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George Eliot, So Weird

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Amanda and Jenn discuss Civil War reads, diverse middle-grade books, reading slumps, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty and Weregirl & Chimera by C.D. Bell.

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

Bookstore giveaway!



1. Dear Amanda and Jenn,

I am a middle school English teacher and I have a student looking for a book recommendations. She has read To Kill a Mockingbird, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Giver, and Would You Reach Me and enjoyed them all. She seems to like books that tackle serious social issues as well as science fiction. Our school library is a little outdated and doesn’t offer much in the way of books with diverse characters, so I’d like to direct her to something more current and with diverse characters.

Thanks in advance. I love the podcast!


2. Hey Amanda and Jenn!

I’m having baby #3 in December, and I’m looking for books to read on my e-reader during the middle-of-the-night feedings. I somehow missed this reading opportunity with my first baby, but with baby #2 a few years ago I read so much! Including at least one of Ruth Reichl’s memoirs, Molly Wizenberg’s Delancey and Homemade Life, but also a bit of romance, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and some other novels. I’m open to fiction, non-fiction, genre, etc.

The main guidelines are:
*fairly easy reads – no complex character lists and maps, and nothing too literary or high-minded.
*conducive to reading in short bursts – easy to dip in and out of. Nothing so page-turner-y that I’ll stay up even longer. Short chapters or frequent text breaks are a bonus, but not required.
*nothing scary, dark, bloody, gory, etc… i.e. nothing where the jacket says (or could say) “chilling” or “haunting”
*cozy and charming, but not cheesy
*definitely no sick or dying kids/babies/children/moms, or disasters/apocalypses/tragedies
*available as ebook (Kindle)

So, what books can you suggest for me to read in the middle of the night as I nurse my new baby?


3. I am looking for books about the Civil War for my father’s 60th birthday. My mother is taking him on a trip to Gettysburg and I want to give him some books that will go along with his trip. He prefers non-fiction and has already read and enjoyed Killer Angels. I was going to get him a copy of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy – but was hoping that you might have some other great recommendations! Thank you! Love the podcast!


4. Hi,

Next year I am starting a feminist book club called SFF Fems that will read Science Fiction and Fantasy books by female authors only, with an emphasis on marginalised and own voice authors. Do you have any recommendations that would fit this criteria and make for great discussion at a book club meeting?

Thanks so much


5. I’m trying to find books for my eleven year old daughter Cathy to read, but I’m a bit stumped. She’s a voracious reader, and well above a usual eleven year old’s reading level (this, just to be clear, isn’t me being some annoying mom who likes to talk about how special my daughter is. She just happens to be ahead in reading.). She’s read and loved Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and the Percy Jackson novels. She just read my copy of the Mists of Avalon and now has an obsession with arthurian legend. She loves history, and knights, and all that fun stuff, but I’m having a bit of trouble finding books for her.
She’s been reading some adult books on her own, and I’m very lax about what she’s allowed to read and watch (the evidence being that I gave her The Mists of Avalon), and am not concerned about things being “appropriate” for her. We have a very open relationship and she comes to me with questions, we discuss what she’s read, and honestly we are a very liberal family. However I would like to find her some age appropriate books as well, because I think it’s important for her to read about characters her age to relate to. Everything we’ve been looking for together either doesn’t interest her, or she finds condescending. Any ideas? I think some historical fiction would be good, but I just don’t know what to look for.


6. Hi guys! I love the podcast and I’m so glad you’re doing the show weekly now, it’s my Friday treat to listen to you on the bus.

I am in such a reading slump at the moment and I’m really hoping you can help. I had such a good reading year last year but since January, nothing is clicking with me. Could you suggest some books for getting out of a slump? I’m open to any genre, except horror (because I’m a wimp). If it helps, some books that I loved in 2015 were Spinster by Kate Bolick, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, A Fair Fight by Anna Freeman and The Queen of the Tearling.



7. Hello there!

Not sure if you have already answered a question similar to this, but I figured I’d go ahead and ask anyway.

I am a huge fan of The Gilmore Girls, and I was wondering if you guys know of any books that give the same overall feeling as the show. The fast-paced language, the quirky characters and small town feeling, intelligent women, etc. I am open to any and all genres!

Thanks in advance!


Books Discussed

Wolf-speaker (Immortals #2) by Tamora Pierce

Get in Trouble by Kelly Link

Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil

Tijuana Book of the Dead by Luis Alberto Urrea

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue (the review on Book Riot)

The Pioneer Woman by Ree Drummond

Take the Lead by Alexis Daria

The Passing of the Armies by Joshua Chamberlain

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson (rec’d by Ta-Nehisi Coates)

The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

No Good Deed by Kara Connolly

Seeds of America trilogy (Chains #1) by Laurie Halse Anderson

My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead

27 Hours by Tristina Wright

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin