WSIRN Ep 25: Very personal stories with Breanne Mosher

WSIRN Ep 25: Very personal stories with Breanne Mosher

It’s Tuesday, which means a new episode of What Should I Read Next!

Today I’m talking with Breanne Mosher, a self-described history nerd and travel lover who lives in Nova Scotia with her family. She documents her family’s adventures (with beautiful photos) at This Vintage Moment, where she explores the everyday extraordinary. Connect with her on her blog and Instagram.

What Should I Read Next #25: Very personal stories with Breanne Mosher

Books discussed in this episode: 

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A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
The Emily Starr Collection by L. M. Montgomery
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Gary Mckeown
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

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  1. Ann Perrigo says:

    An orphan book that pleasantly surprised me (I was expecting treacle) was The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. The author did a fine job of weaving together the experiences of young people on their own in two completely different times and ways. Thoroughly satisfying!

  2. Teri Prichard says:

    That is a tough decision of what to read next! I read both Language of Flowers and Astonish Me. I danced from the time I was 4 until 41 so Astonish Me was amazing, but I would start with the Language of Flowers! You can’t go wrong with either!!! I just started listening to this podcast and it is amazing! Books are one of my greatest loves in life!

  3. I just came to your podcast today via Tsh and The Simple Show, and thought I would download the first podcast to see if it’s my jam – imagine my delight to hear someone else from Nova Scotia! With the same ardent love of LM Montgomery as me! (Yes, you should come and visit. It’s the most beautiful province.)

  4. Tracy Tobias says:

    I love your recommendations, Anne. I’d like to recommend two favorite books for Breanne – Mitten Strings for God, Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry by Katrina Kenison. It completely changed my life as a young mother. Thanks to the miracle of the internet, this wonderful author became my friend several years after I discovered the book. Her blog, The Gift of an Ordinary Day is wonderful as well. The second book is really a series and I am obsessed with Bloody Jack and the whole Jacky Faber series. Don’t let the title dissuade you. It’s a fabulous YA series about an orphan, who dresses up like a boy to get a job as a ships boy aboard a naval ship in the early 1800s. She gets into all kinds of trying situations, but uses her wit and fortitude to overcome obstacles and get out of many damsel in distress situations. She is an amazing heroine. I LOVE her and I’m a 54 year old woman. You must listen to them on audio though. Katherine Hellgren is the best reader out there – just won the “audie” or some such title for best female reader.

  5. Have you heard of Jean Val Jean by Solomon Cleaver? It’s a Canadian-English retelling of Les Misérables from 1935. I read it for grade 8 English, so I don’t remember the writing style, but I do remember it was all story without the minute details about the contents of minor characters’ mattresses (that was what was being described when I gave up on the original). Wikipedia tells me it’s about a tenth of the length of Hugo’s. It might be worth a shot 🙂
    The Language of Flowers sounds amazing. And I really need to give Emily reread. Loved hearing you both chat books 🙂

  6. I read Les Miserables several years ago and loved it, even though I can definitely see why there are abridged versions. However, I knew almost nothing about the story before I started reading, and intentionally waited until I had finished it before seeing the musical. It’s certainly a mammoth undertaking, and I didn’t enjoy all of the scene-setting parts, but it was worth it, and I wound up feeling the full weight and impact and emotion of the story more in the reading of the book than in any adaptation. Though I can definitely see how already knowing the story would change the reading experience substantially! I’ve seen abridged versions that are about half the length of the original; maybe one of those would be a better fit? It’s probably not a book for everyone, at least not unabridged, but I hope you’re able to revisit it in some shape or form at some point and enjoy it. It is truly one of my favorites.

  7. Oh, I loved this one! Hearing y’all chat was so much fun. I have similar book taste as Breanne, so I’ll be checking out your recs, Anne! Breanne, I think you should read Dead Wake (heard of it via this podcast, yay!) next. Totally off the plucky heroine map ;), but it was fantastic and as a history buff I think you might really enjoy. Brace yourself for WWI era submarine dreams, though. Eek.

  8. Sara K says:

    Jane Eyre is my favorite of the classics. One of only a few that I have read more than once. I am reading Jane Steele right now. I need to sit down tonight and read it instead of turning on the tv!

    I would suggest Legacy by Linda Govik. I need to say up front that this book was written by a friend of mine, however it is a well-written book with an underdog main character who you find yourself rooting for all through the story! I am looking forward to the next book about Emily. This is my review from Goodreads:

    Poor, poor Emily. This girl has had a rough start to her life, and, unsurprisingly, has little hope that it will change. Through a series of chance and non-chance encounters Emily finds herself growing as a woman, an artist and a mother. Even as she faces new tragedies, and that horrible Lord Charles Stanford (boo!), Emily discovers she has more courage and strength that she knew.

    Once I bought the kindle version of this book, I flew through it in about a day and a half. Emily’s time in France provided a glimpse of hope for her future happiness and I have all my fingers and toes crossed that she finds it in the next book (what can I say? I’m a romantic at heart).

    My favorite character, whom I hope to see much more of, was Lyndon Stanford. Like Emily, he had faced considerable tragedy in his life. Yet he didn’t allow himself to degrade into a monster like his brother. There is definitely potential for a good storyline with him.

    Great debut novel with much potential for a wonderful series!

  9. Cheryl says:

    What a fun podcast to listen to you. I wanted to share how I have begun tracking my reading–my bullet journal! I started my bullet journal in March. Halfway through April I decided to jot down the books I’d read, mostly because I’ve been reading more lately and wanted to see if any trends emerged. I only write the date, the title/author, and a very brief verdict on the book. Sometimes I’ll write down who recommended it (especially if it’s one of my kids). It is SO easy, and I found I love keeping track this way. I’m a real pen-and-paper gal, so this has been miles better than Evernote or GoodReads for me. Good luck!

  10. Karyn says:

    All I have to say is that I LOVE your podcast and my books to read list is very long!!! I have never read the Emily series, and I’m going to. For tracking your reading, I used to write down all of the books I read and a brief summary as well as what I thought in a journal. Well, for the amount I read, whew! That took a long time. Then I just started writing down the author and title with a star by it if I thought it was good or a frown if I didn’t like it. Now I pretty much use Goodreads, although it isn’t my favorite. I keep the books I want to read in a Bullet Journal because as I have found out, I request them all from the library and they come it at once! Love your podcast. Thank you.

  11. Lisa says:

    I loved this episode. I added A Homemade Life and Emily Starr to my list. 🙂 I think she should read The Language of Flowers because I wasn’t too read that one too! Xoxo

  12. Pneu says:

    I so enjoy your podcast, Anne! It’s like listening to a couple of friends discussing my favourite topic.
    A book that sprang to mind for Breanne is The Book of Fires by Jane Borodale. I picked it up by chance and loved it. Happy reading!

  13. Lindsey says:

    Give Les Mis another try with an abridged version! There are a few out there that are more like 300 pages (and not a children’s simplified version). Or try a different translation. Hugo was paid by length, so tangents were his money-makers, haha. I read the unabridged with this in mind and skipped sections liberally if I felt things were dragging. It’s really such a beautiful book–much richer than the musical or movie, and there are some lovely quote-ables sprinkled throughout.

  14. Merissa says:

    I went back to look at the show notes to find the book that she mentioned that was similar to Last Child in the Woods, but it’s not there. I skimmed through the podcast and found that it was Under Pressure by Charles Honore, and realized that Hannah Coulter also got left out of the show notes – so here I am saying something, because Wendell Berry can’t be forgotten! ?

  15. Alison says:

    This was probably my favorite episode yet! I really resonated with Breann and her reading life. Having read her choices and similar ones, I wanted to also recommend Barbara Kibgsolver’s Prodigal Summer, that follows a few different characters’ lives and their experiences in small-town Virginia. Its got beautiful writing like Wendell Berry, a great storyline with well-developed characters, and you’ll learn about biology, particularly insects. I loved it and summer is of course a great time to dive in!

  16. Ann says:

    Hello from Australia. I can highly recommend “The Language of Flowers” and “A Homemade Life”. Over the last 6 months I descended into the reading doldrums . Thanks to your podcast and its so many wonderful recommendations I have wind in my sails again.

  17. Marianne Richards says:

    There is an excellent version of Les Miserables – ISBN:0849916879
    You can get it on Kindle for $4.99 or used on Amazon. Jim Reimann is the editor. It is 304 pages. I highly recommend this!

  18. Sarah says:

    Hooray for a Canadian reader! Erm, to clarify we Canucks definitely pronounce it ‘Jane AIR” – I’ve never heard it pronounced differently. And there is an excellent television adaptation of the Emily books (also the series ‘Road to Avonlea’) for all you kindred spirits out there!

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