Toxic Friendships, Maybe Wrapped Up In Murder

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Amanda and Jenn discuss vacation reads for dads, toxic friendships, disabled characters, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by TBR, A Nice Day for a Cowboy Wedding by Nicole Helm, and Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep.

Subscribe to the podcast via RSS here, or via Apple Podcasts here.
The show can also be found on Stitcher here.



Attack of the Giant Baby and Other Stories by Kit Reed

The Best of Robert Bloch

Richard Matheson




1. I’ve been trying of late to read more feminist literature and novels from female perspectives. It’s been pretty easy to find literary fiction to read, but I’m interested in reading some science fiction and fantasy novels with a feminist slant. I haven’t had much luck finding them unless they are YA novels (I’ve read a few but to be completely honest YA just doesn’t do it for me). Any recommendations?


2. Hello Ladies!

I am hoping you can help me find a good book for my father to read on his well-deserved vacation at the beginning of December. He said he really wants to relax and so wants something light-hearted. I’ve realized that when I want a nice light-hearted read I normally reach for YA, which I have a hard time picturing him reading.

I was already thinking of suggesting Becky Chambers and Lincoln in the Bardo (I realize the latter isn’t necessarily light-hearted but it just seems so up his alley I couldn’t resist).

Some books I know he’s enjoyed in the past include Cutting for Stone, various books by Ken Follet, and A Walk In the Woods. Something humorous would probably be good.

Thank you for your help and your wonderful show! I look forward to it every week!



3. Jenn and Amanda –

I’ve been realizing over the past year that my closest friendship is with a toxic person and I need to cut ties. We’ve been friends since college, were in each other’s weddings, and have become moms together so it’s hard for me to walk away, even though I know it’s what’s best for my own growth and health. It’s left me feeling very lonely so I’m looking for books to fill the lonely void and help me heal (as only books can do). I enjoy most character-driven fiction, as long as there is one likable character to root for, and memoirs that read like fiction (i.e. The Glass Castle).

Thanks so much!



4. Hi! I love your podcast, you guys are great! Like with many people, my family can be hard to shop for. Think you can help with my brother? Some of his favorite authors are Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Matthew Woodring Stover, and Caitlín R. Kiernan. He is also a stickler for facts–he likes fantasy/horror elements, but if there are incorrect facts about real things (especially about history and politics) he’ll decide a book is rubbish even if it’s otherwise a good book. This means shopping for him can be anxiety producing. Help!
–Anxious Sister


5. Hey Jenn,

Please help–the love of my literary life is Sarah Addison Allen and I’ve read everything she’s written (including the free shorts on Amazon) multiple times and I find myself needing more books that feel like getting a warm hug. There is something about the pacing and the combination of unique characters and circumstances (a grumpy apple tree? Awesome! Giants? Great! Wallpaper with moodswings? Love it!). I also love that while there are some problems and conflicts, they are not so dark as to overshadow the entire novel and while urgent in the moment, don’t detract from that warm-hug feeling. The light touches of magic in otherwise realistic fiction are the thing that keeps me wanting more.
Note: please not Beatriz Williams or Alice Hoffman. They keep getting recommended via goodreads, amazon and NoveList and for the life of me, I just can’t seem to connect to their characters.
Also, I know that you’re backlogged, so if you’d rather answer in an email than on the show, that is absolutely fine–I will be grateful for your recommendations whenever and wherever you can provide them.


6. Hi! I’ve been dealing with an undiagnosed chronic illness that has left me housebound for some time now. Reading about other disabled people’s experiences has been eye-opening and comforting in that I’m not alone, but many of the books I’ve read (So Lucky, Invisible, Sick) have been difficult to read because they’ve touched on a lot of raw wounds. I’d really like to read something more lighthearted, but still featuring disability/chronic illness as a major plot point. I’m open to any genre, but own voices only please! Thank you!


7. Just an FYI my name is pronounced Crystal.
I am an avid reader of many genres. I find it hard to find mystery novels that I enjoy. I have read all of the Maisie Dobbs series and am a true lover of Sherlock Holmes. I would like recommendations of mysteries with interesting characters that don’t seem pulpish. I hope that makes sense. Time, place, location are not a consideration.


Books Discussed

The Tangled Tree by David Quammen

The Ravenmaster by Christopher Skaife

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison

Daughters of the Storm (Blood & Gold #1) by Kim Wilkins

Swords & Spaceships newsletter and Goodreads shelf

Shark Drunk by Morten A Stroksnes

So Anyway by John Cleese

The Fever by Megan Abbott

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (TW: extreme violence of basically every imaginable kind)

Rosewater by Tade Thompson

The Talented Ribkins by Ladee Hubbard

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby (rec’d by Susie D)

Friend With Benefits Zone by Laura Brown

Romances with disabled heroines:

Death Below Stairs by Jennifer AshleyJenn

Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye (TW: graphic harm to children)