Amanda and Jenn discuss WWII historical fiction, soft boys in fiction, themes for reading in 2021, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.
1. I am SO HAPPY I discovered this podcast this year – you two are an absolute joy. I’m not even upset about being late to the party – I have so many episodes to get me through the winter of the pandemic! So, I read The Switch by Beth O’Leary after hearing about it on the show (and I’m currently reading Red White and Royal Blue – and loving it). The one thing about The Switch that really caught my attention was that it was about a woman who was burnt out in her career. I appreciated that the book didn’t push a “girl boss” narrative, nor did it glorify hustle culture or putting your career first in life. As someone who has experienced burnout in her career multiple times, it was refreshing to read a book like this and live vicariously through the main character. I’m looking for another fictional, light book that has a similar theme – if that exists!? If not something that specific, another book that I can cuddle up with a cup of tea, my cat, and a fake fireplace on the TV after a long day at work. I just got back into reading more this year, so you probably won’t recommend anything I’ve already read. Thanks!!
2. I am a younger reader and, I have loved reading Fantasy books. I have been fascinated by books with their own world, such as my all time favorite Harry Potter. I have also really enjoyed sci-fi books, such as The Hunger Games. I also loved, The Throne of Glass books. This is not a very original favorite book list, but would love to add more books to my family. I would really like a recommendation to a series, author, book, etc. similar to those listed above. Thank you so much.
3. Hi! I’m looking for recommendations on realistic fiction books that have a fast and dramatic storyline. I tend to enjoy books with strong female protagonists that are facing competition or challenges from other people. I like books that handle dark, heavy topics that evoke emotion from the reader. I haven’t been able to find much to read lately and am open to any suggestions I can get! Thank you!
4. Hi! I am interested in historical fiction books, mainly in the time around WW2. Some of my favorite books are The Book Thief and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Thank you!
5. Hello! I thought I’d treat myself for my upcoming birthday (November 21 BUT not time sensitive) by finally sending in a request to your lovely show after being a longtime listener!
I’m not really looking for anything super specific here, but I thought I’d mention some of my favorite things to see if it leads to any new discoveries. I lean heavily toward loving horror, fantasy, and sci-fi, but am open to other genres.
I generally prefer following male protagonists, and one of the things I’ve realized recently that I’m drawn to are “soft” guys. I don’t know if that’s quite the right descriptor, but characters that come to mind fitting this description are Thomas Senlin from Josiah Bancroft’s Books of Babel (MAJOR love!), Shadow from American Gods, Hassan from G. Willow Wilson’s The Bird King, Marko from the Saga comics, and mayyybe even Ender from Ender’s Game. I guess all of those characters share traits like intelligence, kindness, quietness – kinda like the opposite of toxic masculinity? But not exactly “archetypal gentleman” either.
LGBTQIA themes are welcome and I am a fan of m/m romances, but prefer to stay away from romance otherwise. Some of my favorite reads this year have been the Murderbot Diaries, the Machineries of Empire series, Red, White and Royal Blue, The Song of Achilles, and Hollow Kingdom. I thought I would love Witchmark by CL Polk, but that one kind of missed the mark for me, sadly. The only thing I really prefer to avoid are animal deaths, but I can handle them if part of a larger plot. Thanks so much!
6. This October I have been reading only horror or spooky-themed books and have really enjoyed sticking to something similar for a while, not to mention helping me get books read that have long been stuck on my TBR list. Can you suggest another theme with a book to start with? I’m not super into YA or capital-R Romance, but I’m open to pretty much anything else. Thanks so much!
7. This is not a book request. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your Podcast! I have listened to all of your Podcasts and started over listening to them again. My TBR list goes on for days! I’m curious how many hours a day you read? How many books at the same time? Do you read a chapter from each book a day etc? And do you read anything that you want to read or is all of your reading to answer requests?
Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien
Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole (cw: laced drink)
Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski
The Summoner series by Taran Matharu
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (tw: violent anti-Semitism; racism; child abuse)
The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung (tw: rape)
The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar (tw: sexual assault, violence towards refugees)
How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee (tw: rape)
Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie
The Killing Moon by NK Jemisin (tw: harm to children)
January, Learn Something New in 2021: read some memoirs, We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib (tw: racism)
Theme: Novellas, The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo