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Amanda and Jenn discuss contemporary virgin heroines, dinner party book clubs, fall and / or spooky reads, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

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Murder of Chocolate Chip Cookies by Joanne Fluke (received by Laura)

Goldy Bear (Catering To Nobody) series by Diane Mott Davidson, Sloan Krause series by Ellie Alexander (collected by Suzanne)

Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every National Park by Conor Knighton (received by Carol)

To follow favorite authors: Fantastic Fiction (received by Jennifer)

Also by Tahereh Mafi (received by Rachael)

Maggie Harcourt Theater (received by Zara)

Questions

1. Looking for some contemporary romance with a virgin post-graduate heroine, but that’s not weird or gross about it.

– Carla

2. I started reading romance novels in the past two years, but I have a hard time finding romance novels that I really like. As someone who is somewhere on the gray sex spectrum, I’m just not very interested in reading about sexy moments. I’m not morally opposed, I just can’t really relate to myself, so when I see a description of a romance that includes the word “raunchy” it’s a pass. But I love the romance and emotional connections, and a good hand-flexing moment from Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice 2005.

Romance recommendations where sexual attraction and sex scenes don’t play a big role? I don’t mind that there is a bit of sex on the page, as long as it’s not a significant part of the book. The things I love are lovers’ friends, languid ones, and average looking main characters. The things I don’t like are friends with perks, casual sex, irresistibly sexy characters, and anything where physical attraction plays a big part. I agree with the historical or the contemporary, straight or whatever, just give me a little romance!

My favorite romance is Julianne Donaldson’s Edenbrooke, and I also tend to like Emily Henry, Beth O’Leary, and Sarah Hogle. Helen Hoang, Julia Quinn and Jasmine Guillory are not really for me.

-Magic

3. Hello, I belong to an amazing book club entering its fifth year this year. We have a great mix of book selections and love that everyone always finishes the book for great discussions. We always pair our book club with a delicious dinner, often based on the book when we can. We read mostly literary fiction and some of our favorite books were A Gentleman in Moscow (Amor Towles), My Brilliant Friend (Elena Ferrante), The Flight Portfolio (Julie Orringer), Homegoing (Yaa Gyasi) and Abigail (Magda Szabo) . I’m looking for literary fiction recommendations, old or new, that will encourage lively discussion to keep our book club strong. Thank you! Allison

-Laura

4. Puzzling paranormal mystery!

With October coming, I’ll line up some Halloween reads, but the point is, I’m a big wimp when it comes to horror, so I have to tackle ghosts from the side. I have a particular type of reading in mind (quite specific, sorry!)

Broadly realistic fiction featuring a mysterious, seemingly paranormal event where the focus is on uncovering the story / rules governing one’s behavior, or where they feature heavily in the resolution. For example, vampires can only enter if they are invited, the haunted house causes a particular set of symptoms in the victims, Hellraiser attacks the teenager who opens the box, etc.

It shows up a lot in Japanese mystery / horror (The Ring, for example) but I would like to keep the creep factor low if possible. Examples I can think of: Another by Yukito Ayatsuji, Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba, The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan.

Thanks for any help!

-Kelly

5. Hello! I love the podcast. Every fall I want to read a specific type of book. I’m looking for a set of books in an apple orchard. Every week from September to December, I take a long walk through an apple orchard within an hour’s drive from my home in Saint Paul, MN. I always wonder about the people who live and take care of the orchard. I imagine spicy and cozy apple scent romantic mysteries or stories. I really want to get lost in a few books that take place in my favorite place in the world: the apple orchard. I’m open to memories as long as it’s not tragic – a day in the life of a farmer or a big city girl buys a farm and learns that the beauty of life is more my speed. And romance or mysteries don’t bother me, again as long as they’re comfortable. I’m a black woman, so anything black, autumnal AND set on an apple orchard would be amazing. I’m looking for books, not graphic novels (I already own and love Rowell and Hicks Pumpkinheads.

Another request I have is books for October. I’m looking for books on black witches. Not necessarily voodoo, but black women participating in things like Wicca, witchcraft, etc. My dream would be to find a book like Practical Magic but with black women.

Thank you so much!

– Osheta

6. I look for books about angry and bitter women who are always nice characters. “We Play Ourselves” was perfect, and now I want more. Any gender, anything about a woman whose life isn’t going the way she wants it to and she’s got a bad attitude about it. Thank you!!

РFran̤oise

7. Hello! Super big fan of the series and just completed a multi-month all-episode marathon. I’m looking for a similar reading to Ali Hazelwood’s The Love Hypothesis. I love the false dating trope and the university setting. Adam is my ideal type (a bit harsh but well intentioned especially for those he loves). I also love the witty jokes, how the characters on the friends side contribute to the story, and how the pull was portrayed without having a million references to the heroine’s bust. Do you have a recommendation to read a like? I’ve read the Unhoneymooners before and liked it, but it wasn’t a favorite. Really liked Karina Halle’s Smut. I have linked my good readings, but some of the items in the “Want to read” section have already been read. Thank you!

-Tiffy

Discussed books

Fix it by Tessa Bailey

A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole (cw: emotionally abusive parent)

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

How to be a movie star by TJ Klune

If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha (tw: extreme and violent bullying)

Désoriental by Négar Djavadi, translated by Tina Kover (cw: war-related violence on-page)

Colson Whitehead Zone 1

The Legacy of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Cordova

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Work For It by Talia Hibbert (received by Jess Pryde, cw: severe depression and mental health issues)

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur (cw: child abuse and domestic violence, racism, including the use of insults)

Hold Me by Courtney Milan (tw: suicide mentions)

Teach me by Olivia Dade


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