Two Really Competent People Trying to Kill Each Other

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Amanda and Jenn discuss books about artists, nature, boundaries, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

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The Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman and Who is Maude Dixon by Alexandra Andrews (rec’d by Amanda)

Real Life by Brandon Taylor and In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado (rec’d by Elizabeth)


  1. This is a birthday gift recommendation request for my husband:

He does occasionally enjoy reading, but has a very hard time keeping his focus and most books cannot keep his attention long enough for him to finish them. The last time I remember him truly loving and finishing a book was when he read the Kingsbridge series by Ken Follett, especially the second one (World Without End). He seems to enjoy historical fiction more than other genres, with a great plot and compelling characters. I have tried giving him A Gentleman in Moscow, but he thought the writing was too “flowery” (his words). I also had him try Wolf Hall, but he thought the writing was confusing and it could not hold his attention. If anyone can find the perfect book for him, I know you two can. Please help! 


2. i’m seeking requests for my boyfriend. i read all the time and have been trying to find books for him as well. he randomly really loved the book Frankenstein in college lmao. but that was also required reading for a science class. 

he thinks he would like a “war” book. we also love murder mysteries on tv. i’m reading the maisie dobbs series rn and i believe he would enjoy it too if it was from a male detective perspective! his favorite sport is baseball too if that Helps.  also a book 400 pages or less would be good since he’s not read in a while! thanks in advance! i know this is a hard request ! 


3. Hello! I loved Once There Were Wolves, Migrations, The Great Alone, Where the Crawdads Sing, and All the Light We Cannot See. I really liked the vivid descriptions of nature (beautiful writing!) as well as the scientific facts about nature and ecosystem services that were included in the stories. Do y’all have any fiction suggestions for something similar? Thank you very much!!


4. Hello and happy winter!

Thank you for making me feel like I have a book chat with friends to look forward to every week!

I have had a rocky relationship with my father for most of my life and just recently decided to cut off contact completely. I’m looking for books that would give me some insight into maintaining my boundaries while also keeping connected with my mom and brother. All the books I’ve found on estrangement are about the parents’ side of things and not the kids’. I prefer non-fiction but I would happily read a fiction book that showed an estranged relationship on the page in a relatively healthy way.


5. I’m in the market for what I’d call low-tech sci-fi. I recently read the Under the Never Sky series and loved going back to a world of sword fights, battles, horses and clans. I also loved the coming-of-age themes, the friendship, love stories and moving toward ones “destiny.” This series is YA, but I’m in my twenties so I don’t need YA and would actually prefer recommendations that weren’t YA but coming-of-age themes are commonly in that genre. So I’m okay with YA as long as it is high quality. I have low tolerance for cheesiness and poor writing. Overall I want to immerse myself in a new world and tag along to great characters on an epic adventure where characters achieve their destiny.


6. Hello, I‘m looking for a book that I can read together with my mom as a buddy read. We like character-driven contemporary fiction set in New York City, and we would love to read something set in the world of artists – writers, musicians or painters. Please no fantasy or romance. I hope you can help! 


7. I am looking for biographies of scientists and academics!   Also looking for books on Eastern philosophy ( ancient and modern), and political science.  Thanks for the recommendations in advance.  Keep up the good show!


Books Discussed

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora (cw: slavery & related violence, complications in pregnancy, rape)

Shepherd by Catherine Jinks (tw: bad things happening to animals)

Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (cw: discussion of suicide, child abuse, and rape; on-page drug use)

Maud’s Line by Margaret Verble (tw: suicide, harm to animals)

Once Upon A River by Bonnie Jo Campbell (cw: rape, addiction, violence against women & children)

Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Glover Tawwab

Alyssa Cole’s How To Find A Princess and A Prince on Paper

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

The Archivist Wasp Saga by Nicole Kornher-Stace

What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt

The Great Man by Kate Christensen

The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling

Everyday Ubuntu by Mungi Ngomane