From the Front Porch

Sometimes we talk about old books like they're sacred and have nothing to do with what we're reading day to day, but new books and old books both speak to us, don't they? And sometimes they speak to each other. This week, Chris and Annie discuss some of their favorite classics and their favorite new books as if they are cousins. Of the kissing variety?

For instance, if you like To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, check out Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett.

If you like One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, you may enjoy Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo.

If you like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, you may enjoy The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

If you like Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, you may enjoy My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.

If you like The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, you may enjoy The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

If you like The Giver by Lois Lowry, you may enjoy Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. 

If you like In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, you may enjoy American Fire by Monica Hesse.

If you like The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, you may enjoy Blankets by Craig Thompson.

If you like The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, you may enjoy Delancey by Molly Wizenberg.

If you like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, you may enjoy The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant.

November 25 is Small Business Saturday! Come visit us at the Bookshelf and see all of our small business friends. If you can't come to Thomasville that weekend, support your local businesses!

Thanks, as always, to Forlorn Strangers for our theme music. Listen to more here

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Full episodes of our show are available here.

Direct download: Episode_145____New_Books_for_Old_Souls.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EST

It's a week later than usual, but it's a brand new month, which means it's time for a reading recap, our monthly feature in which Annie and Chris briefly review what they read this month. October was long, but we read some great books!

Annie read:
Thanks, Obama by David Litt
Sunburn by Laura Lippman
Unbelievable by Katy Tur
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Chris read:
Pregnant Butch by A. K. Summers
Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
The First Bad Man by Miranda July

Also mentioned:
+ Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco
Looking for Alaska by John Green
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Thanks, as always, to Forlorn Strangers for the use of our theme music. Check out their website here

Find a full back catalogue of our show here. If you're interested in our exclusive bonus content like Unpopular Opinions or our weekly newsletter, you can learn more on our Patreon site

Direct download: Episode_144____October_Reading_Recap.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Why do so many readers seem to be afraid of short stories? Annie and Chris chat with author and professor CJ Hauser about how short stories are different from novels, how to approach a collection, and why book clubs should embrace shorts.

Stop worrying and love the short story! 

Mentioned this episode:
+ The Collected Stories of Grace Paley
Selected Stories: Andre Dubus
+ Flannery O'Connor: The Complete Stories
+ We're in Trouble by Christopher Coake
Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson
Emporiuby Adam Johnson
Later, at the Bar by Rebecca Barry
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower
CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders
One More Thing by B. J. Novak
Music for Wartime by Rebecca Makkai
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
Awayland by Ramona Ausubel
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

CJ's favorite collections:
Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger
Bear Down, Bear North by Melinda Moustakis
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell

Annie's favorite collections:
+ St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell
Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson
A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor

Chris's favorite collections:
No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July
Sorry Please Thank You by Charles Yu
CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders

Learn more about CJ and find links to her writing on her website

Thanks, as always, to Forlorn Strangers for our intro music. You can check them out at their website

This episode is sponsored in part by Fontaine Maury, a branding and design firm with offices in Thomasville and Tallahassee. Check them out at their website

You can find full episodes of our show on our website. You can support us on Patreon here

Direct download: Episode_143____Short_Form.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EST

'Tis the season for ~spooky scary~ reads, so Chris and Annie are back to talk about suspense, horror, and why we sometimes need a good scare. Also, WHAT is the title of this book? There's a dog and a creepy neighbor. That's all we've got. 

Mentioned this week:
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney
Goosebumps by R. L. Stine
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
+ Edgar Allan Poe
Boo to You Too by Elizabeth Rogers
The Littlest Witch by Jeanne Massey
The Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman
The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz
Velocity by Dean Koontz
The Taking by Dean Koontz
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Final Girls by Riley Sager
There's Somebody Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
The Likeness by Tana French
The Secret Place by Tana French
The Fever by Megan Abbott
Dare Me by Megan Abbott
You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
The Lost Girls by Robert Kolker
Who Killed These Girls? by Beverly Lowry
The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule
IT by Stephen King
My Friend Dahmer by John Backderf
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
It Devours! by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

Thank you , as always, to Forlorn Strangers. Listen to more of their music at their website.

Thank you SO MUCH to our supporters on Patreon. If you'd like access to exclusive bonus content and behind-the-scenes features, you can learn learn how here.

For a full back catalogue of our show, check out our website here.

Direct download: Episode_142____A_Good_Scare.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Let's face it: when you read a lot, it can be a strain on the eyes. And you can't multitask with a book in your hands. And reading while driving will get you pulled over. Thankfully, the slow march of progress has given us an answer. This week is all about the audiobook. Annie and Chris talk about their experience with and admiration of the audiobook along with some of their favorites. Find them at your leisure on and list The Bookshelf as your partner store!

Mentioned this week:
+ David Sedaris
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
All the Lives I Want by Alana Massey
Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

This episode is brought to you in part by Fontaine Maury, a branding and design firm with offices in Thomasville and Tallahassee. View a portfolio of their work and contact them regarding your branding needs at their website

Thanks, as always, to Forlorn Strangers. Learn more and listen to their music at their website

HUGE thanks to our Patreon supporters, who allow us time to create fun bonus content. If you'd like to give us a few dollars a month and get exclusive access to our secret projects, check us out here

Direct download: Episode_141____What_Should_I_Listen_to_Next_.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EST

We get lots of emails about what it is we actually do all day. Who are we, exactly, and what does a day in the life of our independent bookstore look like? Annie and Chris are here to walk you through a typical Tuesday at The Bookshelf. 

Today's episode is brought to you in part by Fuzzy Goat yarn shop right here in downtown Thomasville, GA. Fuzzy Goat offers a variety of yarns from independent, Southern, and US sources and a wide selection of classes for advanced knitters and novices alike. Check them out on Instagram here.

Thanks, as always, to Forlorn Strangers. Listen to more of their music on their website

And thank you SO MUCH to our Patreon supporters. If you would like to support us for a few dollars a month and get rewarded with regular bonus content, check out our site here

Direct download: Episode_140____A_Day_in_the_Life.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EST

September was a decidedly not-great month for our intrepid hosts, but at least they got to read some phenomenal books! Join us for our monthly wrap-up and check out our favorite books of the month!

Annie read:
I'll Have What She's Having by Erin Carlson
People Like Us by Dana Mele (on sale February 2018)
Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
Reading People by Anne Bogel
The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Susan Stabile
To Dance with the White Dog by Terry Kay
+ Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Chris read:
The Afterlives by Thomas Pierce (on sale January 2018)
The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Also mentioned:
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Grit by Angela Duckworth
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Thank you, as always, to Forlorn Strangers. Learn more at their website
For an almost-full catalogue of our old episodes, learn more, or contact us, visit our website
Thank you SO MUCH to our Patreon supporters. If you'd like to become a patron and access our monthly bonus content, check us out here

Direct download: Episode_139____September_Reading_Recap.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Annie's back from SIBA, and we're here to let you in on a long-distance version of the Fall Literary Luncheon we hosted in the Bookshelf last week. Here's what we're recommending for the fall!

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Artemis by Andy Weir
The Senator's Children by Nicholas Montemarano
The Glass Eye by Jeannie Vanasco
Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
Five-Carat Soul by James McBride
The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst
Grant by Ron Chernow
An Odyssey by Daniel Mendelsohn
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers
Blood at the Root by Patrick Phillips
What Unites Us by Dan Rather

Also mentioned:
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
The Martian by Andy Weir

Support us on Patreon here
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Thanks, as always, to Forlorn Strangers. Learn more here.

Direct download: Episode_138____Fall_Literary_Lineup.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Annie, Hunter, and Emily are back with another volume of Love It or Loathe It, our show within a show in which we have a book club-style discussion about a divisive book. This week: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon.

Also mentioned this week:
The Blondes by Emily Schultz
Looking for Alaska by John Green
The Big Sick
Master of None
+ The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Special mid-credits guest appearance by Margery K. Bear. 

Thank you, as always, to Forlorn Strangers. Learn more at their website.

Direct download: Episode_137____Love_It_or_Loathe_It_Vol._9.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

We've survived the hurricane and the new Bachelor announcement, and we're back with another conversation on books, TV, and life in the South. The 2017 Emmy Awards air on September 17, and so many of the honorees this year are adapted from books! We've got thoughts and opinions. Also, Seth Meyers is blond.

Mentioned this week:
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu
Hagseed by Margaret Atwood
The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
The Leftovers on HBO
Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty
Big Little Lies on HBO
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
Fargo on FX
Fargo by the Coen Brothers
Legion on FX

If you liked The Crown on Netflix, you might enjoy:
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

If you liked The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu, you might enjoy:
Children of Men by P. D. James
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

If you liked This is Us on NBC, you might enjoy:
The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
Adopted by Kelley Nikondeha
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

If you liked Westworld on HBO, you might enjoy:
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

If you liked Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix, you might enjoy:
The Girls by Emma Cline
The Assistants by Camille Perri

If you liked Stranger Things on Netflix, you might enjoy:
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

If you liked Master of None on Netflix, you might enjoy:
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham

Learn more about Forlorn Strangers on their website
Support us on Patreon here.

Direct download: Episode_136____Reading_in_the_Age_of_Prestige_Television.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 2:37pm EST