From the Front Porch (books)

Summer has officially begun, so Annie and Chris are here to tell you what you should be reading--whether you're inside to escape the rain or outside with the sand and sun. Also, what happens when children become club promoters? 

Beach Books
The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close
The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor
Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave
Windfall by Jennifer Smith
The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

Page-Turners 
+ Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
+ Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
+ Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy
+ American Fire by Monica Hesse (on sale July 11)

Stories with a Twist 
+ Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
+ Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane

Family Dramas 
+ Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood
+ Last Things by Marissa Moss
+ Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
+ Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett

Heavy Thinking
+ Option B by Sheryl Sandberg
+ Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
+ The Leavers by Lisa Ko
+ Theft by Finding by David Sedaris
+ Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu 

You can read Maile Meloy's interview with Ann Patchett here.

Hey, we're new to Stitcher and would love to build our review base. Can you help us get to 25 reviews? There's a prize in it for you...

Direct download: Episode_124____Summer_Reading_Recs.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

We judge books by their covers so you don't have to. First impressions are important, but are they always right or fair? Annie and Chris talk through the 50-Page Rule, trusting your gut, changing your impression, and the importance of not reading in a vacuum. Also, recommend us to a friend!

Discussion includes:
The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Wanderers by Meg Howrey
The First Bad Man by Miranda July
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Tag us (@bookshelftville) in a tweet or Instagram post telling us what we're doing right. We want to give you more!

Direct download: Episode_123____First_Impressions.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Do you buy all of your books or do you borrow some? Annie and Chris answer a listener question and discuss their personal libraries, where they get their books, and what to do with the whole idea of a library when they spend their lives in the Bookshelf. This episode is also kind of a follow-up to Episode 83 || Books in Houses.

"A home without books is like a body without a soul."
- Pseudo-Cicero

Direct download: Episode_122____Buy_or_Borrow_.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This week, Chris is back to discuss the books he and Annie read in May, one of which doesn't actually come out until next calendar year. Whoops. Also, May is a very, very long month.

Annie read:
When You Find Out the World is Against You by Kelly Oxford
Option B by Sheryl Sandberg
Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett
The Assistants by Camille Perri
Ms. Marvel, vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
The Senator's Children by Nicholas Montemarano (out November 7)
The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Windfall by Jennifer Smith
Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (out January 2018)

Chris read:
The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz
It Devours! by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (out October 17)
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

See also Katie Couric's interview with Sheryl Sandberg here.

Direct download: Episode_121____May_Reading_Recap.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

It's time for a book club-style discussion of Katie Kitamura's A Separation. Podcast guests Emily (of You're Maker) and Hunter are back to chat all the things they loved and loathed about this literary novel, including Emily's thoughts on Greece and Hunter's profound revelation about the book's narration. 

Curious enough to buy the book? Support The Bookshelf by buying A Separation directly from the online store. 

Follow The Bookshelf on Twitter and Instagram

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._120.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:30am EDT

Annie and Chris talk about "alternative" visions of motherhood for Mother's Day this year, and it takes a weirdly dark turn. Sorry. Get a sneak peek at Chris's fall Women in Literature class and hear some of Annie's favorite mom-centric books.

Chris's class books:
Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
The First Bad Man by Miranda July
Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
Pregnant Butch by A. K. Summers
Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Babadook

*CORRECTION: The quote from Beloved is "You your own best thing, Sethe," not "You your best self," as previously reported.

Some of Annie's favorites:
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
+ The Color of Water by James McBride
+ Rabbit Cake by Annie Harnett
Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan
A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
French Milk by Lucy Knisley

And please, are there good mother/son novels out there that don't have any sort of implied incest theme? Let me know. I need to know. 

Direct download: Episode_118____The_Other_Mother.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Happy May! It was raining while we recorded this. This week, Annie and Chris talk about the books they read in April. Also, Annie has some Hot Takes on book titles and we recount our odd encounters with celebrities from 10+ years ago. 

Annie read:
All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg (out May 7)
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin (out August 22)
The Stars in Our Eyes by Julie Klam (out July 18)
Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann (out August 1)
The Wanderers by Meg Howrey
The Color of Water by James McBride
Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave (out July 11)
A Separation by Kate Kitamura
Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett

Chris read:
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (again)
+The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz

Check out these books and more (including our brand new Bookshelf tote bag!) in our online store

Direct download: Episode_117____May_Reading_Recap.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Chris and Annie give you a peek into the Bookshelf's 2017 Independent Bookstore Day festivities. But if you don't live anywhere near Thomasville, fear not! We're also giving you a virtual tour of our favorite indie bookstores from around the country. 

Independent Bookstore Day is Saturday, April 29, 2017, and our schedule of events is here. We would love for you join us at the Bookshelf, but if you can't make it, find the closest independent bookstore to you at IndieBound, or check out one of our favorites below!

Sundog Books (Seaside, FL)
+ Page & Palette (Fairhope, AL)
+ E. Shaver Books (Savannah, GA)
+ Faulkner House Books (New Orleans, LA)
+ Maple Street Book Shop (New Orleans, LA)
+ Book Culture (New York, NY)
+ WORD (Jersey City, NJ)
+ Avid Bookshop (Athens, GA)
+ Women and Children First (Chicago, IL)
+ Books and Books (Coral Gables, FL)
+ Politics and Prose (Washington, D.C.)

Annie's favorite bookstore Instagram accounts:
+ @browsersbooks
+ @booksaremagicbk
+ @booksandmortar
+ @literatibookstore
+ @lemuriabooks

Direct download: Episode_116____Its_Indie_Bookstore_Day.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Won't you follow us down to the Rose Parade? Annie and Chris get ready for an upcoming jam-packed weekend in downtown Thomasville, including Independent Bookstore Day, National Superhero Day, and the Thomasville Rose Show and Festival. Joining us this week is Rose Show veteran Sunny Altman. Also, Chris presents Annie with a challenge. 

To learn more about how Thomasville will be participating in National Superhero Day on April 28 or to donate to Everfan's efforts, contact info@everfanheroes.com.

For more information on the Rose Show and Festival (and to begin booking your trip), check out the City of Thomasville's website:
http://www.thomasvillega.com/

You can also contact Sunny directly with your rose questions at sunnyaltman@gmail.com

We hope you'll join us in Thomasville next weekend, but if you can't make it, find an indie bookstore near you for Indie Bookstore Day on April 29! Check out the bookstore finder at http://www.indiebound.com/

Direct download: Episode_115____A_Rose_by_Any_Other_Name.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

"They get frustrated when they can't figure out what's going on in the poem. And if they can't figure out what's going on, they have no entrance into the poem. If they have no entrance into the poem, they're going to stop reading."

Annie and Chris sit down with poets Ruth Baumann and Will Fargason to talk about poetry: where does one even begin to read it and how can it be less intimidating? Also, Jewel setting the bar with puns and an evolving mystery involving a bedazzled human skull.

+ Shel Silverstein
+ Puff Daddy
+ Bob Dylan
+ Conor Oberst
+ Kaveh Akbar
+ Jewel's A Night Without Armor
+ John Darnielle's Wolf in White Van
+ Anne Sexton
+ Sharon Olds
+ Anne Carson
+ Richard Siken's Crush
+ Robert Frost
+ Wendell Berry
+ Rupi Kaur's Milk and Honey
+ Mary Oliver
+ Langston Hughes's "Let America Be America Again"
+ Adrienne Rich's Diving into the Wreck
+ Ross Gay's "A Small Needful Fact"
+ Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet
+ ANTHOLOGIES!

Find out more about Ruth and her work (and her cats) at http://www.ruthbaumann.com/

Find out more about Will and his work at http://www.williamfargason.com/ 

Big thanks to Will for the use of his microphone and to Chris's cat Marge for allowing us to use her space for an hour to record. 

Direct download: Episode_114____Poetry_for_Beginners.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EDT