What Should I Read Next Episode 213: Art, fear, and discovering great books

This week I’m chatting with reader and children’s book writer Kate DiCamillo about the hopeful work of writing for children, books that inspire her, and what she learns from readers (that’s YOU) about her own books.

Kate has so much to share about the value of friendship with other people who work differently than you do, and her advice is applicable whether you’re an aspiring author or simply a reader looking to build a bookish community in your own personal life. 

Let’s get to it! 

What Should I Read Next Episode 213: Art, fear, and discovering great books with Kate DiCamillo

You can find Kate DiCamillo on Facebook and on Twitter @KateDiCamillo.

Click here to read the full episode transcription (opens in a new tab).

If you want more What Should I Read Next become a supporter on Patreon! That’s where we share follow up interviews we do with past guests and bonus episodes of One Great Book.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Some links are affiliate links. More details here. If you’d like to support your local indie, check out Indiebound.com. And by all means, go grab one of these from your local library!

Books mentioned:

The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
The Magician’s Assistant, by Ann Patchett
Beverly, Right Here, by Kate DiCamillo
Raymie Nightingale, by Kate Dicamillo
The Watsons Go to Birmingham, by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty, by Eudora Welty
Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett
Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver
Louisiana’s Way Home, by Kate DiCamillo
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver
Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel
Art and Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, by David Bayles
Trinity, by Louisa Hall
The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process, by John McFee
This Tender Land, by William Kent Krueger
Iron Lake, by William Kent Krueger
Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Krueger

Also mentioned: 
The Kerlan collection at the University of Minnesota


What do YOU think Kate should read next? And what books that you read as a child inspired hope?

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Leave A Comment
  1. Cheri says:

    Absolutely loved this episode! It might be my favorite one so far! Thank you Ann and Kate. I will listen again so that I can write down some quotes in my notebook! Blessings!

  2. Belle says:

    I would recommend to Kate Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi. The language and words are magical and hope permeates. I think it is middle grade. Where the Lilies Bloom by Vera and Bill Cleaver was my 4th grade favorite in 1976. Thank you for a lovely podcast today, Anne and Kate!

  3. Kate (also) says:

    What a treat this was! The first book I read by Kate was The Tale of Despereaux which I adored, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane made me cry big, ugly tears. My mom lives in Four Corners now and I’d never seen a Winn-Dixie til I went to visit her there and saw one on Hwy 27, so it’s sort of thrilling to hear Kate is from there 🙂

  4. Debbie in Alabama says:

    As my Brit friend and reading buddy would say, this was BRILLIANT!What a treasure to hear Kate and know that she introduced my daughter’s love of reading as she got into third and fourth grade with Because of Winn Dixie. Now I can pull this off the shelf and share it with her 8 yr and I will love it all over again. This was one of your best shows yet, Anne!

  5. Caroline says:

    This might be my all-time favorite episode of any podcast ever. I cried and then sent the link to a friend who loves Kate. Anne often talks on the show about authors you would follow anywhere and Kate is the prime example of this for me. I trust that if she breaks my heart, she’ll put it back together again by the last page.
    It’s a little intimidating recommending a book for Kate. The first thing I thought of was “The Wild Robot” books by Peter Brown, which she has probably already read. They give me the same feeling that her books do, the “life is hard but it’s going to be okay” feeling mentioned in the episode.
    Thank you for the fantastic episode, Anne!

    • Rebecca says:

      Oh my goodness, yes!! I’m reading book 2 to my children now. I would definitely regimens these to people who love Kate’s books!

    • Patricia says:

      Agree! My son and I read both “Wild Robot” books over the summer and l, just like literally EVERY book I’ve read aloud by Kate DiCamillo, we had to call my husband or his older sister into the room to read a particular part bc I was crying too hard to speak.

  6. Lisa says:

    Oh my goodness! I was halfway through listening to this before I realized who the guest was. The Magician’s Elephant is one of my all time favorite books. It is just absolutely beautiful and magical. I only wish I had read it when I was a child.

  7. Susan in TX says:

    Based on Kate’s reading tastes, I think she’d love The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall. Kate is a family favorite here! So fun to hear her on the podcast.

  8. Suzanne C says:

    One of the best episodes yet! Now I’m even more annoyed that I had to miss Kate this past Saturday when she was in Tallahassee for a book tour event.

  9. Ivy says:

    I loved this episode! Kate’s discussion of her process was fascinating. As an amateur, I take some comfort in the fact that even long-time professionals have to use mental tricks to sit down and write. It also makes me realize my writing will stay in my notebook unless I engage the rewriting process. So thanks for that. I will be reading the 4th Draft recommendation, too!

  10. Danielle says:

    I really loved this episode! I just shared some of the ideas shared in the podcast about the different approaches to the creative writing process with my grade 9 Language Arts class (who are writing a short story at the moment).

  11. I loved this episode! I live in Minneapolis and we are proud to have such a talented writer in our city. I cannot believe she wrote the last paragraph of The Dutch House. I recently read and returned it to the library. I can’t remember the last paragraph so now I need to go to a bookstore and read it again. What a cool little story!

  12. Valerie Jankowski says:

    Thank you so much for having Kate DiCamillo on your show. I am a school librarian and her writing is simply amazing. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is my all time favorite book and every time I read it I learn something new. I met her at a librarian conference a few years ago and I was amazed at how she responded to me when I told her my favorite book. She was sincerely thankful even though I am sure she has heard that exact same sentence thousands of times. What a treat to listen to your conversation – it made my week!

  13. Gail in Washington State says:

    Am I the only one who immediately checks the photos of your guests? Kate is lovely, inside and out. I must reread the final paragraph of The Dutch House. Great interview!

  14. Kara Middleton says:

    These episodes get better and better each week. Kate DiCamillo is delightful, and she made me want to read each of the books she described. She seems to internalize very deeply everything g she reads, and it was just so inspiring listening to her. Thank you, Anne and Kate.

  15. Annie McCloskey says:

    I finally got to this episode! I ALWAYS read Because of Winn Dixie to my class every year. It’s exactly what Kate talked about… being a kid brings hard things and also hope. She was a delightful guest!

  16. Jackie says:

    Bravo! This episode was so beautiful and perfect. I can’t wait to read all the books discussed, including Kate DiCamillo’s works. Ann Patchett has been a long time favorite of mine (State of Wonder just enchanted me), so I love finding that other people are as moved by her as I am. Reading the Dutch House now and loving it! Thanks again for making such a great episode and for the thoughtful conversation.

  17. April Kuper says:

    I had to search for this episode because I absolutely LOVE Kate Dicamillo! Her writing is beautiful (even her Facebook posts!) I loved hearing the two of you talk about books, reading & writing – I was inspired & moved. I love your recommendation of Short for her – such a great book! I did a book talk on it for my students & it disappeared from my shelf 😂 I’m now asking myself which episode I should listen to next!

  18. Holly says:

    I just finished raymie nightingale. I adored it. Hopeful. Healing.

    Reminds me of a book called the trouble with goats and sheep by Joanna cannon. A coming of age story set in England with a quirky set of characters but a few heavy themes but not daunting for this sensitive reader. I highly recommend!

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