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Now displaying: July, 2017
Jul 26, 2017

Amanda and Jenn discuss Alaska reads, classics, LGBTQ+ YA, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout and The Secret Agent Training Manual by Elizabeth Singer Hunt.




1. Hi! I'll be visiting a few cities in Alaska this summer, and I was wondering if you could recommend some books set in (relatively) modern day Alaska. Most books set in Alaska I've seen focus on either the Gold Rush, the Yukon (where no really lives...?), being stranded in the wilderness and having to survive, or some combination thereof. I'm more interested in the everyday lives of people in Alaska. Do these kinds of books set in Alaska even exist? Please let me know! I'm open to fiction, non-fiction, and even poetry.


2. Hello,
I am the public librarian in a small (fairly conservative) town. We have a limited YA collection that has been slowly been building over the years. There is a real lack of diversity in the collection, especially concerning LBGT books. I am looking for books that cover this area but aren't overly explicit or fantasy as much of the YA collection is fantasy. Thank you!


3. I just discovered your podcast and am loving catching up on all the back episodes, so thanks!

I am a fiction revert book lover. After reading Beverly Cleary and Roald Dahl under the covers with a flashlight, I gave up reading in high school and college when a bad English teacher killed it for me (besides Harry Potter and cliffs notes). Only in the last few years have I really begun to fall in love with reading fiction. And more than anything, I'm really digging reading all the classics I missed. I know that I missed so many good books in all those years, and it's hard to navigate which to go for. I would like to pick ones that would be five star material. Some of my favorites have been To Kill a Mockingbird, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Anne of Green Gables, Rebecca, A Wrinkle in Time, and Count of Monte Cristo. I'm looking for classics, although contemporary classics would be great too. Thanks so much!!


4. Hi ladies

first off, just wanted to say how comforting and glad i am to have discovered your podcast recently. Hearing about such a wide array of books, comics and audiobooks has really made me feel like my reading world has been such a narrow one but also has made me really excited to expand my reading experiences

Okay, i have noticed that i have started reading less and less as i grow up and over the past couple of years, i would be lucky if i could even read 2 books a years. I really want to get back into one of my first love in storytelling but am kind of at a lost to where to start.

im looking for any kind of book that will just have me absolutely engrossed and fall back into love with reading. i usually read YA of young character centred books but am totally open to anything new.
the last couple of books i read that reminded me how much i love reading were:
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow rowell
Trouble is a friend of mine by Stephanie tromly
The Outsiders by S.E Hinton
and Viral series by Kathy Reichs



5. Hi Jenn and Amanda!

I love reading about people bonding with their dogs. However, I find that 99% of the time, if the dog plays a key role in the book then something terrible will happen to it. Can you help me find a happy book about dogs that will not wrench my heart out and bring me to tears?

I read What the Dog Knows by Cat Warren and enjoyed her style of non-fiction. I would prefer a fiction recommendation at the moment, but I am open to any recommendations!

Thank you!


6. I'm based in the UK and love the access that your show gives me to a wider range of books. I am in a book club and when it's my turn to choose I like to challenge the group (the others often usually pick contemporary literary fiction which is great but it's great to try something different). I fancy reading a graphic novel as I've not read one before but am scared off by the fantasy and comic book characters. Can you suggest 3 options that may be more of my thing? Thanks


7. Hi Jenn and Amanda! I am a retired first-grade teacher and for the last year or so have been channeling my love for reading aloud into reading to my father-in-law, who lives in a care center near my home. I am wondering if you have any suggestions for things he might enjoy. He is in his early 80s. He had a stroke a few years ago, resulting in some limitations with short-term memory, so short stories and/or plots that are not too hard to follow between reading sessions work best. (I usually go a couple times each week.) He LOVES westerns, cowboy stories, old movies, and generally adventurous/action-packed plot lines. We have read quite a few Louis L'Amour books and short stories. I am looking for things that are generally upbeat, and not too risque. Thank you so much!


8. Hi!

Money has been short lately but I finally have enough to invest in some really great books! Do you have any suggestions on what books and authors are worth my hard earned money? I will read anything, preferably fiction and if it's longer than 600 pages I will be very happy. Would also enjoy something that's not western culture. Thank you!


Books Discussed

Dot Journaling by Rachel Wilkerson Miller

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Baby It's Cold Outside by Addison Fox

If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name by Heather Lende

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

The Woman In White

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Stay by Allie Larkin

Dog On It by Spencer Quinn

Alias Vol 1 by Brian Michael Bendis

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

The Rise of Ransom City by Felix Gilman

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra

Jul 19, 2017

Amanda and Jenn discuss desert reads, boat stories, Muslim feminist reads, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by I Got There by JT McCormick and Afrofuture Books.

Subscribe to the podcast via RSS here, or via Apple Podcast here.
The show can also be found on Stitcher here.




1. Hi ladies!!

I am moving to Arizona this fall and would love some good atmospheric books about the desert. I am open to reading fiction (any genre), YA, or non-fiction. Bonus points for women authors!

Thank you!


2. I recently read Daughter of the Pirate King, and it got me in the mood for other books featuring tough ladies on ships. I'm going to the Outer Banks in the end of July, so I'm looking for some books like this to take with me. Similar books I've read and enjoyed are Magonia, Passenger, The Girl From Everywhere, and Ahab's Wife. I'm open to all genres, but I'd prefer YA. Thanks so much!


3. Hi there, Amanda and Jenn,

I am looking for a book for my brother-in-law for his birthday. I usually get him non-fiction social psychology books like Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, Freakonomics, or anything by Malcolm Gladwell, which he really enjoys. After many years, though, I think my gifts might be a little too easy to foresee. Could you please recommend any works of fiction that would complement this type of book? I appreciate your help!



4. Hi!
I enjoy the show! Your recommendations for others have helped me in two ways by adding to my tbr list or eliminating books I've heard of, but now know wouldn't be for me. That's a huge timesaver when considering all the books I want to read!
I'm a devotee of Agatha Christie and Dickens, but I struggle to find a plentiful supply of well-written nonfiction on areas of my interest - Christian history, theology, religious practice, monasticism, apologetics, and biography. I recently read Rod Dreher's book, The Benedict Option. I really enjoyed his writing style and the subject was fascinating! If this helps, I've also read and reread these authors: Karen Armstrong, Timothy Keller, Huston Smith, C.S. Lewis, and, specifically Eric Metaxas's biography on Bonhoeffer. When I ask for suggestions from booksellers I'm often directed to authors (Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, etc.) who, while well-intentioned, aren't my cup of tea. I need something meatier. I prefer an educated author and/or one who engages in scholarly research. I'd be so pleased to hear your recommendations and I thank you, in advance!
--Tammy from Virginia


5. Hello! Do you have any recommendations for non-fiction (ideally narrative non-fiction) focused on England or Europe during the early 19th century?

I'm not looking for a detailed description of the Napoleonic wars or the War of 1812, but something that touches on the effect those wars had on society would be fascinating.

I've been reading and re-reading Jane Austen and contemporaries for years, and realized that what I know about the period comes mostly from fiction and those Lucy Worsley docu-shows made by the BBC.

I already have "What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew" on my list, but other books covering similar topics would be great!

Many thanks!


6. Hi! I am just getting into reading romance novels and for the most part I'm enjoying them more than I thought I would. There is just always one stumbling block for me - I hate the getting together part. Meet-cutes are nice and all but the awkward encounters, boundaries to being together, or denying feelings I just can't stand. Do you have any recommendations for books that start with an established relationship? I'm not sure if this makes it harder but I love poly or queer relationships as opposed to the typical cishet couple. I do not mind if the book contains smut or kink.


7. Hi, All -

I'm working through Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder challenge. I'm planning to complete the requirements by reading only books written by women. I was wondering if you would be able to give suggestions for these requirements:

A non-fiction book about technology
Read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love

Both of these requirements are far outside my normal reading choices.


8. Hi! Recently, one of my cousins has been posting a lot of misinformed and Islamaphobic memes of "oppressed" Muslim women. She is trying to claim that she is "so grateful for women's rights". While I know that a burqa is no more oppressive than a bikini, I don't know enough about Islam and Muslim culture in the Middle East (my cousin conveniently forgets that Muslims live literally everywhere else as well) to respond with more than anecdotes. Do you know of any books that critique the western perception of women's rights in the Middle East? #OwnVoices is definitely preferred. Thanks!


Books Discussed

The Rise and Fall of DODO by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Red by Terry Tempest Williams

Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

The Guns Above by Robyn Dennis

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Wild Seed by Octavia Butler

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Bellwether by Connie Willis

Wearing God by Lauren Winner

Meeting Faith by Faith Adiele (The Nigerian-Nordic Girl’s Guide to Lady Problems)

How to Be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman

The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England by Kristine Hughes

Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas

Pansies by Alexis Hall

The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova translated by Judith Hemschemeyer

See also:

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember by Annalee Newitz

Muslim Girl by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

Daring to Drive by Manal al-Sharif

Jul 11, 2017

Amanda and Jenn discuss Asian sci-fi, books about mental illness, starter graphic novels, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong and Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero.




1. I have never read a graphic novel but am excited to get into them. However I really am just not into fantasy or sci fi. Where should I start? Thank you!


2. Hi, I am looking for science fiction set in Asia by Asian writers for my bookclub and to read something in the vein of #ownvoices. I would prefer it not to be YA, but it is not a requirement. I tend to like science fiction with great characters over great science.


3. Hey Jenn and Amanda,

I've been thinking and don't know how I missed this in my reading life. But some of my favorite movies are multi-generational female-lead stories that jump back and forth in their timelines. Examples are movies like Fried Green Tomatoes, How to Make an American Quilt, and Now and Then. Please help correct this 90's kid's need for some lady-friendships books.


4. I recently read The Vegetarian and I found it absolutely incredible. I have made it a mission to try to read other translated books. What are some suggestions you have? Thanks


5. Can you please recommend books with characters with mental illness? I recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and it really helps reading about characters that go through similar experiences. I read 'It's kind of a funny story' 'The rest of us just live here' and 'All the bright places'. I enjoy YA, but I would like to read other genres as well. (I usually like my books as diverse as possible)
Thank you for your help!


6. You two seem to know a lot about diversity in fiction so I figured I'd ask you two instead of taking my question to google (I figure you both will offer me better quality recs). So I'm a big reader of fantasy. It's always been my favorite, and preferred reading genre. However I'm also a gay man who enjoys reading about gay men (preferably if a romance is involved), so to find that I've pretty much had to go outside the fantasy genre for that one. I'd love it if I could read a (quality) fantasy novel with gay characters, and maybe a little bit of romance.
I'm so excited to hear what you two have to recommend, this is my favorite podcast, and I've read so many amazing books because of you two.


7. I'm trying to get into post apocalyptic books, but don't know where to start. I recently read Station 11, and now I want more. There seems to be no shortage of YA post apocalyptic novels, but I've read several, and so far have not liked any of the ones I have read. I've never NOT liked YA, but I've never been too crazy about it either, so I figure I better look at 'adult' (I'M SO SORRY. I DON'T LIKE CALLING IT THAT EITHER) books of the genre.
Thanks so much you two! I can't wait to hear what you two have to recommend.


8. I am a sucker for sad books, especially those that revolve around loneliness. The History of Love, Everything I Never Told You, and Oryx and Crake (is that an odd third?) were all fantastically devastating for me. I am looking for recommendations that will send me to that despairing place in the company of the fictional.


Books Discussed


The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson

March, Book 1 by John Lewis

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

Invisible Planets, edited by Ken Liu

The Sea Is Ours, edited by Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Mama Day by Gloria Naylor

Penance by Kanae Minato, translated by Philip Gabriel

The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz, translated by Elisabeth Jaquette

Haldol and Hyacinths by Melody Moezzi

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Captive Prince by CS Pacat

Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Shelter by Jung Yun

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride

Jul 5, 2017

Amanda and Jenn discuss Scotland reads, Cuban fiction, mind-blowing YA, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by The Separatists by Lis Wiehl and Libby.




1. Hi Ladies!

I’ve always wondered if I’d have a need to send in a request to tap into your endless knowledge of books, and the need arose this week! I have been clerking for a federal judge for the past year. My time is quickly coming to an end in early August. Chambers is a tight-knit family of four. I’d love to give a book to each of my colleagues as a going away present and would love help with that!

Judge: Is an AVID golfer. I mean really avid. Do you have any good recommendations for golf coffee table books or a narrative nonfiction book about golf? Or really anything golf related? If that is too niche, he also enjoys legal thrillers a la John Grisham, but I would like to recommend him something in that vein but perhaps less mainstream?
Judicial assistant: She LOVES to cook. And she is a healthy eater. I think she would enjoy something that focuses on fresh, organic ingredients. She’s also from Florida. Do you have any great cookbook recommendations?
Co-clerk: Loves the outdoors and national parks. Avid hiker. I’m thinking a memoir where the author goes on a hiking trip or writes about their time exploring nature etc.
I hope that’s descriptive enough and appreciate any help you can offer!



2. I am traveling to Washington D.C. for work at the end of July and I would like some D.C. related reads. These can be fiction or non-fiction but something historical would be nice.


3. Hi Ladies!

I recently discovered the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon a little over a year ago and just finished reading the 8th book at the end of August. Ever since I opened that first book I have been obsessed with anything and everything related to Scotland. Since it will be 3-4 more years before the next book comes out I would like to read more books set in Scotland to make the waiting easier lol. I’m not a huge reader of nonfiction but would love to try recommendations for fiction and nonfiction on this topic. I have read At The Water’s Edge by Sarah Gruen and I really enjoyed it. I am really enjoying the podcast and my TBR is getting longer and longer everyday.



4. Hi! I love the show! I would love a recommendation for a fiction book set somewhere in 20th century Latin America. A book with a great story, but also some historical/geographical tidbits in the background. I usually read fantasy or mystery, but I’m up for any genre. Thanks again!


5. I am so happy this podcast exists! I have been looking for some help with recommendations for ages. My favourite books have all been about women in academia and the world, specifically in the earlier 20th century. I’ve read The Group, but maybe I am looking for a sort of female version of A Separate Peace or Dead Poets Society if you kind of understand what I mean. Sort of like book versions of the Julia Roberts movie Mona Lisa Smile.
Thank you so much 🙂


6. I am looking for book recommendations for someone dealing with infertility. While I was struggling to get pregnant and then while I was in fertility treatments, I had a hard time finding books that made me feel less alone and broken. After a long process, I finally have my beautiful boy, but I still want to know what kinds of works are out there that could maybe be a comfort for someone who is going through a similar situation. When I was looking, I was interested in fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. They don’t necessarily have to feature characters with fertility issues, but I’m looking for books that can be a comfort and let you know that you aren’t alone in this. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you!


7. I have a very eclectic reading taste. I’ve recently been going through my contemporary YA fiction phase. I love Jandy Nelson and Melina Marchetta. I’m looking for another story with characters that will blow my mind. I want to feel like my life just changed when I’m done reading it. Can you help?


8. I try very hard to read a number of books with diverse characters and authors, but I realized somewhere along the way I completely forgot to read books that represent my own culture/heritage. I’m a Cuban American and I realized I haven’t ONCE come across a novel where the main character is Cuban. I’ve read a good amount of books/authors of other hispanic origin, but not my own. The only things I’ve read have been two non fiction books- Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas, and a biography of Che Guevara.
Do you guys have any recommendations? I’d really like some fiction to read, but if you know of any good non fiction literature I’d be happy to know of those as well!
All the best, and thank you.
— Celia



Books Discussed

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (November 9 2017)

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat

Murder in the Rough, edited by Otto Penzler

The Hour of the Land by Terry Tempest Williams

The Residence by Kate Anderson Brower

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

Scotland: The Autobiography by Rosemary Goring

Death Going Down by Maria Angelica Bosco, translated by Lucy Greaves

The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard

The Art of Waiting by Belle Boggs

Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

Planet for Rent by Yoss, translated by David Frye

Oye What I’m Gonna Tell You by Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes