Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

The Most Popular Books of the Month: August 2015

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Amanda Nelson

Staff Writer

Amanda Nelson is an Executive Director of Book Riot. She lives in Richmond, VA.

We love to geek out with stats, and what could be better than using them to see which books Book Riot readers were most interested in? Below are the five most-purchased titles from the previous month.

Voracious 21. Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way through Great Books by Cara Nicoletti

When I heard about this book I got so giddy I had to eat a whole jar of Nutella to calm down. It holds, wait for it, 50 book inspired recipes like The Silence of the Lambs-style fava bean and chicken liver mousse crostini and even an egg in ode to Austen’s Emma. *dies of happy* As bonus Nicoletti is brilliant at writing about food and memories and the illustrations in this book make me want to lick it, Willy Wonka’s wallpaper style. –Rachel Weber, 5 Foodie Nonfictions: Books For Greedy Readers



between the world and me2.Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I have always admired Ta-Nehisi Coates’ writing for The Atlantic and I picked this up right as the buzz about it was reaching an apex, so I had extremely high expectations. Right from the beginning it took my breath away with this line: “But race is the child of racism, not the father.” The entire book, line-by-line, absolutely floored me. Written in the form of a letter from Coates to his son on the topic of being black in America, it is memoir and history and manifesto and survival guide all rolled into one. It is raw and personal and brilliant and I want to force it on everyone I know or see. Toni Morrison called this book “required reading,” so really need I say more? — Valerie Michael, The Best Books We Read in July

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente3. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente I read this book early in my career as a bookseller specializing in children’s books. I wasn’t super invested in kids books when I began the job, and I think Valente’s series is what really opened my eyes to the rich world of kids books that I’d been missing since “graduating” to adult books. I had such a visceral, positive reaction to this book (I wrote one quote on my arm immediately upon reading it) and, to date, it’s my most handsold kids’ book. I’d love to meet September, Saturday, and Ell again for the first time; to visit Fairyland and its provinces (especially my favorite, Autumn, with its town made of bread); and to read the end with a plot twist I honestly didn’t see coming. – Emma Nichols, And I’d Do It Again: Books We Wish We Could Read Again for the First Time

and_then_there_were_none_agatha_chrisite4. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

“Communism was just a red herring.”

Often hailed as the best entry from the queen of the locked-room mystery, ten guests are invited to an island by a mysterious host, who then accuses each of them of murder (sound familiar?). Christie does red herrings better than anyone in the business, including Wadsworth. –Sarah Knight, 6 Books for People Who Love Clue




fun home5. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Hey incoming Duke freshmen,

I heard that many of you are troubled by Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, a graphic novel that was on your optional summer reading list. I was strictly conservative and devoutly religious just like you when I went to college, so I understand where you’re coming from. I remember how my experience with a book could be tainted by material that offended me.

But there are a few things I want to tell you now that I’m older. –Jessica Woodbury, Dear Duke Students, Life Gets Uncomfortable