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October 27, 2020 @ 7:33 pm

Ep.66 Slaying Satire with Andrew Shaffer 10-28-20

We all probably need a good laugh right about now and our guest this week, humorist Andrew Shaffer, is the one to provide it. Andrew is the New York Times best-selling author of the Obama Biden series, a buddy detective mystery series which includes Hope Never Dies and Hope Rides Again. His new book that comes out in November is called Secret Santa and is a clash of the holidays ; Halloween and Christmas; a comedic book that combines horror and holiday vibes about a holiday office party gone bad. He is the author of 11 books in several genres but says that humor is the theme that ties all his books together.

Andrew talks to us about why he goes back to his comfort reads during the pandemic, why he thinks satire makes the medicine of heavy topics go down a little easier, and why he looks to the past for inspiration for book ideas even when there are so many crazy things in 2020 to poke fun at. He also tells us a pretty hysterical story about the worst job he ever had.

Books Mentioned in This Episode:

1- Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer
2- Hope Rides Again by Andrew Shaffer
3- Secret Santa by Andrew Shaffer
4- Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer
5- Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by Fanny Merkin (aka Andrew Shaffer)
6- Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L.. James
7- The Day of the Donald by Andrew Shaffer
8- Jack Reacher series by Lee Child
9- A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift
10- Normal People by Sally Rooney
11- Solutions & Other Problems by Allie Brosh
12- Hyperbole & a Half by Allie Brosh
13- True Grit by Charles Portis
14- Riot Most Uncouth by Daniel Friedman
15- Literary Rogues: A Scandalous History of Wayward Authors by Andrew Shaffer

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October 21, 2020 @ 5:57 am

Ep. 65 The Horrors of Writing with Tim Waggoner 10-21-20

It’s spooky season and we would be remiss if we didn’t explore a bit the things that make us unsettled and feel that four letter word FEAR. Our guest this week, Tim Waggoner, is a horror and dark fantasy writer who has been recognized in his field with awards such as the Shirley Jackson and the Bram Stoker Award. He is also an educator at heart. He is a professor at Sinclair College in Dayton OH where he teaches a wide variety of writing classes from basic composition all the way up to novel writing and tips for getting published. He has recently published a book that is a comprehensive guide to the craft of writing horror fiction called Writing in the Dark.

Tim talks to us about why dinosaurs were the thing as a little boy that made him first interested in reading, how empathy is an ingredient that distinguishes good horror from bad horror writing, why the darkness is blank space to inspire his imagination, and all about the devil’s bargain that writer’s make.

Books Mentioned in This Episode:

1- Writing in the Dark by Tim Waggoner
2- The Men Upstairs (novella) by Tim Waggoner
3- The Winter's Box (novella) by Tim Waggoner
4- Dark and Distant Voices by Tim Waggoner
5- Alone with the Horrors by Ramsey Campbell
6- Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
7- Unleashing the Artist Within: Breaking Through Blocks and Restoring Creative Purpose by Eric Maisel
8- Creativity for Life by Eric Maisel
9- The Shining by Stephen King
10- The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
11- Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
12 - The Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery series by Lawrence Block
13- The Terror by Dan Simmons

Movies mentioned--
1- The Babadook
2- Hereditary
3- The Terror (series)on Hulu
4- Finian's Rainbow (musical on film)

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October 14, 2020 @ 6:19 am

Ep.64 Book Your Festivities with Deedee Cummings 10-14-20

Two years ago our guest Deedee Cummings decided she wanted to introduce a book festival to the city of Louisville, an event found in many other large cities but missing here. She and her team spent those two years planning and scheduling an event all about books and reading only to have 2020 happen, a terrible, no good, very bad year that has served as a wet blanket for most kinds of fun. Deedee was, of course, disappointed, but she was not deterred.

The first annual Louisville Book Festival will take place October 23 and 24 virtually including a session with headliner Tomi Adeyemi, the New York Times bestselling writer of the Young Adult fantasy novel, Children of Blood and Bone.

Cumming’s book festival has a unique mission statement: Literacy is a basic human right. She has worked to build an event that will bring both a reading culture and connection to the city as well as inspire children to dream.

When you talk to Cummings, you realize that most of her adult life has been spent building up to something big. She has been a social worker and lawyer, and is currently a therapist, an author of children’s books, and the CEO of Make a Way Media, a company that promotes reading in all kinds of unique ways.

Deedee tells us why a lack of books that feature brown faces or stories was the inspiration for the Louisville Book Festival, how a book festival can be a life-changing event, and what themes unite all the children’s books she has written.

Books Mentioned in this Episode:
1- Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keane
2- Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol
3- Blackout by John Rocco
4- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
5- Fahrenheit 451 by Kurt Vonnegut
6- The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
7- Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess by Deedee Cummings
8- In the Nick of Time by Deedee Cummings
9- What We Found in the Corn Maze and How it Saved a Dragon by Henry Clark
10- Stamped by Ibram X. Kendi
11- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
12- The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
13- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
14- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
15- Tom Petty's Southern Accents by Michael Washburn

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October 7, 2020 @ 5:52 am

Ep. 63 You Can’t Read This with Natalie McCall 10-7-20

What books do you think about when you hear the term Banned Books; do you envision classics like Huck Finn or The Catcher in the Rye? Or books that you wanted to sneak to read when you were a kid because it had swearing, magic, or sexual content? In fact a book series that has been arguably one of the most beloved in modern history, the Harry Potter series, is still high on the list of Banned Books so many years after it was first published.

Our episode today was recorded during Banned Books Week, a weeklong annual event sponsored by the American Library Association to celebrate the freedom to read and bring awareness to both current and past attempts to censor books in libraries and schools.

We believe this topic is one that you can think about any time of the year, not just for one designated week so we wanted to explore the topic with our guest, Natalie McCall, a librarian and head of youth services at the Mill Valley Public Library in the Bay area of California. She is also the host of a podcast called Eight Books That Made Me where she has conversations with Young Adult authors about 5 books that influenced them growing up and 3 books they encourage readers to check out now.

Natalie discusses what it meant to be a hi-lo reader when she was a child, why she thinks one of the most common types of censorship for libraries is based on what books they don’t choose to purchase, and about the role of libraries and the freedom to read as one of the foundations of democracy.

Books Mentioned In This Episode:

1- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
2- The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgon
3- Babysitter's Club series by Ann M. Martin
4- Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal
5- Fear Street series by R. L. Stine
6- Goosebumps series by R. L. Stine
7- The Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennac
8- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
9- The Winter Pony by Iain Lawrence
10- A Love Story of Two Boys by Brian Roberson
11- Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
12- Forever by Judy Blume
13- The Things They Carried by Tim O' Brien
14- All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
15- Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
16- Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones
17- Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
18- The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery
19- Quiet by Susan Cain
20- Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett
21- Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett
22- Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
23- The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reid
24- The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
25- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
26- Caminar by Skila Brown
27- Under the Mesquite by Guadelupe Garcia McCall
28- Inside Out and Back Again by Thanha Lai
29- Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

Podcast mentioned:
8 Books That Made Me

TV shows mentioned:
It's Ok to Not Be Ok (Korean Drama on Netflix)
Dark (German Drama on Netflix)



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