Too Short To Be Depressing

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Amanda and Jenn recommend memoirs, very short books, adventure stories, and more on this week’s Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by Furious Rush by S. C. Stephens and Reco.

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1. Hi Amanda and Jenn!

I’m a college composition instructor, and in the fall, I plan to have my students write memoirs about places that are important to them. I always ask my students to read examples of the genres before they write, I would really love some recommendations of memoirs about place or strongly connected to place in some way. I teach a diverse group of students, so I would especially like recommendations of memoirs that represent diversity in cultures, races, nationalities, class, and gender.

Thanks so much!

– Kelli


2. I’m looking for anything you can throw at me about Native American history. As Thanksgiving rolls around this year, I can’t help but be reminded of that scene in Addams Family Values in which Wednesday threatens to scalp that little blonde girl, and as I chuckle, I wonder where the real version of the story is. I’m Native American but grew up away from my tribe’s reservation, so I’m looking to connect (spiritually) with them somehow while still plodding away at my distant graduate school.

Also, I noticed the recent Genre Kryptonite post about narrative non-fiction (“Genre Kryptonite: Non-Fiction For Fiction Lovers”), which piqued my interest since I primarily read fiction, so any recs you could make within this genre would be great. I don’t know how difficult that is, so good luck! 😀

Thanks for everything. Love the show,


3. Hi,

I need books that can be started and finished in ONE DAY. I would consider that to be around 100 pages, give or take, but no more than 150. I enjoy literary fiction, YA, and non-fiction. I’m open to classics and new-releases. No sci-fi/fantasy, please!

I am participating in “Summer Book Bingo 2016”, an adult reading challenge sponsored by the Seattle Arts & Lectures and The Seattle Public Library. I need to fill in the “You Finish Reading In A Day” square.

My request is kind of time sensitive; Book Bingo ends September 5th, so it would be great to receive recommendations by September 1st.

Thanks! I absolutely love your podcast (I listen to all of Bookriot’s podcasts!) and can’t wait to see what you recommend.

– Terra


4. For this summer I’m looking for some sci/fi fantasy adventure novels that I can have some fun with before I go back to college as a Lit major, and will be reading some heavy classics (I’m going to be reading Ulysses soon- I really need some light stuff before I delve into THAT). I love when an adventure novel has some romance in it, so if there is a compelling and fun romance in the novel I would not be opposed. Recently I read To Say Nothing of the Dog and loved it, and I’m about halfway through The Library at Mount Char, and really liking it.

– Evelyn


5. Hi ladies! Apologies, this is a somewhat time-sensitive request! I teach 7th & 8th grade English: I loop, which means I keep the same group of students for 2 years. We have some great read aloud books for 8th grade, but every 2 years, my colleagues and I end up having the “what are we going to read aloud??” debate! Basically, I am looking for good read aloud novels for 7th (and 8th!) grade classes. I usually read at least 3 times a week, for 10-15 minutes at a time (or more if they’re really into it…I’m a total pushover when it comes to extending read aloud time :). Here are a few books we’ve had luck with in the past:
Heart of a Champion by Carl Deuker (this is the one universally loved book among our junior high students and we always read it in 8th grade)
Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt (we read Wednesday Wars in 7th, so this is another one that’s perfect for 8th)
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

I don’t have many “deal breakers” when it comes to choosing books, except I really try NOT to pick anything that will make me cry. I always lose it when we finish Heart of a Champion, and I’ve resigned myself to that, but I absolutely cannot read Wonder again because I can’t get past the part where Daisy the dog dies! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated — I am open to new books, old books, any genre!
Thank you so much!!



Books Discussed

Negroland by Margo Jefferson

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Take This Man by Brando Skyhorse

Fire Season by Philip Connors

Code Talker by Chester Nez

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

Beating Back the Devil by Maryn McKenna

My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me by Jennifer Teege and Nikola Selmair

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

Transmigration of Bodies by Yuri Herrera

Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley

We the Animals by Justin Torres

The Devourers by Indra Das

Serpentine by Cindy Pon

Infomocracy by Malka Older

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Summer and Bird by Katherine Catmull

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

Every Day by David Levithan

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang