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.
Amanda and Jenn discuss body-positive health books, YA horror, unreliable narrators and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
Amanda and Jenn discuss essay collections, historical fiction, personal favorites, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
This episode is sponsored by Carry On by Rainbow Rowell and The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen by Hope Nicholson.
Amanda and Jenn discuss travelogues, tearjerkers, and books for kids with depression in this week's episode of Get Booked.
This episode is sponsored by Elves, written by Jean-Luc Istin and illustrated by Kyko Duarte, and The Radium Girls by Kate Moore.
Amanda and Jenn discuss nature reads, books about Iceland, sci-fi, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
This episode is sponsored by Book Riot Insiders.
Amanda, Jenn, and guest expert Katie discuss mysteries and thrillers!
Amanda and Jenn discuss cookbooks, JFK, book group picks and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
Amanda and Jenn discuss deeply messed up books, body positive reads, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
Amanda and Jenn discuss books on grief and mortality, chapter books, personal favorites and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
Amanda and Jenn discuss Glasgow lit, books for understanding the American political right, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
Amanda and Jenn discuss LGBT+ history, prickly Westerns, experimental prose and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
Amanda and Jenn discuss retellings of classics, San Francisco fiction, westerns, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.
This episode is sponsored by The Book That Made Me.
Amanda and Jenn discuss Brazilian fiction, nature stories, urban fantasy, and more in this week's episode of Get Booked.