Extremely Holiday Brain

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Amanda and Jenn give more holiday gift recommendations in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by the Book Riot Read Harder Journal and our True Story giveaway.

Subscribe to the podcast via RSS here, or via Apple Podcasts here.
The show can also be found on Stitcher here.


Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

Land of Burning Heat by Judith van Gieson

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Euphoria by Lily King



1. I am looking for a book to put me in a better mood.
This Christmas will mark the one year anniversary of my sisters death, the doctors don’t expect my dad to make it to New Years, and I told a boy I loved him only to have him totally ghost on me. Also I bought a house and my best friend roommate is a great friend and a less great roommate.

I read all the time. But I am stumped on what might cheer me up. I’m a pretty dedicated listener to all the book riot podcasts so if you recommend already and I thought I’d like it, I’ve probably already read it (ie Queen of the Night/ Sorcerer to the Crown).

I like a lot of things, but mostly fantasy/ magical realism. Really into the American And French Revolution. (I already have Little on my TBR) Favorite authors include Neil Gaiman, Alice Hoffman, nk jemisin, Kelly Link and Cathryn Valente. Also true crime. Sci fi if it’s in the vein of Becky Chambers and Douglas Adams. I am obsessed with the Night Circus. I love Buffy and doctor who and game of thrones.

Nothing with sad old people, surprise brain cancer (ie Storied life of AJ Fikry) or quirky beta males. I read ya, not so much romance, but who even knows anymore!


2. I need a new author. A few of my favorite books include Ocean at the End of the Lane, Museum of Extraordinary Things, and Remarkable Creatures. I like unusual history or science, and interesting characters. Nothing too romance-y, or too magical.



3. Hello! I’m a prolific reader of mysteries, cozies, thrillers, true crime, and more, but the genre I want to explore more is graphic novels. I’m currently reading Sheets by Brenna Thummler, and I’m enjoying it a lot. I’ve read Fun Home, Maus, Persepolis, and Embroideries. I’m not into superheroes or any manga, and I’m open to some YA but prefer adult stories.

I’d love a response before Christmas if possible, so I know what books to tell my family I want.

Thank you!


4. Hey Amanda and Jenn,

this is Lizzy from Munich. I am writing this email to surprise a friend who read „All the birds singing“ from Evie Wylde and is dealing with withdrawal symptoms ever since – as you have recommended it before, I am sure you can relate 🙂

I read the book as well as per her recommendation and I think what she liked about it particularly was the intricate prose, the heartbreaking plot itself, but most of all the intelligent way the story is woven – she generally loves novels with a structure the intertwines past and present. Other favorites of hers are the Goldfinch, A little life, When women were birds and she also really likes Haruki Murakami.

Can you recommend something that will fill the hole in her heart? This will be the perfect Christmas gift for this year. Thank you so much in advance 🙂

Keep up the good work and warmest greetings from Germany,


5. This year for Christmas I’m trying to buy a book for each family member. But am stuck on my FIL! Last year he requested Brene Brown’s ‘rising strong’ book. And on his shelf is Strengths Finder 2.0. He reads a lot of ‘The Economist’ and enjoys non fiction most. But I am so stuck on what to get him. Any recommendations?


6. Hi guys! Thank you for all you do!! One the last books I need for this year’s Book Riot Read Harder challenge is a romance by a person of color. My trouble is that I am so, so tired of many common romance tropes. I understand why they’re popular, but I’m just burned out on them. This includes love triangles, mysterious and/or brooding men, and characters who hate each other but then fall in love. I’d really love one where the leads are just two competent people living their lives and facing down the plot, and their relationship starts as friends or colleagues before it becomes romantic. I also prefer sci-fi and fantasy, which really narrows the field. Help!
–Tired of the Tropes


7. Hi Jenn and Amanda,

If possible, could I get a rec by mid-December, so I can buy this book as a Christmas present?

My brother just rediscovered reading and has been flying through a bunch of political nonfiction (scary times). He just visited the Imperial War Rooms and Bunker in London and lovedddddd everything about the museum, so I want to get him a book on Churchill. There are so many biographies on Churchill that I didn’t really know where to start, but I’ve heard Amanda talk about a few Churchill books before (love the podcast; I’ve listened to every episode and you’ve introduced me–and my TBR–to so many good books) so I thought you might have some ideas. I’m not looking for a book written by Churchill, but maybe a biography of him or a historical book about the war years or his general service in the British government?

Thanks so much for your help! And from a former bookseller who knows how hard it is to find the books people are looking for, can I just say that you ladies are doing the Lord’s work?



Books Discussed

Guidebook to Relative Strangers by Camille T Dungy (Persist Instagram book club)

The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White (tw: child abuse)

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Eternal Life by Dara Horn

Frida Kahlo: an Illustrated Life by Maria Hesse, Achy Obejas

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui (rec’d by Christine Ro)

Comics About Refugee Experiences post

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride (tw: assault, self-harm, suicide)

When by Daniel Pink

Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi

Toxic by Lydia Kang

The Undoing (The Call of Crows #2) by Shelly Laurenston

Winston’s War by Max Hastings

Stalingrad by Antony Beevor