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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
In this episode, I chat with Mary Ellen Hartje, the owner of Old Town Books, about reinventing retirement, the San Angelo community, the ASU Writers Conference, and books!Old Town Books came about, as most independent bookstores do, as a labor of love—love of books, love of bookstores, and love for the “book community.” This labor of love also includes a love for the broader community since we believe that no town should be without the joys that a bookstore brings. In addition to offering books for all ages in a wide range of interest areas, Old Town Books strives to be a community center, a gathering place where people can share their common ideas, concerns, interests, passions, and dreams.  Old Town BooksThe Maid, Nita ProseFrench Braid, Anne TylerGood Company, Cynthia D'Aprix SweeneySupport the show
Ashley Poston, Author

Ashley Poston, Author


In this episode, I'm chatting with author Ashley Poston about her new novel The Dead Romantics, ghostly encounters, and switching from writing Young Adult to adult fiction.Ashley Poston is a national best-selling author who writes stories about true love and found families for both teens and adults. She studied English at the University of South Carolina and now lives with her bossy cat and a mountain of books in her hometown.  In her latest novel, The Dead Romantics, Ashley brings humor to the dirge of death. The Dead Romantics is the perfect read for anyone wanting to escape the news and step into the heads of a few quirky, lovable characters. Ashley PostonThe Dead Romantics, Ashley PostonHowl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynne JonesSupport the show
In this episode, I'm chatting with Anne Holman and Calvin Crosby, co-owners of The King's English Bookshop, about diversity in Salt Lake City, what led them both to bookselling, the food scene in Salt Lake City, and Books!Over the bookshop's 33 years of existence, the staff has created a welcoming environment for readers, a carefully selected inventory, a staff-wide ability to match books with readers, and active engagement with both their local community and the larger community of independent booksellers. The King's English philosophy has always been simple: pick good books, pass them on.Calvin CrosbyMy reading was happily never curtailed by peers, grown-ups, or anyone that felt I should be reading something else or something more appropriate for boys. Today I still read across genres and look for strong characters—male, female, and transgender (read Real Man Adventures by T Cooper, a book that speaks of the trans experience from an intimate, honest, and humorous perspective.) I am glad that I didn't listen to "what I should be reading" as a boy, and I know I am a better man for having been able to read books that appealed to me because they are well written with intriguing characters and not because of my gender.Anne HolmanMy mom used to tell me to get out of bed, go outside, and play with my friends! It wasn't that I didn't want to play; it was just that a book—pretty much any book—caught my attention and carried me away. A reader since I was old enough to hold a book, it never occurred to me that a person could have a job where books and people could come together, and one could earn money doing it. A brief stint at Waldenbooks at the old Crossroads Mall in Salt Lake City cemented my love for working in a bookstore. Even processing "returns" was fascinating to me. Next came a job at the circulation desk at the Salt Lake City public library, which was fun but not the same as retail. Many years and two kids later, I found myself back in Salt Lake. The King's English has been my home away from home for over 20 years, and I can't imagine doing anything else. The King's English BookshopThe House in the Cerulean Sea, TJ KluneLessons in Chemistry, Bonnie GarmusMy Grandmother’s Hands, Resmaa MenakemThe Quaking of America, Resmaa MenakemWoman of Light, Kali Fajardo-AnstineSabrina & Corina, Kali Fajardo-AnstineCalling for a Blanket Dance, Oscar HokeahNight of the Living Rez, Morgan TaltyVinegar Hill, Colm Tóibín Support the show
Lucy Clarke, Author

