Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer
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Quick Pick: February 3, 2017

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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

The Animators by Kayla Rae WhitakerThe Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

I was only about thirty pages into this novel when I realized it is going to be one of my favorite books of 2017. It’s a beautiful story about friendship, family, and facing trauma. Sharon and Mel are two outsiders who meet at art school. They both have a passion for animation, and wind up making movies together. Ten years after they meet, they have made a film that is garnering them the attention and money they need and deserve, but Mel’s substance abuse problems threaten to upend their success. When a serious event causes them to face the future of their partnership while examining their turbulent pasts, Sharon and Mel decide to handle things the way they know best: by making art. But art can be complicated and painful, and making a new film will test the bonds of their friendship. Whitaker does a lovely job realistically capturing the intricacies of the art world while spinning a wonderful, heart-squeezing story.

Backlist bump: The Fine Art of Fucking Up by Cate Dicharry (If you want to read a funny satire about art school.)