Episode 243
They Hate Each Other, So They’re Destined To Be Together

Amanda and Jenn discuss diverse fantasy, summer resort reads, and spiritual nonfiction in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Read or Dead, Book Riot’s mystery/thriller podcast, Care/of, and Book Riot Insiders.

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Pavilion of Women by Pearl S. Buck, Anything by Louis de Bernieres, but particularly Birds Without Wings and Notwithstanding, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney, The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, Maggie O’Farrell’s new book Hamnet (rec’d by Sibyl)

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Ms Marvel, The Totally Awesome Hulk, and the Miles Morales Spider-Man books (rec’d by Angie)

Questions

1. It would be amazing if this could be done before our holiday 16th Aug but will be wonderful whenever.

My girlfriend has found that with the epidemic she is craving escapism and has found a new love for fantasy. I would love to get her some holiday reading and she has really enjoyed Lord Of The Rings but was a little disappointed at the lack of diversity and has also really been enjoying Studio Ghibli films, especially ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’. She also does not enjoy sci-fi. Do you have any great, diverse fantasy recommendations for her?

-Sam

2. I’ve struggled with spirituality my whole life. I crave spiritual experiences and feelings, but despite my many explorations into all kinds of religions, I’ve never found one that “fits”, because I can’t get my annoyingly empirical brain to believe in something I can’t have demonstrated.

Do you have any recommendations for books (fiction or nonfiction) about exploring spirituality as an atheist? I find myself drawn to Earth and the cosmos a bit. Marginalized voices would be a plus, but I’ll take anything that you find compelling 🙂

Thank you!!!
Hope you are both staying safe during these crazy times!!!
All best,

-Gabe

3. I offered to drive my in-laws from Minnesota to upstate New York for their only grandchild’s first birthday. They’re in their late 70s and not fit for COVID-era air travel or driving themselves, so this was the best solution. It’s an 18 hour drive and we need audiobooks! We all love to read but have different styles. I’m a book reviewer so I tend to read a lot of new releases. My favorite genres are contemporary lit fic and memoir and I love a strong female protagonist. My father-in-law loves a good mystery, bonus points if Scotland Yard is involved. My mother-in-law loves a feel-good historical fiction. I’ve only listened to one audiobook in my life so it’s a new frontier for me. Any suggestions that might appeal to all of us? We all agree politically so feel free to swing it to the left a bit. Strong language is fine but please save me from awkward mentions of sexy times in a confined vehicle with my septuagenarian in-laws. THANKS!!!

-Renee

4. I would like to read a book that is set at a summer-long resort.  One of those resorts that families would go to to “summer” at for three months out on some gorgeous lake in the woods.  Something like Justin Cronin’s “The Summer Guest” or the resort in Dirty Dancing.  Just hot, long days on a lake with a strong atmosphere.  I’ll read anything but YA.

Thanks!

-Brett 

5. Thank you for taking the time to read my request, I love the podcast and your recommendations, so I thought I’d ask about something I’ve been having trouble finding. I grew up watching westerns with my Papa and would love to experience that again with books, but I’m not really interested in the “rough and tumble, solo cowboy that all the ladies want and all the men hate” kind of main character. Well, that type of male character anyways. I would like something with a female main character, and it would be a bonus if all the ladies wanted her. I’ve already read Upright Women Wanted and I’d love something similar but longer. I also loved the ‘Kissin’ Kate Barlow’s storyline in Holes, but once again wanted more. My mother has recommended Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, but I don’t care for King’s writing or some of the content he tends to include. I don’t mind if it’s a true western, or futuristic wild west, I just love gun-slinging cowboys and cowgirls. I know it may be impossible, but I’d appreciate it if your recommendation didn’t include sexual assault. Thank you so much for your time and expertise.

-MacKenzie 

6. When the pandemic craziness is over (and my kids can be in school full time) I’m going to be starting an internship as a Marriage and Family Counselor to finish my masters degree. In thinking about what kinds of people/families I may be working with I realized a gaping hole in my knowledge base. I lived overseas during my high school years and come from a more conservative background, so I have very little knowledge about the American high school experience, particularly what it means to be LGTBQ in high school. I’m looking for recs that would provide insight which could help me guide parents or families in supporting their LGBTQ kids or to help teens whose parents may be less than supportive. I prefer fiction, but otherwise I am open to anything! 

-Heather

7. Hello, book friends! I am seeking an adult book that features a child character(s). Most YA features teenagers, not younger kids, and while middle grade books can be fun, I seek something more advanced. The kid(s) don’t need to be the only protagonist or even necessarily a pov character, but they should be a big part of the story, and they should be real characters instead of a plot device. Sci-fi, fantasy, or maybe mystery, please! (P.S. Not the Broken Earth books by NK Jemisin, I’ve read those already! <3) 

-Anna

Books Discussed

Song of Blood and Stone by L Penelope (tw: racism)

Sorcerer to the Crown and The True Queen by Zen Cho

The Power of Meaning by Emily Esfahani Smith

Stalking God by Anjali Kumar (rec’d by Rebecca)

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

Artifact (Jaya Jones) by Gigi Pandian (cw: stalker)

Mary Russell Sherlock Holmes novels (The Beekeeper’s Apprentice)

Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead (rec’d by Jeff)

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

Heresy by Melissa Lenhardt

An Easy Death (Gunnie Rose #1) by Charlaine Harris (tw: mention of rape & sexual assault but very brief, violence)

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jay Robin Brown (tw: homophobia)

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender (they/them) (tw: transphobia)

Alex Cabal, cover designer

What’s Left of Me Is Yours by Stephanie Scott (tw: domestic violence)

The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan (tw: domestic violence)