Sarah's Bookshelves Live

By Sarah Dickinson | Sarah's Bookshelves

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.


Category: Literature

Open in Apple Podcasts


Open RSS feed


Open Website


Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 51
Reviews: 0

Description

Sarah’s Bookshelves Live is a weekly show featuring real talk about books and book recommendations from a featured guest. Each week, Sarah of the blog Sarah’s Bookshelves will talk with her guest about: - 2 OLD BOOKS THEY LOVE - 2 NEW BOOKS THEY LOVE - 1 BOOK THEY DON’T LOVE - AND 1 NEW RELEASE THEY’RE EXCITED ABOUT I’m getting real about all things books and serving you up a bit of snark on the side.

Episode Date
Ep. 86: Summer 2021 Book Preview (with @gilmoreguide)
50:36

Catherine and I share our most anticipated books coming out June – July 2021.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Announcements

  • Join our Patreon Community ($5/mo) to get (get more details about all the goodies available to our patrons and sign up here!):
    • Our new monthly bonus podcast episode series called BEYOND BOOKSTAGRAM where a featured patron shares 3 books she/he loves that are not splashed all over Bookstagram.
    • Our semi-new quarterly bonus podcast episode series called Book Preview Extras! In these episodes, Catherine and I share at least 4 bonus books that we’re excited about that we did not share in the regular Preview episode. 

Highlights

  • Sarah’s and Catherine’s #1 Summer book picks.

Summer 2021 Book Preview [5:57]

June

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

July

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

Other Books Mentioned

About Catherine Gilmore

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Catherine started The Gilmore Guide to Books over 6 years ago after wrapping up a career as a corporate librarian. She loves books and reading (surprise!) and currently lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

Jun 09, 2021
Ep. 85: Circling Back to Spring 2021 Preview Books (with @gilmoreguide)
50:33

In the Spring 2021 Book Preview (Ep. 80), Catherine and I shared our most anticipated books coming out April – May 2021. But, we often haven’t read the books we share in the Preview Episodes.

So, in this new series, we will “circle back” to update you on all the books we presented in the previous season’s Book Preview now that we’ve at least attempted to read them.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Announcement

  • Join our Patreon Community ($5/mo) to get our new bonus podcast episode series called Book Preview Extras! In these episodes, Catherine and I share at least 4 bonus books (we’re sharing 5 this month) that we’re excited about that we did not share in the regular Preview episode. Get more details about all the goodies available to our patrons and sign up here!

Highlights

  • Sarah’s and Catherine’s success rates from the Spring Preview.
  • Our Best and Worst picks from the Spring 2021 Preview episode.
  • Which mythological character the characters in Olympus, Texas correlated to.

Spring 2021 Books We Had Already Read When We Recorded the Preview [5:42]

Sarah’s Picks:

Circling Back: Spring 2021 Books [5:42]

April

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

May

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

June 1

Sarah’s Pick:

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Catherine Gilmore

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Catherine started The Gilmore Guide to Books over 6 years ago after wrapping up a career as a corporate librarian. She loves books and reading (surprise!) and currently lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

Jun 02, 2021
Ep. 84: Paula McLain (Author of When the Stars Go Dark)
49:10

In Episode 84, Paula McLain (author of When the Stars Go Dark) shares why decided to break from her previous style now, how nervous she was through the publication process, and her research into childhood trauma.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • Why Paula decided to break from her historical fiction roots at this particular time in her career.
  • Paula’s writing style and how it works with suspense.
  • The point in Paula’s process where she figured out When the Stars Go Dark would contain so much of her personal history.
  • Paula’s writing process and if it changed with When the Stars Go Dark given it was such a different kind of book than her previous work.
  • How nervous Paula was to take this leap at different stages of the publication process. 
  • How Paula normally pitches new books to her publisher at this stage of her career…and how she had to pitch When the Stars Go Dark differently.
  • Paula’s research into childhood trauma for this book.
  • A bit of detail behind the concept of the “bat signal” from When the Stars Go Dark.
  • Paula’s personal reading habits and how she reads while working on a new book.

Paula’s Book Recommendations [28:42]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book(s) Paula Read [45:40]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Paula

Website | Instagram

Paula McLain is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels, The Paris WifeCircling the Sun, and Love and Ruin. On April 13th, 2021 she introduces her latest title, When the Stars Go Dark.

Paula McLain was born in Fresno, California in 1965. After being abandoned by both parents, she and her two sisters became wards of the California Court System, moving in and out of various foster homes for the next fourteen years. When she aged out of the system, she supported herself by working as a nurses aid in a convalescent hospital, a pizza delivery girl, an auto-plant worker, a cocktail waitress–before discovering she could (and very much wanted to) write. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996.

She is the author of The Paris Wife, a New York Times and international bestseller, which has been published in thirty-four languages. The recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, she is also the author of two collections of poetry; a memoir, Like Family, Growing up in Other People’s Houses; and a first novel, A Ticket to Ride. She lives with her family in Cleveland.

May 26, 2021
Ep. 83: 2021 Summer Reading Special with Susie from @NovelVisits
54:57

In Episode 83, Susie Boutry (@NovelVisits) and I share our favorite books that missed last year’s Summer Reading Guides, books for people who have time to dig into something big in the summer, and our #1 picks for the four of the five categories featured in Sarah’s 2021 Summer Reading Guide.

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Our Summer Reading Guides

Books That Missed Last Year’s Summer Reading Guides [4:12]

Sarah

Susie

Books For People Who Have More Time to Dig Into Something Big in Summer (i.e. “Teacher Books”) [17:36]

Sarah

Susie

Our #1 Picks for Each Summer Reading Guide Category [37:56]

Something Light / Fun

Something Intense / Fast-Paced

Something with a Bit More Substance

Something Different

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Susie

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Susie has loved reading for as long as she can remember. Some of her fondest childhood memories involve long afternoons at the library and then reading late into the night. More than ten years ago, she began journaling about the books I read and turned that passion into writing about books. Her first forays were as a guest reviewer on a friend’s blog, but she soon realized she wanted to be reviewing and talking about books on a blog of my own. From there, Novel Visits was born. That was in 2016 and, though the learning curve was steep, she loves being a part of the book community. Novel Visits focuses on new novel reviews (print and audio), previews of upcoming releases, and musings on all things bookish.

May 12, 2021
Ep. 82: JoAnne Tompkins (Author of What Comes After)
50:53

In Episode 82, JoAnne Tompkins (author of the debut novel What Comes After) shares how her previous career inspired her to write this story, the real-life case that partially inspired the book, and how she wrote a character-driven novel that was also a page turner.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • How JoAnne’s prior career as a trial lawyer, judicial officer, and mediator inspired her to become a writer.
  • The real life case that inspired elements of the story in What Comes After.
  • How JoAnne found her agent and the story of her selling What Comes After to Riverhead.
  • How JoAnne took her characters on a journey that felt a bit like therapy without them actually going through traditional therapy.
  • How she decided to make Isaac a Quaker and her own experience living in a Quaker community.
  • What JoAnne did to make What Comes After introspective / character-driven AND a page turner.
  • How JoAnne approaches writing (and how that changed over the course of writing this book).
  • The most autobiographical part of the book.
  • The story behind Rufus, the dog.

JoAnne’s Book Recommendations [30:35]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book(s) JoAnne Read [47:40]

Other Books Mentioned

About JoAnne

Website | Instagram

JoAnne Tompkins is the author of WHAT COMES AFTERpublished April 2021 by Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Her first career as a trial lawyer and mediator immersed her in lives disrupted by conflict, injury, and far too often violence and abuse. Yet, she discovered in many a resiliency and passion for life that continues to move her. Her written work explores the small moments that hold the possibility of transformation and for finding grace in life’s darkest times. Her short work has appeared in journals such as High Country NewsLithubWriter in the WorldStratus: Journal of Arts and Writing. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She lives in Port Townsend, Washington.

Apr 28, 2021
Ep. 81: Behind-the-Scenes of Narrating Audiobooks with Julia Whelan (Audiobook Narrator)
51:40

In Episode 81, audiobook narrator Julia Whelan goes behind-the-scenes of narrating audiobooks.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • How Julia started narrating audiobooks and a bit about her career path.
  • How Julia got her breakout job narrating Gone Girl.
  • How Julia typically gets hired to narrate an audiobook.
  • How Julia decides which audiobooks she will and won’t narrate.
  • How many audiobooks Julia narrates a year.
  • Authors whose books she would love to record.
  • Types of books Julia generally won’t narrate.
  • How audiobook narration auditions look.
  • How much authors are involved in the recording contract.
  • Julia’s favorite author to narrate for.
  • Julia’s process from when she gets hired to narrate a book through completion.
  • How involved the author is in Julia’s preparation process.
  • How Julia feels about narrating books written by men (and why she mostly narrates books written by women).
  • How Julia feels about narrating male voices, accents, and memoirs (and details about narrating Educated by Tara Westover).
  • How the increase in celebrity narrators has impacted the audiobook narration industry.
  • Julia’s personal reading taste.

Julia’s Book Recommendations [36:53]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books He Loves

One Book He DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE He’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book(s) Julia Read [48:56]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Julia

Website | Instagram | Twitter

Having narrated over 400 audiobooks in all genres, Whelan is, by industry standards, considered one of the top narrators recording today. She’s repeatedly featured on Audiofile Magazine’s annual Best-Of Lists. She was named Audible’s Narrator of the Year in 2014 and is a Grammy-nominated audiobook director. She has acquired multiple Audies and SOVAS (Society of Voice Arts) Awards, including for the performance of her own novel, My Oxford Year. She has won dozens of Earphone Awards, The Audie Award for Best Female Narrator of 2019, and was presented with Audiofile Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Golden Voice Award in 2020. She attributes her distinctive style of narration to her ongoing passion for literature fueled by her decades of acting experience.

Apr 14, 2021
Ep. 80: Spring 2021 Book Preview with @gilmoreguide
53:22

Welcome to the Spring 2021 Book Preview with Catherine of Gilmore Guide to Books!

Catherine and I share our most anticipated books coming out April – May 2021 (plus, 2 June 1 releases!).

Also, stay tuned for my Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2021 blog post, which is coming out soon. I’ll share some of the books I talked about in this podcast, but also some that I didn’t!

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Announcement

  • Join our Patreon Community ($5/mo) to get our new bonus podcast episode series called Book Preview Extras! In these episodes, Catherine and I share at least 4 bonus books (we’re sharing 5 this month) that we’re excited about that we did not share in the regular Preview episode. Get more details about all the goodies available to our patrons and sign up here!

Highlights

  • Catherine and I’s prediction that books about the Roaring 20’s will make a comeback (due to a similar feeling once COVID-19 dissipates a bit).
  • Sarah’s and Catherine’s #1 Spring book picks.

Spring 2021 Book Preview [5:49]

April

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

May

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

June 1

Sarah’s Picks:

Other Books Mentioned

About Catherine Gilmore

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Catherine started The Gilmore Guide to Books over 6 years ago after wrapping up a career as a corporate librarian. She loves books and reading (surprise!) and currently lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

Mar 31, 2021
Ep. 79: "Circling Back" to Winter 2021 Preview Books (with @gilmoreguide)
50:54

Welcome to the first Winter 2021 Circle Back Episode with Catherine of Gilmore Guide to Books!

In the Winter 2021 Book Preview (Ep. 73), Catherine and I shared our most anticipated books coming out January – March 2021. But, we often haven’t read the books we share in the Preview Episodes.

So, in this new series, we will “circle back” to update you on all the books we presented in the previous season’s Book Preview now that we’ve at least attempted to read them.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • Catherine and my success rate for books we shared in our Winter 2021 Preview episode.
  • Our Best and Worst picks from the Winter 2021 Preview episode.
  • A book Catherine liked, but that I DNF’d.

Winter 2021 Books We Had Already Read When We Recorded the Preview [5:17]

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

Circling Back: Winter 2021 Books [10:25]

January

Catherine’s Picks:

February

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

March

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Catherine Gilmore

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Catherine started The Gilmore Guide to Books over 6 years ago after wrapping up a career as a corporate librarian. She loves books and reading (surprise!) and currently lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

Mar 24, 2021
Ep. 78: Deep Backlist Books with Catherine from @gilmoreguide
55:24

In Episode 78, Catherine Gilmore (@gilmoreguide) and I go deep into our backlists to share some of our favorite older books we haven’t talked about in a long time!

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • Catherine’s take on why classics are so long.
  • A book that totally shocked both of us when we read it years ago, but we wonder if would shock as much today given other books and movies that have come out since.
  • Our inverse initial experiences with Anna Quindlen.
  • Sarah’s “unicorn” book.

Deep Backlist Books [2:25]

Sarah

Catherine

Other Books Mentioned

About Catherine

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Catherine started The Gilmore Guide to Books over 6 years ago after wrapping up a career as a corporate librarian. She loves books and reading (surprise!) and currently lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

Mar 17, 2021
Ep. 77: Syed M. Masood (Author of The Bad Muslim Discount)
52:15

In Episode 77, Syed M. Masood (author of The Bad Muslim Discount) joins me to talk about the evolution of The Bad Muslim Discount, writing about serious topics with humor, and what it’s like the publish 3 books in 18 months.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • Syed’s inspiration for The Bad Muslim Discount.
  • How early drafts of the book were different from the final version.
  • The spectrum of levels of devotion to the Muslim faith covered in the book.
  • Syed’s literary hero.
  • How he felt about using irreverent humor to talk about religion (and why he chose to do this).
  • Whether Anvar and Amir’s parents and grandmother are based on his real life parents and grandmother.
  • How Syed used the theme of destiny in the book.
  • How the immigrant experience is a condensation of the broader human experience.
  • His connection to the game of Checkers, which plays a role in the story.
  • What it was like for Syed to publish 2 books (one adult and one YA) within 6 months of each other.
  • The process differences between writing adult and YA.

Syed’s Book Recommendations [31:51]

Two OLD Books He Loves

Two NEW Books He Loves

One Book He DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE He’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book Laura Read [49:09]

Other Books Mentioned

About Syed

Website | Instagram | Twitter

I grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and currently live in Sacramento, California. There have been plenty of stops in between though. I’m a first generation immigrant, twice over. I’ve been a citizen of three different countries and lived in nine cities. I am, as Goethe, said, “nothing but a wanderer […] on this earth.”

Living among different people, in different countries at fascinating times in their histories, has shaped both my view of the world and my writing. Ultimately, human beings are the same everywhere (despite the fact that they tell themselves, everywhere, that they are different from each other), and the theme of this fundamental human unity informs everything I write.

As to my life outside of writing, I went to the William and Mary School of Law, and before that attended the University of Toronto, where I studied English Literature. I am currently practicing as an attorney and must “measure out my life in coffee spoons” on a daily basis.

Some members of my family will tell you that I’m also a poet. This isn’t true. I wrote a few poems in Urdu when I was a teenager, and I’ve never heard the end of it…which I wouldn’t mind, honestly, if they were any good. As it is, I’m very happy living in prose, thank you very much.

Other interests include good food, video games, sitcoms, and books of all kinds. Most of my time that doesn’t go to writing or billable hours is consumed by my two children, four and two years of age.

Mar 03, 2021
Ep. 76: Laura Tremaine (Author of Share Your Stuff. I'll Go First & Host of 10 Things to Tell You Podcast)
01:09:08

In Episode 76, Laura Tremaine (author of Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First. and host of 10 Things to Tell You podcast) joins me to talk about why women in mid-life have trouble sharing, how she chose the 10 prompts in her book, how her book club chooses the books they read, and how her reading has been recently.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • The origin of the concept for Laura’s book and her podcast.
  • Laura’s view on why women in mid-life particularly tend to have trouble sharing.
  • How Laura chose these particular 10 questions for readers to ask themselves.
  • Why being less “married” to this book idea helped it succeed more than her previous book ideas.
  • If being a published author will change the way Laura talks about books on her podcast moving forward.
  • A teaser of Laura’s second book.
  • How long it took Laura to write Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First.
  • How Laura’s reading life has looked over the past couple months.
  • How Laura’s book club chooses the books they read.
  • How Laura’s podcast listeners’ reading taste aligns with her own.
  • The next Stephen King book for someone who loved 11/22/63, but doesn’t love King’s horror.

Laura’s Book Recommendations [36:03]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book Laura Read [1:03:33]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links Mentioned

About Laura

Website | Instagram | Twitter

Laura Tremaine grew up in small town Oklahoma and moved to Los Angeles sight unseen when she was twenty-two years old. She worked in film and television production for many years at MTV, VH1, Fox, and Paramount Pictures, before pursuing writing full time.

Laura has been sharing her life online for ten years. She writes about friendship, anxiety, motherhood, and marriage. Her blog posts and podcast episodes resonate with women looking for ways to connect more deeply with others as they transform from one era of life into another.

Laura lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Jeff, and their two children.

Feb 17, 2021
BONUS EPISODE: Sarah's February 2021 Book Recommendations + 4 New Patron Benefits
29:33

In this special bonus episode, I share 4 new benefits for podcast patrons and listeners get to hear my February 2021 Book Recommendations episode, which is normally only available to patrons.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Patron Benefits (including 4 New Benefits)

Support the podcast on Patreon here!

For $5 a month, you’ll get access to…

  • Monthly “Superlatives” bonus podcast episodes (every full length episode guest will answer 5 bookish “superlative” questions just for Patrons).
  • Monthly “Book Recommendations” bonus podcast episodes (Sarah shares her own book recommendations in the same format as the big show).
  • NEW: Book Preview Extras bonus podcast episode (quarterly episode featuring additional new releases Catherine Gilmore and I are excited for that we didn’t talk about on the big show’s Preview).
  • NEW: Weekly “Real-Time Reading” newsletter and Facebook discussion (quick overview of what Sarah is currently reading, just finished reading, DNF’d, and is thinking about reading next).
  • NEW: Monthly Recap newsletter (quick thoughts on every book I read that month + round-up of all Patron benefits for that month).
  • Goodreads Choice Awards Breakdown (bonus podcast episode).
  • NEW: Patrons’ Best Books of the Year Tournament (bracket-style with bonus podcast episode breakdown). 
  • 25% discount on purchase of my Rock Your Reading Tracker and access to a bonus podcast episode about how to use the tracker.
  • Priority placement on the waiting list to appear as a guest on a mini episode of Sarah’s Bookshelves Live (currently on hold).
  • the Sarah’s Bookshelves Live Patrons-Only Facebook Group where you can share book recommendations with other Sarah’s Bookshelves Live listeners, ask for recommendations, share your thoughts about upcoming podcast episodes, suggest questions for podcast guests, and get exclusive behind the scenes information from Sarah.

For $3 a month, you’ll get…

  • the Sarah’s Bookshelves Live Patrons-Only Facebook Group (see details above).

Your support will go towards…

  • First and foremost, I’ll be using this money to pay for a professional podcast editor. This means better audio quality for you and a considerable amount of time freed up for me to develop more bookish content for you.
  • I’ll also be using this money to cover the general expenses of producing a podcast (hosting fees, recording software, recording equipment, etc).

Sarah’s Book Recommendations [9:49]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links Mentioned

Feb 11, 2021
Ep. 75: Ashley Audrain (Author of The Push)
55:32

In Episode 75, Ashley Audrain (author of The Push) joined me to talk about society’s expectations of mothers, how her publishing background influenced an early draft of The Push, and what it’s like to read and write dark stores.

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • Generational differences in how society views motherhood and interesting feedback Ashley has gotten from mothers in her parents’ generation.
  • What the overwhelming response to The Push has been like for Ashley and whether she expected this type of reaction from readers.
  • How (and when) she found out The Push was going to be a GMA Book Club pick.
  • How Ashley’s publishing marketing / PR background during The Girl on the Train‘s heyday influenced an early draft of The Push, which she eventually changed.
  • How Ashley felt about writing such a dark book about a revered topic.
  • What Sarah gets out of reading dark books.
  • Some interesting feedback from men that Ashley has heard about The Push.
  • Harmful phrases that are thrown around about motherhood all the time and how they can impact mothers’ mental health.
  • Ashley’s thought process as she was writing Violet’s character.
  • Ashley’s memories of reading We Need to Talk About Kevin.
  • How / why Ashley decided to go with a slightly ambiguous ending (and her revision journey to get there).
  • A preview of Ashley’s next book (called The Whisperers).

Ashley’s Book Recommendations [33:59]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book Ashley Read [50:02]

Other Books Mentioned

About Ashley

Website | Instagram

Ashley previously worked as the publicity director of Penguin Books Canada. Prior to Penguin, she worked in public relations. She is a graduate of the Media, Information & Technoculture program at Western University. She lives in Toronto, where she and her partner are raising their two young children.

The Push is her first novel.

Next Episode

There will not be a new episode next week since the podcast is on a bi-weekly schedule.

The following week, there will be a full length episode featuring Laura Tremaine, the author of Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First. and the host of the podcast 10 Things to Tell You (airing February 17).

Feb 03, 2021
Ep. 74: Judging the Aspen Words Literary Prize with Sara Hildreth (@fictionmatters)
54:31

In Episode 74, Sara Hildreth from @fictionmatters and the Novel Pairings Podcast shares her experience judging the Aspen Words literary prize.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • Whether publishers stuck to the stated mission of the prize when they submitted books.
  • The role of the Reading Committee and how it works with the judges.
  • How Sara was approached to do this and if she got paid.
  • The types of people that are able to take on a role like this given the time commitment and small payment (and some ways the process could be streamlined to open up a role like this to a larger subset of people).
  • Sara’s personal process for reading, rating, and ranking the 185 submissions.
  • Whether Sara was allowed to DNF and what guidance the Prize gave her about DNF’ing.
  • How Sara balanced her personal enjoyment of a submission with the book’s literary merit.
  • How Sara handled books where her personal views on the issue being highlighted differed dramatically from the viewpoint put forth in the book.
  • The book Sara would choose as the winner if she was the sole judge.
  • The impact judging the prize had on Sara’s reading life (including what she read when she wasn’t reading Prize submissions, things she learned through this process that she’ll integrate into her reading life moving forward, and it she’d ever do something like this again).

Sara’s Book Recommendations [34:52]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book Sara Read [50:02]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Sara

Website | Instagram | Podcast

Sara Hildreth is a reader, teacher, and lifelong learner. 

Prior to this year, Sara taught high school English at an all-girls school in Colorado. 

While working on her MA in Literature at Georgetown University, Sara began sharing her reading life publicly on Instagram as a way to connect with bibliophiles outside of academia. Through her participation in this community, Sara fell in love with recommending books to a larger audience all while challenging her thinking and expanding her own reading taste.

She lives in Denver, CO with her husband and their puppy, Mr. Bingley.

Jan 20, 2021
Ep. 73: Winter 2021 Book Preview
53:50

Catherine and I share our most anticipated books coming out January – March 2021.

Also, stay tuned for my Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2021 blog post, which is coming out soon. I’ll share some of the books I talked about in this podcast, but also some that I didn’t!

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • How we feel our 2021 reading taste (compared to the weirdness of 2020) might pan out based on the first couple releases we’ve read.
  • Catherine and my success rate for books we shared in our Fall 2020 Preview episode.
  • Our Best and Worst picks from the Fall 2020 Preview episode.
  • Sarah’s and Catherine’s #1 Winter book picks.

Winter 2021 Book Preview [6:43]

January

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

February

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

March

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Catherine Gilmore

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Catherine started The Gilmore Guide to Books over 6 years ago after wrapping up a career as a corporate librarian. She loves books and reading (surprise!) and currently lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

Next Episode

There will not be a new episode next week since the podcast is on a bi-weekly schedule.

The following week’s episode will feature Sara Hildreth of @fictionmatters and the Novel Pairings Podcast going behind-the-scenes of judging a literary prize (airing January 20).

Jan 06, 2021
Ep. 72: Best Backlist Books We Read in 2020 with Catherine (@gilmoreguide)
55:55

In Episode 72, Catherine Gilmore (@gilmoreguide) and I share the best backlist books we read in 2020 and the high priority backlist books on our TBR lists.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Announcements

Highlights

  • Catherine and my 2020 backlist reading stats.
  • Things that motivate Catherine and I to read more backlist throughout the year.
  • The pressure Catherine and I sometimes feel to read mostly new releases (which inhibits our backlist reading).

The Top 5 Backlist Books We Read in 2020 [9:55]

Sarah

Catherine

2020 Backlist Underrated Gems [29:07]

Sarah

Catherine

Big Name Backlist Books We Finally Read in 2020 [36:57]

Sarah

Catherine

Authors Whose Backlist We’ve Been Meaning to Dig Into [41:46]

Sarah

Catherine

High Priority Backlist Books on our TBR Lists [46:58]

Sarah

Catherine

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Catherine

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Catherine started The Gilmore Guide to Books over 6 years ago after wrapping up a career as a corporate librarian. She loves books and reading (surprise!) and currently lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

Dec 09, 2020
Ep. 71: Best Books of 2020 and Bookish Superlatives with Susie from @NovelVisits
01:09:21

In Episode 71, Susie Boutry (@NovelVisits) and I share our favorite 2020 books (overall and by genre) and our picks for tons of bookish superlatives.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Announcements

Highlights

  • 2020 Podcast Overview (including favorite and most downloaded episodes) 
  • Overview of our reading years (including the impact of COVID-19)
  • Favorite books of 2020 (trends, overall, by genre)
  • 2020 Superlative Awards

Our Favorite Books of 2020 (Overall and by Genre) [19:31]

Sarah

Susie

2020 Superlatives [45:01]

Sarah

Susie

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Susie

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Susie has loved reading for as long as she can remember. Some of her fondest childhood memories involve long afternoons at the library and then reading late into the night. More than ten years ago, she began journaling about the books I read and turned that passion into writing about books. Her first forays were as a guest reviewer on a friend’s blog, but she soon realized she wanted to be reviewing and talking about books on a blog of my own. From there, Novel Visits was born. That was in 2016 and, though the learning curve was steep, she loves being a part of the book community. Novel Visits focuses on new novel reviews (print and audio), previews of upcoming releases, and musings on all things bookish.

Nov 25, 2020
Ep. 70: All Things Audiobooks with Claire Handscombe of Libro.fm
53:35

In Episode 70, Claire Handscombe from Libro.fm joins me to talk about Libro.fm, tips for audiobook listeners, and shares a TON of fantastic audiobook recommendations.

Special Offer for New $5/month Patrons (sign up here)

Libro.fm is offering 1 free audiobook credit to anyone who signs up to support Sarah’s Bookshelves on Patreon during the month of November!

Plus, we’ve got some fun things planned for patrons for the end of the year:

  • Best Books of 2020 Tournament for Patrons (culminating in a bonus podcast episode breaking down the tournament)
  • Goodreads Choice Awards Breakdown – bonus podcast episode with Carla from Happiest When Reading
  • “How to Get the Most Out of Your 2021 Reading Tracker” bonus podcast episode (plus, a 25% discount on the purchase of the 2021 tracker for patrons)

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • How Libro.fm supports independent bookstores.
  • The biggest differences between Libro.fm and Audible (including some I was unaware of).
  • What happens to the author of an audiobook you return to Audible.
  • How to return an audiobook to Libro.fm (email hello@libro.fm).
  • Steps Libro.fm has taken to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Tips for people who tend to zone out while listening to audiobooks.
  • “Starter” audiobook recommendations [21:43]
  • 2020 audiobook listening trends and any changes in listening trends when COVID-19 hit.
  • Audiobooks that would make great gifts [26:12]
  • Big audiobooks coming out this winter that we should be excited about [28:19]

Claire’s Book Recommendations [33:53]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

  • The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris [44:27]

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book Claire Read [50:53]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Claire

Website | Instagram

Claire is a British writer who moved to Washington, DC, in 2012, ostensibly to study for an MFA in Creative Writing at American University, but really, let’s be honest, because of an obsession with The West Wing.

She focussed on fiction during her MFA, but also took classes in literary journalism, poetry translation, and political speechwriting (because, yes, of The West Wing).

Her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications in four countries, including both of the UK’s best-selling writing magazines, as well as the Washington Post. She is also a regular contributor to the largest independent book site in the US, Book Riot, and the host of the Brit Lit Podcast, a fortnightly show of news and views from British books and publishing.

Her début novel, Unscripted, is forthcoming from Unbound. She is also the author of Conquering Babel: A Practical Guide to Learning a Language, as well as the editor of an anthology of essays and interviews about the impact of The West Wing on lives and culture.

Nov 11, 2020
Ep. 69: Peace Adzo Medie (Author of Reese's Book Club October pick His Only Wife)
51:54

In Episode 69, Peace Adzo Medie (author of His Only Wife) talks about why she decided to use fiction to speak out about gender politics, the importance of women asserting themselves, and when first started writing (it was when she was very young!).

Please note that this episode was recorded before His Only Wife was announced as Reese’s Book Club’s October pick.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • Why Peace decided to look at gender politics (the subject she teaches) through fiction.
  • What she learned from speaking with women who are victims of domestic violence (including why they sometimes choose to stay in these relationships).
  • Why she decided not to focus include violence in His Only Wife.
  • How common arranged are in Peace’s experience.
  • How women are a key part of politics, economics, and social life in Ghana.
  • The importance of the day-to-day things women do to assert themselves.
  • How the term “respect” is sometimes used to push women to respect men and the problematic treatment of “disrespectful” women.
  • Which of the three central female characters Peace aspires to be.
  • Why she chose to let Muna exist mostly in the background of the story and whether she ever considered writing portions of the book from Muna’s perspective.
  • How Peace decided what the ending would be and whether that changed at all as she was writing.
  • When Peace first started writing (she was young!) and why she started writing when she did.
  • A bit about Peace’s next novel (which she’s already written).

Peace’s Book Recommendations [34:08]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book Peace Read [49:16]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Peace

Website | Instagram

Peace Adzo Medie is a scholar and writer. She is Senior Lecturer in Gender and International Politics at the University of Bristol. Her research addresses gender, politics, and conflict in Africa. Her book, Global Norms and Local Action: The Campaigns to End Violence against Women in Africa, was published in March 2020 by Oxford University PressHer debut novel, His Only Wife, was published in September 2020 by Algonquin Books and selected as the October Pick for Reese’s Book Club. Medie’s research has been supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council, and her findings have been published in African Affairs, International Studies Review, Politics & Gender, and the European Journal of Politics and Gender. Her work has won several awards, including the 2019 Best Paper Award of the European Journal of Politics and Gender. Her short stories have appeared in Slice MagazineTransitionFour Way Review, and elsewhere. She is a co-editor of African Affairs, the top-ranked African Studies journal and is also a Research Fellow at LECIAD, University of Ghana, and a 2015 – 2017  Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow. She earned a BA in Geography from the University of Ghana, an MA in International Studies from Ohio University, and a PhD in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. She attended OLA Girls Secondary School, Ho. Medie is represented by Kiele Raymond at Thompson Literary Agency

Next Episode

There will not be a new episode next week since the podcast is on a bi-weekly schedule.

The following week, there will be a full length episode about all things audiobooks featuring Claire Handscombe from Libro.fm (airing November 11).

Oct 28, 2020
Ep. 68: Eilene Zimmerman (Author of Smacked: A Story of White-Collar Ambition, Addiction, and Tragedy)
50:19

In Episode 68, Eilene Zimmerman (author of Smacked) shares how she decided to go public with her experience discovering her ex-husband was addicted to drugs, her research into addiction in the legal profession, and how Peter’s death shaped Eilene’s life now.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • How Eilene went from not divulging the real reason Peter died beyond a very small circle of friends and family to writing a memoir about her experience.
  • How her kids have been doing since Smacked was published.
  • How Peter’s law firm reacted to the NYT article and the book’s publication.
  • When Eilene believes Peter first started using.
  • What it was like for Eilene to go through this as Peter’s ex-wife (rather than as his wife).
  • Why she started missing Peter after he passed away (even though they’d been split up for quite awhile).
  • Addiction in the legal profession and the toxic culture of BigLaw.
  • Eilene’s journalism career and how Peter’s addiction and death shaped her journalism career moving forward.
  • Smacked being optioned for film by Elisabeth Moss’ production company.

Eilene’s Book Recommendations [30:38]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book Eilene Read [46:54]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Eilene

Website | Instagram

Eilene Zimmerman is a journalist and social worker. For three decades, she has written about business, technology and social issues for a wide array of national magazines and newspapers. She was a columnist for The New York Times Sunday Business section for six years and since 2004 has been a regular contributor to the newspaper. In September 2020, Zimmerman completed a masters degree in social work.

Next Episode

There will not be a new episode next week since the podcast is on a bi-weekly schedule.

The following week, there will be a full length episode featuring Peace Adzo Medie, author of His Only Wife (airing October 28).

Oct 14, 2020
Ep. 67: Libraries and COVID-19 (and YA Books) with Kelly Jensen
56:21

In Episode 67, Kelly Jensen of Book Riot shares what she learned from a survey of librarians about how they’re managing through COVID-19, ripple effects of COVID-19 on libraries moving forward, and the huge cost differential for libraries to acquire digital books (e-books and audiobooks) vs. print books.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • The many things libraries do beyond lending books.
  • What Kelly learned from the librarians’ survey she did this summer.
  • How libraries can support students this Fall with so many schools learning virtually.
  • How librarian’s jobs have changed due to COVID-19.
  • The clutter of virtual book content right now and attendance levels at libraries’ virtual programs.
  • Creative things libraries have started doing during COVID-19 (i.e. Library book bundles).
  • The surprising thing Kelly saw in the survey results.
  • Libraries quarantining books between lends because of COVID-19.
  • Librarians being repurposed into different roles to help with COVID-19 (including as contact tracers).
  • COVID-related icebergs that might have big ripple effects on libraries moving forward.
  • How library budget cuts could end up looking.
  • The cost for libraries to acquire digital books (e-books and audiobooks) compared to print books.
  • The logistics of libraries acquiring e-books.
  • Publishers changing the terms of how libraries can acquire e-books during COVID.

Kelly’s Book Recommendations [37:50]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book Kelly Read [50:40]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Kelly

Website | Instagram | Twitter

Kelly Jensen is a former teen librarian who worked in several public libraries before pursuing a full-time career in writing and editing. Her current position is with Book Riot, the largest independent book website in North America, where she focuses on talking about young adult literature in all of its manifestations. Before becoming a fully-fledged adult-like person, she worked in the swanky Texas Legislative Library entering data into a computer while surrounded by important politicians, scooped gelato for hungry college students, and spent hours reading, annotating, and scanning small-town Texas newspapers into a giant searchable database.

Her books include Here We Are: Feminism For The Real World (Algonquin Young Readers, February 2017) a collection of art, essays, and words from over 44 voices. (Don’t) Call Me Crazy is a collection of art, essays, and words to launch a powerful and important conversation about mental health. It was named a best book of 2018 by the Washington Post and earned a Schneider Family Book Award Honor for distinguished representation of the disability experience. Both books are published by Algonquin Young Readers, which will publish her third anthology Body Talk, a collection about the physical and political nature of the human body, in Fall 2020. She cohosts the popular YA book podcast Hey YA with Eric Smith and is a regular cohost on Book Riot’s All The Books podcast with Liberty Hardy. Kelly also writes the twice-weekly “What’s Up in YA?” newsletter for Book Riot, which reaches nearly 60,000 inboxes. 

Kelly lives in Illinois with her husband, her bunny, and five needy-but-awesome cats. In her free time, she is a certified yoga teacher, writes for her personal blog STACKED (stackedbooks.org), volunteers for Young At Heart, drinks a lot of tea, and practices photography. Some of her favorite things include churro smashmallows, black licorice, adoring eyelashes on various animals (giraffes are the best, obv), fusing glass, spending too many hours in bookstores, debating the best seltzer in the world’s best secret seltzer Facebook group, and owning as much Halloween decor as possible.

Her writing has been featured on Bustle, in Bust Magazine, at The Writer’s Digest, The Huffington Post, at Rookie Magazine, The Horn Book, BlogHer, School Library Journal. She contributed an essay and a guide to teen sexuality in pop culture for Amber J. Keyser’s The V-Word: True Stories of First-Time Sex and is the author of the book It Happens: A Guide to Contemporary Realistic Fiction for the YA Reader from VOYA Press.

Kelly is happy to discuss possibilities for professional speaking, editing, and/or writing opportunities, in person or online. You can learn more about her, her background, and her passions in this interview.

She is represented by Tina Dubois at ICM Partners and can be reached at kelly@stackedbooks.org.

Next Episode

There will not be a new episode next week since the podcast is on a bi-weekly schedule.

The following week, there will be a full length episode featuring Eilene Zimmerman, author of Smacked: A Story of White-Collar Ambition, Addiction, and Tragedy (airing October 14).

Sep 30, 2020
Ep. 66: Kate Stayman - London (Author of One to Watch)
56:28

In Episode 66, Kate Stayman-London (author of One to Watch) talks about how The Bachelor / ette franchise inspired her book, diversity in the franchise, and shares her biggest fear before her book came out.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • How Kate got from writing for Hillary Clinton to writing fiction about reality TV.
  • The novel Kate thought she was going to write before she ended up writing One to Watch.
  • The Bachelor season Kate was watching when she got the idea for the book.
  • Kate’s biggest fear about One to Watch before it came out.
  • The real life Bachelor incident that caused her to have to take her fictionalized version of something similar out of the book.
  • Random House’s legal department’s view of the book.
  • What happened when she went on Reality Steve‘s podcast.
  • Why Kate chose to focus on body type diversity in One to Watch rather than any of the other types of diversity (racial, sexuality, etc).
  • The prejudice overweight women face in daily life.
  • What changes Kate would like to see The Bachelor / ette franchise make re: body type diversity (and diversity in general).
  • Kate answers listener questions.
  • The book Kate feels is One to Watch‘s “big cousin.”

Kate’s Book Recommendations [37:50]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book Kate Read [52:06]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Kate

Website | Instagram | Twitter

Kate is a novelist, screenwriter, and political strategist. She served as lead digital writer for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and has written for notable figures ranging from President Obama and Malala Yousafzai to Anna Wintour and Cher. When not writing or traveling, Kate can be found obsessively ranking Taylor Swift songs, laughing loudly with friends over really good bottles of wine, and of course, watching reality TV. She lives in Los Angeles.

Next Episode

There will not be a new episode next week since the podcast is on a bi-weekly schedule.

The following week, there will be a full length episode featuring Kelly Jensen talking about libraries & COVID (airing September 30).

Sep 16, 2020
Ep. 65: Fall 2020 Book Preview
56:14

Catherine and I share our most anticipated books coming out August – December 2020.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • Catherine and my success rate for books we shared in our Summer 2020 Preview episode.
  • Why our ability to pick books feels off right now.
  • Our Best and Worst picks from the Summer 2020 Preview episode.
  • An inadvertent running theme in this episode.
  • Sarah’s and Catherine’s #1 Fall book picks.

Fall 2020 Book Preview [8:04]

August

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

September

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

October

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

November

Sarah’s Picks:

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Catherine Gilmore

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Catherine started The Gilmore Guide to Books over 6 years ago after wrapping up a career as a corporate librarian. She loves books and reading (surprise!) and currently lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

Next Episode

There will not be a new episode next week since the podcast is on its bi-weekly summer schedule.

The following week, there will be a full length episode featuring Kate Stayman-London, author of One to Watch (airing September 16).

Sep 02, 2020
Ep. 64: Catherine Adel West (Author of Saving Ruby King)
54:55

Catherine Adel West (author of Saving Ruby King) talks about how she found her agent, the strong women of Saving Ruby King, and how she decided to make the church a narrator.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • How different her first draft was from the final book.
  • The story of how she found an agent (via a Twitter contest for marginalized writers!) and Saving Ruby King was bought by a publisher.
  • The exact tweet she used to pitch Saving Ruby King in the Twitter contest.
  • Her advice to querying writers.
  • Saving Ruby King‘s original title and Ruby’s original name.
  • The message Catherine wanted to share about the strengths and struggles of black women through her story and her characters.
  • What growing up on the South Side of Chicago was like for Catherine.
  • How she decided to make the church a narrator.
  • How her own relationship with her faith and church shaped the book.
  • Her Dad’s (he’s a pastor and the character of Jackson Potter is based on him) reaction to the book.
  • The prequel to Saving Ruby King that Catherine is currently working on…and the possibility of this being a 4 book series.
  • How Catherine got Leesa Cross-Smith to blurb Saving Ruby King.
  • A bit about the lack of diversity in the publishing industry and the #publishingpaidme hashtag.

Catherine’s Book Recommendations [31:30]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book Catherine Read [48:47]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Catherine

Website | Instagram | Twitter

Catherine graduated with both her BA and MA in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her work has been published in Gay MagazineBlack Fox Literary MagazineFive2OneBetter Than Starbucks, and others. Catherine was born and raised in Chicago. Saving Ruby King is her debut novel.

Next Episode

There will not be a new episode next week since the podcast is on a bi-weekly schedule.

The following week will be the Fall 2020 Book Preview episode with Catherine from Gilmore Guide to Books (airing September 2).

Aug 19, 2020
Podcast Update
15:29

I'm sharing a quick update about a few changes to expect with the podcast when it comes back on the air on August 19. And, I'm sharing the high-level survey results that drove some of these changes.

  • Eliminate the Rate It Game (and replace with a closing question I ask every guest). 
  • Add quarterly special episodes with a recurring guest host (in addition to the Previews)...that focus mostly on backlist books. 
  • Begin the Fall with bi-weekly full length episodes until I understand how much time I have available given my kids' virtual learning.
  • Target more "regular readers" (i.e. readers without a bookstagram account) as Mini Episode guests. Aim for a nice mix of bookstagrammers and regular readers.

Apply to Be A Guest on a Mini Episode of the Podcast 

Aug 07, 2020
Ep. 63: Helena Dea Bala (author of Craigslist Confessional)
01:02:16

In Episode 63, Helen Dea Bala (author of Craigslist Confessional) shares why she started Craigslist Confessional, how she decided to quit her job to pursue Craigslist Confessional full-time, and shares her own story of immigrating to the U.S. from Albania.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Announcement [00:55]

Y’all know I had always planned to air the podcast bi-weekly through the summer. As the summer has progressed, I’ve realized how burned out I am (this probably isn’t a surprise to y’all if you’ve been reading between the lines of my recent posts). The last couple months of quarantine with 2 young children, having to manage all their distance learning, and lacking any childcare completely drained me. I pushed through because there was an end point. It’s now becoming apparent that school will not resume as normal in the Fall, which will require me to put structure in place to make sure our lives can run smoothly for the longer-term.
 
I need some time and space to be able to think clearly (rather than frantically turning my wheels to keep churning out content) and plan for how the podcast will look and how my family’s life will run in the future. So, I’ve decided to take a FULL break from the podcast following today’s episode…most likely until mid-August. 
  • My plan at this point is to return with a new full length episode on August 19 and resume a normal schedule from that point on.
  • In the meantime, I’ll still be sharing what I’m reading on the blog and sometimes on Instagram.
  • AND, my bonus podcast content for patrons (support the podcast on Patreon here) will NOT change during my break. I’ll still be releasing 2 bonus episodes per month…one book recommendations episode and one Superlatives episode.
I consider this podcast a marathon, not a sprint. I’m committed to it and want to ensure I’m able to give it my all over the long term. Thank you all so much for your understanding and know that I appreciate every one of you so much! I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments.

Highlights

  • How a conversation with a homeless man in front of her D.C. office building gave Helena the idea for Craigslist Confessional.
  • The story of quitting her job as a lobbyist to pursue Craigslist Confessional full-time.
  • How her parents (who were extremely proud of her job as a lobbyist) felt about her quitting to do Craigslist Confessional full time…and how their feelings were shaped by their immigrant experience.
  • How / why she decided to just listen to her Craigslist subjects without offering advice and what that was like.
  • The logistics of getting these personal conversations into book form.
  • How she cared for her own mental health while being enmeshed in these oftentimes horrific stories.
  • What it was like to listen to stories told by the person who was doing the harm (rather than the victim).
  • The two subjects she’s kept in communication with since their initial conversations.

Helena’s Book Recommendations [36:43]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Rate It Game [48:47]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Helena

Website | Instagram | Twitter

Helena Dea Bala immigrated to the United States as a child. To make ends meet during those difficult first years, she helped her mother clean houses on the weekends. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from George Washington University and worked to become a lawyer and lobbyist in Washington, DC. After her day job left her feeling disconnected and unfulfilled, she deferred her student loans, applied for a credit card, and gave herself one year—one year to just listen. Five years in, she now does Craigslist Confessional full time. Find out more at CraigslistConfessional.com.

Next Episode

The podcast will be on hiatus through mid-August.

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon – When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Jul 08, 2020
Ep. 62: Behind-the-Scenes of Book Marketing with Morgan Hoit (@nycbookgirl, Avid Reader Press)
54:11

In Episode 62, Morgan Hoit (Associate Marketing Manager at Avid Reader Press & @nycbookgirl) and I go behind-the-scenes of book marketing…including read-alikes, celebrity book clubs, author blurbs, and cover art. Morgan also shares some of her favorite memoirs, a genre she’s been loving lately.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • How Morgan made the jump from #bookstagrammer to working for a publisher.
  • The most surprising thing she learned when she began working for a publisher.
  • Who the “quarterback” is for a book.
  • How the process of coming up with a book’s marketing plan works (including how much the author is involved).
  • How Avid tracks #bookstagrammers’ reading taste.
  • Morgan’s take on posting negative reviews online.
  • How coronavirus has changed book marketing (and the changes Morgan thinks might live on post-coronavirus).
  • The “holy grail” of celebrity book clubs.
  • How those read-alikes are chosen.
  • How publishers get author blurbs for their books.
  • How publishers choose cover art.

Morgan’s Book Recommendations [32:52]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

Two Books She DIDN’T Like

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Rate It Game [49:15]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Morgan

Blog | Instagram | Twitter

Prior to joining Avid Reader Press, Morgan worked as an Associate at Jill Furman Productions for two and a half years, where she assisted in the producing of new plays and musicals for Broadway and the NYC theater industry. At Avid Reader Press, Morgan is the voice of the imprint on social media and also manages title marketing campaigns, working closely with authors on their digital presence and social media strategy. In her free time, Morgan is also the content creator and book worm behind nycbookgirl – a blog dedicated to book recommendations, guides to NYC, and more.  She was born in NYC and raised in New Jersey, and she graduated from Duke University magna cum laude with degrees in English and Theater Studies.

Next Episode

There will not be a new episode next week since the podcast is on its bi-weekly summer schedule.

The following week, there will be a full length episode featuring Helena Dea Bala, author of Craigslist Confessional (airing July 8).

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon – When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Jun 24, 2020
BONUS EPISODE: Favorite Books by Black Authors
36:44

A lot has happened in the world over the past couple weeks that hasn’t been reflected on the podcast because June episodes were recorded in mid-May. So, I wanted to bring you this special bonus episode to highlight some books by black authors that I’ve loved over the past couple years. 

These are stories of the lives of particular black characters and people that have stuck with me (in many cases for years) since I read them. 

I’m also looking to highlight more stories by and about black people moving forward on the podcast.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Favorite Books by Black Authors (Fiction) [3:04]

2 Auto-Buy Authors

An Old-Time Favorite Author (Stephen L. Carter)

Under the Radar Gems

Super Buzzy Books You’ve Probably Already Heard Of

Favorite Books by Black Authors (Nonfiction) [25:09]

2 Memoirs I Loved

Super Buzzy Books You’ve Probably Already Heard Of

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

Next Episode

A full length episode featuring Morgan Hoit (@nycbookgirl), Associate Marketing Manager at Avid Reader Press (airing June 24).

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon
    When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Jun 17, 2020
Ep. 61: Kimberly McCreight (Author of A Good Marriage)
56:34

Special Note

This episode was recorded on May 14, 2020. A lot has happened since then, so I wanted to time-stamp this to provide appropriate context for our discussion. Next Wednesday, I'm releasing a special bonus episode sharing my favorite books by black authors.

In Episode 61, Kimberly McCreight (author of A Good Marriage) shares her 11 year journey to publishing her first novel, why she wanted to focus on marriage in this book, how working during coronavirus has been, and a possible sequel to A Good Marriage!

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • Kimberly’s journey to becoming a writer (including her change from lawyer to author).
  • What it’s like to work on a book for so long before having to trash it (she trashed 4 books before publishing her debut novel).
  • The worst parts of being a writer.
  • A piece of advice she always tells aspiring authors.
  • What it was like to finally sell Reconstructing Amelia after 11 long years of trying to publish a book.
  • A possible sequel to A Good Marriage.
  • Why Kimberly wanted to focus on marriage as a theme for this book.
  • Why Park Slope makes such a good setting for novels.
  • How Kimberly is working through coronavirus.
  • A preview of her next novel.
  • How Kimberly’s own experience as a recovering alcoholic influenced her writing of Sam (a character in the book with an alcohol addiction).
  • Why Kimberly tries not to read in her genre while she’s writing.
  • What is was like to visit Rikers (as research for her book).

Kimberly’s Book Recommendations [31:56]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Like

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Rate It Game [45:16]

Other Books Mentioned

About Kimberly

Website | Instagram | Twitter

Kimberly McCreight is the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia, which was nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, and Alex Awards and was called Entertainment Weekly’s Favorite Book of the Year. Reconstructing Amelia has been optioned for film by HBO and Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films. Ms. McCreight’s second adult novel, Where They Found Her, was a USA Today bestseller and a Kirkus Best Mystery of the Year. 

She is also the author of The New York Times bestselling young adult trilogy The Outliers (The Outliers, The Scattering and The Collide), optioned for film by Lionsgate and Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard. Her next novel, an adult mystery set in Park Slope, is forthcoming in 2020.

Ms. McCreight attended Vassar College and graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two daughters.

Next Episode

There will not be a new episode next week since the podcast is on its bi-weekly summer schedule.

The following week, there will be a full length episode all about book marketing featuring Morgan Hoit, Associate Marketing Manager at Avid Reader Press and the woman behind @nycbookgirl (airing June 24).

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon – When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Jun 10, 2020
Ep. 60: Summer 2020 Book Preview
57:13

Welcome to the Summer 2020 Book Preview with Catherine of Gilmore Guide to Books!

Catherine and I share our most anticipated books coming out in June and July 2020.

Also, stay tuned for my Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2020 blog post, which is coming out tomorrow. I’ll share some of the books I talked about in this podcast, but also some that I didn’t!

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Sponsor

  • Sudio (earphones and speakers), Ett model
  • Use Code SBL15 for 15% off

Highlights

  • Catherine and my success rate for books we shared in our Spring 2020 Preview episode.
  • Our Best and Worst picks from the Spring 2020 Preview episode.
  • Sarah’s and Catherine’s #1 Summer book picks.

Summer 2020 Book Preview [9:02]

June

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

July

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Catherine Gilmore

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Catherine started The Gilmore Guide to Books over 6 years ago after wrapping up a career as a corporate librarian. She loves books and reading (surprise!) and currently lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

Next Episode

There will not be a new episode next week since the podcast is on its bi-weekly summer schedule.

The following week, there will be a full length episode featuring Kimberly McCreight, author of A Good Marriage (airing June 10).

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon
    When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
May 27, 2020
Mini Ep. 59: Reviving Your Reading Life + Ann Patchett Deep Dive with Alyssa Hertzig (@alyssaisbooked)
42:26

In Mini Episode 59, Alyssa Hertzig (@alyssahertzig@alyssaisbooked) shares how she got back into reading after a long hiatus and we do an impromptu deep dive on Ann Patchett (one of my all-time favorite authors)…plus, celebrity memoirs.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Book of the Month. Use the code SARAHSBOOKSHELVES at checkout to get your first book for just $9.99!

Highlights

  • How Alyssa started reading again after a long hiatus. 
  • The first few books that got Alyssa back into reading.
  • A celebrity memoir we both loved on audio.
  • How coronavirus impacted Alyssa’s reading.
  • Alyssa’s recommendation for a great book to get you out of your coronavirus reading rut.
  • The beloved book by one of Sarah’s all-time favorite authors that Alyssa loved, but Sarah didn’t.
  • A spur-of-the-moment Ann Patchett deep dive.
  • Excellent celebrity memoirs.
  • A bit of a tangent about the NYC fashion scene.

Alyssa’s Book Recommendations [13:15]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Alyssa

Personal Instagram | Bookstagram | Blog | Twitter

Alyssa spent over a decade as a beauty editor at various magazines such as Allure, Brides, and Good Housekeeping.

She left the magazine world about 4 years ago to become a freelance writer.

She now splits her time as a freelance writer and editor covering primarily beauty topics…and as a blogger at The Sparkly Life, a lifestyle blog covering books, parenting, fashion, and more.

She lives in Hoboken, New Jersey (that’s right across the river from NYC), with my husband and two kids.

Next Episode

Summer 2020 Book Preview with Catherine from Gilmore Guide to Books (airing Wednesday, May 27).

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon
    When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
May 20, 2020
Ep. 58: 2020 Summer Reading Special with Susie from @NovelVisits
59:05

In Episode 58, Susie Boutry (@NovelVisits) and I share our favorite books that missed last year’s Summer Reading Guides, books set in cool travel destinations, and our #1 picks for the four categories featured in Sarah’s 2020 Summer Reading Guide.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Announcement

  • Starting in June, the podcast will move to a bi-weekly airing schedule for the summer (just like last summer).
  • Every episode this summer will be a full length episode (mini episodes will go on hiatus until the Fall).

Our Summer Reading Guides

Books That Missed Last Year’s Summer Reading Guides [7:13]

Sarah

Susie

Books Set in Cool Travel Destinations [20:13]

Sarah

Susie

Our #1 Picks for Each Summer Reading Guide Category [37:49]

Something Light / Fun

Something Intense / Fast-Paced

Something with a Bit More Substance

Something Different

Rate It Game [43:30]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Susie

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Susie has loved reading for as long as she can remember. Some of her fondest childhood memories involve long afternoons at the library and then reading late into the night. More than ten years ago, she began journaling about the books I read and turned that passion into writing about books. Her first forays were as a guest reviewer on a friend’s blog, but she soon realized she wanted to be reviewing and talking about books on a blog of my own. From there, Novel Visits was born. That was in 2016 and, though the learning curve was steep, she loves being a part of the book community. Novel Visits focuses on new novel reviews (print and audio), previews of upcoming releases, and musings on all things bookish.

Next Episode

Mini Episode featuring Alyssa Hertzig (@alyssahertzig and @alyssaisbooked)…airing May 20.

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon – When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
May 13, 2020
Mini Ep. 57: 2 Old Books We Both Loved with Liz Hein (@lizhein89)
35:26

In Mini Episode 57, Liz Hein (@lizhein89) and I talk about two old books we both love and a beloved campus novel Liz didn’t love.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • The situation with distance learning at my kids’ school and Liz’s school where she’s an administrator.
  • How coronavirus has impacted Liz’s reading…including pushing her to re-read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
  • Why we were perplexed by the release (date and marketing) of The Heart’s Invisible Furies.
  • Why dark books are surprisingly working well for us during coronavirus.
  • Liz reveals she does not like campus novels.
  • Liz shares why she hated a beloved modern classic novel.

Liz’s Book Recommendations [7:39]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Liz

Instagram

Liz went to college to become an English teacher to spend all day talking about books! That transitioned to an administrative position at a high school in Milwaukee, WI. Even though she doesn’t teach books anymore, she is consistently and perhaps obnoxiously recommending books to students and really anyone that will listen.

Next Episode

Summer Reading Guide Special episode with Susie from Novel Visits (airing Wednesday, May 13).

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon
    When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
May 06, 2020
Ep. 56: Holly Root (Literary Agent) on the Rise of Rom-Coms & Publishing in the Coronavirua Era
54:43

In Episode 56, Holly Root (Literary Agent and Owner of Root Literary) talks about the rise of the rom-com and publishing in the coronavirus era…plus, the story of selling Jasmine Guillory’s debut novel to publishers.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Announcement

  • Starting in June, the podcast will move to a bi-weekly airing schedule for the summer (just like last summer).
  • Every episode this summer will be a full length episode (mini episodes will go on hiatus until the Fall).

Highlights

  • Holly’s journey to becoming a literary agent.
  • What you need to be good at to be a good agent.
  • Holly’s agent “style.”
  • How the current rom-com trend got started and Root Literary’s role in that.
  • The story of selling Jasmine Guillory’s first book to publishers.
  • The move of romance from mass market only to trade paperback…and which types of romance fall in each category.
  • “Patient 0” for the contemporary rom-com trend.
  • The role Book of the Month has played in the rise of the rom-com.
  • How coronavirus is impacting publishing (particularly book acquisition and publication dates).
  • How publishers are deciding which publication dates to push back and which to hold in place during coronavirus.
  • A publishing secret about Edelweiss.
  • Spin-offs being a big thing in romance.
  • The hard part about the “enemies to lovers trope” in romance.
  • The differences between a “romance” and a “rom-com.”

Holly’s Book Recommendations [27:49]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

Discussion About Reading Books You Don’t Like [38:17]

Two NEW RELEASES She’s Excited About

Rate It Game [43:30]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Holly

Website | Instagram | Twitter

Holly is the founder of Root Literary, which opened in 2017. Prior to opening her agency, she worked at Waxman Leavell Literary, Trident Media Group, and William Morris. Based in Los Angeles, her clients include #1 New York Times bestsellers, international bestsellers, RITA winners and nominees, and numerous titles named to Best Books of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post, NPR, the American Library Association, RT Book Reviews, Kirkus, and Amazon. She represents authors of commercial fiction for adults and kids, as well as select nonfiction. 

Next Episode

Mini Episode featuring Liz Hein (@lizhein89)…airing May 6.

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon – When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Apr 29, 2020
Mini Ep. 55: Sarah Saba Cetra (@bookedinadvance) on Middle Eastern Books on her TBR + Reading During Coronavirus
31:41

In Mini Episode 55, Sarah Saba Cetra (@bookedinadvance) shares Middle Eastern books on her TBR list, books from a publisher we both love (Riverhead), and we both share how coronavirus is impacting our reading.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • How coronavirus is impacting both of our reading.
  • How Sarah barely read at all during law school and what (specific book and specific person) eventually got her back into reading.
  • Sarah’s 2 reading goals for this year (including focusing on reading more Middle Eastern authors).
  • The 3 Middle Eastern books on Sarah’s TBR list.
  • An ode to Riverhead Books (the publisher).

Sarah’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Sarah

Instagram

Sarah was an avid reader until she hit law school, where she read maybe 2 books per year for the three years she was a student, and the year after she graduated. After following Ashley Spivey for Bachelor-related reasons, and she found Sarah’s Bookshelves Live and got back into the swing of regularly reading.
 
She is currently a legal writer living in Pittsburgh, where she’s just become a regular at her neighborhood indie bookstore. She also likes to embroider while listening to audiobooks.

Next Episode

Full length episode featuring Holly Root, Literary Agent and Owner of Root Literary (airing Wednesday, April 29).

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon
    When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Apr 22, 2020
Ep. 54: Sarah Pekkanen & Greer Hendricks (authors of You Are Not Alone)
53:47

In Episode 54, Sarah Pekkanen and Greer Hendricks (authors of You Are Not Alone) go behind-the-scenes of their writing process, how they decided to write psychological thrillers, and share where their next novel is set (it’s not in New York City!).

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • The themes Sarah & Greer try to base every book around.
  • The Sarah & Greer co-writing team origin story.
  • How Sarah’s and Greer’s personalities are similar and different.
  • The good, the bad, and the ugly about Sarah & Greer’s writing process…and how their process is different from many other co-writing teams.
  • Sarah’s and Greer’s thoughts on whether writing together is more or less efficient than writing alone.
  • How they decided to write psychological thrillers (vs. some other genre).
  • How they work through their plot twists (and keep them from becoming outlandish).
  • How they threw out the original first third of You Are Not Alone.
  • The book they’re working on now.
  • The screenplay for The Wife Between Us that they’re currently working on.
  • A bonus recommendation co-signed by all three of us.
  • Where their next book is set…and it’s not New York City.

Sarah and Greer’s Book Recommendations [25:59]

Two OLD Books They Love

Two NEW Books They Love

Two NEW RELEASES They’re Excited About

Rate It Game [44:27]

Other Books Mentioned

About Sarah

Author Website | Instagram | Twitter

Sarah Pekkanen is also the co-author of the New York Times bestseller THE WIFE BETWEEN US and the upcoming AN ANONYMOUS GIRL, both cowritten with Greer Hendricks.

AN ANONYMOUS GIRL has been optioned for a television series by eOne, with Sarah and Greer executive producing. THE WIFE BETWEEN US has been optioned for film by Amblin Entertainment, with Sarah and Greer screenwriting the adaptation.

Her prior solo novels are: THE EVER AFTER, THE PERFECT NEIGHBORS, THINGS YOU WON’T SAY, CATCHING AIR, THE BEST OF US, THE OPPOSITE OF ME, SKIPPING A BEAT, and THESE GIRLS.

Sarah’s linked free short e-stories, published by Simon & Schuster exclusively for e-readers, are titled “All is Bright,” and “Love, Accidentally.”

Sarah is the mother of three young boys, which explains why she writes part of her novels at Chuck E. Cheese. Sarah penned her first book, Miscellaneous Tales and Poems, at the age of 10. 

About Greer

Author Website | Instagram | Twitter

GREER HENDRICKS is the #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of An Anonymous Girl and The Wife Between UsThe Wife Between Us has been optioned for film by Amblin Entertainment, with Greer and her co-author, Sarah Pekkanen, hired to write the screenplay. An Anonymous Girl has been optioned for television, with Greer and Sarah tapped to executive produce. Prior to becoming a novelist, Greer served as Vice President and Senior Editor at Simon & Schuster. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.

Next Episode

Mini Episode featuring Sarah Saba Cetra (@bookedinadvance)…airing April 22.

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon – When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Apr 15, 2020
Ep. 53 - Spring 2020 Book Preview with Catherine Gilmore (@gilmoreguide)
56:30

Welcome to the Spring 2020 Book Preview with Catherine of Gilmore Guide to Books!

Catherine and I share our most anticipated books coming out in April and May 2020.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Supporting Local Bookstores

Highlights

  • How you can support local bookstores (and authors by extension) during Coronavirus.
  • Catherine and my success rate for books we shared in our Winter 2020 Preview episode.
  • Our Best and Worst picks from the Winter 2020 Preview episode.
  • How we were both awkwardly tall when we were young.
  • A smaller (ish?) publishing imprint Catherine and I both love.
  • Sarah’s and Catherine’s #1 Spring book picks.

Spring 2020 Book Preview [13:58]

April

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

May

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

Bonus Recommendation (Co-Signed by Both of Us):

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Catherine Gilmore

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Catherine started The Gilmore Guide to Books over 6 years ago after wrapping up a career as a corporate librarian. She loves books and reading (surprise!) and currently lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

Next Episode

There will not be a new episode next week (I’m going to “observe” my children’s Spring Break from my house).

The following week, there will be a full length episode featuring Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, authors of You Are Not Alone (airing April 15).

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon
    When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Apr 01, 2020
Mini Ep. 52: A Couple Differing Opinions with Sarah Verity Collica (@seize_the_page)
33:27

In Mini Episode 52, Sarah Verity Collica (@seize_the_page) and I talk about a couple books we have differing opinions about…plus, She Said vs. Catch and Kill.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

2020 Podcast Survey

I’d love it if you could take a couple minutes to complete the 2020 Podcast Survey. I’d love to hear your feedback about what’s working, what’s not working, and the direction you’d like to see the podcast take. I’ll be using this feedback as I plan for next Fall. And, your responses are anonymous!

Highlights

  • A couple books that Sarah C. and I had different opinions about.
  • Sarah D’s issues with Liane Moriarty.
  • The similarities and differences between Catch and Kill and She Said…and Sarah C’s favorite of the two.
  • Ronan Farrow’s dispute with his publisher about Woody Allen’s memoir.
  • A quick overview of the differences between publishers and imprints.
  • Where Sarah D. goes for book reviews from regular readers vs. critics.
  • Sarah D.’s speculation about the Transcendent Kingdom’s shifting publication date.
  • Edelweiss benefits beyond just requesting e-galleys from publishers.

Sarah’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Sarah

Instagram

Sarah works full time for a summer camp and year-round retreat center. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband two daughters and two dogs. Sarah has been an avid reader since she was little and could often be found sitting in the corner at family events with a book or staying up late reading under the covers. She read Babysitters Club books until she was way too old and started stealing her mom’s Danielle Steele books when she was way too young.  

Next Episode

Spring 2020 Book Preview with Catherine from Gilmore Guide to Books (airing Wednesday, April 1).

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon
    When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Mar 25, 2020
Ep. 51: Steph Hockersmith (@PieLadyBooks)
53:04

In Episode 51, Steph Hockersmith (@pieladybooks), fresh off her appearance on Good Morning America, shares all the behind-the-scenes details of her book-themed pies, including her favorite dessert (it’s not pie!) and her goals for expanding Pie Lady Books.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Book of the Month. Use the code SARAHSBOOKSHELVES at checkout to get your first book for just $9.99!

My March Book of the Month pick was Hour of the Assassin by Matthew Quick…an espionage thriller (out of my usual wheelhouse, but I’m intrigued!). [1:29]

Highlights

  • The answer to the most asked listener question.
  • Why Steph chose to feature pies on her Instagram (vs. cookies or cakes).
  • Answers to all your logistical questions about how she creates those beautiful pies!
  • Pie failures that she wasn’t able to post on Instagram.
  • The types of book covers she struggles to make pies for.
  • What will likely make both of us want to throw a thriller across the room.
  • Steph’s future goals / ideas for expanding Pie Lady Books.
  • If GMA paid Steph to feature her In Five Years pie on air (it aired on March 10).
  • The blog Steph will be starting soon.

Steph’s Book Recommendations [24:42]

Two OLD Books She Loves 

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Rate It Game [43:58]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Steph

Instagram

Steph lives is a stay-at-home Mom of two boys (ages 5 & 3) in Colorado Spring, CO. She has been gluten free for about 13 years and has been baking gluten free pies for about 12 years. She is a voracious reader and loves creating pie designs to go with the books she’s reading. And, she and her pies recently appeared on Good Morning America!

Next Episode

Mini Episode featuring Sarah Verity Collica (@seize_the_page)…airing March 25.

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon – When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Mar 18, 2020
Mini Ep. 50: Dual Timelines & Reading an Author's Backlist with Julia Spence (@gameofreading)
25:49

In Mini Episode 50, Julia Spence (@gameofreading) talks about her love for dual timelines in her books and reading an author’s backlist.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • Julia talks about how, when she reads a book she loves by a new-to-her author, she loves to read all of that author’s backlist.
  • Julia shares her recent love of books with dual timelines.

Julia’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Julia

Instagram

Julia is an actuary at an insurance company in Boston, MA. During her 9-5 job, she deals with numbers, but after work she unwinds with a book. She’s been an avid reader since grade school and reads more than 200 books a year. When she’s not reading, you can find her obsessively stalking Taylor Swift online or passionately cheering on Boston sports teams.

Next Episode

Full length episode featuring Steph Hockersmith of Pie Lady Books (airing Wednesday, March 18).

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon
    When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Mar 11, 2020
Ep. 49: Zibby Owens (Host of Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books Podcast)
39:16

In Episode 49, Zibby Owens (Host of the Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books Podcast) talks about what it’s like to interview authors and shares some of her favorite memoirs.

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Book of the Month. Use the code SARAHSBOOKSHELVES at checkout to get your first book for just $9.99!

Highlights

  • How Zibby ended up podcasting about books after getting her MBA (Masters of Business Administration).
  • Why Zibby decided to start the podcast.
  • How Zibby gets it all done while being a mom to 4 kids.
  • How Zibby decides which authors to have on her podcast.
  • The book Zibby has written that’s sitting in her apartment.
  • Zibby’s favorite types of books to read.
  • Zibby’s advice for moms who truly feel they don’t have time to read books.
  • A bonus upcoming release Zibby is excited about.

Zibby’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books She Loves 

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

  • Zibby shares her stance on publicly talking about books she doesn’t like. [29:00]

Two NEW RELEASES She’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Zibby

Website | Personal Instagram | Podcast Instagram | Twitter

Zibby Owens is a writer and mother of four in New York City. She is the creator and host of award-winning literary podcast, “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books” and runs a literary salon with author events and book fairs from her home.

Zibby published her first article, a personal essay for Seventeen magazine, when she was in high school and has been writing ever since. She has covered topics such as books, parenting, health/fitness, weddings, grief, friendship, beauty, and aging. Most recently, she has focused on finding the humor in the everyday struggles of motherhood. She is represented by Joe Veltre at Gersh.

Her work has appeared in Redbook, Marie Claire, Shape,  SELF, Modern Bride and other magazines, as well as online in the New York Times, Parents, TODAY Parents, Huff Post, Scary Mommy, What’s Up Moms, Kveller, Mommy Nearest and Medium

A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School, Zibby has a marketing and branding background, especially for start-ups and consumer products companies. She currently lives in Manhattan, where she was born and raised, with her four children ages 5-12 and her husband, Kyle Owens, of Morning Moon Productions.

Next Episode

Mini Episode featuring Julia Spence (@gameofreading)…airing March 11.

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon – When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Book Shelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Mar 04, 2020
Mini Ep. 48: Genevieve Trono (@genthebookworm)
34:14

In Mini Episode 48, Genevieve Trono (@genthebookworm) talks mood reading and shares her thoughts about Brit Bennett’s new book (which she’s already read)!

Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Book of the Month. Use the code SARAHSBOOKSHELVES at checkout to get your first book for just $9.99!

This month, I chose You Are Not AloneThe Holdout, and Anna K. Check out my commentary on all the February picks to help choose the right book for your reading taste.

Highlights

  • Mood reading and how Genevieve builds in time / space to mood read within her books she’s reading for review.
  • Genevieve’s thoughts on one of Sarah’s most anticipated books of 2020 (Genevieve has already read it, while Sarah hasn’t)
  • How it’s easy to forget the details of the books we read…even ones we love.
  • How some teachers these days are talking to their students about the importance of loving what you’re reading.
  • A bonus review of an upcoming release by a well-known author.
  • Authors publishing new books too quickly / frequently.

Genevieve’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Genevieve

Instagram

Genevieve is a mom, wife, professional photographer, book blogger, library volunteer, and a motherhood book club facilitator. She lives with her husband of 10+ years, their two sons who are 7 & 9 and their springer spaniel named Buzz.

She is a photographer and mostly does behind the scenes work now. She spends a lot of her work days editing in Lightroom and Photoshop which makes plenty of time for audiobooks! She also teaches photography classes.

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon
    When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Feb 26, 2020
47 - Caroline Zancan
54:22

In Episode 47, Caroline Zancan (author of We Wish You Luck) discuss her time getting her MFA at the Bennington Writing Seminars, how her job as an editor at Henry Holt impacted her as an author, and the allure of campus novels.

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Book of the Month. Use the code SARAHSBOOKSHELVES at checkout to get your first book for just $9.99!

This month, I chose You Are Not AloneThe Holdout, and Anna K. Check out my commentary on all the February picks to help choose the right book for your reading taste.

Highlights

  • What parts of Caroline’s experience at a low-residency MFA Program she incorporated into We Wish You Luck.
  • The allure of campus novels.
  • The value of having a degree from a MFA Program (and the ways it doesn’t help you).
  • Why she chose to tell the story in the collective voice and to leave the three main characters’ perspectives out of the collective.
  • How her job as an Editor impacted her as an author and, conversely, what she learned as an author that she took back to her editorial job.
  • How the “book shopping” process works for someone who works in publishing.
  • Some funny Goodreads reviews of Ulysses.
  • How publishers factor events like elections into their publishing calendars.

Caroline’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books She Loves 

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

*Note: when we recorded, there was no cover or full blurb about this book available from the publisher. Since recording, you can now see the cover on Goodreads, which interestingly, features an actual photo of Hillary Clinton (how is this legally possible?!)!

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Caroline

Caroline Zancan is the author of the novels Local Girls and We Wish You Luck. She is a graduate of Kenyon College and holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. A Senior Editor at Henry Holt, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their children.

Next Episode

Mini Episode featuring Genevieve Trono (@genthebookworm)…airing February 26.

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon – When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Book Shelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Feb 19, 2020
Mini Ep. 46: Heart-Breaking, But Hopeful Books with Aubree Cheadle (@mnreadingmama)
32:24

In Mini Episode 46, Aubree Cheadle (@mnreadingmama) shares her love for heart-breaking, but hopeful books and we talk about overdone literary comparisons.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Book of the Month. Use the code SARAHSBOOKSHELVES at checkout to get your first book for just $9.99!

This month, I chose You Are Not AloneThe Holdout, and Anna K. Check out my commentary on all the February picks to help choose the right book for your reading taste.

Highlights

  • Why Aubree loves books that make her cry.
  • The Glass Castle being the Gone Girl / Girl on the Train comparison book for memoirs…and many readers’ gateway to memoir.
  • And, deep into the accuracy of marketing book comparisons in general.

Aubree’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

About Aubree

Instagram

Aubree is a stay-at-home mom and part time high school theatre director living in Minnesota and she reads so her kids don’t drive her crazy!

Next Episode

Full length episode featuring Caroline Zancan, author of We Wish You Luck (airing Wednesday, February 19).

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon
    When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Feb 12, 2020
Ep. 45: Liz Moore (Author of Long Bright River)
51:06

In Episode 45, Liz Moore (author of Long Bright River) talks about the inspiration and research for her novel, mystery / thriller twists, and that comparison to The Girl on the Train.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • How Liz comes up with inspiration for her books.
  • Her time working with a photographer in the Kensington neighborhood (which ended up being research for Long Bright River).
  • Liz’s take on the twists in mysteries and thrillers.
  • The origins of Long Bright River‘s title.
  • Long Bright River as a movie…and Liz’s experience writing the screenplay for it (and for another of her books).
  • Some real life author friendships.
  • An upcoming release that isn’t even on the Internet yet.
  • Writing as a mother.
  • Liz’s take on Long Bright River being compared to The Girl on the Train.

Liz’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books She Loves 

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Liz

Website | Instagram | Twitter

Her first novel, The Words of Every Song (Broadway Books, 2007), centers on a fictional record company in New York City just after the turn of the millennium. It draws partly on Liz’s own experiences as a musician. It was selected for Borders’ Original Voices program and was given a starred review by Kirkus. Roddy Doyle wrote of it, “This is a remarkable novel, elegant, wise, and beautifully constructed. I loved the book.”

After the publication of her debut novel, Liz obtained her MFA in Fiction from Hunter College. In 2009, she was awarded the University of Pennsylvania’s ArtsEdge residency and moved to Philadelphia.

Her second novel, Heft, was published by W.W. Norton in January 2012 to popular and critical acclaim. Of Heft, The New Yorker wrote, “Moore’s characters are lovingly drawn…a truly original voice”; The San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “Few novelists of recent memory have put our bleak isolation into words as clearly as Liz Moore does in her new novel”; and editor Sara Nelson wrote in O, The Oprah Magazine, “Beautiful…Stunningly sad and heroically hopeful.” The novel was published in five countries, was long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and was included on several “Best of 2012” lists, including those of NPR and the Apple iBookstore.

Moore’s short fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in venues such as Tin House, The New York Times, and Narrative Magazine. She is the winner of the Medici Book Club Prize and Philadelphia’s Athenaeum Literary Award. After winning a 2014 Rome Prize in Literature, she spent 2014-15 at the American Academy in Rome, completing her third novel.

That novel, The Unseen World, was published by W.W. Norton in July of 2016. Louisa Hall called it “fiercely intelligent” in her review in The New York Times; Susan Coll called it “enthralling . . . ethereal and elegant . . . a rich and convincing period piece” in her review in the Washington Post. The Unseen World was included in “Best of 2016” lists by The New Yorker, the BBC, Publishers Weekly, Vox, Google Play, and Audible.com, among others.

Moore’s fourth novel, Long Bright River, is forthcoming from Riverhead Books in January 2020.

She lives with her family in Philadelphia and is a faculty member of the MFA program in Creative Writing at Temple University.

Next Episode

Mini Episode featuring Aubree Cheadle (@mnreadingmama)…airing February 12.

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon – When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Book Shelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Feb 05, 2020
Mini Ep. 44: Historical Fiction & History Nonfiction with Jayda Justus (@thehistorymom)
31:33

In Mini Episode 44, Jayda Justus (@thehistorymom) shares historical fiction and nonfiction history books paired with historical sites.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • Recent books about women’s roles in past wars.
  • Jayda’s and my Enneagram numbers.
  • Jayda’s 2020 reading goal of reading 85% historical fiction or nonfiction.
  • One of the rare books Jayda DNF’d.

Jayda’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Jayda

Blog | Instagram | Twitter

Jayda Justus is a writer and blogger at “The History Mom,” where she reviews historical sites and experiences for families. These reviews provide helpful tips and reading lists to enhance visits for families and encourage parents to make historical sightseeing part of their vacations. She is originally from the historical town of Kings Mountain, NC, and lives in Richmond, VA. Previously, Jayda worked as Legislative Director for Rep. Sue Myrick on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and majored in History and Political Science at Furman University. Her blog can be found at https://thehistorymom.com. She was recently featured on NBC 12’s RVA Parenting and was a panelist at the 1455 Summer Literary Festival.

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon
    When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Jan 29, 2020
Ep. 43: Jordan Moblo (@jordys.book.club) on Growing a #Bookstagram Account
50:49

In Episode 43, Jordan Moblo talks about how he grew his #bookstagram account to over 35,000 followers in a year and a half and shares tips for growing your own #bookstagram account.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • Why Jordan started his #bookstagram account (and what his husband thought about it initially).
  • How he grew his account to 30,000 followers in the age of the Instagram algorithm.
  • How he feels about being a male in the predominantly female #bookstagram community.
  • How Jordan fits his #bookstagram “work” in given he has a full-time job.
  • The origin of the white coffee mug.
  • How Jordan found his #bookstagram “aesthetic.”
  • Jordan’s best photography and photo editing tips.
  • How Jordan jumped from reading 15 books a year (pre-#bookstagram) to reading 225 books in 2019.
  • How both Jordan and I got to be Book of the Month judges.
  • Jordan’s Mystery Book Club.

Jordan’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books He Loves 

Two NEW Books He Loves

One Book He DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE He’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Jordan

Instagram

Jordan runs the #bookstagram account @jordys.book.club, which has over 35,000 followers.

He is also a television Executive and lives in Los Angeles.

Next Episode

Mini Episode featuring Jayda Justus (@thehistorymom) on historical fiction and nonfiction history (airing January 29).

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon – When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Book Shelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Jan 22, 2020
Mini Ep. 42: Reading Abroad with Brittany Block (@brbreads)
32:34

In Mini Episode 42, Brittany Block (@brbreads) and I talk about the logistics of reading abroad, bleak books, and books that help you learn something.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • How Brittany gets access to books while living abroad (including her library access, e-book access, and what she does in German bookstores).
  • How Brittany’s reading taste has evolved (and the vast difference between her favorite book of 2009 and her favorite book of 2019).
  • We lament the overuse of The Girl on the Train comparisons and discuss another egregious comparison not involving The Girl on the Train.

Brittany’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Brittany

Instagram

Brittany taught Language Arts and Math (Special Education Inclusion Teacher) for 2 years before enlisting in the Air Force. Brittany has always been an avid reader but her reading has changed since she started teaching and trying to find books that would make the kids I taught excited about reading and not dread it like they had their entire lives (especially those with reading disabilities). 
 

