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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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August 11, 2021 @ 6:06 am

Season 5 Ep. 100 Globe Trotter with guest Heather Lennon of Arctis Books 8-11-21

This week we talk with Heather Lennon, the Sales and Marketing Director at Arctis Books, a new publisher of books in translation for middle grade and young adult audiences. I first encountered Arctis books when I saw an instagram post about a middle grade book called Memento Monstrum originally published in German that will be in US bookstores in October. I liked the book so much I messaged Heather and invited her to be on the show to talk about Arctis specifically and books in translation in general,

Heather has been in publishing for 20 years, with Random House, North/South Books, and is now helping Arctis Books take off. The company’s first book, The End by Swedish author Mats Strandberg, came out in October 2020. It is described by Publisher’s Weekly as Nordic noir meets YA in a part whodunit, part romance, part end of the world narrative. The book received a Kirkus starred review and was listed as one of their Best Young Adult Books of 2020. This recognition really gave Arctis the push it needed.

Now Arctis has the Odin’s Child trilogy by Norwegian author Siri Petterson which has been an international bestseller. Arctis is offering a really interesting, high quality slate of books from Europe with the possibility of presenting literature from other parts of the world in the future.

Books Mentioned in this Episode:
1- Circe by Madeleine Miller
2- A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
3- Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
4- Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi
5- Odin's Child by Siri Pettersen
6- The Rot by Siri Pettersen
7- Memento Monstrum by Jochen Til
8- All the Colors of Life by Lisa Aisato
9- The End by Mats Strandberg
10- Erik the Red by Tilman Roehrig
11- Robin Hood by Tilman Roehrig
12- Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart
13- Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart
14- Girl with Gun by Amy Stewart
15- The Witches Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
16- Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa

17- A Room With a View by E. M. Forester



1- A Room With a View ( 1985)


TV show

1- Sherlock - BBC

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August 4, 2021 @ 6:20 am

Season 5 Ep. 99 Sinister Small Town Teen Suspense with guest Brooke Lauren Davis 8-4-21

This week we talk with Brooke Lauren Davis, a debut author whose YA book The Hollow Inside offers some unique characters. There’s Phoenix, the protagonist whose mother, Nina, has led them away from Phoenix’s father and towards a man from Nina’s past named Ellis, a successful and charismatic man who Nina believes ruined her life. It’s a story about truth, trust, family, revenge, and what lengths people will go to to salvage their reputation.

Brooke started writing this book as a 16 year old growing up in Chillicothe OH, worked on it for 10 years, and then got it published by Bloomsbury Young Adult, an imprint that originally published the Harry Potter books (which is also the first book she remembers loving). Brooke now lives in Louisville KY where she is a bookseller at our local indie bookstore, Carmichael’s, when she isn’t diligently writing.

Books Mentioned in this Episode:
1- The Hollow Inside by Brooke Lauren Davis
2- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by R.K. Rowling
3- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
4- SongTeller: My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton (audiobook)
5- The Rural Diaries by Hilarie Burton (audiobook)
6- The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson
7- Dune by Frank Herbert

TV shows mentioned:
1- Dune - 2000 miniseries
2- The Detectorists - BBC - Amazon Prime
3- One Tree Hill - Hulu

1- Dune (Fall 2021)

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