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October 20, 2021 @ 5:30 am

Season 5 Ep. 109 Horror is Like A Jar of Salsa with Guest Johann Trotter 10-20-21

We are halfway through spooky October and maybe you are looking for a good scary book to read. Our guest today, Johann Trotter, can give you some tips. Johann lives in Northern Ireland and works as a scientific researcher. But her hobby gone wild is horror in all its forms. She is a self-professed horror junkie. She is a bit obsessed with Stephen King, but on her instagram page @jobis89, you can find a wide variety of non-Stephen King horror book suggestions and reviews to make any spooky reader happy.

She is currently doing a 2 year project to read a horror book set in each of the 50 US States. We do a deep dive into the horror genre this week.

You can find Johann Trotter on instagram, @Jobis89.

Books mentioned--
1- Turn of the Screw by Henry James
2- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
3- His Hideous Heart edited by Dahlia Adler
4- "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe
5- "The Oval Portrait" by Edgar Allan Poe
6- Roald Dahl books
7- Goosebumps series
8- Babysitters Club series
9- The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein
10- Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein
11- The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
12- Whisper Man by Alex North
13- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
14- Dracula by Bram Stoker
15- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
16- Moon Over Babylon by Michael McDowell
17- The Elementals by Michael McDowell
18- The Haunting of Alma Fielding: A True Story by Kate Summerscale
19- Ghost Story by Peter Straub
20- A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow

Johann's Top Horror Writers
1- Stephen King
2- H. P. Lovecraft
3- Clive Barker
4- Ania Ahlborn
5- David Sodergren
6- Kealan Patrick Burke

Websites/ phone app mentioned--
The Storygraph

Podcasts mentioned--
1- Ghost Stories from the London Dungeon
2- Poe Theater on the Air

TV/Movies mentioned--
1- Only Murders in the Building
2- A Nightmare on Elm Street
3- Scream
4- Trick or Treat
5- Halloween
6- Sleepy Hollow
7- Hocus Pocus

Music mentioned--
1- The Evil Eye and the Hideous Heart, composed by Alan Lee Silva

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Instagram - @perksofbeingabookloverpod


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October 13, 2021 @ 5:39 am

Season 5 Episode 108 Sex, Drugs, and True Crime Vibes with Guest David Domine‘ 10-13-21

This week’s episode is for true crime enthusiasts. Every city has had murders that make the news, and Louisville is no different. Our guest this week, David Domine', adopted Louisville as his hometown and has a following here as an author, tour guide, and storyteller in the city. He has written a new book called A Dark Room in Glitter Ball City about a sensational murder that was discovered after a domestic disturbance in Old Louisville in 2010. The story includes drugs, drag queens, and maybe even the CIA.

His book is true crime, but it also veers into memoir and history. And it introduces readers to quirky characters whose eccentricities are why we have a saying here to “Keep Louisville Weird.”

His book is getting some attention. Publisher's Weekly gave it a starred review and Amazon named it as one of the top true crime reads of the season.

You can find David Domine’ on instagram, @bluegrasspeasant, on FB David Domine’, The Bluegrass Peasant and at his website You can find information about David’s historical tours of Old Louisville at

Books Mentioned in this Episode:
1- A Dark Room in Glitter Ball City by David Domine
2- The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
3- When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson Browne
4- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
5- Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
6- Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
7- The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
8- The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold
9- You Never Forget Your First by Alexis Coe

Shows mentioned in this episode:

1- Unsolved Mysteries (2020) Netlfix

2- Only Murders in the Building - Hulu

You can find us at:
Insta - @perksofbeingabookloverpod
FB - The Perks of Being a Book Lover

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October 5, 2021 @ 8:09 pm

Season 5 Ep. 107 Following A Literary Appalachian Trail with Guest Kendra Winchester

We have a fondness for Appalachia and have had several guests on the Perks who hail from that area, including Alix Harrow, Ashley Blooms, and Annette Sanuooke Clapsaddle. But Appalachia is much larger than just the small slice that Amy and I often think of. Appalachia is really a huge area that encompasses a vast and diverse array of people.

Today we talk to Kendra Winchester, the co-founder and executive director of the 'Reading Women' podcast and a Book Riot contributing editor. But she is also the person behind the Read Appalachia Instagram account. She tells us what makes Appalachian literature special and why it’s so important to her.

