Episode 207

The Holiday Show

Amanda and Jenn give book recommendations for holiday gift-giving.

This episode is sponsored by TBR, The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali, a heart-rending story of family, love, and fate, available from Gallery Books, and TALION PUBLISHING LLC, publishers of the thrilling Talion Series by J.K. Franko.

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Manazuru and The Briefcase by Hiromi Kawakami (rec’d by Cari and Brooke)

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa(rec’d by Cari)

Anything by Haruki Murakami (rec’d by Cari)

The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami (rec’d by Brooke)

Questions

1. My boyfriend says that he is inspired by my quest to read more books in 2019 and wants to follow suit next year. However, he has no idea where to begin. I was hoping to get him some Christmas gifts that could point him in the right direction. I know he likes fantasy and graphic novels, specifically The Adventure Zone and anything Marvel. He’s also a very philosophical mind and loves to read really complicated books about existence and consciousness. Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks so much!
-Emily

2. Hello! I’m looking for a book for my brother for Christmas! Maybe a comedy mystery? To give you an idea of his style – He likes Terry Pratchett but not Neil Gaiman. He enjoyed the Rivers of London Series and The Bartimaeus Trilogy. He likes authors such as Chris Riddell, Trenton Lee Stewart, Marie Brennan and Scott Westerfeld. It’s been difficult to find something that lines up with his particular brand of dry humour without it going too far and becoming cliché or eye-rolling (e.g. Genevieve Cogman or early Jasper Fforde). Any help would be much appreciated!

-Danielle

3. I’m wanting to get my mom a book for Christmas this year and was not sure how close to the time you want a time sensitive marking, but thought better safe than sorry. My mom’s absolute favorite book series is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and she enjoys historical romances. She really likes fantasy like Lord of the Rings and is a major Star Wars fan, although she generally doesn’t read sci fi. Love the podcast and can’t wait to see what you wonderful people come up with.

-Stephanie

4. Every year, from December 1st to 25th I go into full Christmas mode. All my free time goes into Christmas activities, and I only want to read holiday books. It’s silly, I know, but I just like it. It’s not a religious thing for me and I am open to other mid winter holiday tradition stories. I usually reread Christmas passages from novels i’ve marked in the past (I.e., Little House on Prairie Christmas chapters or the Christmas tree story from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) or end up reading tons of picture books and short stories because that’s what i’ve found easily, but I’d like a novel or two this year. I love historical fiction, middle grade, literary fiction, ya. Do you have any recs for me for December?

-Reading Around the Christmas Tree

5. Ok, so my cousin is turning 15 in January and she loves to read. My plan for her Christmas present this year is getting her different books about growing up, mental health and other topics relevant for starting high school and starting to plan for the future. She loves the Harry Potter series (surprise, surprise), the geek girl series, Divergent series and other fantasy or dystopian books. She isn’t really into heavy romances but doesn’t mind some. I’ve already thought of giving her If you come softly by Jacqueline Woodson

-Hanna

6. Hey bookish friends!
For the Christmas holidays I will be traveling with my boyfriend to stay with his mother in Barcelona. This will be my first international trip. While I am trying to keep my expectations low, I think it could be fun to read a novel that takes place in Spain, maybe even Barcelona. We will be traveling to nearby cities, but staying in Barcelona. Do you have any recommendations for novels that take place preferably in modern Spain with a female protagonist? When I try looking up novels all I find are older historical fictions written by men. Any help is much appreciated.
Thanks a bunch!
-Barcelona Bookish Adventures

Books Discussed

How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

Turbulence & Resistance by Samit Basu

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

The Loyal League series (An Extraordinary Union #1) by Alyssa Cole

City of Brass (Daevabad Trilogy) by S.A. Chakraborty

If the Fates Allow, edited by Annie Harper

The Lotterys More or Less by Emma Donoghue (rec’d by Tirzah)

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy, edited by Kelly Jensen

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Dog Day by Alicia Gimenez Bartlett, translated by Nicholas Caistor (tw animal abuse)

The Time in Between by Maria Dueñas, transl. by Daniel Hahn