From the Front Porch (books)

What one book would you make your community read? Annie interviews New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin; they chat about habits, happiness, and Thomasville's One Book 2015 festival. Then, Annie visits with Lauren Basford, executive director of the Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce. 

Gretchen's podcast | One Book website | Chamber of Commerce website

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep.44.m4a
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Annie shares her reviews of the books she read in September. 

One Book tickets and information can be found online here

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._43.m4a
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What do small towns offer for their creatives? Annie chats with Bookshelf favorite, Hunter McLendon, about books and art and life in a small town. Hunter recommends Girls in Trucks (plus references White Oleander and Alice Munro), and Annie gives her review of Shotgun Lovesongs. Hunter's artwork can be found online here, and more information about The Bookshelf's upcoming events are on the store website

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._41.m4a
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What do you do with grief? Annie chats with author Prissy Elrod turning sorrow into story, navigating the publishing industry -- including her publishing company, Thomson-Shore -- what's next for Far Outside the Ordinary, and why adult coloring books might be the best invention ever. (More information about Far Outside the Ordinary can be found on Prissy's website, and local listeners can meet Prissy at Reader Meet Writer, The Bookshelf's annual author fair this Saturday, September 19.) 

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._40.m4a
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Annie recaps the books she read in August, including "super science-y" The Martian and R-rated Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes, plus shout-outs to book Instagrammer SJ Shepperd and the hosts of The Popcast

Rank, review, and subscribe on iTunes

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._38.m4a
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Annie and Jordan talk about their favorite books from childhood and the impact those characters have had on their adult lives, ranging from The Boxcar Children's Henry to Hermione Granger. (Plus, join Annie and find out what your favorite American Girl doll says about you now.) 

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._37.m4a
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Ever wonder what it's like to be a bookseller? Annie chats with new Bookshelf staffer and PhD student Chris Jensen. Their conversation covers everything from MBTI results to Wendell Berry, plus they show their love for their neighbors on Broad Street: Sweet Grass Dairy and Grassroots Coffee

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._35.m4a
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Annie recaps the books she read in July, including KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST and GO SET A WATCHMAN. (Want more GO SET A WATCHMAN discussion? Check out Episode 14, here.) 

Rank and review us on iTunes!

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._34.m4a
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Learn about Florida's coastal islands as Annie interviews author and naturalist Sue Cerulean. Sue's newest book, COMING TO PASS, both inspires and informs readers about Florida's coast. In this episode, Annie and Sue discuss what makes this region of the country unique and where to go adventuring (including Birdsong Nature Center, Leon Sinks, Wakulla Springs, St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, and the Ochlocknee River State Park), plus Sue shares some her favorite writers and books, like Janisse Ray's ECOLOGY OF A CRACKER CHILDHOOD

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._33.m4a
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Annie and Katie discuss the importance of establishing a reading rhythm and debate reading in bed, plus reference book blogger Modern Mrs. Darcy and this fantastic podcast episode by NPR podcast Note to Self. Katie shares her favorite poetry book for young kids, Lullaby and Kisses Sweet, and Annie raves about Kitchens of the Great Midwest. 

 

 

Follow The Bookshelf on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._32.m4a
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Annie and Katie discuss the events in Charleston and books about race in America; start with Shauna Niequist's original question on Instagram, then read Annie's blog post for a suggested book list. Want to dig even further? Try following the #CharlestonSyllabus hashtag for more recommendations. 

Review the podcast on iTunes here.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._30.m4a
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Annie and her husband Jordan discuss extroversion, introversion, and the influence of Susan Cain (and her book Quiet) on our daily lives. This episode have you curious for more? Find out your MBTI results and whether you're a Highly Sensitive Person, plus check out one of Annie's favorite podcasts, The Popcast (hosted by an excellent introvert and extrovert pairing) and Cain's famous TED talk. You can also join Cain's "Quiet Revolution" here

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Rank and review the podcast on iTunes

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._29.m4a
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Annie and Katie talk about the Fifty Shades of Grey books and why they're so popular (maybe because we're repressed?), plus they tackle their own literary guilty pleasures, including chicklit and self-help books. 

Love what you hear? Rate us on iTunes, and vote for The Bookshelf as we try to win a Main Street grant! You can vote here

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._28.m4a
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Annie reviews the books she read in May, including Mamrie Hart's You Deserve a Drink and Erik Larson's Dead Wake. Don't forget to rank and review the podcast on iTunes here.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._27.m4a
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Annie chats with husband and frequent podcast contributor Jordan about audiobooks: he loves them, but she's not a fan. Where do you stand? (Some of Jordan's favorites, in case you're curious: Defending Jacob, The Dinner, and Lord of the Rings.) Annie would rather listen to podcasts; some of her favorites: Lit Up, Books on the Nightstand, This American Life, Gilmore Guys, Around the Table, and The Popcast.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._26.mp3
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Annie and Katie chat about narrative nonfiction, the ones we love and the ones we hate, including The Lemon Tree, author Erik Larson, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Wild Swans, the American Girl books, and the books we're reading right now.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._25.mp3
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Annie reviews the books she read in April, including A Little Life (reviewed by Books on the Nightstand here) and Emma, part of The Austen Project. Rachel Held Evans' Washington Post article is here.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._24.mp3
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Annie chats with author and entrepreneur Carrie Rollwagen in this 45-minute interview episode. They chat about local shopping and eating, Leslie Knope, and Amazon versus the indie. (You can follow Carrie on Instagram or Twitter.)

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._23.mp3
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Annie reviews the books she read in March, including Gretchen Rubin's Better Than Before (recapped in its own podcast episode here) and Hey Natalie Jean.

Direct download: Episode_22_From_the_Front_Porch.mp3
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Annie and Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra CEO Amanda Stringer chat Tallahassee's first-ever Word of South festival (Ann Patchett, Tony Hale, Julia Reed, J.K. Simmons, and more!), the beauty of Cascades Park, and why Tallahassee might be a new Southern travel destination.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._21.mp3
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Annie and Katie discuss habit tendencies, the power of Gretchen Rubin, activity trackers, and goal-setting worksheets.
Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._20.mp3
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Annie and Jordan tackle literary bracketology, BOOK MADNESS 2015, and John Green.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._19.mp3
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Annie and author/journalist Jodi Helmer discuss pining for publication in the New York Times, marathon-running nuns, Farm Fresh Georgia, and why writing groups are so important.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._18.mp3
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Annie and Katie discuss The Localist, kindred spirit Carrie Rollwagen, shopping locally in Thomasville, "perfect as enemy of the good," the future of retail, why it's okay to settle, and what they're reading right now. (Bonus reading: Ronda Rich on why shopping for books in person is always better, John Green on the future of bookselling, why Millennials like to read paper books, and "The Health of the Independent Bookstore.")

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._17.mp3
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Annie reviews the books she read in February, including Bon Appetempt and its author Amelia Morris.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._16.mp3
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Annie and fellow Bookshelf staffer Sidney Webb chat about book clubs, Bon Appetempt, food-blogging goddess Molly Wizenberg, and other bloggers with books (Design Sponge, Young House Love, Nie Nie Dialogues, Hey Natalie Jean, Ann Voskamp).

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._15.mp3
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Annie and Katie chat about the controversy swirling around the discovery of Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman, what makes Southern stories so special, the truth about book sequels, and the documentary Hey, Boo; plus Annie reviews this year's ABA Winter Institute. (Bonus reading: HarperCollins botched the release of Harper Lee's new novel, the New York Times article about Go Set a Watchmanand the first comments from Tonja Carter, Harper Lee's attorney.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._14.mp3
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This episode, Annie reviews the books she read in January (eight in all... hooray!). A complete list of titles and reviews can be found on The Bookshelf store blog and in the latest issue of the Thomasville Townie.

Author Celeste Ng has a helpful book club guide on her website, and her novel, Everything I Never Told You, comes out in paperback later this year.

A free soundtrack inspired by Donald Miller's new book, Scary Close, is available here.

Here's a link to that BookPage article about Scott Blackwood's See How Small.

More about Carrie Rollwagen's The Localist can be found here.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._13.mp3
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In this episode, Annie interviews fellow entrepreneur Cadence Kidwell, owner of the new knitting shop The Fuzzy Goat, located in downtown Thomasville, Georgia. They talk about adjusting to entrepreneurship, living in a small town, and knitting vs. reading.

The Fuzzy Goat is on the main street coming into downtown Thomasville. Pay her a visit, and take a class!

- Cadence's yarn shop was partially inspired by Fibre Space, a funky store in Alexandria, Virginia.

Downtown Thomasville offers great resources for new business owners in our area; Cadence also took classes through the Small Business Development Center in Tallahassee (which Annie has now bookmarked for her own use).

- Knitting classes and community events are a huge part of both The Fuzzy Goat and The Bookshelf. For a complete list of Fuzzy Goat classes, check out their shop website; Bookshelf events are online through their website as well.

New Voyager Trading Company will be familiar to knitters and weavers; Fuzzy Goat partners with them for weaving classes and more.

- Guy knitters, be on the lookout! The Fuzzy Goat and Sturdy Brothers have some plans for partnerships in the future.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._12.mp3
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We're back with Episode 11 of From the Front Porch! This episode, Annie is joined by Bookshelf staffers Sidney and Rebekah; they're talking about the new suspense novel The Girl on the Train -- a book readers are calling the next Gone Girl. They'll talk about whether that's a fair assessment, and why the book would make a fun book club read. (Not discussed? Author Paula Hawkin's ingenious way of marking time in the novel -- perhaps the staff's favorite characteristic of the book.) 

For information about the author, British journalist Paula Hawkins, Annie recommends this BookPage article, where she first heard about the book.

Curious about what the experts are saying? This New York Times review should do the trick.

Hey, book clubs: Penguin's done the work for you. Here's a book club discussion guide.

Sidney liked Gone Girl better, but truthfully, these are two pretty different novels. The Wall Street Journal compares and contrasts Gillian Flynn's bestseller with The Girl on the Train.

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Like what you hear? Rate this podcast on iTunes.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._11.mp3
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We're back after a holiday hiatus! This episode, Annie and Katie discuss their reading resolutions and their words of the year.

- Annie's currently reading -- and loving -- All the Light We Cannot See, with her sights set on more nonfiction in 2015, particularly historical nonfiction. Any books in particular you'd recommend?

- Katie's favorite book for the new year is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (a Christmas gift from husband Scott), and it ties in perfectly with her word of year; any guesses?

- If book clubs aren't your thing -- for shame! -- start an article club, like Katie did with her friends. Tips for hosting your own can be found on Cup of Jo.

- Both Katie and Annie love the concept of setting margins in your life; Hayley from Tiny Twig elaborates in this post.

- It's not too late to determine your own word for 2015! Need help getting started? Try Ali Edwards' blog posts about the One Little Word concept, then hop on over to this 2015 workbook by Susannah Conway. (Annie and Jordan use this for their end-of-year review.)

- Fellow Thomasvillians, Katie's working with some local fifth graders to make MacIntyre Park even better. Take the survey here.

And, as always, you can follow along with The Bookshelf's adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._10.mp3
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Annie is joined by guest Rebekah Arwood, manager of The Bookshelf in Thomasville. Rebekah and Annie chat about that ever-controversial topic: Is the book better than the movie? The discussion runs the gamut, from the newly-released Gone Girl to The Hunger GamesGreat Gatby to Little Women (which Rebekah and Annie both identify as a wintertime classic). 

- Gillian Flynn wrote her own screenplay for her bestselling novel Gone Girlhere are more novelists that could follow in her steps.

- We think Jane Austen would love both The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved, two web adaptations by Pemberly Digital, a company devoted to using new media to adapt classic works of literature. 

- The Bookshelf Film Society meets once a quarter to discuss the film adaptations of books; local film professor Lisa Mitchell guides the discussion each month. Join us!

