This week, Amanda and guest co-host Liberty Hardy recommend short story collections, WWII nonfiction, LGBTQ books for middle grade readers, and more!
This episode is sponsored by the Steamy Reading Box.
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Need a book recommendation? Fill out the form at the bottom of the post, or email email@example.com and we’ll help!
Books for my recently retired husband who has spent way too much time watching reality TV shows about toothless Alaskans! He has enjoyed The White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America’s Deadliest Avalanche by Gary Krist. He began (on my recommendation), but didn’t finish The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America by Timothy Egan. We’re moving to the woods of north-central Washington state, so something outdoorsy might fill the bill. –April
A little personal, but I’m looking for honest descriptions of depression in fiction. It’s such a hard topic, and while it would seem like they’re everywhere, I struggle to see it depicted realistically or in a way that makes me feel less alone rather than more alone. Since one of the best ones I’ve read, “The Bridge” came from a rec on this site, I thought I would ask.
On the flip side, would also gobble up any diverse recs if I love Justin Cronin’s “Passage” trilogy.
I’m sure you’re familiar with PopSugar’s reading challenges. While I tend to find half the fun of them to be figuring out what books I will read for each category (and normally have no problem), this year’s challenge includes a category I’m having a super hard time with: A book and it’s prequel.
I’ve read the Hobbit and LOTR, The Chronicles of Narnia (Because The Magicians Nephew counts as a prequel), The Lunar Chronicles, and the Hannibal Lecter series already, and enjoyed them all.
I really like any kind of fiction, but I think I’d like books written by the same author, rather than a prequel written years later by someone else, if that makes sense? (Unless they’re just really that good, in which case I leave it to your judgment.)
Anyway, you guys are great; I love hearing all your recommendations! Have a great day, and a great year! Thanks!
Hello, I’ve recently read a few books (the nightingale and all the light we cannot see) and I’m completely embarrassed about how little I know about World War II, I was fascinated to hear how the Germans were so oblivious to what was really going on and I’m looking for a non-fiction book that will give me a look into that time from multiple angles.
I am a middle school (7th grade) Language Arts teacher and I have a large classroom library, but it is seriously lacking in LGBTQ books. I would love to have some suggestions for books appropriate for middle schoolers. I have Drama by Raina Telgemeier and I recently read Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, but I am also struggling whether that is appropriate for my classroom library. I am not afraid to include books that challenge the norms, but I also would have a hard time defending a book that is so clearly meant for high schoolers to my middle school parents. Luckily, I have a very supportive principal who will defend books with me and will not let one or a few parents remove a book for other students. We have only had that happen a few times, but we have been able to defend the books and our position on them.
I’m an avid reader and spend a lot of my free time reading or listening to books while I do other activities. Starting in January I’ll be working on a Masters degree part-time while working full time. I’m already worried how this will affect my reading life, but I think reading/listening to short stories will be an awesome way to fit in what I can when I have time. Could you give me some short story recs? I’ve read The Other Language by Francesca Marciano and The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender and loved them both. Favorite genres include fiction and historical fiction, but I’m totally willing to branch out to other genres.
Thanks so much!
Books Discussed on the Show!
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout by Philip Connors
Cold Storage, Alaska by John Straley
Curse of the Narrows by Laura M. Mac Donald
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett (May 3)
Falling in Love with Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Clariel (Garth Nix Abhorsen series)
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege by Antony Beevor
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer
My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past by Jennifer Teege and Nikola Sellmair (Amon Gert)
What We Knew: Terror, Mass Murder, and Everyday Life in Nazi Germany by Eric A. Johnson and Karl-Heinz Reuband
The Nazi Seizure of Power: The Experience of a Single German Town, 1922-1945 by William Sheridan Allen (Northeim, Germany)
George by Alex Gino
Better Nate Than Never by Tim Federle
Gracefully Grayson by Amy Polonski
The Misfits by James Howe
Arvida by Samuel Archibald
Diving Belles by Lucy Wood
Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman
Thunderstruck and Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken
All Aunt Hagar’s Children by Edward P. Jones
Get in Trouble by Kelly Link