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December 30, 2020 @ 8:57 am

Season 3 Ep.73 This Episode Is So “2020″

2020 has been one for the books, hasn’t it. See my pun there? A worldwide pandemic, a truly historic election, racial unrest, murder hornets, shortages of toilet paper, and massive fires in California are just a few weird things that happened this year; we all took solace where we could. For book lovers like us, it usually meant a book but could also include new hobbies like puzzles and baking for me, crocheting for Carrie, and wine for the both of us.

For this last episode of 2020, Carrie and I decided to talk about some notable books that we didn’t have a chance to talk about during the year and also take a look forward to 2021 to some books we are anxious to read.

Technology has really been messing with us at the end of 2020. Several pieces we recorded didn’t work, or disappeared, or just plain sucked. Anything that could go wrong did. So we had to get creative with this episode. And like many things about 2020, that creativity to do something different sometimes makes something better. I hope in this case this episode is better than the one we started with before the gremlins inside our computer got a hold of it.

We will be taking a few weeks off. While we are gone, we will re-play some older episodes that we think deserve another listen. Then we will be back January 13 with all new episodes with cool interesting people who are book lovers too.

Books mentioned--
1- A Polar Affair: Antartica's Forgotten Hero and the Secret Love Lives of Penguins by Lloyd Spencer Davis
2- Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
3- Nothing is Wrong and Here is Why by Alexandra Petri
4- Shirley: A Novel by Susan Scarf Merrell / The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
5- The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
6- The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia by Emma Copley Eisenberg
7- Boom by Mark Haddon
8- Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
9- The One and Only Ivan /The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
10- Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
11- Sick Souls, Healthy Minds: How William James Can Save Your Life by John Kaag
12- Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn
13- Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
14- Eat a Peach by David Chang
15- Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrow
16- The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World by Patrik Svensson
17- The Stone Sky (Brokem Earth #3) by NK Jemisin
18- This Close to OK by Leesa Cross-Smith
19- The Whisper Man by Alex North
20- Murmur of Bees by Sophia Segovia
21- Lakewood by Megan Giddings

Perks Guests' Recommendations--
1- Brave(ish): A Memoir of a Recovering Perfectionist by Margaret Davis Ghielmetti (Anita Martin recommends)
2- The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (Diane Neu recommends)
3- Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron (Tamika recommends)
4- Maurice by EM Forster (Tabby Pawlitzki recommends)
5- The Never Game by Jeffery Dever (Robin Weiss recommends)
6- Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (Mindy Jett recommends)
7- Protection Spell by Jennifer Givhan (Robert Eric Shoemaker recommends)
8- Writers and Lovers by Lily King (Ellen Birkett Morris recommends)
9- The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (Anne Baker recommends)
10- Winter's Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher (Niamh Lutes recommends)
11- Untamed by Glennon Doyle (Katy Yocom recommends)
12- The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Tricia Taylor recommends)
13- The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (Jennie Mulhall recommends)
14- This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel (Kim Vidrine recommends)
15- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (Holly Mcarthur recommends)
16- Winter Loon by Susan Bernhard (Bobi Conn recommends)
17- It All Comes Back to You by Beth Duke (Kim Esposito recommends)
18- Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi (Deedee Cummings recommends)
19- World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil (Amy Miller recommends)
20- The Ice Storm by Rick Moody (Andrew Shaffer recommends)

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December 22, 2020 @ 8:43 pm

RePlay Ep. 31 Cook The Books with Laura Lucchese 12-23-20

There is a saying, “If you want a happy ending, read a cookbook”. Our guest, Laura Lucchese, is in a book club that always ends well because her group reads and then produces a group meal from cookbooks.

James Beard, the great culinary expert said, food is our common ground, a universal experience. In our mind, to bring books and food together is a match made in heaven.

Laura tells us how many cookbooks have a narrative story just like a traditional book, why cooking from a cuisine outside your own encourages discussion, and how modern cookbooks offer a different philosophy to entertaining that diverges from the older well-known cookbook authors like Martha Stewart.

Books mentioned in this episode:
1- Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden and Martha Holmberg
2- How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
3- Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman
4- Dining In by Alison Roman
5- Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman
6- Indianish by Priya Krishna
7- Bottom of the Pot by Naz Deravian
8- Buttermilk Graffiti by Edward Lee
9- Smoke and Pickles by Edward Lee
10- Everyday is Saturday by Sarah Copeland
11- How They Choked by Georgia Bragg
12- Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi
13- Do You Mind If I Cancel by Gary Janetti
14- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
15- Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
16- A Gentleman from Moscow by Amor Towles
17- All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
18- Sourdough by Robin Sloan

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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December 16, 2020 @ 6:38 am

Ep.72 Don’t Omit YA Lit with Mindy Jett 12-16-20

If you are a book lover of a certain age, you may have spent a lot of time reading authors like Judy Blume, Paula Danziger, Gary Paulsen, or Christopher Pike when you were a teenager. Although books began to be categorized as ‘young adult” as early as the 1960s, when we were teens we didn’t know that, and we certainly didn’t care what the boring grownups were calling the books we gravitated to.

While it blows our minds to think that it has been 30+ years since the end of the 80s and early 1990s, a lot has changed in the book publishing industry since the time when we were young adults. Young adult literature is everywhere and has many subgenres, including dystopian, romance, and historical fiction.

Our guest this week, Mindy Jett, is a self-professed book nerd who still gravitates toward YA fiction even though she has teenagers of her own. She talks about how reading YA is just like immersing yourself in a sci-fi world or a different time period except it is the world from a teen perspective. We discuss how reading YA fiction has given her more insight into her own children, and how much nostalgia from her own childhood plays into her love of books from that era.

This is our last regular episode of 2020. Next week we will have a wrap-up episode where Carrie and I discuss some of our favorite books of the year that we overlooked during past episodes. Then we will take several weeks off for the holidays but will be back in early January to start season 4 with a whole new crop of cool and interesting bookish guests.

Books mentioned--
1- Forever by Judy Blume
2- From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
3- Twilight Where Darkness Begins (series) by various authors
4- Sweet Valley High (series) by Francine Pascal
5- Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series) by Jeff Kinney
6- Amulet (series) by Kazu Kibuishi
7- Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
8- Looking for Alaska / Paper Towns / An Abundance of Catherines / The Fault in Our Stars / Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
9- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
10- Warcross by Marie Lu
11- Simon vs. The Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertali
12- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
13- The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
14- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
15- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
16- Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
17- The Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J Maas
18- Obeslisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin
19- Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
20- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
21- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
22- The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
23- Pride by Ibi Zoboi
24- Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
25- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
26- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
27- The Hate You Give / On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
28- Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
29- The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani
30- Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos
31- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
32- Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
33- Rough Magic by Lara Prior-Palmer
34- Stuart Little by E.B. White
34- The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh
35- 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up by Bianca Shulze
36- Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean
37- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
38- Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
39- My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

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December 9, 2020 @ 7:20 am

Ep. 71 A Heroine Rocks The Boat with Tori Murden McClure

Our guest this week, Tori Murden McClure, is a Renaissance woman. She has a law degree, a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard as well as a Master of Fine Arts from Spalding University, the institution where she currently serves as President. She was the first woman and first American to ski 750 miles to the geographic South Pole. She worked as an assistant to Muhammad Ali at the Ali Center, and has served as a chaplain in Boston area hospitals. But what she is most known for is her solo journey to successfully row a boat across the Atlantic Ocean in 1999. Ten years later, she published her memoir about that experience, A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Now, a little over ten years after publication, her book and story have a new life. A musical about her experience has been created, and her boat is part of the Frazier Museum’s Cool Kentucky exhibit.

The book, which we discuss with Tori in this week’s episode, has a lot to do with 2020 in a roundabout way because it is about her battle with feelings of helplessness stemming from her childhood. And who in this world hasn’t been experiencing feelings of helplessness during this global pandemic? We can all relate to wanting to do something but not being able to.

Tori talks to us about why memoir is in its own way is just another type of fiction, what completely different pieces of advice she received from her writing mentors during her MFA program that shaped her book, how her desire to write a book about a hero’s journey as a woman can be tricky and hasn’t been done often, and why we didn’t see her memoir as an Oprah book club selection.

If you would like to see Murden’s sailless and motorless plywood boat The Pearl, it is on exhibit at the Frazier Museum in Louisville KY. This is a permanent exhibit but several items are on short-term loan.

The album Row is a concept album about Tori’s journey rowing across the Atlantic written by Dawn Landes. It can be found on Amazon music. These songs are part of the musical Row which will be available via Audible in the Spring of 2021. Tori Murden McClure’s memoir can be found at your favorite bookstore or library.

Books mentioned in this episode:

1- A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure
2- When Memory Speaks: Reflections on Autobiography by Jill Kerr Conway
3- Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
4- Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
5- A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
6- Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson
7- Shakespeare's plays
8- Iliad and Odyssey by Homer
9- Dante's Inferno
10- Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
11- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
12- Hildegard of Bingen: The Woman of Her Age by Fionna Maddocks
13- Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession
14- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
15- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion



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December 2, 2020 @ 7:02 am

Perks RePlay - Books and Brews 502 with mk Eagle and Hannah Ellliott 12-2-20

This week’s episode is a rebroadcast of episode 25, where we featured two librarians from the Northeast Regional branch of the Louisville Free Public Library. Mk Eagle and Hannah Elliott talked about Books and Brews 502, which is similar to the Library’s summer reading program for kids, except it is for adults and can include beer and coffee.

While Hannah has now moved to Jefferson County Public Schools, mk is still at LFPL and provided us with an update for this year’s program, which, like everything, is different due to COVID. Books and Brews 502 runs from December 1, 2020 -February 29, 2021.

Mk says the main difference is that there will be no pop-up libraries. Instead, folks can check in at seven local breweries during their respective weeks in December, January, and February. Or Books and Brews 502 participants can check-in in the two participating coffee shops at anytime during those months.

Mk says the free book giveaways will be exclusively at Against the Grain’s Public House the second week of each month, but there won’t be browsing. Instead, tell your bartender you’re participating in Books and Brews and get handed a surprise book. How cool is that? Books, and coffee or beer brews go perfectly together. For more details about the program go to

Books mentioned in this episode:

1- Laurell K. Hamilton, Anita Blake series
2- Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kroger and Melanie Anderson
3- Chi's Sweet Home by Kanata Konami
4- Exquisite Corpse by Penelope Bagieu
5- The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

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