil War and the Rise of American Medical Science by Shauna Devine: If there was ever a book that just screamed grad school, this is it. That said, while this is an incredibly well-researched academic text, it’s a delight to read– not at all dry or dull. Devine’s book on the development of the medical profession in the United States is a joy to re-read as I double check some facts and figures before submitting my thesis. Of all the books to revisit, I’m glad it’s this one. (hardback)

Nicole Brinkley 

Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen: Yeah, y’all can be jealous. Here We Are showed up at my bookstore and I snatched it up so fast that I may have broken the space-time continuum. Edited by Book Riot’s own Kelly Jensen, this collection of essays on feminism – designed for teens – is perfect so far, a great combination of anecdotes and fun and in-depth discussion. I’m sampling it in snippets here and there as a treat for me and I can’t wait to read more.

Timekeeper by Tara Sim – This just-released YA novel from debut author Tara Sim has been on my must-read list for months and I’m so excited to finally have my copy. Alternate Victorian world, clock magic, queer boys – and I know that, thanks to Twitter, Tara and I share very similar taste in television shows and books, so I’m really looking forward to it. Bonus: Victoria Schwab blurbed it, and I’m a sucker for anything Schwab recommends.


Karina Glaser 

The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang: Working my way through the books by Book Riot Live speakers, and I’m loving this one. (Hardcover)

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Shadra Strickland: A story written in blank verse about a couple who challenges the Virginia law forbidding interracial marriages in the 1950s. (Chronicle Books, January 31, 2017)

A Rambler Steals Home by Carter Higgins: This middle grade book captured my heart right away with an irrepressible girl named Derby Christmas Clark whose rambling ways and huge heart sets the stage for a fantastic summer story. (HMH Books for Young Readers, February 28, 2017)

Danika Ellis 

The Annotated Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, edited by Janet Gezari: I’m slowly making my way through this massive book, though I’m not sure I’ll finish it before I have to return it to the library. I’ve loved the idea of annotated editions of books ever since I read the annotated Alice In Wonderland, and Wuthering Heights feels like a perfect November re-read. (Library Hardcover)

Cakewalk by Rita Mae Brown: I can’t actually lug The Annotated Wuthering Heights around with me, so I’m reading this one on the go. It’s a cute small town story set in the 20s, though I found out after starting it that this is late into the series and I haven’t read the previous books. Hopefully I can still keep up with the names. (eBook Review Copy)

Katie McLain 

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer: After finishing Columbine by Dave Cullen on audio, I needed another hard-hitting investigative work of nonfiction and holy cow, this one has delivered.  I’m almost finished and I’ve lost count of the number of rage-strokes I’ve had on my way to work about how these rape cases were handled, but this book is AMAZING.  (Digital audiobook)

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson: This has been on my to-read list for a long time now, and after listening to Columbine and Missoula, both of which discuss psychopathy and/or narcissism, I’m interested in learning more.  (Trade paperback)

Tasha Brandstatter 

The Forgers by Bradford Morrow: The only book I allowed myself to buy in Japan. (trade paperback)

The Heir by Kiera Cass: Wanted something fun and romantic to listen to after finishing Lyndsay Faye’s Dust and Shadow. (audiobook)

Christy Childers 

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines: Because I’m totally hooked on Fixer Upper.

Aram Mrjoian 

California by Edan Lepucki: I’m a bit behind the trend on this one, but found a copy on sale at Unabridged Books, so I couldn’t pass it up. The new Kenyon Review just came in the mail as well, so it’s shaping up to be a wonderful reading weekend. (Hardcover)

Brian McNamara 

Mockingbird, vol. 1: I Can Explain by Chelsea Cain, Joelle Jones, Kate Niemczyk & Ibrahim Moustafa: Picked this up last week to support Chelsea Cain but am just finally getting to sit down and read this. So far, I’m really loving it. (Softcover)

The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher: I took part in a sort of social media-chain-letter-book-swap and this was the first book to arrive as part of that. I know absolutely nothing about it and have no previous experience with the author, but there’s airships, cutlasses and googles and I could use a good steampunk fix. (Softcover)

The Star Trek Encyclopedia, Revised & Expanded Edition: A Reference Guide to the Future by Michael & Denise Okuda: While I can’t say I’m reading this per se, I’ve been poring over it for the past several weeks and probably will be for several more. It’s a great update on the original comprehensive guides of the late 90s, and has a nice aesthetic look. (Slipcased Two-Volume Hardcover Set)

Nicole Froio  

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldua: I am reading this as a part of my PhD research but it’s certainly amazing and I’ve caught myself reading it at leisure times too! (Paperback)

Rising Strong by Brene Brown: I was looking for books on communication and this has really surpassed my expectations so far. (Paperback)

You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson: This book had me laughing out loud and that rarely happens when I am reading.

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay: I love Roxane Gay and will always read anything she writes.

