Amanda and Jenn discuss funny book club picks, audiobooks in translation, historical fiction, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.
1. Hey Amanda and Jenn!!
Long time listener first time requester! Looking for a book to recommend for my book club. Traditionally we just draw from a book jar of other recommendations that we’ve done and let the Fates decide but for the last four months we’ve had a member pick three books and we picked from there. Well we’ve read a lot of ‘serious’ books in that time which included Circe, The Outsiders, and Big Red Tequila (which while not as heavy as the others still was a crime thriller so the humor wasn’t all that heavy). The current pick is All the Light We Cannot See which sounds great but again will be heavy and serious. So I think we’re going to need a bit of a humor break.
We have read our fair share of that such as Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and How to Make White People laugh so books in that vein will work. Most of us do ‘book on a budget’ though so backlists are great as well. It is a bit time sensitive as I will need a suggestion by the beginning of June so thanks for any advice you can give!
2. I love your podcast and so appreciated (and utilized!) the recommendations you gave me a few months ago when I traveled to France. I am in a bit of a reading rut right now and would love some help. Lately I have mostly just been reading romance, fantasy, or young adult and want to mix it up but don’t know where to begin. I love anti-heroes, fast-moving plots, realistic relationships between characters, and a healthy smattering of jokes. I try very hard to only read books by women and/or people of color, so if you could recommend something that sticks to that, it would be deeply appreciated. Thank you!
3. I’m a grad student in experimental psychology, so I read a lot of scientific papers and books. When I relax, I love to read light and easy YA Fiction, but I also love books that have some depth to them. I am one of those people who never got over Harry Potter, since it is easy for me to read but there are always new little details to discover. I also read and enjoyed The Hunger Games, Divergent, the Uglies series, etc., but none of them quite stood up to Harry Potter for me. However, I’ve recently found the Books of Babel series by Josiah Bancroft and absolutely fell in love with them. I have also been voraciously reading everything by Maureen Johnson (thanks to one of your recommendations). While I’m loving the Maureen Johnson stuff, I prefer things like the Books of Babel that have a little more sociological and psychological depth to them. I also love books like 1984 and Invisible Man (the one by Ralph Ellison), but I don’t have the mental energy to devote to books that are too heavy. For me, Josiah Bancroft hit the perfect balance of ease and depth. What would you recommend? Thank you!
4. Hi there! I’ll be travelling to Vienna and Stockholm for the first time in July to visit some friends. I’ve never been, so I’m hoping you could recommend some books set in these cities that have a strong sense of place, where the city itself is a character. I’m open to most genres except horror (I’m a scaredy cat of the highest order) and am generally a reluctant YA reader; I also haven’t been able to muster up any interest in Stieg Larsson’s books but if you tell me they fit the bill, I will be game to give it a go. Thank you so much in advance!
5. After going through several life changes I am finding myself questioning everyone I used to be so sure of. Religion, politics, family and relationships… I’m changing my mind and beliefs on all of them. This is very unsettling to say the least! Do you have any recommendations for me? Perhaps memoirs of people who have walked through this particularly confusing path? (No fiction, please.)
6. Hi! I’m an English teacher and I read so much with my kids at school, that I’ve lost touch with reading for fun recently, instead numbing my brain with Netflix as soon as I get home. I’d love to find a book or two that gets me excited again.
A few of my favorite books are The Phantom Tollbooth, The Little Prince, Don Quixote, and The Magic Mountain. I also love the dark, sardonic wit of Dorothy Parker. I’m currently enjoying The Lonesome Bodybuilder. (I have a very detailed GoodReads profile, so that might give some clues, too…)
I’d prefer adult fiction or middle grade. I’m not anti-YA, but I spend enough time with angst-riddled teens at work, that I’d like something different at home.
7. Hi Ladies!
Books in translation is a long-standing hole in my reading. I was hoping for some recommendations for good audiobooks in translation.
I read all over the place and don’t have a specific genre in mind.
I love genre fiction and nonfiction: some recent favorite listens are Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, Stiff by Mary Roach, Circe by Madeline Miller, and Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw. A queer angle is a huge plus, but not required! Thank you!
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
The Storm Runner by JC Cervantes
Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
The Black God’s Drums by P. Djeli Clark
The Serious Game by Hjalmar Soderberg, trans by Eva Claeson
Sisi series (The Accidental Empress #1) by Allison Pataki
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman
Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, trans Ann Goldstein
We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen