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Now displaying: September, 2017
Sep 26, 2017

Amanda and Jenn discuss gothic novels, short stories, LGBTQ+ YA, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Lit Chat, Second Acts by Teri Emory, and A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess.




1. Hi Amanda & Jenn
I wanted to say I love your podcast. You guys are awesome. I'm going on vacation to Rome this fall and I was hoping to read some novels between then and now to give me a feel for the city. I'm looking for fiction, historical or not (just not Ancient Rome), where the city plays a prominent role. I'm not really into mysteries or really super dark, heavy stuff ie The Vegetarian. (Although I did enjoy that one, but I'm good on dark for a while) Other than that, I'm open to whatever you can recommend. Thanks.


2. Hello! Ideally I'd like these books before Oct. 2017 so I can read for Halloween, but that isn't super critical.

When I was in middle school, I went through a phase of loving ghost stories. You know the ones--plucky middle school kid moves into a creepy old house on the East Coast, meets a benevolent ghost, solves the mystery of their murder so they can move into the Great Beyond. I especially loved Mary Downing Hahn. I was also inspired by the recent (as of 7/12/17) post about Bruce Coville's series to load up some books on my Thrift Books wishlist, but I'm interested in the same style of story aimed at adults. Nothing horrifying, but a bit of a thrill is ok. I'm not necessarily looking for the same formula, just the same atmosphere and ghost-iness. Any thoughts?

Thanks so much!


3. Hello, I am hoping to give my sister a book of short stories for Christmas. She is new to reading for pleasure and she asks me if I can recommend her something but it’s difficult when she and I are not sure what she likes. I know she doesn't like zombie/horror (like) stories/books. Is there something with different genres, maybe this will help her find what she does or doesn't like. Thank you so much, you guys have a great day :)


4. I'm taking a train trip from San Diego to Portland in October to visit Powell's as part of my 30th birthday celebration (I turned 30 in July, but I bought the trip as a gift to myself). Since this is a special trip, I'd love to pick up a few new books that I can cherish as well. I'd love for these to be the type of books that become favorites.

I'm mostly into Fantasy and Science Fiction, and I really enjoy YA. I love a good story based in mythology or a good fairy tale retelling. I've also been getting into mystery/suspense/thriller and horror lately and would love a good terrifying horror story (apparently I'm hard to scare on the page). I do enjoy the occasional contemporary/literary fiction as well. I could do without love/romance (as long as it doesn't take over the story or the story has other strong elements or is just really good). I would also love to include diversity in my picks.

Books I love or have really enjoyed include: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, American Gods, A Head Full of Ghosts, The Kingkiller Chronicles, The Book Thief, Queens of Geek, The Library of Fates, Ready Player One, Ramona Blue, and The Mermaid's Sister.


5. Hey Y'all!

My name is Sabrina and the last few years of my life have been pretty rough. To make a long, traumatic story short, I had been going through an ongoing custody battle with my son's father, had an extremely difficult pregnancy that ended with my sweet baby in NICU (she's healthy and happy now), dealt with other family issues as well as my own internal ones. Nevertheless, I received my Bachelor's degree in English and Women's Studies and am now in grad school. Although things have gotten better, I still have this overwhelming feeling of exhaustion and anxiety but above all, I feel inadequate. I'm a brown woman, the first in my family to graduate with a bachelors, let alone get into grad school. I have 3 kiddos whom I adore and I just really want to read something that will help me to believe everything will get better. That someone else has been through the things I have and that I am worthy of my place in grad school. I am worthy of my place in the world.

I read Tiny Beautiful Things and loved it. I would love any recommendations of books with a woman of color main character and something not toooooo long because grad school.

Bonus if the main character is a mom/writer herself.


6. Hi! I’m trying to complete the 2017 Read Harder Challenge, and I’m having trouble finding books for some of the categories. One in particular has me stumped: read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+.

I actually love YA, so you would think this would be easy for me, but I’m having trouble figuring out which authors identify as LGBTQ+ (Sexual orientation isn’t always printed on the “About the Author” page, or even the author’s website, so how would I find this info?).

Some YA books I’ve liked recently are: When Dimple Met Rishi, Saints and Misfits, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Something In Between

Thanks for your help!


7. Dear Amanda and Jenn,

Thank you for continuing to give new and specialized recs week after week! I'm searching for suggestions to send to my friend who is in the US Marine Corps and deployed to the Middle East for an extended period. He doesn't get a lot of down time, but likes to read and obviously didn't get to bring many books along. The book/books need to be short-ish, since I'll be sending it/them via air mail. He enjoys Kerouac and Hemingway. Maybe something with a sense of humor? Any good, intriguing story/memoir/essay collection that will lift his spirits but not be too heavy. Nothing political, but it could be fiction or non-fiction. He is super into all kinds of music (he used to be a DJ) so bonus points if you can think of something related to that. He also loves to travel and studies several languages... it seemed like a broad request at first so I'm trying to give you a sense of his interests to help you narrow down your picks :)

Thanks so much for your help!