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon - When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share - If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe...wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review - Search for “Sarah’s Bookshelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
  • Feedback - I want this podcast to fit what you’re looking for, so I truly do want your feedback! Please tell me (email me at sarahsbookshelves@gmail.com or DM me on social media) what you like, don’t like, want more of, want less of, etc. I’d also love to hear topics you’d like me to cover and guests you’d like to hear from.
Jan 15, 2020
Ep. 41: Winter 2020 Book Preview
56:40

Welcome back for the first episode of 2020…the Winter 2020 Book Preview with Catherine of Gilmore Guide to Books!

Catherine and I share our most anticipated books coming out for the first quarter (January – March) of 2020.

Also, stay tuned for my Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2020 blog post, which is coming out tomorrow. I’ll share some of the books I talked about in this podcast, but also some that I didn’t!

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Announcement

Starting this month, I’m introducing a new bonus feature for $5/month podcast patrons! I’m going to do a monthly solo episode (i.e. no co-host) where I do the book recommendations segment from Sarah’s Book Shelves Live.

So, I’ll share…

  • 2 Old Books I Love
  • 2 New Books I Love
  • 1 Book I Didn’t Love (this could be a DNF)
  • 1 Upcoming Release I’m Excited About

These episodes will be released around mid-month. I’m so excited to have a place to talk about the books I’m loving (and not loving) beyond just piping in when I happen to have read a book my guest is sharing.

If you’d like access to these episodes (and other bonus content), subscribe for $5/month on Patreon!

Highlights

  • Catherine and my success rate for books we shared in our Fall 2019 Preview episode.
  • Our Best and Worst picks from the Fall 2019 Preview episode.
  • Catherine shares how her Louise Penny pick from the Fall Preview episode panned out.
  • Sarah’s and Catherine’s #1 Winter book picks.

Winter 2020 Book Preview

January

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

February

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks:

March

Sarah’s Picks:

Catherine’s Picks: 

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Catherine Gilmore

Catherine Gilmore

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Catherine started The Gilmore Guide to Books over 6 years ago after wrapping up a career as a corporate librarian. She loves books and reading (surprise!) and currently lives in Seattle.

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon - When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share - If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe...wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review - Search for “Sarah’s Book Shelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
  • Feedback - I want this podcast to fit what you’re looking for, so I truly do want your feedback! Please tell me (email me at sarahsbookshelves@gmail.com or DM me on social media) what you like, don’t like, want more of, want less of, etc. I’d also love to hear topics you’d like me to cover and guests you’d like to hear from.
Jan 08, 2020
Ep. 40: Byrd Leavell (Literary Agent at United Talent Agency)
44:00

In Episode 40, Byrd Leavell (Talent Agent at United Talent Agency) talks about the business of publishing, the truth behind publisher marketing dollars, and shares holiday book recommendations for husbands / dads / sons / boyfriends.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Announcement Links

Highlights

  • How Byrd got into the agency business.
  • The differences in working for a bigger (where he is now) vs. smaller agency (where he started).
  • Where in the process the marketing budget is decided on.
  • The truth about publishers’ marketing budgets.
  • How book deals for Internet personalities work.
  • The “business” of publishing a book.
  • What do you do as an agent when a book is not selling like you hoped?
  • How Byrd’s personal reading taste is different from the types of books he’s looking to sign as clients.
  • Sarah’s theory of experience living in NYC correlating with liking Fleishman is in Trouble.
  • Byrd’s list of books to buy for Dads / husbands / boyfriends / brothers / sons.
  • Our views on memoirists using ghostwriters.
  • If authors / publishers / agents care what format a book sells in.

Byrd’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books He Loves 

Two NEW Books He Loves

One Book He DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE He’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Byrd

Twitter

A literary agent at UTA (United Talent Agency), Byrd Leavell started in book publishing 19 years ago and in that time has overseen major bestsellers across multiple categories.

His clients include Andrew Yang, Guy Raz, Aubrey Marcus, Cat Marnell, Tiffany Haddish, Brian Kilmeade, Matt Taibbi, Drew Magary, Adam Savage, Mat Best, Rich Roll and Julie Piatt, Justin Halpern, Amirah Kassem, and Rob Elliott – whose LOL series has sold more than 2.5 million copies.

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon – When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Book Shelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Nov 27, 2019
Mini Ep. 39: Southern Books & Character-Driven Dramas with Lindsay Creech (@littlelindsreads)
24:36

In Mini Episode 39, Lindsay Creech (@littlelindsreads) and I talk about Southern books and character-driven dramas.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • Lindsay’s mom’s parent gift-giving nightmare (which involves books).
  • Sarah’s least favorite Pat Conroy book.
  • A DNF tangent.

Lindsay’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Lindsay

Instagram

Lindsay is a high school Spanish teacher and Pastor’s wife living in North Carolina with her husband and puppy named Baxter. Growing up, her nose was always in a book and she had her own personal library with personalized stickers that said “from Lindsay’s library.”
 
She started a book club in Raleigh with 6 women who started out as strangers and have become close friends including Hannah (@booknerdnative) and she also started a book club with her students at the high school where she teaches.
 

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon - When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share - If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe...wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review - Search for “Sarah’s Book Shelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Nov 20, 2019
Ep. 38 - Garrett M. Graff (Author of The Only Plane in the Sky)
45:41

In Episode 38, Garrett M. Graff goes behind-the-scenes of his new book, The Only Plane in the Sky (one of my top books of 2019).

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • Where Garrett was on 9/11.
  • What he was trying to accomplish with his book.
  • The big challenge of understanding 9/11 as it moves “from memory into history.”
  • The lack of communications and confusion of that day.
  • How Garrett compiled all these little snippets of memory into a compelling story arc.
  • How 9/11 was an inflection point in how Americans respond to a potential threat.
  • What Garrett thinks is the “most interesting moment of 9/11.”
  • The general demeanor of people he interviewed in person as they reflected back on 9/11.
  • The one person he wanted to interview for the book that declined and why it ultimately ended up being a good thing for the book.
  • The original length of the book.
  • Why Garrett was able to talk about the U.S. government’s emergency plans, bunkers, etc.
  • How The Only Plane in the Sky sort of came out of Garrett’s previous book, Raven Rock.
  • Survivor’s guilt surrounding 9/11 and reaction from the Clinton Administration.
  • Garrett’s favorite fiction writer.
  • Garrett’s favorite narrative nonfiction of 2019.

Garrett’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books He Loves

Three NEW Books He Loves

One NEW RELEASE He’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Garrett

Author Website | Twitter | Instagram 

Garrett M. Graff, a distinguished magazine journalist, bestselling historian, and regular TV commentator has spent more than a dozen years covering politics, technology, and national security—helping to explain where we’ve been and where we’re headed.

Today, he serves as the director of the Aspen Institute’s cybersecurity and technology program, and is a contributor to WIRED, Longreads, and CNN. He’s written for publications from Esquire to the New York Times, and served as the editor of two of Washington’s most prestigious magazines, Washingtonian and POLITICO Magazine, which he helped lead to its first National Magazine Award, the industry’s highest honor.

Graff is the author of multiple books, including The First Campaign: Globalization, the Web, and the Race for the White House, which examined the role of technology in the 2008 presidential race, and The Threat Matrix: Inside Robert Mueller’s FBI, which traces the history of the FBI’s counterterrorism efforts. His book, Raven Rock, a national bestseller, about the government’s Cold War Doomsday plans, was published in May 2017, and his most recent book, co-authored with John Carlin, examined the rise of cyber threats, Dawn of the Code War: America’s Battle Against Russia, China, and the Rising Global Cyber Threat.

Inside both journalism and politics, he has a long history as a new media pioneer. He was the founding editor of mediaBistro.com’s FishbowlDC (www.FishbowlDC.com), a popular blog that covers the media and journalism in Washington, and co-founder of EchoDitto, Inc., a multi-million-dollar Washington, D.C.-based internet strategy consulting firm. During his time at FishbowlDC, he was the first blogger admitted to cover a White House press briefing in 2005, a moment considered significant enough that his reporter’s notebook from that first briefing is on display at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. A Vermont native and graduate of Harvard, he served as deputy national press secretary on Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and, beginning in 1997, was then-Governor Dean’s first webmaster. 

He taught at Georgetown University for seven years, including courses on journalism and technology, and his writing and commentary has appeared in publications like the Washington PostThe Wall Street JournalNew YorkBloomberg BusinessWeekRolling Stone5280PoliticoAARP Magazine, Eater, Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine, USA TodayGQ UKNextCity, and he has appeared on CBS This MorningThe Today ShowGood Morning America, CBC, the BBC, Al Jazeera English, the History Channel, National Geographic, and various NPR programs, including “This American Life,” “Fresh Air,” and “All Things Considered.” His reporting has been cited on shows ranging from Stephen Colbert to John Oliver to Rachel Maddow. 

He also is the chair of the board of the National Conference on Citizenship, a congressionally-charted civic engagement group founded by Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, and serves on the board of Vermont Public Radio and the Burlington Housing Authority.

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon - When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share - If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe...wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review - Search for “Sarah’s Book Shelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Nov 13, 2019
Mini Ep. 37: More Than a Mini Episode with Elizabeth Chapman (@samandscout)
37:53

In Mini Episode 37, Elizabeth Chapman and I talk for so long about books that it can’t technically be called a mini episode.

This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • How blogs, podcasts, and #bookstagram helped her go from not finishing her assigned reading in high school to becoming a high school English teacher.
  • A type of book Elizabeth doesn’t like to read that will surprise you given her profession.
  • Books that are “mirrors” and “windows.”
  • Thoughts on Dopesick from a resident of the town where it takes place.
  • Elizabeth’s class’s reaction to Dopesick.
  • A novel being compared to Lord of the FliesThe Hunger Games, and The Handmaid’s Tale.
  • A lengthy debate about Normal People by Sally Rooney.
  • Speculation on why publishers and/or authors sometimes decide not to use quotation marks for dialogue.
  • We debate the New Year’s Eve release date for Elizabeth’s upcoming release she’s excited about.

Elizabeth’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Elizabeth

Blog | Instagram

Elizabeth and her husband live in Roanoke, Virginia with their two kids (Sam, 8 and Nora, 4) and their Golden Retriever (Addy, 11). Monday through Friday, she also has 75 other “kids” as a high school English teacher — her dream job because it allows her to spend her days talking about books and life and introducing students to stories that teach them more about themselves, others, and the world around them. When she’s not driving her minivan to soccer practice or grading papers (actually, often while she does those things thanks to audiobooks), she is usually reading something new/popular just for fun. She loves memoir, thriller/true-crime, romance, literary fiction, and young adult books… Don’t tell, but she much prefers these to most of the “classics.” 
 
On the off night she gets the kids to bed on time, Elizabeth blogs at Teaching Sam & Scout about her family, her job, the blending of those two things, and – of course – her recent reads. 
 

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon - When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share - If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe...wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review - Search for “Sarah’s Book Shelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Nov 06, 2019
Ep. 36: Claire Gibson (Author of Beyond the Point)
41:03

In Episode 36, Claire Gibson, author of Beyond the Point (my review), talks about the inspiration behind the novel, what it was like growing up on the West Point campus, two editorial choices she made, and...of course, shares her book recommendations!

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Highlights

  • What it was like to grow up on the West Point campus.
  • A story about one of the women she interviewed as research for the book that didn’t make it into the book.
  • Which of the three main characters is most like Claire herself.
  • How Claire decided to more or less reveal the crux of the ending in the Prologue.
  • Why Claire decided to make her three main characters competitive athletes (they all played basketball for West Point).
  • A glimpse into Claire’s second novel (which she’s currently working on).
  • Claire’s favorite book of all-time.

Claire’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books She Loves 

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Other Books Mentioned