Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Peek Over Our Shoulders: What Rioters Are Reading on November 25, 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

Read Up!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 

The Mothers by Brit Bennett: Trying to catch up on my October reads! (Hardcover)

Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil: Another one that has been on my TBR list for a while. I’m trying to squeeze in as many of this year’s hottest books as possible before curating my best of 2016 list in December! (Hardcover)

Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein: It seems like every book blogger I know has been raving about this book for months and now it’s up for a Goodreads Choice Award, so I thought it was high time I read it. I’m only a chapter in, but it’s excellent so far. (Library Hardcover)

Swing Time by Zadie Smith: This has been on my list since August. I finally spotted it on the Volumes app. (Audiobook)

Liberty Hardy 

 The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Aug. 1, 2017): A new horror novel about the seedy, dangerous side of the Internet, from the author of Red Moon, The Dead Lands and more! (If you need a Percy fix right now, be sure to check out Thrill Me, his new essay collection.) (e-galley)

Marlena by Julie Buntin (Henry Holt, April 4, 2017): Editor Buntin takes a seat behind the author wheel with this debut novel about the friendship of two teen girls. It has been getting amazing reviews, and I’m so excited to finally have a copy in my hot little hands! (galley)

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova (Ballantine Books, April 11, 2017): From the author of The Historian, it’s the story of a young American woman who travels to Bulgaria to help heal her grief over the death of her brother. But shortly upon her arrival, she accidentally winds up with a box of human ashes. MY BODY IS READY. (e-galley)

Coin Locker Babies by Ryu Murakami, translated by Stephen Snyder: Completely bonkers story of two orphans in Japan, found abandoned in bus station lockers, who grow up to lead bizarre lives in Toxitown. Like, COMPLETELY bananapants. (paperback)

Bronwyn Averett 

Life in the Court of Matane  by Eric DuPont, translated by Peter McCambridge: Wanted to try out a book from new imprint QC Fiction. A beautiful, tragicomic coming-of-age story (memoir? autofiction?) of a sensitive boy growing up in rural Quebec during the decade leading up to the 1980 referendum. This translation is knocking my socks off. (paperback)

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride: Stumbled across this book on Netgalley and had heard of the author. At this point, I am waiting for the dreamy, prose-poetry, stream-of-half-consciousness, somewhere-between-Joyce-and-Woolf style to become utterly unbearable. And yet I keep reading. So I think I must like it. (e-galley).

Angel Cruz 

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maureen Goo: After the week I’ve had, I’m choosing to love myself and bump this book way up my TBR. (e-galley)

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan: Impulse buy at the train station on Monday, mostly because I didn’t feel like digging into my backpack for the three books I’d already bought. But I’m so glad I picked it up at Penn Station, because it’s been making me laugh and cry, reminding me of IRL people that I know. (Paperback)

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers: This one is partly because of BR colleagues and partly because I just really like the title. I’ve heard great things about it, and while I’m only a few chapters in, I’m definitely enjoying the worldbuilding and characters. (Paperback)

Tasha Brandstatter 

The Chocolate Temptation by Laura Florand: I needed something comforting to read, so decided to do a reread of one of my favorite Florand books. (switching between paperback and ebook, since I own both)

Real Food/Fake Food by Larry Olmsted: Came across this one while doing my semi-monthly catalog search for books about cocktails at the library. (audiobook)

Steph Auteri  

Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen: I saw Quindlen speak at Bindercon (a conference for women and gender non-conforming writers) and immediately wanted to be her. I was horrified to realize I had never read any of her book-length work before. (Hardcover)

The Feminist Utopia Project edited by Alexandra Brodsky and Rachel Kauder Nalebuff: I’m always keeping an eye out for exciting books from the Feminist Press because they were my first publishing job out of college and I was wild about the work we did there. This one’s been on my radar for awhile. (Ebook)

Making Out Like a Virgin edited by Catriona McHardy and Cathy Plourde: As soon as I heard about this anthology on intimacy after sexual trauma, I had to read it. It’s a topic I regularly write about and I was excited to see a new, small press focusing on this essential subject matter. (Egalley)

Jessica Yang 

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates: I’ve been wanting to read the Ta-Nehisi Coates incarnation of Black Panther, so when I found it at the library, I grabbed it. (paperback)

The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner: As weird as it sounds, I picked this up as comfort reading. It’s cutthroat royal intrigue, but from the eyes of a bewildered, puppy dog-like guard. (paperback)

Ashley Bowen-Murphy 

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien: Started reading this ahead of hearing her speak at a local bookstore last week. This novel won a ton of prizes in Canada and was short-listed for the Man Booker this year. It’s a slow burn, for sure. It took me well over 100 pages to really get into it (though, I’m willing to admit I’m still suffering from some post-election haze). Thien is chewing on lots of big questions about the nature of history, storytelling, and time. Not an easy book but one I’m really savoring. (hardcover)

The Trespasser by Tana French: I’ve only tried one of her previous Dublin Murder Squad books before and didn’t love it. Still, given my near obsession with mysteries set in the UK, Ireland, and EU, it’s time to try again. When this popped up as a Book of the Month option, I decided to go for it. (hardcover)

Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History by Bill Schutt: Honestly, reading about eating your own kind just makes sense right now, don’t you think? I’m fascinated by the way that Schutt weaves together hard science, myth, and popular culture. I’ve just started this, but already dig it. (e-galley)

Katie McLain 

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng: After suffering through a seriously disappointing audiobook, I needed something that was pretty much guaranteed to be a five star reading experience.  I’m late to the Celeste Ng game, but so far, this audiobook is exactly what I need.  Thoughtful, thought-provoking, and beautifully written. (digital audiobook)

Storm Front by Jim Butcher: One of the reading selections for an ongoing professional genre study on speculative fiction.  I’ve had Jim Butcher on my list for a while now, so this was the nudge I needed to finally pick it up.  So far, pretty engaging, but I’m only 50 pages in. (library paperback)

Casey Stepaniuk 

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo: I was feeling a void since I had just finished one audiobook, so I literally just looked through what was available now in Overdrive through my library, and was drawn to this brightly coloured cover. I’ve also never read a book by a Zimbabwean author, so I thought I should give this a shot! (digital audiobook)

Even this Page is White by Vivek Shraya: She’s fast becoming one of my favourite (queer, Canadian) authors, so I had to pick up her first poetry collection when I saw it at my local queer bookstore. I’m trying to read it slowly so the poems have time to sink in. I’ll probably re-read it after I’m done too. (paperback)

Rachel Weber 

One More Thing: Stories And Other Stories by B.J. Novak – I’m listening to this on audio and it’s such a treat. The stories are small but perfectly formed and there all celebrity cameos to bring the characters to life. It’s keeping me sane during lunch breaks.

The Last One by Alexandra Oliva – I’m a Naked & Afraid junkie so this story about a woman who doesn’t realise the survival reality show she’s in has ended is giving me life. And keeping me up at night. (eBook)

Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg – A debut novel about a hippie commune with unsettling beliefs, this crackles with tension. I’ve just started it but I can tell it’s totally in my wheelhouse. (eBook)

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher – Princess Leia talking about banging Han Solo behind the scenes? WHY WOULDN’T YOU READ THIS? (eGalley)

Peter Damien

In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov, 1920-1954 by Isaac Asimovthe first half of Asimov’s biography. It is just the most exhaustively detailed biography I’ve ever encountered. I swear he’s recorded every train fare of his life. But it’s a great read, and I like having a hyper-detailed writer’s biography, actually. (paperback)

MORT(E) by Robert Repino — The world’s animals gain sentience and rise up against humans and there is an apocalyptic war and we follow all events from the point of view of a housecat, formerly named Sebastian, now named Mort(e), and tell me this premise alone isn’t enough to make you wanna read it. Seriously, it’s a blast of a book. (hardcover)

Welcome to the Jungle, Revised Edition: Facing Bipolar Without Freaking Out by Hilary Smith – I’m bipolar myself, but even if I weren’t, it’s a fascinating topic and I try to read a lot about it. I missed the first go-around of Welcome to the Jungle, though. I’m glad I’m getting to it here. I think this is the first bipolar book I’d hand someone who needed information. It’s smart, and it’s very funny. And it has a chapter called “Hippie Shit That Totally Works” which is enough to sell any book, really, isn’t it? (eGalley)

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – I went from not knowing Patrick Ness to, in the space of two books, being a rabid and devout fan. I was sold on this book by the stunning trailer. The short book promises to devastate you more or less from page one, and it succeeds powerfully on that promise. If you buy it, buy the illustrated edition, they’re almost as important as the text. Such a novel, you guys. (paperback)

Eric Smith

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: How long have I been waiting for this book? Since the announcement of its sale to the movie deal to all the buzz on Twitter, it feels like I’ve been waiting forever for this to land in my to-be-read pile. And now, here it is. A YA novel that spins a story straight out of current headlines, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, I’m about a quarter into the book and taking my time. It’s a read to be savored, that is for certain, and definitely lives up to the hype surrounding it. (ARC, Out February 2017)

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig: The first book in this wonderfully charming duology, The Girl From Everywhere, is easily one of my favorite reads of the year, expertly weaving together a story of family and magic. So I was really excited when the sequel popped up. I’m so ready to continue this adventure in Heilig’s world. (ARC, Out March 2017)

Karina Glaser 

See You in the Cosmos, Carl Sagan by Jack Cheng (Dial Books for Young Readers, February 2017): This book is about eleven-year-old Alex Petroski who wants to launch his golden iPod into space, just like his hero Carl Sagan launched his Golden Record on a spacecraft in the 1970s. If that description wasn’t enough to get me interested, the publicist sent me the book wrapped in gold paper with a note, “This book Golden Book iPod has travelled through the universe to bring you sounds of life on earth: of family, friendship, love, and a boy who loves rockets and his dog and is trying to be brave.” I am so here for this. (ARC)

Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet: I love E.B. White’s books, and Melissa Sweet’s gorgeous collages and illustrations are making him all the more endearing to me. (Hardcover)

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon: This book was a National Book Award finalist, and now that I’m halfway through I know exactly why the judges chose it. Nicola Yoon is a creative, loving storyteller. (Library Hardcover)

Sarah Nicolas 

Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki: I’m almost done with this and it is decidedly less supernatural than the blurb made it out to be. Not bad, but just not what I was looking for at this moment in time. (audiobook)

Cress by Marissa Meyer: I just gobbled up the first two books in the Lunar Chronicles series, so I don’t know why it took me so long to start this one, but I’m finally reading it and loving it. (hardcover)

Saving Red by Sonya Sones: This is not one I’d ordinarily pick up, but I’m trying to read more outside of my comfort zone, and a friend recommended Sones to me. I haven’t started it yet, but am intrigued to get started.

Thomas Maluck 

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson: Stevenson came through my town, and one of the outreach librarians at my workplace clued me in to the event and this book. Stevenson is a lawyer who dedicated his life’s work to defending those with the least access to justice (“capital punishment is punishment for those without capital,” he quotes early on). He played a major role in getting minors exempted from life without parole sentences, and the accomplishment followed from encountering and trying to aid one sobering case after another. (paperback)

My Holiday in North Korea by Wendy E. Simmons: Following a serious read about life in the isolated nation, I couldn’t help but continue my literary stay via this more humorous examination of the massive cognitive dissonance asked of visitors and their state-mandated handlers. (ebook)

Raych Krueger

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson: My entire library stack is based off of the #booksfighthate hashtag right now and I’m just reading my way from top to bottom. Henry has been given the chance to halt the destruction of the earth just by pressing a button, but his boyfriend has committed suicide, his fool-around partner is an asshole, his brother is also an asshole, his Nana has Alzheimer’s, and he’s not sure the world warrants saving. Also, there’s aliens. (Library Hardcover)

Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish: I’m trying to tone down the amount of yelling that goes on in this house (it’s so, so much). This is a re-read for me, and it’s a great reminder that while your kids might not end up being friends, they can still use each other as practice for appropriate social behaviors. (paperback)

Lucas Maxwell 

Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali: It’s 1936 and Max hasn’t even been given his name yet. He’s a fetus inside a woman inside a Bavarian clinic set up by the Nazis. He’s part of the Fountains of Youth program, creating the perfect Aryan specimen. This is a strange and interesting read, I’m really enjoying it simply because it’s so different. The account of the breeding facility will twist your guts out. Max, even though he’s only a few months old in the part of the book I’m in, is fully convinced in that the Nazi party is the best solution to the world’s problems. I have a strong feeling that he’s going to change his mind, though. (paperback)

Brian McNamara 

Star Wars: Catalyst: A Rogue One Story by James Luceno: Gearing up for Rogue One by checking out this prequel/lead-in. Haven’t made much headway as of yet, but I’m expecting a good time. I really liked Luceno’s previous Tarkin, a novel set before Episode IV which also dealt with the construction of the Death Star. Main movie baddie Krennic seems cut from the same cloth as Governor Tarkin, so the book should lend itself to Luceno’s talents. (Hardcover)

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell: I’ve had this copy of the book for a while now, but I’ve never really been motivated to read it. The day after the election, it was the first thing that caught my eye. This particular edition is in the style of the classic Penguin titles – orange and beige – with the embossed title and author censored by large black bars. It’s an amazing, subtle presentation of the book’s major themes. Perhaps one of the most evocative covers, without really showing you anything! And wouldn’t you know it, I’m not even looking for the parallels to today’s world and they’re jumping out at me. (Softcover)

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang: I was in love with Arrival, the very strong and emotionally resonant science fiction film starring Amy Adams. I then found out it was based on a short story and immediately went out and bought the book. I was unfamiliar with Chiang’s writing but I’m already digging his style and think I may have found a new favorite. (Softcover)

Amanda Kay Oaks 

Animal, Mineral, Radical by BK Loren: This is an assignment for my Craft of Creative Nonfiction class. I hadn’t heard of it before it was assigned, so I’m eager to see what awaits me! (Paperback).   

Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson: Checked this out from the library after getting to see her do Nerd Jeopardy at Book Riot Live. Not far in yet, but think I will like it a great deal. Also all the bonus points for audiobooks read by the author. (Digital Audiobook)

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick: This is lined up and ready to help me pass the drive home for thanksgiving with my family. I always like to take a good celebrity memoir in the car with me and this was an obvious choice because I love her tweets. And again, bonus points for being read by the author. (CD audiobook)

Jessica Pryde 

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid: Someone at Riverhead was kind enough to send me a copy and I was not throwing away my shot. I’m devouring it in 40 page clumps and then have to stop to go do life-things. (ARC, March 2017)

The Truth of Right Now by Kara Lee Corthron: I was given a selection of books to choose from for participating in a readerly Big Data thingie and this one held the most promise. I’ve been slamming through it. This is the author’s first novel but she’s also a playwright and you can tell in the snappiness of the dialogue and the easy flow of the language. (eARC, January 2017)

Tracks by Louise Erdrich: I have picked up and set aside so many books written in the 1980s (the decade I was born) all this year, and I’m hoping this one will stick. (Paperback)

The Duchess War by Courtney Milan: I realized how many of her books I own and have yet to read, and this was a good place to start. Also, it’s always good to have historical romance in the rotation. (ebook)

Christy Childers 

Out of a Far Country by Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan: Because I saw it on Jackie Hill Perry’s Instagram. (Library Paperback)

Jamie Canaves 

Around the Way Girl: A Memoir by Taraji P. Henson: I’ll watch anything Henson is in so I had to pick this up. She’s managed to make me laugh, then cry, then laugh hysterically again. I love her! (audiobook)

Winter of the Gods (Olympus Bound #2) by Jordanna Max Brodsky: Greek Gods in modern Manhattan solving a crime—GIVE ME NOW! (ARC)

Missing People by Brandon S. Graham: domestic drama/thriller peeked my curiosity. (egalley)

I Hate Fairyland #7 by Skottie Young, Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Nate Piekos: I love this comic and now I can totally sympathize with Gertrude’s rage.