Amanda and Jenn discuss travel reads, super creepy books, mysteries, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.
Starsight by Brandon Sanderson (rec’d by Elizabeth)
1. Good Morning!
I recently came across your podcast and I absolutely love it! You’re recommendations in the past couple episodes are amazing and the diversity of hosts with their unique tastes and conversations really makes this one of my favorite podcasts. I am about to start my PhD in August and really would like to make reading a bigger part of my life so I can have an escape from the stress of school over the next 5 years. Up until now I have mainly been reading nonfiction books in areas I am interested in but since I read a lot of scientific papers for class already I would like to break this up by getting more into fiction. My problem however is that I have a hard time getting into fiction works and a lot of times I end up either reading it like it’s homework that I have to read or I just don’t finish it. There are a few fictions books that I do really enjoy however such as, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, The Count of Monte Cristo, 11/23/63 and Ready Player One. I would really appreciate any recommendations and I look forward to listening to all your future podcasts.
Thank you so much!
2. Hello! In late August (time-sensitive!) I am heading away to Europe for a few weeks travelling with my boyfriend between cities he will be working in, and as well as the 40 hour (!!) travel time there and back from where I live in New Zealand, we will be spending a lot of time on trains, and I’ll be exploring on my own while he is working. I’m hoping to fill a lot of this time with reading, and I’m keen to get some suggestions set in the areas we will be in – various cities in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany – or stories about trains. I’d love something with good female characters and some focus on the relationships between them, or maybe a little bit of mystery. I also love narrative non-fiction! At the moment I am a little burnt out on historical fiction, thrillers, and books with dark subject matter, so I’d rather steer clear of those, and nothing over 400 pages or so please, for the sake of my baggage allowance. Thanks so much!
3. I recently had to put down one of my dogs very suddenly. I want to read something, but my usual genre of adventure/ya doesn’t sound appealing. I was currently reading Throne of Glass (and loving it) but it just is too much right now. I want something light that’ll make me laugh but with no death in it. Especially of a pet. I recently read Tiffany hadish’s book, and I loved it, but I don’t typically reread non fiction.
4. Sort of time sensitive. Would need by September.
My book club has been going for about 2.5 years now and I have unofficially (but kind of officially) taken over October as my month with the intent of making the group read some super creepy shit. My last 2 picks were White Tears and The Changeling.
Both have really stuck with people–whether they loved them, liked them, or kind of hated them–and we particularly had a lot of great conversation about White Tears. I feel like a bar has now been set (albeit just in my own head) and want to pick something in a similar vein, but am struggling to have that “ah-ha” moment.
Please help me seriously creep out my friends! Preferably something no more than 300/350 pages and by a woman. We do have one rule: no white men!
Some other things that I have recently read and really enjoyed (but would probably be too much, for varied reasons, for the whole group) are: The Beauty (btw, thanks Amanda!) and Fever Dream.
5. I am looking for recommendations for my Dad, Myron. He retired a couple of years ago and has rediscovered – aka found more time for – his love of reading! His favourite genres are spy novels, mysteries, and historical fiction. We often chat about the books we are reading, and thanks to discussions we’ve had about MY personal reading habits and goals, he has started looking for more books authored by women and with lady protagonists. I am so excited that he is diversifying his reading list – and so is he! I would love to find him some more books by women (and non-binary) authors in the genres he loves!
6. Hi! I love your podcast and have been listening forever, so I’m sure you’ve answered this at some point and I just don’t know where to look for it.
My husband only does audiobooks, and when he finishes something, he often asks for my opinion on what to read next. He only reads fantasy and sci-fi, for the most part, and has listened to EVERYTHING Brandon Sanderson has ever written.
I’ve recommended (and he’s liked):
The Wheel of Time series
Everything by N.K. Jemisin
Becky Chambers’s Wayfarers
pretty much everything by Marissa Meyer
Bone Street Rumba and Shadowshaper series by Daniel Jose Older
He’s also read a bunch of John Scalzi, Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman–mostly white dudes, so I try to recommend non-white or lady (or both) authors to him.
Some things he hasn’t cared for: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Game of Thrones, American Gods, or Shards of Honor (I recommended based on a Star Trek comparison I heard in an earlier episode of either this podcast or SFF Yeah).
Can you recommend a SFF series by a non-white or lady author that I can suggest to him? The longer, the better.
7. I’m looking for short, engrossing, quiet novels that I can curl up and read in my armchair in a sitting or two. It’s more about a cozy feeling than about a lot of action. Recent books I have loved that fit this description include: Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf, Whiskey and Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith, and I Married you for Happiness by Lily Tuck.
None of these books sounded terribly exciting in their descriptions, but I couldn’t put them down and they made me feel all of the big feelings without a lot of action. Please help me chase those feelings again.
Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas (tw: eating disorders, self-harm, suicidal ideation)
The Madonna of the Sleeping Cars by Maurice Dekobra
Everything Is Going to be Great by Rachel Shukert
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrande
The Merry Spinster by Daniel Mallory Ortberg
Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke (lots of racism incl. violence and use of slurs)
Queen of the Tearling series by Erika Johansen
The Machineries of Empire by Yoon Ha Lee (Ninefox Gambit #1) (tws: coercion, gore, assault)
The Cook by Maylis de Kerangal, transl Sam Taylor
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill