Adorableness Is A Spectrum

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Amanda and Jenn discuss books for dealing with homophobia, novels from around the world, and a variety of cozy reads in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

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The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Brigg for this and also any Charlaine Harris supernatural series (The Sookie Stackhouse series; Midnight, Texas; Grave series) (rec’d by Julie)

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews and Love and Saffron by Kim Fay (rec’d by Amanda)


1. TW: homophobia 

Hi ladies! First, I want to take a moment to just thank you so much for this show. I’ve been listening since episode one, and I have so many fond memories of saving the show for weekends, and just walking around the city listening to you guys, and then heading to the library to check out a book you recommended. Seriously, I’ve picked up so many books I would never have even thought to look at because of your amazing recommendations, and all the interesting questions people ask. It’s really expanded my literary horizons in so many interesting ways. Anyway, onto the question! 

I’m an openly bisexual woman, and I’ve done my reading. I’ve read so much queer theory in college and for myself, like you wouldn’t believe. And I’ve had many moments of experiencing homophobia in my life, but recently I had an experience where a woman threatened me for being queer, and accused me and all queer people of being a predators, and said a lot more. I don’t want to get into the details because it could be very triggering. Anyway, I found myself completely frozen in the moment. I didn’t even really have a response because I was so frightened and just stunned. But afterwards, it made me realize that for all my reading about queer philosophy and politics, etc. I don’t know if I’ve actually ever read anything practical. Like what do you even do when confronted with moments like this? I mean my response was to basically get away, which I think it will always be. But say in a less scary moment what do you do? It just made me think a lot about what is the best response to homophobia, how do you approach this topic if somebody comes at you with homophobic rhetoric. So, do you know of any books that focus on sort of practical responses to homophobia? Memoirs, essays, even fiction, any genre at all is fine. 

Thanks again so much for this show.  


2. I’m looking for a book that feels like being wrapped up in a blanket with a hot cup of tea in my hands while it rains outside. Something soothing and cozy, and helps silence the outside noise so my brain can just be peaceful. Fiction only please. Thanks! 


3. For most of my life my dad has read non-fiction nearly exclusively, particularly giant biographies of politicians and the like. Much to my delight, now that he’s retired he’s been dipping his toes into fiction more often. Specifically, he’s really been enjoying sweeping historical fiction that opens his eyes to history and cultures that aren’t well known to white westerners. So far he’s devoured the Kite Runner and Pachinko. He’s currently in the middle of Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which he likes and I know that as soon as he’s finished he’ll ask me to recommend more, so I’d love your help! He happens to be a former professor of Latin American politics, so he’s already got that history down. But I’d love recommendations for historical novels that take place in Asia, Africa or the Middle East. Or ones that involve indigenous North America! Preferably ones that aren’t overly romantic and explore as much about the time and place as they do the characters. Thank you! 


4. Thank you for your show! Y’all are amazing. I’m looking for Razorblade Tears, but less violent. But not a cozy mystery necessarily. No professional detectives as the investigator, please. 


5. Hello! I have a two part request that I hope you can help me with. The first book that I am looking for is a non-fiction book about the Cold War. I’m looking for something that isn’t dry like a textbook but engaging and informative. The second book that I am looking for is a bit more broad. I want to expand my reading of classics from other countries that aren’t the US or England and instead read some from Central or South America or from Central or South American authors. If you couldn’t tell already from this question I am open to reading anything so genre doesn’t matter. If you have some recommendations for non-fiction from Central or South America that would be great too, but since I’ve already made two requests here that can wait for another time. Thank you!


6. I, like many people, got sucked in to the first season of Bridgerton on Netflix and began reading the books by Julia Quinn.  I loved the second book, but the third book totally put me off.  The hero was such a jerk to the heroine.  He refused to accept her saying “no” to his offer to become his mistress and never talked to her about why she said no, and literally threatened to call the police on her for a crime she didn’t commit and suggest to the police that her punishment be to stay with him so she would always be with him.  There was a huge power differential between them that only exacerbated how awful his character was.

I get that it’s “historically accurate” or whatever that he would make such an offer and get upset that she would have ~the nerve~ to reject, but I don’t want to read about men being so awful to women!!  Could you recommend a historical romance that is totally swoon-worthy, rompy, and fun with characters that are incredibly likeable and respect each other’s boundaries?  I’ve only read the Bridgerton books, so anything you’d recommend would be new to me!


7. I really like watching the strong frontier women on the tv show 1883 and I really liked the book Upright Women Wanted and want to find more books set in western frontier settings with strong female characters. I have heard of Lonesome Dove and it’s on my list. I didn’t like Inland by Tea Obreht. 


Books Discussed

Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Glover Tawab

Judith Butler Interview regarding feminism and transphobia (and a follow-up)

Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland

The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers

The Immortals of Tehran by Alireza Taheri Araghi (TW suicide)

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (cw: slavery and related violences)

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim (tw graphic harm to children, suicide)

The Cutting Season by Attica Locke (cw: violence against women and children)

The Man with the Poison Gun by Serhii Plokhy

The She-Devil in the Mirror by Horacio Castellanos Moya, rec’d by Vanessa Diaz

From Duke Till Dawn by Eva Leigh

The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan

Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins

An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris (cw: gory violence, mention of rape)