WSIRN Ep 29: Work, money, love, and mystery with Stacey Loscalzo

WSIRN Ep 29: Work, money, love, and mystery with Stacey Loscalzo

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

Today’s guest is Stacey Loscalzo, a mother of two girls, book reviewer for Great New Books., and former reading specialist in New Jersey, just outside New York City. Stacey always has a book going, and she’s looking for titles that will compel her to READ when she has ten minutes to spare—instead of checking Facebook.

Like most guests, she had a terrible time narrowing it down to three favorites, and I had so many ideas for her I had just as hard a time narrowing down my recommendations, but we figure it out.

What Should I Read Next #29: Work, money, love, and mystery with Stacey Loscalzo

Connect with Stacey on Instagram and Twitter.

Books discussed in this episode: 

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A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend
The Swans of Fifth Avenue: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin
The Aviator’s Wife: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin
The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula McLain
Love and Other Ways of Dying: Essays by Michael Paterniti
The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese by Michael Paterniti
The Expats: A Novel by Chris Pavone

Also mentioned:

The 2016 Summer Reading Guide
The Summer Reading Club
Book of the Month Club

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38 comments | Comment


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  1. Jessica says:

    How funny! I recently finally got a library copy of Better than Before and felt like the guest did about The Happiness Project. How is this a book? It’s such obvious stuff. Stuff that makes sense, yes, but I already do almost all of it. Rubin was trying to speak to her four types of people, though, and I didn’t fit well into a category.

  2. Kim Hainline says:

    I also didn’t like The Happiness Project but did like Better Than Before. Here’s why I think that is: you both talked about how reading a book at a different time in your life can change your reaction to it, but what’s interesting is I think the time in the writer’s life affects the tone of the book. When she wrote The Happiness Project, Rubin didn’t identify as an “Upholder” nor had she done the research for Better Than Before. I didn’t like The Happiness Project because Rubin didn’t seem to acknowledge that everyone doesn’t approach life the way she does. In “Better Than Before” I think she had made that realization and offered tips and techniques for all personality types.

  3. Mary Kate says:

    Before the Fall is so on my list.

    Really liked The Paris Wife as well as Eat Pray Love–I JUST reviewed Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest, Big Magic, on my blog today (spoiler alert: I loved it and everyone should go read it now)

  4. Kathryn says:

    I am reading the “Beautifully Written” book selections and just finished “Flight of Dreams.” I feel like it was similar to some of the selections you gave Stacey and one that she might enjoy!

    • Anne says:

      That’s a great pick! And now that you mention it, Lawhon’s previous historical novel, The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress, would also be up Stacey’s alley.

  5. Kate says:

    Great episode! I can’t wait to read before the fall. Have any of your guests talked about the Neapolitan novels by Elena ferrante? I’m on book 4 and want to hear what others think! The series is absolutely like nothing I’ve read before.

      • Kate says:

        Book one was my least favorite if that gives you any motivation. I didn’t understand what the hype was about until I got to the very end of book 1. Book 2 and 3 were just absolutely fantastic. There is just so much to talk about in this series and I don’t know anyone in real life that has read them all!

  6. Jamie says:

    I also thought Stacey would enjoy Erick Larson’s books – thrillers (which she loves) and historical fiction (which she wants to start loving again). Devil in the White City, especially!

  7. Erin in CA says:

    Anne, I just popped by to say how much I loved hearing more of your voice (literally and figuratively) on this episode. I enjoyed hearing your opinions about the books on her list, and your back-and-forth dialogue was great. One of my favorite episodes!

  8. Mary says:

    Anne, I so admire you! You are fair, you are honest, and you are dependable. Your voice is a perfect, strong, soothing broadcasting voice. Thank you!

  9. Anna Burger says:

    I loved this episode! It was refreshing to hear where y’all did not agree, and now I am inspired to apply to be on the podcast myself, but where is the form? I can’t seem to find it anywhere…Thanks!

  10. Laura says:

    Loved the episode! Before the Fall was already on my TBR and I can’t wait to get to it!

    I haven’t read the books discussed in the episode (yet) but with the themes I thought Stacey might enjoy reading “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova. I think it’s a debut novel but I really liked the mix of mystery and adventure!

  11. Cathy Hughes says:

    I also get anxious if I don’t have a book nearby. I get especially anxious if I finish a book right before a trip and have to take a new book with me on my travels. What if I don’t like the book? #bookloverproblems.

    • Susan V says:

      What you do is take your Kindle Paperwhite, which has 700 good books on it!! I still take Dead Tree Books on vacation, but no longer feel the need to take 10 of them for a 5 day vacation. The Kindle solves that problem. Did you know you can check out Kindle books through your library and “My Media Mall” and Overdrive. Then it sends you over to Amazon to download your book. This makes me ridiculously happy! Also, I found Bandersnatch on Hoopla, another online place to get books (but I have to read the book on my iPad, but that’s okay now and then). I love living in suburbia where there are MANY excellent libraries within 20 minutes of my house, and all these online options. And now my oldest grandkids, ages 6 and 8, are able to read books with the Kindle app on an iPad that my daughter downloads from their local library! They love to read, and of course they love the iPad, so it’s a win-win!! Books, books, how I love books!! 🙂

      • Laura Schwartz says:

        I do the same. I download e-books straight from my ipad to my kindle app (rarely use my actual kindle anymore) from my library. And they’re great at buying books I suggest if I can’t find a book I’m dying to read, I click recommend a book, and a couple days later I get an e-mail saying they’ve purchased it!

  12. Gina says:

    Enjoyed this episode (actually I love every episode!) and wanted to comment because of One in a Million Boy. I haven’t finished it yet as I had to return it to the library and I think I feel the same way as Stacey. I liked it okay so far but it felt very slow to me. It was good but slower reading. I couldn’t believe I had been reading it for as long as I had and was only half way through. I had picked it up with some other books and thought I would breeze through it so waited until I was done with the others to start it then had to cut it short. I still want to finish it but thought it was interesting the way she described it – if she didn’t have a deadline, she wouldn’t have read it that fast and might not have enjoyed it as much. I also didn’t notice the language so now will have to pay attention to that when finishing it up.
    I have gotten so many great recommendations from you – thank you for your podcast!

  13. I loved reading The Telling Room. My husband listened each summer night a few years ago.

    I didn’t know you pronounced Michael Paterniti’s name like maternity but paternity. I thought it was “patter-knitty.”

    I have listened to about half of his book Love and Other Ways of Dying. One of my friends is friends with the author and that’s how I first discovered him.

  14. pamela says:

    I adore Stacey and was so happy to listen to this podcast. It was great! I found your blog through Stacey’s and loved listening about all the books you discussed. I devoured “A Window Opens” and hate all of Gretchen Rubin’s books (while also greatly admiring her success). So this was a fun listen!!

    I listened to this in the car and my 10 year old told me he also loved the podcast (and he doesn’t love much these days). Have you thought of doing a podcast with kids about their favorite books? My son reads a ton and I am always on the lookout for new ideas. Thank you so much for doing this and making it available. My new favorite podcast!!!!

    • Anne says:

      I’m so glad you AND your ten-year-old enjoyed it! So far I’ve done one episode with a twelve-year-old (ep 16) and one with my own 8-year-old (ep 21), and I may do more in the future…. 🙂

  15. Sarah Smith says:

    The genius in Gretchen Rubin’s books is not that she is telling everyone what to do or how to approach life, but that she is modeling a way to systematically and objectively address things that one wants to change to make life go more smoothly and joyfully. I tend to get riddled with “shoulds” and overwhelm when it comes to improving my schedule and my life. I find her journalistic approach refreshing and non-confrontational in a world of “how-to” books with bullet points and formulaic principles.

  16. Melisa says:

    I am about 20% through The Expats and please tell me it gets better. I’m finding that the changing venues and time frames every page or two and sometimes every couple of paragraphs is a bit jarring and making the plot hard to follow. To abandon or stick with it?

  17. Sarah says:

    Another incredible sweeping long saga about the life of someone real that I absolutely devoured was the Joshephine Bonapart Trilogy by Sandra Gulland.
    So wonderful! Takes you through her early life in the Caribbean, life through the French Revolution and the Terror, her marriage to Napoleon and their eventual annulment. So fantastic!

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