Hard Boiled Cookbooks

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We’re talking hard boiled detective stories, cookbooks, West Wing read-a-likes, and more! This episode is sponsored by Book Riot Live and the Book Riot Store.


1. My husband loves hard boiled detective books. Some of his favorites include Richard Stark and Lawrence Block (Scudder). He also enjoys Ken Bruen, James Lee Burke, Ed McBain and Robert B. Parker along with some of the more popular authors. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Looking forward to the new podcast.


2. Not sure if this is something you’ll be doing anytime soon, but I’m looking for some cookbooks. I’m a new wife and I’m not really sure where to start when it comes to trying out cookbooks and new recipes.

My husband and I are tired of the same old things we’ve been making the past few months. We don’t really have any specific diet restrictions. We don’t eat much red meat and we try to eat healthy (at least a little). Not sure if that information is helpful, but I figured I’d include it.

I really appreciate any recommendations you or one of your experts can offer. Thanks, Amanda! I’m really loving this show!


3.  Hello!

I am part of a book club that has two selections per month. Members can read one of the books or both. I am looking for a pair of books–one fiction, one nonfiction–that have a similar theme. We are pretty open to genre, although I personally would prefer to not have a war-based book, especially not one of the world wars (too much of that lately), nor a sports book.

I personally love a bit of magic / magic realism, feminism, stories that involve a journey, and generational tales.

Some of my recent faves are Middlesex, American Gods, Men Explain Things To Me, The Signature of All Things, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Boy Snow Bird, Like Water For Chocolate, and Night Circus. Bonus if the audio version rocks.


4. Hello!

I have so many questions but I will focus on one theme. I started binge watching the West Wing and I am so hooked! I am in love with Charlie and Josh and all of the sarcasm. This caused me to start watching Scandal, and any other political show I can get my hands on. SO do you have any West Wing-y book recommendations. That would be great!

Thank you!


5. Hello Amanda and friend,

Enjoying the podcast greatly.

Hoping you can help out with some recommendations for my little cousin, books or comics. She turned 8 in October and loves reading, she is a very emotional child and is very much a nurturer/caregiver. She loves animals but gets easily distressed with upsetting stories. She cried for weeks about the bird smuggling industry after watching RIO. She really enjoys adventure themed books but a lot of the books she reads are from second hand stores and therefor a lot of the main protagonists are boys as they are usually older books. Her parents and I would like her to read some stories with female characters or at least a fair mix. We live in a very multicultural and liberal city so no issue with books being about different ethnicities or LGBT characters etc, as she is already exposed to this anyway.

I recently introduced her to Coraline which she enjoyed but I am falling a bit short as she is a little bit too young for Ms Marvel or anything else I can think of. I am not sure I want to take the risk of the Charlotte’s Web yet…

Thanks for the show!


6. Hello lovely Amanda!

I am a 20-something lady professional feeling stuck and uninspired in my current job. I’m fishing for new opportunities, but in the meantime, I’d love to read anything with an awesome adventure. I find myself fantasizing about going on a grand quest often, and I’d love to know what your recommendations are to scratch this itch and get me through my work day. Both nonfiction and fiction are very, very welcome!

Thanks so much! 🙂




Books Discussed

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

Smaller and Smaller Circles by FH Batacan

Hex by Maggie Estep

The Vaults by Toby Ball

Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman

Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

Empire of Blue Water by Stephan Talty

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Into the Wild by John Krakauer

The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin

The Anthropology of Turquoise by Ellen Meloy

Radiance by Catherynne Valente

Space Chronicles by Neil Degrasse Tyson

Political campaign novels post: /genre-kryptonite-political-campaign-novels/

Primary Colors by Anonymous

The Children of Men by PD James

Lumberjanes by Grace Ellis and Noelle Stevenson et al

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente

Hildafolk series by Luke Pearson

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Contents May Have Shifted by Pam Houston

On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee

The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne

Treasure Island!!! by Sara Levine