Social Justice Lady Factory

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Amanda and Jenn discuss books about refugees, fantasy series, indie horror, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Book Riot’s Read Harder 2020 Challenge, Mariner Books, and Flatiron Books, publisher of Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore.

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1. Hi ladies,

New listener, so sorry if you’ve answered this question already. I am temporarily relocating for work to a place I’ve never been where I don’t know anyone, and I need a good rec to help with the transition. I’m looking for an epic saga in which to get lost. I want multiple books, huge stakes, big cohesive story. The problem I often run into w/ theses types of stories is I am often let down by the ending. If I’m going to invest this much time and energy into a book, I want it to be worth it. I want to miss the characters when they are gone. I tend to lean toward fantasy, but it’s not a must, so long as the ending is realistic and satisfying, and prefer some sort of magic or mystic component or creature. I read a lot of YA, but also not a must. Adult themes okay as long as it’s not too graphic. I get bored with intricate battle sequences and too much imagery. What I care about are character driven, relationship driven stories. My absolute favorite is the Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta. Anything by her actually, I read all her books. Do you have any recs along these same lines? Bonus points if it’s available in audiobook.

Other series I enjoyed:
– Harry Potter
– Fever Series (1st 5 books) – Karen Marie Moning
– Seven Water Series – Juliet Marillier
– Lunar Chronicles – Melissa Meyer
– Songs of Lioness – Tamora Pierce
– Hunger Games
– Graceling – Kristen Cashore (didn’t love book #3, but I loved the first one so much, it gets a bit of a pass)
– Daughter of Smoke and Bone series – Laini Taylor
– Queen’s Thief – Megan Whelan Turner

Series that fell short:
– Divergent Series
– Inheritance Cycle
– Caraval – Stephanie Garber
– Lord of the Rings (Don’t hate, great story, just too much imagery)
– City of Bones Series – CassandraClare
– The Maze Runner – James Dashner
– Twilight Saga – Stephanie Meyer.
– Incerceron – Catherine Fisher

Thanks in advance,


2. Hello ladies. I work closely with the grade 6 English teachers at our school. We do a lit circle at the end of the year and we are wanting to give the students a choice of books. We are wanting to do a theme around refugees or being displaced. So far we have “Refugee” and “A Long Walk to Water”. It might even be great to have any about First Nations. We are a school in Vancouver, Canada.
Thank you for any great ideas.

3. I am looking for a response before the end of 2020. 😊I am a little stumped about the Read a horror book published by an indie press task for the 2020 Read Harder challenge. I have a very low tolerance for scary material and I don’t have as many reviews to go by as horror books published by mainstream presses. Some books I have enjoyed in the pseudo-horror genre are The Picture of Dorian Gray, books and stories by Neil Gaiman, and Misery by Stephen King. Thanks for your help!


4. Hi! I was looking for more books like Sarah MacLean’s Bareknuckle Bastards series. I loved the first two books and am so excited for the third. I also really loved Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster. I guess I’m really looking for a historical romance (or historical fantasy?) featuring criminals (preferably with accents). I’d prefer something with a HEA/HFN ending because when the world is a scary dumpster fire, it’s nice to know in advance that things will work out ok in a book. Thank you so much!

BTW, your podcast made me willing to try romance again after my first encounter was not ideal. It was a vintage title that was often non consensual and yucky. I’d assumed they were all like this until listening to you two and Rebecca on All the Books talk about romance that was feminist. Thank you for opening my reading life.


5. My 4yo just finished his first chapter book! (Listening, that is. No prodigies over here.)

I’d checked out James and the Giant Peach from the library for myself. I somehow never read Roald Dahl as a kid, so I’m filling that cultural knowledge gap now. Anyway, my little guy saw the cover and thought it was a book for him, so we gave it a shot. (After I’d read it first, of course. Dahl isn’t the author I would have picked to start him on, based on what I do know about his books, but this one was pretty tame.)

Up until now we’ve been reading nothing but picture books, and I really didn’t think he’d have the patience to sit and listen, or the attention span to keep coming back day after day, but he proved me wrong.

He’s now super excited about chapter books, which I love! But I have no idea where to go next! Since I know these types of books aren’t really meant as read-alouds and are aimed at older kids, I’m second-guessing myself on content. I’m mostly of the mindset that I don’t want to restrict my kids, and we can discuss anything that’s confusing or disturbing, but even though I feel like I’m on the open-minded end of the parental spectrum, that’s been pretty hypothetical up until now.

So, parental insecurities aside, can you give me any recommendations for chapter books that are exciting and imaginative and also appropriate for a preschooler? I’d love something published in the last 25-30 years, since I have NO clue what kid lit has been doing since I was one, but that’s more a want than a need.

He turns five at the beginning of April, and I’d love to start gifting him his very own “big kid” books.


6. Helllllooo, I have read a few recommendations from you two now and have enjoyed them all and I was hoping you can help me out again!
I have recently bought a house and have been finding longer books really hard to finish/motivation to read is lacking (it literally took three months to read The Way of Kings pt 1).
So I am asking for short books (<300 pages). Some I have enjoyed previously are the Murderbot Diaries, Wayward Children, and The Collector series. I already have The Deep on my tbr.
I would read almost any genre (including Non-Fiction) but prefer something either shocking (cue The Collector series) or whimsical/magical.
If I can buy a physical copy to support the author that would be a bonus too!

Thank you so much in advance!


7. Hello ladies! I’m a big fan of the show and I come WITH A CRY FOR HELP. As any other twenty year old girl today, technology takes up a lot of my time and energy, but over the last two years or so I feel like I’ve grown somewhat addicted to stimulus. I can’t remember the last time I felt bored, as I’m always listening to/reading/watching something, and the feeling of just doing something without distractions has become so uncomfortable to me. This has taken a really big toll on my ability to do the things I’m really passionate about doing, such as writing and making music. Those are pretty much impossible when you can’t do anything without having a youtube video on the background. I’d like a book that would help me fix this problem. I’ve read some books about mindfulness and disconnecting, but they seem very focused on explaining why those things are important and how they’ll improve your life, but I have yet to find something that’ll actually help me to get out of this habit. Looking for something that will actually help me feel comfortable with the quiet again and stop constantly craving distraction, something with actual tips or instructions on how to enjoy slower, less stimulating activities when living in a world where entertainment is a click away. Thank you so much for always giving us amazing recs and hope you can help me with this one!




The Red Abbey Chronicles by Maria Turtschaninoff (TW rape, gender-based violence)

the Kate Daniels series (Magic Bites #1) by Ilona Andrews

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Books About the Immigrant Experience post

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (tw: mention of rape/sexual assault, genocide of indigenous populations, medical experimentation)

North American Lake Monsters by Nathan Ballingrud (Small Beer Press)

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (Quirk)

London Underground series (From Duke Till Dawn #1) by Eva Leigh

Captured by Beverly Jenkins (tw: violence related to slavery, incl. reference to forced breeding)

Sam Wu is Not Afraid series by Katie and Kevin Tsang, illustrated by Nathan Reed

The Last-Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles and Dapo Adeola

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

Falling In Love with Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson (tw: sexual assault)

Indistractable by Nir Eyal

Calm and Headspace apps

Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi