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Hijinx Along The Way

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Amanda and Jenn discuss Infinite Jest read-alikes, Muslim protagonists, horror, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Book of the Month Club and Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks.

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The show can also be found on Stitcher here.



1. I am trying to expand my perspective by reading more diversely, but my general disinterest in contemporary or literary fiction has been a major snag for me – particularly where African literature is concerned. I have tried to read Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, but really struggled with them and decided to revisit them later. However, I have enjoyed genre fiction that involves African or African-American culture, specifically the works of Nnedi Okorafor and Tananarive Due. Can you give me some recommendations for African or African-American genre fiction? Thanks!


2. I am a convert to Islam and I live in a small farm town in southern Ohio…not exactly to best place to find diversity, so I do not really get to interact with other Muslims. Therefore I turn to books. I’ve been trying to find more books that have Muslim protagonists.

I’ve read The Reluctant Fundamentalist, American Dervish, and The Taqwacores. Beyond those, I’ve not had much luck. Any suggestions (the protagonist can be male or female) would be greatly appreciated!


3. I run a book club which has no theme and includes women of all ages and from all walks of life. Our first choice was A Man Called Ove followed by The Poisonwood Bible and H is for Hawk. We like books that are not brand new so that we can get ahold of copies from the library (yes, we still use the library!) Do you have any recommendations of books that make for great group discussions? Thank you for your suggestions!


4. Hi friends,
I’m sorry to report I am in a serious book rut. I usually average 3 books a week and now I’m lucky if it’s 3 a month. #librarianproblems I know, but I miss getting lost in a great read. I picked up Garden Spells after hearing you rave about it on the show and I think that might be the ticket: undeniably amazing crowd pleasing books that make you say “IT’S SO GOOD” in a rabid voice to everyone you talk to. I read tons of YA, but am not so into nonfiction. However, any and all genre fiction (for all ages) is welcome. Love the show and looking forward to your recs!


5. Hey! My girlfriend read Infinite Jest last year, and she loved it. Since then, she has read everything that DFW ever wrote. Now, she’s sad because she can’t find anything that measures up. She tried Pynchon and Delillo, but neither of them really did it for her. Do you have any recommendations for someone who loves Infinite Jest? Thanks!


6. Hi!

I really enjoy horror but have never found anything that really scares me. I would prefer horror that is more in the vein of American Horror Story than Lovecraft. I like the horror that is just on this side of being real. And very very scary.

–Sammie Paige


7. Hello! I love your show and hearing about the new books you recommend. I’ve been going back and listening to some of your older shows, but I didn’t see anything that specifically relates to books about or related to feminism. So, that’s my question, I think I’ve always been a feminist of some sort, but it seems to have peaked. I’ve never read any books specifically related to this topic, but I’m ready to dig a bit deeper. Can you recommend books to me as a sort of introduction to feminism? They can be fiction or non-fiction. I already have Bad Feminist, but I haven’t read it yet. I am looking forward to your recommendations! Thanks!



Books Discussed

Pre-Hispanic fiction by Spanish-speaking authors: The Heart of Jade by Salvador de Madariaga

For Jennie, who wanted fish out of water stories set in Paris: Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin and French Milk by Lucy Knisley

For Sarah, who wants to introduce her Lonesome Dove-loving brother to more diverse books: The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, Old Filth by Jane Gardam, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Stargate by Pauline Gedge

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robbin Brown

The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson (Trigger warning: family abuse)

Nalo Hopkinson

The Kindness of Enemies by Leila Aboulela

Salaam Reads

G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen, The Butterfly Mosque, Ms Marvel)

Hammer Head by Nina McLaughlin

The Wangs Vs. The World by Jade Chang

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Kreuger

The Residue Years by Mitchell S. Jackson

The Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan, transl. by Yuri Machkasov

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, translated by Nancy Forest-Flier

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes (Trigger warning for violence towards children)

Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World by Kelly Jensen

The Feminist Utopia Project edited by Alexandra Brodsky and Rachel Kauder Nalebuff