WSIRN Ep 143: The quest for the perfect coffeeshop read

WSIRN Ep 143: The quest for the perfect coffeeshop read
Happy Tuesday, readers!If both Netflix and the bookshelf hold equal value in your heart, you’ll totally relate to today’s guest. Patience Randle (who you may know by her Instagram handle @inkandfable) loves a book with cinematic appeal, especially if it comes with a comfy chair and a great cup of coffee.


Today we’re chatting about books that would make great screenplays, Patience’s favorite Kansas spots to enjoy a book and a brew, future novel-writing dreams, what would happen if the apocalypse came to our hometowns, and so much more!

(Hot tip – if you want to hear more about where Patience recommends getting a good drink to go with your next read, check out her blog post 5 Favorite Coffee Shops to Read From. And let me know in the comments where the perfect reading spots in YOUR city are.) 

What Should I Read Next #143: The quest for the perfect coffeeshop read with Patience Randle

Check out Patience Randle’s blog, and make sure to follow her gorgeous bookish Instagram!


Books mentioned in this episode:
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If you’d like to support your local indie, check out And by all means, go grab one of these from your local library!

• The Secret History, by Donna Tartt (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
No Country For Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
• Vox, by Christina Dalcher (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
• The Beloveds, by Maureen Lindley (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
• Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
• Good Morning Midnight, by Lily Brooks-Dalton (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
• The History of Bees, by Maja Lunde (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
• The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
• Arcadia, by Lauren Groff (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)

Also mentioned:
Our Daily Nada, Patience’s favorite boozy bookstore in Kansas City.
• The Mr. Boddington’s Penguin classics


What do YOU think Patience should read next? Let us know in the comments!

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41 comments | Comment


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  1. Stacey says:

    Loved this episode – all of the books Patience chose as her favorites are favorites of mine too. I totally agree with Anne’s recommendation of NK Jemisin. We just read The History of Bees for my book group, and I expected to love it based on book jacket marketing (!) but it didn’t completely work for me. I have two recommendations: A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers and, on the off chance you haven’t read it, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

  2. Dee says:

    I can’t say it’s “perfect.” I’m still searching for the “perfect” coffee shop in New Orleans, but one of my favorites is the Bean Gallery. Bonus: There’s a quirky little book shop right next door called Tubby and Coo’s:

    And by perfect I mean I want ample seating of all kinds. Most coffee shops seem to have more of one kind of seating or another. I sometimes work in coffee shops and want the space you get from a booth or a large table, but I still crave the ambiance of a cozy shop. The Bean Gallery is high on the cozy ambiance, but not great on good tables for working.

  3. YAY! Patience is one of my favorite Bookstagrammers and fellow KC-ers. So excited to see her on my favorite podcast. Thanks!

    P.S. Kansas City is in Missouri…at least this one is. Kansas City, Kansas, is a totally different city. Everyone messes that up. 🙂

  4. Marion says:

    Just listened to this episode. I enjoyed the conversation between Anne and Patience. I have 2 recommendations for Patience. Since she likes Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic Fiction, I will recommend the Parable Series by Octavia Butler: Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. Both books are powerful, tough, and excellent characterization. I could see both books as movies. Worth checking out. Here are my reviews for each book:

  5. Michelle Wilson says:

    I can’t believe it but I think that Anne may have me convinced to try science fiction/fantasy. So many of my reader friends love it! After hearing Annetalk about NK Jemisin, I think I’m there.

    P.S. I’ll be going to Book Bar tonight in Denver for an IRL book group. It is a tremendous place-nerd Cheers!

  6. Libby says:

    I love your taste Patience, which is another way to say we have similar taste! This episode reminded me of several other books I’ve enjoyed recently, or not so recently.
    Red Clocks by Leni Zumas. This book pops up on all the lists for people who like Handmaid’s Tale, and I really loved it. The writing is beautiful, it’s set in the PNW and could totally be a movie based on premise, landscape descriptions, and the interesting cast of characters. My personal opinion was that it has significantly better writing, plotting, premise, and characters than The Power by Naomi Alderman, which inexplicably won the Bailey’s Prize this year.
    The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. It’s near-future dystopia set in the Western USA where we’ve run out of water, Texas is a dustbowl, and the states are constantly competing with each other for access to the dwindling rivers. A really interesting premise, with interesting characters to flesh it out. It is fairly dark and there’s graphic violence in it though, so if those upset you definitely don’t pick this one up.
    Voyage of the Narwhale by Andrea Barrett. We read this for my book club, and I should probably caveat this by mentioning that I was one of the few who enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s about a failed expedition to explore/exploit the Arctic in the late 1800s when that was all the rage, and the author’s descriptions of the Arctic truly make you feel like you’re right there. I live in Florida and kept grabbing a blanket, my body was so convinced I was there. This defines cinematic writing to me.
    But before anything, The Fifth Season. I’ve recommended it to at least 5 people and not a single one has not loved it.

  7. Adrienne says:

    Couple of options:

    Just finished Code Name Verity. Historical fiction about two friends, set during World War II in Britain and occupied France (which is pretty dang dystopian). It’s technically YA. It’s soooo good.

    Octavia Butler’s Kindred is amazing. All Octavia Butler is amazing, but this one is standalone and brutal. A modern black woman gets pulled into the past of her slave-owner ancestor.

    If you are willing to go hard science fiction about the end of the world and after? Seveneves, by Neil Stephenson. A tiny singularity breaks the moon into pieces, which will eventually break into small enough pieces that it will set the atmosphere on fire. All of it. How does the world survive? This is actiony and hard science and multiple perspectives. Sooo cool.

  8. Emily says:

    Patience should definitely try If We Were Villains by ML Rio! It’s been compared to The Secret History a lot and Emily St. John Mandel blurbed it!

  9. Aimee says:

    I would like to share the book The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline. It fits that post-apocalyptic/ dystopian world. It is beautifully written story of a group of Indigenous people. The story would make a fantastic movie. Fits everything that Patience is looking for.

  10. Amanda says:

    I just finished the final book in the The Broken Earth trilogy (The Fifth Season is the first) and I was totally blown away by this series. The writing is outstanding and the story structure is unique and smart. I was thrilled to hear Anne recommend it! I think The Fifth Season is the best of the three, but highly recommend this series and can’t wait to read more by Jemisin. She is my favorite contemporary writer!

  11. It’s been 6 years now since I read it, but I can strongly recommend _Rise_ by Gareth Wood. I think it was originally released free on his website and fans insisted he publish a Kindle version to make it easy to get and read.

    • Jeff Culverhouse says:

      Oh, just a few more.. I seem to remember _Wick_ by Michael Bunker and _Wool_ by Hugh Howdy both being good. In both cases, get the “omnibus” collection of multiple books. Also _The Pines_ series by Blake Crouch was really good, better than the tv show, as usual 🙂

  12. Patience and Anne, I loved this episode mostly because I love the movie/book connection too. However, I like to do it the other way around. I like to watch movies, Masterpiece Theatre, and TV and then go read the books. In fact, watching Pride and Prejudice on Masterpiece in 1996 is what got me interested in reading Jane Austen. I bought Pride and Prejudice in an airport so I could read it while we were on our trip around the world, shortly after the show aired. Movies and TV are one of my favorite ways to discover books to read. I’m like you Anne, sometimes I have a hard time seeing what the author is describing, but if I see the movie first I have those images in my head to enhance my reading.

    Patience, I don’t know if you will like this historical novel, but it’s one of my favorites and I recommend it often. It’s Pope Joan, by Donna Woolfolk Cross. It’s based on a legend of a woman who disguised herself as a man, takes the place of her brother, who has been killed, and enters a Benedictine Monastery so she can get an education. Eventually, she becomes Pope. Since it takes place in the early Middle Ages, there might be enough of a dystopian element for your tastes.

