Amanda and Jenn discuss horror westerns, adventure novels, books in translation, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.
1. Hello! My friend is about to have her 2nd baby, and I’m putting together a postpartum care package for her. Obviously I need to include books! Pregnancy brain and a toddler running around have made it hard for her to concentrate on anything substantial for very long, so I’m looking for quick reads that she can dip in and out of (graphic novels, poetry, short story collections, etc.). She loves cooking, especially with the food she grows herself, and anything nature-related. I’ve already got Lumberjanes, Misfit City, and Relish on my list, as well as Mary Oliver and Walt Whitman (if I can find something of his she hasn’t read). Thank you so very much for any suggestions!
2. I absolutely loved a Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. I also read Rules of Civility. I love books with great character development set around historical events or spanning a long time with cultural or historical significance. Some of my favorite authors are Margaret Mitchell, John Jakes, Fredrik Backman and Michael Chabon. Please recommend some books or authors that can grab me like these authors. Thanks
3. First of all, I love listening to the Podcast, I discovered it a couple weeks ago and have since then gotten caught up, I literally was listening for probably 10 hours a day! You guys are all super amazing and I love hearing what you will all choose for the different rec’s. Here is mine: I recently rediscovered my love of adventure books. Growing up my favorite adventure books/movies were Jurassic Park, Jumanji, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Congo and Indiana Jones. As an adult I am having trouble finding good quality adventure books. Are there any that would read like an Indiana Jones movie? I recently read The Anomaly by: Michael Rutger which has a similar concept and I did enjoy it. I am also currently reading Sandstorm by: James Rollins which is what got me thinking that I need more adventure books in my life. I want to be an archaeologist in another life, and since that is not an option I would love to read more archaeology books. I hope you can help me find some!
4. Hello! I am an avid reader, but I sometimes think I’m not great at gauging my own tastes in books. My favorite books tend to be when the prose, themes, plot all feel intentionally aligned by the author to form a perfectly crafted present to a reader. Some of my favorite reads that fall into this category are The Vegetarian, The Song of Achilles, Freshwater, The Poet X, and Tin Man. I prefer standalone novels, but any genre/age range recommendations are welcome. I am also open to any suggestions to bump up books that are on my already very large Goodreads tbr. Thanks for the help!
5. I would like to read some amazing books in translation. I’m really into science fiction, but it doesn’t have to be science fiction. I just want something totally gripping from another culture and language. Probably my all-time number one favorite book in translation is The Man with Compound Eyes by Ming-yi Wu (though they usually write his name as Wu Ming-yi). Some other favorite books in translation are: April Witch by Majgull Axelsson, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katrina Bivald, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, The Great Passage by Shion Miura, The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, The Three Body Problem & The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu, One Hundred Years of Solitude & Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. [Does the Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley count?]
Some books in translation that didn’t thrill me include: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (actually I haven’t liked anything by him but I can’t remember the other ones I’ve read), The Inferno by Dante Alighieri (though I feel the translation I read might have been subpar), The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami, The Girl Who Loneliness by Kyung-Sook Shin, Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, HWJN by Ibraheem Abbas, Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea, and Target in the Night by Ricardo Piglia.
I want books that help me understand people, so I do want an internal world in my books. But they don’t have to be exclusively internal. I like action and plot as well. Of course, beautiful prose is always great but not necessary. Think the Martian Chronicles- lots of societal commentary done in a beautiful way. I don’t need any European books, but I won’t say no if you think it’s amazing. I’d rather expand my reading though and get somewhere new in my reading life. I think I’ve done little to no reading of African writers in translation, and the books that I’ve read set in Africa have been mostly in Nigeria and Egypt. I love short stories too and am open to anthologies. I also would prefer to read female authors!!! Thanks so much! You guys are awesome!!! I’m new to Get Booked and Book Riot but I am so thrilled to have found you guys!!
PS: I just download about 8 books from World Book Day on Amazon!
6. I’ve really loved reading Shout and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Solo by Kwame Alexander and Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. I want to read something in this same vein – novels written in verse. Not sure if you’ve answered this before but please help!
7. My little book club (Ogden Lit and Libations) is celebrating three years this October. While discussing a good creepy read to pick along with picks for a couple of other months, we realized we had yet to read a western novel. We’ve already picked all our other books for this year, so we want a combined genre pick for October. We’re looking for a western horror or horror western that will keep us reading and that has great discussion potential. Our general guidelines are to pick backlist (but we will go new for a fabulous read) that aren’t extremely popular due to an impending movie or TV show (again, fabulous will override this) that are around 400 pages (less is fine, more than 500 requires the book be outstanding).
Thank you! Looking forward to hearing your recs!
The Unsettlers by Mark Sundeen
When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams
The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak
That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott
Time Salvager by Wesley Chu
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
Insurrecto by Gina Apostol (tw genocide)
Tentacle by Rita Indiana, translated by Achy Obejas (tw: sexual assault, homophobia, slurs)
August by Romina Paula, translated by Jennifer Croft
Future Fiction, edited by Bill Campbell
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCollough (tw: rape, suicidal ideation)
Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse