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June 24, 2020 @ 6:16 am

Ep. 51 Writers of the Apocalypse with Giselle Spurgeon 6-24-20

Are you a reader that shies away from dystopian or pandemic themed books because they just seem too scary in our current reality or do you “lean in” to the darkness and find it “fun”?

Our guest this week, Giselle Spurgeon, is a reader who has long had a fascination with this sub-genre of work.

COVID-19 has affected book-loving people differently. Some of them couldn't focus on reading their books because they felt like they needed to constantly stay informed by watching the news but others dove headfirst into books and reading as an escape. There are even some readers, like Giselle, who have spent a lot of their reading life preparing for this moment of catastrophe; readers who enjoy pandemic, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, which includes any horrible event that turns a fictional world on its head. Whether it is a virus that runs out of control, a nuclear disaster, or an asteroid that smashes into Earth, this genre is dystopian in nature but also in many ways, hopeful.

Giselle talks to us about how she had to make herself stop reading as a kid so she could get her homework completed, why sometimes immersing yourself in a book while important things are happening in the world can seem like a dismissive act, and how dystopian fiction is just another way for her to have control over the chaotic world around her.

Books Discussed In This Episode:

Izzy Willy-Nilly by Cynthia Voight
Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
The End of October by Lawrence Wright
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
On The Beach by Nevil Shute
One Second After by William R. Forstchen
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Life As We Know It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Ashfall by Mike Mulin
Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
The Stand by Stephen King
Wool by Hugh Howey
Fever, 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Z for Zachariah by Robert O' Brien
Children of Men by P. D. James
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
The Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
A Song For a New Day by Sarah Pinsker
The Passage by Justin Cronin
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
The Maze Runner by Richard Dashner
Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
The Fountain of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys

You can find us on FB, instagram (@perksofbeingabookloverpod) and on our blog site at

Perks airs on Forward Radio 106.5 FM and every Wednesday at 6 pm, Thursdays at 6 am and 12 pm. We have purchased the rights to the theme music used.

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June 17, 2020 @ 6:07 am

Ep. 50 Between The Holler and the Hills with Bobi Conn

This week we branch out away from Louisville and venture out into the state to the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky, where our guest this week resides. Bobi Conn is a technical writer by day and author whose first book, In The Shadow of the Valley, was published this past May by Little A Publishing, the literary imprint for Amazon. Her memoir of growing up in a holler on the outskirts of Morehead KY conveys a tension between the beauty of the landscape in contrast to her family’s poverty, her father’s drug addiction and his abuse of Bobi, her brother, and their mother. The memoir is Bobi’s attempt to have some control over her own life’s story. In fact, she never strived to be a memoirist. Her true literary love lies more with poetry and short stories. But, something powerful inside her needed to be released and her journey to write it as her creative writing thesis in graduate school to 12 years later publishing it and also narrating the audiobook version of that story is what we will talk about today.

Bobi discusses why she thinks magical realism is a great way to tell stories set in Appalachia, why the term “holler” has such significance among the people who live in this region, why her Granny’s house is a metaphor for her life’s journey, and what stories she finds in the classic country music she listened to on the radio as a kid.

Books Discussed in this Episode:

In The Shadow of the Valley by Bobi Conn
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

Hill Women by Cassie Chambers

The Odyssey by Homer
The Tradition by Jericho Brown
The Best We Could Do by Thi But
Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson


You can find us on FB, instagram (@perksofbeingabookloverpod) and on our blog site at

Perks airs on Forward Radio 106.5 FM and every Wednesday at 6 pm, Thursdays at 6 am and 12 pm. We have purchased the rights to the theme music used.

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June 10, 2020 @ 6:05 am

Ep. 49 Reading For Summer Sun and Solidarity With Sam Miller 6-10-20

It’s officially summer. The kids are done with school and it feels like time to relax a little after a stressful spring. Wouldn’t we all like to be sitting on a beach, by a lake, or on a shaded porch reading the perfect book? But not everyone’s plans are what they once were with the uncertainty that has plagued us in 2020. Maybe our biggest escape is through the pages of a book. Our guest this week is someone we trust to help us with finding that book. We are excited to welcome back friend of the show and bookseller Sam Miller, from Carmichael’s books here in Louisville KY.

When we planned this week’s episode weeks ago, we wanted to talk about summer reading, and in our minds we envisioned beach reads and books that people read for pure enjoyment. But with the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the protests that are occurring in response to those, we realized that summer reading for many people might look different than it usually does.

The Perks of Being a Book Lover has always been about books, reading, and sharing that reading with others. Reading, for us, has been about connection with others. And perhaps the most important part of the experience has been sitting back and being quiet. Listening to what others have to tell us. What their experiences can teach us and help us understand.

Early in our show, we were able to see the film Toni Morrison: The Pieces I am at the Speed Cinema and listen to the discussion about Morrison’s role in literature. Throughout her career as both an editor and author, Morrison said a lot of important things about what reading can do. In an interview in 2003, Morrison said: “Books are a form of political action. Books are knowledge. Books are reflection. Books change your mind.”

Carrie and I at Perks of Being a Book Lover believe that black authors matter. Black voices matter. Black lives matter.

Books Discussed in this Episode:
1- Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
2- Beach Read by Emily Henry
3- The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
4- All Adults Here by Emma Straub
5- Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore
6- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
7- The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
8- Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
9- Untamed by Glennan Doyle
10- The Splendid and the Vile by Eric Larson
11- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
12- Gifts From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
13- The Dry by Jane Harper
14- Wild by Cheryl Strayed
15- This is Chance: The Shaking of An All American City, A Voice that Held it Together by Jonathan Mooallem
16- The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural by Patricia McCissack
17- Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan
18- Well-Read Black Girl : Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves Compiled by Glory Edim
19- Harlem by Langston Hughes
20- White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
21- Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
22- How To Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
23- Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi (Children's lit version)
24- The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap by Richard Rothstein
25- The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
26- Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
27- Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
28- The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
29- On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
30- Dear Martin by Nic Stone
31- The Watsons Go To Birmingham, 1963, By Christopher Paul Curtis
32- Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
33- Any book by James Baldwin


You can find us on FB, instagram (@perksofbeingabookloverpod) and on our blog site at

Perks airs on Forward Radio 106.5 FM and every Wednesday at 6 pm, Thursdays at 6 am and 12 pm. We have purchased the rights to the theme music used.

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June 3, 2020 @ 5:47 am

Ep 48 The History Scene, Stephen King, and the Big Screen with James Markert 6-3-20

Our guest this week, James Markert, is a Renaissance man. He was a tennis pro for over 20 years, a bookstore owner, a screenwriter, and the author of 5 historical fiction novels. His first novel, A White Wind Blew, focused on some local Louisville history with the story of the Waverly Hills Sanatorium, one of the largest facilities in the country for tuberculosis patients during the TB epidemic in the early 1900s. Now Waverly Hills is known internationally for being the home of the haunted but James’ imagines what life was like for doctors and patients inside its walls. With the success of that book, James went on to write novels about Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl, a chapel in the woods of South Carolina during World War 1, a bourbon distillery after the end of Prohibition, and a hotel for Alzheimer’s patients in California after World War 2. His books are known for combining history with magical realism.

Markert has also written multiple screenplays with one being made into a movie and has recently given writing TV shows a try.

James talks to us about the downfalls of doing too much research before writing historical fiction, strange things that happen on the movie set of indie films when you are the screenwriter, what books his high school English teacher introduced him to which turned him into a voracious reader, and what genre he originally wanted to write.

Books Discussed In This Episode:

Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel by James Markert
What Blooms From Dust by James Markert
All Things Bright and Strange by James Markert
Angel's Share by James Markert
A White Wind Blew by James Markert
The Fireman by Joe Hill
Strange Weather by Joe Hill
Locke and Key by Joe Hill
The Body by Stephen King
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow
The Cartel by Don Winslow
The Outsider by Stephen King
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
If It Bleeds by Stephen King
Fire in the Hole by Elmore Leonard (short story)

TV Shows mentioned
Justified (Hulu)
Locke and Key (Netflix)


You can find us on FB, instagram (@perksofbeingabookloverpod) and on our blog site at

Perks airs on Forward Radio 106.5 FM and every Wednesday at 6 pm, Thursdays at 6 am and 12 pm. We have purchased the rights to the theme music used.

Share | Download(Loading)
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