Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Peek Over Our Shoulders: What Rioters Are Reading On February 4, 2016

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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

The Fireman by Joe Hill: I will read anything Joe Hill writes and it’s already soooo good I want to marry this book. (egalley)

The Turner House by Angela Flournoy: Along with all the book buzz (all warranted, the book is excellent) Flournoy gave a lecture in a MOOC course I took and she was fantastic. (ebook)

The Language of Secrets
by Ausma Zehanat Khan: Amanda beyond sold this to me in her Inbox/Outbox post–and at least one book I’m reading always has to be a mystery. (egalley)

Kate Scott

Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women by Sarah Helm: I spotted this when it was nominated for the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards. I’m only a few chapters in, but it’s phenomenal so far. (Hardcover)

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: This won the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for historical fiction, so I thought I’d give it a listen. (Audiobook)

Eric Smith

Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods: There are a lot of lovely contemporary YA reads hitting this year, and Woods’ debut has been at the top of my must-read list. About halfway through, and it’s a sweet, romantic read packed full of references to astrology and astronomy, which directly ties to all the romance. Very different, very sweet. (ARC)

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor: A YA version of Outlander? Yes please. Twitter has been a buzz about this one for a while now, and I’m excited to finally have my hands on it. (ARC)

Tasha Brandstatter

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest: I have a problem. I can’t resist YA vampire romance novels. (ebook)

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James: A friend recommend this to me. Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? (audiobook)

Rachel Weber

The Fireman by Joe Hill: Because I too am a Hill loyalist and so far this is my favourite since Heart Shaped Box.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: I’m rediscovering fantasy right now and the idea of three different Londons, one that smells of roses, has charmed the magical coat off me.

Beyond Words: What Animals Think And Feel by Carl Safina: Became a must read after I saw Safina’s TED talk about causing (and curing) crayfish anxiety.

Liberty Hardy

Shiny Broken Pieces: A Tiny Pretty Things Novel by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton (July 12, HarperTeen) One word: Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! (e-galley)

Weathering by Lucy Wood: Her last book, Diving Belles, was so wonderful and weird and magical, I had to have this! (hardcover)

Adios, Cowboy by Olja Savičević (Author), Celia Hawkesworth (Translator) (Feb. 9, McSweeney’s) The cover of this book caught my eye – it’s amazing! – and the description sounded like something I couldn’t resist. (e-galley)

Seahorse by Janice Pariat (Feb. 9, Unnamed Press): I love Unnamed Press and will read anything they put in front of me, because so far, everything from them has been incredible.

Jessica Woodbury 

The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante. The Neapolitan novels left me with a Ferrante-shaped hole in my life, so I’m filling it with this very very very dark and intense read. (Audiobook)

The Magicians by Lev Grossman. The new SyFy series got me all nostalgic so I ordered the pretty box set of all 3 novels and have started reading them over again. (Paperback)

Black Apple by Joan Crate. Slow to start, but really picking up. A story of an indigenous girl in Canada when the Catholic church removed indigenous children from their home to “educate” them. (e-galley)

Amanda Diehl

Wicked, Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren: This is the fourth and final book in Lauren’s Wild Seasons series, which happens to be the series I started with. The first book, Sweet Filthy Boy, is what jump-started my love for their books and I’m a little sad to see the series end. But I’m expecting great things and I’m very excited to not only see how they close the series, but what they’ll do in the future. (ARC)

Aram Mrjoian

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee: I had the privilege of moderating a panel Alex was a part of at Book Riot Live back in November. He was remarkably friendly and articulate. Our brief conversation, plus wide hype from the BR staff, made me want to cop his new book asap. (ARC)

A.J. O’Connell

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu: This is the kind of science fiction that makes me wish I were better at physics in school. I’ve been reading amazing things about this book online since the translation was released, and I finally picked it up on Audible last month. It’s so good that I got the hard copy from the library so that I can listen to it during the day and read it before bed at night. (Audio book and hardcover)

Black Wolves by Kate Elliott: A publicist sent epic fantasy to me last year, and it sat in my TBR pile for months. I’m so glad I picked it up. I’m not far into the story, but so far there’s been plenty of supernatural action and political intrigue. Fans of David Anthony Durham’s Acacia books will love it. (ARC)

S. Zainab Williams

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter: This is my first Carter read! I’m obsessed with fairy tales at the moment and I bought the book without even realizing that one of my favorite childhood movie, “The Company of Wolves,” was based on a short story by Carter (which I also intend to read).

Low, Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope by Rick Remender, art by Greg Tocchini: This is one of my Read Harder Challenge books (a non-superhero comic). I picked up Low for the art, which is gorgeous.

Sarah McCarry

The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine: Saw this on the shelf a while ago and finally got around to reading it and oh my GOD this BOOK. Totally virtuosic time-jumping genre-bending story-within-a-story-within-like-forty-other stories that borrows gleefully from Lebanese history, medieval gay poetry, the Thousand and One Nights, the Old Testament, the Quran, Homer, Ovid, and about four hundred other sources, and delivers straight shots of pure unfiltered genius on every other page. (Hardcover from the library)

Derek Attig

The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe: It’s an engrossing book about race and belonging at a Gilded-Age women’s college. Of course I’m reading it! (egalley)
How to Be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life by Ruth Goodman: Some other Rioters were super-excited when this release was announced, so I had to give it a try. (egalley)

Bookshelf by Lydia Pine: This Object Lessons book has 3 pages about bookmobiles, which is about 3 pages more than most books. (It also has a bunch of other pages that are great, too!) (paperback)

Danika Ellis

Transformed: San Francisco by Suzanne Falter: A trans and queer thriller about saving San Francisco from a plot to destroy the “hedonists”. So far I’m hoping for a little more queer women content, but hopefully the disgruntled lesbian police sergeant turned whistle blower that I was promised shows up soon. Either way, I’m sold on this premise. (ARC)

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng: I’m late to this party, but I’m completely engrossed. What do you know, everyone was right about this one! (audiobook)

Angel Cruz

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab: I loved A Darker Shade of Magic, and this sequel is just ramping up that love even more. Delilah and Kell are both dealing with the ramifications of choices they made in the first book, and Schwab is amazing at laying down tense confrontations throughout the four Londons. (ARC)

Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse: This one came very highly recommended to me, and it’s exactly my wheelhouse. I love short stories and I love science fiction, so putting them together just sets the stage for a book I hope to love. (ARC)

Birdie by Tracy Lindberg: I try to read at least one Canada Reads shortlist nominee every year, and this one’s my pick for 2016. I’ve never read a book by an indigenous author before, so I’m especially happy to be diving into this one. (Paperback)

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow: I don’t know that anyone who knows me will be surprised by this. Eight chapters in, and I’m still very engrossed in the tale of America’s most talkative founding father. (Paperback)

Andi Miller 

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara: I had no intention of reading this book, but when a close friend decided to dive in, I figured there was no better time for a buddy read. While I’ve heard this is an extremely emotionally taxing book, I have a soft spot for demanding, confronting novels, so I hope I’ll really enjoy it. (ebook)

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud: I’m a long-time fan of Scott McCloud’s books, but my knowledge of his work stretches only as far as his non-fiction commentary on the comics medium. I’m really excited to see what he can do with fictional storytelling, and while I’m only a few pages in, he’s already doing some really interesting things with the nuances of illustration and text/image relationship. (hardcover)

Sarah Knight

The Winter Girl by Matt Marinovich: I recently posted a description of 16 different kinds of books I’d like to read in 2016 and this novel was recommended by a few people as a fit for my #1 wish list item, “A novel of psychological suspense with such a great twist that I will NEVER see it coming, and not because the twist is so stupid that it makes no sense and compels me to throw the book across the room and curse the six hours I spent reading it.” I’m in the early pages but so far, so good! (ebook)

Troy L. Wiggins 

White Girls by Hilton Als: Hilton Als is one of those essayists whose work is so truthful and witty that you can barely fathom how all that talent fits inside of one volume. I’m looking forward to digging into this one. (ebook)

Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel José Older: The second book in the Bone Street Rumba series. It’s perfect. ‘Nuff Said. (ebook)

Niobe: She is Life #1 Written by Amandla Stenberg and Sebastian A. Jones, Art by Ashley A. Woods: Celebrity activist icon Amandla Stenberg as an elf with dreadlocks who fights against prophecy and kicks ass. Stranger Comics, the publisher of Niobe and other titles, does good work, so I was geeked to hear about this project. (ebook)

Nicole Froio

Uprooted by Naomi Novik – I’ve been recommended this book about a hundred times and I am finally reading it! I got even more excited when the bookseller who sold me my copy enthusiastically told me that I am going to love it.

