Holiday Episode, AKA Unintentional Husbands and Chocolate

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Amanda and Jenn answer holiday gift requests in this week’s episode of Get Booked!

This episode is sponsored by Penguin Random House Audio and Book Riot Insiders.

Subscribe to the podcast via RSS here, or via Apple Podcasts here.
The show can also be found on Stitcher here.




1. Hello,

I’m looking for a book recommendation for my friend. She has been going through complicated, heartbreaking separation and has had a tough few years. She’s always been an avid reader and recently mentioned to me that she thinks she’d like to read a sweet, hopeful love story. I really want to find her something like this for Christmas.

Originally I suggested When Dimple Met Rishi and the Kiss Quotient to her, but she’s older than I am and I don’t know how much she would enjoy YA, and I don’t think she’d go for a true romance novel. One of her favourite books is Practical Magic, she also loves Kate Morton books, historical fiction and classics.

Please could you suggest a heartwarming love story for my friend, bonus points for historical fiction or witches.



2. Hi! I absolutely love your podcast, as well as all the other Bookriot podcasts! For holiday presents this year I am gifting basically everyone in my family with books, as we are a family of avid readers. I’m pretty good with picking out books for everyone, except my brother. Lately we have also gotten in some heated debates regarding feminism. I was hoping you could give some suggestions for a non fiction book that addresses feminism and is backed by lots of cold hard facts, in a not too aggressive way if possible. I am hoping a book will get him to open his mind more to the struggles still facing women. Any feedback is appreciated, thanks again!



3. I’m planning a trip to Egypt this Christmas (2018) to get my fill of the sites there. Can you recommend some books, both fiction and non, that will help whet my appetite for my trips? I’m open to all stages of Egyptian history. I have already read the whole Elizabeth Peters ‘Amelia Peabody’ mysteries a couple of times and loved them. I would prefer to avoid dry boring histories and accounts for something a bit engaging especially as I tend to read to relax and don’t want to have to think too much. Bonus points for anything easily available by ebook or audiobook as I live in a country where libraries and bookstores with English books are limited in selection.


4. Dear Amanda and Jenn

I heard your nudge on your last episode to get Christmas recommendations in ASAP and I was spurred into action, especially as I have a two-fer if possible.

The first is for a friend of mine. He asked me to find some book ideas to give to his sister for Christmas. She likes ‘books where women move to Cornwall or wherever and open a bakery or something and maybe fall in love’. She has read everything by: Lucy diamond, Jenny Colgan and Cathy Bramley
He wants to find her something new, possibly someone with a big catalogue of books for her to keep reading if she likes it.

The second is for me.
Last year you recommended ‘Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe’, I think in your Jane Austen episode, and it was the last book I read in 2017. I LOVED it and it was the perfect light end-of-Christmas read. It was my first Christmas contemporary romance and I’m hoping you can find me another. Jane Austen connection welcome but not necessary. I normally read regency romances so that’s fine too, just something light and Christmassy to close off my year. Just FYI I hated Austenland.

I’m in England so UK availability is a must for both.

Thanks so much!



5. Hi! in Ep. 147 you recommended “River of Teeth” by Sarah Gailey which I bought for my boyfriend– immediately– like as I was listening to the show because he loves Hippos. Idk, it’s a childhood thing that has morphed into an adult thing.

Anyhow, he’s obsessed with the book, he’s almost finished. I actually bought “American Hippo”, so he could read the whole series & stories. He can’t stop talking about it! This makes me so happy!

For Christmas, we are getting each other a book and chocolate instead of traditional gifts. I’m nervous because I hit it so out of the park on this book that any other book may be a let down. Can you help recommend another fun, romp of a book? It doesn’t have to have hippos, lol.

He’s into Thrillers, Adventures, Fantasy (but while he watches High Fantasy, I’ve never seen him read it), Sci-fi. He loves Neil Gaiman and Murakami. He mainly gravitates towards shorter books & graphic novels.

If you could recommend by early December that would be great! I really appreciate it.

PS. Also, I LOVE your show because I always find the best recs for me/friends/family. In a sidebar, I sent my bff “The Book of the Unnamed Midwife” because she’s a Doula and she is obsessed.



6. Hey there! I love your show and look forward to it every week! Ever since I started listening I can hardly keep up with my TBR list, my library holds list has gotten bonkers and I couldn’t be happier! So thank you 🙂

I am writing because I need some help getting a book for my husband for Christmas. We are both avid readers and started a new tradition last year that on Christmas Eve we give each other a book and spend the night reading and eating chocolate.
He loves high fantasy and grim dark stories which are a bit out of my wheelhouse (I don’t tend to like to go as dark as he does). He loves Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive and has read absolutely everything by Brian McClellan and Mark Lawrence. He also recently read Patrick Rothfuss (Kingkiller Chronicles) and loved it too. He also has really enjoyed The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman and loved Ready Player One (neither of which are grim dark obviously).
I’d like to get him something that he maybe hasn’t heard of that will really knock his socks off! Looking forward to your suggestions!



7. My husband told me that for Christmas this year, he wants books (yay!). He specifically asked for a series that has at least 3 books already published, the longer the better. He doesn’t read as often as I do, but when he does, he can tear through books/series very quickly, so when I say long, I mean loooooong. He’s really into “high fantasy,” especially Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, and Terry Goodkind. He also likes sci-fi and other types of fantasy, and sometimes reads big-name thriller writers like Stephen King and James Patterson. A while ago, I bought him the A Darker Shade of Magic series, which he devoured, and for Christmas this year I would like to introduce him to a new (to him) author/series that is somewhat in his wheelhouse, but maybe expand his horizons a little bit (ideally something not written by a white man and with main characters who are not white men).

Thanks for your help,



Books Discussed

How Long ’til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

The Witches of New York by Ami McKay (tw: violence against women)

Life’s Work by Dr. Willie Parker

A Brief History of Misogyny by Jack Holland

The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George

The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif

If the Fates Allow, edited by Annie Harper

Bring on the Blessings by Beverly Jenkins

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries) by Martha Wells

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson (tw: institutionalized homophobia, torture, assault, etc)

The Poppy War by RF Kuang (tw: assault, rape, genocide)

Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

The Broken Earth Trilogy by NK Jemisin

The Acacia series by David Anthony Durham