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Amanda and Jenn discuss non-Eurocentric world history, diverse read-alikes for Vonnegut and Hemingway, and beginners romance in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by, Reign of the Kingfisher by T.J. Martinson, and The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara.

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1. Hey ladies!

I’m looking for some books as a present for my mum. She did her degree in English literature but as a mother of five she really hasn’t had much time to read over the last fifteen years or so! She recently read Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary on holiday and that sort of kick-started her return to reading, so I’m looking for something maybe in a similar-ish vein – Middle Eastern/Islamic history, or world history through a non-Euro-centric lens? I’ve already bought her ‘This Orient Isle’ and ‘A History of the World in Twelve Maps’, both by Jerry Brotton. Nothing too long, please, as she still doesn’t have a massive amount of time to dedicate to reading, and if you can find anything written by not-a-white-man that would be extra great!

Thank you so much for the show (I don’t think my TBR will ever recover, but it’s fine!), and can’t wait to see what you come up with!


2. Jenn and Amanda,

I recently devoured The Alienist after being intrigued by the premise of the TNT show and I’m looking for books with a similar vibe. I loved the way the book pulled in the Criminal Mind’s-esque intellectual sleuthing and the rich atmospheric setting of a literary novel, and the pacing was fantastic. Can you recommend some similar books that combine a mystery/thriller plot with a setting-as-character feel?


3.Hey Jenn and Amanda,

My friends and I were talking the other day and we realized that we don’t know of any recent books that are written from the perspective of the best friend of “The Chosen One.” We figured that Sherlock Holmes, parts of the Percy Jackson series and The Great Gatsby would kind of fall into that category but nothing else came to mind. We would love to read something from the perspective of a Ron Weasley or Sam Gamgee type character who’s always seeing their best friend get into trouble and getting dragged into it themselves. We’re open to any genre but we especially love fantasy.

Thanks for the help!
-Allyson, Stef and TJ


4. Hi Jenn and Amanda,
I just finished Bonfire by Kristen Ritter and with the adaptation of Sharp Objects coming up I am looking for more books like these. In particular I’m looking for small town mystery/psychological thrillers where a woman with some sort of dark past comes back and tries to reconcile the past. The best ones are the sort where a current mystery drags up some awful stuff from the past. I’ve read all the Tana French and Gillian Flynn books but otherwise I’m pretty new to the genre so anything like this would be great. The darker the better, so bring it on. P.S.
I also read and loved luckiest girl alive if that helps


5. Hello ladies,
I come to your podcast for your love of diversity. I was wondering if you could come up with some diverse readalikes for some of my favorite dead white guys: Hemingway, Camus, Bukowski, Vonnegut. Any recommendations that are not white or male are welcome.


6. I am a huge fan of your podcast (and in major awe of how many books you ladies get through in short periods of time…can you say #GOALS??)

I recently read a book by Katy Regnery called The Vixen and the Vet which is a modern fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast that features a wounded warrior as the love interest. This book hit many of my sweet spots and I find myself craving more wounded warrior romances as well as more modern day fairy tale retelling romances.

I would like to stay away from any romance books that feature insta-love (a literary pet peeve of mine) or extremely graphic violence on the page.

What suggestions do you have for me?

P.S. My name is pronounced Maa-reh-lees.


7. I am in a book club with a fantastic group of women. We tend to read mostly literary fiction, but have also enjoyed memoirs and the occasional thriller. One of our members is a romance lover and she gamely reads everything the rest of us suggest without complaint, yet we have never tackled her favorite kind of book. I’d like to propose a romance as our next selection. Can you recommend a romance that would be good for those of us who aren’t necessarily fans of this genre as well as good for a group discussion? thanks so much – love the podcast!


Books Discussed

Mahimata by Rati Mehrotra

State Tectonics by Malka Older

Insurrecto by Gina Apostol

The Faithful Scribe by Shahan Mufti

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye (tw: so much harm to children)

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (rec’d by Rincey)

Slayer by Kiersten White

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

After the Eclipse by Sarah Perry (rec’d by Jamie Rochelle)

Severance by Ling Ma (Vonnegut)

The Occasional Virgin by Hanan al-Shaykh (tw: family violence)

The Escape by Mary Balogh

All Beautiful Things by Nicki Salcedo

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole