Mission For Humanity NBD

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Amanda and Jenn discuss circus stories, creepy but not scary reads, Gilmore Girls read-alikes, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

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The All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness (rec’d by Jessica)

The Will Darling trilogy by KJ Charles (rec’d by JL)


1. I loved In The Quick by Kate Hope Day, which put me in a mood for more realistic sci-fi reads. I’m already making my way through the Andy Weir and Becky Chambers books, and loved Hank Green’s duology, but I don’t know where to go next. I’m looking for something that’s a bit more grounded, say more Interstellar/Arrival rather than Star Trek/Star Wars. Any advice on what to read next is much appreciated!! 


2. Hi!

I read The Night Circus and obviously fell in love. I also read The Life She Was Given and also loved it. I’m currently listening to The Greatest Showman on repeat. Clearly I’m on a circus kick. What circus books do you have? I also read Water For Elephants and was kinda eh about it. Only fiction please and no short stories or graphic novels. 

Thank you so much! 


3. Hi!

I’m looking for something creepy but not scary. Think Stranger Things, Tim Burton, and Beetlejuice. I’ve read The Girl with all the Gifts and The Fireman. I’m a scaredy cat and hate scary but I love creepy. Hopefully that difference makes sense. Love the show!


4. Hi! I really love the Chronicles of St. Mary’s series by Jodi Taylor both for the exploration of historical events that cover both the big names and those who are not remembered and the writing style.  The only way I’ve been able to come up with to describe it is these books read like an episode of M*A*S*H watches and I love it.  My only problem is that it is so Euro-centric.  It makes sense and is explained but it bothers me because there is so much fabulous history it misses by missing other parts of the world.  I spend a lot of time watching East Asian dramas, including historical choices, and I realized recently that apart from a brief historical reference check when watching something, I don’t dig deeper into these time periods.  Do you have any recommendations for Chinese, Korean, or Japanese historical fiction that explore history in a similar way?  Some periods/incidents I see a lot of when I review My Drama List for historical dramas are Qin China, Goryeo, and the female shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune.  I would prefer something that is not multi-generational, does not have explicit animal cruelty, and nothing too explicit sexual on the page. Bonus points if it involves time travel so we can get some modern opinions juxtaposed in there. Some books that I’d love to read but have not found English translations are Bubu Jingxin by Tong Hua and Mi Wu Wei Cheng by Feiwosicun.  These books were both adapted into dramas I loved watching but I have not been able to find an English translation. Here’s a link to My Drama List in case there’s another historical period on my completed list that you can find a rec for that I didn’t mention: https://mydramalist.com/dramalist/singing_jayne/completed 


5. Dear Get Booked, Thank you so much for this podcast. I love it, and look forward to it each week. I have a separate request in, but this one might be more straightforward.  My friend’s mother and I both love Poldark, and I have been reading through the books and passing them along.   I love the historical romance, the love, betrayal, and several plot lines twisting into one.  I also loved Indigo by Beverly Jenkins, but I crave the many, mixed plot lines instead of a straight forward romance. It would be fun to read something like this for the end of summer and the fall.  Do you have any recommendations?  I also enjoyed Jo Walton’s Ha’Penny which has some of these elements.  Thanks so much!


6. I love the podcast and am a regular listener. This request is for a friend of mine. She reads a lot of fantasy novels and was telling me about a series she finished recently called Ember of Ashes that she really, really enjoyed. The problem is that now she’s trying to find something similar that is as good or better than this series. I told her about your podcast and that I’d ask y’all for some recommendations. Appreciate what y’all do.

Thank you,


7. Thanks to both of you for doing this wonderful podcast! I wish we had a similar show in Germany. 

Here is my question: Growing up, I was a huge fan of Gilmore Girls. Even nowadays that I‘m not Rory’s but Lorelai‘s age, I still admire the show for its wit and humor, its rapid dialogues, pop culture (+ all sorts of other) references, its strong female characters, „bookishness“ and appreciation for knowledge and being out in the world. That being said, can you think of a book/books that have a similar feel to it and manage to have both intellectual depth and wit? Strong female characters and a contemporary setting are a plus. I‘ve recently enjoyed The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, everything by Celeste Ng and the memoirs of Michelle Obama, Lisa Brennan-Jobs and Tara Westover. 

Thanks so much for considering this question! 

All the best from Germany,


Books Discussed

The Wanderers by Meg Howrey

Famous Men Who Never Lived by K Chess (cw: assault, bigotry)

The Circus Rose by Betsy Cornwell

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore (tw: child abuse, mention of rape)

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (tw: racism, domestic violence, harm to children)

Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer

The Silence of Bones by June Hur

She Who Became The Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

Loyal League series by Alyssa Cole

Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley (cw: attempted rape)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

The Marvelous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karim