Riot Headline The Most Read Books on Goodreads This Week

Let’s Talk About Faith and Also Your Dog

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Amanda and Alice talk nonfiction about the Civil Rights movement, memoirs of interesting people, and more in this week’s (all nonfiction!) episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Book Riot’s TBR, Nobody Real, and LibraryReads.

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The show can also be found on Stitcher here.



None this week!



1. TL/DR: Looking for book recommendations for my mom. Any good nonfiction about civil war/reconstruction/Jim Crow-era?

Longer story:

This weekend during a visit with my parents, it became very evident that my mom (aged 69) has some cringe-worthy misconceptions about the origins of the Civil War (“It wasn’t about slavery”), the relationships between slaves and slaveowners (“Many slaves loved for their masters”), and doesn’t have an understanding of how current cycles of poverty can be traced back to how black Americans were treated after the Civil War.

My father and I tried to help, but she’s resistant to most things my dad says. I gave her my copy of Zinn’s A Young People’s History of the United States, but she actually asked (a win!) for books that could help her understand the plight of freed slaves after the Civil War. Can you help? TIA for any all assistance in updating my mom’s education!



2. Your WWII suggestion, My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me, got me thinking about my own family history (though hopefully nothing so awful would come up).  More than my own family history, I am interested in learning more about the places my ancestors are from, especially Germany (before the World Wars), the Phillippines, and Hawaii before it was a state. Historical fiction or non-fiction recs are both great, in any format.




3. I’m really interested in hiking and travel books. I’ve already read the current big two books: Wild and A Walk in the Woods, but I want to read more books like those, either fiction or non-fiction. Also road trip books would be good too. Thanks!


4. I first read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil a few years ago, and although I have read and loved so many books since, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil still stands out as one of those books that completely captivated me. There were many things to love about it, but I especially loved how it made me feel completely immersed in the location, and how it allowed me to indulge in the idea that it was a mysterious and almost unreal place. I would love suggestions for either non-fiction or fiction that would give me that same feeling about a real-life location. Any ideas?

Thanks! -Janine


5.  I’m looking for fiction and non-fiction epistolary novel recommendations. As a kid I absolutely loved the Dear America Series, but I’m having hard time YA or Adult books in that genre. Dangerous Liaisons and Dracula weren’t my cup of tea. I enjoyed The Diary of Anne Frank, The Color Purple, Dear Thief, and I, Vampire.




6. I am not a huge reader, but I’ve been trying to read more non-fiction and recently read “an astronaut’s guide to life” by chris hadfield. And it’s basically about his personal journey that brought him to becoming an astronaut. More than anything I found this book really Inspiring and Motivating.
I tried to look for more “motivating” books but all I found were self help and this is NOT what I want.
I would really like to read more books like Hadfield’s, about interesting people who have really great successful careers but also had to put in a lot of work to get there and who have interesting outlooks/attitudes on life. THIS is what really motivated me after reading Hadfield’s book. Books written by women is also a big plus.
Thank you so much for all your wonderful work.



7. I’ve long been a huge fan of audiobooks but never thought non-fiction was in my wheelhouse.  After being introduced to podcasts (like Get Booked!) – to my great surprise, I’ve discovered that I love listening to non-fiction  selections. The catch is that the book needs to be as engaging as a podcast. Examples of recent audio books I’ve enjoyed as audiobooks are American Fire and Killer of the Flower Moon.  I also love books with buzz. What recommendations can you share?



Books Discussed

Blood at the Root by Patrick Phillips

Capitol Men: The Epic Story of Reconstruction Through the Lives of the First Black Congressmen by Philip Dray

History of the Philippines by Luis Francia

Germania: In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans and Their History by Simon Winder

An African in Greenland by Tété-Michel Kpomassie, James Kirkup (translator)

The Ridiculous Race: 26,000 Miles, 2 Guides, 1 Globe, No Airplanes by Steve Hely and Vali Chandrasekaran

Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova

Salvation on Sand Mountain by Dennis Covington

Frances and Bernard by Carlene Bauer

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

Make Trouble by Cecile Richards

Happy Accidents: A Memoir by Jane Lynch

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman