Kelly and Hannah answer listener requests for book recommendations.
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Short story collection. Preferably fiction and/or fun/uplifting
Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet; Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan; Take the Mic edited by Bethany C. Morrow; Snow in Love; Hope Nation edited by Rose Brock; The Radical Element edited by Jessica Spotswood.
A gift for my brother who isn’t a big reader. He’s in college, loves soccer and video games, and hasn’t enjoyed a book since reading Holes in middle school.
New, contemporary, socially conscious, diverse.
Yes No Maybe So by Aisha Saeed and Becky Albertalli; The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert; Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusuf Salaam; Running by Natalia Sylvester; We Didn’t Ask For This by Adi Alsaid; Dear Justyce by Nic Stone.
Diverse body positive books.
What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume; Melt My Heart by Bethany Rutter; My Eyes Are Up Here by Laura Zimmermann; Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero; If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann; Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy edited by Kelly Jensen.
YA dealing with survivors of sexual abuse/pedophilia/other childhood trauma: some of my favorites that I’ve read are Sadie, Girl in Pieces, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls, Perks of Being a Wallflower and Speak.
Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson; Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough; The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith; Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn; How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringyimana; Wrecked by Maria Padian; Infandous by Elana K. Arnold; In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado.
A YA book to get my friend who doesn’t really read….p.s. she really likes Disney.
One of my high school students likes mysteries and fantasy novels, but doesn’t like any “kissing” (i.e. lots of romance or a focus on a relationship). What suggestions could I give her?
A book for my 16 year old nephew who is a very particular reader. Used to love Rick Riordan but has moved on. Beyond Riordan, the only books I’ve sent him that he has actually called begging for the sequels is Scythe. He likes Agatha Christie “because it makes him think” (to figure out what is going on). I’ve tried AS King and Going Bovine, but have not gotten a reaction and all the fantasy tried and trues. Would love an idea from you!
A contemporary with some magic and some romance, but the story does not center grief.
I am looking for a fantasy novel with romance that ideally is part of an almost finished or finished series. I have already read many of the popular ones, so I guess I am looking for those that were a bit more under the radar. I have read/started the Folk of the Air Series, A Court of Thorns and Roses Series, Red Queen Series, all of Cassandra Clare, etc. and loved them all! Looking for something in that realm.
Warm fuzzy story about family (chosen, biological, adopted, whatever) with winter holiday(s) (not necessarily Christmas, but Christmas ok) as a backdrop and a happy ending.
Something wintery and hopeful. (At least something that leaves the reader with some hope.) I like a variety of things. Some writers whose work I’ve enjoyed: Katie Henry, Karen McManus, Tomi Adeyemi, Jenny Han, Nina LaCour, and too many names to list. A few books I’ve read and enjoyed because of this podcast: Agnes at the End of the World, We Are the Perfect Girl, and Orpheus Girl.
A feminist book like Rules for Being a Girl.
Books for a 13 year-old. She loves the Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare and anything written by Rick Riordan. Recently, I loaned her my copy of With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (one of my favorite YA authors ever) and she loved it. I’d really like to give her books in a genre she loves and one that will expand her reading material.
Something that will make me laugh, but also teach me something.
I’m looking for at book for my niece (18 years old). She is not an avid reader out side required reading in school. She’s not that into fantasy and Sci fi, she likes contemporary fiction better. She might like a short story collection because 40 pages is not as daunting as 350 pages (or more if it’s a series) for a story. Books she had liked recently: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera and Broken Things by Lauren Oliver.
Try Margarita Engle, Nikki Grimes, Stephanie Hemphill, Kwame Alexander as an alternative to short stories but still with a lot of white space, as it may be less intimidating; Toil and Trouble edited by Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe; Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo.
I’m interested in spooky tales, thrillers, science fiction, and non-WWII fiction. No dystopias or urban fantasy, please! The most important thing to me as an aromantic asexual person is that’s there’s no significant romantic element. I don’t want the main character to have any romantic partners or to spend several pages daydreaming about their crush(es). Thanks!
Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke; Dread Nation by Justina Ireland; Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham; The Blood Confession by Alisa M. Libby; The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupecho; Jackaby by William Ritter; Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour.
A book for my 19 year old sister who loves Wilder Girls and The Poet X. She is a fan of feminism, horror, and queerness in books.
The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters; Mary’s Monster by Lita Judge; The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis; Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez; We Are The Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian; The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus.
A book for my daughter. She recently told me that she is gay. I want to show her how much I love her and accept her. She loves graphic novels and has read many of the most popular ones featuring same sex relationships.
Everything Noelle Stevenson! Lumberjanes, Nimona, The Fire Never Goes Out; Queer: A Graphic History by Meg John Barker and Julia Scheele; Skim by Mariko Tamaki; Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu; Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw; Moonstruck by Grace Ellis and Shae Bragl.
Something heavily folklore-based (Maggie Stiefvater or higher level of “heavily”) and LGBTQ+ please? European and Asian folklore are my favorite but I’ll be happy to dive into any other as well.
Anna-Marie McLemore; A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Elsie Chapman and Ellen Oh; Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco; A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha; Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao; Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardost.
A fantasy or science fiction novel, preferably action-packed.
An awesome ghost story.
The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco; Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn; Horrid by Katrina Leno; The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring; Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour; Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby; Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas.
School for Good & Evil read-alikes for 14-year-old reluctant reader. Thanks!
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell; The Irregular at Magic High School manga series by Tsutomu Sato; The Black Mage by Daniel Howard Barnes; Supermutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki; A Blade so Black by LL McKinney; Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim; Liz Braswell’s Twisted Fairy Tales series; Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood.