Peek Over Our Shoulders: What Rioters Are Reading On August 13, 2015

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Liberty Hardy

Senior Contributing Editor

Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading. Twitter: @MissLiberty

cat-reading-a-book-with-glasses-600x384In 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 

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie: Thought it was probably time to remedy never having read Rushdie. The book starts with a mythological jinn creature so I think I picked well. (egalley)

Fake ID by Lamar Giles: I needed a mystery/thriller. My brain craves it like chocolate! I like that the family is in witness protection but has to keep moving–seems someone in the family keeps getting into trouble…Oh, and a murder of course. Just what I needed. (Audiobook)

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg: I am always interested in human behavior and the combination of a comedian writing a book with a sociologist about romance is incredibly intriguing. (Audiobook)

Jessica Woodbury

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin: Really time to fix the fact that I’ve never read Baldwin, and this one was on Scribd. (Audiobook)

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: Listening to it now, it deserves every ounce of hype. After this will have to procure a hard copy for underlining. (Audio galley)

Up to This Pointe by Jennifer Longo (Random House Books for Young Readers, January 19): Luckily I have our own Kelly to tell me whenever there’s a new ballet-related book coming out. Oh, and half of this is set in Antarctica. Hell, yes. (E-galley)

Rachel Manwill

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles: Sometimes you just really need to listen to a 35-hour-long southern legal novel. (Audiobook)

Villa America by Liza Klaussmann: My happy place for summer reading is historical fiction about literary figures in the south of France. This absolutely fits the bill. (Print galley).

Alice Burton

The Apparitional Lesbian by Terry Castle: Why are you NOT reading an academic essay collection on lesbianism that takes on the patriarchy and more particularly Henry James? Maybe you should ask yourself that thing.

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty: Because I just read Big Little Lies and now I am going to read ALL THE LIANE MORIARTY ALL OF IT.

Rachel Smalter Hall

Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick: In preparation for the Moby-Dick tattoo I’m finally getting this weekend! (Audio)

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald: It was finally my turn on the library holds list. This is turning out to be my season of memoirs — six in a row now, womp womp. (Hardcover, library)

Kate Scott 

The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts by Arthur Miller: Rereading this for the first time since high school!

Where Is God When It Hurts? by Philip Yancey: Yancey is quickly emerging as one of my favorite Christian thinkers. This exploration of the problem of pain is different from any I have seen before.

Jessica Tripler 

Venetia by Georgette Heyer: Heyer is sometimes (unfairly) called a poor man’s Jane Austen, and I can sort of see why: she wrote emotionally astute and highly readable courtship novels set among the well-to-do in early nineteenth century England. I Iove Heyer for her incredible wit, intricate dialogue, and careful exploration the distinction between social mores and moral character. Venetia is probably my favorite Heyer heroine so far, and that’s saying something. (Audio)

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill: I love short novels, and I fell in love with this one on the first page: “Memories are microscopic. Tiny particles that swarm together and apart. Little people, Edison called them.” Beautiful, heartbreaking, funny, describing this book makes me sound like some hack professional blurbist, but I mean every word. (Paper)

Tasha Brandstatter 

A Wish Upon Jasmine by Laura Florand: Received an ARC for review consideration. (eARC)

Derek Attig

The Table of Less Valued Knights by Marie Phillips: Phillips’s Gods Behaving Badly is one of my favorite books ever, so when I saw she wrote another book playing with myth and legend, I jumped at it. (paperback)

Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 1): Historical mystery anchored by an interesting, gutsy female protagonist? Sign me up. (e-galley)

Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Deep Vellum Publishing, September 15): I’m trying to read more work in translation, and this one seems very promising. (e-galley)

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap by Matt Taibbi: Because, well, look at this world we’re living in. (ebook)

Karina Glaser 

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson: A memoir by legendary Top Chef winner and Harlem restaurateur. Verdict so far: amazing. (Hardcover)

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder: A hefty and beautiful book that I cannot wait to dive into. (Library Hardcover)

E.H. Kern 

Dear Life by Alice Munro: I threw a dinner party where a friend’s Plus One offered me as a thank you the Canadian edition of a book by Alice Munro that Munro had personally handed to her. No need for a gift, I said, and thought to myself that yeah right on the Munro story. A little while later, the Canadian edition of Dear Life was delivered to me. So now I’m reading it and can’t stop thinking that this book was once handed over by Alice Munro herself. (Paperback)

Peter Damien 

Art in the Blood by Bonnie MacBird: Amazing cover and it’s Sherlock Holmes so I couldn’t resist. It didn’t gel with me. The blood ambled, then deflated. Sherlock was petulant, and I felt its ending came from Anthony Horowitz’s House of Silk. (e-galley)

Slade House by David Mitchell: NEW DAVID MITCHELL! NEW DAVID MITCHELL!!! *ahem* I mean this is really good so far. I’m early days in, but it already feels like a mix between The Secret Garden and Salem’s Lot filtered through pure David Mitchell. Trying my hardest not to devour it in one gulp. (Literally. I’m very over-excited about it.) (e-galley)

Kristel Autencio 

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson: This book chronicles the great migration of African-Americans from the American South after the failures of Reconstruction and the oppression of Jim Crow. Because they are marginalized, the participants of this mass exodus were scarcely documented, but they have shaped a large part of contemporary US culture and race relations. There’s a lot of warmth and humanity encoded in each page, complemented by a sharp intellectual mind. This staggering piece of historical scholarship is both necessary and a pleasure to read. (Trade Paperback)

Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers: I’m two books away from completing the Lord Peter Wimsey canon. This is about a murdered painter and the six fellow artists who could’ve potentially done away with him. Gentleman detective Peter Wimsey must choose the correct one–kind of like the Dating Game, except with homicidal bohemians. (Scribd)

Dwellers by Eliza Victoria: I really enjoyed Victoria’s short story collection last year, and this short novel is my first read for the #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy (Month of Filipino Literature) campaign. (e-book)

Jeanette Solomon

The Magician King by Lev Grossman: It’s about time, and don’t even tell me if something bad and/or cheap happens to my girl Julia. (library ebook)

Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein: I loved Code Name Verity and liked Rose Under Fire, so anything Wein is automatic library hold for me. (library)

Andi Miller

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak: As I found out recently, this is the perfect beach book…short stories and vignettes with plenty of off-kilter humor and snark. (Paperback)

Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads by Paul Theroux: I haven’t decided what I think about this one yet because it’s one more white male northerner observing the deep south and its legacy of slavery. I give side-eye. (E-galley)

S. Zainab Williams

Hunter by Mercedes Lackey: I read and loved the Vows and Honor series by Mercedes Lackey in high school so I was thrilled to find out about this forthcoming fantasy for young adults. (E-galley)

Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson: I’m halfway in and loving this quirky, deeply human story exploring the relationship between two sisters from a family of demigods. I am all about the narrator’s wryness so far. (Audiobook)

Aram Mrjoian

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: Reading this for book club. (paperback)

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky: This book has been on my literary bucket list for awhile, and I finally figured I’d give it a go. Whether I’ll finish or not is yet to be determined. Hoping to knock it out over the next month. (paperback)

A.J. O’Connell

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: I’m a big fan of Jemisin’s Inheritance books, so I was really happy to start reading her newest fantasy. I’m only 60 pages in, but so far, I’m really into the world she’s built. (Print galley)

Chris Arnone

Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation by Aisha Tyler: After listening to Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please on audiobook, I’ve discovered I really like funny memoirs on audio. I can more successfully pay attention while doing other things like driving and mowing. (audiobook)

The House You Pass on the Way by Jacqueline Woodson: Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming is still the best thing I’ve read this year. It shot her right near the top of my favorite authors list. So naturally, it’s time for more Woodson. (ebook, library)

Long Walk to Valhalla by Adam Smith and Matt Fox: I’d heard good things about this book, and then ran into Smith and Fox and KC Comic Con. I was surprised to discover they are now local to me. I love supporting local artists AND I was able to buy their book and get it signed. Double win. (hardcover)

Amanda Nelson 

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner: Angsty teens in the South, one of whom is the son of a snake-handling preacher/felon? Here for it. Plus, Eric read it last month and named it the best book he read in July. (ARC)

Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields: I’m reading basically every biography of Harper Lee that’s in print right now in preparation for moderating a Harper Lee panel at the Mississippi Book Festival. (Hardcover)

The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck: A crotchety newspaper journalist hitches up a team of mules to a covered wagon and makes the first trek along the 2,000 mile Oregon Trail in 100 years. Part history buff’s dream (the chapter on the history of mules in America was legitimately fascinating), part Eat, Pray, Love for cynics and grouches (I say this as a positive). (audio)

Jacob the Mutant by Mario Bellatin (transl. Jacob Steinberg): for Best Translated Book Award consideration. (paperback)

Jessica Pryde

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean: A desperate search through Scribd for something fun to listen to ended with a delighted sigh and the First Rule of Scoundrels. I love a good childhood sweethearts/scoundrel with a heart of gold/marriage of convenience but not really story, especially if Sarah MacLean is putting the words together. (Audiobook)

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow: I am trying to actually read galleys before the book comes out. This one, combination post-apocalyptic/dystopic/artificial intelligence science fiction (from what I can sell so far) introduces an interesting concept about political hostages. (egalley)

March: Book One by John Lewis: It has been sitting on my bookshelf far too long. Now seemed as good a time as any to start. (paperback)

Maddie Rodriguez

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh: A YA romance inspired by a classic tale (in this case, A Thousand and One Nights) with an awesome female protagonist and a gorgeous cover? Ringing all my bells. I’ve been on “summer fun with substance” reading kick for the last two months and this seems perfect. I can’t wait to crack it open!

Kim Ukura 

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain: Normally I like to read biographies of famous people, but Beryl Markham’s biography is pretty hard to find. This new fictional account of her life – based, I think, pretty heavily on historical research – will hopefully be the next best thing.


Witches of America by Alex Mar: Not very far into this so all I know is it’s a nonfiction book about, well, exactly what it sounds like: witches in america. Alex Mar was working on a documentary about faith and paganism/wicca (American Mystic), but—despite being an atheist—she was intrigued by their staunch faith, and it seems like she wrote this book to explore that faith more deeply. So far it’s really well-written and interesting, definitely scratching that witchy itch.

Valerie Michael

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James: I’ve been meaning to read this one forever and once it showed up on the Man Booker Prize Longlist, I finally picked it up. It is absolutely huge, lifting it to read should help me save on my gym membership! (Hardcover)

Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit by Andrew Moore: This is a book by a local author about the pawpaw, the largest native fruit in America that somehow most of the country has forgotten about. It is blowing my mind and now I want to skip out on work and go find pawpaws. (Hardcover)

The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time by Jonathan Weiner: Because, if you know me at all, you know that it is always about the birds. (Paperback)

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain: This is my dog walking book right now, the perfect thing to listen to while doing a quiet, solitary activity. (Audiobook)

As for Me

Calf by Andrea Kleine: A fictionalized account of the psychiatric hospital romance between attempted Reagan assassin John Hinckley, Jr. and socialite murderess Leslie DeVeau. I’m unsettled and I only just started it. (galley)

Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser: All it took was a comparison to True Grit to have me begging for a copy. (galley)

Is Fat Bob Dead Yet? by Stephen Dobyns: I love Stephen Dobyns and I’m really excited for his new crime novel. If you want to read something wonderful and creepy, read his book The Church of Dead Girls. (e-galley)

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh: I can’t tell you what it’s about, because I’ve been avoiding descriptions. I just know that lots of people whose opinions I hold in high regard have told me to read it. (galley)