From the Front Porch

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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
Listen to previous episodes 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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT