Sarah — who just had her baby!! — and I are delighted to welcome Anne Bogel as our special guest to the Best of Both Worlds podcast this week. Anne is the blogger behind the genius blog Modern Mrs. Darcy, which is where I get approximately 99 percent of my book recommendations. Well, that and her podcast, What Should I Read Next?, which answers that pressing question of, of course, what we should read next.
Anyway, in this episode, we discuss several topics:
Making time to read. Big shout out (again!) to the Kindle app, for turning those mindless 5 minutes of scrolling time into actual reading time. Anne and I have a funny exchange where she says you probably won’t read War and Peace in those bits of time, and I note how short the chapters are in War and Peace. You really could read Tolstoy while waiting for your conference call to start!
A book to read if you haven’t read in a while. Something short and easy but feels like you’ve still read something. Anne recommends Heating and Cooling by Beth Ann Fennelly, which is a book of micro-memoirs that really get at the human condition. Got 2-10 minutes? You can read a chapter.
What makes a good book club book. There may not be as big an overlap between books you love reading and books you love discussing as you might think! A book everyone loved makes for a short conversation. Which is fine if you just want to skip to the wine and gossip portion of the evening, but if you want to chat about the book, go for surprise endings, difficult but relatable situations, or characters people have very strong and disparate feelings about.
Anne’s recommendations for Sarah’s maternity leave. What are some good books to tackle while parked on the couch nursing? She has a lot of good recommendations here (based on Sarah’s reading tastes).
What Anne learned about the publishing process from writing her own book, Reading People. People who review books get sent a lot of books from publishers. And even if you have no interest in the book, if you’re an author, you know how much work went into it. It’s hard to throw them out!
Anyway, it was a great conversation (and any WSIRN fans out there know Anne has a fabulous radio voice). Please check it out, and share with any fans of reading in your life.
And since this is a discussion thread, how about this: what recommendations do you have for Sarah to read while on maternity leave? She loved the Crazy Rich Asians series, likes Liane Moriarity, her most re-read book is Norwegian Wood, and she recently read and enjoyed Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety. What should she read next?