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Jenn and guest Kim Ukura discuss plenty of non-fiction, including kid-friendly science audiobooks and body-positive memories, on this week’s episode of Get Booked.

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Questions

1. I listened to science audiobooks with my son (7) who really enjoyed them. So far we’ve listened to Michio Kaku’s The Future of Humanity, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics For Young People in a Hurry, and we’re currently listening to The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs. Anything else you can recommend? All bonus points if it is about robots, space or if it is any speculation.

Thank you!

-Riad

2. Hello. I promise you it’s not just a disguised word problem, even if it’s sort of like that! I used to have a really long commute to work (over an hour each way) which I made more bearable by listening to non-fiction audiobooks. I now have a much, much shorter commute, but I listen to audiobooks. I use the app from my local library, which provides audiobooks for two weeks. Since I listen to less than an hour a day, I often can’t finish the books I check out on time. Can you recommend a good non-fiction that lasts around 10 hours? I really appreciate Oliver Sachs, Mary Roach, Michael Pollan, Bee Wilson, Bill Bryson and Brene Brown and have listened to everything available from these authors before. My favorite subjects are social science, psychology, the natural world, and food / cooking. In general, I dislike celebrity memoirs, self-help, and have a strong disinterest in sports. Thank you very much for all of your great weekly recommendations. I discovered so many new favorites thanks to your podcast!

-Brenna

3. Hello! I am writing to you in the hope that you can point me in the right direction. I was recently surprised when I noticed that two books on different topics that I was reading were starting to converge. One book is “Humankind: A Hopeful History” by Bregman and the other is “The Joy of Movement” by McGonigal. Despite their seemingly different subjects (social psychology and exercise), these two books somehow converged on the ideas that humans are built for connection and cooperation. And suddenly I know I need more of this. I want more humans who build relationships and work towards common goals. I have already read “The Power of Meaning” by Smith and I have “The Power of Ritual” by Ter Kuile in the library on hold. What else can you recommend? Both fiction and non-fiction are OK. TIA.

-Lisa

4. I’m 35 and single and recently decided to explore the world of online dating… bad idea. No need for details of a bad experience, but it created in me the need for a good female-fueled memory, preferably body image focused. I have already read a lot of popular books such as The Myth of Beauty, The Body’s Positive Power, The Body Is No Excuse, Men Explain Things to Me, and books by Lindy West, Roxane Gay, Samantha Irby. and Jes Baker. I also just bought Body Talk and read an essay every morning. Any help in finding a good strong female book and feeling great would be greatly appreciated. I love your podcast and thank you !!

-Christmas

5. Hi i always thought i was straight but lately i feel more drawn to women / enbys. I am in a long term relationship with a man I love and adore and I don’t see it ending anytime soon. Basically I’m struggling with my sexuality and have no good way to explore this now. Books have always been the thing I turn to when trying to deal with important things. Please recommend adult books (preferably fiction and non-fiction) that focus on sex and accepting your sexuality. Bonus points for bi / pan rep or enby rep and bonus points for an older character (not a teenager). I like contemporary and literary fiction but would be open to a sff. I haven’t liked the story recently.

-NOT A WORD

6. I am a computer science teacher in Mexico City. I have been teaching high school students the science behind the magic of technology for about fifteen years. In addition, I am an avid reader and believe in the power of books in the academic life of my students. I’m always looking for books on computer science or computer history to assign as extra activities for my class (some students prefer reading books instead of coding, and that’s fine with me as long as they’re learning). Books in English are not a problem because although we are a Spanish speaking country I work in a bilingual school and they understand English perfectly. We read books like “The Code Book” by Simon Singh, “The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage”, a beautiful graphic novel by Sydney Padua, “Broad Band” by Claire L. Evans, “The Inevitable” by Kevin Kelly , “The Second Machine Age” by Erik Brynjolfsson, “Code Girls” by Liza Mundy, “Zero Day” by Mark Russinovich and “Life 3.0” by Max Tegmark. I would like to know if you have any recommendations for my students and for me. Of course, there are extra points for books on Women in Tech and the Power of Diversity and Inclusion, as we all need these messages every day in our world today.

-Rodrigo

7. My mom started seeking treatment for the chronic depression that I suspect to be with her for some time now. I’m glad she’s looking for professional help, but I also wanted to buy her a book to help her get up a bit. From what she told me, part of what contributes to her depression is that a big part of her identity has to do with feeling needed / useful as a mother. Now that her two daughters are grown up, she thinks that we don’t need her anymore (which is completely wrong, of course) and that she is not useful as a person. I wonder if there are any books about older women finding a renewed sense of themselves or dealing with similar issues that they can see themselves in. I hope for something uplifting. She also has triggers regarding child harm and sexual violence, so if these topics could be avoided that would be great. Thank you!

– worried girl

Discussed books

Packaging for March by Mary Roach (Gulp, Spook or Grunt)

Disperse, adapt and remember by Annalee Newitz

Make it scream, make it burn by Leslie Jamison (9 hours 3 minutes)

Once upon a time I lived on Mars by Kate Greene (6 h 7 min)

How we present ourselves by Mia Birdsong

Northern Lights from Kazim Ali (cw: discussion about suicide)

Too big, too bitch, too strong by Anne Helen Petersen

# Very Fat # Very Courageous by Nicole Byer

Fixed stars by Molly Wizenberg

Care and feeding of wasp widows by Olivia Waite

Reset: my fight for inclusion and lasting change by Ellen Pao

Oppression algorithms by Safiya Umoja Noble

Maybe you should talk to someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb

Reading Club

When women were birds by Terry Tempest Williams, (cw: attempted assault)

10 mystery and thriller books starring older women

Books with female protagonists over 60 years old


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