Tag Archives: book discussions

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. 

    

 


Episode 67: Interview with Claire Luchette



Claire Luchette is so wildly talented that I would follow them anywhere. Here, it’s to Woonsocket along with four women who are searching for meaning and a sense of belonging from each other and the world beyond. The result is a novel that’s blazingly original, wry, and perfectly attuned to the oddness―and the profundity―of life.”
―Cristina Henríquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans

What a pleasure to sit down with Claire Luchette to talk about her gorgeous debut, Agatha of Little Neon. The book offers a view into the lives of women and the choices they make. It is a novel about female friendship and devotion, the roles made available to us, and how we become ourselves. I loved this absolute gem of a book…thank you so much for joining me Claire Luchette!

Claire recommends:  Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So ; Something New Under the Sun by Alexanda Kleeman


Episode 64: Interview with Laurie Frankel for ONE TWO THREE



What is “normal”? Who defines “normal”?

Laurie Frankel asks these questions in all of her books, most notably for One Two Three, a book that had me absolutely riveted. We sat down to talk about the book, how humans define “normal” and so much more. I love the voices of these triplet sisters trying to make their way through insurmountable challenges.

To say I am grateful to have had this time with Laurie Frankel is an understatement. Please don’t miss this episode and do not miss One Two Three, it’s book club gold.

Laurie Frankel recommends: Stranger Care: A Memoir of Loving What Isn’t Ours by Sarah Sentilles; Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy; Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConahgy; and the Hilary Mantel Trilogy: Wolf Hall (2009), Bring up the Bodies (2012) and The Mirror and the Light (2020)

Reserve your Laurie Frankel titles here: One Two Three; This Is How It Always Is; The Atlas of Love; Goodbye For Now


Episode 63: Interview with James Wade 2021 Edition: RIVER, SING OUT



You all remember when James Wade joined us for E42  to discuss his debut novel, All Things Left Wild.

Well, James Wade is BACK!

He’s back on Top Shelf and he’s back to talk about his new book, River Sing OutRiver Sing Out is an East Texas thriller that finds young Jonah Hargrave navigating the very depths of the river bottoms in more ways than one. Hold on to you hats folks, because once again James Wade delivers some serious bad guys in River Sing Out...one in particular is known as the Thin Man and I’m getting the chills just typing his name. So check out this episode because this southern gothic kept me glued until the very last page.

Man it was great to catch up with James Wade, and we even managed to talk about Mare of Easttown, so you’ll just have to give a listen.

James Wade recommends: The Hunting Wives by May Cobb;  Joe Lansdale titles especially the forthcoming Moon Lake; and Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann

Reserve your copy of River, Sing Out ; and All Things Left Wild 


Episode 62: Interview with Steven Rowley



Get your beach towels and picnic blankets ready because Steven Rowley has given us a perfect summer read. I am over the moon to have had the chance to sit down with him for his third book, The Guncle! Rowley tackles modern-day family issues with love and humor and this book is not to be missed. Think Auntie Mame for 2021, and you’ve got The Guncle.

FYI, Guncle’s Day is the second Sunday in August, so you have plenty of time to prepare!

Steven Rowley recommends: A Star is Bored by Byron Lane; Less by Andrew Sean Greer;  Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris; Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead By Emily Austin