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September 21, 2021 @ 7:06 pm

Perks RePlay Ep. 80 Resistance Reading with Guest Farrah Alexander 9-22-21

** We have a replay this week. We want our listeners to have a second chance to listen to our talk with author Farrah Alexander about her book, 'Raising The Resistance' about how to work social justice into our everyday lives. With some court cases on the horizon and strikes against women's rights in Texas, this seemed like a good episode to revisit. Farrah is working on her second book and has started law school at Indiana University. Next week there will be an all new episode **

Sometimes it only takes a spark to start a fire. For writer and activist Farrah Alexander, the small flicker of an idea that eventually became her first book was her January 2017 participation in the historic Women's March in Washington DC. She encountered so many women who were emboldened to make change but weren’t sure how to channel their energies.

Farrah wrote her book titled "Raising the Resistance: A Mother’s Guide to Practical Activism" which gives suggestions on how to be a leader in your life and a model for change for your children. But the book is also witty and whimsical which makes it accessible to a wide audience.

Farrah has been a journalist and freelance writer whose articles have appeared in the Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and BuzzFeed. Her work focuses on feminism, social justice, parenting, and politics. She is also a Jeremiah Fellow with Bend the Ark, a Jewish partnership for justice which aims to combat white supremacy and mobilize communities for social change.

In this episode, Farrah talks to us about how even as a child she was drawn to books with strong female characters like Amelia Bedelia, how she wants to make the ideas of feminism less academic and more accessible, why she feels essay writing can be a powerful tool for women to share their stories, and which item of her political memorabilia collection is her most cherished.

Books mentioned in this episode:

1- Raising the Resistance: A Mother's Guide to Practical Activism by Farrah Alexander
2- Amelia Bedelia books by Peggy Parish
3- Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
4- The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters by Tom Nichols
5- A Promised Land by Barack Obama
6- Becoming by Michelle Obama
7- Big Girl, Small Town by Michelle Gallen

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September 14, 2021 @ 6:45 pm

Season 5 Ep. 105 The Hidden Value of a Book with guest Elizabeth Senn-Alvey 9-15-21

Most weeks we talk about books and being a booklover in terms of exciting new releases or the ways in which writers create their imagined worlds and the characters who inhabit them. But today we are talking about how books can literally change lives because books are a business and can generate income.

In this week’s episode, we speak to Elizabeth Senn-Alvey, executive director of Emerging Workforce Initiative, a nonprofit in Louisville that targets ways to help marginalized youth who have systemic or personal issues that could impede their journey into the workforce and develop marketable skills. One of the programs they offer is The Book Works.

The Book Works is a social enterprise, which is a program that helps address local teens and young adults unmet needs such as poverty, homelessness, and limited education through a market-driven approach; or in other words teaching through learning a business.

The folks at Emerging Workforce Initiative were inspired by More Than Words in Boston; a youth program that for 20 years has empowered young people to take charge of a business and their lives through books.

So we take a look at how our secondhand books in the Louisville community have helped young people in our city.

The Book Works Sale takes place September 18-19. Go to their website for more details.

You can find The Book Works on instagram at @thebookworkslou or on Facebook at The Book Works Louisville. Their website is

Books mentioned in this episode:

1- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
2- Towers Falling by Jewel Parker Rhodes
3- The Awakening by Kate Chopin
4- The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--And How it Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson
5- Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
6- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
7- Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton

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September 8, 2021 @ 5:58 am

Season 5 Ep. 104 Stories of the Crown with guest St. Clair Detrick-Jules 9-8-21

Our guest this week is St. Clair Detrick-Jules, a Brown University graduate who is a filmmaker and a new author. Her book 'My Beautiful Black Hair: 101 Natural Hair Stories from the Sisterhood' debuts on September 28 and features essays by and photographs of Black women who have come to some deeper understandings about what their hair and how they wear it means to them.

We talk to St. Clair about chemical treatments for Black hair and how they differ from the treatments white women know, how hair can play a role in mother/daughter relationships, and the important reason she wanted to create this book in the first place.When we recorded this episode, Black hair had recently made the news because of the International Swimming Federation’s ban on Soul Caps at the Tokyo Olympics which are made for Black swimmers with natural hair.

You can find St. Clair on social media at @stclairdetrickjules or at her website

Books Mentioned in this Episode:
1- My Beautiful Black Hair: 101 Natural Hair Stories from the Sisterhood by St. Clair Detrick-Jules
2- The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination With the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World by Patrik Svensson
3- Litany for the Long Moment by Mary-Kim Arnold
4- Water Street by Crystal Wilkinson
5- Blackberries, Blackberries by Crystal Wilkinson

Shows/Films mentioned--
1- Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
2- Good Hair ((2009 documentary)



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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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July 28, 2021 @ 6:19 am

Season 5 Ep. 98 Ask the Agent with guest Alice Speilburg

Today our episode feels a little bit like show and tell or career day at school. We are finding out all about what a literary agent does. Our guest this week is Alice Speilburg, the founder of and one of the literary agents at Speilburg Literary Agency in Louisville, Kentucky.

She learned her trade working with both publishers and a literary agency in New York City and then Hurricane Sandy happened. Her home in New Jersey was destroyed and she decided it was time to come home to Kentucky. She founded her agency in 2013, and she represents authors like Angela Jackson-Browne and James Markert.

Alice gives us a 101 crash course in how it all works and what a writer should know before sending their work to an agent. And she gives us a sneak peak into what book trends we may see in the next few years.

Books Mentioned in this Episode:
1- The Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie
2- Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
3- Little House on the Prairie books
4- American Girl books
5- Alanna the Knight series by Tamora Pierce
6- His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
7- Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
8- Heresy by Melissa Lenhardt
9- The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
10- The Vine that Ate the South by J.D. Wilkes

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July 21, 2021 @ 5:59 am

Season 5 Ep. 97 A Bookstore for Kids Galore with guest Caroline Stine

Today on the show we feature The Blue Marble bookstore which is in Ft. Thomas KY, just a skip across the river from Cincinnati, OH. It is a bookstore that serves children from birth to young adult. I first heard about The Blue Marble in an article about their Great Green Room.

If you have had children or grandchildren in the last 70 years, you have most likely read the bedtime classic, "Goodnight Moon" written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd. At The Blue Marble, there is a recreated Great Green Room that includes everything from the comb and the brush and the bowl of mush to the quiet old lady who was whispering hush.

We delved a little deeper and learned that The Blue Marble was one of the first children’s bookstores in the country and that its founder, Tina Moore, was a pioneer in the field. Tina passed away in 2016, but our guest, Caroline Stine, has taken on the role of general manager and continues Tina’s mission for the store.

She’s giving the store a bit of a facelift, broadening their foreign language section, and has created an inviting area just for teens. She explains why The Blue Marble has been such a special place for young booklovers for over 30 years.

Books Mentioned in this Episode:
1- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd
2- A Light In the Attic by Shel Silverstein
3- The Girl Who Owned a City by O.T. Nelson
4- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien
5- Matilda by Roald Dahl
6- The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood
7- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
8- Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethaway
9- House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
10- Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo
11- The Secret History by Donna Tartt
12- Memento Monstrum by Jochen Til

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