Amanda and Jenn discuss contemporary virgin heroines, dinner book-clubs, autumnal and/or spooky reads, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke (rec’d by Laura)
Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every National Park by Conor Knighton (rec’d by Carol)
For keeping up with favorite authors: Fantastic Fiction (rec’d by Jennifer)
Futhermore by Tahereh Mafi (rec’d by Rachael)
Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt (rec’d by Zara)
1. Looking for a contemporary Romance with a post-college-age virgin heroine, but that’s not weird or gross about it.
2. I’ve gotten into reading romance in the past couple of years, but I have trouble finding romance novels I really like. As someone who’s somewhere on the graysexual spectrum, I’m just not very interested in reading about sexy times. I’m not morally opposed, I just can’t really relate, so when I see a description of a romance that includes the word “steamy”, it’s a pass. But I love romance and emotional connections, and a good Pride and Prejudice 2005 Mr. Darcy hand flex moment.
Any romance recommendations where sexual attraction and sex scenes don’t play a big role? I don’t mind if there’s a bit of sex on the page, as long as it’s not a significant part of the book. Things I like are friends to lovers, pining, and average-looking main characters. Things I don’t like are friends with benefits, casual sex, irresistibly sexy characters, and anything where physical attraction plays a significant role. I’m fine with historical or contemporary, straight or other, just give me some romance!
My favourite romance is Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, and I also tend to like Emily Henry, Beth O’Leary, and Sarah Hogle. Helen Hoang, Julia Quinn, and Jasmine Guillory aren’t really for me.
3. Hi, I belong to an amazing book club that is beginning it’s fifth year this year. We have a great mix of book selections and love that everyone always finishes the book for great discussions. We always pair our book club with a delicious dinner, often based on the book when we can. We read mostly literary fiction and some of our favorite books were A Gentleman in Moscow (Amor Towles), My Brilliant Friend (Elena Ferrante), The Flight Portfolio (Julie Orringer), Homegoing (Yaa Gyasi), and Abigail (Magda Szabo). I am looking for some literary fiction recommendations, old, or new that will encourage a lively discussion to keep our book club going strong. Thank you! Allison
4. Puzzling paranormal mystery!
With October coming up I’d line up some reads for Halloween, but the thing is I’m a big wimp when it comes to horror so I have to get at the spooks from the side. I have a particular sort of read in mind (pretty specific, sorry!)
Largely realistic fiction featuring a mysterious, seemingly paranormal event where the focus is uncovering the history/rules governing its behavior, or where they feature heavily in the resolution. E.g. vampires can only enter if invited, the haunted house brings about a particular set of symptoms in victims, Hellraiser attacks the teen who opens the box, etc.
This shows up a lot in Japanese mystery/horror (The Ring, for instance) but I’d like to keep the creep factor low if possible. Examples I can think of: Another by Yukito Ayatsuji, Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba, The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan.
Thanks for any help!
5. Hello! I love the podcast. Every autumn I find myself wanting to read a specific kind of book. I’m looking for a book set in an apple orchard. Every week from September-Dec I go for a long walk at an apple orchard within an hours drive from my house in Saint Paul, MN. I always wonder about the people who live on and tend the orchard. I dream up mysteries or romantic stories that are apple spiced scented and cozy. I really just want to get lost in a couple of books set in my favorite place in the world: the apple orchard. I’m open to memoirs as long as it’s not tragic— day in the life of a farmer or big city girl buys a farm and learns about the beauty of life is more my speed. And I don’t mind romance or mysteries— again as long as they are cozy. I am a Black woman so anything Black, autumnal, AND set on apple orchard would be amazing. I’m looking for books, not graphic novels (I already own and love Pumpkinheads by Rowell and Hicks.
Another request I have is books for October. I’m looking for books that feature Black witches. Not necessarily Voodoo, but Black women participating in things like Wicca, witchcraft, and the like. My dream would be to find a book like Practical Magic but with Black women.
Thank you so much!
6. I’m looking for books about angry, bitter women who are still sympathetic characters. “We Play Ourselves” was perfect, and now I want more. Any genre, just anything about a woman whose life isn’t going how she wants and she has a bad attitude about it. Thank you!!
7. Hello! Super big fan of the show and just finished a several month marathon of all of the episodes. I am looking for a read alike to The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. I love the fake dating trope and academia setting. Adam is my ideal type (kind of a hard ass but well meaning especially to those he cares for). I also like witty banter, how the friend side characters contribute to the story and how the attraction was portrayed without having a million references to the heroine’s bust. Do you have a recommendation for a read a like? I have previously read the Unhoneymooners and liked it, but it wasn’t a favorite. Really loved Smut by Karina Halle. I linked my goodreads but some of the stuff in the want to read section have already been read. Thank you!
Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey
A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole (cw: emotionally abusive parent)
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
How To Be A Movie Star by TJ Klune
If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha (tw: extreme, violent bullying)
Disoriental by Négar Djavadi, translated by Tina Kover (cw: on-page violence related to war)
Zone One by Colson Whitehead
The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Cordova
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Work For It by Talia Hibbert (rec’d by Jess Pryde, cw: severe depression and mental health issues)
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur (cw: child abuse and domestic violence, racism including use of slurs)
Hold Me by Courtney Milan (tw: mentions of suicide)
Teach Me by Olivia Dade