  13. April says:

    Loved this episode! I’m with Patience and love “gentle” dystopian novels and novels in desperate, isolated locations. I loved Station Eleven also! A few books I would recommend would of course be the Hunger Games; I really enjoyed both the books and movies which is rare. Ready Player One is awesome! The audiobook is narrated by Will Wheaton (swoon). The movie however is TERRIBLE – stay clear of that train wreck! I am no gamer but was totally engrossed. For a classic book, I’d recommend Robinson Crusoe. It’s remote…an island, and I enjoyed his resourcefulness. It was however interesting and sometimes unsettling to view his values and stereotypes of other cultures so that was a history lesson in and of itself. The Martian by Andy Weir is so excellent (movie too – hello Matt Damon). Going towards the non-fiction genre but somewhat towards desolate places I’d recommend two great adventure stories: Wild by Cheryl Strayed (also a good movie with Reese Witherspoon) and The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck. I listened to Rinker Buck go on a modern day Oregon Trail adventure while refinishing my deck. Lastly, I just used my Audible credit to purchase A Handmaid’s Tale due to your glowing recommendation. Happy reading!

  14. Sue says:

    Great episode! I have a suggestion for Patience that seems to fit her love of “gentle apocalypse” narratives. Michel Faber’s “The Book of Strange New Things” is beautifully written – I highly recommend it.

  15. Kate says:

    The first book that immediately came to mind early in the discussion was Colson Whitehead’s Zone One, a literary, dryly humorous take on the zombie apocalypse. Maybe also The Stand by Stephen King? I feel like I should read that again.

    I’ve been nervous to try The Handmaid’s Take but you may have convinced me!

  16. Lezel says:

    Patience mentioned historical fiction there in end – I have loved the Shardlake series by CJ Sansom, set in King Henry III’s 1500’s. The crazy history of this king and his 5 wives is playing in thr background, but the plot centres around a hunchback man who is a lawyer and is called on to solve many mysteries. Excellent character development and description of life in those turbulent times. A new one coming in October – can’t wait! Definitely read them in order. Also the Giordano Bruno series by SJ Parris.

  17. Ginny says:

    I can relate to the struggle btwn a couch sit with Netflix versus a couch sit with a book, but actually ultimately feel it’s easier to go with the book! Whenever I open Netflix,
    I spend 20 minutes scrolling, selecting, changing my mind, and ultimately watching an old episode of PARKS AND REC for the fifteenth time! Whereas: oh look! There’s my book, and all I have to do is locate my bookmark.

    Thanks for another fun episode! I’m finally convinced to read THE HANDMAID’S TALE.

  18. Marley says:

    Patience, have you read Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl? It reminds me so much of A Secret History…I think you would love it!

  19. Terry Stevenson says:

    Oh Anne, I just had the most wonderful MMD experience! Today on our local NPR station I heard a broadcast about the new book “Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man” by Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic. The story mentioned that the authors were in town for a book-signing at Star Line books, a local indie store in Chattanooga. I’m not sure I would have considered attending such an event if I had not heard you talk about indie bookstores and the services they provide to readers.
    I attended the book-signing tonight and it was amazing. This book is a work of investigative journalism about a U.S. battleship that was hit by a Japanese torpedo near the end of WWII. Many of the sailors were killed in the explosion and the rest were dumped in the middle of sea, surrounded by sharks, and stranded without food and water for more than a week. Of the more than 3,000 men on board only about 300 survived.
    The amazing part of the evening was that the room was full of family members of the victims and survivors that were local residents. They shared amazing stories about the real-life men in the book and were so grateful to the authors for shining a light on this often overlooked and misunderstood piece of history.
    I told the owners of the bookstore about you! They are searching for ways to increase their impact on readers the city. I’m hoping you will be able to visit our beautiful Chattanooga and to make a stop at Star Line books!

    • Anne says:

      Terry, that sounds like an amazing evening! I’m so glad you decided to attend, and that it surpassed your expectations. Thank you for letting me know!

      I’ve heard wonderful things about Star Line Books and hope to visit in person, sooner rather than later.

  20. Sarah says:

    You probably all know about this already but since you were talking about books you wish you had gotten that are no longer available, I just thought I would put in a plug for I buy all kinds of things there!!! It’s really a database of online used (and new) bookstores all over the world and you can find almost anything. I actually prefer buying used books – when they come in the mail, it feels like I am getting some unexpected treat and more than once, the book has come with some kind of interesting leftover from the previous owner (e.g., like a pay stub from 1967!) and I have also discovered some really fun bookstores this way. If it is just a paperback you want, the prices are often really good and I have found some steals on books that are out of print and/or really lovely!

  21. Christina Tisdale says:

    I was so happy to hear from another lover of dystopian/ apocalyptic reads. I would like to recommend Bird Box by Josh Malerman. This was a page turner for me and I find myself thinking about it all the time. There are points of graphic violence and just down right scary scenes, but it’s the main character’s journey to strength and will to survive that drives the story. It also plays heavily on the idea that we fear what we can’t see so much more than what we can. Happy Reading!

  22. Michelle says:

    Loved this episode and the book recommendations. Although not dystopian, I want to recommend The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. In the near future (2019!) Earth discovers another inhabited planet. A small group of friends including a very charismatic Jesuit priest journeys to learn about this new world and its people. I read this a decade ago, and still feel that it is undervalued. It is dystopian-esque with its small band of characters who are isolated and facing major trials in their journey. It has a very cinematic feel – lots of action – the new world would make a lovely set piece. But the internal changes in the characters is the real draw. Love.

  23. Katie says:

    I highly recommend Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge.

    I loved Patience’s top 3 books and I loved this one just as much for the same reasons. It’s got beautiful prose, well developed characters and not quite dystopian but they are stranded on a desert island so it has that whole alone-in-the-world vibe.

  24. Molly Grimmius says:

    Patience you have got to try the Unwind series by Neal Shusterman. It is ya lit but I think every person should read it. Set over a premise of a future after a civil war over prolife… the peace agreem by is an interesting that doesn’t touch humans until they are teenagers when adults can then decid to unwind them basically use there parts for other people. It touches on such relevant conversations in such an interesting way!

    • Libby says:

      Have you read the Scythe series by the same author yet? Not yet completed, last book comes out next year. It’s excellent, even better than Unwind IMHO! Fewer characters, so you get more time for character development I think. Premise is that AI got so good it was able to cure most human diseases and essentially prevent death forever, but rather than limit reproduction, an organization called the Scythes is set up to permanently kill a certain number of people each month and keep overpopulation in check. Super interesting concept, great worldbuilding, and good character development.

  25. Susan says:

    This episode resonated with me the most….I found a lot of similarities between Patience and myself. I, too have to own the books that I read. (I own roughly 650 books) I rarely use a library though I do love to browse through the shelves of the books to be able to smell them! (Is that weird?). I could also relate to the putting books down after reading 50 pages because I keep focusing on the books I’m NOT reading.
    One book Patience might like is called An Excess Male – “China’s One Child Policy and its cultural preference for male heirs have created a society overrun by 40 million unmarriageable men. By the year 2030, more than twenty-five percent of men in their late thirties will not have a family of their own. An Excess Male is one such leftover man’s quest for love and family under a State that seeks to glorify its past mistakes and impose order through authoritarian measures, reinvigorated Communist ideals, and social engineering.”. It’s been likened to The Handmaids Tale.

  26. Heather O says:

    I just listened to this episode today and was cracking up because I kept going to my goodreads to add titles that sounded interesting and half of them I had already marked as “Want to Read”! I did get a few more recommendations though! I think Patience and I have very similar book tastes.

  27. Amy says:

    Hi! I was wondering if Patience has tried When She Woke by Hillary Jordan. It reminds me of the premise of Vox. In the near future of America, criminals have their skin dyed so everyone knows they are a criminal. The main character wakes up with her skin dyed red after having an illegal abortion, which she had in order to protect her lover’s identity. Creepy.

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