Amanda and Jenn discuss several geographically specific reads, COVID art, memories in sci-fi, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.
This Is Paradise by Kristiana Kahakauwila (rec’d by Carol)
Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody (rec’d by Laura)
Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings (rec’d by Rachel)
Good Enough to Eat by Jae and Alison Gray, CW: it deals with real addiction and alcoholism (rec’d by Rose)
The Library of Legends by Janie Chang (rec’d by Susan)
1. My question is: can you suggest a mystery set in any of the remaining states? They are Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah. I’d like to accomplish this using unique authors for each state, so another Grisham, for example, would not work. Any kind of mystery will do, preferably somewhere in the broad middle between cloying cozy and gruesomely gory. I included my list so far for reference. Thank you!
2. What are your favorite books set in Mexico? I just read Gods of Jade and Shadow and I loved it…and then I read Mexican Gothic, which I also loved up until the point where it made me gag (so much squick). Anyway, reading Silvia Moreno-Garcia has really piqued my interest in Mexico as a setting, and I’d love some recommendations for further reading. Thank you!
3. For me, COVID art has been a really helpful way to cope in the last year whether it be music, TV, or written works that deal with pandemic realities head on. Because I work in the restaurant industry, I experienced only a very short quarantine period before being back out in the world, and I think I appreciate the aspect of getting on with life in the face of the ongoing trauma and fear and still finding plenty of joy in small moments. The only book I’ve found dealing directly with COVID (aside from specifically scientific stuff, which I’m far less interested in) is Intimations by Zadie Smith. What else is out there?
4. I’m looking for a recommendation for two very different sub genres of thriller.
I recently read City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong and it reminded me a little bit of The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh. I wondered if you know of any other books like this “remote town, cut off from the rest of the world, group of people living there who have to be self sufficient but all have lots of secrets and a murder happens.” I also recently read One by One by Ruth Ware and I wasn’t a fan, I’m not looking for stranded people, as much as a group that chose to go live remotely and cut off from the world.
Second, I’m currently reading The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatan and I really like the Scandinavian setting. I also love the “is there something supernatural or is this just a thriller element?” The other book I loved similar to this was I Remember You: A Ghost Story by Yrsa Siguroardottir. This also had the remote Scandinavian setting with the “maybe” supernatural something happening. Any help in these two areas would be awesome!
5. I love the show. I would really love a recommendation on rotten food I am not talking about the Netflix show, I would love if it had a variety of foods that as human beings we eat that are disturbing to others but as a culture it is acceptable as well as the process of how this came to be. For instance, where did we get the idea of cheese and how it was safe to eat or how balut became delicacy to eating casu marzu or even monkey’s brains. I want to find a book on all these fascinating foods and how they came to be introducing into a culture as well as an acceptable food something from all cultures.
6. I recently finished reading Mem by Bethany C. Morrow and really loved it and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. What I loved about it is how it discusses the importance of memories regardless of how bad they may seem/ Mixed with the sc-fi, alternate history elements, and the amazing writing, this book is just everything I ever needed! Do you have any book recs with similar vibes/themes? Please, only fiction, and preferably under 350 pages.
I also wanted to say that I really love this podcast and that I discovered many of my favorite books because of it. Keep it up!
7. I am looking for some book recommendations about marriages that are struggling in a fictional setting. Struggles that are not related to affairs or already at divorces door. I want to see the internal dialogue/conflict and how two people navigate a marriage that’s not full of love anymore and can hopefully come back from that.
Thank you so much for all the hard work you guys do to help us readers find what we’re looking for! You are much appreciated and needed
Alabama: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
Utah: The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff (cw: homophobia)
Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera, transl Lisa Dillman
The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea (tw: rape, child abuse)
The Premonition by Michael Lewis
Together, Apart, by Erin A. Craig, Jennifer Yen, et al
The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon (tw: harm to children)
The Blue Fox by Sjón, translated by Victoria Cribb
Cheese and Culture by Paul Kindstedt
The Deep by Rivers Solomon, et al
Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Native Speaker by Chang-rae Lee (cw: death of a child)