Mastermind by Andrew Mayne Mastermind by Andrew Mayne Mastermind by Andrew Mayne

Episode 265
Big Shelob Energy

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Amanda and Jenn discuss cozy murders, no pining, ending our productivity obsession, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

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Bunheads by Sophie Flack (rec’d by Caroline)

My Casting Couch was too Short by Marion Dougherty (rec’d by Wynnde)

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, The Inheritance Trilogy by NK Jemisin, and The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie (rec’d by Cari)

Questions

1. My book club has a “read your own book” format – each month we choose a theme and everyone chooses their own book to read based on it. For February, we’re doing an anti-romance theme. Basically, books about dysfunctional couples who should definitely not be together!

The only book I can think of along these lines is Gone Girl (Nick and Amy are the worst). Do you guys have any suggestions for books about dysfunctional relationships?

Thanks!

-Sarah

2. I dipped my toe into capital-R adult Romance in 2020 for the first time, and… it wasn’t great, mainly because I deeply hate  grand public gestures/declarations of love, and also am not a fan of either the third-act breakup or the ‘this could be resolved in a five minute conversation’ miscommunications! So I’m looking for books that don’t contain any of the above, please! Other details: any sub-genre is fine; I like steamy kissing but not *too* much explicit sex (a little is okay); I’m not super keen on enemies to lovers but it’s not a hard no; and if it could have an easily accessible audiobook that would be extra great! (But I know this is a lot of very specific asks so if it doesn’t tick all the boxes that’s okay.) As I say, I’m very new to Romance so super mainstream things are probably fine! (The main authors I’ve read from are Christina Lauren, Alyssa Cole and Tessa Dare: my feelings on all of them were pretty ambivalent.)

Thank you so much!

-Hana

3. I love your podcast and listen to every episode 🙂 I’ve gotten many great recs from other people’s requests, and now I have a request of my own! I’d like to read a “cozy” mystery novel with a sizeable cast of interesting, well-developed characters. I’m thinking something like the Orient Express or Murder on the Nile. Nothing too heavy, and no sexual violence/ domestic abuse please! There can be some violence (a la murder weapons being wielded), but preferably in the background, and not graphic. 

-Radhika

4. I was unemployed for all of 2020, which forced me to examine my relationship to work and how I tie my self-worth to productivity. I’m interested in reading books about how to untie this relationship, about ending toxic productivity obsessions, or about upending or breaking capitalistic ideas about work being inherently “good”, etc. 

Normally I’m a fiction reader, but this feels like non-fiction territory to me. 

Thanks so much,

-Josh

5. My dad reads mostly nonfiction history and political books. Recently, I found him browsing the sci-fi section of our local bookstore. I asked him if he thinks he’d enjoy reading more fiction. His response was that growing up he read a ton of science fiction, but now all the authors he enjoyed are dead. Morbid, right?! Anyways I don’t think he really knows where to start. He’s read all the classics – Dune, the Foundation series, etc. I was hoping to give him a great sci-fi anthology that will appeal to his love of these classics, but also help him discover contemporary authors that he might enjoy. Ideally the collection would be made up of multiple contemporary authors, who have full length novels or series that he could explore after. 

Thanks so much! I really love your show. I’ve read a lot of great books based on your recommendations. 

-Maggie

6. I just wanna say, your podcast is so great! I listen to it all the time!

I’m looking for a book (young adult) that has a lot of high adventure, epic questing type stuff, but with NO PINING. I am so sick of pining, and just romance in general in YA novels or series, and I haven’t been able to find anything with none to really really really minimal amounts of it. Some books in this genre that I enjoyed (but that have too much pining in them for my tastes right now) are Children of Blood and Bone, The Hazel Wood, Aurora Burning (although I’m looking for something a little more in the fantasy realm and less sci-fi), and The Hobbit (because of course). I enjoy books with really rich language, and some authors I like are Roshani Chokshi and Catherynne M. Valente.

Please help!

-Quinn

7. Classics with a bright storyline(something like pride and prejudice). Ps : I am a Downton Abbey fan too.

-Hash

Books Discussed

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

A Separation by Katie Kitamura

Off Base by Annabeth Albert (tw: homophobia)

40-Love by Olivia Dade (cw: mention of fatphobia)

Murder at the Grand Raj Palace by Vaseem Khan

Proper English by KJ Charles (cw: homophobia, racism)

How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell 

Can’t Even by Anne Helen Petersen

A People’s Future of the United States, edited by Victor LaValle

Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu (cw: suicide)

Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee

Each Of Us A Desert by Mark Oshiro (cw: abusive parents, graphic violence)

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day by Winifred Watson (cw: casual racism & misogyny)

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