Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Peek Over Our Shoulders: What Rioters Are Reading On July 16, 2015

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

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

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!

Amanda Nelson

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff (Little Brown, Oct. 27, 2015): Schiff wrote one of my favorite biographies (Cleopatra, which is mentioned downstream by another Rioter), so I snapped up her new history of the Salem Witch Trials as soon as I could. (ARC)

The Exchange of Princesses by Chantal Thomas: For consideration for the 2016 Best Translated Book Award (I’m one of the judges). (Paperback)

Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal: I’m on a books-about-books kick after finishing The Rabbit Back Literature Society, and this slim little thing is just beautifully written. (ebook)

Brandi Bailey

Death with Interruptions by Jose Saramago: for my local book club, how hadn’t I read this before?!? (Audible)

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt: for pure pleasure, I really couldn’t wait to get my grubby little paws on this one (e-galley, pub date January 5, 2016)

Leila Roy

Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson: Second in the super-awesome Remnant Chronicles series. (ARC)

He Who Fears the Wolf by Karin Fossum: I can’t stop reading Norwegian crime. (library, paperback)

Duplicate Death by Georgette Heyer: Heyer is one of my go-to comfort authors. (library, hardcover)

Jessica Woodbury 

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera: catching up with this much-buzzed new release and it’s everything I hoped it would be. (Audible)

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon: I read everything she writes, I just can’t help it, and her move to horror is making me really happy. (e-galley, August 4)

Karina Glaser 

Woundabout by Lev Rosen and illustrated by Ellis Rosen: Bought this middle grade book from the Strand and can’t stop reading it! (Hardcover)

Pleasantville by Attica Locke: Got this from Book of the Month! So excited about this amazing monthly book membership! (Hardcover)

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma: The Walls Around Us was my pick for best book in 2015 (so far), so of course I need to read everything else Nova Ren Suma has written. (Library Hardcover)

Jamie Canaves

The Incarnations by Susan Barker: That cover. That’s all it took for me to say gimme. So far it’s good and dark and strange and I like how evil the evil character(s) are. (egalley, August 18)

The Bees by Laline Paull: Can I say “that cover” again? I waited this long before reading it in order to forget at least some of the “OMG it’s soooo good!” social media postings. (ebook)

Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation by Blake J. Harris: As a kid I used to risk whatever punishment would come my way to sneak into my brother’s room to play My Hero, Haunted House, and Teddy Boy on his Sega. I loved those games so much (still do) which made this book a must read. (Paperback)

Derek Attig 

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: It’s Ta-Nehisi Coates. Come on. (e-galley)

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins: Because other Book Riot-ers have been really enthusiastic about how good and weird and gory it is. They aren’t wrong. (ebook)

Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins: I’m a sucker for drought fiction and a pretty book. This one’s both. (galley, out September 29)

E.H. Kern 

The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings. J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield and Charles Williams by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski: Because it’s about Tolkien. (ARC)

Kristel Autencio 

Smaller and Smaller Circles by FH Batacan: I read this when it was first published in the Philippines, but this edition by Soho Crime is substantially longer, so I felt that there is real value and going back to reread it.(e-galley)

The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu: It’s a high fantasy novel that doesn’t follow the typical European medieval setting of most fantasies. Plus the political intrigue is something I enjoy. (e-book)

Eric Smith 

Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen: I grabbed a copy of this at BEA, based solely on the Chuck Wendig blurb, not even realizing Lila Bowen was the pen name for one of my favorite authors on the Internet, Delilah S. Dawson (her latest YA novel, Hit, is fantastic). An adult fantasy, Wake of Vultures is about a woman raised by people who treat her poorly, and the revelation of her magical gifts. (ARC, out October 27th from Orbit)

An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes by Randy Ribay: “As their senior year approaches, four diverse friends united by their weekly Dungeons & Dragons game struggle to figure out real life.” Yeah okay I’m already sold based on that very first line of jacket copy, you guys. A geeky contemporary YA read with alternating narratives, this is a book to look out for. (ARC, out October 16th from Merit Press)

Justina Ireland 

Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace: I bought this book after quite a few people in my Twitter feed praised it. It’s the kind of book that is hard to explain, featuring a post-apocalyptic future and ghosts and weird mythology, a mish mash of genre tropes that sounds awful when I try to describe it but comes together beautifully in the book. (paperback)

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson: I love Carson’s books and I love well done historical fantasy, although this skirts closer to historical magical realism. A quiet book so far, but I’m enjoying it. (ARC)

Chris Arnone

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: I snagged a nice, new, special-edition hardcover of Lee’s classic for a reread in anticipation of her new book. Speaking of which…

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee: I’m writing this the day before release, but the first new Harper Lee novel in more than 50 years will be out in the wild by the time you read this. Like so many, I’ll be diving into this quite soon. (hardcover)

Rachel Smalter Hall 

The Clasp by Sloane Crosley: a breath of fresh (and funny) air after a streak of sad, heavy reads. (galley, out October 6)

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma: I DNF’ed this several times before giving it one more go. Turns out third time’s a charm! The audio version is so great — a mysterious, universal, funny, and dark tale of boyhood. (audio)

S. Zainab Williams 

A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic by Lisa Papademetriou: My first middle grade read since middle grade! I chose this contemporary fairy tale about two girls on opposite sides of the world who are connected by a mysterious book called The Exquisite Corpse. (e-galley, October 6)

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare: In trying to catch up with the world of YA fantasy, I’ve decided to read my way through The Infernal Devices, a popular trilogy about shapeshifting 16-year-old Tessa Gray and her dealings with Shadowhunters. (audio)

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: I’m on the edge of my seat with this YA fantasy from debut novelist Tahir. I’m enthralled (and driven to madness) by the struggles of Laia and Elias. (audio)

Christy Childers 

How to Be a Heroine OR, What I’ve Learned from Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis: I spotted this in a bookstore and picked it up on the strength of the title alone. Loving it so far! (paperback)

Nikki Steele 

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku: A fascinating book about the future of technology, medicine, AI, space travel, and energy. (audiobook)

The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 by Jane Poytner: To continue the science theme, a take on the first Biosphere 2 experiment from a person who was there. While some parts are fascinating so far, it does fall into drama and gossip a bit too much for my liking. (hardcover)

Tasha Brandstatter

The English Spy by Daniel Silva: A new release by one of my favorite authors. (hardback)

The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas: Recommended to me by a fellow blogger. (audiobook)

Andi Miller 

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire: I loved Wicked so much that it’s taken me forever to get into this one. It seems an audio version has done the trick. (audio)

Aram Mrjoian 

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: Heard way too much hype about this book not to read it. I feel way behind already. (paperback)

Jessica Pryde 

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler: I was totally judging a book by its gorgeous cover. Also, The Little Mermaid. Of course I was going to read it. (hardcover)

A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev: I was scouring Overdrive for something to read that didn’t have a million holds and this one popped up. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG?! (library audiobook)

Rachel Weber

Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler: I will never be bored of vampires thanks to writers like Butler. A killing machine that looks like a ten year old for a hero? So here for that. (Paperback)

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness is so so smart. You know how all that crazy stuff, vampires, apocalypses, aliens, always seems to happen at high school? Well what if you’re not one of the kids directly involved it and you’re just trying to graduate, thanks very much? (Galley, out August 27)

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett. Not my first time reading this book, and won’t be my last. I just really miss having Pratchett on the planet. (ebook)

Rachel Manwill 

Smokejumper: A Memoir by One of America’s Most Select Airborne Firefighters by Jason A. Ramos: Most of the wildfire fighting that happens in America takes place in the West, and a large portion, in one of my home states of Idaho. That alone was enough to interest me, but the sheer awesomeness of this dirty job makes this a must read. (print galley)

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen: On a recent road trip, my mom and I plowed through the audio of The Queen of the Tearling, the first in this adult fantasy trilogy. We finished it, and immediately downloaded this sequel, which we’re now listening to independently. And it is SO GOOD. (audiobook)

Troy L. Wiggins 

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone: Someone told me that this book would destroy my notions of Urban Fantasy, so I picked it up. (hardcover)

A Wanted Woman by Eric Jerome Dickey: Dickey’s one of my favorite authors, but I haven’t read any of his books in a while. Will be interacting with him for my Day Job soon, and staff had to choose books to read. Of course, I chose this one. It’s so comfortable, like climbing back into bed in the morning. (hardcover)

Jessica Tripler 

Tailings, a Memoir by Kaethe Schwehn: A friend recommended this short work focusing on a formative period in the author’s life, when her fiance left her, she lived at a Lutheran retreat center in the Cascade Mountains, and she decided to pursue an MFA. In case you’re rolling your eyes at the MFA part, the prose is effortlessly lovely. It’s a really interesting take not just on a specifically Christian yearning, but on a desire for meaning and transcendence many of us seek. (paper)

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot By the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai. I snapped this one up in the Audible sale and what a great listen. The preface is read by Malala herself and the rest by the actor Archie Panjabi. I’m just in awe of her and so inspired by her resilience and her activism for girls’ education. (audio)

Edd McCracken 

When the Facts Change: Essays, 1995-2010 by Tony Judt: A collection of searing essays from the massive brain of the late historian Tony Judt. After reading Roald Dahl’s wonderful Matilda this was the opposite of a palate cleanser. Meaty, full-bodied subjects such as Israel, American foreign policy, and (with incredible prescience) the European Union have been guzzled down thus far. (hardcover)

Johann Thorsson 

FLEX by Ferrett Steinmetz: Contemporary urban fantasy in which magic can be distilled into a drug. Using it however, incurs a debt that manifests in misfortune. So, if you use magic to, say, to catch a bus you might otherwise miss, the FLUX you incur might cause a car crash nearby. Bureaucrat Paul Tsabo has some talent for finding ‘mancers, practitioners of the outlawed magic but it turns out he is a ‘mancer himself. Above all else, this book is pure fun so far. (e-book)

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday. A self-help book that teaches readers not to learn how to overcome obstacles but that they are actually something to be used to help you on your way. We’ll see. (e-book)

Emma Nichols 

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff: I will never again think of biographies as boring. Though difficult to separate the myth from the woman, Schiff has written a fascinating, factual history of Cleopatra. I love how, where history has drawn her as a conniving seductress, Schiff writes her as a strong, intelligent, and shrewd queen. (paperback)

Valerie Michael 

Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry edited by Camille Dungy: This is a beautiful, extensive collection of nature poetry written by African Americans and I am enjoying it immensely. I am trying to read it slowly and not gobble all the poems up at once. (Paperback)

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff: I’ve heard a lot of talk about this from other Book Rioters and I just started it. (Paperback ARC)

Hannah Depp 

The Fine Art of Fucking Up by Cate Dicharry: One of my favorite covers, it has been sitting and taunting me for about 4 months. An academic send up novel, it is funny and edges around the absurd without ever going too far. (Paperback)

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. It’s Felicia Day talking about homeschooling, feminism, making your way, acting and the great equalizing force (for good or ill) of the internet. It is a charming, fast read that I find myself thinking about during my work day. Always a good sign. (Paperback ARC- Out 8/11/15)

Rapture by Carol Ann Duffy. I am trying not to devour this book all at once. Duffy’s poetry is honest, sensual and simple. I’m going to treat this book like a lady and take my time. (Paperback)

The Ferguson Report from the Dept. of Justice Report, the Civil Rights Division with an introduction by Theodore Shaw. Sometimes things should be hard to read. While this is a government report, the events depicted and analyzed are far from dry. Shaw’s introduction serves as a guide through the book. It’s taking me some time, but it is well worth it. (Paperback)

Alison Peters

Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam and the Science of Ocean Motion by Loree Griffin Burns. I’m reading this for a young adult nonfiction class for school, and it’s a) schooling me and b) making me desperate to remove all plastics from my life, immediately. But conversely, I want a rubber ducky. (Hardback, library copy)

The Kids Are All Right by Diana Welch, Liz Welch, Amanda Welch & Dan Welch. I never saw the movie, and lucky for me, because I would’ve been spoiled by this fantastic memoir, told from the point of view of all four kids who go from living The Life (mansions, pools, ponies) with their soap-star mom, to barely keeping it together when first their dad dies, and then their mom get cancer and slowly fades away. Makes you wanna hug your mom. (Hardback, used)

As for Me

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan: Reading this for coverage consideration. One of the great things about curating the BR new release newsletter and podcast is that I read all kinds of new releases, even if it isn’t something I’d normally choose. And nine times out of ten, I’m pleasantly surprised. (e-galley)

Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving: I keep almost starting this, and then getting so excited, I wait a few more days. This time I’m gonna do it, for real! (e-galley)

How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston: Have heard nothing but high praise for this, so I think it’s time for me to read it. (paperback)

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem: This is my first time reading Gloria Steinem! I did get to meet her a couple years ago – she was amazing. (e-galley)