WSIRN Ep 149: Ask Anne Anything

WSIRN’s producer Brenna Frederick is in the virtual studio with me today, and she’s bringing an armload of YOUR questions to the table, gathered from email, instagram, and the comment section. What did I do with my life before I became a blogger and podcaster? What movie is TOTALLY better than the book it’s based on? What pet peeves totally turn me off of a story? Are audiobooks really considered “reading”?

I’m answering all these questions and more, plus dropping a bunch of book recommendations straight from my bookish heart to yours. 

Ready for your burning questions to be answered? Let’s get started! 

What Should I Read Next #149: Ask Anne Anything


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!

• Author Susan Cain (try Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking: AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, by Elaine N. Aron Ph.D. (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them, by Elaine N. Aron Ph.D (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything, by Anne Bogel (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• Tell Me More, by by Kelly Corrigan (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• You Learn By Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life, by Eleanor Roosevelt (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• Gaudy Night, by Dorothy L. Sayers (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• Relish, by Lucy Knisley (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• El Deafo, by Cece Bell (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• I Am, I Am, I Am, by Maggie O’Farrell (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• A Room with a View, by E. M. Forster (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• The Queen of Hearts, by Kimmery Martin (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• The Ensemble, by Aja Gabel (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs, by Beth Ann Fennelly (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship, by Kayleen Schaefer (AmazonBarnes and Noble)
• All The Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, by Rebecca Traister (AmazonBarnes and Noble)

Also mentioned:
• The concept of Morning Pages, from Julia Cameron
The Modern Mrs Darcy book club
• Email our producer at [email protected]


What are YOU planning to read next? Let us know in the comments!


Leave A Comment
  1. I just finished Ghosted by Rosie Walsh and LOVED IT. I read 200 pages in one sitting because I could not put it down until I found out how it ended. But I’ve read mixed reviews so far. Have you read it yet, or do you plan to?

  2. Anne, I love that you like giving advice about writing. I believe each person needs to find their own method.
    On another note, I want to suggest another book that might get people interested in reading. It’s not well known but it’s about Bisbee, Arizona, a place many travel sites recommend visiting. The title is *Notes from Bisbee: Twenty years of living with Rattlesnakes, Killer Bees, and Folks in Need of Supervision*. It’s Debrah Strait’s twenty years of letters home to her family. It’s full of all kinds of quirky people and events. Bisbee was at one time a copper mining town. Now many people in the rest of Cochise County call it a town full of hippies. It’s really an artist community. Many of the essays are laugh out loud funny, but then maybe I think that because I live near Bisbee and know how true the events that Debrah relates are.

    Thanks for this podcast. Even though I’m not a big fan of the newest books, I love listening to the guests talk about their reading lives and their passions.

  3. Jacelyn says:

    Fun episode! I was surprised to hear one of my questions answered on yesterday’s podcast. I was even more surprised to hear Brenna correctly pronounce my name! Very few people get it right. Thank you both!

  4. Arlene Gebhart says:

    The Count of Monte Cristo is a long one, but it is soooo good and it’s a fast read, if that makes sense! One of my all-time favorites!

  5. corinne says:

    Hi Anne-

    Loved this episode and your new book, too. 🙂 I was wondering what the colorful backdrop/poster is behind you in the photo above? Book covers of classics? I can’t zoom in enough to figure it out. Thank you.

  6. Beth says:

    I listened to your podcast last night after receiving the news that my mom has Stage 4 Lung Cancer. (no, she is not a smoker)

    I read Being Mortal by Atul Gawande a couple of years ago and I couldn’t agree more with you recommendation. This book initiated conversations before her illness. It also provided me with some language and skills to deal with this in a way that honors her wishes.

    I am so glad a read this book before I needed it.

  7. Kristin says:

    I would like to add something to you response about how to start reading if you don’t currently. I truly believe reading is a skill that must be aquired and practiced. I know for many of us it’s hard to imagine having difficulty reading a good book for 30 minutes (or 4 hours!) but for someone who has never read (and is used to being “entertained” digitally), that 30 minutes would be hard! So if you are trying to start reading (or encourage someone else to!) make sure it’s OK if you can only do 10 minutes at a time in the beginning. I have noticed this with my husband. He used to get antsy after 10 minutes or so, but he’s gotten better as he’s read more. Anyway, just something to think about!

  8. Ann Perrigo says:

    Anne, I don’t know if this is the best place for this kind of question, but as a retired librarian my own Reader’s Advisory query has me stymied!
    We are leaving for Spain in a month, and i m wishing for a novel (historical fiction) about Spain or Madrid, to lend some background to my travels. James Michener used to write just the thing; I know, not great literature, but my first vacation to Hawaii had much more meaning because i’d read the book. Big sweeping, multi-generational tomes would be just the ticket!
    I’ve tried searching Pinterest, Amazon, and GoodReads—none of which were any help at all! If you have specific titles to suggest, that would be great—if not, leads, or ideas for searching methods would be much appreciated.

    • Anne says:

      Oh, what about the Shadow of the Wind? It’s set in Barcelona. Also The Telling Room is nonfiction and the Catalonian setting is absolutely key to the story.

      • Ann Perrigo says:

        Thanks! I will look for The Telling Room! (Read Shadow of the Wind years ago—unfortunately Barcelona is not included in our travel plans,)

  9. Libby says:

    I’ve been listening to the podcast for a couple months now, and I enjoy it very much! This episode inspired me to go make major cuts to my Goodreads “to read” shelf and I feel light, airy, and very excited about what’s left on there!

  10. Tara says:

    Movies that are better than the book…. wasn’t around when this episode aired, but I think the movie Hillbilly Elegy was better than the book!

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