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Episode 120: Reading Goals

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Today’s Book Recommendation You Didn’t Ask For is

Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle


Other books discussed today:

Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Soul of Baseball: a road trip through Buck O’Neil’s America by Joe Posanski

Called to Create by Jordan Raynor


My #theunreadshelfproject2019 picks (that I know about now):

February: Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen

March On Writing: a memoir of the craft by Stephen King

April What is Poetry? the essential guide to reading and writing poems by Michael Rosen

May The Enchanted Places by Christopher Milne

June Imagined London by Anna Quindlen

July something from the Virago/Beacon Travelers series

October You Can’t Win by Jack Black


Find #theundreadshelfproject2019 at

Happy listening,



Episode 119: Bring on Season 3!

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Introducing a new style for a new season! Thoughts on nErDcamp Bellingham 2019 and today’s Book Recommendation You Didn’t Ask For: Goin’ Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack.

Special Episode #24: 24 Books of Advent Part 4

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Join the conversation on Instagram and Goodreads!

Today’s books on the Advent theme of “Love” are:

Christmas in America by Nancy S. Grant. Crescent Books, 1991.

The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: a Christmas Story by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Lisa Brown. McSweeney’s Books, 2007.

Mince Pie and Mistletoe by Phyllis McKinley, illustrated by Harold Berson. J.B. Lippincott Company, 1959.

Come Let Us Adore Him by Robert J. Morgan. Thomas Nelson, 2005.

The Biggest, Most Beautiful Christmas Tree by Amye Rosenberg. Western Publishing Company, Inc., 1985.

The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas: an Austin family story by Madeline L’Engle, illustrated by Joe DeVelasco. Harold Shaw Publishers, 1984.

Happy holidays,


Special Episode #23: 24 Books of Advent Part 3

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Join the book conversation over on Instagram and Goodreads!

Today’s books on the Advent theme “Joy” are: 

It’s Christmas, David! by David Shannon. The Blue Sky Press, 2010.

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad by Mercer Mayer. Western Publishing Company, Inc., 1993.

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Janet Samuel. WorthyKids/Ideals, 2011.

The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell, illustrated by Sergio Leone. Watertower Books, 1962.

A Child is Born by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Jump at the Sun Hyperion Books for Children, 2003.

Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear! by Don and Audrey Wood. The Blue Sky Press, 2003.

Happy listening,


Special Episode #22: 24 Books of Advent Part 2

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The conversation continues on Goodreads and Instagram!

Today’s books on the Christmas theme of peace are:

Santa Clauses: short poems from the North Pole by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Chuck Groenink. Carolrhoda Books, 2014.

Winter Lights: a season in poems and quilts by Anna Grossnickle Hines. Greenwillow Books, 2005.

Amazing Peace: a Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou. Random House, 2005.

A Different Kind of Christmas by Alex Haley. Doubleday, 1988.

The Christmas Day Kitten by James Herriot, illustrated by Ruth Brown. St. Martins Press, 1986.

Refuge by Anne Booth, illustrated by Sam Usher. Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2015.

Happy listening,


Special Episode #21: 24 Books of Advent Part 1

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Today’s books:

The Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R. Tolkien. George Allen & Unwin, 1976.

Santa’s Crash-Bang Christmas by Steven Kroll, illustrated by Tomie DePaola. Xerox Education Publications, 1977.

Frosty the Snow Man retold by Annie North Bedford, illustrated by Corinne Malvern. Western Publishing, Inc., 1977 (28th Printing.)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Barbara Shook Hazen, illustrated by Richard Scarry. Western Publishing, Inc., 1976.

Santa’s Toy Shop, adapted by Al Dempster, illustrations by the Walt Disney Studio. Western Publishing, Inc., 1980 (22nd Printing.)

The Polar Express, written and illustrated by Chris van Allsburg. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1985.

Other Notes:

Hay-on-Wye, Wales’s City of Books

Happy listening,


NaPodPoMo and Why Do Scary Things?

Did you know that November was NaPodPoMo?

NaPodPoMo, for the uninitiated, is National Podcast Post Month. The challenge, which is in its 12th year, is for podcasters and would-be-podcasters to post one new podcast episode each day in November. That’s 30 podcast episodes in 30 days.

That’s no mean feat, since in my women’s podcasting facebook group a recent thread discussing time spent podcasting indicates most podcasters are spending 8+ hours per episode producing our podcasts, by the time you add up the recording, the editing, the posting, the promoting, the scheduling and all that jazz. And most of us have jobs and families and lives beyond podcasting as well. So it’s pretty impressive to think of taking a task like that on.

Google “November 30 day challenges” and you’ll find quite the list. It seems like every endeavor under the sun from exercising to meditating to walking to watching horror films has a 30 day challenge for November. The granddaddy of them all is, of course, NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, which goes back to 1999 (that means it’s in its 20th year, people!) NaNoWriMo invites participants to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. As a past participant, I can tell you it’s quite the ride.

So what’s the draw of a 30 day challenge? Diving in and creating a lot of content in quick succession is a great way to jump start the creative process. If you have to churn out 1600+ words or a new podcast episode every day, you don’t have time to get stuck overthinking and if one day is a rough day you don’t have time to fixate on that because you get to do it again tomorrow. That’s terrifying…but liberating.

In my experience, the hardest part of any endeavor is starting it. Sustaining it is not easy, either, ask my NaNoWriMo draft from last year, but that is a priorities issue. Starting something in the first place is a confidence issue, which is what these challenges are designed to get around. It’s the creative equivalent of throwing you in the deep end and hoping you have a swimming instinct. Except if you fail you still have…something. Which is more that what you had before.

I’m in need of some confidence building at the moment as I look at some big goals for early 2019, including launching a new interview-style podcast (in addition to, not as a replacement of, NEW,) launching a new business and launching a new website. That’s a lot and the biggest thing keeping me from tacking any of it right now is, well, it’s scary. It’s hard to try new things. It’s hard to put yourself out there. There’s a reason it’s called a leap of faith.

So for November, I am attempting NaPodPoMo. An abridged version, as I do have a 12-week-old and I am not an insane person. I can’t physically put out 30 podcast episodes in November. Remember that 8 hour plus per episode thing? I simply do not have the bandwidth. But I can record them, which is what I am doing, and then release them in early 2019 to take a little of the pressure off while I try to do…all the things.

Watch this space. I’ll keep you updated on how it’s going, if I can find the time. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to try something scary this November. The jump is the hard part, the falling is exhilarating.

Be well,

Episode 118: The BSC is You and Me

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Today’s books are:

The Baby-Sitters Club (series) by Ann M. Martin. Scholastic, 1986-2000

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2003.

Other books mentioned on today’s episode:

Harry: a history by Melissa Anelli. Penguin Group, 2008.

Dear Genius: the letters of Ursula Nordstrom, edited by Leonard S. Marcus. HarperCollins, 2000. (my apologies for my mistake in the episode. Ursula Nordstrom was with Harper & Row, not Random House.)

I’ll Get There. It Better be Worth the Trip by John Donovan. Harper & Row, 1969.

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden. Farrar Straus Giroux, 1982.

Geography Club by Brent Hartinger. HarperCollins, 2003.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. Dutton Books, 2010.

Other Things Discussed Today:

Scholastic Book Orders

The Baby-Sitters Club Movie

Ann M. Martin

“The Gay YA” book recommendations website

Banned Books Week

Baby-Sitters Graphic Novels

Raina Telgemeier

The Bechdel Test

The Baby-Sitters Club Club Podcast

Please Find Me on Social Media!





Happy listening,



Episode 117: Anne of Green Gables Part 5: War, Women, and Historical Perspective

Click on the picture to play the full episode

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Today’s books are:

Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery. McClelland and Stewart, 1921.

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. Random House, 2016.

Other things discussed today:

Hardcore History podcast

The War Poets at Westminster Abbey

John McRae

The text of “The Piper” from The Blythes are Quoted

Happy listening,



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