Making Out in the Name of Science

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Amanda and Jenn discuss reading for stress-relief, sciencey novels, books set in Belgium, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Book Riot InsidersNurx and In Her Sights by Katie Ruggle.

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1. I’m currently in graduate school and spend all my time reading textbooks and when I come home at the end of the night I want to lose myself in something entertaining, compelling and fun. Reading is my stress reliever and with finals coming up I need something to relieve my stress each night. I just finished Little Fires Everywhere and LOVED IT!! I loved the juicy plot line full of family secrets. I especially loved the coming-of-age aspects including the youthful and slow-burning romances and the heart-breaking love triangle. I also read The Interestings earlier this year and although I found it kind of slow, I enjoyed the coming-of-age narrative and slow-burning romance between two friends. Something I appreciate in both of these novels is that although romance was a part of the story, it wasn’t the entire story. Do you have any other book recommendations that include some of these aspects, but also have a gripping plot line to keep it all interesting?


2. I am a gender, women, and sexuality studies major. I find myself spending many hours a week delving into deep end more often than not emotionally difficult theories/topics. I love my major, and it wouldn’t have it any other way. However, I need fluff to reboot. Unfortunately, most fluffy books are frustratingly problematic. So, my question is, can you recommend some light and delicious novels or memoirs that can help me turn my brain off without making me wonder why I have faith left in humanity? All genres welcome. 🙂

Thanks in Advance,


3. Hi Amanda and Jenn, I’m looking for some books to get me through a horrible time in my life right now, having just learned my husband is having an affair. Books have always been my escape but right now I am too depressed and can’t focus or get into anything. I’m thinking of something that is immersive but that I don’t need to concentrate on too much. I’d be open to something encouraging as long as it’s not too self-helpy or preachy about “surviving.” Nothing with romance or relationships or anything like that obviously. I’d prefer something on audio.

Thanks in advance for reading this and any suggestions. I love your show.


4. Hi all! I have recently discovered that I have an intense love of fiction books that deal with main characters who are “citizen scientists” or actual scientists. A few examples include: The Signature of All Things (Elizabeth Gilbert), All The Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr), and State of Wonder (Ann Patchett). I like sumptuous and sweeping novels, with chapters that offer a glimpse into the life of a scientist or person who loves science and nature. Descriptive prose is especially engaging for me, and stories that focus on characters who are met by swift changes and challenges. I am looking for more books like this, and look forward to your recommendations! Thank you so much.


5. Hi Jenn and Amanda!

I’m getting married next May and we are going on our Honeymoon to Belgium in July. I am looking for books that are set in Belgium or are about the history of the country to read before we go. I do enjoy historical fiction, contemporary fiction and mystery/thrillers. I will read non-fiction however, I don’t want it to be too dry.

Thanks in advance!!


6. I recently read and enjoyed The Song of Achilles and was wondering if you could recommend similar books but dealing with Roman or Norse mythology rather than Greek. Fiction please!



7. Hi,
I am a long time listener to your podcast. A show a few weeks ago made me realize I would like to read romances with an Asian and a Caucasian. I am married to a man who was born in Korea so would love to have a Korean in it but am open to other countries or heritages.
Thank you for the recommendations.


Books Discussed

Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet

Milkman by Anna Burns

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

The Veronica Speedwell mystery series by Deanna Raybourn

Heroine Complex series by Sarah Kuhn

An Elderly Lady is Up to no Good by Helene Turston, transl by Marlaine Delargy (on audio in June!)

All Systems Red (Murderbot #1) by Martha Wells

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Euphoria by Lily King (rec’d by Rebecca)

The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson (tw: homophobia, family violence)

Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Trade Me by Courtney Milan (tw: eating disorders)