Episode 129

Somebody’s Dead So That’s Awkward

Amanda and Jenn discuss characters with secrets, diverse Westerns, weird fiction, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by the Bruno Johnson Series and Bas Bleu.

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The show can also be found on Stitcher here.

 

Questions

1. It’s me again, and I have another request! So, this may be a little bit odd, but I really like books where people have secrets. For example, Seraphina (where Seraphina has to hide that she’s half dragon), Bitterblue (where Blue has to hide that she’s queen), or the Lioness Quartet (where Alanna hides that she’s a girl). I like books with secrets only if the secret is revealed at the end because my favorite part is waiting in anticipation for the secret to come out. (That’s why I loved the TV show Merlin. Bless that show.) I guess I’m asking for recs along the lines of these books (and TV show).
–Rosie

 

2. Hi Jenn and Amanda,

I love the show. I have a very specific question I was wondering if you could help me with.

I have recently gone into therapy and two counselors have told me they are pretty sure I am on the autism spectrum and I likely have Asperger’s Syndrome (if not I resemble most of the traits). Whilst I wait for the medical diagnosis I am trying to get my head around this as I am in my 30s and I have lived the rest of my life not knowing this.

I usually like to go to books for help but most of the ones I can find are about children. Also they tend to be about people who are “low functioning” whilst I am quite “high functioning”. As such the few people I have told express surprise about the fact as I have a job, friends and a marriage rather than being a maths genius who can’t talk. (The closest character to me I have encountered in fiction is BBC’s Sherlock without the arrogance but that’s still not quite right).

Two books I have read before are The Speed of Dark and The Reasons I Jump both of which contain some elements I recognize in myself but many I do not.

The areas I struggle with dealing with include complex social situations and crowds, nuance in communication (both in receiving and giving), needing to work in a structure and struggling to deal with unexpected situations.

I hope this all make sense. I am struggling to understand and communicate exactly how I feel.

Thanks very much,

–Chris

 

3. Hi!

My mother’s birthday is coming up in May and I was hoping to get her a book set in Tanzania, because my parents will be going there in the fall. Mom is a life-long fan of elephants, so having them included would be great (she has already read The White Bone, which is the book that comes to my mind first with this request).

Her favourite authors are Maeve Binchy and Richard Wright. She not really a fan of “depressing” books and particularly likes them to have happy endings.

Thanks so much!
-Victoria (Insider)

 

4. Hey Ladies,
Thanks for the show; I’m hoping that you can help me! I’m very interested in reading some Westerns because I live in the South-West, but have yet to find anything that works for me.

A lot of the Westerns I’ve encountered seem to be written for and by old white men, and usually involve sexual violence towards women and a vaguely racist protagonist- both things that I would like to avoid.

Do smart, diverse Westerns exist?

So far I have found the comics Kingsway West and Pretty Deadly, which I love (I like the fantasy elements in both of those, too) but I’m really looking for novels. Any help you can give would be much appreciated!

Thanks!
–AJ

 

5. Hi Jenn and Amanda!
I am a Black woman and I am studying forensic science. Naturally, I love mysteries and thrillers but I think there is a severe lack of diversity in the genre on all levels, race, gender, sexuality, body type, class, disability, neurodiversity. Some books and authors I like who I’ve found are Attica Locke, Walter Mosley, Tess Gerritsen (although she writes characters who are White and straight), Ausma Zehanat Khan, and Vaseem Khan. I’ve also read Tasha Kavanagh’s book which had a fat main character and I read Japanese mystery books like “Out” and Tetsuya Honda’s books. Beyond this I am stumped. Do you have any recommendations for me? Thank you!
–Nella

 

6. Hi! Thanks for your help. I am an avid reader, but I have noticed that lately I have been reading books containing doom, plagues, apocalypse and catastrophes in general. I’ve liked these books, but need a change! I am looking for happier and funnier choices. I read a lot of science fiction, but am open to other genres. PLEASE no tearjerkers or super warm and fuzzies. I did read Furiously Happy for Jenny Lawson and loved it. Thanks!
–Carol

 

7. Hi Get Booked!

I love weird fiction – be it the more fantastical kind like China Mieville or some of Jeff Vandermeer’s work (Ambergris), or more contemporary/speculative like other Vandermeer series (Southern Reach), and also the comic horror/fantasy works of David Wong and Christopher Moore.

That’s a lot of dudes! Are there any female or femme/non binary authors writing – or even main characters starring in – weird fiction? I love the strange and absurd situations and the ironic humor of weird fiction.

Thank you! You’re the best!
–Emily

 

Books Discussed

Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh

Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice by Willie Parker

Oliver Sacks

The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

The Girl with All the Gifts by MR Carey

The Themis files by Sylvain Neuvel

No Good Deed by Kara Connolly

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard (trigger warning: violence against women)

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert

My Life with the Chimpanzees by Jane Goodall

The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior by Tepilit Ole Saitoti

Half an Inch of Water by Percival Everett

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

IQ by Joe Ide

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley

Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck

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