Amanda and Jenn discuss light nonfiction, novels in verse, thrillers, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.
The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation by Lawrence Venuti
The Translator by Nina Schuyler
1. I typically read fantasy/science fiction books, but I have recently been trying to branch out. So recently, I read Cork-Dork by Bianca Bosker, which I found both charming and informative. Can you recommend similar nonfiction books? When I say similar I don’t necessarily mean the topic, but rather in style. I loved the experience of a light non-fiction book where I felt I was joining the author in their immersive learning process about a particular topic. I am not looking for anything that is emotionally heavy, but rather something that sparks the desire to learn about something new.
2. Hello Amanda and Jenn! (And possibly, Liberty and/or Rebecca!)
I’m writing to request help with birthday gifts for my niece and nephew. They have birthdays in early September.
1) NIECE – She will be 6. She likes books but doesn’t reach for them herself. If I’m reading a book out loud, she drops what she’s doing and will come sit by me to listen to the story. She has an older sister who is a bookworm, and she feels left out if anyone talks about books and she can’t join in. She has started learning to read and will sound out letters with her parents or me. But she is self-conscious about it and hasn’t really learned to enjoy a story yet because of that. Despite these difficulties, she is a great little girl – so curious about the world! She is very quick at math, loves riddles, and is very extroverted. She loves to wear matching accessories with her dresses. She once told me that her most favorite thing in the world is to eat dinner every day with her family.
2) NEPHEW – He will be 4. He loves to be read to. He especially likes picture books with a good dose of facts with fiction, e.g. Pop’s Bridge (his favorite). I would like to buy him another picture book about famous bridges. No car/train/plane/construction/emergency vehicle books, please. He has all of them and insists that he’s moving on from that phase of life (we have our doubts based on observations but haven’t said anything either way).
Hope this request isn’t too long! Thanks for your help!
3. Hello Ladies,
I am curious if you could recommend any novels told in verse? I have recently read and enjoyed The Watch that Ends the Night and Long Way Down (which was excellent on audio as read by Jason Reynolds himself). When I was younger and much angstier, I also read and enjoyed several Ellen Hopkins books which, upon reflection, are in line with what I want in regards to form, but not content.
Aside from avoiding exploitative melodrama, I don’t have any particular topics or genres in mind for this request. The Poet X is already on my list.
Thank you for the show, which always keeps my TBR way too long!
I tend to read a lot of “literary” fiction, but I love a page-turning psychological thriller every now and then. Unfortunately, all the thrillers I read seem to be by white (usually British, but sometimes American) women. Can you please recommend some twisty thrillers by people of color (still women, if possible!)? Just to clarify, I have read and enjoyed authors including Attica Locke and Sujata Massey, but I’m looking for more of a pure thriller (along the lines of B.A. Paris, Clare Mackintosh, etc.) – something fun and easy to read, not a cerebral mystery. I know you addressed a similar question for mysteries a few weeks ago, which really helped my TBR, but still didn’t quite hit my thriller fix.
5. My sister loved The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne and she is pining for another long drawn out depressing story (my take ;)). She also loves East of Eden and The Awakening.
6. I’m a fairly recent romance reader, and I have a few go-to authors (Courtney Milan, Tessa Dare, Rose Lerner, Alyssa Cole, Alisha Rai come to mind immediately). I’ve recently been reading Courtney Milan’s Worth series, and Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts series. I love them both, and the thing that has drawn me in the most isn’t so much the romantic relationships, but the family dynamics, secrets, and intrigues. I’m especially a sucker for reunion scenes with lost or estranged family members. Do you know of other romance series that center around families with similar themes? If it wasn’t clear from my list of authors, I have a strong preference for romance with a feminist bent. Any romance subgenre is good.
7. Most of the time I prefer more “serious” novels, but when I’m in a reading slump (or just exhausted from a heavy book), I like to pick up quick indulgent reads to get me back on track. The last few times this has happened, I’ve picked books like Kiera Cass’s The Selection series and Jillian Dodd’s Spy Girl series. Unfortunately, both have kind of let me down—I love the premises: strong female lead, escapist settings, some political conspiracy, sort of wish fulfillment-y in that a “regular” girl ends up hanging out with royalty, etc. However, I feel like these books miss so many opportunities to really be amazing: the girls get so caught up in the romances that the political intrigue gets put on the back burner (though I don’t mind some romance!), they are very white/heteronormative, and the lead (especially in The Selection) doesn’t have much of a growth arc even though the story totally sets up the possibility. Can you recommend some similar but, uh, better options? Doesn’t have to be YA (maybe that’s part of my problem) or series but should be something I can read in only a few sittings!
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
Changeless by Gail Carriger
The Earth Moved by Amy Stewart
I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong
Here to There and Me To You by Cheryl Keely
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal
Yesterday by Felicia Yap
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Sweet Tea and Sympathy (Southern Eclectic #1) by Molly Harper
It Takes Two to Tumble (Seducing the Sedgwicks #1) by Cat Sebastian
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco