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Now displaying: January, 2018
Jan 30, 2018

Amanda and Jenn discuss Moroccan authors, secret societies, nonfiction audiobooks, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert and our library cart giveaway.




1. Hi!

I'm going on a trip to Morocco in March and I'm looking for some books to read to get me in the mood and help me better appreciate the culture/history as I travel. I read most genres apart from sci fi and horror, but would particularly like something in the land of literary/historical fiction or nonfiction. Even better if it is by a Moroccan author. Thanks in advance for the recs and I love the show!


2. Hi Jen and Amanda!

My friends and I have toyed with the idea of starting a book club for years, and I was finally able to corral everyone into one group text to schedule our first meet-up (which will be around mid-January)! All the details have been decided, except for the most important item, which is choosing the actual book that we'll read. My friends believe that, because I reached out and organized the event, I should also have the responsibility of selecting the first book. I can't handle the pressure of this first world problem, so I'm asking for your help.

We're all women in our mid-twenties who are in various stages in our careers and personal lives, but we're all in agreement about the genres we're into: romance, mystery/thriller, and travel/adventure.

Any suggestions on how to kick off our book club would be greatly appreciated! Bonus points if these books tackle the awkward quarter-life crisis themes that we all experience in our mid-twenties.



3. Hello!
I am looking for your thoughts/recommendations on the read harder challenge task of “classic of genre fiction.” I was thinking of doubling up on this task and Oprah’s book club pick “I Know This Much Is True” by Wally Lamb” Would it count for classic ? Do you have any other recommendations for this task ?


4. Hello,

I am looking for novels about things like conspiracy theories and secret societies and such--kind of like the Da Vinci code, but well written (and I guess a bit more "literary"). I tried The Name of the Rose, but found it way too dry, and also didn't like the Rabbit Back Literature Society. I've read and enjoyed all of Marisha Pessl's books, and Mr. Penumbra's 24 hr bookstore. The Dante Club is on my TBR.


5. I love the recommendations you guys give. I love nonfiction audiobooks. But I have trouble finding new ones to listen to. My favorites are The Gene and The Emperor of all Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Quiet:The Power of introverts, Grit by Angela Duckworth, and THe End of Average by Todd Rose. I am just not sure where to go from here. I have Isaac's Storm and When Breath Becomes Air on my TBR.


6. Hello! I love all things book riot, but especially this podcast! Your recommendations fuel my never ending TBR list, and it brings me so much joy to hear others as excited about books as I am! Now I would love to hear your thoughts on cozy mysteries! I am in grad school right now for occupational therapy, so these light hearted stories (aside from all the murder and deception) seem like something that I could really get into to distract me from my persistent neurofatigue.

This is a new genre that I have delved into recently, specifically the magic potion mystery series by Heather Blake. I love the aspects of the small town, hitching post, that is depicted in the series, and the quirky characters.

Are there any specific cozy mystery series you guys love? I think I stared at the shelf in the mystery section of the bookstore for a solid hour before I settled on Heather Blake's series. There is so much out there! I need more direction!

Thanks so much,
--Brittany, tired grad student


7. Hello all!

I recently discovered the show and am loving all of the good, odd-to-find recommendations I wouldn't normally have heard of. I am the solo mom of a beautiful toddler who is both American and African (her father is from Ethiopia where I used to live). Do you know of any books that talk about raising strong, proud biracial or bi-cultural children? TIA!


Books Discussed

I Thought It Was Just Me by Brene Brown

Pit Bull by Bronwen Dickey

The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami

The Happy Marriage by Tahar Ben Jelloun, translated by Andre Nafis-Sahely

Laila Lalami on Moroccan literature

Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube by Blair Braverman (trigger warning: sexual assault)

The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff

Dune by Frank Herbert

Genre fiction classics post

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, translated by Gregory Rabassa

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

The Earth Moved by Amy Stewart

Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, read by the author, cosigned by contributor Ashley Holstrom

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

Aunt Dimity’s Death by Nancy Atherton (rec’d by Sarah Nicolas)

My Two Grannies by Floella Benjamin, illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown, illustrated by Sara Palacios

Jan 23, 2018

Amanda and Jenn discuss Haitian authors, Canadian nonfiction, book club options, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Libby and Eternal Life by Dara Horn.



1. Hi ladies,
I love the podcast and all your recommendations.
I have an upcoming trip to India for work and I need some recommendations on what to take with me. I will be traveling with a group of MAWGs (middle aged white guys) coworkers who are a bit oblivious, bro-y, and can be exhausting when being around for long period of times. The idea of long-term travel with these people is a bit overwhelming and stressing me out. Do you have any book-ish escapes with strong female characters that can make this trip a little less daunting? Brownie points if they involve India in some form.
I’m drawing a blank on ideas and everyone I ask recommends books that I know will make me angry and ranty (not the tone I’m going for on this trip). I’d appreciate any ideas you two have.
Many thanks!


2. Hi Ladies,
Can you recommend books by Haitian authors or authors from other "s***hole" countries? For some reason I have an urge to read books by Haitian or African authors. I've already read Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which I LOVED.


3. Hello!
My friend doesn't read very much but she wants to read more. The last book she read and loved was The Time Traveler's Wife. Can you recommend other adventure-romance style books that are similar to that? I've suggested The Night Circus and My Name is Memory, so far.
I'm a new listener to Get Booked, after becoming hooked on All the Books and The Book Riot Podcast. Thanks for all the great book talks!
Thank you, thank you!


4. Hi Amanda and Jenn!

I apologize if this is a repeated topic, but I searched the Book Riot site and didn't see anything that was what I was looking for.

I live and work in NY, but the company I work for recently acquired some business in Canada. I'll soon be the staff manager of some employees living and working in Canada, which is exciting! I'm looking forward to learning about the employment laws, HR policies, etc of another country... but I realized that I know very, very little about Canada. I don't know any Canadian history, hardly any current (or recent events), and my cultural knowledge is limited to how great Trudeau seems.

Can you help? I'm looking for readable, engaging non-fiction that focuses on Canada's history, current events, or culture. It'd be fine if it focused on a specific event or topic, at this point any knowledge will be a plus! Also willing to try out fiction reqs if you have them.

Thank you!


5. Hello from Ireland!

I was hoping you could recommend me books written by Native Americans. They can be fiction or non-fiction as long as the author is actually Native American (especially after Wind River left me with a bad taste in my mouth).

I am looking for atmospheric books with well drawn characters. Open to all genres but wouldn't want anything that is very violent or disturbing.



6. Hi Jenn/Amanda,

Recently my little sister and I both moved back to live with our parents. It's been a rough couple of years. Anyway, my Mom has been wanting to do a book club for a while now and so I suggested that maybe the three of us could do our own book club.

Now, the problem is to find a book we can all agree on....
My Mom loves an interesting mystery. Doesn't have to be a murder. She enjoys historical very much as well. So historical mysteries are probably best.

My sister is more of a picky reader. She likes more romance. She also gets bored really easy. It has to grab her from the first chapter or she'll toss it aside and never pick it back up.

I'm a bit more open with books. I enjoy everything. Except maybe gore and zombies. I do like a creepy aspect to a mystery. I do love creepy or spooky mysteries. The book I'm thinking of is sort of like The Diviners by Libba Bray? Or Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

If you can come up with some recs for us it would be great! I'm at a loss as to what will work!

Thank you!!!!


7. Good morning ladies!

I love your podcast and I am an avid listener every week! Thank you for all the book recommendations!

I am usually pretty good at recommending books for other people. My family usually comes to me asking what to read next. Just recently my aunt approached me to ask what books would be suitable for my 11 year old cousin. Usually this wouldn't phase me as I can come up with at least 10 off the top of my head that would be suitable for any other child, however, my cousin doesn't like any sad plot points, death or major illness so she refuses to read things like Charlotte's Web and other classics like that. I've come up with a short list but am having trouble coming up with anything that I know for sure will interest her. She is very sensitive about things that might be scary or sad so I am basically looking for something like a grown up Magic Tree House. Ideally I would need this in the next couple days, if you can swing it but no pressure! I'm happy to get your recommendations whenever you have a moment to answer as I think I might have a few in the meantime to tide her over.

Thank you so much for being a bright spot in my week and keep the recommendations coming!

Happy reading!


Books Discussed

Year One by Nora Roberts (The Stand or The Strain)

Make Trouble by Cecile Richards

Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit

Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam

Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat

Hadriana In All My Dreams by René Depestre, translated by Kaiama L. Glover

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (rec’d by Angel Cruz)

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Testimony by Robbie Robertson

One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul

Murder on the Red River by Marcie R Rendon

The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson

Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country by Louise Erdrich

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware The Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Faith Hicks, Brooke A. Allen

Jan 16, 2018

Amanda and Jenn discuss book club picks, retellings, books about books, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by OwlCrate and Book Riot Insiders.



1. Hi Amanda and Jen!
I am looking for book recommendations about espionage, secret agencies/organizations and heists, but prefer ones that are lighter and not too dark. Because of this I tend to read more YA books (Map of Fates by Maggie Hall, for instance), but would love to read more adult fiction.
I also like Sherlock Holmes adaptations such as the Jackaby series by William Ritter, Stoker & Holmes series by Colleen Gleason and A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro.
Thanks for your help!!


2. Hey Girls,
I am a high school English teacher, and my classes do a lot of independent reading. Each month, students choose a book in a specific category. We are coming up on the "based on...another story" category and I need some recommendations for my students. I have recommended Gregory Maguire's Wicked as a based on Wizard of Oz, Marissa Meyer's Cinder as a based on Cinderella, and Laura Ruby's Bone Gap as a based on Persephone. But I need a bunch more. Books that would appeal to my boys would be especially helpful.
Thanks so much,


3. Hello, love your podcast and thanks for doing it. I am an avid reader and usually have 3 books on the go: a more 'meaty' / literary read, a quick / light read, plus a non fiction (most often a biography).

This is my question. I have recently taken the plunge and set up a book club locally, and our first meeting is set at the end of this month. I would love some recommendations for books that in your opinion will lead to a good interesting discussion. Just so you can get an idea, the first books that I've already set for the book club are: Sarah Schmidt's See what I have done, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. These are books that I would normally be reading myself. Any suggestions for possible books for the following months?


4. Hello, I am part of a Scifi and fantasy book club and for February I am suggesting that we read a book (scifi or fantasy) that has a LGBTQ Romance. It doesn't have to be the protagonist or antagonist but I would prefer that. We have already read River of Teeth which has several LGBTQ characters in it. Any suggestions would be of great help! love the show!


5. I love books so much I'm on a hunt for a book about books! Fiction / YA is my jam but I'm open to any genre that keeps me turning the page. I would love a book where the main character finds a magical library or bookstore and/or has an awesome relationship with books. I've read the Book Thief but haven't been able to find anything else where books play a main role. Looking forward to your recommendations!


6. Hello,
Hi Jenn and Amanda -

I have a family & friends book club. We recently read Persepolis which was so, so good! The meeting was extra cool because my 8 year old cousin read it and participated in the conversation. It was fun having a budding young reader in our midst, which got me thinking that we should read some middle grade novels so she can join in more often. I enjoy YA so I am totally open to reading middle grade, but I also think others in the group would enjoy it too. Do you have any recommendations for middle grade that would be good book club picks?

Thanks for the show and ALL the recommendations!


7. I just read "Everything I Never Told You" by Celeste Ng as a book riot rec... OMG! Love! Can you please recommend more books that have a slight suspense angle but mainly focus on really rich characters that seem authentic?


Books Discussed

Gnomon by Nick Harkaway

The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú

For reader looking for books for 7 year old boy: The Lunch Lady series and the Dog Man series. (Sarah from Insiders)

For reader looking for books from other countries NOT about war/racism: Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata, about a man who meets his late father's mistress and gets sort of obsessed, but more in a flies-in-the-face-of-Japanese-manners-way, not a creepy-stalker-will-kill-you way (Melissa from Insiders)

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Lawless by Jeff Salane

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry (Orpheus)

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh (1001 Nights)

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

100 Must Read Books About Books post

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder

Unidentified Suburban Object by Mike Jung

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (trigger warning: suicide)

A Separation by Katie Kitamura

Jan 10, 2018

Amanda and Jenn discuss mysteries, all-ages comics, YA fantasy, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner and Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet.

