Amanda and Jenn discuss cozy reads, morally complicated characters, small-town stories, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.
Maid by Stephanie Land (rec’d by Jessica from Insiders)
Eat Yourself Calm by Gill Paul (rec’d by Morgan)
1. It’s almost my brother’s birthday. He’s finishing up the Dune series and he really likes the dynamic of a villain who has to do good in order to ultimately do evil. He’s looking for more books with this concept or vice versa (good guy doing bad to do good). I’m a former bookseller myself, but I’ve got nothing. He’s also a linguist, if that helps. I realize this is super specific, but I’m really hoping you guys can help me be the best sister for his birthday.
Please no YA or romance. I’ve linked his goodreads so you can see what he normally reads. Thank you!
2. Hi! I’m looking for literary fiction audiobooks that are so engrossing they’ll help me forget, say, that I’m doing household chores or facing a stressful day at work. The books that have fit this bill for me in the past are: The Nix, The Changeling, The Miniaturist, Swing Time, The Circle, and Rebecca.
Under 12 hours
No graphic sex scenes
Light to no cursing
Thank you for your podcast!!
3. I really love small town stories and I have been searching for one to really grab my attention. I prefer something darker and more serious in tone. I love books like Beartown or J.K. Rowling’s A Casual Vacancy where a close knit community gets unraveled by an event. I prefer books that don’t focus on a single character, but rather explore relationships and different perspectives within a small community. I have Little Fires Everywhere on my TBR but I would love more recommendations for small town stories.
I’ve discovered that I have a curious but extremely distinct affinity for non-fiction books that cover broad history through a narrow lens. I feel like I’m struggling to describe exactly what type of books I mean, but when you hear some titles, you’ll get it. Examples that I’ve loved in the past are Tom Standage’s “History of the World in 6 glasses” and “An Edible History of Humanity”; “At Home” by Bill Bryson; “Consider the Fork” by Bee Wilson, and most works by Mary Roach and Simon Garfield.
I love love love reading about history, but I’ve never been a huge fan of biography/autobiography or books that dive too deep into a single event. I guess I love the big picture/global view (most bang for my buck, maybe?), but with a fun and unique thread tying history together in a way I had never considered before.
Looking forward to your suggestions! Thanks so much!
5. Hi! I’m a big fan of your podcast and have had submitted questions before, your recommendations are always great. I am a middle school teacher and I have recently started a Dungeons and Dragons club at my school, and the response has been overwhelming. I expected 8-10 kids to sign up but I actually had over 30! As we begin to play D&D and other RPGs, I’d love to be able to have an “inspiration library” stocked with fantasy/adventure books. Obviously, I need titles from Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, and JK Rowling but I would love to include books with strong female and minority protagonists. I want my new club to be inclusive to everyone and my goal is to provide something for everyone.
You always say to mention if you’re under time constraints so while I hope the club lasts for a long while, I’d like to start compiling my library soon. Any recommendations you could provide would be appreciated.
Thanks so much!
6. A peculiar request: I am especially fond of books where humans are aided by talking cats. Neil Gaiman’s Coraline is a good example, as are many of the Tortall books by Tamora Pierce. I would love suggestions for other books with human-cat partnerships. Thank you!
-Crazy Cat Lady
7. Cozy nothings?
It could be the weather or just the year, but I’ve been enjoying “nothing of contention happens” books recently.
My go to series for this is The Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun which is set in a fictional small town and focuses primarily on the day to day life of people there (technically it’s a cozy mystery, but the mystery is pretty minimal). Other examples would be Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, Agatha Christie (before the murder kicks in) and the Mitford series.
Contemporary or classical, adult lit series preferred, and bonus points if they’re on audio.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
Insurrecto by Gina Apostol
VE Schwab’s Shades of Magic series (A Darker Shade of Magic)
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson (tw: institutionalized homophobia, torture)
The Wanderers by Meg Howrey
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard
How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill
Pandemic by Sonia Shah
Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel José Older
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
Sabriel by Garth Nix
100 Books with Cats post
Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris
Flavia De Luce series by Alan Bradley (#1: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie)
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney (rec’d by Jeff)