The Perks Of Being A Book Lover Podcast header image 1


January 27, 2021 @ 7:10 am

Season 4 Ep. 75 The Perks of the Merc with guest Amy Hunter 1-27-21

If you are a book lover, you are probably also a library lover. Those two things just go together, like peanut butter and jelly or Sherlock and Watson. Some book lovers not only visit their local libraries all the time, but they also visit libraries when they travel. Carrie, for example, checked out Maison de la litterature in Quebec City when she visited several years ago. It is cool to see what libraries in other places look and feel like.

Closer to home, there is a membership library in Cincinnati Ohio that would be well worth a stop if you find yourself in the Queen City. Our guest this week, Amy Hunter, is the programs and marketing manager at The Mercantile Library, one of only about 18 surviving membership libraries around the country. She gives a crash course in membership libraries that were invented by Benjamin Franklin before the rise of public libraries at the turn of the 20th century.

Amy talks to us about the unique history of the Mercantile library including some of the interesting rules that were imposed back at its inception in 1835, about the wide variety of speakers they have hosted from Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 1800s all the way to Margaret Atwood just a few years ago, and why many people consider the Mercantile a “steampunk” fantasy in library form.

Books Mentioned in this Episode:

1- Charlotte's Web/Stuart Little by E. B. White
2- Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
3- Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
4- Sweet Taste of Liberty by W. Caleb McDaniel
5- Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld
6- Heavy by Kiese Lemon
7- Silver Sparrow/American Marriage by Tayari Jones
8- TigerLand by Will Haygood
9- The Book of Delights by Ross Gay
10- Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley
11- Meet Me at the Museum: A Novel by Ann Youngson
12- The Ghosts of Eden Park by Karen Abbott

Share | Download(Loading)
January 20, 2021 @ 7:34 am

Season 4 Ep.74 She Illustrates the Point with guest Danica Novgorodoff 1-20-21

Our guest this week, Danica Novgorodoff, is a writer, graphic novelist, and illustrator who has written 3 of her own graphic novels but her work has received some extra special attention recently.  She is the illustrator of the new graphic novel edition of Jason Reynolds’ award winning young adult novel Long Way Down.  She believes she was chosen for the book partly because of her special use of watercolors as a medium for graphic art, which gives the work an ephemeral feel.  

Besides this project, she is also in the process of writing a graphic novel on climate change, several children’s books, as well as essays and illustrating a cookbook with a James Beard award winning cookbook author.  And did I mention she has a 3 year old and a one year old? As well as working at home during a pandemic?  We need to give this artist and mother a medal... or at least a glass of wine and an hour to herself.  

Danica talks to us about what steps she takes to adapt a book into a graphic novel, how becoming a mother totally changed her thoughts on how to write and illustrate a good children’s book, and how the pandemic hastened her family’s move away from Brooklyn back to some of her roots in Kentucky.

Books Mentioned in this Episode:
1- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
2- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
3- Island of the Blue Dolphins  by Scott O'Dell
4- Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
5- Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware
6- Long Way Down (graphic novel) by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff
7- A Late Freeze by Danica Novgorodoff
8- The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff
9- Refresh, Refresh by Danica Novgorodoff
10- Slow Storm by Danica Novgorodoff
11- Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
12- What I Hate from A to Z by Roz Chast
13- The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humbolt's New World by Andrew Wulf
14- The Passage to Cosmos: Alexander von Humbolt and the Shaping of America by Laura Dassow Walls
15- Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
16- Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier

Share | Download(Loading)
January 13, 2021 @ 7:18 am

Ep. 58 RePlay - A Neighborhood Bookstore as Community Outreach with Clare Wallace

***Listeners, this week we have our last replay episode before we start back with Season 4 next week with an all new group of fascinating bookish guests. We’ve been recording over the hiatus, and we are excited to introduce you to more book lovers in just a few more days.

