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Book Dreams

Author: Eve Yohalem and Julie Sternberg / The Podglomerate

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Do you ever wonder what it would be like to open a bookstore? Or what it’s like to edit iconic authors? Or what, exactly, bibliotherapy is and how you can sign up? We do too! Book Dreams is a podcast for everyone who loves books and has ever wondered about them. In each episode, authors Julie Sternberg and Eve Yohalem seek answers to the book-related questions that we can’t stop dreaming about. We hope you'll send us your book dreams, too—the questions about books that you want us to explore. Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com.

60 Episodes
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What strange and unexpected paths might one author take delving into his family's history? Menachem Kaiser--author of Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure, a New York Times Editor’s Choice and People Magazine Best New Book of 2021--shares with Eve and Julie how his attempts to reclaim a building that had belonged to his grandfather before World War II led to unexpected discoveries. They discuss how, during his time in Poland, Menachem developed a greater awareness of the moral justifications for, and ramifications of, reparations; what it was like being embraced by Nazi treasure hunters whose ambitions resonated oddly with his own; and how the celebrated myth of his grandfather’s cousin--a Holocaust survivor whose diary of his time building underground Nazi tunnels made him a folk hero in Poland--endures while the memory of the man himself fades. Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Book Dreams is a member of the Podglomerate Network and Lit Hub Radio. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
How can a thriller be more personal to an author than her own memoir? Paula McLain--New York Times and international bestselling author of The Paris Wife; the memoir Like Family: Growing Up in Other People’s Houses; and the new thriller When the Stars Go Dark--shares with Eve and Julie various ways in which her childhood of trauma and survival has influenced her writing. They discuss how Paula’s books engage with both the ordinary and extraordinary of being human; how her time spent in libraries as a child gave her one source of stability and happy endings; and why she has learned to trust the workings of her subconscious as she writes. Paula also gives advice on a question faced by every writer sharing their experience: Do I have permission to tell this story? Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Book Dreams is a member of the Podglomerate Network and Lit Hub Radio. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
How has one book that barely mentions sports reshaped the game of baseball? Joe Lemire--senior writer at SportTechie and contributor to the New York Times and MLB Network--takes Julie and Eve out to the sandlot to discuss the impact that Thinking, Fast and Slow--a book about flawed human reasoning and decision-making written by Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman--has had on our national pastime. They discuss the advantages of countering cognitive bias on and off the field; how the superstitions of baseball can coexist with a statistics-based analysis; and what happened when a biomathematician left his job at NASA to become a baseball executive and almost blew his career on the first day. Julie and Eve also learn the distinction between fruit salad and chocolate cake, cognitively speaking--and what that has to do with baseball. Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Book Dreams is a member of the Podglomerate Network and Lit Hub Radio. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In this episode of Book Dreams, our very own Julie Sternberg offers a behind-the-scenes look at her brand new middle-grade novel. Summer of Stolen Secrets is Julie’s most personal book to date, set in her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Join Eve as Julie guides her to a cemetery where coffins protrude from the earth, human bones visible through holes in their sides, in heat so thick and heavy that women drive across the street to preserve their silk blouses. Julie describes her family’s department store, the first of what became the largest family-owned department store chain in the country, where Julie spent childhood Saturdays hiding in the book department instead of working. Julie also tells the story of her formidable grandmother, Lea, who escaped to America from Germany in 1936 with three small children—but not before she made three SS officers repack her bags. As an added bonus, you’ll learn the truth about alligators: they really do prowl the streets and porches of Louisiana! Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Book Dreams is a member of the Podglomerate Network and Lit Hub Radio. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What happens when a novelist takes on complicated and often controversial issues that consume her? And what's the payoff for the reader when she succeeds? Laurie Frankel--a New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of four novels, including the newly released One Two Three--shares with Eve and Julie some of her thoughts about the challenging and important topics that she brings to life in her books. They discuss the connection between Laurie’s third novel and a parenting experience that she described in a New York Times Modern Love essay; how Laurie sees and conveys everyday people fighting epic battles; how receiving hate mail attacking her as a mother is ironically easier than reading a bad review of one of her books; and the impact of shared trauma on a community and its citizens. Laurie also addresses J.K. Rowling’s baseless comments denigrating the transgender community. Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Book Dreams is a member of the Podglomerate Network and Lit Hub Radio. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What does your collection of toilet paper say about you? Rebecca Falkoff--author of Possessed: A Cultural History of Hoarding, assistant professor of Italian studies at NYU, and stand-up comedian--unpacks the methods and madness behind hoarding with Eve and Julie. They discuss how her family experiences inspired her academic book on hoarding; how her fear of becoming a hoarder herself complicates her writing process; how we can differentiate hoarding from collecting; and why hoarding is both a way of disavowing mortality and a mortal threat to the hoarder. Rebecca also weighs in on this hot-button question: Are billionaires and misers just economic hoarders in a capitalist society? Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Book Dreams is a member of the Podglomerate Network and Lit Hub Radio. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
