Books

Book Podcasts

Did you know that I listen to two fabulous book podcasts? They’re available on my phone’s podcast app, and all I have to do is stick a pair of headphones in (or not) and listen right from there. It’s so simple, yet so exciting! I’ve been listening for years now.

The first one I started listening to was Sarah’s Bookshelves Live, hosted by Sarah Dickinson. The episodes come out every other Wednesday. Her format, for the most part, is that she has a guest on, or a guest host such as Catherine Gilmore from Gilmore Guide to Books or Susie from the Novel Visits blog. Sarah then asks her partner for the episode to share “two old books they love, two new books they love and one new release they’re excited about.” I think this is a simple format and it is perfect for book recommendations. She also does interviews with authors on her podcast, so has a conversation with great, thoughtful questions for her guests. This is the first book podcast I started listening to, and I couldn’t imagine my reading life without it!

The other book podcast I listen to is the Currently Reading Podcast, whose two main hosts, Meredith Monday-Schwartz and Kaytee Cobb are just two of the most awesome book people I “know.” Their part-time hosts are: Mary, Mindy and Bunmi. All of these ladies come together and put on an incredible show for book lovers. The format is that two of them are on one episode, and they each share three books they’re currently reading, giving a “set-up” for each book. Then they also do a deep dive, a discussion on anything book related or book adjacent. Then they “visit the fountain,” and each share a bookish wish. I should mention that the fountain is a new thing, and they used to press books into your hands. You can find the list of their presses on their website here.

I’m also a patron via Patreon for both of these podcasts (which means I pay a small fee to get bonus content like extra episodes and access to their Facebook groups so that I can interact with other listeners). It is beyond worth it! These book podcasts enrich my reading life (and my reading list) so much. I am grateful for all of the people involved in these podcasts, from the hosts, to the guests, to the people behind the scenes.

Please follow Sarah, Meredith and Kaytee on Instagram!

Do you listen to either of these book podcasts? If not, do you listen to any others? Comment below!

Short Stories, YA Fiction

Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell

Grades 9 – 12

Scattered Showers is a book of short stories by YA powerhouse Rainbow Rowell, who brought us Eleanor & Park, and the Simon Snow trilogy. In fact, some of the stories feature characters in her novels, and tell the reader where you can read more about them. This short story collection includes love stories, friendship stories, and even a fairy-tale in classic Rainbow Rowell fashion. 

Books

Bibliophile: Diverse Spines by Jane Mount & Jamise Harper

Ages 14+

Have you been wanting to diversify your reading but aren’t sure where to start? Bibliophile: Diverse Spines is a wonderful book with book lists that are sure to drastically increase your TBR (to-be-read) list. It includes book lists in various genres that feature diverse authors and even mentions unique bookstores from around the country and around the world. So, what are you waiting for? Dive in now!    

Adult Fiction

The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith

Ages 18+

Greta James is a famous indie guitarist promoting her sophomore album when she recently and unexpectedly loses her mother. Due to this, Greta has a public meltdown on stage, and it goes viral. Needing a restart and craving time away from her career, she decides to accompany her estranged father on a week-long Alaskan cruise that he was meant to take with his wife for their fortieth wedding anniversary. Will the two heal old wounds or will the trip of a lifetime prove disastrous for them both?  

Adult Fiction, Latinx

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Ages 18+

It’s 2017, and Puerto Rico has just been hit with the most devastating hurricane in its history.  Olga and her brother Pedro live their lives in New York City in the public eye and everything seems to the rest of the world that it’s all sunshine and roses, but upon closer inspection, that’s not the case. Their mother Blanca abandoned her children when they were young, and they were raised by their grandmother. Twenty-seven years later, she is back in their lives. Olga Dies Dreaming examines political corruption, family life and the American dream. 

Adult Fiction, LGBTQ+, Romance

Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

Ages 18+

The first in the London Calling series, Boyfriend Material follows Luc O’Donnell, who is the child of rock stars who have recently made a comeback, leaving Luc in the public eye. To clean up his image, he must present as being in a normal relationship. Soon he finds himself in a fake dating situation with Oliver Blackwood, who is as normal as they come. However, the two have nothing in common. As the two work on their fake relationship, they find themselves having a lot of real dating scenarios. Fun and romantic, Boyfriend Material is sure to put a smile on your face!  

Adult Fiction

Fake by Erica Katz

Ages 18+

Katz’s sophomore novel follows Emma Caan, an art forger who specializes in nineteenth century paintings. However, she’s not a criminal, but instead someone who is commissioned by museums and uber-wealthy collectors who want to protect their investments. Then she meets Leonard Sobetzky, an art collector who offers her a new, better paying job, which would greatly help support her recently-widowed mother. Of course, everything comes with a price, but is Emma willing to pay?   

Adult Fiction, Romance

Mika In Real Life by Emiko Jean

Ages 18+

Thirty-five-year-old Mika’s life is in shambles after her recent breakup, she just got fired, and on top of that, her roommate might be a hoarder. Not only is she disappointed in herself, but so is her traditional Japanese mother. Then everything changes when she receives a phone call from Penny, the daughter she gave up for adoption 16 years ago. Penny is determined to create a relationship with her mother, and by the same token, Mika wants to be someone Penny is proud of. What starts out as a little lie becomes so much of a fabrication that Mika struggles to keep her story straight as time goes on. Can she continue the stories and keep Penny in her life or will she lose the one thing that matters most to her? 

Memoirs, Nonfiction

Tell Me Everything by Erika Krouse

Ages 18+

This book is part memoir and part true crime, and hooked me right from the beginning. Krouse has one of those faces; the kind of face that makes people – complete strangers – come right out and tell her their darkest secrets. She has no idea why, and doesn’t know what to do about it, until the day she meets Grayson, a lawyer who also tells her a secret…and then asks her to work for him as a private investigator. Her first case is a big one, and she’s determined to crack it wide open.    

Memoirs, Nonfiction

Corrections In Ink by Keri Blakinger

Ages 18+

Perfect for fans of Orange Is the New Black (the book or the show), Corrections In Ink is Blakinger’s memoir about her experience as a competitive figure skater and her time in prison. Once she stopped skating, she got into all kinds of trouble, and finally got arrested by the cops for it, ultimately spending time behind bars for two years. Upon her release, Blakinger became a reporter and dedicated her career to exposing the flaws in our prison system.