Readers, each week for the past three and a half years I’ve talked to a reader (or sometimes two) and suggested three books that they should read next. This is What Should I Read Next’s 200th episode which means I’ve now recommended over 600 books on the show!
Today’s milestone is the perfect opportunity to take a moment and look back, so my producer Brenna and I spent time catching up with past guests to see which recommendations landed, which flopped, and how they’re thinking differently about their reading lives post-WSIRN. It turns out the titles I picked weren’t always winners, but something changed by the time each conversation was over. Some guests approached their bookshelves with fresh eyes, some overcame their genre fears, and some realized that stepping out of their comfort zone just wasn’t what they were interested in — and finally felt at peace with the decision.
For the 200th time… let’s get to it!
Click here to read the full episode transcription (opens in a new tab).
Books mentioned in this episode:
Looking back on Adam Verner’s episode:
• The Award, by Danielle Steele (or try the abridged version)
• The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene
• The Perfect Storm, by Sebastian Junger
• The Starbridge Series, by Susan Howatch
• Fire, by Sebastian Junger
• The River, by Peter Heller
→ Listen to Adam’s episode here.
Also mentioned: an interview with Danielle Steel via Glamour
Looking back on Ashley & Brent’s episode:
• Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver
• Before the Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima, by Diana Preston
• The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic — and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World, by Steven Johnson
• The Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight, by Martha Ackmann
→ Listen to Ashley & Brent’s episode here.
Looking back on Traci Thomas’ episode:
• Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim
• And the Sea Will Tell, by Vincent Bugliosi (unnamed in this episode)
• The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson
→ Listen to Traci’s episode here.
Also mentioned: Ashley’s podcast The Stacks
Looking back on Ashley Gossen’s episode:
• A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
• Harry’s Trees, by Jon Cohen
• A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
• The Overstory, by Richard Powers
• The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring, by Richard Preston
→ Listen to Ashley’s episode here.
Also mentioned: Ashley’s Alpine Trails book club
Looking back on Phimy & Erika’s episode:
• A Place For Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza
• Convenience Store Woman, by Sayaka Murata
→ Listen to Phimy & Erika’s episode here.
Also mentioned: Phimy & Erika’s Sister Insider book club
Looking back on Chelsey & Curtis’ episode:
• The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
• Gates of Fire, by Steven Pressfield
• Montana 1948, by Larry Watson
→ Listen to Chelsey & Curtis’ episode here.
Also mentioned: Chelsey & Curtis’ podcast He Read • She Read