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Banana-Pants Conspiracy Theories

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Amanda and Jenn discuss crime families, nonbinary characters, conspiracy theories, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by In The Club, Book Riot’s book groups newsletter.

Subscribe to the podcast via RSS here, or via iTunes here.
The show can also be found on Stitcher here.



1. I am hoping you can help. You always do.

I am suffering from a hangover not a book one a tv one. Which never happens! I just finished season two of Fargo and I am obsessed with trying to find fiction books with a similar feel or plotline. What it basically comes down to is a turf war of two crime families, but it shows a lot of the betrayals and moves by each party. I have always enjoyed detailed fights for power in literature, I am a big fan of Ice and Fire series for this reason and am told I will like the Blade Itself. An obvious choice seems the Godfather but I have read this in my teens.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



2. Hi guys,

I am planning on coming out to my mother as nonbinary. The trouble is that my mother doesn’t quite understand what that means. She learns best through fiction and loves reading, so I’ve been looking for books that have relatable nonbinary characters to help her (and me) out. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck. She read and enjoyed The Left Hand of Darkness and Ancillary Justice, but i’m looking for something that is both straightforward and modern with its approach to its nonbinary character(s).

The best thing would be a character that actually discusses being nonbinary or uses them/them pronouns, but books with people or species with more relaxed gender roles could also be helpful. She likes science fiction, fantasy, and historical novels the most, but would probably be open to other genres of fiction or nonfiction that has a story-line.

Thanks for your help and your time!


3. Greetings from my noisy library!

I am the librarian at a smallish private denominational school in the SF Bay Area. I was recently having a conversation with a few students who are really interested in conspiracy theories. They watch these videos on YouTube, which makes me nervous. They like conspiracy theories that have to do with history, particularly WWII. I asked if they’ve read the usual conspiracy theory books, like the Robert Langdon books or the Girl with the Dragon tattoo series. They scoffed, “I don’t read books.”

My question is what might you recommend for these proudly reluctant readers? They are seniors and I’d love to try and get them to read anything before they are out of my clutches. I’ve recommended the show The Man in the High Castle (I don’t think they’d read that book, but I’ve suggested it), and I have some Dan Brown, John Le Carre, and John Grisham books to recommend. I don’t want to just recommend WWII books or just books written by white dudes or dudes named John. They need anything that will hook them right away and keep them hooked.

Thank you! This podcast is such a bright spot.


4. Hi! My name is Erin, and I am searching for recommendations of love poems/collections of love poems to send to my boyfriend, Jimmy, who is in the Peace Corps in Timor-Leste. My deadline is February 1st, as I would like to try to get something complied for him before Valentine’s day. He has been gone since last August and will be gone for another 21 months. Distance is hard.

I know I like love poems by Wendell Berry, especially The Wild Rose. I also like essays/poems by Mary Oliver. I hope that gives a good view into the type of love poetry I am after. Please let me know if you have questions!



5. Amanda and Jenn:

In March 2017, I’ll start a new job teaching English as a Second Language classes at my alma mater. Most of my students will be from China, Saudi Arabia, Paraguay, South Korea, and Brazil. I’d like to learn more about these cultures and get an idea of what it would be like to live in these places. Can you recommend any books that are set in any of these places or are English translations from these countries? Thanks in advance!



6. Hello Ladies!
I recently moved back to my small hometown, a place I never saw myself living again, to take a job. (Nutshell – I’m trying to break into a new career field and an opportunity presented itself.) To paint a picture: I am a single, childless woman in her mid-30s, which around here is an oddity at best, a thing to be pitied at worst, but mostly used as a way to dismiss my opinions on any and everything; the only bar is in the grocery store; I have to drive over 60 miles to go to a bookstore; and while I see myself as a moderate conservative around here I’m considered a liberal elitist. This is a town where people get stuck (a coworker only planned on moving here for a couple of years, that was over a decade ago) and I’m terrified of that happening to me. I’m looking for book recommendations to give me hope that this move is only a stepping stone to get me to where I really want to be, doing what I love, and not a permanent situation. Thanks and I love the show! (Though my wallet does not.)



Books Discussed

Dune by Frank Herbert

The Transmigration of Bodies by Yuri Herrera, translated by Lisa Dillman

The Acacia series (The War With the Mein #1) by David Anthony Durham

The Worldbreaker Saga (The Mirror Empire #1) by Kameron Hurley

Hold Me by Courtney Milan

Nina Here Nor There: My Journey Beyond Gender by Nick Krieger

Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

Every Day by David Levithan

Hot Season by Susan DeFreitas

The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Secret History of the World by Mark Booth

Adaptation by Malinda Lo

20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda, translated by WS Merwin and Cristina Garcia

Love Poems by Carol Ann Duffy

Love Poems, courtesy of the Poetry Foundation

Collected Poems of Octavio Paz, translated by Eliot Weinberger

What Is This Thing Called Love by Kim Addonizio (a little eroticism, a little heartbreak)

Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector, translated by Katrina Dodson

The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Chin, translated by Chi-Young Kim

Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

100 Books about Starting Over post by Tracy Shapley

Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler

What You’re Really Meant to Do by Robert S. Kaplan