Because Of Murder

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Amanda and Jenn discuss retellings of classics, San Francisco fiction, westerns, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by The Book That Made Me.

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The show can also be found on Stitcher here.




1. Hello ladies,
I just finished reading Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, my first modern retelling of a classic tale. I enjoyed Eligible’s light and fun plot and quick pace, and thought it was a fun bonus to compare it to P&P along the way. Can you recommend some other modern updates or retellings of classics? I am open to more Austen, or other classics.

Thank you!


2. My wife works for the Department of Defense and is currently in Afghanistan (she left in September and will not be home until April). I am from the San Francisco Bay area and currently living in Augusta, Georgia (how did I not need a visa to move here?). I am incredibly homesick with her gone for so long (I would stay at my parents for longer than a week but we have five cats and a dog… Don’t ask) and I would love to have some books set in the San Francisco Bay Area or at least Northern California. I am reading the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire and have up next the biography of Jim Quillen who served time on Alcatraz. I read mostly mysteries, fantasy and nonfiction, but I’m open to anything.


3. Good afternoon!

I am looking for books for my boyfriend for his Birthday. We both love horror and dark tales so we have that covered (although I’m always happy to take recommendations ?)

I am unfamiliar with the other genres he likes and they are Westerns and Noir.

Westerns: we know of The Blood Meridian, The Dark Tower Series and he has read True Grit. They can also mix in Steampunk but not a requirement ?

Noir: he loves classic cop noirs and I know nothing about them!

Thank you so much!


4. Hi!! I am likely traveling to London in June 2017 and I’m looking to put together a reading list to get me through the winter months while I wait!

I’m looking for books set in or about London. I’d love to learn about the culture/history there but it doesn’t need to be the central focus of the book.

I generally enjoy fiction/contemporary literary fiction, but I enjoy a good memoir if it hooks me!

I like all types of fiction but I really enjoy strong characters (I don’t need them to be likable!). I tend not to lean towards historical fiction as much, but for this particular request I’d be open to it!

Thank you in advance and for all you do on the podcast!!


5. Hi Jenn and Amanda –

First off, I love the show! Thank you for providing so many amazing book recommendations. You’ve grown my TBR exponentially!

I am looking for book recommendations for my sister. I’d like to give her some books for her birthday and she has been going through a difficult time with her two teenage sons recently, so I’d love to get her some books that will grab her from the first page and she can really sink into which will provide an escape from real life for a few hours. She really enjoys contemporary and historical women’s fiction. Some of her favorites have been: The Nightingale, anything by Liane Moriarty, The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, The Light Between Oceans, and Every Last One by Anna Quindlen. I am planning to get her The Mothers by Brit Bennett, but would love any other suggestions you might have.


6. Hi Amanda & Jenn!

Thanks so much for your podcast, it is great! I’ve discovered it a few weeks ago, and already my TBR list has grown exponentially.

My request: I love reading both “High Fantasy” and “the literary classics”. In the past I’ve kept them strictly separated, but last year I found that I really enjoyed reading genre-transcending books by writers like David Mitchell, Haruki Murakami (and maybe even Neil Gaiman falls into this category). Another favourite was the Night Circus, which also isn’t clearly definable by genre, although it does have magic in it.

Can you recommend any similar books that have that fantasy feel, but without any dragons, elves or wizards running around (or even Jon Snow, for that matter)?

Thank you for your help!


7. I just finished reading “Underground Airlines” by Ben Winter and I was really intrigued by the concept of alternate histories which I haven’t read before. Can you recommend more books (on any subject matter) that examine an alternate history?

Thank you!


8. I have a major movie hangover, and I am in need of a book club book. (It would be great if I could have recommendations by March 15th)
I have recently been watching sappy magical realism movies- things like La La Land and Age of Adeline. I love that these movies are grounded in the real world, with a little flair of magic. I think what has drawn me most to these two movies in particular is the amazing job they do of evoking strong emotions. (I hope that makes sense) If you could point me in the direction of some books that have that same magical emotional feel, that would be much appreciated.


Books Discussed

Great by Sara Benincasa

The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

San Francisco Noir from Akashic Books

All The Birds In The Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

The Gun by Fuminori Nakamura, translated by Allison Markin Powell

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick De Witt

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Kraken by China Miéville

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz

Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Sofia Samatar (A Stranger in Olondria and Winged Histories)

Everfair by Nisi Shawl

The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

2 AM at the Cat’s Pajamas by Marie Helene Bertino