Amanda and Jenn discuss tragic romances, political intrigue, and nostalgic summer novels in this week’s episode of Get Booked.
This episode is sponsored by TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations, The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, and by Harper Perennial, and Orbit Books, publisher of visionary author N.K. Jemisin’s new novel, THE CITY WE BECAME.
1. Now that it’s February (the longest, shortest month), I’m looking for books that have an eternal summer feeling. I’m almost done with Call Me By Your Name and have read A Month in the Country by Carr twice. Can you recommend any books that are sort of nostalgic and dreamy? Bonus if they’re works in translation.
All the best,
2. I have marked this as time sensitive due to the emotional nature of the request.
Very close friends of mine just had their second child this morning. They were expecting a little girl but upon delivery it was discovered that their baby is intersex.
Would you be able to recommend any books about parents with an intersex child or stories about intersex children/adults? We are all reading as much as we can in an effort to learn the language and history of intersexuality but I would love to add some semi-fictional or fictional stories to our repertoire! Own voices would be wonderful and picture books for kids would also be welcome. Baby’s big brother loves to be read to so it would be nice to add some gender diversity to his bedtime story rotation. All of us have the outlook that knowledge is power so the more we take in now the better we can support this baby on this wild ride called life!
I am thus far aware of Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenidies and Annabel by Kathleen Winters as books with the theme of intersexuality.
Thank you so much!
3. After 15 years in an emotionally and sometimes physically abusive relationship, I confessed to a beloved friend who’d seen me through it all that I was more than a little in love with him. He reciprocated (!), I set about exiting my marriage, and a joyful, restorative romance ensued. Unfortunately, it couldn’t survive the chaos of the long, vicious divorce- I don’t think anything could’ve.
I mourned for a few months, going through the motions of motherhood and work, but the time has come to rejoin the world. Therapy and mindfulness exercises have been extremely useful, but reading myself back to life has been most effective. With that in mind, give me some tragic romances for catharsis.
Books that have worked best are The English Patient (Ondaatje), The End of the Affair (Greene), and The Sparrow (Russell). Also the film Only Lovers Left Alive. I read pretty much everything except romance, and in that case, it’s just a lack of familiarity. If I could possibly get recs before 4/10 that’d be amazing- my six year old daughter and I are escaping the city for a week in rural PA at my dad’s.
4. Hi! Somewhat time sensitive.
Elizabeth Warren has just dropped out of the 2020 presidential race and I’m grieving. Can you recommend any books to give me hope for a world in which misogyny doesn’t prevent the most qualified candidates from having a real chance at leadership? Fiction or non-fiction work, I’m not even sure quite what I’m looking for save something that can inspire me and give me hope when I’m feeling fairly hopeless.
Time sensitive because I want to be able to get back in the fight to elect Democrats in November as soon as possible.
Thank you for the great recs, as always!
5. With Covid19 dominating news cycles, I keep thinking about the one historical fiction book I’ve read set during the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918. (As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner). Do you know of others? I also recently read The Dreamers by Karen Walker Thomas which is sci fi around a pandemic. That was intense to read right now but I’d probably do it again so whatever flu outbreak stories you want to share. Thanks!
6. Hi Jenn and Amanda. I am sorry for dropping such the time sensitive question, but I hope you might be able to help me anyway (at least to drop me an email). I am having serious anxiety attacks due to the coronavirus and the country where I am living now (the Netherlands) is about to go on lockdown. To cope with the anxiety, like many people, I turn to books. In particular to historical fiction filled with political intrigues. I have just finished re-reading Tales of Otori by Lian Hearn for the 15th time, and I NEED MORE. Could you send a couple of recommendations for an historical fiction filled with political intrigues, whimsical and evocative descriptions, and characters that you love then you hate then you love again? Bonus points if not set in Europe and part of a series of more books (I tend to get a tiny bit obsessive). Other books that I’ve Ioved are the Secret History by Donna Tart, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundati Roy, and the Sally Lockhart series by Philip Pullman (especially the Tin Princess). Oh, and the reason why I have such a short time gap is that I would like to have the book during Easter holidays, so that I can distract myself from not being able to go home to my family. Thanks for the help!
7. Light fluffy books needed desperately in the current time!! I read many genres, but with all of the Coronavirus news happening (as I say everyday the world seems to collapse and then we get up and try to do it again the next day), I realized I need some light fluffy books to get through the next few weeks/months. I am a children’s librarian, so I have read many kids books. I am open to most anything light. Please help fill my reading needs. Thank you very much for the podcast!
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (TW suicide)
A Separation by Katie Kitamura
None of the Above by IW Gregorio
When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff and Kaylani Juanita
Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (TW sexual assault, police violence)
One Day by David Nicholls
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
The Book of Delights by Ross Gay
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Post: Fictional Pandemics
Severance by Ling Ma
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Sea of Poppies (Ibis Trilogy #1) by Amitav Ghosh
Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan