1930s Version of YOLO

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Amanda and Jenn recommend fun books for hard times, under the radar novels, and more in this week’s Get Booked!

This episode is sponsored by EveryLibrary and Harper Paperbacks, publishers of Erika Johansen’s bestselling Queen of the Tearling trilogy.

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The show can also be found on Stitcher here.



1. Hi Amanda and Jenn!

I am looking for book recommendations for myself. I will list several “prompts” below, please pick and choose what would best fit in the show. No worries if you don’t have time to answer all of these, I wanted to give you ladies some flexibility to stretch your book recommendation muscles!

Please keep in mind that I am a dedicated Book Riot reader and listener so I have probably already heard of many favorites that are regularly discussed on your various podcasts and website posts. In fact, thanks to the BR team my reading life has vastly improved and expanded recently. Thanks for all you do!

1. Historical fiction told from the female point of view (examples I loved include Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein and Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis).

2. Audiobooks in the vein of Bill Bryson and Mary Roach.

3. Historical romance with strong, confident, awesome female characters (I really enjoy Beverly Jenkins, Courtney Milan and Sarah MacLean’s books).

4. Poetry (anything! I have read very little poetry to date and would like to give it a try)

Thank again! I really enjoy the show and am very glad it will come out every week now!

Best wishes,


2. My mother is in the process of dying. When I’m able to read I want something fun…not what I have on my TBR shelf, which is full of mysteries and stories of death and Jojo Moyes. I need something light and/or irreverent. I love Bill Bryson, Sarah Vowell, Mary Roach, Douglas Adams, Tina Fey, and Chip Kidd. I just ordered the Mindy Kaling books, and I’ll read any genre. I don’t mind something in depth, just please, no more pain.


3. Hi ladies

I need need some help in choosing a book for my mom’s birthday. I usually like to purchase a book for my mom, whose birthday is on July 18 (so this is time sensitive), and would like some help.

My mom likes to read books that challenge her, but not too much. She enjoyed such books as All the Light We Cannot See and Burial Rites. She also is a fan of books by Temple Grandin and Oliver Sacks. Her Christmas books usually are book like Burial Rites and The Orphan Master, so I guess she likes the literary vein of things. She also enjoyed rereading To Kill a Mockingbird and read Go Set a Watchman. Basically my mom is well-read, at least would I like to think so. I do know that my mom likes to have some meat on the bones of her books and I don’t think she would object to a chunkster.

A bookish daughter looking for books for her bookish mother.


4. I fell in love with The Passage series by Justin Cronin. I can’t find anything that comes close to his beautiful way of writing. I need more!


5. Hello Amanda! I am always looking for books that are not extremely well known. What are some great fiction books that you think have fallen under the radar?

Thank you!!


Books Discussed

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

Citizen by Claudia Rankine

I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe

The Rogue Pirate’s Bride by Shana Galen

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson

The Lightning Thief by Percy Jackson

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 1 by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow

The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak

The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

The Girl From the Garden by Parnaz Foroutan

The Fireman by Joe Hill

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

Anything by China Miéville (either The City and the City or Three Moments of an Explosion)

Man by Kim Thuy, translated by Sheila Fischman

Great by Sara Benincasa

The Voice of the River by Melanie Rae Thon

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid