A Donut Shop Run By Aliens

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Amanda and Jenn discuss more books with Fall vibes, overthinky nonfiction, tea with robots, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

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Sanctuary by Rebekah Weatherspoon (rec’d by Jen Zink)

California Field Atlas by author/illustrator Obi Kauffman (rec’d by Carol)

Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman; Dave Eggers and Vindela Vida (rec’d by Carol)

The Raje series by Sonali Dev, the Friend Zone series by Abby Jimenez, and the Modern Love series by Alisha Rai; A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson and The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams (rec’d by Nicole)


1. I love to celebrate Halloween throughout all of October, and over the last few years I’ve done a deep dive into older horror classics (in previous years I’ve read Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow). I also enjoy watching the movie adaptations of these novels. For this year’s read, I’m coming up short because despite my penchant for all things spooky, I’m kind of a scaredy cat. I tend to like Halloween reads that are more atmospheric and suspenseful rather than gross-out horror (Stephen King and anything like him are a no go). Do you have any suggestions? Bonus points if there is a movie adaptation. 

Thanks in advance, love the podcast, and happy spooky season!


2. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that – until recently – I really didn’t pay much attention to the discourse on patriarchy, feminism etc. Somehow I thought it just wasn’t relevant for me!?!? 

However, over the last year I have started to become aware of my own internalised misogyny, and how much of my inner critical dialogue and limiting beliefs are rooted in the patriarchal system. This understanding has been transformative and empowering for me, and has helped me to understand that my historical cycles of depression and burn-out have been driven by holding myself to masculine ideals and seeking approval from a patriarchal system.

I am looking for books that throw a light on how the patriarchal system affects both men and women on an individual level, and some thoughts on how to navigate or unsubscribe from these entrenched narratives. Basically, I’m looking for books that will give me permission to cast off the limiting world view that has kept me small and burnt-out until now, and step into a new way of being in the world. In a nutshell I guess I’m looking for personal development books, rooted in feminism. 

I am more interested in books that speak to transformation and awakening on an individual level, rather than books focussed on more complex socio-political theory & analysis. I’m also more interested in books that take a personal growth perspective, rather than simply rage-against-the-machine. Fiction or non-fiction would be welcome.

I’ve read and loved Glennon Doyle’s Untamed, as well as Burn-out by the Nagoski twins (which had a patriarchy/ feminism undertone).  

Hope you can recommend some great & transformative feminist reads!


3. I’m getting in my Christmas request early. I need a recommendation for my boyfriend! Books and book recommendations have been a cornerstone of our relationship from the very beginning–our first date was at a bookstore, and we talk about books and recommend books to each other incessantly.**

He loves goldenage murder mysteries (Agatha Christie/Wilkie Collins/Dorthey Sayers and I’ve recently turned him on to Tana French and the Widows of Malabar Hill series), historical fiction and fantasies (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Erin Morgenstern, Alix Harrow, P.Deji Clarke, Zen Cho, Naomi Novik, The Historian, Queen of The Night, Declaration of the Rights of Magicians, Crimson Petal and the White) and also weird fiction like some of the more modern takes on Lovecraft (I had great success with Ballad of Black Tom and City We Became). Political intrigue can also be a winner: I recommended Memory Called Empire, and it’s his new favorite book, and I’m getting him The City and the City and The Goblin Emperor for his birthday next week. Murderbot, even though he was suspicious, he ended up really enjoying. Things that didn’t work for him: Poppy War, Gideon the Ninth, Devil and the Dark Water, Life after Life. He’s loved everything I’ve recommended to him so far, and I’m feeling the pressure for Christmas already, can you help? He and his family are going on a Christmas trip to Austria (why the time sensitive is before Christmas), so bonus points if you can work that in, but majorly not critical. Also if you could avoid cancer, and parental death, that’d be great! If anyone can find me a historical fantasy murder mystery with Lovecraftian elements and political intreague set in Austria, I feel like you can. 

Thanks for your help!


4. I am looking for some fall vibes books that combine my favorite book themes with my favorite not scary Halloween movie vibes! I read cross genre’s but my favorite book themes never change. They are found family, queer romance, diverse characters and/or cultural perspectives that differ from my own (queer, white, cis woman,  American), adventure of some sort (physical or emotional), and LOTS of cinnamon roll characters. Books I’ve loved with most of these themes are The Starless Sea, The House on the Cerulean Sea, Howls Moving Castle, The Girl from the Sea and the Brown Sisters series (Only just noticed the “Sea” theme there LOL). My favorite Halloween movies are Hocus Pocus, Casper, Halloweentown, and The Little Vampire ( I love the cutesy kid movies!!). Books I’ve enjoyed that almost but not quite hit the mark are The Discovery of Witches, The Once and Future Witches, and Every Heart  a Doorway. One book that was EXACTLY what I wanted was Cemetery Boys which I plan on re-reading ASAP.

Please enjoy some attached photos of my adorable fur babies that are totally not a bribe. (It’s a bribe.)

Thank you and Happy Spooky Season!


5. Hello Jen and Amanda!

My library holds for John Green’s “The Anthropocene Reviewed” coincided with a time in my life where I’ve been thinking a lot about empathy.

As a millennial raised on Tumblr, I really appreciated going back to Green’s familiar nervous and overthought way of looking at things that, for better or worse, shaped the way I also have come to view the world.  Similarly, David Sedaris came to mind. 

What I’m looking for is an audiobook (preferrably read by the author) with the energy of a neurotic 30 to 50 year old over analyzing small things, preferably while making all the nichest references possible, from writers who look more like me: a queer, black, immigrant latina. I’m a voracious reader and would really appreciate some deep pulls or smaller voices you think don’t get enough hype. Other authors whose vibes I also loved were Samantha Irby, Ali Wong, Jessi Klein, Hannah Templer, Kat Leyh, and Noelle Stevenson. 

Thank you so much, love the show!



6. I need more Hope(punk). I read Becky Chambers’ A Psalm for the Wild-Built, and then I made a cup of tea and read it again. (I’ve also read her Wayfarer books.)  The Monk and Robot concept is clearly unique,  so not looking for a read alike, but something that evokes a similar feel.  Bonus points for post-apocalyptic utopia, and extra extra bonus points for tea as a narrative motif.


7. Hello.

I’m currently reading Little fires everywhere by Celeste Ng, and I realized that I love courtroom settings.

I want a book with suspenseful courtroom atmosphere, intense back-and-forth between lawyers, complex characters, and a messy case.



Books Discussed

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (watch the Hitchcock version)

Hocus Pocus and the All New Sequel by A.W. Jantha

Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu

Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani (with caveat about toxic masculinity)

The Conductors by Nicole Glover (tw: slavery)

Beneath the Rising by Premee Mohamed (cw: violent harm to children, body horror, internalized racism)

Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow

Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki (cw: sexual assault, child abuse, transphobia, racism)

The Awkward Thoughts of W Kamau Bell

The Ugly Cry by Danielle Henderson (cw: child abuse, drug use)

Hola Papi by John Paul Brammer

Gamechanger by LX Beckett

The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard (cw: descriptions of PTSD)

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim (tw: graphic harm to children, rape, self-harm/suicide)

Every Reasonable Doubt by Pamela Samuels Young (rec’d by Mel)