(RE-RELEASE) How do we find hope even in the most difficult of times? How do we thrive after experiencing trauma? Dr. Edith Eger--eminent psychologist, Auschwitz survivor, and author of the New York Times bestseller The Choice: Embrace the Possible and The Gift: 12 Lessons to Change Your Life--talks with Julie and Eve about how to escape the prison of victimhood, fight feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness through choice, and learn to turn hate into pity as we journey through uncertain times. Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Book Dreams is a member of the Podglomerate Network and Lit Hub Radio. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What’s it like to be a New York Times bestselling author and the editor of bestselling books by authors like Chelsea Clinton, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Vice President Kamala Harris? Jill Santopolo--associate publisher of Philomel Books and acclaimed author of Everything After, More Than Words, and The Light We Lost (a Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick)--shares with Eve and Julie why she only wants to edit for kids while simultaneously writing for adults, and how editing, sales, and marketing interact in the world of publishing. Eve and Julie also revisit a moment from Episode 9 of Book Dreams, “Editing Great Books for Bad Children,” which features Leonard Marcus discussing Ursula Nordstrom, an iconic editor of iconic authors. Ursula paved the way for editors like Jill. Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Book Dreams is a member of the Podglomerate Network and Lit Hub Radio. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What are the downsides to the way we tell stories? Do we need to re-imagine the craft of writing and the way it’s taught? Matthew Salesses--English professor and bestselling author of The Hundred-Year Flood and The PEN/Faulkner finalist, Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear--takes on these questions in his new national bestseller, Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping. Matthew discusses with Eve and Julie how the format of traditional writing workshops was defined by straight, white, able, cis men; how greater diversity in workshops today necessitates a more mindful and empowered approach to the teaching of writing; and how we, as readers and writers, can break free of the oppressive cycles of privileged assumptions and expectations. Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Book Dreams is a member of the Podglomerate Network and Lit Hub Radio. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When’s the last time a book made your skin crawl? Megan Rosenbloom--a collection strategies librarian at the UCLA library, president of the Southern California Society for the History of Medicine, research team leader of The Anthropodermic Book Project, and author of Dark Archives: A Librarian's Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin--delves into the who, what, when, where, and, most importantly, why of books bound in human skin. She discusses with Eve and Julie how the desensitization and clinical distancing of doctors’ attitudes towards patients during the 19th century led to an increase in the production of books bound in human skin; how public hangings and dissections were used to dissuade people from becoming criminals; and how our understanding of societal ills like political propaganda and systemic racism can be deepened by the study of books bound in human skin. Eve and Julie also get an answer to the question, Can a whole book--ink, paper, binding--be made entirely from a human body? Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Book Dreams is a member of the Podglomerate Network and Lit Hub Radio. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
“Trail Weight,” a new podcast from the Podglomerate network, follows host Andrew Steven on an ambitious, surprising, and transformative journey as he tries to get in shape for a month-long backpacking trip through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Through audio diaries, recordings from the trail, and conversations with authors, experts, Olympians, and more, Andrew takes listeners through an eye-opening adventure of self-discovery. You can listen to Trail Weight on Apple podcasts or wherever you’re listening to this show. Listen to Book Dreams everywhere podcasts are available. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
If we humans can't own the air or sea, why can we own land? And what happens when we do? Simon Winchester--an Officer of the Order of the British Empire and acclaimed author of the New York Times bestsellers The Professor and the Madmen, The Map That Changed the World, Krakatoa, Atlantic, and Pacific--explores with Julie and Eve how he addressed the man-made notions of land ownership and dispossession in his latest book, Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World. They discuss how the Netherlands ingeniously expanded its territory without the use of thievery, battle, or loss of life; how a single line drawn by a fountain pen brutally and senselessly cost the lives of 2 million Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs between India and Pakistan; and how, exactly, Simon managed to survive an expedition-turned-rescue-mission on an uncharted section of the East Greenland ice cap. Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When was the last time you let yourself feel the power of poetry and a poet’s voice? Here’s the perfect chance! Jasmine Mans--author of the poetry collections Chalk Outlines of Snow Angels and, most recently, Black Girl, Call Home; resident poet of the Newark Public Library; and viral sensation behind the poem Footnotes for Kanye--talks with Eve and Julie about how she discovered her own narrative through poetry. They discuss how being raised in a competitive family led Jasmine to the battlefields of slam poetry and the indelible impression made on her as a burgeoning poet by a health class substitute teacher. In a highpoint for Book Dreams, Jasmine recites and interprets one of her poems from Black Girl, Call Home. She also recommends some of her favorite poets and authors from her “rabbit hole of literary love.” Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
How do you write a trailblazing woman back into history after her iconic colleagues wrote her out? Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner--founder and executive director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation and Center for Social Justice Dialogue; a founder of one the first college-level women’s studies programs in the United States; and author of The Women’s Suffrage Movement and Sisters in Spirit--introduces Eve and Julie to Matilda Joslyn Gage, the should-be household name of the suffrage movement whom Gloria Steinem called “the woman who was ahead of the women who were ahead of their time.” Sally has dedicated her life’s work to restoring Gage to her rightful place in history. In this episode, Sally, Eve, and Julie explore how power dynamics (in politics, in social changes movements) followed a familiar playbook in the 19th century; how Indigenous women modeled an egalitarian society for 19th century feminists; why L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz was a gender-bending, revolutionary text ahead of its time, in no small part because of Matilda Gage; and how Susan B. Anthony erased Matilda Gage’s name from the pages of history. Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What’s it like to delve into the origins, psyche, and after-effects of evil, and set it all on the page? Author Ashley Audrain, whose debut novel The Push became an instant New York Times bestseller, shares with Julie and Eve her thinking behind her remarkable thriller. Together, they explore whether malevolence is inherited, if a child can be truly monstrous, and what it’s like to be, simultaneously, the daughter, granddaughter, and mother of a person who may (or may not) be truly evil. Hear them challenge the tired and convenient trope of the mother-at-fault-for-the-sins-of her-child. And find out, too, why Eve once wrote a hate letter to Martin Scorsese! Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Family is forever, and so, it appears, is our fascination with reading about them. Allegra Goodman--author of The Family Markowitz, Kaaterskill Falls (National Book Award finalist), Intuition, Paradise Park, The Chalk Artist, and short stories included in The New Yorker, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and Best American Short Stories--dishes with Eve and Julie about why families remain such a compelling subject for literature. They discuss how age and experience change our perspective on family-related matters, what impact COVID-19 has had on familial relationships both nuclear and extended, and how a child’s college application process can function as a Hitchcockian bomb under the table in a story. Allegra also recommends some favorite novels about families! Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Can a compelling novel positively and radically change the way we think about living? Matt Haig--author of the bestselling memoir Reasons to Stay Alive; the novel and upcoming major motion picture A Boy Called Christmas; and, most recently, The Midnight Library, a New York Times bestseller, winner of the Good Reads Choice Award for Fiction, and a Good Morning America Book Club pick--shares his philosophy on the futility of regret with Julie and Eve. They talk about radical optimism and self-acceptance; reframing depression as an experience and not a permanent reality; and finding meaning in being thankful for everyday miracles (like puppies and Wilson Phillips songs!). Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
How can books help us discover uncelebrated trailblazing women? Janice P. Nimura--author of the biography The Doctors Blackwell, for which she received a Public Scholar Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities--shares with Eve and Julie the long neglected history of Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell, who were the first and third women respectively in America to receive medical degrees. Together the Blackwell doctors opened the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children, the first hospital staffed entirely by women. Janice--who also wrote Daughters of the Samurai--discusses why she was drawn to write about these sisters; what it took for them to break into the all-male, 19th century medical establishment; why there have been so few books about them despite their staggering accomplishments (hint: they weren’t adorable); and how systemic sexism has shaped perspectives on both princesses and old crones. Finally, Eve shares a dose of 19th century medical gore! Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
MINI EPISODE: After 40 episodes of book dreaming together, Eve and Julie know each other’s preferences as well as they know their own. In this one-on-one conversation, our two best book friends swap book recs. And although they’ve chosen these titles with the other in mind, we hope you’ll like them too! Join Eve and Julie as they commiserate over the pressure of being on the receiving end of a book recommendation and explore what makes a good one. Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Couldn’t we all use some heartwarming tales from bookstore aisles right about now? Eve and Julie have plenty to share after speaking with VaLinda Miller--the owner of Turning Pages Bookshop, the only African-American female-owned bookstore in South Carolina and only the second African-American owned bookstore in South Carolina--and Jamie Rogers Southern--the interim executive director of Bookmarks, a nonprofit bookstore in North Carolina. They discuss the joys of running a bookstore with a best friend, moments when books change lives, and how a knitting circle and a little beer go a long way in building community. Eve and Julie also share a sneak peek at next week’s episode, which has them bursting at their bookseams. Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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