Alison Peters

Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour: I’m reading this one a) because I love YA and b) this came in my Book Riot YA box (yay!) and c) because I need to take big breaks from my other reading (see below). But it’s also just a really great read about a high school girl working as a move set-designer and and falling in and out of love. It’s making me re-think all of my decorating decisions. (paperback)

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin: Because I feel like the last person on earth who hasn’t read or watched the Game of Thrones series! Also, dragons. (soft-hard-cover Costco box set edition)

Johann Thorsson

Not Your Average Monster, Bloodshot Books. This is an anthology of monster stories, but the focus is on monsters that haven’t already been done to death. No vampires, werewolves or krakens. Great stories so far. Reading because I like like like horror short stories. (Kindle)

The Contortionists Handbook by Craig Clevenger. A drug-addicted forger does new and exciting things. The tone is somewhat Fight Club-esque. Reading because a friend literally handed it to me and said “YOU need to read this book.” (Paperback)

Karina Glaser 

The Memory Wall by Lev AC Rosen (September 13, Knopf Books for Young Readers): The story of twelve-year-old Nick Reeves who takes a break from the real world by playing video games, until the worlds begin to collide. Love the premise, and I’m loving the book.

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes: Because I love Shonda Rhimes! (Library Hardcover)

Jessica Tripler

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (audio) This one got so many year-end raves, and I’m a sucker for books about marriage. Loving the narrators and the beautiful prose.

Play With Me: Book One of the Billionaire Bedroom Games Series by Alisha Rai (ebook) Picked this one up free by an author I’ve always wanted to read. This is BDSM erotic romance, with reunited lovers, first in a trilogy. I’m the only person I know who takes multiple sitting to read a noivell, but I’m enjoying it so far.

Claire Handscombe

Good On Paper by Rachel Cantor Even if this one hadn’t been raved about far and wide as a book to look out for, I would have been intrigued enough to pick it up. Languages are my thing, and a plot that revolves around literary translation is firmly in wheelhouse. I’m loving it – it’s smart, sassy, and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. (egalley)

Show Your Work by Austin Kleon I bought this alongside Steal LIke an Artist in December – I didn’t plan to, but the books look so nice together, it was impossible not to. I really liked Steal, so I started Show Your Work as soon as I’d finished. Together, they’ve been a good way to start off my writing year. (paperback)

Fire Up Your Writing Brain by Susan Reynolds I spotted this at Politics and Prose just before their member sale. Writing books are one of my kryptonites. It’s giving me plenty of encouragement to do all kinds of things I know I should be doing anyway. Again, a good one to kick off the year. (paperback)

God Is Closer Than You Think by John Ortberg I’ve read and re-read this one many times over the years. John Ortberg writes in a very accessible way about why and how to live with a conscious awareness of and relationship with God every day, in the midst of our busyness and ordinary lives. It’s a good refresher and I needed one! (ebook)

Jessi Lewis 

100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, edited by Lorrie Moore and Heidi Pitlor
I’m moving through this one slowly, savoring each short story because I simply can’t NOT read this one. Best American’s legacy has been too hammered into my head for me to overlook this one. (hardbound)

Mr. Splitfoot by Rebecca Hunt.
This one sounds like it should be perfect for me– surrealism combined with a unique voice. We shall see. I’m only a few pages in, but I’m stoked. (ebook)

Just Mercy by Bryan Stephenson
I wrote a Book Riot post a while ago on the books chosen for freshmen reading, and this was a huge one, so I thought I’d check it out. So far, it’s living up to its reputation and importance. (ebook)

As for Me

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee: Liberty and Rebecca were so excited about it on the All the Books! podcast on Tuesday, and Rioters have been raving about this for months, so I had to grab it on its pub day! (Hardcover)