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Amanda and Jenn discuss romantic power dynamics, Only Murders in the Building read-alikes, the Amish, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

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The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles (rec’d by Stephanie)

The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat (rec’d by Aida)

The Watchmaker of Filigree St. by Natasha Pulley (rec’d by Kelly)

Questions

I just finished Only Murders in the Building. While I anxiously wait for season 2, I’m hoping you can recommend some books that will scratch that itch.

Thank you!

-Jessica

2. Hello ladies! I love the podcast and frequently listen on my commute. After an overnight shift this week, I was commuting home and listening to your Podcast while driving through Amish country. I was behind a carriage once again wondering what the etiquette is- should I pass, should I just drive slowly behind? What are their lives like? When it dawned on me that I should write and ask you for a recommendation for a good read that takes place in the  Amish community. I’d also be ok with any genre as long as it is own voices, but fiction preferred.

-Jennie

3. I read The Midnight Bargain by CL Polk as an arc last summer and have not been able to stop talking about it since. Do you have any comps?

Siobhan

4. I’m in a reading slump (who isn’t these days?) and kind of depressed.  I think I may have found a way out by reading gothics (the last thing I read was The Unsuitable by Pohlig), but I want something light to mix in.  Something that will make me laugh out loud.  I tried Furiously Happy, because I loved Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, but I’m not feeling Jenny Lawson this time around.  I like speculative fiction, but lately I’m more into books that read *like* spec fic but aren’t quite spec fic, or that are fiction +), folklore, history, social sciences, books that give you the did-you-knows, and horror. But I’ll give anything a try if you think it will make me laugh.

-Lisa

5. I recently picked up “Soulless” by Gail Carriger, fell completely in love, and proceeded to devour the entire Parasol Protectorate series.  I would love to read more like it, but I’ve previously never gravitated to the steampunk/paranormal romance genre and am paralyzed as to where to go next.  I’d prefer for it to be geared toward adults.  Any recommendations for a fast-paced, fantasy-adjacent series that is a bit silly and mildly saucy?

-Mary

6. I’ve recently fallen down a rabbit hole of watching The Vampire Diaries and am enjoying the dynamic between two of the characters, Klaus and Caroline. (Please don’t @ me, I know it has problematic elements). Basically, I’m wondering if you guys have recommendations for books that might have a similar dynamic: powerful, maybe dark dude that is a little obsessed/in love with/has feels for a female character that comes into her own power, or is able to match him in some way. I tend to stick to literary fiction or historical/political non-fiction but am willing to expand into genres. Not really looking for a straight romance novel. I recently read Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente and that sort of hit the mark, but not stuck on it being fantasy/fairytale. Would prefer no vampires. 

-Jordan

7. Hello! I am looking for new reads that are set in magical schools or universities. I love the trope of going away to a boarding school where everything you’ve thought was true turns out to be wrong and mysterious *somethings* lurk around every corner, waiting to be discovered. However, I’m not into YA or middle grade books. I liked Harry Potter and (as a kid) the Chrestomanci  Chronicles, but what I’m really looking for is a comp for The Magicians. I recently read The Ninth Gate by Leigh Bardugo and immediately adored it but found that I could not get into her YA writing. Near misses include The Name of the Wind (not enough women), The Queen of Blood (too much teen angst), A Discovery of Witches (just…not for me), and a bunch of the other adult titles on your handy “books featuring magic schools” list. In general, I like literary or challenging books and immediately get annoyed with one-dimensional characters. Thank you, and keep being awesome-your suggestions have expanded my reading immensely and your show is an absolute delight. 

-Brenna

Books Discussed

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten, transl. by Marlaine Delargy

Plain Secrets by Joe Mackall

When the English Fall by David Williams (rec’d by Margaret)

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco but also just read Witchmark

Dead Djinn Universe books by P. Djeli Clark

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

London Steampunk by Bec McMaster

Midnight Bargain by CL Polk

Iron Widow by (tw: rape) Xiran Jay Zhao

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin (cw: sexual assault, enslavement and coercion)

Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

Poppy War by RF Kuang (cw: BASICALLY EVERYTHING)