Why Are You Here And Why Are You Dead

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Amanda and Jenn discuss baseball in fiction, women in music, “histo-tainment”, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

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The Gods of the Upper Air by Charles King (rec’d by Kate)

Questions

1. Hi y’all! Thank you for this new feature.

I am looking for a Daisy Jones and the Six read-alike. I like when artists have to put personal differences aside in order to create, but also the art ends up being influenced by their life. It does not need to be romantic necessarily but that helps. I liked Opal & Nev as well, even though it was less romantic.

A female-identifying writer would also be preferred because I loved TJR’s takes on what women go through in music/writing. “I’m not somebody’s muse/I’m the somebody” is my personal battle cry. I don’t think Nick Hornby (bless his heart) gets it.

– Stephanie

2. I need to break out of my YA/Middle Grade circle I have been in lately.  Looking for a thriller or mystery that will hook me from the start.  LGBTIA+ is a bonus, but not a necessity and long books are cool.  

-Kady

3. Hello ladies. I need help. You see, I just spent the past two days inhaling Season 1 of the TV series “Yellowjackets”, which hooked me with the premise of “mega-successful girls high school soccer team devolves into ritualized cannibalism after their plane crashes”, and kept me enthralled by the awesome characters and actresses in the dual 1996 and 2021 storylines. I have not loved a show so much since Lost.  Can you recommend any books to fill the gaping hole the show has left behind? To give you some idea, I enjoy the mystery aspect of it, and the “is this something paranormal, or is this an understandable/explainable reaction to trauma?”. But my favorite part is learning more about the characters, and seeing how their experiences as teens continue to impact them in adulthood. (Juliette Lewis, man. Juliette-freakin-Lewis.)  Queer characters are definitely a plus. Thank you so much! 

-PJ

4. My husband is looking for some good contemporary fiction featuring Asian American males. He’s feeling like he doesn’t see any representation of himself in fiction, and it’s bringing him down. I think we all know what it is like to want to read that book where you really feel seen. That’s what he’s looking for. He reads pretty much any genre, but he is really looking something that speaks to his experience, so even though he loves fantasy I’m not sure that would be a good fit for him. He’s read The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by FC Yee and that definitely did not hit him in the feels. I suggested We Are Not Free by Traci Chee, which is about the Japanese internment and features several male characters and that did not appeal. I think he wants something much  more contemporary than World War II. Just a note, he really wants fiction, so a memoir isn’t really going to cut it for him. He wants to be lost in a story. Any ideas? I’m having a hard time finding something that he can get lost in and feel seen. Thanks in advance! Teresa 

-Teresa

5. I’m new to the show so if this has been asked already please point me to the relevant episode and excuse the redundancy. Thank you!

My friend’s 10-year-old daughter does not like to read…unless it’s a graphic novel. We have tried all the “classic” kids books from Judy Blume to Goosebumps to Choose Your Own Adventure, Magic Treehouse, Harry Potter, etc etc.

She will read a traditional book if forced, but does not enjoy it at all. However, she has devoured all of her school library’s graphic novels and loves them. It’s getting difficult to find ones she has not already finished. (Loves include Raina Telgemeier, Warrior Cats, and El Deafo; she does NOT like Dogman or Captain Underpants-style books).

Do you have recommendations for “crossover” books that may get her more interested in traditional reading, or offbeat pre-teen / early teen graphic novels she might enjoy? As an additional philosophy question: SHOULD parents push children to read “normal” books if they don’t enjoy them? Or should she be encouraged to keep reading only the format she likes? Thanks!!

-Sarah

6. My favorite book of all time is Pillars of the Earth. I don’t love it for the architectural language of building the cathedral, but I am obsessed with the medieval historical narrative and the following of families over a couple of generations. I call it “histo-tainment” because I’m learning some history while being entertained. In the same vein, I love Edward Rutherford’s huge books of families at the dawn of large cities.

Do you have anything similar you could recommend? The only historical period I DONT like is World War 2. I’ll read anything else. Thanks for the awesome show.

-Shae

7. I’m someone who loves history, fiction, and baseball… not necessarily in that order.  I’d love to read some period fiction that relates to baseball.  I’ve read Shoeless Joe (upon which Field of Dreams was based), and I’ll try to keep an open mind, but W.P. Kinsella tends to be kinda out there.  Even if you just want to provide historical fiction choices, that would be fine, but baseball is my passion.

I love your podcast and I’m constantly trying new books (to me) that you recommend.

-Thomas

Books Discussed

The Body Where I Was Born by Guadalupe Nettel, transl. by JT Lichtenstein

The Girl With Stars in Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod

Dead in the Garden by Dahlia Donovan

LGBTQ+ Mystery Post  

Criminal Gold by Ann Aptaker

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder (cw: harm to animals, gore) 

Shelter by Jung Yun (tw domestic violence, sexual assault)

The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang (cw: speculated harm to animals)

Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, Brooklyn Allen, Maarta Laiho, Aubrey Aiese

Goldie Vance by Hope Larson, Brittney Williams, and Sarah Stern

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace

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