Our rebroadcast this week is from Season 3, episode 58 with Clare Wallace, the executive director of South Louisville Community Ministries which also runs The Rosewater bookstore in coordination with The BookWorks. The community bookstore opened just as COVID was hitting the city in the spring of 2020, and it took several months for them (and everyone) to figure out the new normal.

but they are up and running with regular hours, a really great selection of books, and gift items made by artisans in the neighborhood. Located on South 3rd Street, The Rosewater’s regular hours are:

Wednesday & Thursday, 10:00 - 4:00
Friday & Saturday, 10:00 - 6:00
Sunday, 10:00 - 3:00

It also offers mystery bags. Book lovers can complete a Google Form and request books from a certain genre. If you’re like me and spend way too much time in the house, something as simple as a mystery bag of books you can pick up curbside is the kind of excitement I’m down for in 2021.

This past weekend many people recognized Independent Bookstore Day, a day to be extra appreciative of their local bookstores and booksellers that give booklovers all the feels. Everyone loves a bookstore, don’t they?

Our guest today certainly does. When Clare Wallace visits a new place, she always looks for the closest used bookstore. This gave her the idea to open The Rosewater, aptly named after her favorite Kurt Vonnegut book, which she envisions as a comforting living room for everybody. Clare is the executive director of South Louisville Community Ministries, a nonprofit that provides emergency assistance for residents of South Louisville facing crisis, and she was looking for a visible way to do outreach in the neighborhood. The bookstore serves several purposes; to create a warm community space, to bring life to parts of the neighborhood that have seen hard times, to provide transitional employment for residents in crisis, and to offer a service that the neighbors want!

Clare grew up in a house filled with hundreds of books with a mother who worked for a publisher but her favorites were those that explored other worlds. After Clare left college, she literally went around the world working in international development and as a Peace Corps volunteer. When she settled in Louisville, she chose to land in the most diverse part of the city which is filled with a wide variety of different ethnicities and income levels; Clare works to bring people together in her adopted hometown.

Clare tells us how The Rosewater is pivoting from traditional retail sales to creative services like mystery book boxes delivered to your door due to Covid, why creating a comforting community space for the neighborhood is important to her, and how learning to deal with failure is a skill she learned abroad that helps her create new projects today.

Books Discussed in this Episode:

1- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
2- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
3- East of Eden by John Steinbeck
4- Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
5- Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
6- God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
7- The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
8- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
9- The Lost Queen by Signe Pike
10- The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck
11- Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown
12- This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
13- My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris
14- New Kid by Jerry Craft
15- The Watchman by Alan Moore
16- Saga by Brian K. Vaughan
17- American Gods by Neil Gaiman



Share | Download(Loading)
January 5, 2021 @ 7:04 pm

Replay Ep. 39 Cassie Chambers’ Hill Women

This week we wanted to revisit an interview we did with Cassie Chambers.

Ron Howard’s movie adaptation of J. D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy starring Amy Adams and Glenn Close has sparked quite a debate bordering on controversy in America this fall about Vance’s assertion as to the motivations and plight of Appalachian people. Many authors from this region have wanted to push back on that a bit to show that Appalachia is complex and not merely a place to rise above.

We welcomed Cassie Chambers as a guest back in March 2020, just as Covid was starting to hit this country in full force. Her memoir HIll Women was written as a response in her own way to Vance’s memoir; about a different view of the Appalachian experience from a woman’s perspective. Cassie’s had some more exciting news in 2020 as she went on to win a seat on the Lousiville Metro City Council as well as becoming a visiting professor at the University of Louisville School of Law.

**Our guest today grew up in poverty in eastern Kentucky, but attended Yale and Harvard, received her law degree, and came back to Kentucky to work for the Legal Aid Society, helping at-risk women in her home state. Cassie Chambers has also written a memoir, called Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachian Mountains, about life and culture in Owsley County through the lens of three generations of women in her own family.

Her book came out in January of this year. Newsweek has named it a must-read book to savor this Spring, and Publisher’s Weekly called it a “passionate memoir”.

Cassie talks to us about her favorite book series from childhood that she still rereads as an adult, why she felt the women of Appalachia specifically need their stories told and what compelled her to write it, and why she thinks more women don’t run for office and why that needs to change.

Books mentioned:
1- Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery
2- Castaway: Poems For Our Time by Naomi Shihab Nye
3- Walkable City by Jeff Speck
4- Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith
5- The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
6- Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachian Mountains by Cassie Chambers

Share | Download(Loading)
The Perks Of Being A Book Lover Podcast
Loading Downloads



Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App