Tag Archives: Friday Reads

Episode 49: Interview with author Elizabeth Wetmore



I have wanted to host debut novelist Elizabeth Wetmore on Top Shelf for so long, and when it finally happened, I could barely sleep the night before. This episode was such a delight and I could have spoken to her all day. We talked about her amazing debut, VALENTINE, the strong and determined women in the book and maybe, just maybe there is something new in the works. You’ll have to listen here to find out.  VALENTINE made my “Best of list” for 2020, so please, like I always say: give a listen, read the book!

Thank you SO much Elizabeth. The pleasure was all mine.

Elizabeth Wetmore recommends: Memorial by Bryan Washington, Lot by Bryan Washington, and Last One Out Shut Off the Lights by Stephanie Soileau


Episode 48: Interview with author Ashley Audrain



Pushing into 2021 with an incredible debut…

The Push by Ashley Audrain is not to be missed, so book clubs? Start your engines. For this episode we talked about motherhood fears, the origin story of The Push, being on the author side of publishing, and more.  Ashley Audrain, thank you so much for being our first guest of 2021!

The Push is a tour de force you will read in a sitting, an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, and what it feels like when women are not believed.” ~ from Penguin Random House and I couldn’t have said it any better.

Reserve your copy of The Push here.

Ashley Audrain recommends this title: The Harpy by Mehgan Hunter, check it out!

#givealistenreadthebook

 


Episode 47: Interview with author Greer Macallister



What a terrific sit down with author Greer Macallister!  I’ve been a fan since her debut, The Magician’s Lie. Greer Macallister has the most empowering historical fiction titles that I can hardly wait until she has a new release.  Well, her newest, The Arctic Fury couldn’t be more perfect:  A dozen women join a secret 1850s Arctic expedition―and a sensational murder trial unfolds when some of them don’t come back. That’s some edge of your seat stuff right there. It’s terrific.

We also talked about what’s next for her and boy oh boy, are all you readers in for a surprise, but that’s all you’ll get from me. You’ll just have to listen to the episode. It’s pretty mind blowing!  Thank you so much Greer Macallister for joining me on this episode of Top Shelf at Merrick Library!


Episode 46 Interview with author Susie Yang



Ivy Lin was a thief but you would never know it to look at her. So starts the compelling debut, White Ivy, by my guest for this episode, debut author Susie Yang. 

White Ivy is a coming-of-age novel that is a nuanced exploration of class and race filled with surprising twists and a glimpse into the dark side of a woman who yearns for success at any cost. All I can say is good luck trying to make dinner when you’re halfway through the book!  We had a terrific conversation that included how she got the news about making the NYT Bestseller list, getting the Shondaland treatment, and more! I am thrilled she stopped by to speak with us… thank you so much Susie!

Susie Yang recommends:   The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst and The Patrick Melbourne Novels by Edward St. Aubyn

Give a Listen, Read the Book!


Episode 45 Interview with author Jess Montgomery



For this episode it is with pleasure that I present the first book in an incredible historical mystery series, The Widows by Jess Montgomery. To prep, l listened to the audiobook read by the wonderful Susan Bennett, and it was so immersive, I immediately started reading the second book, The Hollows.

But let’s start with The Widows: Vowing revenge against her sheriff husband’s killers in 1924 Ohio, Lily Ross offers help to a fellow widow and uncovers dangerous evidence about her husband. The Widows, inspired by the true story of Ohio’s first female sheriff, is a powerful debut about two women’s search for justice as they take on the corruption at the heart of their community. Julia Keller, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author calls The Widows, “[A] flinty, heartfelt mystery that sings of hawks and history, of coal mines and the urgent fight for social justice.”

I am so thrilled that Jess Montgomery sat down to chat about this book, the series, merchandising (#TeamLily) and more… I am totally hooked and you will be too.Thank you so much Jess Montgomery!

#GiveAListenReadtheBook


Episode 44 Interview with author A.H. Kim



What constitutes a good family? You may think you know the answer, but then again, maybe not even for one little second.

Book clubs? Start your engines and grab your copy of A Good Family, the must-read debut by author A.H.Kim.  

Synopsis: Big pharma exec Beth Lindstrom is heading to prison thanks to a high-profile whistleblower law suit.  Beth enlists the help of her sister-in-law Hannah to figure out what happened. All I can say is, think Big Little Lies meets Succession and you have A Good Family.

I cannot thank A.H. Kim enough for sitting down to chat with me about family relationships, white-collar prisons and Fruit Stripe gum…no spoilers!

 


Episode 43 Interview with author Kathleen Rooney



I am thrilled to present this interview with Kathleen Rooney for her latest historical fiction stunner, Cher Ami And Major Whittlesey :  a tale based on true events that follows the experiences of an army officer who answers the call to service during WWI before his life and the lives of those in the Lost Battalion are astonishingly reshaped by a battlefield encounter with a messenger pigeon.

I cannot thank Kathleen Rooney enough for sitting down with me for this episode. Folks? Do not miss the unforgettable Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey.  #givealistenreadthebook

Click here to find out the latest and the greatest from Kathleen Rooney. 

Click here to place your hold for any Kathleen Rooney titles.

 

Kathleen Rooney recommends:

Trumbull Park by Frank London Brown; Hog Butcher by Ronald L. Fair


Episode 42 Interview with author James Wade



“There’s a story in my head…” novelist James Wade tells us in this incredible interview about his page-turning historical fiction debut, All Things Left Wild: after a botched robbery, sixteen-year-old Caleb Bentley is on the run with his mean-spirited older brother across the American Southwest at the turn of the 20th century. And boy will Caleb’s moral compass and inner courage be tested.

I could not put this book down. 

What a thrill to talk to James Wade about the book, his writing process, and how he became a writer. Just like his book, this interview is one wild and compelling ride. Hold on to your hats!  A total blast, thanks a million James!

#GiveaListenReadtheBook


Episode 34: Interview with Maurice Carlos Ruffin, author of We Cast A Shadow



 Maurice Carlos Ruffin had an amazing book year in 2019, and since we recorded this podcast, his 2020 has only gotten better. We Cast A Shadow has been selected as a 2020 Pen Open Book Award finalist, is a 2020 ALA RUSA Audio Book award winner, Ruffin himself was the keynote speaker at the Literary New Orleans symposium earlier in the month, the paperback is out on February 4th and while I could go on, please just follow MCR on twitter

What a way to kick off 2020! This was a great interview and I really cannot thank him enough for taking the time. 

Place your library hold right here for We Cast A Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin. 

#GiveAListenReadTheBook

 

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Episode 32: Interview with Julia Armfield, author of Salt Slow



What can I say about Salt Slow by Julia Armfield? This book was the stand-out for me, or a sit-down, because once I started it, I never left my beach chair. From the very first story, Mantis, to the award winning, The Great Awake, it will be hard to put down. Publisher’s Weekly calls Salt Slow by Julia Armfield, “unsettling, uncanny and an utterly delightful debut.” All true. It’s the first time I’ve covered this genre on Top Shelf and I’m thrilled to bring this interview to you.

One of the things we discussed were our favorites in the genre and Julia recommended Fen by Daisy Johnson, and titles by Sarah Hall.   My go-to authors in this genre are: Clare Beams, Angela Carter, Karen Russell, and Carmen Maria Machado. We also talked Stephen King, but really, who doesn’t?

I was so happy to speak with Julia Armfield about this incredible debut collection, Salt Slow. It hits shelves in the US, October 8, 2019. If you’re in the UK, it’s out already-don’t. miss. it.

Very special thanks to Flatiron Books, you guy rock.

#GiveAListenReadTheBook