From the Front Porch

Welcome to the brand new month of September! School is back in session, Fall is (kinda-sorta) in the air, and change is afoot. Check out our new podcast website and see all the new, special content we've been making just for you! Also, Nick and Vanessa? Donezo. 

Mentioned this week:
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Liberal Arts 
Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Looking for Alaska by John Green
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan
Friends from College 
Tribal by Diane Roberts
Tribe by Sebastian Junger
Against Football by Steve Almond
The One and Only by Emily Giffin

Learn more about Forlorn Strangers at their website.
Support us on Patreon here.
Find your favorite books in our online store

Direct download: Episode_135____Campus_Tour__Nothing_Stays_the_Same.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

August is over, and we're ready to celebrate. Annie and Chris are back to talk about the books they read in August, despite--or maybe in spite of--how terrible the month of August is. Also, can the old Taylor please come to the phone?

Chris read:
+ nothing
+ life gets in the way
+ part of How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Annie read:
Final Girls by Riley Sager
The Glass Eye by Jeannie Vanasco (on sale October 3)
There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka
The Misfortune of Marion Palm by Emily Culliton
Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker
The Party by Robyn Harding

Also mentioned:
Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood
Brain on Fire by Susannah Calahan
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Seven by Jen Hatmaker
For the Love by Jen Hatmaker
The Dinner by Herman Koch

There are changes on the horizon! Stay tuned! 

There's one day left to sign up for September's Shelf Subscription pick, so check out our store website for more details!

Direct download: Episode_134____August_Reading_Recap.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

We're hungry, so let's plan out a menu. This week, Chris and Annie have prepared a few "book flights" for you, and these are the tasting notes. We're also calling them "mini-syllabi" because books talk to each other, and it's the coolest thing. Also, a dyed-in-the-wool Slytherin.

Annie's "Fear and Trembling" syllabus:
Final Girls by Riley Sager
+ Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka
+ Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Chris's "A Space Odyssey" syllabus:
+ The Martian by Andy Weir
The Wanderers by Meg Howrey
The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

Annie's "Not Another Teen Movie" syllabus:
+ Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
+ You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein
Dare Me by Megan Abbott
+ The DUFF

Chris's "Kubelko Bondy" syllabus:
The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
The First Bad Man by Miranda July
Spider-Woman by Dennis Hopeless 
The Babadook

Annie's "Slightly Romantic" syllabus:
+ Extraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace
This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance by Jonathan Evison
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison
Dan in Real Life

Chris's [bonus] "Cruise Ship" syllabus:
+ "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" by David Foster Wallace
+ "My Honeymoon, or A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again Either" by Tina Fey
+ "Our Perfect Summer" by David Sedaris

Chris's "The Earth is Alive" syllabus:
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
An Inconvenient Truth OR Mad Max: Fury Road OR Waterworld

Annie's "Campus Tour" syllabus:
+ Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
+ Shadow of the Lions
by Christopher Swann
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Dead Poets Society OR Liberal Arts

Chris's "Apollo and Dionysus" syllabus:
The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietszche
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Black Swan

Annie's "Family Dysfunction" syllabus:
The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
+ Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
+ Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
+ The Family Stone 

Learn more about Bookshelf Bucks on our store website

Direct download: Episode_133____Three_Books_and_a_Movie.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EST

It's that time of year again, and we can't believe it. Annie and Chris talk about some of their favorite books for emerging readers and sit down for an interview with one such reader. Also, the importance of haircuts and a pregnant pause (or three). 

Mentioned this week:
Miles Morales, Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds
The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Dog Man by Dav Pilkey
Theodore Boone series by John Grisha
Treasure Hunters series by James Patterson
Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales by Nathan Hale
Emily Windsnap series by Liz Kessler
Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
+ The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle by Bill Myers
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
The Austin Family Chronicles by Madeleine L'Engle
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
Bloomability by Sharon Creech
The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
+ The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein
The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer
All-of-a-Kind Family series by Sydney Taylor
Bobbsey Twins series by Laura Lee Hope
Betsy-Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace
Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur by Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Hamster Princess series by Ursula Vernon
I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis
Time Warp Trio series by John Scieszka
The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne

Direct download: Episode_132____Back_to_School.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Don’t get scared of the word “change.” Annie and Chris are joined this week by the rest of the Bookshelf staff. Ashley, Maddie, and Kate are here to talk about Shelf Subscriptions and what you can expect when you choose one of us to pick out a brand new book for you. Also, let’s take bets on which Office alum is Mindy Kaling’s baby daddy.

Annie’s picks are for fans of:
+ The Mothers by Brit Bennett
+ Forty Rooms by Olga Grushin
+ Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Chris’s picks are for fans of:
+ Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
+ Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
+ A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Maddie’s picks are for fans of:
+ Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
+ The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
+ The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemison

Kate’s picks are for fans of:
+ The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
+ The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
+ Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Ashley’s picks are for fans of:
+ Paper Towns by John Green
+ What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons
+ This Is How It Always Is by Lauren Frankel

Magali’s picks are for fans of:
+ The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
+ The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Tlll We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis

Learn more about Shelf Subscriptions at our store website. If you would like to advertise your business on From the Front Porch, email Annie at annie [at] bookshelfthomasville [dot] com.

Direct download: Episode_131____Shelf_Subscriptions_Sneak_Peek.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. And even though that might not be exactly how podcasts work, Chris and Annie are here to tell you about what they read in July. Also, Bookshelf Bucks are here! Check out the store website to learn more and start your tab!

Annie read:
The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood
What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons
The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder

Chris read:
The End We Start From by Megan Hunter (on sale November 7)
Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett

Also mentioned:
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
It Devours by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
Frances and Bernard by Carlene Bauer
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Direct download: Episode_130____July_Reading_Recap.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Do you really know a book from reading it just once? Annie and Chris weigh in on re-reading and why they do it--or don't. Is there a value in re-reading or is it a waste of time? Are there some books that deserve to be read more than once and others that don't? Also, move over, Schrödinger. We've got our own theoretical cat experiment.

"Finding out what happens is the least part of reading."

Mentioned this week:

Historia Regum Britanniae by Geoffrey of Monmouth
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
+ An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott
Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
+ the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
+ the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Paradise Lost by John Milton
The Human Condition by Hannah Arendt
The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon
The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Check out Shelf Subscriptions, a new monthly book delivery service from The Bookshelf, on our website and sign up for fresh picks from Annie, Chris, and the rest of The Bookshelf staff!

Direct download: Episode_129____Read_It_Again_Sam.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EST

It's a book club-style discussion about Patricia Lockwood's new memoir, Priestdaddy. Annie and regular podcast contributors Emily McKenna (of You're Maker) and Hunter McLendon discuss what they loved and loathed about Lockwood's poetic style, her relationship with her parents, and her complicated upbringing in the Catholic faith.

You can purchase Priestdaddy here

Other books mentioned include:

Liars Club

Prozac Nation


Yes Please

Is Everyone Hanging out without Me

The Essex Serpent 

Direct download: From_the_Front_Porch_Ep._128.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:30am EST

You've got a whole stack of what you're going to read next, but what kind of record do you keep of what you've already read? Chris and Annie chat about what they've read recently and how they keep track. Spoilers: It's not G**dr**ds. Also, is Tobey Maguire the worst actor of his generation?

Keep those iTunes and Stitcher reviews coming! We're well on our way to our goal, and we want to give you a special prize if you get us to 150 on iTunes.

Direct download: Episode_127____What_Did_I_Read_Last_.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Happy Fourth from the Front Porch! Annie and Chris are here to talk about their favorite fake news--which is to say political fiction. Also, fireworks, hot dogs, and the day summer just goes downhill. 

New and upcoming:
The Golden House by Salman Rushdie (on sale in October)
+ The Senator's Children by Nicholas Montemorano (on sale in November)
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin (on sale in August)
The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

This Town by Mark Leibovich
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

Direct download: Episode_126____Politics_and_Prose_.m4a
Category:books -- posted at: 6:00am EST