Complicated Feelings About Bees

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Amanda and Jenn discuss political nonfiction, twin stories, nonbinary reads, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Book Riot and The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai.

Subscribe to the podcast via RSS, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.


Chloe Poems’s Li’l Book O’ Manchester (rec’d by Arlene)

The Night Brother by Rosie Garland (rec’d by Arlene)

Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North by Stuart Maconie (rec’d by Arlene)


1. I love books that take a look inside a certain industry. I’ve read Deep Sea and Foreign going about commercial shipping and Flower Confidential about the cut flower industry recently. I’ve previously read books about the funeral trade and restaurant/food industry. So I’m looking for more! Preferably ones that are about things that don’t immediately spring to mind. Thanks in advance.


2. Fun, Light, Realistic YA – Not too fantastical or sci-fi. I’m looking for recommendations for my teenage daughters, ages 15 and 16 and I’m stumped. It seems we keep finding books with material that is too young for them too dark and serious. They have liked “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”, “When Dimple Met Rishi” and the “Selection” series. They would love realistic fiction that isn’t teen romance but we are having a hard time finding anything fun that isn’t childish.

3. I recently came out as nonbinary after several years of being out as queer/bi. I am looking for a book with queer or nonbinary characters, though that certainly doesn’t need to be the focus of the book. I would just like to see more of myself represented in the things I read, and I knew you two would do a fantastic job! I like a little bit of everything, and I don’t shy away from YA or children’s books (Jessica Love’s Julian is a Mermaid is what inspired me to come out as nonbinary!). I would just say no religious books, please, and bonus points if the book is written by a queer or nonbinary author. Side note – thank you for this beautiful podcast! I have found so many books because of it, and I just adore you two.


4. Hello Readerlicious Rock Stars!

First off, you folks are super awesome and I adore listening to your show. My identical twin sister and I love reading about twins and I’d love some twin-ish recommendations from you all for us to read together.

Some things to consider:
1) We’re open to any genre (other than horror) or reading level (middle grade and beyond).
2) Plots surrounding twins tend to be dark for some reason. Or, at least that seems to be the case with most twin books I’ve come across. A focus on fun/upbeat/kickass/bright/optimistic would be great. Please, no tragic death of one of the twins. That would be way too much of a bummer.
3) We’d love it if you could recommend some reads that don’t involve the typical good twin/bad twin trope. As twins who are constantly facing the ridiculous tendency for folks to categorize us/twins in that kind of binary way, it’d be great to read something that doesn’t do the same. How about BOTH twins being bright lights in the world?
4) Along the same lines as no twin death, I’m not a fan of any book that delves into serious abuse or tragic death of kids. As a mom of two cuties, it’s way too hard for me to read about kids and dark, tragic circumstances; i.e. abduction, murder, rape, etc.
5) We’re huge fans of strong, fabulous, outrageous, potentially super power grrls who kick ass. Characters who overcome hardship and beat a crappy system are definitely ones we’d love to root for.

Thank you!

5. Hello! I love your podcast! I am looking for a personal recommendation. Every so often I come upon a book or movie that broadens my mind and my heart. These books and movies usually have unconventional characters who become unlikely heroes. Strong character development, authenticity, and complexity are all fabulous, and magical realism is a bonus. Some of my favorites have in this genre have been The Seventh Gate by Richard Zimler, Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, Mink River by Brian Doyle, Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. I would love another one to devour and fall in love with. Thank you for your help 🙂

6. Hi Ladies, Thanks for always putting up a great show! I often pretend y’all are my girlfriends who are talking to me about books. 😉 This is my first time putting in a request, but it’s one that I’ve been wanting to submit for quite some time now. As an avid reader, I want nothing more than to read a book with my non-reader husband. My dream may soon be realized because he just asked me for some recommendations on books about politics. He reads a bunch of articles every day about politics (and sports) online, but is now ready to graduate to books! Do you have any book recommendations about U.S. politics that reads like fiction and are interesting enough to capture the attention of a non-reader? It can be about the current political climate or anything in the past as well. I can’t provide any books he’s liked since he’s a non-reader, but he does read a ton of articles and forums on reddit. I’m hoping this is enough info for you guys to go on, because I’m definitely lost on this one. THANK YOU!!

7. Hi,
Recently both me and my sister have got into the slightly niche genre of eastern Asian authors writing about/from the point of view of animals. The includes books like The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide, anything by Seonmi Hwang, The memoirs of a polar bear by Yoko Tawada and the travelling cat chronicles by Hiro Arikawa. I would like to get my sister another book of this kind but I’m running out of ideas and was wondering if you would be able to help? It doesn’t really matter where the authors are from its just the style that we enjoy although extra brownie points if they aren’t British/American as we read so many of these anyway!
Thanks love the show!

Books Discussed

The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú

Fire Season by Philip Connors

Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi (TW: sexual assault)

The Tensorate series by JY Yang (Red Threads of Fortune #2)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Slayer by Kiersten White (some mentions of parental abuse)

America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder

What Truth Sounds Like by Michael Eric Dyson

The Bees by Laline Paull

Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis (tw: harm to animals)

The Bugs of Literature: A Flowchart