Tag Archives: book discussions

Episode 87: Eli Cranor author of Don’t Know Tough



You may not know tough but author Eli Cranor sure does in his debut, DON’T KNOW TOUGH, a book that S.A. Cosby calls, “…a searing and stunningly poignant study in what makes us and what breaks us and ultimately what brings us to a place of peace. Eli Cranor is that rare writer who can make you gasp, cry and cheer often in the same paragraph.” There’s not a single a lie in that review.

Sarah Weinman, of the The New York Times Book Review and true-crime writer says, “Eli Cranor’s top-shelf debut, DON’T KNOW TOUGH, is Southern noir at its finest, a cauldron of terrible choices and even more terrible outcomes . . . There is a raw ferocity to Cranor’s prose, perfectly in keeping with the novel’s examination of curdling masculinity.”  All I can say about DON’T KNOW TOUGH is, think Friday Night Lights with a much darker edge. Speaking of the edge? I was on the edge of my seat for this incredible debut. For this episode, we talk football, Arkansas, recording his own audiobook and more. Thank you Eli! 

Eli Cranor recommends: Razorblade Tears and Blacktop Wasteland both by S.A.Cosby; Shoot the Moonlight Out and all of the novels by William Boyle; The Turnout and all of the novels by Megan Abbott; all the work by Ace Atkins; The Devil Himself by Peter Farris;

     


Episode 84 : Interview with Katy Regan author of How To Find Your Way Home



From Katy Regan, the author of Little Big Love (a huge favorite of mine) comes her latest, How to Find Your Way Home, a warm, life-affirming novel.  When a sister discovers that the brother she hasn’t seen in more than a decade is homeless, she learns the true meaning of belonging when she tries to reconnect. How to Find Your Way Home is not to be missed.

I enjoyed this conversation about the book so much, thank you Katy Regan! Keep an eye-out Roger…I’ll see you soon.

Katy Regan recommends: Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave; Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers; Attic Child by Lola Jay. 

     

 


Episode 83 : Interview with Jennifer Fawcett, author of BENEATH THE STAIRS



“OH MY GOD!”  That’s what author/director/actress Leslie Zemeckis says about BENEATH THE STAIRS the debut by Jennifer Fawcett. And author Wendy Walker, author of Don’t Look for Me says, “In Beneath the Stairs, Jennifer Fawcett explores the lasting impact of childhood trauma in this metaphysical story about a house with buried secrets. An enthralling debut by a gifted storyteller!”

BENEATH THE STAIRS is a story about the trauma that follows us from childhood to adulthood and returning to the beginning to reach the end. I was on the edge of my seat. Jennifer and I talked about her inspiration for the book, writing something scary in the deep woods, and how building up to writing a novel is very similar to running a marathon. Great interview – especially the part about her playwriting which was fascinating. Thank you Jennifer!

Jennifer Fawcett recommends, Catch Her When She Falls by Allison Buccola


Episode 82 : Interview with Edward Ashton author of MICKEY7



The Martian meets Dark Matter in Edward Ashton’s high concept science fiction thriller, in which Mickey7, an “expendable,” refuses to let his replacement clone Mickey8 take his place.

I sat down with Ed Ashton in November of 2021 to talk about his fabulous third novel, Mickey7. We talked about the Ship of Theseus, quantum physics, and yes, even some Cthulhu. He also mentioned that Mickey7 has been optioned by Plan B Entertainment with quite the stellar director and lead actor.  Do not miss his website which has Ashton’s many short stories and please do not miss this terrific novel.

Great big thanks to Ed, I had a blast!

Edward Ashton recommends: The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie; and Shakespeare’s Planet by Clifford D. Simak  

Ed & Carol Ann both recommend, Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @edwardashtonwriting


Episode 79: Interview with Erin Bartels author of The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water



Author Erin Bartels took me to the gorgeous state of Michigan not just in her book, but via her website and her stellar conversation for this interview. The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water  explores the theme of forgiving what seems unforgiveable and also addresses how our memories may not be exactly as we remember.

The Library Journal says of The Girl Who Could Breathe Underwater, “Emotions leap off the page in this deeply personal book…” We explore some of those emotions in this episode as well as AquaNotes, the Bay City Rollers, where she gets her ideas from, and her next TWO books – you’re in for a treat right there! Thank you so much Erin – what a pleasure.

Erin Bartels recommends, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett; All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr; Atonement by Ian McEwan; and The Mirror and the Palette by Jennifer Higgie.

 


Episode 78: Interview with Ethan Joella, A LITTLE HOPE



“It’s all here—community, family and friendship, how we love, grieve…a story of ordinary moments that connect and eventually transform us in extraordinary ways.”
—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Lucia, Lucia and The Shoemaker’s Wife

I mean that quote right there says it all about A LITTLE HOPE by Ethan Joella. It was an absolute delight to sit down with him to talk about this remarkable gem of a book. A LITTLE HOPE gives us hope and it’s exactly what I needed as an end of year read. The book is book club gold. Ethan Joella also gives listeners some holiday cheer in this episode – to find out what those gifts are, you’ll have to listen to find out. It may involve actress Jean Smart…  Thank you Ethan for joining me!

Ethan Joella recommends Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson.

You can follow Ethan Joella @joellawriting on Instagram and Twitter!

 


Milestone! Episode 75: Interview with Kimmery Martin



What a way to kick off my 75th episode: hosting author Kimmery Martin for her latest book, Doctors and Friends, and co-hosting this special episode with my pal Cindy Burnett at Thoughts from a Page podcast!

People Magazine calls Doctors and Friends a “..prescient, human and hopeful portrait of medical experts on a pandemic’s frontlines.” And I couldn’t agree more. We talked about writing the book pre-pandemic, how it changed post-pandemic, her wonderful website and so much more! Give a listen.

Kimmery Martin recommends: My Year Abroad by Chang-Rae Lee. My interview with Chang-Rae Lee can be found here!

Place your holds for these Kimmery Martin titles right here.


E74: Interview with Naomi Krupitsky



They say you can’t go home again but I sure did, right back to Brooklyn, NY with author Naomi Krupitsky’s debut novel The Family.  Set in early 20th century Brooklyn, The Family is a captivating debut novel and coming-of-age story about the tangled fates of two best friends, Sophia and Antonia, who are both daughters of the Italian mafia. My copy of The Family is covered in sticky notes, Krupitsky’s prose is beautiful, and I can’t wait for you to read it. Thank you so much for joining me Naomi!

The Family is a November 2021 Read With Jenna Pick and a NYT Bestseller!

Naomi recommends: Matrix by Lauren Groff; and Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim


Episode 70: Interview with Isla Morley



In this luminous historical fiction narrative inspired by the fascinating real case of the Blue People of Kentucky, Isla Morley probes questions of identity, love, and family in her breathtaking new novel.

In 1937, there are recesses in Appalachia no outsiders have ever explored. Two government-sponsored documentarians from Ohio, a writer and photographer are dispatched to penetrate this wilderness and record what they find for President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration. For photographer Clay Havens, the assignment is his last chance to reboot his flagging career. So when he and his journalist partner are warned away from the remote Spooklight Holler outside of town, they set off eagerly in search of a headline story.

I was hooked from the first page, second sentence. Morley’s prose is luminous indeed and I was thrilled to host her for this episode. A must read and book club gold. Can’t thank her enough for joining me.

Isla Morley recommends, The Body by Bill Bryson; Leaving Coy’s Hill by Katherine Sherbrooke; How to Fly by Barbara Kingsolver

   


Episode 69: Interview with Megan Abbott



Just after being selected as the August Read with Jenna pick for her latest book, The Turnout,  I was thrilled to host Megan AbbottAbbott was waving to us from Queens when we spoke…

Taut and unnerving, The Turnout is Megan Abbott at the height of her game. With uncanny insight and hypnotic writing, it is a sharp and strange dissection of family ties and sexuality, femininity and power, and a tale that is both alarming and irresistible and I will not say another word about it, I was on the edge of my seat. Give a listen!

Megan Abbott recommends: Blacktop Wasteland and Razorblade Tears, both by S.A.Cosby; Dreamgirl by Laura Lippman; The Collective by Alison Gaylin

Place you hold for all Megan Abbott titles here.