Amanda and Jenn discuss Dune read-alikes, books about motherhood, guides to witchcraft, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner (rec’d by Carol)
1. I just watched the movie Dune and really enjoyed it. I’m looking for books that are in this same realm. What struck me most was Paul’s journey to figure out who he is and what culture he belongs to. I loved how it made me feel like humans can change and evolve and find where they belong. Since I loved the movie, I tried to read Dune and had a hard time with it. I’d love your recommendations for other sci-fi coming of age stories, particularly ones that have good character evolvement and a dabble of romance. Other books I’ve liked in this same category are Never Let Me Go (loved this book) and the divergent series.
2. I’m looking for some recommendations for my 20-year-old son. He’s had a tough time away at college, been through a recent tough breakup, and is now stepping back from his long-time dream of being an architect, uncertain of what’s next. It’s an emotional time and he’s clearly feeling a bit lost. Primarily, I’d like to find something to capture that lost feeling and spin it into a message of hope.
He is a reliable Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre reader, a huge fan of the Tolkien catalog, and generally loves worldbuilding and stories rooted deeply in lore and mythology*. Coupled with his interest in classic and modern anime, and a delight in all things visually stunning, I was thinking an epic graphic novel might be appreciated. That said, I have no idea how to mesh “epic graphic novel” with “heartfelt story of lost protagonist finding their way through the world”. Please help.
Been listening to the show for years. Thanks for all that you do.
*note: aside from Tolkien, he’s moved away from western European inspirations
3. After several months of my therapist continuing to tell me that I’m too hard on myself and I need to give myself more grace, especially pertaining to myself as a mother, I’m turning to books to try to help me learn how to do this. Any recommendations you have pertaining to being gentle and gracious with yourself, particularly in the realm of parenting, would be much appreciated! I’m typically more of a fiction reader but I love a good audiobook memoir. Thank you!
4. Hi hi! I’m looking for a book for my book club. We try to read diversely (aka no straight, white, cis dudes because they already get enough air time) but other than that we have no rules. I’m hoping to find a book that will spark a lot of discussion but am having trouble finding the right fit. Books we’ve read in the past and have loved include The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See, A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and the Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart. I’m hoping to find a book that is on the lighter side (a la Evelyn Hugo), but if that’s too difficult/specific all I ask is no rape, sexual assault, or domestic violence. (spoiler: we had too much of that with A Woman is No Man even though we all “enjoyed” the read and had great discussion). Thanks in advance for your help!
5. I’d like to find a novel or series that goes with my love of the video game series Uncharted, but rec algorithms never understand what it is that I’d like to see – not necessarily books about treasure hunting, but books with the same vibe of the snarky protagonist who is good but a bit morally gray, the love interest who gets involved in the action, maybe some fantastical elements thrown in with the more realistic ones (and, if possible, f/f). Do you know of anything that fits that mood?
6. Hi! I am interested in learning more about modern witchcraft. Can you recommend a couple of good introductory books that might include some history, practices, and other general information? Thank you!
7. In an attempt to read more non-fiction, I’m trying out reading one fiction and one non-fiction book at the same time. (I switch after each chapter.) Currently I’m reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer and The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. So far they are pairing beautifully. My next non-fiction books will be This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay and The Nordic Theory of Everything by Anu Partanen. What fiction recommendations do you have to pair with these? Thank you, love the podcast!
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu (cw: mention of suicide)
Saga by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
The Celestial Trilogy (A Spark of White Fire #1) by Sangu Mandanna
How to Stop Losing Your Shit with Your Kids by Carla Naumburg
Guidebook to Relative Strangers by Camille T. Dungy
The Sentence by Louise Erdrich (tw: racism)
When The Tiger Came Down the Mountain (Singing Hills Cycle #2) by Nghi Vo
Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells
Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djèlí Clark (cw: discussion of suicide)
Modern Tarot by Michelle Tea
Witches of America by Alex Mar
Basic Witches by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck (cw: body horror)