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Amanda and Jenn discuss multi-generational family stories, realistic small towns, queer international horror, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

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Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead (rec’d by Laura)

The Mickey Rawlings mystery series by Troy Soos (rec’d by Suzanne)

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry (rec’d by Alicia) 

Joe Harris, the Moon by Joyce A. Miller (rec’d by Marilyn)

Questions

1. My fiance and I are getting married in July! Our honeymoon is going to be a road trip through South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and a little bit of Idaho. We’re going to be mostly checking out National Parks and other museums, etc. Whenever I go on vacation I love to try to read or listen to audiobooks about the place we’re going. Do you have any good recommendations for books based in this area? They can be fiction, nonfiction, any genre. I love mysteries and family sagas but have a very open mind! I really don’t like books where animals are hurt or die but I get that if it’s a book based on a farm or ranch that can happen. I will throw a book across the room if there is a cancer plot snuck in there that isn’t mentioned anywhere in the description. I can’t stand it when authors think it’s a good idea to slip that in when it has nothing to do with the main part of the story.

-Chrissy

2. Queer international horror. I know this is probably out of both of y’all’s comfort zones but I am in a horror book club and we curate themed lists to choose books from. We’ve had queer horror and international horror as categories, but I want to do a combination of the two (specifically so that I can incorporate The Devourers by Indra Das, which I love). The books I already have on my list are: The Devourers, something by Akwaeke Emezi, What Do Nightmares Dream Of by Antonija Mežnarić, Paradise Rot by Jenny Hval, and The Route of Ice and Salt by José Luis Zárate. I’d love some more to round out the list!

-Molly

3. In the face of the US government’s decision to sue the state of Hawai’i over the Red Hill fuel tank spill, acting in the interest of the military-industrial complex rather than basic human rights, I need some fortifying literature. I recently devoured Julian Aguon’s The Properties of Perpetual Light, and it completely fit the bill, somehow managing to soften the sharp edges of the world even as it inspires to rage against them. Though mostly prose, the book is deeply poetic and yet the author brings his lawyer’s brain to the party. It does introduce a few social justice issues, but mostly, it’s not trying to educate or reveal the depth of injustices (beyond some personal anecdotes); it just accepts that the reader knows the world is a mess and is just looking for a way through. Plus, it was relatively short and broken into bite sized chunks for accessible consumption! What else is out there like this?

-Carol

4. Hi y’all! I’m looking for a book that follows multiple generations of a family. I love Pachinko and Middlesex and want those same vibes. I love seeing how events in childhood shape the way people behave in their adulthood and the dynamic between multiple generations. If possible, I’d love to find a story centered around a family in the American south. Thanks!!

-Alex

5. Hello, I have 2 requests, both very specific and a bit out there so sorry in advance. 1. On a recent episode you guys recommended a book Honey, Olives, and Octopus and that is almost my perfect book. Can you please recommend something similar, but with a focus on a place in Latin America (more specifically Central America or the Hispanic Caribbean if possible) or East Asia? Tbh any other region outside of Europe is fine, just need to feed the food culture book fix. 2. I love researching, specifically about cultural  history and methods of historical study, research, and learning. Can you please recommend a book about methodologies of historical research or something that sideways that can give me a new perspective on the research process in a social sciences type of field? Thank you guys and love the show. Officially caught up to every episode 🙂

-Tiffany

I’m looking for a novel with a realistic small town as the setting. Specifically, I would like a book set in a small town with tourist traffic that *isn’t* about the tourists. So many books lean too hard into the everything is perfect in a small town or the seedy underbelly is taking over or recently divorced/widowed person randomly moves in and rediscovers love and meaning of life or just city people out of their element in general. I grew up in a small town, and I’m much more interested in the getting by of the locals—the guy serving tourists drinks, the teenage girl selling cheap souvenirs as a summer job, the woman watering the flower beds. Bonus points for being set at a beach, the main characters being in their twenties to thirties and knowing there’s a world outside the town, and/or characters that are deeply average and relatable. Preferably not a murder mystery/traumatic crime focus. Thanks!!

-Caroline

7. I recently read Hell’s Library series, and I am intrigued to see books like these—about words, stories, and how we interact and explored them. I’ve had Strange The Dreamer || Muse of Nightmare, and Wayward Children series on my TBR, so I’d like other book than that, please. Thank you! 🙂 

-Fat

Books Discussed

Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden

Subpar Parks by Amber Share

Jawbone by Mónica Odeja, transl. by Sarah Booker

A Small Charred Face by Kazuki Sakuraba, transl. by Jocelyne Allen

Weather by Jenny Offill

Incarceration Nation by Baz Dreisinger

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (tw racism, domestic abuse)

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis (cw: child death, addiction, domestic abuse, homophobia)

Women and Power by Mary Beard

A Tiger in the Kitchen by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman

The Reader by Traci Chee (cw: violent harm to children)