You can find Kendra Winchester on various instagram pages including at @readappalachia, @thebookcorgiand @thereadingwomen.

Books Mentioned in this episode:
1- Moby Dick by Herman Melville
2- Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan
3- Sabriel by Garth Nix
4- Books by Tamora Pierce
5- Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
6- Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
7- Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson
8- The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw
9- The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson
10- Affrilachia by Frank X. Walker
11- Southernmost by Silas House
12- Black Bone: 25 Years of Affrilachian Poets edited by Bianca Lynne Spriggs and Jeremy Paden
13- Water Street by Crystal Wilkinson
14- Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
15- What You're Getting Wrong about Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte
16- Step Into the Circle: Writers in Modern Appalachia edited by Amy Greene and Trent Thomson
17- Even As We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle
18- Me and Banksy by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
19- Carework: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
20- Disability/Visability: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century edited by Alice Wong
21- The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman's Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein
22- The Believer: Encounters with Love, Death & Faith by Sarah Krasnostein

Podcasts mentioned--
1- Reading Women

Instagram mentioned--
1- @readappalachia
2- @thebookcorgi

TV Shows Mentioned:
1- Explained (Netlfix)

You can find us at:
Insta - @perksofbeingabookloverpod
FB - The Perks of Being a Book Lover

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September 29, 2021 @ 5:47 am

Season 5 Ep. 106 The Age Old Story of a Sisterhood with guest Grace Sammon

Society doesn’t really know what to do with older women. People give a lot of lip-service to the value of older women’s wisdom and experience but older women are often forgotten. As if they don’t have anything worth contributing once they hit a certain age.

Our guest this week, Grace Sammon, has written a novel that tackles this modern dilemma for older women. Titled The Eves, it features a main character named Jessica who struggles with her own aging but is helped along in her journey by a group of even older women whose experiences and insights get Jessica to screw her head on straight again.

You can find Grace Sammon on Instagram at @gracesammonwrites and on Facebook on the group "Bookish Road Trip". You can find links to her radio show at her website

Books we discuss in this episode:

1- The Eves by Grace Sammon
2- Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
3- Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less by Leidy Klotz
4- Dolly Madison and the War of 1812 by Libby Carty McNamee
5- Susannah’s Midnight Ride: The Girl Who Won the Revolutionary War by Libby Carty McNamee
6- The Spiral Shell: A French Village Reveals Its Secrets of Jewish Resistance in World War II by Sandell Morse
7- Little Tea by Claire Fullerton
8- Mourning Dove by Clair Fullerton
9- Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Podcasts mentioned—
1- The Storytellers with Grace Sammon

Movies mentioned—
1- Nomadland (2020)

Social Media Group
1- The Bookish Road Trip

You can find us here:
Website -
FB - The Perks of Being a Book Lover
Insta: @perksofbeingabookloverpod

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September 21, 2021 @ 7:06 pm

Perks RePlay Ep. 80 Resistance Reading with Guest Farrah Alexander 9-22-21

** We have a replay this week. We want our listeners to have a second chance to listen to our talk with author Farrah Alexander about her book, 'Raising The Resistance' about how to work social justice into our everyday lives. With some court cases on the horizon and strikes against women's rights in Texas, this seemed like a good episode to revisit. Farrah is working on her second book and has started law school at Indiana University. Next week there will be an all new episode **

Sometimes it only takes a spark to start a fire. For writer and activist Farrah Alexander, the small flicker of an idea that eventually became her first book was her January 2017 participation in the historic Women's March in Washington DC. She encountered so many women who were emboldened to make change but weren’t sure how to channel their energies.

Farrah wrote her book titled "Raising the Resistance: A Mother’s Guide to Practical Activism" which gives suggestions on how to be a leader in your life and a model for change for your children. But the book is also witty and whimsical which makes it accessible to a wide audience.

Farrah has been a journalist and freelance writer whose articles have appeared in the Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and BuzzFeed. Her work focuses on feminism, social justice, parenting, and politics. She is also a Jeremiah Fellow with Bend the Ark, a Jewish partnership for justice which aims to combat white supremacy and mobilize communities for social change.

In this episode, Farrah talks to us about how even as a child she was drawn to books with strong female characters like Amelia Bedelia, how she wants to make the ideas of feminism less academic and more accessible, why she feels essay writing can be a powerful tool for women to share their stories, and which item of her political memorabilia collection is her most cherished.

Books mentioned in this episode:

1- Raising the Resistance: A Mother's Guide to Practical Activism by Farrah Alexander
2- Amelia Bedelia books by Peggy Parish
3- Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
4- The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters by Tom Nichols
5- A Promised Land by Barack Obama
6- Becoming by Michelle Obama
7- Big Girl, Small Town by Michelle Gallen

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September 14, 2021 @ 6:45 pm

Season 5 Ep. 105 The Hidden Value of a Book with guest Elizabeth Senn-Alvey 9-15-21

Most weeks we talk about books and being a booklover in terms of exciting new releases or the ways in which writers create their imagined worlds and the characters who inhabit them. But today we are talking about how books can literally change lives because books are a business and can generate income.

In this week’s episode, we speak to Elizabeth Senn-Alvey, executive director of Emerging Workforce Initiative, a nonprofit in Louisville that targets ways to help marginalized youth who have systemic or personal issues that could impede their journey into the workforce and develop marketable skills. One of the programs they offer is The Book Works.

The Book Works is a social enterprise, which is a program that helps address local teens and young adults unmet needs such as poverty, homelessness, and limited education through a market-driven approach; or in other words teaching through learning a business.

The folks at Emerging Workforce Initiative were inspired by More Than Words in Boston; a youth program that for 20 years has empowered young people to take charge of a business and their lives through books.

So we take a look at how our secondhand books in the Louisville community have helped young people in our city.

The Book Works Sale takes place September 18-19. Go to their website for more details.

You can find The Book Works on instagram at @thebookworkslou or on Facebook at The Book Works Louisville. Their website is

Books mentioned in this episode:

1- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
2- Towers Falling by Jewel Parker Rhodes
3- The Awakening by Kate Chopin
4- The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--And How it Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson
5- Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
6- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
7- Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton

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September 8, 2021 @ 5:58 am

Season 5 Ep. 104 Stories of the Crown with guest St. Clair Detrick-Jules 9-8-21

Our guest this week is St. Clair Detrick-Jules, a Brown University graduate who is a filmmaker and a new author. Her book 'My Beautiful Black Hair: 101 Natural Hair Stories from the Sisterhood' debuts on September 28 and features essays by and photographs of Black women who have come to some deeper understandings about what their hair and how they wear it means to them.

We talk to St. Clair about chemical treatments for Black hair and how they differ from the treatments white women know, how hair can play a role in mother/daughter relationships, and the important reason she wanted to create this book in the first place.When we recorded this episode, Black hair had recently made the news because of the International Swimming Federation’s ban on Soul Caps at the Tokyo Olympics which are made for Black swimmers with natural hair.

You can find St. Clair on social media at @stclairdetrickjules or at her website

Books Mentioned in this Episode:
1- My Beautiful Black Hair: 101 Natural Hair Stories from the Sisterhood by St. Clair Detrick-Jules
2- The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination With the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World by Patrik Svensson
3- Litany for the Long Moment by Mary-Kim Arnold
4- Water Street by Crystal Wilkinson
5- Blackberries, Blackberries by Crystal Wilkinson

Shows/Films mentioned--
1- Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
2- Good Hair ((2009 documentary)



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August 31, 2021 @ 7:29 pm

Season 5 Ep. 103 Travel Expectations with Amber Share and Suzanne Roberts 9-1-21

Lots of people travel around Labor Day and start thinking about fall break adventures so this week’s episode is jam-packed with travel writing. We chat with two guests this week.

Our first guest is not a writer, but a graphic designer who began making cool illustrated posters of national parks on an Instagram account called Subpar Parks. Amber Share couples her illustrations with terrible one-star Yelp reviews those parks receive from visitors who weren’t terribly impressed with majestic things like The Grand Canyon and Old Faithful. Those illustrations have gone viral and she recently collected them all in book format and included facts about each national park from park rangers. Her book, SubPar Parks: America's Most Extraordinary National Parks and Their Least Impressed Visitors is a New York Times Bestseller.

Our second guest is writer Suzanne Roberts, who National Geographic named a “Next Great Travel Writer.” Her most recent book, Bad Tourist: Misadventures in Love and Travel, has received many awards including the Independent Publisher Book Award and National Indie Excellence Awards. She weaves a story of maturing as a woman and becoming a veteran traveler. Her book will make you laugh but it also gets serious, and those serious essays make her humor seem all the more poignant.

You can find Amber Share on social media at @subparparks or at her website And Suzanne Roberts can be found on instqgram @suzanneroberts28 or on her website at

Books Mentioned in This Episode:
1- SubPar Parks: America's Most Extraordinary National Parks and Their Least Impressed Visitors by Amber Share
2- Bad Tourist: Misadventures in Love & Travel by Suzanne Roberts
3- My Antonia by Willa Cather
4- Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
5- Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
6- The Innocents by Michael Crummey
7- The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
8- Dispatches from Pluto: Lost & Found in the Mississippi Delta by Richard Grant
9- The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner

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August 25, 2021 @ 6:04 am

Season 5 Ep. 102 The Building Books of Empathy with guest Melissa Hart

This week’s episode is a nod to back-to-school season when teachers can get books
into the hands of kids after a summer of free days, endless video games, and probably too many popsicles. We are joined by Melissa Hart from Eugene Oregon. She is the author of 2 memoirs, a middle grade book, and most recently a great resource for teachers, librarians, and parents called Better with Books: 500 Diverse Books to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens.

When Melissa’s tween daughter was in elementary school, she dealt with anxiety and depression, and Melissa found a way to help her through reading targeted books together, a practice called bibliotherapy which some studies suggest is effective in the treatment of some forms of depression. But the list of books in Better With Books can also help a young person develop empathy and be more accepting of others who have different experiences from their own such as individuals with physical disabilities, mental health struggles, body image issues, and students from different religious backgrounds.

You can find find Melissa on instagram @wildmelissahart or at her website at

Books mentioned--

1- Better with Books: 500 Books to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens by Melissa Hart
2- Pinballs by Betsy Ayers
3- What Goes Up Must Come Down by Johanna Hurwitz
4- Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes
5- Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
6- The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Patterson
7- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
8- Far From the Tree by Robin Benway
9- Ten Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac
10- If I Ever Get Out of Here (audiobook) by Eric Gansworth
11- Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
12- Avenging the Owl by Melissa Hart
13- Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family by Melissa Hart
14- Dune by Frank Herbert
15- Dune Messiah (Book 2) by Frank Herbert
16- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
17- The Overstory by Richard Powers
18- There, There by Tommy Orange
19- Harry's Trees by Jon Cohen
20- Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
21- Pax by Sara Pennypacker
22- The One and Only Bob / The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
23- Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
24- Watership Down by Richard Adams

Movies mentioned--
1- Dune (October 2021), directed by Denis Villeneuve

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August 18, 2021 @ 5:43 am

Season 5 Ep. 101 Rainbow Readers Unite with guest Sanjay Saverimuttu

In this week’s episode, we chat with Sanjay Saverimuttu. He is a ballet dancer with the Louisville Ballet and a choreographer who grew up in South Florida. Sanjay attended college at Stanford and studied Biology but decided dance was really his passion. His other passion is reading and he is the leader of the Louisvile LGBTQ book group sponsored by the Louisville Pride Foundation.

Sanjay talks about how important it was for the Pride book club to provide a safe space for its members that had nothing to do with meeting people at bars or on apps. Sanjay says this small group of readers feels like family.

You can find find Sanjay on instagram @thesanj or his website at You can learn more about the Louisville Pride Foundation and the bookclub at, on insta @louprideky.

Books Mentioned in this Episode:

1- Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
2- No Ashes in the Fire by Darnell Moore
3- We Are Ok by Nina LaCour
4- I Wish You All the Best by Nathan Deaver
5- Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
6- This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel
7- Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
8- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
9- The Hummingbirds' Gift: Wonder, Beauty, and Renewal on Wings by Sy Montgomery
10- Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery
11- Birdology by Sy Montgomery
12- Wave by Sunali Deraniyagala
13- They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
14- What If It's Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli
15- The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
16- Aristotle and Dante's Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

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