WSIRN Ep 70: The book Anne can’t shut up about

WSIRN Ep 70: The book Anne can’t shut up about

Tuesday is here, readers! It's time for a new episode of What Should I Read Next. 

It's Episode 70 (WOW) and I'm delighted to welcome Jessie Weaver on to the show! I have known Jessie from the internet for ages, but this is the first time we got to chat. Jessie is a married mother of four who loves to read, which sounds pretty normal, right? She lives in the Chattanooga area with her family... AND a gaggle of teenage boys in a private school dorm. We talk about her interesting setting, what life as a dorm parent is like, and Jessie braves the topic of lifetime favorites.  Plus, we talk about how last year Jessie got most of her book recommendations from the internet. She knows she isn’t the only one, so we talk through what that meant for her own reading life, and what it meant for her fellow readers everywhere.

About that title: I didn't realize until I listened through the final cut of today's episode that I inadvertently recommended (okay, gushed about) the same book in three of the last five episodes. Do you know which one it is? I hope so!

Connect with Jessie all across the world wide web: 

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads 

Books mentioned in this episode:

Some links are affiliate links, which means at no extra cost to you, you support what we do here on What Should I Read Next. More details here.

• Pete the Cat: The Wheels on the Bus, by James Dean
• 11/22/63, by Stephen King
• Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande
• The Flavia de Luce series, by Alan Bradley
• Echoes, by Maeve Binchey
• Saint Maybe, by Anne Tyler
• A Prayer for Owen Meaney, by John Irving
• Evening Class, by Maeve Binchey
• Circle of Friends, by Maeve Binchey
• Tara Road, by Maeve Binchey
• The World According to Garp, by John Irving
• Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray
• Giddy Up Eunice, by Sophie Hudson
• The Wonder, by Emma Donaghue
• Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
• Light a Penny Candle, by Maeve Binchey
• Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly, Safe Faith Is No Longer Enough, by Kristen Welch
• My Name is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout
• Anything is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout
• 44 Scotland Street series, by Alexander McCall Smith
• The Unbearable Lightness of Scones, by Alexander McCall Smith
• Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, by Fannie Flagg
• The Whole Town's Talking, by Fannie Flagg
• Author P.G. Wodehouse

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  1. Britany Arnold says:

    Hi Jessie,

    For Non-Fiction that reads just as good (IMO) as Fiction- I would recommend anything by Laura Hillenbrand- Unbroken or Seabiscuit. Have you read either of these yet? From a memoir standpoint, I actually really enjoyed listening to Leah Remini’s book about Scientology- absolutely fascinating and her voice makes me feel like she was telling me her story right across from me.

  2. Elaine Clements says:

    I had several ideas: Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry, Hannah Coulter also by Wendell Berry, and Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. The last three have small town settings, the Berry books are Southern, and each are narrated by wonderful, interesting characters with spiritual themes. Also Gillead by Marilynn Robinson.

    • I have read Poisonwood Bible and Jayber Crow! But not Ordinary Grace, so I will check that one out. And YES. One of these days I am actually going to read Gilead. I don’t know why I haven’t yet.

    • Andrea says:

      I second Wendell Berry! Yes, deep character studies of very real, familiar people living ordinary life, beautifully done.

  3. Andrea Sellar says:

    Hi Jessie
    I heard the podcast and the book that came to mind right away was “Mitten Strings For God” by Katrina Kenison. It’s non-fiction, written by a mother of young children and details aspects of their family life and how Katrina seeks to slow down their modern day lives and appreciate the beauty in the every day. Although my children are older now I absolutely loved it when they were young and helped me to remember that “the days are long but the years are short!”

  4. Carolyln McCready says:

    HI Jessie – Your favorites are all my favorites! I love Owen Meany, Saint Maybe and all of Maeve Binchy! It’s something about the strong characters with the melancholy and bittersweet edge, I think… I was going to recommend Kent Haruf, Jon Hassler, Cold Sassy Tree, all of Ann Patchett’s, Crossing to Safety (Wallace Stegner) and all of Elizabeth Berg’s – but I think most of those have been recommended already.
    Have you read the memoir A Girl Named Zippy. Funny and enjoyable non-fiction. 🙂
    Thanks for being on the show!

  5. Sarah K says:

    Jessie, when I heard Anne mention Alexander McCall Smith to you, I thought “Yes! Jessie is going to love those!” But I was thinking of another series of his, the Isabel Dalhousie mysteries (sometimes called the Sunday Philosophy Club series). I like his Ladies Detective series and the 44 Scotland Series (how is the man so prolific?!) but I ADORE Isabel Dalhousie. They are mysteries in the gentlest sense–Isabel is moral philosopher who edits a journal of applied ethics and spends her days living in a tight-knit Edinburgh community where she is applied to by friends to solve small (non-gory, non-creepy) mysteries in their everyday lives. But the best part of the books, in my opinion, is her literate, warm, relatable interior dialogue with herself and the relationships she has with the people in her life. I have laughed and cried and been deeply touched, more and more so as they books have gone on. About book 3 or so, I thought they might be going off the rails, but I was so wrong. They are gems and I think you would love them!

    I also second Middlemarch and Kristin Lavransdatter–two of my all-time favorites and books you are sad to see end!

    Thanks for being on the show! Also, as a fellow English major and former teacher, I am totally jealous of the by-letter book club with your English professor best friend. 😉

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