An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

Slow Days, Fast Company by Eve Babitz

That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana by Carlo Emilio Gadda, trans William Weaver

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love by Sarah Vaughn and Lan Medina

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

In the Country by Mia Alvar

Best American Short Stories 2016

The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe

Tender by Sofia Samatar

The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

Dreadnought by April Daniels

Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks

Let’s Talk About Love (33 ⅓) by Carl Wilson

Sep 20, 2017

Amanda and Jenn discuss creepy reads, social justice ammunition, witchy reads, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Girls Made of Glass and Snow by Melissa Bashardoust, Lit Chat from Book Riot and Abrams Noterie, and Brain Rules for Aging Well by John Medina.

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



1. Hi,

I'm getting married in November after a short engagement but I've already noticed that my fiancé and my mutual male friends have seemingly gone from referring to me by my name to calling me 'his bird' or 'his woman' (f* that s*).

Any recommendations on books about maintaining your identity as a real human being after marriage? As a wise woman told me recently, "the only downside to getting married is that you become someone's wife".



2. Hi Amanda and Jenn!

I have a travel request. I'm going to Valencia, Spain this fall to visit a friend, and know very little about the region. My favorite way to get to know a new city is through historical fiction. Do you have any recommendations of historical fiction set in or near Valencia?



3. I am in the process of ending a relationship of almost twenty years and I am trying to adjust to the idea of living on my own for the first time since my early twenties (I just turned 40). I am looking for books that might help me sort out my feelings about this process. Fiction or non-fiction is fine. I already have All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg on my TBR pile. I don't have kids and don't want them but stories that include kids are okay as long as the main focus is on the the adult. Thanks in advance.


4. Hi ladies! We are looking for book recommendations for our co-worker and friend Emily. Her birthday is on October 11th and she is a huge fan of your show (she is the one who introduced each of us to it as well) and of all things books. She loves to read pretty much everything and anything. We would like to get her a book or two for her birthday and would love some recommendations. She really enjoys horror, true crime, mystery, and literary classics. Some books she has recently read and enjoyed are Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, Insomnia by Stephen King, and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. (The three of us are planning on reading Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt per your recommendation from a previous episode, and are very excited by the way). Anything you could recommend would be great! Thanks in advance for your help!
--Mallory and Jessica


5. Hey,

Initially, I was asking for more books on race by #ownvoices because it's coming up in my classes so often, which are predominately white (and I am as well).

What I'm now looking for is maybe some kind of history, memoir/biography, sociological study, really anything, that would be helpful in verbal combat with someone who is essentially the devil's advocate in a comment section, but believes in what he's saying. I know I won't change his mind but I'd like to have history and facts under my belt to help verbally kick his ass and destroy him.

This MRA-dude, in a previous class, considered Janie sticking up for herself in Their Eyes Were Watching God 'terribly emasculating' for her husband and an awful thing to do to him. He is also *so sad* by our professor criticizing our country and most of our class agreeing with her (because apparently that's worse than Nazis - I made the mistake of creeping him on Facebook.)

I own (but still need to read) They Can't Kill Us All, Rest in Power, and Warriors Don't Cry. I have read 12 Years a Slave, March Trilogy, Between the World and Me, and am anticipating We Were Eight Years in Power. I was originally thinking more along the lines of slavery and civil rights narratives, but now I think a better tactic would be to learn about the history of fascism and the constant fight for social justice.

Any help is much appreciated, especially since he's not *technically* a Nazi and I can't just punch him during class.

I love the show and have almost made my way through the all of the episodes!



6. This is a bit of a time sensitive request...One of my best friends has been married just over a year, and has recently found out that her husband wants a divorce. I really want to send her a book to help distract her... Any recommendations? She likes thrillers and YA fantasy. Bonus points if there's a strong feminist and/ or life will go on message.


7. I'm looking for some good Witch/female awesome themed books to get in the mood for fall and Halloween. I loved "The Discovery of Witches," "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" and "The Night Circus." I'd prefer something in the fantasy realm but am really open to anything I can drink with some hot apple cider! Thank you!


Books Discussed

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams

The Perfume Garden by Kate Lord Brown

The Poem of The Cid by Anonymous

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Single Carefree Mellow by Katherine Heiny

Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Blood of the Dawn by Claudia Salazar Jiménez

The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein

Fen by Daisy Johnson

White Rage by Carol Anderson

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed (trigger warning for everything, basically)

The Djinn Falls in Love, edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin

Brimstone by Cherie Priest

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Sep 14, 2017

Jenn and guest Eric Smith discuss all things young adult in this week's episode of Get Booked!

This episode is sponsored by Landscape With Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson, The Golden House by Salman Rushdie, and A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas.



1. I have a feeling you guys are going to look down on me for this, but one of my favorite things to read about is rich people (mainly teenagers and young adults) and their problems. I'm not really sure why, but I really like that. I think I like looking at worlds that are supposed to be 'perfect' and glimpsing into all the terrible things going on beneath the surface. The Secret History for example, is my favorite book of all time, and I think that encapsulates what I love perfectly. Intellectual (and snooty), pretty rich kids, with LOTS of issues (and murder!). I tried reading We Were Liars, and I didn't dislike it, but I just forgot about it and never finished it. Sometimes I have that problem with YA fiction, I can never say what I don't like about a lot of the books, but I just can't make myself finish them a lot of the time.


2. Hi there!

I am currently obsessing over the TV show "How To Get Away With Murder" and I was wondering if you had book recommendations for fans of the show? I'm particularly interested / looking for a book that has a diverse set of characters, smart/academic poc adults or young adults (of different ethnic backgrounds, sexualities, etc.) who share a professional and personal relationship. It doesn't have to be murder related, but maybe a cool plot that brings them all together.
Thanks and keep doing whatcha doing, love this podcast! :)


3. I am in a YA book club for adults. I've loved many of the "1st in a series" books we've read, but the number of sequels on our TBR lists keep adding up as we move onto other selections. Can you recommend some stand-alone YA books for the group? We've already read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, The Darkest Part of the Forest, Ready Player One, We Were Liars, Paper Towns, and Imaginary Girls. Bonus points for male main character or POV. Thanks!


4. I'm looking for YA recommendations for my 13-year old daughter who is dealing with an anxiety disorder. She is a good reader with a strong feminist bent, and likes well-written realistic fiction with quirky characters. So many YA novels seem to deal with pretty heavy subjects, (suicide, a sibling or parent's death, dystopian futures, etc.) and those are not great for her right now. Favorite authors have included Rainbow Rowell and Jandy Nelson. Recently she has read Everything, Everything and Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda and enjoyed them both. Any suggestions? Thanks!


5. Dear Jenn and Amanda,
My younger sister (12) has never been much of a reader, and I've recently decided I wanted to try and find her some books to help her get into reading. She's read and loved Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events when she was younger. Recently I gave her my old copy of Inkheart and she absolutely loved it. She's reading the sequel right now, but when she finishes the series I'd love to have some books to recommend her right after, while she's still in the spirit of reading.
I feel like 12 is a weird age because your not quite old enough for YA and a little too old for middle grade, and when I was her age I was reading Dickens. So as you can see I'm way out of my element here, as I don't think giving Dickens to a reluctant reader is a good idea.
Please please please help!


6. I'm in my mid-twenties and read a lot of YA fiction. I tend to struggle with adult fiction as I feel I can't relate to some of the characters. I'm always looking for books with characters closer to my age, though they seem to be few and far between. I've enjoyed books with characters in this age range such as Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (I love all her books), The Royal We by Heather Cocks, Someday Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham, Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, and The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I'd like to start branching out into more adult fiction. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


7. Hi Amanda and Jenn!

I am working on my Master's in Education and am currently in a class about students of diverse backgrounds.
You Book Riot ladies and Jeff must live in my head because every discussion the class has about how to make the curriculum more inclusive or your classroom more welcoming to all people, I always say, "Have books about people who are like them in your room". I know you all understand the importance of showing kids that people like them did or are doing cool or important things so they believe that they can too. I plan to teach high school biology and I was wondering if you could give me some recommendations for books about biologists who are not already part of the science cannon a.k.a. the rich, white, sometimes Christian men. I am not 100% sure on the grade level I will be teaching and may teach 7th grade life science, so a mix of middle level, YA, and adult would be nice.

Thank you so much for helping me to add to my TBR list and I look forward to hearing your recommendations.



8. I have a friend with a 12-year-old daughter who fell in love with shapeshifter fantasy after reading Twilight. In her quest to find more shapeshifter novels (with a little romance), she's ventured into some territory that's a little more adult than her mom is comfortable with.

Can you recommend any YA shapeshifter novels for her? I read a lot of YA, but haven't read many that fit the bill. Another friend recommended Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, but I'm sure there are others out there.




The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker

Warcross by Marie Lu

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

The New Guy by Amy Spalding

Want by Cindy Pon

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Terrier by Tamora Pierce (Beka Cooper)

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky by Summer Heacock

Headstrong by Rachel Swaby

Relativity by Cristin Bishara

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Sep 6, 2017

Amanda and Jenn discuss books with gods, weird sci-fi, believable relationships, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Swing Time by Zadie Smith, published by Penguin Books, and A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, published by Counterpoint Press.




1. Hello!
A couple of days ago was the celebration of India’s independence from the UK. I want to know if there are some books of historical fiction or nonfiction that talk more about the India and Pakistan conflict. I also like other genres besides romantic and erotica (I know some of them have historical fiction but not interested).
If it is a nonfiction book I would not like it very heavy or too long. The only book related with this topic was the Biography of Malala.


2. Hello!

My mom and I have started a book club made up of just the two of us to help us reconnect now that I'm an adult and haven't lived at home for years. So far it's been going really well, but lately I've been trying to introduce more diverse books into our reading list. I already have some ideas, but I'd love suggestions for books with LGBT characters. I can't seem to come up with anything that she might enjoy that isn't either tragic (I'm so sick of the 'bury your gays' trope) or a coming out story. I would love something where the character(s) is most definitely queer, but it isn't about them coming out.

I tend to lean towards scifi/fantasy and YA, so most of the books I know that fit my criteria are in that genre, but my mom is more of a literary fiction and mystery fan, and doesn't tend to like fantasy (she's also really not into most YA). I'm more than willing to branch out and read other genres - I like a bit of everything! Looking more for fiction than for nonfiction.

Thanks! I'd appreciate any suggestions!

-- Jordyn


3. Hi Ladies!

I love listening to your podcast and am always looking for new things to read. American Gods has been on my mind lately due to the new TV show. I loved that book and was wondering if you have any other suggestions for books with Gods involved, preferably a fiction read. I would also love suggestions on books involving portals (portal sci fi/fantasy) if you happen to include a bonus recommendation.

Thank you!


4.  I am working on a series for my Booktube channel, That's What She Read, where I do a video where I talk about four books from every state. So far the easiest states have been California, NY, Michigan. I was wondering if you guys could recommend books set in places I'm having a hard time with- North or South Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska or Hawaii? Thank you so much! Love the show!!


5. I've recently been on a huge sci-fi kick inspired by Yoon Ha Lee, my new favorite author. But I've gone through everything in that vein I could find, and I need more. So I'm coming to the experts. Conservation of Shadows, Ninefox, and Raven hit all of my buttons: super weird but awesome world building, gross, hive-minds, and a mathematical tilt. It's only missing time travel! Since I've been on this kick I've also gone through: Ann Leckie, N.K. Jemisin, Six Wakes, The Rook Series, Seveneves, The Expanse Series, and The Themis Files (in rough order of preference, but I quite enjoyed all of them). I tried but didn't like IQ84 and The Three Body Problem. But since I finished The Themis Files I've been having trouble finding more books in this category. I'm young-ish so there might be some older sci-fi that I'm missing (though I have read Dune/Ender's Game/Harlan Ellison).

So lay it on me. Give me your weirdest, grossest, most ridiculous, most confusing, most convoluted, most unusual sci-fi. Bonus points for hive minds, cyborg or AI characters, time travel, mathematicians, and female/poc protagonists.


6. Hi guys, I've recently realized that amid all of my social justice, politics reading, and incredibly dark litfic reading, I've kind of lost any hope that romance and love are real/can exist without one of the participants dying horribly.

I just read Anne of Green Gables (for the first time ever!) and I am completely in love with Gilbert and Anne's relationship, most especially because it emphasizes their equality of mind. (Though I think Anne is just that little bit smarter ;) )

I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of some books with relationships. Most of the books I've read (especially the YA) seem to be confused on the difference between love and mild stalking, so I could really use your help.

Some of the books with relationships I liked have been: Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto (in the middle of it), Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han, and Howl's Moving Castle. I also like how the show Steven Universe handles relationships/love. Basically I'm looking for romance that's both sweet/adorable, and also realistic.

Books I didn't like: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwaub, Divergent/every Divergent knockoff.

I'm not necessarily looking for "romance books," but more just books that have relationships that a real self-respecting human might actually want to be a part of, while still providing a good story.
Thanks, love the show!!
--Anne with an E


7. I am reading Kim Stanley Robinson's New York 2140 and enjoying it, although it is different from my usual reads. I am curious as to what other books like it you might recommend - books that address climate change and a changed world.


Books Discussed

Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Books About Partition by Female Authors

The Great Partition by Yasmin Khan

Clear Light of Day by Anita Desai

The Dime by Kathleen Kent

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

This Is Paradise by Kristiana Kahakauwila

The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

The Chimes by Anna Smaill

Maddaddam trilogy by Margaret Atwood (Oryx and Crake)

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi (Trigger warning: torture, tons of varieties of violence against basically everyone)