Is It A Vegetable Or Is It A Cat

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Amanda and Jenn discuss books about being non-binary, Maggie Nelson comps, historical fiction about real women, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

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Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s novels A Kind of Freedom and The Revisioners (rec’d by Sibyl)

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (C/a for physical / emotional abuse of minors) and Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz (rec’d by Gina)

Questions

1. My 10 year old is exploring their identity as non-binary.  This is something they only recently shared with us and I find myself navigating new waters in terms of how to best support them.  I was hoping you could recommend any books, particularly memoirs, by non-binary identifying writers who share their experiences which can provide insight to parents like myself looking to understand how to best support.  I would also love any middle grade books with central characters who identify as non-binary, especially graphic novels, so that my child can see themselves in literature.  Extra points of appreciation if the writers and/or characters are BIPOC.

-Lee

2. Hi! I’m looking for a gay romance, preferably two boys and fantasy. I don’t like slow burns over 150 pages, and my current favorites are Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, and This is Kind of an Epic Love Story. Bonus points if the books mention mental illness. Thank you!

-Eleanor

3. I’m currently learning Korean so, of course, I’ve developed an interest in asian cultures and their histories. I’ve read the Calligrapher’s Daughter and Pachinko, but I want to both step out of that specific time period (WWII and the division of Korea) and expand to China and Japan as well. 

I’ve been really struggling to find books in translation, so if you could also help me with that, I would be so, so grateful. I’m open to any kind of fantasy/magical realism/all that good stuff, contemporary, historical and literary fiction. I’d rather if it were super (super) light on the romance, and no non-fiction pleeease. 

Thanks a lot and keep up the good work, you guys are awesome!

-Marina

4. Hello,

I am looking for something to read in the style of “You’ve Got Mail.” You know the type, person A knows person B only through email, text, letters, whatever (or do they?) and end up developing a great relationship. I don’t want pure epistolary. I enjoy story mixed with epistolary-esque communication. 

Here are some that I have read: Simon vs The Homosapien Agenda, Attachments, Tell Me Three Things, Alex Approximately, PS I Like You. 

Thanks,

-Tina

5. I recently found the podcast and I’m happily working through the archives during the workday, so thanks for entertaining me and adding to my TBR! I read almost exclusively fiction, but I want to branch out a bit more. I’m a huge Maggie Nelson fan — particularly The Argonauts and The Red Parts — and I’m looking for more super readable non-fiction. I also really enjoyed Roxane Gay’s Hunger and Myriam Gurba’s Mean. I like genre-bending non-fiction, so any combo of memoir/true crime/cultural criticism/anything else interesting, and I prefer women and non-binary authors. Any recommendations? Thanks for your help! – Erin

-Amanda

6. I’m looking for some really great historical fiction. I recently loved Daughter of a Queen, which basically felt like post-civil-war-former-slave-Mulan (I was THRILLED to find out this woman really existed). I would love more great historical fiction about brave, daring, or otherwise bold women who really existed. I feel like I mostly read romance and thrillers and would love to branch out a bit and read more historical fiction.

Thank you!

-Traci

7. Hi Y’all! Thank you so much for this podcast. I look forward to it all week! You’ve definitely inspired a ginormous TBR list, but you’ve turned me on to some great books I never would’ve picked up otherwise. 

In that vein, I’d like your help with a two-part request if possible. 

My best friend lives across the country (California to Maine…we couldn’t be farther if we tried!). She just had her first baby and I’m OVER THE MOON for her! However,  I know nothing about babies- and I’m looking for ways to remain active in their lives long-distance. 

I’m looking for books that we might be able to read together and chat about in our stolen snatches of miles-long WhatsApp conversation.

Bonus if the recommendations have characters that both childfree and newly-childed women can relate to. 

Part 2: My new “near-nephew” does NOT love sleep. Are there some soothing books she could read to him that may be of interest to adults as well? 

Also, we’re both veterinarians- so trigger warnings for any pet death please! 

-Jennie

Books Discussed

The Moon Within by Aida Salazar

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, illustrated by Phoebe Kobabe

The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles

The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish (cw: bullying, ableism)

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, transl. by Ginny Tapley Takemori

Hold Me by Courtney Milan

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Blow Your House Down by Gina Frangello (tw violence against women)

White Magic by Elissa Washuta (cw: intimate partner violence, PTSD, ableism, racism, disordered drug use)

Matrix by Lauren Groff

Maud’s Line by Margaret Verble (cw: death of animals)

Llama Llama Nighty Night by Anna Dewdney

Big Friendship by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman

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