Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Peek Over Our Shoulders: What Rioters Are Reading On September 4, 2014

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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

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. Then again, that might be just what the doctor ordered for summer weekend plans. Enjoy!

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!

Edd McCracken

Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood: read and enjoyed Maddaddam last year so got a lot of backstory to fill in. (Paperback)

Amanda Diehl

The Bees by Laline Paull: Taking a break from romance. Actually heard about it on Book Riot’s Fresh Ink and it was too unique to pass up. (Hardcover)

EH Kern

No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington by Condoleezza Rice: I’m currently on a biography fix. (Hardcover)

Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space by Lynn Sherr: Another one to satisfy my current craving for biographies. (Hardcover)

Jeanette Solomon

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters: New Sarah Waters! That’s the only reason I need. (Digital Review Copy)

The Quick by Lauren Owen: The hype got me. (Library)

Cassandra Neace

Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie. I have heard so many, many good things about this book, and I just saw news of a sequel! (Print, purchased at Fountain Books in Richmond, VA)

Rincey Abraham

East of Eden by John Steinbeck: I have been meaning to tackle this classic for a long time and so I’m finally reading it with friends. (Paperback)

Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer: I’m just about the last Rioter to jump aboard the Southern Reach train, and I couldn’t resist the $2.99 deal when it appeared in my inbox. (ebook)

A Map of Betrayal by Ha Jin: Came across this one while scrolling through winter releases. I’ve been wanting to read Jin’s work for a while, and this seemed like a good time to start. Plus: spies! (egalley)

Tasha Brandstatter

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith: I read and liked The Cuckoo’s Calling. It’s by J.K. Rowling. You get the picture. (Hardcover)

Aram Mrjoian

Another Country by James Baldwin. Been meaning to read this one forever. (paperback)

White Noise by Don DeLillo. This book has been recommended to me several times, figured it was time to see what all the hype was about. (paperback)

Jessica Woodbury

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. Thrillers are my genre of choice, and I’m often on the look out for spy novels I can recommend to my Mom, who loves the old school Le Carre, Len Deighton, etc. So far so good. (Hardcover)

Swapna Krishna

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. It’s my first David Mitchell, and I figured the new release was a good place to start. (Hardcover)

The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman. Because I loved the first two in the series. (Print galley).

The Birth of the Pill by Jonathan Eig. Because it sounds fascinating and I’m covering it for a publication. (Hardcover).

Dataclysm by Christian Rudder. Rebecca was tweeting about it and I’m a total data nerd. (Print galley).

Rachel Manwill

The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey. I was looking for an audiobook that my parents and I could all enjoy on a roadtrip and Rioters Cassandra and Rachel Smalter Hall had previously recommended it. (Audio)

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. Because its been sitting on my shelf forever and I wanted to read what feels like a summer book while it’s still technically summer. (Hardcover)

The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jameson. I am the last person in the world to read this essay collection and it was just time. (Paperback)

Johann Thorsson

Whom The Gods Would Destroy by Brian Hodge. I really liked one of his short stories so I dug around to find something longer. It’s a sci-fi/horror mash-up and promises more of Hodge’s great writing. (Kindle)

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. Reading this because I work in marketing and this book promises to have all the answers. (Hardcover)

Greg Zimmerman

Among the Missing by Dan Chaon. Non-stupid reason: Never read Chaon (his short stories are legendary), and this collection a National Book Award finalist in 2001, so thought I’d check it out. Stupid reason: On Facebook recently, Jonathan Evison chronicled his difficulty sending a bottle of scotch in the mail to Chaon, and when he was finally successful, Chaon posted a photo of himself enjoying it, and the whole thing was so hilarious, I decided I had to finally read him. (ebook, library)

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Finishing up the series before the movie comes out. (Early review: I liked this novel better the first time WHEN IT WAS CALLED THE MATRIX.) (ebook)

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes. Genre-defying Detroit novel purported as one of the big books of the fall? Yes, please. (egalley)

Nikki Steele

The Gothic Fairytale in Young Adult Literature: Essays on Stories from Grimm to Gaiman by Joseph Abbruscato and Tanya Jones. Really that tagline From Grimm to Gaiman did me in, but I’m even more excited because it’s a book that tackles YA, fairy tales, and (my sweet spot) oral storytelling in one go. (paperback)

The Magician King by Lev Grossman: Unfortunately, I haven’t had too much time for audiobook listening, so this book has been on here foreeeever. (audiobook)

Ink and Steel by Elizabeth Bear: Shakespeare helps Queen Elizabeth maintain her rule through writely magic. I just started it, but I was hella intrigued. (paperback from library)

Alison Peters

The Getaway God by Richard Kadry. Yay! A new Sandman Slim urban/dark/gothic?/mystery! I’m just happy the movie version hasn’t come out yet to spoil my internal image of these characters, and the Los-Angeles-as-hell world they inhabit. Keep ‘em comin, Kadry. (Delightfully small, square, perfect purse-sized hardcover.)

Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie. Because I thought I’d read this one, but can remember nothing about it. So when Rooster released is, along with My Antonia, for September, I was all in. (Rooster e book)

Emily Gatlin

Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky by David Connerley Nahm: It’s a wrecking ball of a novel, published by a small family-owned press. A woman who works for a nonprofit that helps women and children is haunted by the tragedy of losing her brother when they were young. Told in alternating snippets of past and present. Beautiful poetic prose. (paperback)

2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino: It’s weird to describe a book like this as “delightful,” but that’s the only word I can conjure up. I swear, I just started it an hour ago and I’m almost finished. (Really it’s been like, four hours… but it doesn’t feel that way). I’d happily recommend it to anyone, especially if you’re looking for a multi-bag story with tight, easy, and seamless prose.

Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson: This manifested in my mailbox, and I can’t resist a good non-fiction book about archaeology. I mean, what kid born in the 80s DIDN’T want to be Indiana Jones? I loved Johnson’s The Dead Beat (about the art of obituaries and obituary writers), and she had me hooked in the intro of this book with her hilarious (but educational!) riff about bog bodies. Of course, I immediately did a Google image search and now I won’t sleep tonight… which is why I became a writer when I grew up and NOT Indiana Jones. (paper galley)

Kim Ukura

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood: Short stories from Margaret Atwood… what else do I need to say? (galley)

Kate Scott

Pattern of Wounds by J. Mark Bertrand: Second book in the Roland March series–whip smart Christian crime novels that can stand up to anything published in the general market. (Library Paperback)

Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women by Carolyn Custis James: Basically Half the Sky for Christians–a multicultural feminist manifesto for the Evangelical church. (Library Hardcover)

Christy Childers

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick: I’ve finished watching the Youtube series and I want more Lizzie Bennet in my life. (Hardcover, Library)

Prince Harry: Brother, Soldier, Son by Penny Junor: I’m pretty keen on the royal family and I love to read their biographies, so I was happy to find this new one on Prince Harry. (Hardcover)

Martin Cahill

We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory: Novella about a therapy group of supernaturally afflicted folks, working together to help each other through their trauma, who may be discovering they’re more connected than they thought. Very creepy and precise, halfway through and loving it. (Paperback, bookstore)

Words For Pictures by Brian Michael Bendis: One of my favorite comic writers, of one of my favorite series ever, has compiled a book about the art of writing comics. He has a ton of great interviews with different writers, artists, editors and more as he delves not just writing, but the comic book industry as a whole. So excited to read this! (Softcover, review copy via Rebecca)

The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison: Holy crap, that first essay . . . Jamison’s collection of essays explore the idea of empathy, humanity and more. If the first essay is any indication, I’m in for a helluva ride. (Paperback, bookstore)

Amanda Nelson

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: Buzzy buzz buzz! (digital galley)

As for Me

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud: Just saw her speak at the National Book Festival and was so impressed that I bought a copy for her to sign so that I could meet her. She’s articulate, funny, and intelligent and the book is a very thoughtful study on what it is like to be a woman. (Hardcover)

His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis: I’m a history nerd and, after talking about presidential bios with Rioter Amanda Nelson over the weekend, decided to follow her lead in reading a bio on every president. So far I’ve only read one on John Adams. This was her recommendation for a Washington biography. (Paperback)


Catch up with more bookish things that we are up to on Book Riot’s Instagram account. Each time this feature runs, you can find a short video there from one of our contributors about one of the books they are currently reading!