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In this episode, I'm chatting with author Stephanie Cotsirilos about her novella My Xanthi, Greek heritage, The Writer's Hotel, and books!Stephanie Cotsirilos is an essayist in the anthology of New England writers, Breaking Bread (Beacon Press), and was published finalist in Mississippi Review’s Prize in Fiction. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, her work has appeared in numerous print and online venues, including McSweeney’s, The New Guard, New Millennium Writings, Brilliant Flash Fiction, and various media. In 2021, she was awarded the Patrice Krant fellowship in residence at Storyknife’s inaugural retreat for women writers in Alaska. Stephanie’s novella is titled My Xanthi, published with Los Galesburg Press.Stephanie CotsirilosMy Xanthi, Stephanie CotsirilosStoryknife Writers RetreatThe Writer’s HotelNight of the Living Rez, Morgan TaltyMy Broken Language, Quiara Alegria HudesSupport the show
In this episode, I’m back at the Library of Congress chatting with Stephanie Stillo and special guest Marianna Stell about the Giant Bible of Mainz, scribes, the digitalization of medieval manuscripts, and books! Stephanie Stillo is the Curator of the Lessing J. Rosenwald  Collection and Aramont Library in the Rare Book and Special Collection Division.  Marianna Stell is a Reference Librarian, Rare Books and Special Collections Division, and Medievalist at the Library of Congress.From the Vaults! Library of CongressThe Giant Bible of MainzThe Giant Bible of Mainz (LOC)John O’Donohue To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings, John O’Donahue The Island of Missing Tree, Elif Shafak Diagramming Devotion, Jeffrey F Hamburger The Red Widow, Sarah Horowitz    Support the show
In this episode, I'm chatting with Linda Kass, co-owner of Gramercy Books in Bexley, Ohio, about her career as a journalist and author, the four ingredients needed to create an excellent indie bookshop, and Pelotonia!Gramercy Books is a locally-owned, independently-minded neighborhood bookstore located in the heart of Bexley, Ohio. Their philosophy is simple: they’re about inspiration and discovery, community and adventure. The booksellers at Gramercy Books connect readers and writers with books they love and host special events and ongoing visits by authors, poets, and songwriters that provoke conversation. The name, Gramercy, comes from the French word “grand merci,” which translates to “big thanks” or “many thanks.”Their inviting space includes a new café concept from Kittie’s, featuring Stumptown coffee, breakfast items, savory and sweet snacks, and their iconic cupcakes.Gramercy BooksBooks by Linda KassLinda Kass Author WebsiteBooks by Kazuo IshiguroPelotoniaBooks by Temple Grandin, PhD Books by Maggie SmithBooks by James ClearBooks by Claire KeeganSupport the show
In this episode, I'm chatting with author and poet David Ebenbach about his new poetry collection What's Left To Us By Evening, publishing, his creative process, and his short story The Guy We didn't Invite to the Orgy.David Ebenbach is a writer. Chronically preoccupied with the human condition. He’s been writing ever since he was a kid, when he kept his whole family awake by banging away on an enormous manual typewriter, and he’s never wanted to stop. David’s now the author of nine books of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, and his work has picked up awards along the way: the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, the Juniper Prize, the Patricia Bibby Award, and more.Born and raised in the great city of Philadelphia, these days David does most of his writing in Washington, DC, where he lives with his family—because he uses a laptop now, he doesn’t keep them awake with his typing—and where he works at Georgetown University, promoting inclusive, student-centered teaching at the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship, and teaching creative writing and literature at the Center for Jewish Civilization and creativity through the Master’s in Learning, Design, and Technology Program.David EbenbachWhat's Left To Us By Evening, David EbenbachDavid Ebenbach's BooksThe Guy We Didn't Invite to the Orgy, (audio) David EbenbachCatalogue of Unabashed Gratitude, Ross GayThe Night Divers, Melanie McCabeSuch Color, Tracy K. SmithFriday Black, Nana Kwame Adjei-BrenyahSupport the show
Ellen Pall, Author

Ellen Pall, Author