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_-_Episode_8.mp3
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Snuggle up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of tea, because this episode, Annie and Katie talk about married-lady crushes, poetry before bedtime, and turning off the TV. Summer might be for easy, breezy beach books, but fall is all about slower-paced fiction and re-reading the classics. Here are Annie's fall reading recommendations:

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant (releases December 15)

-  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott

Habits of the House by Faye Weldon

- Anything by Kate Morton

Dinner: A Love Story by

I Am Pilgrim by Scott

- Anything by Tana French

And Katie's:

My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

- Happy City by Charles Montgomery

A Path Appears by Nicholas Kristof

This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral by Mark Leibovich

The Gorgeous Nothings by Emily Dickinson

This Day by Wendell Berry

Looking for more seasonal reads? Check out Anne Bogel's blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy, where she's published a great list of autumn-inspired suggestions.

If spooky reads are your thing this month, listen to the latest episode of Books on the Nightstand; Ann and Michael discuss their favorite creepy books of the season.

Interested in Candletime? This blog post explains. (And, in case you're looking for the perfect autumn candle, Thomasvillians rejoice! The Townie shop has -- in Annie's opinion -- the best selections for the season.)

Last, but not least, film lovers: Covey Film Festival is here! Check out a full list of films, and stock up on the books that inspired the movies; we've got a display devoted to them in the shop!

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_-_Episode_7.mp3
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In this episode, Annie and her attorney husband Jordan discuss the ramifications of wrongful convictions, a topic central to the plot of Picking Cotton, this year's One Book selection for Thomas County. For the uninitiated, One Book programs celebrate literacy by encouraging entire communities to read the same book; this month, Thomas County is reading the bestselling memoir Picking Cotton. Later in this episode, Katie and Annie list their top One Book suggestions for your community (and for future Thomas County One Book programs) -- it's a more difficult decision than you might think! And, for some extra credit:

- A New York Times article earlier this summer mentioned the increasing "nosiness" behind jury questionnaires; would you be chosen for a jury? Take the quiz to find out. (Spoiler alert: Annie didn't make the cut.)

- Follow along as our small town celebrates literacy and Picking Cotton. Maybe there's a One Book program in your city! Check the Library of Congress' listing here.

- In town and want to join us at the Center for the Arts for our Picking Cotton author event? Tickets are on sale now! Purchase online here.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._6.mp3
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The podcast is back this month after a brief summer hiatus, and Annie and Katie are talking about their favorite books on education. They're covering Montessori schools and the importance of playing outside, plus how big a role technology plays in today's classrooms. And, this month, Annie's introducing shownotes -- a rundown of everything discussed in this episode.

Books on education you need to add to your list:

- Creating Innovators by Tony Wagner

- Whatever It Takes by Paul Tough

- The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

- How Children Succeed by Paul Tough

- The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley

What you need to watch: The Up Series, a BBC documentary that follows a group of children from the age of seven until present day. "Give me a child when he is seven, and I will show you the man."

Katie's intrigued by Bill Gates' Big History Project, which aims to give students of all ages an over-arching picture of our world's history. Check it out here.

Turns out intellect is only a small part of how we learn and succeed. David Brooks talks about the "mental virtues" in this article in the New York Times.

Let's lighten up with a look at how our vocabulary is shaped and what words make up your fingerprint.

 
Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._5.mp3
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Annie sat down with author CJ Hauser to discuss the ups and downs of living in a small town and what it means to be a "from away" (read: someone not from here. Yes, this is an actual, popular phrase). CJ's new novel -- titled, appropriately, The From-Aways -- was one of Annie's favorites of the summer, and CJ's stories of small town life will feel all-too-familiar to fellow small town dwellers. Also mentioned in this podcast? Gilmore Girls, Jan Karon and Mitford, and why your 20s are harder than you thought they'd be.

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_-_Episode_4.mp3
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In Part Two of the eating local podcast, Katie and Annie discuss how to properly read a cookbook. Plus, Annie tells about some of her favorite food memoirs. 

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_-_Episode_2_Part_2.mp3
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Discussion of Arianna Huffington's new book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder. 

Katie and Annie chat about how to apply Huffington's principles to their small-town, southern lives-- including what Annie's husband Jordan is doing in the backseat of his car over his lunchbreak and how to cut your carrots in peace. Plus, Annie reveals her graduation and summer picks from Ban'do to Adulting. 

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_1.2_1.mp3
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