Alpha in the Sheets, Beta in the Streets

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Amanda and Jenn discuss chapter books about girls, thrillers, undersea stories, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Book Riot Insiders, One Good Deed by David Baldacci, and Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson.

Subscribe to the podcast via RSS, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.


Serial Killers: Murder Without Mercy by Nigel Blundell (rec’d by Sharon)

Song of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik (rec’d by Sibyl)

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar (rec’d by Sibyl)

Spoonbenders by Darryl Gregory (rec’d by Sibyl)

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (rec’d by Sibyl)


1. Hi Amanda and Jenn, I’m such a big fan of the show and your recs are always must-adds for my TBR! I tend to buy most of my books at library book sales, used bookstores, etc, where there are a lot of random books in a big mish-mash. It makes me sad when I see a favorite but lesser-known book in a pile, being passed over again and again for new hyped up releases. I’d love to know, if you were at a used bookstore, what would be the book that would make you want to pull it out of the pile and hold it up like Simba in The Lion King while announcing to everyone “this is the one! Please take this one home!”


2. I am thinking about moving to Manchester, England to start a graduate program in September, so I am looking for contemporary fiction or nonfiction books set in Manchester that would give me insight into the city and introduce me to writers from the region. Since I cannot visit the city before starting the program I think reading could help calm my nerves a bit (as it tends to do). When I lived in Paris I read 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster and really enjoyed the Parisian and literary references. I have read novels set in other European cities but would really appreciate recommendations specific to Manchester. It would be a nice addition if one of the recommendations had a non-white, non-male protagonist and author. Thank you! I really enjoy listening to the podcast and expanding my TBR pile.

3. Hi Amanda and Jenn. Hoping you can smash another recommendation for me. I recently bought my friend’s daughter the Phoebe the Unicorn books and successfully turned a tentative reader into a certified book worm. She even posted me her own little thank you note, it was the cutest. I’m keen to get her some new books to keep up the streak.
She comes from an extended family where she is surrounded by young mums and examples of motherhood and homemaking, and while this is lovely, I know her mum is keen to make sure she knows that having children is not the only path available to her. Could you recommend some books to keep her inspired, whatever her path may be. I particularly want to combat the kind of troubling comments I know she’s come up against already in her young life, such as ‘little boys become doctors, little girls become nurses’ 🙁
She’s pretty into street dance, maths, baking and her family’s landrover. Nothing too scary please. She’s 8 years old, turning 9 in December. Availability in the UK a must.


4. I’m looking for recommendations for my book club. We tend to gravitate towards mysteries and thrillers, the darker the better. Books we’ve read in the past include: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld, The Dinner by Herman Koch, The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor, Force of Nature by Jane Harper. My group really really enjoyed Confessions by Kanae Minato. We like lots of twists and the switching perspectives. Thank you for your help! Love your show 🙂


5. I just tore through City of Brass and Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty and am having trouble moving on! Nothing I pick up is holding my interest, and I find myself dreaming of a big book set in a foreign land, with magic and friendship and intrigue. Can you recommend something that will help fill the hole in my reading heart until the third book comes out in 2020? I am game for almost anything except horror (I am a wimp!). Recent book loves in addition to these two include The Night Circus, Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield, Circe by Madeline Miller and everything by Becky Chambers. You’ll see a lot of familiar titles on my Goodreads – a Fair number of the books on my TBR (and those I’ve read over the last couple of years) are your fault – in a really good way! Thank you!


6. Hello! First of all, I would like to say how much I LOVE your podcast. I have been listening since the beginning, and my TBR is forever growing. Who can ever really be “done” with their TBR? So here is my first recommendation request after all this time: Recently I have become fascinated with underwater exploration and all things under the sea. It is a whole different world, and is equal parts exciting and terrifying to me. I have not read many books dealing with underwater adventure, but would love more options to pick up. I read Josh Malerman’s A House At The Bottom of The Lake and loved how uneasy it made me feel as I was reading it. Exploring open water is something I would never do in real life, so I need to read about it! I love all things magical realism and science fiction, but wouldn’t be opposed to an adventure as well! Hoping for more fictional recommendations than non-fiction. Thank you so much in advance!!

All the best,

7. Howdy! I love your podcast! I read a lot of books across a broad range of genres, but I’m looking for recommendations for romances with guys who are bossy/controlling in bed. I’ve really enjoyed Willing Victim, Brutal Game, and After Hours by Cara McKenna. I also enjoyed Lori Foster’s romances with alpha-guy leads. I’m not into the full-on Fifty Shades of Gray-esque BDSM thing–that’s too much, especially when the control bleeds out of the bedroom and into the rest of life. I have a strong preference for heterosexual relationships. Bonus points for recs that include fantasy elements or virgins, but those aren’t required. Thanks ladies!


Books Discussed

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris

Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar (tw: sexual assault)

Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson (tw: child abuse)

Lola Levine is Not Mean by Monica Brown

The Case of the Missing Moonstone (Wollestonecraft Detective Agency #1) by Jordan Stratford, illustrated by Kelly Murphy (rec’d by Karina of Kidlit These Days)

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Low by Rick Remender, Greg Tocchini, Dave McCaig

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Her Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz

Thirsty by Mia Hopkins