WSIRN Ep 35: “You had me at cheese!” with Katherine Willis Pershey

WSIRN Ep 35: “You had me at cheese!” with Katherine Willis Pershey

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

Our guest today is Katherine Willis Pershey. Katherine is a friend whose taste I trust: she’s recommended several excellent titles to me over the years (and we talk about a handful of those in this episode). Today it’s my turn to do the recommending. If you love books that dive into human nature, authors that approach serious subjects through the back door, a good redemption story, or just excellent storytelling, there’s sure to be a book for you in today’s episode. 

What Should I Read Next #35: "You had me at cheese!" with Katherine Willis Pershey

You can learn more about Katherine on her website and blog, read more about her upcoming book, and connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.

Books discussed in this episode: 

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• Any Day a Beautiful Change: A Story of Faith and Family, by Katherine Willis Pershey
Very Married: Field Notes On Love & Fidelity, by Katherine Willis Pershey
Consider The Birds, by Debbie Blue
• Ursula Under, by Ingrid Hill
The Ghost Map, by Steven Johnson
The Virgin Suicides, by Jeffrey Eugenides
• Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides
• Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson
• The Telling Room, by Michael Paterniti
• The Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker
• All The Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler

12 comments | Comment


  1. So fun getting to hear from Katherine! I heartily recommend All The Bright Places. It was beautiful, haunting, and insightful- one of my favorite novels from 2015.

    • Paige says:

      I second We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. Think about the various meanings of the title once you’ve finished it. When my book club read it, we had a terrific discussion. I gave everyone a red poker chip as a memento and as a sign of our friendship. Read the book to find out why!

  2. Paige says:

    Another thought for you, Katherine: have you read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks? If you like reading about cholera, this powerful narrative nonfiction book about science might be right up your alley!

  3. Mary Kate says:

    I loved All The Bright Places so much! Though not sure I’ll be able to see the movie, at least not in public, as I’m sure I’ll be a sobbing mess

  4. Claire Alley says:

    Try Clare Clark’s The Great Stink. Your favorite about cholera brought this one to mind. It’s historical fiction about Lindon’s sewers.

  5. Karen says:

    What’s the full title of that cheese book? I don’t see it listed here, and I’m so interested in reading it. I actually live in Ann Arbor, and love Zingerman’s, which makes the book that much more appealing! Thank you.

  6. Tam says:

    Yes, yes, yes! Ursula, Under was one of my favorite ways to find online-book-friends back when I was on Shelfari.

    My other one was The Brothers K by David James Duncan.

    I liked the idea of Ghost Map, but what was with the ending? He got so off-course. And while I felt interested and involved with Dr. Snow’s life, I felt disappointed with how he integrated Rev. Whitehead’s contribution. I liked Demon Under the Microscope (discovery of sulfa drugs) and Color: a Natural History of the Palette (so fun!) so much better.

    I did really like the miniseries version of Stephen Johnson’s more recent book, How We Got to Now. Really interesting.

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