WSIRN Ep 108:What Should I Read Next LIVE from Asheville

Happy Tuesday, readers! Today, we’re doing something a little different, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!I recently took a little trip over to Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café in Asheville, North Carolina, and I brought my microphone with me for an evening of LIVE literary matchmaking for the crowd who came to celebrate the release of my new book, Reading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything. You won’t hear my Q&A or discussion about my book—some moments were special just for the attendees of the event—but I hope all the book recommendations that came after, and that we share today on the podcast, make up for that.


Helping me with the daunting task of recommending books on the fly was Melanie McNair, the Director of Marketing and Events and Assistant Manager of Malaprop’s. As readers arrived, we handed them a little slip of paper asking them to share —you guessed it— 3 books they love, 1 book they don’t, and what they’re reading now, and Melanie and I made as many recommendations to as many readers as we could. 

I hope you enjoy vicariously experiencing this live event in today’s episode! 

I’ll be traveling more next year, especially in the fall because my next book, an essay collection on the reading life, comes out September 4. We’re planning far ahead for travel this time; if there’s anyplace you’d especially like me to visit leave a comment below or email my producer Brenna at [email protected].

What Should I Read Next #108: LIVE from Asheville

Connect with Malaprop’s Bookstore: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Books mentioned in this episode:

Malaprop’s always has a nice selection of autographed copies available. Check out their current selection here.

Sing Unburied Sing, by Jesmyn Ward ( IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng (IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng (IndieBound | Barnes and Noble |  Amazon)
You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero (IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
You Are A Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth, by Jen Sincero ( IndieBound | Barnes and Noble |Amazon)
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, by Cherise Wolas ( IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
The End We Start From, by Megan Hunter ( IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble |Amazon)
• No One is Coming to Save Us, by Stephanie Watts, (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
A Midwive’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812, edited by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery, by Scott Kelly (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
She’s Come Undone, by Wally Lamb (IndieBound | Barnes and Noble |Amazon)
I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon )
These Is My Words, by Nancy Turner (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II, by Denise Kiernan (Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound)
The Last Castle, by Denise Kiernan (Signed copy from Malaprop’sIndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon )
Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II, by Liza Mundy (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon )
As Bright as Heaven, by Susan Meissner, (IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden, by Jonas Jonasson (IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Amazon )
I’ll Have What She’s Having: How Nora Ephron’s Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy, by (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
• The Inspector Gamache series, by Louise Penny (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
The Wonder, by Emma Donaghue (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
Room, by Emma Donaghue (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
Stella by Starlight, by Sharon M. Draper (IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Amazon )
Silence, by Shusaku Endo (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
A Share in Death, by Deborah Crombie (IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman (IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
September, by Rosamund Pilcher (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
In This House of Brede, by Rumer Godden (IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, by Azar Nafisi (IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
The Almost Sisters, by Joshilyn Jackson (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, by Hannah Tinti (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
The Women in the Castle, by Jessica Shattuck (IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
Himself, by Jess Kidd (IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
Before I Go To Sleep, by S.J. Watson (IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl (IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
My Absolute Darling, by Gabriel Tallent (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
See What I Have Done, by Sarah Schmidt (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
The Deal of a Lifetime, by Fredrik Backman (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
The Bastards of Istanbul, by Elif Shafak (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
The Magician’s Apprentice, by Kate Banks (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
The Essex Serpent, by Sarah Perry (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)
The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton (IndieBound  | Barnes and Noble | Amazon)

Where should I take WSIRN next? Let us know in the comments!


Leave A Comment
  1. Stephanie Abney says:

    So sad to see that somebody HATED She’s Come Undone!! For years, this has been a favorite and I couldn’t even tell you why- it’s been that long since I’ve read it. I remember feeling like I’d been punched in the gut, but in a good way? A big, emotional wallop. The same feeling as when I read White Oleander, or more recently, Me Before You. I’m a sucker for emotion and grit. Hope you stuck with it and were able to appreciate it!
    Fun episode. Thank you!

  2. BarbaraV says:

    Come to Kansas City! It’s just a little farther than St. Louis. Since discovery your blog, website, etc., I have really caught the reading bug. I have discovered so many good books.

  3. Melanie says:

    Anne or one of the audience members mentioned using Crossing to Safety as a starting point to friendship, and I feel the same way. I know that someone is a kindred spirit when they rhapsodize about Crossing to Safety like I do.

    Anne please come out to The King’s English bookstore in Salt Lake City. It’s a wonderful little independent bookstore. When I was there about a week ago I was browsing the staff picks shelf and every single shelf contained at least one book that I’ve read and loved.

    • Laura says:

      I love that bookstore! And I’d agree that they really curate the books beautifully- so many great ones. I’d love to go back there again.

  4. Caroline Gillentine says:

    PLEASE come farther south this fall! I live in Starkville, MS, but the closest hot item local bookstore is in Oxford, MS- Square Books! It’s a great local scene and I’m willing to bet you would have a great turnout of southern readers if you were able to swing this way! Our accents would make for an entertaining podcast, too! Ha! 🙂

  5. Emma says:

    I know it’s a long shot… But would you consider coming to Toronto? Or maybe somewhere close to the border, like Buffalo?

  6. Elyssa Gould says:

    Come to Knoxville, TN! Our local bookstore is Union Ave Books. They often team up with the public library on events. You can also explore the HUGE and awesome McKay Used Books on your visit 🙂

  7. Elisha says:

    I haved loved the blog for years and gotten so many good book suggestions as a result. I’m a new podcast listener but would love for you to come here to Philadelphia when you are on your book tour.

  8. Leslie says:

    We just moved up to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, which is right outside of Spokane, WA. There is the most wonderful independent bookstore here, called the Well-Read Moose! Super active in the book club circuit, with a coffee bar inside. It’s wonderful and we’d love to have you here! Beautiful scenery to boot 🙂

    • Amber says:

      I am so glad to hear about this bookstore! We moved from Seattle after 20 years and are in South Carolina now but will be back to visit and will have to head over that direction to check out this store!

  9. Hillary says:

    Please come visit your friends in Boston, MA! Brookline Booksmith is the way to go. They host some wonderful authors including my very favorite, Jodi Picoult!

  10. Tara says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this episode, Anne! I felt like I was in the audience, participating, and wished I could be there! Thanks for adding all of the books to this post; I found some really great suggestions for friends (and myself).

  11. Katy says:

    It’s small, but Klindt’s Bookstore in The Dalles, OR is the oldest bookstore in the state, and it’s such a fun place! If that doesn’t work out, somewhere in Portland, OR.

  12. Molly Crump says:

    Please come to Ann Arbor, MI 🙂 (or at least Detroit area!) Ann Arbor has a great local book shop called Literati, which also has a fantastic coffee shop above it where they host author book signings and other events. It’d be the perfect space for a live event up north!

  13. Anne,
    I think you should totally come to my independant bookstore, Towne Center Books, in Pleasanton, CA. It’s on Main Street, in the quaint downtown area of our city and always carries great books! They host a ton of great author events (including Rhys Bowen, John Green and many others). I think you’d love it here!

  14. Chattanooga, obviously, but I’d settle for Knoxville. ?

    Something Melanie said about a book that is well-written but also makes you want to throw it in the trash is how I felt about The Light Between Oceans, which I just finished. DID YOU WRITE THIS JUST TO DESTROY PEOPLE AND MAKE THEM SOB???

  15. Britany Arnold says:

    Anne ,

    I really loved this episode of WSIRN. I felt like I was there in person and it was so fun to hear that many mini versions of the show. I hope for more of these in the future. The only downside is I was frantically trying to add so many more books to my never-ending TBR. 🙂

    Keep em coming!

  16. What a fun episode! I loved hearing all the audience members share their favorite and not so favorite books. It’s been a few days since I listened to this episode, but there was one woman, it may have been Jill, who’s list and preferences made me wonder if she had read, POPE JOAN, by Donna Woolfolk Cross. It’s a wonderful book about a woman who became pope in the 800s. Whether or not she really existed to become the ruler of the church is still a controversial subject. However, the book is a fantastic read, and an affirmation that women have found ways to live the way they wanted, even if we will never know about their contributions. This is one of the very few books I’ve read more than once.

    • Amber says:

      I don’t know if you were referring to me (I was the first audience member to be given recommendations by Anne) but I HAVE read this book and DID LOVE IT!! So you are spot on and if you have any more recommendations like this, please share!! Thank you!

      • Oh, Amber, great! I do have one more, or rather three, suggestions for you. It’s a series by Kathleen McGowan beginning with THE EXPECTED ONE. This first one has two timelines, one in the present with Maureen Pascal, the other about Mary Magdalene. Maureen Pascal is in all three books, the second is THE BOOK OF LOVE about Countess Matilda of Tuscany and the third, THE POET PRINCE is about Lorenzo de’ Medici and the Medici family. Each of the books and the characters in the past are related to one another. This is another series I plan to reread. I hope you enjoy them.

  17. Amber says:

    These sound wonderful, thanks for sharing, I will check those out for sure! Have you read any Irving Stone? He is another favorite author, (it was just too hard to pick 3 🙂 Anyway, it sounds to me like you might enjoy his books, I have not read all but so far my favorite is LUST FOR LIFE about Van Gogh.
    Thanks again!

  18. Emily Winn says:

    Minneapolis or st. Paul!! Even if you were as close as Kansas City or Chicago, I would drive! And those are both 6 hours away!

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