In Which Trees Are Bad

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Amanda and Jenn discuss nature and magic, satire, the Scottish Highlands, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Rebel with a Cupcake by Anna Mainwaring from KCP Loft and The Romance Reader’s Guide to Life by Sharon Pywell.

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The show can also be found on Stitcher here.



1. Hi ladies, I love your podcast and was hoping you could help me to find a book for my holiday. I’m going to spend four days in a cabin in the North Yorkshire moors. And I would like to find an atmospheric book where nature and magic feature prominently.

However most of the books that I immediately thought of, uprooted by Naomi Novik, the bear and the nightingale by Katherine Arden, and wintersong by S. Jae Jones, I have already read and I’d like to read something new. I love romance, magical realism, fantasy, and fairytale retellings, and I look forward to hearing what you might suggest.



2. Hello ladies!
I am writing to you in desperate need of new authors. I am a die hard fan of Chris Bohjalian and love thought provoking fiction novels. One of the things I love about Bohjalian is that he writes about a number of subjects and his endings are very unexpected. Do you know of any similar authors in style??



3. Hey Amanda and Jenn,

I am heading to Scotland In April for my 30th birthday. I would like some suggestions on either Historical Fiction or Non-Fiction books about Scotland. I love the Outlander series so anything about the highlands would be great. I also love reading about the history of castles. Thanks



4. My dad and I are going on a 13 hour road trip and I’m looking for an audiobook in the fantasy genre, which we both love, with social justice themes and/or characters who cope with loss without too much angst. He loves stories in all forms, but hasn’t read in many years. He’s a workaholic and a hermit, but a hopeless romantic and he leans toward well-known authors like Terry Brooks, Scott Card, and Tolkien. I lean more toward magical realism. My favorites recently have been Angel of Losses and The Golem and the Jinni. Thanks!


5. My husband wasn’t much of a reader until he found Kurt Vonnegut, and then he read everything the man ever wrote. Now he’s at a loss on what to read next and none of my recommendations appeal to him. What can I suggest that will fill that place in his reading life? I know I don’t even have to ask with y’all, but POC and women authors would be great!



6. Hello!

I’m going off to grad school in the fall in evolutionary biology. I am looking for books that explore science and laboratory life, fiction or nonfiction. I enjoy reading about realistic depictions of the scientific mentality, the interpersonal relationships involved in working and living in the lab and field, and uncovering scientific breakthroughs, even when it breaks bad. If it does go well, though, even better, particularly since I read a lot of science fiction and the science always seems to go wrong. I’m not concerned with scientific accuracy. Examples of books like this I’ve read and enjoyed are Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, the Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer, and The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanigahara. If I could get recommendations by this summer so I could have time before grad school to read them before I’m actually trapped in a lab, that would be great.

Thank you!


7. Hi Jenn and Amanda,

I’ve been a fan of your show for awhile and you ladies have definitely made my TBR list grow!

I am a high school English teacher in a small southern town where I do not fit in at all being the northern hippie teacher I am. I’m struggling to find novels of “literary merit” that will be approved by the small town southern school board that I will have to go through to obtain new novels. My student do not love the usual 10th grade literature such as Lord of the Flies or Shakespeare’s Caesar and I’d love something to add to my curriculum next year.

Thank you in advance,


Books Discussed

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Give Work by Leila Janah

The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan

Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer

Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

Colson Whitehead

Dara Horn

Scotland: An Autobiography by Rosemary Goring

Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa James

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter

March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell

Monster by Walter Dean Myers