300 Pages Of Heart-Rending

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Amanda and Jenn discuss books about life after divorce, YA read-alouds, queer science fiction, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Novel Gazing, Book Riot’s new literary fiction podcast, Workman Publishing, publisher of Let’s Be Weird Together: A Book About Love, by Brooke Barker and Boaz Frankel, and Libro.fm.

Subscribe to the podcast via RSS, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.


The Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab (rec’d by Courtney)

A Madness of Angels: The Matthew Swift series by Kate Griffin (pen name of Catherine Webb) (rec’d by Danielle)


1.  Hello my bookish friends from afar who nurture my love for bookish awesomeness. I have an urgent request for something in the literary realm that can let my mind escape the f-ed up craziness I’m currently undergoing with my soon-to-be ex who dropped a big ol’ bomb on me and told me he’s leaving me. I’m in all sorts of personal crisis at the moment and I’d love something to read at night after I tuck my two little girls into bed and have the psychic space to escape the insanity of my situation and dive into another world for a while. I know you typically only do one type of rec per request but I’m asking for two. Here goes:

1) a kick-ass female protagonist who lives from the land, or in a world where a multitude of place-based knowledge and skills serves her well; yet, without enduring rape and all the other crap that tends to be tossed upon this kind of character in literature. I’ve loved living off the land books since I was a kid: e.g., the Little House series, Scott O’Dell’s The Island of the Blue Dolphins, and the entire Jean M. Auel’s Earth’s Children series. I’d love a new-to-me book or, even better, series that can have me rooting for some incredible women. Pie in the sky wish: that there would be a novel or series featuring something like this set on Themyscira featuring Diana and her amazon community.
2) another fabulous female protagonist who gets knocked off her feet by a jerk of a husband who ambushes her with a sudden and unexpected demand for a divorce and all kinds of f-uppery, who then rises up like a phoenix from the devastating flames (I had to say it) in fantastic style and overcomes the many obstacles in her way, eventually sliding into first as she wins the race to financial freedom, independence, and peace within. Bonus if she eventually meets a goddess of a lover who nurtures her tender heart and soul (this protagonist is bi and is kind of over men and their – generalizing here – serious power issues).

Always the most bookish love to you both. Thanks in advance if you can help out. And thank you for your super rad, killer, lovely, awesome and amazing podcast made even more wonderful because I love getting to know you both via your feedback and choices of words and the stories you share. It all rocks and what you are creating and sharing is really, really great.

2. Hi! I’m a teacher at a rural school and I’m trying to diversify my curriculum. I teach special education and I co-teach in the general education as well at the high school level. I’ve been working on this goal for the last year or so, but I can always use some recommendations to help me along.
I usually read books aloud in my specifically SPED classes, and they have enjoyed books like “Boy21” by Matthew Quick, “The Westing Game” by Ellen Raskin, “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, “Love & First Sight” by Josh Sundquist, and a smattering of short stories from “My True Love Gave to Me” and “Grim” anthologies that I have pulled from in the last couple of years (thanks to Book Riot). Right now, I’m reading them “Whale Talk” by Chris Crutcher, a personal favorite, and my kids are really enjoying that one as well.
As you can tell, the reading level varies. Because I read the information aloud to my students, I can get away with some of the higher-leveled books or stories because we spend so much time in discussion. I’d love to see what you have in store for us!

3. Hi! I need some help finding good introductions on books about feminism, institutional racism, slavery and honestly, any other social topics to help break through to some of my MAGA family members. I was a little overwhelmed when I walked into the bookstore, so hopefully you guys can help parse down titles to start with. Some shorter titles would probably be best, and non-fiction titles would be great too! Thanks so much for everything, my reading list is much more diverse partly because of this podcast! I appreciate it so much.


4. No deadline, but I would love a recommendation soon.

I was recently hit with the news that my partner of ten years wants a divorce.

I usually go to novels for solace, but my two favorites are Dpt. of Speculation and I Married You for Happiness, and I don’t think they will help right now.

I’ve found plenty of self help books, but I’m looking for good stories of people starting over after a divorce or loss, and moving forward with life. Especially if those stories involve people who can’t afford to drop everything and “eat, pray, love” around the world.

Thank you, Amanda and Jenn-you’ve recommended so many perfect books in the past, I hope you can help.


5. Hi ladies,

I’m a podcast/audiobook addict. So, naturally, when I’m at work, I’m either listening to Book Riot podcasts, or a book. After hearing Every Heart A Doorway recommended a million times (maybe a slight exaggeration, but probably not much of one…) I FINALLY listened to it and fell in love with Seanan McGuire. I have listened to all of the Every Heart a Doorway series, as well as Sparrow Hill Road and loved them all. Do you have any recommendations for similar authors? I love that her books feel like a fairy tale, while still using familiar language (unlike high fantasy where the language is often unfamiliar). I also appreciated how inclusive the Every Heart a Doorway series is.

Thank you so much for all the workday entertainment!

6. I recently saw the new Star Wars and was unimpressed (to put it mildly) with its idea of queer representation. Could you recommend a fun space opera adventure with actual substantial queer rep as well as POC? I’m already rereading Becky Chambers’ series so I need something new. I’d be open to a romance novel, but nothing too steamy.


7. This is probably a long shot. I used to be an avid reader, then I had my son who is now 15 months old. I am able to listen to books on audio at work, which has been awesome for getting me back into reading. I’ve been trying to find a book with a specific set of criteria. I really want to find a book with a character that I can really relate to, but in the fantasy genre. I’m 25, so not necessarily YA, but YA is fine, I would love the book to have a protagonist that is a young Mom, with a young child. Where I’m having trouble is finding books that are fantasy, that have this request.

I’m really hoping you can help me. I love the Podcast!


Books Discussed

Untamed by Glennon Doyle Melton (March 10, 2020)

Two Old Women by Velma Wallis

Warcross by Marie Lu

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett (tw: STI stigma, confusion around sexuality)

For the Love of Men by Liz Plank

Thou Shalt Not be a Jerk by Eugene Cho (March 1, 2020)

Citizen by Claudia Rankine

God Land by Elizabeth Lenz

Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri (tw: family violence)

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Kreuger (tw: animal death)

The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders (tw: violence, tentacle stuff)

Circe by Madeline Miller (tw sexual assault)

The Reluctant Queen (Queens of Renthia #2) by Sarah Beth Durst

Parenting In SFF Post