Amanda and Jenn recommend excellent biographies, books for those who have lost a dog, and more on this week’s Get Booked!
Need a book recommendation? Fill out the form at the bottom of the post, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help!
1. I’m really hoping you can help scratch this itch I have that hasn’t been scratched in awhile. I am a science/nature geek. My favorite book of all times is Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer. I love the sciencey nature aspects of it–learning about different creatures and ecosystems, and honestly I think the book lead me out of my shell and eventually to my husband–the strong, independent women helped with that too. I also love the interwoven stories from several points of view. I’d really love some other books that bring stories to and from nature. Other books that hit some of the science or nature itch that I’ve loved include: The Signature of All Things, The Martian, Suburban Safari, and everything Mary Roach.
2. I’m asking for a friend. She is currently reading any biography she can get her hands on; from Hollywood legends to English writers to Russian leaders and royalty. Please recommend some “not to be missed” biographies. Thank you!
3. I’ve made it my 2016 reading goal to finally get through the 40+ books that I already own but haven’t read yet. A lot of these are pretty heavy reads – Atlas Shrugged, Catch-22, Native Speaker, Midnight’s Children. For every 1 to 2 books I get through on that list, I was hoping to reward myself with an engrossing, page turning book in a trilogy or series. The only thing is that whenever I do a google search for book suggestions for series or page turners, I’m always directed towards fantasy/science fiction and mysteries, respectively. I’m not against reading anything in those genres but I’m hoping for some engrossing series suggestions that are not in either of those two categories – something with great characters, interesting plots – basically, a world that I can’t wait to get back to when I get a break from my real life.
4. My brother’s girlfriend had a baby (my nephew) about a year ago and she’s struggling with post partum depression along with some other serious pre-existing issues. I live far away and have only met her a couple times. While I like her a lot, I don’t know her well and can’t provide much support from here. However, I got her for Christmas “Hyperbole and a Half” by Allie Brosch and she recently read it and it made her day. She told me she hadn’t laughed so hard in a while and really perked up in our subsequent conversations. She loves to read and has pretty broad tastes, but during times of depression like this it appears she doesn’t go looking for new things to read. I’m looking for books I can send her that could give her some moments of happiness during her struggles right now. Nothing preachy, advicy, how-to or “feel good” just something light and fun with the right kind of tone that could help someone who is down feel better for a moment. I know I can’t fix her, but sending a book lover a new book never hurt.
5. I’m writing in for any recommendations for myself and my brother as we’re currently trying to work through mourning the sudden loss of our beloved dog, Izzy. He had been with us for eight years and the both of us, having never experienced losing anyone, are kind of at a loss. I’m not sure what exactly I’m looking for but I was wondering if there’s anything that validates our grief as Izzy was much more than simply a pet. Any fiction or non-fiction is welcome. Thank you so much!
6. I’m hoping you can help me! Every year my godmother gives me books for my birthday and Christmas, and I feel like now that I’m (technically) an adult, it’s long past time for me to get her a gift in return. Her birthday is at the end of April and I want to get her a couple of books but I’m stuck on what books to get.
She usually gives me books she’s enjoyed herself and in the past she’s given me Stoner by John Williams, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, Burial Rites by Hannah Kent and a couple of Alice Munro collections. As far as I can tell her taste is mostly literary fiction and she seems to keep pretty up to date with new releases so if you have any frontlist or recent-ish recommendations, that would be amazing!
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Pandemic by Sonia Shah
anything by Annie Dillard
The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James
Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
John Adams by David McCullough
The Black Count by Tom Reiss
Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World edited by Mark Collings
Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead series
Neapolitann series by Elena Ferrante trans Ann Goldstein
Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis Trilogy Trilogy (Sea of Poppies is #1)
Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin (Master & Commander is #1)
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Agorafabulous!! by Sara Benincasa
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Mark Doty’s Dog Years (rec’d by Rebecca Hussey)
Merle’s Door by Ted Kerasote
A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan
The Turner House by Angela Flournoy
Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton, recommended by Liberty Hardy