Amanda and Jenn discuss dark fiction, humorous SF/F, women breaking down barriers, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.
1. I’m getting married in the fall and am looking for books that portray marriage in a positive light. So many books use marriage as the plot twist, ie, murder, infidelity, etc. I want to read about good marriages and what will bring positive feelings in my marriage, not the negative portrayal usually used. I like historical fiction, magical realism, Mary Roach type of non-fiction, fantasy, romance.
2. I have been reading Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center, and realized that I need more stories in my life about women working in high testosterone settings. I work in a job that involves carpentry, electrical work, and a lot of physical labor. In some ways I was originally drawn to the job because of the boys’ club atmosphere. I love confounding expectations; I love the challenge of proving myself, but some days that challenge is more daunting than others. Could you point me in the direction of some other books that capture this?
3. I have a bit of an itch I need scratched, and I’m having a hard time finding books with this specific description in mind. Earlier this year, I was very depressed and, although I love really dark fiction, I couldn’t bring myself to read it. I’m doing better now, and I want to plunge back in. I’m specifically wanting to read a fantasy/horror/thriller that’s really strange and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but you’re just going with it? Something unsettling and stress-inducing possibly with a magical or supernatural element to it. I want to be so scared and confused and horrified that I feel like I’m going to throw up. The only examples I can think of that kind of have given me similar feelings (but maybe not quite as high of a distress level as I want or as strange as I want) have been Sawkill Girls, Baby Teeth, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, The Call, and, notably for it’s weirdness, Mouthful of Birds. Please no short story collections or anything too experimental (nothing has frustrated me more than trying to piece my way through House of Leaves). Please also no pregnancy horror, miscarriage, or child death. Thanks!!
4. Hello Amanda & Jenn!
I am looking for a two-part recommendation.
One of my favorite parts of being a parent is having a built-in “book buddy”! She is a voracious little book worm despite being only two and a half, and I’ve loved using books as tools to talk about new topics. My husband and I haven’t yet traveled as much as we’d like to with our daughter. In order to bring a bit of the world to us, I’ve started choosing both my books and her children’s books by authors from a specific country or that take place in that country. For example: We’re focusing on Nigeria right now and I’m reading Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor and Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria by Noo Saro-Wiwa, while my daughter and I have read Chicken in the Kitchen by Nnedi Okorafor and Why The Sky Is Far Away by Mary-Joan Gerson. Could you recommend a book for me (any genre) to couple with a children’s book for her to help us learn about a new country? The World is Your Oyster!
5. Hi there!
I’m looking for some recommendations for my sister, who enjoys SF/Fantasy and a dash of humor. She’s also an interior/graphic designer so she tried Horrostor by Grady Hendrix at my recommendation – she said that she really enjoyed the unique format and worldbuilding but that it also totally freaked her out. (She read it alone while home with a fever. Oops.) I’m thinking of trying Night Film by Marisha Peesl next – too much you think?
Some of her favorites include: Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw, The Martian by Andy Weir, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Seconds by Brian Lee O’Malley, and the Finder Series by Carla Speed McNeil.
6. I’m looking for some recommendations for my husband. He wants to get back into reading, but he doesn’t really know where to begin. He only reads nonfiction titles. He’s an attorney and former history teacher, so he enjoys both political and historical biographies. Some of his other interests include sports and standup comedy. He’s also expressed interest in reading stories about Mexico or Mexican immigrants. I realize these subjects are kind of all over the board, but I’m hoping you guys can pull something amazing out of your brains. Thanks so much, I appreciate your help!
I’ve been listening to your podcast for a while, and I’m always looking forward to new episodes! For a while now I’ve been trying to find a good book to give to my mother in law. I’m a woman of colour, and my partner’s family is white. my mother in law is very open and willing to listen to my experiences as a woman of colour but I find that most – if not all – of the stories she finds most powerful are told from white men and women. While I’m sure the stories she loves are powerful and well-told, I wanted to find a book that offers the perspective of a person of colour and their experiences. Some of her favourite books are Still Alice, My Secret Sister, and A Dog’s Purpose. I hope you are able to help me out either on the podcast or by email.
An Affair Before Christmas by Eloisa James
The Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst
Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker
Shoot Like a Girl by Mary Jennings Hegar (tw: sexual assault, family abuse, misogyny)
Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, transl by Nancy Forest-Flier (TW: child abuse, violence)
White Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi (tw: disordered eating, self-harm)
Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos by Monica Brown
Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera, transl. by Lisa Dillman
Under My Hijab by Hena Khan, illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel
The Faithful Scribe by Shahan Mufti
The Parasol Protectorate series (Soulless #1) by Gail Carriger
Unraveling by Karen Lord
Pit Bull by Bronwen Dickey (tw: animal abuse)
The River of Doubt by Candice Millard
The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward