Amanda and Jenn discuss Iranian literature, light-hearted reads, favorite picture books, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.
This episode is sponsored by Hey YA, Book Riot’s own podcast about all things young adult lit, Little, Brown and Company, and Amazon Publishing.
1. Hi Jen and Amanda,
First, I just want to say that I love your podcast. I have read so many amazing books thanks to your recommendations, so thank you!
I’m writing because recently, my mother suggested that she and I read a book together, which we have never done before. She asked me to choose the book. I am so thrilled that she suggested this, but I am TERRIFIED that I will pick the wrong book.
We haven’t always had the best relationship, but my mother is a good person who always tries to do the right thing. We just don’t see eye to eye… EVER. (She’s conservative, I’m liberal; she’s evangelical Christian, I’m agnostic; she is the wise and patient mother, I am the hotheaded daughter, etc.). So, I want to pick something that we will both enjoy that won’t cause too much friction between us. Her suggestion was in response to some posts I made on social media regarding the recent protests of the murder of George Floyd, so I would like the book to be by a black author and to address racism directly in some way (we are both white, fyi). Fiction and non-fiction are both ok. My mom loves biographies and autobiographies, if that helps at all. A biography of a Christian would be a huge bonus. I think she would really enjoy something like that.
Thank you for your amazing podcast and all you do to advance diversity in publishing.
2. I have always been an obsessive reader. But after certain current events, I realized that I read a lot of books by white authors. I want to find more books by authors of color. I don’t want books that focus too heavily on racism, I have quite a few already in my tbr pile. My guilty pleasures include mystery, romance and historical fiction
3. Hey ladies! I’m going to be welcoming a tiny human into my life at the end of September, and knowing myself and my anxieties I’m not going to want to read any books in which bad things happen to or because of tiny humans. But until then, those books are fair game. Are there any books out there with tiny human badness that are really amazing and that I should read now, lest I have to wait a decade or two to read them once my tiny human is more full-sized?
4. I recently read Marjane Satrapi’s “The Complete Persepolis” and would love recommendations for further reading. Specifically, I am looking for fiction or memoir that would give me a feel for what it was like to live through the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the years surrounding it. The only other Iran-related book I’ve read is “Funny in Farsi.” Any ideas for my next read?
5. Like a lot of people during the COVID crisis, I’m having a lot of trouble focusing on reading. I’ve found that the only things I’ve been able to enjoy and finish are urban / contemporary fantasy books that feature humor and/or romance. So far I’ve read works by Ilona Andrews, Kate Bishop, and Rainbow Rowell.
Obviously, these authors are all white. I’d like to find works in this vein by authors of color, especially BIPOC authors, and I figured you guys would have recommendations! Works by Rebecca Roanhorse, Daniel Jose Older, and Nalini Singh are all already on my TBR.
6. Hi girls! lately I’ve found myself reading books that are on the darker side, and while I do appreciate a great tear jerker, I’m looking for more light-hearted and fabulous reads. I want a book that makes me laugh, cry, and fall in love with the main love interest. I really enjoy books of extravagance and or books with relatable female characters. It’s been hard for me to find a chick lit novel with some depth. A few references to help you guys pick are shows like sex and the city and the bold type, as well as books like Bridget Jones Diary and even one of my favorite fabulous reads, Crazy Rich Asians. Hope that helps!
7. Help! I’m sick of reading Press Here and the Gruffalo! I’m trying to entertain an almost 3-year-old full time and I need some new books. I just listened to your recommendation of The Girl Who CIrcumnavigated Fairyland… and I was wishing for some picture books with that sense of fantasy and wonder and wordplay. I’m craving UnLunDun or The Phantom Tollbooth but for toddlers. Does such a thing exist? I keep trying to sell him on Neil Gaiman’s Instructions, but he doesn’t love it.
I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
Motherhood So White by Nefertiti Austin
The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda, translated by Alison Watts (tw: suicide)
Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai (tw: abusive parent)
Shepherd by Catherine Jinks (tw: harm to children and, like, every animal possible)
The Broken Earth Trilogy (The Fifth Season #1) by NK Jemisin (tw: so much harm to children, forced breeding)
The Immortals of Tehran by Alireza Taheri Araghi (tw: suicide)
Disoriental by Négar Djavadi, translated by Tina Kover
Things I’ve Been Silent About by Azar Nafisi
Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara (tw: harm to children)
Want by Cindy Pon
The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland (tw: child abuse)
Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik (tw: racism, religious intolerance, internalized fat-shaming)
Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima
Thank You, Octopus by Darren Farrell