The Perks Of Being A Book Lover Podcast header image 1


December 29, 2021 @ 8:46 am

REPLAY Ep. 86 Turn The Page and Tour The World with guest Melissa Joulwan 4-21-21

COVID has been hard for those among us who like to travel, but one of our favorite ways to assuage that desire is to read books set in different locations. Sweeping meadows. Mountains that touch the sky. Exotic locales. These places can whisk us from our humdrum homes.

A Strong Sense of Place is both a podcast and a website where readers can find interesting bookish conversations with our guest this week, Melissa Joulwan, and her husband David, two expatriates living in Prague located in the Czech Republic. In this week’s episode, she tells us about how they select the places they will visit each season, why place in a book has to meet very stringent specifications, and how roller derby helped her make some big life decisions.

Books Mentioned in this Episode:

Podcasts mentioned--
Strong Sense of Place (

Books mentioned--
1- Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume
2- Forever by Judy Blume
3- The First Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders
4- Archy McNally series by Lawrence Sanders
5- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
6- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
7- My Antonia by Willa Cather
8- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
9- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
10- The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
11- She Walks These Hills by Sharyn McCrumb
12- The Phryne Fisher mysteries by Kerry Greenwood
13- Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
14- Less by Andrew Sean Greer
15- A Room With a View by E.M. Forster
16- The Curse of Jacob Tracy by Holly Messinger

Movies or TV adaptations mentioned in this episode:

1- Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (Amazon)
2- A Room With a View (1985 movie)
3- Jane Eyre (1945 movie with Orson Welles)
4- Jane Eyre (2011 movie with Michael Fassbender)
5- Jane Eyre ( 2006 BBC miniseries with Toby Stephens)



Share | Download(Loading)
December 22, 2021 @ 9:39 am

REPLAY Ep. 87 A Shot of Bourbon With a Dash of Law with guest Brian Haara

**We have a rebroadcast this week.  We will resume all new episodes in Season 6 mid-January.


This week we are getting in the “spirit” of the first Saturday of May; a date that is sacrosanct for many Kentuckians because of the running of the Kentucky Derby. A love of horses and bourbon whiskey are high on the list of things that Kentuckians are proud of and want to export to the rest of the world. Bourbon is big business in our region and has had a surge in popularity over the last decade; around 90 percent of all bourbon is produced here in the Bluegrass State. At no other time of the year is bourbon more popular in Louisville KY than during Derby season.

Our guest this week, Brian Haara, is an attorney who developed an interest in bourbon through his work in the industry. He started by writing a bourbon history and law blog and has been featured in bourbon documentaries. His book, Bourbon Justice: How Whiskey Law Shaped America, is a deep dive into the history of bourbon law that goes back almost to the founding of our country and highlights how bourbon cases have affected all types of commercial law, including consumer protections and trademark law. He wanted to tell the stories of how our country and bourbon grew up together. He is also a bourbon connoisseur who gives tasting notes on various bourbons on his blog and throughout the book.

He chats with us about how he fell down the literary “Poe” hole as a teen, how Victoria’s Secret benefited from bourbon law, and he gives me and Carrie some suggestions of bourbons to buy for the bourbon drinkers in our life; whether they be newbies or long time fans.

Websites mentioned--

Books mentioned--
1- Bourbon Justice: How Whiskey Law Shaped America by Brian Haara
2- Poe anthology (Edgar Allan Poe)
3- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
4- The Hobbit by J. R.R. Tolkein
5- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger
6- Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrow
7- The 10,000 Doors of January by Alix Harrow
8- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
9- The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
10- Basketball and Philosophy: Thinking Outside the Paint by Jerry L. Walls (editor)

TV shows mentioned--
The Wire ( 2002-2008)

Share | Download(Loading)
December 15, 2021 @ 7:02 am

Season 5 Ep. 117 In The Weed(s) with Memoir and History with Guest Alia Volz

Our guest this week, Alia Volz, wrote a book titled Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and The Stoning of San Francisco about her experience growing up in San Francisco in the late 1970s and 80s. Alia’s parents were the owners of Sticky Fingers Brownies which made pot brownies that were known all over the city. While these brownies were the source of relaxation and fun for many people, when HIV and AIDS hit San Francisco, Sticky Fingers became a lifeline for many gay men who were devastated by the disease because the pot brownies helped them with pain and appetite.

The book covers a lot of territory, not the least of which is Alia’s parents’ backgrounds and what it was like for her to grow up in San Francisco in a family that couldn’t really talk about what it did because of the illegal nature of their business. Her book was a 2020 finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. It’s a fascinating read which shows the social history leading to the legalization and wider use of cannabis for medical use in the US through the lens of her own family's story.

Books Discussed in this Episode:
1- Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco by Alia Volz
2- Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews
3- The Stand by Stephen King
4- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
5- Dune by Frank Herbert
6- Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong by Paul Offitt
7- In Defense of Witches: The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women are Still on Trial by Mona Chollet
8- Daughters of Smoke and Fire by Ava Homa
9- The Haunting of Tram Car 015 (Dead Djinn Universe #0.3)by P. Djeli Clark
10- The Master of Djinn (Dead Djinn Universe #1)by P. Djeli Clark
11 - A Dead Djinn in Cairo (Dead Djinn Universe #0.1) by P. Djeli Clark
12- The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington by P. Djeli Clark
13- Bunnicula by James and Deborah Howe

Share | Download(Loading)
December 8, 2021 @ 7:37 am

Season5 Episode 116 Real Life Virginia Book Women with Guests Lisa Signorelli and Kristen Thrower

Social media can be awful but it can also be a great way to discover wonderful things happening around the globe that give me hope. Our guests this week are an example of that. When I saw a Facebook post about a pair of teachers in Virginia that had been inspired by a book to launch a bookmobile service in their town, I wanted to know more.

The novel The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michelle Richardson which is about women who served as pack librarians in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and brought reading materials to remote areas during the Depression is the one that Lisa Signorelli and Kristin Thrower looked to to guide them in their mission. They were concerned that their students in Chesterfield public schools on the outskirts of Richmond who didn’t have easy access to WIFI while school was virtual last year were being forgotten.

Lisa and Kristin decided to start delivering books to the students. The endeavour that began out of the back of their cars has now progressed to a full book mobile that gives away free books to students and their families.

In this episode, Lisa and Kristin talk about how they met through a mentor teacher friend named Ms. Clark, how their collaboration resulted in the book mobile, and what it adds to their teaching experience.

Books Mentioned in this Episode:

1- The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
2- Books by Louis L'Amour
3- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
4- Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
5- Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger
6- The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor Lavalle
7- The Changeling by Victor Lavalle
8- The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi
9- The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi
10- Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
11- Cackle by Rachel Harrison
12- Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
13- A History Lover's Guide to Richmond by Kristin Thrower

Media mentioned--
1- Jason Reynolds on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
2- Mysteries at the Museum



Share | Download(Loading)
December 1, 2021 @ 7:10 am

Season 5 Ep. 115 Page-Turning Artistry with Guest Valerie Saverie

Every guest we’ve had on our show thus far has been someone who interacts with books as Amy and I do--with our eyes and ears. But Valerie Saverie interacts with books in a unique way--she is a book sculptor who uses books as both her inspiration and her canvas.

Based in Colorado, Valerie is the owner and a founding member of Valkarie Gallery & Studio as well as an artist whose work is shown and sold in New York, Oregon, California, and Pennsylvania. In this episode, she talks to us about how books inspire her and what her process is for turning an already magical work into something that goes even further into creativity and the imagination.

To see all of Valerie’s art you can check her out on instagram @valeriesaverie or at her website On her site, she is offering Perks listeners a 20% discount on anything they purchase from her store for 30 days. Use the code PBBL22.

Books Mentioned in this Episode:
1- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
2- Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
3- Dreams by Olive Schreiner
4- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
5- The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by MT Anderson and Eugene Yelchin (Gildart Jackson narrates)
6- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
7- Gobbledy by Lis-Anna Langston

Movies mentioned--
Blade Runner (1982)
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Follow us on Facebook - The Perks of Being a Book Lover
Instagram - @perksofbeingabookoverpod
Website :

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



Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App