From the Front Porch (books)

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

Chris and Annie try to bring this weekend's Word of [South] festival to you! In miniature concept, anyway. How does one go about pairing books and music? Also, "Skeezy John Mayer," Annie feels self-conscious about her [good] taste, and Chris takes his philosophy outfits out of storage. 

> Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists + Solange's A Seat at the Table
> F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby + The Postal Service's Give Up
> Shauna Niequist's Bittersweet + Ellie Holcomb's Red Sea Road (BONUS--or Sufjan Stevens's Seven Swans OR Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City)
> Albert Camus's The Myth of Sisyphus + Bright Eyes's The People's Key or The Decemberists's The King is Dead
> J. D. ​​​​​​​Vance's Hillbilly Elegy + I'm With Her
> Arcade Fire's The Suburbs + literally any coming of age novel
> Aldous Huxley's Brave New World + Childish Gambino's Because the Internet
> Wiley Cash + Birdtalker's Just This
> Donna Tartt's The Secret History + Aronofsky's Black Swan
> James McBride + Leon Bridges's Coming Home
> David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas + Fleetwood Mac's Rumours
> Emma Straub's Modern Lovers + John Mayer

​​​​​​​Thank you so much for all of the reviews! Keep them coming. There might be something good in it for you... If you're interested in Bookshelf-branded shirts, hats, stickers, or coffee, check out our online store at http://www.bookshelfthomasville.com/shop/

Direct download: Episode_113____How_to_Make_an_Art_Sandwich.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Annie and Chris plan their new side business--Sweet and Savory Pizza Stones--but mostly discuss what they read this month and what they plan to finish before Friday rolls around. 

Annie read:
Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor (out June 6)
Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy (out June 6)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give by Ada Calhoun (out May 16)
+ Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo
The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco
+ We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

Chris read:
The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory (out June 27)

Check out any of these titles in our online store at http://www.bookshelfthomasville.com/shop, where you can also learn how to register for an account with Libro.fm, an audiobook distribution service that partners with independent bookstores like The Bookshelf to deliver the same quality audiobooks you get elsewhere, but with the benefit of supporting a small business.

Direct download: Episode_112____March_Reading_Recap.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Annie and Chris flip the coin on last week's episode and talk about what happens in the between times. How do you cleanse the mental palate or set up a buffer after a heavy or difficult book that needs time to process?

NEW THIS WEEK:
Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles
Our Short History by Lauren Grodstein
The Mind Club by Daniel Wegner and Kurt Gray (new in paperback)

If you're interested in any of the books we've talked about lately, you can purchase them directly from us at http://www.bookshelfthomasville.com/shop

Direct download: Episode_111____Spring_Cleaning_of_the_Mind.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Lots of people asked us why we're always raving about sad books, and they weren't satisfied when we quoted Sally Sparrow and said, "It's happy for deep people." This week, Annie and Chris explain what they call "grief literature" and recommend a bunch of their favorite sad books with justifications for why you should feel sad sometimes.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (really, why aren't you reading this one yet?)
A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
+ "The Faery Handbag" from The Faery Reel by Kelly Link
Last Things by Marissa Moss
Rosalie Lightning by Tom Hart
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
+ The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
+ Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

NEW THIS WEEK:
The Hogwarts Library (expanded) by J. K. Rowling
The Wanderers by Meg Howry
Before the War by Fay Weldon
+ The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo
The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
+ The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Teaches Us About Living Fullyby Frank Ostaseski

Direct download: Episode_110____The_Virtue_of_Occasional_Sadness.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Annie sits down with her husband Jordan for their annual March Madness discussion. This year's book bracket includes The Bookshelf's "sweet sixteen" -- the  16 bestselling books of the past 12 months. 

Magnolia Story

Present Over Perfect

Seven Brief Lessons in Physics

When Breath Becomes Air

Killing the Rising Sun

Alexander Hamilton

Tribal

Hillbilly Elegy

The Underground Railroad

A Gentleman in Moscow

Fates and Furies

All the Light We Cannot See

A Man Called Ove

Me Before You

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The After Party

Follow The Bookshelf on Instagram to cast votes for your favorite books during our March Madness celebration, or -- if you're a college basketball fan -- compete against friends in ESPN's bracket challenge.

Direct download: Fom_the_Front_Porch_Ep._109.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 8:30am EDT

Annie and Chris walk you through what they read in February while several intrepid Saturday afternoon customers climb over a literal barricade outside the door to use the [closed] bathroom. 

Annie read:
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
Last Things by Marissa Moss
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Annie is currently reading:
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Chris read (but hasn't quite finished):
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Follow Annie's reading on Instagram at #anniereads2017.

Direct download: Episode_108____February_Reading_Recap.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EDT