Lucy Clarke, Author


In this episode, I'm chatting with author Lucy Clarke about her becoming story, writing in notebooks, Tasmania, and her new novel One Of The Girls.Sunday Times bestseller, Lucy Clarke, is the author of seven psychological thrillers - THE SEA SISTERS, A SINGLE BREATH, THE BLUE/NO ESCAPE, LAST SEEN, YOU LET ME IN, THE CASTAWAYS, and ONE OF THE GIRLS. Her debut novel was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick, and her books have been sold in over 20 territories. THE BLUE is currently being filmed for a seven-part television series for ParmountPlus, due for release in 2023.Lucy is a passionate traveler, beach hut dweller, and fresh air enthusiast. She's married to a professional windsurfer, and, together with their two children, they spend their winters traveling and their summers at home on the south coast of England. Lucy writes from a beach hut, using the inspiration from the wild south coast to craft her stories.Lucy ClarkeSaltwater in the Blood, Easkey BrittonDirt Music, Tim WintonSupport the show
In this episode, I’m chatting with Jennifer Caspar, the owner of Village Well Books & Coffee, about community, books, and moving through tragedy.Village Well Books & Coffee is a community-focused & impact-driven bookstore-café in the heart of Downtown Culver City, California. Supporting the community is part of their DNA as they regularly explore various social causes and encourage the community to learn, share ideas, and lend a hand.Owner Jennifer Caspar says Village Well Books & Coffee is a third place to go for rest and nourishment between home and work. A place where neighbors have surprise encounters and people who might otherwise feel lonely at home can be surrounded by the comfort of lively, friendly human interaction.Village Well Books & Coffee 100 Best Book Podcasts Crying In H Mart, Michelle ZaunerThe Power Of Now, Echhart Tolle The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan DidionCharlotte’s Web, E.B. WhiteHarry Potter, K.K. RowlingLike a House on Fire, Lauren McBrayerThe Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, Karina Yan GlaserSupport the show
In this episode, I chat with author Fiona Barton about her life as a journalist, volunteering in Sri Lanka where she worked with journalists facing exile, and her latest novel, Local Gone Missing.Fiona Barton is the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow, The Child, and The Suspect. She has trained and worked with journalists all over the world. Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail On Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards. Fiona lives in England, and her latest novel, Local Gone Missing is about Detective Elise King and her investigation into a man’s disappearance in a seaside town where the locals and weekenders are at odds.  Fiona BartonReporters Without FrontiersOlive Kitteridge, Elizabeth StroutOlive Again, Elizabeth StroutLessons in Chemistry, Bonnie GarmusSupport the show
In this episode, I chat with Deon Stonehouse about books, dogs, the magic of writing with an exquisite pen, and the beauty of Sunriver, Oregon.Sunriver Books & Music is located in Sunriver, Oregon, about 17 miles from the city of Bend. The bookshop is owned by Deon and Rich Stonehouse, who believe books are a wonderful way to experience the world through someone else's perceptions and that reading is a fabulous way to expand your horizons from the serious to the silly to the sublime.   Fencing with the King, Diana Abu-JaberLes Miserables, Victor HugoLessons in Chemistry, Bonnie GarmusRemarkable Creatures, Tracy ChevalierThe Soul of an Octopus, Sy MontgomeryNowhere for Very Long: The Unexpected Road to an Unconventional Life, Brianna MadiaThe Seed Keeper, Diane WilsonSalman Rushdie booksSupport the show
In today's episode, I'm chatting with Annabel Monaghan, author of Nora Goes Off Script about switching from writing YA to adult fiction, what it's like living with a house of males, getting back to in-person book tours, and her publishing story!Annabel Monaghan grew up in Los Angeles and attended Duke University, where she studied English. She has an MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania and a brief history as an investment banker. She also taught novel writing at The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. Annabel now lives in the suburbs of New York City with her husband, three sons, and a little dog who sheds. Annabel MonaghanNora Goes Off Script, Annabel MonaghanA Girl Named Digit, Annabel Monaghan Double Digit, Annabel Monaghan On Gin Lane, Brooke Lea Foster The Love of My Life, Rosie Walsh  Support the show
In this episode, I chat with Diane Castro, owner of Sweet Home Books, about her dedicated customer base, the skills she's learned since opening her indie bookshop, places to visit in Wetumpka, and local authors. Diane Castro opened Sweet Home Books in downtown Wetumpka, Alabama, in May 2021. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and previously worked as a therapist for a non-profit organization. Diane feels blessed to be surrounded by a supportive family, including her husband Tim and their amazing kids, Tyler ( 20) and Ellie (18). Her favorite days are spent at the bookstore--sometimes working alongside Ellie, sometimes with one of her fantastic employees, and occasionally with her high-maintenance Goldendoodle named Bagel. Sweet Home BooksBel Canto, Ann PatchettBeartown, Fredrik Backman The Children on the Hill, Jennifer McMahon Other Birds, Sarah Addison Allen My Brother’s Faith, Carlton Fisher Support the show
In this episode, I'm chatting with Melodie Edwards, host of The Modern West podcast, about how locals are being outpriced in the Wyoming real estate market, the evolving identity of the American West, and fun things to do if you find yourself in Laramie, Wyoming.Melodie Edwards is the recipient of the Public Radio News Director award for her investigation of the reservation housing crisis, several regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and two Hopwood Awards for fiction and nonfiction. She hosts the Edward R. Murrow Award-winning and Peabody-nominated podcast The Modern West and co-owns Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse with her husband in Laramie, WY. Night Heron Books & CoffeehouseThe Modern West PodcastThe Lesser Known History of African-American Cowboys, The Smithsonian MagazineKiss The GroundEvan Graham Arango Talks about Regenerative Farming on The Bookshop PodcastAkorena & the League of Crows, Melodie EdwardsSupport the show
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