In this episode, I'm chatting with author Ellen Pall about her new novel Must Read Well, her career as a journalist, and the craft of writing.ELLEN PALL is the author of more than a dozen novels, including Among the Ginzburgs, Corpse de Ballet, and Slightly Abridged. She has also written many features about people in the arts for The New Yorker and The New York Times, and published numerous personal essays, most recently in The New York Review of Books. Ellen grew up on Long Island, went to college at U.C. Santa Barbara, then moved to Los Angeles. There, she wrote eight Regency Romances under the pen name Fiona Hill. (Not to be confused with the former U.S. National Security Council official Fiona Hill. Very different person.) After ten years, she left California for New York, where she promptly began work as a journalist, wrote novels under her own name, and met her husband, the international human rights advocate Richard Dicker. She now divides her time between New York and L.A. Ellen PallMust Read Well, Ellen PallThe Rising Tide: A Vera Stanhope Novel, Ann CleevesMercury Pictures Presents, Anthony MarraIntimacies: A Novel, Katie KitamuraBooks by Fiona HillBancroft Books Support the show
In this episode, I’m chatting with Jacqui Delbaere, the owner of The Little Green Bookshop, and bookseller, and in-store pianist Tim Jenkins about Herne Bay, literary events, and where to visit, dine and explore in the seaside town on the north coast of Kent in southeast England. The Little Green Bookshop The Whalebone Theatre, Joanna Quinn Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell Persuasion, Jane Austin The Power Of Now, Eckhart Tolle The Seawomen, Chloe Timms Lucy Strange Books This Beating Heart, Laura Barnett Julie Wassmer Books Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times, Katherine MaySupport the show
In this episode, I’m chatting with David Rocklin about his novels, creativity in Los Angeles, Roar Shack, and books! David Rocklin grew up in Chicago and graduated from Indiana University with a BA in Literature. After attending law school, he pursued a career as an in-house attorney and continues to serve as a mediator. David is the author of The Night Language and The Luminist. He lives in California with his wife and children.The Luminist, David RocklinThe Night Language, David RocklinDave Rocklin 2 Revere Place, Aruni N. Wijesinghe Light Skin Gone to Waste: Stories, Toni Ann Johnson We Are Bridges, A Memoir, Cassandra Lane HOMEGOING, Yaa Gyasa Roar ShackSupport the show
In this episode, I chat with Bob Keefe, executive director of E2 and author of CLIMATENOMICS: Washington, Wall Street and the Economic Battle to Save Our Planet, about his life as a journalist, the effects of capitalism on the climate crisis, phytomining, how and why Bidenomics morphed into climatenomics, and his new book Climatenomics. Bob Keefe is executive director of E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) a national, nonpartisan group of business owners, investors and professionals who leverage economic research and their business perspective to advance policies that are good for the environment and good for the economy. E2’s national network includes more than 11,000 business leaders spread across nine chapters stretching from New York to Los Angeles, and a staff of advocates who work on climate and clean energy policies at the federal and state levels. As part of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), one of the world’s biggest environmental groups with more than 3 million members and online supporters, E2 is the foremost business voice on issues at the intersection of the environment and economy, and the leading authority on clean energy jobs in America. Previously, Keefe spent nearly 25 years as a journalist, reporting for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Cox Newspapers chain, the St. Petersburg Times, and the Austin American-Statesman. Bob Keefe E2ClLIMATENOMICS:  Washington, Wall Street and the Economic Battle to Save Our Planet, Bob Keefe Support the show
In this episode, I’m in Whitby, North Yorkshire, chatting with Fiona Duncan, manager of The Whitby Bookshop, about gothic novels, their extensive selection of vampire books, the housing crisis, and what sites to visit in Whitby!The Whitby Bookshop is a much-loved independent, family-run bookshop known for its eclectic choice of books, friendly, knowledgeable staff, quirky gifts, unforgettable staircase, and unique building in Whitby's historic old town.Whitby is also home to the ruins of Whitby Abbey, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s iconic novel DraculaThe Whitby BookshopDracula, Bram Stoker Sylvia’s Lovers, Elizabeth Gaskell Captain Cook Museum, Whitby Books by Amanda MasonTheresa Tomlinson, author Small Things Like These, Claire Keegan I Couldn’t Love You More, Esther Freud The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde The Water Babies, Charles KingsleySupport the show
In this episode, I'm chatting with Abdulzarak Gurnah about how his life has changed since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, 2021, his new novel, Afterlives, colonialism in Africa, and what drew him from Tanzania to the county of Kent in the UK and a life dedicated to teaching.Abdulrazak Gurnah is the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021. He is the author of ten novels: Memory of Departure, Pilgrims Way, Dottie, Paradise (shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Award), Admiring Silence, By the Sea (longlisted for the Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Award), Desertion (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize) The Last Gift, Gravel Heart, and Afterlives, which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Fiction 2021 and longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize. He was Professor of English at the University of Kent, and was a Man Booker Prize judge in 2016. He lives in Canterbury.Afterlives, Abdulrazak GurnahBooks by Abdulrazak GurnahSupport the show
In this episode, I'm chatting with Maddalena Fossombroni and Pietro Torrigiani, the co-owners of Todo Modo, about the innovative steps they took to keep afloat during lockdowns, how the current Italian government supports independent bookshops, the Uqbar Cafe, and Florence's newest hub, Manifattura Tabacchi!Todo Modo is a bookshop and café located in the heart of the Santa Maria Novella district in Florence. The bookshop carries over 20,000 titles, including new fiction and non-fiction books in Italian and English and a selection of used books.   Todo ModoTodo Modo InstagramManifattura TabachhiStefano Mancuso BooksAlexandra LawrenceEverything and Nothing - Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, Jorge Luis BorgesSanta, Maddalena FoundationSupport the show
In this episode, I'm chatting with author David Pepper about his new novel A Simple Choice, independent bookshops, his non-fiction book Laboratories Of Autocracy: A Wake-Up Call From Behind The Lines, and the importance of strengthening democracy at the state level.David Pepper is a lawyer, writer, political activist, former elected official, and adjunct professor, and served as the Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party between 2015 and 2021.In that role, he was engaged in numerous fights and extensive litigation over voter suppression and election laws in the Buckeye State. Stemming from that work, David appeared in "All In"—the documentary highlighting Stacey Abrams' nation-wide fight for voting rights.Pepper has written four novels that bridge real-world politics and fiction—including A Simple Choice (released in August 2022)). His first novel, The People's House, earned praise for having "predicted the Russia scandal." The Wall Street Journal named Pepper "one of the best political-thriller writers on the scene." Born and raised in Cincinnati, David is a fifth-generation Cincinnatian. David earned his B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa, and later earned his J.D. from Yale Law School.David finished first out of 26 candidates in his first run for political office, and served on Cincinnati City Council from 2001-2005. In 2006, he flipped Hamilton County blue for the first time in 40 years when he ousted the incumbent commissioner; he then served on the Commission from 2007-2010, including as its president in 2009-2010. David was the Democratic candidate for Ohio Auditor in 2010 and Ohio Attorney General in 2014. He was elected chair of the Ohio Democratic Party in December 2014.In 1999, David clerked for the Honorable Nathaniel Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. After 2000, David also worked in the Cincinnati offices of major law firms Squire Sanders and Blank Rome, focusing his practice on commercial and business litigation, and appellate litigation. David also teaches election and voting rights law as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.Between his undergraduate and law school years, David spent three years doing international work in St. Petersburg, Russia. Based out of the Center for Strategic and International Studies—a Washington D.C. think tank—he served as a research intern for Zbigniew Brzezinski for part of 1993, followed by several years as the assistant director of a project providing technical assistance to the City of St. Petersburg as it underwent economic reform. In that role, David interacted with international figures such as Henry Kissinger, Paul Bremer, ambassadors, members of Congress, business leaders, and Vladimir Putin, who was then Vice Mayor of St. Petersburg. David Pepper A Simple Choice, David Pepper Laboratories of Autocracy: A Wake-Up Call from Behind the Lines, David Pepper The Voter File, David Pepper The Wingman, David PepperThe People’s House, David PepperLies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, James W. Loewen Democracy in America, Alexis De TocquevilleSupport the show
In this episode, I'm chatting with Mary Callopy Mollman, owner of Madison Street Books in Chicago's West Loop, about small publishers and imprints, sites to see in Chicago, what to consider when opening an indie bookshop, and books!Madison Street Books is an independent bookshop in Chicago's West Loop owned by Mary Collopy Mollman. Its focus and vision are to be a community-minded space with something in store for everyone. Madison Street BooksShoreline Boat Cruises The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides Colleen Hoover Books The Door, Magda Szabo Madison Street Books on Tik Tok The Bookshop Podcast on TikTok American Writers MuseumSupport the show
In this episode, I'm chatting with Bruce Holsinger about his latest novel, The Displacements, emotional fatigue brought on by the climate crisis, the socioeconomic disparity in the United States, and choosing names for characters.Bruce Holsinger is a novelist and literary scholar based in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is the author of the USA Today and Los Angeles Times-bestselling novel The Gifted School, which won the Colorado Book Award and was named one of the Best Books of 2019 by NPR and numerous publications. The novel is currently in development as a TV series with NBC/Universal Television. He is also the author of A Burnable Book and The Invention of Fire, award-winning historical novels published by William Morrow. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, Slate, and many other publications. Since 2005 Bruce has taught in the Department of English at the University of Virginia, where he specializes in medieval literature and modern critical thought and serves as editor of the quarterly journal New Literary History. His nonfiction books have won major awards from the Modern Language Association, the Medieval Academy of America, and the American Musicological Society, and his academic work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies.  Bruce HolsingerThe Displacements, Bruce HolsingerThe Gifted School, Bruce Holsinger On Parchment, Bruce Holsinger A Burnable Book, Bruce Holsinger The Invention of Fire, Bruce HolsingerSupport the show
Today I'm chatting with Emma Corfield-Walters, co-owner of Book-ish in Crickhowell, Powys, Wales, about diversifying your library, Welsh writers, the beauty of Wales, and what it takes to open an indie bookshop.Book-ish is an independent bookshop in Crickhowell, Powys, in the UK. The bookshop thrives because it’s more than a bookshop: it’s a community endeavor.  Besides hosting book clubs, discussion groups, game nights, and quizzes, owners Emma and Andrew Corfield-Walters co-run the Crickhowell Literary Festival and led the charge in setting up Totally Locally Crickhowell, supporting the other independent business on the high street with marketing, e-commerce, and mutual support online.In 2020, Book-ish was awarded the British Book Awards’ Independent Bookshop of the Year. Book-ishDrift, Caryl LewisThis Time Tomorrow, Emma Straub Diversify Your LibrarySupport the show
Sophie Irwin, Author

Sophie Irwin, Author


In this episode, I chat with Sophie Irwin about her new novel, A Ladies Guide To Fortune Hunting, women finding autonomy in Regency England, character arcs, and Bridgerton!Sophie Irwin grew up in Dorset before moving to south London after university. She spent several years working as an assistant editor before going freelance.Sophie has spent years immersed in the study of historical fiction, from a dissertation on why Georgette Heyer helped win World War Two to time spent in dusty stacks and old tomes doing detailed period research when writing her debut novel A Lady's Guide to Fortune Hunting. Her love and passion for historical fiction bring a breath of fresh air and contemporary energy to the genre. Sophie hopes to transport readers to Regency London, where ballrooms are more like battlegrounds.Sophie IrwinA Lady's Guide To Fortune Hunting, Sophie IrwinRed, White, and Royal Blue, Casey McQuistonSupport the show
In this episode, I chat with Meg Prince, owner of The Ironbridge Bookshop in Shropshire, England, about buying an indie bookshop at age 18, Penguin Books, coffee and cakes, and what she's currently reading!The Ironbridge Bookshop is located in the main square of the historic town of Ironbridge, with views over the River Severn and the Ironbridge, set right in the heart of Shropshire, England.The bookshop specializes in Penguin Books and has an extensive collection displayed on their very own ‘Penguin Wall.’ These books hold a special place in Meg's heart,  as not only are they iconic with their striking color-coded covers and the many series that were published, but they are a wonderful piece of bookish history. When first published 82 years ago, Penguin Books were delivered to service men and prisoners of war camps. Few of these early copies survive and have become highly collectible.The Ironbridge BookshopLJ Ross, authorSir Terry Pratchett, authorSupport the show
In this episode, I chat with author KJ Dell'Antonia about her new novel In Her Boots, her podcast #amwriting, and books!KJ Dell'Antonia is the author of The Chicken Sisters, a New York Times bestseller, a Reese Witherspoon book club pick, and a timely, humorous exploration of the same themes she has long focused on in her journalism: the importance of finding joy in our families, the challenge of figuring out what makes us happy, and the need to value the people in front of us more than the ones in our phones and laptops, every single time.KJ wrote and edited the Motherlode blog at the New York Times and is also the author of the viral essay Why I Didn't Answer Your Email and the book How to Be a Happier Parent. Her new novel, In Her Boots, is about the gap between the adults we think we have become, the child our mother will always see, and our horrible fear that our mother is right. KJ Dell’AntoniaIn Her Boots, KJ Dell’AntoniaThe #AmWriting PodcastThe Change, Kirsten MillerThe Truth About Ben And June, Alex KiesterThe Other Bennet Sister, Janice HadlowThe Murder of Mr. Wickham, Claudia GrayThe Boys, Katie HafnerSupport the show
In this episode, I'm chatting with Carrie Morris, co-owner of Booka Bookshop in Oswestry, UK, about bookish events, the stunning county of Shropshire, the future of indie bookshops, and books!Booka Bookshop is an award-winning independent bookshop located in the center of Oswestry, a thriving UK market town on the border where Shropshire meets Wales.Since opening in October 2009, Booka quickly established a reputation as a destination shop, renowned for the quality of its book stock and its strong community focus. They host a wide and varied range of author events and work closely with schools, libraries, and other organizations to promote a passion for books and reading. In 2015, 6 years after opening, Booka was named UK & Ireland Independent Bookshop of the Year and is now recognized as one of the leading independent bookshops in the UK.BookaBookshop is owned and run by ‘wife and husband team’ Carrie and Tim Morris.Booka BookshopThis Time Tomorrow, Emma StraubBreadsong: How Baking Changed Our Lives, Kitty Tait, Al TaitInvisible Child: Poverty, Survival and Hope in New York City, Andrea ElliottBarbara Pym BooksWilfred Owen, PoetYoung Mungo, Douglas StuartShuggie Bain, Douglas StuartAt Home With 4 IndiesMaking It, Jay BladesEmma Straub on The Bookshop PodcastMary Laura Philpott on The Bookshop PodcastSupport the show
In this episode, I chat with Tamar Haspel about her new book, To Boldly Grow, eating for a healthier planet and you, the beef industry, and getting your hands in dirt!Tamar Haspel writes the James Beard Award-winning Washington Post column Unearthed, which tackles food from every angle: agriculture, nutrition, obesity, and the environment. She is the author of the book To Boldly Grow. If she tells you a wild mushroom is OK to eat, you can believe her. Along with Michael Grunwald, Tamar co-hosts Climavores, a podcast for eaters who don’t want to cook the planet. It cuts through the hype and ideology, explores the stories behind our perceptions of food, and empowers listeners to make food choices that are actually good for the planet.Tamar HaspelTo Boldly Grow: Finding Joy, Adventure, and Dinner in Your Own Backyard, Tamar Haspel Tamar Haspel on TwitterClimavoresSupport the show
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