No Extra Words

one person's search for story

Episode 106: Old Friends

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Old Friends

Today we’re talking about a book we once knew well.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1962.

Thank you to today’s special guest who stopped by to talk Wrinkle with me. Check out his other appearance on the show.

Happy listening,



Episode 105: How I Came to Love Historical Fiction

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Today’s books:

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. HarperCollins, 1932.

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. HarperCollins, 1935.

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. HarperCollins, 1933.

On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder. HarperCollins, 1937.

By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder. HarperCollins, 1939.

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. HarperCollins, 1940.

Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. HarperCollins, 1941.

These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder, HarperCollins, 1943.

The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder. HarperCollins, 1971.

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson. Delacorte Press, 2006.

Links to some of the things we talked about today:

The History Chicks podcast episode on Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Some basic info on the Homestead Act .

Links to the two charts about number of Homestead Final Patents: 5 year increments, 10 year increments.

Montana specific Homestead Act Info.

Roger Lea MacBride’s obituary.

Little House as a teachable moment.

Little House from the American Indians in Children’s Literature blog.

Happy listening,


Episode 104: A Tale of Two Toy Rabbits

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Today’s books are:

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco. Doubleday, 1922.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. Candlewick Press, 2006.

Happy listening,


Episode 103: Tell your Story: the Darwins, faith, and the making of storytellers

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Today’s books are:

Charles and Emma: the Darwins’ leap of faith by Deborah Heiligman. Henry Holt & Company, 2008.

Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street by Roni Schotter. Scholastic, Inc., 1997.

Some things we talked about today:

Deborah Heiligman’s interview with Brown’s alumni magazine.

Deborah Heiligman’s husband Jonathan Weiner

Roni Schotter’s website

Other sources used for this episode include:

Washington Post Article about Charles and Emma 

Interview with Deborah Heiligman 

Happy listening,



Episode 102: Wild Things and Why Scary Matters

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Today’s books are:

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. HarperCollins, 1963.

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz. Dutton Books for Young Readers, 2010.

Read this fabulous article on the career of children’s book editor Ursula Nordstrom. Her collection of letters, Dear Genius, is very high on my to-read list.

You must see Maurice Sendak on The Colbert Report. Here’s the link to Part 1. And Part 2.

Find out about Adam Gidwitz and his life goals on his website.

Last and most sadly, here’s that Pew research on Americans who don’t read books.

Please come see me on Goodreads!

Happy listening,


Episode 101: Travel Books that Slow You Down

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Today we’re talking book pairings and why this is the new format. Today’s books are:

Never in a Hurry: essays on people and places by Naomi Shihab Nye. University of South Carolina Press, 1996

When Wanderers Cease to Roam: a traveler’s journal of staying put by Vivian Swift. Bloomsbury, 2008.

Naomi reads her poem “Please Describe How you Became a Writer.”

Full transcript of Naomi’s “On Being” interview with Kristen Tippett.

Vivian’s 2013 interview

Vivian’s delightful blog

For information on all the other books we discussed today, check out Kris on Goodreads.

Happy listening,


Episode 100: All the Things!

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“An Ode to Rejection” is by Marlene Woods, copyright 2018, used with permission. Marlene originally published this poem on her website Read Marlene’s bio.

Special guest in studio today: James! The books James talked about are:

Pocketful of Nonsense by James Marshall. Little Golden Books, 1992

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis. HarperCollins, 1996

President Squid by Aaron Reynolds. Chronicle Books, 2016

My First Book of Baseball by Sports Illustrated Kids. Sports Illustrated, 2016

The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley. Scholastic Press, 2001.

Thank you so much to Adam Kluger and Francis DiClemente for sending us feedback about favorite authors. Check out Francis’s bio. Read Adam’s bio or check out his collection Desperate Times.

Special guest in studio today: Josh! The books Josh talked about are:

The House With a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs. Dial Books, 1973

A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick. Vintage Books, 1991

It by Stephen King. New English Library, 1987

Bigfoot and Joshua by Peggy and Bob Bishop. John Hinde Limited, 2008

11 Experiments that Failed by Jenny Offill. Schwartz & Wade Books, 2011.

17 Things I’m Not Allowed to do Anymore by Jenny Offill. Schwartz & Wade Books, 2004.

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss. Random House, 1938.

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. HarperCollins, 1952.

We also talked Nancy Pearl today! Hear her on our local public radio station.

See you next week for season 2!!



Season 2 Arrives February 2

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As I mentioned in the last episode, Episode 100 is going to be a celebration of books and writing and of where we at NEW have been and are going, so for all those reasons I hope you will tune in then. But as I am currently working on and planning Season 2 and am so excited about it, I wanted to come here and chat a little bit about where the podcast is headed in the next few weeks and months. I hope you’ll come along with us for the journey. The best way to do that is to subscribe to the podcast so you are always the first to get new episodes.

First, the basics. Season 2 is coming February 2. We will be closing out the flash fiction season and moving on to the book chat season. More on that in a minute, but some basic things to know:

  • You don’t have to subscribe again. The new season will be on the same feed as Season 1, so if you’re subscribed you will see it.
  • Nothing is going anywhere. All of Season 1’s episodes will stay right where they are and you can listen to them anytime.
  • Season 2’s first episode will show up as Episode 101 or Season 2, Episode 1, depending on your podcast player
  • The title for Season 2 is…Right Book, Right Time!

So why a format change? Simply put, it’s time. I don’t think anyone, least of all me, expected me to still be podcasting flash fiction two and a half years after launching in May 2015, but lo and behold here we are. And it has been a joy and delight to bring flash fiction to you. I met many of my goals for having a flash fiction podcast and also did things I had never expected to do. I absolutely loved it. But my life has changed, my interests continue to evolve, and it was time for something new. This is it!

Why this format, then? A lot of reasons. I was already visioning Season 2 when the Writers’ Almanac, one of my favorite podcasts, met its unexpected end in late 2017 (I would love to talk more about that at some point, but this is not the time,) so some of this format came from me asking myself: if I did a Writer’s Almanac type show, what would it look like? But before I tell you what the plan is, let’s go over quickly what it’s not.

  • It’s not meant to stress you out. Who doesn’t have a pile or list of books someplace they mean to read? Who needs more of that? We’re going to talk about books…if you’re inspired to read them, go for it, if not I hope you’ll still enjoy the journey.
  • It’s not an audio book blog. I’ve been told for years I should start a book blog. Never had the desire. There are some great ones out there and it’s well worth giving them a read especially if you’re looking for reviews on new and interesting stuff. That’s not what this is.
  • Related to that, it’s not a review show. If you want to send me your book, go for it, I’ll either read it or share it, but I will make no promises to review it. Nor do I expect you to send me your book. I have loved reading submissions for this show, but that era is coming to a close. That said, if you are reading something cool please tweet me or email me or somehow let me know…I always love to hear! I may share listener feedback on the show, so please send it…but I am not taking suggestions of what books to feature. Don’t worry. I have a list. It’s long. I won’t run out.

So what are we doing? Simply put, this is my journey with books. First and foremost as a reader, and second to that as all the other things I am: a librarian, a writer, a mom, an educator, and so on. Each episode (the plan is to release one per week, I would love to do more, we’ll see how it goes) will revolve around a book. I’ll tell you about it, about its author, interesting tidbits I’ve discovered about the book/author/time period, and its impact on the world and on me. If it’s in the public domain, I may even read a little to you. I’ll bring in culture, history, religion, politics, parenting, life…nothing is off limits. Books cover everything. Whether you read the book or not, the hope is you’ll enjoy the chat. And we are talking about all kinds of books: popular ones, obscure ones, classics, new stuff, kids’ books, adult books, and books with identity crises. Nothing is off the table. This is my love letter to readers, writers, and books. One book at a time.

Will we have guests? Likely. But this isn’t becoming an interview show. For a lot of reasons, a big one being my sanity. For me, scheduling, interviewing, and editing interviews is too time consuming and I’d rather bring you more content.

Will we have special episodes? Segments? Evolve as we go along? This also seems incredibly likely, based on my track record. I guess the only way to find out is…to listen!

I hope to catch up with you on your favorite podcast app February 2, 2018 for Season 2!

Happy listening,


Meet Episode 100 Contributor Marlene Woods


Marlene Woods is the author of all the content at, which is poetry dedicated to family. She also writes romantic and personal poetry at A collection of poetry called Not Love will be published this year.

Happy listening,


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