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Top Shelf at the Merrick Library
14 minutes | Jan 20, 2022
Episode 80! Interview with Jonathan Evison
Jonathan Evison’s latest, Small World, really swings for the fences in this sweeping Great American Novel that intricately weaves family sagas spanning centuries, generations and experience. Small World chronicles 170 years of American nation building – it’s a grand entertainment and I loved every page. Evison also took the time to talk about the libraries of his youth and the impact they had on his life. What a great interview, thank you so much Jonathan! Place your holds here for all Jonathan Evison’s books! Jonathan Evison recommends Hell of a Book by Jason Mott; Great Expectations by Charles Dickens; The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck; and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
36 minutes | Jan 14, 2022
Episode 79: Interview with Erin Bartels author of The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water
Author Erin Bartels took me to the gorgeous state of Michigan not just in her book, but via her website and her stellar conversation for this interview. The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water explores the theme of forgiving what seems unforgiveable and also addresses how our memories may not be exactly as we remember. The Library Journal says of The Girl Who Could Breathe Underwater, “Emotions leap off the page in this deeply personal book…” We explore some of those emotions in this episode as well as AquaNotes, the Bay City Rollers, where she gets her ideas from, and her next TWO books – you’re in for a treat right there! Thank you so much Erin – what a pleasure. Erin Bartels recommends, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett; All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr; Atonement by Ian McEwan; and The Mirror and the Palette by Jennifer Higgie.
26 minutes | Dec 20, 2021
Episode 78: Interview with Ethan Joella, A LITTLE HOPE
“It’s all here—community, family and friendship, how we love, grieve…a story of ordinary moments that connect and eventually transform us in extraordinary ways.” —Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Lucia, Lucia and The Shoemaker’s Wife I mean that quote right there says it all about A LITTLE HOPE by Ethan Joella. It was an absolute delight to sit down with him to talk about this remarkable gem of a book. A LITTLE HOPE gives us hope and it’s exactly what I needed as an end of year read. The book is book club gold. Ethan Joella also gives listeners some holiday cheer in this episode – to find out what those gifts are, you’ll have to listen to find out. It may involve actress Jean Smart… Thank you Ethan for joining me! Ethan Joella recommends Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson. You can follow Ethan Joella @joellawriting on Instagram and Twitter!
20 minutes | Dec 14, 2021
Episode 77: Interview with Leslie Zemeckis
‘Tis the season to haul out your favorites of 2021! I had the pleasure of hosting writer, producer, actress and director, Leslie Zemeckis to talk about her faves of the year and boy did we have a blast talking books. Her titles below as well as the books she’s looking forward to in 2022. Thanks so much Leslie, I had a ball! You can follow @LeslieZemeckis on all social media platforms. Leslie’s favorites: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker; Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson; Where the Truth Lies by Anna Bailey; Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be by Nichole Perkins; Dark Things I Adore by Kate Lattari; The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore; In Every Mirror She’s Black by Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström; Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr; Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto; In My Dreams I Hold A Knife by Ashley Winstead. Leslie looks forward to: The Paris Bookseller by Kerry Maher; The Good Wife of Bath by Karen Brooks; Beneath the Stairs by Jennifer Fawcett. Click here to request all things Leslie Zemeckis: books, movies & more!
21 minutes | Dec 3, 2021
Episode 76: Interview with Jeffery Deaver
Jeffery Deaver, the #1 international bestselling and award winning author of over 40 books, yes that Jeffery Deaver, sat down with me and man, what at a thrill! I’ve been a fan for a looong time. We talked about his latest book The Midnight Lock, writing books that make me lose sleep at night and why Jeffery Deaver is better than toothpaste. Not sure what all that means? Give a listen! The Midnight Lock is a roller-coaster read that takes place over just a few days’ time, features surprise after surprise and offers a fascinating look at the esoteric world of lockpicking. Jeffery Deaver recommends: Elsewhere by Dean Koontz Place your hold here for The Midnight Lock by Jeffery Deaver Place your holds here for our entire Jeffery Deaver collection!
30 minutes | Nov 19, 2021
Milestone! Episode 75: Interview with Kimmery Martin
What a way to kick off my 75th episode: hosting author Kimmery Martin for her latest book, Doctors and Friends, and co-hosting this special episode with my pal Cindy Burnett at Thoughts from a Page podcast! People Magazine calls Doctors and Friends a “..prescient, human and hopeful portrait of medical experts on a pandemic’s frontlines.” And I couldn’t agree more. We talked about writing the book pre-pandemic, how it changed post-pandemic, her wonderful website and so much more! Give a listen. Kimmery Martin recommends: My Year Abroad by Chang-Rae Lee. My interview with Chang-Rae Lee can be found here! Place your holds for these Kimmery Martin titles right here.
19 minutes | Nov 16, 2021
E74: Interview with Naomi Krupitsky
They say you can’t go home again but I sure did, right back to Brooklyn, NY with author Naomi Krupitsky’s debut novel The Family. Set in early 20th century Brooklyn, The Family is a captivating debut novel and coming-of-age story about the tangled fates of two best friends, Sophia and Antonia, who are both daughters of the Italian mafia. My copy of The Family is covered in sticky notes, Krupitsky’s prose is beautiful, and I can’t wait for you to read it. Thank you so much for joining me Naomi! The Family is a November 2021 Read With Jenna Pick and a NYT Bestseller! Naomi recommends: Matrix by Lauren Groff; and Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim
38 minutes | Nov 5, 2021
Episode 73: Interview with Wanda M. Morris!
This buzzy debut thriller, All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris has all the things and has made all the lists! NYT best-selling author Karin Slaughter says, “All Her Little Secrets is a brilliantly nuanced but powerhouse exploration of race, the legal system, and the crushing pressure of keeping secrets. Morris brings a vibrant and welcome new voice to the thriller space.” — Karin Slaughter In this fast-paced debut, Wanda M. Morris crafts a twisty mystery about a black lawyer who gets caught in a dangerous conspiracy after the sudden death of her boss. Perfect for fans of Attica Locke, Alyssa Cole, Harlan Coben, and Celeste Ng, with shades of How to Get Away with Murder and John Grisham’s The Firm. We talked about her incredible main character, Ellice Littlejohn, Wanda’s love for libraries, and what it was like being a Library Journal cover girl. This episode is action packed and to say I loved speaking with Wanda M. Morris is an understatement. Give a listen! Wanda M. Morris recommends: Her Name is Knight by Yasmin Angoe
25 minutes | Oct 29, 2021
Episode 72: Interview with Josh Sabarra
I had such a blast interviewing Josh Sabarra for his debut novel, Enemies Closer. Author Lauren Fox says, “Enemies Closer is a fizzy cocktail of insider Hollywood gossip, biting, laugh-out-loud humor and a supremely likable, relatable heroine. Enemies Closer is a twisty and delightful page-turner of a novel.” –Lauren Fox, bestselling author of Days of Awe, Friends Like Us and Still Life with Husband Josh and I talked Skinny Cow ice cream, decorative throw pillows (at least ten), and his fabulous protagonist, Marcee Brookes. #teammarcee Josh also revealed some of his exciting new projects and all I can say is, give a listen! Thank you so much Josh. Josh Sabarra recommends: Days of Awe by Lauren Fox; Send For Me by Lauren Fox; Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed; The Hunting Wives by May Cobb; My Summer Darlings by May Cobb (2022); Bath Haus by P. J. Vernon; Small Changes: A Rules Free Guide to Add More Plant-Based Foods, Peace and Power to Your Life by Alicia Witt Follow Josh on Twitter & Instagram at @joshsabarra and on Facebook at @JoshSabarraAuthor
16 minutes | Sep 24, 2021
Episode 71: Interview with Nathaniel Philbrick
What happened to George Washington after the Revolution? Find out in Nathaniel Philbrick’s latest bestselling book, Travels with George: In Search of George Washington and His Legacy. Among other things, we talk about George Washington’s trip through Long Island, Philbrick’s love for libraries, and his excellent traveling companions. An absolutely delightful interview… thank you Nathaniel! Award winning author Nathaniel Philbrick recommends, Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
22 minutes | Sep 24, 2019
Episode 32: Interview with Julia Armfield, author of Salt Slow
What can I say about Salt Slow by Julia Armfield? This book was the stand-out for me, or a sit-down, because once I started it, I never left my beach chair. From the very first story, Mantis, to the award winning, The Great Awake, it will be hard to put down. Publisher’s Weekly calls Salt Slow by Julia Armfield, “unsettling, uncanny and an utterly delightful debut.” All true. It’s the first time I’ve covered this genre on Top Shelf and I’m thrilled to bring this interview to you. One of the things we discussed were our favorites in the genre and Julia recommended Fen by Daisy Johnson, and titles by Sarah Hall. My go-to authors in this genre are: Clare Beams, Angela Carter, Karen Russell, and Carmen Maria Machado. We also talked Stephen King, but really, who doesn’t? I was so happy to speak with Julia Armfield about this incredible debut collection, Salt Slow. It hits shelves in the US, October 8, 2019. If you’re in the UK, it’s out already-don’t. miss. it. Very special thanks to Flatiron Books, you guy rock. #GiveAListenReadTheBook
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