The intro I give every week of what we do on WSIRN sounds straightforward enough – I talk to a reader about books they love, books they hate, and books they could pick up next. Simple. But long-time listeners know this show was originally supposed to be a tight 20 minutes… and today, each episode is easily twice that long. It turns out, a person’s reading taste reveals a lot about who they are as individuals, and digging into those discussions is worth much more to me than hitting a timestamp.
Today’s guest is no stranger to seemingly-mundane belongings that hold deep meaning – Tara Anderson hosts the NPR show 5 Things, where she gets to know people by discussing five items that matter to them. A guest’s treasured items might be books, but they might also be a houseplant, a special coat, heirloom knitting needles, even something as practical as a rice cooker. There are no home appliances in this episode, but we are investigating what Tara’s 3 favorite titles say about what she wants out of life, and what new books will take her there.
Let’s get to it!
Click here to read the full episode transcription (opens in a new tab).
Books mentioned in this episode:
• The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You, by Ella Berthoud
♥ Just Kids, by Patti Smith
♥ The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton
♥ Southernmost, by Silas House
▵ I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, by Michelle McNamara
• Born to Run, by Bruce Springsteen
• Becoming, by Michelle Obama
• How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, by Michael Pollan
• The Power, by Naomi Alderman
• Notes from a Young Black Chef, by Kamwe Onwuachi
• Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, by Gabrielle Hamilton
• Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
• Tidelands, by Philippa Gregory
• We Are All Good People Here, by Susan Rebecca White
What do YOU think Tara should read next?