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What You Should Read

Author: Kelly Hager, Julia Hall, Rachael Hall

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Friends Julia, Kelly, and Rachael discuss the newest books, trends and their never-ending TBR stacks. There will be laughs, great recommendations, and possibly (definitely) some spoilers. Tune in weekly and find out why these three have entirely ruined their dispositions with books. Want us to let you know what YOU should read? Fill out our google form and we'll recommend something to you on the podcast!
34 Episodes
We do a deep dive into JK Rowling's anti-trans comments and how that has affected our feelings about Harry Potter. Can you separate the art from the artist and should you try? How do you balance something you love with the harm its creator is doing to people? There aren't easy answers but it's a subject worth grappling with. And, as a bonus, we recommend books you can read instead of hers. (Well, not The Casual Vacancy; people are already not reading that one.)LINKS:Joan He and her publisher's seeming breach of contract: (Twitter thread)Romancing the Runoff on Twitter: Donate to them on ActBlue: The auction starts on Wednesday, November 18. Follow What You Should Read:Twitter:   @wysr_podcastInstagram:   @wysr_podcastGoodreads:'t forget about our book club! We're discussing The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult on December 8! You can email your thoughts or find us on social media! We're really excited for our debut pick.BOOKS DISCUSSED:Kendell: Ninth House (Leigh Bardugo)Julia: The Seep (Chana Porter), A Hat Full of Sky (Terry Pratchett), the Veronica Speedwell series (Deanna Raybourn)Rachael: The Book of Two Ways (Jodi Picoult), A Promised Land (Barack Obama), The Keeper of the Lost Cities (Shannon Messenger), The Poacher's Son (Paul Doiron)Kelly: The House in the Cerulean Sea (TJ Klune) and the VI Warshawski series (Sara Paretsky)
We're joined by Stephanie Fowler, author of Chasing Alice, a nonfiction account of the life and murder of Alice Davis. Mrs. Davis was Stephanie (and Kelly's!) AP English teacher and her life had a powerful impact on her family, as well as many of her friends, students and fellow teachers. We discuss the way she balanced discussing Alice's life and death, the lessons she learned and why she never stopped writing this story.LINKS:Buy Chasing Alice: The Shaded Choice Awards (voting starts today!): Follow Stephanie Fowler:Twitter: @StephLFowlerInstagram: @stephanie_fowler Salt Water Media: Follow What You Should Read:Twitter:  @wysr_podcastInstagram:  @wysr_podcastGoodreads:'t forget about our book club! We're discussing The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult on December 8! You can email your thoughts or find us on social media! We're really excited for our debut pick.BOOKS DISCUSSED:Chasing Alice (Stephanie Fowler)Stephanie: Keeping On (Gemma Hoskins)Julia: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid), Sanctuary (VV James), White Ivy (Susie Yang), This Time Next Year (Sophie Cousens) and Memorial (Bryan Washington).Rachael: The Book of Two Ways (Jodi Picoult)Kelly: The Book of Two Ways (Jodi Picoult), Instant Karma (Marissa Meyer), Pretty Little Wife (Darby Kane), The Answer Is... (Alex Trebek)
First, you should know that this episode was taped on Sunday, so we don't know anything about the election's outcome. If you listen to this after Tuesday and you're wondering why we sound the way we do, that's why. It's Schroedinger's Podcast, where the election both is and is not over.Also, we're not entirely sure who thought that an episode devoted to politics the same week as the election was the best idea, but if you want to see what existential dread sounds like and also learn a little about how we ended up where we are now, this episode is for you. LINKS:Babysitters Club season 2! BSC singing theme song from first show: Kaling adapts and stars in Good in Bed: Magazine picks 100 best fantasy books ever: Time Magazine explains how they picked those books: Get a book planner like Rachael's: Follow Dr. Jeff Willis Twitter: @TlknBout_WillisInstagram: @tlknboutwillisFollow What You Should Read:Twitter: @wysr_podcastInstagram: @wysr_podcastGoodreads:'t forget about our book club! We're discussing The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult on December 8! You can email your thoughts or find us on social media! We're really excited for our debut pick.
Welcome to the spookiest episode of the year! We're joined by Emma Beaven (her debut novel, Where the Briars Sleep, is out next summer) to talk about all things creepy. We discuss adaptations, atmospheric horror and, as it turns out, we all have very strong opinions about vampires. Follow Emma Beaven: @authoremmabeavenPreorder Where the Briars Sleep: What You Should Read:Twitter:@wysr_podcastInstagram:@wysr_podcastGoodreads:'t forget about our book club! We're discussing The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult on December 8! You can email your thoughts or find us on social media! We're really excited for our debut pick.CURRENTLY READING:Julia: Chasing Alice (Stephanie L. Fowler)Rachael: The Stand (Stephen King), Such a Fun Age (Kiley Reid) and Akata Witch (Nnedi Okorafor)Kelly: Hoax (Brian Stelter)What You Should Read:Emma: A Head Full of Ghosts (Paul Tremblay), Collected Ghost Stories by M.R. James (especially A Warning to the Curious and Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book), The Old Nurse's Tale and Other Stories (Elizabeth Gaskell)Rachael: Hench (Natalie Zina Walschots)Julia: Every Heart a Doorway (Seanan McGuire)Kelly: Someone's Inside Your House (Stephanie Perkins), The Shining (Stephen King), The Cabin at the End of the World (Paul Tremblay)What You Should Watch:Emma: The Possession of Michael King, The Exorcist and HostKelly: cosigns all of Emma's picks and adds Misery, Last Shift and The Autopsy of Jane Doe.
We're discussing more of our favorite books by Black authors and this time, we're joined by poet and playwright Dr. Sherna Phillips (known to her students as Dr. Nae)! Sidebar topics include how long Kelly sticks to book bans (not long), how our fall TBR challenge is going (not well) and which celeb book club we like the most.Links: S.E. Hinton and graphic novels: Murphy and Disney's new adult line:,make%20a%20name%20for%20herself.Ava DuVernay to direct Caste: Follow Dr. Nae:Twitter: @DrNaePhillipsInstagram: @drnaephillipsFollow What You Should Read:Twitter: @wysr_podcastInstagram: @wysr_podcastGoodreads:'t forget about our book club! We're discussing The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult on December 8! You can email your thoughts or find us on social media! We're really excited for our debut pick.CURRENTLY READING:Julia: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (VE Schwab) and The Evening and the Morning (Ken Follett)Rachael: The Troop (Nick Cutter)Kelly: Cemetery Boys (Aiden Thomas)RECENT ACQUISITIONS: Kelly: On a Good Horse (Darby Karchut; the book releases November 10) and Ring Shout (P. Djeli Clark)Rachael: still observing her book buying ban but she had an unused credit from Libro.FM that she turned Redhead by the Side of the Road (Anne Tyler)Julia: The Midnight Library (Matt Haig)What You Should Read:Dr. Nae: Genesis Begins Again (Alicia D. Williams), Slave Play (Jeremy O. Harris) and the collected works of Tayari Jones but especially Silver Sparrow. Rachael: The Nickel Boys (Colson Whitehead), Get a Life, Chloe Brown (Talia Hibbert) and The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls (Anissa Gay).Julia: The Space Between Worlds (Micaiah Johnson), Transcendent Kingdom (Yaa Gyasi) and Such a Fun Age (Kiley Reid).Kelly: Before the Ever After (Jacqueline Woodson), Now That I've Found You (Kristina Forest) and When No One is Watching (Alyssa Cole).
Hello and we are finally back! This week, we discuss Indigenous authors and the books you absolutely cannot miss. Sidebar topics include an update on our reading TBR challenge (suffice to say we are slightly behind), Christmas cookies (enjoy how smoothly Kelly was able to demand some) and how wonderful it is to be back together, taping the podcast. We also briefly discuss our upcoming Halloween episode, which one of us is VERY EXCITED FOR (Kelly. It's Kelly).(And don't forget our first book club is approaching! We're discussing The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult on the episode that drops December 8! Make sure to read it and share your thoughts with us via email or on IG and Twitter.Follow What You Should Read:Twitter:@wysr_podcastInstagram:@wysr_podcastGoodreads: Books discussed in the episode:CURRENTLY READING:Rachael:  Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Joanne Fluke), All Boys Aren't Blue (George M. Johnson) and Anne of Avonlea (LM Montgomery)Julia: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Kelly: There's Someone Inside Your House (Stephanie Perkins)RECENT ACQUISITIONS:Julia: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (VE Schwab), A Deadly Education (Naomi Novik), The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid), The Book of Two Ways (Jodi Picoult) and Spoiler Alert (Olivia Dade).Kelly: The Science of Stephen King (Meg Hafdahl and Kelly Florence)Rachael: a gorgeous set of the Anne of Green Gables series (LM Montgomery), The Book of Two Ways (Jodi Picoult), The Troop (Nick Cutter), Outlander (Diana Gabaldon) and Summer of 69 (Elin Hilderbrand).Books by Indigenous authors:Kelly recommends: There There (Tommy Orange)Carry (Toni Jensen)Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManus)Rachael recommends:Winter Counts (David Heska Wanbli Weiden)Braiding Sweetgrass (Robin Wall Kimmerer)Future Home of the Living God, The Round House and Love Medicine (Louise Erdrich)Julia recommends: Black Sun (Rebecca Roanhorse)Elatsoe (Darcie Little Badger)Future Home of the Living God (Louise Erdrich)Blood for the Sun (Errick Nunnally)LINKS MENTIONED:1) Akwaeke Emezi and the Women's Prize: Our interview with Errick Nunnally:
You know what you should read? Julia, Kelly and Rachael make a bold declaration of five books they will each read before the end of the year. Can we do it? We've got a forking good points system to help keep us accountable (but the smart money is not on Kelly). We've also decided to start a book club! We are very excited to announce our first pick: The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult! We'll discuss it in the episode that drops on December 8, so you have plenty of time to read it with us and email your thoughts or chat with us on social media (links are below).Follow What You Should Read:Twitter:  @wysr_podcastInstagram:  @wysr_podcastGoodreads:  Books discussed in the episode:Romance novels by Selena Montgomery (find out more in the book news segment!) READING: Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis (Kelly)The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison and The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (Rachael)The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson (Julia)RECENT ACQUISITIONS:We all got The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult! The Seep by Chana Porter, Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson and A Blade So Black by LL McKinney (Julia)A Blade So Black by LL McKinney, My Life as a Villainess by Laura Lippman, Chasing Alice by Stephanie Fowler and Not Your #LoveStory by Sonia Hartl (Kelly)Into the WIlderness by Sara Donati (sequel to The Gilded Hour), Girl Woman Other by Bernadine Evaristo and The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson (Rachael)OUR FIVE FALL TBR PICKS:Rachael:The Missing of Clairdelune by Christelle Dabos (sequel to A Winter's Promise)One Day in December by Josie SilverText Me When You Get Home by Kayleen SchaeferThe Stand by Stephen KingOona Out of Order by Margarita MontimoreJulia:The Great Alone by Kristin HannahCome Tumbling Down by Seanan Maguire (#5 in the Wayward Children series)Toil and Trouble edited by Tess Sharpe and Jessica SpotswoodAsk Again, Yes by Mary Beth KeaneThe Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin (third book in the Broken Earth trilogy)Kelly:The Midnight Library by Matt HaigSanctuary by VV JamesWatch Over Me by Nina LaCourRiot Baby by Tochi AnyebochiOr What You Will by Jo Walton
Grab your water bottles, your swimsuits, and your $35 white t-shirts, it's time to go to summer camp! It's our last Babysitters Club Netflix show recap. Bittersweet! Julia, Kelly, and Rachael are joined by Kristen Mckenzie to discuss the two-part finale to season 1 of this amazing adaptation. We discuss all things rebellious, including Kristy's struggle with not being in charge, Dawn and Claudia's fight for fair fun, and Mary Anne and Stacey's adventures in making musical theater! Will we figure out if Logan is sweet or just boring? Tune in to find out!
We are so delighted to share this interview from one of our favorite authors, K. Ancrum! While most of the episode is the three of us flailing about The Wicker King and The Weight of the Stars, we also have side discussions on Chipotle and how it can sometimes be used as a tool for vengeance, found families, her beautiful author notes and acknowledgments and so much more.Also, "What You Should Eat" makes an appearance and the bread recipe Kayla recommends sounds so easy that even Kelly could make it. (Maybe. We probably shouldn't encourage the attempt.)The Easy No Knead Skillet Bread recipe: K. Ancrum interview Rachael mentioned: The panel with K. Ancrum and LL McKinney: (and catch the entire Juneteenth video channel here: K. Ancrum:Website: What You Should Read:Twitter: @wysr_podcastInstagram: @wysr_podcastGoodreads: we discussed in book news...Barack Obama’s book deal: it:
In this week's episode, we're joined by Emily Duran-Frontera to discuss books that are both by and featuring Latinx authors! Along the way, we discuss snow (two of us are not fans), the absolute delight of magical realism and, of course, the way that things always go back to Gilmore Girls. We also continue our current "bonus segment" of  What You Should Eat, thanks to Julia. (Field trip to her home for breakfast next weekend!)No matter your reading taste, you're sure to find a ton of books that you'll want to read. (And if you haven't read Isabel Allende, start there. We have several picks to start with!)Follow What You Should Read:Twitter:  @wysr_podcastInstagram:  @wysr_podcastGoodreads:
This week we're going BIG! That's right, we're talking big books. We like them and we cannot lie. Tune in to get some truly massive book recommendations, tips for getting through those gargantuan tomes, and why you might not want to read The Stand during a pandemic.
Welcome back to another Baby-Sitter's Club Netflix series recap! This week we recap episode 8, "Kristy's Big Day." We discuss how much we all love the episode, what we drove for our first cars, kindergarten weddings, and more! Be sure to listen, you'll love it. 
Grab your sunscreen and your mollusks, we're headed to Sea City!! We're re-capping episode 7 of the Netflix series "The Baby-Sitters Club" show. This episode we discuss feeling second-hand embarrassment for Stacey, how Mary Anne is too nice, and whether or not Karen is sabotaging Kristy on purpose. Join us for a great time!!! 
Grab a pumpkin spiced something and open up your Goodreads “want to read” folder because today we’re giving you our most anticipated books for fall 2020! Joined by our friend and “A Glass of Wine” book blogger Kathy Coe, the “What You Should Read” team wastes no time hyping up the books we are most excited to see released for the rest of the year. What books are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!Follow Kathy at on Twitter @kathycoe Follow What You Should Read: Twitter: @wysr_podcastInstagram: @wysr_podcastGoodreads:  
We are SO thrilled to have author and best friend of the pod Liza Wiemer on the show this week! Aside from being What You Should Read’s biggest champion, Liza is also an amazing writer and her new book, The Assignment, is now available from wherever books are sold. In the episode we talk about the process of writing a novel inspired by true events, social activism, and Liza’s super intense writing process. The Assignment is an eye-opening book that everyone should read!You can buy The Assignment from your favorite local bookseller. Like maybe Boswell Book Company, Liza’s favorite bookstore in Milwaukee! that parts of the audio were a bit scratchy and one small section had to be cut out but we recap what Liza says in that part. We apologize for the inconvenience!).  Follow Liza:Twitter: Follow What You Should Read: Twitter: @wysr_podcast Instagram: @wysr_podcast Goodreads: YouTube:   
We're back with our recap of the Baby-sitters Club episodes on Netflix. This week we are joined by Kim Le to discuss Episode 6, "Claudia and Mean Janine." This week we dive into some of the important topics the episode touches on, discuss Asian American representation in media, and Kim offers a theory about Richard Spier and Liz Thomas that blows our minds. Also, did we suddenly turn into a Gilmore Girls podcast? Listen to the end to find out!Follow What You Should Read:Twitter: @wysr_podcastInstagram: @wysr_podcastGoodreads: 
Do you even re-read? We certainly do! This week discusses what makes a book a good re-read, why we love diving back in to our faves, and pro tips for getting the most out of a re-read. Also Kelly is very concerned that Julia and Rachael are going to steal her Dobby socks. (She’s correct).   What books do you love to re-read? Follow us and let us know!Follow What You Should Read:Twitter: @wysr_podcastInstagram: @wysr_podcastGoodreads: 
The Netflix BSC recaps continue! Today we are joined by the Dawn-identified and hilarious Kim Bowers to discuss episode 5: “Dawn and the Impossible Three.” During the episode we discuss horrible babysitting jobs we’ve had and Kim shares a WILD story that will make you shake your head and say “rich people, amiright?”Follow What You Should Read:Twitter: @wysr_podcastInstagram: @wysr_podcastGoodreads: 
Happy belated National Book Lovers day to our WYSR family! Today we are chatting with Adib Kohrram, author of Darius the Great is Not Okay. During the interview we discuss why the show “Star Trek: Next Generation” brings families together; Adib gives us some tips for getting through the Corona-times (hint: it involves Animal Crossing); and we learn the behind-the-scenes story of how the forthcoming sequel, Darius the Great Deserves Better, came to be.  We are so grateful to Adib for joining us on the podcast. If you haven’t read Darius the Great is Not Okay yet, you absolutely should.  And be sure to visit Adib’s website to pre-order the sequel Darius the Great Deserves Better and get some beautiful art cards. You can also learn more about his forthcoming picture book “Seven Special Somethings:  A Nowruz Story.”  Follow Adib Twitter at @adibkhorramInstagram: @adibkhorramFollow What You Should Read:Twitter: @wysr_podcastInstagram: @wysr_podcastGoodreads: 
Mary Anne’s Dad has a Jerusalem artichoke and he’s not afraid to use it. Join us for another weekly bonus conversation where we re-cap episode 4 of the new Netflix series “The Baby Sitter’s Club” Mary Anne Saves the Day. Today we are joined by Amanda, who self identifies as a Mary Anne which is awesome because as we learn in this episode Mary Anne is the coolest, funniest, bravest, best sitter and she is our hero. Did I mention we loved this episode. WE LOVED THIS EPISODE. Follow us:Twitter: @wysr_podcastInstagram: @wysr_podcastGoodreads: 
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