Jessica Yang 

Something New by Lucy Knisley: I loved Knisley’s previous memoir comic Relish and wanted to read the follow-up comic! (paperback)

Where Am I Now by Mara Wilson: I ended up following Mara Wilson’s Twitter because she seemed funny, not realizing who she was or that she had a book coming out. But now I’m reading her book and loving it. (paperback)

Ashley Holstrom 

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield: Because I am a font geek and oh my goodness, this is so much better than I thought it would be. (audio)

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay: I got an ARC and ran to download this puppy. Silly me, I thought it was a collection of essays, not short stories, so the first one was a surprise. Anyway. These are a bit hard to swallow; I’m taking my time with this, reading a story every few days, and it is great. (ebook)

Brandi Bailey 

Death with Interruptions by José Saramago: Once upon a time I signed up for a local book group and I never once went to a single meeting, but before I failed to follow through with my socializing goals I did actually download that month’s selection to my Audible account. I’m enjoying it so far. It fits in with the social satire and Death personified niches I enjoy in literature and the narrator, Paul Baymer, is keeping me entertained. (Audio)

How the French Invented Love: Nine Hundred Years of Passion and Romance by Marilyn Yalom: About 5 years ago my sister-in-law was visiting and saw this in a shop. Since we’re both confirmed francophiles, she encourage me to take it home. I’m just now getting to it because non-fiction and I have a rocky relationship. I’m sad I didn’t read it sooner. It’s way less dauntingly academic and far more digestible than I had a assumed. (Paperback)

Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements edited by Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown: I’ve had my eyes on this one for a while and picked it off my wishlist as my birthday present to myself last month. The stories are unique, powerful, and important. For many of the contributors these are their first short story submissions but their insight into the issues at hand is invaluable. I will be recommending this to everybody. (Paperback)

Jamie Canaves 

Among the Ruins (Rachel Getty & Esa Khattak #3) by Ausma Zehanat Khan (February 14, 2017, Minotaur Books): I’m a big fan of Khan’s series and this is one of my most anticipated for 2017. (egalley)

Bitch Planet #9 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro (Art): Forever noncompliant! (paperback)

Different Class by Joanne Harris (January 3, 2017, Touchstone): A psychological suspense written by the author of Chocolat–yes, please. (egalley)

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (May 30, 2017, Simon Pulse): I saw that cover, fell in love and pounced on the ARC–I am loving Dimple’s voice. (egalley)

Molly Wetta 

Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue, translated by Natasha Wimmer: I randomly picked this up off a cart at the library mostly because it was the size of the book I next wanted to read (the kind that was small enough to fit in the purse I’ve been using). I was delighted to find that it was some sort of crazy postmodern novel about the imagined exploits of 16th century historical figures built around a framework of a tennis match played with a ball of Anne Boleyn’s hair translated from the Spanish, which turned out to be just what I was in the mood for.

Emma Nichols 

Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson: Like most book lovers, Matilda has always been a favorite book/movie of mine. But my recent interest in Mara Wilson is as a character on the podcast Night Vale—she’s the voice of the faceless old woman who secretly lives in your house. Listening to her memoir on audiobook has been a wonderful introduction to Mara as an actress, comedian, and person. She’s wry, charming, and completely relatable.

Katie McGuire 

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak: I was lucky enough to win a copy of The Impossible Fortress and the moment it landed on my desk, I knew I had to dive right in. In 1980s New Jersey, budding teen video game designer Billy and his two best friends set out on a quest to acquire the Vanna White issue of Playboy issue and, in the process, Billy finds himself falling into friendship–and possibly something more–with a local store owner’s daughter, who just so happens to be a coding whiz. This book is Stranger Things meets Halt and Catch Fire, to be enjoyed by those (like me) who have a soft spot for 8-bit games and the teenage antics of a more innocent time. (galley)

Ashlie Swicker 

The Diviners by Libba Bray: This is deliberate reread to help me reach my NaNoWriMo goals– Bray weaves an amazing story with a plethora of well developed characters, subtle romance, deep intrigue…it’s a master class in novel writing. I’m particularly taking cues from her use of multiple perspectives to let the reader in on the mystery.  (Paperback)

A Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins), February 28th, 2017) Time-traveling pirates, magical maps, love triangles, Hawaii! I was chomping at the bit to read The Girl From Everywhere, the first in this…series? Duology? Regardless of how many books we’ll get, I’m excited to revisit Nix and her friends and see where this next adventure will lead. (egalley)

You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have To Explain by Phoebe Robertson: This is the book I keep in my purse at all times, that I whip out when I’m waiting in line at the drive thru, that made me forget to load my groceries on the belt, thereby seriously angering a line of people on a recent Sunday. It’s funny and earnest and feels like having brunch with a good friend. I’m trying not to read it too quickly. (paperback)