Episodes

General

Mary O'Malley and Pamela Klinger-Horn

Pamela, Mary and I discuss working as booksellers and what their roles entail, the book club event they are organizing and hosting in September called the Book Club Buffet, what surprises them the most about the book world, the genres they like to read, their reading recommendations, and more.

Nonfiction

Adam Stern - COMMITTED

Adam and I discuss Committed: Dispatches from a Psychiatrist in Training, how psychiatry differs from other medical fields, imposter syndrome, how he handled the legal issues related to his book, positive changes to the medical industry resulting from the pandemic, the value of personal connection, and much more.

Contemporary Fiction

Jamie Brenner - BLUSH

Jamie and I discuss Blush, paying homage to the books that have stayed with her for decades, what Jackie Collins’ daughter thought about Blush, the unfortunate push to categorize books by women and how men’s books are not treated the same way, how art cannot be judged in the moment, and much more.

Historical Fiction

Vanessa Riley - ISLAND QUEEN

Vanessa and I discuss Island Queen, bringing Dorothy Kirwan Thomas to life, why she created her fabulous Author’s Note, how the stunning cover came about, the importance of uncovering stories hidden to history, and much more.

Mystery/Thriller

Riley Sager - SURVIVE THE NIGHT

Riley and I discuss Survive the Night, how he enjoys making the reader scared, setting a story over the course of one evening in a car, using a screenplay format for the chapter headings, converting from a plotter to a hybrid pantser, switching up his cover, and much more.

Contemporary Fiction

Lyn Liao Butler - THE TIGER MOM'S TALE

Lyn and I discuss The Tiger Mom’s Tale, what she wants readers to take away from her book, bringing Taiwanese culture and food to life, how her Instagram blooper Reels came about, her unusual publishing journey, and much more.

Contemporary Fiction

Chantel Guertin - INSTAMOM

Chantel and I discuss Instamom, the world of Instagram inlfuencers and how individuals now make careers of out being influencers, the term childfree and how it better reflects not having children, her book recommendations, and much more.

General

Elizabeth Barnhill

Elizabeth and I discuss the books that have captivated us in 2021 so far, why we organized them by publication date, and more.

Contemporary Fiction

Amy Mason Doan - LADY SUNSHINE

Amy and I discuss Lady Sunshine, how Woody Guthrie and Fleetwood Mac inspired her book, crafting the lyrics for the songs included in Lady Sunshine, taking someone’s art and finishing it, her unique Covid writing spot, and much more.

Mystery/Thriller

John Galligan - BAD MOON RISING

John and I discuss Bad Moon Rising, the inspiration for Heidi Kick, weaving timely issues into his mysteries, connecting his community in rural Wisconsin with the bigger themes and conflicts in culture, the most challenging part of writing for him, how the pandemic upended his next book’s storyline, and much more.

Contemporary Fiction

Saumya Dave - WHAT A HAPPY FAMILY

Saumya and I discuss What a Happy Family, wanting to focus on mental health and the ways we do and do not talk about it, how memories are filtered through our own experiences, the origins of the title, balancing two careers and a young child, and much more.

Historical Fiction

Alka Joshi - THE SECRET KEEPER OF JAIPUR

Alka and I discuss The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, providing Malik with his own story and his popularity with readers, finding the balance between wearing her reader hat and her writer hat while writing, the inspiration for the Royal Jewel Cinema, launching her Reimagine series on Instagram, and much more.

Mystery/Thriller

Clare Mackintosh - HOSTAGE

Clare and I discuss Hostage, the idea that it is far more terrifying when you do not know where a threat is coming from, landing a plane herself at a flight simulation center (listen to learn if she successfully landed), tackling radicalization, how her copy editor saved her from making a mistake regarding the airplane seat configuration, and much more.

Historical Fiction

Emma Brodie - SONGS IN URSA MAJOR

Emma and I discuss Songs in Ursa Major, how the relationship between James Taylor and Joni Mitchell inspired her story, crafting the lyrics for the songs in the book, growing up with music as a language in her house, what she learned from writing the screenplay for Songs in Ursa Major, and much more.

Speculative Fiction

Sarah Pinsker - WE ARE SATELLITES

Sarah and I discuss We Are Satellites, what happens when a medical technology developed for one condition is used for another purpose or has a commercial application instead, how she chose to tell the story from four POVs, the ethical and moral issues related to using technologies in new and cutting edge ways, making sure her medical device would be realistic, and much more.

Contemporary Fiction

Kristan Higgins - PACK UP THE MOON

Kristan and I discuss Pack Up the Moon, how reading books about other people’s grief provides a safe way to cry over the things in your own life, why she chose to incorporate letters into her book, providing a story for a group of people who don’t often get their own story, the origin of her title, her own experience with a medium and much more.

Nonfiction

Jess McHugh - AMERICANON

Jess and I discuss Americanon, the way these thirteen books shaped culture, gender roles and beliefs in the U.S., evaluating American identity in terms of a different canon of books, looking into what books were owned in any given era, how she decided which books to include in Americanon, and much more.

Nonfiction

Philip D'Anieri - THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL

Philip and I discuss The Appalachian Trail, crafting the history of the trail from the perspective of the people who built it and how and why they did so, the difficulty of knitting together a very long and narrow space that traverses many landscapes, Bill Bryson and his impact on the Appalachian Trail, and much more.