Episode 187

Quippy Clever Space Books

Amanda and Jenn discuss audiobooks for the whole family, high-stakes sci-fi, experimental fiction, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Libro.fm audiobooksWicked Fox by Kat Cho, and Kingdom of Exiles by Maxim M. Martineau.

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Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (rec’d by Miranda)

American Fire by Monica Hesse (rec’d by Miranda)

Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube by Blair Braverman (rec’d by Miranda)

Questions

1. Hey guys! So in a few weeks I’m getting married (yay!!!) and then honeymooning in Mexico. I’m looking for some good recommendations to read while at the beach. I’m a therapist and work mostly with adolescents so I’m always looking for novels with adolescent protagonists to better understand my clients. I would love to hear your recommendations for YA fiction. Bonus points for a book series and for having a romance subplot. Some YA books I’ve liked in the past are Little Fires Everywhere, Hunger Games series and the Selection. I’ve already read To All The Boys I’ve Loved before and don’t love the writing style (but loved the movie). Please no John Green. Thanks so much!
–Emily

2. My husband’s birthday is in August and I’d love to get him a book this year. He’s not as big a reader as I am, but he enjoys it when the right book grabs him. Ready Player One and The Martian were two books that immediately struck me when I read them as being tailor-made for him, and he loved them both (back before either of them were movies). I next tried 11/22/63, because I thought he’d appreciate the interesting take on time travel. It took him over a year to finally get through because it just didn’t have that same gotta-read-it-NOW energy (though he assures me that he did enjoy it).
I haven’t gifted him a book in a few years, since I haven’t found anything else that screamed “he needs to read this.” My own reading has slowed down quite a bit since we had kids, so the chances of my stumbling across his next RPO/Martian are slimmer than ever, and I’m hoping you can help me.
In addition to the ones I mentioned, some of his favorite books are LOTR, the Eragon series, the Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow series, White Fang, and Call of the Wild.
Thanks, love the show!
–Charlie

3. Hi Jenn and Amanda!
Long time listener to the podcast here. I love your show, though it has roughly doubled my TBR, so thanks for that. Lol
My family is taking an epic Western road trip for two and a half weeks in July, driving from Ohio to Montana and Wyoming to visit Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, as well as some smaller parks and sites along the way. I would love a recommendation for an audiobook that we could listen to together to keep kids off of personal technology for at least some of the trip.
We haven’t really listened to audiobooks as a family before, and I’m running into some challenges in trying to choose. I am easy—read everything and anything. My husband typically prefers non-fiction, but could be flexible. My son is almost 13 and likes
Science and history, both fiction and nonfiction. He does NOT enjoy most fantasy. My daughter is 9 and prefers fiction. She has a VERY active imagination and is easily scared by creepy things—for example, Harry Potter is too scary.
Can you please help us find something fun to listen to that will get us all on the same page, so to speak, as we spend many hours together in the car? I’m not having success finding something that scratched everyone’s particular itch, but is still engaging and fun to listen to.
–Erica

4. Hi Ladies! I love the podcast and am hoping you can help me out. I have two kids, an 8 year old boy and a 10 year old girl. When they were little, I used to read to them every night before bed but as they got older we stopped and I missed it. Recently I convinced them to start reading together again and for our first book I picked Refugee by Alan Gratz which has been good but intense and sad. Could you give us some suggestions for our next book? We’d like something more light hearted and fun. They’ve both read the Harry Potter books through book 5 and my son has read all the Land of Stories books. My daughter suggested Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan or Mr. Limoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein but she’s already read both of those and I’d like to read something new to all of us. Thanks for your help! —Heather

5. Over the last year I have slowly succeeded in turning my husband into a reader, now he wants to read books together. Last month we read Where The Crawdads Sing, it was his pick. It was a great experience, but now we are stuck trying to find a second book.
He has suggested Educated or A Serial Killer’s Daughter, however, I am in my last semester of law school and already spend all day reading about tragedy and humans being horrible to other humans, I just cannot handle the tough stuff at the moment. I’ve tried to suggest a Bill Bryson book (he loved the adaptation of A Walk in the Woods) or some food micro histories (he is a major foodie) but he has turned them all down. His taste in books seems to be evolving rapidly and I am out of ideas. I’ll read anything that isn’t particularly emotionally taxing (Crawdads was in the grey area). Thanks for any help you can provide!

In the last year he has read: Stephen King, Michael Crichton, The Martian, Ready Player One, World War Z, the Game of Thrones series, and a David Attenborough memoir.
–Michelle

6. Hello! I adore books where the language usage or the writing format is as important to the story as the story itself. Books I’ve loved are The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth (where the author writes in his version of Middle English), Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn (where the story is told through letters by people who aren’t allowed to use certain letters of the alphabet), and Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov (where the novel is about a poem but the actual story is told primarily through the footnotes of the poem analysis). I’ll read any genre or subject matter, but please don’t recommend S. by JJ Abrams because that’s already on my shortlist TBR, or Finnegan’s Wake because I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to attempt it. 😉 Thank you!

–Nicole

7. Hi there,

I’m a huge fan of your podcast and it makes every Thursday more bearable at my terrible job. I’d love to hear your recs on a niche book I’m looking for.

As a sexual assault survivor, I’ve found some healing through fiction that focuses on survivors and how they rebuilt their lives. Some examples of ones that have helped include: Luckiest Girl Alive, Speak, An Untamed State, Big Little Lies, The Fact of a Body and Any Man. I am specifically looking for fiction at this point.

It’s a really thin line to walk, but books like All is Not Forgotten and Lucky by Alice Sebold were so triggering I wasn’t able to get very far. I’m hoping for something that focuses less on the act and more on the emotional roller coaster and fight to survive/thrive that comes after.

Thank you for any recommendations you can provide.

Best,
–Kaye

Books Discussed

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

For A Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White

YS Lee Agency series (#1: A Spy in the House)

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden

The Library Book by Susan Orlean (rec’d by Cassie)

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

A Void by Georges Perec

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (tw: sexual assault, suicide)

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

We’re Going To Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union