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Peek Over Our Shoulders: What Rioters Are Reading On September 15, 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 a fucking bookIn 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!


Wallace Yovetich

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero: This book has come so highly recommended and has such high ratings on audible that I decided it would be my next audio book for my morning walks. I am also trying to make sure I purposefully add more books by AOCs into my reading, and this very popular book helps me to reach that goal as well.

Liberty Hardy

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Clarion Books, March 7, 2017): His first book since Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe!!!! (If you haven’t read A & D, go do that right now. I’ll wait here.)

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (HarperTeen, Sept. 20): I thought Anna Dressed in Blood was great, but this is FANTASTIC! Delightful, demented fun.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill (Bloomsbury, Feb. 7, 2017): 1) I love O’Neill’s previous books. 2) I will read anything that is compared to The Night Circus (even though I’ve never a book that has lived up to the comparison.)

His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet (Skyhorse Publishing, Oct. 4): A gruesome murder mystery nominated for the Man Booker prize????? HERE FOR THIS.

Patricia Elzie

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi: I saw a photo of the cover online. Then another photo. And another. Then I was at my local bookstore and saw the display and I knew I had to take this book home with me. Yes, I am judging this book by its cover, I’m a fool for Middle Grade books, and I’m loving it. (Hardcover)


Katie McLain 

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: I’m trying to read some of my old ARCs, and this book has been jumping out at me for a few months now.  The writing is absolutely gorgeous, and I’m looking forward to seeing how everything comes together at the end. (ARC)

Confessions by Kanae Minato: I wanted something dark and disturbing, and I kept hearing about this book from fellow Book Riot contributors.  So far, it has NOT disappointed – this is gut-wrenchingly dark.  (Library paperback)

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: Part of a professional genre study on speculative fiction – I’ve heard so many amazing things about her books, and this gave me a great excuse to jump right in.  (Library paperback)


Sarah Nicolas 

This Is Not the End by Jesse Jordan: Found this one browsing on Overdrive. Basically, you start your pitch with a bullied teen boy finding out he’s the antichrist and a school librarian pushing for the end of the world? I’ll give it a shot. (Library audiobook)

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis: This cover caught my eye when it was first released but I’m just now getting around to checking it out. (Audiobook)

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton: I know, I’m so late on this one, especially since the authors were totally awesome about answering questions for an upcoming article, but I’m super excited to finally start this book. (Audiobook)


Danika Ellis

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasia: Serenditously, this is the group book for the #diverseathon, but I was actually already listening to it! The narrator’s voice is soothing, which should help me get through the gut punches that I know this one will deliver. (Audiobook)

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley: I’ve barely cracked the cover of this one, which I requested entirely based on the title. Hopefully it lives up to it! (Library hardcover)


Casey Stepaniuk 

Sea, Swallow Me and Other Stories by Craig Laurence Gidney: Okay, so this is kind of cheating since I literally just finished this book, but it was amaaaaazing and I want to talk about it. Gorgeously written, wildly inventive fantasy/magical realist stories. So weird, and so beautiful. And the audiobook was superbly narrated. (Audiobook)

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta: So far this novel about growing up queer during the Nigerian civil war is, well, sad like I thought it was going to be. Some beautiful writing, though.


Kristen McQuinn 

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho. Well for one thing, I seem to be trying to play catch up on book recs I learned about from other Rioters. This is one. Also, a quasi-Victorian England with magic? As if there is any multiverse in which I wouldn’t want to read this! (Library hardcover)

The Never List by Koethi Zan. I was in the mood for a thriller, heard about it from other Rioters, thought I’d give it a try. (Library hardcover)

The Plague Tales by Ann Benson. I have a morbid fascination with the Black Death. I’d lost my copy of this in a move or something but scored another copy of it and the sequel for $.50 each at the library sale table. (Mass market paperback)


Tasha Brandstatter 

A Lesson in Love and Murder by Rachel McMillan: Was sent a complimentary copy by the publisher. (paperback)

The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla by Lauren Willig: The only other Pink Carnation book my library owns. (audiobook)

The Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini: Saw this cookbook on da blahgs and thought it looked pretty amazing. (hardcover)


Kate Scott 

Mischling by Affinity Konar: I spotted this one when I was searching for new fall reads and requested a review copy. (Hardcover)

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue: This is available for review on the Volumes app. The narration is AMAZING. (Audiobook)

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi: I’m a little late to the part on this one. Everyone has been raving about it since January and I really wanted to read it before the end of the year. (Library Hardcover)


Tara Olivero 

Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard: Saw a few book twitter people talking about this one last week! It looks great and I’m super excited. (Hardcover)

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett: I’m reading this for the book club I go to with my mother. Love the musical imagery so far; it’s a lovely juxtaposition to the hostage situation. (Paperback)

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner: Scored a copy on Edelweiss – I loved The Serpent King so I can’t wait to see how this one turns out. (Ebook)


Brian McNamara 

The Fifty-Year Mission: The First 25 Years by Edward Gross & Mark A. Altman: Kicking off my reading celebration of Star Trek’s Fiftieth anniversary with this oral history of the behind the scenes of the sci-fi franchise. (Hardcover)

The Omega Men: The End is Here by Tom King & Barnaby Bagenda: Finally getting around to this sleeper hit comic series and so far it’s living up to all the hype. (Paperback)

Innocence; or, Murder on Steep Street by Heda Margolius Kovaly: Picked this up a few months back on recommendation from an article here. Really could use a good spy/detective story right now. (ebook)


Yash Kesanakurthy 

The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy: I picked this one up at the bookstore because of the rave reviews and also because the cover is just too damn beautiful. Even the inside has a lovely illustration adorns the inside flaps and the title page, we have a pretty map, and we have an illustration of a bird perched beside every chapter. It’s a beautifully constructed book, and from what I can tell of the writing, the same goes for the story. Set in Delhi, The Wildings follows the adventures of a clan of stray cats. What else do you need to know, really? I’ve only just started, but the book is proving very difficult to put down, so I don’t see this lasting long. (Paperback)

Sacrifice by Cindy Pon: This is a re-read for me. Sacrifice is the sequel and conclusion to Serpentine, which I loved and made sure to tell everyone about. Great characters—this time with added POVs for the supporting characters I love best—darker in tone, deeper in its (continuing) discussion of beauty/monstrosity, and so fast-paced I am left gasping at every turn … even though, this is my second time reading it! The first time was for review purposes. This time I’m reading it solely so I can be better prepared for the impending shipping war between myself and my bestie. (Digital ARC)


Sarah S. Davis 

The Nix by Nathan Hill – Lately I’ve been in the mood for Big Literary Novels, so The Nix, Nathan Hill’s debut, definitely satisfies all of my needs. I’m liking it so far. And our Book Riot recommendation for The Nix gave a backlist bump to Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, my all-time favorite novel.

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen – Ditto Freedom. Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s debut novel, The Nest, from earlier this year reminded me so much of Franzen’s dark comedic, cynical social commentary depicting family dynamics, so I’ve been waiting to get around to this.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue – Not too far into this yet, but already I love it. It feels so Dickensian for modern times.

Negroland by Margo Jefferson – For some reason, I have always been fascinated by stories of privilege, wealth, and the upper class. Margo Jefferson’s Negroland is the author’s memoir of growing up in Chicago’s African American elite class. Jefferson’s voice is intriguing, almost spellbinding. I can’t put this memoir down.


Jon Erik Christianson 

Stalking Darkness by Lynn Flewelling: I loved the first volume in the epic fantasy adventure series (with bonus slow-burn queer romance) and I can’t wait to see where this volume goes. (Paperback)

Ōoku vol. 2 by Fumi Yoshinaga: I’ve been trying to read more manga, so where better to go than with a story about matriarchal medieval Japan? (Paperback)


Rebecca Hussey 

You Can’t Touch My Hair Phoebe Robinson: This collection of essays sounded like fun — and it’s by a comedian, so I’m already laughing my way through it. (e-ARC)


Karina Glaser 

One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes (January 3, 2017, Bloomsbury USA Childrens): Received this ARC the other day and I can’t stop reading it. Every word is gorgeous. (ARC)

Towers Falling by Jewells Parker Rhodes: I’m reading this in remembrance of September 11, 2001. (Library Hardcover)

How to Stage a Catastrophe by Rebecca Donnelly (April 2017, Capstone Young Readers): An amazing MG book about kids trying to save a theater. (ARC)


Troy Wiggins 

Everfair by Nisi Shawl: Alt-history steampunk that completely subverts our steampunk expectations. Lovely writing and I adore the author. I’ve been waiting for this one and I’m going to savor every bit of it.


Ashley Bowen-Murphy 

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue: This was my Book of the Month Club pick for September and it just arrived. I devoured every Vanity Fair article about the Bear Stearns’ collapse and am so ready for books with the 2008 financial crisis as their backdrop. (BotM is a Book Riot sponsor but I genuinely like the service and paid for this book. This isn’t a paid promotion). (Hardback).

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton: Full disclosure, I’m a “field agent” for Atlas Obscura (basically a freelance event coordinator). I’m thrilled that this website I love so much finally made a physical atlas. More of a coffee table book than a book you’ll read right through, it’s already giving me wanderlust (hardback ARC).

Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: What more is left to say about Whitehead’s newest book? The president and Oprah liked it. As soon as we had the earlier publication date, I requested it from my local library. It finally arrived on my hold shelf yesterday. (hardback)


Derek Attig

Everfair by Nisi Shawl: A smart author taking on the brutal colonization of the Congo by Belgium within a speculative, alternate-history framework? Sign me up. (ebook)

The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak: Why am I reading this? One word: COOKIES. (Well, also cakes and scones and fun things with rye and molasses and and and). (hardback)


Kristy Pasquariello 

The Best Man by Richard Peck: I’ve been hearing the buzz about this book for a while now and couldn’t wait to get my hands on an ARC. Finally! Peck wanted to write a story for middle grade readers about gay marriage. Now that it’s the law of the land, he wondered whether it’s actually a fact that has registered with younger children. It hasn’t made it to the textbooks or the standardized tests yet, and so …he wrote a story. A super sweet, funny and moving story about a boy named Archer Magill who thoughtfully navigates the wacky world of school and the sometimes inscrutable behavior of the adults in his life. (ARC)

The Fever by Megan Abbott.  Everyone is always raving about the work of Megan Abbott and I have been meaning to get to one of her novels for quite some time. I stumbled on a digital audiobook through my library’s catalog and have been loving the creeptastic narration of this supremely entertaining and freaky tale of a town struck by a mysterious outbreak among teenage girls. (Digital Audiobook)


Megan Cavitt 

The Color Purple by Alice Walker: I just got back from vacation, and this was the only thing on my husband’s e-reader that wasn’t A) about sports or B) War and Peace. Sorry, War and Peace. I’ll get to you someday. Probably. Maybe. (Ebook)

Hattie Kennedy 

Ethel and Ernest by Raymond Briggs: I’ve been getting ready for the release of the film adaptation of this beautiful slice of social history. I am so glad it hasn’t lost any of its charms in the years since I last read it (Ebook)

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: I’m normally a speedy reader but this book has nearly broken me this month. I keep on putting it down for days on end because my heart hurts too much to continue. (Ebook)

Queen Lucia & Miss Mapp by E.F. Benson: I recently went to Rye, a pretty Southern English fishing town where they filmed the recent adaptation of these books. It gave me a yen for Wodehouse and Benson, so I have been indulging regularly during recent weeks. (Ebook)

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: I’m using this book when teaching soon and so I am slowly re-reading this ready for the term ahead. I’m enjoying approaching this at a slower pace, and taking time to think about why I find specific moments particularly compelling and important.


Jessica Yang  

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee: I skimmed the blurb a while back and saw “superhero,” “internship,” and mentions of an Asian main character, and I immediately put it on pre-order. Worth it. (paperback)


Thomas Maluck 

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin: I have been making a conscious effort to read more YA nonfiction, especially the sort that gives readers a handle on the larger forces at work in the world. In this case, revisiting the Vietnam War through the filter of an insider and the Pentagon Papers provides an excellent contrast between “what America thought was going on” and “how these decisions were really made.” (Ebook)

Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life, They Change It by Daniel Klein: I became hooked on Daniel Klein and his frequent writing partner Thomas Cathcart’s humorous takes on philosophy after reading Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar. I’ve been reading this set of personal commentaries on philosophy quotes one entry at a time for a pleasant nightly brain snack. (Hardback)

I Am Malala Malala Yousafzai: Still catching up on nonfiction! This updated edition includes comparisons between her school experiences in Swat, Pakistan and Birmingham, England. Her ability to transition between describing her nerve damage and recounting an argument with her brother over an iPod is fascinating.  (Ebook)


Sonja Palmer 

Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn: I kept seeing this everywhere, so I finally picked it up for myself and I’m so glad I did. I appreciate how this really delves into family dynamics, and allows the author to tell all sides of these women’s stories.  

The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud: Listen, I love some middle grade fantasyish ghost fiction and Stroud is here to deliver.


Aram Mrjoian 

The Hundred Year House by Rebecca Makkah: I’ve been hearing great things about this novel for a while. I’m about halfway through and truly loving it. (paperback)


Emma Nichols 

Vow of Celibacy by Erin Judge: A new release that’s both body-positive and sex-positive; so far so good! (galley)


Lucas Maxwell 

I’ll Give You the Sun  by Jandy Nelson: I started reading this after it was thrust into my hands by a student who told me I definitely had to read it. They were right. It’s about Jude and Noah, twins who are weird and wonderful and full of life until a tragedy rips their lives apart. I’m flying through this at the speed of light.

Southern Bastards by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour: A grisly graphic novel about a Earl Tubb, a man who returns to his small Alabama town after 40 years to pack up the home of his deceased father. Earl discovers that his town is being run by a corrupt and vicious high school football coach called Boss. Armed with a giant freaking stick (Walking Tall, anyone?), Earl sets out to clean up the town he vowed he’d never return to.