Episode 199

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Amanda and Jenn discuss action heroines, bonkers plotlines, police procedurals, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by our Mystery/Thriller giveawaySlay by Brittney Morris, and the audiobook of Frankly in Love by David Yoon.

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (rec’d by Stephanie)

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan (rec’d by Elizabeth)

Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi (rec’d by Khadija)

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (rec’d by Aleks)

Questions

1. Greetings, and thanks in advance for expanding my already out of control TBR list! A friend and I just booked a two-week trip to South Korea for early November (leaving 11/3), and I want to do as much research as possible before I go, because I am SUCH a Hermione. I’m looking for books, fiction or non-fiction, that will provide me with context about the culture, history, food, traditions, and/or landscape of South Korea. I already have Wicked Fox and Pachinko on my list. What else can you recommend that will help me learn as much as I can? I’ve never been anywhere in Asia, and I’m so excited to go.

My wheelhouse is pretty broad–I’m a fan of contemporary fiction, sweeping generational sagas, YA, and sci-fi/fantasy (though I’m not so much into high fantasy). For non-fiction I especially love reading memoirs, especially by women and comedians (Bossypants and “Are you Hanging out without Me?” being two of my favorites) and collections of essays.

Thanks so much–I love the podcast and I can’t wait to hear your recommendations.

-Julia

2. Hi Amanda and Jenn!
Over the summer I’ve gotten into a reading kick of books with a certain madcap flair – like everything is bonkers but we’re going with it plotlines.
I think Amanda’s recommendation of The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall is what set me off so I wanted to ask for more please!
Other books I’ve read in this vein would be: The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger, Good Omens by Gaiman/Pratchett, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, The Hitchhiker’s Guide by Douglas Adams – and I’m noticing a British theme here, which is fine to continue or buck!

Thanks in advance.
-Kelly

3. Every year for Hanukkah, I send my friend 8 e-books from Thanksgiving until the last day of the holiday. When Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins came out, we both absolutely loved it and read the rest of the books in the series. At the time, we also liked some of the books by Rainbow Rowell. I’ve had trouble finding another whimsical, fun, romantic, but well written series that has the same energy as the Perkins’ books. Any suggestions? Thank you!
-Malory

4. I am looking for a book for my mom. She really likes fiction about all kinds of sports in which characters overcome hardships and stereotypes. Which is why she loved the Dairy Queen Trilogy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. She has now read all three books several times and can’t seem to find anything else quite like it. Can you think of anything along these lines? Thank you!

All the best!
-Leah

5. I’m a long time listener to the podcast and have got many many recommendations from you both over the years, but I’ve only now come up with my very own personalised request… I’ve recently realised that I read police (and private detective) procedurals as a kind of comfort read/palate cleanser/go to for when I can’t think of anything else to read, or just can’t get into any other books.

I’ve read loads of Sarah Paretsky, am obsessed with Tana French and recently really enjoyed the first 2 books in Susie Steiner’s DI Manon Bradshaw series, but I’d really love some recs for this kind of thing that isn’t written by a white woman. I already have IQ by Joe Ides on my radar, have read and loved everything by Attica Locke, and have put the Widows of Malabar Hill on my TBR – do you have any other suggestions for me? Bonus points if it’s a long ass series I can really sink my teeth into and keep going back to when all is lost.

I read (and write!) a lot of psychological thrillers so really don’t need any recommendations in that department..it’s police and private eyes I’m after here, I think.
-Annie

6. I’m a relatively new Insider, and have been loving your podcast through the past 5 months. Thank you SO much for making my TBR list super-long, and introducing me to so many books I might never have thought to pick up.

As a side effect of the Read Harder Challenge, I realized that I love books of essays (who knew?!) in addition to my known-favorites of historical fiction, fantasy, murder mystery, and literary fiction.

I just finished reading “Selfish, Shallow and Self-absorbed: 16 Writers on the Decision NOT to have kids”. I had high hopes for this book as a 37 year old veterinarian who has made this decision myself, which tends not to be a popular one with family or peer-group. I was hoping to find my brethren in these essays, but sadly only felt some mild kindred spirits calling from two or three essays.

I was wondering if you might be able to help me find a character who speaks to me through a novel? I will say that the “single and driven” female lead intrigues me, but isn’t me. I’m happily married to a man who also doesn’t want children. Also, I do love kids (and truly enjoy my time with my nephews and god-daughter), so kid-haters are also a strong no.

Some of my favorite characters thus far have been Kinsey Millhone from Sue Grafton’s alphabet series; Lindsay Boxer from the early part of the Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson, Claire from the Outlander series, and Jo from Little Women.

Thank you in advance!
-Jennie

7. I always wondered why I felt no connection to action heroines. Then I read Sabriel and realized that I prefer down-to-earth, sensible protagonists who have a strong sense of duty. Tiffany Aching is the platonic ideal of this. I also recently loved The Bear and the Nightingale. My preferred genres are science fiction and fantasy. I’ve been especially loving “domestic fantasy” lately that takes place around the home, though a good adventure across dangerous lands is always fun too.

Thank you!
-Julia

Books Discussed

The Hole by Hye-Young Pyun, translated by Sora Kim-Russell

The Birth of Korean Cool by Euny Hong

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Heroine Complex series by Sarah Kuhn

The Flood Girls by Richard Fifield (rec’d by Kathleen)

Check, Please!: Book 1: Hockey, by Ngozi Ukazu

Shinju by Laura Joh Rowland

Rachel Getty & Esa Khattak (The Unquiet Dead #1) by Ausma Zehanat Khan

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Magnificent Spinster by May Sarton

Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso