Pioneer LiveJournal

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Amanda and Jenn discuss fascinating nonfiction, plane reads, pioneer adventures, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by our Mystery/Thriller Giveaway, Recommended, and Forged Through Fire by Mark McDonough.

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


The Alpennia series by Heather Rose Jones (rec’d by Jen)

Outline Your NovelStructuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs by K. M. Weilan (rec’d by Victoria)


1. I love when you guys say that a book gave you a case of the “did you knows” — and I love getting them myself! I’m a huge fan of learning new random facts (whether it be in books, movies, or something I read online) and being able to add information to a conversation that someone wouldn’t normally know anything about. I’ve always wanted to be the person in the room that can tell you something about anything! Is there a book that either of you would say that gave you the BIGGEST case of the did you knows? I’m so excited to hear your suggestions.

Thanks so much! I love the show 🙂


2. I work at a local book store and one of our frequent customers, a 21-year-old female college student, came in wanting a recommendation for a realistic fiction with incidental romance and a decently interesting plot. Unfortunately I couldn’t help her find anything in our store, we have a very small selection, and was curious if you had any suggestions that we could order for her. Some other notes about her, she’s very academic and enjoys reading books about academia or bookish characters. She likes books from any time period as long as it feels authentic and realistic. Good luck!


3. Hello! I am a huge fan of your podcast, and am seeking out a recommendation from reading experts like yourselves. I have found myself in somewhat of a reading rut lately, and am having trouble finding the perfect book to keep me fascinated, for I am going on a long trip soon. Reading on planes has always been a struggle for me, because I never seem to get my hands on a book thrilling enough to keep me entertained on long haul flights. I really enjoy books full of mystery, magic, fantasy, love, heartbreak, and characters you wish you could meet in real life. I am also looking for a book with depth and detail to keep my imagination flowing, like playing a movie in my head. I love books with magical illusions, dreams coming to life, or perhaps even a fire breathing dragon to keep things interesting. A story with strong character development is also a must. I love complex and authentic characters who are sure to grab my attention. A few of my favorite reads are:The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, and Vicious by V.E. Schwab. I hope you help me to find a thrilling, romantic, magical book to keep me entertained! Thank you!


4. Ever since you guys talked about The Martian, I’ve been thinking about what it was I loved about it, because it wasn’t quite the same thing you talked about; I’ve landed on “books where there is conflict, action, and life or death stakes but I /don’t/ have to grapple with the problem of human evil”. What I loved about The Martian, and also many of my childhood favorites like Swiss Family Robinson, The Cay, The Hatchet, Z for Zachariah, Invitation To The Game– is people working, alone or together, to survive & build something where circumstance is their primary adversary. Unfortunately, this is a weirdly difficult thing to find in adult literature! A lot of classic man vs nature, like Jon Krakauer and Jack London, can live in my zone but is not very diverse or progressive. On the other hand, I’ve read several books in the last couple years involving teen girls learning to navigate remote and hostile environments where their fathers are evil abusive rapists (My Absolute Darling, The Great Alone, one which I forget the name of but she’s pregnant, the whole books is told in flashbacks, and in the end you find out her dad who kidnapped her is also the father of the baby) and I really do not like that at all.
I would really like to read a book with action! striving! derring-do! problem-solving! optimism! adult complexity and language! a limited number of characters in some kind of physical isolation from the general bulk of society that forces them to think about their surroundings and resources in new and creative ways!
I would strongly prefer no sexual violence at all (Sorry Octavia Butler) and truly minimal reliance on war, injustice, women in unfulfilling marriages, racism, genocide, or imperialism as plot drivers.
Genre is completely open!


5. Hi, I am looking for a book for my partner’s birthday. He isn’t a big reader, and it tends to take either a really great story or something that is super detailed in a field he likes to get him hooked – like the book equivalent of falling down a really niche wikipedia wormhole. Recently he read and loved Amy Shira-Teitel’s Breaking the Chains of Gravity and Tim Cope’s On the Trail of Genghis Khan. He is an engineer who loves fixing up cars, imagining epic adventures (and completing a few of them!), and the science and history of flight and space travel. Thank you!!

6. I’m a professional 31 y/o woman, single & childless… by choice! I’d love to read something (fiction or non) about someone similar to me! Most of the books I read about women my age who are single/childless have some damage or some situation which causes this “issue”! Don’t get me wrong, I love these women & these books! I’m just struggling to find myself in stories lately!


7. Hello! Love your podcast–I’m always so impressed with your recommendations! I’m interested in books with strong female protagonists that are set in the 1800’s pioneer-ish era. As a kid, I devoured the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and the Dear America book “Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie” (let’s be real, I adored ALL of the Dear America books). As an adult, I haven’t really read anything that’s set in this same time period except for “The Hunger” which has a supernatural element that I’m not really looking for (it was good, just not what I’m in the mood for at the moment). Any suggestions you have would be much appreciated! Thank you!



On Immunity by Eula Biss

The Nature Fix by Florence Williams

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Steady Running of the Hour by Justin Go

Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

The Code Book by Simon Singh

No One Tells You This by Glynnis MacNicol (rec’d by Rebecca)

The Magnificent Spinster by May Sarton

I Await the Devil’s Coming by Mary MacLane

To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey