The Holiday Show

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Amanda and Jenn give their picks for various gifting requests in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

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Year of Wonders : a Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks and Doctors and Friends by Kimmery Martin (rec’d by Amanda)


1. I love your show! I always find such good recommendations. 

I am hoping you can help me. I am looking for Christmas gifts and birthday gifts for my younger brother (his birthday is in January) and he is so hard to shop for. I love buying him books because we share a love of reading, but he has much different taste than I do, so it’s hard to pick things for him. He is 22, almost 23, and loves all things fantasy, battles, science fiction, things like that. I love fantasy as well, but I love my fantasy very romance-heavy and that is not his thing. Some books I know he has liked in the past include Ready Player One, the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, Six of Crows, and Scythe. He is very into Star Wars, Marvel, and World War 2 history. I would love any recommendations you could give me.



2. I’m looking for a book recommendation for my mom for Christmas! Throughout the pandemic, she and I have been swapping books quite a bit, and we’ve been bonding over our love of reading. She tends to lean towards thrillers, historical fiction, and some romance (although she’s not a fan of sex on the page). Some favorite authors/books of hers are Amor Towles, Kristin Hannah, Riley Sager, Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Midnight Library, the Outlander series, The Little Paris Bookshop, and Where the Crawdads Sing. Some books she read and did not like were Red, White, and Royal Blue (loved the plot, found it too explicit), Normal People (too whiny), and Queen of the Night (did not appreciate the lack of quotation marks). tl;dr I think she leans most towards sweeping historical fiction centered on characters who are a little bit sad/wistful, are the teensiest bit philosophical, have beautiful prose, and especially enjoys books that include a somewhat grumpy, but charming, older/middle aged man. I have been a longtime listener of the show, so I’m familiar with a lot of y’all’s recs, so something newer if possible would be great! I’ve included a link to her goodreads below. Thank you!!!


3. For Christmas I want to get books for everyone in my family. (I’ve done it in the past and it went over very well!) The only ones I think I’m going to struggle with are my step-siblings. They are very religious, very conservative, and we disagree about just about everything. We just don’t talk about politics very often in order to maintain peace in the family. Are there any books or authors I should keep an eye out for that will maybe appeal to their Christian sensibilities  but that I won’t feel morally bad about purchasing? If you want to cater it more toward their personalities, there are three of them: two boys and a girl. The oldest one likes carpentry, coffee and is a new father. The middle child is a member of the armed forces (Army) and his most prized possession is his Jeep. The youngest is very athletic. She does weight lifting, cheerleading, and volleyball amongst other things. She also recently started college, so maybe something light and easy for her that won’t feel like extra homework. Fiction or nonfiction is fine for any of them. I know you probably can’t get all three, but any help at all is appreciated. Thank you! I love the show!


4. I’m helping to organize a Yule Swap on Litsy, and am looking for seasonal recommendations that reflect Yule, Solstice and a more Wiccan or Pagan type of theme. I would especially love a book that really embraces the traditions and is character driven. I know that seems far away, but I will post about your responses so that people participating can have them on their radar to give or receive as part of the swap. Thank you!


5. The security guard at my place of work loves James Patterson books. Christmas is coming and my team and I thought it would be fun to buy a book for him. Any recommendations for books that are similar to James Patterson?


6. Hi! Love listening to your podcast, thank you. Over the pandemic, the women in my family started an online book club and it’s been such a nice way to catch up and continue to see each other. We all live across the country so we see each other more now! The book club aspect of it has gone really well and we have really enjoying talking books with each other as we have all always been keen readers. We started a Secret Santa book exchange and I would love your help for my favourite aunt who loves Louise Penny. She prefers contemporary fiction, is not big on historical fiction but noted that she tends to find she enjoys those when others pick them for her. She did adore Gentleman in Moscow, so much so that she was really looking forward to Amor Towles’s new novel, Lincoln Highway. She’s not much for fantasy. However, we have started taking turns offering 3 choices to the group, then the group picks one as that person’s month’s read. Her choices were The Midnight Library, Lincoln Highway, and the Authenticity Project. Last year, she gifted Harry’s Trees because she loved it so much.

Many thanks!



7. Hi! I’m looking for a recommendation for my twin nieces. They’re into the horror genre and laugh at scary movies. They don’t get easily scared with blood and murders. They’re 12. They previously read and liked Coraline but I’d like to give them something scarier. I’d love it if you can find something with lgbt+ representation but it’s not a must. Thank you in advance! I love your show.


Books Discussed

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson (cw: sexual assault, domestic violence)

Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa (cw: pregnancy complications, body horror)

The Expanse by James S.A. Corey

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett 

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich (cw: violence against women and children, racism, alcoholism)

Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

Caffeinated by Murray Carpenter

Krampus by Brom

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

Blacktop Wasteland by SA Cosby (tw: racism)

They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzel Hall (so many cw’s y’all)

Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley

The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson (cw: addiction, mental illness, suicide, mention of child abuse)

Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh

Here’s a great post:

Tales From The Hinterlands by Melissa Albert, per Sharifah’s rec on SFF Yeah