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Amanda and Jenn discuss short story collections, quirky mysteries, picture books, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Book Riot InsidersUnscripted by Claire Handscombe, and The Fall of Crazy House by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet.

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1. I’ll be taking a trip to New York City for the very first time this June. I’m looking for books that will give me that big-city feel, books based in NYC, or books on the history of NYC. Thanks for all you do!


2. I love the reading rainbow for adults podcast ‘Levar Burton Reads.’ However, it has exposed a large hole In my reading experience. I’m hoping you can recommend a couple short story collections. I’d prefer audio versions as have I recently joined and need assistance spending credits. I have only tried Nick White’s collection Sweet and Low on my own but it wasn’t really my cup of tea. The stories that I have enjoyed the most from the show have been “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu, “Childfinder” by Octavia Butler, and “Graham Greene” by Percival Everett.


3. Hi from Canada! I’m looking for a long, well-written saga in which I can lose myself. I enjoy well-formed and complex characters, and learning about something new whenever I read (history, other professions, unique life experiences etc.). A dose of magical realism or low fantasy is fun but not necessary. Favourite books include Cloud Atlas, The Secret History, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Golem and the Jinni, the Night Circus and Spinning Silver (as recommended by you!). I also like Barbara Kingsolver and Isabel Allende. I tend to find out about popular books quite easily so something off the beaten track would be great. Please no stories about parents losing kids or genocide/war violence. Thanks for doing this great podcast!


4. Hi! I’m looking for some book recommendations to give to my husband as part of my first year anniversary gift (paper!). We are celebrating by going on vacation in early May, and we’re planning to spend some of our downtime just hanging out in a coffee shop reading. Unfortunately, he is not much of a reader. He enjoys reading, but doesn’t prioritize it as a hobby. Therefore, he hasn’t really spent time figuring out what he likes. Here’s what I do know: He’s read everything ever written by R.A. Salvatore. We also read the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher together, and really enjoyed that. He’s a gamer and enjoys a lot of the popular sci-fi/fantasy games and storylines (i.e. World of Warcraft, Witcher, Skyrim, Borderlands, etc. ). He’s told me that he enjoys action-y plots where the main characters emerge victorious that aren’t too dark/complicated. I think he would enjoy books by Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, or the high fantasy series by Jim Butcher, Codex Alera. I do not think he would enjoy the Game of Thrones series, and I think even N.K. Jemison’s Broken Earth Trilogy would be a little too much. Regardless, I think all those books are too long for him to want to make a commitment to, especially on vacation. Any suggestions for high-fantasy books or series with shorter books that aren’t R.A. Salvatore? Bonus points if it’s a little more diverse than most of the list I’ve given here, but I’d rather it be something he’d really enjoy than diverse for the sake of diversity. Thank you!!


5. I would love to find one or two children’s books that focus on living in a nontraditional family (being raised by an aunt or other family member) to help during a period of transition for a resilient four year old and her cousins who she is now living with permanently. I’ve found books about adoption or living with grandparents but am struggling to find something that seems to speak to their situation. She loves being read to and I think this is a situation where seeing yourself in the story could really help! Thanks!


6. I’m a librarian and generally give advice/book recs! Now I need some advice. I’m looking for a quirky, literary leaning mystery. I have really enjoyed: Lisa Lutz’s Spellmans, peter heller’s Celine, Sara Gran’s Claire DeWit series, Gabriel Cohen and Charlie Huston. I do not like psychological thrillers or too much gore. I guess what I like is quirky and can have a touch of noir or humor.


7. Hi, I’ve been reading a bunch of Afro futurism from Nigerian or Nigerian – American authors. I find the culture and folklore it explores fascinating and I would love some memoirs or biographies so I could have a more grounded perspective and be able to have more context to the fantasy novels. The books I’ve read are all about woman in the Igbo tribe, but any Nigerian or West African would be good if Igbo is too specific.


Books Discussed

The Recovering by Leslie Jamison

Chesapeake Requiem by Earl Swift

Open City by Teju Cole

Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

How Long Til Black Future Month by NK Jemisin

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews

Families Families Families! by Suzanne Lang and Max Lang

Me, Toma, and the Concrete Garden by Andrew Larsen and Anne Villeneuve

Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

IQ by Joe Ide

Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria by Noo Saro-Wiwa

There Was a Country by Chinua Achebe