Riot Headline The Most Read Books on Goodreads This Week

Mortality and Whatnot

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Amanda and Jenn discuss books on grief and mortality, chapter books, personal favorites and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Only A Mistress Will Do by Jenna Jaxon and The Baker Street Four from Insight Editions.

Subscribe to the podcast via RSS here, or via iTunes here.
The show can also be found on Stitcher here.




1. Hello Amanda and Jenn! Thank you for your awesome show! There is a trope in fanfiction called “hurt/comfort.” As the name implies, it involves one character getting injured or ill and needing care from another character. There’s something about those power dynamics that pushes my buttons, especially if the hurt character is someone who is normally physically and/or mentally strong, rather than a “princess” who always needs saving. If you have suggestions for novels that are action packed and include hurt/comfort, mortal danger, angst, etc, I would be delighted. They can have a romantic element or not, and straight or LGBT are both welcome. Thanks!


2. I’ve listened to the podcast from the beginning and have heard you answer a lot of questions around specific genres or issues. Since I read all genres, I want to open it up for you, and ask what are a couple of books that are absolute must reads that you think a high percentage of readers have not read?


3. So here’s kind of an oddball feminist mom issue – I have been very conscious of making sure my son has books that show girls and women as heroes and main characters, and now that we’re starting to read chapter books together, I realize that they’ve pretty much all been about girls! I’d love some recommendations of beginning chapter books with boy main characters who get up to fun adventures (bonus points if the books still pass the Bechdel test, and if the characters are multicultural). Girl-centered book series we’ve enjoyed are the Princess in Black, Dory Phantasmagory, and Mercy Watson (okay, she’s a pig, but still – not a little boy!). Also, he’s a little bit freaked out by monsters/dragons, so he’d prefer books without any freaky creatures!
Thanks so much for your help in raising a woke, feminist little man!


4. Hi guys,
In June I am heading to the National Parks out of Vegas – Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon and Zion NP plus New Orleans – do you have any book recs for some pre trip reading and for my long flight from Melbourne to the US?
Thanks very much!


5. Hi Amanda and Jenn! Need by April 8th please!
I am friends with two sisters that will be recognizing the first anniversary of their brother’s death this year. It’s been a rough year for both of them in regards to other issues. When their brother passed, I gave them Tiny Beautiful Things and they both loved and appreciated it. I know that another book has been recommended before that is similar to Tiny Beautiful Things but I am unable to find it. Please recommend any books that may help with grief. We all appreciated the way Tiny Beautiful Things allowed and validated all the feelings. Thank you so very much! Love the podcast so much!


6. Hi ladies! Over the past few years, I’ve come to develop an affinity for poetry, something I never thought I’d enjoy. Favorites have included Anne Carson, Mary Oliver, Warsan Shire, Frank O’Hara, Prelude To Bruise by Saeed Jones, Bluets by Maggie Nelson, Milk And Honey by Rupi Kaur, Paterson by William Carlos Williams, Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong, and A Coney Island Of The Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Langston Hughes and Seamus Heaney were reading loves of mine before I expanded my horizons with more poetry, & I still adore reading them both. With all of that out of the way, what’s some poetry (contemporary or classic) that I’m missing out on? Some more poets that will further my love for poetry? Thanks so much!


7. Up until recently I was one of “those” people when it came to romance novels (I know, I know, I am ashamed of myself, me, a die-hard genre reader to judge, dishonor on my cow and all that). And then I fell down the Courtney Milan rabbit hole and devoured both her Turner and Brothers Sinister series and have seen the error of my ways. I really enjoyed the feminist aspect of these books and I would like to read more like them, but as I am a complete romance novice I have no idea where to start looking. I think I would prefer recommendations of the historical type, but I’m not turning contemporary romance ones down. Many, many thanks!


8. My brother, who’s about to finish medical school, just finished When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi and asked me if I knew of any similar books that are, in his words, “kinda discussing death and facing mortality and whatnot.” I recommended Being Mortal by Atul Gawande but drew a blank beyond that.

He would obviously be drawn to stories by or about those in the medical profession, but I think he’d like anything that deals philosophically with life/death/mortality. Thanks!


Books Discussed

Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz

Mama Day by Gloria Naylor (original rec from Nisi Shawl)

The Mysterious Moonstone by Eric Luper

Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

The Hour of the Land by Terry Tempest Williams

Desert Notes by Barry Lopez

Grief is a Thing With Feathers by Max Porter

Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Bestiary by Donika Kelly

Smith Blue by Camille T. Dungy

Guidebook to Relative Strangers (June 13 2017)

My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin

An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Katy Butler