Enter our Top 20 of 2017 giveaway here!


1. Hey Amanda and Jenn!
I'm looking for a good book for my boyfriend. He's never really enjoyed reading but is trying to change that, particularly because his sister and I just gush over books every time we're around each other and I think he wants in on the fun.
He's mentioned that he might be interested in something like Stephen King, but the size of the books are too intimidating.
I think he would particularly enjoy mysteries or thrillers, but any genre is welcome. The most important thing is that the books are not too long and they are easy to get through -- so no complicated structures or long lists of characters.
Thanks for all you do,


2. Hey Get Booked,
After reading Bad Feminist for my book club and LOVING it, I've been craving more feministy reading. I've read We Should All Be Feminists and Men Explain Things to Me. I'm currently listening to Missoula by Jon Krakauer and it's completely fascinating. Could you recommend a few of your favorite feminist books? Even novels with strong feminist themes or characters would be good. Thanks!!


3. Hello!
I’m looking for a graphic novel/ comic recommendation. I love the format, but find that I’m quite picky. Based on what I’ve read and liked, it seems that I prefer comics geared towards a younger audience. I’m not opposed to more adult/ mature content, but I’m not super into gratuitous violence/ nudity, etc. I LOVED Nimona, Lumberjanes, Lucky Penny, Henchgirl, all of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s work, and Paper Girls, so if there’s anything that you can recommend similar to those, I’d love to hear about it!
Thanks so much!


4. Hello! I recently just discovered your podcast and I can't get enough of it! I have a 7 year old son who is in second grade and loves to read. He reads above his grade level and I am looking for book recommendations for him but also that are appropriate for his age. He is very much interested in Legos and Minecraft. I'm wondering if there are any good, but appropriate children's mysteries out there for him. He has recently discovered the Goosebumps series in his Grandpa's basement from when my husband was a kid and has started on those. Thank you for your help!


5. Hi,
I'm constantly trying to expand my genre tastes, and I think it's time to try some romance. There's just one problem: I'm polyamourous and I don't know where to look for poly romance really. I have very low tolerance for competition between potential partners as a plot forwarding device and have trouble empathizing with characters in monogamous relationships angsting about cheating and wandering potential. I've read Ascension and liked the concept but found the writing quality wanting. I'm open to any sub genre of romance, as long as at least some of the primary characters are polyamourous.


6. Hello,
I am an avid reader but tend to stick to mostly fantasy, sci-fi, and classics. I love classic mystery/detective books like Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, G.K Chesterton's Father Brown and Dorothy Sayers but I am struggling to find contemporary mystery/detective fiction that aren't cookie cutter stories. I'm don't like a lot of gore or sex and I really enjoy the process of discovering who committed the crime. Any books/series recommendations along these lines would be great!


7. I've been doing a lot of very heavy, very dry reading for my degree, and I need some fun books to read in the meantime. Since everything I've been reading lately has been nonfiction, I thought I would get as far away from that as possible and read some fantasy. But because I'm so busy with school I don't have as much time to read as I wish I did, so I'm hesitant to start a series. I thought some YA could do the trick since the reading is always a bit easier, and I feel like everyday I hear about a new YA fantasy novel that is coming out. I recently read Carry On by Rainbow Rowell and thought it was spectacular, and I also read The Magicians and thought it was great. My favorite author is Neal Stephenson, but I don't have the ability to read such complicated and heavy subject matter at the moment.


Books Discussed

Squire by Tamora Pierce (Protector of the Small series)

Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (trigger warning: sexual assault)

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley

We’re Going To Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union (trigger warning: discussion of her rape)

Misfit City Vol 1 by Kirsten Smith, art by Kurt Lustgarten, Naomi Franquiz

Jem and the Holograms V1 by Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell

The Key Hunters series by Eric Luper (#1 The Mysterious Moonstone)

The Brixton Brothers series (The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity), recommended by Preeti

Glutton for Pleasure by Alisha Rai

Poly Romance post

Bound To Be A Groom by Megan Mulry

IQ by Joe Ide

Aunty Lee’s Delights by Ovidia Yu

A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Jan 3, 2018

Amanda and Jenn discuss international reads, Star Trek readalikes, bisexual characters, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti and OwlCrate.

Enter our Best of 2017 books giveaway!



1. Hi girls!

I love reading about people from different countries or people currently living in different countries and would love a recommendation! I'm trying to find something that isn’t about war or racism. Maybe something a little more lighthearted- if that exists. I love both fiction and nonfiction and am very open to translated works, poetry, plays, short story collections, etc.

None of my book friends have been able to help, but I'm hoping you can :)

Thank you!


2. Hi Amanda & Jenn,

I'm looking for a recommendation for my book club. We're all women ranging in age from mid-twenties to mid-sixties and, as individuals, read everything from literary fiction to romance to science fiction and fantasy. We've only been meeting for the past 6 months so we're still figuring out what types of books work best. Right now, we've read Where'd You Go Bernadette (which everyone really enjoyed), Small Great Things (most people liked), Elsie and Mairi Go to War (awful, didn't even finish), Exit West (another strong pick), When Dimple Met Rishi (good, but not substantial enough), and God: A Human History (haven't discussed yet, but from our group emails, I'm thinking it's a bit too academic). Contemporary fiction with interesting, strong female protagonists seems to be our sweet spot. We have The Mothers on our to-read list as well as A Gentleman in Moscow, My Cousin Rachel and The Summer Before the War. We read diversely, don't shy away from difficult/sensitive subjects, nonfiction is ok but we've read a decent amount lately, and prefer adult to YA.

Thanks so much!


3. Hi there -

I'll be moving to the Bay Area soon for a software engineering program, and I'm a little nervous about feeling lonely/missing home. I'd love some recommendations for:

escapist/comforting reads and/or
fiction with an awesome female lead and/or books set in San Francisco.

I've been reading through the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire and have enjoyed them. I'm also planning to take Sourdough by Robin Sloan with me. I enjoy most sci-fi/fantasy and read a lot of literary fiction as well. Some of my favorite authors are Miriam Toews, Mary Doria Russell, Peter Heller and Connie Willis.

Thanks for your help and for the show - this podcast has helped me find so many great books!



4. What sci-fi books would you recommend to someone who loves Star Trek? I've of course read some of the novelizations, but I'd like to read some novels that are unconnected but have a similar enough feel to Star Trek. I love the space exploration, philosophy, and different alien races working together, but most of all I loved the idealized future. It seems every futuristic novel I read, we all live in a terrible future that is terrible, and OH LOOK AT HOW EVIL TECHNOLOGY IS. There are no words to describe how tired I am of that.
Thanks in advanced guys. I can't wait to hear your recs.


5. Hi,
I recently listened to your podcast about biography recommendations and can't wait to check out Cleopatra. I would love some other great biographies/memoirs about women.

I would prefer people of color or/not already widely famous people. For example, I loved Stolen Lives; Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Unbowed by Wangari Maathai, and Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen.



6. I'm on a search for bisexual characters in literature (who actually call themselves bi- too often authors try to skirt around the word). I'm bisexual myself and I'm craving representation. I find so many gay and lesbian characters, but rarely bi. I don't mind if the character is in a same sex or opposite sex relationship, I would just really like to read about a bi character.
Also, while I would love to see some bi women, I encounter bi women much more than I encounter bi men, so I would appreciate it if your suggestions had both genders (if that is at all possible). Thank you so much, and I absolutely adore the show.


7. Hi Amanda and Jenn! I love listening to your podcast! Im wondering if you can recommend some books set in the Middle East. I recently read When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi and loved it. I'd particularly like books told from the perspective of a female character(s). Thanks!


Books Discussed

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab

The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen, translated by Lola Rogers

The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso (rec’d by Rebecca)

White Oleander by Janet Fitch

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold

Provenance by Ann Leckie

Wild Swans by Jung Chang

Mighty Be Our Powers by Leymah Gbowee

A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

100 Must Read Bisexual Books post

Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner

Escape from Aleppo by N.H. Senzai

An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine