Amanda and Jenn discuss Civil War reads, diverse middle-grade books, reading slumps, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
1. Dear Amanda and Jenn,
I am a middle school English teacher and I have a student looking for a book recommendations. She has read To Kill a Mockingbird, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Giver, and Would You Reach Me and enjoyed them all. She seems to like books that tackle serious social issues as well as science fiction. Our school library is a little outdated and doesn't offer much in the way of books with diverse characters, so I'd like to direct her to something more current and with diverse characters.
Thanks in advance. I love the podcast!
2. Hey Amanda and Jenn!
I'm having baby #3 in December, and I'm looking for books to read on my e-reader during the middle-of-the-night feedings. I somehow missed this reading opportunity with my first baby, but with baby #2 a few years ago I read so much! Including at least one of Ruth Reichl's memoirs, Molly Wizenberg's Delancey and Homemade Life, but also a bit of romance, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and some other novels. I'm open to fiction, non-fiction, genre, etc.
The main guidelines are:
*fairly easy reads - no complex character lists and maps, and nothing too literary or high-minded.
*conducive to reading in short bursts - easy to dip in and out of. Nothing so page-turner-y that I'll stay up even longer. Short chapters or frequent text breaks are a bonus, but not required.
*nothing scary, dark, bloody, gory, etc... i.e. nothing where the jacket says (or could say) "chilling" or "haunting"
*cozy and charming, but not cheesy
*definitely no sick or dying kids/babies/children/moms, or disasters/apocalypses/tragedies
*available as ebook (Kindle)
So, what books can you suggest for me to read in the middle of the night as I nurse my new baby?
3. I am looking for books about the Civil War for my father's 60th birthday. My mother is taking him on a trip to Gettysburg and I want to give him some books that will go along with his trip. He prefers non-fiction and has already read and enjoyed Killer Angels. I was going to get him a copy of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy - but was hoping that you might have some other great recommendations! Thank you! Love the podcast!
Next year I am starting a feminist book club called SFF Fems that will read Science Fiction and Fantasy books by female authors only, with an emphasis on marginalised and own voice authors. Do you have any recommendations that would fit this criteria and make for great discussion at a book club meeting?
Thanks so much
5. I'm trying to find books for my eleven year old daughter Cathy to read, but I'm a bit stumped. She's a voracious reader, and well above a usual eleven year old's reading level (this, just to be clear, isn't me being some annoying mom who likes to talk about how special my daughter is. She just happens to be ahead in reading.). She's read and loved Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and the Percy Jackson novels. She just read my copy of the Mists of Avalon and now has an obsession with arthurian legend. She loves history, and knights, and all that fun stuff, but I'm having a bit of trouble finding books for her.
She's been reading some adult books on her own, and I'm very lax about what she's allowed to read and watch (the evidence being that I gave her The Mists of Avalon), and am not concerned about things being "appropriate" for her. We have a very open relationship and she comes to me with questions, we discuss what she's read, and honestly we are a very liberal family. However I would like to find her some age appropriate books as well, because I think it's important for her to read about characters her age to relate to. Everything we've been looking for together either doesn't interest her, or she finds condescending. Any ideas? I think some historical fiction would be good, but I just don't know what to look for.
6. Hi guys! I love the podcast and I'm so glad you're doing the show weekly now, it's my Friday treat to listen to you on the bus.
I am in such a reading slump at the moment and I'm really hoping you can help. I had such a good reading year last year but since January, nothing is clicking with me. Could you suggest some books for getting out of a slump? I'm open to any genre, except horror (because I'm a wimp). If it helps, some books that I loved in 2015 were Spinster by Kate Bolick, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, A Fair Fight by Anna Freeman and The Queen of the Tearling.
7. Hello there!
Not sure if you have already answered a question similar to this, but I figured I'd go ahead and ask anyway.
I am a huge fan of The Gilmore Girls, and I was wondering if you guys know of any books that give the same overall feeling as the show. The fast-paced language, the quirky characters and small town feeling, intelligent women, etc. I am open to any and all genres!
Thanks in advance!
Wolf-speaker (Immortals #2) by Tamora Pierce
Get in Trouble by Kelly Link
Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O'Neil
Tijuana Book of the Dead by Luis Alberto Urrea
Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
The Pioneer Woman by Ree Drummond
Take the Lead by Alexis Daria
The Passing of the Armies by Joshua Chamberlain
The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan
An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
No Good Deed by Kara Connolly
Seeds of America trilogy (Chains #1) by Laurie Halse Anderson
My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead
27 Hours by Tristina Wright
Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
Amanda and Jenn discuss Southern fiction, Spanglish, portal fantasy, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
Bookstore Giveaway: bookriot.com/bookstoregiveaway
1. I love love love novels written in Spanglish, both because I'm working on my Spanish, but also because I, too, live in a different community in which most people with whom I interact are bilingual and books like Junot Diaz's are exactly how we talk, albeit in a different language. My favorite genre is literary fiction, but I would take recommendations for good mysteries, YA, essay/poetry collections, or, if they're very well-written, fantasy or sci-fi. Bonus points for evoking a strong sense of place that immediately makes me want to book a trip wherever the book is set. Note: I'm not good with animal death, so either steer clear of that or at least include a trigger warning. Thanks!
2. Hello Book Riot!
I work at a college, and like a lot of colleges, each year our school assigns a summer reading book for the first-year students. I am just curious what books you two would recommend. What book, fiction or nonfiction, would you want every new college student to read?
Thanks! Love the podcast.
3. Hello Amanda and Jenn! I love your show and all of your recommendations. I have one that I don't think you've covered yet.
Growing up, I've always loved Alice & all the other wonderful characters in Wonderland and now, more recently, Neil Gaiman's Coraline and her freaky little alternate reality. I feel similarly about Peter Pan and Neverland, though I didn't read those books (only watched the movies. Oops!) I think they all appeal to this childhood desire to find a secret room or portal (my most common nighttime dream) that is fun, exciting, colorful, magical, and adventurous. If I'm real, it also appeals to my desire to escape the stress and terror of the world.
Do you have any recommendations for similar books?
P.S. I have read Harry Potter, the Secret Garden, etc. and while I enjoyed these books, I'm looking for something a little different than these. I've thought about reading the Narnia series, but still don't think it's quite what I want. I think I'd prefer something with one main character, even if there is a strong supportive cast, and also something that is a quicker read.
4. Hi Jenn and Amanda,
I love the podcast and look forward to it every week.
I feel like the last few books I've read have been stories to "get through." I enjoy them, but don't find myself savoring words for words alone. I also find that I haven't read much romance lately. Could you recommend something where the language is as decadent as chocolate and there might be some will they/won't they romantic speculation?
Favorite books include The Sugar Queen, Jane Eyre, The Blue Sword, and A Tale for the Time-Being.
5. I recently read and loved both Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton and Startup by Doree Shafrir, and this latest Uber scandal has got me interested in more behind-the-scenes tech company/startup books. I read Dave Eggers' The Circle when it first came out and thought it was just kind of okay (though it feels sacrilegious to me to criticize Dave Eggers) - I need some strong characters to really hook me into a story, though it doesn't matter if they're likable or not. I'm much less interested in the technology-is-world-changing angle than I am in the company culture angle. Fiction or nonfiction doesn't matter to me - I'm just looking for a juicy story.
Thanks in advance!
6. I recently plowed my way through War and Peace and I loved it! However, I've realized that I know nothing about the Napoleonic Wars or Russian history. I prefer historical fiction but I wouldn't say no to some readable nonfiction either. Thanks!
7. I absolutely love Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. I recently read Whistling Past the Graveyard which had a similar storyline. Can you recommend any other books similar with a child/preteen narrator, set in the south with difficult family life? Thanks in advance. Love the show!
Jade City by Fonda Lee
Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder
Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
Infomocracy by Malka Older
Reset by Ellen Pao
The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak
Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison (ALL THE TRIGGER WARNINGS EVER)
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Amanda and Jenn discuss bread-making, nonfiction for teens, survival stories and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
1. Hi! I recently got into baking and was wondering if you have any great bread making cook books. Just bread, not baking in general. If it’s from a famous bakery, that would be nice! Thanks a ton!
P.S. an email reply will suffice :)
2. TIME SENSITIVE: I am a recent convert to the world of Romance, but I am feeling overwhelmed. I had tried different things over the years but just never found something that felt like MY romance. And then I discovered Penny Reid. I read Truth or Beard and then promptly flew through the rest of the existing Winston Brothers series, and now I am flying just as quickly through the Knitting In The City Books. But...I'm almost out, and it will be months before her next book is out. I love how smart, sweet, and nerdy her books are, while still being plenty hot and having a great plot in addition to the romance. Definitely looking for a contemporary setting, and love the feel of the interconnected friend/family saga with each book focusing on one member of the group. This request is time sensitive as I'm getting ready to travel on business for two months (mid-November through Mid-January,) so I need to fill up my Kindle as I won't be able to carry physical books. Help!
3. Hello! My daughter and her friend are in grade 7 and need to be reading more science non-fiction (according to their teacher). She feels that the girls will be more comfortable participating in class discussions.
Any recommendations (specifically global warming & organic food if possible). They read National Geographic but otherwise I'm at a loss.
4. Hi Jenn and Amanda,
I am looking for books with an Asian man love interest. The sexuality of the protagonists doesn't matter to me (not trying to say that they don't matter, but want to clarify that the relationship can be M/M, M/F, M/gender fluid, etc), but I am having trouble finding a book that doesn't portray Asian men and boys stereotypically as "nerdy" and not romantically desirable (those two things should never be linked!). I tried WARCROSS by Marie Lu but didn't enjoy it and I'm not sure where to go next. I prefer adult novels to YA and I enjoy pretty much every genre. Thank you!
--Joce (pronounced Joss! :D)
5. My reading interests are all over the place, which is easy in some ways because there are always lots of books I want to read, but hard to find ones that I really love. Some all-time favorites include: Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Birds of America by Lorrie Moore, and The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. guess I'm looking for well-written books with captivating/give me the feels characters. If you notice another common thread in those favorites, please enlighten me!
6. I've recently discovered HBO's Girls and am obsessed - I would love some really modern femininisty books that have that same feel. I've read Lena Dunham and Maggie Nelson this week (loved it) as well as Fun Home and Bitch Planet - where do I go from here for smart, funny feminist lit that also entertains?
7. Hey Amanda and Jen!
I have always loved what I guess I'll call "survival" novels. Growing up I loved Hatchet and My Side of the Mountain and Julie and the Wolves. As an adult, I've enjoyed Wild, Tracks, and The Martian. Basically, I love stories of someone learning to survive on their own whether by choice (Wild) or because of a bad situation (The Martian). I'm looking for more titles to fill this particular place in my heart. Thanks for your help!
Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish
Beard on Bread by James Beard
Hate To Want You by Alisha Rai
Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole (Off the Grid series)
We Are the Weather Makers by Tim Flannery
World Without Fish by Mark Kurlansky, illustrated by Frank Stockton
Hold Me by Courtney Milan
Wrong to Need You by Alisha Rai (out Nov 28)
Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians series
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
The Fortunes by Peter Ho Davies
Losing It by Emma Rathbone
All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg
Adrift by Steven Callahan
Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell (tw: rape)
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
Amanda and Jenn discuss '80s sci-fi, family drama, working class classics, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
This year, I’ve really been interested in seasonal reading. I find this super easy during Halloween but as I prep my TBR pile for November and December, I’m coming up short.
I typically read YA and am looking for holiday reads that are inclusive of traditions and people. It seems that the options are fairly small in this regard so I’d be happy with books that just set a cozy/winter scene but also feature diverse characters.
2. Hello again ladies! My group, Geek Girls, is doing an all 80s theme in the month of November so we are hoping to pick a scifi or fantasy book from the 80s for the book club. Any suggestions? Only stipulation, they must be available on audio. Happy Halloween!
3. Hi Amanda and Jenn!
I just booked my dream trip to Stockholm and Copenhagen! I really want to read something set in these cities, but everything seems to be a crime thriller (great, but not always) or about 120 years old and written by Serious Old Men. Can you please recommend something set in one of these cities that doesn't fall in one of those two camps? For reference, some of my favourites are Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan, and The Great Gatsby. So, if you know of any fun Scandinavian family sagas, please help me!!!
4. Hi Get Booked! I am a non-binary person and can never find books featuring characters that share that aspect of my identity. I'm not interested in reading books *about* being non-binary, but I would like to read about non-binary characters doing other stuff! I'm open to most genres -- no horror or gory crime stuff please! I'm also not big on biography/memoir, though don't seem to mind it when in graphic novel form or when it reads like fiction. I also can't get through really dense, long books. Thank you!
5. Hello ladies! I love the podcast and have gotten many great recs for my TBR from you all. After the garbage fire that was the 2016 election, I am feeling the need to better inform myself on some key issues. One that I am particularly interested in is immigration. I have read The Book Of Unknown Americans and Americanah, both of which were life-changing reads. I would like to read some non-fiction on this subject, especially as it relates to American immigration policies.
Thanks for all your great work.
6. I just discovered your podcast and really enjoyed it, it's great getting all the recommendation, I've added a lot to my TBR pile. I'm looking for some books that are like the prime time soaps from the 80's like Dallas and Dynasty, focusing on family and full of intrigue.
I recently finished reading North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, which I loved. It made me realise how fed up I am with reading about the English gentry and aristocracy. I am also really bored with books set in London and the Home Counties. I live in a post-industrial town called Chesterfield and want to read about towns like mine and the people that lived in them. I am looking for relatively unknown classics (I have read most of the famous English classics) or historical fiction novels set in towns and cities in the North of England about ordinary, working class people. I am primarily looking for books set in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Bookstore giveaway! bookriot.com/bookstoregiveaway
Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
SPQR by Mary Beard
Dreidels on the Brain by Joel Ben Izzy
My True Love Gave To Me edited by Stephanie Perkins
Alanna by Tamora Pierce
Dawn by Octavia Butler
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen
Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz
Uncovering Ray by Edie Danford
Undocumented by Aviva Chomsky
In The Country We Love by Diane Guerrero
Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique
The Family Hightower by Brian Francis Slattery
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
Amanda and Jenn discuss grown-up American Girl stories, soft sci-fi, LGBTQ romance, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
I have just finished the latest installment of the Throne of Glass series and have read everything by Sarah J Maas, I also love most of the whole dystopian YA female lead genre ( loved the Cinder series, all the Grisha books, Red Queen, Graceling etc.) I am 20 and would read a big range of books from pretty much any genre was wondering if you had any recommendations for similar books that aren't necessarily YA ( or are I'll read anything!). A series of an author who has a lot of books of a similar type would be brilliant as once I find something I love I devour it !!
Love the podcast and thank you for your help,
2. Hi ladies!
When doing some cleaning, I found dozens of American Girl doll books and I was struck with nostalgia. I LOVED these books growing up - I still attribute these books with my deep love of history. As I was holding these books lovingly, I immediately thought to ask you two if you had any recommendations for "grown up" American Girl doll books. Any suggestions for historical fiction featuring strong and spunky female characters?
Thanks, love the show!
3. Hi Amanda and Jenn,
Listening to the Book Riot podcasts has increased the number of books on my TBR pile steadily for the past couple of months, thanks for all the great recommendations!
What I'd like to ask you: I've read Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow this year, and I loved it. I also read both of Becky Chambers' Wayfarers books and I loved them as well. Do you have any recommendations for soft sci-fi books?
--Jill (from Belgium)
4. Hello Amanda and Jenn,
First of all, I love your podcast and have discovered many books and authors because of it. You guys both do an amazing job! My recommendation request is for my 7 year-old son. He recently read Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (thanks to your recommendation from a previous episode) and then made his way through the rest of her work with Sisters, Smile, and Drama. He's read all four of these books over the course of the last week and I would like to find some read-alikes, preferably that are part of a series, for him to read next. He has read all of the books in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Captain Underpants series, and several of the Big Nate books. Thank you in advance and keep up the awesome work!
I'm looking for some sweet romance to dive into. I'm not much for the genre, but sometimes you just need something to squeal about. Preferably something lgbtqai - though not so much about coming out or such as a major plot detail. Something light but sweet and if the couple are non male that would also be a huge plus! Thanks!
6. Amanda & Jenn,
First off, I love the podcast! Thank you for all the great recommendations. I've written in a few times with requests, so sorry if you keep seeing my name pop up!
This time I'm writing requesting recommendations for my 15 year old son. He is a rather reluctant reader but very much enjoys listening to audiobooks when we take road trips. If we don't finish the audiobook in the car he asks me to buy it for him to finish in book form. He mostly likes dystopian novels, preferably with some type of corrupt government. He's enjoyed 1984, A Clockwork Orange, Fahrenheit 451 & Ready Player One. Not in that theme he read & enjoyed The Outsiders. His book suggestions mostly come from what his friends are reading in school. I've tried a few times to pick up books I thought he would like but haven't been able to find anything he got in to. I tried The Maze Runner, The 5th Wave & I can't remember what else. Any suggestions?
7.I am not a "classics" reader (I didn't love Jane Eyre. I know -Who am I?!)
I did like The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Can you recommend another classic or semi-classic to read next?
The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin
Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker
The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera
The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole
Kopp Sisters books by Amy Stewart (Girl Waits With Gun)
The Wanderers by Meg Howrey
Provenance by Ann Leckie
Eerie Elementary series by Jack Chabert (The School Is Alive)
Chronicles of Claudette by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado (Giants Beware)
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
Out on Good Behavior by Dahlia Adler
Want by Cindy Pon
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Warcross by Marie Lu
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
The Living is Easy by Dorothy West
Amanda and Jenn discuss inclusive horror, small-town fantasies, smart creepy girls, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
1. Hi guys,
I’m a big horror/thriller fan and I’m looking to include more diverse authors and protagonists in my reading. Most recently I read and loved Lovecraft Country in which a Black community comes together to battle eldritch horrors. I like Joe Hill, Shirley Jackson, Jack Ketchum, novels or short stories, and both supernatural or more reality based stories as long as there’s a scary/spooky atmosphere. Can you recommend some horror authors who are people of color, LGBT or from a religious minority? Or horror books that have a non-white, non-straight protagonist?
thanks so much! love the podcast even though you make my TBR pile teeter with all the books I add after hearing of them from you.
2. I just binge watched Twin Peaks and loved it. I'm a sucker for small town drama with mystical elements, and was wondering if you guys had any book recs similar to that. I found some lists online that were mainly comprised of thrillers like Gone Girl, which isn't really my thing. Somebody recommended American Gods to me, and I can see why. I've already read it, and liked it very much, but don't feel like rereading it. Any other suggestions?
(Note: I've already read everything written by Neil Gaiman)
3. Hi Amanda and Jenn!
I am seeking book recommendations for my mom who recently retired from a career in early childhood care. As she has not been able to dive into books without crayon marks in years and is unsure of where to start looking, I would like to offer her a number of suggestions from multiple areas -- short stories and fast-paced novels are especially welcome. She is not into horror or science fiction, but she's happy to try other genres.
Thank you so much!
4. Hi ladies,
My boyfriend and I met online and immediately bonded over our shared love of books. We've spent countless weekends lounging around reading together in silence. He recently brought up the idea of reading books together and I am 1000% on board. My problem is: how do we choose? I have a 1000+ book "To Read" list on Goodreads and follow all the BookRiot podcasts; he loves to just wander into bookstores and pick up whatever catches his eye. We both enjoy sci-fi and fantasy but my tastes skew a bit more to the side of literary fiction (favorite book: The Sparrow) and he is inclined towards more epic, action-packed adventures (favorite book: anything from the Dark Tower series). I also love nonfiction, which he has never really gotten into despite his love of documentaries.
Do you have any recommendations for books that will satisfy us both? I'm thinking something by Terry Prachett or Neil Gaiman would be a good start but would love some more ideas.
5. Hi Ladies!
One of my favorite books of all time is We Have Always Lived In the Castle by Shirley Jackson. Also just recently I discovered the Flavia de Luce series and I'm enjoying it very much. My favorite aspect is that these books focus on creepy smart girls. Do you have any more recs that contain creepy smart girls as main characters? I prefer books on audio. Thanks ladies!
6. Hi there!
It seems like a majority of the contemporary novels I've read recently either take place in the Midwest or in New York or feature characters from the Midwest who have moved to New York. I enjoy these books, as they tend to feature multi-dimensional characters with rich stories but I grew up and still live in the DC/Maryland area and I would love to read a novel that takes place around here. The only thing is that I don't want to read a DC novel that features politicians or bureaucrats or political intrigue. The only one I know of so far is The Known World so anything else that you can recommend would be greatly appreciated!
7. Having had a challenging time with my mental health at the beginning of the year, I have really struggled to get back into the physical act of reading (although have still been buying books, oops). I find audiobooks and podcasts easy to follow as it tends to be my focus that slips. However due to the pile of physical books I own, I am looking for some gateway easy to read books to get back into being a reader and not just a listener. I typically prefer fiction over non-fiction but like a wide range of genres and am willing to give anything a go (although I don't typically enjoy pure romance outside of YA). I do generally lean toward thrillers and mysteries, but think maybe the typically darker subject matter is part of the problem. Any recommendations would be great. Thank you very much for the podcast, your enthusiasm about the books you talk about has really encouraged and ignited my desire to start reading again.
Provenance by Ann Leckie
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle
Ghost Summer by Tananarive Due
Universal Harvester by John Darnielle
Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
Kraken by China Miéville
An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (trigger warning: rape, suicide)
The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
Song Yet Sung by James McBride
A Front Page Affair by Radha Vatsal (Kitty Weeks #1)
The Quiche of Death by MC Beaton (Agatha Raisin #1)
Amanda and Jenn discuss their favorite small press and translated titles in this week's special 100th episode of Get Booked!
Get Booked Bingo Card - enjoy!
The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz (Melville House), translated by Elisabeth Jaquette
Citizen by Claudia Rankine (Graywolf)
Hadriana In All My Dreams by René Depestre (Akashic), translated by Kaiama L Glover
All In by Simona Ahrnstedt, translated by Tara Chace
Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett (Aqueduct Press)
The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine by Alina Bronsky (Europa), translated by Tim Mohr
Slow Days, Fast Company by Eve Babitz (NYRB)
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin, translated Megan McDowell
Border by Kapka Kassabova (Graywolf)
Blood of the Dawn by Claudia Salazar Jiménez (Deep Vellum), translated Elizabeth Breyer - trigger warnings
A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain (Pegasus Books)
Beyond the Rice Fields by Naivo (Restless Books), translated Allison M. Charette
Amanda and Jenn discuss gothic novels, short stories, LGBTQ+ YA, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
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
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
Amanda and Jenn discuss creepy reads, social justice ammunition, witchy reads, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
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
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!
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
Jenn and guest Eric Smith discuss all things young adult in this week's episode of Get Booked!
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
Amanda and Jenn discuss books with gods, weird sci-fi, believable relationships, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
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)
Amanda, Jenn, and guest expert Kelly Jensen discuss all things YA in this week's episode of Get Booked!
1. I just finished Honesty by Seth King. It was intense, heavy and unlike any other literary experience I've had to date -- I was stuck inside the brain of Cole Furman and I couldn't get out for 291 pages not matter how uncomfortable, intense, exciting, lonely or heartbreaking it was!
It's a story of young love. It's is also a story of fear and pain. Cole and Nick are falling in love and they are also both closeted LGBTQ nineteen-year- old's with everything to lose in the South.
King acknowledged the need for more books featuring more diverse couples that don't live deep in the romance genre. Until now it's something I never thought twice about. THE QUEST: I want to read more stories of diverse couples that lives closer to the YA genre and maybe even one with a happy ending, but not required.
Love the podcast! Shout out to Fiona for introducing me to Book Riot!
2. Do you have recommendations for YA books that don't include romance? My almost 13 year old daughter is a somewhat reluctant reader, but likes books with strong female characters and prefers no icky love stuff :) She recently read the Divergent Series and enjoyed it, but could have done without the romantic relationships.
3. I've just read The Selection and Cinder and am looking for more YA dystopian Cinderella stories. Any suggestions?
4. Hi! I love listening to your podcast and adding tons of books to my TBR list. I read a book last summer called Fiercombe Manor by Kate Riordan and loved it. I would call it a romance/mystery/ghost story. Can you recommend some similar books for my summer reading list? I love YA, so am open to that as well! Thanks!
5. I used to read YA books all the time when I was little, but once I started high school I decided in all my teenage snobbishness that YA was beneath me, and I'd only be reading the classics... and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (obviously). Now I'm in my 20s working on my doctorate in classics, and no longer want to or feel the need to be so snobby. I've recently discovered bookstagram, and I'm constantly seeing all these beautiful covers of YA novels. The only thing is what to read? I tried reading The Raven Cycle, but I found the characters to be so shallowly written. And the whole extreme/unrealistic wealth and privilege just seemed so far fetched. I thought I might have better luck with fantasy YA but there is so much and I have no idea how to sort the good from the bad.
6. First, let me tell you I love your podcast! Second, I would love your recommendations (obvs). My son and I just read a great YA book called Away Running by David Wright and Luc Bouchard. It resonated with my son who is sports-obsessed because it's about football but it is deeper than most kids' sports books because it takes place in Paris amid racial tensions and immigrations issues. It's deep. I'd love more books like this to engage my son...some sports but more than just sports. Bonus if there are diverse characters (as there are in Away Running) because my son is biracial and seeing himself reflected in the characters allows for us to have even better conversations after reading. Thank you so much!
It's Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura
No Is Not Enough by Naomi Klein
Genuine Fraud by E Lockhart
Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee
Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Ash by Malinda Lo
Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell
“Glass” in Roses and Bones by Francesca Lia Block
A Spy in the House by YS Lee
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Absent by Katie Williams
Saints and Misfits by SK Ali (trigger warning: sexual assault)
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds
Mexican WhiteBoy by Matt De la Pena (trigger warning: self-harm)
See No Color by Shannon Gibney
Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen (trigger warning: sexual assault)
Amanda and Jenn are taking this week off for vacation! Be back next week with a special guest and an all-YA episode.
Amanda and Jenn discuss classic retellings, post-Hamilton reads, small town stories, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
1. We are a group of girlfriends from high school (28 years out!) and we're getting together in the fall for a reunion, something we've been doing every two years. We'd like to read a book in advance to discuss. Maybe it will be the beginning of a long-distance book club that meets in person every two years. What recommendations do you have? I'm thinking themes relating to family, friends, women's issues, current issues... Thanks so much!
2. My 1st grade daughter is a precocious reader and is currently reading at about a middle school level. Do you have book recommendations for her that are more advanced reading, yet not advanced topics? She's already read all the Little House on the Prairie books, The Penderwicks, The Mysterious Benedict Society, Roald Dahl, and a bunch others. I'm really looking for new series or newer books since she's read most of the books I read as a child!
3. Recently I read Rebecca and it is now one of my favorite novels. This is the second book I've read based on Jane Eyre- the other being Wide Sargasso Sea, another favorite of mine. Then recently Jenn recommended Longbourn, and I've started reading that. Now I want to read other books based off of classics. I tried looking into it a bit, but all I really found were Pride and Prejudice continuations that, quite honestly, didn't look like they were very well written. Any suggestions?
4. Okay, ladies. It's happened. I caught the Hamilton hype and nothing else matters anymore. I'm already listening to the Chernow bio on audio and loving it, but I just need more! Any suggestions for worthy biographies on prominent American figures? I'm particularly interested in presidential biographies or biographies of noteworthy women during the period. Thank you both so much! Love the show! :)
5. HELP! I'm in the middle of a terrible reading slump, and I've never been in one quite so extreme before. I'm in the middle of getting my masters degree in Classics at the moment, and between all the ancient greek, and dead white philosophers I just don't have the head space to read as much as I usually do, or even read the kind of books I usually read. Some of my favorite books are the Song of Ice and Fire series, The Secret History (which may or may not have made me want to become a classics major, and thus sealed my fate and slow decent into insanity), Frankenstein, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I'm open to any genre, as long as it's well written. I just need something that I can read for a little bit at night and clear my mind.
6. For some reason I seem to really love books that take place in small towns. I think it's because I enjoy when the location in a book becomes something like a living breathing character, and (as bias as this may sound?) I like exploring the close mindedness, and hatred that often manifests in small towns where everything is the same, and everyone knows each other.
Do you guys know of any books that explore those kind of themes, and where the location is very much a character in the novel?
7. HELP HELP HELP! My whole life I've been trying to convince my mother to read, but she's always told me she's not interested. She endless makes fun of my "snooty" literature (I read mainly classic literature, and a lot of ancient philosophy), and says books are boring. I gave up trying to convince her to read, but a few days ago so told me she'd be interested in reading something! The only problem is I don't know what she'll like. We have such different taste, and I know she'd hate all my favorite books.
She watches a lot of reality tv like The Housewives of Some Rich Neighborhood or Whatever, and The Kardashians. Is there a book equivalent to trashy reality TV? She also really likes shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and Revenge. So I think she'd like a book that's over the top like a soap opera kind of?
Dreadnought by April Daniels
The Novice by Taran Matharu
The Secret Son by Laila Lalami
Native Believer by Ali Eteraz
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum
Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
The Mothers by Brit Bennet
All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
Frazzled by Booki Vivat
Princess Academy series by Shannon Hale
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
Re Jane by Patricia Park
John Adams by David McCullough
Also please watch this video: the John Adams rap cut from Hamilton
Lafayette In the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell
The Quick by Lauren Owen
Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (trigger warning: transphobia)
Not Without Laughter by Langston Hughes
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Blood Defense by Marcia Clark, recommended by Jamie Canaves
Amanda and Jenn discuss Infinite Jest read-alikes, Muslim protagonists, horror, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
1. I am trying to expand my perspective by reading more diversely, but my general disinterest in contemporary or literary fiction has been a major snag for me - particularly where African literature is concerned. I have tried to read Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, but really struggled with them and decided to revisit them later. However, I have enjoyed genre fiction that involves African or African-American culture, specifically the works of Nnedi Okorafor and Tananarive Due. Can you give me some recommendations for African or African-American genre fiction? Thanks!
2. I am a convert to Islam and I live in a small farm town in southern Ohio...not exactly to best place to find diversity, so I do not really get to interact with other Muslims. Therefore I turn to books. I’ve been trying to find more books that have Muslim protagonists.
I've read The Reluctant Fundamentalist, American Dervish, and The Taqwacores. Beyond those, I've not had much luck. Any suggestions (the protagonist can be male or female) would be greatly appreciated!
3. I run a book club which has no theme and includes women of all ages and from all walks of life. Our first choice was A Man Called Ove followed by The Poisonwood Bible and H is for Hawk. We like books that are not brand new so that we can get ahold of copies from the library (yes, we still use the library!) Do you have any recommendations of books that make for great group discussions? Thank you for your suggestions!
4. Hi friends,
I'm sorry to report I am in a serious book rut. I usually average 3 books a week and now I'm lucky if it's 3 a month. #librarianproblems I know, but I miss getting lost in a great read. I picked up Garden Spells after hearing you rave about it on the show and I think that might be the ticket: undeniably amazing crowd pleasing books that make you say "IT'S SO GOOD" in a rabid voice to everyone you talk to. I read tons of YA, but am not so into nonfiction. However, any and all genre fiction (for all ages) is welcome. Love the show and looking forward to your recs!
5. Hey! My girlfriend read Infinite Jest last year, and she loved it. Since then, she has read everything that DFW ever wrote. Now, she's sad because she can't find anything that measures up. She tried Pynchon and Delillo, but neither of them really did it for her. Do you have any recommendations for someone who loves Infinite Jest? Thanks!
I really enjoy horror but have never found anything that really scares me. I would prefer horror that is more in the vein of American Horror Story than Lovecraft. I like the horror that is just on this side of being real. And very very scary.
7. Hello! I love your show and hearing about the new books you recommend. I've been going back and listening to some of your older shows, but I didn't see anything that specifically relates to books about or related to feminism. So, that's my question, I think I've always been a feminist of some sort, but it seems to have peaked. I've never read any books specifically related to this topic, but I'm ready to dig a bit deeper. Can you recommend books to me as a sort of introduction to feminism? They can be fiction or non-fiction. I already have Bad Feminist, but I haven't read it yet. I am looking forward to your recommendations! Thanks!
Pre-Hispanic fiction by Spanish-speaking authors: The Heart of Jade by Salvador de Madariaga
Stargate by Pauline Gedge
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robbin Brown
The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden
A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson (Trigger warning: family abuse)
The Kindness of Enemies by Leila Aboulela
Hammer Head by Nina McLaughlin
The Wangs Vs. The World by Jade Chang
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Kreuger
The Residue Years by Mitchell S. Jackson
The Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan, transl. by Yuri Machkasov
Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, translated by Nancy Forest-Flier
Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes (Trigger warning for violence towards children)
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World by Kelly Jensen
The Feminist Utopia Project edited by Alexandra Brodsky and Rachel Kauder Nalebuff
Amanda and Jenn discuss historical fiction, quests, funny books, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
1. Hi Ladies!
I am about to set off for a yearlong adventure as an au pair in Paris, so I have two requests, one difficult and one easy. My first request is for book recommendations for the two girls who I will be taking care of. I would like to bring them something when I arrive (a shameless bribe) and books are easy to transport. The older one is 10 and is an avid reader and has read the first Harry Potter book in English. She had some struggles, but reads about the same as an American 10 year old. I'd love to get her a chapter book so I can help out with her reading and so she can feel super accomplished. She's a huge Harry Potter fan and also likes graphic novels.
The younger girl is almost 9 and reads more like a first grader. She is not a reader but will sometimes pick up graphic novels. I'd love to find something cool to strike up her interest in learning English since according to her mother and previous au pairs, she understands spoken English, but has a tough time reading and speaking it. She is much more active and likes sports and board games.
My second request should be easy. I'd love some books to get me psyched up for the big move. Ideally, a fish out of water story set in Paris, either fiction or non fiction is fine. I loved Paris for One and Bringing Up Bebe and Me Talk Pretty One Day. I found Paris to the Moon a little tedious and My Life in France is already on my list. My favorite books are A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Station Eleven and The Bone Clocks.
2. Hi Jenn and Amanda!
Love this show so much, my TBR grows exponentially after each episode.
I'm looking for some book recommendations for my younger sister, who is a bit of a reluctant reader but would like to read more because when she finds a book she she genuinely loves, she can't put it down or stop talking about it and I want to help nurture her inner book nerd.
She likes historical fiction, and in particular books that follow a woman's life over a long period of time. She prefers books set far in the past, like 300 years plus to ancient history, and has expressed that she would like books that deal less with "mainstream western history."
Two books she has really loved are The Red Tent by Anita Diamant and The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, and we both loved chatting about these books together.
I'd love to pass along some more similar suggestions to her so we can do sister read-a-longs and book chats.
Thanks so very much!
3. Hello Get Booked,
I've just finished the latest entry in Kristin Britain's Green Rider series and now have 3-4 long years to wait for the next one.
I'm wondering if you can recommend me some 'woman goes on a quest/journey through a fantasy land' books to make the wait easier.
(While I don't mind a bit of pain and suffering on the way, I'm not a fan of relentlessy grim stories.)
I've already read everything by:
Thanks in advance.
4. Hey ladies!
I'm looking for fiction (or even nonfiction) recommendations for books involving scientists and adventure. I've read The Signature of All Things, and The Lost City of Z, I really enjoyed both of those. I have also read The Unseen World, books similar to that are also welcome. I love science and history so anything historical is also a bonus. Thanks so much, I love the podcast!
5. My older brother is an enthusiastic reader and I read all the time. He still lives in our hometown in rural Wisconsin and I live in Boston. We've recently started building an adult relationship by talking about books. I want to introduce him to more diverse books. My brother's favorite books are To Kill a Mockingbird and Lonesome Dove, we read The Winter of Our Discontent together and he loved it. He takes his time reading, so it has to be something that will keep him interested over time. I want to expose him to more women/poc authors without alienating him.
6. Hello Amanda and Jenn,
I have always really enjoyed reading aloud (that is, as an adult reading aloud to other adults). With my parents, I have read the entire Harry Potter series and many Jasper Fforde books and found them especially enjoyable to share because of the cleverness and humor. However, I am now in a relationship with a man who not really a book person (and, yes, it took a lot for me to trust a man with no bookshelves in his home). He has indulged my interest in reading to him, but we have not found many books that appeal to him. We enjoyed The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd (one of my absolute favorites since I attended art school) and Daisy Fay and The Miracle Man by Fannie Flagg. I wanted to revisit Jasper Fforde with him but he is vehemently opposed to all things fantasy/sci fi (even magical realism). Any suggestions for books that would have that kind of smart Jasper Fforde humor but be more grounded in the real world?
I actually submitted this request close to a year ago and (unless I missed it somehow), it has not appeared on the show. In that time, the relationship I mentioned has turned into an engagement. So, as I look forward to spending the rest of my life with this non-reader, I would really appreciate some brilliant inspirations for read-alouds that will help me share my love of books with him.
7. Hello Amanda and Jenn!
I recently read Malinche by Laura Esquivel and, while I wasn't actually a big fan of it (her writing style just didn't do it for me), it left me hungry for more historical fiction that takes place in Mexico and Central America. I would love books that are Pre-Columbian, preferably written by people who are Latinx, and where the place/culture is a character. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
8. I recently finished an advanced degree and am starting my own business. Thanks to some major hits to my self-confidence and some pretty significant imposter syndrome, I'm finding myself hesitant to move forward. I need to feel inspired and need a major confidence boost--but I can't stand self-help books or anything that sounds like a self-help book. They make me roll my eyes and sometimes get thrown in disgust. I need to be inspired, not just told I should be inspired or fed a bunch of woo-woo bs. I hated Eat, Pray, Love with a passion hotter than a thousand suns, if that helps (and side note: I'm always glad to find those who felt the same way since at the time everyone else loved it). I'm open to fiction or non-fiction. Please help me find something to distract me from wondering who in the hell actually gave me me a law degree & licence and that will make me feel worthy. Thanks!
(As another side note, I'm also a former bookseller who desperately misses being in the know, so I'm loving all of the Book Riot's podcasts!)
--NoName Because of Reasons
Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Dud Avocado by Helen Dundy
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
Mountain of Light by Indu Sundaresan
Tombs of Atuan by Ursula LeGuin
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
A Guide for the Perplexed by Dara Horn
Four Souls by Louise Erdrich
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
David Sedaris, literally anything, who cares (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
Funny books flow chart from Slate
Ines of My Soul by Isabel Allende, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden
Girl Up by Laura Bates
Grit by Angela Duckworth
Amanda and Jenn discuss Alaska reads, classics, LGBTQ+ YA, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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
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
Amanda and Jenn discuss desert reads, boat stories, Muslim feminist reads, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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
Wild Seed by Octavia Butler
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Bellwether by Connie Willis
Wearing God by Lauren Winner
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
Scatter, Adapt, and Remember by Annalee Newitz
Muslim Girl by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh
Daring to Drive by Manal al-Sharif
Amanda and Jenn discuss Asian sci-fi, books about mental illness, starter graphic novels, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
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.
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
Amanda and Jenn discuss Scotland reads, Cuban fiction, mind-blowing YA, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.
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.
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
Amanda and Jenn discuss readings on motherhood, Star Wars read-alikes, novels about twins, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
1. My husband and I are going on a belated honeymoon adventure at the end of August/early September. We are starting in London, then heading to Croatia, and ending the trip in Tuscany. I am looking for books set in these places. I typically read contemporary fiction and psychological thrillers. I gravitate towards realistic - sorry, no Game of Thrones ;). I also enjoy a good memoir. Thank you so much for your recommendations!
(FYI, some favorites: Tell the Wolves I'm Home, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Dark Places, Burial Rites - thanks to you two!, The Poisonwood Bible, Dear Fang With Love)
2. Hi there! I'm having my first child, a boy, in August 2017. I'm not with the father (who will remain uninvolved), the baby was unplanned, and I will be transitioning from a full time job in downtown Nashville to a remote position in a tiny town in Ohio. I'm looking for books applicable to my situation (early thirties, single motherhood, liberal and cognizant of the need to raise a thoughtful, independent thinking, and respectful white son who is being born during a time when the country is under terrifying leadership). Fiction or non-fiction welcome! I'm a big fan of the site and can't wait to hear your suggestions.
3. Hi! I'm a college professor and my wife and I are expecting a baby in July, so I'll have a semester off for the first time in a long time. While I'm sure most of it will be spent sleepless with a baby, I'm also hoping to get in some good reading for fun. In the summer, I tend to love ridiculous sun-soaked literary fiction like The Vacationers and Seating Arrangements. Otherwise, I read/listen to a lot of sci-fi/fantasy and LGBTQ lit. I loved the Argonauts and would love to read more about queer families or parenting. I also recently read The Expanse series and All the Birds in the Sky. What should I read while I'm home with a little one to prevent me from being lonely and crazy?
4. My boyfriend is suuuuper into Star Wars. We first bonded over a love of reading, but the vast majority of his already-read pile is Star Wars novels - and there's nothing wrong with that, but I've been enjoying trying to expand his palate. He claims he'll try anything, just never knew where to start, and has already borrowed the Lunar Chronicles from me and really loved it. I also gave him Night Circus (because it's my favorite), but that one seemed to go over less well - his comment was "I can see why you love it so much." The thing I'm noticing, however, is that my personal collection leans much more towards fantasy and fairy tale retellings than sci fi, and I was wondering if you had any ideas of sci fi that *isn't* Star Wars that he might like. He especially enjoys explorations of people in the Empire, I know he was really excited for the recent book about Thrawn, and he loves Lost Stars by Claudia Grey.
Thanks in advance!
5. I have a yen to read more short stories, but I am finding myself at my wit's end trying to find any good collections that suit my reading interests.
I really fell in love with short stories recently reading "Diving Belles" by Lucy Wood, and then I absolutely loved "American Housewife" by Helen Ellis. Both these collections contained relatively short, engaging short stories. I think the common factor is that they are primarily about women, and are thoroughly charming. There is darkness without being too much of a downer, but they are not sappy "Chicken Soup for the Soul" type reads, which I don't judge, but don't enjoy.
I don't know if I have far too particular tastes, or I just don't know where to look next. I tried to read some Neil Gaiman short stories and I'm not really thrilled so far, although I am not giving up yet!
Help! I don't even know where to look next.
6. Hello! My older sister recently asked me for book recommendations because she feels like she doesn't have any hobbies. She is in a very different place in life than I am, so I'm not sure what to suggest. She works, is married, and has three kids, all under the age of 8, so she doesn't have a ton of free time. I think the last time she read fiction was 12 years ago, when we were living together and I had my books all over the apartment. Back then, she enjoyed historical fiction set in South Asia (e.g. The Twentieth Wife and The Feast of Roses by Indu Sundaresan). She and her husband are now in the process of building a house, and she has always been very interested in interior design (she loves Pinterest and tells me I should have throw pillows). She also loves to cook and she took a baking class once. Any ideas? Her birthday is coming up in July so I hope you can answer before then. Thanks so much!
I'm a little worried that my request may be kind of tricky. I'd like to buy my Dad a book for his upcoming birthday. The problem is that while he enjoys reading, he is prefers short novels with straight-forward writing styles. I think that this is because he's dyslexic and gets a little overwhelmed when texts are too "flowery" in their writing style or have a reputation for being "intellectual." He tends to only read a couple books a year (usually the ones I give him) so I feel a bit of pressure!
I've had a lot of luck in the past with John Steinbeck (he liked the Pearl but loved Of Mice and Men). He enjoys books with historical elements. He's from Northern California and he gets a kick out of reading books set in landscapes that he knows and loves.
Are there books out there that fit some of these guidelines? I know that Steinbeck's canon has a lot of books with these elements, but I don't think my Dad will sit through East of Eden or the Grapes of Wrath, and I'd like to try something a little different.
Thank you so much!
8. I love reading stories about siblings, particularly twins. Got any suggestions?
Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian (out August 22 2017)
Behind the Throne KB Wagers
Girl at War by Sara Novic
NW by Zadie Smith
Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott
The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch
What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
Saga Vol 1 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
Tender by Sofia Samatar
Single Carefree Mellow by Katherine Heiny
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
The Girl From the Garden by Parnaz Foroutan
Train Dreams by Denis Johnson (recommended by Liberty)
California by Edan Lepucki
Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffeneger
Amanda and Jenn discuss under the radar favorites, witchy reads, beautiful prose, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
1. My husband and I are venturing to Montreal, Quebec this summer and I find myself questioning if I have ever read a book set in Canada let alone Quebec or Montreal. I am looking for an engrossing book to take with me on the trip and would love your help finding something set in Canada or more specifically Quebec or Montreal. I will read just about anything but tend towards fiction, and this summer especially mystery and other page turnery type novels.
Thank you in advance!
2. Hello Bookriot!
As part of my reading goals, I am trying to read more diversely, so I decided to try and mirror America's racial dynamics in this year's 100 books (12% African American, 16% Hispanic/Latino, 5% Asian American, etc.)
So far I've read some fantastic classics - Beloved, The Color Purple, etc., but it's been a bit of a struggle to find books in my favorite genres. I read almost exclusively science fiction and science nonfiction, which are both dominated by white male authors. Do you have any suggestions for science fiction or nonfiction by non-white authors? I'd especially like to hear about some Hispanic/Latino authors, which I have been especially struggling to find.
3. I am looking for books for my 12 year old son. He used to be a 'reader' but he now he is only obsessed with playing video games. He loves all the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and I have tried giving him books that have to do with video games like Ready Player One and Ender's Game. He started reading Ready Player One and he really liked it but he said it only makes him want to play more video games. He is very interested in History and Politics. He bought a History book just to read on his own and he watches the news and presidential debates. Can you recommend any books that will appeal to him? Thank you!
4. I recently looked at my daughter's reading list for school and noticed very few had female protagonists- and this is something my daughter has complained about before. She's in the fifth grade and an avid reader, but she keeps getting recommended and given books with male main characters. As a middle aged man children's books aren't admittedly in my wheelhouse, but I want to give my daughter books with strong female characters. Her favorite books are Harry Potter (obviously), Peter Pan, and The Once and Future King. She loves fantasy and adventure stories, and goes crazy over anything with witches. A friend recently gave her The Sisters Grimm and she finished all ten books within the month. She reads at a fairly high reading level (she recently read The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and all three Lord of the Ring books) so I'm not afraid of giving her something a bit more difficult to read, but I would like to give her some fun children's books.
Thanks for the help- your show is wonderful and I look forward to hearing your recommendations.
5. Hello Jenn and Amanda,
I would like to start by saying that I adore this podcast and I look forward to it every week so thank you for that :) Now on to my question:
I have a YouTube channel called Under The Radar Books and I am always looking for books that are lesser known. I tend to read mostly literary fiction, but I am open to all kinds of genres. Some of my favorite 'under the radar' books are Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis and In The Mean Time by Paul Tremblay. I am hoping you guys can recommend some books that you think are extremely underhyped but wonderful.
Thank you in advance! I cannot wait to see what you come up with :)
6. I recently read Coffin Hill because it was recommended on this show, and I loved it. It didn't just remind me of my love of witches, but also family heritage/curses. Do you know of any good supernatural books that involve old families, and magic, and maybe curses?
I look forward to hearing your recommendations!
7. Hello! I'm a huge, huge fan of the show and I thought maybe you could help me with a problem I've been having, even though it isn't the most straightforward of questions. I would like to know what are some contemporary authors you would recommend based solely on their writing style. I've read mostly classics for ages and I'm afraid I'm missing out on a lot of good stuff. One of the things I like most in a book is unique and beautiful writing, so: where can I find that in contemporary lit? I'm sure it's everywhere, I just don't know where to look and could use some guiding. I know it's a vague question, sorry for that and thank you in advance!
8. Hi! I love the show (and have compiled a massive TBR list, thanks).
I find I've been having a hard time really enjoying YA like I used to. It's not that I'm older (although I am); it's because I find I now get annoyed by love shapes--triangles and squares where the heroine has all these men vying for her affection. Can you recommend any YA books that don't have love shapes? I usually like a bit of romance, but maybe just one-on-one relationships or keeping the romance way off to the side of the plot would help. Or possibly the solution is reading a YA that has no romance.
Some YA books that I love:
- A Girl of Fire and Thorns series
- The Raven Boys series
- The Mediator series (old, I know, but still a fav)
Thanks for your help!
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Death Going Down by María Angélica Bosco
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
Bone & Bread by Saleema Nawaz
I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong
Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee
Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Prophecy by Ellen Oh
Problems by Jade Sharma
Pym by Mat Johnson
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride
Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland
The Graceling series by Kristin Cashore
Jenn, Sharifah, and guest author Aliette de Bodard give fantasy reading recommendations in this week's episode of Get Booked!
Amanda and Jenn discuss fiction about moms and dads, middle-grade books, asexual characters, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
Amanda and Jenn discuss travel audiobooks, under-the-radar magical realism, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.