Step Up Your Plant Game

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Amanda and Jenn discuss good books about houseplants, family-focused romance, quirky characters, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by TBR: Book Riot’s service for Tailored Book Recommendations, now available as a gift! and Sourcebooks.

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Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow (rec’d by Eric)

Broken Wings by L-J Baker,  Princess of Dorsa by Eliza Andrews, When Women Were Warriors by Catherine Wilson (the kindle version is free on Amazon!!), and everything Anna Burke has written (rec’d by Wynnde)


1. Since it’s almost June, the Gay Month, today I wanna ask for some LGBT recs! In the past I’ve read The Price of Salt, My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness (RECOMMEND btw!!!), On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Brown, White, Black, The Song of Achilles, and probably others I can’t remember. I already have Ari & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Red, White & Royal Blue, Juliet Takes a Breath, Freshwater, An Unkindness of Ghosts, and It’s a Whole Spiel on my TBR.

It would be great if you could recommend 1 fiction and 1 non-fiction, particularly looking for something by a female or nonbinary author, bonus points if they are NOT from the US/UK (or even Europe) as I’m trying to read about experiences other than my own.


2. COVID-19 Reading Recs: I am a healthcare worker, and this pandemic has been challenging both personally and professionally. My colleagues and I have been working 24/7 to support our community through this difficult time. I am proud to serve my patients, but I am feeling increasingly isolated as this pandemic stretches on. I am in a long distance marriage, and due to travel restrictions in place from my organization, I am not sure when I will be able to see my husband or my family again. I always turn to books in times of crisis, and am having trouble concentrating on my usual genres. What I am hoping for in my reading life is some light fluffy romance with lots of banter, particularly with depictions of strong sibling relationships and/or found families. Some comps would be the Bridgerton series or The Governess Game by Tessa Dare. I know this is a very specific request, and would appreciate any and all recommendations. Thank you so much!


3. Since quarantine started, I’ve been mostly craving mystery/thrillers and lately (after hearing you describe Death by Dumpling), I’ve been wanting to pick up some cozy mysteries! I love that they’re bingeable and that there’s usually tons more in the series.
I think I’m gonna pick 5-10 cozies, read them all and choose my favorite to continue on.
I love the Inspector Gamache series (not really a cozy), Riley Sagar thrillers, I recently loved The Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight, The City We Became by NK Jemisin and the Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. I don’t care to read much historical fiction. I’m always trying to read from a diversity of authors, especially women of color.

What are your fave cozies? And do they need to be read in order?


4. TIME SENSITIVE: I am going on a trip to Charleston and Savannah, and would love some recommendations for books set in either/both of these places. I’ve already read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I am open to any genre and would love anything to get me excited about the upcoming trip! *Also would love any recommendations for independent bookstores in the area, if you know of any!*


5. My 13-year-old daughter and I are starting a mother-daughter book club for the two of us, thanks to our forced-pandemic-togetherness time. Especially with school ending soon, I hope this is a good way to have some structure as well as fun. We are starting with Pet, by Akwaeke Emezi, and I am looking for recommendations for what we should read next. Some of her favorite books are The Westing Game, The War that Saved my Life, and the Percy Jackson books. I read lots of fantasy, mystery, romance, and some literary fiction – recent faves include The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai, CL Polk’s Kingston cycle books, and Gail Carriger’s Soulless series. My daughter requests nothing that would embarrass to her talk about with her mom (a little swearing is ok, but no explicit sex on the page), and neither of us like graphic violence. Thank you for your help!


6. Hi! I love your show! I’ve gotten so many good quirky books with unusual characters or premises…like 1980s high school field hockey team dabbles in witchcraft…or characters like a wyverary (mother was a wyvern, father was a library)…or washed up rock band has to compete in universe-wide battle of the bands to prove that humans are sentient and save the planet? I enjoy most genres, so it’s not limited to fantasy!


7. Hi there! Recently I’ve become interested in house plants, and I’ve absolutely loved reading “How to Houseplant: A Beginner’s Guide to Making and Keeping Plant Friends” by Heather Rodino. I loved the author’s practical tips on finding the right light for your plants, watering, different kinds of soil, and what plant would be best for your space. I’m interested in learning more about plants (both indoor and outdoor) / gardening in general. I’d love to read something else that is along the same lines as “How to Houseplant.” Perhaps a step up from beginner but not quite expert. I’d love to hear any recommendations you might have! Thank you!


Books Discussed

I Don’t Want to Die Poor by Michael Arceneaux

Disoriental by Négar Djavadi, transl. by Tina A. Kover

True Pretenses by Rose Lerner (ownvoices Jewish hero, tw: depictions of anti-Semitism)

The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal & Scoundrel series) by Sarah MacLean

Aunty Lee’s Delights by Ovidia Yu (tw: violent homophobia)

Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzel Hall

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (tw slavery)

Defending Angels by Mary Stanton (rec’d by Caitlin)

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (tw racism, harm to children)

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Wild at Home by Hilton Carter (IG: @hiltoncarter)

Happy Cactus by John Pilbeam

Gardeners’ World with Monty Don