Hot Chocolate Hour

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Amanda and Jenn discuss Glasgow lit, books for understanding the American political right, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M.T. Anderson, and His Alone by Alexa Riley.

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


1. Hi there!!  I will be traveling in May from my home in Canada to Glasgow and the island of Iona.  I’ve read quite a bit about Iona but don’t know much about Glasgow, so I’m looking for books, fiction and/or non-fiction, that tell the stories of the city.  A few years ago when I was preparing for travel to Edinburgh, I read most of the Rebus mystery series and found it was a great way to acquaint myself with the city. So fiction that is set in Glasgow might be a good place to start. I’m not looking for travelogues per se, but a narrative non-fiction about life in Glasgow would also be great.

Thanks in advance,


2. With the political turmoil and fake news I’ve noticed that I’ve been reading too much in my bubble and haven’t explored outside of it. I know about the read harder challenge but that is not what I’m looking for. What I want is a book that makes the case for the complete opposite of what I believe in. It’s not that I want to be converted, I just want to know what the other side believes in and what kind of arguments they’re using to justify their ideas. To give you a sense: I’m a upper middle class straight woman, who believes in LGBTQIA rights, feminism, black lives matter and globalization. I’m also an atheist. Anything you can recommend that goes against that would be great.



3. I started listening to this podcast last year and I’m really grateful for all of the new suggestions I have added to my TBR.  I follow a ton of different book-ish websites but I really enjoy listening to this in my car while I drive to school or work – also super appreciate book suggestions from people who are feminists and conscious of all the different intersections.  

My question is this:  I’m doing a paper for one of my classes and the topic I chose to examine was the rhetoric used in female relationships in YA novels.  I read a ton and am a feminist but lately have been extra aware of one-dimensional characterization for the purpose of making the reader hate the sexually active cheerleader because of love triangles (or what have you).  (Sorry, I realize this is getting lengthy)

Books I have read and chosen for negative characterization are:  All the Bright Places, the Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, South of Sunshine, and Just One Day.

Books that I have read/chosen for great female friendships/relationships:  The Female of the Species, Girl Mans Up, Exit, Pursued by a Bear, Burn Baby Burn, Uprooted, Goodbye Stranger.

Do you have suggestions for more books, YA or otherwise, with really excellent female relationships?  Obviously they don’t have to get along 24/7 but I’m hoping for a more realistic, nuanced portrayal between the characters, whether it’s platonic or romantic.

I also wanted to mention, I listened to the latest episode and I really think that the person coming out as non-binary, should know about the YA novel Symptoms of Being Human – it’s super great and explains being non-binary in a very comprehensive way that might help their mother understand.   

Anyway, sorry this is so long!  I love the show and look forward to listening when I can 🙂



4. Thank you for the podcast and all the great recommendations! I asked this last year but was probably too close to my deadline to get an answer, so I’m asking further in advance this time.

My husband and I are planning a vacation on our sailboat this summer (July). We are leaving from the North Shore of Long Island and sailing to ports including Block Island, Mystic and Shelter Island. I would love some audiobook recommendations to listen to during our longer stretches of sailing. I’m looking for something that relates to our locations or sailing adventures. Bonus points for pirates and rum! I’m open to any genre, fiction or non-fiction.

Thank you!



5. Hi ladies!
I’m looking for comics with badass female leads, interesting worlds, and feminist themes. I’ve already read Monstress, Pretty Deadly, Saga, and Bitch Planet, and I’m not sure what to read next.



6. I love reading books about families, and sisters in particular, that have a hint magical realism or other-worldliness to them. I have LOVED the greek chorus in The Weird Sisters, and the different voices in The Poisonwood Bible, and of course more straightforwardly magical choices like Practical Magic, Garden Spells and The Wishing Thread. I’m looking for new things in this vein to share with my own sister in addition to enjoying myself. Can’t wait to hear what you have in mind!


– Emily


7. I’d appreciate any recs for books (ideally non fiction, but fiction is ok) that show someone finding a life beyond their career/work. I’ve recently moved on from a job that was my obsession to a job that’s…just a job, and I’m feeling rudderless and without purpose. If you know of any books that show someone “getting back to basics” or reconnecting with what’s important in life, i think it would help me. I don’t necessarily need a ‘Walden’ or ‘Into the Wild’ type experience – just something inspiring/encouraging about finding meaning outside the trappings of status and career.
Thank you,


8. I have an emotionally abusive and manipulative mother. Even though I’m an adult who has moved out and lives in a different state she is still incredibly controlling. Recently she showed up at my apartment (only warning me a day before) and when I left to get groceries I found she had moved all of my furniture around and then proceeded to yell about the state of my (fairly neat, and very clean) apartment. It’s a mild example but I think shows the kind of mother she is. (Recently when I was visiting my parents my mother got into a car accident because she was texting and proceed to blame me because I was distracting her- I had been listening to music with headphones on) She has an awful temper, and is on top of it all very old fashioned, so she hates my liberal and feminist views.
If it weren’t for my father I’d cut off all contact with her. Anyway I thought maybe some books could help me out, maybe teach me how to deal with her. Every book I read about mother daughters is always feel good, or ends with the mother and daughter working things out. I’m down for both fiction and non fiction. Thanks so much in advanced!
P.S. I love the show! It get’s better every episode I think- keep up the good work!  



Books Discussed

No Mean City by A. McArthur and H. Kingsley Long

Lanark by Alasdair Gray

Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild

Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

A-Force Vol 0: Warzones by G Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennet, Jorge Molina

Womanthology: Space, edited by Mariah Huehner

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Wintersong by S Jae -Jones

Barnheart by Jenna Woginrich

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

White Oleander by Janet Fitch

Boy Snow Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

100 Must-Read Books About Complicated Mothers